- "These Are The Breaks" - the infamous lyrics from Kurtis Blow's big hit from 1981 is now the title for Krafty Kuts' latest double CD compilation, something which hasn't been seen since 2000's Slam The Breaks On II. These Are The Breaks continues the tradition which Slam The Breaks On started by having one CD of party hip hop and funky beats and the more uptempo, nu-skool breaks tunes on the second CD.
CD 1: Hip Hop and Funky Beats
Typically found at the start of a Krafty Kuts mix is the name checking intro with Krafty on the scratch routine. Classic KRS-One snippets are then cut up, mashed up and blended together on the cut'n'paste KRS-One Attacks. Continuing on the sampladelic hip hop theme is DJ Format on Ill Cullinary Behaviour with MC Abdominal on the mic ripping lyrics over jazzy horns with Format cutting and scratching samples during the bridge.
UK MC Million Dan adds his ragga flows to Dogz & Sledgez for more of that head nodding hip hop vibe. Ugly Duckling's Turn it Up is guaranteed to get any party started thanks to it's unbelievably loud horns in the background.
From here the mix becomes interesting with Krafty mixing in four tunes all with accapellas laid on top. Lil Kim's bassed up How Many Licks gives Busta Rhymes' Dangerous a sleazy edge to it, Ultramagnetic MC's Poppa Large get cheekier thanks to the melody from Royksopp's Eple, Public Enemy's Bring The Noise gives Funky Fresh Few's 24.7 a little more edge thanks to Chuck D's fiery vocal delivery (perhaps not the BEST instrumental for the vocals though) and finally The Slacksons' Hold It Back gives the classic, highly sampled Hijack tune The Badman Is Robin the housey, uptempo funk it's always deserved.
A.Skillz & Krafty Kuts join forces with Kurtis "These Are The Breaks" Blow for their remake of his classic tune this time called Gimme The Breaks. A Skillz and Krafty tackle the old-skool flavour with a nu-skool approach to deliver something very similar to the original - the only drawback in my opinion is that Gimme The Breaks doesn't have the latin-inspired steel drum breaks that made the original so damn good!
To end off CD 1 is the skanking new tune by Catskills Records Black Grass - Nice Up. Melodic bass line, ska horns and an overall feel good vibe on this track is enough to have everyone jumping around on the floor with a smile on their face.
CD 2: Breaks & Beats
CD 2 kicks off with Krafty Kuts let loose on X-Press 2's AC/DC DJ Tool while the Stanton Warriors mix of Reckless by the Beginnerz plays - it's a tune that feels like it belongs on a Verve Remixed compilation thanks to the jazzy female vocals. It's the first of three Stanton remixes on the CD.
Next up is Apollo 440 featuring the Beatnuts on Dude Descending A Staircase - the title track to their latest album, given the Midas touch by the Warriors to turn it into an uptempo, Miami bass, hands in the air kind of affair! The third Stanton remix is their booty of Chicken Lips' He Not In letting that wicked bass line flow over the Stanton beats is absolute genius!
The Plump DJ's revisit the tried and true Apache break on Weighed Down and give the tune some old-skool flavour with the vocal hooks - you've heard it all before this time done by the leaders of the scene. Even better is the excusive VIP remix of Krafty's own Ill Funk Slammer where the bassline is given an old-skool hardcore treatment.
Emit by Zer0 is starting to sound tired - don't get me wrong it's a great tune with an awesome synth melody and wicked breakbeat - it's just been included in a few too many mix CD's lately (I can count 5 in total). Hopefully it doesn't become stale and remains a classic.
Aquasky vs Masterblaster proof the funk equation on Take It To The Floor moving slightly away from the harder edged breakstep they've been known for to a floor filling funky breaks track. Northend's Can't Put No Price gets the Deekline treatment and he turns it into a funked up garage groover - awesome bass drops throughout!
Push Up once lived under the Ghettofunk guise with Justin Timberlake on vocals and now they've revealed themselves to be none other than The Freestylers. Push Up sounds like they roped in Bootsy on bass and Whodini for the electro hook, while the Freestylers let their breaks rip underneath. Get A Life follows on and is their other track - rock infused breaks which I personally hold Freeland responsible for starting up with the female vocalist getting her vocals pushed through a vocoder and filter for some strange psychedilic effects. The rock theme is continued with FreQ Nasty & BLIM's remix of Come Let Me Know by FreQ Nasty and the riddim killa Rodney P.
CD 2 climaxes with High Score - the Nextmen's tribute to classic 80's video games - you can hear all the bleeps, bloops, pings, pongs and fizzles throughout the tune - Cyantific transforms it into a drum'n'bass track while Krafty lays down Dead Prez' Bigger Than Hip Hop acapella on top before ending it all with gospel and soul from the Staple Singers on I'll Take You There
These Are The Breaks represents all sounds and styles of breakbeat whether it be hip hop, funk, breaks all the way to drum'n'bass. A good compilation of classic and current breaks tunes, probably not as good as Slam The Breaks On II but Krafty mixes up a block party style set that should entice anybody who's a devout fan of breaks to want this CD.