CRATERY 88: Mr. Attic

I first met Mr. Attic at York University’s 105.5 FM in ’95. It was my first year attending York and my favourite pastime had quickly become loitering around the campus/community radio station before, between and after classes. One of my favourite shows was called “Soul by the Pound” – a program dedicated to playing the soul, jazz, funk and rock songs that inspired the hip-hop songs of the era. Show creator Jeremy “Beatdawg” Weisfeld would blow my mind every week with source material for my favourite Pete Rock, Tribe and Large Professor songs with a level of insider knowledge I hadn’t encountered up until that point. It wasn’t long before pestering Jeremy on the phone every 5 mins for song titles turned into hanging out at the station and pestering him in person.

One week I turned up and Jeremy wasn’t there. Filling in for him that week was a dude who introduced himself as Seven. He was joined shortly by an unassuming cat with a bag full of records. The gentleman introduced himself as Attic. “That’s Mr. Attic from Da Grassroots”, Seven said, chiming in quickly. Da Grassroots? Wow. I had heard of the production trio through the work they had done for Toronto hip-hop outfit Ghetto Concept, including the classic “E-Z on the Motion” which I would later find out was actually produced by Attic himself. For the next hour, I stood by the studio door as Seven and Attic killed me with records I had never heard by groups like the Nite-Liters, Delfonics, Spirit and Don Covay (I remember going nuts off the original for Pete and CL’s Lots of Lovin remix). I was rhyming at the time, so I asked for Attic’s number at the end of the show in the hopes of securing a beat from the man himself.  Suprisingly, he actually obliged.

It’s important to note that Da Grassroots had already developed a bit of a reputation around the city during this time period. Ghetto Concept (along with counterparts ORB and Born II Roam) were already head and shoulders above what was happening in the city at that time. And a huge part of it was due to the production provided by Da Grassroots. The local rap showcase was particularly unforgiving to rival producers when their pithy kicks and snares were easily outclassed by the warm, comforting boom of a Grassroots riddim. Ghetto was already collectively great on the mic. But the beats made them even better. By ’95, Da Grassroots had miraculously won back to back Junos with Ghetto Concept for the independently released “Certified” and “E-Z on the Motion” singles. It wasn’t long before the trio of Attic, Swiff and Murray were becoming the stuff of legend in Toronto.

My first time at Attic’s crib was, well, in a single word: overwhelming. It was the first time I had ever seen that many OG records in a single place. I had been buying bootlegs and compilations trying to get more bang for my buck and here was this dude who, in my estimation at the time, had “everything”. The only people I knew that had those kinds of crates were the big U.S. producers of that era. I hadn’t seen anything like it outside of a magazine. I didn’t even own Superman Lover by Johnny Guitar Watson at the time, so seeing records like 1619 Badass Band was overkill on my 21-year-old brain.  That night, Attic made a beat off a Mongo Santamaria record and I remember hoping he would give it to me. Not only did he not give it to me, he nearly deleted it. I was dumbfounded. I thought the shit was single worthy and this guy was ready to toss it away without a thought. That was telling. After nearly 20 years of friendship I can say without a doubt that Attic is his own harshest and most ruthless critic, the definition of a perfectionist.

The next time I went to Attic’s place, I brought a friend of mine equally enthralled by sample mining: a budding producer I had met less than a year earlier by the name of Moss (featured on Cratery 33). We basically spent the entire night tapping Attic for sample knowledge. It was literally like typing searches into whosampled years before I even knew what a website was. Our holy grail? Learning that Master Ace’s “Brooklyn Battles” (a song we were both obsessed with) was a straight loop off Eddie Kendricks “If you let me”. When Attic dropped the needle on that one, we were rolling around on the ground of his bedroom like giddy little children. We couldn’t believe that we had a met a person that had so much of the knowledge we coveted so badly. After that visit, I gave all my compilations to a homie and began to focus on buying original pressings.

Not long afterwards, Attic began taking Moss and I digging with him. That’s when I really started to learn how to shop for records. But he didn’t just put us on to records. He put us on to stores. The most important of which was Vinyl Museum’s Lakeshore location. The shit I personally saw Attic pull out of VM was crazy, so I can’t even imagine the level of stuff he was pulling between ’89-95. Back in ’95-96, trying to walk into a Toronto store looking for OG Donald Byrd and Roy Ayers LP’s was futile. The demand for those sorts of records was way too high at the time. But shopping for weird rock records, Canadian breaks and assorted sample fodder was still possible – especially in a store like Vinyl Museum, where it felt like almost everything had a $2.49 price tag. Attic taught us to gamble on these sorts of records. He took risks. That’s how he found stuff. And for 2 dollars a record, Vinyl Museum was a gambler’s paradise. It was, without question, Attic’s favourite place to dig.

On one of my first visits to Vinyl Museum with Attic, I found a copy of Frank Motley’s “Let it Be” album. I knew it was Canadian and rare, and for only $5, I wasn’t leaving it behind. I told our Seattle homie Jake One about my come up and he offered to trade me for it in exchange for a shit ton of basic records I was thirsting for at the time like 9th Creation and Les McCann. For me, a beginner, the trade made complete sense. Especially since the Motley was fetching over $200 back then. $200 worth of beginner records for a college kid with limited cash and a digging habit was gold, so naturally, I made the trade.  Later, Attic told me that the same Frank Motley record was a spare copy that he had traded back to the store for credit. “Oh you bought that?” he asked, surprised. When I asked him why he had traded it back, he told me the open break was “noisy”. In other words, it didn’t matter if it was rare, it was useless to him unless the was the record wasn’t sonically up to his standards. Attic would rather have his $5 back than resell or trade a noisy Frank Motley joint. Again, I was dumbfounded. Evaluating a record based on its condition wasn’t even something I had thought about. I was just happy to have the original.

As a producer, Attic is as carefree as he is meticulous. Blessed with an incredible ear and cursed with an attention to detail. Democratic about his record choices. And uncompromising about the sound of the final product. Attic’s signature weapon of choice throughout most of the 90’s was Ensoniq’s EPS 16+ (although he switched to the MPC 2000 later). And with it, he made some pretty legendary contributions to Toronto hip-hop around this time. “Drama” was his (and partner Swiff’s) first single under Da Grassroots moniker. I should note that sonically, this song was much different than the majority of hip hop being released in Toronto at the time, in that the mix sounded phenomenal. It didn’t sound like a local, basement record – it sounded full bodied and well rounded. This was in part, due to Da Grassroots connection to Noel “Gadjet” Campbell, an engineer with a golden ear and future Toronto legend, who was credited with the mix. No one in the city had really achieved those sort of sonics up until that point. The warm kicks, ample snares and moody rhodes on “Drama” was a milestone because it matched the quality of the sound being achieved stateside. The single did well by indie standards back then, and was even heavily bootlegged in Tokyo to try and meet the demand of the Japanese market. Attic’s continued work with Gadjet introduced him to the next wave of Toronto rappers like Saukrates, Choclair and Kardinal Offishall, all of whom have his joints in their discography, notably the latter’s “Ol Time Killin” which is an undisputed hometown classic. Da Grassroots forged a relationship with Seattle based Conception records (through our mutual homie Jake One) to release their own production-based debut album “Passage through time” in 1999, featuring a veritable who’s who of Toronto hip-hop at the time, including a debut single featuring yours truly. I was probably one of the lesser known artists on the album, but Da Grassroots always favoured the music, not the politics. Over the years, flagship Canadian artists like the Dream Warriors, Brass Munk, Thrust, IRS, Tara Chase, Marvel and Checkmate have all added Attic pieces to their discography. But his most frequent and closest collaborator remains Mr. Roam (originally of Born II Roam), whose “Postal Work”, “Price of Living”, “Groupie Central”, “System” and ultra-limited Tom Strokes album are timeless examples of Attic’s beat prowess and some of my personal favourites from his discography.

But the unreleased shit is where it’s at. The good fortune of being this man’s friend has given me the chance to be exposed to countless gems at various basement sessions over the years. And let me assure you, there are plenty. For example, many would be surprised to know that Attic has nearly an album’s worth of material with Saukrates from the early to mid 2000’s which never saw the light of day. I have heard it with my own ears and it is as incredible as an Attic/Sauks collabo sounds. The Ghetto Concept album that was to follow “E-Z on the Motion” on Groove-A-Lot records was chock full of Grassroots heat that remains in the vault. Mr. Roam had a project before the Grassroots album entitled “W.A.R (the World According to Roam)” which was produced by Attic in its entirety and never released. Nor was Roam’s “Mean Food” project that was teased on the Tom Strokes album. Rexdale representatives Redlife had a few Attic bangers on their unreleased LP. And then there’s the stash from Attic’s solo project, which was also in the works, for which numerous songs were recorded. And that’s not even counting the endless disks of random unreleased beats.

Some of those beats ended up on Jeremy “Beatdawg” Weisfeld’s Deep Crates documentaries in the early to mid 2000’s when he enlisted Attic to score both films, which were dedicated to the art of digging. But it was also during this time period that the music industry was experiencing a massive shift. And with it, came a shift in Attic’s attitude towards making music. Da Grassroots album “Passage through time”, although considered a classic by many, fell short of its potential in some ways, due in part to the untimely disbanding of Conception records. It also seemed like the beat placement game had become more about hustle and less about talent. The Napsters and Soul Seeks of the world were taking a massive bite out of full length album sales and labels were trying to save money by discouraging artists from using samples. Plus, with institutions like Vinyl Museum closing, we weren’t buying records as diligently as we once were. Our focus on executing projects had dwindled. We were all jaded and kind of over the industry hype. The demand for Attic’s mentor Gadjet had become so high in Toronto that it was difficult for him to make time for every single person lobbying for his attention. All of this frustrated the hell out of Attic, whose archive of unreleased projects and seemed to be destined for eternal limbo. Like many of us who have balanced our careers and our passion for music our whole lives, when the industry failed him, he shifted his focus back to his 9 to 5.

But Attic never really stopped creating. While the industry may have no longer formally been a focus, he would continue to toil away on personal projects in his Brampton basement, still using vinyl as his primary tool. One of our crew favourites was a project called “A.R.M.”(short for Add Rhyme and Mix), a mostly instrumental EP that was built around samples that didn’t require any additional drums. All anybody needed to add to the beat was a rhyme and mix (hence the title). Fingers crossed, A.R.M. may not remain unreleased for much longer. And the recent reissue of the Da Grassroots “Drama” single on 45 from Tokyo/Toronto based Chuku records could be a sign that more music is on the way.

I could regale with you Attic related digging tales for days. Like the time he walked into Vinyl Museum in the early 90’s and cleaned out the Axelrod section for $2.49 per LP after the homie Roam had hipped him to the producer’s work. Or the time he walked into the same store and bought “Champ” 45 for a quarter. Or the time he found 4 perfect copies of the highly coveted “Spacing Out” LP by The Invaders at the same time for next to nothing. Or perhaps you’d like to hear about the day he came up on a S.O.U.L. “What is it” for a buck at an Ohio record show back in the late 90s. I’ve seen this dude pull so many records it might seem effortless had I not seen the endless hours of digging and numerous failed gambles first hand. Attic was definitely blessed with them golden hands. But he also put in the work.

Attic was and always will be an OG to all of us in Cratery. That’s why it’s always an honour to play records with him. And that might sound a little weird, given that he’s also a close friend. But as much as he’s become a peer, for some reason we all still look on him with this enduring reverence. Before googling samples was a thing, we had Attic. Before sourcing your drum sounds off a web site was a thing, we had Attic. I don’t even know if I’d be digging this much if I didn’t go to Attic’s house in the early days. It was only then that I understood that having an amazing collection of original pressings was even possible. He was this seemingly endless reservoir of beat knowledge and we were all thirsty for anything break related. I remember walking through Vinyl Museum picking up records and bothering Attic: “Anything on this man? Is there a beat on this? What about this one?” I’d ask, expecting my more knowledgeable homie to put me on. “If I tell you everything, how will you develop your own instincts?” he would respond. “So you’re just gonna let me buy this wack record even if you know there’s nothing good on it?” I’d rebut. “Yep” he’d say, as he’d walk to the counter. “It’s called learning”.


Subscribe on iTunes

Download It Here!
(right click > Download Linked File As…[Mac] / Save link as…[Win])



CRATERY 87: David Axelrod tribute

David Axelrod would have probably scoffed at this tribute.

He would have likely criticized the theme.

Pointed out why these selections weren’t worthy of spotlighting.

Reminded us why certain sessions were nightmares.

Questioned the order of the track list.

Told us which songs he got fucked on royalties for.

And likely chastised us for over analyzing his life’s work.

The truth is, we’d give anything to be berated by the man simply known as ‘Axe’.

Because that would mean he’d still be here.

Rest in Peace, Mr. Axelrod.

Thank you for the music. And the honesty.


Subscribe on iTunes

Download It Here!
(right click > Download Linked File As…[Mac] / Save link as…[Win])



CRATERY 86: The Brazil Episode

One of the simple pleasures of being a rap fan is the passionate level of debate and analysis you can engage in with a fellow nerd at any given moment around any given album – old or new.

I definitely don’t have the same debates around Brazilian music.

I rarely subject my favourite vintage records to the same level of scrutiny that I subject the music I grew up with.

And the reason is simple, really.

Being a first-hand witness to the rise and popularity of hip-hop culture gave me context for the significance of most records that came out during a certain era.

A new rap fan might still have an appreciation for Ice Cube’s “Death Certificate” but without an understanding of N.W.A’s “Fuck the Police”, the Rodney King video or the rising level racial frustration in Los Angeles in the early 90s, some of the album’s impact might be lost.

Some of us can debate the importance, significance and impact of certain records from the 90s because we were there.

I can’t do that with Brazilian music from the 70s because I wasn’t there.

I can certainly google Jorge Ben, Elis Regina, Azimuth or any of my favourite musicians from that era but I’m essentially relying on a simplified Wikipedia-like lens on history to give me my context.

And that’s just not ideal.

So my connection to the music of Brazil is based on a very simple criteria: energy.

Good energy to be specific.

It’s an energy I’ve connected with from the moment my father played “Chove Chuva” by Sérgio Mendes and Brasil ’66 on his Dual CS-506.

And it’s an energy I connect with every time I hear the music of Gal Costa, Luiz Eça or Banda Black Rio emanating from my speakers.

There’s something about Brazilian music that just makes you feel good.

The moods, melody, the orchestrations, the arrangements.

There’s a reason all three of us have Brazilian records in our collections.

And maybe even more in our wantlists.

That good energy.

You don’t need to speak Portuguese to appreciate it.

Hell, we’re just happy it’s around to appreciate.

You could probably sum up our feelings on Brazilian music with one word:




1. Lo Borges – Tudo Que Voce Podia Ser
2. Dom Salvador – Guanabara
3. Gilberto Gil – 2001
4. Jorge Ben – O Homem da Gravata Florida
5. Gal Costa – Vou Recomecar
6. Wilson Das Neves – Jornada
7. Azimuth – Faca de Conta
8. Waltel Branco – Jael
9. The Bossa Tres – Zelao
10. Tim Maia – Primavera
11. Wilson Simonal – De Noite, na cama
12. Joao Donato – A Ra
13. Milton Nascimento – Cata Vento
14. Tamba 4 – Zazueira
15. Sivuca – Inquietacao

Subscribe on iTunes

Download It Here!
(right click > Download Linked File As…[Mac] / Save link as…[Win])



CRATERY 85: Mastersihn

It’s funny to think I wouldn’t be typing these words right now if Kaewonder hadn’t asked me the question “Do you follow that dude @mastersihn on Instagram”?

We’ve met a lot of good people online, and with a common love for good records and good smoke, Philly’s Mastersihn is definitely one of the good ones.

We connected for the second time when he drove up for last year’s epic Live Convention weekend.

Naturally, a Cratery episode and interview were in order. Episode audio below.

I realized you were a true record nerd when you broke down the origin of your name. Mind sharing it with our readers / listeners?

So the name is a nod to one of my favorite movies growing up “La Planete Sauvage”. I caught it on public access TV late night in my teens. Coming home all fucked up and finding that shit on TV was a real mind fuck. The movie and the music had huge impact on me and when I got into records it was one of the first grails I was after. I got lucky and caught a copy very early on and to this day I still consider it my favorite record of all time. The name is a play on one of the adult Draag characters in the movie who was part of the famous trippy meditation scene.

I need to get a proper copy of that flick for the files, man. When did you start buying vinyl? What kind of stuff were you buying when you first started?

Grew up listening to my Pops’ records and because of the generation I was in when I first started buying music for myself it was on cassette. It wasn’t until I was around 14 that I discovered the train downtown and the magic of hip hop 12″ singles. Then came jacking my Pops turntable followed by a second (direct drive) turntable and the Gemini “scratchmaster” mixer.

Funny I had a similar start. Straight cassettes. Particularly because I took the bus everywhere and I needed my music to be Walkman friendly.

I feel like there was a point when my taste began to mature a little and I wasn’t necessarily chasing the same exact records I was after when I started. Did you experience a similar shift?

[Laughs] Honestly, I’m real slow to mature, so I’m still chasing the kind of shit I was when I first started in some regards. For example: a wicked drum break still gets the juices flowing even though I have thousands already and highly doubt I’m going to make super producer status anytime soon. So basically, if there was any shift it was towards really good records that I don’t have to get up off the couch after one track and change. But that could be an indication of getting old and lazy more so than my musical taste maturing, I dunno.

You and me both [laughs]. That’s kind of the impetus behind Cratery to be honest. But I’m still hip-hop. I just bought a monster break on the weekend. I guess that never goes away.

Your hometown spots like Funk-O-Mart are the stuff of legend. What was it like digging in Philly back then?

One of the most amazing, life-changing discoveries for me in my early teens was the train into the “Gallery” mall downtown.  You could get off the train in the basement of the mall, come up, fuck around in the mall, buy gear and shit, then when you hit the streets the real fun began. Philly in the early 90’s was off the fucking chain! Wild shit going on everywhere from street vendors selling bootleg everything, from music to what ever the fashion trend at the moment was and people hustlin’ everything everywhere. 3 card monte, weed, women, fake jewelry – you name it. When you came out of the Gallery you would come up on Filbert Street and walk right across the street to Armand’s records. Then after that you walk 1 block down to Market street and hit Funk O Mart. When you were done there, you’d walk half a block back down to 11th and hit the Sound Of Market. I called it the vinyl triangle. I was always operating on slim funds (usually saved up lunch money) so if I had anything left by the time I got to the third shop it was a miracle. Sadly, I didn’t make the most of my time and money in those shops cause at the time I remember seeing all the local indie rap shit on the shelves and laughing like “yo who’s wasting their money on that shit when you could get this new Craig Mack 12″!!!” Also I’m sure all three shops were packed to the gills with all the indie boogie and modern soul and gospel that goes for crazy loot these days.

When you were in town for our Live Convention show back in November, you talked a little about the competitiveness to get records in Philly even for the average digger – and how Toronto seemed more casual in that respect. Can you expand on that?

Nowadays, Philly is a very strange place to buy records. They’re here but everybody knows that we’re a huge destination for anybody who’s really on this record shit and it’s been that way for way longer than I’ve been in the game. It hasn’t tapered off a bit over the years, really. We’re talking well over thirty years of people coming from all over the world with the single goal of extracting the city’s natural vinyl resources and most of them come a few times a year. So that’s taken a major toll to the point where there are lots of private press Philly records that don’t show up in the city at all anymore and you have a better chance getting them from sellers overseas. That, combined with the awful store situation we have here. They’re almost all basically buying fronts for eBay and discogs. It’s like it was a reaction to so many people coming here to buy that all the stores got greedy and went the same route. You know the look on the face of a record store owner when they see another dealer gripping their stuff up without hesitation they get that look of panic in their eyes like “Oh no, I’ve made a mistake”. Next thing you know, all the new arrivals are getting listed on discogs for crazy prices and only make it to the shop if they don’t sell online. My beef is you set up a store in a community to service that community and of course make money while doing it, not taking advantage of a community and then denying any actual real collectors in the city a shot at stuff because of the hope you can squeeze a couple extra bucks out of it online. Sure in the short term you could probably make a few extra dollars online but that person isn’t coming to your store and buying other shit while he’s there to grab that record and he’s not telling their friends who come into town “yo you need to check out his spot!”. If you want to sell online, close your shop run an ad in the paper and don’t waste my time coming in your shitty shop with the same stale bins and permanent wall display just so you can show me the good shit you got behind the counter that your listing online. Seriously go fuck yourself!!!!!  In Toronto, you have more of a sense of pride in the community especially with Aki and Cosmos setting the bar for how a store should be run in this new internet age. By all means, use the internet to get business but drive that business into your shop. That’s how good things start to happen, people make connections, exchange information, bring in good records to trade etc.

Some might see our little niche record community on Instagram like a new kind of Soul Strut. It’s a place where likeminded heads follow each other and share music and even sell records. Some folks are divided over whether or not social media has been good for record digging. Some complain that nothing is a secret anymore and others complain because it’s turned into a dick show where everyone’s flossing rares for likes. We certainly connected over Instagram so it can’t be all bad. What are your perspectives on record digging and social media? Has it changed or influenced the kind of music you’re buying or how you buy it?

Instagram is a totally new experience for me. I was a small-time lurker on the Soulstrut board, never making the leap to actually interacting with people. I’d never done anything social media related until I figured out that a local record spot was selling all their good shit dumb fast cause they were posting it on something called Instagram. People were snapping it up before it even hit the floor, but the owner was being smart about it and not shipping – so he was still driving business into his shop. That got me motivated to check the thing out and it’s been a real game changer. It’s a double-edged sword of sorts. On one hand, it’s totally amazing to be connected to likeminded people from all over the world, but on the other, you’re going to be exposed to a lot of shit you don’t condone and just shitty human behavior in general. The biggest problem that can’t be ignored is that there has definitely been a shift to some people feeling overly entitled to everything from knowledge to records and even personal relationships. We came up where all those things were a slow gradual process that at times sucked, and you wished you could bypass, but that’s what you had to do to pay your dues. Now we want it all immediately, myself included, so I try to remind myself of that daily. All that said, I try to focus on the positive aspects like linking up with good people like you guys and all the knowledge and records I’ve gained over the last few years. It’s really amazing and not something I take for granted. That’s why I try to “add on” as much as possible and not just get caught up in the record equivalent of a dick measuring contest. It’s definitely changed the way I dig because we now have a whole new option that can be an unexpected source of info at any given moment of the day. As far as my tastes I’m pretty locked in in to what I like. My tastes are broad, but the common theme has always been hip-hop – that’s were I come from and those are the lenses I look at the world through. I’m attracted to all things I think have a hip-hop aesthetic to them and I find that in the strangest places. That lets you know that hip-hop is a movement that’s nothing new and began a long time ago, not just with the invention of “rappin”. I just don’t think it had a name for a while.

A lot of us hip-hop dudes fell in love with library records because they sounded like rap records. Share 5 of your favourite libraries and tell us why.

Yeah library was just starting to hit when I got into collecting in the late 90’s.  I was lucky and met a record dealer who was making it a priority to find these things. He was mailing post cards and going to all the production houses on the east coast and cleaning them out long before anybody caught on to the value of them. Unfortunately, he was a bit of a star fucker and was selling them to all the NY producers mainly the DITC contingent so my nobody “little dude” ass was only getting to buy the scraps that those guys left behind (they didn’t leave much behind), but I did get to see and hear a lot of them before they bought them. So while my collection wasn’t expanding like I’d hoped, I was gaining a ton of knowledge on which labels and titles to look for. So now many years later I’ve managed to track down a lot of that stuff and some of my favorites would be:

  1. Hanged Man OST (technically a soundtrack) it was originally released in two parts on the Themes label as Drama Suite 1&2. You can get pretty much the whole thing on one record for around $30. Really tough to beat that one.
  1. John Cameron – Afro Rock. One of the best records from one of the best library labels. There are tons of great KPM titles I could pick but that’s one of the most consistent.
  1. Nick Ingman – Big Beat.  One of the De Wolfe labels most epic contributions (that’s saying something, they have a lot to offer) to the library world is matched with one of the most eye grabbing covers of all time with an elephant swinging a hammer for a trunk.
  1. Sea Fantasy – Armando Sciascia on the Italian Vedette label that was actually owned by Sciascia. This is a great and possibly my favorite example of the “underwater” style of library music that has become so popular as of late.
  1. Philopsis – Freesound   A crowning achievement of weirdness from one of my favorite library men of all time Jacky Giordano. I know brother Kae would agree with me on this one, it’s just the perfect combo of bizarre yet somehow funky sounds and patterns. Not to mention the recording/mixing/mic-ing of everything on the Freesound label is next level.

Like all of us at Cratery, you share a mutual love for weed and wax. Has smoking before digging ever affected your judgment in a questionable way?

Burning trees been a daily operation for over twenty years so I’m not too affected as far as buying goes. It would probably have a bigger effect on me if I hadn’t burned something beforehand. Like I would be rushing and not taking my time and being thorough and miss something I would have caught if I was in a better state of mind. It’s definitely a tool in my arsenal, you can put me in the worst most unsettling of situations, negative 10 degrees in a shitty, moldy basement with rats running around, as long as I burned something beforehand and I’m finding records I don’t need shit, I’m good money! I’ve got to confess though I do love taking my homie Tripledouble out on a dig and getting him all roasted and then he thinks everything sounds great on the portable and then when we get back to the spot and he’s like “why the fuck did I buy this?” “Damn you got me too high again” [Laughs].

[Laughs] I’d be lying if I said I didn’t fall victim to that too. Most of my friends consider me a huge rap fan but whenever I encounter one of your indie rap posts on Instagram, I’m positively dumbfounded at the level of random rap shit I’m not up on. Like most of us reared on major label rap, we’re familiar with the Steady B’s, the EST’s, Black Thoughts, Beanies and Freeways of Philly. Who are some of your favourite overlooked Philly MC’s or groups?

Awesome question, you’re really fucking good at this. Ok, so if there is one thing I’m passionate about above all others it’s Philly rap. Particularly the indie side of things that I totally overlooked as a kid. The amount of it is absolutely staggering, coming up I thought I was deep and had a handle on things, cause I knew about the Roots, 100X and Ram Squad. I could literally write a book on this subject now though, so for time’s sake I’m just gonna drop one dudes name who made two of my favorite records.

He’s a buddy of mine who now goes by DJ Nicky But back in the day, he was one of the sickest MC’s in the city and he recorded two records that I’d put up against anything you can think of from the period major or indie. First record was a 12″ under the name 24-7 and the Hoodfellas and the song is called “Let’s Have It” released in ’93. A year later, he released another 12″ under the name The Bang Bang Poet with two tracks: “Unbelievable” and “Here Comes The Bang Bang Poet”. I mention these not only because I like them but because I know that your (Arcee’s) favorite rapper of all time is Black Thought. Listen to these two records and keep in mind that Tariq (Black Thought) is originally is from South Philly. In the early 90’s, before the Roots blew up, Riq was hanging out uptown a lot in the West Oak Lane section of the city where Nicky Butters is from and they would see each other and battle with the vocabulary quite often. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m definitely not insinuating that Riq stole anybody’s style but I think the style of rhyming that most people would credit him for is more of an uptown Philly style than anything else, so I’d say his time uptown had a big effect on the style he’d eventually unleash on the world. You’d probably have to be from here to understand it but different sections of the city had their own styles that varied greatly from the next. The West Philly style is the most obvious and easy to tell cause of the huge success of Fresh Prince and the Hilltop crew. I guess New York is the same in that regard with each borough having their own flavor.

Wow. Appreciate the insight. It’s crazy to me that there isn’t a real proper document on Philly rap. The city has such a huge contribution to the culture and it’s still overlooked today. That book is starting more and more to sound like a good idea. Most days I’m out looking at stuff, it’s pretty par for the course. No insane come ups, but some nice deals if you’re looking. But on the odd occasion, the digging gods can be particularly generous. Give us a story behind one of your most epic finds.

I’ve found over the years that your best bet is to just be as consistent as possible. If you’re going to half ass it, you’re never going to get that good haul so when I do something I tend to get religious about it. You can’t just hit that spot every once in awhile, you’ve got to hit it everyday. You have to be there early, be willing to unload trucks bring shit out from the back room – whatever it takes.  All the years I’ve been digging, I never had a big library come up until one day a couple of years ago at a thrift spot I hit daily that honestly doesn’t give up enough to warrant a daily stop but it’s close enough to me so I always try to make the time.  One day I get there right as they open and there is a shopping cart with records sitting in front of the shelves waiting to be put out, normally the cart would be full of Sergio Mendes and Firestone Christmas records but this day the whole thing was library records. Nothing super expensive but it was about forty solid Bruton and Sonoton label titles that were all super clean and for the .75 cents a piece I paid  it was one of the more satisfying grabs of my life. More so because I’d always hoped to luck up on some library in the field and my persistence had finally paid off than anything else.


Subscribe on iTunes

Download It Here!
(right click > Download Linked File As…[Mac] / Save link as…[Win])



CRATERY 84: Supreme La Rock

My first real glimpse of Supreme La Rock was not in person.

It was through a wantlist of records given to my friend Moss, via our mutual homie Jake One around ’95.

Supreme had instructed Jake to tell his new Canadian counterparts to be on the lookout for some titles and send them his way if we encountered any.

The list had records like:

Stark Reality
Power of Zeus
Les De Merle – Spectrum
Moody – Gentle Rain
Wayne McGhie
First Gear
Turner Brothers

Supreme’s wantlist was basically the stuff of folklore to me.

I had never heard of The Gentle Rain, Stark Reality or Turner Brothers.

These weren’t the type of records you’d find openly listed on sample credits.

They were too heavy for the Luv N Haight/Ubiquity comps of the time.

And you most likely wouldn’t find them in the average Toronto record store back then.

The records on that list were my first glance into a world much deeper than the one I was digging in.

A world extremely far away from CTI records and Tommy Roe drum breaks I was catching in the field.

I mean, shit. I was probably still looking for a copy of Ronnie Laws at that point.

I had never met Supreme and his wantlist had already made him the stuff of legend.

That was before his partnership in the Seattle indie label Conception Records.

Before his seminal break series with Jake One as the Conmen.

Before being featured in issue #1 of Waxpoetics.

And long before you some of you wetmouths were asking him about unlisted breaks on his Instagram.

When we spoke on the phone, you mentioned buying Blair’s “Night Life” in 10th grade. Give us some examples of the early pieces you picked up before they became “grails”.

I picked up Baby Huey & the Babysitters, Jimmy Castor Bunch, Incredible Bongo Band, Headhunters, Bob James all in the mid 80’s not necessarily “grails” but classics. Also, S.O.U.L, Billy Brooks, Faze O, Meters, etc. around ’91.

How did you develop such a large base of knowledge at such a young age? Were you working in a store? Did you have an OG pass on knowledge to you? Growing up in the Pacific Northwest, you weren’t exactly in the South Bronx. Where did this knowledge come from?

A lot of it wasn’t knowledge. Of course, joints like Jimmy Castor, Bongo Band etc. were already certified hip-hop break beat classics at that point but as for the other stuff a lot of trial and error. I was buying records that looked “cool” or noticing who produced it. This was pre-internet, you learned by listening. Louie Lou, T La Rock’s DJ told me about Octopus breaks when they performed in Seattle in the late 80’s so I tried to track those down and ended up talking to Lenny Roberts of U.B.B fame. He would send me lists of original records he had for sale. He already did the digging for you, and knew his stuff, so I’d buy things I didn’t even know because you knew they’d be good. He wasn’t listing anything that wasn’t funky or had breaks on ’em. Also started to do trades with Jazzman Gerald in the U.K. who put me onto a lot of great foreign records and Beni B (ABB records) who I randomly met one day while out digging. He put me onto tons of titles. I never worked in a shop until around ’96 and it wasn’t for long. The main list I used was in a book. Maybe Steven Hager’s “Hip Hop” but can’t remember for sure. There was a book that listed the top classic hip hop breaks so I used that as a guide until I acquired them all and crossed off the entire list.

We’re from a generation that was reared on secrecy. Knowledge was coveted. Thanks (or no thanks) to technology, record knowledge is much more accessible than it used to be (although no one can know or have everything). What are your thoughts on digging in a post-Internet world?

The thing that totally sucks about digging post-Internet is shops and dealers jacking up prices. Sure, there’s someone in the world willing to pay x amount for the record hence the reason it’s sold for that price in the past but with that being said doesn’t necessarily determine market value so it’s really thrown the whole pricing of records off. Not every record is or should be a $100 record. It really sucks to go out to a shop and ALL of their good records aren’t even out because they’ve hidden them in the back to sell online. Why even have a shop? Almost all secrecy about records is gone, but there’s still some out there. It’ll never end.

It feels like most of the digging “rules” we grew up with have been thrown out the window. I remember hearing things like “don’t sample any drums after ‘79” and “only sample original vinyl”. Even though there aren’t any steadfast rules today – are there any you still choose to subscribe to?

The only rule I stick to in 2017 and beyond is there are no rules.

The Conmen mixes were like a bible to many of us. From the selections to the way they were put together, it was unprecedented. Funky records, rare and common all together in one place. The intro to “The Masters” where you mention the infamous “Giant for McCluskey” trade even became someone’s user name on Soul Strut. Why do you think those mixes were so influential?

Conmen mixes were influential for a few reasons. Hardly anyone was doing them at that time. I used to make mixes like that on the regular just for myself to listen to at work to inspire myself to make beats. I was doing regular song mixtapes and selling them but never thought of selling a tape with 3 seconds of a record on it I thought no one would want to hear that. Jake (One) was the guy that suggested we do a tape like that and put it out. As far as selection goes, we had stuff that was sampled and been used already and stuff that hadn’t, but we both had the ear for a good loop or a good groove. I had tons of drum breaks no one had used yet, so mix that all together and heads that produce were easily influenced. We even heard people were sampling straight from our tapes they didn’t even have or know what the original record was.

That’s crazy. I never knew that was going on. I was actively trying to find some of those records and it wasn’t easy so if you’re sampling off a mixtape I can only imagine how difficult it would be for some folks to find that shit. And it’s not any easier today. Nowadays, with Internet pricing, it’s harder than ever to catch record stores slipping. But you’ve still had your share of legendary come ups over the years. Share a few times where you had to keep a poker face at the counter with a rare piece in hand.

I hit a store once that had just scored a decent collection and the dude running it was kind of a wanker so I knew he was gonna gouge me on pricing if he’d even sell any of them to me. To my luck he was going on his lunch break so I pillaged through the boxes as fast as I could and asked the younger brand new clerk if I could buy them? She said sure they’ll be $2.99 each! I cashed out as fast as I could and dipped before homie got back from lunch. Also, recently a clerk was told to look up the prices on discogs to price my stack. The good thing is he had absolutely no idea what he was doing and was putting re-issue prices on original pieces.

You’re infamous for “having it all” despite the fact that we both know that’s impossible. What’s an example of a record that’s eluded you no matter how hard you’ve tried to find it?

I’m not going to give that title up because I don’t have it yet. Sorry. But yeah I far from have everything. I think there’s around 3 thousand titles in my discogs wantlist.

Let’s take it to the hometown for a second. What’s your favourite Seattle record store, past or present?

Best record store in Seattle was probably Platters ran by Gary Delmaestro. He catered to DJ’s, specialized in 12″ disco singles but had tons of great 45’s soul x funk lps as well.

Give us 5 essential Seattle breaks.

  1. Dennis the Fox “Piledriver”
  2. Cross Winds “Fools Journey”
  3. Springfield Rifle “Keep Loading”
  4. Great Pretenders “Hand Jive”
  5. Happy Daze “Monday Work Song”

You’re well over 30 years into collecting vinyl, toys, clothes, sneakers and everything in between. Like you, as we continue to acquire more and more, we’ve been wrestling with the idea that all this stuff has to mean something. It can’t just be a bunch of stuff. Have you ever thought about what will happen with your collection when you’re no longer here? What’s the endgame with buying all this stuff?

I think it just means I’m a weirdo. (Laughs) It’s all going to my son. I hope he sells it all to new happy homes and invests the money wisely.


Subscribe on iTunes

Download It Here!
(right click > Download Linked File As…[Mac] / Save link as…[Win])



The 7th: Confrontation

CONTRIBUTOR: Jason Palma (Play De Record, Higher Ground)

ARTIST: Homegrown Syndrome
SONG: Confrontation
LABEL: Arista
YEAR: 1981

This is such an interesting record for me!  This is a more recent purchase, but it is a record I was after for a few years time.  These days I am VERY picky when it comes to spending top money on a piece, but this one was number one on my wants and I got it for a pretty fair price.  The best part is that this is the better Canadian pressing.  All US pressings are pressed on dreaded styrene, which wears out very fast and sounds terrible after several plays.  The Canadian pressing is  pressed on vinyl  It’s really interesting that this record is so rare being that is on a major label, but I’m guessing this sound made famous by groups like Brass Construction and Crown Heights Affair in the 70s had fallen out of fashion by 1981, and this record went right under the radar and into oblivion.  It is exactly the sound I love playing for dancefloors, and it always rocks the crowd when I drop it.  Unfortunately I know nothing about the group, but would love to hear if they recorded anything else. 


The 7th: Total Satisfaction

CONTRIBUTOR: Aki Abe (Cosmos Records)

ARTIST: Brief Encounter
SONG: Total Satisfaction
LABEL: Sound Plus
YEAR: 1977

This one came from a juke box collection that sucked… mostly late 70’s glam funk ranging from Rick James to Jeff Lorber picture covers but we managed to rescue this record from being extinguished into a local garbage bin. Brief Encounter, like countless funk groups, started as a family unit band out of the church.  They made a humble living touring with commercial acts like James Brown and Sister Sledge. They’ve only had a handful of releases but in terms of soul crossover nuggets, they’re perfected the sound. This single is known for it’s B-side track ‘Human’ but I’d like to feature the lesser known A-side ‘Total Satisfaction’ since I never listened to it until Serious asked me ‘what’s on the flip of that thing?’ when I came over to rip my records for this feature. Discovering new songs over few cans of Sapporo and a fat rollie while stepping over Arcee’s Lyman Woodard LP lying on the floor makes this Brief Encounter experience an exceptional one.


The 7th: Mind Games

CONTRIBUTOR: Famous Lee (Love Handle)
ARTIST: Roland Haynes Jr & Phenix
SONG: Mind Games
LABEL: EII Records
YEAR: 1983

This small hole American 45 was a lesson in patience for all you novice internet diggers fiending over some obscure, over-priced joint on the (insert web vinyl depot of your choice here). I first came across it online about six or seven years ago, and fell in love. It’s the winning combination of an insistent two step, a tight rhythm section, with acoustic piano/lead guitar set against an incredible vocal performance by someone named Arndra Argo, who pleads with the object of his affection to check him out cause “brain strain” he can do without.  Needless to say, I was intoxicated, and spent the next few years looking for it, and any information about anyone involved.  Is it the Roland Haynes of 2nd Wave/Black Jazz Records fame?  The Internet points in opposite directions and, as of this write-up, none of the Roland Haynes’ that I’ve contacted on Facebook (3 if we’re not counting the white accountant that I contacted by mistake) have responded to claim this masterpiece.  The moral of this story is that if you wait long enough something will pop up on your discogs want list for a fraction of the amount listed 7 years after you began looking for it. Trends come and go, but brain strain we can all do without.


CRATERY 83: Dan Zacks

Toronto-based collector Dan Zacks pops his Cratery cherry on this month’s episode. I first came to know of Dan through the two Cuban funk compilations he released between 2006 and 2009: Si, Para Usted, volumes 1 and 2 (Both very well put together). Soon after, I realized he shared mutual friends like the hommies Kaewonder and Alister Johnson. It wasn’t until hanging with Zacks and some friends at his home that I became more familiar with this unassuming, bespectacled gentleman with a penchant for the foreign and the funky. We’re happy to finally welcome him to Cratery. Track list and audio below.

How did you start collecting? What type of records were you buying early on? 

I started collecting because of Jason Palma’s Higher Ground radio show. I grew up in Toronto and in the mid-90s, when I was about 15, stumbled on CIUT, University of Toronto’s campus community station.  I became an avid and rather indiscriminate CIUT listener.  Initially, I was into a show that played a lot of Joe Frank monologues, but one Thursday I stumbled on Higher Ground and that was it.  I remember hearing Roy Porter’s Jessica and Candido’s Thousand Fingered Man and wondering what this stuff was and why I’d never heard it before.  I didn’t appreciate at the time that it was already two decades old.  I went to HMV and asked if they had anything by Roy Porter and got the blank look you’d expect.

I listened to Higher Ground with an adolescent obsession.  Once Movement started, I started sneaking my way in.  I bought a lot of CDs, mostly used, and read Straight No Chaser while loitering in HMV.

In 2000 I went to Montreal for university.  There were quite a few records stores there at the time, and a lot of them had reasonably inexpensive vinyl.  There was no scene equivalent to what was developing around Movement, and so the collecting culture was different.  To the extent that people were digging for the kind of stuff you’d hear on Higher Ground, it was mostly because they were chasing breaks and samples.  The result was that some of the records I was into were available at reasonable prices.  I started buying.

In the winter of 2000, I got my first radio show on CKUT, McGill’s campus-community station.  I decided that justified buying more seriously, and that’s when I really began collecting in earnest.  In 2001, I probably spent as much time in record stores as I did in class.

Jason Palma is the man. He’s responsible for so spreading so much good taste around this city. For some reason, I was under the impression that you were originally from Montreal. Or at least spent a great deal of time there.

I spent five years in Montreal and then moved to New Brunswick for some more school.  I returned to Toronto in 2008.  New Brunswick was then a surprisingly decent place for records, especially Canadiana–I found Henri Pierre Noel LPs in St. John! I cleaned out the province pretty thoroughly, so don’t even bother.  All that’s left are white baptist choir records and you don’t want those, trust me.

Ha! Montreal has always been such an amazing city for records. What were some of your favourite stores while you were out there?

Montreal hugely influenced my tastes.  I developed an interest, verging on a passion, for Quebecois recordings.  Ultimately, I began selling collectible Quebecois vinyl on a semi-professional basis.

I mentioned that there were quite a few quality shops in the early 2000s, but nothing in Montreal, and really anywhere else that I’ve been, compared to the glory of the late Mars Records.

Mars was then a cavernous basement on St. Catherine, a little west of St. Laurent.  It was evenly split between porn, posters, and records.  At any given time, the record section held hundreds of thousands of records–maybe millions–overflowing from shelves, stacked beneath them, stacked above them, stacked in towering piles on the floor, stacked in heaps in a mysterious roped off section.  Most records were covered in mould and dust and indeterminate filth that left your skin black.  The first stop after a Mars session was the washroom in the neighbouring Belgo building to clean the sludge off your hands.

I don’t know why Mars was so filthy.  I remember being told that there had once been a great flood in Mars, but also that an underground stream flowed adjacent to the record section causing perpetual mould growth.  The place was surreal enough that all of this seemed plausible.

You would go to Mars and dig for an hour or two (or more, if like me, you preferred digging to school), and you’d find maybe a dozen records of some value.  Because you’d have exerted a lot of effort to find the heat, and because you’d be covered in crud, you’d feel as if Mars should be paying you for your time, and you’d expect that Mars would sell you the records for just a couple dollars.

It didn’t work that way.  You’d present your records to Tom, who ran Mars with his brother, and he would pull out his Goldmine guide.  If it had a listing for the record, he’d quote you the NM price.  If the record was unlisted, he’d quote a price, maybe $20, maybe $75, based on what he thought you’d find most infuriating.  You could negotiate with Tom, but he rarely went half as low as the record’s actual value.

This routine left unprepared customers livid.  I witnessed at least a couple guys–always guys, of course–nearly take a swing at him.  Tom loved that.  The transaction would end with most people buying one or two records and leaving the rest behind.  Tom kept these behind the counter (which mostly held stolen electronics—I once saw a guy arrested in Mars while trying to fence a CD player he’d taken from the Bay down the street).

Over time, I became as friendly as you could be with Tom.  I used to talk a lot of nonsense with the colourful types who Tom let hang out in the store.  If Tom liked you, he’d stop you from sitting in the decrepit chair near the counter where a homeless prostitute spent her off-time because, he’d say, it was covered with lice.  It was undoubtedly covered with something.

Once friendly with Tom, he let me flip through all the records he kept behind the counter and would show me where others customers hid their stashes.  He also charged me fair prices.  My time then was cheap, and I spent endless hours digging through Mars over the span of two, maybe three years.  It was already then fairly depleted, but there was plenty of heat.  I’ll never forget my first big Mars find–a pristine Jarvis Street Review that I flipped for US$700.

I also found a lot of Cuban records in Mars, and that was how my interest in Cuban music began.

That is insane. I never came up in Mars like that. Always did better at Disquivel and Le Pick-Up. I guess it all comes down to relationships. Speaking of Cuban music, you really helped foster a love for Cuban Funk around the world with your “Si, Para Usted” compilations a few years back. Is there any one genre that has your interest right now? 

For the past decade I’ve been working on a compilation of Israeli jazz, funk, and psych.  The project was very close to coming together, but life intervened.  It still remains an interest.  The music is stellar (though there’s not a lot of it), and the various forces that shaped the music are unusually interesting.

For whatever reasons, I’ve also been into Italian jazz of late.  People know the Carosello label, especially stuff like Mayafra, but the other, cheaper releases are really good.

Israeli funk and Italian Jazz huh? Always on that other shit. Any guilty pleasures that people would be surprised you’re into? 

To paraphrase Leo Sayer, there’s no shame in my game.  I’m quite fond of opera…

What about record store rituals? Personally, I’m a sucker for the new arrivals section. I tend to hit that first regardless of the record store. Do you have any rituals? Certain things you always do regardless of the store? 

These days, my shopping ritual is to get popsike and discogs ready on my phone and….

I’m kidding, of course.  I usually start with the new arrivals, go to the jazz section, then depending on my mood and how the store is set up, go to the rock section.  The soundtrack section almost always disappoints me.  I think I have bad soundtrack luck.

You and me both. There’s never a Lialeh just chilling in the cut. Share with us, if you will, a couple of memorable digging experiences.

I once came across three boxes of library records in a store way out in the Montreal suburbs.  One of my fondest memories is going on a day trip with A Man Called Warwick and Jon Sikich looking for records in Eastern Township antique stores.  I don’t think we found very much, but it was terrific fun.  Actually, I’m sure Warwick pulled something ridiculous, because he always does.

I used to see a really lovely dealer named Marc Lambert.  I think A Man Called Warwick generously introduced me to him.  I would make the trip to his apartment in the east island, and he would offer me cake and play rare prog on his audiophile set-up.  Woe to those who didn’t use finicky belt drive turntable just right! Marc sold me lots of terrific records at fair prices really expanded my knowledge.

The ethically fraught business of “direct digging” also made for some memorable experiences.  I met Henri Pierre Noel, Ted Moses, and Lee Gagnon with that approach.  Turns out that the market for Ted Moses recordings wasn’t as robust as I had anticipated.  I think I lost money on that deal.  Want to buy some sealed Sidereal Times?

I think I got a couple of Ted’s joints lying around actually, so I’m hoping I kept them for a good reason. Besides the astronomical prices, any major pet peeves about digging today? 

In my opinion, to the extent that digging still exists, it’s in circumstances where people don’t have access to or understand the Internet, or where there’s a lot of volume and whoever prices the records can’t google them all.

Otherwise, the Internet, and smartphones in particular, has basically ended digging as it was even ten years ago.  Digging was about having more knowledge than whoever was selling you the record.  When you can access google on your phone, there’s rarely any knowledge advantage.  If we’re candid, how many truly exceptional records aren’t available on youtube or wherever? Sure, some rare stuff remains mostly unknown, but this is now a tiny minority of the vinyl we covet.

Damn. That was a real but depressing answer. Let’s attempt to end this interview on a more positive note. Give us 3 records from your collection you’d never sell and why.

1. Quintonal EP

This is a ridiculously good Montreal record that’s one of the very best jazz-funk recordings ever.  I stand by that.  It’s also one of those records that really was pressed in tiny quantities and handed out at shows.  Marc Lambert offered it to me one afternoon.  He said “I thought Symon [Warwick] might want this, but he turned it down” and I got all excited, because even then Symon had moved on to deeper stuff but i was still very much enthused by jazzfunk. It was the most expensive record I’d bought at the time, maybe 2003, at $100.  Later, I played it for Symon and I think he felt bad passing o on it.  Being Symon, he later found two copies in a shoebox while digging in Montreal. I don’t remember the actual size of the pressing, but it was definitely no more than 500, so this was basically a miracle bestowed on Symon by the fickle record gods.

2. The Nick Ayoub Quintet on CBC records.

This is a perfect jazz album, one of my very favourites.  I will always keep a copy of this.

3. The first Azymuth LP.

Sure, it’s one of the great Brazilian records, but for me it’s not even about the music.  This was my first great Internet dig. Some fellow in Rio had a geocities site selling mid-level Brazilian grails and after some correspondence it seemed legit.  I bought maybe $300 worth of records, including this one, which I think cost $25.  Months pass without the records arriving.  The dealer stopped responding to my emails.  I called the Canadian embassy in Rio, implied that I was involved in a significant trade deal, and asked if they could assist by providing me with the dealer’s telephone number, which they did (the Rio phone book was not then online).  The number I got was actually for the fellow’s mother, who spoke decent enough English.  She connected me with her son, I blustered a bit, he seemed a little taken aback, and the records arrived a month or so later.


1. Nick Ayoub Quintet – Ya Habibi
2. Overton Berry Trio – Guacamole
3. Basa Basa Soundz – Yes we can
4. Unlisted
5.  Los Canayes – Chikichaka
6. Som Tres – Horizonte
7. Ana Mazzotti – Roda Mundo
8. Celia – Detalhes
9. Spiced with Brazil – Casa Forte
10. Zaras – Forever
11. The Bendeth Band – I was there
12. Baba Yaga – Too cool to be true
13. The Daughters of Eve – The Sons of Adam
14. Andrew Wartts and the Gospel Storytellers – Rich man, poor man
15. Camel – Lady Fantasy
16. Chris Squire – Lucky Seven
17. The Nick Ayoub Quintet – Peridot
18. Pete Scofield – Introducing – My Man
19. Roger Rodier – Am I supposed to let it by again
20. The Rainy Daze – Snow and Ice and Burning Sand

Subscribe on iTunes

Download It Here!
(right click > Download Linked File As…[Mac] / Save link as…[Win])



The 7th: We Did it Baby (Part 1)

CONTRIBUTOR: Alister Johnson (Do Right Music, Love Handle)

ARTIST: General Lee
SONG: We Did It Baby (Part 1)
LABEL: Lost Weekend
YEAR: 1979    

I still get goosebumps when I hear that vocal / key melody off the top of this track.  That timeless sound of an artist who really was immersed in their music.  Not too much is known about General Lee, from what I can tell he did a number of productions in the 70s (and possibly late 60s) as Robert Q. Lee / General Lee. According to the label copy, this song was slated to appear on ‘General Lee & The Space Army Band’s Forthcoming Album’, which to my knowledge was never released and the master tapes may have been destroyed.  There are a handful of 7″ singles on the Lost Weekend label, all of which are worth tracking down, I only have this one and ‘Magic’ by General Lee.  A perfect joint for kicking back with someone special and mellowing out. 


The 7th: I’m Not Ready For Love


ARTIST: Promise 
SONG: I’m not ready for love
LABEL: New Directions
YEAR: 1974

God bless the Internets for allowing me to track this one down after I first heard it on the radio. It was playing on the Stolen Souls radio show (on 105.5 FM) here in Toronto. The whole set was sounding lovely but then this came on. I was like “What the fuck is this???” I tried calling up the station to ask what it was but no one answered the phone (editor’s note: classic college radio). I could hear from the chorus that they kept saying ‘I’m not ready for love”, so that was a helpful
hint. When I got back home, I did my googles and learned exactly what the record was. I wasn’t able to find much information about the group or the label, but New Directions seems to be Maryland based and Promise has a couple of releases on the label. When I played it for the Cratery staff, they said it sounded like some bootleg Sylvers shit, and they weren’t wrong. It’s like an all female version of the Sylvers with a hard ass knock to the drums. It’s funky as hell. When I first heard the joint I actually thought it might have been a re-edit, because there’s a nice break down of open bars near the end of the track. Rappers can just loop that shit up and go. I remember just sitting there and nodding my head to it, I think I even kicked a freestyle to myself. I heard this around the time I was really getting into kiddie funk/soul groups from the early 70s. I didn’t know the record at all but it instantly caught my attention and really stuck with me. I just loved it so much – I needed to have it in my collection.


CRATERY 82: Hotthobo

L.A. raised DJ and label owner Randy “Hotthobo” Ellis was in town guesting at Toronto’s Modern Funk Fest, and our hommie Famous Lee of Love Handle fame thought he’d be perfect for a Cratery episode. It’s always a pleasure to connect with real music lovers. And like many real music lovers, Hotthobo has dedicated his life to music. While his west coast roots have certainly informed his taste for funk, Hotthobo isn’t defined by a single genre. His first selection on this month’s episode, Las Grecas’ “Bella Kali” (used on Gonjasufi’s “Cowboys and Indians”), is a far cry from the lo-fi handclaps found on Adam Chini’s “Don’t tempt me”, released on his own Hobo Camp label earlier this year. But admittedly, like many of us, soul and funk music is his first love. And Randy’s got the goods to prove it. It certainly explains the inclusion of the Ted Coleman Band on this episode. As well as Zodiac’s “Miss you”, which I added to my Discogs wantlist without shame before he was even done playing it. Trust me – it’s always a good sign when that happens during an episode. Audio and tracklist below.

You grew up in LA? What got you hooked on music?

Yeah, specifically “the Valley” (aka the San Fernando Valley).  My dad is a musician and composer, who has produced commercial and TV music throughout the years, among other varying and wildly random music projects. So it started with birth more or less, I can’t really remember a time not having music be pretty present.

How did your obsession with vinyl begin?

I was always into music, especially cassettes and CDs, and my dad and I would hit The Wherehouse and Tower Records in the Valley quite regularly…it was something I always looked forward to.  So the obsession with albums/consumer music started pretty early on, but when I was around 15 years old, my parents let me raid their record collection, which was mainly a lot of classic rock, classical, fusion, and jazz.  I found that Freddie Hubbard record “Red Clay” in my dad’s records which is still to this day one of my favorite LPs… it contained a Tribe Called Quest sample, who I was really into at the time, and I made that connection that hip hop producers sampled records to make beats.  I didn’t really understand that up until that point, and so it opened up this world to find all the stuff that the hip-hop guys sampled, while I was also looking for current hip-hop and jungle records.  Obviously I tried scratching for the first time on a single turntable, and that was just like this rad new way to interact with music, and I would try to play stuff over a portable tape deck and then scratch the record on my parent’s soundsystem.  Moby Disk, a record store in Sherman Oaks was walking distance from this school I went to, and they had a very cheap used record and cd section and one of the clerks was pretty nice to me and would point out stuff to check out, so I started to slowly buy records.

Tell us a little bit about your labels: Hobo Camp and Voltaire Records. Most people would find running one independent label ambitious. Why two? And what’s the difference between them?

Well Voltaire was started in SF a little over 5 years ago with my buddies Dave and Matt.  Dave was already producing stuff under the name “The DMV” before that, which then became “Loose Shus” and him and my other friend Amy started to teach me basic production techniques on Ableton.  Generally we were just really into music, dj-ing, skateboarding, and partying, and we knew a few producers through MySpace or mutual friends who had great tunes and nothing physically out, so we set out to try to put out a compilation record which ended up being Affairs-Online.  We actually didn’t finish that project until after our first release, as my buddy Nathan from the band Tussle heard I was trying to start a label and put me in touch with Publicist (aka Seb from Trans Am) who had an EP of tunes ready to go that we were immediately stoked on…that ended up being the 1st Voltaire release.  Now we’re on our 15th release now and have done tons of videos, trips, shows, etc…and its been really great…still is.  Anyways, I moved from SF about 2 years ago, and when I did I found that the dynamic of the label had changed a bit, mainly as I wasn’t physically there to go hang out and talk shop.  We still work together now, but it’s mostly via email, phone, Skype, whereas before we’d meet all the time at various bars or at home and work everything out in person.  We are very particular about the projects we choose, and we all have to be in agreement to go forward on stuff.

I’ve always tried to keep in touch with the producers that I really like and reach out to those that I want to meet, so I was getting great projects and demos pretty regularly, and I wanted to start a label that I would have more control over with a different look and vibe.  I’d always loved Dyami O’Brien’s artwork, and I’d known him from going to Funkmosphere and seeing his work on Instagram or his website, and I’d occasionally DJed with him in LA when i was visiting from SF. He was down to handle the graphics for Hobo Camp, and my buddy Brit was also down to help get it going, so we just went from there.  So now I do both labels, and it’s just a different crew and a different process for each.  I think any fan of either label would like the other, but I do see Voltaire as being more refined and collaborative, and Hobo Camp as being a little more raw with me having more direction.

It feels like funk has been woven into the fabric of LA. Why do you think funk feels so at home in Los Angeles?

Funk has a home in LA backyards, garages, record stores and DJ crates.  It’s one of those relatively underground music genres, at least at this point, that just kinda remained in LA, the stuff that older siblings, uncles, and cousins got down to and passed down to the next generations…but it evolved through genres and now its back around and is clearly influenced by the sound palate and gear of a specific era.  The Boogie-Funk music that I’m obsessed with, after having its day in the late 70s/early 80s worked its way into electro and rap stuff, then into west coast g-funk, and now its coming back around via the Modern Funk genre and in many others as well…but none of those other sub-genres ever really went away, producers have been making them, or weird combos of them for the last 30 years to varying degrees.  For the last ten years, I think funk has felt at home in LA thanks to nights like Funkmosphere, Rap and G-Funk Anthems which get relatively constant radio airplay in LA and SoCal (many of which sample classic funk tracks), random DJs keeping funk playing at house parties, in garages and clubs, and there is a nice cohort of LA based producers that have always kept it alive.  Also in the 90s the whole rare groove thing was really in, and to a certain point got really well established…and that sound was rooted more in the 60s and 70s, and a lot of folks moved further on toward electro, boogie, and disco, which were genres that used to be completely ignored by most diggers…if only I was ahead of the game then!

I say the same thing to myself all the time. What other cities have you played that really appreciate the funk on another level?

SF is where I came to truly appreciate the Disco/Boogie/Funk sound, thanks to the weekly night, Sweaterfunk, which took the blueprint of Funkmosphere, moved it to SF, built up a crew of very devoted DJs and developed their own unique night and vibe.  San Diego is definitely an upcoming funk city at the moment, with some killer producers/bands like Brian Ellis and Reflection, Adam Chini, Throwback Zack and nights like the Boogie Down at the Hideout.  Santa Ana and Orange County in general has a ruling boogie-funk scene, thanks mostly to the ever dominant Funk Freaks crew.  From personal experience I think Toronto, Oakland, Austin, and Sacramento all have great scenes with some very dedicated heads involved.  I’ve heard that Portland and Chicago are also amazing and I’ve met great DJs from those spots, but I haven’t been to either yet.  New York City felt super ripe for the funk the last time I was there…but I was told otherwise?!?  But I don’t know man, people there seemed pretty with it.

One of the chief benefits of traveling is digging in other cities. Any favorite stores / digging experiences in your travels you’d like to share?

My favorite stores are Groove Merchant and Rookies in SF, Cosmos in Toronto, Record Jungle in LA, Superior Elevation in Brooklyn and Beatbox in San Diego.  Basically any store with a cool owner that figures out your tastes, puts you on to great jams and constantly brings in new records is good on my end…also the cutty spots where you gotta put in the time.  Any time I find an amazing record or am turned on to a epic track for the first time is a good digging experience for me.

What are some of the challenges you face as a working, traveling DJ that people simply may not be aware of?

The biggest for me is just handling my own booking, and traveling with vinyl.  I really need to be on it to create my own destiny there, and if I drop the ball I’m gonna be the one without a place to sleep or an easy way to travel, or without any money from a gig.  The vinyl thing is just the pain of carrying records and personal luggage on planes and from place to place mostly, not really a big issue, but a lot of professional DJs kinda trip on me when they hear I don’t do the Serato thing on trips.

We definitely have to give it up to the guys who are willing to go the extra mile in the name of records. Give our listeners 5 modern funk jams that you would consider essential.

I’ll give a couple more, cuz 5 is too tough for me: Moon B – II, Psychic Mirrors – I Come For Your Love/The Witching Hour and Nature of Evil, Turquoise Summers – A Touch Of Turquoise, Brian Ellis – Reflection, SASAC – Future Disc, Dam Funk – Toeachizown, Private Function, XL Middleton – Tap Water, Zackey Force Funk – Money Green Viper, Benedek – Test Press, K-Maxx – Supadrunk, Social Lovers – Enjoy the Ride…I could keep going but thats a nice list.

You’re also a sweet soul and two-step fan. What is it about soul music in general that you connect with so strongly?

I really like deep music, that connects directly and honestly to emotions that feel myself or have felt in the past.  Quality soul music always feels real and from the heart, and when the beat or the band is in the groove and the vocalist is really laying it down it rarely gets any better.

Loving the “Thread Count” mix (just one of many) on your Soundcloud page. Where else can we check out your mixes and keep up with all things Hotthobo?

If you wanna check out my DJ mixes, the Hotthobo Soundcloud page is the best spot, but also check the Voltaire and Hobo Camp Soundcloud pages which have a lot of rad tracks and mixes.  I’ve been putting out Cassette Tapes recently on the Hobo Camp Bandcamp page along with our 7″ and 12″ releases, so that is another good place to check out the stuff I’ve been doing.  I have a new project called RELISH for which I have an EP in the works (realistically in 2017) which will have some original productions that I’ve been working on, and of course you can always check the project that I collaborated on with Dave from Voltaire, called “Loose Shus” on itunes, soundcloud or youtube. Thanks again.


1. Las Grecas – Bella Kali
2. Chayns – You
3. The Collectors – Howard Christman’s Older
4. Archie Whitewater – Cross Country
5. Frederick Robinson III – Love one another
6. Batiste Brothers Band – It’s all about the family
7. 9th Creation – He’s Coming
8. Spirits Rejoice – I’m so strong now (what does it matter)
9. Ted Coleman Band – Due consideration
10.  Bill Summers and Summer Heat – London Town
11. Dr. Music – Two can play
12. O’Conner – Too sweet to lose
13. Zodiac – Miss You
14. The After Hours – I don’t wanna cry
15.  Chico Hamilton Quintet – A Rose for Booker
16.  Horace Silver – Who has the answer
17.  J. Reddick -When you call my name
18. Todd Rundgren – Prana
19. Blair – Night Life
20. Sir John Roberts – Do you believe in fate ?

Subscribe on iTunes

Download It Here!
(right click > Download Linked File As…[Mac] / Save link as…[Win])



The 7th: Ain’t That Loving You


ARTIST: Skull Snaps
SONG: Ain’t that loving you
LABEL: Grill Records
YEAR: 1975

I don’t know too much about this release other than it’s not on the full length and came out a couple of years later in 1975. And to be honest, this one side is better to me than the whole Skull Snaps LP put together.

The track is quintessential 70s soul –  strings, group vocals and an impeccable arrangement that builds and builds and takes you on this journey where the song finishes off in a different place than where it started – but it is all about the drums to me. The fills creep in, creep in, creep in and suddenly you are in the middle of this fall-down-on-your-knees “can’t stop, won’t stop” frenzy of tortured devotion.
I am one of those record buying people who whips through a record real quick, I can tell pretty fast if I like it or not and I am on my way. But I stood there (in Academy Records on 12th) and listened to this thing from start to finish two times through. I just couldn’t take the needle off.
If you’ve got a small, dimly-lit smoky bar, a story to tell and a couple bottles of whiskey, I have the 45.


CRATERY 81: The Island Episode

Much of the black cultural experience in Toronto is rooted in the Caribbean.

The food. The slang. The style.

And of course, the music.

The American rap accents in our favourite songs had an impact on us – but never enough to drown out our overwhelmingly homegrown West Indian influence.

Hip-hop and island culture have gone hand-in-hand in Toronto since King Lou was ghostwriting for Michie Mee, Jam on Strong was backing up MC Rumble and Ghetto Concept was soliciting gun fingers at the Spectrum.

It’s only natural that our strong West Indian roots have led to an abundance of vinyl from the Caribbean in record stores all across Toronto.

And not just music from the Islands – music recorded in Toronto by ex-pat Islanders with a strong connection to their roots.

Our friend Kevin “Sipreano” Howes introduced the world to a few of these gems on the compilation “Jamaica to Toronto” back in 2006.

Despite a penchant for jerk chicken, stew oxtail and goat roti, Serious, Kae and I can’t sit here and call ourselves experts on all things Caribbean.

There’s simply too much of it out there for us to know it all.

We do, however, have a weak spot for all things dope. And there’s no shortage of that when you’re digging in the “Tropical” section of your local record store.

Steel pan oddities. Woofer shattering Dub. Sweet soulful covers. Drum heavy funk.

It’s all stuff that you’ll find in Toronto if you dig hard enough.

Or you could just let us do the work and stream the heat below.



1. The Chosen Few – People make the world go round
2. Derrick Harriott – Rasta is love
3. Augustus Pablo – Rockers meets King Tubby in a Fire House
4. Prince Buster – Free love
5. Syd and the Troubadours – Aquarius
6. Don Carrington Trio – Dingus
7. Wayne McGhie and the sounds of Joy – Fire (she need water)
8. Blue Rhythm Combo – Tango Boo Gonk
9. Trinidad Tripoli Steel Band – Sissy Strut
10. Jimmy Lindsay – Ain’t no sunshine
11. Wild Fire – Try making love pt 2
12. Byron Lee and the Dragonnaires – Groovy situation
13. Jackie Mittoo – Darker shade of black
14. The Light of Saba – Sabayindah
15. The Paragons – The world is a ghetto

Subscribe on iTunes

Download It Here!
(right click > Download Linked File As…[Mac] / Save link as…[Win])



The 7th: Put a Smile on Time

CONTRIBUTOR: Jason Palma (Play De Record, Toronto)

ARTIST: Rhythm Machine 
SONG: Put a smile on time
YEAR: 1976

This was a record I really, really wanted at the time.  Keb Darge was our first international guest at Movement (a monthly party I used to copromote with a collective of DJs from around 1999-2005) and he played this late on one of the nights that we brought him to town.  I was on the dance floor and was completely blown away.   A beautiful spacy mid tempo groover with a killer horn arrangement at the end(it fades out a little too early unfortunately).  This cut is also featured on their very rare LP also on Lulu.  As far as I know the only other band to record on that label is the Highlighters, who ware more famous for their “Funky 16 Corners” and “Poppin Popcorn” 45s.  A copy popped up on Ebay and I paid quite a lot for it.  Probably the most I had ever spent on a record at the time so I felt a little weird about it.  That is until I got an email from someone offering me double what I had paid.  Needless to say I did not sell it!


CRATERY 80: The Library Edition

I sit here listening to Eddie Warner’s “Eccentric Trick” on loop (a track from his Progressive Percussions No.2 record), pondering why I love library music so much and it’s a no-brainer. I’m a hip-hop dude. And this shit sounds LIKE FUCKING HIP-HOP. Instrumental compositions laced with heavy 4/4 drums, thick basslines, fuzz guitar and musique concrete-esque synthesizer tangents? Composers using multiple pseudonyms to avoid contractual issues? The fact that the music was made for commercial use and not for public consumption? Count me the fuck in.

I’m probably the 3rd generation of library collectors in Toronto and I am BY NO MEANS an authority on the subject. I just ended up lucky enough to get a few pieces from some local dealers who discovered what I jealously refer to as “the source” where a lot of these library joints started popping up in Toronto. I knew some of the first people there, but that was way before I was spending money on heavier pieces. I remember seeing Tonio Rubio’s “Rhythms” for $250 circa 2003 and at that point it was the most expensive record I’d ever seen in the field. Shortly after, things began to change. Library records started drying up and the chances of finding these sought after joints around town had all but disappeared.

Naturally, a few years later when copies of Freesound’s “Challenger” or “Schifters” started to resurface randomly I was there, ready to COP ON SIGHT. Still, I was far from the first to do it here in T.O. We have to pay homage and respect to Beatdawg’s “Cops & Robbers” as the first really comprehensive, mind-expanding mix of Library material that is still light-years ahead of the game today in my opinion.

It wasn’t my idea to do an all-library Cratery episode, but I’m glad Arcee proposed the idea. If you have a penchant for off-kilter miniature soundscapes the way we do, this episode is for you. No track list this time around but we suspect you’ll enjoy it regardless. As the mighty Busta Rhymes once said…. “When digging into my library….”


Subscribe on iTunes

Download It Here!
(right click > Download Linked File As…[Mac] / Save link as…[Win])




If anything, this mix serves as irrefutable proof that I smoke way too much weed. I did this years ago, armed with my trusty Monotron mini-synthesizer, some audio clips from a BBC progressive rock documentary, unquantifiable amounts of kush and a handful of prog records that I had accumulated over the years and needed a purpose. Records like the second press of the EXTREMELY scarce Shylock album, Franck Dervieux’s Quebecois Prog MASTERPIECE Dimension ‘M’ (one of my TOP ALBUMS OF ALL TIME), and the ever-elusive Dragon S/T LP (pressed and recorded out in London by a group of Belgian Prog dudes). Shit, I even threw on some selections from the god Bo Hansson (Do NOT FUCKING SLEEP – he’s smashing on 1/2 the Brain catalog and you know it). This mix is a trip. A trip through the mind of a weird musical misfit. Glad to finally share this on Cratery.

My name is Kaewonder. Prog is not the Word to Play.

Subscribe on iTunes

Download It Here!
(right click > Download Linked File As…[Mac] / Save link as…[Win])



The 7th: Bravura

CONTRIBUTOR: Aki Abe (Cosmos Records)

ARTIST: The Inner Circles
SONG: Bravura
LABEL: Del-Nita
YEAR: ????

I wanted to share something out of Ohio since my partner Mazi and I have concentrated most of our civilian lives digging for soul and jazz records there. The Inner Circles also recorded and released a single out of Boddie Studios in Cleveland and therefore have contributed a tiny fragment to the history of soul music coming out of Ohio. This is the first of two they released before their disbandment and obscurity. If you like funk records recorded in a garage with fuzzy organ, then this is the one.  Interestingly enough, the term Bravura means a musical passage with exceptional technical skill in execution.  Well it’s the lack of Bravura that attracts me to this sound, and many psychedelic soul groups of this era.  



Seems like everyone is celebrating the vinyl resurgence.

Except those of us who were around before the comeback.

Record store openings here in Toronto seem to be at an all-time high since widespread closures back in the mid-2000’s.

And yet, not all of us vinyl nerds are happy about it.

I find myself torn between my allegiances to the record stores who are cashing in on the trendiness of the analog medium with Millennials and the steadfast community of collectors who never gave up on the medium in the first place.

I’m happy that the Mom and Pop record shop can continue to be successful in 2016. And yet, I’m unhappy that it’s at the expense of the seasoned buyer.

Stores peddling newly released indie rock and pop titles, limited edition Record Store Day releases and deluxe reissue boxes are laughing all the way to the bank.

And the vintage stores are answering by raising prices on traditionally cheaper pieces like Steely Dan and Rolling Stones records for a younger audience that quite frankly, doesn’t know any better.

The problem with this is simple – a $5 Joni Mitchell record shouldn’t be selling for $15-$20.

And yet, I’ve seen all of these super basic titles go up in price as if they are somehow rare or hard to find.

There are literally millions of these records in circulation, because they are the most popular records of their era.

There is no way Michael Jackson’s Thriller should be $25 in any record store. It’s the biggest selling record of all time.  It’s literally the most common record in the world.

It is the very definition of a dollar bin record.

And yet, stores continue to raise the prices on these popular titles because it’s easy to make a buck off a rookie buyer who doesn’t know any better.

Now, as an old head, I’m probably not looking to score my first copy of Thriller, so you might be asking “what’s the difference if a younger buyer gets ripped off?”

Well – for a couple of reasons.

First, record stores looking to cash in on this trend are making a habit of overpricing everything in their stores – largely based on past sales of online auctions.

Stores will often price their records based on the highest recorded sale, not the median price.

If one collector was willing to grossly overpay for a title, that shouldn’t dictate the overall market value of an item.

That’s just the price one idiot was willing to pay.

Yet, this trend of trying to cash in on the “vinyl resurgence” has record stores chasing these ridiculous price tags, trying to turn a medium ticket item into a holy grail.

That wouldn’t be happening if these rookies weren’t overpaying for everything.

Secondly, the “vinyl resurgence” has made some record stores lazy.  Many stores continue price their records without accurately identifying their condition.  If someone paid $100 for a sealed original deadstock copy of a record doesn’t mean you can charge $100 for your scuffed up Albanian press with ringwear.

Please learn to grade a record and evaluate its value fairly, according to its condition – not just the highest auction price you could find online.

Thirdly, easy money from reissues and inflated RSD titles have stores neglecting their vintage stock. Vintage buyers can expect to see the same stock in the new arrivals bin for months and months on end without replenishment.

What’s the point of even carrying vintage stock if you don’t go to the trouble of keeping your store fresh?

It’s disheartening to go into a store after 2 months and find the exact same overpriced records in the bins just sitting there.

And yet, we continue to support you. Because we can’t help it. We just love records that much.

There’s something about the tactile experience of flipping through records in a shop that online buying can’t beat.

The familiar face who knows your taste so well, s/he can pull out a title you’ve never seen that’s tailor made for you.

The rush of finding something incredible in the dollar bin that you can’t wait to tell your friends about.

I ask record stores to remember the ones who never stopped coming.

Remember the ones who didn’t sell their entire collection post-Serato.

Remember the ones who stayed loyal.

Store owners: you didn’t get into records because they’re trendy.

And neither did we.



1. Lonnie Liston Smith – Voodoo Woman
2. Timeless Legend – Checking you out
3. La Clave – Move your hand
4. Daniel Janin – Extreme Oriente
5. Gil Scott Heron – Is that jazz?
6. Tony Grazette – Take the funky feeling
7. Delilah Moore – Being wise
8. Primo Kim – Right turn
9. Jacques Carre and Patrick Petibon – Assis au sol, flexions en avant
10. Pookah – Rain on your grave
11. The Mandrake Memorial – Sunday Noon
12. Thomas Almqvist – Horisont”
13. Vladimir Misik – Obelisk
14. Mary Lou Williams – Holy Holy Holy
15. Wild Fire – A little more love

Subscribe on iTunes

Download It Here!
(right click > Download Linked File As…[Mac] / Save link as…[Win])



The 7th: Next Time

CONTRIBUTOR: Famous Lee (Love Handle)

ARTIST: Larry Dixon
SONG: Next Time
LABEL: Square Deal
YEAR: 1971

The first time that I dove into Larry Dixon’s stunning musical catalogue, I was pretty overcome with excitement. I ended up sharing this excitement with Jerome Derradji, the owner of the Still Music imprint out of Chicago when I had brought him to Toronto as a guest for my monthly Boogie Funk/Modern Soul party called Love Handle. Jerome heard exactly what I had heard, and what had made Larry’s music a much sought after, collectible time capsule of Chicago history. Within a week, Jerome had made contact with Larry, and a few months after contracts were signed to start the process of re-issuing Larry’s music, I led a small film-making group to the Windy City to meet with Larry as the centrepiece of a documentary project about 80’s funk and soul music in Chicago. What we discovered was a wellspring of talent wrapped inside a man that had managed to DIY himself into music history with hard work, and a whole lot of tenacity.
Unfortunately, while the documentary didn’t work out, I received this copy of his first official release from Larry himself as we sat in his basement listening to his personal 45 collection. Which worked out well, because this is nowhere to be found on the Internet.  Listed neither under Larry’s individual discography, nor under the tiny, regional imprint Square Deal’s discography, this deadly sweet soul tune features an 18-year old Larry Dixon lamenting over an early track from his band the High Society Players (then called the Soulful Spades).  This 18 year old version of Larry had been immersed in music his whole life but was a year away from auditioning for Leonard and Phillip Chess and almost a decade away from putting together his first full length LP I’am So in Love.  In a word, what we have here is RAW.  A slow burning groove with a simple, yet effective drum and bass rhythm section paves the way for Yung Larry to cut a path using his silky falsetto.  Oh, what’s on the flip? Nothing special, just the unedited instrumental, etching it’s way into the back of your snapping neck with that very same bass and drum groove.
An interesting and crucial side note: this 45 was released with Larry’s scratch vocal by accident, and will not be included in the official re-release of his work scheduled for May 2016 on Still Music.



Life comes before blogs.

Life comes before records and writing and shopping and hanging and smoking.

We want to take a moment to thank everyone who’s been asking for more stuff.

Everyone who’s been waiting patiently.

And everyone who’s been riding with us from the jump.

Thank you for continuing to rock with us.

Without further ado, back to our regularly scheduled program.


1. Ivan Lins – Novamente
2. Claudia – Amigo
3. Roberto Carlos -Se eu pudesse volatar no tempo
4. The Lost Weekend – The Bridge of Love
5. The Montclairs – Baby
6. Daly Wilson Big Band –Theme from 2001
7. Day One – It takes two (part 2)
8. Apelsin – Igatsus
9. Groove Holmes – Mr. Clean
10. Bernard Purdie & the Playboys – Funky Mozart
11. Henry Young – No Price
12. Missus Beastly – High life
13. Natural Essence – Killing time
14. The Ensemble Al-Salaam – Optimystical
15. The Individuals -Together

Subscribe on iTunes

Download It Here!
(right click > Download Linked File As…[Mac] / Save link as…[Win])



CRADIO 2: Tuxedo and J-Rocc


Mayer Hawthorne.

Jake One.

And a bunch of mics in my apartment.

That pretty much sums up this episode of Cradio.

Given everyone’s familiarity with one another, including my personal history with Jake One it was basically impossible to try and conduct any sort of formal interview.

So if you’re looking for some sort of serious discussion about J-Rocc’s history as a DJ or Mayer’s musical influences this is definitely not the podcast for you.

However, if reading text messages from Pete Rock and clowning on Jake’s love for rap group 415 sound up your alley, go right on ahead and click that play button.


Subscribe on iTunes

Download It Here!
(right click > Download Linked File As…[Mac] / Save link as…[Win])



The 7th: Kothbiro

CONTRIBUTOR: Alister Johnson (Do Right Music, Love Handle)

ARTIST: Black Savage
SONG: Kothbiro
LABEL: Black Blood
YEAR: 1976

I remember the day I bought this record like it was yesterday.  It was sometime around 2006-7, and a weekly trip to the St. Lawrence Market to check out the records was in the schedule.  I went to my favourite dealer, let’s call him ‘Mikey’ (mainly because that is his actual name), and he had a few boxes to flip through.  I remember pulling out a random jazz record, a copy of Patrice Rushen – Forget Me Nots 12″ and this 7″ with a drawing of a crazy looking zombie vampire dude on the picture sleeve with the text BLACK SAVAGE around his head.  Inscribed on the back in barely legible writing was ” to Bob, with compliments from the Black Savage “.   I bring them up to Mikey, not knowing what to expect.  The jazz record was $20, pass.  “Patrice Rushen will be $10, and that 45 is $5.”   I put the Patrice down, pulled out $5, made the exchange,  thanked the man and was on my way.  

‘Kothbiro’ is a slow scorcher, or a slow burner, a descriptor that the Cratery alumni have often used for joints that hit hard.  The bass line is reminiscent to Inna Gadda Da Vida, but slowed way way down , with haunting vocals and organ that swirls and stabs you into oblivion.  Add in the hard drums and you have a winner. Enjoy…



When your friend sends you an exclusive mix named after your podcast, you’re thrilled.

When your friend is Lord Finesse and he calls the mix “Abstrakt Cratery”, you’re ecstatic.

This one is only downloadable exclusively from


From the Funky man:

No specific format.

Soul, Funk, Breaks, The Unknown.

Inspired by a few drinks on a smooth Saturday.

Special Thanks – Arcee (Cratery Blog), Kenny Dope, Rasheed Chappell, O Gee, Tall Black Guy, Jorun Bombay, Daniel Crawford, DJ Jazzy Jeff (Playlist 2015), DITC (Show, Buckwild AG, OC, Diamond, Fat Joe, R.I.P.- Big L), Boogie Blind, Breakbeat Lou, Richard: Slice of Spice, All my supporters & true music lovers around the world.


Subscribe on iTunes

Download It Here!
(right click > Download Linked File As…[Mac] / Save link as…[Win])



The 7th: I Don’t See Me in Your Eyes


ARTIST: Brotherly Love
SONG: I don’t see me in your eyes anymore
LABEL: Music Merchant
YEAR: 1972

Copped this one during one of my Detroit runs. This one is on the early 70’s kiddie funk/soul tip, but it’s a soul slow burner: straight break-up music. I always loved how Alchemist flipped this sample back in the day, but I never really went out of my way to look for the original until I started to get more into music from that period. My man Bozack told me what the actual song was and I knew I needed to find this version. There’s actually another version by a group called Glass House, I believe I found that version first. But as much as I love the Glass House rendition, I think I prefer this one just a tad more. The vocals just do it for me. Or maybe it’s the fact that Alchemist used this one. It doesn’t matter though, cause if you’re a nerd, you need both. From what I know, Brotherly Love came up in Philadelphia, hence their name. They released a few soul 45s on the Music Merchant label in the early 70s, but this is one is my favourite. Bozack hipped me to the fact that they are also The Chestnut Brothers, who released a sought after boogie 12″ in the early 80’s as well.


The 7th: Strange Things Happening


ARTIST: John Holt
SONG: Strange Things Happening
LABEL: Tranquility
YEAR: 1971

John Holt did this track for both Phil Pratt on Sunshot and Coxsone Dodd on Studio 1. This Tranquility side is the US release of the Dodd production (I don’t think it ever came out as a Studio 1 45). I definitely favour the Dodd version for its darker, moodier vibe. I’ve always thought the track has that otherworldly, sparse Lee Perry atmosphere to it, too.

“Strange things happen on a Friday night
Girls meet boys
And lots of hugging and kissing
Under the golden moon
That shines a silver light”

This song has been with me for a long time, but the opening still gives me the chills. The lyrics are so simple yet I can see the whole thing play out in my head as ghostly shadow puppets of strolling couples, floating clouds and a lone figure. And being the definition of elegance, Holt expresses this deep yearning without seeming creepy as he sings about the couples in love he wishes he could be.

Holt passed just last fall and it was more than a sentimental loss of a legend; he was touring until very recently and his voice was still strong and beautiful. That’s the other thing with this track – it really shows his range that goes from the whisper of an outsider to a deep wail of longing. When he hits “that’s why I saaaaaaaaaaaaaaayyyyy”,oh gosh, my heart breaks into a million pieces every time.


Sims Joints: Son of S.O.U.L. tribute

We lost our dear friend Masimba “Son of S.O.U.L.” Kadzirange recently. Needless to say, it’s been pretty rough around Cratery headquarters. We all had our own individual relationships with Masimba. And they could all be described as equal parts meaningful and funny.

“Sims” was a one of a kind dude.

An old school philosopher that was seasoned in the lost art of needle dropping.

A teacher and mentor that would share unselfishly share his secrets with the next generation.

A friend who would indulge all your corny jokes.

A community staple who could be found supporting countless events throughout the city.

And a genuinely kind soul whose passion for music inspired so many of his peers.

He was so many things to so many people. The list above hardly begins to do him justice. So we decided to get together with our friends from Love Handle (Famous Lee and Alister Johnson) and play some records that reminded us of our friend. It was a way for us to heal and celebrate him at the same time.

Some of them are songs we’ve seen him rinse over and over.

Others had personal meaning. Or are songs we turned him onto.

He would call them “Sims joints” if was still with us.

So we’ll do the same.

Rest well, Masimba. Your spirit lives within us all.



1. Heatwave – Star of a story
This one takes me back to my early days at Lola’s Lounge.  Sims put me onto this around the time Da Beatminerz used it for Smif-N-Wessun’s “Let’s get it on” remix.  My mind was blown before I even heard “Mind blowing decisions.  – Dave Serious

2. Roberta Flack and Donny Hathaway – Back Together Again
This jam is one of those ones that would get him out of his seat and get a thunderous clap of approval, every time.  Made me feel like I really did something right. – Alister

3. Mandrill – Mango Meat
Sims was a regular on my first college radio show “Dusty Fingers” which started back in 1995 on CHRY. This was the first song I ever played on the show. I remember Sims calling in immediately and singing along to the guitar and horn sequence that the Jungle Brothers had lifted, prompting me to do the same. Singing lyrics is one thing. But singing a straight sax solo to a friend over the phone because you love hip-hop that much is some super nerd shit. I loved that we were both nerds. – Arcee

4. Fela Kuti – Water no get enemy
Classic Masimba record. He’d always give us the signature thumbs up when we dropped this until he realized we were only playing it so we had 20 minutes to go out and smoke a joint. –Arcee

5. James Brown – Bring it up
How can one mention the everlasting funkiness of Son Of S.O.U.L without bringing on up The Soul Brother himself? This song reminds me of Sims for the simple fact that it’s the basis for 90’s rap classic, Gang Starr’s “Words I manifest”, and some ish I could easily see him rocking to. The second reason being THE NEEDLE DROP. I’ll explain. Sims wasn’t of one of those cats you’d bump into at a venue, dap up and keep it movin’.. For younger cats such as myself, Sims was a teacher. A humble provider of knowledge for generations to come with jewels and gems. One of these gems was the needle drop. Whenever I would talk with him on the phone during one of our marathon conversations (all his homies know what’s up with this one) he would ask “How are your needle drops coming along? “A couple years back, he put out this video on Facebook of him rocking the needle drop on this classic, and the way he freaked it was crazy. Made me study. Made me want to be better. – Kaewonder

6. Whatnauts – Help is on the way
Essential boogie. I’ve never seen this song not make people want to dance and have a good time. That’s what Sims was all about. – Kaewonder

7. Kinky Foxx – So different
Sims always let me know I had to play this track from the beginning.  One time I mixed it in from 16 bars into the tune, I only did that once. Once. – Alister

8. First love – Party lights
One of my favourite pastimes with Sims was when the two of us would chill out and one up each other with youtube clips of our ‘wantlists’ and recent digs.  When I pulled this one out his eyes lit up and he explained that he had heard this joint years ago and hadn’t been able to find out the title until now.  His ability to remember the time and place of when he had first heard a particular song, contextualizing it in a very specific way that celebrated the city, was incredible.  If he couldn’t remember it, he would literally call someone up right there and then that would, a 20 minute conversation would ensue, and by the end he would have the details of the time, place and particulars, plus a couple of other things to chuckle over. – Famous Lee

9. The Graingers – Shine your light
A true Toronto classic. Just like Masimba. – Kaewonder

10. Alfreda & Billy Ray – Back to love
This is one of my favourite records that reminds me of Masimba.  Sometimes the circle of like-minded heads is small enough that the spread of knowledge comes back around quickly.  Shortly after the postman delivered this to my crib, I rocked it for Kaewonder, and linked him an mp3 version to rock at parties.  Rich Cason is a primarily West Coast producer that had the West Coast pop/lock sound down to a science.  This slice of electro funk soul is one of his rarer productions, and, to hear Kae tell it, had Sims bugging out the first time that he heard it at a regular Tuesday night that Kae spun at.  Of course word of Masimba’s curiousity got back to me, so, during a Love Handle night, when he had his customary spot perched atop a high chair on stage left, I busted it out.  It’s a special thing when you see man’s get out of his chair that quick. – Famous Lee

11. Paul Hardcastle – You’re the one
I think as DJs we take pride in playing songs that get overlooked. This is one of those songs, it’s obvious yet unsuspecting.  Basically you take a monster tune, and turn it on its head and here you go.  That was my motivation when I played this one at the last Love Handle I rocked with Victor Underground.  I remember the tap on the shoulder and Sims’ classic words, “Yo D, what was that?” – Dave Serious

12. Secret Weapon – Must be the music
I remember this song because of that intro. Sims was a sucker for those hard-­to-­catch awkward drum fill intros. In this case it’s kind of an ascending electric piano bounce leading into dance floor dynamite. I took those intros as a deterrent to cut up. He took them as a challenge. A challenge he generally won. –Kaewonder

13. Raydio – Rock on
Masimba was as gregarious and welcoming as one could get when it came to music, but DO NOT get it confused: the man had secret beats for days. I’m talking, labels scrubbed off, obscured and covered to shield these titles from inquisitive and prying eyes. I remember feeling privileged, like part of an inner circle when he finally came up off that song title. I also remember being like: “RAYDIO??” This was one of those joints that he loved cause it had that awkward drum fill intro I was speaking on earlier. Perfect for him to sink his teeth into. Even though I’m extremely saddened by your sudden passing, a grin will cross my face every time I hear the intro to this song. Son Of S.O.U.L Forever. Rock rock on. – Kaewonder

14. Orange Krush – Action
This is just some classic b-boy shit.  Sims and I definitely played our share of b-boy jams together. This takes me back to 416 Graf Expo. Sims would just kill doubles of this shit. – Dave Serious

15. Bar Kays – Let’s have some fun
How many times have I heard him destroy this break??1??!? – Dave Serious

16. Gaz – Sing Sing
S.O.S. (Sauce) had this joint in his repertoire for years but it was dope when Wu-Tang used it for “It’s yours” and Sims decided to bring it back out.  It was especially dope to hear him cut this up cause the way he used to drop it was off kilter and funky. – Dave Serious

17. Kashif – I just gotta have you (Lover turn me on)
I remember Sims put me on to this record years ago like “You don’t know about this??? Awww man, brothers would love this”. Fucking Kashif! This was a record I’d seen a million times and never copped. Sims would always put me on to that cheap heat!!! I’m saying. He was like the dollar bin whisperer. – Arcee

18. Starpoint – it’s all yours
This one hurts a bit.  One of the true pleasures of the entire digging experience is when you meet like minded souls and link them with joints that you think they might enjoy.  Sometimes this is on some ‘little homey’ type shit, and sometimes it’s something that you know someone might overlook, but regardless it has it’s basis in sharing the knowledge that is a foundation of Dj and digging culture.  Masimba was a giant repository of this knowledge, and one day he texted me out of the blue asking if I had this record.  When I didn’t he replied with “It’s all yours” and delivered it the next time that I saw him.  Rest in Power Grandmaster Son of S.O.U.L. FOREVER. – Famous Lee

19. Mac Thornhill – Make life worth living
I played this at Love Handle one time and he came over and asked what it was.  I was fortunate enough to find a double and gave it to him.  I was very happy to be able to share with him in that way, considering the scope of his knowledge. – Alister

20. Pleasure- thoughts of old flames
I was always an MC. I wrote lyrics. Made rap songs. Hosted shows. I bought records to collect classic breaks and find sample ideas but I never considered myself a DJ. Sure I did radio show, but I couldn’t mix or scratch. I’d just let the songs fade and play a drop in between. Sims insisted I play one of his birthday parties but I protested. I thought I’d embarrass myself because I wasn’t Kid Capri. He convinced me to do the early set and I remember dropping this Pleasure joint, which was a favourite of his. That was the first of countless birthday parties of his that I played. He encouraged me to express that side of myself publicly, even though I was nowhere near as skilled as him. He just liked what I played. It was that simple. No judgements. Just love. -Arcee

Subscribe on iTunes

Download It Here!
(right click > Download Linked File As…[Mac] / Save link as…[Win])



CRADIO : Rashad Smith

Rashad Smith isn’t exactly a household name in hip-hop.

But with a catalog of production credits that include Busta’s “Woo-Hah”, LL’s “Doin’ it” and Biggie’s “One more chance” remix, he probably should be.

In the first ever conversation-based version of our podcast, we uncover the untold history of one of hip-hop’s many unsung heroes.

And I don’t use the word untold by accident.

In trying to research material for our chat, I found it odd that I couldn’t find a single article or interview about a dude who had made some of the biggest smashes in hip-hop history.

This is a guy who Howie Tee, Rakim and Diddy all took under their wing.

A vinyl fiend who’s logged countless hours in the dingiest of basements with the likes of Q-Tip and Da Beatminerz.

A former record store employee who has given your favourite beatmakers some of their most notorious samples.

An uncredited ghost producer on more than a few rap classics.

Plus he’s spent a good amount of time touring the world with Erykah Badu as her DJ and music director.

And he’s currently working on a film about Queens production legend Larry Smith (Of Orange Krush and Run DMC fame).

But why let me regale you with these glorious hip-hop tales of old when he can tell you himself?
We give you our first Cradio episode featuring Rashad Smith of Tumblin’ Dice.

Mandatory listening.


Subscribe on iTunes

Download It Here!
(right click > Download Linked File As…[Mac] / Save link as…[Win])



CRATERY 77: Itsmattlangille

His name is Itsmattlangille.

Not Matt Langille.


He’s the homie.

And we’ve been trying to get him on Cratery for a minute.

Matt really fucking loves soul 45’s.

And he’s acquired some great ones over the years.

He’s also managed to acquire a roster of musicians like Bad Bad Not Good, Ryan Hemsworth, Tommy Kruise and Tennyson under his People’s Champ Management umbrella.

This group of miscreants has not only blessed him with the opportunity to answer endless texts and phone calls but to pay his bills and fund his record habit.

Check out for more info on said miscreants.

When did you start collecting records? And when do you think you got serious?

Started seriously collecting music when i was really young, like 8 or 9 years old. I tried to buy every rap tape I could get my hands on as it came out, but I didn’t start buying vinyl until it was a bit more available to me around 15. 1994 or so.

Buying rap tapes at 8 is a pretty fucking good start. Where did your love specifically for old soul ballads develop? 

Not really sure. I think I always gravitated to stuff that was a bit more melodic and simple, yet really enjoyable. I mean, I love sooo many forms of music and genres, but if I’m at home and just want to put something on and relax, it’s usually some older soul stuff. I listen to music all day everyday for a living now, so if I get a second to listen to something on my own accord, I like familiar, and nothing too challenging.

Care to share any recent finds you’ve been excited about? 

Actually something I played in this session, Romeo Taylor’s “When we Made Love”, I found over the winter in Stockholm at Record Mania, shouts out to them, great store and super knowledgeable guys. I didn’t know the record, but fell in love as soon as I put it on. I think that’s another reason I love the genre, there’s just sooo much undiscovered stuff, and small regional pressings I have no idea about. Every day I’m finding out about another title to go after.

When I was in Austin for SXSW last year I spent an extra day entirely at Friends of Sound records and the owner David Haffner put me up on a ton of amazing stuff, a lot of local Texas stuff I wasn’t aware of. That was the best pure record store day I’ve had in years, so thank you David Haffner, And go check out his shop when you’re in Austin. Reminds, me, I still have stuff on hold from him I need to pick up.

How did you get involved with Bad Bad Not Good? Can you talk about their growth as a band?

I got wind of BBNG from the very first video they posted before many people had seen it, and I was blown away. It was the first time in a while I’d seen young kids doing something exciting with jazz and I wanted to find out more. We met a few days before my wedding, I threw their very first show in Toronto, and we’ve been working together ever since. That was like 4 years ago I believe.

Given how young the guys are, have you ever had any generational gap moments? Perhaps a musical reference you made that no one understood?

We were on the road in the van in the early days and they played a Das Racist freestyle over a Cam’rom beat, something classic. I forget which Cam song, but one of the guys said they preferred the DR version to Cam’s rapping. I wanted to pull the van over and let them all out. But hey, we all have different reference points for things, if they’ve taught me anything, it’s not to be the old crappy ‘true school’ rap dude. I’m open minded, young people will always be creating something new. I’d rather be knowing what that is and trying to understand it and enjoy it, then totally tuned out. Life’s too short to put parameters on everything.

I was trying to think back to when I first crossed paths with you and it would have to be when you were working at Goodfoot. From your perspective, what are the biggest differences between record collecting and sneaker collecting? Are there any?

Sneaker collecting is corny as hell, and most people that collect sneakers are the most boring people on earth. I’m joking, kind of. I got into sneakers cause I played basketball, and it just became a bad habit. At least records are connected to arts and culture a bit more? At least that’s what I tell myself. Sneakers bring out the worst in mass consumerism in me.

You’re splitting your time between Toronto and LA these days but you’re originally from Halifax. I know this might be a weird question but what’s the most Halifax thing about you? Or how did growing up in Halifax inform who you are today? 

Everything about me is Scotian no matter where I end up. Truro, Nova Scotia to be exact, I’m not even from Halifax. You just get a weird twisted sense of humor and a totally different perspective on life growing up out there. It’s isolated, and people move at a different pace. Probably the most Scotian thing about me is I can still outdrink pretty much any mortal human. Plus DONAIRS.

Any rad digging stories from abroad?

Nothing too crazy, especially these days with discogs and popsike at everyone’s fingertips. I went to Brazil in the mid 90’s in college and found a lot of crazy stuff out there before that really became a thing. I actually came up on a bunch or rare rap shit in a New Zealand coffee shop in Wellington last year, Pudgee ‘Think Big’ test press OG, the first Freestyle Professors 12″ that Showbiz produced on, and a bunch of stuff in that vein, but all mint OG’s for like a buck a pop. I keep finding cool weird bits in Europe and Japan every year, but no like holy grail type things. No Arthur Verocai dollar bin finds or anything like that. I don’t go after the big pieces like you players. I’ve got weird taste, you guys know that. Finding Ganksta N-I-P records gets me jazzed.

[Laughing] That sounds like the Langille I know. Any upcoming projects you’re a part of that you’re excited about? 

A couple new projects for 2016 I’m really excited about. One in particular with Truth & Soul records that you guys will be fans of I think.

When’s the BBNG/Blaq Poet EP dropping?    

Triple LP BBNG/Shadez of Brooklyn album dropping hot off the presses 2022.

I also want to publicly proclaim Triple Bron B as the single greatest rap record in the last decade. We’ll all be scratching our heads on that for years to come.


1. Hodges, James, Smith and Crawford – Nobody
2. The Artistics – It’s those little things that count
3. The Rock – (Don’t abuse) Your faithful love
4. Black Pearl – Cold Sweat
5. Jacqueline Jones – You made my life a sunny day
6. The Dutch Rhythm Steel and Show Band – Down by the river
7. Garland Green – Can’t believe you quit me
8. Lighthouse – One fine morning
9. Sly, Slick and Wicked – Love’s gonna pack up (and walk out)
10. The Continental 4 – How can I pretend
11. Eugene McDaniels – Jagger the Dagger
12. Phil Hurtt – Lovin’
13. Romeo Taylor – When you made love (part 1)
14. Ruby Andrews – You can run, but you can’t hide
15. Bruton Music – Motion 8
16. Mona Rae – Do me
17. Sheila Jacobs – I get high on your memory
18. The Futures – Ain’t no time fa nothing
19. Harnell – Gloria
20. Madeline Bell – Love is all

Subscribe on iTunes

Download It Here!
(right click > Download Linked File As…[Mac] / Save link as…[Win])



CRATERY 76: Vinyl Ritchie

Vancouver, 2013. I’m enjoying a brief stint out west as a copywriter for ad agency TAXI’s western outpost. Most of my downtime is spent digging with the hommie Sipreano, smoking on Van City’s finest and hitting up the hometown hangouts, including The Stuntman’s 45 Throwdown at Save-On Meats. It was the sort of low key weekly where the music was open format and the sparse but knowledgeable clientele consisted of local music folk who would just come to kick back on a Monday evening. I was guesting one week when Flipout walked in with a dude I didn’t recognize. I crossed the fader and lifted my finger off a copy of “Cumbia de sal” from Cumbias en Moog, a Latin synth monster from Colombia. Within seconds, this dude was at the DJ booth. It’s funny how like-minded music nerds can bond instantly from something as small as a 45 selection. He introduced himself as Scott. And we hit it off from there.

It would later be brought to my attention that Scott wasn’t just another Vancouver DJ. But a west coast OG named Vinyl Ritchie with an extensive collection and a reputation for killing it on the 45s. I’d frequent his weekly at the Bottleneck with Flipout (appropriately titled Flip Vinyl), a two-minute walk from apartment at Seymour and Nelson. I’d head over almost every Wednesday night to satisfy my craving for some real shit. And these dudes would just be in there killing it.

Sadly, it served as a reminder for how narrow-minded us Toronto folk can be about Canadian hip-hop history from time to time. Here was this guy who had been doing his thing for close to 30 years and I had no idea who he was until I lived in Vancouver. He played big festivals and toured nationally regularly. He was well respected by his peers. And he had a genuine love for his craft. I truly felt guilty for overlooking what was happening in other parts of the country. And I made it a point to break the cycle. So when the chance to connect and record a Cratery episode back in Toronto happened a few years later, I jumped at the opportunity.

And he didn’t disappoint. Scott blesses us with lesser-known selections from the likes of Sapodilla Punch, Morena Y Clara, Los Pasos, Sesso Matto and my personal favourite, Gary Atkinson’s “Wandering soul”. He was also kind enough to sit down and chop it up with us about everything from his love for 45’s to his lack of love for social media.

How did you get your start DJ-ing? What kind of music/events did you play when you first started?

First started messing with DJ-ing in the late 80’s at a club in Hull, Quebec. We were underage and stoked on this DJ, Nadine Gelinas. It was a magical time! She was playing a mix of early rap, hip-house, house, reggae, techno, rock and alt stuff before there was any type of ”scene”. We were regulars at this club and somehow managed to weasel our way into the DJ booth at one point. I never really played a proper set there, but the seed was planted. I wouldn’t start DJ-ing ”professionally” until the early 90’s in Whistler BC. I was at a club one night hanging out with the full time DJ (who was in on his night off). After a few drinks, he decided to fire the part time DJ in the middle of his set with a packed club! He told me to get in the booth & finish the night. This was at a time when the club provided records. I jumped in and that was the start of it all. This was before there was any hip-hop, house or dance music being played. I played a mix of rock, pop & top 40. Anything to get ’em moving. I would bring my own records & tapes from home and try to squeeze in bits that I liked. Eventually I got sick of playing the regular schlock for tourists, so I convinced the owner of the club to let me try to do a jazz night on the least busy night of the week. To my surprise, within a few weeks it was packed. I would play old jazz records mixed with rare groove, funk, soul & hip-hop. I would put on a 15-minute Lou Donaldson or Grant Green record and people would bug out. This was before there was any hip-hop nights. At the time, people were calling it Acid Jazz but I was playing classics: OG stuff off Blue Note, Prestige, Milestone etc. When the Luv & Haight stuff started dropping, that was a huge influence on me. Slowly but surely, I started getting asked to do one offs & regular nights in Vancouver and it just kind of snowballed. In the early days, I started bringing my DJ gear and setting up at the Whistler skate park to play rap, heavy metal & punk rock for the homies. That led to playing at the Whistler snowboard park, as well as ski, mountain bike, events etc. Experience playing at these sorts of grassroots events would eventually land me at the X Games, Olympics, World Cup events with Monster Energy & Vans.

You’ve been buying rap 45’s a lot longer than most. What made you start buying them so early?

I started buying rap 45s early because I was too broke to buy 12”s! Haha…I always found rap 7”s that nobody wanted and they were cheap so I bought ’em.

What are your thoughts on the 45 explosion of the last few years?

[Laughs] It’s rad! Stoked to be a part of it! I’ve had a good run as a DJ but I had some lean years when all the Serato monkeys jumped in the mix. I’m stoked to be able to make a living & stay in my lane. It’s nice to go digging with the homies again too.

You play everything from corporate events, weekly hometown gigs and bigger festivals. Do you have a favourite type of venue to perform at?

My favourite venues to play are outside where I am ”wallpaper” for an event. I love playing punk rock & rap at skateboard parks. I love playing surf music & reggae on the beach at surf competitions. Love playing snowboard contests. I dig playing events where the focus is not on the DJ or dancing. I also dig playing smaller bars & lounges where the heads & the record nerd homies can chop it up and kick it.

Many of your west coast peers look at you as a Vancouver OG, someone who inspired them. Are there any west coast pioneers that did the same for you?

The West Coast has such a rich bloodline. There are so many people that have inspired me. Too many to mention! Mat The Alien, Kilocee, Czech, Flipout & Andy Bates are some of my biggest West Coast influences. Brian Carson on the production tip. Trevor Walker and Nadine Gelinas from Ottawa were a huge influence back before I started. The Bastid is super Yoda. Z Trip is the dude! I’m stoked on people that do their own deal with passion. Period. Super stoked on the Cratery dudes. Shout out to Foxy Moron too! Inspiration all around.

Give me 5 guaranteed Vinyl Ritchie party rockers. Records you pack often that are sure to rock any crowd.

  1. James Brown Payback mix (Norman Cook)
  2. Vibrettes – Humpty Dump
  3. Anything Wu related including OG samples.
  4. Anything by Slayer
  5. Anything by The Spit

You’re notorious for not being a social media guy. In a world where DJ’s are becoming increasingly more about their personalities rather than their skills, how do you compete?

[Laughs] I don’t have an answer for that.  I’m very fortunate to be where I am without the use of social media. I came up before social media when it was all word of mouth. My only guess is I’m not always up in peoples grill so they don’t get sick of me. At the end of the day I hope that the music I’m into speaks (or sings) for itself. By nature I’m a digger. I enjoy digging. To some extent I’d like to think that if people are into something, then they should do a little digging to find out more about it. I also make music (Wicked Lester w Brian Carson) and have a VR website. I do a weekly radio show (Sun 10-12 101.5 Whistler FM) and I’m fortunate that I get to play some high profile events. I try to surround myself with rad people. I don’t need Facebook,Twitter or Instagram. I’m out there enough.

You’ve been fortunate enough to travel across the country for years playing music. What are/were some of your favourite shops to hit in Canada?

Damn. I’m down to go anywhere there are records! Beatstreet, Audiopile, Noize To Go, Turn Table, Fascinating Rhythm, Sipreano, Vinyl, RecordLand, Sloth, Kops, Henry’s, Monica’s, Taz, Your mom & pop’s basement! RIP Rhythm Zone, Track & Odyssey & Sam The Record Man. Thanks Cratery! STOKED to be down.


1. Sapodilla punch – Hold on I’m coming
2. Lafayette Afro Rock Band – Azeta
3. The Beginning of the End – When she made me promise
4. Lloyd Delpratt – Warm Love
5. Gary Atkinson – Wanderin’ soul
6. The Don Carrington Trio – If I were a carpenter
7. Giant – Dear John
8. Spice – Strawberry Wine
9. Morena Y Clara – No Llores Mas
10. Luc and Lise Cousineau – Les Jesuites
11. Blue Phantom – Equilibrium
12. Anna Jantar – Za Nami Barwy Lata
13. Los Pasos – Habibi
14. A Barca do Sol – Os Pilares da cultura
15. Os Mutantes – Bat Macumba
16. T. Swift and the Electric Flag – Free form in G
17. Sesso Matto – Le Sexe Fou
18. Chicken Curry – Drums go nuts
19. Jimmy McGriff – The Now Thing
20. Milton Wright – The silence you keep

Subscribe on iTunes

Download It Here!
(right click > Download Linked File As…[Mac] / Save link as…[Win])



CRATERY 75: J-Rocc

It’s ok to be jealous of J-Rocc.

He founded the World Famous Beat Junkies.

He’s easily one of the funkiest DJ’s on the planet.

He’s lucky enough to have had friendships with two of the greatest producers of all time.

And from what little I’ve seen, he’s got a pretty crazy record collection.

A collection, according to his friend Jake One, that contains the single largest assemblage of Hubert Laws records of any living human.

And that includes the family and friends of Hubert Laws.

The Funky President was kind enough to squeeze us into his schedule while he was in town for a gig and bless us with a couple goodies from his 45 box.




1. Jackie Beavers- “Mr. Bump Man”
2. Royal Flush – “Grab Your Sexy  Baby”
3. Spectron 7- “Trapped In The Pocket”
4. Affinity- “For You And Me”


5. Esther Williams – “You Can Have It All”
6. David Bendeth – “Breakdown”
7. Bobby Bland – “Sad Feeling”
8. Stanley – “I’ll Go Down And Get Ya”


9. The Best Of Both Worlds – “Invisible Flowers”
10. Edwin Hawkins – “Beginning”
11. Pete Jolly – “Plummer Park”
12. Meirelles – “Kriola”


13. The Family Affair – “I Had A Friend”
14.  Coryell – “No One Really Knows”
15. Johnny Lytle – “Soulful Rebel”
16. Laura Nyro – “Sexy Mama”

Subscribe on iTunes

Download It Here!
(right click > Download Linked File As…[Mac] / Save link as…[Win])



CRATERY 74 : Jason Palma

November 1993.

I walked past Yonge-Dundas station sporting baggy jeans and a newly acquired pair of white Adidas Torsions with splashes of fluorescent green and navy blue. I remember cause I had a fluorescent green sweat top and a navy corduroy Gatsby to match.

I used to sport the hat backwards when I was going for the K-Solo “Tell the world my name” look and wear it forwards with the snap off when I switched it up for more of a Master Ace “Take a look around” vibe.

November was hardly new sneaker weather but I didn’t get my first pair of black Tims until December of that year. I walked north past the World’s Biggest Jean store, several currency exchange spots and the flagship HMV and Sam the Record Man locations before arriving at my destination.

Sandwiched between a falafel joint and the infamous Zanzibar gentleman’s club was a non-descript convenience store I was all too familiar with. I entered, averting my attention briefly at the porno VHS wall as I made my way to the back.

I had arrived at Play de record.

It was an auditory feast for an underground music head: a small space in the back of a convenience store stocked full of the latest house, reggae, soca, rare grooves and of course, hip-hop vinyl.

For many, it was also the hottest record shop in Toronto at the time. And one of the guys you could count on seeing behind the counter was Jason Palma.

Palma has been selling records almost as long as I’ve been buying them.

And I say that not just to make Jason feel old.

It’s indicative of how long he’s been putting people on to incredible music.

I remember the day in question because it was a big one in terms of rap releases.

Most folks headed into Play De to buy wax. But I was a cassette man back then and it wasn’t uncommon for an indie store like Play De to get a jump on official tape releases before chains like HMV.

Luckily, there were a still a few copies of the 2 albums we went out there to cop: Tribe’s “Midnight Marauders” and Wu-Tang’s “Enter the 36 chambers”.

I copped the Tribe and my man Rez copped the Wu.

I had just started to get more curious about samples so Palma grabbed a couple of comps from off the shelves and started skimming through them on the tables for me.

“You should grab these” he said, handing me a few volumes of the Jazz Dance Classics series on Luv N Haight. “Last 2 copies”. Spoken like a true salesman.

I left that day with the first “break” records that I ever had outside of my Dad’s collection. Yeah, they were reissues but I didn’t give a shit. I had no idea where to get OG Blackbyrds albums, never mind 24 Carat Black. Up until that point I had been sampling mostly off random jazz and soul cassettes I had stolen from the public library.

Palma was directly responsible for a seismic shift in my collecting habits. And he probably didn’t think much of it – it’s what he did for most people every day.

And it’s what he still does for customers, as co-owner of the store he once he used to just work for.

Just recently he upsold me BBNG’s “Velvet/Boogie no.69” single while I was picking up a copy of the new Tuxedo LP at Play De.

He’s still putting me on to joints.

My purchases on that day back in ‘93 turned out to be pretty significant.

Midnight Marauders went on to become my favourite hip-hop album and those comps basically fueled an already budding desire to find original copies of the records featured.

That wouldn’t have happened without Jason Palma.

How did you start collecting rare grooves?

I was always really interested in music since I was little kid. I used to go to Sam The Record Man in Eglinton Square and buy 45s. When I was a teenager I started getting interested in DJing and Hip Hop. I got so excited when I heard an old funk or jazz tune that was sampled in a rap song. I remember hearing James Brown’s “Blind Man Can See It” while watching the movie “Black Caesar” and being blown away that it was sampled for Lord Finesse’s “Funky Technician”. From there on in I just fell in love with the music and had to dig deeper. I credit my good friend Paul E. Lopes who introduced me to artists like Fela Kuti, Donald Byrd and Roy Ayers. I used to listen to him and Malik X religiously on community radio as well.

How long have you been at Play De Record now? Do you have any memories that stand out?

I’ve been at Play De Record for about 20 years, and have been one of the owners for about 10. My favourite moments are Thursdays back in the day when the shipment would come in. I used to watch cats literally fight over the new releases. People were so hungry for the music back in those days. There was a great community feel in the shop in those days. We’re feeling that again these days as more and more young folks start getting interested in buying records.

How has the record store business changed in your opinion? And how has Play De managed to stick around and remain relevant?

We’ve changed tremendously over the last 10 years. We were always very disorganized back in the day. Records were everywhere, piled up high. We’re more organized now and it’s a lot easier to find what you are looking for in the shop. We have also vastly expanded our DJ and production equipment. Probably the biggest thing that has changed is that we’re much more than a DJ shop now. With the digital DJ age we had to expand our vinyl selection to many more genres for cats who just like collecting records. We have much larger rock, jazz, blues and soul sections now. Back in the day it was 90 percent 12” singles for DJs. It’s been a lot of fun meeting new people and broadening our focus musically.

What was your favourite era of Toronto parties and why?

I really love the late nineties and early 2000s when the Movement parties were happening. It seemed like Toronto was really coming into its own and people were really into hearing new sounds, old and new. We were fortunate enough to work with some of the people we really respected and admired from afar like Keb Darge, Gilles Peterson, Jazzanova, Rainer Truby, Egon etc. I also really love the early 90s warehouse parties. Those were my first real taste of underground music.

Any rare pieces you’ve been fortunate enough to find for cheap?

My best find ever was probably the Frank Derrick Experience LP for $1 at the record show in Mississauga years ago. I bought it because he thanks Ahmad Jamal on the back cover I think. I had it for years and then saw it sell on Ebay for around $1000 and was pretty blown away. There was also the time that someone brought in two copies of the St Vincent Latinaires on Soufriere. One was crazy but 2 was insane!

Do you have any collecting pet peeves?

For me, records have always been about collecting music I love. I buy records because I love music. It doesn’t matter to me if it is rare or common. I really hate when cats look down on more common records and try to show off how rare their records are. That really spoils the fun for me.

Share a few recent purchases (new or old) that you’re stoked about.

Just got a copy of the Norman Riley LP on Folkways that I was after for a while. Really nice vocal jazz track on that recently comped on Spiritual Jazz Vol. 6. Also just scored a copy of Ryo Fukui’s “Scenery”. Really great Japanese jazz. I’m also really feeling the new Emanative LP.

Footprints is one of Toronto’s longest running parties. How do you and the guys keep it fresh and interesting for yourselves?

We truly have an amazing crowd that comes out every month for our party, and truly that is what keeps me going. A great mix of music lovers come out to the party. We also get a great set of open minded young B Boys and B Girls who are really into what we play. We also like mixing up the vibe with the odd theme party. Recently we had an all Rare Groove party that was a lot of fun. Played a lot of the classics that made me fall in love with the music in the first place.

Higher Ground is a staple on the College Radio airwaves in Toronto. It’s not easy to maintain a commitment to doing a show, especially for this long. What keeps you motivated?

The music keeps me motivated man! So much great new music to play all the time along with the old school funk, jazz disco, latin etc. I really love playing old school rarities on the show, but I really love finding great new music to play. In my opinion we need to support young cats making great music. I feel I have a great platform to do that. My favourite part about being on air is that I really get to play exactly what I want. The station is behind me 100% and I can play a lot of great music that wouldn’t work on the dancefloor.

Give us 3 dollar bin essentials any new collector could walk away feeling great about.

Foxy “Get Off” (Dash 1978)

A very common disco album that had a couple of big hits on it from the late 70s. Forget those and go straight to “Mademoiselle”. Massive rare groove and one of my favourites of all time.

James Last “Voodoo Party” (Polydor 1971)

This guy must have made 1000 records in his career! The vast majority are not interesting at all, but this one has a killer upbeat latin funk cut called “Se A Cabo”.

Hugh Masekela “Masekala” (Uni 1969)

I fell in love with this record many years ago for the incredible “Mace And Grenades”. It’s a heavy jazzy vocal cut with a strong message. Still gets me every time!



1. Shakuhachi – Asadoya Yunta
2. Syd Burdsom – Kabul Trip
3. John Gregory – Jaguar
4. Spanky Wilson – You
5. Champaign Central Jazz Band – The first thing I do
6. Henryk Debich – Chameleon
7. Heaven and Earth – Let me back in
8. Can – Flow Motion
9. Steam Heat – Since I met you
10. Babatunde and Phenomena – Thang (and I love it)
11. The Boss Music – Labella
12. Al Baculis Quintet – Blues ’75
13. Toby Cooper and Brick Street – The Guru
14. Haze – Are you free
15. The Three Souls – Herby’s Tune
16. Marius Culter – Que Je T’aime
17. J.I. Henderson – Give a helping hand
18. New Haven’s Women’s Liberation Rock Band – Prison Song
19. Cuasares – Transmigracion
20. Celia – Na boca do sol

Subscribe on iTunes

Download It Here!
(right click > Download Linked File As…[Mac] / Save link as…[Win])



CRATERY 73: John Kong

John Kong loves those little Coffee Crisp bites.

It’s just that he insists they be stored in the refrigerator.

“What is this? Amateur’s hour?” he laughed, taking the bag off the counter and placing it in the fridge.

Lesson learned, John.

Cold storage makes chocolate taste better.

Plus, you avoid covering your rares in brown fingerprints.

Just one of the gems John dropped on us during his Cratery record.

The others, of course, were in vinyl form. And from all over the world.

Jewels like Jerzy Milian’s “Wsrod Pampasow”, Cristina Camargo’s “Moral Tem Hora” and the untitled joint from Maki all speak to John’s worldly taste.

It’s a musical palate that’s evolved over the years as a DJ and co-founder of the legendary Movement Collective, to becoming label owner of Do Right Music, purveyor of new soulful, jazzy and funky sounds to the world.

Movement was a group of DJ’s who were united by their incredible vinyl collections.

They threw legendary parties that ran the gamut from Brazilian Jazz to African Funk.

And the people didn’t just dance. They danced to fucking incredible music.

Despite their popularity, the crew disbanded in the early 2000’s to focus on individual aspirations.

Aki Abe opened up a second Cosmos Records location and continues to be one of the top suppliers of rare vinyl around the world.

Nav Sangha went on to start up Wrongbar in Parkdale, revamp the Great Hall and open his new pub, The Bristol.

Jason Palma continues to play gigs and run the historic Play De Record on Yonge Street with original owner Eugene Tam.

A Man Called Warwick went on to start the Flipside record show, a popular destination for vinyl nerds across the city.

And John Kong started his own record label called Do Right Music, becoming a champion for local artists inspired by vintage sounds.

Since John started Do Right, he’s watched the mp3 become the dominant musical format.

But he’s also experienced the vinyl resurgence with the rise of Record Store Day.

He’s seen literally seen his business die and be reborn in the last 10 years.

But through it all, he remains committed to the music.

John continues to give artists like the Souljazz Orchestra, Maylee Todd, Dawn Pemberton, The Soul Motivators and Alister Johnson a platform to be themselves.

He still holds down his weekly residency at Supermarket in Kensington.

And he’s still out there digging for that heat.

Just try and remember to put his Coffee Crisp in the fridge.

When did your interest in collecting vintage records begin?

Some people say they’ve been acting or singing since they were 10 years old. That what buying records is like for me. I picked up Donna Summer’s “Bad Girls”, which in hindsight probably wasn’t the best record for a kid to buy, but it started everything. In the early 90s when hip-hop was sampling jazz and house was sampling disco, the whole vintage collector market opened up to me. I started frequenting second-hand record stores like Vinyl Museum and there was no turning back.

You’ve traded and sold many records over the years. Any that you regret or wish you could get back?

The ‘Aged in Harmony: You Are A Melody’ 7” is one of those records for sure. Keb Darge got me hip to it around 1999, I think. I wish I still had it now because that modern-soul sound is back and I’m missing that cut.  I keep a healthy 2000+ records in my collection, and recycle the rest. One 5×5 Ikea Expedit shelf is good enough for me. Sometimes I do buy back stuff I’ve gotten rid of, though. Lost and found is a good feeling.

Do you remember the first record you spent a sizeable amount of money on?

Ha, not exactly. I overpay for everything these days. Collecting records isn’t about having a bunch of really expensive records in your collection though, it’s more about getting that thing that you really want. And I want a lot of things. If that’s $1 or $100, it makes no difference.

Give us a memorable digging story. 

There are probably too many for me to zoom in on one particular moment. Collecting records has been a part of my life for so many years now that it’s incorporated into my day. I can be going down the street for lunch and I just pop into June Records or Cosmos Records and take a flip. The same goes for when I’m on the road: if I’m in London or Tokyo, my dealer friends there know the kind of stuff I’m looking for, which is a pretty wide variety, so I just decide whether I want to pay their asking price. I get my hands less dirty these days but I pay the price, I guess.

Share your fondest memory of the Movement era.

There was the time Keb Darge flying in with a box of 7’s worth the downpayment on a house. Or when Warwick, Nav, Aki, Jason Palma, and I convinced Gilles Peterson to DJ out of our crates when his records didn’t arrive on the plane. Musically, we could play whatever we wanted to a receptive audience without any sort of limitation. When was the last time they put anyone on the cover of NOW Magazine for playing jazz records?
Collecting has changed significantly since you started buying records. What do you miss about record shopping?

Back then, information was everything. You had to know a lot of people or spend a lot of money to get that information. It’s a good thing that people can just log on to Discogs and find amazing stuff, but there’s a certain human element lacking that was a big part of the community in those days. There are surprises today though. Labels like Numero or Awesome Tapes From Africa still put out music that nobody has ever heard before. The unearthing process is just different.

What motivated you to start Do Right Music?

Music is the bottom line. Back when we launched in 2002, it was much more difficult to reach out to fans than it is today. There was an online community but the industry wasn’t anywhere near as savvy as it is today, with tools like Bandcamp and Soundcloud and everything else. I was DJing in Europe a lot and people would want to know what was happening in Canada. Indie rock was what people associated with Canadian music at the time, so I decided to feature some great Canadian soul, funk, and jazz to show that we have other faces here. It’s pretty much the same mandate today. I just want to get behind the stuff that I believe in; it’s a personal venture as much as it’s a business of music.

What are the biggest challenges in running an independent label in 2015?

We still rely on physical sales more than anything else. Japan and France are our biggest markets, but the North American musical landscape supports digital consumption first. The biggest challenge is striking a balance between catering to digital music trends versus the physical market that has served us so well for so many years. At the end of the day, we have a responsibility to stay on top of the game to figure out the best way to support our artists and the label.

You’ve seen the vinyl market go to shit and you’ve also seen it come back to life. What are your thoughts on the so-called “vinyl resurgence”?

We operate in a niche market where people collect our records, so we’ve always been pressing regardless of larger trends. I hope the passion for vinyl stays at the level it currently is, but it’s become quite a bit more difficult to get records out there these days. The demand on labels and artists to press and the rush to get a piece of pie has really slowed down production. As a result, our production schedule from last year has been regularly delayed because everyone is rushing to press Record Store Day titles, or whatever limited flavour of the week larger labels are pushing. It’s great that people want wax, though.

Talk to us a little about a few of the Do Right projects we can look forward to this year.

We’re really excited about launching Do Right Japan with four releases specifically for the territory. On the home front, we are about to release The Cookers Quintet’s “Vol. Two”, The Soul Motivators’ “Free To Believe”, and an upcoming album from Cratery regular Alister Johnson. Musically, we’re sticking to the label’s roots and keeping true to what Do Right has always done.



1. Jerzy Milian – Wsrod Pampasow
2. Kaokiri – Memme Vaev
3. Ahmad Jamal – Tucson
4. Novi Singers – Five, four, three
5. Maki – Untitled
6. Four-um – Day Dreaming
7. Copa 7 – Copa Sete No Samba
8. Bemibem – Jajecznica
9. Cristina Camargo – Moral Tem Hora
10. Robson Jorge and Lincoln Olivetti – Gingo
11. Sweet Blindness – Maaria
12. Barbara Fisher – Bad Advice
13. Pete Dunaway – Supermarket
14. Guitar Red – Disco from a space show
15. Francis Lai – Number one
16. Pyramid – Song for Bobby
17. The Chosen Few – We are the chosen few
18. Malone/Barnes and Spontaneous Simplicity – Moonstruck
19. Juan Pablo Torres – Y Viva La Felicidad
20. Release Music Orchestra – Torso Im Sommerwind

Subscribe on iTunes

Download It Here!
(right click > Download Linked File As…[Mac] / Save link as…[Win])




Candlelight. Fireplaces. Stuff made of Satin.

I can’t say Catalist or myself are well-versed in any of the above.

But we do share a mutual appreciation for soul records.

Specifically, soul records targeted to fans of candlelight, fireplaces and stuff made of satin.

It’s not clear how two fairly unromantic dudes could develop such a love for cheesy R&B from the late 70’s and early 80’s.

Or how we were able sit around for hours listening to romantic music together without threatening our manhood.

The important thing is that you now have a mix to enjoy.

And our masculinity is still intact.



1. Tal Armstrong – You’ve got so much feeling in your love
2. Leroy Hutson – Lover’s Holiday
3. Tim Murray – Thinking of you
4. David Joseph – Joys of life
5. Solid Solution – L.O.V.E.
6. Gavin Christopher – Treasure every moment
7. Conspiracy – Ever more
8. Ripple – Facts of life
9. John Forde – Atlantis
10. Greg Perry – Let’s get away
11. O’mar – Passing fancy
12. Jeffree – Take my love
13. Bill LaBounty – Dream on
14. A Taste of Honey – I love you
15. Sass – I only wanted to love you
16. Jeffrey Sears and the Sound Persuasion band – Deli Que

Subscribe on iTunes

Download It Here!
(right click > Download Linked File As…[Mac] / Save link as…[Win])



CRATERY 72: Mayer Hawthorne

I’ve messed with Mayer Hawthorne from the first time I heard his cover of the New Holidays’ overlooked soul classic Maybe so, maybe no.

Some might have tried to pigeon hole him as a Motown revivalist after his first album. But Mayer has always been influenced by more than just soul music.

The DJ/Producer had already broken out of his comfort zone when he became a vocalist. And he broke out of it again while working with Pharrell Williams on his 3rd effort, Where does this door go.

But if working with the Neptunes frontman was an invitation to start calling him commercial, his Jaded Inc. collaboration with former bandmate 14KT seemed intentionally left of centre, a nod to Detroit’s rich history of electronic music, from Juan Atkins to Dilla.

His most recent musical endeavour with our hommie and Cratery alumni Jake One is a full-length boogie project on Stones Throw called Tuxedo, which has been making waves since it dropped on March 3rd.

The duo recently kicked off a series of DJ gigs back in December starting with my 40th birthday party in Toronto. Since then, they’ve made the rounds in Europe before returning to Los Angeles to launch the album.

The project went to #1 on the iTunes R&B chart on the day of its release.

Not bad for a couple of guys who started out cutting up rap records in their bedrooms.

Now what you may or may not know about Mr. Hawthorne is that he’s more than just a casual vinyl collector.

Having started his career as part of the Michigan hip-hop outfit Athletic Mic League, his interest in vintage sounds began like many of us: falling in love with the samples and artists that created the sonic landscape of hip-hop.

Since then, he’s grown as an artist and a collector with a love for everything from new wave to blues.

And travelling the globe certainly hasn’t quieted his obsession.

But despite his worldly exploits, this episode of Cratery sees Mayer returning closer to home, going round for round with the Cratery staff armed with a handful of Detroit based soul 45’s.

Carl Temple’s “Soul Day Theme” was actually a record that was produced for an event of the same name that took place in the Motor City back in the 70’s.

Not gonna front. I added “Ain’t gonna run no more” from the Mighty Lovers to my wantlist immediately after he played it. I was slightly less excited when I discovered its current $500+ price tag.

Belita Woods’ “Magic Corner” is a wonderful mid tempo number on the Moira label from 1970, while Perfect Touch’s “Merry go round” is an equally gorgeous piece of soul from 10 years later.

Luckily, his copy of “I just can’t forget your name” from The 21st  is in infinitely better condition than the mashed up 50 cent copy I picked up in Detroit years back.

The best part about doing Cratery is getting put on to music by your peers.

Learning is a byproduct of digging.

That’s why it’s awesome to play records with guys like Mayer.

Yes, he’s an artist.

Yes, he’s a DJ.

But first and foremost, he’s a student.

People historically associate you with soul music, but your record collection is pretty diverse. What records would your fans be surprised to know you’re into?

Damn, that’s a great question. I don’t know if anyone is surprised about anything at this point. I really do listen to everything.  I have metal records that I really love like Helmet and Black Flag… I have a huge collection of ghetto house stuff like DJ Deeon & Slugo.  I dunno man… I like a lot of weird shit.

Tell us one of your favourite Detroit digging stories.

When I was living in Ypsilanti, I noticed my neighbor across the street was having a yard sale one day but he had all this worthless crap out on the lawn.  I asked him “where’s the records?” and he said “ehhh they’re too heavy… I don’t wanna carry them up from the basement.” *Cha-ching* Of course I offered to go down there and get them.  I ended up buying a bunch of stuff from him including my copy of the 24 Carat Black LP (which is from Ypsilanti) all for a few dollars a piece.

Any specific records you’d save in the event of a fire or flood?

I actually have a crate in my record room that I call the “fire crate”.  In the event of a fire, I grab that crate and I dip. Most of the records in there are not even super rare or expensive, they just mean a lot to me.  Like Sade “Love Deluxe” which is one of my favorite albums but wasn’t ever pressed in the US (my copy is Korean).

Where’s your favourite place to dig in the world? And why?

Obviously I’m a bit biased, but I gotta say Detroit is still the best. I was so spoiled growing up there. It’s really the only place where it feels like you could still come up on something crazy.  There’s still so many records there.

You started out making beats. But you’ve made a career out of singing. Is it weird to go from finding samples to being sampled? 

That shit is crazy! It’s like this weird infinite loop where I started out digging for the samples to my favorite rap records, then making rap beats, then making soul songs and getting sampled by rap producers. Now, on this Tuxedo album, we made a fake original sample. So meta.

Your fans have seen you evolve from singing sweet soul ballads to writing Steely Dan inspired songs to going full speed into the 80’s boogie lane with Tuxedo.  Is it logical to expect a New Jack Swing album next?

We actually do a piece of BBD “Poison” in the live show.  But naw – for the next shit I’m definitely going 3-step / future waltz.

Can you speak on your current Bo Diddley obsession?

Man! I’m obsessed!  He’s just such a character.  I had no idea how influential he was.  He really did his own crazy different, unique thing.

For a guy like Peanut Butter Wolf, it must be bittersweet giving so many artists a break, often to see them leave for greener pastures and never return. But you came back to Stones Throw and brought Jake One with you. Why did you come back and what’s it like to be working with them again?

I played some of the songs for the president of Universal Republic and he said he didn’t hear the difference between Tuxedo and Mayer Hawthorne. That was crazy to me. I knew we had to find a label that understood what we were doing and Stones Throw just got it.

Share 5 of your favourite boogie records from your collection. 

Bernard Wright “Nard”
Starpoint “Wanting You”
High Fashion “Feeling Lucky Lately”
Ago “For You”
Jerry Knight “Love’s On Our Side”

Have you had any moments where you felt extra lucky as a digger?

I feel like that still happens a lot. I’ve been collecting for so long now and there’s times when I feel like I have all the records, but there’s just SO many fucking records out there man. Nobody can ever know them all. Not even close. I’ve been buying a lot of reggae 45s in New York lately that have blown me away. I still get excited all the time.


1. Carl Temple – Soul Day
2. Heart – Give me a happy day
3. The Nite-Liters – Pee Foul
4. S.O.U.L. – To mend a broken heart
5. Mighty Lovers – Ain’t gonna run no more
6. The Right Kind – My money is funny
7. Travis Biggs – Fly like an eagle
8. Lloyd Price – Uphill piece of mind
9. Belita Woods – Magic Corner
10. The Albert – Pity the child
11. American Gypsy – Lady Eleanor
12. Myra Barnes – Super Good pt 1
13. Perfect Touch – Merry go round
14. Melba Moore – Ain’t no love lost
15. Art and Ron – I’m your man
16. The Capprells – Walk on by
17. The 21st – I just can’t forget your name
18. Thrust – San Juan Hustle
19. Crown Heights Affair – You smiled
20. ZZ Hill – That ain’t the way you make love

Subscribe on iTunes

Download It Here!
(right click > Download Linked File As…[Mac] / Save link as…[Win])



The 7th: All This Love That I’m Givin’

ARTIST: Gwen McCrae

SONG: All This Love That I’m Givin’

YEAR: 1979


When ever I hear this song, it takes me back to an era in Toronto club history where you could play this for a room full of 500 people and it would instantly get the place rocking. Think back to places like Una Mas and Roxy Blu. What made these venues special were their approach to music and the clientele they attracted. You would never go these spots to hear any mainstream music, top 40 or even club rap tunes that were killing it every where else in Toronto. These clubs were a breath of fresh air at a time when the “jiggy” scene reigned supreme. This is where I really cut my teeth, my coming of age as a DJ. A way for me to expand my audience but not sacrifice the what, or how I wanted to play musically. This also offered me a way to build off of my success as an underground hip hop dj and play in front of new audiences. This era also opened up my ears to a whole array of musical genres, which ultimately lead me to finding Cratery. Or at the very least, lead me to understanding the ethos of what it means to be part of this movement and podcast.



CRATERY 71: Lord Finesse

The first time I went record shopping with Lord Finesse I had an epiphany.

I realized that I was diggin’ in the crates with an actual member of Diggin’ in the Crates.

How is that not a trip?

I’m a kid from the suburbs of Toronto who used to blast “Keep the crowd listening” on my walkman trying to catch a bus from Square One to Kipling on my weekly downtown tape run in the early 90’s.

I never went to church but I grew up on the Lord’s music.

So driving to record stores with Robert Hall in the passenger seat is always gonna feel a little bugged out.

It’s not like this guy discovered Big L, made beats for Biggie or put Showbiz and AG together.

A few years back I was driving him back to the hotel after a day of digging and I had my Cool J playlist banging.

“1-900-LL Cool J” comes on.

Me and this guy Finesse start singing every word.

Back and forth. Both verses.

That was a great day.

But pretty much any day involving a private rap karaoke session with Lord Finesse singing LL album cuts in your car is a great day.

More recently, I was lucky enough to have both the underboss himself and DITC co-founder Diamond D spin at my 40th birthday party.

The bonus was convincing Finesse to bring a few pieces of choice vinyl out from the safety of his Bronx stronghold to record a Cratery with us.

He more than obliged, with a potent stash of soul heaters that prompted us to follow that same theme for most of the episode.

I later upped the nerdery quota when I picked the Funky Man’s brain on a series of vinyl related topics.

On when he started to first shop for records seriously:

That was about ’91 ’92. I was already watching Diamond and Show do their thing. They were digging way before that. They use to schedule trips out of the city. I was too busy chasing women back then. But then I started hanging out with Buck(wild) and he would be hitting all kinds of spots, from record conventions to hole in the walls. I was already dj-ing, so I was up on a lot of classic breaks. Like for example, take Bob James “Nautilus”. I’m up on that, so now let me start going deeper. Now I’m looking for other Bob James albums and other releases on labels like CTI and Blue Note. Then I start reading the credits on the back of these albums and seeing names like Bernard Purdie and Idris Muhammad (RIP). You start recognizing which artists got the tightest grooves and then start buying their albums and so on. Now add the fact that my crew was already deep in the digging game. They were putting me on to a lot of records back then so I was getting a lot of knowledge.

On competing for vinyl with his fellow DITC members:

Of course we were all competitive. But we all hipped each other to shit. If it’s drums, we’re all gonna have certain breakbeats. Everyone was after Skull Snaps at one point. Everyone was after Power of Zeus. Everyone was after Brethren. Even the “If” drums. But when you got 4 people in the crew digging, everyone is gonna bring something different to the table. We might be into different shit at different times. I was into jazz for a while. Show and Buck might be into psych rock. Then I might switch it up, start getting into soundtracks. But let me say this: digging with Buck could be discouraging man. He would come up on crazy titles. And not just one copy. Like 6, 7 copies of shit. Les De Merle? I got a sealed copy of that from Buck. The Dorothy Ashby joint with the rug on it? Got a sealed copy of that from Buck too. He had mad copies of that.

On his most memorable digging trip:

Japan. Like ’93-94. It was me, Big L, Show and AG, Organized Konfusion and Roc Raida was dj-ing. That was the first time I met Muro. First tattoo I ever got. First time on the bullet train. First for a lot of things. Looking back, that was a crazy trip.

On maturing as a producer and a digger:

I listen to records for different things now. Not just for loops no more. I listen to the chords and the instruments being used. I used to analyze records in one particular way, but now with software, you can analyze a record 20 different ways. Listening to all these records broadens your horizons. When you think about different instruments, you can pull out different artists. Let’s say you want something with vibes. You got Cal Tjader. You got Roy Ayers. You got Milt Jackson. Even though they play the same instrument, they’re all different. I understand the differences cause I’ve been listening to these records for a long time. Different artists are going to point you in different directions musically. And it doesn’t always mean sampling, it might just mean listening.

On his favourite places to dig in the world:

Hmmm… I would say Japan for sure. You see a lot of U.S. records that you would never see here anymore. A lot of rare stuff that they scooped up from the States. But Europe is wild too. There are a lot of good European records that are common over there that you don’t really see over here. But Japan also has its own Japanese artists with Japanese breaks that covered a lot of US artists.

On personal unreleased productions he felt strongly about:

The most prime example of that was “Come on”, the Biggie record. That was recorded during Ready to Die. Then it was remixed for the Born Again album by Clark Kent. So the original one I did never came out officially. Would have been nice to have that one on the discography.

On his favourite DITC productions:

“Still Diggin” is one of my fave Show joints [sings horn loop]. “Fat Pockets” remix too. Classic.

Diamond D:
I’mma say that Alkaholiks remix for “Next Level”. That was different than the other Diamond stuff that was out at the time. That one stuck out to me.

It’s a tie. I gotta say “Masta IC” Mic Geronimo”. How he put it together that was just abstract – from the drums to the loop. But I love how he hooked up that Organized Konfusion joint “Why” too. So I gotta mention that.

On the potential for an upcoming Lord Finesse album:

Hopefully later this year. Maybe Fall/Winter. I’m not a summer dude. I want everyone locked in the house listening. I done went through beats. I got like 4 joints solidified. But I don’t think I’ve done my best work yet. I’m just developing a sound right now. I’m taking my time. I don’t care about clubs, radio, I just care about making something that can compete.

Here then, is our Cratery episode with the one and only Lord Finesse.

Attention wetmouths: tracklist unlisted at the request of the Funky Man himself.


Subscribe on iTunes

Download It Here!
(right click > Download Linked File As…[Mac] / Save link as…[Win])



The 7th: La Cancion de Sally

ARTIST: The (St. Thomas) Pepper Smelter

SONG: La Cancion de Sally

LABEL: Virrey

YEAR: ???

The (St. Thomas) Pepper Smelter was formed in Lima, Peru from disbanded members of a mid-60’s garage band called Los Shain’s. The band took a decidedly more psychedelic take on classics of the time, interpreting Hendrix’s Purple Haze on their very first 45 single and recording versions of In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida and Strange Brew on their debut LP. “La Cancion de Sally”, not included on their album, is a cover of the Dyke and the Blazers classic “Let a woman be a woman, let a man be a man”. The Spanish translates to “Sally’s song” which is almost closer in title to Stetsasonic’s “Sally”, which sampled the same joint from Dyke and crew almost 20 years later. Now I’d be lying if I thought this version could hold a candle to the original. But part of what makes it interesting is the novelty in hearing a group of Peruvian hippies interpret a lesser-known soul record of this era. And the sloppy, split-second, drunken drum break makes it worth the price of admission over 40 years after it was recorded.



CRATERY 70: Skeme Richards

Skeme Richards once told me that he’s not afraid of a real job.

He’s not afraid of rolling up his sleeves and departing the DJ life that takes to him places like Germany, Switzerland, Amsterdam and Tokyo year round.

He wouldn’t be upset about not being able to shop in all the best record stores around the world.

And he wouldn’t shed a tear over losing his frequent flyer miles.

Because as much as he loves DJ’ing, he loves his creative freedom much more.

That’s why he doesn’t play records he doesn’t want to.

Skeme is only in this music shit as long as it’s on his own terms.

If you’ve ever been on, you know how he does.

It’s a celebration of funk, old and new, from all over the world, with a healthy dose of cultural nostalgia, like the neighbourhood game that his site is named for.

We were thrilled to find out Skeme was a Cratery fan.
Because we also don’t give a shit what people think. We do this for us.

So it was logical that we connected to record an episode when he was in town (audio below).

I also had the chance to sit down and chop it up with Skeme about everything from Octopus breaks to the origin of the transformer scratch.

Hey Skeme, I got news for you. As long as you’re doing it, dj-ing will always be a real job.

On his beginnings as a DJ:

The first time I had actually seen two turntables and a mixer up close was in 1981 at the age of 11. I had just moved to the neighbourhood and I started hanging out with cats that I was going to school with who had older brothers with turntables. We would go to their house after school and I would watch them for a bit and then started trying it myself. This was in the early stages, it’s not like now where the turntable is more popular than a guitar. Although it was very slow and archaic, I thought they were fresh because they were mixing and rocking doubles of breaks. Christmas the following year came around and I got my first turntable and a mixer. I was already buying a few records at that time, stuff like Kool Kyle The Starchild, Treacherous 3 “Body Rock”, Grandmaster Flash & The Furious 5 “Super Rappin No. 2” and other stuff. But the gold standard for me back then was OCTOPUS BREAKS. I started getting copies right around the ’82 mark and remember paying $2.99, which around that time was the standard price for a 12”. I would save my lunch money for a few weeks and then go out to buy records on Saturday afternoon from places like Gola Electronics, Funk-O-Mart and Sound of Market. Then I started buying the OG’s like Big Beat and Mardi Gras. I think the first real OG break I ever bought was Mardi Gras.

On Philly OG DJ Groove:

DJ Groove is my OG. He was like the Bambaataa of Philly. He was the dude I wanted to be like. Most people were rocking popular disco records that might have had a break in it, but he was rocking that other shit. He knew records like (Esther Williams’) Last Night changed it all and Jeanette ‘Lady’ Day (Come let me love you). For years, people used to refer to “Last night” (changed it all) as the “telephone break”, but DJ Groove, he had that shit, he knew what it was! That was instant respect. Groove was signed to Word Up records, which is owned by Dana Goodman (Brother to Lawrence Goodman of Pop-Art records fame). He was Will Smith’s second DJ. Him and Will had a group called the Hypnotic 3. Prince Will Rock was his name then, this pre-dates the happy go lucky comedy Fresh Prince era. DJ Groove actually had a lot to do with that first album but doesn’t get credited for it. And also did stuff for a few other people that he doesn’t get credit for either but we’ll save those stories for when we come to Canada and rock a party together. Aside from his DJ skills he was nasty with making beats. He had every drum machine when they were new and was one of the very first people in Philly to have the original Emu SP12 which he later gave to me in 1989.

On the real story of Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince:

This dude named Lorenzo Penn had a company called Fresh Jazz productions, which Jeff flipped for his production company “A Touch of Jazz”. He managed a series of Philly rap duos: Jeff and Will, Cash Money and Marvelous, DJ Groove and Lord Supreme. Lord Supreme was actually Will’s original DJ. Supreme and Groove were rivals at first, but then Lord Supreme started rhyming and they became a group. Lorenzo had a formula for putting these duos together: that’s how Jeff and Will became a group. The story you (the writer of this piece) heard – “Jeff asked Will to fill in for his MC at a house party” – I’ve never known that to be the scenario and they were from two different neighbourhoods. But make no mistake, they were a deadly combination that was pretty much unbeatable. Will Smith was like the Kool Moe Dee of Philly back then, early Kool Moe Dee. He was that thorough MC who had the punch lines, the lyrics and delivery. People know him from the Fresh Prince shit but I know him from an earlier point in his career and still have cassette tapes with basement recordings of him rocking mic.

On digging vs. really digging:

I still dig but not like how I used to. Like really digging? Like where you’re scouring through an entire warehouse looking at stacks of 7” vinyl without sleeves? It’s a massive commitment that I rarely have time for these days. Especially with 45’s, I have to be in the right state of mind. I was recently in a store that had a half a million 45s and it was just overwhelming, especially knowing that I had limited time to go through them all. If it’s something local where I can go every other day then great, but trying to cut through it in one or two sittings is rough, it needs to be a week-long adventure. I’m just not sure I have that kind of patience anymore. After a week, you might find a few interesting things, but the odds of finding something super rare or crazy are much lower these days. LPs are a different story though, much easier to flick through me all and go off of covers and titles. I like shopping at stores like Demon Fuzz in Rotterdam. I’m there all the time and they know my taste in music so when I show up, they’ll have a stack of records put aside for me and they’ll pour me a cup of tea, I’ll relax and just hang out all day and shoot the shit, listen to records and even help other customers when they come in the store. I’m an unofficial employee that gets paid in records and in record knowledge which is priceless. Now even in a store like Demon Fuzz, you have to dig. It’s not like all the heat is on the walls. But it’s like more of a family and friends vibe. That’s how I prefer to shop these days.

On his biggest come up:

I found a copy of the Soul Expedition LP back in 2005. Pulled that in London. I got turned onto that through the owner of Cue Records in Philly. You’d see guys like Cosmo Baker, Rich Medina and a ton of other DJ’s hanging out there back then. The dude from Cue had a copy in his personal stash and he put me onto it. So when I saw it in London at a totally reasonable price I just grabbed it. That’s a record that definitely does not come up often and it made sense for me to grab it because of the strength of the pound / dollar exchange rate at the time. I was pretty happy about that one.

On the true origins of the transformer scratch:

It’s widely acknowledged that the transformer scratch originated in Philly. But it’s usually incorrectly credited to either Jazzy Jeff or Cash Money (I’ve got massive respect for both of them especially Cash who I talk to often so don’t trip). The dude who really started the transformer was a guy named DJ Spinbad (the original DJ Spinbad, not the later one from NY). There was a battle at (correct me if I’m wrong) the Wynne ballroom and Spinbad debuted the transformer that night. It was an all-city battle so every DJ who was anybody (including Jazzy Jeff and Cash Money) was there to see him do it. Jeff might have been the first to do it on wax. Cash might have been the first to do it so mewhere else. But really, it all comes back to Spinbad who doesn’t get nearly as much credit as he should. There’s a lot of history that get’s lost in the shuffle in Hip Hop, not only in Philly but New York as well. There’s been plenty of info that I’ve heard for years and then later would meet someone that was actually there, had the original flyer or actually met the person responsible for something. You also have to look at it like, everyone was young and things appeared different back then so you romanticize about what it was back then and as you get older your memory or stories change up. The best person to believe is either the person responsible for something or the person who doesn’t have anything to gain from distorting history.

On overpriced vinyl:

There’s a lot out there, but right now, I’d have to say Big Beat 45. It’s a $10 record. Somehow that record goes for $200 now. It’s ridiculous. But there’s always a sucker ready to buy it. Also One For The Treble by Davy DMX, that record has been recently been selling for around the $200 mark also. People are really backwards to spend that type of money on records like that and rap 45s in general. Stark Reality is $1500 now, somebody was asking $3000 for a Lialeh soundtrack not too long ago. I recently had a convo with Supreme La Rock on how crazy the prices are today for things and most of that shit is just sitting there with the seller hoping to catch an idiot on a buy it now. The thing is, all these shows like Storage Wars, American Pickers – they’ve fucked up the game. It’s created this culture where everyone thinks they have gold in their basement. But they don’t. Everyone wants to be a collector now, so everything’s being overpriced.

On shopping in Japan:

Name any record. If they don’t have it, they’ll bring it to you the next day. The record stores are all connected with each other. And they take pride in getting you what you want. In America, there’s a lot of dealers and stores that are on the selfish side of things. Most dealers or owners won’t refer you to other places or dealers if you’re looking for something. It’s a cultural thing. Japan is the best on so many levels.

On the origins and growth of Hot Peas and Butta:

It all started about 8 years ago, when I had an idea to start a Funk 45 night and brought the idea to Rich Medina and Cash Money separately. It eventually wound up being Cash Money and myself trying to bring something refreshing to the scene in Philly. The first night we threw the party it started snowing and in Philly rain or snow is a bad sign because people pretty much nix any plans of going out. But surprisingly it was a great night and even though is snowed we had some special guests that drove in for New York just for the party. Bobbito, DJ Eclipse, Marco Polo and Crazy Legs all braved the storm to rock with us, and that pretty much set the tone for where we wanted to go. The night kind of helped unite the digging community in Philly. Matter of fact, a lot of cats connected and got close at those early HP + B jams. The first guest we had was Ms. Shing-a-ling and then Mr. Supreme (Supreme La Rock) from Seattle shortly afterwards and it was always a treat when heads like Soulman would come through to hang out. Then we started doing the night in NY on a regular basis as well as specialty parties like Bullies & Brothels which was our tribute to old 42nd Street in Times Square, the Rock Star Games party for Red Dead Redemption, Tokyo Soul, the Black Dynamite premier party during the Tribeca Film Festival and of course the annual 8th Wonder James Brown tribute party. Since then we’ve done it in Pittsburg, Los Angeles, San Diego, Seattle, Minneapolis, Switzerland, Germany and Japan to name a few places. We’ve built up a great lineup of DJ’s that we work with in those areas that we trust to help bring quality our brand. Resident DJ, Scarce One and I just finished our 4-year anniversary party in Germany and now I’m getting ready for a month long trip to celebrate the 4-year anniversary in Japan in November/December. We’ve got some of the best DJ’s in the country doing the Hot Peas party. Daisuke Kuroda, Ryuhei The man, Afro Tee, Taizo and Yosuke Tominaga are all top notch DJ’s with incredible record collections. It’s great to go out there and have the best DJ’s come through and give the party the respect it deserves.


2. Goblin – Death Dies
3. Wilson Simonal – Mexerico da Candinha
4. Big Band Katowice – Sorcery
6. Because I am – If a child
7. Impala Syndrome – Love grows a flower
8. Na Na Na – Hemlata
9. Les Requins – Campus no. 8
10. Sweet Maya – Illusion
11. Il Baricentro – Afka
12. Johnny Pate – Totally Unexpected
14. Franco Micalizzi – Dimitry’s theme
15. Billy Green and the Love Machine – Midnight and you
16. West Wing – I’m gonna love you just a little more, babe
17. The Pretenders – I call it love
18. Albert Lynch – All Alone
19. Tatsuro Yamashita – Windy Lady
20. Convertion – All I want is you

Subscribe on iTunes

Download It Here!
(right click > Download Linked File As…[Mac] / Save link as…[Win])



The 7th: Head of The Class

SONG: Head of the Class

ARTIST: Unlisted

YEAR: 1977

LABEL: Unlisted

This piece of NSFW sleaze came courtesy of Lost & Found, the best (and only) record store I ever worked at. 
I’m assuming this flexidisc was available with your purchase of High Society, back when porno mags were an actual thing. I think it might be part of a series. But I’m guessing that not all of them have that blazed-out Santana strut intro. I do know that I won’t be playing this out anytime soon. Novelty swag on one trillion. Tons of quotables here, but no spoilers. Have a listen yourself. And if you’re at work, you might want to put some headphones on.




“I need to stop buying records”.

Most collectors have said it at some point. Even contemplated doing it, albeit for a brief second.

But actually following through is damn near impossible.

You think of all the reasons to stop.

The money.
Your woman.
The space.
Your woman.

So one evening, you convince yourself it’s time to slow down.

You wake up a changed man. Determined to prove you can do this.

But then up pops that daily notice you get from

86 new items for sale from your wantlist.


Better scroll through it to make sure there’s nothing absolutely essential in there.

You try distracting yourself on Instagram but your feed is full of dudes posting rare ass records.

Then your homie hits you with a pic of his most recent arrival in the mail.

And before you know, it, you end up down a youtube wormhole looking up regional gospel funk or krautrock slow burners.

And you’re back in it.

That’s how it goes for record nerds. Accept it.

As long as we’re stuck buying records, you’re stuck with this podcast.

I used to think it was an addiction.

But when something is as essential to life as records are, addiction doesn’t seem like the right word.

It’s like saying humans are addicted to breathing.

Records aren’t an addiction. They’re my oxygen.



Kae’s set

1. Ultimate Spinach – Jazz Thing
2. Harumi – Hello
3. Fifty Foot Hose – Fantasy
4. Pool-Pah – Laughter and Pain
5. Dennis – Walk with me

Arcee’s set

1. Mel and Tim – Keep the faith
2. The Eliminators – Satisfied
3. Syl Johnson – I’m talkin’ bout freedom
4. Tyrone Davis – In the mood
5. The Manhattans – Wish that you were mine

Dave Serious’ set

1. Marcos Valle – Pecados de Amor
2. Arnie’s Love – I’m out of your life
3. Natural Four – Try love again
4. The Whatnauts – Message from a black man
5. Spring – Bring yourself down to earth loving blues, baby

Subscribe on iTunes

Download It Here!
(right click > Download Linked File As…[Mac] / Save link as…[Win])



The 7th: Big Chief

ARTIST: Professor Longhair

SONG: Big Chief

YEAR: 1964

LABEL: Watch

I had no idea Professor Longhair was such an O.G. Cited as a heavy influence on such artists such as Allen Toussaint and Dr. John, Longhair was instrumental in helping create that New Orleans Jazz sound. As a piano player, he was best known for his mambo-rhumba infused style of boogie-woogie blues. Typically, his sound was more traditional, but this tune definitely goes above and beyond. Now, I’m not a fan of boogie woogie style piano, but right from the first needle drop, you hear the potential. Then when the drums come in, you know this song was meant to get the crowd buggin’.



CRATERY 68: Amir Abdullah

Label owner. Globetrotting DJ. Musical encyclopedia. Record store rat.

You might use all of the above to describe Amir Abdullah of 180 Proof Records.

But at his core, he’s really just a dude that loves music.

Coincidentally, our favourite kind of dude.

So it was a no-brainer to hang out and play records at Cratery Headquaters while he was in town a few months back.

I first became familiar with Abdullah as 1/2 of Kon and Amir, creators of the seminal “On Track” breaks mixtape series which hit shelves in the late 90’s.

Cats like DJ Shame of the Vinyl Reanimators and Mr. Supreme of the Conmen (along with Jake One) were already part of a small group raising awareness about the incredible array of rare soul, funk, jazz and rock records that were providing the foundation for 90’s hip-hop.

The Internet was very much in its infancy at this time.

No YouTube. No Soul Strut. And definitely no Who Sampled.

Mixtapes like “On Track” were being dubbed and passed around the country not only as entertainment, but information.

The distribution of these tapes helped connect a community of like-minded individuals that everyone now refers to as crate diggers: guys who had grown up on hip-hop, but had developed a taste for old records through the art of sampling.

But Amir’s ears were far too sophisticated to be pigeon-holed to hip-hop breaks.

So he went deeper.

He fell in love with Latin, Brazilian, African and other funky sounds from around the world. Along with partner Kon and DJ Muro, they dropped the incredible “Kings of Diggin” compilation on BBE in 2006 and followed suit with a new spin on their original mixtape series called “Off Track.”

It’s now been over 20 years since Amir Abdullah left Boston and began his journey in NYC as a DJ and record collector.

In 2013, he added label proprietor to his list of titles when he started 180 Proof records.

His first order of business has been to reissue the small but celebrated catalog of Detroit jazz label Strata records.

And it hasn’t been easy.

Mainly because doing anything right costs money. And Amir isn’t a trust fund kid with a hobby that his Daddy pays for.

Collectors might be willing to pay a premium for a premium product. But financing one has its challenges.

So Amir embarked on a recent Indiegogo campaign to try and raise some funds for his burgeoning label. And though they didn’t reach their intended goal, they still lived to fight another day.

As Little Brother appropriately stated back in 2007: “Dreams don’t keep the lights on.”

But despite the financial realities, 180 Proof is still very much a labour of love.

It’s allowed Abdullah to do things like officially release Kenny Cox’s “Clap! Clap! The Joyful Noise” to the public.

The record, previously only featured as a ‘coming soon’ photo on the back of a few Strata releases in the 70’s, has finally been made officially available thanks to Amir’s hard work.

The same can be said for his latest release, an unreleased gem from Strata artist Maulawi called “Orotunds” that features covers of Maiden Voyage and People make the world go round.

With everything he has on the go, we were thrilled to get some time to hang out with Amir while he was in Toronto.

And he didn’t disappoint.

Armed with a stack of 45’s full of heat we’d never heard like Lady Margaret and Perry Smith’s “Out in space” and Larry “T-Byrd” Gordon’s “Contact off funk”, Mr. Abdullah reminds us that he’s not new to this digging thing.

Now go forth and indulge in the audio greatness of Cratery 68.

Like the tagline used by our friends at 180 Proof, it’s music for the people.


1. Lady Margaret and Perry Smith – Out in space
2. Opus 7 – Hey Big Brother
3. Nadja Band – Oh Baby
4. UPP – It’s a mystery
5. 9th Creation – Much too much
6. Ricardo Eddy Martinez – La
7. Gal Costa – Cultura E civilizacao
8. Big Blue Marble – Indian Scene
9. Esther Byrde – Touch me tease me (instrumental)
10. Sky King – Why don’t you take us
11. Lall Thomas with the Hondells – Talk the truth
12. Wild Fire – The Dealer
13. Personal Touch – It ain’t no big thing
14. The Jones Girls – What a shame
15. Lamont Dozier – Wired up
16. The Mighty Makers – Exodus
17. Larry “T-Byrd” Gordon – Contact off funk
18. Getto Kitty – Stand up and be counted
19. Jukka Tolonen – Wanderland
20. Baris Manco – Gonul Dagi

Subscribe on iTunes

Download It Here!
(right click > Download Linked File As…[Mac] / Save link as…[Win])



The 7th: Gimmewachoowan

ARTIST: Tiger People

SONG: Gimmewachoowan

YEAR: 1974

LABEL: Polydor

SONG: My man Sipreano was kind enough to part with this one while I was in Vancouver last year. Musically, it’s like a mid-tempo sleazy Italian library complete with female back up vocals and gratuitous moaning. Of course, the label tells us it’s a promo and the MAPL marking tells us it’s Canadian, but from where? Polydor did a lot of work in Quebec and this has a pretty European feel to it. A search for a composer named “Art Phillips” yielded no results, but the name Ben Kaye did. If it’s the same Ben Kaye, he’s a Montreal based music producer and agent who sadly passed away back in 2007. He was a fixture in the Montreal music scene, who used to manage Celine Dion’s husband in the 60’s. Another article indicated that he was ‘instrumental’ in the careers of other Canadian acts like Patsy Gallant and Ginette Reno. But at CRATERY, we will always remember Ben Kaye as that dude who produced that one library sounding thing that one time with the porno vocals. Thanks for that, Ben.



CRATERY 67: Jake One

Our dude Jake One happened to be in town for a beat battle a few months back, so it was only right for us to record another episode of Cratery.

Jake first appeared on our 22nd episode back in October 2010.

This time, he was armed with a small box of 45’s, primarily sweet soul and boogie.

It was a good night.

Kaeweezy on the grill. Serious behind the lens.
A supporting cast of Mr. Attic, MoSS, Frank Dukes and Marco Polo.
And the sweet smell of barbecue and marijuana wafting through the air.

Customary with any Jake episode, no track list will be provided. You guys don’t need to know everything all the time. Just enjoy the music.

We did, however, sit down with Seattle’s finest to pick his brain on a variety of random subjects.

The results? Perhaps the realest Jake One interview ever.

Peep the audio for Cratery 67 below.

Why he still buys vinyl:
“It’s partly a baseball card collector type mentality. And then there are records I still buy just to chop up. I still like the feel of going through records for samples better than mp3’s. But honestly, it’s mostly the collector side. Just certain things I need to put on my wall. Like I recently got this record by this group Joy called “The time is now”. My man had it and I had to cop it. I’m not gonna DJ with it. I’m not gonna sample it. That shit is just going on the wall.”

His latest collecting obsession:
“My new thing is vintage 2-inch reels. The most recent one I got is a Bar-Kays reel from one of their Mercury albums. It’s dope cause they come with the original tracksheets. Shit is like a straight artifact, on top of getting all the sounds separated. Timex Social Club’s “Rumours”. That’s another one I just picked up. But I really can’t disclose too much you know? Multitrack Illuminati. You guys can have your little records.”

The new music he’s fucking with:
“Hasn’t been a crazy year to be honest. But I really like the intro on Ty Dolla Sign’s new mixtape. Almost sounds like some futuristic Dilla like shit. Few joints on the YG album. That shit on the Jeezy album with the Cortex sample. But mainly I’m waiting on the next white dude to sound exactly like a classic 90’s rapper. Like maybe there’s a white version of Jeru just waiting to be discovered.”

The forthcoming full-length Tuxedo project with Mayer Hawthorne:
“It’s probably my favourite thing that I’ve ever worked on. I’m excited for everyone to hear it. We’ve officially signed a deal and you guys are gonna have some records real soon. That’s pretty much all I can say at this point.”

His latest production pet peeve:
“Soundcloud remixes in general. Dudes are just getting out of hand with it. Like do I really need to hear your random ass Whitney Houston re-edit? I don’t know man. It seems like cats are trying a little too hard to jump on that Kaytranada/Cashmere Cat wave. Shout out to my lil homie Swish, he got a few that are actually good though.”

His fascination with gospel records:
“I’ve buying gospel records since the early 2000’s, but a lot of it was basic stuff on labels like ABC. I guess it kinda got real on this one trip to Detroit. The gospel section in one of the stores was just huge. Seattle has some gospel, but not like that. The community for that is much larger in the D, and there were mad private press joints you just didn’t see. So I started taking hella gambles. The thing with gospel is that it can go either way: you might get some one mic organ crap or you might come up on some boogie sounding shit. Lately I’ve been into some 90’s stuff which sounds like some straight DeVante Swing music, except it was made for the Lord.”

His ongoing connection to the city of Toronto:
“The first person I met from out there was MoSS. I was at this record store called Bop Street in Seattle and my homie Luke was working. MoSS called the store while I was in there, asking for all these records, trying to set up mail orders to Toronto. This had to be around ’95. Luke connected us since we were looking for the same stuff. I started selling him joints like Bob James “Two”. You know, some basic ass shit these Canucks couldn’t find back then (laughs). But on the real, we just started building. Eventually MoSS introduced me to Arcee and Mr. Attic (Da Grassroots), and I started coming out to Toronto pretty frequently around ’97 to hang out, and those guys would come out here. Hell, I wouldn’t even been using the ASR if it wasn’t for Attic. Like the way he had that “Drama” record sounding? I wanted that sound. I got the ASR cause Attic was fucking with the EPS. That’s my guy. Today of course, there’s the Drake thing. Kicking with that dude out there was a definitely an experience. But what makes it crazier is years before that, I was out there working with dudes like Brass Munk and Kardinal. And I did the Red Bull thing out there for a bit too. Shout out to the lil homie Frank Dukes. I got my folks in Toronto for sure.”

His Cratery confession:
“I made a few beats off Cratery. One in particular turned out really dope. It’s definitely a slap. You guys had a few episodes with a couple things I had to jack.”

On avoiding old head syndrome:
“That’s the hardest thing in the world. But I honestly love what the younger generation is doing. I just try to keep what makes me good, but learn from what the younger guys are bringing to the table. Being an old head complaining on Facebook about the state of hip-hop is just not a good look. 20 years from now, the new kids will be reminiscing about how Soulja Boy was the man. It’s all relative to your generation. I just can’t go out like the Chi-Lites making struggle records in ’89.”

His thoughts on his hometown Super Bowl champion Seattle Seahawks:
“Just stay the course and you’ll be rewarded. To spend almost 30 years watching a team not be successful, and finally we win so dominantly? That’s the best feeling. And the victory felt better cause it felt like Seattle was on. Macklemore becoming the biggest thing in music had Seattle popping and then we win Super Bowl? It just felt good for the city not be purely on some hate shit for once (laughs).”

Why his homie Chan Dogg is integral to the fibre of the music industry:
“Chan Dogg is just a major factor in the game, man. There aren’t too many people that can tell you about Stevie Ray Vaughn guitar solos and James Mason album cuts. Plus he’s a got pretty decent collection of jazz records on Prestige that continues to grow in 2014. He’s definitely keeping it youthful at 50.”

Subscribe on iTunes

Download It Here!
(right click > Download Linked File As…[Mac] / Save link as…[Win])



The 7th: Comin’ at ya

ARTIST: Pyramid Plus

SONG: Comin’ at ya

LABEL: Lifeworld


Buying records online can be a gamble. Record prices tend to fluctuate, depending on when dead stock copies are found and how the seller can go about letting them off. I ordered this joint online, and when it showed up, I knew something was up: the ink on the label seemed printed on by a device far too modern for this record’s year of origin. Red flag. I am now absolutely sure I’ve ended up with a bootleg, which is partially due to my ignorance of boogie records. In my excitement, I copped too hastily. I thought that somehow, someway a record that once went for $$$ was attainable for under $100 because someone had found old stock and flooded the market. Wishful thinking, that was definitely not the case. I got gaffled. But hey – at least I wasn’t the only one. As far as the music itself, this joint is on some ill faux-parliament spaceship house party complete with LSD-spiked punch, and partygoers cripwalkin on sherm. Don’t take my word for it. Peep the audio below.




A fellow record head once told me that a collection is nothing without focus. Do you collect Libraries? Psych? Jazz? Rare grooves? Hip-Hop?

Choose. You can’t be an authority on everything.

His theory was that trying to stockpile all forms of music can often leave your collection feeling oddly random and not necessarily comprehensive in any regard.

If there’s one thing I’ve learned after over 20 years of collecting, it’s that you can’t possibly have it all. I’ve got friends who buy mostly Canadian records, some who focus primarily on rare soul/funk and others with a penchant for unearthing foreign psych LP’s from all over the globe. The thing they have in common? They’re all single-minded collectors with impressive collections.

Despite this truth, I’ve never been able to be a single-minded collector.  I started out buying samples, drum breaks and classic soul, but my tastes have evolved and quite frankly, I’m a slave to my palate. I still have a thing for the aforementioned, but I couldn’t ignore my affinity to Brazilian, African and Latin sounds. Nor could I disregard my desire to start investigating European jazz and library music.

I love Canadian records, but for me, having an all-Canadian collection is akin to stacking your pantry exclusively with maple syrup. I love funk 45’s but there’s only so much fake James Brown shit I can tolerate before I realize I actually just want to listen to James Brown. I still love buying classic samples for the records I grew up with but I can’t be happy with a collection full of 5-second breaks.

Neither can Serious or Kaewonder.

For us, shuffling between the mid-tempo funk of Soft Touch’s “Plenty Action”, The Don Carrington Trio’s cover of “Song for my father” and Som Tres’ Brazilian rendition of “Spooky” is perfectly natural.

That’s why Cratery exists. To provide a safehouse for the musical scatterbrain.

So for all you rare jazz, regional boogie, stoner psych, samba-loving breakbeat fiends:

Welcome home.


1. Soft Touch – Plenty Action
2. The Pazant Bros – A Gritty Nitty
3. Gary Byrd Experience – To You Beautiful Black Sister
4. LaMont Johnson – That’s not the way to do it, Beverly
5. Wando – Velho Batuqueiro
6. Don Carrington Trio – Song for my father
7. Som Tres – Spooky
8. J.J. Jackson – Indian Thing
9. Twelve Top Hits – Evil Woman
10. Breakout – We have told all
11. The Emotions – I like it
12. South side Movement – Everlasting thrill
13. Little Carl Carlton – Two Timer
14. People next door – Touch the wind
15. Motherlode – Oh! See the white light

Subscribe on iTunes

Download It Here!
(right click > Download Linked File As…[Mac] / Save link as…[Win])



The 7th: Get Out My Life

ARTIST: Allen Toussaint

SONG: Get out my life woman


YEAR: 1968

When I was talking to DJ Serious about his pick for this month’s edition of the Seventh, one thing became clear. Neither of us knew what the original version of “Get out my life woman” was. We speculated that it might be the Lee Dorsey version, but we weren’t sure. It’s an Allen Toussaint composition of course, but that doesn’t mean his version was first. What we did know is that it’s been covered by everyone from The Doors to Jimi Hendrix. This fact has not been lost on the legions of crate diggers who found out long ago that most covers of this song come with the added bonus of open drums on the first few bars. Iron Butterfly, Bill Cosby, The Fireballs, The Leaves along with Dee Dee, Barry and the Soul Movements were a few of the acts that had diggers hoping to see GOMLW on the track listing of an LP in the 90’s. The Allen Toussaint one is Dave’s favourite version with a break. “The drums just slam” he remarked, in an unintentionally common sense manner native to Dave. He isn’t the only one who thought so. Some of your favourite producers have tapped this one. His overall favourite, however, is the Joe Williams cover best known as the sample fodder for Kool G Rap’s “Ill street blues”. Cratery is a crew of contrarians. So it wasn’t surprising that Dave’s favourite version of this song is the one without a break.



CRATERY 65: Birdapres

Like many of us who’ve spent our lives loving music, this months’ guest Birdapres is a bit of a renaissance man. Rapper and producer. Collector and dealer. Radio personality and record store employee. He’s called places like Victoria, Vancouver, Toronto and most recently, Winnipeg home. But these are the things I already knew about Bird when we recorded our first Cratery episode together.

I needed some additional facts for this month’s write-up.

So how would I learn more about a friend who lives in a different town?

Well, there’s this thing called a phone call. After much contemplation, I decided to try it. It was a very different experience from texting. It allowed us to have something called a ‘conversation’ which felt strangely familiar.

During this aforementioned ‘conversation’, I learned a few things about Bird.

Here, then, are 10 of them:

1. Someone’s Dad schooled him on sampling.

“I was listening to BDP’s ‘My Philosophy’ with a friend when his Dad walked in. He started laughing when he heard the song. He pulled out a copy of Stanley Turrentine’s “Cherry” from his own collection and proceeded to blow my mind.”

2. He’s indebted to Vancouver DJ legend Kilocee.

“Kilo did a well-loved radio show called the Krispy Bisket with the Incredible Ease (RIP) and this dude named Mr. Bill. Kilo was working at this spot on Hastings called Rhythm Zone. I was on a class field trip and wandered into the store and saw the Check the Rhime 12” on the wall, I’ll never forget it. Kilo was cutting up some UBB record (Ultimate Breaks and Beats for the uninitiated) and I walked up to him and asked him what it was. That was the first time someone told me about ‘breakbeats’.”

3. The first record he bought was Prince’s ‘Purple Rain’.

“I bought that with my allowance money. If the first record you buy informs your tastes, then this certainly helped steer my love for 80’s R&B, hip-hop and eventually funk and soul. But let’s be real. It was like ’84-85. I was a fan of Twisted Sister and Tina Turner long before I was a fan of psych or rare grooves.”

4. The first joint he was really geeked on finding was the London Experimental Jazz Quartet.

“I found that at the Vancouver Flea Market around ’95 for $10. Records were so cheap back then, I actually felt like I got burnt at that price. I also found a copy of Thesda’s ‘Spaced Out’ years later while I was on tour in London. It’s strange how diggers can kind of discover a record around the same time. Shortly after I found mine, a frenzy ensued for that joint. I don’t know what it is about London, Ontario.”

5. Apparently the ‘Scavenger Economy’ is a real thing.

“It’s a phrase my boss used to describe jobs that rely on digging through other people’s garbage and flipping it to make a living. To be honest, it’s not favourable. I’d rather not have to sell records to get some extra coin. I’d rather keep them. But sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do.”

6. He considers our own DJ Serious a huge influence.

“DJ Serious was very generous with his knowledge when I moved to Toronto for a short time in ’97 (along with Planet Pea). Serious was the first person to tell me about Wayne McGhie and the sounds of Joy. The Internet was still in its infancy then. It would be 3 years before I even heard that record. And 10 years before I found my own copy.”

7. There isn’t much to say about this month’s UNLISTED joint.

“It’s not very well documented. It’s Canadian, that’s pretty much all I know.”

8. He figured out the importance of buying local, early.

“I guess I thought if James Brown was popular in Canada, that there must have been Canadian funk and soul artists that were creating that sort of music up here. These theoretical records that may or may not exist. Eventually you figure out that there are some pretty cool records in your own backyard if you’re open to digging and not just chasing grails. My personal favourites? Sonny Greenwich “Son Song”, Patrick Godfrey “Ancient Ships”, Bob McMullin “McMullin’s shorts” and Walter Zuber Armstrong “Alpha and Omega”.  Plus a few I won’t mention for fear of reprisal from Sipreano.”

9. He’s a fan of YouTube digging.

“I think it’s fantastic. I recently started investigating Italian Jazz labels like Soul Note and Horo and it’s great to be able to go through the catalog online and listen to stuff and figure out what you’re actually into. It’s a great resource for learning. Then again, you can’t deny the satisfaction of youtubing a record you’ve just found only to find that a video for it doesn’t exist. That’s a great feeling. I’m always going to have a thing for records few people know or even care about.”

10. He’s not exactly thrilled about the media-fueled vinyl resurgence.

“People are out here literally buying Led Zeppelin and The Doors and calling it a day. They’re not exactly exploring anything new. So it’s not really an affirmation of what we do as collectors. My interest is in interesting records. I actually hate more records than I like. I hate 98% of them. If someone was to burn a pile of garbage records, I wouldn’t stop them. I’m not into records in general. I’m into records I like.”

You can check out Bird’s radio show “Constant Elevation” with Steve St. Louis and David Haynes at It’s live in Winnipeg every Saturday from 4-6 pm.

And peep his latest album “If and only if” with Grey Jay. It’s available for download at



CRATERY 65 featuring Birdapres

1. Os Satelites – Partida pros Astros
2. Ray Barretto – Right on
3. Eddie Cano and his quintet – I can’t cry anymore
4. Manu Dibango – Senga
5. The Troubadours International – Let it grow
6. Both Worlds – Don’t cha hide it
7. 4th Coming – The dead don’t die alive (part 2)
8. Alma Y Vida – Veinte Monedas
10. Gary Pacific Orchestra – Soft Wind
11. Vallivue High Jazz Ensemble – Tailspin
12. Amral’s Trinidad Cavaliers – 90% of me is you
13.Gilles Rivard – Je m’en vais
14. Warm Asian Love – The Warm Asian Lovers
15. Leroy Vinnegar – Chitlin Moe
16. George Duke – Faces in reflection
17. Doug Wilde – Of Corsica
18. Tom Brock – I love you more and more
19. Doug Carn – Revelation
20. Andy Bey – Hibiscus

Subscribe on iTunes

Download It Here!
(right click > Download Linked File As…[Mac] / Save link as…[Win])



Version: Tighten Up

I love this joint. In my opinion, Tighten Up was the impetus for a slew of upbeat, happy funk records in the late 60’s like Kool and the Gang’s ‘Chocolate Buttermilk’, Dave Cortez and the Moon People’s ‘Happy Soul’ and the T.S.U. Toronadoes’ ‘Getting the corners’. Perhaps the reverse applies on the latter since the Houston-based Toronadoes actually provided the music for the original version of ‘Tighten Up’. The Toronadoes were performing an instrumental version of the track in their sets around town, when according to the good folks over at Wikipedia, it was mutual friend (and Houston DJ) Skipper Lee Frazer that suggested they give the instrumental to Mr. Bell. Turns out, Frazer’s intuition was right. Tighten Up became a hit, peaking at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 and the Hot R&B charts. In the wake of its success, it spawned cover versions across the country and beyond. Here are a few of our favourites.

Benny Gordon and the Soul Brothers “Tighten Up”

Since Archie Bell introduces himself and the Drells off the top on the original, many of the cover versions simply substitute the name of the cover band off the top. I’m happy Benny Gordon and the Soul Brothers took the time to shout themselves out, because someone needed to give it up to this rhythm section. The bass and drums on this one feel deeper and heavier than the original.

Al Escobar “Tighten Up”

Pretty much what you’d expect from a Latin cover of Tighten Up. It’s basically Tighten Up with more percussion and some additional random yelling in Spanish. I found this one in the now defunct Incredible records on Yonge Street here in Toronto for a $6 price tag back in the early 90’s. In case you’re wondering, it sells for a lot more than that now.

The Soul Sounds “Tighten Up”

These dudes are basically a house band for Sunset records that put out an album of soul covers that included an overlooked version of James Brown’s “Licking Stick” and this version of Tighten Up. Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to find much info about this record through the surface level research I’ve done. What I do know is that I never saw it before or after finding it in Boston at IN YOUR EAR for $2 a couple of years back.


The 7th: Sadity Lady




YEAR: ???

Nothing like digging through a private collection in storage. There’s an inherent excitement to having access to music the average collector perusing the record stores might not have. If it’s a solo mission, it can prove to be even more exciting, since you’re not obligated to share the fruits of your labour with a friend.

Such were my circumstances during a trip to the Bay area when a mutual friend connected me with a well-known dealer from SF. I had been waiting all week to get private access to his garage full of goodies. So when we finally made it happen, I was pumped.

Now, this place was far from untapped. My fellow collectors had been steadily depleting this dude’s supply of heat for years. I ended up finding a few things, but I had to dig hard. Luckily, I don’t have a problem with that. My copy of Clarence Mann’s “Sadity Lady” turned up during this particular expedition, as well as a few other 45’s I snatched up half-heartedly.

I was mildly disappointed, because, quite frankly, the garage full of goodies hadn’t lived up to the hype. And honestly, it almost never does. The promise of walking into a storage unit full of dead stock Syl Johnsons is almost non-existent at this point. But somehow, we all get that feeling that it could happen. It makes no sense. The odds are totally against us. But we all still have the voice in the back of our heads telling us it’s possible.

It took me a second to register that some of the records I found that day were actually good, because I had spent too much time being wallowing in the fact I hadn’t found any grails. I put on the instrumental version of this Clarence Mann joint and felt my head starting to bop. Maybe the dig didn’t go that badly after all. Then I put on the vocal version. In an instant, I was reminded that Clarence Mann was no Syl Johnson. Dammit.



CRATERY 64: 45’s (part 4)

A think piece on the almighty 45 might have been appropriate given this month’s episode. But the timeliness of Record Store Day 2014 and the recent debates about the growing popularity of this event have prompted me to share a few thoughts of my own.

What began as an annual act of solidarity to champion the smaller record shops and labels has now become a corporate cash grab in the eyes of many.

Stop me if the story sounds familiar.

Independent record store owners get together and start Record Store Day in 2007.  They work with smaller labels to secure limited releases specifically for that day to drive traffic into stores and boost sales. Over the next few years, the event becomes wildly successful, and attracts major labels eager to cash in on niche vinyl market sales. The majors start participating in RSD and eventually flood it with picture disc reissues and thoughtless filler that’s no better than the styrofoam it was packed in.

And that’s how Record Store Day was ruined, according the purists.

Except for one thing.

That’s how everything was ruined in the history of things being ruined. Every musical form, from blues to hip-hop has been watered down by corporate interests. That’s how anything worthwhile is destroyed, from filmmaking to painting. If I let corporate participation dictate my love for art, I would have stopped liking everything a long time ago.

Sure, the majors are fucking it up and we all wish we could make them suck elephant cum out of a really short straw.

But is that a reason to hate a whole day?
A whole day dedicated to the very thing you love?

I get it, vinyl nerds:

“Every day is Record Store Day”.
“I don’t need a day to tell me what to dig for”.
“Those people aren’t even real collectors”.
“I’m not trying to stand in no long ass line”.

I know exactly how you elitist assholes feel because I’m one of you.

This past RSD, I was invited to spin some chunes at Play De Record, a long standing Toronto vinyl institution, along with my Cratery brethren, Serious and Kaewonder. This was our first year participating in this capacity. And we all had fun, despite playing for a smaller crowd towards the end of the day. But mostly, we were there to show our support for proprietors Jason Palma and Eugene Tam, 2 dudes who have dedicated their lives to the service of bringing music to the people and remained independent for over 20 years. I want to see those dudes win. But first, I want to see them survive. And events like Record Store Day help them do that.

So what if our purist principles can poke holes in its intentions?

So what if the place is full of folks that are buying bullshit?

I’ve got news for you. Every other day of the year you hit a shop, there are people with bad taste, buying shitty records that help pay the owner’s rent.

So miss me with that self-righteous garb.

RSD isn’t necessarily a reason to go shopping. But it’s certainly no reason to not.

This year, I picked up a few things, including the new Dust and Grooves book profiling different record collectors and their collections.  It’s an independent, crowd sourced project that is the definition of DIY done right.

I left behind those flimsy limited edition Placebo reissues because the quality of the printing on the cover was a tell-tale sign that they hadn’t spent the time or money to do it correctly.  Plus, I’m foolishly still holding out for a few OG copies, should they ever come up.

The point is, Record Store Day can’t possibly be all good. And it’s also not all bad.

If you hate the idea of majors cashing in, people with less than stellar taste and novelty collectors, there’s no point in avoiding RSD. You might as well avoid vinyl collecting altogether.

Like any day spent in a record shop, there’s always the stuff you’re going to be into. And the stuff you’re not.

It’s our job as curators of our personal tastes to sift through it all and figure out what works for us.

You may have heard of it. It’s called “digging”.



1. Poly-Rhythmo de Cotonou – Iya me dji kibi ni
2. Beeghon’n – Midnight-Spirit
3. Geraldo Pino – Power to the people
4. Gerson King Combo – Good Bye
5. Smokin’ Pocket – Bump funky barrel
6. Trilogy – (K.C.) In the ghetto
7. Debbie Taylor – Let’s prove them wrong
8. Curtis Mayfield – Hard times
9. The Beginning of the end – Hey pretty girl
10. Momie-O – You’re welcome, stop on by
11. Miami feat Robert Moore – Party Freaks (part 1)
12. Clarence Mann – Sadity Lady (instrumental)
13. The Grand Jury – Music is fun to me
14. Bobby Franklin’s insanity – Sexplot
15. The Notations – I’m still here

Subscribe on iTunes

Download It Here!
(right click > Download Linked File As…[Mac] / Save link as…[Win])



The 7th: Sweet Poison




YEAR: 1977

I want to talk for a second about “trade currency”. A few years back, I found myself dj-ing at a local radio station with the homies Catalist and Blaz, when the prospect of getting a few records from the station came about. Now, by “getting” I mean ye olde “hemming” if you will. Understandably, I’m going to intentionally omit a few details, but let’s just say that I managed to pull a few LP’s, none all that memorable except for one by the name of Blind Ravage on the Crescent Street label. That shit was an immediate cop. As it turned out, it also happened to be worth a few $$$. Upon bringing it home, I realized that although it was a decent record, it wasn’t exactly my taste (save for a couple cuts like “Strange Feeling” and the shuffle-laden breakbeat on “_____”).

OK, I’m rambling here. Let me get to the point. Fast-forward a year later or so and I’m working at Lost & Found records (RIP), when I get a call from then-owner George Dimitroulopoulous, asking me to come down to the shop. He’s got this “psych funk” 45 and needs me to price it for a well-known local dealer. I was happy to help, since psychedelic rock was usually his forte and he wasn’t as savvy at pricing soul or island records.

As soon as the needle hit the record I was fucking floored. I went from trying to help a fellow record guy out to “the thirst” personified within the first few seconds of hearing it. I needed to have it. “How much do you want for it?” was the question I continued to pester George with. “$150” he said, exhaling plumes of nicotine between punctuating his asking price. I scoffed as I always did, secretly acknowledging that I’d be fine to drop $150 on a 45 (just work extra late or get another job at Arby’s), but I couldn’t let George know that.

It was bargaining time.

George had been asking me about that Blind Ravage LP I had found a year earlier under less than honourable circumstances. At the time, I thought it would be a fair trade, but it wasn’t. The Blind Ravage was definitely going for more than the Iron Force. But fuck monetary value. I was working at the store and whatever he made off the record went to rent. I GET TO KEEP MY JOB! Win-Win, I suppose. Long story short, we traded the records and even though it wasn’t the most “even” trade in the world, I came off with what I think is the dopest 7″ in my collection.


Editor’s note – the most recent copy of Blind Ravage sold for $178 online, while the most recent copy of Iron Force’s “Sweet Poison” sold for $285.  Sometimes time makes everything even – and then some.


CRATERY 63: Paul E. Lopes

CRATERY 63: Dollarate V f/ Paul E. Lopes

Kaewonder didn’t exit his mother’s belly until 1984.  Paul E Lopes started dj-ing in 1982.

Things were different in the city of Toronto back then. The ‘hip-hop culture’ that we associate with places like The Bronx (breakbeats and block parties) wasn’t exactly what you’d find in a place like T.O. in the early 80’s.  You might expect to hear more boogie and dance records like Shannon’s “Let the music play” that would get the breakdancers (the term b-boy wasn’t even that prevalent back then up here) on the floor.

It was here, in the era of roller rinks and community centres, that Mr. Lopes would hone his skills, before graduating to clubs in the mid to late 80’s.  He would party at places like the Twilight Zone, home to the roots of the house music scene here in Toronto.  In fact, Paul E was a seasoned DJ by the time I first started listening to his radio show “Vibes and Stuff” on CIUT 89.5 back in the early 90’s.  Vibes and Stuff was the first show that I heard bridging the gap between rap music, breaks and the acid jazz scene.

It was the only place I heard records like John Klemmer’s “Free Soul”, side by side with groups like the Brand New Heavies and A Tribe Called Quest.  As a young upstart in this hip-hop thing, it blew my fucking mind. Everything was categorized separately in my head: hip-hop, house, breaks, acid jazz – it took a special kind of individual to stay true to all of them in one show. It’s only fitting that his partner Jason Palma would later inherit the same time slot and transform it into his Higher Ground radio show, which stays true to the same principles today.

His partnership with folks like Mike Tull and the aforementioned Palma would create some of the most memorable parties in Toronto in the 90’s. If you saw those 3 names on a flyer, you knew the party was going to pop off on some real music shit. And some of them, like Bump-N-Hustle, still go on today.

I ran into Mr. Lopes at a Red Bull event not too long ago and mentioned the idea of doing a Cratery episode. He responded with the same apprehension he had when I’d mentioned it in the past. He claimed he didn’t have enough ‘rares’ to be on Cratery. He’d checked out the podcast and enjoyed it, but he wasn’t sure he’d be able to do it justice, because of our penchant for the obscure. Further conversation revealed that even though he’d sold off most of his expensive records, he was still buying vinyl: 45’s and dollar records.

So I proposed the idea of doing our annual Dollarate special. Cheap joints. Quality music. And none of the pressure of having to turn a recording session into a dick measuring contest. I’m happy to announce Mr. Lopes agreed. And then Kaewonder added a twist. We’d all collectively hit a few dollar bins at one of our favourite stores before recording this episode, just to see if we’d come up on anything extra.  Turns out, we did.

As much as we consider someone like Paul E Lopes a peer, he’s much more than that. Yes, he’s an OG. He’s a teacher. But most of all, he’s a class act.  It’s his open minded approach to music that allowed him to bridge the gap between so many genres for all these years, and the same reason why he can sit down in a room full of nerds who grew up listening to him and feel right at home. We’re honoured to present our latest tribute to the dollar bin, featuring the one and only Paul E Lopes.



1. The Emotions – Slip Away
2. Odyssey – Don’t tell me, tell her
3. Heatwave – The star of a story
4. Cedar Walton – Jacob’s Ladder
5. Upchurch/Tennyson – Don’t I know you
6. Widowmaker – Such a shame
7. The Jimi Hendrix Experience – Little Miss Lover
8. Ike and Tina Turner – Bold Soul Sister
9. Charles Brinkley – In the pocket
10. Timmy Thomas – Got to see you tonight
11. Ramsey Lewis – Tambura
12. Herb Alpert & Hugh Masekela – Foreign Natives
13. Kokomo – Use your imagination
14. Michael Henderson – Treat me like a man
15. Robert Palmer – Keep in touch
16. Gino Vannelli – Felicia
17. Al Hudson and the soul partners – Trying to prove my love
18. Jean Carn – We got some catchin up to do
19. Patrice Rushen – Settle for my love
20. Twennynine featuring Lenny White – Morning Sunrise
21. Spank – Oh Baby
22. Bombers – Shake
23. Bobby Caldwell – Open your eyes
24. The Crusaders – A Ballad for Joe (Louis)

Subscribe on iTunes

Download It Here!
(right click > Download Linked File As…[Mac] / Save link as…[Win])



The 7th: S.T.P. #1

ARTIST: Les Sound Track

SONG: S.T.P. #1

LABEL: Bel-Air

YEAR: 1969

Montreal has always been a hot bed for music. It was one of my first “destination” digging spots and I would often find myself cramped into a car with a bunch of homies racing down the 401 trying to make it to stores like Disquivel, just to be the first ones in when it opened. I found so many great records in that store. Sadly, it’s long gone now and Montreal is not what it used to be for vinyl, but that’s true for everywhere these days. But there’s always a remote chance to come up. So with that slight hope, Arcee and myself still find ourselves waking up at ungodly hours for a Montreal day trip. The stores aren’t as good anymore, but if you know a few private dealers you have a way better chance of finding something. We happened to be at a dealer’s crib when I was handed this one. Luck of the draw. He could have handed it to Arcee, but he didn’t. As soon as I dropped the needle, AR asked me asked me if I was copping it. It’s always kind of funny when a homie is thirsting for something that’s in your pile. But I wasn’t about to give this one up. I bought it, and I’m glad I did. AR got a few things too, but if we didn’t hit that dealer, the best thing we would have caught that day was a smoked meat sandwich from Schwartz’s.




I find myself divided on the issue of record collecting and secrecy in the social media age.

Some collectors are happy to ham it up, flossing their rarest pieces and recent arrivals without apology on Instagram feeds around the globe. Others choose to hint at the jewels hidden within their collection, by snapping shots of closely cropped corners of record covers without a caption, leaving their followers with tiny clues only a crate digging Sherlock Holmes might be able to decipher (We see you, Sipreano).

My generation was reared on secrecy.

We were taught by the guys that were taught by the guys who used cover up their labels with black marker or replace them with different labels altogether. Secrecy was one of the cornerstones of digging. It’s not like my homies shared EVERY loop or drum break they ever came up on. It was understood that some things were kept on the hush hush. But let’s be clear – sharing was always happening, it was just happening between very specific people.

After the seminal Ultimate Breaks and Beats series hit shelves in the mid 80’s, the idea of looking for these kinds of records started to spread outside the DJ circles associated with housing this kind of knowledge exclusively. And by the time the early 90’s rolled around, sample-heavy hip-hop production had legions of youngsters like myself eager to get into the world of beat digging.

Secrets were being exposed: sample clearances on album liner notes, bootleg compilations and official reissues from labels like Ubiquity helped usher in next wave of ‘sharing’.  You could learn from what other people were discovering around the world, not just what you could find at your local record store or what your homies knew.

And so the game began to change.

Instead of searching for the same soul, funk, jazz and disco records, cats started to buy British libraries and Italian soundtracks, hoping to circumvent biters by switching up their tastes. But even that didn’t last. A record dealer’s mortgage can’t be paid by one customer alone, so eventually more and more collectors were exposed to these titles as well.

The more record nerds try to keep something a secret, the more it gets exposed. Nothing is genuinely secret anymore. I can’t post my copy of Andrew Wartts “There is a somewhere” LP on IG and think it’s special because a fellow digger will point out to me that Rich Medina already showed one off in his episode of Crate Diggers and Now Again has already reissued it.

But much to the chagrin of the elder statesmen in the game, I’ve always been a sharer.

I can’t help it. It’s who I am. I love putting people on to music. That’s why we include a track list on Cratery in the first place. Truth be told, I’m not the best at keeping a secret. And it’s not like I haven’t learned a thing or two from the records some of my homies have posted online.

So why do we still do things like put an UNLISTED song title for the last song on this episode? Because, fuck it. In a world where aggegrators collect the sales history of every collectible record, trophy diggers post gratuitous rares on social media and beat nerds can cross off their most sought-after records from their computer, there’s nothing wrong with injecting a little anonymity back into this game.

Seriously. We could use a little more mystery in this shit. And that, my fellow nerds, is no secret.


1. Jorge Ben – Meus filhos, meu tesouro
2. Waltel Branco – Lady Samba
3. Ronaye Shandler – Brazilian medley
4. Full Moon – The heavy scuffle’s on
5. Melodic Energy Commission – Plight of the dodo
6. Freesound – O’Seven
7. Jane – Moving
8. Serge Gainsbourg – Melody
9. Dennis Coffey – Never can say goodbye
10. Sir Joe Quarterman and Free Soul – The trouble with trouble
11. Barbara Blake – Superman
12. SSO – Won’t you try
13. Jae Mason – Let it out
14. Ndugu – Take some time

Subscribe on iTunes

Download It Here!
(right click > Download Linked File As…[Mac] / Save link as…[Win])



VERSION: Nao tem nada nao

VERSION: Nao tem nada nao

Forgive us. It was a little cruel to kick off our 2014 covers spotlight with a selection that screams summertime like this one does. February is a particularly disgusting time of year in our wonderful nation. And the beauty and brightness of a Brazilian composition like Marcos Valle’s “Nao tem nada nao” can be a harsh reminder that we’re not even close to shorts and sandals weather.   Not that any of us publicly admit to wearing sandals.

Valle’s got a few classics in his catalog, the most celebrated being the bossa nova standard “Summer Samba (So Nice)” from his 1966 “Braziliance” album. That album featured a clean cut Valle on the cover. This one is taken from 1973’s “Previsao do tempo” LP, which features a long-haired Valle submerged in the water. Physical and political transformation aside, the liberal usage of the electric piano by backing band Azimuth also marked a difference from the Grand used on his aforementioned 1966 effort. The melody on this joint in particular, has a catchy, pop sensibility that undoubtedly made it appealing to cover.

This month we’ve chosen to share the original Valle version along with 2 covers unearthed in the Cratery lab.

We’re looking forward to another year of celebrating rad covers on Cratery. And what better way to do so with a brand new look, with custom illustration and design by the homie (and one of all around favourite dudes): Rhek. We’re stoked to have you on board.

Marcos Valle “Nao tem nada nao”

The originoo.

Tamba Trio “Nao tem nada nao”

Their 1974 album “Tamba” has a psychedelic moments throughout, but sadly, this isn’t one of them.  Gratuitous wah-wah’s and synths aside, this version does stay true to its Brazilian roots. And there’s something to be said for that. This is what I imagine listening to as the plane touches down on my eventual first trip to Brazil.

Donato/Deodato “Batuque”

If Valle is one of Brazil’s most celebrated composers and musicians, then it’s only logical that two of his peers would repurpose his work in this manner. Both Eumir Deodato and Joao Donato have immense contributions to the fabric of Brazilian music. And this collaboration is no exception. The title of the song is puzzling, mainly because Valle actually had a song called “Batuque” which was also heavily covered and sounds completely different than this. But the melody is undoubtedly NTNN – and it’s also an instrumental version. One of our favourites.


The 7th: Hey Joyce

ARTIST: Lou Courtney

SONG: Hey Joyce

LABEL: Pop-Side

YEAR: 1967

The year is 1990. I shut my locker and adjust the volume on my limited edition grey rubber sports Walkman, before quietly bopping through the halls of Streetsville Secondary School, slapping hands with my classmates between periods as Main Source’s “He got so much soul” penetrates my ears.

I was in the 10th grade when the hip-hop classic “Breaking Atoms” hit stores. Right away, it was a personal favourite. The production was thoughtfully layered. It reminded me of a tempered version of the Bomb Squad – less sonic elements, but they all seemed to fit perfectly. The album stayed in rotation for years, and Main Source became one of my musical heroes.

At the time, I never knew what the source material for most of the records on the album were, including “He got so much soul”.  I also never knew that K-Cut would eventually know my name, or that I would open for Main Source during their only reunion show at the Opera House in Toronto years later.

I didn’t discover the original until listening to a radio show called Soul by the Pound on 105.5 FM around ’93-‘94, where Jeremy “Beatdawg” Weisfeld was schooling a small audience on the origins of sampling. When I eventually found a dead stock copy of “Hey Joyce” around ‘95 upstairs at legendary Toronto 45 spot Kops, I was naturally ecstatic.  But it wasn’t special. The store had recently stocked up and the whole section was full of them. Back then, I didn’t have the foresight to grab them all.  Talk about a crate fail.

By the time Cut Chemist and Shadow would breathe new life into it on their groundbreaking 45 mix, “Brainfreeze”, demand for the record was at an all time high.  But for me, this song will always belong to the Large Professor. It’s equipped with the double drum break (one off the top and one near the end), and despite Extra P’s questionable references to peat moss and plums, it’s a ‘fast rap’ classic.

Lou Courtney’s “Hey Joyce” and Main Source’s “He got so much soul” are permanently linked in my musical history. I can’t hear either without being instantly transported to my youth. A time where rap classics were being released every month and endless breakbeats lay in record store bins, undiscovered.  And no matter how many science classes I skipped in high school, I always knew about breaking an atom or two.



We kick off our 6th year in business with a James Brown production. Who better exemplifies the lesson of consistency than James? The Godfather of soul got his start around 1953 as a drummer for the Famous Flames – not even as a front man. 6 years into his career would have been 1959. That’s a good 10 years before he would form the JB’s, discover Lyn Collins and pen timeless funk classics like “Funky Drummer”, “The Payback” or “Give it up or turn it loose” which would eventually create the backbone for what we call hip-hop. I’ve got friends who’ve switched careers 3 times in the last 6 years. Not jobs – careers. Our predisposition for boredom is high these days. And we fall out of love with trends and possessions quicker than ever before. We delivered the goods for 5 years as a labour of love. And it’ll continue to be that way even if by some miracle, the blog gods decide to bestow large bundles of guap upon us (Anytime you’re ready, blog gods). The fact is, we love playing records like James loved making them. And for all you know, we’re just getting started.


1. Vicki Anderson – A message from the Soul Sisters
2. Spanky Wilson – Sunshine of your love
3. Baby Huey – Mighty Mighty
4. Phil Moore Jr – Nappy Head Child
5. Tribe – Love is a mystery
6. J.O.B. Orquestra – The Soul
7. Betty Lou – I can’t stop
8. Ana Mazzotti – Roda Mundo
9. Jacky Giordano – Afolio
10. Harold Johnson Sextet – Watts ’67
11. Dillinger – People
12. Chappell – Freakout
13. Maquina – I believe
14. Ace Spectrum – Sweet music soft lights and you
15. Leroy Hutson – Cool out

Subscribe on iTunes

Download It Here!
(right click > Download Linked File As…[Mac] / Save link as…[Win])



The 7th: Stonedage




YEAR: 197?

This one evaded me for quite awhile, but damn, was it worth the wait.

The homie Catalist turned me onto this joint years ago and I am eternally thankful and appreciative of him for doing so.

This shit starts off like the perfect intro to a surreal fever dream, and right when it’s about to go into nightmare territory, it switches to this beautifully bright arrangement, complete w/ rhodes,harpsichord and charming female vocal jazz scat (this is starting to sound like it could be a Google search or an eBay description).

This song goes so many different places, it’s dizzying. And it all happens under the 5-minute mark. And right when you think it’s over, it hits you with the subtle one-two punch of Rhodes, bass and drum breakdown, which then opens up into a frenetic blast of harpsichord, swinging into the smooth jazz arrangement you heard earlier.

Shit is wild.

There’s only 2 songs on this 45, but it feels like an EP, because of all the changes in arrangement.

If you ever get a chance to own this, by all means get it.

I mean, unless you have something against quality music.



CRATERY 60: Mike Mantis

Just like that, it’s been 5 years. I can’t fucking believe it. When Kaewonder and I started this podcast in January of 2009 it wasn’t even its own brand yet – it was still under the Real Frequency umbrella – a monthly bonus for fans of my former hip hop radio show with Musiklee Inzane, P-Plus and Keezy. Quietly, Cratery began to take on a life of its own.  By the end of our first year, we had appearances from Mr. Attic, Skratch Bastid and DJ Serious, and the attendees at every Cratery recording session were growing.

By our 2nd year, we knew we had something special. DJ Serious started hanging out at every session and eventually became our official photographer – he was the first to create a visual vibe and energy around Cratery. By our 15th episode, my friend Sean Davison would create the Cratery logo and the artwork that would define the look of our podcast moving forward. And by the end of 2010, we’d add record heads like Sipreano, Jake One, Jason Palma, Frank Dukes, Alister Johnson and Murr to our list of esteemed guests.

By 2011, Serious was an official member of the Cratery team. He gave life to the Cratery website and for the first time, we finally felt like we were building a brand. Over the next 2 years, we’d create even more content, including “The Seventh” (our monthly featured 45) and our cover song spotlight: “Version”. We’d also add another 24 episodes with some of our favourite vinyl nerds – House Shoes, Aki Abe of Cosmos records, MoSS (producer and proprietor of reissue label of Strawberry Rain), FamousLee, Big Jacks and Bozack Morris.

The hommie Mike “Mantis” Deyman joins us for our final episode of this year and he definitely honoured the Cratery tradition by pulling a nice crop of that killer shit, thun. The Lyman Woodard Organization, The Thompsons, Family Circle, Mad Cliff and Weldon Irvine aren’t the easiest artists to source original copies of – but Mantis is no stranger to the rare record game as an employee of Cosmos Records here in Toronto. You can catch him dipping into his rare soul stash at The Red Light on the last Thursday of every month for Work it out with Cratery alumni FamousLee.

We enter our 6th year with excitement. To date, we’ve delivered well over 70 hours of vintage soul, funk, jazz and psychedelic sounds from our personal collections, with almost no end in sight. Think about that for a sec: OVER 70 HOURS. This year, we’re adding even more pieces to the puzzle.  Look for more episodes, the return of The Seventh, Version and perhaps even a few new, unexpected pieces of content to emerge on  Thanks for riding with us so far. But this is no time to get out of the car.

In 2014, Cratery will continue to be home to the vinyl nerd. A place where folks like us can obsess over the bullshit that defines our lives. A place where things like ringwear, seam splits and surface noise are discussed seriously and in jest, but always without judgement. A place where the weed is rolled as tightly as a double gatefold LP in an outer sleeve. But most of all, it’s a place where friends hang the fuck out and fuel their obsession for music. If you’re like anything like me, you wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.


1. The Thompsons – We gotta get down to ever get up
2. 1619 B.A.B. – World
3. Kool and the gang – North, east south, west
4. Johnny Hammond – Gambler’s Life
5. The Family Circle – Mariya
6. The New Birth – It’s all in the game
7. Dom Salvador – Moeda, Reza E Cor
8. Monomono – Wake up the dead onez
9. The Lyman Woodard Organization – Joy Road
10. Wolfgang Schmid – Wolfhound
11. Henryk Debich – Na opak
12. Odyssey – Our lives are shaped by what we love
13. Weldon Irvine – Bananas
14. Roy Meriwether – Tribulation
15. Amina Claudine Myers – I’m not afraid (refrain)
16. D.J. Rogers – Celebration
17. Mad Cliff – It takes a little time
18. Jerry Butler – Whatever goes around
19. Art Farmer – Soulsides
20. Sadistic Mika Band – Sayonara

Subscribe on iTunes

Download It Here!
(right click > Download Linked File As…[Mac] / Save link as…[Win])



The 7th: As Long As…

ARTIST: The Charmels

SONG: As Long As I’ve Got You

YEAR: 1967


This little record helped spark a change in the sound of Hip Hop.  Up to this point, producers didn’t really use sampled vocal elements from soul records in such a manner. Think about how many countless hip hop songs post-C.R.E.A.M. have banked off of using deep soul samples.  It could also be argued that the Wu-Tang may not have become such an influential force without the help of this record.  Think about how many groups, mc’s, songs, and styles that have spun off from the Wu’s influence.  C.R.E.A.M. was the catalyst that helped solidify a broader audience for the group beyond the underground and the “heads”.  As strong as the lyrics are in C.R.E.A.M. it’s hard to imagine it without the sampling of this record by The Charmels’ “As long as I’ve got you”. RZA had the perfect marriage with the sample and the lyrics.

From a record collecting stand point, this is a definitive rarity.  Not only are soul collectors after it, so are label completists (collectors that want to own every record in a record label’s catalogue), and of course the hip hop aficionado.  Copies of this online usually go for well into the hundreds of dollars range and since demand is so high, I don’t see the price coming down.  This particular copy was found at a Detroit record show sometime in the winter of 2000/2001 for a buck – to quote my man Pee – “a fuckin’ loonie”.  I ain’t never gonna hate on a that kind of luck.  I’m just glad I’ve already got my copy.

What do y’all think?  How important is The Charmels to the history of modern day hip hop? Let us know in the comments below.




After epic back-to-back episodes with Big Jacks and Bozack Morris, we went to back to basics on this one. There’s a definite jazzy vibe happening here. Also, I just threw up a little after writing the words ‘jazzy vibe’. I fucking hate that phrase. Maybe because when I think of contemporary music with a jazz influence, my stomach churns. It immediately takes me back to the dated sounds of 90’s jazz-rap, a happily forgotten tangent in hip-hop that I’m really not sure any of us at Cratery are interested in revisiting.

To clarify, I don’t count groups like Tribe, Main Source, Digable Planets and GangStarr as jazz-rap, even though they used a shitload of jazz samples in their music. Jazz-rap for me was more of an overt thing – groups like US3 were poorly mimicking the aforementioned groups, relying exclusively on jazz samples and going gold in the process. And yet, none of the classic groups I just mentioned labeled themselves as jazz-rap – even GangStarr, who the press basically tried to make wear that shit. They were just hip-hop dudes, and jazz was just another tool. Guru’s Jazzmatazz albums were great in terms of starting a dialogue between our generation and the one before it, but they haven’t exactly stood the test of time (with a few exceptions like “Watch what you say” with Chaka Khan).

Into the late 90’s, the jazzy, Fender Rhodes sound would become increasingly played out, replaced with a harder edged sound found on European prog and library records. The only cats really fucking with overtly jazzy sounding shit were neo-soul artists and even their parade of fake Dilla snares and live electric pianos would grow tiresome after a short time.

But Jazz is still great music. And no shitty modern co-opting by young folk is going to change that. All it takes is a listen to Dave Serious’ opening selection from Mike Westbrook to rekindle that feeling. Kae drops a joint from Compost’s first album (featuring jazz legends like Jack DeJohnette and Harold Vick) and I pull one from the Johnny Lytle files.

This is by no means a full jazz episode – with music from Ray Rivera, The National Gallery and The Brief Encounter, there’s plenty of gems from other genres here.

Listening to records from Curren$y, Joey Bada$$ and countless other rappers without dollar signs in their names, the seasoned hip-hop fan will likely notice a resurgence in the sampling of jazz music. Let’s just hope it doesn’t signal a resurgence in jazz-rap.


1. Mike Westbrook – Love Song no 1
2. Compost – Sweet Berry Wine
3. Johnny Lytle – Tawhid
5. David Axelrod – The Signs (part 1)
6. Affinity – I am and so are you
7. i gres – Duo Balls
8. First Collaboration – Loose collar man
9. The Ray Rivera Orchestra – Guava
10. Mike Taylor and company – Brute Force
11. The National Gallery – Boys with toys
12. The Seeds – Just let go
13. King Herbert – You make me so very happy
14. King Floyd – You’ve been good to me
15. The Brief Encounter – Just a little notion

Subscribe on iTunes

Download It Here!
(right click > Download Linked File As…[Mac] / Save link as…[Win])



The 7th: Seventh Heaven

ARTIST: Gwen Guthrie

SONG: Seventh Heaven

YEAR: 1982

LABEL: Island

Gwen Guthrie’s 7th Heaven is an important record for me.  From the first time I heard that signature opening synth line I was hooked. Up until that point, I pretty much only gravitated towards 70’s rock, soul and funk.  This was definitely a record that helped influence my appreciation for disco and boogie. One thing I realized right away was that it always caught the attention of a packed dance floor – so to this day it’s still one of my go to tracks. You can imagine my excitement when I found this unique Canadian only 7-inch (The more widely available pressings look nothing like this one). What makes it even more awesome is that the entire package is so well executed and art directed. This 45 version doesn’t have the extended synth intro that’s found on the EP and 12-inch version but that’s cool. Neither of them look this fly.  — DAVE SERIOUS


CRATERY 58: Bozack Morris

Bozack Morris loves music. 90’s R&B? New rap? 70’s funk? Library records? He’s got an opinion. And it’s an informed one. I’ve known Bozack since volunteering at CHRY 105.5 FM back during my university days at York.  And even then, he was a music nerd. He’s brought that sensibility to locally successful brands like Grand Groove and Black Rap. But most notably, he’s been a part of the Backroad Radio show (alongside Big Jacks and Royale) since they took over our former Real Frequency slot back in 2001. Today, Backroad is one of the last hip-hop shows still standing in the city with a strong sense of community.  After over 10 years on the air, Bozack still has love for rap music, and the music from which it comes.

Which is clearly why he walked in to Cratery with a backpack full of bangers like Rex Brown and Company’s “Act of Threat” and The Edwards Generation’s “That’s how much I love her”. He also scored points for showing up with an OG copy of Moody’s “The Gentle Rain” LP which he found for significantly less than market value on a popular website known mostly for selling books. Word to Jay, my man was packing heat like the oven door. Of course, Kae, Dave Serious and I chime in with joints from Yutaka, Skip Mahoney, Augusto Martelli and more. The result? Well over an hour of vintage heat. Here’s Cratery 58 featuring Bozack Morris. Let’s do it again like Curtis and Gladys, homie.


1. Voices of East Harlem – Little People
2. Black Merda – Long Burn the fire
3. EWF – Fan the Fire
4. Ruth Copeland – The Medal
5. The Edwards Generation – That’s how much I love her
6. Yutaka – Breath of night
7. Mladen Franko – Yellow Balloon
8. Augusto Martelli – Walking Caribe
9. Rex Brown and Company – Act of threat
10. Dennis Olivieri – I cry in the morning
11. James Moody – The World is a Ghetto
12. Lyn Taitt – Stepping up
13. The Eight Minutes – Next time he’ll be good
14. Ponderosa Twins – Bound
15. Skip Mahoney and the casuals – I need your love
17. Truth and Devotion – I must see my lord
18. Cal Tjader – Morning
19. Jamey Aebersold – Essence
20. Joey Gregorash – Down by the river
21. Moody – Lonely Jelly
22. Bobby Bean Sound and Singers – Tabou
23. Morton Stevens – Uptight
24. Formula IV – If we can’t get along

Subscribe on iTunes

Download It Here!
(right click > Download Linked File As…[Mac] / Save link as…[Win])



The 7th: Gone with the sun

ARTIST: The Wings
TITLE: “Gone with the sun”
YEAR: ???
LABEL: Suzumi

One of the perks of being a record nerd is having friends who are record nerds. The Wings in question are not McCartney’s backing band but a popular Nigerian rock band that had a few releases on Kenyan label Suzumi. I was in my boy Attic’s basement, smoked the fuck out on a Friday when the hommie MoSS came over with a stack of records for sale. I had been investigating African music at the time and I remember kind of being kind of down about the fact that there were so many comps and reissues that were raising the awareness and thereby value of African records. For collectors, this is good and bad. The best part about compilations is acquiring knowledge. The worst part is, a comp comes out and everyone starts looking for the same records, thereby raising the price of the records. I didn’t recognize this 45 when I picked it up. So I felt it wasn’t an obviously popular African joint in collector circles. But you never know with African joints. The shit could go hard or it might be some straight tribal chanting. When I put it on, I was pleasantly surprised. It kinda sounded like afrobeat with slight touches of psych. I made a deal with MoSS and copped it. A year or so later, I was at a record show, shuffling through a bin of 45’s when I saw a blue Suzumi label pop up in the stack. It was Geraldo Pino’s “Power to the People”. I knew Pino from his “Heavy, Heavy, Heavy” joint but wasn’t familiar with this one. I added it to my pile. As I reached the end of the bin, I saw another Suzumi label pop up. This time, it was another copy of “Gone with the Sun”, for a significantly lower price than I had originally paid. My first thought was, damn, MoSS overcharged me, I thought he was the homie. My second thought was “Another copy for a fraction of the price?” You know a brother had to cop doubles like Ali’s Roti.


CRATERY 57b: Big Jacks

Big Jacks was sifting through the stacks of a local record shop during a trip to the D. It was logical that Jacks make the periodic 4-hour journey from Toronto, since Detroit has been home to not only to endless Motown classics from the 60’s, but a slew of modern soul and boogie records – on an independent and major scale. Jacks brought his stack to the counter, and as he did, there was an older gentleman with some records of his own, chatting with the owner behind the counter. It became apparent that the man wasn’t buying. He had brought in a stack of records to sell to the store. Before the owner shifted his attention to Jacks, he introduced him to the gentleman with the records. “This is Kevin. Kevin McCord”. I’d like to imagine that Jacks’ face gave way to his signature grin at this very moment. Because he knew he was face-to-face with the bassist for one of the greatest funk bands of all time – One Way.  You can’t be a student of 90’s rap (especially west coast 90’s rap) without some understanding of One Way’s contribution to the genre. Songs like Mr. Groove, Pop it, Cutie Pie and Pull Fancy Dancer Pull provided the backbone for hits from Low Profile, Above the Law, Rodney O and Joe Cooley and countless others. And the One Way catalog itself is a staple of the post-disco roller skating era – now known as boogie”. Naturally, Jacks expressed his love of McCord’s music and was rewarded with some minty dead stock selections from his independent label, Presents Records – including 2 copies of Marcus’ “Senorita” 12″ and an impromptu air guitar performance of “Let’s go out tonight” (See episode 57A for the Round Trip version). That’s what getting up from behind the computer and hitting the store affords you. The chance to not only to buy records, but meet legends. Salute the homie Big Jacks for sharing that story. And salute y’all for downloading the fruits of our labour below. Part 2 of our all-boogie/modern soul Cratery. Enjoy. 



1. Beverly and Duane – Love
2. Phil Upchurch – When and if I fall in love
3. Jaymz Bedford – Just keep my boogie
4. Twilight – I never wanna see you low
5. Zingara – Haunted House
6. The Gene Dunlap Band – Your love is too much
7. Cargo feat Dave Collins – Holding on for love
8. Paul Jabara and the Weather Girls – Ladies Hotline
9. One Way – I didn’t mean to break your heart
10. David Joseph – You can’t hide (your love from me)
11. Chemise – She can’t love you
12. Donald Byrd – I feel like loving you today

Subscribe on iTunes

Download It Here!
(right click > Download Linked File As…[Mac] / Save link as…[Win])



CRATERY 57a : Big Jacks

I don’t know where the term boogie came from. But when I first started buying groups like SOS Band, Starpoint and Rene & Angela back in the day, I was under the impression I was buying R&B and soul records. In fact, I actually never heard the term until some time within the last 3 or 4 years. Kae has a theory that some dealer coined the term ‘boogie’ so he could charge a premium for the 80’s records that were once a dime a dozen. Whoever that random British dude was, he succeeded. Boogie is super trendy right now. But the Cratery staff has never been trend whores. And neither is this month’s guest. Big Jacks has been a boogie aficionado for years (I can recall Jacks’ tripping off the homie Jake One’s AR mixes back in the day) and his love for the genre has only grown even more savage over the years. For proof, look no further than his “Black Magic” mix from last year. So when we asked Jacks to join us on his first Cratery episode, we also thought it appropriate to embark on another first: Our first all-boogie/modern soul themed Cratery. Perhaps it was our collective stashes, the motivational theme common to many boogie joints or just the weed, but we kept recording. Soon enough, our first all-boogie/modern soul episode turned into our first all-boogie/modern soul double episode. Here’s the first part. Featuring the homie Big Jacks. No trendy-assed, overpriced lo-fi regional trash. Strictly premium boogie bangers.



1. Pleasure – Living without you
2. Ozone – Our hearts will always shine
3. Jay W. McGhee – When we party
4. Raydio – Rock on
5. Round Trip – Let’s go out tonight
6. Linda Clifford – I just want to hold you
7. Cashmere – Inner feelings
8. Batiste Brothers Band – Party Down
9. Amra – Special Kind of Lovin’
10. Goldie Alexander – Show you my love
11. Maurice Massiah – 50/50 Love
12. O’ Jays – Put our heads together
13. Alton McClain and Destiny – My destiny
14. The Limit – Destiny
15. Bernard Wright – Move your body
16. Hi-Tension – Girl, I betcha

Subscribe on iTunes

Download It Here!
(right click > Download Linked File As…[Mac] / Save link as…[Win])



The 7th: Body Fusion

ARTIST: Starvue
TITLE: “Body Fusion”
YEAR: 1980
LABEL: Midwest International Records

I wish I had an elaborate story about how I found this record. Like how I had to make a trip out to an obscure record dealer’s house in the middle of the country, or how I found this joint at a thrift store for 10 cents at a strip mall in Orillia. The truth is, in this modern age of digging, ebay or discogs might be the record collector’s best chance at owning that piece of elusive vinyl that they’ve been lusting after for years. Sure, I wish I could just go out and constantly find these types of joints in the “field”, but those days are few and far between. Imagine waking up at 4 AM to drive 4 hours to a record show out of town, hoping to come out with a few good finds, only to discover the same crop of Steely Dan, Dionne Warwick and Boz Scaggs records you find in every store around the world. Still, it it’s all about the experience. I’ll never stop digging in the field, but seeing the same records all the time gets tiring. Sometimes a song or an LP just needs to get copped ASAP. This is definitely one of those joints. Fuck it. I needed that shit.




Country. Big Band. Dixieland. Ragtime. Not exactly my favourite sections in any given record store. I don’t have anything against fans of New Orleans Jazz, but let’s just say I ain’t out here trying to complete the Preservation Hall Jazz band discography. But every once in a while, mining through a stack unwanted Scott Joplin joints might have its benefits. I found a beautiful copy of the Ensemble Al-Salaam’s “The Sojourner” LP sandwiched between a Sidney Bechet and an Erroll Garner record at a Vinyl Fair in Vancouver earlier this year. My copy of San Francisco group Day Blindness’ only LP didn’t turn up in a private dealer’s home, but misfiled in the country section of a Bay Area jazz spot. The lesson is this. To turn your nose up at any section in a record store or fair is to close the door on a potential opportunity to come up. Not everyone is up on everything. Even in the age of popsike and collectorsfrenzy, motherfuckers can’t possibly cover all their bases. And that’s exactly what dudes like us are counting on.



1. San Ul Lim – Frustrated
2. Reign Ghost – Southern Hemisphere Blues Legacy
3. Day Blindness – Jazz Song
4. Takeshi Onodera and Los Onoderas – El Condor Pasa
5. Challenger – Twice
6. Mark Murphy – Come and get me
7. Sincerely P.T. – Rolling Machine
8. Freedom Spark – Samadhi
9.  The Ensemble Al-Salaam – Circles
10. Silent Majority – Frightened girl
11. Haze – Foxy world
12. John Lee and Gerry Brown – Talkin bout the right one
13. Bo Hansson – The ring goes south
14. Dragon – Leave with my tears
15. Lonnie Smith – In the beginning

Subscribe on iTunes

Download It Here!
(right click > Download Linked File As…[Mac] / Save link as…[Win])



The 7th: Pusher

ARTIST: Final Decisions
TITLE: “Pusher”
YEAR: 1973
LABEL: Bump Shop

Without a doubt in my mind, this song is sheer genius. It’s a socially conscious, hard-edged soul song that is as well suited for today as it was in the 70’s. I didn’t know anything about it until I heard it blast through the speakers at one of my favourite record stores in Detroit. I immediately walked straight up to the turntable, eager to add it to my collection. Unfortunately, it was already in the hands of another collector. Damn, oh well. I mentally filed the name of the artist and song in the back of my mind and figured I would come across it at a later date. I stayed in the store and kept digging, and with my luck, the other collector passed on it and I got it. Man, was I happy. Turns out that this joint isn’t very common. I’ve been looking for a second copy ever since with to no avail. Really does prove one man’s trash is another man’s treasure. Personally, I think dude fucked up by passing on it. What do you think? Let us know in the comments below.




Cratery has never been and never will be about the first level flossery of posting up rare record after rare record. We’re not here to impress the legions of completist nerds who are waiting to pass judgment on our collective collections. We are here, however to celebrate discovery. Discovery is why we do this. Whether it’s finding a new joint on a record we’ve had for years, a flea market come up or a well known record we’ve only recently found, discovery appears in many forms. In fact, rarity has very little to do with the records we choose to post. My copy of Tonto’s Expanding Head Band is an Atlantic records press, but it suits me just fine. Especially since the lead off track, “Cybernaut” goes exceptionally hard on some synth shit that sounds like some post-apocalyptic, dystopian Blade Runner music. Some stuff Dilla might have cooked up if he was making music in the 70’s. Kae takes us to 1969 Poland with a selection from Czeslaw Niemen’s “Enigmatic” album and Serious reminds us why we’re still suckers for funky drumming with the Toussaint/Sehorn-produced “There’s a break in the road” from Betty Harris. Not sure if this can be credited to Ziggy Modeliste (The Meters) or James Black (fellow New Orleans drummer best known for his work on Eddie Bo’s Hook and Sling) but goddamn. We salute you both. SHIT. GOES. HARD. Cratery 55 bitches.

1. Tonto’s Expanding Head Band – Cybernaut
2. Modern Mixture – Soul Sighing
3. Wave maker – Double Helix
4. White Noise – Love without sound
5. Ivan Lins – Tanaue
6. Peter Delis – Rio Mantara
7. The Ray Alexander Technique – My Special One
8. Betty Harris – There’s a break in the road
9. Bobby Powell – Thank you
10. Esther Marrow – Satisfied
11. Michel Polnareff – Time will tell
12. Niemen – Enigmatic impressions
13. Edward Bear – Mind Police
14. Angelo Bond – I never sang for my baby
15. Mike Longo – Talk with the spirits

Subscribe on iTunes

Download It Here!
(right click > Download Linked File As…[Mac] / Save link as…[Win])



The 7th: I’m Still In Love

ARTIST: Marcia Aitkens
TITLE: “I’m Still In Love”
LABEL: Joe Gibbs

I’m always looking for soul singles. Although reggae isn’t high on my radar at the moment, I do find it fitting that this 45 was in a stack of soul joints that I discovered at a local record spot last year. In T.O., It’s not strange to find older Jamaican dudes to be into northern and deep soul just as much as their native sounds of rocksteady and rockers music. The fact that there is such a strong Carribean connection out here is a blessing. It just means that we have a greater chance of finding joints like this.

Have a listen to it – you’ll probably even recognize it. It’s one of those “I knew this, I just never who it was!” type joints. Straight soulful rockers material. So so classic. And perfect for the summer. Enjoy.

Nerdy factoid: This song was originally released in 1977 but, I have reason to believe that this particular copy could be a 2nd or even 3rd pressing.




I’ve got a zebra, she can fly. That’s the title of a 1967 song by forgotten psych outfit The Unfolding, featured on this month’s episode. Years later, I can’t help but SMH at the shit some of these hippies came up with back then. Take a flying zebra to your domepiece, homepiece. No coincidence it’s from an album called “How to blow your mind and have a freak-out party” – an album designed, well, to trip the fuck out to. Complete with step by step instructions on the back cover, the record takes you on the stereotypical journey you might expect from a record with said title from the late 60’s, complete with sitars, random chanting and finger chimes. This episode of Cratery takes you on a trip of its own, but dropping acid isn’t necessarily a pre-cursor. Sorry Sip. Serious recently found a copy of Azimuth’s debut LP on a trip to Brazil.  “Manha” sounds like the group hitched a ride from Bob James’ TAXI to Rio. I hop the train with David Axelrod to Clara Ward’s part of town on “Dead End Street” while Kaewonder and 9th Creation take us to the outskirts on “Suburban Blue”. Thankfully, Cratery doesn’t need finger chimes, chanting or sitars to take you places. It’s always a motherfucking trip.


1. Les 8 Trefles – Tap Tap
2. Miriam Makeba – Kulala
3. Yusef Lateef – Eastern Market
4. Marvin Holmes and Justice – I can’t see you
5. Azimuth – Manha
6. Paul Horn – Vera Cruz
7. Clara Ward – Dead End Street
8. Ars Nova – Well, Well, Well
9. Pop Sounds – Sock it to me
10. The Unfolding – I’ve got a zebra – she can fly
11. Leon’s Creation – Mirage
12. Lonnie Liston Smith – Mystical Dreamer
13. Gavin Christopher – Love has a face of its own
14. Top Shelf – Night people
15. 9th creation – Suburban blue

Subscribe on iTunes

Download It Here!
(right click > Download Linked File As…[Mac] / Save link as…[Win])



The 7th: The Message

ARTIST: Future Shock
TITLE: “The Message”
LABEL: Ultra Records

Weary, early hours lugging records out of the trunk of your homie’s frost bitten vehicle isn’t necessarily what one would consider “the jump off”.

I was selling records (in Oshawa I think?) with my homie Sipreano and decided to take a stroll around the room and see what I could find. I distinctly remember 45’s not quite being on smash at that show, and when I’d all but given up, I decided to check this dealer’s lonely box of 45’s and a curious title popped up: “The Message”, on a label called Ultra (relations to Frankie Zhivago’s label?). Sound Canada was part of the paltry information provided and just when I thought it wasn’t obvious enough, a misspelled “Cymade” was credited under the group’s name: Future Shock.

I was sold. $3 later, I remember huddling in the corner with record dealer extraordinaire Kooch (who played me The L’aube OST for the 1st time that day) and we dropped the needle on this weird, yet intriguing piece of plastic. Right away, it caught me off guard. And not in a great way. When the most recognizable thing you hear is a shrill violin guiding you through a muddled
intro, it didn’t sound like the hottest joint ever. To be honest, I felt as though I got a lemon, but still something very unique. And even though I made little to no $$$ in my sale endeavours at that particular record fair, I walked away happy knowing I had scored an interesting and intriguing piece of Canadian music for the crates.




This particular Cratery episode is kinda like the opposite of some hip-hop shit. Allow me to explain. We all grew up with a love and understanding for hip-hop culture. Collecting records and understanding the foundation of the music was a natural part of that b-boy aesthetic. And that foundation was breaks. If you’re on this site, chances are you already know about Herc, Bambaataa, Flash and numerous other Bronx pioneers who built the musical backdrop for our culture by identifying key parts of records and extending them on 2 turntables.

By the time I started buying vintage vinyl in the early 90’s, break records had become samples, and samples were a driving force behind creating classic rap records. People were looking for all kinds of records now – ones with upright jazz basslines, psych rock breakbeats and moog records for sounds and embellishments – not just the conga-laden, uptempo drum breaks of block parties past. But one thing had remained consistent – the idea that we’d seek out records in pursuit of that one moment – that few seconds of gold we might transform into a record of our own. See, unlike most music fans, we weren’t buying records because we loved the group or their songs. We had $2.00 Christian records with hard ass drums that served no other purpose other than being truncated in an Akai S-950 or an ASR-10. We wouldn’t listen to records. We’d needle drop the shit out of them until we found a piece we liked.

But at some point around the early 2000’s, a light went off. After years of buying records, I found myself staring at a collection full of great samples, but hardly any great songs. And that’s when I started to change the way I bought records. I decided it was more important to have my Marvin Gaye catalog right rather than chasing down some rare library record with a really dope break. Cratery was an extension of this mentality. It was based on the idea that we should celebrate great songs, not just great samples. I had to reprogram myself musically. Seems pretty logical now, but believe me, it was a far cry from where our heads were at in the 90’s.

Which brings us to our 53rd episode: XL. It’s one thing to challenge yourself to consistently find great songs. But trying to find greatness in a really long song is a whole different story. That’s why we’ve dedicated this episode to the marathon joint – that song that takes up the whole side of an entire record. In essence, it’s the opposite of everything we learned from hip-hop. It’s not 5 seconds of awesome – it’s 20 minutes. The best part of a 20 minute song are the changes, whether they evolve from the original groove or break out into something brand new. When you have over 15 minutes to play with, you can bet that everything isn’t going to be exactly the same throughout. Over the years, we’ve come across tons of experimental, ridiculously long joints. But finding ones that are consistently good, without veering off into questionable territory are tough.

Sweet Smoke’s Just a Poke LP is only 2 songs long, one on each side. “Baby Night” is exactly the kind of 16-minute psychedelic trip I’d like to buy a ticket for thanks to Kaewonder. The Corporation’s cover of John Coltrane’s “India” isn’t about to be overshadowed – full of syncopated drum fills and hard fuzz guitar, it’s the sole instrumental cut on their self-titled album on Capitol records. Serious draws for the homegrown epicness of Canada’s “Man Made”, the title track from their 1971 release. In today’s A.D.D. landscape, the idea of a song over 15 minutes is definitely a tough sell. But that’s what was so amazing about records. You didn’t fast forward. You didn’t skip tracks. You didn’t put it on shuffle. You put one on and chilled the fuck out. Ahem. I believe that’s your cue.


1. Sweet Smoke – Baby Night
2. The Corporation – India
3. Man Made – Man Made

Subscribe on iTunes

Download It Here!
(To Download, Right-Click the link above…)
(Sorry Internet Explorer not supported, try a different browser)



VERSION: Ain’t No Sunshine

This edition of Version features not only one of the greatest soul songs of all-time, but one of the greatest pop songs of all-time. Ain’t no sunshine was one of the first songs that spurred my addiction to all things soulful. And I wasn’t the only one. Back in the 70’s, the song spawned so many cover versions that generations of crate nerds are still discovering new ones today. Artists from Poland to West Indies have had their way with this joint. And I’m sure Mr. Withers didn’t mind. He was working in a factory when he wrote this song, inspired by the film “Days of Wine and Roses”. If you haven’t yet taken the time to peep the 2009 documentary “Still Bill”, I highly recommend you do. Bill Withers spits wisdom like that cool uncle you always wish you had. Check out some our favourite covers of Ain’t no sunshine below. And if you’re one of the 3 people on the planet who hasn’t heard the original, peep it here (

Willis Jackson “Ain’t no sunshine”

Willis “Gator Tail” Jackson was a member of the infamous Harlem Underground Band, whose version of this song and this selection is one and the same. Trip records is a well-known “budget” label for jazz, as was Paul Winley Records for funk, disco and later on, hip-hop) so it only made sense that this song would appear elsewhere in some bootleg form and this version bangs. Seriously. Compare the drums on this one to the Harlem Underground version and yes, they are louder. Thank us later. Cratery, you know we’re number one, competition is none.

The Calypso King “Ain’t no sunshine”

No offense to my Trinidadian homies, but the word “calypso” doesn’t exactly set off positive thoughts when I’m searching for that heat. So naturally, when a dealer in San Francisco handed me this joint last year, I was skeptical. A version of “Ain’t no sunshine” by some guy named The Calypso King? Not sure this was going to be up my alley. But when I put it on, I was awestruck. Incredible intro, dope vocals and a killer climax with a dope drummer make this one of the best versions of this Bill Withers classic. The only thing missing is a break.

Michael Jackson “Ain’t no sunshine”

How did Michael Jackson’s version of Ain’t no sunshine pop up on a Brazilian soap opera compilation soundtrack called Selva De Pedra? I’m not quite sure, but I discovered it at a night market in Rio during a trip there. A dope take on a classic by one of the most classic artists of all-time.


The 7th: Water No Get Enemy

ARTIST: Fela Ransome Kuti & The Africa ‘70

TITLE: “Water no get enemy”

YEAR: 1975

LABEL: Editions Makossa

I never knew this 45 existed until it popped up one day in a local record shop. Pressed up by NY-based record label Editions Makossa, the single version is just over 3 minutes long compared to full 11-minute LP version. The famous keyboard riff that jumps out after a few seconds on this shortened 7-inch version doesn’t appear until 8 minutes into the long one. We’re not exactly sample snitches here at Cratery, so we won’t divulge the hip-hop joint that lifted said riff, but it might be deduced that this shortened version could be the sample source that was used for said hip-hop song. Water no get enemy. Fela no get enemy. This song should no get enemy. Cause it’s a certified banger.




I’ve been on a temporary work stint in Vancouver since February of this year. Our formerly weekly Cratery nerdouts have turned into monthly events for the squad as a result. Cratery 52 was recorded during one of my brief returns to Toronto earlier this year. Looking at this month’s track list, I can only assume two things: We all must have brought a lot of rock records that day. And we all must have consumed copious amounts of greenery that night. Of course, this is true for most Cratery episodes. But looking back at our very first episode back in January 2009, the track list was almost tipped in the opposite direction in terms of soul. And that’s the beauty of Cratery. You never know what you’ll end up with. T.O. pioneer Johnbronski, who’s been present for many Cratery sessions recently asked “What’s today’s theme?” Well John, we never follow a single theme on Cratery, but if we did, it would be “ILL SHIT”. And Cratery 52 is no different.



1. MIA – Contrapunto Ritimico
2. Beast – Communication
3. Chrome – Return to Zanzibar
4. David – Never been in love
5. Deidre Wilson Tabac – I can’t keep from cryin’
6. Guy Rheaume – J’Ardin D’ebene
7. Glass House – I don’t see me in your eyes anymore
8. Charles Earland – Phire
9. Jerry Peters – If you leave me now
10. Bob Azzam – The Last Time
11. Shirley Nanette – Sometimes
12. U.S.A. – The American Metaphysical Circus
13. The Battered Ornaments – Late into the night
14. Philip John Lewin – Drummer’s Lament
15. Hugh Hopper – Minipax II

Subscribe on iTunes

Download It Here!
(To Download, Right-Click the link above…)
(Sorry Internet Explorer not supported, try a different browser)



The 7th: Love Sounds

ARTIST: Intimate Strangers

TITLE:  “Love Sounds/ The Track”

YEAR: Unlisted

LABEL: Alaska

Dumb luck, fate, and a certified banger. While on a trip in Thailand, the hommie and fellow music nerd, Bill, started going in on me for not being diligent in my pursuit of vinyl.  To be honest, I was on vacation in Thailand. I don’t equate Thailand with that type of heat.  Where was I going to find a record store in Northern Thailand?  Just as that thought ran through my mind, Bill pointed to a nearby book store. Hesitantly, I walked in, but there was no sign of vinyl anywhere.  I’m thinking this is a huge waste of time. But regardless, I step up to the counter and ask the girl working if she knows where I can find some records.  She returns my question with a blank stare.  I continue, “You know, music, LPs?”  With a look like she had finally clued in, she suggested I check the next door. I’m a little intrigued now.  I walk into the adjoining shop – and lo and behold, the back room was full of records. As I flipped through the racks, I began to realize that I was in the midst of a come up. I was in total disbelief when this I pulled this joint and a few other choice selections.  Who would have thought that a random book store on a small street in northern Thailand would end up being such a score? Thank you record digging gods.  And thanks to the hommie Bill for reminding me to stay on my grind.



CRATERY 51 : FamousLee

This month, we add another hommie to the distinguished list of Cratery Alumni: DJ FamousLee. While currently best known as one-half of Toronto’s beloved monthly boogie party “Love Handle” (a duty he shares with former Cratery guest Alister “Catalist” Johnson), FamousLee isn’t one to be pigeon-holed. He goes joint for joint with us on an episode that features everything from Cuban funk, Indian soundtracks and Jamaican soul. Nerd recognize nerd. And we know a fellow geek when we see one. FamousLee kicks off this month’s episode with a song from the seminal John Cassavetes film “Faces”, produced by the legendary Teo Macero. His Plastic Castle Band selection is well, ungooglable. And his incredibly rare copy of the Los Yoyi LP would have eluded him had he not gotten lost in a housing project in Havana. When he’s not snatching rares from underneath your nose, you can catch him holding down the wheels at one of his numerous vinyl nights in TO: Strawberry Sandwiches, Work it Out, or the aforementioned Love Handle. As a former founder of the now-defunct Sho Merde crew, FamousLee is no stranger to the concept of the vinyl collective. Which is probably why he’s right at home on Cratery.


1. Charlie Smalls – Never felt like this before
2. Antonio Carlos e Jocafi – Simbarere
3. Lloyd Price – Bad Conditions
4. Outlaw Blues Band – Deep Gully
5. Plastic Castle Band – St. Paul, Minnesota
6. James Brown – Just enough room for storage
7. Churchill Stage Band – Peace Pipe
8. Piotr – Dyplomowany Galernik
9. RD Burman – Dance Music
10. Joe Bataan – Ordinary Guy
11. Willie Lindo – Drum Song
12. Chain Reaction – Hogtied
13. Los Yoyi – El Fino
14. Star Light – Song of trust
15. Serge Ponsar – Out in the night
16. Twilight – You’re in love
17. Kim Covington – Love rhythm
18. James Mason – Good Thing
19. Diane Tell – En pleurer ou en rire
20. Fifty foot hose – ???

Subscribe on iTunes

Download It Here!
(To Download, Right-Click the link above…)
(Sorry Internet Explorer not supported, try a different browser)



VERSION: I’m Gonna Love You

This right here is a classic. The amount of times this song was sampled in the 80’s and 90’s by hip-hop artists is second only to the amount of times it was covered in the 70’s. Remember – Cecil Holmes had to swagger jack Barry first in order for Alchemist to sample his version for Nas’ “No Idea’s Original”. And he certainly wasn’t the only one. For producers, this joint had the same appeal as “Get out my life woman” – the chance that cover versions also came equipped with a break off the top. The shuffle on the original drum is almost too perfect. But the best part – as I’m sure most of you DJ’s will agree – is the roll off the top. Records like this are the reason doubling was invented. Check out supremely orchestrated original here.

And peep some cool covers below.

Kellee Patterson “I’m gonna love you just a little more, baby”

I got my copy of this when I traded a few copies of “Ananda Shankar and his music” for store credit at Cosmos records when the store first opened back in the late 90’s. I remember hating on this version at first, because it didn’t really have a drum at the beginning. But something about Kellee’s jazz vocal stylings over a subtle orchestration of Barry’s classic really works. Also, the whole album is really fucking good. -ARCEE

Reaction “I’m gonna love you just a little more, baby”

Who knew some good old Canadian boys from Oakville would have a penchant for that pimped out smooth shit? Complete with drum break, this odd cover version released on the Periwinkle label proves that a little Barry never hurt anybody. Even DJ Spinna agrees. Our own Kaewonder sold him one of his doubles when he was in town years ago. –ARCEE

Cecil Holmes and the Soulful Sounds “I’m gonna love you just a little more, baby”

Mr. Holmes’ “Music for Soulful lovers” LP suggests a collection of music for people to well, make love to. People used to actually put this record on and fuck. In University, I made a few mixtapes called “Ill Slow Jams” full of joints from random 90’s R&B groups like Changing Faces, Portrait and Men of Vizion. I would literally thrown in the tape before it went down in a girl’s dorm room. Some dude in the 70’s was using this record for the exact same purpose. I don’t put music on before I have sex anymore. It’s fucking lame. – ARCEE

Lloyd Charmers “I’m gonna love you just a little more, baby”

I found this little gem online. It starts with a banging open drum break that leads into a soulfully skanked out version of this baby-making classic. I knew that this was on my hommie Kaewonder’s hit list so I thought that I would do the righteous thing and hook a brother up (lord knows Kae has put me on to mad shit)… and I’m still waiting on karma for the payback. -SERIOUS


VERSION: Sly Stone

One can hardly do justice to Sly Stone’s storied career in one paragraph. So we’re not going to even try. I haven’t bought any Sly records recently. Probably because I bought them all when I first started digging. Sly and the Family Stone was one of the first artists that I ever started to collect alongside obvious staples like James Brown and Curtis Mayfield. And his legacy lives on through collectros who nerd out on cover versions of his work. On this edition of Version, we break format from spotlighting a single song so we can dip into few re-imagined selections from Sylvester Stewart’s discography.

Royce Jones “Sing A Simple Song”

Generally, a no-brainer when it comes to cover versions, Sing a Simple Song (Or ‘Triple S’ as it shall henceforth be called) has been adopted adeptly by international artists, from the Philippines to Philadelphia. This one definitely lacks the rugged-charm of it’s predecessor, but it’s a good cover song nonetheless.

I don’t know much about Royce Jones  and that might be because sometimes I prefer to NOT know what the band ate for lunch and where they ate it,but this 45 is good in my books. There’s a breakbeat on it, I ain’t all that mad, but overall, not necessarily a shining example of hard-funk-45 but a major-label effort worth your three-minutes-and-eleven-seconds. – KAEWONDER

The Family “Family Affair”

I wouldn’t say this is a difficult record to find. You may even find one at your favourite local record shop that carries a healthy selection of 45s. I first heard this one on the drive back from the D – on a portable turntable hooked up through aux jack running through the tape deck balanced on my lap. B-boy shit. Go cop that. – SERIOUS

Bobby Mercer Road Show “Thankyoufalettinmebemiceelfagin”

Got this quite a while back as a novelty with an alright lil beat on it…
*train of thought brutally interrupted*
AR: “Kaeweezy rocking that saxophone music!”
DAVESERIOUS: “wait, did you turn 30 or something?”
yeah, that actually just happened while I was listening to this in an attempt to do a write up. Pretty much sums it up. – KAEWONDER


The 7th: Mekaberene Liyew

ARTIST: Menelik Wossenachew

TITLE: “Mekaberene Liyew”

YEAR: ????


I own a total of one Ethiopian record. You’re looking at it. I’d be lying if I said I knew anything about this joint. Or how to pronounce it for that matter. What I do know is that for some reason one side had this distinct Donny Hathaway vibe to it. I remember thinking Ethiopian lyrics on a Hathaway style riddim sounded pretty fucking weird. But pretty fucking fresh at the same time. I caught this off a well-known collector here in Toronto called named A Man called Warwick. Evidently, I caught a cold off him that day too. Thanks a bunch, Simon.


CRATERY 50: Shelf Life

The record collector is no stranger to impulsive purchases. Sadly, we’ve all dropped loot on numerous pieces in our collections that are far from timeless. You know the ones I’m talking about: the one-trackers, drum breaks and vocal samples that have no business on the same shelf as the classic albums that have truly shaped our musical sensibilities.

Our 50th episode is dedicated to spotlighting some of our favourite vinyl staples. The records that we’ll keep forever. The ones you’ll have to pry out of our cold dead hands after we’re gone. The ones with an eternal shelf life.

Most you know. Some you don’t. But rest assured, they’re all dope as fuck.

1. The JB’s – These are the JB’s
LP: “Food for thought”
Arguably the greatest funk album of all time. Try and debate me. Oh, one thing. You’re not allowed to speak unless you own the record. -AR

2. Shampoo – We love the police man
LP: “We love the police man”
I bought this on GP years ago, without even listening to it. Because the cover was so dope and it was from Belgium, I expected it to be on some Marc Moulin shit. It isn’t. But it’s definitely still dope. -KAE

3. Dorothy Ashby – Come live with me
LP: “Afro Harping”
Dorothy Ashby keeps getting better to my ears as the years go by. Not only because the intro has been looped up a few times by some of the best producers to ever do it but, Ashby added a whole new dimension to jazz with her often psychedelic harp styling. Most of the time, I would try to avoid an LP if it had harp on it. Dorothy Ashby + Harp = Greatness. – SERIOUS

4. David Axelrod – Holy Thursday
LP: “Song of Innocence”
Lush, dark and orchestrated brilliantly. I can’t believe there are people on the planet who don’t own music by this man. – AR

I’m sworn to secrecy on this one. Sorry dudes. – KAE

6. Johnson, Hawkins, Tatum and Durr – You can’t blame me
LP: “The Beginning of Capsoul”, originally released on 45
This haunting soul tune just gets stuck in your head, next thing you know; it’s stuck on repeat. –SERIOUS

7. Serge Gainsbourg – En Melody
LP: “Historie de Melody Nelson”
Some of the first quote-unquote psychedelic funk ever sampled on wax. De La Soul may be dead. But Monsieur Gainsbourg’s legacy is alive and well. -AR

8. Luc Cousineau – Marie Madeleine
LP: “Luc Cousineau”

9. Ohio Players – I wanna know do you feel it
LP: “Ecstasy”
Ohio Players. Mad classic shit, if you don’t have any in your collection, you’re probably a zombie. In other words, you ain’t got no soul.. sucka – SERIOUS

10. Mighty Ryeders – Lovely
LP: “Help us spread the message”
It took me over 20 years to find this record. I plan on keeping it a lot longer than that. -AR

11. Milton Wright – Silence you keep
LP: “Friends and Buddies”
“Rare groove” collectors are kinda split on this LP*, some calling it one of the grails of gorgeous mid-70’s soul, while others feel that it’s an overrated and exorbitantly priced slab of schlock. I would have to agree with the former. – KAE
*This one is actually kind of cheating, as this LP belongs to Johnbronski, and he could technically get me to remove this from my collection at any time but has been in my possession for well over 6 years. Does that mean I get to keep it now?

12. Archie Whitewater – Home Again
LP: “Archie Whitewater”
Arguably, Archie Whitewater is best known for “Cross Country”, the joint that was sampled for Common’s “Chapter 13”. Soon after finding a copy of this LP, I realized how the amazing the whole album is. Personally, It has served as a gateway into genres and styles of LPs that I never really appreciated before. – SERIOUS

13. Bobbi Humphrey – Blacks and Blues
LP: “Blacks and Blues”
When Will Ferrell victimized the jazz flute in Anchorman, I might have caught feelings because of my love for Bobbi Humphrey. The Mizell brothers at their best. -AR

14. Ramp – Come into knowledge
LP: “Come into knowledge”
I am on my title track shit! Personally, I believe this record is the most cohesive project Roy Ayers has ever done. Flood that comment section. – KAE

15. Leon Ware – Rockin’ you eternally
LP: “Rockin’ you Eternally”
I was never really into songs that were overly based around love, some how I always felt love songs were corny. Man! I was so wrong, when I first heard this song, it made me re-think my meaning of dope… and appreciation for modern soul and slow jams. – SERIOUS

Subscribe on iTunes

Download It Here!
(To Download, Right-Click the link above…)
(Sorry Internet Explorer not supported, try a different browser)



The 7th: Superpeople

ARTIST: Notations

TITLE: “Superpeople”

YEAR: 1975

LABEL: Gemigo

Truth be told, I found my copy at Kops records in Toronto years ago. But a producer friend of mine (who will remain nameless) has a far better story. He found a copy while on a trip to Chicago, but he couldn’t afford to pay for it. So he did what any rational human being would do. He stuffed it down his pants. His reasoning was simple. The hole in the 45 made it suitable for such an act. He would position himself through the centre of the little record, making it easier to sneak out with in his pants. The good news was he made it out the door. The bad news was the record had grazed against his shaft and cut his manhood. Years later, we can always tell our copies of this record apart. Mine smells like the 70’s and his smells like bloody penis.



CRATERY 49: Dollarate IV

Things done changed.

Dollar bin digging ain’t what it used to be. When I first started buying breaks back in the early 90’s, my OG homies like Mr. Attic would take me to spots like Vinyl Museum, a long gone institution in the city of Toronto. I’d say about 90% of the stock in their flagship store was under $5.

That store had well over 25 000 records.

This isn’t some exaggerated moment of nostalgia. Practically the whole store was priced at $2.49. And half price Wednesdays meant you could cop double the joints at $1.25. That was where I learned to dig. I was just starting, so I was excited to grab basic stuff like Jimmy Castor, Curtis Mayfield or damn near anything on CTI for practically nothing. The rock bottom prices encouraged risks. It was much easier to gamble on a record that you were paying $2 for. And while I was learning my ABC’s, the homies would come up on records like Bob Azzam, Frank Motley, The Mohawks and countless other rares.

Those days are definitely over.

Vinyl Museum closed its doors in the early 2000’s, when the owner fell ill and passed away.
It wasn’t just the end of the store. It was the end of an era. I’ve optimistically dropped into numerous Goodwills and thrift stores in the last few years, hoping to find even 1 record worth shuffling through the endless stacks of, well, crap. The results have been dismal.
Blame it on the Internet, I guess. Apparently, $10 is the new $1.

Our 4th annual post-holiday guide to wallet-friendly digging sparked a debate this year.
“Is that really a dollar record?” was the question at hand.

Keep in mind that the criteria for our Dollarate episodes is ‘any record that can be readily found for under $10’. Every time one of us would pull out a supposed dollar bin gem, we’d do some research only to find out that the record no longer sells for anything close to a buck. Records that were once worth a dollar are much more valuable now.

Such is the case with Joe Thomas’ version of Boz Scaggs’ “Lowdown” (Incidentally, some kind of weird dollar bin inception), from his Get into the Wind LP, which I played on this month’s episode.
It’s by no means a difficult record to find. But after pulling it out after over 10 years, I saw something remarkable. Stamped on the inner sleeve was an address and phone number with a store name above it:

Vinyl Museum.

We were right.

Records that were once worth a dollar are much more valuable now.



1. Isaac Hayes – I want to make love with you so bad
2. Joe Thomas – Lowdown
3. Mystic Moods -The other side of midnight
4. Brass Construction – What’s on your mind
5. Hi – Gloss – I’m totally yours
6. Light of the world – London Town
7. L.A. Scores – Berimbau Carioca
8. Dee Dee Bridgewater – Night moves
9. Iron Butterfly – Belda-beast
10. Ginette Reno – Don’t let me be misunderstood
11. Puzzle – State of mind
12. Love Unlimited – Oh love, well we finally made it
13. Barry White – Playing your game, baby
14. Pointer Sisters – Bring your sweet stuff home to me
15. George Duke – Someday

Subscribe on iTunes

Download It Here!
(right click save as…)



VERSION: Do Your Thing

Version is a brand new segment dedicated to spotlighting the cover song. One of the first times I ever saw the value in digging for covers was the “Get out my life woman” craze of the 90’s. So many versions started with open drums (Lee Dorsey, Solomon Burke, Iron Butterfly), that the song title was enough to peak the curiosity of the average crate head or rap producer. As time went on, we sought out covers of crate staples like Marvin Gaye, James Brown and The Meters. As we enter our 5th year on Cratery, we’ll share some well-known, lesser known and straight up strange versions of cover joints we’ve, well, pardon the pun, uncovered.

Isaac Hayes’ career certainly didn’t spawn a shortage of covers. Especially Shaft covers. The guitars on his biggest song went on to define the sound most people associate with the 70’s funk – a sound many people now refer to as “Bom chicka wow wow”. But “Do your thing”, the source material for rap classics like Big Daddy Kane’s “Smooth Operator” had a downtempo, smoked out vibe that yielded some cool covers too. Check out the 19-minute epic Isaac Hayes’ original here and check out some interesting interpretations below.

The Temptations “Do your thing”

The last song on their “All Directions” LP is a version of the aforementioned classic by Mr. Hayes. Producer Norman Whitfield works his genius on this one. Thanks to Jake One for putting me on to this version years ago. –ARCEE

Julius Brockington “Do your thing”

Today Records (and anything in the Perception Records canon) has always been a staple for diggers and soul heads. So when I found this LP in Montreal a few years back, it was a no-brainer purchase. This instrumental version pulls a bit more of a grittier funk out of the original composition, giving the rhythm section a great chance to stretch out and well, do their thing. How can you go wrong with that bass line? –KAEWONDER

James and Bobby Purify “Do your thing”

A slept-on, dollar record special. The gentlemen responsible for the soul classic “I’m your puppet” were also responsible for this slightly faster version of “Do your thing” probably mandated by disco label Casablanca. I kid. I know not who mandated what. But I do like this version. –ARCEE

I found this in my “out” pile and even though Arcee did his best to change my mind about it, it’s still in my out pile. Maybe I should keep it. -SERIOUS

Jerry Washington “In my life I’ve loved”

While not exactly a cover, it’s clear that “Do your thing” was the inspiration for this Jerry Washington cut on Excello records. Jerry does little to hide it musically, and even channels his inner Isaac on the vocals. Apparently the sign on the door that said “No biting allowed” wasn’t placed there until Master Ace hung it up in ’88. –ARCEE

But perhaps the most overlooked and completely unnecessary version of Isaac Hayes’ “Do your Thing” comes to us from 1990’s Atlanta and can only be described as so, so def.


The 7th: Soul Raga

This is the first of some new content we’re starting on Cratery for 2013. “The Seventh” is dedicated to celebrating a different 7-inch from our collective collections -on the 7th of every month. We really could try and make a bigger deal out of it, but that’s basically it. Shout out the hommie Planet Pea on the design. You can check out his work at

ARTIST: Mehrpouya

TITLE: “Soul Raga”

YEAR: Unlisted

This turned up in the office of a private dealer who had recently returned from a trip to Iran. Now when most people think Iran, they don’t necessarily think ridiculously funky. But this joint shatters speakers and stereotypes simultaneously. I was vaguely familiar with Mehrpouya since Egon (Now-Again Records) reissued another one of his songs on a compilation called Psych Funk 101. The rhythm section just murders it on “Soul Raga”. I knew this one was coming home with me. I paid well below market value, although the 3-digit price tag didn’t exactly make it feel like a come up.




Singer/songwriter Sixto Rodriguez was recently immortalized in the documentary “Searching for Sugar Man” which debuted at Sundance in 2012. It’s the story of an artist who is completely unaware of the impact his music has had on an entire generation.

I can say that about much of the music that we play on Cratery.

Most of the artists we highlight from that era are unaware their music is touching young people today. Most of whom weren’t even around when they first came out.

I find this fascinating. Their original compositions have become the basis for everything from hip-hop classics, Super Bowl commercials, and sub-par beats on soundcloud pages everywhere.

You might know the Rodriguez song “Sugar Man” provided the backbone for the Extra P produced “You’re the man” from Nas’ Stillmatic LP. So naturally, Kaewonder had to opt for the lesser known jawn, “Only good for conversation”: fuzzed out awesomeness from his Cold Fact LP on Sussex.

Likewise, we’re pretty sure Lesbian jazz outfit Baba Yaga had no idea that rap producers were jacking their kicks and snares. And we’re also confident that Canadian crooner Ronaye Shandler and members of the Ralph Marco Band have no idea that they’re on this podcast.

But that’s cool with us.

The Rodriguez documentary reminds us that there is still a story attached to every name on every Cratery track list.

Even if their stories don’t endure, their music does.


1. Ronaye Shandler – I mean to satisfy
2. Ralph Marco band – Sands Hotel
3. Quinn Harris and the Masterminds – All in the soul
4. Sixto Rodriguez – Only good for conversation
5. Can – Spoon
6. Spectre – Arkham
7. Syrius – Devil’s Masquerade
8. Baba Yaga – Smoke
9. Antena – Camino del Sol
10. Manu Dibango – Biso
11. Madeleine Bell – That’s what friends are for
12. Ray Barretto – Pastime Paradise
13. Cargo – Geordy
14. Flow – Here We Are Again
15. Oliver Sain – Comin down soul

Subscribe on iTunes

Download It Here!
(right click save as…)



CRATERY 47: 5 for 5

This month, Kaewonder, DJ Serious and I trade our traditional 1-for-1 Cratery format for a 5-for-5 format. We each play 5 records in succession, allowing us to create 3 individual sets. Truly groundbreaking stuff – we know, we know.

I kick off my set with “Peter and John” from Andrew Wartts’ gospel funk masterpiece There is a God somewhere. I played it for a few friends and dudes got all wide-eyed like there is a copy somewhere. Truth. But good luck finding it. Far more than just a James Brown rip-off, the vocals give this joint a haunting quality that trumps our collective disdain for religious music altogether.

Serious chimes in with a disco funk special from Ohio’s Los Nombres – from an album reissued by the Numero Group earlier this year. I was there when he found this one, in its home state, no less. We had seen it once before, but its condition was a dealbreaker. So you know when that OG fell into his lap again, Dave was on some immediate coppery. I don’t blame him. This one’s still on my list.

Kae’s set is really, well, Kaewonderish. From the jazzy folk of husband and wife duo Luc and Lise Cousineau to the incredible “Snakeskin Garter” by Manfred Mann, Kae stays out in left field. Pierre Henry’s “Les Insectes” won’t be appearing on any holiday themed Christmas albums. Mainly because it translates to “the bugs” and has nothing to do with the holidays whatsoever. But closing things out with UK space-rockers Hawkwind? That’s some fucking Kaeweezy shit for real.

One more Cratery episode left before we kick off our 5th year. And in case you didn’t know – we’re now an official iTunes podcast. Subscribe for free here (Subscribe on iTunes) if you haven’t already.


Arcee’s set
1. Andrew Wartts and the Gospel Storytellers – Peter and John
2. Lorez Alexandria – Baltimore Oriole
3. Joe Lee Wilson – Return of the prodigal son
4. Black Truth Rhythm Band – Imo
5. Bwana – Chapumbambe

DJ Serious’ set
6. Los Nombres – Trivialities
7. The Albert – One Life
8. Les De Merle – Underground
9. Lafayette Afro Rock Band – Scorpion flower
10. Apocalypse – Open

Kaewonder’s set
11. Luc and Lise Cousineau – Mourir de toi
12. Manfred Mann – Snakeskin Garter
13. Pierre Henry – Les insectes
14. Fear Itself – Underground River
15. Hawkwind – The Watcher

Subscribe on iTunes

Download It Here!
(right click save as…)




The good folks at MAGMA reached out to us about collaborating on a mix for their up coming Fall/Winter pop-up shop this weekend. Naturally, we had no choice but to submit to the laws of mutual dopeness and agree. Since MAGMA plans on previewing some new wears, we thought we’d hit you with a little preview of our own. A taste of a new Cratery segment we’ll be starting in the new year, dedicated to spotlighting cover versions of familiar tunes. If MAGMA’s reissue program is all about reworking garments, this Cratery episode is all about reworking classics. Look out for VERSION coming soon to And come out this weekend and get covered in MAGMA. Mascot Café. 1267 Queen Street West. If you’re on this site, chances are you have relatively dope taste in music. So don’t have shitty taste in clothes.

1. Ain’t no sunshine – Sivuca
2. Inner City Blues (Monticello) – Monty Alexander
3. Light my Fire – Johnny Harris
4. Higher Ground – Ellen McIlwaine
5. Family Affair – The Family
6. Feelings – Don Moore
7. California Dreamin’ – Brotherhood
8. I’m gonna love you just a little bit more, babe – Lloyd Charmers
9. Do your thing – Julius Brockington
10. Tighten Up – Al Escobar
11. Sunny – Billy Taylor
12. People make the world go round – Young Holt Unlimited

Subscribe on iTunes

Download It Here!
(right click save as…)




CRATERY 46: The OST Sequel (Session B)

Intermission’s over. You’ve rolled an appropriate amount of chronic. Secured an appropriate amount of snackage. And drained an appropriate amount of pee-pee from your pee-pee. Time for part two. Kaewonder kicks off session B of our OST spectacular with a piece of from the elusive Shogun Assassin soundtrack. DJ Serious wastes no time in following suit with a Les Baxter slow burner off The Dunwich Horror. I veer off into weirdo territory with a selection from 1970’s His Wife’s Habit, a movie about a restless housewife with a penchant for seducing men who aren’t her husband. But it’s not all anime, sleaze and b-movies. Blaxploitation classics like Foxy Brown and The Mack make appearances, as do Hollywood familiarities like Taxi Driver and Dirty Harry. DJ Serious even manages to uncover a little something on the soundtrack to 1976 Olympic games from Montreal. Between lush arrangements, unexpected breakbeats and sheer weirdness, the soundtrack has been, and will continue to be fertile ground for the crate head.


1. Shogun Assassin
2. The Dunwich Horror
3. Y’a plus d Troy a perce
4. His wife’s habit
5. Dirty Harry
6. The Mack
7. Superfly
8. Chi Sei?
9. Taxi Driver
10. Pecado Capital
11. Il Consigliore
12. Jeux de la XXI Olympiade
13. Come back Charleston Blue
14. Foxy Brown
15. The Hot Rock
16. Getting Straight

Subscribe on iTunes

Download It Here!
(right click save as…)




CRATERY 46: The OST Sequel (Session A)

In February 2010, we dropped Cratery 14, our first ever double-episode dedicated to exclusively to the OST: Original Soundtrack. But like all successful franchises, we couldn’t resist a sequel. Two years later, we return with back-to-back podcasts highlighting our love for compositions from film and TV shows past. Some you might recognize: Lalo Schifrin’s Bullitt, Monk Higgins’ Sheba Baby and Barry White’s Together Brothers. Others, less so: the fuzzed out Korean vibes from The Stars Heavenly Home, the sleazy psychedelic funk of Viens, mon amour and Osanna’s proggy masterpiece Milano Calibro 9 aren’t as easy to find in your local record store. But then again, they probably weren’t easy to find in your local movie theatre back in the day, either. Cratery 46 has arrived. To quote the Timothy Leary film of the same name, we invite you to turn on, tune in and drop out. This is one sequel we promise won’t suck.


1. Turn on tune in drop out
2. Experiment in Terror
3. Angel, angel, down we go
4. The Stars Heavenly Home
5. Together Brothers
6. Wild in the streets
7. 3 days of the Condor
8. Hanged Man
9. Fragment of fear
10. Melinda
11. Chapeau Melon et Bottes de Cuir
12. On any Sunday
13. Viens, mon amour
14. Bullitt
15. Winter Woman
16. Milano Calibro 9
17. The Summertime Killer
18. Once Again
19. The Soul of Nigger Charley
20. Sheba Baby
21. Fritz the Cat
22. Three the hard way
23. The Electric Company
24. Cornbread, Earl and Me

Subscribe on iTunes

Download It Here!
(right click save as…)



CRATERY 45: 45’s (part 3)

Apparently, 45’s are in again. Not that we ever stopped collecting them. But the amount of DJ’s and collectors instagramming pics of their new 7” discoveries has skyrocketed in the last few years. Not to mention the countless 45-only parties popping up all over the world.
We kick off our 3rd annual ode to the 7” with a bang. A banger, to be precise. The Action 13’s “More Bread to the People” is hands down one of my most prized 45’s. Small-hole Nigerian psychedelic funkiness at it’s finest. Kae follows suit with Italian combo Duke of Burlington’s classic “Flash”. And Serious wraps up our first round with Jean-Pierre Massiera’s rare Canadian-only Sex Convention 45.
I was fortunate enough to grab a copy of Darondo’s “Didn’t I” from record mecca Groove Merchant during my stay in San Francisco earlier this year. We all know it’s basically some fake Al Green shit, but goddamn. It’s a beautiful record. Prince Jazzbo’s “Crabwalking” is a Kaewonder selection from the land where the 7” is king: Jamaica. And DJ Serious ends things off with a sweet soul special from the Gibson Brothers band.
The 45 may be back. But we’re not hopping on the bandwagon. If anything, we were already driving it.

1. The Action 13 – More bread to the people
2. The Duke of Burlington – Flash
3. Sex Convention – Toi qui reve de baisers
4. Patrizia and Jimmy – Trust your child (part 1)
5. Prince Jazzbo – Crabwalking
6. Nairobi Sisters – Promised Land (inna dub stylee)
7. Darondo – Didn’t I
8. 9th Creation – Sexy Girl
9. Midnight Movers Unlimited – Lost for words
10. Steve Parks – Still thinking of you
11. Life – Death in the family
12. Jay Dee – Games and funky things
13. The Chubukos – House of rising funk
14. Satanas – Bajo El Sol
15. Lieutenant Winston – Pon lock
16. Five by Five – Hang up
17. Reflektions – The Truth Hurts
18. The Gibson Brothers Band – Love coming at us

Subscribe on iTunes

Download It Here!
(right click save as…)




I found Syd and the Troubadors’ Positively Spicy album at a local record show earlier this year. Cardova is a nice slice of West Indian funk that also happens to be a take on a Meters’ classic. The nerd in me will always be drawn to the novelty of finding an odd cover of a familiar song. But the truth is, the Meters original bangs way harder. Without question. That doesn’t mean ol’ Syd and his homies aren’t worthy of a Cratery appearance though. Enrique Lynch’s cover of Ballinjack’s Found a child is a DJ Serious selection that sounds like it grew up in a shrine in Peru © Jay Electronica. Surface level research (read: Google) suggests Lynch was a bandleader – like a Peruvian James Last, but way funkier with far better song selection. Which pretty much kills any similarity to James Last. And we’re pretty sure no one’s ever covered Thierry Fervant’s Samba pour Fernande, since it’s a random song off a French Soundtrack with a really long title on Gamma records. This Kaewonder pick does remind us that we’re long overdue for another Cratery OST episode. But not before we dip into our respective tiny record stashes for our annual all-45 hour (Cratery 45 – see what we did there?). Hey. Back to the lecture at hand. Cratery 44 fools. Stream or download below.

MILDLY INTERESTING CRATERY FACTOID: The store featured in this episode’s artwork is Volume Records in Toronto. And the dude in the v-neck is Mr. Attic of Da Grassroots. I believe this actual evidence of him buying records in 2012. Which is surprising. Considering he has everything already. Probably just minting up on his Miles Davis discography. That Pee, he’s a crafty one.

1. Luis Bacalov – Motorcycle Circus
2. Thierry Fervant – Samba pour Fernande
3. Oneness of Juju – Poo Too
4. Syd Jones and the Troubadours – Cardova
5. Lazarus – Faces of tomorrow
6. White Elephant – Peace of Mind
7. Syreeta – Tiki Tiki Donga
8. Roy Ayers – Fire Weaver
9. Cannonball Adderley – Leo
10. Soul Explosion – Be my soul
11. Brass Construction – Talkin’
12. Maceo and all the king’s men – Maceo
13. Orchestra Harlow – Freak Off
14. Enrique Lynch – Found a child
15. Cheech and Chong – Interlude

Subscribe on iTunes

Download It Here!
(right click save as…)




The Canadian content on Cratery is at an all-time high. Could be the influence of our bi-coastal brethren Sipreano and Birdapres. It could be a desire to snatch up that local shit for trade leverage. Or an overwhelming source of national pride (It’s probably not the last one). The CANCON on this month’s episode arrives courtesy of 3 tripped out artists from Quebec: Guy Rheaume, Sex and Les Champignons. So much incredible music was recorded in Quebec in the 60’s and 70’s. Sadly, much of it remains unknown. We do venture outside of La Belle Province with selections like Irene Kral’s “Wheelers and Dealers”, a recent vocal jazz discovery I found in a local spot for $6. Kaewonder reminds us not to sleep on the Carla Thomas catalog (as does Madlib) and DJ Serious unearths a randomly alternate version of George Benson’s “The Changing World” (without the ‘I used to love H.E.R. sample). Cratery 43, bitches. Stream it or download below.

1. Irene Kral – Wheelers and dealers
2. Guy Rheaume – Ca Tourne
3. Tim Maia – Joao Coragem
4. Premiere Capsule – Folies du Mercredi
5. Sex – Born to love
6. Ahmad Jamal – Patterns
7. Gary Burton – Vibrafinger
8. Twelve Top Hits – Chicago
9. Johnny Trouble – Turns me on
10. Bobby Wilson – Don’t shut me out
11. Carla Thomas – I’ve fallen in love with you
12. O Donel Levy – I wanna be where you are
13. Jackson 5 – 2-4-6-8
14. Bobbie Huston – I want to make it with you
15. George Benson – The Changing World

Subscribe on iTunes

Download It Here!
(right click save as…)




You should probably be getting the gist of this by now. It’s Cratery. It’s a bunch of songs. From no particular genre. In no particular order. If you’re actually missing our usual writeup, you should probably think about re-evaluating your priorities in life. You can start by clicking the download button below. You’re welcome. — ARCEE

1. Harold Wheeler – Black Cream
2. Love Unlimited Orchestra – Strange games and things
3. Leon Ware – What’s your world
4. Freda Payne – We’ve gotta find a way back to love
5. Brethren – Success Brand Oil
6. Gil Evans Orchestra – Crosstown Traffic
7. Parliament – Moonshine Heather
8. Loving Cup – Love song
9. Gilberto Gil – A doz do vido
10. The Meters – It ain’t no use
11. Super Erotico- Erotic rhythm Makumba
12. Exile One – Dominican Strut
13. TJS – Breakaway
14. Little Boy Blues Band – It’s only you
15. Lyn Collins – Put it on the line

Subscribe on iTunes

Download It Here!
(right click save as…)




So nice we had to do it twice. Lawn Chair Music Vol. 2 is a another hour of summer inspired tunes to bump while spitting out watermelon seeds, brainfreezing off slurpees, falling off surfboards, barfing out of a canoe, smoking a fattie on the dock with a dimepiece or any other of your favourite summer activities. We’re sure the music below is the perfect accompaniment to the aforementioned festivities. Throw some sunscreen on your ears. This is Lawn Chair Music volume 2.  Special kudos/shoutouts/props/acknowledgements to our girl Stephanie Cheng on the artwork. Check out her blog here. And her portfolio here.

1. Kool and the gang – Summer madness (live)
2. Orchestra som bateau – Primavera
3. La Clave – The Ghetto
4. Wilson da Neves – California Soul
5. Luc Cousineau – La premiere fois
6. The Main Ingredient – California my way
7. Father’s Children – Hollywood dreaming
8. The Moments – Next time that I see you
9. James Brown – Uncle
10. Junior Mance – Tin Tin Deo
11. Garland Green – All She Did
12. Tom Scott – The Honeysuckle Breeze
13. Dizzy Gillespie – Summertime
14. Cortex – Prelude A “Go round”
15. Cal Tjader – Joao
16. Boris Gardiner – What’s Happening
17. The Travel Agency – Make Love
18. Eddie Henderson – Cyclops

Subscribe on iTunes

Download It Here!
(right click save as…)




Something intangible about a song makes it a summer joint. It just feels like summer. Like a pair of trusty flip flops, camo shorts and Ray-Bans, some music was just tailored for warmer weather. From Duke Pearson’s Brazilian inspired jazz sounds to Reign Ghost’s folk psych and RAMP’s lesser known version of a Roy Ayers classic, we got a healthy dose of audio sunshine for that ear. We present you our first annual summer playlist, Lawn Chair Music Vol. 1. Special kudos/shoutouts/props/acknowledgements to our girl Stephanie Cheng on the artwork. Check out her blog here. And her portfolio here.

1. Duke Pearson – Sandalia Dela
2. Tamba Trio – Lenga,Lenga
3. Bossa Rio – Saiupa
4. Reign Ghost – Long Day Journey
6. Buddy Fite – El Jefe
7. Margie Joseph – Let’s stay together
8. Monty Alexander – Love and Happiness
9. Kellee Patterson – Mister Magic
10. Milt Jackson – Enchanted Lady
11. Zimbo Trio – Reza
12. Tim Maia – Contacto Com O Mundo Racional
13. Donato/Deodato – Batuqe
14. The Silhouettes – Time To Fall In Love
15. Pat Bowie – Feeling Good
16. Bemibem – Kolorowe Lato
17. Gap Mangione – Boy with Toys
18. Dorothy Ashby – Cause I need it
19. RAMP – Everybody loves the sunshine

Subscribe on iTunes

Download It Here!
(right click save as…)




All over the map. Definitely the best way to describe Cratery 41. British Prog. Latin libraries. And rural weirdo. Yes, rural weirdo. According to DJ Serious, that’s the lane that Canadian artist Aaron Space carved out for himself back in 1972. Kae draws for Kool and the Gang’s classic slice of heavy funk “Give it up” which I seemingly never tire of (Sidebar: Had to pull out Organized Konfusion’s “Intro” off their first LP after that – BIG). I round up things in Brazil with beautifully lush Milton Nascimento interpretation of the Brazilian staple “Tudo que voce podia ser” which loosely translates to “I’m Indian, I don’t fucking speak Portugese”. Cratery 41 hommies. Bump that.

1. Robin Jones Quintet – Urubu
2. Skin Alley – Night time
3. Jimmy McGriff – It feels so nice
4. Debbie Taylor – No ifs, ands or buts
5. Labi Siffre – The Vulture
6. Kool and the Gang – Give it up
7. Preston Love – Pot Likker
8. Aaron Space – Silly Ceiling
9. Pat Hervey – Can’t get you out of mind
10. Africa – Light my fire
11. Sugar Cane Harris – Midnight Walk
12. Freedom North – Fat Man
13. Milton Nascimento – Tudo que voce podia ser
14. Jorge Dalto – I’ve got you on my mind
15. Bobbi Humphrey – Uno Esta

Subscribe on iTunes

Download It Here!
(right click save as…)




Cratery 40 showcases music from places like the Bahamas. And places like Oshawa. Kaewonder kicks it off with a Caribbean funk rarity: Biosis Now’s “Independent Bahamas” isn’t featured anywhere but a compilation of contemporary Bahamian music from the 70’s titled “A nation is born”. And now, it’s featured here. Christmas is a late 60’s bluesy-psych outfit from Oshawa whose albums can fetch a pretty penny all over the world. “Blues on an Iceberg” is downtempo banger from my copy of their 2nd LP, “Heritage”. Not to be outdone, Dj Serious ups the 45 quota with an absolute scorcher from Michigan’s Mad Dog and the Pups called “Hep Squeeze”. More crates. More madness. Cratery 40. Enjoy.

1. Biosis Now – Independent Bahamas
2. Dorothy Ashby – Soul Vibrations
3. The Spinners – No one does it better
4. Donald Byrd – Stepping into tomorrow
5. The Human Condition – Mama I remember
6. Junior Parker – Taxman
7. Mind Garage – Communion
8. Christmas – Blues on an Iceberg
9. David Axelrod – Ken Russell
10. Andrew Jackman – Cool Sweat
11. Joao Donato – Me Deixa
12. Mad Dog and the Pups – Hep Squeeze
13. The Nite-Liters – Damn
14. Bill Doggett – Bueno
15. Bobby Lyle – Night Breeze

Subscribe on iTunes

Download It Here!
(right click save as…)



CRATERY 39 : House Shoes

Detroit’s House Shoes popped by the Cratery studios to join us for an hour of vinyl nerdery when he was in town last month. Shoes and I go back to the 90’s, where our paths crossed multiple times on various record shopping trips to the D. He’s the reason cats like MoSS, Mr. Attic and myself had a shitload of Dilla beat tapes before most in the late 90’s. He had me banging an early version of Welcome to Detroit that literally turned me into a hero in my own hometown. But, while Shoes is well-known for championing the music of hip-hop’s G.O.A.T. producer (yeah, I said it), that’s just one element of who he is. He’s also a champion of vinyl, a record store veteran, and a producer with extensive crate knowledge. We were lucky enough to get a private preview of his forthcoming album, “Let it Go”, which features appearances from the likes of Guilty Simpson, Gangrene, Nottz, Roc Marciano, Detroit up-and-comers like Moe Dirdee and many more. Shit goes hard. Just like this edition of Cratery. Featuring House Shoes. Biiitch. –ARCEE

1. The Players – The Game
2. Sensation’s Fix – Smooth and Round
3. Funkadelic – I wanna know if it’s good to you
4. Bayete – Don’t need nobody
5. Rudy Love and the Family – Does your Mama know
6. Darrow Fletcher – Now is the time for love (Part 2)
7. Tommy Stewart – Fulton County Line
8. Natural Gas – Live and Learn
9. Sly, Slick and Wicked – Can’t hold it back no longer
10. Waltel Branco – Tema Da Zorra
11. T. Swift – Expo of Sound
12. Mogollar – Sunset in Golden Horn
13. Sergio Fontana – The Look of Love
14. Chubby Checker – Good Bye Victoria
15. Les Sound Track – S.T.P. #1
16. Temple City Kazoo Orchestra – Kazooed on Classics

Subscribe on iTunes

Download It Here!

(right click save as…)



CRATERY 38b : Aki Abe

The 2nd part of our double Cratery with Aki of Cosmos Records in Toronto. After killing us with the “Astro-Disc” joint on part 1, Aki wastes no time getting into it with an Azimuth 45 none of us have ever heard of. Kae and I chime in with selections from Iran’s Mehrpouya and Germany’s Michael Naura. And Dj Serious bookends this one with Webster Lewis “Do you believe”, a cut from his impossibly rare “Club 7” LP, which has been known to go for upwards of $700. I don’t want to calculate what it would cost for you to purchase the records featured on this month’s 2nd Cratery, but can anybody say 2nd mortgage?

1. Azimuth – Tempos Atras
2. Mehrpouya – Soul Raga
3. Michael Naura – Black Pigeon
4. Chuck Jackson – I like everything about you
5. Myrna Hague – What color is love?
6. Hammer – Tuane
7. Illustration – Upon the Earth
8. Reggie Garner – Hot Line
9. Black East – I’m gonna love you just a little more, baby
10. Ripple – Facts of Life
11. Stone Alliance – Sweetie Pie
12. Webster Lewis – Do you Believe

Subscribe on iTunes

Download It Here!

(right click save as…)



CRATERY 38a : Aki Abe

Cosmos Records has become a vinyl institution in Toronto. Since it’s inception in the late 90’s, it’s supplied record fiends here and abroad with an incredible selection of Soul, Funk, Jazz, Latin and Brazilian rarities like no store since.

At the root of Cosmos is its mild-mannered owner, Aki Abe. Aki quickly established himself as a force in the vinyl business by offering a premium selection of records to his walk-in customers.

Cosmos was the opposite of Toronto mainstays like Vinyl Museum – a large, poorly organized store full of $2 records. Cosmos was a small boutique full of hand picked, hard-to-find funk, catering to specific collectors.

This was a huge shift in the way people bought wax in the city.

Most stores wouldn’t showcase their $250 grails – they were usually reserved for private collectors or eBay. But Cosmos would proudly display their rare acquisitions on the wall. And collectors ate it up.

For the first of this 2-part Cratery, we’re geeked to have Aki of Cosmos share some super rare bangers from his personal ‘wall’ at home. If you recognize any titles, they’re probably the records Aki didn’t play. Cratery 38A. Enjoy.

1. The Heavenly Band – He rose up from the ground
2. The Caprells – Close your eyes
3. Oneness of Juju – Follow Me
4. Pollution – Vegetable Soup
5. Aloisiu – Tema, R
6. The Jon Bartel Thing – Freak Show
7. Zulema – Standing in the back row of your heart
8. Tyrone and Carr – Take me with you
9. Astro-Disc – Libra
10. Peter Delis – Mambo de Machaguay
11. The Gang Band – TSOB
12. Triangle – Cameron’s Complaint

Subscribe on iTunes

Download It Here!

(right click save as…)



CRATERY 37: Dollarate III

Most record heads that come from the hip-hop world understand the value of the cheap dollar banger. Whether it’s a drum break, a boogie classic or a sought-after miracle, discovering a piece of heat in the dollar-bin has always been a source of pride for most beat heads.  Finding a dope record is cool. But finding it for a dollar is even better. Dollarate is about celebrating the joints you can always find in the cheap section.  Records like Bill Withers’ “Don’t you want me to stay”, “Eramus Hall’s “Will you love me?” and B.T. Express “Mental Telepathy” aren’t just dollar records. They’re dope records.  Dollarate is your annual reminder to keep the record snobbery under control. And your credit card bill in check.

1. Cold Blood – I’m a good woman
2. Brian Auger – You’ll stay in my heart
3. Twelve Top Hits – Whatcha see is whatcha get
4. Stan Getz – Keep Dreaming
5. Odia Coates – You come and you go
6. Bill Withers – Don’t you want me to stay?
7. Bobby Caldwell – Carry On
8. Smokey Robinson – Baby that’s back atcha
9. Linda Lewis – On the stage
10. Eramus Hall – Will you love me?
11. Nick Straker Band – A little bit of jazz
12. Kashif – The Mood
13. Watsonian Institute – Virginia’s Pretty Funky
14. B.T. Express – Mental Telepathy
15. Willie Hutch – I can sho give you love

Subscribe on iTunes

Download It Here!
(right click save as…)



CRATERY 36b : Sipreano

Part 2 of our second Cratery featuring Vancouver’s Sipreano kicks off with some music from Jackie Mitoo. Sip is no stranger to Mitoo’s music and is actually in the process of following up his landmark “Jamaica to Toronto” compilation with a documentary that takes a deeper look at transplanted musicians that came here in the 70’s. He’s also got an incredible Canadian Psychedelic project in the works with fellow collector Birdapres (quiet as kept – this will be fucking awesome) and was a contributor to Light in the Attic’s recent Mowest compilation. We’re honoured to have Sipreano play another hour of music with us. Cratery 36B. Enjoy.

1. Jackie Mitoo – Frangipani
2. Os Novos Baianos – Tinindo Trincando
3. Grupo Santo California – California Concert
4. Caroline Peyton – Just as we
5. Frank Motley & The Bridge Crossings – Wanda Unda Landa
6. King Hannibal – The truth shall make you free
7. The Sylvers – I don’t need to prove myself
8. Krystal – False Alarm
9. Les Maitres – Tu Le Sauras Demain
10. Hell Preachers Inc – Spy in Space
11. Poe – Sons of Belial
12. Almendra – Estos Hombres Tristes

Subscribe on iTunes

Download It Here!

(right click save as…)



CRATERY 36a : Sipreano

Sipreano is a gentleman of distinction. In this case, his distinction is the first guest to repeat a stint on Cratery. Last November, Sip joined us for Cratery 23, a 4-part special which also featured Toronto vinyl god Jason Palma.  Sip’s penchant for the weird and his unparalleled understanding of Canadian music always makes for an interesting Cratery episode. And like last time, there were far too many records to restrict ourselves to a single hour. So we give you the first of our 2-part, year-end vinyl fest: Cratery 36A. Enjoy.

1. Milan – Sheherezade
2. Los Belkings – Sabata
3. Reaction – Welcome to the Country
4. Voices of East Harlem – Can you feel it?
5. Red Mitchell – Sale Musique
6. Psychedelic Psoul – A million grains of sand
7. Black Merda – Good Luck
8. Troyka – Go East Young Man
9. Spring – Pressed Ham
10. Chakachas – Stories
11. Steve Davis – Lalune
12. Marlena Shaw – Look at me, Look at you

Subscribe on iTunes

Download It Here!

(right click save as…)




Skates. Crates. A combination made in heaven. Or in the offices of Harbourfront Centre. Over the phone. With a Cratery representative. For you, this means a *FREE* evening of skating to music you would never skate to. Which, in theory, should brighten up your shitty-ass January. Also, this is a family event. There will be no swearing at the real event. So there’s that. For actual useful information about this event, visit 




This is a fucking weird Cratery. Even by our standards. And we like some weird shit. French Prog. Polish Jazz. Cuban Funk. And a banger from a Dirty Harry flick. These are the makings of Cratery 35. No shortage of off-kilter selections here. Before King Crimson was getting sample love from Kanye, they began their career in a band called Giles, Giles and Fripp. Kaewonder kicks off this month’s podcast with a joint from their “Cheerful Insanity” LP. With a song like “Erudite Eyes”, I’m pretty sure radio play wasn’t high on their agenda. I picked up C&K Vocal’s “Generation” LP in Berlin over the summer. It’s a weird Czech record with jazz-like choir vocals and prog overtones recorded in broken English. “Dockyards” is a banger that takes an unexpectedly jazzy turn half way through. DJ Serious ups the weird quotient with Absolute Elsewhere. “Future Past” is part of a musical interpretation of author Erich Von Daniken’s book “In search of the ancient gods”. None of this making any sense? Not sure it does to us either. Cratery 35. Weird.


1. Giles, Giles, and Frip – Erudite Eyes
2. Absolute Elsewhere – Future Past
3. Dynastie Crisis – Quatre heures de L’apres-Midi
4. Lalo Schifrin – Scorpio
5. The Ugly Ducklings – I know what to say
6. Aquelarre – Jugador, campos, para luchar
7. Fear Itself – Mossy Dream
8. Halina Frackowiak – Ide Dalej
9. C & K Vocal – Dockyards, Railroads, Shoes and Hunger
10. Andy Bey – I know this love can’t be wrong
11. Johnny Jenkins – I walk on guilded splinters
12. Los Van Van – Mi Ritmo Caliente
13. Byron Lee – Hot Reggay
14. D.J. Rogers – Bail Out
15. Linda Williams – Elevate our minds

Subscribe on iTunes

Download It Here!
(right click save as…)




Cratery is a dig diary. A monthly document of our freshest finds. Our very own new arrivals section. So it’s only fitting we kick Cratery 34 off with a recently acquired slice of Argentine exotica, Truthfully, I know nothing else about Cuasares ‘Amalgama’ or the album from which it comes. What I do know is that it sounds fucking great. Which pretty much makes it Cratery worthy. A recent trip to a record store south of the border led DJ Serious to a copy of Ofege’s Try and Love LP, a well-known Nigerian rarity from 1973. And Kaewonder reminds us why we never trade our Mandrill records with a selection that fans of Quasimoto’s “The Unseen” might vaguely recollect. Plus a little folky jazz, bollywood beats and polish funk for good measure. We give you Cratery 34. Enjoy.

1. Cuasares – Amalgama
2. RD Burman – Title Music (Shalimar OST)
3. Ferrante and Teicher – Lady Love
4. Clan Murphy – Eventail
5. Meirelles E Sua Orquestra – Also Sprach Zarathustra
6. Ofege – Whizzy Ilabo
7. Electra Combo – Uber Feuer
8. Guy Pedersen – Les copains de la basse
9. Jimi Hendrix – Torture me, honey
10. The Grodeck Whipperjenny – Put your thing on me
11. Gangsters of Love – I’m gonna keep on
12. Satisfaction Unlimited – Seeing you through the eyes of a blind man
13. Novi Singers – Oh Woman
14. Mandrill – Khidja
15. Jon Lucien – Luella
16. The Advancement – Stone Folk
17. Steve Grey – Theme from the Grandfather
18. Henryk Debich – Standard in B

Subscribe on iTunes

Download It Here!
(right click save as…)




Cratery 33 (Session B) with producer/collector MoSS takes our global psychedelic expedition to Japan, Denmark, Korea and Belgium. MoSS starts part 2 with another unidentified banger before Kaeweezy returns us to familiar territory with The Animated Egg’s “Sock it my way” – an alternate version of a song released for the 101 Strings instrumental series. Among the stranger pieces here is “Jam of Love” by The Next Morning – A black psychedelic band with members from Trinidad and NYC. It’s not often you hear anything West Indian from that era without any kind of calypso, reggae or ska overtones – which is fine by us. A friendly reminder that you can shuffle through every Cratery individually by track simply by clicking ‘chapters’ on your iTunes menu. Cratery 33. Session B. Featuring MoSS. Enjoy.

2. The Animated Egg – Sock it my way
3. Flower Travelling Band – Hiroshima
4. J.J. Band – Into a world
5. The Next Morning – Jam of Love
6. Randy Steirling – Boinin’
7. Burnin’ Red Ivanhoe – Avez-Vous Kaskelainen?
8. T2 – J.L.T.
10. Black Butterfly – Happy Flower
11. Niagara – Gibli

Subscribe on iTunes

Download It Here!
(right click save as…)




Most of you know MoSS as a producer of quality rap music for artists like Obie Trice, Black Moon, Sean Price, Joell Ortiz, Kool G Rap, Big Shug, Eternia and many others. Some of you might even know that he’s the lone producer signed to DJ Premier’s Works of Mart imprint. Even less of you might know that he accomplished all of this from his home in Brampton, Ontario. What you might not know is MoSS is one of the most savage record nerds on the planet, supplier of rhythms to your favourite collectors and proprietor of 2 record labels (Fading Sunshine and Strawberry Rain), both dedicated to obscure, forgotten foreign psychedelic treasures. He joins us this month for a double header of fuzzed-out greatness, Cratery style.

Session A crosses psychedelic borders from all over the world – Italy, Germany, Singapore, France and of course, right here – Canada. Standout tracks include the Ngozi Family’s “House of Fear” – a supremely rare Zambian psych selection and the UNLISTED starter joint. Don’t sweat the UNLISTED tracks. We know what they’re called and we’re pretty confident we won’t find them either. And no, Sipreano – if you know the song, you don’t win a prize. Download Cratery 33 (session A) featuring MoSS below. Enjoy.

2. Brainticket – Places of Light
3. Mashmakhan – The Family
4. Abel – Searchin’ for the light
5. Ngozi Family – House of Fear
6. New Trolls – C’e troppa Guerra
7. Dionysos – L’age D’or
8. David Earle Johnson – Juice Harp
9. Favourite’s Group – Santana
10. Birth Control – This song is just for you
11. Triangle – Litanies
12. Trifle – New Religion

Subscribe on iTunes

Download It Here!
(right click save as…)




No matter how much we genre-hop on Cratery, soul remains a consistent ingredient in our monthly stew. Kaewonder sets off Cratery 32 with a certified slow burner, Larry Saunders’ “This World”. And despite global tangents to Africa (The Wings), Belgium (J.J. Band) and the UK (Egg), we end up bookending this month’s episode with some good old-fashioned American soul: J.R. Bailey’s “Everything I want I see in you”. Fifty Foot Hose and The United States of America are two notable trips down the psychedelic alley, while Jamey Aebersold demonstrates the importance of shopping in the instructional section. David Newman’s “Front Money” is not only an underrated chunk of dollar crate funk, it’s also a leading candidate for ugliest album art ever. Look out for Cratery 33 featuring Toronto producer (and definite hommie) MoSS. The first all-psychedelic Cratery in the making. We definitely made more than a few ugly faces during its recording. But in the meantime, this should hold you over. Cratery 32. Enjoy.

1. Larry Saunders – This World
2. Booker T. and the MG’s – No matter what shape
3. Soul Generation – Super Fine
4. Jamey Aebersold – Mr. Super Hip
5. Hot Soup – You took me by surprise
6. The Wings – Gone with the Sun
7. Fraser McPherson – The Potato
8. J.J. Band – Love in them there hills
9. Egg – A Visit to Newport Hospital
10. David Newman – Front Money
12. U.S.A. – Hard coming love
13. Fifty foot hose – Rose
14. Skull Snaps – All of a sudden
15. J.R. Bailey – Everything I want I see in you

Subscribe on iTunes

Download It Here!
(right click save as…)