Wednesday, 26 August 2009

The FUN Gallery Returns

If you know Wild Style then you know Patti Astor. If you know Patti Astor then you know The Fun Gallery.

Briefly, the FUN Gallery was co-founded by Patti and opened in 1981 in the East Village of New York. As well as providing a platform for other New Wave artists it also featured a healthy selection of legendary graffiti writers such as FUTURA 2000, LEE, Fab 5 Freddy, DONDI, Lady Pink and ZEPHYR amongst others.
What the gallery was also notable for was the inclusion of two particular artists, namely Jean Michel Basquiat and Keith Haring.

Any visitor to the gallery might find themselves rubbing shoulders with b-boys and rock stars as it became a melting pot for hip, young New York in the early 1980's.

Sadly it closed down in 1985 due to rising rent and many other galleries all providing more of the same.
However Patti is bringing the FUN Gallery back for a short time, not in NYC but in LA. See the pic above for details.

Tuesday, 18 August 2009

Ultimate Trax Volumes 1 - 3

Here's the latest installment from Bobby Dazzler. He's ripped some of the DJ Battles from the Ultimate Trax series which came out on Champion Records in the late 80's
Features full-length mixes from DJ Cheese, Chad Jackson, Whiz Kid, Jazzy Jeff, DJ Streetsahead and CJ Mackintosh.

My personal pick is DJ Jazzy Jeff. You can't fault his technical skills as he's so fluid and perfect.

"We are the best as you can see so eliminate the possibility"

Tuesday, 11 August 2009

Streetsounds Electro 12 & 13

ELECTRO 12 (1985)


A1 Grandmaster Flash - Fastest Man Alive
A2 Fat Boys - Beat Box Is Rocking
A3 Sir Mix-A-Lot - Square Dance Rap (Rodeo Drive Mix)
A4 Ghetto Style With 2 The Live Crew - Trow The D.

B1 Ultimate III - Ultimate III Live!
B2 M.C. Chill - M.C. Story
B3 Celebrity Club - Girls (Rulin' The World)
Featuring - Royal Silk
B4 Whodini - Funky Beat

A nice edition with an almost 100% success rate. Herbie's in the mix again and tears it up on GM Flash's track. And the blend when he brings in MC Story over Ultimate III Live is nothing short of genius.

"Don't whip her too hard cos her jeans are tight"

ELECTRO 13 (1986)


A01 Grandmaster Flash - Style (Peter Gunn Theme)
A02 Afrika Bambaataa & Family - Bambaataa's Theme (Assault On Precinct 13)
A03 Hashim - Uk Fresh '86 (The Anthem)
Featuring - MC Devon
A04 Dr. Jeckyll & Mr. Hyde - Fast Life
A05 Aleem - Get Loose
A06 Masquerade - (Solution To) The Problem (The Definitive Dance Mix)
A07 Sir Mix-A-Lot - Square Dance Rap (Power Mix)
A08 Captain Rock - Return Of Captain Rock
A09 Information Society - Running ("The Nest" Remix)
A10 World Class Wreckin' Cru - Mission Possible

B01 Lovebug Starski - Amityville (The House On The Hill)
B02 Joeski Love - Pee-Wee's Dance
B03 Just-Ice - Latoya
B04 M.C. Chill - The Prophecy, Part 1 (In The Beginning)
B05 Eric B. & Rakim - Eric B. Is President
B06 MC Boob - Bring The Beat Back (Vocal)
B07 Real Roxanne, The (Bang Zoom) Let's Go Go
Featuring - Hitman Howie Tee*
B08 Roxanne Shanté Queen Of Rox (Shantë Rox On) (Street Version)
B09 Easy Mike - The State We're In (Vocal)
Featuring - MC Sure Shot
B10 Mantronix - Ladies
B11 Family Quest - Sleepwalking

Electro 13 was, in case you didn't know, the kind of 'companion' to UK Fresh 86 as it featured all the acts (or rather, the majority) who appeared at the two shows.

Kicked off (again!) by GM Flash and Mastermind dazzles with his styles on the 1's and 2's.

Then to go from the classic Bambaataa's Theme to the very 'meh'-sounding (IMO) 'official' anthem from Hashim puts me off a bit. Never really liked this track even though it does mention Mike Allen. Just sounds like a quickly done piece to cash in on the event itself.

One of my favourite Mike Allen tunes is The Information Society's Running. But let me make this clear that it has to be THE NEST REMIX. Not the instrumental and certainly not the vocal mix. I'm pretty sure that the 'percapella mix' is used here though.

Although I've never been a big fan of Lovebug Starski I did buy the 7" of House On The Hill from WH Smith as I was inticed by the promise of a "free black hole" upon purchase of said record. Call me a bit naive but I was slightly miffed when I realised that THAT circle on the front was it. If you want more tales of my naive record-buying habits and subsequent frustrations then it should come as no surprise to you when I tell you that I bought "He's the DJ....I'm the Rapper" and almost returned it back to the shop when I couldn't initially find the "free scratch mix album". Shhh, don't tell anyone else, okay?

And were Family Quest actually at UK Fresh 86? Or was this just a sly attempt to flog Morgan Khan's own-label group? Ageing B-Boys are cynical B-Boys.

"The reason we got style is 'cos we got it like that!"

Friday, 7 August 2009

Girls Love The Way He Spins

But they don't like the way he acts.
In this ad for Native Instruments Traktor Scratch Pro, Grandmaster Flash talks to some piece of non-descript bum-fluff. I say 'talks' but in fact throughout the 1-minute promo the sum total of Flash's input consists of the words, "oh God" and "shit!".

Whatever, it's all money in the bank for Flash as he seems to be reaping rewards for his contributions to hip hop at last. With this and the forthcoming DJ Hero software he can afford to spash out a bit. Or resume his crack habit again.
Ooo, too soon?

Wednesday, 5 August 2009

Kurtis Blow - America (1985)

From Wikipedia:
Born in Harlem, New York, next to a spaghetti factory, Curtis Walker got his public start in 1976 as a breakdancer and a block party DJ known by the name of Kool DJ Kurt. That same year he enrolled at the City College of New York and became a program director for the college radio station.
Also in 1976, he joined a group called “The Force.” Russell Simmons was a lead member of that group. The Force sponsored parties around Harlem until 1977, when Simmons moved the group to Queens, New York.
After becoming an MC on his own, Kool DJ Kurt changed his name, with the persuasion of his manager Russell Simmons, to Kurtis Blow (as in body blow). Kurtis began trying to sell
himself as “the number one rapper in Queens,” with Russell’s help.
For a short time Blow’s regular DJ was Simmons’ younger brother Joseph, who at the time was known as “DJ Run, the Son of Kurtis Blow.” He later changed his name and went on to become the first third of Run-D.M.C.

I hadn't heard this album in years until I rediscovered it the other week.
There's certainly some nice tracks in the bunch most importantly the epic title track with Kurtis getting political in the Reaganomic Era amidst the Cold War, anti-Russian hysteria of the time.

Check out the backing vocalists and musicans for some of these tracks as Kurtis wasn't messing about and went for the best he could find.

Also check out the early sampling technology used on If I Ruled The World where the bars of Troublefunk's Pump Me Up are just a tiny bit out of time. Or is that me?

You'll also discover upon opening the .rar file that I've reversed the track, MC Lullaby and you can finally hear what he said! I put this version at the end of the set so that the original still remains untouched.


A1 ..........America (6:17)
A2 ..........America Dub Mix (2:42)
A3 ..........Super Sperm (1:16)
A4 ..........AJ Meets Davy DMX (6:37)
A5 ..........Hello Baby (6:42)
................Vocals - Brenda K. Starr , Danny Harris , Davy DMX , Lyonne , Tashan
B1 ..........If I Ruled The World (7:10)
................Vocals - Alyson Williams , Danny Harris , Fonda Rae , Lisa Fisher
B2 ..........Respect To The King (1:57)
B3 ..........AJ Is Cool (5:51)
................Vocals - Alyson Williams , Fonda Rae , Lisa Fisher
B4 ..........Summertime Groove (5:44)
B5 ..........MC Lullaby (0:28)
B6 ..........Don't Cha Feel Like Making Love (4:16)

I still don't like it when Kurtis sings though. "Hello Baby" in particular.

"We begin bombing in five minutes"

Tuesday, 4 August 2009

Waxer's Disco Scratch Forum & Blog

Waxer has been ducking and diving around the UK hip hop scene for a number of years now. Predominantly mooching in the south of England, Steve fell in love, like many a British ageing b-boy, with the sound of Electro which introduced him into the whole scene. With Planet Rock and Adventures on the Wheels Of Steel banging his eardrums he soon progressed to the art of dj-ing and vinyl collecting (mmmm, the smell of new vinyl and the oh, so gleaming protective wrapping. You want me to peel you off? You like it don't you? But slowly, yes, so slowly. Let's not get it all over and finished, let's savour the moment. I'll just make a slight opening and let my fingernail just glide into your slit and feel the corners....sorry I don't know where I'm going with this.)

The hallowed Electro series from Morgan Khan's Streetsounds was soon in his collection and he began hitting the lino. And soon he was also hitting the lines writing KRIM with his cousin, TAME. Following this, Waxer bought the legendary Gemini MX-2200 mixer (as used by Cash Money - I've still got mine somewhere!) from the equally legendary 4 Star General when it was still downstairs in a shop in Carnaby Street (General George, anyone? Who rocked Troop?!).

He was also a follower of the great Mike Allen and religiously listened to his shows each weekend catching the freshest jams of the mid-80's on London's Capital Radio, recording them on the same ten cassettes over and over again. Hindsight's a bitch, ain't it?

As the 1990's approached, Waxer was moving on and dj-ing for small events with modest audiences (ten people? I think we've all been there at some point!) and accumulating his posse and rolling deep under the new moniker of DJ Radiate whilst spookily looking like Marshall Mathers. From here he went stella and rubbed shoulders with some real hip hop talent............

But I digress, you can read the whole story in full here. It's certainly a stonking read and I await to see the obvious film adaptation ("Waxer - A Life In Vinyl") with Eminem in the title role.

The amount of similarities between Waxer's and my early hip hop life are so close that we could be cousins. Ironically enough as I'm now living in Norfolk, 'cousins' is not a term I'd like to shout about too much in this county.... (" fill in the pond with concrete, you plough the family into the field, you blow up the tree, and use the leaves to make a dress for your wife who's also your brother" - Alan Partridge)

Now one of the reasons I'm mentioning Waxer here is because he runs a fantastic blog over at and on the forum for this month only there is a chance to grab many old UK classic hip hop singles and albums. Each day will bring about a new slice of wax so you best mosey on over there.
Sign up for the new forum and get chatting because this has the potential to be MASSIVE. I'm urging everyone who reads this blog to check it out because at the moment Waxer feels like he's back in 1990 dj-ing in a pub in Havant. Let's get busy and show your faces!

Disco Scratch - The Blog

Disco Scratch - The Forum

Disco Scratch - The History

Sunday, 2 August 2009

Your Own Model Subway Train!

Always wanted to put your name up on a train but were always too chicken to go to the yards? Or are you too old to shimmy that drainpipe, cut through that fence and run from the cops? Whatever the case, download this pdf which has an elavated (view) of a train that you can print yourself onto paper or card and fold up Blue Peter stylee.

Saturday, 1 August 2009

Magazine Scans part 5

On the back page is the lyrics to Doug E Fresh & The Get Fresh Crew's "The Show". I still think of these mis-printed gems each time I ever hear this song. For instance, have a look at what Street Scene thought Doug's DJ's were called.

News of graffiti doc, 'Bombin' (featuring Brim, The Wild Bunch and an early appearence of the great Goldie). Has anyone heard of the Steinski track?

Magazine Scans part 4

This feature on Steinski was a big inspiration and fueled my desire to find out all the breaks used on the "Lessons". Twenty-four years on and I'm still not there yet!

I think this was expensive even for 1985!
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