Various Artists

Gimme a Break: '70s Breakbeats & Future Samples

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There have been many compilations based on tracks sampled by hip-hop producers -- such as BGP's Super Breaks series and Virgin's Sampled series -- and this one, released through Harmless' Backbeats division, is one of the cheaper and more enjoyable sets. It features not just tracks that have been sampled, but also tracks that remain ripe for use. The selections span the entirety of the '70s, from Parliament's "Come in Out of the Rain" to Vaughn Mason & Crew's "Bounce, Rock, Skate, Roll," and they roam freely from style to style, from smooth soul to funk. One doesn't have to be remotely interested in hip-hop history to find great value here. The relatively obscure material, like Syl Johnson's "Different Strokes," is just as powerful as the hits.

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