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Ultimate Breaks & Beats was a series of highly DJ-friendly edit compilation LPs that came out 1986-1991, becoming the foundation of sample-based hip-hop, and influencing pop and dance music up through the present day. The series was created by Lenny Roberts, a Bronx-based record collector, and studio editing partner “Breakbeat” Lou Flores, who began releasing the compilations on the Street Beat label just as the art of hip-hop sampling was beginning to take shape. DJ records, which soon became ready-made sample sources, had been around since the 70s, but none matched the quality of UBB. “The selections were absurdly democratic, aggressively ironic, (and) smartly remixed all the best aspects of hip-hop,” wrote Charles Aaron in a 1995 review of the entire series. “Dweebs like me could wander into Music Factory in Times Square and bump into Eric B or Jam Master Jay buying multiple copies of Ultimate Breaks & Beats ... the sound of hip-hop was never the same again.” “Breakbeat” Lou Flores is reviving Ultimate Breaks & Beats with a producer series, debuting with an album by Oh No in January 2017. Oh No’s 17-track collection was made entirely with sources from the original UBB series.
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