Record Label: Slice-of-Spice
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Mark James (AKA The 45 King) is a world renowned DJ/ Producer pioneer in Hip Hop music. His breakbeat classic “The 900 Number” has been a staple among DJs since its release in 1987 (notably featured as the song to “The Ed Lover Dance” on MTV’s Yo MTV Raps). Throughout the last 30 years, 45 King has managed to stay relevant, producing hits for some of Hip Hop’s biggest names including Jay-Z & Eminem, with production for their hit songs “It’s A Hard Knock Life” & “Stan”, respectively. With a prolific output and catalog of beats, he has set out to release a series of limited edition 45s with brand new and never before heard music. The Third Album is third in a series of unique, “mini 45 RPM albums” featuring 45 King’s signature sound; breaks chopped and looped to perfection.
The first official release from multi-instrumentalist, composer, arranger, and producer Adrian Younge was Black Dynamite, the meticulously crafted sonic accompaniment to the 2009 Michael Jai White comedy. Now, for the first time ever, Mr. Younge presents the instrumentals from Black Dynamite on his on Linear Labs imprint. Inspired by the great blaxploitation soundtracks of the 1970s, Younge commands the Rhodes electric piano, Hammond organ, Hohner Clavinet, harpsichord, synthesizer, vibraphone, guitar, bass, flute, sax, cello, and drums to craft a singular vision of the era. Since its release, the film has grown into a formidable franchise including a comic book and animated television series on Cartoon Network. Now five years later, the score is being reissued with the full set of instrumentals and four additional tracks including a rare version of “Jimmy’s Dead” by Tommy Davidson. A certifiable cult classic, the film centers around ex-CIA agent Black Dynamite’s fight to avenge his brother’s murder while cleaning up the streets of the deadly Anaconda malt liquor. Having been involved with the film from its inception, Younge’s score is intimately woven into the film’s narrative. As editor, Younge worked closely with director Scott Sanders to ensure the authenticity of the film’s pace and musical accompaniment. The final result is a clever homage that sounds more like an unearthed gem from the ‘70s—complete with MPC-ready Wu-Tang samples—rather than a modern creation. This authentic sound is one that Younge has been cultivating for years. His ability to replicate the nuanced stylistic effects of a bygone era are the result of utilizing exclusively vintage analog recording equipment and techniques, and long hours studying the sounds of heroes like Ennio Morricone and Curtis Mayfield. Laboring away in his Los Angeles based Linear Labs studio, Younge played every instrument on the record, teaching himself anything he didn’t already know. Through a dogged work ethic and determination, Younge has painstakingly constructed a modern vintage sound that harkens to the past with its sights on the future. Black Dynamite is a must-have for any fan of the blaxploitation era and dark soul music, a modern-day classic whose legendary status will only grow stronger over time.
This deluxe reissue vinyl on Younge’s Linear Labs imprint includes a bonus instrumental song from the original album sessions – “Niacin.” In the four years since Adrian Younge’s Something About April album first appeared, the Los Angeles-based producer and multi-instrumentalist has become his own musical cottage industry. Not only has he collaborated with musical legends ranging from The Delfonics to Ghostface Killah, Ali Shaheed Muhammad and The Souls of Mischief; his work has also been sampled by such rap giants as 50 Cent, Jay-Z and Common. In an equally impressive twist, DJ Premier produced an entire album with Younge’s work as his only source material (including multiple samples from April, of course): 2014’s PRhyme, with MC Royce Da 5’9”. Something About April is an album that flaunts all of the trademarks that have made Younge an in-demand name as a composer and sample source-point. His work oozes raw, analog soul and the primal sonic edge of psychedelic rock, sitting nicely alongside Ennio Morricone’s best soundtrack work; Pink Floyd’s early catalog and Parliament’s Osmium. Younge’s songwriting is what truly makes this album unique and keeps ears engaged. While many of his tunes are initially vamp-driven, there are changes and aural twists that lurk around every corner, as evidenced on stand-out cuts including: The intense, deep groove and stripped-down vocals of “Turn Down The Sound” [sampled for Common’s “Out On Bond”]; The turns of both tension and beauty on “Reverie” (with all TWELVE instruments per formed by Younge) [sampled on Jay-Z’s “Heaven,” with Justin Timberlake]; The gorgeous, cinematic ballads “First Step On The Moon” and “Two Hearts Combine”; The breakbeat fiesta of “Sirens” [used by Jay-Z for “Picasso Baby”]; The new millennial soul/doo-wop of “Lovely Lady,” complete with lead guitar by funky soul legend Dennis Coffey.