Label » [BNB 049] DJ Zeph - Batidas Latinas
[BNB 049] DJ Zeph - Batidas Latinas
Breakin Bread continue their series of underground mix CDs with a mix CD made for the summer from one of Cali's top beatsmiths DJ Zeph. In this digital age the humble mix CD is coming into its own. Whilst sales of physical albums continue to fall the mix CD market has held its own in the last couple of years. Perhaps this is because mix CD's are works of art in their own right and albums and their individual tracks are easily downloadable and played on any device. Mix CD's take a bit longer to download and not all players can deal with them. Fed up with gaps between the mixed tracks? Finished your journey before the end of the mix? Lost your place in the mix? Buy a CD and go old school! Dope artwork and info comes with the music. You know it makes sense.
DJ Zeph has been a tenacious disciple of music since the early eighties. In his hometown of Santa Cruz he jumped feet first into hip hop culture as part of a local breakdancing crew called the "Atomic Rockers." Ears predominated over feet and Zeph found himself increasingly interested by what was going on behind the tables. In 1982 the esteemed dj and producer Kutmasta Kurt took him under his wing and showed him the ins and outs of mixing, scratching, and selecting.
DJ Zeph records have been dropped at the Breakin Bread club nights since he released his self titled debut album on Wide Hive records back in 2001. Zeph went on from that release to do remixes and scratches for the likes of Z-Trip and J Dub before dropping his second album "Sunset Scavenger" in 2004 and collaborating with rapper Azeem on the album "Rise Up" released on Om in 2007. Despite this prolific output the Breakin Bread Crew felt Zeph was not properly recognised in the UK and started looking for a project that could be released on Breakin Bread. This mix CD is the result.
Following Breakin Bread mix CDs from Rob Life, Florian Keller, DJ Timber and Para, Zeph brings a whole new vibe to the series. Previous releases touched on deep funk, boogie soul , disco rap, golden age hip hop and b-boy breaks and now Zeph takes us down the latin path. There's been a latin revival in the UK in the past 5 years with labels like Jazzman and Soundway re-issuing classic and obscure latin tracks from yesteryear and DJ crews like Sofrito hosting illegal latin warehouse parties in London. Quantic and a crew of similar thinking Brighton based heads also stared producing some new latin based tracks before Quantic took it to a whole nother level by moving to Colombia and starting a latin version of the Quantic Soul Orchestra.
DJ Zeph is also coming from another angle. Cali was once part of Mexico and Zeph has always been aware of the States latin roots and been drawn to the music and how the drums in particular related to soul, funk and thus hip hop beats. And boy do they blend well! The mix seamlessly matches traditional latin with hip hop beats both old and new giving a whole new twist and vibe to the older tracks. He also throws in some of the new latin made by people like Quantic, Antibalas and Breakin Breads very own Color Climax. Classic rhymes from the likes of KRS One, Too Short and Missy Elliot blend with latin stalwarts including Hector Lavoe, Willie Colon and Sergio Mendes.
The mix kicks off with a slow atmospheric intro and implores you to dance, just before it drops into party music from Track 2. For the next 70 minutes Zeph takes you on a ride thru beats, rhymes, rhythms and pure flavour. Latin songs are dropped over hop hop beats, raps are dropped over latin numbers and its all done as if the performance is live. Watch out for the vocal drops that only a hip hop DJ with a proper feel for the clubs could come up with. There's also a drums section which indulges the listener into some of the deeper tropical percussion sounds as well as giving the b-boys some action with perfect breaks for the circle.
This is sure to become the soundtrack to many a barbecue and festival. Zeph's skills as a hip hop DJ come to the fore as he drops in cuts, samples, loops and holds everything together as if he was DJing live for you whilst trying and succeeding in keeping the crowd on the dancefloor. You might not know half of the music on this CD but you sure will want to move. This is the sound of the summer!
Artists Featured (in order of appearance): Hector Lavoe, Senor Cocoanut, Willie Colon, Ladybug Mecca, Too Short, Rebel Crew, Quantic, Nicodemus, Los Hermanos Latinos, Lauryn Hill, Marco Antonio Muniz, Ray Luv, Ugly Duckling, KRS One, Pacha Massive, Jay Z, Missy Elliot, Zeph & Azeem, Fila Brazilia, Kool Keith, Color Climax, Run DMC, Antibalas, Gato, Estelle, Lateef the Truth Speaker, Natural Self, Cut Chemist, Q tip, Sergio Mendes, Will.i.am, Shantel, M.I.A, El General, J Sole's Mosaics, 20th Cent. Steel Band, Buena Vista Social Club, Fulanito/Dr. Dre, Sir-Mix-A-Lot, Ive Mendes