MCA Yauch - Jay Burzootie Burnett
collaboration known as the Drum
Machine 12 (DJ004) was released exclusively
on vinyl in 1985. Over the years it has remained one of
the rarest and most sought after Def Jam releases. Although
it was never commercially released on compact disc, budget
minded fans of the Beastie Boys can score a recently repressed
unlicensed vinyl copy through an online auction service
like eBay.com. Obviously mp3s of the albums three
tracks: Drum Machine, Drum Machine (Mini
Jerk edit), and Drum Machine (Psycho Dust Version)
circulate among fans. Yet, there is nothing quite like the
feel of Drum Machines purple Def Jam cardboard
sleeve in ones hand.
It is worth mentioning that to one degree or another, Burzootie
was involved with all of Def Jams purple sleeved released.
Somewhat similarly to Rick Rubin,
Burnett had attended New York Universitys film school.
Combine that with the fact that prior to working with the
Beastie Boys, Burnett had been involved within New Yorks
hip-hop and dance club scene; it comes as no shock that
he teamed up on both Rock Hard and Drum Machine.
At the time, Burnett had the hot hip-hop hit factory known
to those in the business as Shakedown Sound. To this day
the reputation of Shakedown Sound Studios still speaks volumes,
because Burzootie along with the Latin Rascals went on to
put out some of hip-hops hottest releases including
Afrika Bambaattaas Planet Rock, which was later
used to as a backing track during the Beastie Boys
1997 Tibetan Freedom concert performance.
In addition to working on hip-hop projects, Jay Burnett
also worked with classic rock legends like Bob Dylan and
British rocker Jeff Beck. Burnett even played on percussion
on Jeff Becks Flash album (1985). It was shortly
after that Burzootie left New York for London and at about
the same time that the Beastie Boys were gearing up for
the 1986 tour. Having already conquered the hip-hop world,
Burnett set his sights on the then up and coming European
club sounds of the 1990s.
If you are at all curious about Burzooties post Def
Jam recordings, pick up his Euphoria compilation
(2002) which showcases his ability to make a jaw-dropping
mix disc. If you want a vinyl crate digging challenge, try
to hunt down a copy of Jay Burnetts own version of
Drum Machine. It was released in limited quantities
on his label Jayco Records.