Sunday, 29 June 2008

Gullyvers Season Finale Kills it

Last night was the last Gullyvers until September and its was a wicked night all round. The evening started off with a dope set from Diablo. Then MK killed it with a selection featuring Gang Starr, Busta Rhymes, OC, Eurythmics and the Clash. A-Cyde followed up MK's set with a more mellow set that still kept things moving nicely. Roots Manuva kept the evening lively with some dope emceeing. Great music and a good atmosphere.

I saw a lot of people I haven't seen in a long time and had a good night. Props to MK, A-Cyde, Diablo and Roots Manuva for putting on a good night. A shout out to Maxillion, Harry Love, Mr Lawson, Francis, Supa T and everyone else in the place. To those that didn't make it you missed out.

Thursday, 26 June 2008

The Bob and Premier show

In this post I'm going to be writing about two of my favorite musical artists ever; Bob James and DJ Premier. If you listen to Hip Hop and don't know who Bob James is then you should be ashamed of yourself. Bob James for those that don't know is a Jazz artist whose material has been sampled by too many Hip Hop artists to list them all hear but a few notables are; Run DMC, Gang Starr, DJ Shadow, Eric B and Rakim, EPMD, Pete Rock and CL Smooth, NWA, Ghostface Killah and BDP. Although Bob James is a legendary musician in his own right he has also produced for other Jazz legends including David Sanbourn, Grover Washington Jnr and Kenny Loggins. Bob's most sampled tracks are 'Take me to the Mardi Gras' (Two Columbia 1975) and 'Nautilus' (One CTI Records 1974) however for this post I hae chosen a lesser sampled track called 'The Golden Apple' taken from his 1975 album 'Two' which was released on Colombia. This is a seven minutes plus track which features numerous changes in tempo, some sick strings and dark piano. There are many points in this track that are screaming out to be sampled however Premier chose carefully and chopped a nice loop up that starts about two minutes and ten seconds into the track.

DJ Premier uses this sample on a track called 'Baby Pa' taken from Group Home's 1995 debut 'Livin' Proof'. Premier produced the entire album and it is easily one of his most creative projects to date. He mixed a wide variety samples sources on this album ranging from Jazz to Soul to Opera. For me this album is all about Premier's beats. 'Livin Proof' dropped in 1995, a year in which he had produced beats for Fat Joe, KRS ONE, Biggie, Das EFX not to mention the phenomenal 'Return of the Crooklyn Dodgers'. Premier was everywhere that year and this album solidified his position as the best producer in Hip Hop. A title I don't think anyone has the right to claim even now. On 'Baby Pa' Premier flips a number of samples starting with a heavy funk guitar and then he brings in an Opera sample before finally dropping the Bob James sample at which point Nutcracker comes in with his lyrics. This track is often overlooked when people talk about this album and thats probably down to the fact that it featured three very strong singles; 'Supa Star', 'Livin Proof' and 'Suspended in time'. I would say that Premier's production on this album is probably his best full album outside of his work with GURU.

Bob James- The Golden Apple
Group Home-Baby Pa

Friday, 20 June 2008

Lyn Christopher's Take me with you

Lyn Christopher's 'Take me with you' is taken from her 1973 self titled debut which was released by EMI. The album was recorded in the famous Electric Lady Studios in New York in 1972 and produced by Ron Johnson and featured Kiss's Gene Simmons providing backing vocals on some of the tracks. The track 'Take me with you' was released as a 7" single and was written by Kaplan Kaye. This album and 7" are quite rare and I would advise buying if you ever see either of them, they are often hunted down by Kiss fans because of Gene Simmons backing vocals. The track itself features a repetitive but addictive bass riff running through the whole track with Lyn's haunting vocals pleading for her to be taken with you. A fantastic track.

DJ Mighty Mi of High and Mighty and Eastern Conference fame used 'Take me with you' on the first Smut Peddlers 12", 'One by One'. This was released on Eastern Conference Records in 1998. For those that don't know Smut Peddlers was made up of High and Mighty's Mr Eon and former Fondle 'Em artist Cage with production being handled by DJ Mighty Mi. Although the production on the track is not particularly complex Mi's use of the bass riff is pure genius especially when he uses a small piece of Lyn's vocals towards the end of the track. Cage and Eon's rhymes are little drug soaked slices of darkness that suite the beat perfectly. Eon starts the track off with the dope line
"I shape shift to a spliff
Light myself up"

In my opinion this was the best thing the Smut Peddlers ever put out and its also my favorite Lyn Christopher track too.

Lyn Christopher 'Take me with you'
Smut Peddlers 'One by One'

Wednesday, 18 June 2008

Gullyver Season Finale featuring Roots Manuva 28th June

On the 28th of June Gullyvers will be having their Season Finale night in London's Plastic People. This should be another dope Gullyver's night. DJ MK and Acyde will be joined on the night by Roots Manuva. Anyone who has been to a Gullyver's night before knows to expect good atmosphere and a funky mix of breaks, hip hop, reggae and 80's pop. Check the Flyer below and pencil it into your diary.

Saturday, 14 June 2008

Happy Father's Day

I'm not sure if its Father's day anywhere else in the world but it is here in the UK so to all the Fathers out there who make an effort and be there for their kids I'm uploading a few father related tracks for y'all. Enjoy and have a good day with your kids.

First up we have the 1991 classic from Ed OG and Da Bulldogs 'Be a Father to your Child'. This was taken from the underated 'Life of a Kid in the Ghetto' album released in 1991 on Mercury records. The album introduced us to Ed OG and 'Be a Father' was the first single from the album. On this track Ed speaks with maturity on the subject of absent fathers. I heard this years before I became a father but it has always been a favorite of mine and I thanks and an old Friend of mine who was kind enough to swap me his copy back in the mid nineties. The track, like most of the album was produced by Joe Mansfield, Special K and Teddy Ted. Other dope tracks on the album are; 'Bug-A-Boo' and 'I got ta have it'.
Ed OG-Be a Father to your Child

Second up is Madlib's re-interpretation of the Horace Silver Blue Note Classic 'Song for my Father' (originally released in 1964). Madlib's version was on the 2003 released 'Shades of Blue' compilation which is worth picking up if you haven't already got a copy. The compilation is Madlib's take on his favorite Blue Note classics including 'Slim's Return', 'Steppin' Into Tomorrow' and
'Footprints'. Madlib is a very talented musician gives each tune its own bass heavy, dusty sound and 'Song for my Father' is a great example of this.
Madlib-Song for my father

Saukrates is a Canadian rapper and producer who has for over ten years now released a steady stream of underground hits including Innovations, Hate Runs deep, Play Diss and the classic Father Time. He has appeared on tracks with Redman, Pharoahe Monch, Common, OC, Masta Ace, Xzibit and Heltah Skeltah. Father Time was first released in 1995 on Knee Deep records with a track by fellow Canadian Choclair on the B side. The beat is simple but dope and allows Saukrates to highlight his lyrical skills.
Saukrates-Father Time

This track is taken from the unreleased Pharrell Williams 'In my Mind' album that was remixed with live instruments by Questlove of the Roots. This album was supposed to come out last year but for some reason was shelved at the last minute. Luckily a copy made it onto the internet and it spread like wildfire which is cool because its a nice mellow album that needs to be heard. This track, 'Our Father' is a mellow upbeat track which has Pharrell switching between rapping and singing with some nice bass guitar (Hub perhaps?). There is something cheesy about Pharrel's singing but it works just right despite of the cheese factor and over Questlove's beat its just right.
Pharrell Williams and the Yessirs-Our Father

This track here is taken from Liwit Family member Xzibit's debut album 'At the Speed of Life' released in 1996. The album was produced mainly by E-Swift but featured contributions from Diamond D and DJ Muggs. The track I have chosen is called 'The Foundation. this track is produced by DJ Muggs and features Xzibit giving his young son pointers on how to live his life in the right way. Xzibit tells his son

You was born to be a soldier don't ever forget
Hit back when hit
Use force that's effective
All these bitches and women
Son, please be selective
This is California can't stick your dick in everything

Wise words Xzibit, surprisingly Xzibit mentions nothing about turning your back on those that introduced you to the rap game to get a few Dr Dre beats and an MTV show. Strange that.
Xzibit-The Foundation

Sunday, 8 June 2008

Jimmy McGriff April 3, 1936 - May 24, 2008

Jimmy McGriff was easily one of the best Jazz organists ever, he passed away on the 24th of May age 72 after losing his battle with Multiple Sclerosis. May he rest in peace.

Jimmy McGriff was born in Philadelphia. His father played piano, and Jimmy learned it from an early age; he went on to play saxophone and bass before settling on the Hammond organ. Jimmy released records all through the 60s and 70s on Sue Records and later on Blue Note.

Jimmy was sampled by a number of hip hop artists including; A Tribe Called Quest, Black Sheep, King Tee, KRS ONE, Onyx, Ice Cube, Del, Ugly Duckling, OC and Westside Connection. My personal favorite Jimmy McGriff track is Dig on It and was sampled by A Tribe Called Quest on God Lives Through from Midnight Marauders.

Wednesday, 4 June 2008

Roots Manuva - Buff Nuff

The first single from the new Roots Manuva album drops at the end of June and the above video for it has just hit the web. The video is very funny and well worth checking out. The tune is an upbeat almost dancehall style track that has Rodney offering a girl incentives to get with her.

Sunday, 1 June 2008

Gullyvers, London 31st May

Gullyvers last night in London's Plastic People was a dope night.  DJ's MK and ACyde tore the place up with a superb mix of Hip Hop and all manner of breakz.  Where else in London can you hear Wu Tang, Mobb Deep alongside Kid Creole and the Coconuts?  Gullyvers is a semi regular night and well worth checking out dope evening of dope music with a good atmosphere.  MK also puts up regular Gullyver podcasts on his blog which are definitely worth a listen.