Welcome to our second instalment of collectors corner. This time round we got together with 2 Kool Tony of the Heavy Crates squad, to discuss all things hiphop and vinyl related. Here it is:
What was your first introduction to hip hop culture?
I was living in London in the late 1980’s & I remember playing down our park all the time and a lot of the older lads would be sat in a little shelter thing by the kids paddling pool, they were always in there doing tags and smoking weed causing trouble or whatever. As kids we were always told stay away from them, but I always remember that when we did go past them they had a little boom box and were always playing what in my memory sounds like LL Cool J, or something, and I remember thinking that was pretty cool. It wasn’t until I moved up North that I really started to get into it. I remember when 36 Chambers came out, that was a big thing for me and my school mates & that’s when I really got hooked and started to collect as much as I could, and get of hold of as many albums and mixtapes as possible. That often meant getting the coach to London with my mates with not much money to go and buy mixtapes from Mr Bongos and then just sit with them in our Walkman’s all the way home & constantly until they were knackered.
What was the first record you bought and when was that?
I am pretty sure it was a Dirt Style scratch record. Me and my friends would go to Manchester purely to buy Dirt Styles. At the time I would just buy any semi decent instrumentals that were going cheap and then as many dirt styles as I could. I remember once my mum was going to Manchester and asked if i wanted anything. I said, “Get me any Dirt Style, mum; anyone will do. Just go to Fat City and ask them for a DIRT STYLE record!”. She came back with the Old Dirty Bastard LP & single, plus a Dirt Style, so i was hyped. The 12″ was off the album so that’s when I got into back to backs etc. Still got all of them and I still use the same Dirt Styles now.
Which genre do you have the most of in your collection?
I think about 60% of it is Hip Hop, mostly 90s, and a lot of indies & the 40% Disco, Funk, Soul, Reggae and Breaks. All Wax All Day!
If you could go through one persons record collection who would you choose and why?
DJ Riz or PF Cuttin. Both have been 2 of my favorite DJ’s for years and they have definitely got some serious wax in their collections.
Everyone’s got them, which guilty pleasure record(s) do you own?
Kriss Kross – Jump. I used to get a lot of hassle about playing that when I was younger. I also got sucked into a bit of south-side stuff while living in Melbourne with my boy Chalky who bumps it all day. I found a Yo Gotti 12″ in the market quid bin a few months back & normally wouldn’t dream of buying something like that but it reminded me of good times in Oz so i got it…sometimes it slips into the playing out bag in case I get really hammered (Or if Chalky is there).
Favourite place to dig?
New York without a doubt. Over the years I have shipped back a load of wax every time I have been there. Such a good experience digging over there. You come across a lot of test pressings, indies, bootlegs.. stuff that never made it out of New York sometimes. I don’t pack much stuff when I go so that I can bring more wax back with me.
Any lucky car boot finds or interesting digging stories you can tell us?
Sometimes when I visit New York, a very good friend of mine, Bazooka Joe, lets me go up to his parents and go through some of his old wax. One time me and Splifkin were sat in there in in a dusty attic in 90 degrees heat going through it all for hours. While he was distracted with some 90’s albums and stuff that he had missed back in the day, I was sifting through all the white labels, test presses and indies. I must have got about 40-50 full scale heaters: Brainsick-singles, Fondle ems and Tru Criminal Records; serious mix tape tackle for days. Nice one Joe!!
Any out of business record shops you’d like to mention?
Fat City in Manchester was the dopest shop ever. I used to go there every Saturday if I had the money. A few years back I was running a record shop in Hebden Bridge with my friends, Ben Lilly and Joe Black (Heavy Crates Founders). I loved being in there & having so much time to go through all the wax every day..we often bought peoples collections which was always a very big day. The 3 of us would fight over who got in there first and would argue about who could play what tracks at gigs as we played out together all the time, constantly claiming rights to certain tunes. Great days!
In a world where everything is turning digital, what keeps you out in the field searching and buying records?
I have a 4 GB Ipod with a few albums and mix tapes that haven’t changed in years. I don’t really own any digital music..If I want a tune it has to be on wax really. Even if i hear a sample or something I want to use I will hunt down the record rather that sample an MP3. When I am recording cuts for people or doing other projects I always find the accapella on wax rather than going to someones lab to use an MP3 on their Serrato. I like the fact that digging and using wax is a physical thing that you do, it’s an activity..There’s nothing worse that watching someone DJ at a club and when its time to cue up the next tune they shuffle over to the laptop. I’m not totally hating on people who use Serrato, it has its place for sure, but playing out and playing tunes on Serato that are out there on wax isn’t for me. I love to see people out DJing using wax. I think it shows a lot about the DJ and their relationship with their record collection, not to get too deep.
Twin Peaks, Jackie Brown, Soul In The Hole, Colors, Slam.
Which album do you deem to be the ‘holy grail’?
Group Home – Livin’ Proof
What the last new release you bought on wax?
Juggaknots – Baby Pictures on Chopped Herring
Which album have you played more than any other?
Capone and Noreaga – The War Report
Is your collection in any sort of order?
Ha I wish, Its set out into Hip Hop 12s Hip Hop LPs, Soul and Funk LPs are all mixed up,Then Disco 12s..Reggae etc.
When did you start Heavy Crates and what do you have planned for it in the future?
It started as a DJ crew in around 2000. Then we started the shop in 2007. Then we started to press records in 2009 with our first release, “Who”, – 42 blues featuring King Cesar. We are about to release our new EP “Saran Rap” featuring MITCHELL AIMSS, SPIT GEMZ, FT, KEVROC, BANGA K, KING CESAR, AGALLAH THE DON, BLAQ POET and more plus a whole host of underground producers from around the world. We are going back to New York later this month to record some tracks for the 2nd volume of “Saran Rap” and shoot some videos. We are also in talks about a new album with a very cool cat from the Mojave Dessert, but that’s all I can say about that right now! We also have a new member on the team too, a good friend of mine from Hebden Bridge, John Hanson. I also have a collaboration mix tape come out soon with guys down at Chrome&Black in London for all the graff heads, Full of slept on 90s heaters Keep your eyes peeled for information on the blog.
Any last words/ shoutouts?
RIP SEAN P. SUCH SAD NEWS.
Mad love to : VERTEX MEDIA, MC BACKLOG, BAZOOKA JOE, KING CESAR, PRIMETIME, FINSTA BUNDY, SHADES OF BROOKLYN, MITCHELL AIMSS, SPIT GEMZ, ENOC, NIC707, CAP, MONSTA ISLAND CZARS, JONNY CEMENT, JVISION, CLUTCHY HOPKINS, KOOL KEITH, PRO CELEBRITY GOLF, PHES, THE ICEMAN, DJ MURDA,SPAT, TELLY, HASHFINGER, LUNAR C, KID ACNE, BURGUNDY BLOOD, NO FAKIN, ZOMBY, 2COLD,, MET, JOHN HANSON, SIMON ELLIS, ISAAC APOLLO, NANNY BANTON,PART TIME,CHALKS, RAWEK, NAS, IPERS, PCP, BIG P,SCOTTY ROTTEN, DEBONAIR P, KING P PETE, SPLIFKIN, ASEB, LOTTA, ROISIN, DUNC, BOFF, DJ SHORT ROUND, PETE MONSOON, ELSE, GERNO…ALL THE REAL WAX HEADS & ALL THE GRAFF WRITERS OUT THERE!!
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