Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Whirlwind D - Nomansland Record Review

If 2013 was the year of the single then surely 2014 must be the album's time to shine.
With new product bursting out left, right and centre it's almost too difficult to keep up with the avalanche of music at the moment - and the best thing is that a hell of a lot of it is from these very shores.

Read the review after the jump below.

........and relax.

So I had my spazz-out, hissy-fit the other day. I wasn't looking for tea and sympathy but rather just having a moan.
However I want to say a big thank you and a big homeboy dap to every one of you that continues to follow the ABU blog. It really does means a lot.
Now that's behind me I am continuing on with a vengeance. I'm really making it a point to keep things ticking over here as Facebook, as wonderful as it can be, is a drain on my creative juice and can make me incredibly lazy; ie. just copy the URL of a video or article, paste it into the ABU Facebook page and boom, it's done.

I've got a few ideas coming up which will remain hush, hush for the time being.
The ABU Takeover Radio Show is almost upon us - tomorrow in fact - and I will be doing it in two halves. The first hour shall be a few new hip hop joints with plenty of classics while the second half I have decided to make all funky with soundtracks, breaks and bits, bobs, y'know...doo-dads.
And I'll be presenting live. Plus I'm on a stinking juice diet at the moment so I may spazz out live on air. It's all good.
It's now on my new Mixlr page and starts at 9pm. The chatroom is in the usual place so please do come and join in. There's been some odd characters lately in the chat, one of the best was 'DJ Wozza' who came across like an 11-year old but was actually 27. Great chunks of spam were posted from the lad and he was brilliantly put in his place by the regulars.

Cheers all,

Chief Rocker Reepz

Oh yeah, do I hear an Amen and a 'rewind' for Success Is The Word? Mr Ramses...early BDP, sampled beatbox, Mantronik production... what's NOT to like! ;-)

Tuesday, 25 February 2014

FUZZ-ONE (And My Frankly Shocking Reading Habits)

"I started racking paint & sneaking out to the yards at the age 10. It was the early 70s, I was bombing all city."

Taken from
FUZZ ONE is one of the greatest IRT legends of all time. He was one of the most prominent writers on the IRTS. FUZZ was originally from Chicago and moved to The Bronx in 1970. He started writing in the Bronx with crews like The Ebony Dukes and The Fantastic Partners. FUZZ peaked during the late 1970s. During this time period he wrote with many crews. He gained admiration for doing insides as well as burners. He hit the 2 and 5 lines with TEAN and KADE and The Magnificent Team.
He bombed the 4 line with writers like BAN 2 and the Out to Bomb crew and also produced a great deal of work on the 1 and 3 lines with NOC 167. FUZZ later made his home in Queens and was equally effective on the 7 line. FUZZ ONE occasionally painted clean trains in the 1990s. 
There are pioneers of our culture of hip hop that have a determined work ethic, put in years of practice, become the best at what they do, influence many others, yet are never the first names to mind when asked who the master of a certain vocation are.
Unless you appeared in a classic 1980's documentary or are constantly pointing out your early endeavours on Facebook (and irritating the hell out of others at the same time) then sometimes you can just fall along the wayside.
One of these people is someone who rolled with many crews in the Seventies, "the Huckleberry Finn of the Bronx", namely FUZZ ONE (Freaks At Large) who seriously deserves his props.
He has written TWO books about his art, his life and the history and times of the graffiti culture; A Bronx Childhood and Last Of The Old School.
Unfortunately his health has deteriorated and he has sadly been hospitalized (a life around the steel has taken it's toll) which has led to losing his job. This is someone who has been around writing on trains from the beginning, before SEEN and all the others who are the more well-known members of the community. The words 'legend' and 'pioneer' get bandied around far too easily these days but they certainly apply to FUZZ ONE in every meaning of the words.

I must confess that I've had in my possession FUZZ ONE's first book, A Bronx Childhood for at least 3 years now but for some reason or another have only made it to page 42 in all that time. The only defence I have is that I'm rubbish at reading books.
A Bronx Childhood - now sold out

When I say "rubbish" I don't mean I'm illiterate or anything like that, in fact I love reading it's just finding the time to sit and read. I have a healthy number of reading material waiting their turn but they are just gathering dust whilst they sit patiently on the shelf awaiting their chance to shine.
Jeff Chang's brilliant Can't Stop, Won't Stop was full of facts and immensely interesting yet four months had passed by the time I finally put it back with the others.
Even now as I look at my bookshelf I see Public Enemy's official autobiography (half-way through), two Stephen Kings (untouched), London Handstyles (hiding behind some other books, unloved), Keith Baugh's 70's graffiti tome (seal barely broken).
As well as these I currently have two autobiographies from my local library (Lee Mack and Phil Daniels) on the go that I've almost renewed to the max.
Sheesh. I whetted my own appetite now. Anyway enough about me, go and order Last Of The Old School now!

There are a limited amount of copies left so you are advised not to sleep on this opportunity.
For £40 (send via Paypal to which includes postage, you can also receive a personalised FUZZ drawing or tag from the man himself.

FUZZ bio
FUZZ interview 
FUZZ ONE Facebook Group

n.b. in Fuzz's A Bronx Childhood there are almost 400 pages and the text isn't that big - we're talking a terrifying amount of information in here. The man has lived!

Big, BIG thanks to Julie who is FUZZ's official one-woman UK support team and alerted me to his circumstances.

Remember, ABU will always endeavour to support the true pioneers of the culture that sadly get overlooked.


Monday, 24 February 2014

Short Jean-Michel Basquiat Audio

In the early 1980s a young black graffiti artist took the New York art world by storm. Soon, his paintings were selling for huge sums but he would die before the decade was out. Hear from Patti Astor who knew him in his heyday. Photo: Jean-Michel Basquiat painting titled "Dustheads" sold at Christies in NY for over $48 million in 2013 (AP/Christie"s)
This is an all-too brief audio piece on Jean-Michel Basquiat first broadcast on the BBC World Service recently. Featuring the lovely Patti Astor who curated his work in the early 80's.
Patti also provided the music clips here.

Just gotta love the snobbish soundbite spoken against JMB's work from an unnamed art critic:

"Was he a good artist?"
"In my opinion, no.... brash and superficial...which is what you'd expect from a graffiti artist"

Hear the audio here on the BBC iPlayer

Don't forget, to hear more stories from Patti herself about Basquiat, the NY art and graffiti scene as well as much, much more go and buy her book from here.

Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Norwich Reigns Supreme Over Nearly Everyone

Chrome & Illinspired live @ the BBC
Continuing on the audio steez, here's a special show all about 'the story of hip hop in Norwich' as discussed by two of it's leading lights, Chrome & Illinspired.


Does anyone even read this blog any more?
I'm only asking as the ABU Facebook Group is always busy yet there seems to be hardly any comments here apart from the annoying SpamBots.
And yes, I'm even beginning to read them.

If not then I'm thinking about winding up the blog which would be a shame.
Or else I could just keep writing posts to myself.


Reepy Da Reepsta.

All You Need Is Lab (Audio Doc)

All You Need Is Lab: How Science and Technology Inspired Innovation in Music was a great little find on Radio 4 whilst driving down the M11 last week.  I don't normally listen to this station but it was either this or Radio 3 for some awkward reason.
This is a 30-minute audio documentary in which are some great insights and anecdotes about certain songs that you know but didn't actually realise how they were made. For instance, did you know that the intro of Band Aid's Do They Know It's Christmas? contains a multi-dubbed sample of Midge Ure's voice slowed-down? Me neither.
Musician and songwriter Midge Ure looks at the many ways scientific and technological innovation have stimulated creativity in pop music.
From the invention of the steel guitar string, through the tape recorder and the synthesiser, to the drum machine and Autotune, musicians have always embraced the latest ideas and adapted or distorted them to produce new sounds.
Musicians Anne Dudley (Art of Noise) and Thomas Dolby join music journalist David Hepworth and blues researcher Tom Attah, exploring how the laboratory has informed and inspired the studio.
Midge demonstrates what you can achieve with just a laptop these days - but laments the passing of an age of invention in popular music.
Featured music includes The Beatles, Chopin, Thomas Dolby, Robert Johnson, Muddy Waters, Little Walter, Charlie Christian, Les Paul and Mary Ford, The Tornados, The Small Faces, Queen, The Sweet, Stevie Wonder, Band Aid, Art of Noise, Donna Summer, Fat Boy Slim, Cher, Daft Punk and Nick Clegg.
It's available until Friday (21st) so be quick:

Friday, 14 February 2014

FREE De La Soul Entire Back Catalogue

Taken from

"In honor of next month's 25th anniversary of their debut album 3 Feet High and Rising, De La Soul are making their entire catalog available for free download for 25 hours on the group's website. The download bonanza will begin on Friday, February 14th at 11 a.m. EST until Saturday at noon."

This works out as from 4pm Friday (14th) until 5pm Saturday (15th) UK time.

Freebies. Time to fill up the old hard drive, methinks.

Scott LaReepz

Thursday, 13 February 2014

No Half Steppin' - Feb 2014

This one crept up on me. We're on the 3rd Saturday already.
You know the steez.

"Special Guest" is actually Paranoid Parker this month.
Sadly I can't make this one but you know it's gonna be like a coat lying on the cloakroom floor.....*


*off the hook.

Saturday, 1 February 2014

ABU Podcast - January 2014 LISTEN!

The first ABU Show of the year went out on Thursday and seemed to go down well. It was a return to the Podcasts of olde with everything pre-recorded.

Brief History of Sampling

Here's a great - and all too brief - video detailing the big breaks used in hip hop by Eclectic Method. Very well edited.

"A chronological journey from the Beatles' use of the Mellotron in the 60s to the sample dense hip hop and dance music of the 80s and 90s. Each break is represented by a vibrating vinyl soundwave exploding into various tracks that sampled it, each re-use another chapter in the modern narrative."

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