Numero Group: By The Numbers

Bootlegging the Bootleggers

We’ve been bootlegged before, certainly. Madlib (take a few bows), Mayer Hawthorne, BBE, RJD2, that lame-ass “Low Riders” series… but this really takes the cake.

Over the course of seven years and more than 70 releases, one extremely creative fan began to build a mega-mix of his favorite loops, breaks, and vocal snippets, chopping them all up and piecing together an incredible musical narrative—a 40-minute, saw blade-labeled 12″ boot that was pressed and seeded to a handful of DJs and producers. Naturally, word got back.

With our cease and desist letter ready to be dropped in the mail, an interesting thing happened: We kinda got hooked on the flawlessly arranged pastiche. Taking cue from the Bob Dylan Bootleg series, we turned the tables on the pirate. Seizing the plates from the pressing plant, we repurposed this underground release (preserving the contraband “Numbero” label) as the ultimate showcase for our seven years in business.

It took some time and effort, but we were finally able to track down the creator of the boot, and were delighted to discover that it was the apocryphal label and production team Shoes, who have previously re-worked Moodyman, Al Green, Miles Davis, and dozens more.

About the hideous/awful/wonderful cover art:

If you’ll recall, from the mid 80s through the early 90s, the groundbreaking “record label” Street Beat brought the world what would someday become the legendary Ultimate Breaks and Beats 25-volume collection, paving the way for modern DJs and hip-hop artists. Imitation being the most sincere form of flattery, we’re issuing Eccentric Breaks & Beats in June as an homage to the breaks and beats collections of yore.

Here’s a sample to hold you over for a few months.