I’ve posted up a couple old remixes on Soundcloud for you to listen to, download, and love.
First up is my remix of “All About the Music” by DJ Z-Trip featuring the legendary Whipper Whip that I did not too long after Z-Trip’s album dropped. It didn’t start out being a remix, but once I put the beat together, I started running vocals on top of it, and Whipper Whip’s worked pretty well, so I laid them down, added some scratches, and finished it off. 8 years later, I found it lurking on my hard drive and decided to post it up. Enjoy!
And then there’s this remix of OutKast’s “Skew It on the Bar-B.” This one didn’t start off as a remix, either, but as a tribute to James Brown. I woke up on December 25, 2006, to the tragic news that James Brown had died. The only thing I could think to do was pay tribute to him the same way so many of my favorite hip-hop songs had: By chopping up some classic JB joints on the SP-1200. As I programmed this beat, I started rapping “old-school players to new-school fools” to it, so I grabbed the OutKast 12-inch, started running the acapella over the beat, and thought it fit really well, so this beat turned into a remix.
Back in 2006, the homie DJ Platurn and I put out Blendapella, a mixtape that was meant to showcase the craft of blending, which we worried was become a lost DJ skill. The mix was quite successful for us, and we kept talking about doing a sequel, but it took us several years to be able to actually get to work on it. Well, we finally did get to work on it, and even though it took us a full year to complete (damn, real life really gets in the way when you’re trying to coordinate schedules!), we think it was worth the wait.
But don’t take my word for it–judge for yourself:
In 2006, we made Blendapella as a reaction to the then-burgeoning concept of the “mash-up DJ.” Seven years later, DJing has moved even further in the direction of hype over ability. DJ-in-a-box has become not just real, but commonplace. New technology keeps pushing DJs further away from the craft of DJing, and it’s almost to the point that a DJ actually DJing live is the exception and not the rule. So we felt it was time to revisit the Blendapella concept and get back to basics. Every sound on this mix comes from original-pressing vinyl, and the blending was done live by DJs instead of in post-production by software. Enjoy!
– DJs Enki & Platurn PKA The Blend Kings
Blendapella 2 is only available as a stream for the moment, but we’ve posted it up at Bandcamp, where we’re asking a $7 download charge. This money will help us press up some physical copies (i.e. CDs), which we would really like to do.
And thank you as always for your support! Without y’all, none of this stuff happens in the first place.
So here’s what’s in store for the 45 Sessions this lovely Bay Area summer. All shows happen the third Friday of the month at the Legionnaire Saloon (2272 Telegraph at Grand in Oakland) starting at 10pm. And all shows promise to be a funky good time, so don’t miss out!
OK, so we went a little off-calendar with this one due to SXSW, but we’re making up for it by going big! As the best damn party in the East Bay relocates to the brand-new Legionnaire Saloon (2272 Telegraph Ave. in Oakland, corner of Telegraph and Grand), we’re bringing a lot of our friends to the kick-off party. Besides your residents, DJ Platurn, E Da Boss, and DJ Enki, we’ve got Mr. E, Proof, Rascue, J-Boogie, and Centipede putting it down. So don’t miss out.
Programming note: Yes, this is the 4th Friday of the month, but after this installment, the 45 Sessions goes back to happening on the 3rd Friday of the month. Got it? Good. See you there!
This is major, y’all. M’man Z-Trip is finally coming to do a show in Oakland! And the homies Platurn, Goldenchyld, and Saurus–along with yours truly–are doing the warm-up. Gonna be a fantastic show. Don’t miss out! Get your tickets here.
Large Professor is one of the greatest producers in all of hip-hop history, and he’s one of my biggest musical influences by far. This mix is my tribute to his catalog, from his debut single to his most recent one, plus original samples and all-Extra P blends (Large Pro verses over different Large Pro-produced tracks). I figure cuts like “Live at the BBQ,” “Looking at the Front Door,” “Fakin’ the Funk,” and the tracks he did for Illmatic are pretty well-covered territory, so I decided I’d shine the spotlight on some of his lesser-known work here. The Professor definitely schools people with his music; this is my take on his curriculum vitae.
UPDATE:I’ve also posted this mix up on Mixcrate, so you can go there to stream it or download it as well. And if you’d like to have it split up into tracks like a CD, drop me a line, and I will send you the MP3s.
Oh yeah, we’re closing out the year with a big one. Ladies and gentlemen, we’d like to introduce to you the man behind a boatload of hit records from Jay-Z to Kendrick Lamar: DJ Just Blaze! We’re throwing a special edition of the 45 Sessions to let Just get busy and flex his crazy record collection. And this show is for ages 18 and up, so feel free to bring your little cousin and his crew to witness the fitness.
Friday, December 7
The New Parish (579 18th Street at San Pablo, Oakland)
E Da Boss
Opening set by DJ Saurus
Hosted by Jern Eye and Fran Boogie
Spinning all 45s all night.
At last week’s 45 Session, who should show up but The Beatnuts and Tha Alkaholiks! I knew what had to be done, so I pulled out a few breaks to cut up–strictly 45s!–and let the mic pros get busy. I’d definitely say rocking doubles of the Bill Doggett break for Juju ranks as a highlight for me. Sorry about the video quality here, but you can at least hear what went down.
The song: “Cosmic Ark’”
The producer: X-Clan
The science: When it comes to X-Clan, almost all the discussion is about the group’s breakout debut LP, To the East, Blackwards, with the remaining discussion being focused on septum rings, ankhs, and “sissssiiiiiiiieeeees!” As such, the follow-up album, Xodus, tends to get lost in the mix. On the rare occasion it does get mentioned, it’s usually to talk about the amount of beat biting going on throughout the album. It’s not exactly a false charge: “F.T.P.” straight-up takes Special Ed’s “I Got It Made” beat and adds a few sounds to it, the title track stomps along with D-Nice’s “Call me D-Nice” getting looped up with the “Big Beat” drums locked in, and MC Lyte (“Paper Thin”), LL Cool J (“Big Ol’ Butt”) and Terminator X (“Terminator X Buck Whylin’”) all get jacked on “Holy Rum Swig.”
But don’t let the rampant beat-jacking make you think X-Clan suddenly forgot how to make beats. The first single off the album, “Fire & Earth (100% Natural)” showed real production skills, and the lead-off song on the album, “Cosmic Ark,” is an underappreciated bit of production work that shows real sampling creativity.
I made this mix back in 2009 as a little something for the good folks at The Vapor Room — a fantastic business that, tragically, was forced to close on July 31 due to some ridiculous legal technicalities. Like I say in the scratch intro to this mix, The Vapor Room was a family affair, and that family was not just the VR staff and customers, but the entire Lower Haight neighborhood where it was located. Seldom will you find a business more committed to community service. I made this mix to be something fun for The Vapor Room family; now I’m posting it as a memorial to a great business that will be missed. (There’s also a sequel that I will be posting in the not-too-distant future. Stay tuned!)