November 23, 2012


A couple of months back, I was digging around in a forum when I came upon a request list from one of the admins. Most of the requests were for records that are difficult to come by, but one of them stood out to me as its a virtually unknown gem from 1992 that I didnt think many people knew about. Since seeing that request list, my fellow blogger Moyinka included exactly the same 12” on his wish list, so given the current demand, I decided to rip it and upload it so that you can all appreciate it too.

However, since I made that decision, I've had unplanned encounters with two of the main contributors to this collaborative project, so I'm able to shed some light on the people behind this EP and make links back to artists that you probably already know about.

This 12 is most commonly listed under the name Akapel. But youll have to bear with me on this one, because there's more to Akapel than first meets the eye and as I've already said, there are several other contributors to this 12. First off, the single is split into two sides, one is titled Akapel, the other is credited as DJ Use. Let me start with the DJ Use side first.

There are 4 tracks on the DJ Use side, and 3 of them are credited as being produced by Dominic Owen and Paul S. However this isnt quite right, as Paul S only produced two tracks. I recently spoke with Paul S about this 12 and he confirmed that he was only involved with tracks 2 and 4. For those who dont know, I should mention that Paul S is better known as being one half of the dope production duo, the P Brothers along with DJ Ivory.  For P Brothers fans, this is probably the earliest example of work from either of them.  
The other producer at work here is Dominic Owen (formerly known as DJ Quick), who like Paul S, is a well known and respected producer hailing from Nottingham (UK), but is now doing much greater things across the pond (more on that later). So the DJ Use side is an all Nottingham affair, and DJ Use is another aka for Dominic Owen aka DJ Quick.

The flip side is the main event and holds the single that will catch your attention. The main track is called Pick It Up and as you may have guessed from its title, it uses a familiar Black Sheep sample to very good effect.  
The emcee on this track is Akapel, but this is the only single he released under this name.  Previously he was known as Fizal Eff (more on that later).  This cut is also produced by Dominic Owen
The 2nd track is Stick Your Big Dinky In, which is more of a chugger than the jazzy main track, but it allows Fizal Eff to show a different style and drop some knowledge.   Its produced by DJ Bizzness, but what's most interesting is that he also drops some lyrics.  I never knew this until Dominic Owen told me!  Another piece of trivia I recently found out about DJ Bizzness (first hand) is that he can still bust some decent b-boy moves.

DJ Quick & Fizal Eff in 1988
Photo provided by Dominic Owen

Some of you may remember Fizals name from his time as a b-boy with the London breaking crew the Zulu Rockers.  I'm sure I don't have to introduce DJ Bizzness, if you don't know who DJ Bizzness is then shame on you!  So Stick Your Big Dinky In is an all London affair.
But there is a greater connection between the two sides of this single. Dominic Owen and Fizal Eff had worked closely together previously.  In late 1988 they created Sing-A-Song records and released material together. You may remember that about 2 years ago I did a couple of articles on Sing-A-Song records, so if you want to know more then check them out as they include some of the history of the label, links to the artists music and a review from an early Hip Hop Connection magazine.

So thats most of the history behind the people who made this single. But what about the music? Well, the main track is a typical early 90s tune with an up tempo beat, and a jazzy hook coupled with that infectious Black Sheep sample I mentioned. Most tracks like this tend to sound quite dated nowadays and lack their original appeal, but for me, this one stands the test of time much better than most. I still love it as much today as I did 20 years ago and I would recommend you take a listen.  I'm sure you will see why this single is being sought after by collectors and those in the know.

The B side of the 12 is a collection of different breakbeats/instrumentals. The first actually reminds me more of early 90's dance music (a genre that Dominic has also ventured into) and may not appeal to many of you, but the other tracks are great breaks, and track 4 sounds like classic Ultramagnetic MC's pitched up a little.  Typical of what influenced Dominic in his early days and later became the P Brothers Heavy Bronx style. 
Speaking of the P Brothers, Paul S told me that this 12" sells for a pretty penny these days, and a quick internet search confirmed that.  It's currently on Amazon US for $113. 

I'd like to say a big thank you to both Paul S and Dominic Owen for taking the time to fill in some gaps in my knowledge around this release, I'm sure some of the hip hop historians among you will appreciate the extra detail.
I'd also recommend you check out Dominic Owen's website.  Like many producers, he's not a household name, but he's worked with some major artists and I think you'll raise an eyebrow when you see some of the artists he's produced for (Raekwon, Das EFX, Rakim, Chubb Rock, Special Ed, and a Notorious B.I.G. classic to name a few).  There are some great stories and history to be found over there, so check it out.

And one last thing, the record label is Phlange Records (another of Dominic's labels).  For the uninitiated, this is old, and now seldom used, English terminology for a woman.  Usually used in a derogatory way, e.g. "I need to get some phlange tonight".  It made me smile when I saw it again as I don't think I've heard anyone use that word since about the time this record came out.  

Download the full 12" (7 tracks) in 320kbps MP3 format (52mb).


  1. Another solid post mate and an interesting and informative read. I noticed the Paul S credit when I was looking at the discogs entry some time back which prompted me to add it to my wants list even though I'd never heard it. It's still on there but the asking prices need to some down a tad I feel but your rip will tide me over until then. And by the way, I had a slight grin on my face when I saw the record label too.

  2. Nice post, homes.

    I reckon I've might have a possibly earlier but unconfirmed example of Paul S' work. In a shoebox somewhere around my yard is a demotape from Paul S. from when he was in a short-lived duo called 'Rolling Thunder'. Paul Spence used to be better known as 'DJ Precise' and his emcee in the group was 'MC Rocsta' a on old casual friend of mine.
    (A bit of trivia here.... DJ Precise and MC Rocsta's names both appear on the gatefold to Blade's "The Lion Goes From Strength To Strength" LP as '691 Influential' subscribers. Check it out for ya selves.)

    Without digging out the tape and listening to it right this second, much of the details remain kinda sketchy. If memory serves me correct I'd peg it around 90-91. And the track that sticks in my mind most off of the tape was called "The Blood Don't Run". I can still remember a few bars from the track even now, haha.

    Every so often I swear to myself that I'm gonna dig this lost gem out, maybe one day.

    1. Hmmm, that demo tape could be an interesting listen. I've known Paul for many years, and remember his Precise moniker well. He's always had a good head for breakbeats and been a dedicated digger.

      Was Rocsta also a writer? Possibly AMP crew? His name rings bells but I can't place him. I remember most of Paul's old crew, and spent a lot of time with some of them, but Rocsta escapes my memory.

      I didn't know about the blade shout outs, that's crazy. I love that kind of trivia. It reminds me, I've got a cassette of Blade shout outs somewhere (maybe in a shoebox, lol) that I had for my old pirate radio show.

    2. Sounds like we've moved in similar circles, mate. Possibly even crossed path's, I manouvre under many covert guises these days. Too many old beef's keep me from revealing my actual identity I'm afraid, haha.

      Rocsta was better known as 'Wilf' and was known as wicked MC from the mid-80's onwards.
      He moved in the some of the same circles as a few AMP members.

    3. I just noticed the 'pirate radio' comment. Care to elaborate?