To an outsider dipping their toes into the tentative waters of UK hip hop, they may be forgiven for thinking that B-Line Recordings are the be all and end all of the scene. However after a brief sampling of their output you may see that this is indeed the case. In only three short years since their initial 7" (Agent Finch & Specifik - I Remember When) they have shown a real consistence in heavyweight material.
One of the stalwarts of the B-Line ranch is the ever-reliable Whirlwind D who returns in 2015 after last year's Time Waits For No Man single release.
Teaming up with Specifik on production, the new cut is B-Line Business with its title leaving you in no doubt to D's allegiance. Clean, sharp drums and a jazzy bassline kick off the song which made me immediately think of the dvd menu screen music for Guy Ritchie's Snatch film.
The song describes a day in the life of D meeting up and throwing down with the label regulars and namechecks pretty much everyone including DJ JabbaThaKut who takes turntable duties this time around.
I've said it many times before and it's very simple but Hip Hop 101 demands that you NEED to have a scratched chorus. It's an unwritten rule and fortunately B-Line adhere to it splendidly so it's with thanks that Jabba does his thing here.
Being that this is the A-side there is an official video shot in a marvelously intimate-looking club with D on the mic whilst Second To None and various other heads bob around.
The flip features a wonderfully moody, dark and atmospheric remix of Solid n Mind's Battle-Tipped Rhyme ("Battle Tip 2015") produced by Waxer of Disco Scratch.
Featuring a cracking break which is always the basis of a good tune - get the drums right and everything else sounds dope with them - Whirlwind D rides the rhythm while Waxer's production takes Johnny F's work in a different direction.
Completing the package is photography by Missing Stewart and artwork by Mr Krum - I really like the new official Whirlwind D logo.
From turntable number one to turntable number two..... Again another release from the ubiquitousB-Line Recordings with Specifik again on the boards and Project Cee providing vocal duties. Using the faithful Funky President beat over a brooding bassline and simple and very effective synth, Future Shock 64 is a no-frills, mid-tempo plodder with a minimally-scratched, one-word chorus (Herbie Hancock?). As popular as 45s are at the moment the fact remains that the content therefore has to be relatively short which usually means the non-inclusion of instrumentals. And an instrumental of this track would be simply dope.
The B-side features JabbaThaKut fresh from rubbing vinyl over at Whirlwind D's house and proceeding to wreck shop over the more uptempo Bang. Some crispy drums combine with a heavy bassline and conscious rap that could get the rock kids moshing - yes, seriously.
The artwork is designed by Project Cee himself. Whilst the record itself is a
juicy orange vinyl.
It's the monthly ABU Podcast tonight and we've reached the heady heights of 50 shows.
To mark this occasion tonight's playlist consists of songs chosen by past and present members of the ABU Facebook Group.
Last summer I posted a thread in the group page asking everyone to name ONE track that epitomised hip hop music to them.
Of course just one track was too limited to some and many submissions were given.
This idea was inspired by a particular member - Raychelle.
She had had a great day posting some marvelous songs on the ABU Facebook group and I took a cue from this and made a post asking for song submissions.
I copied and pasted the results into a TextEdit file and stored them away.
When I was putting this show together (in April) I realised that this would make a good subject especially being the 50th show. Unfortunately time got the better of me and I found that I couldn't finish it in time, hence Waxer stepping up and providing his take on the ABU Takeover (which you can still hear over here).
The fact that the delay meant that the show is now going out at this time makes the whole thing even more poignant.
Some of you may be aware of the awful news involving one of our crew.
Last Friday, many of us awoke to the knowledge that our own Raychelle'Voodoo Ray' Keane had taken her own life.
This, as you can imagine, was an absolute shock and has hit our little community hard. Raychelle was very much a regular on the Vinyl Injury Unit Crew Facebook page and would regularly post her favourite Youtube songs. The weekly Funky Fridays would always feature Ray's love of early Soul Weekender-type, 80s-groove tracks.
She was an outspoken individual with a love for her dogs, tats and tees and would send pictures to Facebook of these with a huge grin on her face.
This was when she was on an 'up'. Sadly, Ray had many 'down' moments and her Facebook statuses would be quite reflective of this.
She was a special person who would always try to help anyone out in any way she could. Unfortunately the one person she couldn't help in the end was herself.
To say she will be missed is a huge understatement. The love that has been shown for her over the last week is testament to this.
True ABU fam.
R.I.P. Raychelle 'Voodoo Ray' Keane.
Taken from the second ABU album, Electic Boogaloo.
Composed by Rob Storton and featuring the unforgettable Queen of the Vinyl Injury/ABU crew, Raychelle 'Voodoo Ray' Keane.
I realised the other day that after a few years of working with Photoshop I've amassed a rather modest collection of designs for flyers/posters. To help me get organised I've put a load of them up on Flickr.
There's stuff from the ABU Podcasts, the No Half Steppin' events, my guest spots on The Hip Hop Sessions as well as other bits and doodads I've found.
So last weekend was the grand DJ Internet Weekender, Crumplstock.
Consisting of two 'stages' this was a very unique listening experience where you could choose which artist/dj you wished to listen to via one mouse-click (do people use mouses, mice?).
I was lucky enough to take part and supplied an hour mix. I was also happy to help out with Patti A and do a mix based on the music she requested for our ABU interview from a little while back.
Hot on the heels of the last Style Wars-inspired tee, Style Warrior are back with a rather more British design.
This time the spotlight is on the UK group, CAVEMAN. The three-man crew from High Wycombe in Buckinghamshire (around 30 miles north-west of the heart of London, non-UK fans!) who came out with some supremely-strong singles as well as the killer album, Positive Reaction on the Profile Records label in 1990.
As always it's a pre-ordering process to get your mitts on one so you need to order first. If enough orders are made then the shirts get done, it's as simple as that.
The links to MP3 files provided in these posts are to be used for previewing only. AGEING B-BOYS UNITE ™ does not keep the files here, this Blog is merely a gateway, an Information Desk if you will, to point you in the right direction. Once downloaded, all files should be destroyed within 7 days.
ABU IS DEDICATED TO OUR LEGENDARY AND BELOVED UNCLE MIKE "THE BOSS" ALLEN REST IN PEACE. ALLEN'S ARMY'S TROOPS WILL FOREVER BE ON MANEOUVRES.
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