Friday, May 7, 2010

//Looking for the Perfect Beat: The Dereliks..

//Of course Bambaataa began the quest for the Perfect Beat back in 1983, but the greatest song ever made about the topic came from the "Telegraph Era" of the East Bay 90s hip hop renaissance...from a crew called The Dereliks. DJ Hen Boogie and MC Izadoe Byrd were from San Jose and had a jazzy, lyrical sound that was one of the best of those times. My first encounter with them was around '95 - I had no idea who they were but it was at one of the Mystik Journeymen's "Unsigned and Hella Broke" warehouse shows (where you could get in for $2 and a pack of Top Ramen). The intro as they made their way to the stage was looped from A Tribe Called Quest's "After Hours," Q-Tip chanting "A derelict makes a real long speech/We listen to the words he reads." They had a short but sweet set that was the highlight of that show. Maybe a couple weeks later I was on Telegraph and I saw Iz outside Rasputin's Records. I told him I really enjoyed their set and he says, "You want some vinyl?" We walk to his car and he breaks open a box, hot off the press of this record:
//It's their EP A Turn on the Wheel...Is Worth More Than a Record Deal. Turns out that off their demo the crew had been courted by some major labels in NYC, were flown out there and had been on the verge of signing a deal when the label got cold feet. Oh well, they came back and put this out themselves and it is truly an underground classic. The best track "Iz on Some Other.." is partly inspired by their trip to NY but as the title says, Izadoe takes it to another place, looking for that elusive Perfect Beat. The piano loop was used by De La Soul on their 3-sided 12" single for "Me, Myself and I," and Iz gets griot all over the track.

The Dereliks - "Iz On Some Other..." (Low Self Discipline, 1995)
+ the instrumental "Hen On Some Other..."

//The Dereliks ended up folding a couple years later, but Hen Boogie is still producing great downtempo, soulful tracks like this version of jazz standard "Summertime." Dunno where Iz is at now, but I would still rank him up there with the best MCs from the Bay. I rememberShing02 telling me he had bumped into him several years back and got a tape of some more party-type tracks he had done that have yet to see the light of day.

//DJ Zita and I continue that quixotic quest for the Perfect Beat this Saturday, with outernational rhythms, superfuture solsonics, and timeless vibrations. 1neLuv..