Opening Bambaataa's vinyl archive
NEW YORK (July 3, 2013) – Gavin Brown’s enterprise and Johan Kugelberg/Boo-Hooray Gallery, together with Afrika Bambaataa, the Universal Zulu Nation and Cornell University Library announce the public archiving of one of the most important record collections in the history of hip-hop: the Afrika Bambaataa Master of Records vinyl archive.
From July 11 through Aug. 10, Kugelberg and his team will be organizing, cataloguing and documenting Afrika Bambaataa’s peerless vinyl collection at Gavin Brown’s enterprise, Monday through Friday between noon and 5 p.m.
Visitors are encouraged to stop by, hear some great music and see how the cultural artifacts of this important strand of American history are preserved.
Open archiving, like an archeological dig or a group of students viewing biological research in a museum, is an important and rarely seen part of the process of documenting history. Before the Afrika Bambaataa archive moves to its permanent home at Cornell University’s Hip Hop Collection in fall 2013, Johan Kugelberg and Gavin Brown’s enterprise offer visitors a unique opportunity to experience what is arguably the most important gathering of vinyl in the history of hip-hop while it is sorted, organized, archived (and DJ'd) in full view of the public.
Please join the Afrika Bambaataa vinyl archive mailing list at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow Gavin Brown's enterprise on Facebook and Twitter for announcements of visiting DJs playing selections from the archive during the sort.
Originally from the South Bronx, Afrika Bambaataa is among the most influential American DJs. He is considered the godfather of hip-hop culture and was instrumental in the rise of electro funk and break-beat deejaying beginning in the 1980s.
His involvement with Bronx street gang the Black Spades in their transformation into community activists is legendary, as is his founding of the internationally known hip-hop organization Universal Zulu Nation. Bambaataa is responsible for spreading and popularizing hip-hop’s unmistakable sounds and beats alongside its culture throughout the world.
Due to his early use and mixing of drum machines and computer sounds, Bambaataa created signature beats (such as his first widely popular single “Planet Rock” of 1982), which helped fuel the development of other musical genres such as Freestyle or Latin Freestyle, Miami Bass, Electronica, House, Hip House and early Techno. He has consistently made records nationally and internationally, spanning the 1980s into the 2000s.
In 2012, Afrika Bambaataa was appointed to a three-year term as a visiting scholar at Cornell University, where his vinyl collection will reside as part of the Cornell University Library Hip Hop Collection, the largest collection on hip-hop culture in the world.