Branding take over, Alternative Art-of -facts?.

Diggers is the clothing apparel for all those who are passionate about vinyl founded by Pritt Kalsi a vinyl collector and film maker, who’s spent his life uncovering stories offering insightful look at peoples passion for vinyl and sampling.

Founded in 2013 Diggers was the re-brand and king of the beats clothing make over.  Times had changed and no longer was the generic fruit of the loom T-shirt the cut that people wanted to spend their money on.  The Chinese market as it is right now has given birth and enabled new young and enterprising designers to try make their mark with their creations and visions.  10 years ago Trying to get something manufactured in China was expensive and almost impossible for a new independently ran brand as minimum orders started off at the 10,000 unit mark.  thanks to sites like Alibaba it has allowed brandS like mine to have new life.

So back in 2013 I going was going through a difficult phase in my life, my marriage came to an end and in order to try save it, one of the things i did was give all my clothes to charity as one of things my ex moaned about was the way i dressed.  i was in that bubble.  It was here in this time i discovered and started to fully appreciate stores like TK MAX.  Just like digging for records i would dig for clothes.  I kept a strict code that I could not  spend more than £10 for a T-shirt £20 for a Shirt and the same about for Jeans.

Slowly i got addicted to the store, going in from every week to a point almost daily digging for garments.  I would take the shirts back and wonder how is it the materials were so different and affordable.  I guess this is when i realized that times had changed.  This is where my brand needs to be, using this modern type of t-shirt garments.  Armed with a bunch of shirts i sat with the guys from AM Screenprint  and we sourced the suppliers.

Looking to re-brand going by the name Diggers that fits the ethos, fully representing my passions and my work me and Chris Malbon my long time partner in design and childhood friend created the new logo and designs for our first line.

This moment in time i started to hang around my parents home, they stood by me like a rock throughout this divorce.  I started to take notice of my mother and her passion for textiles.  Growing up this was something i took for granted.  Her generation of Indian woman this is normal I’m ashamed that i did not pay closer attention to her craft from when i was younger.  I guess I’m older now and look at the world differently.  She loves and enjoys creating things, she had this new sewing machine which she was embroidering designs from a digital source.  I asked if i got my design can i try sewing my logo?.  We joined forces and together a lot of the items like the shirts i would bring back from TK Max were unbranded.  I started to brand them, so that when i went out i would be going out wearing fresh one off pieces that represented the culture i was so passionate about.  Reminding me of how in the early days of Hip Hop people would modify there outfits and footwear.

This kick started me re-branding boots picking out one of pieces and modifying them.  Those that follow my instagram would be totally up on them boots.

Although the brand represents lovers of vinyl irrespective of what genre of music, its roots comes from Hip hop and my passion and understanding of the culture.  i started out as a graffiti artist and b-boy in the 80s.  A big part of the culture was tagging and bombin, I had flash backs to the adrenaline rush i would have running round with my friends.  Those that know me that living alone here i have to keep active and my nature is that I can not stop creating.  This led me to start planting modified items i purchased back in the stores across the country.  For years nobody noticed what I was doing, for me it was for kicks and fun and held true to the idea of discovering a gem, just like my movie looking for the perfect beat.

I am creating art, and not for arts sake, these are pieces created by a person with a long deep history in this culture.  Blood sweat, tears and lot of soul went into these pieces.  Only last year i had people start to hit me up within the culture who followed my work that started to search out my pieces.  This is the reason i decided to shoot this piece, before some Biter takes my work and claims it there own.  Like my mothers creations or my fathers paintings, my work or even the artists I work with in the music, art should never be taken for granted or on face value.

Face Value has means nothing to me, if you are going to spend some money on Art look and take your time to find out about the artist and its brand.  Diggers is about finding that gem and turning it into something else. Done before by the kids of NYC back in the 70s and 80s in those early days of hip hop.  I appreciate if you took the time to read and view the video.

Support innovators and creators.

DJ Jazzy Jay – A Walk in the Park – Episode 1

From way back when, long before this thing was called Hip Hop back in the very early 70’s this thing called DJing took a turn that changed the way DJs play music forever.

It birthed the Turntablists, DJ’s who manipulated the soundscape and arrangements of the recorded piece changing the way we were meant to hear the music. It became something else. Dj’s all over New York went crazy looking for sounds to manipulate, it birthed the Breakbeat DJs. One of the greatest of all time is the man featured here Jazzy Jay.

From Bronx River Jazzy Jay like Charlie Chase, Grand Wizard Theodore and DXT was of a generation that went all out on this from not just buying and searching for records but becoming exceptional Skilled on the turntables. Their tapes and performances have influenced millions of people across the globe. Held in High regard I’ve seen it my self people still be asking him what was this track you played at this event or this track on this tape.

It’s these DJs that inspired the members of DITC to coin the term Diggin in the Crates. I’ve known Jazzy for many years now and we have shot many videos together, he never fails to surprise me. When you see me and Jazzy put something together you better believe it’s going to be special and honest.

Recently I got to tour along side Diamond D and Large Pro doing the 45s sets, these men them selves Diamond especially will tell you that we was all mentored by Jazzy. Diamond you can see where he is at when he cuts 45s. the way he cuts them. Its not easy at all, but h makes it look easy as he came from a time and place where that is all it was and the only way to do it, it was competitive as almost every block had DJs that were all working/ practicing hard to make a name, to be hailed as one of the best.

I was in NYC for 4 nights to work with Large Pro and Main Source documenting the 25 year Anniversary of Breaking Atoms. One of the greatest Records ever made across all genres of music. I took one day off to be with Jazzy to see him and his family. On the Friday joined by Large Pro and King of Chill we got into the spirit of creativity and few beers leading me onto persuade Jazzy to cut some 45s for me and let me shoot. This was not rehearsed or prepared, but you can see here what we captured, a man who cutting up 45s is a walk in the park.

 Jazzy Jay is available for shows. Info on the video.

Diamond D V’s Large Professor All 45 UK Shows

 

A great way to kick off your 2017 with this footage from Diamond D and Large Professor’s late 2016 UK tour.  Notably two of the greatest hip hop producers of all time they have embarked on journey reverting back to a time long before they started making music, a time where as children they were fully taken by this new and exciting culture called Hip Hop.

Where Djing was thing.  This new art form required two turntables and mixer.  A bunch of 45s and to these guys and many alike them they had to find 2 copies of each record.  They came in at a time where people where still discovering holly grail breaks.  Very Exciting times.

Not only did you have to scrimp save and find these records you had to perfect and master the skill of cutting them up on the turntables not an easy thing to do.  Competition was high so it only forced you to practice hard, if you didn’t have the skill on the turntables you made up for it with your selection.  This is how great DJs made their name and found recognition.

Both these men mastered all the elements above.  This later lead them into them becoming some of the greatest Hip Hop producers, Don’t ask me ask Kanye West who although i’m not a fan of him, even he when it comes to his piers will humble himself to name the two men featured here.

I was privileged to join the men on some of their tour.  Although I filmed much footage over 4.5 hour of them just cutting up I put this selection together not just to showcase them but as piece of document to preserve this element of the culture.

feel free to share.

15137468_10154783063253023_1615186109514323183_o

Summing up 2016 moving forward onto 2017 positively

2016 has been a pretty productive year for although I spent most of it rebuilding my home. I took a year out to work on me to build a better environment to go forward in 2017.  

Being in the position I am now I would really like to make a lasting mark on this culture and art as its always been at the core of what motivates me. Hip Hop as I have said many times before  ‘is and has been that path for the underdog and the underestimated.’

This first project I did in 2016 was the Moe Love LP, I made a agreement with Moe love in November 2015, that I out of respect to Moe  I had to carry out. As much as I helped him, Moe helped me take that leap in rebuilding my label. I released the Moe love ‘I ain’t dead yet’ instrumental LP. I played the part of executive producer organizing and selecting the tracks, also executing the artwork and photography with my partner in design Chris Malbon. Huge thank you to the Tha 4orce for mastering and mixing the project .  I would like to acknowledge and thank Marc Davis who did point me the right direction with Japanese and European Distribution.

dj-moe-love-digging-in-the-tapes-vol-1-i-aint-dead-yet

In December 2016 it was brought to my attention that Record Collector Magazine gave the lp a 5 star rating topping Eric Clapton and Dead or Alive among others from what really is a non hip hop genre magazine.

index

The next project was the RIP video for DJ Supreme, I had heard the track some time before and commented to Supreme that if I was to do a video for him it would be for that song. I had done a few skype calls with both Curoc and Soops which we spoke about the track and where we wanted to go with this. I had already my own ideas, I just had to present them to the guys. My aim  and main objective was create a visually impacting video that will have the same effect that Eric B and Rakim’s Know the Ledge video has on many of us hip hop fans some 20 years later.

No matter what is time it is, if your out the scene or what ever this has to be a go to video. One that when you want to feel energized or have your faith in hip hop restored, like the Know the Ledge video the RIP video will fill that space.

13502546_10154338859858023_3553345121692562996_o

I think I can firmly state that what I set out to do I achieved and that the fans feedback is testament to what both Curoc and Supreme can only confirm I told them what would happen. This was a combined effort visuals and direction me, the track Supreme ( he and Tomspta got the crews on set) Son of Noise’s Curoc for his performance and ofcourse the Double Goose jackets that made all the difference. I can not forget Andy Higgs who was on Camera 2 and has been a great team player throughout.

I must say my home was such a state at this time I edited this in room full of dust rubble and plaster. The follow up video I edited in my mothers living room as my home has in an unlivable state.

Whilst working on the second RIP video I left for India to discover my roots and completed that on my return.

13923262_10154469109468023_4895507443062042092_o

The next project was the Album cover art for the Legion, they had an idea in mind I just had to paint the image. This was the first time ive touched water colors since being at collage well over 23 years ago.  Fortunately I had heard some of the LP whilst in NYC the year before. For those that share the same or similar taste in Hip Hop as I do I can confirm that this album is going to be one of those timeless classics that we as collectors have been waiting and craving for.   If I have any type of reputation, well ill stake it on that album.  Honestly i’m excited about this one.

14231125_10154548167723023_1581877189446392871_o

I also got to edit a piece for Ray West and his upcoming project on Red Apples, for those that follow blog will know that my we are brother labels and that me and Ray called upon help each other out on projects. Ray asked me to work on a project for him, Ray West is an artist that has grown heaps and bounds over the last few years. He played me something, and showed me where he is going so we have an agreement that will be doing something together in the near future, as part of the looking for the perfect beat series.

Also a massive thanks to Juice Aleem and Footloose for getting me to on the panel at the last event held at the Hippodrome.  My first time here in the UK do something like that. Its really good to see that there some in City who are doing positive stuff not just in events but opening up spaces for dialog.

14435206_10154606491553023_7212239909339498805_o

Finally I was called upon by Diamond D to help him and Large Professor on part of their European Tour. This was based on friendship and long time respect for each others passion for music and this craft. This was a very important time for me as I and both Large and Diamond forged a concrete friendship. Freely we talked music played each other breaks, records that most of the time we keep secret. I sat as Diamond wrote songs and run lyrics over with me. I got to know a little bit more about the guys I felt privileged as for those that really know me that these two men were my idols when their first albums dropped. Living in Birmingham is great distance from mecca NYC. So in those early years I had no idea that one day I would be working with these two very gifted men. Through hard work and passion both these men acknowledged me. We didn’t have conversations about promos or test pressing but we discussed ideas and stalkers.

15137429_10154782929233023_993184035412667896_o

You will see me work with both these men in the future. They gave me a reason to continue and work just as many of the people that stopped me on this tour who told me that they follow my writings and work. For many years I really never get to go to jams to let my hair down and enjoy as most of the time i’m working or my camera is with me, but 2017 im determined to take some breaks and go to them jams and make my self more available to discuss with people this culture that means so much too us all. I really appreciate the love shown at the London show. 

2017 is a very important year, a year worth living for. So far its been a positive start with someone finally coming forward finding one of my diggers garments which I have been planting in TK Max across the midlands. More than 2 years I have been doing this so it was a great feeling that someone acted on my post finding my art crime, of which store and where the item was.

15844782_10154932167868023_5673675487701098633_o.jpeg

Through working with Diamond and large I learn’t about digital printing to tees so expect watch this space for great quality limited edition designs by my self and Chris Malbon.

15129035_10154782928523023_1619489354961906260_o

I will release my film and string of lps and books to go with the release of my movie. Already in the pipeline TR Love, Break Beat Lou, Ray West, Johnny Juice, Fred Beanz, Minessota, Casanova Rud among others. So watch this space. Currently working on a project for Common and Ultras.

Look out for tha 4orce project all being released this year. Every month a single dropped by him featuring some of the best MC’s currently holding court in the UK.

To all those that supported me and artists mentioned a massive thank you.

R.I.P Remix Directed by Pritt Kalsi

Its no surprise that Supreme followed the R.I.P video with a remix. He’s been putting a lot of work into his label and has found a market for his product. Supreme for those that don’t know was part of the legendary UK Hip Hop outfit called Hijack.

DJ Supreme his full title was responsible for the sound and along side his dj partner DJ Undercover inspired the new wave of scratch DJs like Qbert that came about in the 90s. Like myself he is a creative that strives to deliver the best he can by the means that he has at his disposal.

If he and I are not inventing something we are reinventing something. This is where I think our respect for each other comes from. We still have a passion and desire to do things and feel still that we have something to contribute to this music and culture.

He approached me about doing the remix video for which was a no brainer. Along side Curoc we had a few conversations over skype to formulate some ideas of what we were going to do. The plan was simple we just had to execute it, which was easier said than done.

I must thank though some of the people who made this happen behind the scenes, Tompsta who held things together on the shoot. Andy Higgs for his support and camera work. Killaman Twice who did a great shoot of Mystro but also kindly let us use his home to shoot the scratch scenes. Cutmaster Swift and MC Mello who made it to the shoot who both make cameos.

KING OF THE BEATS RECORDS RETURNS WITH BRAND NEW VINYL RELEASE FROM DJ MOE LOVE – ORDER NOW

Available to pre-order now, shipping date from July 1st. Limited edition 300 only colored vinyl from DJ Moe Love from the Legendary group THE ULTRAMAGNETIC M.C’S. One of the most significant groups that played a massive part in sampling innovation and creativity. A group that helped forge the golden era sound.

Moe Love presents the first album from the series of lps from the film Looking for the Perfect beat, a collection of beats that came from his vault, this album spanning a period from 93 to 2015. Mastered from tape this album is a must for your collection and a must for any of you DJs that cut up doubles for M.C’s.

For those that know the history of the group, they was one of the first bronx crews to get their hands on a SP 12, Ced G mastered it and along side Paul C and the group consisting of Kool Keith, TR Love and Moe created and put together the classic ULTRA LP CRITICAL BEATDOWN. This was a group that were Innovators and a inspiration for many of the great producers that came after. Followers of the blog will know that since 2013 i have been working on my film Looking for the Perfect Beat, as it gets closer to completion i decided to relaunch my label with a bang. After having to shut down all operations whilst getting divorced and being left broke again.

It is through a passion and dedication from the team, my self 4orce and the artists who took part in the film that this is coming together. This is your chance to own a fantastic LP from one of the greatest yet most underrated producers of this Genre. I would like to thank those that were part of this project and know journey its been to becoming a real product. Moe Love, Marc Davis, TR Love, Beanz and Tha 4orce not forgetting Chris Malbon.
Order your copy here : MOE LOVE ALBUM

DJ Supreme Ft Curoc ‘RIP’ Video Directed by Pritt Kalsi.

Some years ago I worked on a project with one of my idols DJ Supreme from the group HIJACK. If I remember rightly it may have been DJ Woody that put me onto him. I was working on my film, ‘THE MEN & THEIR MUSIC’. This was in the early 2000’s.

Living in Zurich now Supreme sent me some footage over for my project. He later saw the film I was working on alongside the trailer that I had made public at the time. Some years later he asked me to work on a film with him depicting his experience / life and musical journey. For those that may not be familiar with DJ Supreme’s legacy go ask any member of the Skratch Piklz about his influence.

Soops as he known played a massive role in the development of DJing and scratching styles. He and DJ Undercover turned scratching into a language. Most of us got to hear it via the records that came out by them via the group HIJACK. A group that certainly spearheaded alongside the likes of Blade and gunshot the sound Europeans coined Britcore. A term that I really hate.

Why well in those days buying records there was no UK section or USA section. In specialist shops there was the import section, but in those days you would find a hijack record next to Public Enemy record and so forth. The record was measured by weather it was good or bad, and Hijack for me was in the good end of the spectrum of Hip Hop music.

The film was really to mark the departure of supreme from the music scene so that he could go forth and work on new challenges. Instead it sparked a new interest in him and telling the stories of some of contributors to this culture.

One of things I have spoken about many times with the artist I have worked closely with over the years is this thing called ‘Artist’. I have always worked with or been fortunate to be around some people who fall under the title of ‘True Artist’. For me this is not about doing something because it’s cool or because it’s the in thing its where individuals or parties share this common will and calling to create. No matter how old you get or by the media how unpopular you may be today these artists will always have a uncontrollable urge and desire to create.

I think this was the challenges that supreme ended up facing once again. This lead to him working on the recent 25 years Anniversary project putting out the HIJACK LP. Although I was not part of that I watched closely. Me and Soops was working on a project together and in the middle of that I got caught up into a terrible personal situation that I had to leave and deal with. Supreme in that time also faced some personal issues, he was being called and drawn back into making music.   A year ago he played me some of the material. I heard the song with Curoc from the group Son of Noise another group that came in the height of British hip hop. I instantly said that if I would a video it would be for that song.

One year later. Supreme took me out with fader and gave me a call and we discussed about the possibilities of making this video. Right now I’m caught up in rebuilding my home. Living in a building site but still this song is something I wanted to do.

We fixed a day and met up in London to shoot. I would say 2 weeks of planning went into this. Tomsta and Curoc in London picking out some locations. There was some picture I had seen of Supreme and Curoc in Europe wearing the classic double goose a jacket that I have talked about before. A jacket that represents the ultimate golden era image of hip hop. It is a jacket associated with real street credentials. This is jacket that sadly many lost their lives over. So knowing its history I wanted to use this jacket to make a statement. With the right people wearing it, I think viewers will feel the power of these two heavyweights in Hip Hop music and that we could create an iconic image that has been missing for many years in this scene.

My vision was to create a wakeup call for a scene that just felt dry to me, maybe because its my age. I grew up captivated by Hip hop culture; it was always exciting to me, I’m pretty sure for those that also came up in it the same time know what I’m talking about. Those times were times of innovations in sounds, sampling, mixing and scratching. Radio and the press was in your face. The social climate of the time played a huge factor. In the early 80s to have £15 to buy a pair of Nike Bongos was something very special you had to wait a long time to get them. Now people have no hesitation in spending stupid money on Nikes.

It was a time of real crews, posse’s and firms. Hijack always had this image that like Ultras gave you the impression that they were ‘top boys’, not to be messed with. This is what I aimed for in this video. For me the success of this video is owed to the song first, music by Supreme, scratches by Supreme, Renegade and Mada all who were part of that golden age and repped that south London sound, Curoc’s performance played a huge part of this video success, although he was slightly unaware of what was capturing. He delivered the best performance in my opinion for the last 15 years captured on any hip hop video. I have said I challenge anyone to post a video equal to that capturing that gut feeling and iconic imagery of that golden age period and make it now without it looking like it’s a retro video. Everything in this video is right for me. The combination of myself, Supreme, Curoc the right song and additional help and support from Andy Higgs and Tomsta. I cannot forget the cameo’s. Featuring members from Son Of Noise, HQ, Hardnoise, Katch 22 and Standing Ovation this video pays tribute and salutes those that were part of that fantastic sound.

One of the details Im happy we executed was the contrast between the 2 main characters Supreme and Curoc and those stood behind them on the Bridge shot. It’s the little details one should pay attention too. Although very still everyone in the shot apart from Curocs son is a made man. Shaka Shazaam practically caught my eye. When you think back to the 80s and early period of the 90s fashion played a massive part in hip hop culture. This didn’t mean spending lots of money on outfits but creating a look that identified your character or what you was into. The UK in those days had its moment and lead in the way of urban hip hop style. Shaka proved that here in the UK and our 40s that we can still create have very British urban style and have integrity. The contrast between him and the main performers donning the double gooses only helped amplified what I believe will become noted as an iconic performance by Curoc.

It’s a real shame that we do not have the machine or thing industry we once had in this country. The printed press or the magazines like HHC too support projects like this, sadly i feel that’s significant moments likes this will pass unacknowledged by the media. It was a great pleasure directing and editing this video. It was a greater pleasure that it’s been so well received and has lit a fire in so many. I can say for sure this is could be the first page in a new chapter in British Hip Hop.

My part in this project is dedicated to my good friend never forgotten Mark B RiP