Groovement Podcast: Shaolin Monkey – Chamber 1 Mix

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Shaolin and I go way back, to a night we ran in Manchester called Rocksteady many years ago after bonding in a shop over my Fat City record bag. I’m super happy to present his latest mix.

Artwork by CEAD Design / Track list: forthcoming

28 years in the making…

For this mix I went back to my roots of DJing, of playing records, before the internet, before streaming and before music was so readily accessible. Back to when I was living in the Lake District and trying to scour local record shops for hip hop, funk, soul & breaks, digging for beats… searching for the perfect beat!

I have loved hip hop since being a kid growing up in the Lakes, my mate’s older brothers would play Public Enemy, Cypress Hill, Run DMC, NWA and Beastie Boys… all the classics and I felt like I connected into the wider world through this amazing art form so isolated in location but also so connected through this music… It was a form of escapism in a way… my soon to be generations version of PUNK – due to it being so rebellious, raw unrefined by society.

One day I heard an album called “Enter the 36 Chambers” by a group called the Wu Tang Clan… That was they day when everything changed. The Wu wasn’t just sampling and looping soul and funk breaks. They were sampling Kung Fu Films! This was mind-blowing for me… and I knew I needed to be more than just a bystander, more than just a listener to this amazing culture and scene.

Shaolin x Chuck D, when he warmed up for Public Enemy on the main stage of Kendal Calling in 2013

From that moment on I started collecting records, I thought it can’t just be a handful of us around our village loving this music and I know if I start playing this music to other people they will love it! They just need to hear it! Thats when I knew I wanted to be a DJ. An archaeologist of music and records, to pass on my small amount of knowledge to the next kid who needed to be educated… to be initiated! And that’s how Shaolin Monkey began… for a love of Hip Hop and spreading the message.

This mix is an homage to my earlier days of record collecting in hip hop and beats, a bunch of records that have been in my head and on my shelves for more than 20 years if not more.. But never had the time (or the ability/skills!) to blend together in the vision I had and they deserve… to do them justice enough to how much I hold them all in high regard.

A lot of the records you will know, some you may not, some records you will love, maybe some you don’t, but every record on this mix is very important to me and I hold in very high regard and hopefully you will enjoy this as much as I did putting it together.. I hope I have done them justice.

Enjoy and catch you in the 2nd Chamber..

Shaolin Monkey


Agent J aka Jamie Groovement: writer, host, DJ and teacher. @jamiegroovement