Saturday, 13 February 2021

Tape Kingz #2: DJ Ayres

 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. 

This mix is available on PF Cuttin's bandcamp page