Thursday, 28 May 2020

ABU Podcast 73 - May 2020

Nope, we're not dead just yet.
Tune in at 9pm Thursday 28th May 2020 to Disco Scratch Radio here for our brand new Podcast.
Two hours of classic hip-hop, funk and wackness as per usual, hosted by Repo.

Details of how to listen are here where you can also see how to join the live chatroom which is where half the fun lies.

Hope to see you there. If not then the DL will be up shortly.


Here's the show. Either stream it here from the blog or go directly to the Hearthis website and listen there.
The tracklist is in the comments.

Tuesday, 5 May 2020

Olas Un Bekons Returns

The marvelous music-sharing blog, Olas Un Bekons, is back.
High-quality MP3/FLAC files of loads of hip hop from the 80s to the 2000s is on offer and just a click away.
Janka runs this and keeps things streamlined like a muthafluffa. Check it on the daily here:

Tuesday, 21 April 2020

Near Mint tee

LOVEGROVE DESIGNS have another fresh tee to keep you vinyl heads sorted.

Head over HERE to see the details and purchase. But hurry up as time is of the essence. One week left to order and then they're gone.

Sunday, 19 April 2020

Celluloid - The Electro Years + Any Requests?

I thought that I'd start putting up some albums and bits for download while we're all stuck in isolation.
However they will only be available for ONE WEEK before the link becomes invalid.
To kick off, we have one of the era's best underground arty electro labels, Celluloid. This is a compilation called Celluloid - The Electro Years - Why Is It Fresh and features some of the best songs from the label's defining years.
There's an interesting oddity in there, too. Track #7 'D.J. Mixer' is a collection of electronic sounds, beats and acapella voices. I'm pretty sure the majority are from a 1982 12" called 'Konk Party'.

01 Crazy Cuts (Long Version) Intro.mp3
02 Grandmixer Cuts It Up!.mp3
03 The Roxy.mp3
04 The Wildstyle (Instrumental Mix).mp3
05 Mean Machine (Dub Version).mp3
06 Crazy Cuts (Long Dub).mp3
07 D.J. Mixers.mp3
08 Une Sale Histoire Part 2 (Male Version).mp3
09 Shango Message (Edit_Instrumental).mp3
10 Mean Machine.mp3
11 The Escapades Of Futura 2000 (The Escapades Rap).mp3
12 Mega-Mix II (Why Is It Fresh).mp3

Remember, it's only here for a week.
If you have any REQUESTS for future albums then put them in the comments and I'll see if I have them but don't request the same album if you missed it already.

Celluloid - The Electro Years - Why Is It Fresh (1998)

Monday, 3 February 2020

Album Review - Dweller - Record Of Achievement

One sentiment I hear a lot these days, mostly from the mature hip-hop fan incidentally, is that hip-hop is dead. Or rap died in the Nineties.
Anyone in possession of even half an ear could point you in the direction of some decent ish, you just have to dig a little deeper is all.
To whit, this new piece of wax from a man hailing from the North - Greater Manchester if we're being right and exact - and not afraid to wear his regional heart proudly on his sleeve. His upcoming album, Record Of Achievement, is the result of the blood, sweat and tears of two years of personal struggles making life choices that can only come about from having the determination and confidence to make the switch to the unknown. Has this gamble paid off? Only a fool would release a half-hearted collection of beats hoping they'd do the business and expect to hit paydirt. One listen to RoA and immediately you can hear the time and effort exuding in layer upon layer from the heartfelt, 'grown-up' lyrics to the sultry jazz licks that engulf the loops and rhythms.

My first foray into the world of Dweller was relatively recently when I heard him guesting on a couple of tracks on Haynesy's Dope Beat Biz Volume 1 (2019). With this full-length project Dweller now has room to stretch his legs and speak on anything his lips care to fall on. Whether it's bringing up the problem of stress ('World On My Shoulders'), supporting family ('Breadwinner') or an ode to the missus ('Queen of English'). Braggadocio is minimal, knowledge is subliminal.
Overall the album is filled with smooth, jazzy riffs and snappy snares with cool choruses to keep the earworm community alive and thriving. One of my favourite albums of the 1990s is Digable Planets' 'Reachin' (1993, Pendulum Records) and RoA reminded me a lot of it in parts.
It's honest and unapologetically humble whilst simultaneously audacious with the production - I can't think of the last time I heard snatches of Ellen DeGeneres, 'Frasier' or 'IT Crowd' over hip-hop beats.
This album is a definite headphone experience - late at night, rum & Coke, comfy chair. Your ears will thank you.

At this point it's worth noting that the album is not actually ready to snatch just yet. This isn't K-Tel and it isn't available in all good record shops. Dweller is self-releasing it via the crowdfunding route. To order a copy you will need to go to whereupon you can become a backer of the project. Only 100 punters (or 50 DJs!) need to open their wallets and this dream can become a reality.
With help from Lomax, Batfunk, Mastarblastar, Jonny Capicola and Ex-P, this album is so very worthy of your time. A lot has gone into it and it clearly shows.

Thursday, 30 January 2020

Closed Caption Craziness: Wild Style on Amazon Prime Video

"Mamacita rock your nuts..."

As the title suggests, Wild Style is available to watch on Amazon Prime Video at the moment (free with Prime).
I thought I'd give it a go seeing as it had been a while since I last watched it all the way through. But something struck me. I watched it with subtitles on and it soon became clear to me that whoever's job it was to do them clearly had no clue what Wild Style, or even hip-hop culture and history, was about.
I hereby present to you the frankly odd utterings and bizarre translations of an Amazon employee who probably didn't understand the wholly historical importance of the task they had been given.

THE REALNESS - "Crime does not pay"

Here we go and already things have taken a strange turn. The opening credits have just run and we're about to get back to the action. Fab 5 Freddy oversaw the soundtrack although I don't recall any stories of him inserting subliminal voices into the songs attesting to his greatness.

 THE REALNESS -"..because 'MC' stands for Mic Control.."

Eh? Why would you run from mic control? It doesn't even make sense! Then again perhaps if you'd never grasped the basics of holding and using a microphone onstage then you might have a wobble.

THE REALNESS - "And like, Mickey Mouse, the Son of Sam"

Equating New York City's 1970s serial killer, David Berkowitz aka the Son of Sam to Looney Tunes' cuddly, rootin'-tootin', diminutive, firebrand, Yosemite Sam is a bit of a reach if you ask me. Although in retrospect he was rather handy with his six-shooter so who knows what he did after filming had finished at the studio. It's a lonely life in the movie business. Restless nights, sick of all the neverending fans all wanting a piece of you. I wouldn't blame him.

THE REALNESS - "Chief Rocker Busy Bee"


 THE REALNESS - "And the way I shock the house for the young ladies"

*SPLUTTER!!* Without even addressing the intricacies of the differences between language on both sides of 'the pond' this just looks so, so wrong.
However if you recall, they are on their way to the hotel in the Limo and we know that shenanigans are to be had (that's if Mr Bee can stop spelling out bleedin' B's with his dollar bills all over the bed first) so maybe this delicate sexual practice is on the cards.
Lucky Lisa Lee, says I.

 THE REALNESS - errrrrrr?

This one requires VAR or somesuch as I'm not entirely sure if this is the proper line or not. Until now I always thought it was, "and I'll dog your face".
Upon looking at what I've just typed I'm feeling quite sheepish now.

 THE REALNESS - "Now just get on the mic and take command"

Dota Rock (RIP), who introduces the next in line, Ruby D, seems to think he's in The Blue Oyster rather than at The Dixie.

 THE REALNESS - "And if you wanna know why they call me Whip"

"Whimp"? Pretty bold insult to throw around especially as KRS-One once remarked back in the days when he wasn't sticking up for alleged kiddie-fiddlers, if you pop that junk up in the Bronx you might not live.
This subtitle mishap is doubly confusing as the text "Whipper Whip" has been used correctly otherwise all throughout the song so why suddenly change tact now?

 THE REALNESS - "All the def MCs, Double Trouble..."

This switcheroo actually helps to convey the greatness and splendid rhyming skills of all the performers who are about to appear at the Ampitheater at the end of the movie. Freddy is busy handing out flyers to the neighbourhood kids (albeit the ones still able to walk or breathe after being crushed by the impromptu crowd who pushed Patti A's broken down car) doing his hard sell patter.
Good work, Subtitle fella!

 THE REALNESS - "I'm MC Dota Rock, sho 'nuff, sureshot"

Well, peel my tangerines! Just as we were on the up, SubtitleFella throws this into the mix.
We have now arrived at the Ampitheater Jam and the Fantastic Five are bounding up to begin their set on the stage. Dota Rock throws down first with a bit of braggadocio rap which has confused the hell out of Subtitling Simon.

 THE REALNESS - "Ruby D is my name and you can't deny"

 THE REALNESS - "That I'm slick as a ... but all the way live"

Another one that I'm not 100% sure of but I'm willing to put money on the fact that it's not "prick". 'Prince', maybe?

 THE REALNESS - "Just rockin' the house, can you realise?"

This could be a valiant attempt by Ruby D in trying to sort the crowd back into nice, uniform lines after they've been bouncing around all boisterous-like and got themselves all out of kilter.

And so we reach the end of the film. Roll credits. By now the work experience lad in Amazon’s Subtitles Dept really could not give one more hoot as it’s Friday afternoon and he's on a promise with Dirty Debs in Wetherspoons later on.

Wild Style. The film that keeps on giving.


If you have Amazon's Prime Video service then try this link to watch the film yourself:

Friday, 17 January 2020

Random Rap Radio & DIG Mag - Live On Air

Only three weeks into the new year and warrior of style, Mr LG under the guise of  the wonderful DIG Mag drops this bombshell.
Teaming up with another ABU regular, Irish Craig going under his hot-as-balls Random Rap Radio moniker, LG is about to release 'Live On Air', a compilation of (as well as being a truly affectionate ode to) some very rare radio performances.
You may have heard these back in the day but chances are you probably didn't. These performances were played once and only once on the radio and then would have been deleted or at best, archived for a while and then trashed by the radio stations.
However if it were not for the nerd-like talents and savvy reflexes of one man then these recordings may well have been lost forever. Craig from RRR, if you are not aware, has been providing us with many hip-hop radio shows from yesteryear which he has ripped from his own recorded cassettes for a while now. This new release on the DIG Mag label is a collection of all-new unearthed audio all put together in a superb cut 'n' paste fashion of seamless editing from one performance of freestyles to the next.

To order and for more info go here >>>> BOOM!

Friday, 18 October 2019

Hip Hop Connection Magazine - Issue 10

Dis This!

This is Hip Hop Connection Magazine - Issue 10 from November 1989.

What have we got?

There's a first-ever appearance of The Powerlords (Mighty Shotgun, Magnum & DJ Big E). They sent a tape into HHC of their single - The Posse's Ready - which gets a favorable review

A couple of ABU FB members get their top 10 choices in the Readers Chart section

The Fat Boys reckon The Beastie Boys are wack ("they can't rhyme worth Jack Diddley")

Delicious Vinyl Records were blowing up and here's a feature on them

A poster of 3rd Bass awaits you in the middle pull-out section. However, that's NOT DJ Richie Rich with them. Who's the imposter?

Face To Face with LL Cool J who has some interesting thoughts on acting being that he hadn't yet made the transistion into that sphere yet

A competition to win a Fostex X-26 4-track recording unit with the most convoluted questions ever asked (incidentally, I bought the same model off Dave The Ruf in the mid-90s)

Stephen Hastie has the whole Letters page devoted to his own personal rants

More Connections hopefuls

Three starstruck schoolgirls from Cheshire meet the Demon Boyz for their school paper

The sharp ascent of New Jack Swing

Paul Oakenfold - when he was still into rap - takes some time to listen to tapes in the Demo Blaster section

And STILL no MC Jason Squires

Download the PDF here
pw = reeps

Tuesday, 15 October 2019

Ultimate Breaks & Beats Instrumentals Vol. 2

This collection of dope instrumental versions of tracks from the legendary UBB series aren't actually THE instrumentals - c'mon, really? - but are instead super-tight cover versions from The El Michels Affair.
If you've heard their Enter The 37th Chamber (2009) album then you'll know what to expect.

1     Papa Was Too - Joe Tex     3:16
2     Give It Up Turn It Loose - James Brown     5:54
3     Let a Woman Be a Woman - Dyke & The Blazers     2:33
4     Sport - Lightnin' Rod     2:43
5     I'm Gonna Get You - Joe Quarterman     2:53
6     Break Interlude     1:28
7     Diff'rent Strokes - Syl Johnson    2:27
8     Hand Clapping Song - The Meters     3:20
9     It's My Thing - Marva Whitney     3:08
10   Break Interlude     1:48
11   T Plays It Cool - Marvin Gaye     3:57
12   You Got What I Need - Freddie Scott     3:18
13   Rock Creek Park - The BlackByrds     4:45
14   Break Outro     1:50


Wednesday, 9 October 2019

Hip Hop Connection Magazine - Issue 9

It's been a while but I've decided to start converting my old Hip Hop Connection (HHC) mags again.


Here we go with issue #9 and rather fitting it is too as it's exactly 30 years old this month that it was published to a young generation of rap-starved b-boys (& gals).

What have we got?

4 Star General have closed down! Remember that? It was when George shut up shut from his Carnaby Street site and eventually ended up in Camden Town.

KC Flightt talks hip-house

A rather large, un-PC, full spelling on the abbreviation for NWA

Digital Underground chat about Sex Packets

Amongst the album reviews is Straight Outta Compton in which HHC feels that NWA are "no more radical than The Fat Boys"

Malu Halasa (be still, my beating heart...) kicks the "Science" on rap and religion

An all-too-brief feature on the history of London graffiti - featuring an incredible pull-out of MODE 2's 'The Lads Are Coming Home For Tea' piece

Interviews with Schoolly D ('popping boners') and Queen Latifah (from the top of the Empire State Building)

As usual everyone's getting in a hump over on the Letters page

Bernie Grant and the Beyond The 16th Parallel single

HHC takes a look at the Nottingham scene and features Sing A Song Records, MSD and The Rapper Groove as well as the local graf scene

Alas, still no MC Jason Squires

Download the PDF here

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