A highly respected crate digger, DJ extraordinaire, record label go-to-guy and one half of dynamite duo Kon & Amir, we are proud to present this very special collection of music chosen by Amir. Having dedicated his life to mapping hip hop and dance music's lineage, the Boston native has been called upon by Capitol Records, Pete Rock and Shady Records among others for his musical expertise over the years, not to mention having curated quite an incredible catalogue of compilations for BBE. Put simply, this guy has an almost unrivaled ear for a great record. As you may well have guessed from the title, this latest outing has a distinctly latin flavour. Comprising a selection of obscure tracks from the 60's and 70's recorded mainly in New York (but featuring artists from Detroit and the Dominican Republic), there are bound to be new discoveries here for even the most ardent collector. Ranging styles are on display here, but the record has a definite leaning toward upbeat Salsa & Guaguancó. Latin superstars such as Joey Pastrana and Louie Colon may have been household names among the tenements of East Harlem & The Bronx back in the day, but they have never reached a mainstream audience outside the Latin community. Now thanks to Amir's relentless digging, some of the finest and most authentic latin dance music can be enjoyed on one fiery-hot record.
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J Dilla leaves behind a body of work that will be loved and rediscovered for years to come. From his groundbreaking work with The Pharcyde to D'Angelo to contributing to Common's 'Be' album. His most recent instrumental album "Donuts" (Stones Throw) was released just days before his death in February has scanned nearly 30k. "The Shining" is the final J. Dilla album that he completed prior to his death. Featured guests on the album include Busta Rhymes, Common, Dwele, Pharoahe Monch, Madlib, Medaphor, Truth Hurts, Guilty Simpson, and Karriem Riggins. "The Shining" is a certified classic album that completes J Dilla's Journey with BBE where he released his first album titled "Welcome to Detroit"A in 2002.
James "J Dilla / Jay Dee" Yancey leaves behind an impression on Hip Hop that will last the test of time. A bridge between Hip Hop's underground and mainstream, Dilla's contributions ranged from single handedly defining Detroit Hip Hop as a founding member of Slum Village to providing his production talents to Common, D'Angelo, Busta Rhymes, Erykah Badu, A Tribe Called Quest, The Pharcyde, The Roots, Janet Jackson and Macy Gray. The Shining marked the reunion of J Dilla & BBE, who had released Welcome 2 Detroit, J Dilla's debut album. The Shining was near completion when J Dilla passed on February 10, 2006. In pursuance of his mother's plan that his musical legacy continue, The Shining was released on August, 22nd, 2006. To add to that legacy, The Shining Instrumentals were released; allowing the listener to hear the intricate warmth of Dilla's beats completely untouched by MC vocals.
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Very limited 10 year anniversary edition 7" boxset which includes instrumentals! Demand for Dilla's music has continued to grow and grow since his tragic passing in 2006, testament to his talent and originality which has influenced a whole new generation of producers and musiclovers across the globe. Around 75% complete at the time of his death, the task of finishing the album was entrusted to friend and fellow Detroit artist Karriem Riggins. The album features stellar performances from Common, Busta Rhymes, D'Angelo, Black Thought and Pharoahe Monch, as well as Dilla himself rhyming on closing track 'Won't Do'. Undeniably soulful yet raw, real and deeply rooted in the streets, The Shining perfectly showcases perhaps the greatest beat-maker of all time at his very best. To mark the tenth anniversary of this special album, which marked the reunion of Dilla and BBE for the first time since his debut LP Welcome 2 Detroit, we've pressed it to 7" vinyl for the very first time. Featuring both original and instrumental versions across a massive ten discs, this comprehensive boxed set serves as a timely document to an artist who helped bring underground hip hop and soul together, introduced new levels of creativity to music production and wrote a blueprint which continues to be followed to this day.
Welcome 2 Detroit is the 2001 debut solo album from Slum Village producer J Dilla (aka Jay Dee). The album followed the group's critically acclaimed Fantastic, Vol. 2, and kicked off BBE's "Beat Generation" series (producer-driven albums). Welcome 2 Detroit was preceded by the 12" single "Fuck the Police", a cut which didn't make the final album although it is considered to be among his best material. The album cemented J Dilla's reputation amongst those in the know as a virtuoso beatmaker.
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Production legend J Dilla's legacy is still gathering momentum, his influence reaching far beyond his chosen genre of hip hop. His weapon of choice to share his music throughout his career? Tapes. Lots of them. BBE's close friendship with Dilla resulted in them releasing not only his debut solo LP 'Welcome 2 Detroit', but also his final, posthumously completed masterpiece 'The Shining'. For Cassette Store Day, and for Dilla, BBE is proud to present both trailblazing LPs on one single, strictly limited cassette tape. So open up the case, slide the tape into your Walkman, sit back and enjoy 2 hours of the most iconic hip hop of all time.
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J Dilla's classic work, Welcome 2 Detroit, strictly instrumentals with a new cover for the 10th Anniversary. Limited!
Designed to be as pleasing to the jazz newbie as the perennial chin-stroker, Deep Jazz comprises of nine obscure compositions which utterly deserve their moment in the sun. Compiled by one half of The Amalgamation Of Soundz, renowned DJs DJ and owner of bespoke record shop If Music Jean-Claude, the album offers a small glimpse into the mind of the legendary taste-maker. Hip-swaying, toe-tapping slick productions are the order of the day here, accessible enough to be enjoyed across the board, yet authentic enough to satisfy the most ardent purist. As Jean-Claude says: "for those of us searching for that elusive groove: it is a lifelong quest!"
NYC hip-hop in the '90s fixated on streets-centric authenticity. Being 'real' - musically, ethically, biographically - was paramount. From their first release, however, Brooklyn's Jigmastas proudly defined themselves by nobody's measure of validity but their own. While others chased the so-called real, DJ Spinna and Kriminul claimed 'Beyond Real,' the title of their 1996 independent single on the label of the same name, a debut gem that established their M.O. as purveyors of sonic sophistication and everyman truths. 'I don't give a fuck about your keys of coke/Glocks that you claim you tote/ Lyrics that you say you wrote/ Or even if you slit your throat/ What I'm saying is nowadays nothing matters/ My intellect's above your head you couldn't reach with Jacob's ladder/ You say it's real, son/ I'm sayin' it's beyond that' - Jigmastas, 'Beyond Real' Formed in 1991 in the County of Kings, this DJ/produceremcee combo in the tradition of Gang Starr and Pete Rock & CL Smooth showed enough promise to spark considerable, though ultimately unconsummated, major label interest. Such apparent setbacks would prove fortuitous, though, as the Jay I Gees found themselves amongst the important participants in a burgeoning NYC underground hip-hop movement alongside pre-Rawkus indie crews like Co Flow, Natural E and Bobbito Garcia's Fondle 'Em camp. As subsequent releases more than aptly demonstrated (the metaphorical minded 'Chandon'; a 'World Is Yours'-esque paean to self-determination, 'Iz You Dee'; the purist manifesto 'Hip-Hop' etc.) being beyond real wasn't just a philosophical ethos but a musical one as well - Spinna's predilection for Moog synth riffs, vocal chorales, and other inventively chopped and diced samplescapes complementing Krim's gravelly verses with an otherworldly air. Jigmastas dropped a single LP - 2001's Infectious - during the duo's most active period. But the collection of non-album material that forms the core of this fine sequel (or prequel given the bonus inclusion of so many essential early singles) that you now hold in your possession serves as a reminder of the potency and timelessness of their talents. From Spinna's classic breakbeat dissections on 'Lyrical Fluctuation 2000' through Kriminul's effortlessly fluid performance on 'Thief's Theme' some might call this that vintage NY boom-bap. A more accurate, and complimentary, descript is that it simply sounds like the Jigmastas. Long may they keep on rockin'.
Following closely behind last year's expanded reissue of 2000's 'Grassroots', the New York duo of DJ Spinna & Kryminul present 'Resurgence', a long awaited album of previously unreleased material. Comprising tracks created between 2003 and the present day, 'Resurgence' represents the duo's musical growth during a period where most of us assumed the Jigmastas project was on hold. From start to finish, 'Resurgence' is brimming over with soul thanks to Spinna's distinctively languid boom-bap productions. Rapper Kryminul is on fine form with his clever and witty brand of storytelling, which still stays close to the streets whilst keeping the subject matter varied and eclectic. Storming guest appearances come from Shabaam Saadique and Old World Disorder (Skam, Shadowman Boogie), both familiar names to Jigmastas fans. With the announcement of another brand new album 'Stellar' coming later in 2016, 'Resurgence' is a perfect opportunity to bring yourself up to speed with Jigmastas, just as they prepare to reclaim their rightful place at hip hop's top table.
Best known for his work with CL Smooth, and his remixes for Public Enemy, House of Pain, Mary J Blige and Mick Jagger to mention a few. The Soul Brothers Number One album is a beats album with a total of 5 MC cuts across the two different pressings, including a new track with CL Smooth. One of the greatest hip hop records ever made ...it never leaves my box, man...- (Tim Westwood)
It’s the crate digger’s dream or nightmare. The modern day musical archaeologist is always in search of that elusive piece of a musical puzzle. Dusting off a slice of unknown vinyl or a mystery tape in a battered box might just open up another chapter of discovery that illuminates the art of the people. Enter 180 Proof’s Amir Abdullah who, since 2010, has been getting dusty digits sifting through the master tapes in the Strata studio in Detroit. It’s there that he discovered and was blown away the voice and vibe of TJ. “I came across the TJ demo tapes back in 2012 when I secured the exclusive license to the whole Strata Records catalog,” explains Amir who plans an imminent release of the four tracks on 10” vinyl in conjunction with BBE Records. “My first response to hearing the demo was WOW! Frankly, the sound quality was not good but the soul and passion of the music was unbelievable. I immediately thought about a young Shuggie Otis when hearing the songs.” As with the rediscovery of Shuggie Otis’‘Inspiration Information’, by the likes of Gilles Peterson back in the 90’s, there are always questions to be asked. With Shuggie Otis there was lineage plus the image of a hip young guy with a big ‘Fro and acoustic guitar.Two decades on he’d simply dropped off the radar.What happened? With TJ there’s only the tape and says Amir, “There was no info on the master just the name TJ. I don’t know when the TJ was recorded at all.The strata catalog is from 73- 75 and it’s one of many recordings that were recorded but never released. I sat on the music for three years because I couldn’t afford to clean it up and remaster it properly until now.“ “As the Strata curator, I felt that this recording def fits in with what the Strata catalog is about. The soul and passion of the lyrics are heartfelt.As you can hear, most of the songs are about love. The raw form of just him, a guitar with vocal layers is so rough but it def represents the grittiness of the sound of Strata. I think the TJ represents what the Strata mottos were about: ‘The Sound of Detroit’ and ‘All Musics For All Peoples’. What makes me want to release this in its raw and rough form is that the genius of this re-cording cannot be denied. I hope that TJ somehow hears that the recording is out. I would love to give full credit to him and the musicians.” In 2016 Amir Abdullah and 180 Proof Records continue to dig deeper. Tune in and join in on the search for TJ.
Scotland's foremost (possibly only) disco obsessive, Al Kent, returns with a fourth volume in the critically acclaimed Disco Love series. Previous volumes had critics saying things like "Some of it is risqué, cheesy and (may I say) sexy. Great stuff for us disco-geeks"; "A real gem for the disco connoisseurs"; "This will enhance any deep disco collection"; "the ever-reliable Glaswegian crate digger unearths even more dusty gems"; "Just when you think that Al Kent guy is not going to get you again, he assembles a third Disco Love that is more stimulating than the first two volumes" and, less excitingly, "The mastering and sound quality is great." So, just when you think that Al Kent guy isn't going to get you again, here he is - with fifteen more obscure disco tracks (or at the very least soul records you could dance to), most of which were pressed in limited quantities before sinking without trace.
DJ Format's Psych Out is a compilation of records from around the world that Format WISHES he could play at clubs every weekend. Some of the tracks are hard to categorise...kind of psychedelic, kind of funky, kind of crazy...but most have unmistakable blend of distorted electric guitars, driving basslines and pounding drums. Maybe you didn't think it was possible for “Foxy Lady” to be played any harder...but 49th Blue Streak did it. “Hava Nagila” never really seemed likely to lend itself to a psychedelic reworking...but The Quests from Singapore thought differently. In Germany, The CT Four Plus did away with boring tradition and instead praised God with their electric guitars. Advertising executives in France thought it best to spread the word of their new chocolate bar by commissioning the Bana Pop Band to make a cool 7" flexi disc record. These are just a few examples of how the boundaries of music were being pushed in the late 60s & early 70s when most of these exciting recordings were made. In DJ Format's own words: The idea for this compilation came about because of my search for a rare psych/funk 7" that isn't even included here! My friend DJ Oneofakind played me the said record and I totally lost my mind. Some months later after a lot of asking around and searching online, a copy turned up on Discogs.com for a painful amount of money. I contacted the seller to ask a couple of questions and it turned out I was talking to Jake Holloway, BBE's in-house designer. I'd loosely known Jake for a few years through mutual friends so we quickly arranged a time to meet and take care of business. Jake told me he'd offered the 7" to a few other DJ/collector friends but they'd passed on it as it was 'too heavy' for them. This got us talking about my love for psych records with a funky slant and I explained my frustration at buying so many records that fit that description, that were 'too heavy' to play at my typical DJ gigs. Jake had the perfect solution: "why don't you do a compilation of funky, fuzzed-out psych stuff for BBE?'
The list of musical highlights for Vincent Williams aka DJ Spinna are too numerous to list, from his seminal hip hop duo Jigmastas and DJ sets across the globe, to his iconic solo productions and remixes. But if you ask him, it's the relationship he's forged with personal hero Stevie Wonder that Spinna considers to be his single greatest achievement. As with most artists of a soulful persuasion, Stevie's music influenced Spinna from the outset, dictating everything from his approach to writing to his use of Fender Rhodes and Moog bass- lines on his productions. Having gained so much from the great man, Spinna decided to pay tribute in the form of 'Wonderfull', a series of parties celebrating the Wonder of Stevie. This is where the story became somewhat surreal for Spinna, suddenly finding himself joined onstage in Washington D.C. by none other than Stevie himself, a spine-tingling moment even when viewed on YouTube. An extension of the Wonderfull parties, this album represents a celebration of the life, music and cultural impact of Stevie Wonder. Few compilers can boast Spinna's understanding of Stevie's back catalogue, not to mention the large number of songs he's written for other artists over the years. Featuring stunning cover versions you may well have never heard before alongside songs many of us had no idea he'd written, Spinna's vast knowledge of and boundless enthusiasm for Stevie's music shines with every selection. As both a super-fan and a close friend, surely there is nobody better placed to compile this wonderful document of Stevie Wonder's music, inspiration and influence.
Fittingly enough, to celebrate BBE’s 20th year, we’ve asked Keb to select his greatest hits from the ‘Deep Funk’ series, presented on heavyweight vinyl, CD and digital formats. The compilation contains edits by Keb’s deep funk contemporaries Ian Wright & Kenny Dope, as well as standout tracks from over 20 years of ‘Legendary Deep Funk’
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Vinyl obsessive, renowned DJ and leading light of the global edit scene, Kon knows a thing or two about good music. His latest project, Kon & The Gang, introduces a selection of tracks, remixes and edits that the Boston native has lent his golden touch to over the years. Featuring artists à la mode Truccy (Compost’s Rainer Trueby & Corrado Bucci), Eli Escobar, Seven Davis Jr, Medlar and Thatmanmonkz, the album gives newcomers to the scene a fantastic taste of the DIY disco / throwback house revival which is currently taking the underground by storm. A mixture of effortlessly cool, slow slung disco & boogie and deftly edited dancefloor gems, ‘Kon & The Gang’ is sure to delight fans of soulful music old and new.
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Obsessive collector, record store owner and mine of musical knowledge, Zaf is vinyl junkie of the highest order. His first ‘Private Wax’ compilation came in 2012 and immediately became a highly sought after gem, due to the rare and wonderful disco and boogie contained within. Owning the world’s premiere website for rare records and counting Gilles Peterson & Norman Jay among his customers allows Zaf a near superhuman selection of music to choose from, so anyone worried that he might have used up all his best tunes on Volume 1 can relax.From the shimmering Disco of Starvue’s ‘Love Affair’, which opens up the album, right through to the uplifting last track, Wes Black’s ‘I Feel Good’, it’s clear we are in the hands of a master curator. Containing only original versions, literally thousands of pounds’ worth of rare records have been lovingly re-mastered to build this very special package.With the current disco and funk revival making headway into the charts, this compilation of authentic, original material could not be timelier. From dance-floor oriented disco monsters to more subtle boogie jams, the album takes the listener on a journey from the nightclub to the streets of 70’s and 80’s Black America, where the early experimental blueprint for hip hop and house can clearly be heard in so much of the music. A slice of history, but also a collection of tracks that still have so much mileage left in them, we invite you to dive once again into the magical world of Zaf’s Private Wax.
Starting life as a small New York event aimed at raising awareness for Fela Kuti's musical message, Rich Medina's Jump N Funk party has now been rocking dancefloors across the globe for over 15 years. Honouring Fela's contribution to music as well as his political and cultural legacy, Medina has made his events a platform to celebrate Afro-Life across the Black Diaspora. With guests such as Wunmi, the cast of Fela! On Broadway, Asiko and Antibalas providing captivating live performances, Jump N Funk is so much more than a club night. In creating this compilation to represent the spirit of his events, Rich Medina has chosen an eclectic selection of undeniably afro-tinged, unashamedly life-affirming music. With most tracks either referencing, sampling or inspired by the great man, the record also includes material by Fela himself, as well as son Seun Kuti and long-time band member Tony Allen the inventor of the afrobeat set drum syncopation that is equally as notorious as Fela and his message... The album's artwork has been lovingly created by Lemi Ghariokwu, the fabled Nigerian artist who designed some of Fela's most iconic covers. From the record's sleeve to the music contained within, Jump N Funk is a cultural artefact with one foot in the past, the other in the future. An echo of Fela's message: a reminder to celebrate, to empower, to progress.
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Joseph Abajian (DJ Jab) founded Fat Beats in 1994 with nothing more than a shoestring budget and an earnest obsession with the music, the culture, and the brotherhood of New York’s burgeoning rap scene. What began as a simple vinyl shop in Manhattan’s Lower East Side quickly became an integral hub for artists, both aspiring and established, to convene and collaborate on new projects. Joseph’s timing couldn’t have been more impeccable. When the 90’s cultural zeitgeist – and, in turn, the music industry establishment – chose hip-hop as its new arbiter of cool.
International tourists and touring artists alike flocked to Fat Beats for rare vinyl, kindred spirits, and exclusive in-store performances from Jay Z, Eminem, Gang Starr, Outkast, Slum Village, Mos Def, and more. One thing was clear: the Fat Beats phenomenon could no longer be contained in a single basement shop.
In the late nineties, Abajian proceeded to open new stores in Amsterdam, Tokyo, Los Angeles, and Atlanta. He further expanded the company’s profile to include global distribution and record label branches. Distribution has since proven to be the company’s strongest and most enduring enterprise. Today Fat Beats Distribution stands poised as one of the country’s pre-eminent distributors of vinyl & specialty item records: a proud survivor in an industry now famous for its mortality rate. Despite market fluctuations, technology innovations, and stylistic revolutions, Fat Beats has remained steadfast in its commitment to the timeless vinyl format and to the loyal community who keeps it spinning.
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