Sadly I haven’t received anything new from The Numero Group in a long time, I thought maybe they had gone under or something. That is, until this arrived. The cover looked like those cheap looking Ultimate Breaks & Beats albums from the 80’s, so there had to be a reason. Were Numero going hip-hop on us, or at least providing the sample tools for the next generation? I think if producers did, the music would be much funkier than it is now, but let me rewind a bit.
Apparently a DJ/producer created a megamix of sorts using music The Numero Group have released over the years, and then released it as a bootleg. People at The Numero Group became aware of it, and were ready to bust some heads (metaphorically speaking). However, what they discovered was a mix that was done quite well, not as just a random Spill The Beans-type snitch album. In the spirit of Frank Zappa, who had created the Beat The Boots series and just released the bootleg albums himself with exact cover art and incorrect track listings, The Numero Group bootlegged the bootlegger and come out winning.
Eccentric Breaks & Beats (Numbero) will sound familiar to soul and funk fans not because the songs used in these mixes are worn out gems, but because it sounds like home. The way these songs are looped and chopped show a care for the music and the production. It was discovered that these mixes were created by a production team called Shoes, and the way they put it together also shoes a love for sample-based music, and of course hip-hop, one of the target audiences for these mixes.
In a way, it’s a tribute album for if the source material was not hidden or forgotten, it would have become part of the pool of samples that are a part of hip-hop’s prime eras. If there is a movement to go back, one can ask how far you gonna go back? Way back, but Eccentric Breaks & Beats shows that by doing so, you’re also going into the future like Steve Miller.
It also doubles as a great sampler for what The Numero Group have done in their existence as a label, maybe they can make it a regular habit to find unknown and known DJ’s and producers to dip into their catalog on a semi-regular basis.
(Eccentric Breaks And Beats will be released on June 8th.)
Anyone who has listened to hip-hop for the last 20 years knows about the influence the Stax catalog has had on hip-hop production, whether it’s Albert King‘s “Cold Feet”, Sam & Dave‘s “I Thank You”, or Rufus Thomas‘s “Sophisticated Sissy”. While there have been a small number of unofficial compilations honoring this exchange, including all of the Shaolin Soul compilations that examine the songs used by The RZA, Stax is finally doing something about it by releasing Stax: The Soul Of Hip-Hop Vol. 1. An older generation may not realize that their classic songs have been reinterpreted into brand new songs, and it has been that way for the last 20 years or so. This comp taps into some of those sources so that both young and old audiences, as well as future heads, will know where these sounds came from. Here’s the official track listing:
1. 24-CARAT BLACK – “Ghetto: Misfortune’s Wealth”
2. THE EMOTIONS – “Blind Alley”
3. BOOKER T. & THE MGs – “Melting Pot”
4. THE BAR-KAYS – “Humpin’”
5. THE DRAMATICS – “Get Up and Get Down”
6. ISAAC HAYES – “Hyperbolicsyllabicsesquedalymistic”
7. ISAAC HAYES – “Hung Up On My Baby”
8. DAVID PORTER – “I’m Afraid the Masquerade Is Over”
9. WENDY RENE – “After the Laughter (Comes Tears)”
10. CHARMELS – “As Long As I’ve Got You”
11. THE SWEET INSPIRATIONS – “Why Marry”
12. RUFUS THOMAS – “Do the Funky Penguin (Part 1)”
13. LITTLE MILTON – “Packed Up and Took My Mind”
14. WILLIAM BELL – “I Forgot To Be Your Lover”
If you know your tracks, you can see that a few of them were chosen because of their Wu-Tang Clan usage, such as Wendy Rene‘s “After The Laughter (Comes Tears)”, Charmels‘s “As Long As I’ve Got You”, and The Sweet Inspirations‘ “Why Marry” (the latter of which was used for Raekwon‘s “Criminology”:
The CD will be released on April 28th and is available from CD Universe