Review: Here it is, another Strictly Breaks jam! As usual we've got both a great index of classic breaks sampled by many a DJ and a great, varied compilation of simply great tunes. There are 25 of them to choose from with some of the many, many highlights including bonkers German romp "Wenn Die Sonne Scheint" by Bernd Wefelmeyer Orch, the funky drummer-riddled "I Lost Me A Friend" by Glitter House and the sweet Philly soul of "Give Me Your Love" by Rae & Toomey McDonald.
Review: Once again the compilation master, Strictly Breaks, is back with another collection of often-sampled tunes, providing both delight for sample-spotters and fans of eclectic collections alike. Here Strictly Breaks Vol 7 features a wide range of thoroughly enjoyable tunes - from the camp musical shenanigans of 'Hard Knock Life" from Annie to Ramon Harris' cool jazz joint "Don't Ask Me" via Steve Arrington's sleazy funk jam "Weak At The Knees" and Diana Ross' bonkers orchestrated meltdown "My Hero Is A Gun" (yes it's really called that).
Review: Original sample material: the second volume in the Beastie Collection is just as educational and explorative as the inaugural set. Originally released in 2006, here it is again in all its digital 30-track glory. Ranging from Ted Nugent's guitar-slaying "Homebound" (sampled on "The Biz vs The Nuge") to Afrique's synth squidging Bill Withers cover "Kissing My Life" (sampled on "Bodhisattva Vow") via the instantly distinctive flutes on Jeremy Steig's "Howling For Judy" (sampled on "Sure Shot"), this acts as several musical lessons: how sampling really is a fine, fine art, how classics have helped artist pave the future and, most importantly, how flipping great The Beastie Boys are! Really, this is one for everyone's collection.
The Beginning Of The End - "Monkey Tamarind" - (3:36) 120 BPM
Freedom Express - "Get Down" - (3:01) 108 BPM
Rheta Huges - "You're Doing It With Her" - (3:07) 99 BPM
Luis Santi Y Su Conjuto - "Los Feligreses" - (3:59) 112 BPM
Review: Sometimes certain compilations need a bit of breathing space between their instalments. This is very much the case with Strictly Breaks' rare soul and funk series, which only sees a new volume appear every now and then. This fourth foray into the far reaches of funk uncovers a host of new gems including Aron Collins' raunchy "You Hit The Spot", the gritty and fierce Blaxploitation funk of "Black Morning" by Ellerine Harding and the drum sample heaven of Silver, Platinum, Gold's chrome-plated disco classic "Comin Up".
Review: Compilation heavyweights Strictly Breaks are back with more uncovered gems, this time for the third instalment in the series that sources breaks sampled by daisy age hip-hoppers De La Soul. As ever these collections prove that beyond the sample spotting we simply get some great old skool tracks including The Commodores' slightly hippyish groover "Girl I Think The World About You", the Austin Powers-esque swinging 60s jam "The Bottle" by Duke Pearson and the spacey analogue synth dream "After The Dance (instrumental)" by Leon Wear.
Review: Often, a lot of questionable feats and skills are retrospectively foisted upon music legends by the nerdier music fans amongst us. Classic DJs like Ron Hardy are regularly claimed to have seamlessly mixed the one copy of the same record for five hours with his toenail, whilst stood upside down and blindfolded in the booth. The sleeves of "School Yard Breaks" do nothing to change this, but for the most part we'll never really know what is truth and what is myth. However we do know what they played and here are another 25 b-boy breaks to play 'air mix toe' to.
Review: It's been ages since the last installment of Strictly Breaks' series that aims to rescue from obscurity rare instrumental versions and mixes of underground soul and funk gems. Now though, we've finally got "Soul Treats Vol 3" and again we get another 15 inspired tracks. Highlights this time round include the hypnotic "Soul Heaven", the sizzling b-boy breaks of The Jackson 5's "Its Great To Be Here", the evergreen magic of Isaac Hayes's take on "The Look Of Love" and forever famous bassline of The Ohio Players "Fire".
Review: Deeply dug freshness from the Dusty Fingers crew, School Yard Breaks Volume 8 is another masterclass in super-fine-tuned source material searching. Big swinging drums, fuzzy organs, heaving horns, clam-tight guitars and yet more big swinging drums, whether you're a sample fiend, an eclectic DJ or just love the music from THE most important era in modern music, this is essential. Highlights across the 25 tracks can be found on every corner but stand outs have to be the subversive covers such as The Bully Boys' take on Harry Nilsson's "Everybody's Talkin'" and The First Impressions lo-fi, garage-rock style twist on "SGT Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band". Recess over... Back to class.
Review: Here's the latest in the series of double albums that round up rare original B-Boy breaks, the kind that found greater fame as samples much later. As ever, selections largely hail from the 70s soul and funk worlds and include the lazy boogie stomp of "Checkin Out Your Love", the groovy percussive freak-out of "Drummer Man" and the crazy Moog-fest of "Tryin To Get Over".
Review: More vintage sampled classics from the crew who do it best, Strictly Breaks. This time round they're concentrating on obscure '70s soul joints that all ended up being sampled left, right and centre. As always these albums work simply as solid collections of good songs too, highlights including the Otis Redding-style Southern RnB jam of "I Tried It And I Liked It", the brassy cop show swagger of "Butter Nut" and the amazingly-titled "Fondle Rock".
Review: Consider Strictly Breaks and Notorious B.I.G. partners in crime: the former being the chief compiler of original tunes sampled by classic hip-hop artists and the latter being the late hip-hop hero known for his impeccable taste in sampling. Here we get a whopping 36-track collection of vintage joints later to be employed on many Biggie classics. Highlights include Fred Wesley's tight, groover, "Up 4 The Downstroke", Grover Washington Jr's twang-bass attack "Hydra" and Herb Alpert's legendary jazz disco slinker, "Rise".
Review: The Strictly Rhythm vaults are seemingly bottomless and here they've managed to source even more classic forgotten soul gems. This seventh installment of their Soul Treats Super Soul Hits series boasts an impressive 25 tracks. Highlights this time include David Matthews raw funk rocker "Put Your Thing On Me", the quirky bongos and xylophone joint "Lights" by Lennie Hibbert and the staccato strut of clavinet freakout "Breakdown" by Sir Edward Marks.
Isley Brothers - "Ballad For The Fallen" - (3:09) 82 BPM
Glen Frey - "You Belong To The City" - (2:39) 109 BPM
Jones Girls - "You Gonna Make Me" - (8:05) 107 BPM
Bohannon - "Save Their Souls" - (2:55) 85 BPM
Kraftwerk - "Hall Of Mirrors" - (3:01) 95 BPM
Ohio Players - "Pride & Vanity" - (2:55) 86 BPM
Wet Willie - "Beggar Song" - (3:17) 89 BPM
Lionel Bart - "Anything" - (1:25) 109 BPM
Review: Last Christmas Strictly Breaks treated us to the killer first instalment of this compilation series, and this year, it seems, Christmas has come early. There are many things you can say about Jay Z, none is truer than the fact that when it comes to samples, the man has serious taste. These albums simply add up to great genre-spanning history lessons, and here we get essential electro gems by Zapp and Kraftwerk, vintage Egyptian crooning (Abdel Halim Hafez), sultry funk (Commodores) and even the British musicals of Lionel Bart!
Review: On this compilation, Strictly Breaks aim to provide 'crazy' instrumental versions and rare mixes of some vintage soul and funk gems. They do that and then some over the course of 15 tracks, highlights of which include the gorgeous melancholia of The Emotions, the low down and dirty funk of Beat Mann's tough rework of Wilson Picket, the string laden joy of early Jacksons and some real car chase in a 70s cop movie vibes from Marvin Gaye. Damn funky!