Monday, February 07, 2011

The Buddy System  

*Beneath all this text is a mix of some of the rarest black music you have ever heard. Some of it digitized for the first time. But please, keep reading.*

Funk, boogie and soul record collecting elite are rallying to help Aaron 'Breakself' Anderson, renowned Detroit digger, and founder of one of the USA's most famous nights, the Ann Arbor Social Club, in his fight against brain cancer.

I had the chance to meet Aaron a couple of summers ago during one of his visits to San Francisco, through his collaborator and friend, the bay area's own Deejay Om. I collect a few dance 12's here and there, but Aaron and Om play in a tier above, having over the years unearthed Michigan scene 45's that go on to trade for more than collective worth of my crates, be it to northern soul obsessive middle aged businessmen in Scotland, or a funk collecting oil industry millionaire in downtown Manhattan (no joke). And its some of these records, from Breakself's own shelves, that Om has used to create this exclusive mix, in the hopes of raising some money and awareness to help his best friend Aaron out.

I'll let Om explain in his own words:

Sometimes bad things happen to good people, this is all so true with my best friend Aaron Anderson who is currently dealing with brain cancer. A crushing blow to all those who know and love Aaron, and there are many, because upon meeting him you instantly feel as though you’ve known him, or want to, and that he truly cares about anyone and everyone he meets. I’ve not met anyone like him and doubt that I will for a very long time, this seems to be true of others too. A man of his word, someone who that if he has a penny in his pocket he would gladly offer to someone less fortunate, a person who cares about others and truly takes time to listen; and now it’s our turn to listen and our turn to give him that penny that he needs.

I met Aaron about 12 years ago, and instantly felt as though I’d met my best friend, our personalities, albeit quite different, seemed to mesh, and we both had a deep passion for music, meditation, buddhism and records. Aaron cites me as his mentor when it comes to Soul/Funk music, a title I humbly accept. He was like a sponge that seemed to be nowhere near capacity, and his thirst for knowledge was unparalleled. He was living in Ann Arbor and I in San Francisco, we’d sit for hours on the phone talking about life and records, and I would constantly play him things I had recently gotten or already had. At a time when others ridiculed me for liking Boogie, Disco, and Modern Soul Aaron was one of the few people who actually listened and grew to enjoy and understand where I was coming from...but, that’s Aaron for you, always with an open mind and heart.

We began this project quite some time ago, Aaron (aka Breakself) had been diagnosed with brain cancer while in school at Stanford and he began to bring records over to my house to seemed endless the amount of ridiculously dope, and rare records he had; the “student” truly has become my teacher, and for that I am grateful...I have learned so much from him, and continue to learn more every time I speak with him. I (Deejay OM), did all the mixing and only supplied a couple of the records, my intent was to show our relationship through music, and I hope that you too can appreciate and enjoy the aptly titled “The Buddy System”.

Although I think of Aaron more as a little brother than just my best friend, had we been in kindergarden together I have no doubt he would have been the one whom I turned to when the teacher told us to “pick a buddy” for field-trips, projects, or anything that needed a dynamic duo. It pains me to see him dealing with brain cancer, and I’m constantly impressed with and admire his ability to stay positive and to look forward, not back. He’s not just my friend, but a shining beacon to the world, and I’m sure that if you met him in person you’d be happy that you gave your donation to such a great person. Cancer medicine is ridiculously expensive ($1000 per chemo pill, and “Avastan” treatments which cost $45,000 per month), and I can only hope that this mix inspires you to help out...donations of $10 or more will receive a high quality version of the mix, and receive another mix I’m working on....this mix is free, but I hope you find it in your heart to help Aaron.

Download: DeejayOm & Breakself - The Buddy System

Deejay OM:
Artwork by ElekTro4 for Resource Room Production:

more mixes from OM:

Posted by Black Shag | 10 comments

Labels: ,

What next?

You can also bookmark this post using your favorite bookmarking service:

Related Posts by Categories

10 comments: to “ The Buddy System

  • February 8, 2011 at 2:36 PM  

    Even though I don't know Aaron, I really hope he'll get better. I'm just about to listen to your mix, I just needed to donate something first.

    I'll send the link to every disco-enthusiast i know in Sweden and worldwide.

    All the best. /Johannes

  • February 9, 2011 at 11:52 AM  

    Wow, lots of great records on there. I donated and will be pulling for Aaron.

  • February 9, 2011 at 12:45 PM  

    Aaron's a really cool dude everyone. Sad shit. Very well described by OM. Definitely the type to help others, hang with any crowd, and a great sense of humor.

    Let's help get him through this.

  • February 9, 2011 at 4:09 PM  

    Don't know Aaron but it's a give as i'm also a disco head..a donation is a given!
    Will pass it on to my nerds here in NYC and Sweden.

    Love the mix, is there a playlist?

    Be strong.


  • February 9, 2011 at 6:34 PM  

    In the name of friendship and good music.

    Best to you always, Aaron.


  • February 11, 2011 at 8:36 AM  

    He's not alone though.

    This reminded me that Kool Herc is currently struggling to pay medical bills.

    This article in the UK Guardian last year shined a spotlight on the issue of no healthcare insurance for musicians -

    It seems that if you dedicate your life to music the State aren't there to catch you when you need it!

  • February 16, 2011 at 10:21 AM  

    Great initiative! But is the link down?

  • February 16, 2011 at 1:57 PM  

    Just wanted to wish Aaron the very very best. Don't know him, but got to appreciate his exclusive taste through his brilliant ''records are people too'' mix posted on the goodrecordsnyc site. Been a fan ever since.

    Take care,


  • February 19, 2011 at 10:05 PM  

    sending positive energy (and a bit of cash) your way. keep fighting!

  • February 22, 2011 at 7:05 PM  

    HI Aaron,

    Just wishing you all the best that my tiny heart has to give you--please accept my small donation as my appreciation for your life!