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It was half a decade past when the haggard, slouching frame of Myrtle Avenue's finest (and only) dealer of fine antiques and vintage pornography approached the shop, proclaiming Bed-Stuy's latest exercise in experimental entrepreneurship would not make it to its fifth year. The Green Goblin, as he was not so affectionately known in the neighborhood, came from the old school, a time when his street's namesake was more commonly referred to as "Murder Avenue," when rich kids shit their pants at the thought of traveling to Brooklyn and the word "gentrification" had not yet become one of the first 10 words to be uttered from lips of every toddler East of Manhattan. What he could not see, what he did not take fully into account, however, was just how far the boys over at 580 were willing to go to see their labor of love through. Sitting on the front steps with no money for construction, sharing a $5 sandwich and engaging in endless and unabashed people watching, the original Dope Jams nucleus must have seemed destined for valiant failure. After all the trials and tribulations, they may still be. But despite the incessant bullshit that comes with posing as cultural ambassadors and dealing with self-identifying dance music professionals, the journey has been worthwhile. Dope Jams remains a fixture of NYC dance music, one of the last remaining 12" record specialty shops and a permanent fixture in the neighborhood. In spite of this, they've managed to have some fun. In every loss, there really is a win.

Obviously, the surroundings have changed drastically since construction began in 2005. Bed-Stuy/Ft. Green, now known universally and nefariously as "Clinton Hill," has gone from borderline workers' ghetto to a respectable colony of Manhattan's petit-bourgeoisie to settle down and raise a family or spend $100 at the new "bistro" every night, drinking their miseries away. It's telling that with all this influx of money and traffic, Dope Jams has only become more of an alien where it once was at home with the freaks, weirdos, crazies and crack heads of just 5 years past. And yet, despite Brooklyn's existential deterioration, the shop still manages to attract the solitary NY rejectee, incapable of inserting themselves into the rackets of self-promotion that have become the norm in the new New York---culminating in the now monthly "LIFE" parties, debauched and intoxicated affairs hosted in a transformed store space full with club-calibre sound-system.

“Dope Jams - Harness The Magic : 5 Year Anniversary” is the second annual anniversary mix tape showcase, offering a glimpse into the backstreets traversed and chronicled at Brooklyn's headquarters of underground dance music over the past 5 years. Vintage tape vocal house, floating synth-laced rave, demolishing Howitzer techno, dream-spawned electronic psychedelia---all driving head on into one another with the unwavering fanaticism of a suicide bomber. Miniature theses sown throughout the mix open a window to the off mindset at the shop---perpetuated by years of absurdity and repetition---a glimmer of the very real unreality of the twilight zone that is Dope Jams. Released in conjunction with the 5 Year Anniversary party, October 15, 2011, Dope Jams is a big lugie in the face of the Green Goblin and all the other haters that have been rooting from day one for Dope Jams to fall by the waste-side. Unfortunately for them, and fortunately for the strange march of social rejects, abject lunatics and ball-busting, silver-tongued smart-asses, the shop is here to stay---propagating its beautiful and deranged aural agenda for as long as people are willing to stop thinking and start listening.

“I don’t understand that shit, how you can be off-key and it works!” - Mike Ononaiye


1. Audio Clip #1  
2. Audio Clip #2
3. Audio Clip #3

Artist Title  
Label Cat.#  
DOPE JAMS DJ.101511  
Year Format  
2011 CD  
Additional Info.    

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