Sunday, January 27, 2008

Last Night Cosmo Baker Saved My Life / Hip Hop History

Photo: Nicked from Cosmo's Myspace.

Cosmo Baker comes straight out of Brooklyn. You might already have a hint of who he is - what with his re-jigging of that old synthpop classic "Oh Sheila" from Ready for the World, popping up across mixes highlighted on this blog, both on that recent one from DJ Half Dutch and, ages ago, on DJ C's Bouncement.

Last night he played Toronto, a tight blend of smarts from a man that really digs deep and back. His Martial Law CD, for instance is made up of old 45' funk records. Baker is sometimes mix buddy with DJ Ayres - one of those types that blows Baltimore club sounds all over poptastic hooks in a sick formula for club music. Grab a track called Shake from Ayres and you'll see what I'm taking about.

A few years ago, literally about half a dozen people I know had just read Simon Reynold's Energy Flash, his excellent journey into what would end up becoming know as the hardcore continuum, or 'nuum as parts of the blogosphere call it. At the time, compilations such as We Call It Acieed - named after that old D Mobb track, and The History Of The House Sound Of Chicago were passed around manically to accompany the read.

And here's where it's good, now it seems another book has popped up inspiring a similar infectious reading routine among friends. This time it's that Jeff Chang Can't Stop Won't Stop look at the hip hop generation. So no better time to check out the radio show Cosmo Baker does alongside DJ Ayres, it's called the Rub - and there's an amazing archive of shows on it, including 14 different specials looking at hip hop on a yearly basis from 1979 through to 1994.

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