The nostalgic rearview-mirror memory of hip-hop purists and old-school fanatics imagines the culture’s music as based on two turntables, a microphone and one phat emcee on the set. But things in the mirror are always closer than they seem; in the blind spots, some of hip-hop’s best producers find the perfect beat in the most obscure funk and soul tracks and even public service announcements.
In the first installment of 7 Head Recordings’ Uncle Junior’s Friday Fish Fry mix series, producer and deejay Djinji Brown shops for diverse polyrhythms from around the globe. Brown seamlessly arranges eighteen tracks that have come to define his production aesthetics, starting with ’70s-funk-inspired blaxsploitation film music “Black Belt Jones (Theme),” then moving into Afro-beat and Latin jazz rhythms of Mongo Santamaria and Afronaught. Brown takes a slight breather in the middle with the smoothed-out soulful house track by DJ Spinna and neo-soul tracks by Vinia Mojica and Peven Everrett. Uncle Junior’s Friday Fish Fry‘s sonic style is heavy on congos and horns, familiar to ’70s break-beats, which makes for a mix that’s a b-boy’s (or any dancer’s for that matter) dream. Break out the cardboard, baby powder, and sweat suits; the beats will pop as much the grease from the fryer.