Review: Northentic Records welcome back cult UK rapper Blade for a link up with producer Seek The Northerner that delivers messages of gratitude in arresting fashion . The signature boom bap production of Seek underpins the whole a-side, while he also adds his own verse which pays tribute to his collaborative partner here. World Champion turntablist DJ Woody layers in plenty of scratches to add some old school cool and engineering from No Sleep Nigel ensures it all sounds super fresh. It you want it even more direct and raw, the flip side instrumental has you covered.
Review: Dragon Fli Empire's DJ Cosm is back one again with more of his stripped back boom bap rhythms. Over the top of his blistering beat work are battle-hardened veterans Sadat X, El Da Sensei and Prince Po, who muse on what it takes to be a killer MC, with plenty of scratching layered in for extra vitality. On the flip, Beats House head honcho Djar One serves up a standout remix that swings low and bristles with energy. The result is a Tribe type beat that cuts deep and closes out a limited edition 7" in essential style on either black or purple wax.
Review: Earlier in the decade, Bobby "S-Type" Perman impressed all and sundry with a series of inspired EPs that put kaleidoscopic synths, chopped and screwed beats and fuzzy bass tones front and centre. Listening to "Beat" - the Scottish producer's first release for four years - it seems little has changed. Its six tracks are as vibrant, thrilling and entertaining as ever, offering a mangled mix of future R&B motifs, recycled '80s synths, stuttering trap beats, off-kilter hip-hop grooves, weighty analogue bass and glassy-eyed, sharply chopped vocal samples. There's little revelatory here, despite a keen sense of adventure, but Perman remains a superb beat-maker whose work still stands out from the crowd.
Review: The Saturday Knights are a culmination of three freaks, a jaw-jacking combination of performing personalities: storyteller and entertainer Tilson, who can tickle any lady's funny bone; low-income yarn spinner and urban graffiti poet Barfly; and pumped up by the big beats and psychedelic turntable-artist, DJ Suspence.
Review: Released late last year, Dirty Drum Productions first "Crate Breaks" seven-inch offered up two sides of cut-and-paste drum breaks - with gaps in between - for turntablists to play around with. This second salvo follows a similar blueprint. What you get is a series of celebrated (and in some cases lesser-known) breakbeats lifted from rock, funk and soul records, EQ'd and re-mastered for maximum loudness. These breaks - arranged into loose "tracks" as "Crate Breaks 3" and "Crate Breaks 4" - are clean enough to either sample, or use during turntablist routines. If you buy two copies, you can even "double up" with them and create fresh backing tracks for the MC of your choice.
Round & Round (feat Darrion - Living Room version) (4:44)
Review: SimonAyEm has been collecting records and generally immersing himself in rap for a quarter of a century. He makes his own beats, held a rap show on Swiss national and here one of his homemade demos is presented on Burning Sole. The first version was a raw, made in the kitchen jam with rough drums and noodling keys next to a heady whistle, while the flip side is a more refined lounge version with a fuller, richer, warmer sound and more steamy chords, as well as a hook sung by the producer's own young son. Nice.
Review: So Cal beatsmith, Exile's protege and all round beat battle champ Sirplus make his Dirty Science Records debut with this sizzling 7" inspired by Brandy and the character she played on the hit '90s show Moesha. He reworks the beats majestically well producing 2 bright and contemporary instrumental tracks that cannot fail to make a mark at any party, proving that his beats can stand alone and hold a standard even without vocals.
If You Can't Walk The Walk (Don't Talk The Talk) (2:25)
Review: Bulgarian label Soul Dynamite continues to defy expectations with yet another crisp and contemporary take on classic boom bap. Another must have for all b-boy DJs and funky breaks loving heads, "Da Hardcore Style For The B Boy" opens up with a golden bit of retro soul, "Let's Get Up, Let's Get Down" cuts a fine groove with trilling chords and "Back To The Beat" features some big samples and even bigger drum breaks. "If You Can't Walk The Walk (Don't Talk The Talk)" closes out in smooth rolling fashion for those earlier warm up sets.
Review: A decade has passed since Slum Village jumped on a KVBeats instrumental and delivered "We Do It", a warm, sweet and bass-heavy number full of the Detroit act's usual on-point rap flows. Here the track is given a 2020 makeover courtesy of hired hands DJ Spinna and Jazz Spastiks. Spinna naturally opts for a distinctively "Golden era" vibe, laying the Motor City crew's raps over a relaxed, head-nodding beat rich in jazzy double bass samples, crunchy snares and woozy electric piano chords. The jazz Spastiks up the tempo on their flipside version, delivering a revision that's closer in tone to Slum Village's original while offering all manner of subtle differences and dancefloor-focused touches.
Review: Regular Juno customers will no doubt have noticed the recent spate of Smif-N-Wessun reissues from Wreck Records. This is the fourth "45" pressing in an ongoing series that also includes similarly must-have golden-era hip-hop gems as "Bucktown" and "Sound Bwoy Bureill". "Wontime" was first released in 1995 and sees the NYC duo spit typical thoughtful, on-point rhymes over a beat crafted from little more than the James Brown "Funky President" drum break, some deep and drowsy chords and occasional snatches of Spoonie G's early hip-hop classic "Spoonie Rap". That deep, head-nodding beat can be heard in full on the accompanying flipside instrumental mix.
The Big Throwdown (Muro vocal edit version) (4:36)
The Big Throwdown (Muro instrumental edit version) (4:32)
Review: Japanese digger doyen Muro returns to one of the most important OG rap records of all time; South Bronx's ultra-funky, politically-sharpened block party jam "The Big Throwdown". The edit titles say it all; Muro's vocal edit really flexes Mike Serrette's vocals right down to the iconic gutsy 'huh!' chant and the big backing vocal rhythm while his instrumental version lets that groove run loose as the plucked bass walks cut through with charm and the keys spiral out of control in the best way possible. An stone cold classic.
Review: Method Man and Havoc have a rich history of collaborating that goes back almost a quarter of a century. They've been at it again recently and have a full length on the way, but before that is this new 7" slice of gold with another long-time affiliate in the Street Life crew. The A side is a pudding, deep cut beat with crashing hits and some of those spooky yet soulful keys that have long defined this style of rap. An instrumental on the flip seals the deal and makes this an essential pick up.
Review: This is a sure fire reissue of a classic jam from Super Lover Cee & Casanova Rud, the eighties hip hop and rap duo whose matching tracksuits and perfectly sharp flat tops tell you all you need to know about their lovably old school style. Both cuts here are snatched from their debut album Girls I Got 'Em Locked in 1987 and immediately take you back to those golden glory days. The titular cut is a chest pumping anthem with big stabs and the flip is a more smooth broken beat with perfectly timed flow.