Exciting times Monday as we (in the form of the In The Loop crew – DJ A-UP, emcee Bedos and myself) are warming up for the Jungle Brothers. It’s a Monday night, yes, but they’re obviously the new hip hop Fridays as eMC are also here in a month or so.
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Strange Breaks & Mr Thing 3
Release: 19 May 2014
2LP, 2CD (mixed and unmixed), digi
This one has been a fair few years in the making. Compilations like this can take a while when you have you have to track down who owns the copyright to the music, but that’s the price you pay when someone like Mr Thing digs the deepest they can.
If you’re Manchester way, be sure to be at the Roadhouse on 20th June - it’s our final In The Loop club night and Mr Thing is our guest of honour!
Here’s the CD2 (unmixed) track list:
1. Dynamic Concept – La Da Da 2. The Internationals – Give A Damn 3. Nu-Sound Express, Ltd – One More Time, You All 4. David T. Walker – Lay Lady Lay 5. James Asher – Oriental Workload 6. Dum-Dum – Art The Grass 7. Disco Orchestral – Do It Again 8. The Graham Walker Sound – Crossroads 9. Zulema – Giving Up 10. Harry Beckett – Ring Within Rings 11. Smiling Hard – Fire To The Galleon 12. The Capprells With The Sul Brothers Band – Close Your Eyes 13. Woolwich Polytechnic School Concert Band – The Sweeney 14. Chuck Jackson – Candy 15. John Fitch And Associates – Romantic Attitude 16. Sharon Cash – Nature Boy 17. Spunk – La Bimini 18. Amral’s Trinidad Cavaliers – It Sure Is Funky 19. Özel Türkbas – Ozel’s Dance Routine (Mr Thing Re-Edit)
And here’s the vinyl track list:
Side A Dynamic Concept – La Da Da Internationals – Give A Damn Nu-Sounds Express – One More Time Y’all David T. Walker – Lay Lady Lay
Side B James Asher – Oriental Workload Dum Dum – Art The Grass Disco Orchestral – Do It Again Graham Walker Sound – Crossroads Zulema – Give It Up
Side C Harry Beckett – Rings Within Rings Smiling Hard – Fire To The Galleon Caprells – Close Your Eyes Woolwich Polytechnic – The Sweeney
Side D Chuck Jackson – Candy John Fitch – Romantic Attitude Sharon Cash – Nature Boy
Five years on from the last, BBE is proud to present the next instalment of Strange Breaks & Mr Thing. In this digital age the beating heart of modern R&B and hip-hop remains as vintage soul, funk and jazz. Like the previous volumes, Strange Breaks & Mr Thing III contains a collection of killer cutz; some you’ve probably never heard of, some which may make you go: “I recognize this sample!”… because it was once used as the backdrop for a classic Hip Hop track. If you liked the legendary “Strange Games” compilation series on BBE compiled by the likes of Kenny Dope & DJ Spinna, you’ll love “Strange Breaks & Mr. Thing”.
UK Hip-Hop producer and acclaimed DJ Mr. Thing has been busier than ever circling the globe, filling dance floors as well as adding rare 45s to his ever growing collection now he’s shaing those nuggets with us.
Known worldwide as a DJ & turntablist Mr Thing is a name synonymous with Hip-Hop that always brings a smile to the faces of fans and promoters alike as they remember genius performances of impeccable skill. First touching the tables in 1987 he has been non-stop perfecting his art since and is now one of the worlds best. Touring the world with an understanding of records and music that is second to none, he always creates flawless and exciting sets mixing some of the rarest records with some of the best loved records ever heard with an apparently effortless ease honed after years of practice. If Mr Thing is playing at a party… make sure you GO! You will never be disappointed! Rocking parties is not the limit of his skills, not even close!
My brother from another / DJ partner in rhyme at In The Loop / fellow Groovement writer, DJ A-UP, has been working on this Tribe mixtape for quite a while. Rather than going the simple route with Tribe standards, he’s prised out samples, remixes and the like of some of his favourite tunes. It’s an out and out banger of a mixtape, as is the case with all his previous releases.
Check his previous mixtapes, as well as the Nougold podcast with emcee Bedos, on his Mixcloud.
A Tribe Called Quest – Award Tour Intro
Kool & The Gang – Who’s Gonna Take the Weight
.A Tribe Called Quest – Oh My God
A Tribe Called Quest – Oh My God (Remix)
A Tribe Called Quest – Oh My God (Organ Mix)
A Tribe Called Quest – Bound to Wreck Your Party
BUN ft. Phife Dawg – What’s The Deal?
Mint Condition ft. Phife Dawg – Let Me Be The One (Ummah Remix)
Phife Dawg – Bend Ova
De La Soul ft. Q-Tip – Buddy
A Tribe Called Quest – Jam (Instrumental)
Consequence – The Consequences
A Tribe Called Quest – We Can Get Down
Bill Cosby – Martin’s Funeral
A Tribe Called Quest – Stressed Out (Raphael Saadiq Remix)
A Tribe Called Quest – Peace, Prosperity and Paper
A Tribe Called Quest – Money Maker
Craig Mack – Get Down (Q-Tip Remix Instrumental)
Mobb Deep ft. Q-Tip – Drink Away The Pain (Situations)
Phife Dawg – If Men Are Dogs
Phife Dawg – Dear Dilla
Slum Village ft. Q-Tip – Hold Tighhht
Beastie Boys ft. Q-Tip – Get It Together (Q-Tip Remix)
Q-Tip – Q-Tip For Preisdent
Biz Markie – Nobody Beats The Biz
Steve Arrington – Beddie-Biey
Minnie Riperton – Inside My Love
A Tribe Called Quest – Lyrics to Go (Tumblin’ Dice Remix)
Hiatus Kaiyote ft. Q-Tip – Nakamura
Common ft. Q-Tip, Pharrell & Erykah Badu – Come Close Remix
A Tribe Called Quest – Bonita Applebum
Janet Jackson – Got ’til it’s Gone (Q-Tip live verse)
A Tribe Called Quest ft. Erykah Badu – Doin It (I.C.U) (Edit)
Apache – Gangsta Bitch (Instrumental)
A Tribe Called Quest – Electric Relaxation (Instrumental)
Black Ivory – You and I
Q-Tip – Gettin’ Up
Lonnie Smith – Spinning Wheel (Drumbreak)
A Tribe Called Quest – Can I Kick It
Tiger ft. Q-Tip – Who Planned It
Phife Dawg – U Know U Want It
Q-Tip – Work It Out
Q-Tip – Work It Out (Remix)
David T. Walker – On Love
Escape Music is available now on digital, CD (also try Eastern Bloc in Manchester) and vinyl.
If you’re in Manchester on Saturday, they’re hitting up Hit and Run with Mr Thing over at Antwerp Mansion – grab tickets here.
THE MOUSE OUTFIT BREAK AMERICA!
Well, kind of. Topping off a year that has seen the release of their debut album finally catapult them towards wider recognition with support from the likes of Wordplay magazine and Mary Anne Hobbs, Manchester’s Mouse Outfit saw themselves land in ABC’s top 50 albums of the year this week. Their patience has paid off – they waited a fair few years before releasing any tracks, honing production being of utmost importance.
I’ve dipped in and out of involvement with the Manchester hip hop scene over the last few years, with our club night In The Loop enabling me to touch base with the cream of rap and production talent that the city’s got to offer (which I certainly won’t attempt to list here, but any regular Groovement reader would already be familiar with – click the Manchester tab). In my humble opinion, Manchester is ready to step up once again – I realise and will continue to love the wealth of electronic/beats/non-genre aligned music which already killed it in 2012 and 2013, but rap is ready to make its (don’t call it a) comeback and it’s great to see this lot’s hard work paying off.
The fallout of the above will hopefully be that rappers and their crews associated with the Mouse Outfit project (I’m looking at you Ape Cult, Mothership, Voodoo Black and the like – on a wider scale LEVLZ rep this fully) will be inspired to drop some bangin’ new music to rival, if not better, content from other cities.
(Scroll down for more from Manchester)
The cypher we run at Loop is nothing new but always will be a core element of the culture, and the Mouse Outfit were there from the start (indeed bass player/MO mastermind Defty was one of the initiators, making sure the band were there to back the cypher whenever possible). In the last four years the Loop nights have provided one of (definitely not the only – shouts to community oriented nights Golden Egg, Taste the Diff’rence, Freestyle Fictionary, Contact and my short lived Hip Hop Sunday Social to name a few, as well as all those promoters doing their thing) hubs for hip hop lovers to hook up, and it’s this spreading the love element that pervades the Escape Music album, with a variety of elements on the vocal front complementing the band’s musical range.
The Mouse Outfit back the cypher at In The Loop, 2011:
If the ‘produced’ music itself wasn’t fresh enough, their unmatched multi-member live shows continue to cement their reputation for talent. They’ve wowed audiences at festivals and local gigs for a fair few years (I’ve even played triangle in Wales with them, which was obviously one of their best gigs), having settled into a third (or maybe fourth) generation of the crew centred around a tight production unit of Chini (keys and producer), Defty (bass) and Pitch (MPC) with a proliferation of non-permanent MCs that keeps things fresh. Whether or not this is a sustainable model remains to be seen, but Dr Syntax and Sparkz seem to be a constant in terms of touring. Seeing the Mouse Outfit live is an experience, rekindling many an interest in hip hop, and I seriously recommend you get round to it in 2014.
This year will see the Mice continue to grow in various ways I’m sure, and the ABC article is hopefully an indicator as to how this may play out. I may be wrong in thinking that ‘breaking America’ isn’t a thing that bands aspire to these days – surely global domination via internet infiltration is the way forward? The ABC article, placing the album above the likes of Bowie’s The Next Day and Ghostface/Adrian Younge’s Twelve Reasons… (in essence a very similar concept of instrumentation and rap – with its own comic! – catch Ghostface talking about working with a live band a few years back on Groovement here), will hopefully be a game changer in furthering not only the Mouse Outfit message, but that of Manchester hip hop in general. This lot are prolific and some are very nearly at the top of their game – keep an eye on Groovement in 2014 to find out more. Manchester, show us what you got.
In The Loop host Bedos with the Mouse Outfit, pre-Escape Music
The Mouse Outfit with former members D Dot X and Rags on vocals at Raw Festival, Wrexham in 2009
Christmas shenanigans on Groovement’s Unity Radio show, 2009
Manchester is standing at the forefront of a hip hop and beats revolution at the minute. The Mouse Outfit have disturbed the underground with their brand of funky hip hop, while the Room 2 imprint (download debut label release Kydroponics Vol 2 here) looks set to be a prolific representation of the Manc underground over the coming years – more on that below.
Stalwarts of the Manchester hip hop community over the past few years have been Ellis Meade, Sparkz and Dubbul O. I got to know them well through our night In The Loop, where they were (and still are) regular attendees not only to show off their skills on the mic, but as lovers of the music. While they’ve all remained independent and carved their own paths, they were all members of ‘The Kollektive’, and eventually released the Digital Textures EP (currently not available) as a trio. Things then went quiet for a couple of years as they followed their own projects, but this year Voodoo Black arrived…
Ellis: Voodoo Black was formed around the start of the year shortly after myself, Dubbul O (Vidal) & Sparkz got a chance to get back in the studio. After a long break since all working together on Digital Textures, we also have Joe “Cutterz” on the 1’s and 2’s now, so I’m looking forward to seeing what we can do, in the studio, & on stage. We just put out our first EP, you can download this here @ http://www.VoodooBlack.com
What are the origins of Voodoo Black? You three have worked together before, so what makes this different from the Kollective or Digital Textures?
Voodoo Black’s origin was from the Kollektive & Digital Textures project. Back in late 2009, I shouted Sparkz & V to get on a hip hop beat I’d done at the time which we ended up recording at The Cutting Rooms Studio in North Manchester. With me already buzzin’ with how the instrumental sounded by its self, they hopped in front of the RE20 & Neumann- running though the Avalon Pre’s & Raindirk desk, it just sounded proper.
The main difference now from the Kollektive or the Digital Textures EP is that we have DJ Cutterz also producing and supplying the cuts. As well as this, Cutterz is gonna be putting down a couple beats for the next release. Needless to say, they’re sounding pretty dope.
You’re releasing this on Room 2, Kydro’s new label. How did you hook up with him and how does the relationship work?
Well… first things first. Room2 was an idea I came up with after having been producing and recording in Estate Recordings’ Second Studio at Wellington House. It was around this time last year they moved in, and not too long after, I heard they had a second space there they wanted some of the younger lot usin’. It wasn’t too long after this I shouted Skittz (Skittles) who helped out with the Vaagon, and I had all my nice recording shit moved up there. So really, I see Room 2 as symbol of what can happen when artists work together and support each other.
So… for a short while it was really just me, Sparkz & we eventually got Dubbul O down to the spot for a couple sessions. Not too long after, Dom Hz moved some of his gear in and we were off. So thats how the “Room 2″ name came about really, the concept behind it was to bring together and unite artists who know and work with each other on a regular basis, and this was an idea myself & Kydro had discussed in the past, but could not think of a name or point at which we could link it all together, so I thought Room 2 was a solid through line in where we could bring together as many artists & talents as possible. And to clarify, Room 2’s main producers are, in no particular order… myself, Kydro, Dom Hz, Metrodome & Pro P. There will definitely be more, but the idea is that we have enough content between ourselves alone that we can continue a steady stream of underground music, while not compromising quality.
Have Sparkz and Dubbul O become divas since working with the Mouse Outfit? Seriously though, have you seen a change in their performances since you started working with them?
Nar, they’re very down to earth people, which is why I get along with them so well. I think working with The Mouse Outfit has made them more clinical in writing and performance, which you should expect from working with such high calibre musicians. I don’t think you get to have a live show as good as The Mouse Outfit’s set without every musician excelling in their own way. The MO do this well.
What are the strengths of the Manchester hip hop scene in 2013?
I think the variety & versatility defines Manchester hip hop scene at the moment. From Kydro, Skittles ‘n’ that, Ape Cult, Mothership Connection, TNC, MOSH TEAM, The Bluntskins, ThisIsDA, The Mouse Outfit, everyone’s coming with something different. One thing that will define Manchester hip hop now, is how well we work together from paper to stage. I think for the first time in years I hear local music where people are allowing new influences to the sound, which makes for more authentic original tunes, & more unique artists. And what are its weaknesses?
I’d say that the main weaknesses to the hip hop scene in Manchester are artists who think they have “made it” and continue to put out the exact same sound UKHH has been dealing with for years expecting to blow up, as well as taking every opportunity to post bitter Facebook updates about how “certain people” get this ‘n’ that attention. To those who are inside this bracket, and hopefully reading now, cheer up yo, go make some tunes.
None of us involved with the scene tend to be involved in solely ‘traditional’ hip hop – how influential is the electronic element in Manchester?
Of course the electronic music scene has had a major influence on Manchester music, but I wouldn’t say its affected the way in which people make hip hop music, not directly at least anyway. Growing up in and around high school I was always one to be listenin’ to hip hop, not grime, so I didn’t get influenced in the same way it has influenced a lot of UK rappers, particularly in the tone and flow delivery.
Without a shadow of a doubt tracks like Strategy’s Marka w/ Dub Phizix & Skeptical, Chimpo & Enei’s Headtop & Dom Hz’s Remix work with Skittles & The Mouse Outfit have influenced the Manchester scene to some extent, but I truly feel that hip hop in Manchester is in its own thing, and will continue to grow & develop in its own way. In terms of electronic hip hop specifically, and who’s bringing fire, I think Metrodome is holding the torch right now, with Dom Hz & Sparkz sat on a few gems there, hopefully more producers will step into this arena and let loose.
How do you perceive the national scene? Is there one?
The National Hiphop Scene… Hmmm… Yeah I guess there is a scene, a pretty shit one. At one end everyone is concerned with snapbacks and the fashion of it all, at the other, you have little scruffs in hoodies wantin’ to rap and act hard. I think there is a lot to be done in diversifying the audience and letting people know who go out to nights, that yes, there is hip hop music you can vibe and chill to, and yes, there is (some) that you can go sick and mosh out to. As opposed to the predictable situation… having MCs spit their generic Mr Badman-wise bars, and maybe actually spit at you because he/she’s too close too your ear, shouting down your ear, etc. High Focus have turned some of these stereotypes on its head, shifting the focus to quality control while keeping the sound raw, letting artists have creative freedom while also bringing new, younger acts to the fore. Are you working on your own solo stuff at the moment? Last we heard from you was the Conceptions mixtape, how was the response to that?
I have a solo project I am working on with Kydro which will be a Room 2 release due to go out this year. There is also a self produced solo project which should be ready for around the start of 2014, so stay locked.
The Conceptions mixtape had a decent response I thought for a first free online release. It had a simple purpose, a very clear aim to let heads know, I am here. I think it did that.
DJ A-UP blesses us with a new mixtape, this time with a ladies theme… released on International Women’s Day and featuring Rah Digga, Lil’ Kim, Foxy Brown, Jean Grae, Tor Cesay, Estelle, Heather B, C-Mone Mc, TLC, Tempa, Roxanne Shante, MC Lyte & more.
Check the regular Nougold podcast, bringing the best in new hip hop with a golden age twang, here.