Various – DJ History Secret Weapons review

From the early days of hip hop DJ battles, when DJs such as Afrika Bambaata would mislabel their records to hide the source of their all important breaks, the DJ has always relied on their secret weapons. Be it an obscure track hidden deep on compilations, a long forgotten Detroit gem or fresh productions that haven’t caught on yet. In the current climate of banger obsessed youths masquerading as ADD Ableton DJs craving their next Boys Noize or Turbo fix, DJ History do their bit to keep the tradition alive via this compilation. Co-ordinated by site founders Frank Broughton and Bill Brewster, this album sees a heady line up of respected DJs and producers nominate a secret weapon each from their arsenal of records.

Among the contributors are Prins Thomas, Wild Goose Frank Tope, esteemed German scribe Gerd Janson, Popular People’s Front figurehead Chris Duckenfield and rising edit stars Psychemagik. There’s an interesting story behind each track which really conveys the passion that the selectors maintain for music. For example, Prins Thomas’s deep love for the “Dinosaur L dirt” of the Boxsaga track that has seen him purchase multiple copies due to overplay. A specially commissioned edit by Luke Solomon of Derrick Carter’s sprawling “Tripping Among The Stars” is given even more credence by Solomon’s memories of first visiting Chicago and meeting Carter. What really impresses is the sheer variety of obscure excellence throughout with rare Royskopp remixes sitting next to oddball Mancunian punk disco and raw broken beat thumps that could work next to a Ramadanman track followed by ex bay City Roller produced disco funk.

Tony Poland