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What do David Bowie, Skrillex and Hanson have in common with Big Daddy Kane, Public Enemy and Kanye West?
All of them have sampled music that was spotlighted on the Ultimate Breaks & Beats series, a collection of 25 vinyl albums featuring songs with unforgettable funky rhythms. The series launched in 1986 and became the foundation of hip-hop, dance and pop music for the next three decades and beyond.
“Breaks” or “breakbeats” first emerged in the formative days of the early 1970s, when a DJ in the Bronx, New York named Kool Herc popularized a sound based around the hard funk drums of James Brown. Herc kept the dancefloor jumping by isolating parts of the records with the “breakdown” — typically in the form of a percussion solo. Since these sections would always generate the most excitement from the dancers, why not continue the energy using two copies of the record? Herc’s cutting-edge practice of extending the break led to the emergence of “break boys” (aka b-boys), who would take the opportunity to showcase their best dance moves during these passages, hence the term “break dancing.” [read the full article on]