On this day in music history: July 23, 1991 – “Breaking Atoms”, the debut album by Main Source is released. Produced by Main Source, it is recorded at Homeboy Studios, Power Play Studios and Libra Digital in New York City from Early 1990 – Mid 1991. The New York City based rap group formed in 1989 consists of Queens, NY born producer and rapper Large Professor (William Paul Mitchell) and Canadian born DJ’s, brothers Sir Scratch (Shawn McKenzie) and K-Cut (Kevin McKenzie). After releasing the singles “Think” and “Watch Roger Do His Thing” for Actual Records in 1989 and 1990, the group are signed by New York based independent label Wild Pitch Records (who are soon acquired by EMI Records), and begin work on their full length debut. Sampling from a wide musical palette that includes jazz, R&B and reggae music, producer Large Professor builds complex and sonically dense tracks utilizing an Emu SP-1200 sampler/drum machine. Applying the knowledge he has acquired from mentor Paul C. (Paul McKasty), LP brilliantly stretches the limitations of the machines brief sampling capability. The album also introduces future rap music stars Nas and Akinyele (on “Live At The Barbeque”). An instant classic upon its release, it is regarded as one of the definitive and most influential albums of hip hops golden age during the early to mid 90’s. It spins off four singles including “Looking At The Front Door” (#1 Rap), “Just Hangin’ Out/Live At The Barbeque” (#2 Rap), and “Peace Is Not The Word To Play”. However, internal squabbles within Main Source over finances and production credit (with Large Professor having done the lion’s share of the work, but having to share songwriting and production credit three ways), lead to him leaving for a solo career, and continuing to produce for other artists. Sir Scratch and K-Cut continue as Main Source, recruiting MC Mikey D. They release their second album “F*** What You Think” in 1994, which flops upon its release, leading to the demise of the group. In and out of print since its original release, the album is remastered and reissued as a double LP, pressed on blue translucent vinyl in 2017. “Atoms” is also issued in a limited edition pressing by the subscription service Vinyl Me, Please also in 2017. The LP is pressed on clear and orange vinyl, including a booklet and a bonus 7" of the remix version of “Peace Is Not The Word To Play”, pressed on purple vinyl. “Breaking Atoms” peaks at number forty on the Billboard R&B album chart.
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