Sometime in the 1990s, I walked into Jack's Records in Red Bank, NJ and bought Blow Your Headphones by The Herbaliser without even hearing it. I had been turned on previously to them from some other music lover that passed it on to me. I dug it. Their brand of funk, soul, and jazz filled with samples and superbly crafted hip-hop beats had me nodding my head before, so I was sure they wouldn't let me down this time. They didn't.
When a window opens in Questlove’s schedule—even if it’s very last-minute and on July 4—you take it. As drummer for the legendary hip-hop band the Roots, bandleader for The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, professor at New York University, and round-the-clock DJ, Questlove rarely gets a break in his schedule.
William Bensussen is lucky to be alive. In the summer of 2012, the Los Angeles-based producer and DJ, better known as The Gaslamp Killer, was riding his scooter home from a friend’s house when a gust of wind threatened to take his hat. Reaching for it with one hand and braking with the other, he flipped his scooter, catching a hard blow to the gut on the way down. Internal bleeding meant emergency surgery, which left him with a scar the length of his abdomen and no spleen...
Over the past 25 years, the name Gilles Peterson has gradually become synonymous with his self-styled ‘worldwide’ sound and his eternal quest for the perfect beat. Coming from French-Swiss parentage in South London, Gilles worked his way up the greasy pole of the music industry, taking on lowly jobs at record labels and setting up his own pirate radio station, to eventually become one of the most revered tastemakers in the UK and beyond.
I first met Billy and Miriam of Norton Records and Kicks Books at one the Big Ten Inch parties that ran out of Brooklyn, spinning mostly old 78 RPM records. We then got to know each other even closer when hurricane Sandy hit their warehouses in Red Hook and flooded their entire stock. I was living a few blocks away and immediately ran over to help them salvage the records, recruit other volunteers, and bring my camera along to film the disaster.