The "Originals" label is on a roll. When you look through their vast back catalogue you get a sense of just how much they love late eighties Hip Hop - and I must admit that era is totally my bag as well. Classic joint after classic joint - many of them never previously available on the seven inch format - and while I must admit that not every release has got me totally excited, for the most part they have been essential purchases. This latest release definitely keeps up the momentum and I would consider a stand out amongst their catalogue. I'm so glad that the crew behind the label didn't go for one of the more rinsed D.O.C tracks like "The Formula" or "It's Funky Enough" (Although I wouldn't have been mad at that). Instead we get what I consider one of the underrated gems from what is an incredible album. "Lend Me An Ear" is fast and furious. A B Boy classic that chops and changes at breakneck speed, whilst maintaining a funky backdrop programmed by Dr Dre. It's very dope and instant ammunition for the dancefloor.
The flip Side is equally as classic. The Dynamic Corvettes "Funky Music Is The Thing" is a blockparty staple for its very funky breakbeat half way through, made famous from its inclusion on the Ultimate Breaks & Beats series. It has been released on 45 before as both in its original pressing back in 1975, and as a re-release in 2008 - So It's possible to come by it if you look hard enough - But for those who don't already own it this is a no-brainer. Heck, even if you do own it I'm sure you could appreciate being able to bang this right up against the D.O.C. It's worth mentioning that this is an edit by Mr Fantastic, Although as for what the edits were I can't say. It didn't seem to be immediately audibly obvious to me, keeping true to the original (and that's a good thing).
If you haven't got the drift of this review yet, let me spell it out for you: Rush out and put your order in for this soon to be released 45 before they disapear - and grab doubles while you are at it.
I was in Singapore a year or so back in an amazing record store going through the substantial shelves of 45s "when suddenly" I chanced upon the picture cover of the 1989 pressing of "Serious" - But of course it contained a completely different record inside. Collectors of golden era Hip hop 45s will know that this release is in hot demand, doesn't surface all that often, and when it does you can expect to pay into the hundreds. Spurred on by this teaser in my hands I continued combing the 45 racks (Of which took up half the store). Minutes later I hit a similar snag: A misplaced Roxanne Shante picture cover with a Pat Benatar "Love is a Battlefield" vinyl inside. And then minutes after than the vinyl for the Roxanne Shante record tuned up in an original "900 Number" picture cover.. and so began this long game of cat and mouse where I was matching picture covers with misplaced vinyls - all incredible classic Hip Hop joints that are hard to come by. I left the store hours later with a booty of 45 treasures in my hands - But still to this day the memory of that Steady B cover taunts me. I never found that record.
Fast forward to present day and I'm still having anxiety attacks about that digging adventure in Singapore. My therapist has advised me to put it behind me. We listen to Steady B records and discuss how he was just a good for nothing two-bit hustler anyway, but deep down inside me I lament on my near miss experience. Ok, I've taken the story a little too far - I don't have a therapist, but I do still have nightmares about records in the wrong covers, and had just got used to the fact that I'll probably never own that Steady B track on 45. Well, that was until the postman turned up today with a mystery package. I must admit my heart skipped a beat as I peeled back the packaging and saw that same iconic overalls wearing cartoon character that adorns the Steady B picture sleeve. I was staring at the latest release from those secret squirrels at "Originals" - You know, the label that has consistently been releasing dope golden era joints B-sided with the original sample (Well, actually it's the other way around). The label has notched up about thirty three releases so far, with the early ones being in very high demand due to their limited runs.
So, with this release I finally get my mittens on that essential Steady B track that has eluded me. I don't care that it's not the 1989 pressing - Infact, the flip side on this pressing makes it an even more compelling acquisition: A great edit of the Turtles breakbeat anthem "I'm Chief Kamanawanalea" which provides *some* of the sample source material to Steady B. I guess the other option could have been the Dr John track "Right Place Wrong Time" (Which provides the other drum break used in the DJ Doc production of "Serious"), and I'm kinda glad the guys at Originals didn't go this route as that particular track has already seen a recent remix release on 45. Besides, The Turtles lay on the drum breaks thick which makes owning double copies of this release totally essential (as is the case with most if not all releases on this label).
This one popped up as a total surprise, but anyone who grew up on a healthy diet of nineties Hip Hop knows that both sides are totally essential. Infact, In recent years I've already been giving both of these tracks a new lease of life in my digital sets - so I'm super happy they are now available on a 45 format.
Both tracks are party favourites, with "Puerto Rico" being the dope instrumental version that uses the Skull Snaps beat, in the classic AV8 style of Hip Hop production. The flip side "Boriquas On The Set" features raps from Doo Wop, Fat Joe, and Ray Boogie.
Now if your not familiar, I'm here to tell you this is a no brainer purchase - Infact, I bought double copies sight unseen - It's just that necessary.
Getting hold of these might be an issue for some, and as far as I know they are only available through discogs. I was unfamiliar with the seller, and it seems that the account was set up exclusivly for this release (I'm guessing it *might* be coming from Frankie Cutlass directly). However, rest assured that my experience in dealing with this seller was totally positive. Communication was clear and not delayed, and the records arrived on my doorstep in satisfactory packaging and time frame. So armed with all that knowledge, I advise you to jump on this right away and scoop them before they are sold out.
There's a new label in town and it's been making lots of noise of recent. The team at Dinked records aren't new to this. They have been around the block and back a few times, and have had lots of experience in putting out records with previous projects - and the expertise definitely shows with this series of fantastic releases. It's worth mentioning that these are all legitimate reissues fully licensed through their respective publishers. Some of these have never had a previous releases on 45 - And for those tracks that have had a 45 release, you would definitely be hard pressed to turn up an original 45 in the field - So for most collectors these beautifully executed releases should suffice.
What we have here is a series of six releases. The first half comprise of some heavyweight soul funk anthems, and the later half give us three classic hip hop tunes. let's look at them in more detail:
DINK-001 sets up the label nicely by giving us the uptempo funk standard "Funky Mule" from Ike Turner, originally released on the album of the same name back in 1975. To my knowledge this track never had an official 45 release but over the years became a funk standard for it's hard hitting drums.
On the flip side we get an edit by Canadian producer Nick Bike, who takes the drums and extends them into a full length drum-a-pella that is just begging to be used as a deejay tool.
The second release takes one one of the all time greatest B Boy anthems of all time and pairs it with another equally important funk tune - Both from Jimmy Castor. "It's Just Begun" is the definitive break dance anthem, and this track alone makes the purchase of this record a must have. Whilst it has seen a release on 45 in it's original pressing back in 1970. It's pretty hard to come by. Infact I can't even speak with authority that the original pressing has the full extended drum break - But guess what - This one on Dinked records does, making double copies of this release totally essential.
The third release on the label nicely connects with the previous release. "Soul Travelin'" by Gary Byrd was infact recorded using the Jimmy Castor Bunch backing band. Hip Hop heads should all recognise the Horns at the top as used by Poor Righteous Teachers. This release stays faithfull to the 1973 original 45, containing parts 1 and 2. However, It's worth noting that the original 45 will set you back for a pretty sum of money - making the purchase of this newly re-issued version on Dinked a no-brainer.
The next release in the series is a curious one. The label now takes a u-turn and introduces us to a series of 45s under the sub label name of Random Rap. Its first release is the very classic "93 'Til Infinity" by Soul Of Mischief. I must say it was quite a surprise to find that it wasn't the iconic album version, but instead a remix from Souls Of Mischief member A-Plus. I can't really speak on why this decision was made (I simply don't know), but I'm going to hazard a guess by saying it might possibly have something to do with the original album version being so reliant on the Billy Cobham sample from "Heather", In any case, the A-Plus version we get here is pretty cool in its own right - and very different, breathing some new soul into a timeless classic.
"Jack Of Spades" from Boogie Down Productions did infact have a not so official 45 release a couple of years back, but were snapped up pretty quickly - So this fully licensed release is definately a welcome addition to the crates. It's an absolute classic that will no doubt enjoy a new rotation by many deejays. Plus the B Side gives us a much appreciated instrumental using the funky-dub dancefloor "Greedy G" sample.
Lastly, another KRS-One classic in the form of the DJ Premier produced "MC's Act Like They Don't Know". What's to say about this one apart from it being an instant must have that has never been available as a 45 before. Plus we get the instrumental on the flip. It's a nice way to round up this 6 part series on dinked recordings. But I hope the label doesn't stop here, and continues to provide more classic material in the future.
Redefinition Records come correct with two hard to find Pete Rock joints from the archives - and they are real slow burners as well, making this release an essential purchase for the die-hard fans of solid Hip Hop.
Firstly, we get the head nodder "So Many Rappers" from 1997, originally released as a twelve inch on St Nick records. It's a real late night creeper, with a dope filtered vocoder melody. Rob O sounds super natural as he drifts over this beat. I actually wasn't aware of this release previously, but I'm glad to have come across it now.
On the B Side we get a classic Pete Rock track from 1995 featuring Meccalicious that has all the trademark headnodding goodness that we love from this era of Pete Rocks productions: filtered bass and snapping beats that propel the track along.
UPDATE: A 45 with these same songs was actually pressed back in 2003 by Hiphopsite.com recordings. It's an odd release that saw a revision in its second repress at the request of Pete Rock. The track "So Many Rappers" was actually a replacement for the track "War" which appeared on the original pressing. 500 copies of the second version were made, but a small quantity of this original pressing were given away free to customers of HipHopSite.com before the withdrawal took effect.
Dinked records is a new label set to release a series of classic joins never before released on 45. They already have a couple of funk and soul joints to their catalog, and now we have just recieved news they are set to licence two KRS One classic "MC's Act Like They Don't Know", and "Jack Of Spades" - and the Heiro anthem "93 'Til Infinity". More details to come.
Thanks to DJ Matman for this photo.
The people at Get On Down must be reading my mind. I swear it's only been very recently that I was hoping this 45 got a re-release - And how about this! First release from the label for 2016! If you're not familiar with this classic (And I'm really hoping everyone who reads this site is familiar), this is the Todd Terry produced breakout song from 1988 from the Jungle Brothers. The tune that put them on the map around the world. You could hear it played in every type of club. Well, to be fair back in 1988 there wasn't really such a thing as a Hip Hop club, as all clubs played Hip Hop amongst other styles back then.
Yes, this 45 is a re-issue of the original 45 from 1988. No, you will not find the original. So really, this one is a no brainer. For fans of the song "I'll House You", it's worth noting that there is also another remix from 1988 floating around on 45. It's a remix from Richie Rich, and thus tailored towards the house music crowd of that era - and not available on this particular release being reviewed today.
The B side - This is what really gets me excited. "On The Run" is one of the dopest Hip Hop joints from that time - and it still kicks a punch today. You all know it, so I won't go into how this one really just seals the deal. Run out and get it, just for this side alone.
The bane of record collecting is when labels reissue joints that you just recently picked up the originals of - And this is very much the case with this forthcoming release on the Originals label. I had the Emotions joint already (Sampled by Marly Marl), but only recently laid my hands on an OG copy of the Big Daddy Kane track. Afterall, this is one of the essential blends that you can't resist doing in the club.
In all fairness if you don't have the original pressings of either of these songs then this purchase is a no brainer - and I'll be shelling out for doubles just to mess around with (keeping my OG's in pristine condition). The question begs though: Will "Ain't No Half Steppin" be the album version with the "Uh - Uh - Uh" at the start, or the single version which goes straight into the "Blind Alley" sample. We need not wait long to find out as this release is scheduled to hit stores before the year is through.
I've been overly impressed with the output from the 5 Borough Breaks label this year - And this latest forthcoming release continues to tick all the right boxes.
Both tracks on here are songs that have crept back into my own personal party playlists in recent years, so it's going to be awesome to be able to do that same blend with 45s. If you're not familiar with the EPMD track off their fourth album from 1992, it's a heavy laden typical EPMD monster with "crossover" appeal, sampling a hook from Roger Troutmans tune from 1991. Both sides are killer, and deserve their own attention in theor own right.
Whilst on the subject of EPMD and Roger connections, "You Should Be Mine" is lifted off the same Roger album from 1991 as the underrated track "Everybody Get Up" - But it's the twelve inch version of that particular song that features a series of very dope remixes featuring (Of course) EPMD. Now that's a track I'd love to see pressed to 45!
No date yet for this forthcoming release on 5 Borough Breaks, but I expect it to hit all the usual outlets before the years through.
More golden era goodness from the folk at F5 records, showing and proving that when it comes to reissuing classic Hip Hop singles they can keep up with the competition. This release sees the debut nineties anthem from the Artifacts "Wrong Side Of The Tracks" flip sided with the uptempo jam "Whayback". Both are tracks from thier debut album and essential additions to any Hip hop 45's completist.
At this stage a limited run of 50 signed copies are available for purchase through F5's store, before the general release is available through all the usual outlets - And from the looks of the photo below, it seems that they might be pressed in three different vinyl color ways!
On a side note, it seems that the fabled ED OG 45 that has only been available in a very limited run through his Australian Tour (Of which I missed out on because of the amateur "promoters" being more interested in taking selfie photos's with ED OG than actually promoting the tour) will be available for general sale through the good people at F5 Records real soon. hang in there!