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Aaron “breakself” Anderson

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welcome to Harlem, where you are welcome to proble


Those that knew him, know what a great dude he was. He was an early contributor to this site, with a deep and abiding love for soul and funk music, particularly that which came from Michigan, on little records with big holes.

From Dreas:

"it is with great sadness and relief that i wanted to let you all know that the one breakshelf/breakself/aaron anderson has passed away after a hard-fought battle with brain cancer last night. despite what was actually going on in his body, he always remained calm and maintained a sense of humor until the end which was seemingly painless. he will be missed by many people in many spheres of his life.

for anyone interested, we are planning a memorial/party of sorts which will include records, beers, and memories of aaron. this event is tentatively scheduled for nov 5, here in grand rapids, mi. i will post more details once they are confirmed.

with that, i leave you all to discuss amongst yourselves the most amazing human being i have ever known...

"When you arrive at the extinction of reality
There is nothing but the spontaneity of pure potential
There is no other way to dance in the sky." - Khandroma Yesh?? Tsogyel

RIP brother, i know you're off to bigger and better things."



A big hole is what is left in our community today. RIP.
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Out Digging


This is heartbreaking news.

RIP

Only the good die young.
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chicago


fuck. speechless.

RIP
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El Chuco, Texas, USA


Dam. I hope he passed in peace.
RIP.
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You got a friend in Pennsylvania


Words can't express how deeply saddened I am by this.

Although, I got to hang out with him only a couple of times, he was one of the most genuine people I have ever met.

Not only that, but he was on here since the early days and those key core of people I will always consider family.

R.I.P. my brotha!
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Unbelievable. RIP Aaron.
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"a distraction from my main thesis."


Dang, so sorry to hear. RIP.
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This thing is terrible. I swear I'm actually a pre


R.I.P.
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you dont what the fuck your talkin about


terribly sad. rest in peace.
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bringin' the pain like a french baker


terrible, terrible news. anything the strut can do for the fam?
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COURTEOUS MAYFIELD


How many people from various circles have I heard talk about him from afar over the years as though he was one of the greatest people they'd met? I can't even count. Very sad news. Rest in Peace
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You got a friend in Pennsylvania


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Mighty real...


RIP

I never met the man but heard nothing but nice things about him and have been following the news of his illness as it trickled in. Sad day indeed.
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respect my trendsetting


devastated.
damn.

will be rockin our show tonight in his honor. rest in power homey.
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Chicago


Terrible. Terrible.

Great man, great music, important presence.

Nothing else to say right now.
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Mill Valley, Ca


Since 2001 he put me up on countless things that have crafted my tastes over the years. Let's celebrate the knowledge and contribution he's made on this community. I only met and hung with him a few times but considered him a friend immediately.
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RIP

Awful and sad news.
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If you do nothing, nothing will happen.


Hey,

This a terrible loss to the Soul Strut community. He was a great guy, and I'm so saddened by his passing. I pray strength and comfort to his family and friends during this tragic time. RIP Breakself, the music you left us with will keep playing!

Peace,

Big Stacks from Kakalak
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shit aint fish


RAJ - 23 September 2011 02:40 PM
Words can't express how deeply saddened I am by this.

Although, I got to hang out with him only a couple of times, he was one of the most genuine people I have ever met.


every interaction i had with Aaron was filled with his generosity, kindness and fun. easily one of the best guys in the game. and youd see rays of light coming off his body from how much he loved the 45s.

when i met him, he was in a record store, debating whether to drop a big figure on a detroit mythical raer.it didnt take long for him to make the plunge and i took a great picture outside the shop, Aaron leaning against a signpost, smiling and reeling a little bit from the high! ive never been able to find the pic, but it was a beautiful moment of a man's musical appreciation.

rest in peace Aaron
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bringin' the pain like a french baker


Jonny_Paycheck - 10 February 2011 02:03 AM
Just to share a little bit... One of the first times I ever met this guy... maybe *the* first, he came to my then-fledgling store. We had traded some messages - PMs - through soulstrut a bunch of times before, but I don't *think* we had met, and if we had, it was in the rush of many people and beers and nighlife and well, I don't have the best memory anyway. So the guy is hitting me up, like, yo! I'm coming to town! And I am like, awesome, let's get it in, I owe you a beer, or a few of them, and we should... anyway, the day comes, and the guy shows up, and we're kicking it... he brings a 6-pack of Leffe. We each have a beer. We're talking shop and whatever, and then all of a sudden he says he's got to go meet some family. I am confused at first - who comes to a record shop with a 6 pack only to dip out 20 minutes later with a family date, not some spur-of-the-moment oh-shit-my-friend's-in-town or this-hot-girl-from-last-night-just-called business, but family, some shit that was probably planned two weeks ago, and reminded multiple times, in all likelihood that very day, knowing how family can be, or at least once or twice since he landed at JFK. I mean, who does that?

Aaron knew all along. He handed me a couple of homemade CDs and pushed the beers over to me on some "you'll figure it out" yoda shit, and he was out.

I posted one of those mixes on my site and asked him for a tracklist. I wrote, "it's called 'Records Are People Too'." He responded that he called every mix that, and sent me what he thought was the track list but wasn't sure. And that was just like Aaron. The title implies some kind of shut-in obsession, but it's really the opposite - this is a man with a love for life so visceral that these little records might as well have been sitting right next to him in human form. And also a man who would think absolutely nothing of sharing that love with a random friend-of-a-friend, a stranger really. And do it so often that he called them all the same thing and somehow, the tracklisting that he sent wasn't wrong. Still, people aren't records, and these experiences aren't pieces of plastic that I can always return to. Minds fail, and memories get embellished or vanish in the smoke and mirrors of the input saturation that we all live with. It's been my absolute pleasure and privilege to know this guy and I pray with every fiber of my being that there'll be more fun times down the road like the one depicted up top in that photo.


EDIT

i know this wasn't written by me, nor was it written for this exact situation..... but man, it's pure class and an excellent example of how someone close or peripheral should be remembered.

great words jonny, i hope you dont mind that i would use them for lack of my own.
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errant movement


It's hard to find words to do justice and I am trying not to cry at work.
Aaron and I exchanged emails, PMs, music and even a book or two over the years.
For no reason other than being a true lover of music and an incredibly kind and caring man, he sent me 45s that I just couldn't find in my neck of the woods.
It is hard to process the feeling of losing someone you've never met, but the loss goes much much farther than me.
Strength and comfort to all his friends and family.

My DJ night falls on November 5 - it goes without saying that it will be dedicated to him.
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Based on fact, not based fictitious


Terrible news. Please let us know if there is anything we can do for his family. RIP.
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shit aint fish


i'm glad his fight is over, but i'm crying over here
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remixing bongo rock...


holy shit. not cool. :(
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Brooklyn, NY


tripledouble - 23 September 2011 03:25 PM
i'm glad his fight is over, but i'm crying over here

Damn, we were just talking about Aaron the other day...

so sad. no one has ever crossed his path without being a little more enlightened. he truly is one of the few people in this world that was inherently great, and you can hear echoed through everyone he met. rest in peace aaron...

and to dreas, nathan, and all aaron's family and friends... you are in my thoughts.
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no need to be pimped


Jesus. I only met him once, but he was truly good people. This is a painful day for our community. But as for Aaron, I will only say that we don't know what happens after death. It may be good, bad, nothing, or just different. But there's no reason to believe that this transition has necessarily been a bad thing for him, or a painful thing. Aaron???I wish you nothing but the best.
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Houston, TX
"old factory specialized beef"


R.I.P.
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While I can't say I had the pleasure of knowing this dude as well as many others on here, I came away from meeting and talking with him at a KUSF Rock n Swap with a new stack of incredible 45s, crazy new knowledge, and a sure sense that I had met a person who's love of and dedication to soul music was unlike any other I had ever met.

RIP -- My thoughts are with his family and friends

I will be celebrating his mixes for years to come.
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RIP, tragic loss. My condolences to his family and friends.
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3rd Coast


Awful, awful news.

Aaron was the first dude here to send me a pm, about a 45 of course. He gladly gave me much needed
info on a record, and proceeded to broker the sale of it for me with some heavy hitters I never would
of been able to get with. Did it all for a not very rare LA 45 he didn't have, and even that I kinda had
to force on him. Truly just doing it for the love of the music.
We chopped it up over the phone a few times after that, and God did he know his 45s.
Great, kind, funny and as paycheck said, yoda like guy.

RIP
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Rest in Peace. Tragic loss.

Just at a loss...
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