Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Ultimate Breaks & Beats Production Tools - Product Demonstration

This is a product demonstration I put together for the Ultimate Breaks & Beats Production Tools release, dropping February 1st on Get On Down.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Richard Sisco Has Passed Away (Cold Crush Brothers + More)

Richard Sisco, an important man involved in the early and fundamental days of the hip hop scene, has passed away. As told in Jim Fricke and Charlie Ahearn's amazing book, Yes Yes Y'all, Sisco was "The first MC to perform with Charlie Chase and what would become the Cold Crush Brothers. He produced many flyers for hip hop jams in the late '70s and early '80s and briefly teamed up with Wanda Dee."

If you've seen Beat Street, you've seen Richard Sisco -

I strongly urge anyone interested in the origins of hip hop to check out Yes Yes Y'all if you haven't already. Sisco is one of the many pioneers to share his memories of the scene in the 70s and 80s. I'm glad he had a chance to share some of his memories. Here's two short excerpts -

On the first MC...

"Kool Herc had his MC - Coke La Rock - but if you want to say the first "rhymer," Cowboy definitely was the first guy in the Bronx that put it together. He used to go on like, "A one-two, y'all," and "Yes yes, y'all," all that kind of stuff, and then he'd start to say a little rhyme. That was the first… We said, "That's funky, man, you checking that out?"

On Performing with Charlie Chase...

"Charlie (Chase) started DJ-ing, and being hip to the Black thing, he started playing these records that Kool Herc was playing. That was around '77, '78, when it really started getting pumped. There was a jam over at the Monterey Community Center on Thursday nights. We used to rock it with live DJs - Dizzy Diz, Mighty Mike, DJ Ray, Kool DJ Ron, and a few of the other kids. With Charlie Chase, we said "Yo! We gotta follow him. He's the man to watch."

Here is audio from December 26th, 1980, where Sisco was rocking as a DJ on the bill with the Super Sonic 4 MCs (Ricky Dee, Vicious Cee, Dwayne Dee, Ice Ice and Lil Sha Rock) and Cool Clyde. Listen and download below. Rest in peace to Richard Sisco!

Side A -

Side B -

Download link -

Tom Scott with the California Dreamers - "The Honeysuckle Breeze" Remastered

I recently had the opportunity to remaster Tom Scott's debut album, The Honeysuckle Breeze on Impulse! (the exclamation point is part of the Impulse label's logo, but fuck it, I think it was a great enough opportunity to warrant an exclamation point in this sentence).

Convoluted opening statements aside, I'm a fan of this record. It's fun telling my mother I remastered a project by an artist she is very much familiar with. If you're a hip hop guy / gal and aren't familiar with this sax-heavy LP, I'll give you a hint as to why it's a very important one:

I reminisce, I reminisce, I reminisce, I reminisce…

If my hint sucks, you'll hear what I'm talking about at the tail end of the video, when the Get On Down logo flashes. If that still garners a blank stare, the oracle known as the internet will give you the answer. I wonder if Tom Scott had any idea of the staying power his rendition of Today would have all those years ago when he posed aside this "radioactive area" sign. Something tells me he did... just look at the outfits.

Judging by the way I've seen a variety of people react to hearing this record, I think it's a release you'll either really dig or not want anything to do with. For those intrigued, here's two of my favorites-

Enjoy your Wednesday, my friends.