Barely Breaking Even just about sums it all up. Of course, for those in the know, it also happens to be the name of one of the finest disco records of all time (by the Universal Robot Band). Funnily enough, it’s where our story starts.
Sometime after the Universal Robot Band and sometime before where we are now, a pair of DJ/promoter/whatevers, Pete Adarkwah and Ben Jolly, ran a successful club night named after our eponymous song, playing a joyful mix of all they considered good. ‘Wouldn’t it be fun,’ they mused, ‘To release some of these tunes?’ And so BBE was born.
Its first release was Stop & Listen Volume 1, compiled by venerable fellow traveller, Dr Bob Jones, with a selection that could have been a calling card for the nascent label, including jazz funk classics like Eddie Russ’s ‘Zaius’, next to house killers like Soho’s ‘Hot Music’ and Sarah Vaughan’s big band rendition of ‘Inner City Blues’. That’s a recipe, right there.