Ashley Beedle Grassroots

Grassroots represents the most influential sounds and styles on the ears of this British DJ-producer, best known for his work under Black Science Orchestra as well as a member of the Ballistic Brothers. It’s a strong mix that captures not only many of the sources for samples that have been hot in house and hip-hop records from over the past year, but also recalls the sounds of ‘80s London, when vintage soul, jazz and disco were de rigeur for clubs. Gil Scot Heron's "The Liberation Song" is one of the many rare finds on the disc, with its poetic explanation behind the significance of red, black and green for pan-Africanist struggles. Rare Pleasure's "Let Me Down Easy" and Blue Magic's "Welcome To The Club" simultaneously dig into the ‘70s, conjuring images of an underground within the scenes of Saturday Night Fever and The Love Boat respectively. The different shades of desire and disco unfold on Gwen McRae's "Doin It" and the adolescent fixations of Grace Jones' "Feel Up." Hip-hop heads should check out the raw breaks on "Hihache" by the Lafayette Afro Rock Band as well as Son of Bazerk's "The Band,” one of the most wicked pieces of UK rap ever. Beedle doesn't showcase his DJ skills much in the mix, which is good. These tracks need to be enjoyed in full. (Strut)