Arthur Baker

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Breakin' Review

by Rob Theakston

Electro and hip-hop pioneer Arthur Baker's productions in the '90s exerted nowhere near the influence they did during the previous decade. That said, Breakin' is probably the closest thing to a proper anthology of Baker's earlier works on the market -- which is quite surprising, given the prolific string of groundbreaking hits Baker produced for various artists during that period of time. It also makes this record somewhat of a befuddlement. The only drawback to Breakin' is that it's a two-disc affair, and the first half is definitely something that hinders the potency of this release. Consisting of remixes and collaborations that are uptempo numbers bordering on progressive house, the songs are simply average at best, with absolutely no trace of the innovative nature or creative ambition Baker once so brilliantly displayed. But while the first CD consists of predominately new productions, the second CD is where the true gold and watershed moments of Baker's career are compiled. Starting off with the painfully brilliant remix of New Order's "Confusion," the disc moves at a breakneck pace through some of the most brilliant moments of hip-hop and electro. His productions of "Looking for the Perfect Beat" and several others sound just as fresh now as when they were debuted on the dancefloors around the world. Capping out the second disc with the anthem "Planet Rock" leaves you with a feeling of elation that one man could produce this many hits and so many more, but then also a feeling of bewilderment -- as to what exactly happened from then until now. Enjoy the second disc, but leave the first one in the case.

Track Listing - Disc 1

Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1 Arthur Baker feat: Arthur Baker/The Utah Saints / Utah Saints 04:53 Amazon
2 Arthur Baker feat: Top Cat / Arthur Baker Vs DJ Face / DJ Face 05:39 Amazon
3 Arthur Baker feat: Lee Coombs / Arthur Baker Vs Lee Coombs & The Drumatic Twins / The Drumattic Twins 05:17 Amazon
4 Arthur Baker feat: Criminal Element Orchestra Vs Lee Coombs / Lee Coombs / Criminal Element Orchestra 04:04 Amazon
5 Arthur Baker feat: DJ Plus One 04:33 Amazon
6 Arthur Baker feat: Donnie Calvin / Meat Katie / Arthur Baker & Meat Katie Vs Rockers Revenge / Rockers Revenge 05:00 Amazon
7 Arthur Baker feat: Arthur Baker Vs The Drumatic Twins / The Drumattic Twins 04:19 Amazon
8 Arthur Baker feat: Arthur Baker Vs 2020 Vision 03:46 Amazon
9 Arthur Baker feat: The Crazies / Felix da Housecat 06:42 Amazon
10 Arthur Baker feat: Arthur Baker Vs Rennie Pilgrem / Rennie Pilgrem 04:23 Amazon
11 Arthur Baker feat: AB / AC/DC / The Dave Clark Five 06:20 Amazon
12 Arthur Baker feat: Tina B. / Arthur Baker Vs Tina B 04:10 Amazon
13 Arthur Baker feat: Arthur Baker Vs Timo Maas / Timo Maas 04:18 Amazon
14 Arthur Baker feat: DJ DeeKline 04:21 Amazon
15 Arthur Baker 04:33 Amazon
16 Arthur Baker feat: Afrika Bambaataa 05:26 Amazon
blue highlight denotes track pick