Skeg and Rob Life started Breakin’ Bread as a club night in 1998 and it has grown to include the record label releasing numerous 7”s, 12”s, CD’s and LP’s. Their first compilation, ‘The Deadly 7” Sins’, was released in 2001 and went on to sell over 10,000 copies worldwide. This new release brings together the best singles since ‘01 plus a few brand new tracks, all for the first time on CD.
It kicks off with an intro by DJ IQ, an incredible young DJ who has scratched on a number of their records and been on the scene for the last five years. The drums are incredibly dirty and as he cuts up various Breakin Bread phrases I was immediately sucked in. Color Climax take it into the full tunes with the best selling 7” ‘Batidas Latinas’. A lovely latin influenced funky groover with live drums and sweetly delivered female vocals. They also pop up towards the end of the album with ‘Jigsaw’, their ode to library music which crams in a whole heap of samples which you’ll recognise, but not in this format as well as a flute for another floor crammer.
01. DJ IQ – Intro
02. Color Climax – Batidas Latinas
03. Keno 1 & The Hermit – Heavy Heavy
04. Ghost/Kashmere/DPF – Flip It
05. Beats In Progress/Kashmere/DPF – Trouble
06. Ill Boogs – Gypsy Rock
07. Ghost/Abstract Rude – Basic Instinct (Remix)
08. Natural Self – To The Sun (Remix)
09. The Abdominal Showmen – Organic
10. Tom Caruana – The Kraken (Skit)
11. Tom Caruana / Arch Co – It’s Arch
12. Boogaloo-Lotari vs Smooth – Sweat Side
13. Ghost/Yungun/Conspicuous – Vices Verses
14. Color Climax – Jigsaw
15. Cappo/Zero Theory – Last Remaining
16. Darwin & The Phoenyx – Crooked Fabric
17. Natural Self – Foundation pt 2
Keno 1 and The Hermit who is also better known as Natural Self contribute Heavy Heavy which up till now has only been released on 7". The title is right on as the relentless horns and Heavy Bronx style drums make for a bombarding wall of sound energy when added to the rolling drums and funky bass. Proper upbeat, if still mid tempo stuff. Later on in the LP Natural Self again appear with The Sun (Remix) which is more a sampling collage which is definitely dancefloor friendly.
Next up we’ve got superproducer, Ghost. This guy is one of the hardest working guys in the UK hip-hop game but he’s got a broader musical palette than you would imagine. ‘Flip It’ is more on the mellow side of hip hop over which Kashmere and DPF drop their own style of MCing. Later on in the compilation is also his remix of ‘Basic Instinct’ which continues to show that he’s much more than being restricted to that old boom bap sound and finally his third track is ‘Vices Verses’ which again demonstrates his leaning towards a smoother side as YunGun and Conspicious take to the mic.
Trouble is another typically standard hip hop track is put together by Tufkut the driving force behind Beats In Progress. Kashmere and DPF again team up on the vocals for a classic sounding offering.
Gypsy Rock by Ill Boogs is an uptempo B-Boy rocker looping up all sorts of rare groove samples nicely. Ill Boogs is in the Sinstars and Born To Rock crews and as such this track is made for Breakdancers to get busy to. This also demonstrates how Breakin Bread as a label is able to straddle genres. Live music is provided by The Abdominal Snowmen who come from Edinburgh. Their track Organic is easygoing and catchy with both rapping and gently sung vocals as well as an expressive guitar and double bass to finish it off.
Tom Caruana is a dope beatsmith and he teams up with Archo for Its Arch, top notch Hip Hop. Strangely named French group Boogaloo-Lotari vs Smooth deliver Sweat Side a real head nodder powered by horns and a very recognisable loop as its basis.
As the LP comes to its finale Cappo and Zero Theory drop Last Remaining straight up raw niceness followed by the final track Darwin & The Phoenyx’s Crooked Fabric, one last gentle acoustic sounding tracks.
This release shows the strengths of Breakin’ Bread as a label and demonstrates their consistent quality and cross genre appeal. Much of the work embodied here is ultimate old school floor filler material and as such is refreshing in a world I find populated by throwaway modern tracks which offer nothing in terms of skill or longevity. In fact the compilation does the job. It is crammed with fresh material and makes you re-prioritise Breakin Bread way up the list of UK labels.