Liner Note Author: Jeff Weiss .
Photographer: Jamie Jupitor.
Neither the street nor space were the place for Greg Broussard, DJ, producer, rapper, heavy-breathing obscene phone caller. As Egyptian Lover, the South Central Los Angeles native started his ascent by rocking parties organized by Uncle Jamm's Army, turning heads with his scratching ability, which he learned from "The Adventures of Grandmaster Flash on the Wheels of Steel." Once Afrika Islam hipped him to the Roland TR-808 drum machine, Broussard went off to make tracks for the documentary Breaking & Entering, then co-produced and fronted "Dial-a-Freak" as part of Uncle Jamm's Army. He truly made a name for himself in 1984 with the electro classic "Egypt, Egypt," incorporating elementary cultural references to the ancient land with the rhythmic achievements of Düsseldorf (Kraftwerk) and the Bronx (Afrika Bambaataa) as major sources of inspiration. A more accurate title for this anthology might be 1983-1987, as none of the selections are drawn from the 1988 album Filthy. Then again, it throws in a cover of Sexual Harassment's "I Need a Freak" (the original often mistaken as Broussard's work, it pre-dated his rise), originally issued in 1994 and newly enhanced with a Dâm-Funk synthesizer overdub. The set's 22 slots allow room for the choice cuts from albums On the Nile and One Track Mind, as well as all the 12" highlights, including "Computer Power" (credited to Jamie Jupitor), duly freaky and booming, and the harder-edged "Freak-a-Holic," pre-new jack swing funk inspired by Jesse Johnson. Additionally, there are some previously unreleased tracks that don't dilute the peak material. The Stones Throw label's presentation of this, whether on quadruple vinyl (plus download code) or double-compact disc, is fit for a pharaoh. It's sharply designed by Jeff Jank and further illustrated by liner notes from Jeff Weiss and amusing track-by-track commentary from Broussard. The album cuts are newly mixed by Broussard and Stones Throw's Peanut Butter Wolf, the latter of whom also re-edited a pair of the 12" cuts. For Wolf, this is something of a payback. Back in the early '90s, he sampled the included "What Is a DJ If He Can't Scratch" for one of his tracks with MC Charizma. ~ Andy Kellman