Ushering in the first wave of breaks mixtapes, the groundbreaking first volume of Kon & Amir’s On Track debuted in 1997 and changed the mixtape game. Featuring elusive soul, jazz and funk grooves that formed the basis of classic and contemporary hip-hop cuts, the Boston/New York-based duo proved they were more than a step ahead of the competition when it came to unearthing dusty, arcane record heat. Released on cassette years before sample-packed mixtapes became a trend, this was the foundation of the pair’s long and storied career. The On Track series continued for another five celebrated volumes, concluding with Volume 6 in 2006.
Today the legacy continues with their admirable Off Track series for BBE, already three volumes deep. Their catalogue also boasts a highly regarded compilation The Cleaning (2004), and a lauded, breaks-heavy instalment Kings of Diggin’ (2006) with DJ Muro from Japan; not to mention tours spanning the US, Europe and Far East taking in appearances at clubs, festivals and weekenders.
Pre-internet, manual, old fashioned digging was elementary to discovering music, and Kon & Amir were at the top of the food chain. What was the seventies soul track Ghostface snatched? Which obscure loop did Alchemist hook up for his most recent Mobb Deep single? Where did Premier get the strings for his latest underground hit? Whatever it was, these guys found the OG vinyl – no bootlegs or compilations here – and unleashed it to the collective oh shit! of the listening world.
This special Fat Beats release on USB contains all six volumes of On Track, the never-heard-before on CD ‘missing’ half of Volume 4, and their seldom-heard excursion into uncommon European grooves, Pop In Trans Europe Express (2003). In total there’s a hefty 4GB of music to wade through. With the original mixtapes and CDs now long deleted, this is the only official way to get the complete set. Get On Track!