Various Artists

Mastercuts: Breaks [2001]

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It's tough not to be touched by the loving respect so many subsequent samplers took to these famously overused breakbeats. From hip-hop to dance to -- at least in this debut collection -- more hip-hop, what used to be the rhythmic equivalent of a pinch of jalapeƱo in a bowl of chili has transformed other burgeoning genres with the help of foundations others never would have trusted before. Keeping the focus on the familiar, there's Lyn Collins' magnificently evil pre-disco clomp (Public Enemy, De La Soul, Rob Base & DJ E-Z Rock), the precise funk of Bobby Byrd (Eric B and Rakim, the Stone Roses), and, of course -- what just might be the most sampled breakbeat in history -- James Brown's "Funky Drummer." More than merely an encyclopedic trawl, this is a dirty bash in its own right. Listen at the risk of enjoying a harmless education.

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