Monday, December 24, 2018

Combined Operation - Sessions EP - 1998

EP - 1998 - Not On Label 

Here is another slice of Chicago Hip-Hop History and I dedicate it to my man Bee Lapointe because I know how much he was waiting for it !
As many people, I've been deeply looking for some info about that rare 6-Track EP named "Sessions", released in 1998 by a group called Combined Operation and fully produced by a cat named Drift... but unfortunately no trace of Drift and no info about him or the group members online... 

One day, after the review and interview of the Chicago based group T.S.P, one of the member named Vince Eckles contacted me and told me he knew Drift ... 

Vince Eckles : "Drift is from Chi, I met him when he had a studio in his crib up north on Irving Park in like 1993. Lost touch with him until 1999 when I ran into him again and he had Made in Heaven studios over by the Brickyard mall off Fullerton."

Vince is no longer in contact with him but he told me that the other person who might be able to help me was Alberto Espinosa a.k.a Mixx Massacre of the Molemen.

Alberto Espinosa : "Drift’s cousin was a pioneer of Chicago house music back in the early 80’s. Music runs deep in his family. I ended up purchasing their studio equipment. That equipment helped record a lot of Chicago hip hop classics like Juices 'Freestyle or Written.' "

So with the help of Mixx Massacre, I've learned that Drift a.k.a Rocko a.k.a Richard Colon was at that time a member of a group named Dilagents. Besides the tracks "Feel Remix" and "Feel Instrumental" from their album "Feel.." released on OZ Records in 1994, were produced by the Molemen.    

2xLP - 1994 - OZ Records 

Mixx Massacre is not anymore in contact with Drift too, but according to him, OZ a.k.a OZ Green who managed OZ Records could help me to find the group members. That's how the connection was made with Drift's Nephew named Reinaldo a.k.a Stimulis, member of Combined Operation also known as Co-Op, and of course the connection with Drift happened after that. 

Stimulis : "Combined Operation consisted of DashMeloPolarisMagek and Skeyo. Drift, Dash and I are from the Albany Park neighborhood in Chicago. We were called Co-Ops because we were in 2 separate groups initially. Drift, Dash and I were in one group called Dilagents and Magek, Melo, Polaris and Skeyo were in another called the Safarians. I came to the studio one day and Dash and Drift told me that we're going to do an album and we're bringing another group into it. I'm sure they met out at parties... After that we all met each other, got along very well and started working on the album. See, I was the youngest in the group. I was 16 when the Co-Op album came out. I wasn't on the Dilagents album but I gave them the name of that group tho. Lol."

Drift : "We all live north of West side of Chicago. For me it all started  back then when breakdancing and hip-hop was hard back in the 93, my cousin used to be a famous DJ named Jesse Velez. He got me into the music production, we made a track messing around, it was called 'Girls Out on the Floor Just Move that Ass' and from there the crew hanging around in the streets doing bad things and I figured it was time to do change. All the boys used to hang out just freestyling all the time and I came up with the concept to start a little mini studio in a little group to put our skills to do something then better than hanging out. I always love making music... So I decided to get a new group together to combine operations and to hit them hard that's the reason why we call it combine, it was a mixed group of guys of different skills."

Melo / Stimulis / Polaris - Bottom Left to Right : Skeyo / Majek / Dash

The wax is very hard to find !  Only 500 copies were made in '98 ... No need to say that it's very difficult to catch a copy online nowadays ... and of course don't think about digging it at your local record store ...   

Mad Props to Drift, Stimulis, Vince Eckles, Oz Green and Mixx Massacre

1 comment:

  1. Nice. But:
    Are you sure the Dilagents was released in 1994? I believe it was 1996. Why? Because OZ Records also had the Black AG Quicksilve Cooley Tell The Truth LP in 1995 and the catalogue number says that Black A.G. was made first. I still also remember a comment from D. Ramirez on youtube on a Dilagents video ''Lol wow! We did these joints in like 96!! CRAZYYYYYY!!!''

    Also, I remember reading a comment in a blog many years that Panik of the Molemen has uncredited production on 2 tracks on the Co-Op EP. Care to verify?