Friday Flips #6–”Cosmic Ark”

Written by DJ Enki on August 10, 2012

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.

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The Vapor Room Mix

Written by DJ Enki on August 4, 2012

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!)

Grown Kids Radio mix: Summer Funk

Written by DJ Enki on July 11, 2012

M’man and fellow 45 Sessioner E Da Boss hollered at me to do a mix for Grown Kids Radio. How could I say no? So I put together a half hour of funk tunes that sound great when bumped on a nice summer day. Head on over to Grown Kids Radio to listen and/or download!

Here’s the track listing:

Earth, Wind & Fire – “Moment of Truth”
The Joe Tex Band – “Chocolate Cherry”
Bobby Byrd – “Keep Doing What You’re Doing”
Edwin Starr – “Adios Senorita”
The Fatback Band – “Put the Funk on You”
Finished Touch – “Mighty Good Friends”
The Nite-Liters – “Down and Dirty”
Herbie Hancock – “Fat Mama”
Doris – “Don’t”
Honey Cone – “Stick Up”
Rosetta Hightower – “A Little More Line”
Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell – “Little Ole Boy, Little Ole Girl”

“Rescue Me” (DJ Enki remix)

Written by DJ Enki on June 19, 2012

I gave A Taste of Honey’s classic groove a quick touchup–rearrangement, more drums, more bump. Check it out.

Large Professor. Strictly 45s. May 25.

Written by DJ Enki on May 7, 2012

I am beyond excited for this. If you know me, you know that Large Professor is pretty much my hero when it comes to hip-hop, so to get the chance to share a billing with him–spinning all 45s, no less–is an incredible honor for me. This is gonna be serious business, y’all. Do NOT miss out!

Friday, May 25

Mighty (119 Utah St. San Francisco)
DJ Platurn
DJ Enki

Spinning all 45s all night.
Plus: Free BBQ!

Get your tickets at

Friday, April 20: The 45 Sessions featuring DJ B-Cause

Written by DJ Enki on April 17, 2012

This is gonna be great. We’ve got my favorite Bay Area DJ, the one and only DJ B-Cause, coming through for the 45 Sessions this month. B’s got a seriously deep collection and phenomenal skills when it comes to playing them. You really don’t want to miss out on this one.

Friday, April 20

Disco Volante (347 14th St., Oakland)
E Da Boss, DJ Platurn, DJ Enki, and special guest DJ B-Cause spin funk, disco, hip-hop, rock, breaks, boogie, and all sorts of great tunes on nothing but 45s

Quote of the Month

Written by DJ Enki on April 9, 2012

“EDM is, to me, firmly ensconced in its ‘Arena Rock’ phase — much like in the way that rap music has both feet firmly planted in terrain too similar to the harmless and entertaining yet vapid realm of ’80s hair metal. Yet one must understand that such progression cannot continue without the eventual backlash. The physics law of for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction applies here, and with such vehement corporate co-opting we can all expect to see the rubber band snap back. Rap and dance music both need their 1988 or their 1991, and it will happen.”

-Cosmo Baker, hitting the nail squarely on the head

“Mann Up”

Written by DJ Enki on March 30, 2012

One from the hard-drive archives: This cut from 2008 was originally meant to be the follow up to “Kung Fu Kwaku,” but somewhere along the line, it got lost in the sauce, and I pretty much forgot about it, except that it occasionally pops up on my iPod. I also made this track in order to take on two technical challenges:

1. Simulate stereo sampling with the SP-1200
2. See if I could freak a bass line to make it do things the original record doesn’t do at all

It was kinda cool to figure those things out as I went along. Hell, I’m not even sure if I could do that bass line again–I’d have to go back to the Pro Tools session and see if I can figure out what I did.

Friday Flips #6: “Build and Destroy”

Written by DJ Enki on March 23, 2012

The song: “Build and Destroy’”
The producer: Kenny Parker
The science: For a crew with the word “productions” right there in its name, Boogie Down Productions doesn’t get talked about too much when we get to listing the best producers or the best beats or what have you. That’s understandable when the real driving force of BDP is arguable the greatest rapper of all time, KRS-One, but still, the beats on those BDP albums don’t get talked about too much (save Criminal Minded because of the whole Ced-Gee-jacking-Marley-Marl’s-reel-of-drum-sounds business), which is kind of a shame.
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Friday, March 16: The 45 Sessions f/ DJ Doc Fu

Written by DJ Enki on March 10, 2012

The 45 Sessions with DJ Doc Fu

If you’ve been sleeping on the best party in the East Bay, it’s time to wake up. What we have here is big things: The homie DJ Doc Fu coming through to bless us with a set. Doc’s a San Francisco legend — an institution, even. He’s been slaying crowds for years with his killer record crates and top-notch skills. We’re excited he’s finally able to come bless the 45 Sessions with a set, and you should be, too, because much like Poor Righteous Teachers, he’s gonna rock this funky joint.

Friday, March 16

Disco Volante (347 14th St., Oakland)
Doc Fu and DJ Enki spin funk, disco, hip-hop, rock, breaks, boogie, and all sorts of great tunes on nothing but 45s

Here’s the Facebook event page.