Friday, 16 November 2018

Steven Hager - Hip Hop Book

I know that the viewing figures for the blog are not like they were in the heyday of this platform so this is a post mainly just to say thank you to anyone who still regularly visits.

Most people have simply jumped over to social media and use the ABU Facebook group now.
While this is all good, the Facebook group is not the sort of place where I envisioned ABU ending up when I began this blog in 2008. That's progress, I guess, and I'll take it how it comes.

However for you good people still holding off from the evils of social media here is a little digital treat for you.
For a number of years I've been after a particular book - Hip Hop: The Illustrated History of Break Dancing, Rap Music, and Graffiti written by Steven Hager. Unfortunately this has been long out of print and the original goes for a pretty decent price on Ebay.
A while ago I found that a digital copy was available online - sadly not for free - so I grabbed it as would be the closest that I'd ever get to owning the real thing.
This then is a little gift to you for sticking around. It's a ZIP file with digital copies in .MOBI and PDF formats. If you don't understand what these are then it's probably best you get back to your cosy chair and Werthers' Originals.

If you do download this please leave a comment just so I can see how many of you are interested in it. Cheers!
http://www.mediafire.com/file/f5ysg9r1r9z3px4/StevenHager.zip/file

See also
https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/stevenhager420
http://stevenhager420.wordpress.com/2013/04/11/the-lengendary-phase-2/

Monday, 12 November 2018

Record Review - Whirlwind D - Beats, Bits And Bobs EP

Hip-Hop's 'Mr Nice' returns in familiar fashion with another release from the UK's B-Line Recordings. His brand new wax is an EP, Beats, Bits And Bobs and is a refreshingly diverse bunch of tracks.

Beginning with side A's lead track, LABELS, this has the customary hallmarks of previous releases (as with many recent rap tunes by our generation - 'reminisce-rap', anyone?) with boom-bap production and tales of yesteryear rhymes on the top.
Djar One provides the sweet beat for this with its really tight flow and light guitar lick. Specifik is on turntable duties.

REAP THE WHIRLWIND has a Raising Hell feel to it with it's sparse Billy Squier beat and rock guitar chugging powerfully over the proceedings. This track is produced by Phil Wilks who worked with D previously on his Other Side (2016) album supplying not just the beat but guitar, too.
DJ Tones is on hand with some deft scratch patterns.

The RUN FAST remix is quite disappointing and it's sparseness sounds rather weak compared to the original version from 2014 12". Mr Fantastic's previous production matched the frenetic pace of the piece while Miracle's interpretation is more abstract and never quite captures the immediacy needed.

A complete change of pace as RADIOACTIVE BASS rounds off the EP.
This is a journey back into the days of electro funk which keeps all modern production hallmarks as sparse as you like and thus sounds more authentic of the period it is trying to capture. Simply a drum machine, a synth and a vocoder.
This has great potential for a wicked remix as there are some nice elements that could be fleshed out even more.
Mr Wilks is on the boards again here and this cut demonstrates how deftly he flits through a variety of styles whilst coolly wearing his producer hat.

This is a great value for money purchase as it also includes instrumentals and acapella mixes on the flip-side - always a positive deciding factor for a thriftmaster such as I. In fact why would you not include instrumentals on a large 12" slab of wax? I remember there was a fad for chucking on (terrible) remixes in place of them back in the early 1990s on the UK releases. Luckily B-Line are sticklers for this tried and tested format and provide the full-fat treatment.
Once again John Dyer adds the finishing touches to the whole package with a dope cartoon-style illustration on this full-colour 12" sleeve which would look great in a record frame on the wall (buy two, folks!)

This collection ultimately displays what diverse musical influences Whirlwind D has in his record bag and proves he is nowhere near stopping anytime soon.

Tracklisting:
A1     Labels
A2     Reap The Whirlwind
A3     Run Fast (Remix)
A4     Radioactive Bass
B1     Labels (Instrumental Edit)
B2     Reap The Whirlwind (Instrumental Edit)
B3     Run Fast Remix (Instrumental Edit)
B4     Labels (Acapella)
B5     Reap The Whirlwind (Acapella)

Support your local record shop and buy Beats, Bits And Bobs in person. Failing that, you can purchase online from https://blinerecordings.bigcartel.com/product/whirlwind-d-beats-bits-and-bobs

 

Sunday, 4 November 2018

Electric Boogie (1983)

This is a rarely-seen short film about 4 members of a b-boy crew. They're from the Bronx, NY and is at once impressive, inspiring and sad.
Oliver, K-K and brothers Eli & Ken (the Electric Boogie Boys) are shown practicing their dance moves on the street, in a clothing store as well as in a skate rink competition and you can see how much love they have for it as well as each other. Their ambitions are quite high (a doctor and a priest) and the documentary shows a feeling of respect that a lot of other docs at the time would not have even wanted to touch on.
Being that this was produced by a European team (from the Netherlands) perhaps they were a little more forward-thinking and wanted to present the lads on a more human level than just some dancing muppets.

Well recommended.










Watch it here:

Saturday, 27 October 2018

Double Dee & Steinski - Lesson 4: The Beat EP

It's finally here.
Double Dee & Steinski's new release is a continuation of their infamous 'Lessons' series from 30 years ago and is (unsurprisingly) entitled, Lesson 4.
Believe me this is a sprawling, full-on assault on your ears with breaks and samples hitting you from every direction and some 'just right' spoken audio carefully laid on top.
Now enlisting the talents of master turntablist, ADA, the group is untouchable. Lesson 4 has really been worth the long wait. Check out the bang you get for your buck. That's 5 versions of the song. And if you join the mailing list at their official website then you may even get a special limited, one time only discount code to download this fine audio swag.
This is going to take some close inspection to decipher a lot of what the guys have done here but who cares, the fact that they are still providing for their fans is just enough. Hell, they could've just released themselves coughing over a beat and I still would've lapped it up.

Listening back, I'm sure I've heard (and probably have a download) of an early version of this song as that guitar refrain is very memorable as is the Richard Pryor dialogue at the start.

Listen/Stream/Purchase Lesson 4 here!
https://ddsteinski.bandcamp.com/album/lesson-4-the-beat-ep

- Repo -


Thursday, 18 October 2018

It's The Discooooo Snatch!

Check out the very beginning of this mix from DJ Sarah Love (I always say that name with Coronation Street's Gail Tilsley's voice).
Hmm, seem familiar?

https://www.mixcloud.com/soulofsydney/soul-of-sydney-161-dj-sarah-love-bbc-1xtramtvlondon-classic-uk-hip-hop-mixtape/

Sunday, 7 October 2018

DIG Mag Issue 2 Review









Issue 2 of DIG magazine landed through my door recently and I was really anticipating it's release.
Not much has changed since the first issue which is a good thing as it already contains the perfect format - great design, easy to read, simple facts AND a lovely soundtrack to accompany it.

If you're lucky, for £3.50 you can own this brilliant little mag (no bigger than the size of a CD booklet) - I say that as stocks of the launch issue were flying off the shelves and 3rd print had to be produced to satisfy demand.

This is a great way to discover new (old) music from people who love to go looking for obscure records in all manner of places from all over the world. If you consider yourself a 'digger' then this read should be right up your alley.
Here's a list of contributors to issue 2:

Contributors in this issue include:

A Cat Called Fritz
DJ Baila
DJ Supreme La Rock
Doublepeas
ExP
Jonny Trunk
Jorun Bombay
Mr. Brown
Good Life
Oxygen
Richard Wilson
Ski Oakenfull
Sven Atterton


If you fancy writing about a particular song you've ever found then let the DIG peeps know and you can be featured, too.

For more information and to check supplies go to https://digmag.bigcartel.com/

Tuesday, 11 September 2018

Blade Freestyle on Kiss FM

Here's a brief piece of audio circa 1990 I recorded from Richie Rich's Rap Academy on Kiss FM.
First half is a live set from Blade while the rest is DJ Renegade beat-juggling Al Naafiysh.

Apologies for sound quality which I put down to a dodgy reception in my bathroom. I was having a bath whilst listening if I'm being honest.
Also my PC wasn't very powerful and caused a few skips when converting.

Saturday, 18 August 2018

69 ABU Aug 2018 - Streaming Now


It's been a fair few months since our last outing but here's the summer 2018 Ageing B-Boys Podcast.
Enjoy!


https://hearthis.at/repo136/69abuaug2018/


Tracklist:

ABU Podcast: 69 ABU Aug 2018
Uploaded 18 August 2018


(01)
Klaus Weiss - Measure 2
Album: Sound Music Album 18, Golden Ring Records ‎– S 5181-22
Year: 1979

(02)
Sugar Bear - Ready To Penetrate
Single: Don't Scandalize Mine, Next Plateau Records Inc. ‎– NP50085
Year: 1988

(03)
De La Soul - D.A.I.S.Y. Age
Album: 3 Feet High And Rising, Tommy Boy ‎– TB 1019
Year: 1989

(04)
Dres of Black Sheep - FUGITUP (www.poolofgenius.com)
Year: 2018

(05)
Just-Ice - Going Way Back
Album: Kool & Deadly (Justicizms), Fresh Records ‎– LPRE-5
Year: 1987

(06)
Positive K - Step Up Front
Single: First Priority Music ‎– 0-96621
Year: 1988

(07)
Kurtis Blow - America
Album: America, Mercury ‎– 422 826 141-1 M-1
Year: 1985

(08)
Haynesy - B-Boy Showdown
Album: Hip Hop Advocate
Year: 2018

(09)
Mato - Enter The Dragon Dub Version
Single: Stix ‎– STIX044
Year: 2016


Library Funk
(10)
101 Strings - Flameout
Album: Astro-Sounds From Beyond The Year 2000, Alshire ‎– S-5119
Year: 1968

(11)
Syd Dale Orchestra & Gerry Butler - Butler's Pantry (1976)
Album: It's All In The Beat, Amphonic Music Ltd. ‎– AMPS 117
Year: 1976


(12)
LL Cool J - I Can’t Live Without My Radio
Album: Radio, Def Jam Recordings ‎– BFC 40239
Year: 1985

(13)
Pom Deter - Inspector Enemy No.1 (Public Enemy vs Inspector Gadget)
Year: 2012

(14)
Kraftwerk - Trans-Europe Express
Album: Trans-Europe Express, Capitol Records ‎– E-ST 11603
Year: 1977

(15)
GTA IV - The Classics 104.1 (mixed by DJ Premier live from HeadQcourterz)
Year: 2008

(16)
Hearts of Darkness - Mr Next Man
Album: A Journey Of A Thousand Miles, Style Warrior Records ‎– SWREC003
Year: 2016

(17)
Remark - Let It Go!
Single: https://remark.bandcamp.com/track/let-it-go
Year: 2018

(18)
Chrome & Illinspired -The All C N I
Album: The All C N I, B-Line Recordings ‎– BLN012
Year: 2015

(19)
DJ Supreme ft. Rì Rà, Shaka Shazzam, The Icepick & DJ Assassin - Breathe
Single: Supreme Legacy 2.0, BackBone Records ‎– BB-09
Year: 2018


Roots Of The Roots
(20)
OMD - Electricity
Album: Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark, Dindisc ‎– DID 2
Year: 1980

(21)
DJ Format - Vinyl Overdose
Album: Return Of The D.J. Vol. II, Bomb Hip-Hop Records ‎– BOMB 2003 LP
Year: 1997

(22)
Uptown - That's That Shit (Beat by DuckAlert)
Year: 2013

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

GTA IV - The Classics 104.1 (mixed by DJ Premier live from HeadQcourterz)

01 Group Home - Supa Star (1995)
02 Brand Nubian - All for One (1990)
03 Special Ed - I Got It Made (1989)
04 Jeru the Damaja - D. Original (1994)
05 Marley Marl feat. Craig G - Droppin' Science (1988)
06 MC Lyte - Cha Cha Cha (1989)
07 Audio Two - Top Billin' (1987)
08 Stetsasonic - Go Stetsa (1986)
09 T La Rock & Jazzy Jay - It's Yours (1984)
10 Gang Starr - Who's Gonna Take the Weight? (1991)
11 Main Source feat. Nas, Joe Fatal & Akinyele - Live at the Barbeque (1991)
 

Thursday, 9 August 2018

Chrome: The Best of...1990-2018


One half of Chrome & Illinspired, one quarter (or 1/5th or 1/6th or more depending on who's in the studio) of Def Tex is DJ (formerly MC) Chrome.
Undoubtedly one of the East of England's finest microphone-holders to grace the hip-hop world, Chrome has reached the point in his life where he can release a compilation album of some of his favourite tracks that he's worked on over the years. Twenty-eight years to be exact which is pretty outstanding, I think you'd agree.
Bearing in mind Chrome was a little lad when he first began rhyming and performing, he's been in this game for pretty much all his life.
In fact I remember being sent a cassette tape by Def Tex's DJ, Sure Delight around 1987/88 which had a recording of 3 live sessions recorded in a local radio studio ('Happy Medium'...?). These sounded professional even back then and featured a squeaky-voiced youngster on lead vocals.

Anyway fast-forward 30 years and here we have an album that really should be listened to by anyone that knows how to pronounce the letters r, a and p into a decipherable word. 
I would say he's Britain's best-kept secret but you know that already. If you didn't then get the album to find out why.

Get the album here:
https://chrome.bandcamp.com/album/the-best-of-1990-2018

Tuesday, 24 July 2018

DIG Mag Issue 1 Review


The internet changed everything.

From altering the way (and speed) we obtain news, listen to music, watch films to socialising and meeting other people.
It can be also argued that the internet killed the written word. Well, not killed exactly but perhaps scared the shit out of it causing the printed media to acknowledge that its' days were numbered and that it might be forced to pull a sickie or two.

Whilst this is certainly true in the cut & thrust world of well-respected and now defunct mags such as FHM, The Face, More! and Christian Reformer, all of whom couldn't cope due to the large drop in readership of magazines in general some publications have had a stay of execution and continue to adorn newsagent shelves.

This can only be temporary of course because as our reading habits continue to evolve then so will our buying habits. Digital is the buzzword. Many famous brands have their toes dipped in both worlds and continue to sell in a tactile as well as this mythical fashion. But what if you still value the old ways? What if you will never relinquish the feeling of holding a physical object in your hand?

What? Do you mean something akin to wanting to still collect dusty old records rather than listening to mp3 files?
Well, I hope you're wearing some double-thickness pants because I'm about to shock you.


DIG magazine is a real, physical, compact and very beautiful publication aimed at those who appreciate the world of record collecting. I say beautiful because this is exactly what it is. Created with an abundance of love for design and perfection this box-shaped mag bursts with pride from the very first glance.
The magazine itself is petite - 12cmx12cm - and comes housed in a square, transparent plastic case which has a superb record crate design emblazoned upon it with the DIG logo. Flip it over and you'll notice a humorous sticker securing the flap. This is a lovely touch.
Once you've slid the magazine out you'll notice that it could easily fit inside a generic CD jewel case. However it is slightly larger than the average liner notes pamphlet and thankfully so because it holds 28 pages of gorgeous-quality, 150GSM+, gloss coated paper. Yessir.

Written on this high-fallutin' paper are musings from all manner of the weird, the wonderful, the famous and the fabulous spouting their tales of musical discoveries in brief, bite-size chunks.
You have graphic artist to the stars, Mr Krum talking about a recent chazza find (Ronnie Dukes & Ricki Lee, 'Spinning Wheel') and Britain's answer to Rammellzee, susanslegpolicy and his joy of finding a much sought-after 45 from his Wants list.
Keep flipping through and you have Chris from The Shed, DJ Format and Mr Thing as well as others all regaling stories of their vinyl obsession.

Together with reading the magazine DIG also supplies a link to a specially-made mix of all the songs mentioned throughout which instantly adds another worthy dimension to an already marvellous product.
Look closely at each entry on the pages and you'll also find a link that will take you to the respective Discogs database listing. Come on, if you're that anal-retentive about rekkids then you should have at least be anticipating this. Again, it's a great touch.

As I mentioned earlier, the design is second-to-none with crisp, clean pages emphasizing the straight facts you want to know. Strictly all killer, no filler.
It comes as no surprise then that this project is the brainchild of LG, the same supremo behind Digging 4 Victory, Style Warrior as well as the current Lovegrove (t-shirt) designs.

If you perhaps thought that this write-up was being used as a last-ditch attempt to try and shift at least a few copies then you would humorously mistaken. There was an initial run of a batch of 300 units which sold out in days. In days.
There will be a reprint for anyone that wants one when issue 2 is published but you can still find all the info for issue 1 here.

DIG mag is set to be a real goldmine so you'd be advised to start collecting them as soon as you can.

The main page to buy DIG is here:
digmag.co.uk

If you are on Facebook then go here:
https://www.facebook.com/digmagofficial

To contribute to a future issue of DIG go here:
https://tinyurl.com/digmag-contribute

LG's Digging 4 Victory podcasts are here:
http://www.digging4victory.co.uk

The Blow Monkeys' 1986 hit Digging Your Scene is here:
https://youtu.be/KlXAd6lwHFo





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