Tuesday, December 29, 2009


I'm Dj'ing at the Roy Ayers gig @ The Jazz Cafe, Camden, London tonight (30th January 2009) and whilst most people know me as a Hip Hop Dj there's a whole load of other music I like to collect, listen to and play out.

During the Christmas period I was enjoying a bit of quality daydreaming (like you do when you're most chilled), thinking about how I first discovered Roy Ayers and his music and how the love for his music developed.

Yes I know everyone's gonna have their favorite Roy Ayers LP or song, but this is my own personal, journey discovering the legendary sound of Roy Ayers.

For the most part discovering Roy has been during a period when there was no internet to tell you his whole Discography, I didn't even have the luxuary of a big network of music friends that I have now. In those days it was just me and Matt Smooth (who I went to school with and is DJ'ing the gig the night before) discovering records, tapes and radio shows from a handful of like minded funksters.

The 80's

I discovered Roy Ayers not during the cooler fusion sound of the 70's (Come on!!! I was too young) but in the era of the electronic synthesizer, during the mid-eighties (The period when I first started buying vinyl from places like Bluebird Records in Luton)

At the time I was a big fan of Martin Collins's soulful Chiltern Radio show and Robbie Vincent's Sunday 'Soul Show' show which I used to tape passionately every week. So I think the first song I heard by Roy was Fast Money (1983). The only problem was it was on a school tape and I wasn't sure who all the artists were ?!!? So more of that later.

So fast forward to 1985 and I probably made my first official note of Roy and his music listening to the LP You Might be Surprised.

In those days not all shops stocked this type of vinyl so after making a note of some of my favorite music I often made what I thought were exciting trips on the bus to Luton!!..... to Bluebird Records where Gary and Tim (who later went on to run Soulsense) would serve up and play the best black music being released from that era. These were great times, always a good place to visit and it was my first experience of 'hanging out' and learning about music in record shops. Something that has been a big part of my life ever since.

As an 18 year old and before I had discovered much of Roy Ayers, I remember being impressed with the fact he could not only sing (his silky voice was unique), but he also played the vibraphone.

I have to admit I didn't immediately see someone who played the vibraphone as cool, but he certainly changed my preconceived ideas!

Stand out tracks on this LP were the spoken word and computer inspired Programmed for Love

And the song 'Slip and Slide'

It's interesting to note that at this point in the 80's when home computers like the Spectrum, BBC and Commodore 64 were being bought by parents for their eager kids, that there were quite a few songs like Programmed for Love which had references to computers on them. The Zapp band's vocoder led Computer Love also springs to mind.

So that was the first LP I bought, but, going back to my first experience (above), the first Roy Ayers 12" I bought was probably Fast Money (On Ichiban, originally a Hip Hop label from Georgia US, which also and had the excellent Black Family on the B side ). Fast Money was originally on Roy's Lots of Love LP from 1983. I absolutely love this track and it could well be one of my favorite Roy Ayers tracks.

The track has such a great synth bassline which still inspires me today, it was made to dance to! So I reckon I bought this in the late 80's from David's Music in Letchworth, Herts via Mail Order, after I had discovered the name of the track on the tape I had made 4 or 5 years earlier!! Sometimes music that you love is revealed to you later than you wish, but at least I eventually found out.

B-Side to my first 12" - Black Family - which uses a sample from Fela Kuti's I.T.T.

Continuing to listen to the radio and wanting to support Roy's next LP, in 1987 I bought I'm the One (For your Love Tonight). Not particularly Roy's best LP but there was still one song I had on repeat when I bought it, which was the dreamy Blue Summer. (Unfortunately I couldn't find a decent Youtube link?!!?)

In the same year Roy also appeared on another track that was getting a lot of air play Miles Jaye - Lets Start Love Over

This was another song and LP that got repeated on my Mum and Dad's home stereo and I loved Roy's vibraphone solo 3 minutes into the song!!


Re-issues,'Rare Groove' and the Resurgence of Blaxploitation

Towards the late 80's early 90's there was a massive resurgence in old funk, soul and jazz songs, perhaps more popularly known then as Rare Groove and all of a sudden labels like Urban emerged and Roy Ayers fans were able to experience more classic Roy Ayers tunes (known in the 70's as Roy Ayers Ubiquity) on vinyl.

The first LP to be released on the Urban re-issue label was Roy Ayers most well known song and same titled LP Everybody Loves the Sunshine An absolute classic LP of music!! A memorable yellow cover and song that would be sampled, played, listened to and loved for years to come.

Urban also released Roy's funky dance floor number Brother Green on the Urban 2 compilation in 1987, in those days I used to buy these albums from shops such as Our Price Records where you could buy things like Hip Hop 7"s, Paul Winley's Super Disco Breaks and Cut out and Deletions with the corner of the cover cut off in a triangle. Unfortunately Our Price, like so many record shops, are now non existent. :(

Urban continued to release Roy Ayers songs and I picked up 7"s of Can't you see Me and Love will Bring Us Back Together.

During the 90's there was also a big resurgence in Blaxploitation movies. Films aimed at the black market. They were not only action packed and entertaining, the music was often very soulful and funky and was the main reason I enjoyed the films. One such film was Coffy which soundtrack was composed by none other than Roy Ayers!!

With the popularity of the Rare Groove movement and the Blaxploitation resurgence many of Roy's LP's were re-released on both CD and Vinyl, Firstly in the 90's and even more recently in the Noughties!

Two more LP's purchased and should be mentioned are:-

He's Coming (Polydor, 1972) including He's a Superstar and We Live in Brooklyn.

and Virgo Red (Polydor, 1973) including the amazing Love from the Sun. A track in my Top 3 Roy Ayers tunes!


Discovering Roy Ayers Originals in the 90's - Record Collecting in the UK.

In the early 90's I lived in South London, on the edge of Blackheath, (opposite Glen Tilbrook from Squeeze) and I used to make journeys to a number of sources for records.

One was Cavern Records in Lewisham shopping centre - a place where I first met the rapper Blade on numerous occasions. Another was Greenwich market - a perfect place to pick up old 70's LP's and rare Hip Hop 12"s and lastly there was Collections (pictured here) I can't remember the bloke who ran it but I always remember his long leather coat and long hair. Nice guy, who had a turntable so you could listen to the music too.

It was at Collections that I bought 2 more original Roy Ayers LP's

Red, Black and Green (Polydor, 1973)

Favourite tracks on the LP were Ain't No Sunshine and Papa was a Rolling Stone, although the most well known is probably the title track.


Being into Hip Hop these LP's were also of interest to me for being the original sources for Hip Hop artists to sample. So songs like Red, Black and Green took me all the way to the X-Clan who sampled the song for Raise the Flag on the excellent political To the East Blackwards LP

The other LP I bought from Collections was A Tear to a Smile (Polydor, 1975).

Listen Here"-


After starting to think I knew a lot about Roy Ayers I discovered the Silver Vibrations LP (Uno Melodic Records, 1983) at my favourite Hertfordshire spot for old vinyl, David's Music. I didn't know anything about this LP when I bought it in David's Music. But it contains one of my all time favourite Roy Ayers songs Chicago.

Around the same time I also picked up a 12" of Running Away @ Davids Music which also appears on the Lifeline (Polydor, 1977) LP that I also own I reckon is probably my most played Roy Ayers track as it always gets a people moving and shaking on the dance floor.

Sometimes I'd discover Roy Ayers on other songs, one example is the Ladies of the 80's 12" I bought featuring Turned Onto You. on (Streetwave) I was pleasantly surprised to see not only that Sylvia Striplin was the main vocalist but also Roy was the writer and producer on the whole LP which also included the excellent B-side of my single, I Knew that Love, a song I love almost as much as Turned Onto You.

Monday, December 28, 2009


Record Hunting - finding Roy originals abroad.

I've been lucky enough to go record collecting in the US, Canada and Europe too. In 1993 I went to Vancouver for a month and stayed for much of my time with Lisa Auger, who now coincidently manages the Jazz Cafe. During my time there I was enjoying record collection at local record fairs in Vancouver, walking along Hastings visiting Chinese Second Hand shops and taking longer trips in the car to Seattle to buy more Jazz, Funk, Latin and Soul records. In fact I spent most of my time in Vancouver record collecting.

It was in Vancouver that I managed to find a copy of Mystic Voyage (Polydor, 1975). This LP is probably one of Roy's finest and contained tracks such as the previously mentioned Brother Green and the very funky Life is just a moment Part 2.

But I remember this LP most of all because Lisa loved Take all the Time You need

Interestingly this track was originally written and performed by Ashford and Simpson on their 1974 LP "I Wanna be Selfish" which I only recently found in a second hand shop for $1 in Stowe in Vermont on the Eastern side of the USA.

Click the photo (below) to go on my Facebook page for more info.


As well as finding out that Mr Ayers had re-invented older versions of songs I also discovered he appeared on other artists Albums, namely Herbie Mann.

I picked this LP up in Seattle on my Vancouver trip in 1993.

Herbie Mann - Live At the Whiskey A Go Go

And I picked this LP up on my last crate digging session along the West Coast of America in 2008, it also features the vibraphone skills of Roy Ayers.

Herbie Mann - Windows Opened

Click the Pic to go to my Facebook page to read a little more about my trip.


It's so exciting when an MC comes along who creates a buzz with their creative words and flow, Jay Electronica is definitely someone like this.




When I was sleeping on the train
Sleeping on Meserole Ave out in the rain
Without even a single slice of pizza to my name
Too proud to beg for change mastering the pain
When NY niggas was calling southern rappers lame
But then jackin our slang
I used to get dizzy spells, hear a little ring
The voice of a angel telling me my name
Telling me that one day imma be a great man
Transforming with the MegatronDon spittin out flames
Eatin wack rappers alive shittin out chains
I aint believe it then, nigga I was homeless
Fightin, shootin dice, smoking weed on the corners
Tryna find the meaning of life in a corona
Till the 5%ers rolled up on a nigga and informed him.
"You either build or destroy, where you come from?"
"The Magnolia projects in the 3rd ward slum"
"Hmm, its quite amazing that you rhyme how you do
And how you shine like you grew up in a shrine in Peru."
Question 14, Muslim lesson 2
Dip diver, civilize a 85er
I make the devil hit his knees and say the our father
Abracadabra! You rockin with the true and living
Shout out to Light Out, Joseph I, Chewy Bivens,
Shout out to Baltimore, Baton Rouge, my crew in Richmond
While yall debated whos the truth like Jews and Christians
I was in Cecil B, Broad St, Master, North Philly, South Philly, 23rd, Tasker
6 Mile, 7 Mile, Hartwell, Gratiot
Where niggas really would pack a uhaul truck up
Put the high beams on
Drive up on the curb at a barbeque and hop out the back like "whats up"
"Kill a nigga, rob a nigga, take a nigga, buss up"
Thats why when you talk that tough talk I never feel ya
You sound real good and you play the part well
But the energy you givin off is so unfamiliar
I dont feel ya.

We Need Somethin Realer!!!

Nas hit me up on the phone said "what you waitin on"
Tip hit me up on a twitt said "what you waitin on"
Diddy send a text every hour on the dot sayin "when you gon drop that verse nigga you taking long"
So now im back spittin that He could pass a polygraph
That Rev Run rockin Adidas out on Hollis Ave
That FOI, Marcus Garvey, Nikki Tesla
I shock you like a eel, electric feel, Jay Electra.

Oh My God, Keep Going!!!

They call me Jay Electronica
Fuck that, call me Jay ElecHannukah
Jay ElecYarmulke
Jay ElecTramadaan Muhammad Asalaamica RasoulAllah Supana Watallah thought your monitor
My uzi still weigh a ton, check the barometer
Im hotter than the mothafuckin sun, check the thermometer
Im bringing ancient mathematics back to modern man
My momma told me "never throw a stone and hide your hand"
I got a lot of family, you got a lot of fans
Thats why the people got my back like the Verizon man
I play the back and fade to black and then devise a plan
Out in London, smoking, vibin while I ride the tram
Giving out that raw food to lions disguised as lambs
And, by the time they get their seats hot
And deploy all the henchmen to come at me from the tree tops
Im chilling out at tweetstock, building by the millions, my light is brilliant.

I Rest My Case.



Friday, December 18, 2009


Basho Basho
First Word Records

If minimal electro is your thing you will love Basho Basho from Hip Hop producer Kidkanevil.

Kid clearly takes much of his influences on this LP from a mixture of environmental sound fx, computer games and some unique sounds from Asia and Japan. For example tracks such as the long titled The Whistling Of Wintry Wind Lantern 2 Bokusha 3! feature the lovely sound of the Kyoto Harp mixed with some really nice programmed drum beats, reminding me a little of early Photek. The Asian theme continues with the tracks Drunken Master and Land of Plenty Bokusha 2.

One of my favourite songs is the computer game inspired single Megajoy with it's Pacman, Bomberman and Mario game samples, is right up my street (being an early computer games nerd).

Megajoy by kidkanevil

Basho Basho is minimal in places with some tracks consisting of no drum patterns at all. But the music certainly does take your imagination on an interesting journey. The rich electronic soundscapes on this LP are sometimes very relaxing, sometimes quite intense but certainly always enjoyable. Clever, imaginative music !

Website:- http://www.kidkanevil.com/
Follow Kid on Twitter:- http://twitter.com/Kidkanevil


Thursday, December 17, 2009


We are One / Watch This
Unique Uncut

Sometimes I need beats like this in my life. Beats with a powerful engine behind it, pumping beats mixed with thumping basslines.

Both tracks on this single release have a really cool, simple production concept combined with a strong energy which focus's on contemporary rhythms. Both tracks are also blessed by the legendary production skills of Domu!

We Are One ft. Domu PREVIEW by greymatter

We Are One comes with a dubstep approach to it's sound, sparse in places, yet heavy too. The track has some strong percussion patterns and warm bass sounds which you'll only fully appreciate on a big soundsystem.

Watch This ft. Domu PREVIEW by greymatter

Watch This has more of a West London feel about it, definitely more broken in it's drum style and it comes with a lovely piercing keyboard melody that weaves in and out of the whole tune. Simple and effective, modern electronica with a heavy club sound!

Looking forward to hearing the whole Mind Over Matter LP which will be dropping on Unique Uncut in February 2010.

(Greymatter has already built a solid reputation as a remixer/producer. Download his edits and reworks to date @ 320k here - http://is.gd/5r4Co )

Label Website: http://www.uniqueuncut.co.uk/
Follow Grey Matter on Twitter http://twitter.com/Greymatterbeats


Foreign Beggars
United Colours of Beggatron

Foreign Beggars
have been around for sometime now and with United Colours of Beggatron I'm sure their reputation will continue to advance.

This LP is a really cool fusion of soul, dubstep, drum and bass which is cleverly pieced together under the broader umbrella of Hip Hop and Rap.

There is much to enjoy on this project which combines well produced creative beats with imaginative rhymes. Some impressive guests feature too such as Detroit's very own Phat Kat on Big N' Black and the excellent Guilty Simpson (Stonesthrow) on Prove it. I particularly like the inclusion of female vocalist Audra Nishata on the LP. Break Free has nice musical hook from Audra accompanied with a beat that could be best described as a Dilla-esque. Audra also features on one of my favourites tracks the melodic Higher.

The production is generally on point and tracks like the big sounding Contac' ft the appropriately named Noisia is a good example of this. in fact there are plenty of club bangers on this LP. I can definitely see myself playing out tracks like Keep it coming in a heaving club, the track features Uk stallwarts Dr Syntax, Jehst and Kyza who rock the beat with their established professionalism.

This has to be one of the freshest Hip Hop releases I've heard coming out of the UK in 2009.




Mystro Presents
The F.D.T EP
Don't Bizznizz

I've always been a fan of Mys Diggi aka Digmund Freund aka Mystro. He has the voice to masterfully spit lyrics through the music so that all his rhythms and content are crystal clear for the listener to enjoy.

The F.D.T. EP sees Mystro in a more moodier state of mind than usual with much of the content focusing on issues he feels that need addressing. The music reflects this well. Favourite joint from the EP would probably be Maintain produced by Earth Hip Hop, sounding like an MF Doom production Mystro discusses the hard work that has to be put in in order to succeed and survive in the music business.

There is plenty of variety musically and lyrically and the smooth styled Aquarius is a good example of this, with Mystro rhyming in a more reflective mood. FDT is a solid taster of Mystro's skills and certainly leaves me ready for more from one of the best MC's the UK has to offer. Look out for the full LP in 2010!

Follow Mystro on Twitter http://twitter.com/mystrogen




Souls of Mischief
Proper Aim
Heiroglyphics Imperium

Proper Aim is the first single to be taken from the highly anticipated Montezuma's Revenge LP. On first listen it takes me right back to 1993. Now I don't mean this in a negative way as it reminds me of the good feeling I had when I first listened to albums such as the Freestyle Fellowship LP Innercity Griots. It was also the year that was famously mentioned in their classic '93 til Infinity.

The track has a cool double bass sample and a nice laid back beat. But the highlight is the smooth lyrical flows from the Souls crew, which content and rhythm kept me keenly listening throughout the whole song.

Proper Aim can be best be described as a classic sound (not 'old school' as some mistakingly call it) and why change a Hip Hop formula when it already works.

Judging by their last trip to the UK they still have their fan base firmly intact too.



Tuesday, December 15, 2009


M3NSA features on my new LP. We met in Ghana, but he lives about 10 minutes from me in London. The guy is a very talented producer, singer and rapper, he's played a pivotal role on my Ghanaian project.

Check out his new single recorded in Ghana, it is from his New LP 'No.1 Mango Street' which has some really excellent songs on it.

The whole LP should be out at the beginning of 2010.

Also look out for 'Coz Ov Moni' the first pidgin musical starring M3NSA and Wanlov the Kubolor AKA the Fokn Bois. From what I have seen I think this is gonna be hot, both musically and visually !!


M.anifest appears on my Ghanaian LP, on 2 excellent songs. The Birds and the Beats LP is a FREE give away LP with some excellent production and mic skills from M. Look out for more amazing music from this talented MC in 2010!!

Donations can be made to the LP and they will go towards www.yea-online.org an excellent project dedicated in developing underprivileged African youth and Africa through entrepreneurship.


Sunday, December 13, 2009


Just getting the hang of Sound Cloud and have uploaded an old mix from 2005, feel free to listen and download:-

Latest tracks by richypitch


Related Posts with Thumbnails