BreakBeat Lou is a pioneer in the breaks and beats game. His name is synonymous with the Ultimate Breaks and Beats (UBB) series of vinyl. UBB hit the streets from 1986 – 1991 on Street Beat Records.
There has been a paradigm shift in hiphop music and hiphop production. It seems that music production tools are the consumer product more so than the music itself. Back in the day, DJs wouldn’t typically share their samples or vinyl gems. Today, the market dictates that your favorite producer will sell his entire stash as a sample library if the price is right. Signs are all over the place.
There are so many sound designers and sample packs on the market today. So, it may be tough to realize that back in the day you had to get your own fingers dusty to find the gems. You had to go diggin’ in the crates for yourself. If you were lucky, your Mom or Dad was a connoisseur of fine vinyl and if you were really lucky you might inherit that stash of vinyl one day. Still, if you were blessed, you may have gems in that stash. Even then, you had to be a rather astute music head to know every record’s sweet spot.
Louis “BreakBeat Lou” Flores and Street Beat Records had the remedy for producers. They just so happened to rev up smack dab in the center of the golden age of hiphop. Word is that the breaks cultivated by Lou on these 25 UBB compilations found their way into many classic hiphop hits shortly after each UBB release. Some might even say that UBB inspired the likes of the world famous “All the Breaks” sample kit from years ago which features 300 of the most well known beat breaks.
A while back, BBoyTechReport had the pleasure of catching up with BreakBeat Lou for a brief interview.
image courtesy of UBB by artist #PaulSubTwoTrrewim
Let’s get into it.
How’d you get the name BreakBeat Lou?
I produced an album back in ’94 with my dude Kool Dee ( now known as the Black Dot). He gave me the name while we was recording the album.
Who were your influences?
DJs: Charlie Chase, GrandMaster Caz, Larry Levan, The Latin Rascals.
Diggin: Afrika Bambaataa, Lenny Roberts
Prodcution. Paul C. Ultra Magnetics.
Are you a purist with your DJ set up as far as using or not using digital methods (i.e. serato and mp3s etc.) vs. turntables and wax?
This is all I will say… If you call yourself a DJ at one time or another, get wax of your own and DJ with it!
As a Break Beat connoisseur, you must have a massive record collection. How many records to you have?
I know everyone has their own method for organizing their collections. How do you go about organizing your collection of vinyl?
I organize my records by configuration and genre.
Let’s discuss the Ultimate Breaks and Beats (UBB) When did this series begin and how did it all come about?
UBB was birth in 1986 and it was the legal entity form of bootlegs Octopus breaks compilation.
I understand there were volumes and volumes of UBB. Are there more volumes to come? Are the older volumes still in circulation?
As of now UBB as we know it is only 24 volumes only!!!!! I’m working on other projects…
Was it UBB that inspired the “All The Breaks” drum breaks collection being sold /downloaded online now a days?
You Tell me!!!!! lol!!!
Why did UBB come to an end?
The plan was always to stop at 25, but it was confirmed when a very close friend to Lenny and I passed away ( Chep Nunez, which the album was Dedicated ) i.e. the gray cover.
I understand that you sit on the advisory board of Cornell’s Hip Hop Collection. Tell us more about Cornell’s Hip Hop Collection and why you think its important that Cornell U is preserving hip-hop artifacts and seeking guidance on doing so from legends like yourself.
The main reason I roll with CU is because they are the only ones that were willing to preserve hip-hop by having the proper foundation.
If you were appointed DJ and Hip-hop Ambassador to the US Department of Education what would be your first order of business?
I would make sure that the true essence of the culture was taught and the criteria of the craft of DJing is conveyed.
There seems to be some debate about what years the Golden Era took place. Maybe you can shed some light on the debate. During what time frame did the golden era take place?
In my eyes the best was not an era, but instead the materials that were release throughout the lifespan of Hip-Hop. From The Message to Straight out of Compton to Fight the Power to 99 Problems.
If you had to name one, who would you say is your favorite DJ?
That is too difficult to say!!!! In my eyes there has never been one DJ that can claim that much dominance.
If you had to name one, who would you say is your favorite Rap Group?
If you had to name one, which would you say is your favorite BreakBeat?
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Thanks so much for giving a bit of inspiration and insight BreakBeat Lou!
The complete list of UBB vinyl can be found here.
Keep up with BreakBeat Lou