Tuesday, 12 January 2021

DJ MK - MF DOOM tribute mix

Obviously there's been a ton of tribute mixes and podcasts since DOOM's death was announced on new year's eve. I haven't actually had to time to check any of them so this one MK dropped yesterday is what I'm rolling with. There's a download link in the Mixcloud description if you're quick enough.

Wednesday, 6 January 2021

Who Say Reload - now available for pre-order!

For the last few years I've been putting together this collection of interviews chronicling the classic jungle / drum n bass records of the 90s. I'm proud to say that it's now available for pre-order through Velocity Press and is due to be available on general release in March! 

Each chapter focuses on a different classic jungle track, with the artist providing the backstory on their influences, creative processes and memories of the burgeoning jungle scene of the mid 90s. There's also additional interviews with some of the genres key figures providing additional detail and commentary of the stand out records, raves and club nights of the era. Photography is from the archives of my man Eddie Otchere, who you might be familiar with from his shots of Wu Tang, Biggie and Aaliyah amongst others. 

I've written a short piece on how the book came about here. If you get in quickly you can also cop the limited edition poster featuring records included in the book.

featured artists include

Shut Up & Dance – Ragga Twins – 4Hero – Lennie De Ice – Goldie – LTJ Bukem – A Guy Called Gerald – Fabio - Basement Phil – Nookie – Q Project – MC GQ – Omni Trio – Andy C & Ant Miles - DJ Rap - Sean O’Keeffe (Deep Blue) – DJ Crystl – Pete Parsons – Danny Donnelly – Foul Play – Ray Keith – Floyd Dyce – Tobie Scopes (Chimeira/Serial Killaz) - Jumpin Jack Frost – Bryan G – DJ Asend (Dred Bass) – Junior Hart & Steve B (Renk Recs) – UK Apachi – Krome & Time – DRS & Kenny Ken – Pascal – J Majik – Peshay – Storm – DJ SS – T Power – DJ Flight – Shimon – Aphrodite – Micky Finn – DJ Hype – Roni Size – AK1200 - Doc Scott – Dazee – Friction – Mampi Swift – DJ Krust – Moving Fusion – Optical – DJ Fresh

 Quite typical of me to spend 10+ years cultivating a reasonably sized following off a blog focusing on classic hip hop and then going and writing a book about a completely different genre, but as far as hip hop goes I couldn't come up a fresh angle to write about and then there's obviously issues with access to artists etc. Jungle/D&B (essentially the same thing and for the purposes of my project the terms are pretty much interchangeable) is my second musical love and although I had been into it since 94, it was the phase of hip hop influenced records around 95-97 that really peaked my interest. Despite the widely recognised influence of reggae and sound systems, along with its foundations in the early 90s hardcore rave scene, a large proportion of the artists I interviewed have their roots in hip hop. The first wave of producers often cited the likes of Marley Marl, the Bomb Squad and Mantronix (where do you think they got that amen break from?) as their inspirations. Anyway, I won't go into too much detail here but suffice to say: GO AND BUY MY BOOK. Thanks. 

Thursday, 31 December 2020

DJ Step One - Actual Rap Music

10 days off work during lockdown is not the same as 10 days off work during lockdown with a 2 year old to look after. I did find time to pull out some records last night though, and recorded it. 97-98ish type stuff (and a couple of 96 things).


Capone N Noreaga ft Tragedy & Nas – Calm Down
Xzibit ft Mobb Deep – Eyes May Shine (remix)
All City – The Actual
B1 - Verbal Affairs
Mo Money, Genovese & Lord Tariq – The Block Hot
DITC – Day One
Black Rob – I Love You Baby
Alley High ft Monifah – Voo Doo
Bad Meets Evil – Nuttin Ta Do
Large Professor – Mad Scientist
Big Kwam – Verbalize (DJ Spinna remix)
Ghostface Killah – Cobra Clutch
Dilated Peoples – Work The Angles
Jay Z - A Million and One Questions (extended remix)
Cru – Bubblin
Keith Murray – The Rhyme (original version)
Redman – Funkorama (Blackstar blend)
Mic Geronimo ft DMX, Ja Rule, The LOX & Tragedy – The Usual Suspects

Tuesday, 22 December 2020

Lord Tariq freestyle (1993)


This is taken from a Rell Love tape that Westwood played back in summer '93, with Tariq going off over Funky Child and the G Thang remix beats, and it's sufficiently rowdy. LT was definitely killing it on the mixtapes back then and I like to think that he could've dropped a great album in 93/94 with a half decent label behind him, although maybe that raw mixtape energy with familiar beats is part of the appeal. Guess we'll never know but it's a shame he doesn't have more official material from this period.

Wednesday, 16 December 2020

DJ Skully - Kiss FM 13.01.03

Another dope Kiss FM mix from Skully's archives...

Talib Kweli - Shock Body
Royce 5'9 - My Friend
Gang Starr - Skillz
Infamous MC - Apocalypse
Little Brother  - The Way You Do It
Large Professor - Akinyele
Nas - Get Down
Conspicuous - Spittage
Foreign Beggars - Where Did The Sun Go
Ryans Hope - Sushi
Lewis Parker ft Profound - Sunny Dedications
Edo G - Be Thankful
Natty - Freestyle
Dilated Peoples ft Talib Kweli - Live On Stage (remix)
Jay Z - Bonnie & Clyde (Jay Zak remix)
Tre Hardson ft MC Lyte - Roots, Love & Culture
Truth Enola - No Way No How (remix)
Nightmares On Wax - 70s 80s (The Upbringing mix)
Emanon - For What You Live
Little Brother - Away From Me
DMP - Don't Wanna Give That Up
Conspicuous - Wonderful Life
L.E.O - Blue In The Vein
Joe Budha -Freestyle Frenzy

Monday, 7 December 2020

Cutmaster Swift ft Guru, MC Storm & Jeopardy - Choice FM exclusive (1991)

Thought I'd found another early 90s Gang Starr radio freestyle when this one started up, but it turns out there's a more interesting back story to it. It begins with the **Choice Exclusive** drop and Guru says it's a freestyle, before going into a verse from Hardcore Composer. The tape is dated 1991, so Daily Operation wasn't out at this point. He's then followed by 2 British MCs, which threw me a bit as the cuts in the chorus and the sound quality aren't what you would expect from a radio cypher. Needing some help, I hit up Craig and he thought one of the rappers sounded like Big Ted, which turned out to be correct. I hit Ted up on Instagram and he gave me the details...

It's actually production by Cutmaster Swift featuring MC Storm (Swift's brother) and myself on the extra verses. It originally began as a freestyled acapella from Guru for 279 and he suggested Swift put a beat to it and put Storm and me on there too, and there you have it. Just another one of those hip hop history magic moments.
Cheers for reminding me of it. I have it and the instrumental on a TDK MA metal tape somewhere.

Swift was one of the biggest hip hop DJs in the UK from the early days, and Ted was still known as Jeopardy back then. MC Storm was part of the No Parking MCs (thanks again to Craig for the knowledge) and had a couple of underground releases in the early 90s.

Kind of quirky, and this type of thing would be commonplace 10-15 years later when every mixtape DJ and aspiring producer got their hands on pro-tools but back then it was quite unusual as far as I know. I was going to title it Gang Starr - Hardcore Composer (rare demo version) but thought that might be pushing it a bit. Even clickbait has boundaries.
Big up Eddie as always, I've nearly got through all his tapes now so it's nice that they're still producing results.

Sunday, 6 December 2020

DJ DS Goes Back to School (3rd Year: 1988)

DJ DS takes it back to '88 in the latest of his mix series.