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Brian Chin presents: The Perfect Beats Vol. 1-4 (1998) - Various artists

Related: electro - Brian Chin - dance - 1998


  • The Perfect Beats, Vol. 1 [Amazon.com]
    1. Planet Rock - Afrika Bambaataa/Soulsonic Force 2. Play At Your Own Risk - Planet Patrol 3. Don't Go - Yaz 4. The Mexican - Jellybean 5. Bostich - Yello 6. Trans Europe Express - Kraftwerk 7. Numbers/Computer World - Kraftwerk 8. Don't Make Me Wait - Peech Boys 9. Just An Illusion - Imagination 10. Starchild - Level 42 11. A Little Bit Of Jazz - Nick Straker Band 12. Dirty Talk - Klein/M.B.O. 13. Love Money - T.W. Funkmasters 14. Bonus Track
    Part 1 of Tommy Boy's comprehensive compilation of early electro, hip-hop, and freestyle hits concentrates on the fundamentals. The collection begins as it must, with Afrika Bambaataa and Soulsonic Force's epochal "Planet Rock," a sort of Rosetta stone for producers in the decade that followed and beyond. Loved (and sampled) to this very day, "Planet Rock" cleared the way for all the tracks that follow it here (arranged chronologically), including "Walking on Sunshine" by Rocker's Revenge and Jellybean's timbale-mad upgrade of Babe Ruth's "The Mexican." But despite the limitations implied in the compilation's subtitle, "New York Electro Hip-Hop + Underground Dance Classics, 1980-1985," the set reaches back to earlier sources, inevitably including Kraftwerk's bleats, blips, and beats. --John Sanchez

  • The Perfect Beats, Vol. 2 [Amazon.com]
    1. Let The Music Play - Shannon 2. I.O.U. - Freeze 3. Dancing On The Fire - Jellybean 4. Crash Goes Love - Loleatta Hollaway 5. My Love Is Alive - Chaka Khan 6. The Dominatrix Sleeps Tonight - Dominatrix 7. For The Same Man - B Beat Girls 8. Infatuation - Upfront 9. Hip Hop Be-bop - Man Parrish 10. Set It Off - Strafe 11. Moody - Esg 12. Cavern - Liquid Liquid 13. Together Forever - Exodus 14. Confusion - New Order 15. Slack - Slack
    Following the history lesson of volume 1, The Perfect Beats, Volume 2 reaches a little wider in its selection of electro-boogie, hip-hop, and freestyle oldies. This seems to be the set's unofficial "happy" disc--some of the fastest cuts are on this volume, as well as the lightest and most playful. (Even the monochromatic series package design adds to the effect--this volume's a sunny orange.) "Let the Music Play" by Shannon (one of the highest-charting records in the collection) appears in a livelier-than-life remix, and just try to resist the bubbly synth-vibraphone on Dominatrix's "The Dominatrix Sleeps Tonight." Lots of these cuts will be familiar as the source of samples that fueled bigger hits, especially Liquid Liquid's "Cavern," which formed the basis for Grandmaster Flash and Melle Mel's huge rap record "White Lines." --John Sanchez

  • The Perfect Beats, Vol. 3 [Amazon.com]
    1. Give Me Tonight - Shannon 2. If This Ain't Love - Jay Novell 3. On The Upside - Xena 4. 99 1/2 - Carol Lynn Townes 5. Release Yourself - Aleems 6. Din Daa Daa - George Kranz 7. Emotional Disguise - Peter Godwin 8. Let Me Go - Heaven 17 9. Renegades Of Funk - Afrika Bambaataa + Soulsonic Force 10. Al Naafiysh (The Soul) - Hashim 11. Remember What You Like - Jenny Burton 12. Honey To A Bee - Tina B 13. All Night Passion - Alisha 14. Do You Want It Right Now - Seidah Garrett
    More ass-shaking artifacts from the early-'80s dawn of electro, hip-hop, and freestyle. This might be the least distinct disc in the set, but in such great company, that's hardly a put-down. Of all the volumes, number 3 hews closest to the strictures of the compilation's subtitle, "New York Electro Hip-Hop + Underground Dance Classics, 1980-1985," though Heaven 17's "Let Me Go" came out of England and was in no sense underground. The excellent liner notes by Brian Chin don't mention it, but this also seems to be the diva disc of the bunch, with high-volume output from Shannon, Tina B, Carol Lynn Townes, Alisha, Seidah Garrett, and Xena (no, not that one!). --John Sanchez

  • The Perfect Beats, Vol. 4 [Amazon.com]
    1. One More Shot - C-Bank 2. Body Mechanic - Quadrant Six 3. Pack Jam - Jonzun Crew 4. Clear - Cybotron 5. Automan - Newcleus 6. Stone Fox Chase - Area Code 615 7. It's Just Begun - Jimmy Castor Bunch 8. Give It Up Turn It Loose - James Brown 9. Rock Creek Park - Blackbyrds 10. Expansions - Lonnie Liston Smith 11. Jingo - Candido 12. Woman - Barrabas 13. Date With The Rain - Eddie Kendricks 14. Dance To The Drummer's Beat - Herman Kelly + Life 15. Looking For The Perfect Beat - Afrika Bambaataa
    On the fourth and final installment of the Perfect Beats series, there are plenty of meat-and-potatoes electro hits (like C-Bank's "One More Shot" and Afrika Bambaataa's "Looking for the Perfect Beat"), but there are also lots of oddities to add flavor. Leading the weirdo pack is the harmonica-happy "Stone Fox Chase" by Area Code 615, which inexplicably mutated its way out of Nashville in the early '70s. Also deviating from the program: the raucous and rockish "Woman" by Barrabas and the mellow, flute-accented "Rock Creek Park" by Blackbyrds. --John Sanchez

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