Tuesday, 2 March 2021
Friday, 26 February 2021
Tape Kingz #6! Another big name DJ! More classic mixes for your domepiece! In The Before Times, DJ Yoda could be found anywhere and everywhere from mixing on BBC6 Music to a ton of festivals and clubs and making songs with Edo G and the Jungle Brothers, all the while doing some mind blowing stuff with AV that makes your average DJ look rather ordinary and boring. Catch him on Twitch on Wednesday evenings. He's also contributed some tapes to this site and back in the day he wrote a mixtape column in HHC so he's a good person to talk to about this kind of thing. Here's his Top 3...
Q-Bert - Demolition Pumpkin Squeeze Muzik (1994)There's some confusion over whether this tape is called that, or "Pre-School Breaks"? Regardless, this was probably the most influential mixtape for me, because Q and the Piklz were finding all sorts of vocal snippets from movies like The Warriors and Wild Style, and throwing them over the breaks they were cutting up; it inspired me to include movies in my DJing, which I've done since.
Tuesday, 23 February 2021
You may know Tobes from the dope Sparkle Motion mixes (with DJ Yoda) and as part of Blood Money (with DJ Dub), or for his work on Spine Magazine back in the day. He's also a mixtape aficionado and has contributed some of his extensive collection to this site in the past. Here's his top 3... Doo Wop - Spring '94 (1994)
Friday, 19 February 2021
Tuesday, 16 February 2021
Stepping up next to drop his top 3 mixes is DJ Snips. Currently based in NY, Snips co-promoted and DJ'd at Livin Proof which was one of London's biggest hip hop nights. His production CV includes Trife, Cappadonna, Skyzoo and the infamous Poisonous Poets crew which included Lowkey, Doc Brown, Reveal and Tony D. He's currently in the middle of releasing a new beat every week as part of his 52 Beats project.
DJ Spinna - Live on Westwood (1999) This one always sticks in my head as it was a pivotal time for hip hop when the underground and mainstream worlds were completely divided. It seemed like a breath of fresh air to hear a DJ like Spinna, who was very much a staple in the underground scene, on a show like Westwood's, who by that time would rarely play records from that world.
Kid Capri - 52 Beats What even needs to be said about this? Hip Hop DJing 101. With the introduction of the internet many of these breaks are common knowledge to most people but that wasn’t always the case. I recently named my latest beat tape after this.
DJ Premier - NY Reality Check 101 (1997)
This and Stretch Armstrong's 'The Lesson' were the pinnacle of mid-late 90s NY indie hip hop. This tape stands out to me particularly because I used it as a gauge to make my own tapes. I had doubles of most of the 12”s on here and was imitating Premo's juggles as a way to get tighter myself. Seems fitting in hindsight as I did the same thing with his beats when I started producing.
Saturday, 13 February 2021
Next up in the Tape Kingz series is DJ Ayres, perhaps best known for co-promoting legendary Brooklyn club night The Rub. Along with the acclaimed History Of Hip Hop mix series he has also DJ'd for no less than Ghostface and Bun B. In these uncertain, unprecedented times you can check him out on Twitch and you can also check out his Top 3 mixtapes right here:
DJ Daze - Hip-Hop From the Good Old Daze Vol. 2 DJ Daze is a bit of a mystery to me. I bought this cassette at Fat Beats in the 90s, and I know he did scratches on some High & Mighty songs. The cuts and arrangement on this tape are super clean and sharp, and the tracklist is golden age 80s rap perfection. Daze is very democratic in his selection, mixing some bigger names like Special Ed, Heavy D and NWA with lesser-known singles from Sid & B-Tonn, Markey Fresh & Bizzey Boys. The JVC Force album cut he chose, "Stop-N-Listen," sent me on a mission to find their underappreciated second album. It's a perfect mixtape to me.
Green Lantern - Best of 2000 (Cornerstone) Cornerstone is a marketing agency which is probably best known because the founders also started The Fader magazine, but their monthly mix CDs were legendary. They tapped mixshow DJs from all over the US to record mixes, which went out to tons of DJs, creative people and music journalists. Because they were recording for an audience of their peers, the DJs put a ton of work into the mixtapes, and it's hard to think of one more creative than this Green Lantern set. At the time, monophonic midi ringtones were extremely hot, in some cases outselling the music itself, and Green Lantern recorded them into Pro Tools and arranged them over the songs, which was mind-blowing at the time. But the section that fucks me up to this day is when he mixes Cam'ron "What Means The World To You" -> The Police "Roxanne" -> Outkast "Bombs Over Baghdad" -> Foreigner "Cold As Ice" -> M.O.P. -> "Cold As Ice," cutting the Outkast drums into halftime and back to 150 BPM to bridge the whole thing together. The Evil Genius!
P.F. Cuttin - Da 4-Oh
This tape still gets me so hype! P.F. Cuttin is best known for producing Danger for his group Blahzay Blahzay, and his mixtapes were right up there with Tony Touch and Mister Cee. 'Da 4-O' is my favorite, with huge street anthems by Wu-Tang Clan, Notorious B.I.G., O.C. & Jay-Z alongside more underground 12"s by Brainsick Mob, Goodie Mob, and, well, Mobb Deep. What I love about this mix is the layering, with long blends, instrumentals teased over choruses, and little sound effects scratched in; plus his doubles skills approach the levels of the X-Men or the Beat Junkies without losing the flow of the tape.
Thursday, 11 February 2021
Mixtapes are as big a part of some people's musical history as albums, in some cases more so. They provided the soundtrack for memorable times of years gone by. That one tape that was stuck in your walkman for a whole summer, or played endlessly in your mates car when you were at college. The one you played so much that the songs on it don't sound the same when they're played in any other context.
Depending on where you where from or what age you are you were probably all bumping different mixes. They might've been by local DJs, purchased on trips out of town or abroad, or recorded off the radio. They might've put you onto songs you didn't know about and never heard elsewhere and if you're a DJ there's almost certainly some in particular that inspired you or made you want to step your game up.
The thing is, there's a lot of tapes out there and although most of the notable ones have appeared online by now, it's easy to be a bit overwhelmed and not know where to start if you're looking for some good ones to check out. With that in mind (and with no tapes to rip at the moment) I hit up some DJs of note to find out what their favourite tapes of all time are.
Because OB4ZL is taking no shorts in the Deuce-1 (remember when years had rap names?), we're starting the series off properly. Boston's DJ 7L of Czarface, Bladerunners and 7L & Esoteric fame. He's a dope DJ and he knows his shit. Here's his Top 3:
DJ S&S - Old School Volume 3 (1994)