Gimmie What You Got (extended Breaks Special edition)
Review: We've said this before, but there's something brilliantly simple about the Beats & Breaks label's "Extended Breaks" series of seven-inch re-edits. There's no superfluous fluff or needless rearrangement, just solid and matter-or-fact extensions of key drum breaks to both aid mixing and light up dancefloors. For proof, check the mysterious re-editors' take on Billy Squier's 1980 heavy rock workout "The Big Beat", which prioritizes the track's fat, bottom-heavy drums and the singer's impassioned vocal yelps while stripping out most of the gnarled guitar riffs. If you need a bit of a breather from the heavy dancefloor pressure, the crew's subtle revision of Le Pamplemousse's drowsy, synth-laden deep disco shuffler "Gimme What You Got" - a string-laden slice of sun-kissed sweetness - should do the trick.
Review: The latest limited 7" single from the Beats & Breaks camp features subtle, DJ-friendly edits of two break-diggin' favourites. On the A-side, Juice's 1976 jazz-funk B-side "Catch a Groove" gets tweaked and extended, with lengthier passages of drum breaks at the beginning and end, as well as a sizeable percussion workout midway through. Turn to the flip for a similarly minded treat of Fuzzy Haskins' album-only cut "The Fuz & The Dog", where jazzy guitar licks and riotous horns buzz around a heavy, Blaxploitation-inspired funk groove. While less well known than the A-side, it's arguably the stronger of the two tracks; certainly, its extended percussive break is particularly suitable for hip-hop style doubling up.
James Brown - "Funky President" (extended breaks special edition) (4:25)
The Vibrettes - "Humpty Dump" (part 1 - extended breaks special edition) (3:16)
Review: New 7" label Beats & Breaks present "Funky President" which is a funk song originally released as a single in 1974, by the hardest working man in show business at the time - the Godfather of Soul - James Brown. It appeared on his 4nd (!) album entitled 'Reality' released that same year. According to Brown, the song's title referred to U.S. President Gerald Ford - who succeeded Richard Nixon in the White House shortly before it was recorded. It is one of Brown's most frequently sampled recordings. The rhythmic portions of the song have been used on dozens of hip hop tracks. On the flip, The Vibrettes' "Humpty Dump" is another killer funk number that was recorded by one Roscoe Porter and originally released by Lujon back in 1973. The sample source for many a respected beat by such legends as J. Dilla, Four Tet, 2 Bad Mice and even Aphex Twin.
Sweet Daddy Floyd - "I Just Can't Help Myself" (extended Break edit) (4:17)
Review: This tasty, DJ-friendly 7" single boasts two extended, break-heavy reworks of obscure and in-demand soul workouts. On the A-side you'll find a tasty extension of Melvin Bliss's superb, piano-heavy 1983 cut "Synthetic Substitution". While Bliss's brilliant original - all heartfelt vocals, jaunty keys and warm bass - is largely kept in tact, the mystery re-editor naturally makes more of the opening breakbeat, which was sampled several times during hip-hop's "golden era". Flip for a similarly tasty rearrangement of Sweet Daddy Floyd's 1978 Blaxploitation style disco-funk shuffler "I Just Can't Help Myself", a cut rich in rolling breaks, densely layered percussion, punchy orchestration and "Shaft"-style guitar licks.
Lafayette Afro Rock Band - "Hihache" (extended Breaks Special edition version) (4:23)
Gaz - "Sing Sing" (extended Breaks Special edition version) (4:27)
Review: More sneaky 45 action from the Breaks & Beats crew, a shadowy organization whose tried-and-tested re-edits offer DJ-friendly extensions of popular break-digging favourites (many of which were sampled on classic hip-hop cuts). Their latest seven-inch excursion begins with a tidy revision of Lafayette Afro-Rock Band's brilliant "Hihache", a low-slung favourite rich in lolloping, head nodding drum breaks, jazzy bass, flanged funk guitars and fuzzy horn motifs. The new version is deferential towards its source material, extending breaks here and there whilst leaving much of the tune in tact. One of the most doubled-up drum breaks in hip-hop history takes pride of place on side B, where Gaz's Salsoul released wiggler "Sing Sing" gets the re-edit treatment.
Bob James - "Take Me To The Mardi Gras" (extended Breaks Special edition) (3:30)
David Matthews - "Sandworms" (extended Breaks Special edition) (4:22)
Review: The Beats and Breaks series of "Extended Break Edits" has so far succeeded in its stated aim to provide DJs with simple but devastatingly effective rearrangements built around lengthening key percussive packages. The mystery editors behind the series are at it again here, first looping up the distinctive, cowbell and triangle-driven drum passages dotted throughout Bob James' classic "Take Me To The Mardi Gras". On the flip, they take their scalpel to David Matthews' 1977 jazz-funk gem "Sandworms", casually making merry with the proto hip-hop beat, rubbery bass guitar, flanged guitar riffs and snaking saxophone solos.
Pleasure - "Joyous" (extended breaks special edition) (3:57)
Rusty Bryant - "Fire Eater" (extended breaks special edition) (4:27)
Review: Beats & Breaks are slowly working their way through some of the most seminal and scene defining foundational funk cuts. For the 007 release we're treated to a wild jazz excursion as Pleasure and Rusty Bryant get the treatment. "Joyous" (famously edited by DJ Harvey) get its swing polished and really brought to the fore on those shiny rhythm guitar builds while Rusty's king break-buster "Fire Eater" gets extended in all its sleazy Q&A glory. Limited to 300. Them's the breaks!
Review: More from the matter-or-fact Breaks & Beats seven-inch series, which offers up DJ-friendly "slight edits" of funk, soul and disco classics built around extending the drum breaks in sometimes hard-to-mix classic cuts. The tenth volume in the series kicks off with a mix-friendly tweak of Vaughan Mason's roller-boogie anthem "Bounce, Rock, Skate, Roll" that expertly stretches out the previously all-too-short instrumental intro. Over on side B, Bad Bascomb's odd but brilliant country-funk hoedown "Black Grass" gets a similar treatment, with Breaks & Beats' un-named re-editor sneakily extending sweaty drum breaks here and there throughout the track. Given the quality of those breaks, this is a very good thing indeed.