Time to introduce you folks to a highly recommendable producer from my neck of the woods: Basel, Switzerland.


SimonAyEm is part of the five-headed producer crew Prismatic Beats as well as the hip-hop collective TripleNine, a hold-all for producers, DJs, MCs and graff artists. TripleNine have become one of the more notable hip-hop hotbeds in the local and national scenes and have definitely shaped the arts in the last 14-or-so years, giving their output a recognizeable “Basel” branding. If I was to characterize what makes Basel, I’d say a bit rough and occasionally rude around the edges with tongue firmly placed in cheek–and a lot of heart for the art.

This year, SimonAyEm’s decided to do a bit of showing off, going through his immense back catalog of beats, to tie us beat heads a neat package of 13 dope instrumentals each week. All year round. For free! (Gasp!) Some have been used on published tracks, others haven’t. He’s currently at installment number 21, and there’s more than that where it came from.
So I strongly suggest you head on over to his blog to fill your boots and ears, and read up on the dude who should really get a lot more attention beyond our area.

The Greatest Gift by SimonAyEm



I’m gonna pull an easy one on this. For those who haven’t got their hands on these break compilations of the legendary, hugely popular, heavily overused and outright hated-on Ultimate Breaks and Beats series, here they are, in full glory.

To me, when my buddy got the first few copies of this series, listening to some of the best known sources of breaks was a revelation. Everybody and their gerbils were using these for a while (I remember Tuff Crew’s Back to Wreck Shop running wild with these). On the other hand, a lot of self-respecting cratediggers would never stoop so low as to put these on their platters. It’s like a bonafide fisherman going to the fish shop to buy some cod. But for anyone interested in sampling, especially in 80s and early 90s hip-hop, it’s a must to peep these once.

And before I go any further, let me just point you to some wonderful sites and summaries that others have made, so why should I rehash the stuff again?

The story behind the UBB series, plus tracklists for each record. (wikipedia)

Again, a clickable listing of all issues, with tracklists.

DJ Prince’s click-the-cover tracklisting.
(I stole the pix below from this dude so nuff respect to him.)


One and two

Three and four

Five and six


Eight and nine

Ten, eleven and twelve

Thirteen and fourteen

Fifteen and sixteen

Seventeen and eighteen

Nineteen and twenny

Twenty-one and twenty-two

Twenty-three and twenty-four

And finally: Twenty-five



P.S. Coming up: The Dusty Fingers compilation (15 issues)