Since it’s still black history month which also encompasses J Dilla celebrations all over the world, we at Beat Swap Meet bring you 5 most slept on Jay Dee remixes. Jay Dee (1972-2006) aka James Dewitt Yancey aka J Dilla was a tremendously skilled and highly regarded artist known for his signature production style and rugged vocal flow. Dilla was known to place his magic touch on fellow artists recordings in the form of remixes.
Jay Dee was part of seminal Detroit, Michigan Hip Hop group Slum Village. His musical influence became quite evident as his reach and visibility started to grow steadily as his group gained prominence around the turn of the century. Dilla’s work with production super group the Ummah further spiked demand for that Dilla touch on artist tracks regardless of genre.
Jay Dee’s catalog is far too deep to attempt a “top 5” approach to this blog. There are plenty of well known Dilla joints that he hooked up for associated acts, so we bring you 5 most slept on Jay Dee remixes:

1. Busta Rhymes – Woo-hah (got you all in check). The original gets bumped on the regular. But this Dilla remix has that head nod shit that make you break your neck just as much as the original mix.

2. The Pharcyde – She Said. Again the original mix is dope, no question. The Jay Dee remix that accompanies a completely different video for “She Said” with Imani, Bootie Brown, Fat Lip, and Slim Kid3 wildin out in Amsterdam fits the mood of the visuals like a glove. Smoother than the Pharcyde’s game to all the Dutch girls.

3. Keith Murray – The Rhyme. That undeniable Jay Dee snare cutting through the mix like a Detroit steel katana backs up Mr. Murray as he keeps it “jiggy.” Is that a piece of Bob James Nautilus I hear in the hook?

4. Mary J. Blige – Ooh. Mary J just sounds so good on this Dilla beat. Smooth roughness as expected.

5. Jamiroquai – Black Capricorn Day. Can’t front, I slept hard on this like a brick futon. Would love an instrumental of this Dilla joint tho. Unofficially released on vinyl, this Slum Village/Jamiroquai 12″ record would be quite the find at Beat Swap Meet.

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xl

 

So it’s been a week since the release of the new album by XL Middleton and Eddy Funkster.  If you have not copped it yet you are seriously sleeping.  The homie XL was gracious enough to bless me with a copy.  MoFunk Records is killing the game right now in the modern funk scene.  They are starting to really develop their own signature sound and this album is no exception.  It’s a family affair because pretty much everybody on the label is on the album in one way or another.  The first track is appropriately titled “Mofunk Anthem.”  It features Moniquea and Diamond Ortiz.  If you have ever been to a MoFunk show you have definitely heard this song.  It is an anthem.  “Show Some Respect” is an electro funk slapper sure to raise elbows up at any place it is bumped.  Another great track is “California Fly.”  It’s an homage to classic 90’s g-funk shit in the LBC.  It even features 90’s rapper Domino.  Yes, that Domino.  Overall the album is solid.  If you enjoy electro funk with a 90’s g-funk twist and lowrider vibe you will enjoy it.  For more information about MoFunk Records and to purchase the album click here.

 

-DJ 671

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Some music fans gets tattoos of their favorite band.  Some name their kids after them.  Some stalk them.  To each their own right?   But some dude in Florida who is a fan of the German electronic pioneers Kraftwerk legally changed his name.  To Kraftwerk.  He even documented the whole thing on flickr.  So next time you hear somebody say they are the biggest Kraftwerk fan tell them about this guy: Kraftwerk.

 

Kraftwerk-ID

 

-DJ 671

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ocfunk

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Orange County loves their funk.  Serio.  If you cruise down the streets of Santa Ana chances are you will hear some boogie funk slappers bumping hard.  New labels like MoFunk Records, Voltaire Records, Omega Supreme, etc. are keeping the modern funk movement alive and well.  These labels have funk pioneer legends like Cameo, the Bar-Kays, Midnight Star, One Way, and Ozone to thank for paving the way.  If you are not familiar with these groups you definitely are familiar with their songs.  Cameo’s most famous are ‘Word Up” and “Candy”, Midnight Star told you not to park on the dance floor, and One Way’s “Cutie Pie” still gets the dance floor going.  If you live in Southern California you can see all these groups together at the Orange County Funk Fest at the Anaheim Convention Center, along with the “Stone City Band”, “Slap-Bak”, and DJ OmarGod.  Curious Entertainment is throwing the event.  Tickets were sold out, but as of this writing they have an additional 100 tickets for $40 each left.  If you love funk you definitely do not want to miss out. It all goes down Saturday, July 23rd.  Just remember no parking on the dance floor.

 

-DJ 671

 

 

 

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There probably isn’t one vinyl night, b-boy competition or backyard party in Southern California that hasn’t felt the influence of Technics Repair Guru Abel Sisneros.  Although being an accomplished and well known DJ and 45 collector, Abel has for the past 15 years been the go-to turntable repair person for those in the know.

Technics updated the SL-1200 in 1979 and gave the world the SL-1200mk 2.  The redesigned turntable simplified and tactile controls and high torque direct drive motor not only allowed quick starts and stops, but eventually led DJ’s to start using them like musical instruments.  From then until the present day, 36 long years later, Technics turntables have reigned supreme the world over for professional and amateur DJ’s alike and remained the only constant in the ever-evolving DJ booth.

But over time all things things breakdown. Switches wear, cords get pulled, beer gets spilled, decks change hands etc.

This is where a guy like Abel comes in, and why so many have relied on his expertise to keep the party going. Venues like the Echo, The Observatory , The House of Blues and Dublab have had him looking after their DJ booths, to make sure the music never stops.

9E5A2226

 

9E5A2273

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chances are pretty good that if you’ve ever done a DJ set in the LA or OC area, you most likely played a set on DJ Abel maintained set of SL-1200’s!   For more information about getting your decks repaired or to schedule an appointment you can contact Abel at: https://www.facebook.com/DjAbel

 

– Rob Free (Instagram)

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Stoner alert.  Have you tried syncing the Wizard of  Oz with Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon?  Of course you have.  Well now apparently you can add another movie to the list:  Star Wars: The Force Awakens.  According to an article on consequence of sound, “Apparently, three replays of Dark Side of the Moon in its entirety becomes the perfect soundtrack for Star Wars: The Force Awakens.  According to Reddit, pressing play as the film’s opening scroll ends and the camera pans to the spaceship starts a synchronization that almost lines up perfectly with each act in the movie.”   Click here for the entire article as well as more spoiler alerts.  Here’s a clip of the first 8 minutes synced below.  Blaze it up and enjoy.

 

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rjd2-crate-diggers-lead-alt

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Every time I travel with records I get stopped by the TSA.  Every time.  Some of the younger TSA agents have never seen records before so they have no idea what they are looking at in the x-ray scan.  Thank goodness for 45s because they make it mad easier to travel.  No DJ wants to check in their record bag if they don’t have to.  Too many variables.  I’ve heard heart breaking stories about records lost, damaged or stolen.  I have the same bag I use when I travel for records that is the perfect size and can fit under the seat.  Apparently RJD2 has the same routine when it comes to traveling records but went through some drama recently.  According to an article on Vice he was nearly kicked off his flight over an argument over his carry on bag with his records.  He was told his his bag was too big and he had to check it in.  He then went to twitter:

rjtweet

 

 

 

 

 

 

rj3

 

 

 

 

 

But in the end everything worked out.

 

rj4

 

 

 

 

 

 

The end.

 

-DJ 671

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Plenty of time to dig before the game. #PCC #pccfleamarket #recordswap #recordswapmeet #recordshow

A photo posted by Zoinks (@zoinksrecords) on

The Pasadena City College Flea Market hosts one of So Cal’s longest running and well stocked record swaps. Every first Sunday, in addition to roaming the flea market for clothes, toys, furniture, and more, you can explore the crates of over 50 vendors, selling vinyl and other used music mediums. PCC is an awesome place to get your collection started or possibly find that one gem you’ve been searching for, with numerous genres of music being sold, from punk to hip hop.

pccfleaTucked away on the east side of the city of Pasadena, the PCC Record Swap was originally a record club held at the Capitol Records building in the 1970’s. Once the city found out about it and wanted to require licenses for all the vendors, the promoters moved the show to Pasadena City College, where it’s built a following over the years.

Robert of Zoinks Records in Pomona sells at PCC every Month. “I like the fact that people that didn’t go to shop for records often end up shopping at our space.” Armand Lewis, a jazz record dealer for over 25 years at PCC, had the same sentiment. “…young, old, you name it, they’ve shown up there. I’ve made lot of friends as well as learned a lot about music, the music business and business itself. You can’t ask for a better way to spend your day.”

The PCC Flea Market Record Swap returns Sunday, April 3rd, and every First Sunday of the Month.  Check out this great video blog on the PCC record swap: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HsYRieQMZyo

-Frank Foreal

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Rock & Roll Flea Market - Room

 

For a little over a year now, you can stop by The Regent Theater in Downtown LA (a recently renovated space on main street, bordering the bank & toy districts) on 1st Sundays of the month, and find some amazing collectible items to further up your décor level at home, music on your turntable, or threads on your back.

It’s the Rock ‘N’ Roll Flea Market, and it boasts anything from vinyl records in various genres to musical instruments (still thinking of taking up guitar?). You can also find vintage clothing and jewelry to round out your shopping for the weekend. Not in the shopping mood? RNR Flea has 2 full bars, DJ’s spinning all day, and even a really fun “boozy brunch bingo,” where you can eat and drink while battling it out for some concert ticket prizes (I won tix to see Nightmares on Wax back in October, so clearly anyone can win)!

Mike Andrews, one of the organizers of the RNR Flea Market (and co-owner of the gift & design shop, Inheritance) said “We have had vendors selling weed smoking dinosaur coloring books and articulated brass bird skulls,” when asked what were a few bizarre items he’s seen for sale, so if you’re looking for unique items to add to your collection, this is a great spot for that. Some vendors include Bunny and Wolf out of Long Beach, who sell vintage clothing, LA LA Land Prints, who specialize in concert posters, Cowpunk Leather, and more.

The next Rock ‘N’ Roll Flea Market takes place on Sunday, April 3rd at The Regent Theater in Downtown LA. More info is available at their website: www.rnrflea.com

-Frank Foreal

Rock N Roll Flea Market - flyer

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pdawg

 

A lot of musicians have died this year, but when news broke out that Phife from A Tribe Called Quest passed away it really hit hip hop fans hard, and music lovers from around the world.  Although he was only 45 he lived an incredible life and truly changed the world.  Tribe is the GREATEST hip hop group of all time.  PERIOD.  End of discussion.  Although details have not been released it is well known of his battle with diabetes.  Any hip hop head has had heated debates about whether Q-Tip or Phife was their favorite in the group.  Mine personally was the latter.  His voice, lyrics and delivery were unique and just plain dope.  Everybody has their favorite line from the five footer, Malik the 5′ freak.  His verses on “Bugging Out” and “Scenario” are one of the illest verses of all time.  He will truly be missed.  Rest in power Malik Taylor.  Our deepest condolences to his friends and family.

 

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dave

 

Non satire alert. Yes, you read that correctly.  According to an article on nbc news.com, “Police in the town of Charlton have warned locals to watch out for “suspicious” men challenging residents to rap battles.”  Oh the humanity!  Are they Isis?  The article further states that a, “Group of men in a black SUV confronted three young teens on Saturday afternoon. One of the men got out of the car and started rapping while the other occupants of the vehicle started asking the boys if they wanted to “spit some bars,” according to the Charlton Police Facebook page.”  The boys turned them down and the men drove away.  The teens then told their parents about the frightening hip hop experience and then the parents informed the police.  The police literally described the encounter as suspicious and frightening, but ruled out any foul play or abduction plans.  Glad to see the police focusing on important issues like spitting hot fire.  Maybe next time the fire department will be called..

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When it comes to MCs Nas is definitely one of the illest of all time.  Period.   The fact that he was 20 when his debut album “Illmatic” came out and the story it told was amazing.  Production by Large Professor, Pete Rock, Q-Tip, Premier, etc. also did not hurt.  Ever wonder who Nas’ favorite rappers were growing up and helped to influence him?  Well now thanks to an interview he did recently with DJ Khaled for We the Best Radio we now know.  Of course it’s all dope and Nas does not disappoint.  His love of hip extends from the west coast, east coast, and south.  Here’s the list below.

 

publicenemy

 

rakimericb

 

bdp

 

llcoolj

 

koolg

 

kane

 

icecube

 

slickrick

 

scarface

 

tribe

 

So there you have it.  Nas truly is a hop hop fan first and foremost.  Click here to check out the entire interview on youtube.

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INSTANT VINTAGE: AN INTERVIEW WITH ANGEL CITY RECORDS FOUNDERS

INSTANT VINTAGE:  AN INTERVIEW WITH ANGEL CITY RECORDS FOUNDERS

by DJ Dirty Soap

 

The first time I dropped a needle on the Angel City Records release, “What’s it Gonna Be” by Xiantoni Ari, I found myself staring at the tiny 45 rpm record in utter disbelief.  Was this really a brand new song?  Or was it yet another one of those lost tracks from the 1960’s that was recently resurrected from Berry Gordy’s basement?  As Angel City Records founders Mark Morales and Wally Caro would describe it, this is “The Now Sound of LA”- vintage soul, reggae, and ska music brought to you with live instruments and vocalists.  It is a sound that has vast potential for growth, especially with the increasing popularity or northern soul music within the DJ community.  Recently I sat down with Mark and Wally to discuss the birth of their new label and its roots in the City of Angels.

 

DDS: How did Angel City Records get its start?

 

Mark: Angel City Records as a label is about a year old now, but it actually started with the “Angel City Soul Club” which was a party I created in LA about ten years ago.  It was all soul music, all vinyl, and all original pressings.  That was a big thing for us from the beginning, being authentic- it’s a principal that we try to keep consistent with the label today as well.

 

Wally:  When Mark and I started working together we were promoting live shows.  It was a combination of vintage ska and reggae acts along with American soul artists from the sixties- big Motown names like The Marvalettes and Brenda Holloway.  The first time we worked together, Mark was working on a soul night featuring northern soul icon, Gwen Owens.  I was the band leader behind the backing band.  We lost touch for a bit after that show, but reconnected a few years later and became good friends.

 

DDS: You describe Angel City Records as the “Now Sound” even though you are mostly producing classic soul and reggae.  Care to elaborate on what that means?

 

Mark: Sure, we’re not trying to be total purists with the 1960’s and 1950’s soul and ska stuff, we’re trying to give it our own sound. A sound that not only a purist can hear and think, “Hey that’s pretty good,” but a sound that someone that listens to contemporary pop music can appreciate as well.  If we do a cover, it’s not just a straight cover, it’s the labels spin on it. Something that we haven’t been seeing a lot from other labels is an emphasis on the development of artists.  We don’t just find an established band and say, “let’s sell some of your records.”  We work to build artists and bands from the ground up. We work with their image, song selection, their stage presence, clothing, vocal styling…and just about every angle of their career.  It’s really about creating a sound and look with class. We really try to capture our sound from Los Angeles.  We love where we’re from and we love the history.  At the end of the day we are a label representing LA and we take a lot of pride in that.

 

Wally:  We feel that within our scene there are great artists, great bands, and great DJ’s, there’s really nothing like the LA scene,  but what we wanted to do is give people a show when they come see us.  If you’re going to an Angel City show you’re going to walk in and say, I paid for an event.   We’ve brought in a full string section.  We brought in Nolen Pointer, another northern soul artist, as just the emcee.  We try to give people a real show, and we’ve kind of gotten away from that as musicians and as a music scene sometimes.  We want people to be excited about what they are seeing.  It’s about creating an experience, a production.  We’re really working hard toward keeping the bar up musically and just trying to bring that coolness back.

 

DDS: I’ve noticed that as a label, Angel City Records also places a strong emphasis on producing vinyl.  Why is vinyl so important to you as a label?

 

Mark: We are big vinyl guys.  CD’s sound great and Mp3’s sound great, but the sound of vinyl is unmatched.  There’s just a feeling about putting an actual record on.

 

Wally: It’s almost like music has grown so much with digital formatting, maybe to the point that we’ve lost a sense of what music really is.  But there’s always been something about vinyl, almost like you’re getting back to music in its essence.  I’m third or fourth generation here in Los Angeles, and records have always been a big part of my life growing up.  My dad would talk about growing up and things that he would do, you know cruising Whittier Boulevard or playing records on his old turntable with springs on it.  So even though all of my dad’s records are completely beat up now, holding a record still feels like holding a piece of that history for me.  I can’t really explain it, but listening to vinyl feels the best to me, like eating a good meal with fresh ingredients.

 

DDS: Mark, as a DJ that has been involved in the scene for decades, what are your thoughts on the digital transition of music and DJing today?

 

Mark: You know, maybe five years ago I would have probably said “F that.”  Now I realize that when you go to a club and you hear someone playing the music you like that’s really what matters.  I myself am still a purist though.  I like playing 45s and original press records, but in general it’s all about playing good music.  Twenty years ago, my friend George and I were a few of the only guys doing this with the vintage soul and Jamaican stuff.  Truth be told, we were total snobs back then.  You start seeing a billion DJs and different parties popping up and it definitely changes the scene.  About a year ago, I distinctly remember hearing someone play “African Queen,” which is a rare ska record by Ronald Wilson that I spent about a thousand dollars for some time back. I remember thinking to myself, there’s no way that this guy has that original record, and sure enough he didn’t.  So early on it bothered me, because you spend a lot of time and money collecting, but on the other hand with all the represses it makes it easy for a DJ to spin a record that ten years ago no one even knew existed.  At the end of the day, getting to hear the music through a nice sound system is what matters.  That’s precisely why we started doing clubs in the first place. To hear our music loud and get people to dance with one another as opposed to dancing to a band.

 

Wally: When we were younger, we would dig and we would find stuff and that was really the beauty of it.  Whether it was records, clothes or shoes, it was great locating a rare record or Fred Perry jumper for practically nothing.  But today you can do a Google search and find pretty much anything you want.  A lot of kids today don’t get the feeling of just going to a random store and being able to say, “ Oh shit, I found it!”  That can be a much more rewarding feeling.

 

DDS: One of my favorite releases by Angel City Records is the 45 you put out by Xiantoni Ari.  Tell me a little more about working with her.

 

Wally: Xiantoni is the daughter of Gwen Owens, whom I mentioned earlier.  She was a sixties soul singer that has some big hits amongst the northern soul crowd (she was also a member of the 70’s disco group “Hot”).  We ended up booking her again for the Roy Ellis show at the Echo we threw a couple years back.  Gwen would always bring her kids on board for the backing vocals when she performs, so that’s how we were introduced to both Xiantoni and Xavier.  When we were thinking about starting a label we knew we had to get Xiantoni to be one of our focuses.  The first single we released for her was “Just Say You’re Wanted and Needed,” which is actually a cover of one of her mother’s tracks (the original 7” on Velgo just sold for about $5000 on Ebay).  The A side of that record is a song that myself and Betsy Villa-Senor wrote together.  It started as a Rocksteady song for a band I was in prior, but nothing ever came of it.  We thought it would be perfect for Xiantoni’s vocals, so we just went with it and had her lay it down.

 

DDS:  How did you get connected with all of these obscure Jamaican ska and reggae artists?

 

Mark: The contacts came while I started collecting records.  I had gotten a hold of a few people that knew these guys.  I was able to get a hold of guys like Ken Boothe, Alton Ellis, and Roy Panton early in the game.  I was trying to locate records and I would keep these guys phone numbers handy.  It was as simple as me asking around to see if certain people were still around. When I’d go to England on record buying trips I’d be introduced to one guy who knew another guy and so on.  It’s really cool to meet and talk to these golden age artists.

 

Wally: When we would have these artists come out, we always wanted to make sure that they were treated well.  As a musician I know what it feels like to be treated poorly.  As promoters, we started to develop a reputation for treating the artists in a manner where they felt respected.  So what ended up happening was a lot of these musicians would start giving our number to other groups and singers that they were connected with.  We’d have guys like Boris Gardner, Bob Andy, the late Lloyd Charmers giving us calls.  Our name started to carry some weight with these older Jamaican guys.

 

DDS: And most of these artists are coming from Jamaica?

 

Mark: Well all over the world actually.  When we did a reunion show of the Sound Dimension for example, Studio One’s house band of the late 60’s, these guys were literally scattered all over.  Two were in Jamaica, one was in Canada, Miami, France, the East Coast, and up North.  It was hard work but these shows were magical.  It was stuff that LA had never seen and quite frankly never been witnessed by most around the world other than people who saw them in their heyday.  This group had really been non-existent for the last forty-five years.

 

Wally: When we brought The Gaylads out, it was their first show since the 1960’s in Jamaica.   Since then, they’ve been doing festivals in Europe and other places around the world.  They also have an upcoming show in New York.  They’ve released new music, and have even collaborated with contemporary R&B artists.  We feel good about having a hand in revitalizing their careers.  The same kind of story goes with Roy Panton, Yvonne Harrison and the Tennors.  It’s just great to know that these folks are doing music again, especially since so many of these great Jamaican artists have been neglected for so long.

 

DDS: So what can we expect from ACR in 2014 and moving forward?

 

Wally: We planted this seed last year and we weren’t sure what to expect.  We knew that we were getting the name out, and we knew people were interested.  Right now we have product in at least twelve different countries, which we’re happy about for a small brand new label like us.  Although the numbers might not be where we want, we know that our name is getting out there.  This year we’re starting to see some real growth with loads of interest overseas.

 

Mark: We have a tour coming up this May where we will be hitting various spots along the west coast. We also have a ton of releases coming up on vinyl.  There is lots of new music coming from Xiantoni.  We have a 10” EP coming from Jackie Mendez and some releases from veteran reggae artists, The Tennors and Keith & Tex.  We’ve got an album coming from our house band Thee Hurricanes and some other stuff we’re keeping under wraps for now.  You can pretty much expect new releases from all of the artists on Angel City Records this year, so it is an exciting and busy time for us. Right now we’re just grateful that everything seems to be moving in the right direction for us.

 

 angelcity2

 

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  1. wow. all I can say is Christian McKay. Explosive acting, where it comes to divrleeing a strong character both acting and control of the audience. Was surprised when friends who I went with to see this, say that he hasn’t starred in anything else yet, so one to watch. BW – yes, can understand your thoughts, this one has no special FX for the need of a huge screen, so if youre lacking time, able to still get the pros from a dvd when it comes out. Other friends knew more about Orson Wells life story before I walked in, but you needn’t to to be able to still enjoy this film.

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