Monday, June 18, 2012

You've Been Waiting and Debating For Oh So Long

I just got a big, sweet package in the mail from DWG.  Three separate, completely unrelated records by different artists, all released at once.  And if you ordered all three from DWG direct, you got an awesome fourth, bonus record (not sold separately) that's possibly the most exciting of them all.  It's an instrumental release by Jorun Bombay.  You probably know him as the guy behind Haltown Projects and a lot important, early releases by some major Canadian artists like Buck 65 and Classified.

That sounds like a release that's very easy to write off, and I'm the first to say "instrumental equals 'who cares'?"  But just wait 'till you hear what this is... four words: lost Def Jam classics.

Back in the days, Def Jam released some serious, cornerstone of hip-hop records, without instrumental versions. LL Cool J's catalog specifically is missing some critical pieces.  "Rock the Bells," yeah there was a 12" - but it just had the two mixes, one on each side.  It's one of the most important hip-hop records of all time, used as heavily by DJs today as it was in 1985, and yet no instrumental has ever been released of "Rock the Bells."  Until now.

No, the original elements weren't just made available somehow.  Jorun actually went back and found all of the original samples (apparently with some assistance from Bobcat and 2 Live Crew's Mr. Mixx).  Then he hooked up two Technic 1200 turntables, an original 808 beat machine, and remade the instrumental from scratch, exactly the same way it would've been made  They're timed out so the cuts (freshly made but sounding exactly like the original record), drum rolls, etc all come in at exactly the same times as they did on the original record.  Finally, in 2012, "Rock the Bells" instrumental is available on vinyl for the very first time.  ...It's really hard to believe we've gone this long without it.

And it's not just "Rock the Bells" on here.  This is an EP of five of LL's most indisputable classics (well, okay, maybe four indisputable classics, and one good but largely forgotten album track from Bigger and Deffer).  There's no track-listing spelled out on the label, but you guys shouldn't need one.  This isn't just a really dope record, it's an important record.  Hip-hop, it's about time.  Thanks to Jorun.  And I couldn't help but notice the title is Instrumentals: Vol. 1  ...implying a Vol. 2.

Oh, and all those other records in the set?  That'll be tomorrow's post!  =)

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