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



Re-post, you know why. Keith Elam is no more. Probably the one death in hip-hop that shocked me the most. I didn’t give two shits about Tupac, and Biggie had it coming, too. Then again the murder of Jam Master Jay was a real tragedy, without a doubt. Now the Guru was supposed to grow old and grey, wasn’t he? Rest in peace.

Keith Elam and Christopher Martin are among the rare cats that have had a career in hip-hop that spans more than 20 years. Most people fall off at some point, but these keep going. From the beginnings when they were the flagship for jazz-rap to the dirty, choppy, “classic” New York sound of the Nineties and Noughties that has been coined in great part by Premier himself, it’s pretty safe to say that this duo has left its mark on hip-hop music. DJ Premier’s magic beat formula has helped countless MCs to have their instant classic singles while Guru has guest-starred on tracks and connected with people around the whole world. Guru and Premier are the embodiment of NY City hip-hop, even though neither of them was born there, Primo being from Houston and Guru from Boston. Together, they’ve brought the Big Apple sound and style to every head on the globe.

This is a compilation (a bootleg, I guess) of the tracks they’ve done outside their Gangstarr releases, i.e. either Premier production/remixes or Guru guest spots as either an MC or a producer himself.

All in all, there are no less than 476 tracks, or 2.5 GBs that come in servings of about album-size, lettered from A to Z. The tracks themselves are in no particular order, but if you want to know what’s there to have, peep the tracklist here.




*pro·lif·ic (pr-lfk)


1. Producing offspring or fruit in great abundance; fertile.
2. Producing abundant works or results: a prolific artist. See Synonyms at fertile.

[French prolifique, from Medieval Latin prlificus : Latin prls, prl-, offspring; see al-2 in Indo-European roots + Latin -ficus, -fic.]

pro·lifi·ca·cy (--k-s), pro·lific·ness (-k-ns) n.
pro·lifi·cal·ly adv.

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)

Now this is a piece of music I stumbled upon by pure chance. But I figured “hell, why not” and now I’m thanking myself for stepping outside my box for once.

Clotaire K is an MC, producer and musician (as in “real instruments”) from Montpellier, France, and the son of a Lebanese mother and an Egyptian father.

This is his entirely self-produced debut album, recorded mainly in Montpellier, which is in the South of France, but a few tracks were made while on holiday in Lebanon. In fact, the whole album has a distinctly international feel, even though we can hear Near Eastern instruments on most of the tracks, laced with classic hip-hop beats on one, drum’n’bass-type sped-up beats on another and then again, on the next track, beautiful and subtle compositions in the tradition of Middle Eastern folk music, all produced and played by the man himself.

Clotaire had spent a year in the States before returning to France to start recording this album over the course of six years. The lyrics range from English to French and Arabic, although I must say that there’s a clear difference in quality between his slightly wooden verses in English and his tight delivery in French and Arabic. Subject matter is mostly about personal and social issues, making comments on people’s fate in the Near East, on his family and on music itself, of course.

I’ll admit it. I’d never heard of this guy until a few weeks ago, when I spotted the CD in the city library. I didn’t expect too much when I started listening. But now I know I’ll definitely be keeping an eye open for this cat. He’s quite likely one of my great discoveries of last year. And if you can’t be arsed to listen to something you don’t understand, just play the last two instrumental tracks called Emigrate (Remix) and Takassim. Pure musical genius.


This is a fresh rip without the glitches that the previous one had. Apologies.

Clotaire K – Lebanese (2002)

01. Maqam
02. Beyrouth Ecoeuree
03. Moolook
04. Wahad
05. Ya Saryan
06. Bokra
07. Papa
08. Beep
09. Lubnan
10. Banadoora
11. Flotte
12. Le Criminel
13. Laisse Les
14. Bif Bam Boom
15. Tampooshy
16. Emigrate
17. Takassim
BBC Radio Review Review

Salaam, 9@home

As I’ve said before (here and here), these twins are production legends. Back in 1997, when their first album dropped, I don’t think I’d heard this kind of sound on a German release. Their debut Fenster zum Hof (Window onto the courtyard – which is the German movie title for Hitchcock’s Rear Window) is also their only album on which they rap. Originally more heavily into graffiti writing and beat-making, Christian and Martin Stieber, the two residents of Heidelberg ventured into rhyming over their own beats, with some help from their extended crew of Curse, Aphroe (of R.A.G.), Tatwaffe (of Die Firma) and Scope and Fast Forward (of STF), all of whom call themselves La Familia. Beat-wise, they’re heavily influenced by the American Eastcoast flavour.


Stieber Twins – Fenster zum Hof (1997)

Apart from dropping verses and contributing beats and remixes for everybody and their mother’s albums, they’ve put out two (I believe) instrumental records, of which the more recent can be had below. It shows that they’ve since developed their craft even further. Some right headnodders on this one.

Meanwhile, real life has probably caught up with the two. They can still be seen spinning at clubs or doing the odd show, but apart from that, Martin runs a record and graffiti utensil shop called Flame, and Chris works as an architect. Fans are still waiting for their follow-up album…

Stieber Twins – Speechless (2006)

And now for some videos:

Stieber Twins – Schlangen sind giftig

Curse ft. Stieber Twins – Doppeltes Risiko
The track that exposed Curse to an audience before he went on to blow up as the next best thing since Sauerkraut.

DJ Tomekk ft. Stieber Twins, Curse, Prodigal Sunn & GZA – Ich lebe für Hip-Hop
Chris at his personal best, if you ask me.

Stieber Twins – Escape
Off their “Speechless” instrumental album. Ill video.