Sometimes, perseverance pays off. The guys over at DWG have already built themselves an admirable rep for sourcing lost and unreleased classics and re-releasing them in limited pressings. They kicked off with a much sought-after issue of Phill Most Chill bangers, and graduated to a Godfather Don E.P. which also sold like cakes of the finger-scolding variety. Throw in a poster of hard-to-obtain rap singles, and you’ve got a mini cottage industry (the core DWG fam numbers 4 at present). Their newest vinyl release, which dropped in a run of 175 last week, might just be the best yet. And that’s where the perseverance comes in. Many people are familiar with Unique’s ‘Axe Maniac / Pure Dynamite’ 12″ which dropped on New Day in 1989. It’s become valuable, which must gall our boy Mikey Mike who used to give them away free back in the day as he had a job lot. The label gives a mouthwatering hint as to a forthcoming LP called ‘Die Hard’, which set these inveterate diggers on the path for a promo, a cassette, a white label, anything.
Years later, they finally tracked down a test pressing. Rather than just rip the tracks, DWG make a point of ensuring the artists are fully involved in these releases. This often means they’re getting paid properly for music that would otherwise be unheard and unloved. It also means signed and sometimes hand-illustrated copies for those who get in early (we didn’t get in early enough this time, damn). The four tracks taken from the unreleased ‘Die Hard’ (label politics, don’t you know) hint at a lost gem. Yes, many of the breaks might be over-familiar from years of use, but this is ’89 vintage, so cast your mind back to how fresh they’d have sounded then. Additionally, they afford an insight into how dope an MC he was, riding fast and slow tracks with real confidence. The package is beautifully simple – good pressing, four killers, stickered sleeve, press sheet. You need to get yourself one now. For us, ‘War Rap’ is the standout. We’re even awarding it Fat Lace instant classic status. Have a little listen to it, then go back to ’89 to sample the seeds of a career that’s taken nearly two decades to come to fruition. And it doesn’t stop there, DWG have more plans in the pipeline, whilst forum members like DJ Cro (check out his blog and downloadable super dope selection of tunes here) are in on the act too, with the forthcoming vinyl pressing of Kurious demo tracks. Truly, we live in a golden age.
Unique – War Rap (from the Die Hard E.P.)
Unique – Pure Dynamite
Unique – Axe Maniac