Sunday, 14 December 2014

Xmas Break

Y'all can kiss my mistletoe

Thanks for the support, guys & gals. No matter if you check every week or once a year, it's all truly appreciated. In this small but fragmented British hip hop scene it's good to know we are all about taking this pursuit with a pinch of salt and a smile.

We're taking a break over the Xmas period but will be back with more news, views and the long-awaited ABU Album Volume II in the new year.

Jingle balls.

Me love you long time.


Xmas No Half Steppin 2014

The annual No Half Steppin' Xmas Jam in Norwich is almost upon us (next weekend to be more exact) which will feature live PAs from:

The Dookie Squad
The Mantis Chapter
Whirlwind D
The Juice MCs 
Chrome & Illinspired

with DJ support from JUST-1

Should be a nice little early Christmas treat. Get down there from 7pm!

Street Sounds and Morgan Khan 1986 ITV Documentary with Hugh Laurie

1986 TV documentary about UK Soul and Electro Hip Hop Dance Music label Street Sounds and its' owner Morgan Khan, hosted by Hugh Laurie (!).
Includes tour of London dance music vinyl record shops, the Limelight Club, the Streetsounds Office in Ealing, West London and more!
This is a great piece of UK history. Worth the admission alone just for the scene of Morgan singing his little heart out with a Sinatra standard or Hugh Laurie and some Jesuit priests enjoying hardcore hip hop in a West End club.

Know Your History!

Imagine the possibilities if hip hop never had it's massive jump-start during this event in NYC.....

Sunday, 30 November 2014


ABU 2015 coming back stronger than ever.
Peace & respect to ALL crew and longtime-supporters.


Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Grandmaster Flash in Norwich

Tomorrow evening (Thursday 13th November) I shall be extremely ecstatic whilst simultaneously feeling extremely bored and pissed off.
Why? Well, I shall be in the same room as Grandmaster Flash, one of the godfathers of hip hop - something I have never experienced before. However, from almost everyone I've spoken to about Flash these days I seem to hear the same sentiments, "don't waste your money", "he's a sellout/nob/diva"....etc.
I've seen and heard him in interviews and whilst he does come across as brash and maybe a bit too over-confident he has been in this game for a long, long time. Attitudes change as do his audiences and he has to adopt his musical range to accompany that. Maybe. Or does he genuinely love just every style of music?

I'm not attending this gig expecting to be blown over by his talents but rather just to be able to tick a personal box on my virtual hip hop wishlist off. The Message was the first 12" I ever got (via my dad who bought it for himself) so this means a lot to me.

The warm-up acts are Chrome and DJ Format who are no strangers to playing in Norwich and will get a big crowd response I'm sure anyway.

Review afterwards.

No Half Steppin' November with WAXER

Yes folks, it's almost time for this month's No Half Steppin' in Norwich and we are lucky enough to feature the UK hip hop flag-flying, ghost-hunting, otter-enthusiast and long-time supporter of ABU, WAXER from Disco Scratch as this month's special guest DJ.

Together with DJ Just-1, Chrome, Illinspired and myself, this Saturday is a guaranteed sureshot. Kicking off as always at 8pm in The Rumsey Wells pub (downstairs), this free event should not be missed.
Waxer has a massively eclectic musical knowledge and has stated that he will not be just playing the crowd-pleasing favourites but a good selection of 'Marmite' songs, too.

Come on down and say hello!

R.I.P. Big Bank Hank

Big Bank Hank

We've lost yet another one of our pioneers of our culture. One third of The Sugarhill Gang, Henry Jackson aka Big Bank Hank has sadly passed away yesterday at the age of 58.
I don't need to tell you all about his history as you wouldn't be visiting this blog if you weren't aware of the Sugarhill Gang.

What I will say though is that a lot of people seem to think Hank 'stole' his lyrics to Rapper's Delight from Grandmaster Caz ("Check it out, I'm the C-A-S-A, the N-O-V-A, And the rest is F-L-Y"). This is incorrect and Caz has stated on more than a few occasions that he happily gave Hank his rhyme book and told him he could use what he liked.

Regardless, Rapper's Delight is still a great song I think and sounds fresh even today.

Friday, 31 October 2014

ABU Halloween Podcast DOWNLOAD

Thanks to all that showed up last night to listen in. It was the busiest yet!

Here's the link as there's still time to listen before the end of Halloween if you really want to get into the 'spirit'.

Note: The first half of the show is usual business whereas the scary stuff is after the 60-min mark.

The tracklist is below.........


30 Oct 2014 - Halloween

01  Stetsasonic - Just Say Stet
02  Eric B And Rakim - I Know You Got Soul
03  Caveman - Fry You Like Fish
04  LL Cool J - I Need A Beat
05  Marcus Brigstocke & Bellatrix
06  Public Enemy - Can't Truss It (Almighty Raw 125th Street Bootleg Mix)
07  Grandmaster Flash & The Furious 5 - The Message

Funk Trunk
08  Lalo Schifrin - Ape Shuffle (1974)
09  Orange Krush - Action (1982)

10  Malcolm McLaren - Duck For The Oyster
11  Nice & Smooth - Dope Not Hype

Roots Of The Roots
12  Visage - Fade To Grey

13  Tuff Crew - Old School Jackin Rap (Feat. Prime Minister Dope)

Halloween Section
14  DJ BC - King Of Halloween
15  The Omen - Ave Satani
16  Knights Of The Turntables -  ''Dub'' (The Knights Fly To Mars & Venus, With Their Dog, Woodpecker & Cat!)
17  Goblin - Profondo Rosso
18  Gene Page - Blacula Strikes!
19  Paris - Devil Made Me Do It
20  Run DMC - Raising Hell
21  Les Baxter - Devil's Witchcraft
22  Schnoogly - Ghostbastods
23  Aphex Twin - Come To Daddy, Pappy mix
24  A Nightmare On Elm Street (Main Theme)
25  Spectra - Tubular Bells
26  Dana Dane - Nightmares

Sunday, 19 October 2014

Larry Smith

Larry Smith, Jam Master Jay, DMC and DJ Run
The name Larry Smith may be familiar with some of you. Maybe not as memorable as say, Rick Rubin or Russell Simmons perhaps but just as important.

Larry grew up as a bass player from the same neighbourhood as Run DMC and would later become heavily involved with them. He would also produce a lot of Whodini's early work giving them a different almost 'new wave' electronic sound.
You know that beat behind Sucker MC's? That was originally used on a song called Action by a group called Orange Krush. This band was put together by Smith alongside Kurtis Blow to help him perform live onstage.Action was sung by a young Alyson Williams (of Sleeptalk fame) and the high-pitched, funny voice on the intro was actually Russell Simmons.

Larry liked the beat so much that he reprogrammed it into an Oberheim DMX drum machine and called it the "Krush Groove". He went on to use the same beat on a few other Run DMC tracks, too.

I want to say a big, big thanks to Roosevelt Taylor who posted this link on the ABU Facebook Page the other day, without which I never would've found out Larry's current situation.
Sadly Larry is not doing too well and is in fact in a New York City "bare-bones nursing home". A far cry from what he is remembered as.
Please check out the We Love Larry Smith Facebook page if you can and support this great man.

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Reply From Steinski

Original page from The Street Scene magazine I posted previously

About 4 years ago I did a post about The Street Scene - a UK music mag from the Street Sounds camp from the mid 1980's - and posted some scans I'd taken.
One article in particular had preyed on my mind ever since. The mention of Steinski and a certain 'new track' called Technical Difficulty.
I have wondered for years if this ever got to see the light of day and I finally got an answer.

Last Friday Steve Steinski did a live stream of his latest mix. Well I say 'mix', it was more of a series of spoken news reports with minimal background music. Entitled Accidents, Mistakes and Emergencies, Steinski gave a no-holds barred, emotional 72 minute journey into some sad parts of American history via the news media.
It's still available and can be heard here along with a tracklisting.

So after this I got to thinking about Technical Difficulty and grabbed to chance to send Steve a personal email asking him about it.
I never expected a response yet he was gracious enough to spend a bit of time writing me a lovely reply and finally gave me the chance to close this chapter.

A lifelong influence, idol and all round good egg. I'm a little bit ruddy bloody chuffed to put it mildly.

Facebook Heroes

Love it or loathe it, when you get the opportunity to communicate with real legends sometimes the good outweighs the bad.

No Half Steppin' @The Rumsey Wells OCTOBER 2014

These weeks are just flying by at the moment. Or at least they seem to be.
It's almost time for this month's No Half Steppin' jam in the official home of hip hop in Norwich - The Rumsey Wells pub.
Alongside DJ Just-1 and Chrome on the wheels of steel this coming Saturday (18th) is this month's special guest, Repo.
Yes, it's me bringing the tunes for October. Expect cracking hip hop, fine funk and of course, some eclectric electro that one regular - Mr Jimmy Sizzle - just 'loves' to hear booming out of any speakers.

Free entry as always and this month it's upstairs where unfortunately a lot of the general muggles seem to frequent. Expect lots of strange looks.
Splendid and tremendous.

Next month the special guest DJ pencilled in is WAXER from Disco Scratch. More news soon.....

Style Wars Pre-release Blu-Ray Trailer

"Style Wars on Blu-ray. Available November 4th, 2014.
Featuring a brand new HD transfer from the original 16mm print. "

Sheesh. When was it that I signed up for the Kickstarter campaign for the newly-restored, Blu-Ray version of Style Wars...3 years....4 years ago?
Well it's finally good news as there is a new trailer up on Youtube in glorious 720p giving us a taste of just what is to come.
Look at the sharpness of the picture in the majority of scenes as well as some cheeky snatches of unseen footage which will make up the extras package.

Absolutely stoked for this. Incidentally it's the reason I got a Blu-Ray player for.
Well. A PS3, actually. Style Wars AND GTA 5....... ;-)

Friday, 10 October 2014

ABU Podcast SEPT Download

As there have been *so many requests for me to post up the latest ABU Podcast (September) I thought that I had better do something about it.

There were a couple of new pieces in the last month's show, namely the What's The Connection? Section and the yesteryear hip hop chart. Thanks to Simmo as I borrowed one of his Groove Hip Hop Charts scans to compile the content from September 1986.

No theme this month as I have been doing previously. However I'm hoping to do a bit of a Halloween Special in a few weeks being that the show falls on the night before the spookiest night of the year.
I'm already planning what I will be watching this year. I will make sure that whatever I see will be certified pant-wetting material as I seem to remember being disappointed last year with my ill-fated choices.

Maybe I'm entering 'saddo' territory here but there is an annual event that takes place each Halloween all to do with the once-shown, never-repeated, BBC scare-fest that is and was Ghostwatch, that I am hoping to be a part of.
In a nutshell, you watch the tv drama on your chosen media player then 'tweet' about it as if it is being shown live - as it originally was. It all has to be perfectly synced and you must press play at exactly 9.25pm to get the full benefit.
I think I must've been out when it was first shown on tv back in 1992 because I don't remember watching it at the time. It's slightly dated now, all the presenters look very young (Craig Charles in particular), the 'proper' actors are actually worse than the non-actors but there is a real creepiness about it. It was mistaken for a real-life live documentary when in fact it was nothing more than a drama. There are numerous sightings of the freaky 'Mr Pipes' to look out for and upon repeated viewings (or Youtube) you can find them - some of them are quite shocking as you realise you didn't see him before when it seems quite obvious!
Anyway see this link for full details if this sort of thing sets your pulse racing.

Coming the following month in November is the ABU Album Volume 2 launch show. It's been a while coming but I can assure you that it will be worth the wait.
Hold tight!

Here's the link for the September ABU Podcast (show #45)

And here is the tracklisting:

01  DJ Format - Stealin' James Part 1
02  Gang Starr - Comin' For Datazz
03  Chrome & Ill Inspired - No Messin' (DJ Format Remix)
04  Ice T - You Played Yourself (Remix)
05  Ragga Twins - Illegal Gunshot
06  Artifacts - APB (All Points Bulletin)

What's The Connection? Section
07  Kid Frost - Rough Cut (Dance Mix)
08  King Tee - Ruff Rhyme (Back Again) (Ruff Mix)
09  NWA - If It Ain't Ruff

10  Go Home Productions - Wouldn't It Be Nice To Have A Finger Of Fudge
11  Herbie Hancock - T.F.S.
12  Kraftwerk - Trans-Europe Express
13  Hip Hop Mastermind
14  Hiroshi & K.U.D.O. feat. DJ Milo - Return of the Original Art-Form
15  Bassnectar -The 808 Track (Ft Mighty High Coup)
16  Wu-Tang vs. The Beatles - (from the Enter The Magical Mystery Chamber album) - Uh Huh
17  pomDeter - ABU Break 'n' Bells (ABU Album Exclusive Preview)

September 1986 Groove Hip Hop Chart
18  Awesome Foursome - Monster Beat
19  Word Of Mouth & Dj Cheese - Coast To Coast
20  Bozo Meko - Fusion Beats - Vol. 2
21  Mixmaster Gee And The Turntable Orchestra - The Manipulator (Radio Edit)
22  Just Ice - Cold Gettin' Dumb
23  Liquid Liquid - Cavern

Roots Of The Roots
24  Gary Numan - Films

25  BDP - Remix For P Is Free

The Funk Trunk
26  Lefties Soul Connection - Organ Donor 

27  LA Dream Team - Rockberry Jam
28  Knights Of The Turntables - Techno Scratch
29  The Jungle Brothers - Because I Got It Like That

*actual number of

Thursday, 25 September 2014

ABU Podcast #45 / Disco Scratch Takeover - TONITE

Here we go with the end-of-the-month Podcast shizzle.

9pm tonight (UK time), 2 hours of beats, breaks and off-the-wall stuff with an onus on grumpy old bastardness.

Direct link is this:

Chatroom is thus:

See ya there!
Floormaster Reepz

Monday, 22 September 2014

Hip Hop Mastermind

"Lethal Bizzle, Semtex, DJ Target and A.Dot take to the famous black chair and face a grilling from host John Humphrys."

Thanks to Dan 'Fluent' for this.

It's BBC1's Mastermind but with hip hop artists. And I use that term in it's loosest possible sense.
Be warned though, I wanted to throw my laptop at the wall in a furious rage at least 3 times whilst watching this.
Mastermind, my arse.

Some 'highlights' include:

John Humphrys: Which hip hop technique when vinyl records were cued were pioneered by Grandwizard Theodore?
Lethal Bizzle: Pass.

John Humphrys: Which DJ, whose real name is Clive Campbell, is known for playing hard funk records at house parties in the Bronx and is credited with inventing the hip hop genre?
Lethal Bizzle: Ahhhh...(pause)... pass.

Who the hootin' heck is Lethal Bizzle? And why he is included here is anybody's guess.

Watch Hip Hop Mastermind here on iPlayer (available for 29 days from today's date)

Friday, 19 September 2014

The Return Of No Half Steppin'

After a gap of a fair few months it's the return of Norwich's finest hip hop night, No Half Steppin'.

It takes place every 3rd Saturday of the month in the Rumsey Wells pub downstairs in the 'Underbelly'. Yes, that's right.

For the uninitiated, NHS is an evening of proper, classic beats and breaks, real hip hop, electro and funk played on real vinyl by Chrome and JUST-1. And now upon its return I shall be playing regularly - in fact I'm the special guest dj next month.

It's a free event which sometimes breaks out into a spontaneous MC cypher depending on who's in the house. Starts at 8pm and now ends at 1am.
If I see you there I'll buy you a drink. In fact you can buy ME a drink! I'm a well cheap date.


Tuesday, 16 September 2014

ABU Guesting On The Hip Hop Sessions - TONITE!

I really don't give you lot much notice about these things any more, do I? Maybe 'cos I'm a bit waaaaay, a bit woooo. Or maybe I'm just getting lazy.
Whatever the reason for my tardiness I just wanted to let you know that I'm on the radio tonight from 11pm playing a bit of classic hip hop, electro and breaks - then again if you know ABU then you know just what to expect.

Cripes, I haven't even posted any details about another event I'm involved with this weekend.
I really am too cool for school.
Soon come.

Blastmaster Reepz.

10pm - Midnight

Thursday, 11 September 2014

Disco Scratch Radio - The Boogie Down Under Takeover - TONITE!

Tonight on Disco Scratch radio sees the inaugural Takeover from Melbourne's own Boogie Down Under.
Hosted by Dayle, this is a new and exciting showcase of the best talent - old and new - of what Australia has to offer. It's been a while coming with various obstacles thrown in his way (hard drive crash with most of the show finished!) but Dayle is coming correct with what's sure to be a truly amazing show.

Catch it tonight via the Disco Scratch Radio page. Choose your preferred player and away you go.
Disco Scratch is a trluly interactive experience so why not join the chat and speak to other like-minded fans over at the chatroom page.

Sunday, 7 September 2014

Top 10 Material....Easily!

One of these days I'm going to make a list of my top 10 songs.

I have tried to do this many times in the past but I soon realise how daunting this task actually is. Especially when I glance at my record shelves and let out an involuntary wince.
Of course there are songs that stay with you and will always stand the test of time but there is always something that catches you off guard and is a track that you've momentarily forgotten about that upon hearing it instantly gives you goosebumps. Or wood.

For now though I shall add Kid Frost's Terminator to the list.
I'm listening to it now as I type this and from the opening eerie synth sounds and vocoder, the hairs on the back of your neck instantly stand up. And you get wood.
What a great, great record.
I first heard this played by Mike Allen on his Capital Radio show one evening in 1985 and was smitten. As clear as day (and the fact I recorded it on cassette) I can still recall Mike playing it with his immortal words spoken over the intro....."this is Kid Frost...if you listen carefully you can hear the Sikorsky gunships.... be careful, he's out there...".

The fact that this made it onto Electro volume 9 just sealed it's fate with me and that volume is the best of the series in my opinion. Not just because of Terminator, you understand, although that does play a large part.

This was completely different to anything out there at the time and still holds up today. I love this.
I shall end with this brilliant review from "gresty" which can be found on the Discogs website.

"There are so many great electro moments from this period but if I had to name one track which epitomises it all it would be 'Terminator'. Listening to it today, it still sounds as fresh and tight as the day I bought it all those years ago. It stands head and shoulders above 90% of electro from the mid-80's and I would say only a handful of other tracks come close to it's genius (Mr. P, Synergy and Ervin German spring to mind.) Frost's rapping is tough, intelligent and original whilst the overall mood is dark and claustrophobic. Some of the electronics used, the fizzing, clicking industrial sounds, are way ahead of their time. One of the criticisms levelled at mid-80's rap is that of it was too corny but this track is seriously cool."

Download the 12" here:

Tuesday, 2 September 2014

ABU Podcast #44 August 2014 DOWNLOAD

As I said, it was a live show last Thursday rather than a pre-record.
The focus this month was on the breakbeats and the records that had sampled them. I tried to cover the main ones but time was against me and I missed one very important break out. I could've slipped it in at the end but that wouldn't have given it the right feeling. That would've been a sad injustice to a criminally-important song.
Anyhoo, there were a lot of other goodies in there including a section on the 'Mardi Gras' break where I played the 'no bells' version(!) and also uncovered the mystery 'noise' which is only heard right at the beginning during the actual break.

Next week sees the return proper of the weekly Disco Scratch Radio Show. Every week Waxer will be in the chair giving you the full funk rock-shock that we've been fiending for. It's a new day. The DS head-honcho has vowed that this is a new chapter.
You may be aware that the DS Forum has now closed (due to lack of activity - mainly thanks to Facebook) which is sad but inevitable. I had a bit of a wobble about the ABU blog earlier in the year due to similar circumstances.
It's true that a lot more goes on on the ABU Facebook group than it does here. It's just so easy to post something on FB than it is on Blogger. And the audience is bigger.
If you want to know why I do then this should explain. I can post a video or question on the FB Group and I'll get comments within a few minutes. If I do the same here then I'll be lucky to get at least one reply in a week.
Again, sad but inevitable.

N.b. I was so caught up 'in the moment' that I inadvertently forgot to push the record button until 30 minutes into the show.

This is the main show:!_Podcast_-_ABU!_DS_Takeover_Show_August_2014.mp3

After the show ended I played a few soul sister funky bits as a request for Mrs Waxer x.!_Podcast_-_ABU!_DS_Takeover_Show_August_2014.mp3

Thursday, 28 August 2014

The ABU Podcast August 2014 - LIVE TONITE!

This month's ABU show is LIVE on Disco Scratch Radio tonight. Hosted as ever by yours truly, Mr Repo, I will be examining the world of funk breakbeats with a host of tracks from the greatest decade of this genre - the Seventies.

It's all live and it starts at 9pm.


Lord Reepington

Thursday, 21 August 2014

Grandmaster Flash on Now Playing @6Music

 I listened to this last night. Quite interesting in parts as Grandmaster Flash talked to 6Music's Tom Robinson (who used to be gay, and happy to be or something, and liked singing about it) last Sunday.
It's only up until this weekend then it's gone. I've made a copy and I'll upload it once I have time if you miss this.


    Grandmaster Flash and Furious Five - The Message
    Chic - Good Times
    Public Enemy - Harder Than You Think
    Afrika Bambaataa and Soulsonic Force - Planet Rock
    Roy Ayers - Running Away
    Doug E. Fresh and The Get Fresh Crew - The Show
    Herbie Hancock - Rockit
    Prince - I Wanna Be Your Lover
    Tom Tom Club - Genius Of Love
    Donald Byrd (Fallin' Like) - Dominoes
    The Sugarhill Gang - Apache
    Grandmaster Flash and The Furious Five - Freedom
    Roots Manuva - Witness (1 Hope)
    Parliament - Flashlight
    James Brown - Give It Up Or Turnit A Loose
    Ray Charles - What'd I Say
    Digable Planets - Rebirth Of Slick (Cool Like Dat)
    Deee-Lite - Groove Is In The Heart

    Grandmaster Flash in the mix
        UB40 - Red Red Wine
        James Brown - The Payback
        Soul II Soul - Keep On Movin' (Club Mix)
        Mary Jane Girls - All Night Long
        Barry White - It's Ecstasy When You Lay Down Next To Me
        Suzanne Vega - Tom's Dinner
        Jade - Don't Walk Away
        Marvin Gaye - "T" Plays It Cool
        Hall & Oates - I Can't Go For That (No Can Do)
        Universal Vibrations - No Light No Sound
        AC/DC - Back In Black
        Run‐D.M.C. - Walk This Way
        The O'Jays - For The Love Of The Money
        Blondie - Rapture
        Nu Shooz - I Can't Wait (Powermix)
        Wild Cherry - Play That Funky Music
        Montell Jordan This Is How We Do It
        Indeep - Last Night A DJ Saved My Life
        The Sugarhill Gang - Rapper's Delight

 (I know, but UB40 works really well, I thought!)

Check it here.
Listen to it soon!

Monday, 11 August 2014

Steinski's Fear

I just read a post that inspired me to listen to Steinski's Nothing To Fear mix.
Any cut 'n' paste freak will tell you that this is one of the greatest audio mixes on the planet.

It's available from the man himself, Steinski, on his website. Mr Stein is a great believer in free speech and free music as well. Which is handy as you may be well aware of if you read anything by him on his site.
Don't forget to check out Freddy Fresh's review about the mix on Discogs, too.

Thursday, 7 August 2014

Graffiti: Kings on a Mission (BBC Radio 4 Doc)

Thanks to Cold Chillin' Craig for spotting this today just before it was broadcast!

In 1974, one of America's most celebrated cultural figures declared graffiti as "the great art of the 70s".
Back then, thousands of teenagers were vandalising New York, in particular the subway system. Yet Norman Mailer described their "passion", their "cool", their "masterpieces in letters six feet high".
Who were the teens behind the "tags" - now the veterans of the scene? Why did they create this movement? Were they even thinking about art, politics, protest - or simply writing their names on trains?

BBC Radio 4 meets some of those who defied the law (and their parents) and diced with death including pioneers such as Riff 170, Jester, Coco 144, Flint Gennari, and Tats Cru. Their efforts have been replicated far beyond New York - in art galleries and in the hands of Arab Spring protesters - and yet their aspirations were largely apolitical: they were chasing fame and the acceptance of their peers.
The programme explores the city's complicated relationship with graffiti, which it appears to condemn and celebrate in equal measure. Former artists - or "writers" as they prefer to be known - revisit their old haunts and discuss why they believe they had a right to "tag", "bomb" and "destroy" New York with markers and spray paint.
The programme paints a vivid picture of a city that became a canvas at a time when, according to Norman Mailer, "it looked as if graffiti would take over the world".

Produced by Steve Urquhart
A Falling Tree production for BBC Radio 4

It's still available to listen to for a year.
Failing that it will be here on my server forever (when saying the word 'forever' I always say it like CAP from Style Wars utters it. But meh, that's just me).

Wednesday, 6 August 2014

Wild Style Breakbeats 7" Kay-Dee Records

The 45 revival continues in brisk fashion within hip hop with this brand-new release from Kenny Dope's Kay-Dee Records.

A beautifully-packaged bunch of 7" vinyl - seven copies - housed in a 7" book from the classic Wild Style movie containing rare photos and text from director Charlie Ahearn is on pre-order right now.
You might be mistaken for just thinking that this is just another rehash of what is already available. You'd be nearly correct in that assumption. However these are specially-extended versions of all the original breaks created for the film with Lenny Ferrari and Chris Stein respectively on drums and bass. The beats have been freaked with by the magnificent Kenny Dope (Masters At Work) to made them feel bigger with extended intros and edits.

As I said it does look mightily impressive and of course is a must for any old school collector. However as you might expect it has a bit of a price - around the £60 mark.

The book features the following elements:
- 13 songs total, spread out over seven 45s(each with a different label color)
– Re-edited and Re-Eqed extended audio versions of each song, from original reels
– Extensive liner notes in a 28-page book, including dozens of images – from “Wild Style” director Charlie Ahearn, among other sources – as well as interviews with Fab 5 Freddy, Chris Stein and GrandWizzard Theodore
– The 14th side (the B-side of the seventh 45) features unique etchings with different “Wild Style” graphics
– Unique “Kay-Dee Casebook” packaging – all seven 7-inches fit into a book as self-contained pages

Purchase now at Juno Records online.

Props to Jamez for spotting this.

Tuesday, 5 August 2014


Here's a short - and I mean, short - time-lapse video by the brilliant ABU-logo designer Dave BANZAI.


Friday, 1 August 2014

Mike Allen Special on 1Xtra (2005) RE-UP

My old Mike postcard
I received an email from Simon recently who was looking for the great Mike Allen 'comeback' show he did on BBC's 1Extra station almost TEN YEARS AGO.

I originally posted this back in 2008 but has since disappeared like a lot of good stuff does in these internetz. So I've re-upped it especially for Simon and also for anyone who hasn't yet heard it.

My mind being the rusty old shadow of what it once was means that I have forgotten a lot of it myself so I shall be giving it the once-over again just to refresh the noggin.

Here's the new link.

Big shout again to fatlaces71 who originally passed me the link 6 years ago.


Old Man Repo

ABU July 2014 Podcast Download

Here is the link for last night's Boombap Special.

Download it, share it, get the word out......NOW.!%20_Podcast_-_ABU!_DS_Takeover_Show_July_2014.mp3

Boom to the Brap
And for those that like to groove, below is the tracklisting:

ABU Show #43 July 2014
01  KRS-One - Outta Here
02  MC Craig "G" - Take The Bait
03  Showbiz & A.G - Fat Pockets (Remix)
04  King Tee - Bass (12″ Remix)
05  Party & Bullshit - Notorious B.I.G
06  Main Source - Fakin the Funk
07  Rakim - Heat It Up (Wiz Remix)
08  Kenny Dope - Supa (The Boomin' Mix).
09  The New Style - Scuffin Those Knees
10  Ads
11  Dr Dre & Snoop Doggy Dogg - Deep Cover (Soundtrack Mix)
12  Master Ace - Go Where I Send Thee
13  ATCQ - Oh My God (Remix)
14  The Scaffold - Theme From Liver Birds
15  Brian Bennett - Theme From Robin's Nest
16  The Electronic Concept Orchestra - Mah-Na, Mah-Na
17  The SimonSound - Tour de Mars
18  Marley Marl Ft Craig G - Droppin' Science (Bonus Beats)
19  Gang Starr - Jazz Thing (Video Mix)
20  John Lee Hooker - Boom Boom
21  Common - Soul By The Pound (Trump Remix)
22  Public Enemy - Shut Em Down (Pe-te Rock Mixx)
23  The Funk League - The Boogie Down Bombers (Feat. Diamond D, Sadat X)
24  Jazz Spastics - Dumb! Feat. Yesh (Jeep Mix)
25  Ron B  - Stitch By Stitch

Roots Of The Roots
26  Nu Shooz - I Can't Wait
27  Cameo - Word Up

28  Tuff Crew - What You Don’t Know
29  MC Alikazam - You Write, You Never Bite
30  Eric B & Rakim - No Omega (Remix)
31  Pete Rock & CL Smooth - Good Life (Group Home remix)
32  House Of Pain - Jump Around (Pete Rock Remix)
33  Roxanne Shante - Big Mama
34  KRS-One - Return Of The Boom Bap

EDIT: Link previously only played 54 minutes of show. It is now amended. Cheers!

Thursday, 31 July 2014

Tonite - ABU July Podcast

Tonight's end-of-month show on Disco Scratch Radio is going to be a 'boombap' special.
Don't know what 'boombap' is? See this link for enlightenment.

Listen in tonight on Disco Scratch Radio.

Join the chatroom.

All from 9pm (I will be playing a mix or similar before this time, probably from 8pm onwards for levels).

Mister Reepz.

Saturday, 19 July 2014

Record Review #1: MC Alikazam - You Bite, You Never Write

This is a rather special moment for me.
I have been following the UK's Style Warrior for a number of years now through his (LG's) perfect design ideology be it on paper (posters), material (t-shirts) or even audio (the occasional Takeover Shows on Disco Scratch Radio).
But now, Mr Lovegrove has begun his foray into the world of vinyl and astonishingly has announced the sale of a fully-packaged, ready-to-go 45rpm 7" single. I say "astonishingly" as this whole operation was pretty hush-hush save for a cryptic photo or two on the Style Warrior Facebook page. So when the whole package was announced recently it caused a bit of a stir as there was no mass social networking site spamming beforehand which does seem to be the done thing with some record labels. The element of surprise unsurprisingly has proved to be a canny move.

The story of how this 7" came about is slightly different to most others. Back in 2012 just before Christmas LG was given a cd from Chris aka MC Alikazam (The Dookie Squad) at one of the 4 Pillar events in London which when received was promptly stashed safely away in his bag and after a tipple or two subsequently forgotten about.
When LG listened back to the cd he was impressed, especially with Chris' own solo cuts and included some of them on one of his upcoming Style Warrior Takeover shows on Disco Scratch Radio. These went down well to the audience and it was at this point that the cogs began spinning in his head.

Alikazam did a fresh recording of the same lyrics for these two songs on the 7" as the original tracks on LG's cd had been knocking around since 2006. With some scratching and beefy beats cooked up by Beany (Thieving Beatmonkeys) it was inevitable that these songs would be released from the shiny, circular, plastic prison out into a waiting world.

Let's not sugarcoat this. These are not epically-long songs as this is of course only a 45 rpm 7" single. That means no instrumental versions, dubs or acapellas.
That said, the fact that the longest song is three and a half minutes long left me wanting more. It also helped that I enjoyed the tracks with their great cinematic, orchestral sound snatches which made them feel bigger than what they are - there is even the 20th Century Fox intro on the b-side track, Calmer Side Of Psycho.
The title cut, You Bite, You Never Write is the more uptempo of the two although by no means is this what you might consider a typical 'Britcore' track. Snappy drums, menacing brass and 100-mph lyrics accompany the Doug & Rick chorus.
I wonder if longer versions do exist? The instrumentals alone would be worth putting out on some Special Edtion steez!

The aforementioned b-side, '...Psycho' has a great buildup intro with the stretched Fox logo ident and goes into a superb break from Les Baxter's Hell's Belles soundtrack before Alikazam goes nuts.

Aside from the content of the inside of the record sleeve what hits you first is the design on the
outside. Anyone familiar with LG's work may recognise his signature artwork on the record sleeve. As always, never obvious, always subtle. Some of hip hop's greatest MCs adorn the picture in name-form - although there are two which are obscured by the border that are not clear but I'm guessing 'Bandog' and 'Mercury'.
Also included which I thought was a great touch is the inclusion of a separate sheet with original conceptual art on one side and the story of the 7" on the other. Brilliant. It reminded me of those sheets that you used to get with the early Def Jam albums in the late 80's.

Sadly there are only 250 copies and at the time of writing a great chunk have already gone. This really is a great release and as it is the first one from Style Warrior a lot of thought has really been put into it.
The price is applaudable, too. There's no pretensions, just a simple £6 plus two-fiddy for postage.

In conclusion, a really solid effort which leaves the listener in no doubt as to what Style Warrior is capable of.
Carlsberg don't make hip hop, but if they did.....

Go here to purchase your copy.

Listen below for a sample of both tracks.

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Style Warrior - Roxy Tees Still Left

There are about 10 x "I Battled At The Roxy" t-shirts left over at Style Warrior available to purchase if you haven't already. As always, top-quality product and unique design are at the forefront with this no-quibble UK design house.

Talking of SW, they are on the very cusp of releasing some new UK hip hop product on vinyl. You can hear a brief sample of the tunes (two songs on one 45 rpm single) by clicking here as well as order a copy.
Even by the smallest snatch of audio available I have got a squeaky bum after hearing them. Solid beats and great MC flow from Alikazam of the Dookie Squad.

A full review coming right here on the ABU blog very soon.

Monday, 7 July 2014

Rik Mayall RIP

Yes, I know that this is a little different from what I usually post but I felt that I had to mention this.

After the sad death of my comedy hero, Rik Mayall on 9th June I have been re-watching a lot of his tv work. After all these years I still find his output amongst some of the best comedy I will ever see.

I grew up with Rik's antics all the way from 1983 when my Dad let me stay up to watch my first episode of The Young Ones. My Dad had watched the first series already and thought I'd enjoy it when they were repeated. He wasn't wrong. Little did he realise what groundbreaking act he was committing when he sat me down in front of the tv that evening with my sponge-like brain soaking up all these strange but ultimately funny lines that I would recount in the school playground the very next morning.
Luckily for me I had started The Young Ones bang on the very first episode, Series 1, Episode 1 'Demolition'. For some reason I always remember a very poor joke which was spoken by two puppet rats:

Rat #1: Knock, knock.
Rat #2: Who's there?
Rat #1: Euripides.
Rat #2: Euripides, who?
Rat #1: Euripides the trousers, you mend-a these trousers.
Yes, I know. Not one of Ben Elton's best but to an 11-year old boy this was comedy genius.

Now these were the days before we possessed a video recorder so everything was watched and remembered keenly. In fact it was probably due to these financial circumstances at the time that made myself and my younger brother try to memorise every line from the shows and still do to some extent all these years later.
I can recall once placing my cassette recorder next to the telly and (audio) recording the very last episode ('Summer Holiday' in 1984). This was the next greatest thing to having it on video and my God, this was listened to over and over and over! I can still remember all the ambient noise throughout the recording as well being that it captured not only the soundtrack of the show but the laughing by us watching it.
Such an effect this programme had on the both of us that on any given day I might have a quote sent to me by text by my bro' and before you know it we are in a 'Rik-off' to see who can find the funniest line, back and forth.
Neil: It was horrible. I sat in the big hall and put my pocket of Polos on the desk. And my spare pencil and my support gonk. And my chewing gum and my extra pen. And my extra Polos and my lucky gonk. And my pencil sharpener shaped like a cream cracker. And more gonks with a packet of Polos in each. And lead for my retractable pencil. And my retractable pencil. And spare lead for my retractable pencil. And chewing gum and pencils and pens and more gonks, and the guy says "Stop writing, please".
After The Young Ones there was a bit of a wilderness in my life but then came the underrated and seldom-repeated Filthy, Rich & Catflap (1987) which was basically the same TYO cast minus 'Mike' (who I always thought was the least funny character anyway).
Rik played the character 'Richard 'Richie' Rich' who was a showbiz 'luvvie' always boasting of his lifestyle in bumping into his celebrity mates Brucie, Tarby, "Des O'Connerie"...etc.
The show's title came from the characters' names; Ralph Filthy, Richard Rich and Eddie Catflap.

The star of the show was once again Rik with his superbly rubber-faced gurning which made me soil myself approximately every 10 seconds. There were hints of what would soon become the basis of he and long-term comedy partner, Ade Edmonson's classic 'Bottom'(1991) (and notwithstanding large elements of The Dangerous Bothers).

Any fan of the 'alternative comedy' scene of the early 1980's will undoubtedly remember Peter Richardson's wonderful Comic Strip Presents... from Channel 4. There was one episode in particular which I remember with great fondness and as such is one of my favourite pieces of televisual comedy bar none.
This is Mr Jolly Lives Next Door (1987). Rik and Ade play the proprietors of an escort agency, Dreamytime Escorts ("Escorts, Bestcorts.... come in if you're saucy!") which has a very silly plot of being them being mistaken for their slightly murderous neighbour, Mr Jolly (played by the late Peter Cook) who are then given the task of "taking out" ("what....Dorking?") the tv presenter Nicolas Parsons.
So many brillant scenes and endless silly quotes have entertained me for years in this one episode alone.

Rik Mayall, what can I has been a pleasure to have known your comedy genius from such a young age which moulded me into the adult I eventually became.

I leave you with a link to the complete Blackadder (1983 - 1989) audiobooks which apart from having yet more classic comedy also feature Rik as Lord Flashheart in one of his brief but career-defining moments.

Richard Michael "Rik" Mayall
 7 March 1958 – 9 June 2014

Repo's Ebay Corner

Sorry if the above post title led you to believe that I'm selling my own stuff but I'm not. Been there, done that, sold the t-shirt, wished I hadn't and regretted it ever since.

Y'know, eBay can sometimes turn up some really rare treasures or forgotten gems every once in a while. Of course, the flip to this is that you have to really dig as there is a load of old tat in there, too.

Item 1- Adidas Run DMC T-Shirt

This Run DMC t-shirt was brought to my attention by Dayle 'Boogie Down Under' Dickson which as you can see is hardly box fresh however the Seller states is a "Collectors edition" with "no stains". So that's alright then.
A hefty Buy It Now awaits your Paypal account to the tune of $750 (£437 approx).

eBay Link

Item 2 - Doug E Fresh Interview/Concert 1985 Capital Radio

Mike Allen fans take note.
This is a tape of a Mike Allen show - well, I'm assuming so as the description states "1985 CAPITAL RADIO" and I don't think anyone else except Mike would've broadcast this on Capital at that time.
The headline of "OFF AIR TAPE" makes me wonder if it is a special not-for-broadcast recording but then the Seller's admission of "I RECORDED THIS AROUND 30 YEARS AGO" (he does sound a bit angry what with the Caps Lock and all) suggests not.
Worth a punt?
Yours for the princely sum of just £4.00 + £1.24 P&P.

eBay Link

More soon.....

Tuesday, 1 July 2014

Hip Hop Family Tree...again

My bookshelf with some of my favourites
You may remember I wrote a post recently (April 2014) about the great Hip Hop Family Tree comic book/strip by artist Ed Piskor. Well I finally bought a copy of Volume 1 ("1970's - 1981") and was mightily impressed. Not least of all by the girth.
 I mentioned it on Twitter as you can see above and had a chinwag with Ed, who mentioned - when seeing my copy of The Wild Style Sampler book in the photo - that had he owned a copy himself at the time then Volume 2 may have been devoted solely to the movie. Which wouldn't necessarily be a bad thing...!
It goes nicely with my treasured Ed-inked Wild Style mini-comic that Patti 'A' sent to me at Christmas, too.
Trumpet-blowing from Reeps? Damn straight. I don't get a lot of opportunity these days so I'm taking full advantage!

This is a fully-endorsed ABU recommendation. Get your copy when you can.

Hip Hop Family Tree Book 1: 1970s-1981 (Paperback)
Amazon UK - Out of stock at present
Amazon US - I gots mine from here

Hip Hop Family Tree Book 2: 1981-1983 (Vol. 2) (Paperback) - COMING SOON -  released 21st August 2014 - 14.37
Amazon UK - released Sept 7th 2014 - £17.52
Amazon US - released Sept 7th 2014 - $20.51

Friday, 27 June 2014

ABU Takeover Show PODCAST June 2014 #42

I want to say a real heartfelt thanks to everyone that tuned in to the show last night and enjoyed it. It was a massive departure from the usual ABU shows and I wondered if I was doing the right thing by playing such a different range of genres. It seemed to go down well so I'm very thankful.
Maybe a Part II next year perhaps....

To listen to the show click on the link below (or 'Right- Click & Save As' to download for later listening).!_Podcast_-_ABU!_DS_Takeover_Show_June_2014.mp3

 Waxer WILL be back in the chair next week. Do not miss it!

Here's the tracklist:

ABU #42 June 2014

01  Pink Floyd - On the Run (1973)
02  Jonny Trunk - Heavy
03  Depeche Mode - Enjoy the Silence (1990)
04  Jah Screechy - Walk And Skank (1984)
05  The Meters - Cissy Strut (1969)
06  Billy Joel - She's Always a Woman (1977)
07  Edie Brickell & New Bohemians - What I Am (1986)
08  Gang Starr - DJ Premier In Deep Concentration (1989) b-side to Words I Manifest
09  Alan Hawkshaw - Grange Hill
10  SWV - Right Here (1992)
11  Keni Burke - Risin' To The Top (1982)

12  Body Count - Body Count
13  Little Richard - Rip It Up
14  Dead Kennedys - California Über Alles
15  Buffalo Springfield - For What It's Worth
16  Rolling Stones - Paint It Black (for Patti x)    
17  Ennio Morricone - My Name Is Nobody
18  Bell Biv DeVoe - Poison
19  Nik Kershaw - I Won't Let The Sun Go Down On Me
20  Sam & Dave - Hold On I'm Coming
21  Big Daddy Kane - Long Live the Kane
22  Ultramagnetic MCs - Ease Back
23  N.W.A. - If It Ain't Ruff

24  Hot Hanas Hula - Hot Hands
25  Robin S - Show Me Love
26  LFO - LFO (Leeds Warehouse Mix)
27  Donna Summer - I Feel Love (for Eric!)
28  Felix - Don't You Want My Loving
29  Shanks - Sweet Like Chocolate
30  Doolally - Straight From The Heart
31  Phuture Assassins - Future Sound
32  Sonz Of A Loop Da Loop Era - Skaratchadelikizm
33  The Jam - The Eton Rifles
34  Arthur Conley - Sweet Soul Music
35  Chubby Checker - Gypsy (for Myk Apache Throwdown)
36  Wilson Pickett - Land Of 1000 Dances
37  Nirvana - Territorial Pissings
38  Schoolly D - Gucci Time
39  Dream Academy - Please Please Let Me Get What I Want (Instrumental) (for Cameron....)

40  Simon & Garfunkel - The Boxer
41  Jan Hammer - Crockett's Theme
42  Bjork - Venus as a Boy
43  Waxer - Deeper In The Style

Wednesday, 25 June 2014

ABU Podcast June 2014 - Repo's Reflective


Tomorrow night at 9pm (Thursday 26th June) is the ABU Podcast #42 on Disco Scratch Radio.
It's a massive departure from the norm, an experimental show if you like, where I'll be playing across the genres with whatever lies in my record collection.
Prepare for the unexpected with ABU - The Repo's Reflective Edition.

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

ABU Radio Podcasts x 2

Recently (last month) I did a couple of radio shows which I haven't got around to posting up yet.

The first is a guest spot on The Hip Hop Sessions on my local Future Radio with DJ Just-1 & Mr Eps.
The first hour is the other lads running through the Tuff City catalogue with me appearing for the last hour spinning old, OLD stuff and lots and lots of breaks.
It's all done live so has a really authentic sound (translated: any mistakes you hear I blame on the studio equipment....).
Check it out here:

And also here is the May 2014 edition of the ABU Podcast on Disco Scratch Radio.
This is a pre-record and sounds slightly more slicker.
You can grab that here:!_Podcast_-_ABU!_DS_Takeover_Show_May_2014.mp3

Friday, 30 May 2014

UK Hip Hop - Standing Strong

Here's a couple of videos to demonstrate just how UK hip hop is really stepping up to the mark these days.

The first is the brand new video from Solid 'n' Mind's own Whirlwind D with the second single from his Nomansland album, Night Time which features Specifik of B-Line Recordings.
The video is once again produced by Above Ground Media and kicks the ballistics.

The next video is taken from Chrome & Illinspired's live radio show about the history of hip hop around the East Coast on BBC Norfolk Radio recently.
Here they provide a performance of You Should Know whilst sitting down at a desk. It's different. It's certainly breaking new ground!

Thursday, 29 May 2014

ABU Podcast - May 2014 - TONITE!

After a brief break....we're back to burn!

Check it out here at 9pm tonight with a special guest host!

Saturday, 3 May 2014

Update on Life

To all the regular readers of ABU I need to explain what's going on behind the scenes.

You may have noticed a lack of posts recently. In fact this is the first one in exactly a month since the Hip Hop Family Tree post.
I very recently lost my mum after her relatively short year-long battle with cancer which, as you might imagine, has been my focus lately rather than the blog. In fact this year has seen my mind wandering all over the place and being pretty useless when it comes to maintaining ABU (maybe time to employ some Admins, Writers...?) except for a month or so ago where I went hell for leather and did multiple postings which in retrospect was a way of trying to blur out the inevitable.

I therefore apologise to those who had outside projects lined up for me and although I was willing my heart was not in it and I failed to come through with the goods. That was unprofessional and I am sorry.

There was no ABU show for April although I had half-finished it. It will form part of the May one instead. There you go, every cloud.......

However I do have some great news coming very soon about an event I am part of - next weekend in fact - and will tell you all about it as soon as I have more news.



Thursday, 3 April 2014

Hip Hop Family Tree

So a while back I got an email from Hurk telling me about a comic strip called Hip Hop Family Tree. The reason being is that I hadn't blogged about it when in fact I have been an avid reader since it began over a year ago. But hadn't blogged about it.......
This, ladies and gents, is slackness blogging at it's finest.

Drawn by Ed Piskor, this is a weekly strip found over on Boing Boing which documents the whole old school of hip hop with great art and fantastic nuggets of wisdom that maybe people didn't know about.
At the moment Ed has just finished a 2-part piece on the legendary Style Wars. Check it out here.

The first volume
All the individual strips were collated and put into a book and a 2nd edition is due to come out very soon. I haven't got one yet but they look very impressive. I have though got an autographed mini-comic featuring a depiction of Wild Style which was very kindly donated to me by Patti A when she met Ed Piskor himself.

It really is good stuff that you should be checking each week.

Friday, 28 March 2014

ABU Podcast DS Takeover Show March 2014 #40

If you was the ABU Podcast yesterday (Thursday), number 40.
And here it is....or was.!_Podcast_-_ABU!_DS_Takeover_Show_Mar_2014.mp3

And if you're the sort of person that likes to sneak a peak or open their Xmas presents a day early then here is the tracklisting. Just for you.

ABU #40 March 2014

01  Sammy Burdson - New Background A
02  Ice T - 6 'N The Morning (are his vocals REALLY that low in the mix??)
03  Big Daddy Kane - Wrath Of Kane
04  Bomb The Bass ft Merlin - Megablast (Original Rap Mix)
05  Jazzy Jay - Cold Chillin' In The Spot 
06  LL Cool J - That's A Lie
07  Phill Most Chill & Mr Fantastic - Superfunk Inc
08  Most Wanted - Calm Down (for Duncan McDonald)
09  Alan Hawkshaw - It's All About the Co-Op Now
10  People Under The Stairs - The Next Step II
11  Original Flavor - Can I Get Open
12  Eric B. & Rakim - Let The Rhythm Hit 'Em (for illinspired)
13  Beattrix - Fun Times
14  'Music Machine' with Lord Onslow (Radio 4 documentary)
15  2 Live Crew/Richard Cheese - Me So Horny
16  89 Skratch Gangstaz - Lesson 3 (Rework)
17  A Tribe Called Quest - Buggin' Out
18  Rich & Martin Throwdown Mix
19  Whirlwind D - Heroes  (from the album Nomansland)

The Funk Trunk
20  Manzel - Space Funk
21  James Brown - Popcorn with Feeling 

22  Jeru The Damaja - You Can't Stop The Prophet

Roots Of The Roots
23  Gary Numan - Music For Chameleons
24  Ultravox - All Stood Still

25  LOTUG - Funky Child
26  Masta Ace - Jeep Ass Niguh
27  Organized Konfusion - Fudge Pudge
28  Synthesonic Sounds -House Of The Rising Sun

P.s. A question to the you listen to the link as it streams or do you 'Save As..'?

P.s.s. I haven't been around much this past week. Apologies, family stuff..... I hope to be back on top of it all soon.

Lovebug Reepski

ABU Movie Night: NY77 - The Coolest Year In Hell

NY77 - The Coolest Year In Hell 

A very recommended documentary about the infamous years of New York City.

New York City, 1977 - It was a time when the city had fallen into decay, with too few jobs, money, police, schools, and social services. There was a city wide blackout with major looting, a serial killer on the loose, and the Bronx was burning. And yet out of the chaos emerged one of the most creative times any city has ever encountered.

Executive Produced by Academy Award Nominee Nanette Burstein ("The Kid Stays in the Picture"), "NY77: The Coolest Year In Hell" is a two-hour documentary that tells the story of one astonishing year in New York City history. The documentary is told chronologically and weaves together the stories of the emergence of hip hop, punk and disco, graffiti art, and sexual liberation. In the background are the major political events and social issues of the day -- crime, urban decay, financial woes, the infamous blackout, drugs, Son of Sam, the bitter mayoral election and the overall poverty that gripped the city.

Out of chaos came creation. From the South Bronx came hip hop. From the Lower East Side, the thrashing guitars of punk. And all over the city, a disco revolution was underway. Elaborate, finely crafted graffiti art decorated the subway cars and break-dancers shimmied in the streets. The sexual revolution was in full swing. In January 1977, most of this activity existed in its own underground bubble. Yet by the end of the year this artistic expression was on its way to mainstream America, and would be with us for generations to come.

The documentary uses groundbreaking animation to help tell the story, and features interviews with those who lived it, including Ed Koch, Geraldo Rivera, Jimmy Breslin, Gloria Gaynor, Afrika Bambaataa, Chris Stein (Blondie), Richard Hell, KRS-One, Grandmaster Caz, DJ Disco Wiz, Legs McNeil, Annie Sprinkle, Al Goldstein, Tommy Ramone, Jellybean Benitez, Lee Quinones, and many more.

Friday, 14 March 2014

ABU Movie Night: Henry Chalfant's All City

I have this on an old VHS tape which has been dubbed numerous times which means a horrible quality and fading sound. That never stopped me watching it over and over again back in the early 90's.
Here though is a pristine version with director (and author of Subway Art) Henry Chalfant introducing his All City film.

Director Henry Chalfant introduces his film All City (1983), which grew out of an idea to do a youth TV program about Hip Hop and other cultural phenomena of interest to young urbanites. The program was never realized, but the trailer grew into a portrait of the different elements of Hip Hop in the mid-80s.
The venue is Fashion Moda, a popular art gallery on Third Avenue in the Bronx. There is a demonstration of Bboying, and Rap, followed by a discussion, hosted by Spank TC5, about art and culture with important graffiti artists of the time including Dondi, Butch, Mare and Brim.

The video includes a montage of murals by Henry Chalfant and a Pop and Lock lesson by Mr. Wiggles. It features the young Bboy crew, VTB, The Very Tough Breakers. Co-Produced by Kenneth Collado, Mura Dehn, Katherine Hazard, Linda Habib and Tony Silver. Directed by Henry Chalfant. Cinematography by Martin Moore, Burleigh Wartes, and John Patten. Computer graphic animation by Colin Turner. Edited by Bruce Tovsky and Henry Chalfant. Appearances by Dondi, Butch, Mare139, Brim, James Top,The Magnificent Force, Mr. Wiggles & Rakeem. Art work or performance by San Two, T-Kid, Cem, EZG, Guy Jones, Kel, Vulcan, Rek, Bil Blast, Star, TPA, Tracy 168, LEE, Flite, Deal, Porn, Con, Depak, shame, Daze, Noc, Crash, Pase, Fome, Caz, Skeme, Case, Paris, Kilo, Prince, The VTB Dancers
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