Monday, June 11, 2007

The Instrumental Album That Time Forgot AKA It Ain’t On Discogs Either!

Yet another instrumental release that isn’t on Discogs that I tried adding to no avail is this 1995 Freeze Records release called Beatmasters-Unreleased. For any of you oldheads out there familiar with Freeze Records releases you already know what the deal is with that label (it used to be Fresh/Sleeping Bag). The other thing is that there were about 20 projects put out by this label called “Unreleased” as well. This one features beats by the legendary Todd Terry (the black dude), Rude Rydims Experiment (featuring a young DJ Spinna and his old production partner Nkansa), DBX, DJ Shazam X, and the master himself, Kenny “Dope” Gonzalez (rockin' the green and the beat machine above). Oddly enough, this project isn't listed under Kenny Dope or Todd Terry (credited as Tee Dawg) is, however, the very first credit on DJ Spinna's (above at the bottom).

Kenny Dope, Little Louie Vega and Todd Terry are the head of a world famous beatmaking collective called Masters At Work (Dope and Vega are below) that have been killin’ the beat game since 1990. They’ve conquered the genres of House (back when it was actually good between 1988-1990), Soul/R&B, Latin Jazz, & Hip Hop and have so many credits between themselves it’s they’re all ill DJ’s. Back in the early 90’s, instrumental/breakbeat albums would drop from Simon Harris, Nubian Crackers, DJ Mark The 45 King, Todd Terry (remember “Royal House” anyone (above)?), and Kenny Dope . The DJ’s (both professional and bedroom) would run out and cop ‘em to use them in mixes or to make demos. The average fan would cop ‘em and rock the tapes in their walkmans or cars like it was their own personal “hero theme music” or some shit.

It was nothing to see a dude riding around town blasting DJ Mark The 45 King’s The Lost Breakbeats or a Kenny Dope project in his whip while gettin' his head nod on(God bless Tuff City and Freeze Records).

I found this particular CD two Saturdays ago at the bottom of an old crate in the back of my closet that contained old CD’s that my brother used to sample off of back when he used to make beats on an old Ensoniq EPS 16 Plus....Ahh, memories. We used to rock this joint to death, too. Enjoy it.

Beatmasters-Unreleased (1995)



lyntonbb said...

You are killing me Dart!!
I never knew they released all the "Unreleased" 12 inches as an LP. Damn!
These tracks were super coveted on wax because we all thought they were so rare. It turns out this wasn't the case; a friend was telling me he saw crates of Kenny Dope's Unreleased Project - The one with "Get On Down" on it - when he was over in Japan digging for vinyl.
Still back then all these tracks were club gold. You'd get heads to nod and asses to move 100% sure with these.
It was a rare time - Kenny Dope's "Get On Down" ripped that Tribe sample from "Lyrics to Go" and at the same time Masters At Work did a track which flipped the same sample over a vocal house track. Indie NY house music labels like Rey-D, Nite Beat and Music Station kept releasing hip hop instrumentals and club bangers. House head Armand Van Helden got AV8 up and running and totally took over the blend/mashup thang. A fine time was had for sure.

I gotta give some honorable mentions here:

Masters At Work for "Blood Vibes" and "Just a lil Dope". These tracks used to work into The Chemical Brothers' sets in their early years and can still rock a crowd today.

Todd Terry aka Bootman for "To The Hip". This nabbed the intro from the Beastie Boys' "Get It Together" and stole the show. Dunno how many of these were made - seemed rare at the time - but may be another bulk "unreleased project". :) Once again, this still slams.

Kenny Dope's "Boomin in Ya Jeep" and "Don Dada" were the tracks to blast in ya car.

Anyway Dart, thanks for getting me reminiscing. Much love to the Freeze fam and everyone else from that era that shook more than a few parties to the ground.

Dart Adams said...

I used to rock those old breakbeat tapes, vinyl and CD's to death! "Gunshot", "Boomin In Ya Jeep", and "Don Dada" were some of he hottest joints of the 90's...and only "Boomin' In Ya Jeep" had a video. Good lookin' out on the reply, Lynton. One.

alley al said...

i can't believe i missed this part of this post about masters @ work etc..
it's nice to know someone else from another part of the country in the hip hop blog world also remembers all these joints that were considered house music, but definitely had strong ties to hip hop.
i got a todd terry cd somewhere with the batmobile song & the weekend. it's like 9-11 tracks, but i remember just really wishing back then that they should all release cds, not just vinyl. i used to beg my boy to make me royal house tapes.

remember DUM DUM CRY? what was the other one that sounded just like it, but i had to have it cuz it was 2 different songs!!?