Rob Hall | Number Four - Where a Quarter Becomes a Third | MP3

Amidst a freeflow of 'free' audio, permissions fluctuating wildly, it's difficult to be sure who owns what and how increasingly intangible audio assets, stripped from packaging, might be mined for financial gain. Record labels - especially the larger conglomerates - struggle to meet the challenges of a diminishing, yet growing, market in tune with LastFM and YouTube where audio flows freely like water.

Increasingly it's the smaller, fleet of foot, fiercely independent labels - fingers firmly on the file-sharing pulse - that point the way to new modes of audio distribution. Well aware of the appeal of short runs, limited edition mixes, giving to receive.

In May, 2007 Skam's Rob Hall embarked on a series of 12 free, but limited availability monthly DJ Sets well worth tracking down; each mix sitting in a strictly limited time capsule before disappearing, to pave the way for the next.

'Number Four - Where a Quarter Becomes a Third (B Boy Correction)' (available throughout August, 2007, but doubtless accessible somewhere in the maze of electricity that constitutes the various file-sharing networks) thrusts together the languorous tones of Seefeel's 'Time to Find Me' (via AFX) with the unremitting rhymes of Raekwon featuring Ghostface Killah, GZA and Inspectah Deck. Polished gems, rough diamonds. Catholic. Eclectic.

Mid-mix LFO's 'Track 14' cascades all too briefly into Jack Dangers' 'Dirtiest Dub' of The Shamen's 'Hyperreal' before unfolding into Locust's rippling 'Xenophobe', expertly gravitating into Bola's 'Krak Jakomo', Skam's first release. Cohesive. Classic.

Despite a full track listing - supplied blind, a month in arrears - it's difficult to see where one track ends and another begins, Hall's dextrous mixes a sure sign that the lines which boundary different musics are unretrievably blurring. Traversing time rubbing together today, tomorrow, but most of all yesterday this is a series well worth the generous price of admission.



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