Thursday, July 27, 2017

"Band of Gingers" Frontman Doug McFarlane Speaks On Bloodnut's Forthcoming Stoner-Sludge Metal Album ST. RANGA (The Witzard Interview)

Bloodnut are a self-proclaimed "Stoner-Sludge band of gingers" hailing from Auckland, New Zealand. I can vaguely recall, just a few short months ago, @BloodnutBand Tweeting a proposition for the senior vice president and creative director of a major music-minded network (which I wont name) to hear their then-forthcoming second album, St. Ranga; I believe said network SVP Replied something to the effect of he didn't listen to pre-release album advances. Needless to say, I saw all of this going down in real time and quickly jumped on the opportunity to score an advanced copy of Bloodnut's St. Ranga. I've been corresponding with Bloodnut founder, bassist, and frontman Doug McFarlane, via email for roughly two weeks now and on the heels of their recent Doomed & Stoned-premiered "The Space Orangutan," agreed we would do a short and sweet, yet informative 5-question mini-interview for publication here at The Witzard. Please feel free to headbang and rage accordingly to Bloodnut's St. Ranga teaser single, "The Space Orangutan" down below and delve into my mini-interview with bassist and frontman Doug McFralanee. Bloodnut's Blues from The Red Sons (currently FREE on Bandcamp) follow-up, St. Ranga, will be self-released by the band on August 1st with 10% of all album sales going to Melanoma NZ.

"The follow-up to the 2016 album - Blues from The Red Sons, St. Ranga is raw, visceral, and tuned even lower than their first offering. A Sludge-filled album that still has tongue-in-cheek elements, it endeavours to cover the darker side of what it means to be red of hair. With songs that cover religious persecution, the negative myths, and history surrounding the 2% you might even get a bit of an education of what it's like to be ginger. Recorded in a garage session-style by fellow ranga Elliot Lawless (of Greenfog) over one weekend and in a rare 4-piece variant of the band, St. Ranga is a clear evolution from their first offering and perhaps, a reaction to the polished bit-by-bit style of recording utilised on Blues from the Red Sons."

I. How did you initially come up with the concept of establishing a somewhat tongue-in-cheek "Band of Gingers" playing redhead and viking-themed Stoner Metal?

I was watching a Tim Minchin video on YouTube (he's a famous Aussie ginger musical comedian) and it was a song called "Prejudice" about how only a ginger can call another ginger "ginger. "At one part of the song, he goes through a big list of the things redheads get called and "BLOODNUT" was one of them. I had the thought that that would make a good Metal band name and wondered if I [could] fill this band with only redheaded people; turns out, I could and the band was formed.

II. What does your latest album title, St. Ranga mean and how does it correlate to Bloodnut's over-arching theme of redhead-ery?

The title works on two levels, really: the first track of the album is called "The Space Orangutan" and is a kind poke at religion, by making up a deity for the red of hair, so the name of the album applies to this deity. Also, our debut album was called Blues from The Red Sons, which was a reference to the classic Kyuss album - Blues for The Red Sun... so, we figured this album should be a reference, too to keep the trend going. Are we into Metallica [St. Anger] as much as we are in to Kyuss? Well, no, but the name was too good to pass up.

III. What were some of Bloodnut's greatest sources of inspiration and influence while writing and recording St. Ranga?

Kyuss... always Kyuss. but some Mastodon, Baroness, Windhand, and many other bands started to creep in as we wrote this lot of songs. Hence, the down tune to A (our first album is all in C.)

IV. How would you say Bloodnut's sound has changed and progressed between Blues from The Red Sons (2016) and St. Ranga?

The sound is more raw, visceral, and tuned even lower than their first offering. A Sludge-filled album that still has tongue-in-cheek elements, it endeavours to cover the darker side of what it means to be red of hair; with songs that cover religious persecution, the negative myths and history surrounding the 2%, and some more Norse mythology in there, too.

V. St. Ranga's CD tray has an inscription that reads: "This album is dedicated to all those who came before us. They lived lives filled with persecution and fire and we exist because of them." Would you care to further explain?

Without giving a long winded-explanation, redheads have actually been through a lot, through the ages. The recent bullying and name-calling pales in comparison to being burned at the stake, offered up as sacrifices, etc... hundreds of years back. The dedication is just to acknowledge where the gene came from and the tough people who passed it down.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

The Witzard Premier: Baltimore's UllNevaNo & Jumbled Channel The Ghost of Len Bias On "86 Draft" from Upcoming Rapper-producer EP (Harford & Reckord Tapes/MGNTK.)

"[Lonise Bias'] son, who in his senior season at the University of Maryland, was widely regarded as the best college basketball player in America, a can't-miss talent with absurd hang time. Her son, who had been drafted with the No.2 pick by the NBA Champion Boston Celtics on June 17, 1986. Her son, who would be described in an autopsy report two days later as a "well-developed young Black male," 6-foot-7, 221½ pounds, otherwise fit and healthy and clean, with the exception of the copious amount of cocaine in his system..." ESPN E-Ticket writer Michael Weinreb wrote within a piece fittingly titled 'The Day Innocence Died.' MGNTK.-affiliated Baltimore spitter UllNevaNo and "teacher, husband, beat-maker & dish washer" John Bachman (otherwise known as Jumbled) have teamed back up for an EP entitled The Ghost of Len Bias. Jumbled & UllNevaNo first worked together on "Hampden Session" from Bachman's entirely self-produced 2016 album, [I wish it was longer] AKA WIWL and now, they've reunited for a proper rapper-producer follow-up EP. The Ghost of Len Bias EP is loosely based on the life and death of one of the greatest basketball players to (n)ever play in the NBA, 22-year-old forward Len Bias; lead-off single, "86 Draft" is, as Jumbled & UllNevaNo simply put it, "an homage to the legendary Bias, who died before he could share his talents in the NBA." Jumbled's sparse piano-led production work on "86 Draft" is tediously littered with audio snippets of NBA announcers and radio personalities ranting and raving about Len Bias: "THE BOSTON CELTICS SELECT LEN BIAS FROM THE UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND... THERE HE IS, LEN BIAS!!!" While we patiently wait The Ghost of Len Bias EP, feel free to ch-check out UllNevaNo and Jumbled's latest releases: illien rosewell-produced Confidence Is Everything 2 (CIE2) and 11/2016-released Action Shots cassette EP.

"We are proud to release "86 Draft" the first single by UllNevaNo & Jumbled from Baltimore. This song is from their upcoming EP, The Ghost of Len Bias. This track is an homage to the legendary Bias, who died before he could share his talents in the NBA. UllNevaNo writes most of his raps at his night job, while Jumbled gets up early in the morning to make beats. This duo came together due to their mutual love of raw raps and Boom-Bap beats; tired of releasing random singles, they teamed up for a 7-song EP (due out early September 2017.) They first worked together on a track on Jumbled's solo album [I wish it was longer], which came out last year."

- Jumbled & UllNevaNo

Monday, July 24, 2017

Trenton-bred & Philly-based Brackish Revive Early 2000's "Pop-Punk"/Screamo On Coming Down EP In Memory of Fallen Guitarist Chris Baranowski (Black Numbers Records)

Brackish are a "Pop-Punk"/Screamo revival band hailing from Trenton, NJ and are currently based out of Philly—think Take This to Your Grave-era Fall Out Boy. Brackish attest they make "songs you can sit in your room and listen to" and readily list "burritos, tacos, chimichangas, and sandwiches" as Band Interests on their Facebook page. Brackish frontman and guitarist Connor Byrne, oddly enough, was introduced to by my older cousin (who also hails from North Jersey) and is also Facebook Friends with Evan "Darko The Super" Souza, Raymond "Ray" Strife, and Lt Headtrip. It appears as though I was put into contact with Connor because of this June 27 Facebook call-to-action: "Heyyyy, do you know a radio station/blog/podcast that might be interested in covering the Brackish record? Let me know." When asked how they knew @LtHeadtrip @DarkoTheSuper & @RaymondStrife, @brackishtheband simply replied: "Local music in Philly led us to @DarkoTheSuper, but we are all from Trenton, NJ, essentially; hence, @RaymondStrife (just saw'm!) & @LtHeadtrip." Brackish's second and latest EP, Coming Down was released earlier this past month on July 7th on Jersey City-based Black Numbers and is available in either Digital Album or Coming Down Flexi-Picture Disc 7-inch (with lyric sheet) formats.

"Brackish was formed by Connor Byrne and Nick Rosica in the spring of 2015. Joined by Chris Baranowski and Eric McConathey, Brackish released their debut EP, Young People that was pressed to tape by Good Sadie Media in October 2015. In the summer of 2016, Brackish recorded a 7-inch entitled Coming Down, out via Black Numbers on 7/7/2017," reads part of Brackish's emailed press release. "After the recording of Coming Down, lead guitarist Chris Baranowski tragically passed away and drummer Eric McConathey announced his amicable departure from the band. Since then, close friends Tim Fitzpatrick and Zach Miller have joined on lead guitar and drums. The newest iteration of Brackish is hard at work writing a debut full-length album slated for release in 2018." Brackish mysteriously tagged their Coming Down EP as bauhaus, diy, punk, black numbers, goth, industrial, and Philadelphia on Bandcamp; although, through Coming Down's three quick-strike tracks, I'm often reminded of early 2000's NJ/Long Island Punk bands like Taking Back Sunday, Senses Fail, Thursday, Glassjaw, and Brand New, as well as The Used, early Fall Out Boy, and New Found Glory. Brackish frontman Connor Byrne readily cites Saves The Day, Lifetime, The Get Up Kids, Mineral, and Thursday as "big influences" while writing and recording Coming Down EP. Byrne further detailed that Brackish have an acoustic gig at The Living Room Cafe in South Philly scheduled for tomorrow night, 7/25 with Hemingway from Oregon, Kevin Day of Aspiga, and John Bradley of Dads. Plus, in August, Brackish currently have a "Weekender Tour" booked with Greg Mendez (FKA Spiritweed) taking place 8/19-20 at Asbury Park Brewery and West Philly's Hole Foods (event link TBA) also featuring Ragged Lines, Prim, Clique, and steve.

"Coming Down is very special to us. Working with Andy Clarke and Tom May on these songs at Retro City Studios in Philadelphia was an incredibly positive experience and the album that come to be in result matches that. With the passing of our friend Chris Baranowski, the album commemorates the good times we had together and unique style he had on guitar. I'll always treasure the instrumental ending of the title track "Coming Down." Growing up together, we shared a love for the Post-Hardcore stylings of the Japanese band Envy and the Screamo bands of that era. The "wall of noise" that occurs at the end of "Coming Down" was something we were elated to finally do for ourselves after years of dreaming ourselves into that scenario as teenagers. With Andy Clarke at the board, Chris and I felt like kids in a candy shop creating huge delay noises, buzzsaw synths, and furious guitar strums. I'm genuinely so appreciative that memory is recorded."

- Connor Byrne (Brackish frontman)

Friday, July 21, 2017

Cap City Ent. Founder & Trenton-based A Mankind Complex/Ray Strife Producer iLL-Omega Currates Beat-maker Bedrock #6 (Omegatron Inst. Album)

"What's goodie!? My name is iLL-Omega. I'm a beat-maker from Trenton, NJ. This is my column [for] Beat-maker Bedrock! Here's three albums that inspired me to start making music. Salute to John "Jumbled" Bachman and The Witzard for letting me be a part of this!"

- Darnell "iLL-Omega" Storey

I. Wu-Tang Clan - "Enter The Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) (1993)

"This album is one of the first Hip-Hop albums that made me want to start doing music. The RZA delivers a cinematic feel with the Kung-Fu samples and crazy chopped-up samples. The hard-hitting drums shake your car and pound your chest on each track. I remember first listening to Wu-Tang in intermediate school. When I first played this tape, it felt like a movie that I didn't want to end. The contributions from all nine members of the Wu-Tang seemed like a big Kung-Fu fight scene with each line that punches you in the face."

II. Redman - Muddy Waters (1996)

"Being from "New Jerusalem" [New Jersey], you have to appreciate The Funk Doc! The Jazzy/Funk-style beats Erick Sermon contributed makes this album a pure smoke-out classic. Redman's lyrics and delivery are crazy dope and weave perfectly into The Green-Eyed Bandit's drums. Listening to this album brings inspiration when I'm working with my group, A Mankind Complex. We add a Soul-Funk vibe to our sound, which you can definitely hear the inspiration from this album."

III. J Dilla - Donuts (2006)

"Dilla, Dilla, Dilla. Let me tell you about Dilla: I F***ING LOVE J DILLA!!! I remember my bro Trino (A Mankind Complex) surprised me on my birthday with the vinyl of Donuts. I nearly cried. I can literally listen to this album top to bottom on repeat for a month straight. The beats are not that complex, but the love and feeling Dilla put into the production work gives you the feels. Each beat isn't very long, but has so much re-play value. Dilla made this album in the hospital, while he was battling Lupus, which unfortunately, he lost to. It was released on the day of his 32nd birthday and three days before his death; thus, making it the final album released during J Dilla's lifetime. I'm grateful he was well enough to bless us with this beautiful piece of Hip-Hop art. RIP Jay Dee."

Honorable Mentions:

Busta Rhymes - E.L.E. (Extinction Level Event): The Final World Front (1998)
Daft Punk - Homework (1997)
Raekwon - Only Built 4 Cuban Linx... (1995)

"Cap City Records has its own master plan to resurrect New Jersey and the rest of The Beast Coast to bring the Rap game back to its birthplace, in an effort to change the game. "I don't even listen to the radio now. I listen to my own music," says an irritated iLL-Omega," reads part of Cap City Ent.'s Facebook Biography. Cap City Ent. is the label imprint of Trenton-based producer iLL-Omega and in addition to A Mankind Complex (Trino and iLL-Omega himself,) currently features artists Ray Strife, Rocky, and Alien. iLL-Omega's current production discography includes Ray Strife's recent Preface: I Will Never Be Beautiful EP, A Mankind Complex's D.R.E.A.M.S. and Destination EP, and Black Collar Biz's "Like a Sucka" with much, much more soon to come. Just this past Monday, July 17th, iLL-Omega unleashed a 14-track instrumental album titled Omegatron, which he self-described on Soundcloud as "#Album, #INSTRUMENTAL, #BEATS, #MUSIC, #RAP, #HIPHOP, #TRAP, #EDM, #RIDDIM, [#Dubstep], and #DRAKE, #KANYE & #JAYZ," seemingly implying some of its contained beats are intended for Mr. West, Mr. Graham, and Mr. Carter. Over the course of it's nearly 40-minute runtime, Omegatron teeters a vast array of genre-blending styles and influence; Omega's beat work echoes sonic earmarks of RZA's production work on 36 Chambers, Erick Sermon on Redman's Muddy Waters, and J Dilla's dusty sample re-appropriation throughout Donuts, as well as iLL-Omega's own Dilla-inspired 2016 EP, Dunkin' Donuts (Vol. 1.) iLL-Omega's Omegatron is currently available for streaming and download on Apple Music, CD Baby, Soundcloud, Spotify, etc. through Cap City Ent.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Kotolan Unleash Soul-Disco/New Wave-inspired Singles "Wallflower" & "Tokyo Subway" Recorded with Dan Ubick, David Ralicke & Jordan Katz (Junko & Otto's Inspirations Playlist)

"Video premiere!! Thanks to Otto Granillo and Junko Seki, I got to get my [New Wave] on producing this catchy tune, "Wallflower" for their group Kotolan. Mixed beautifully by my main man, Stephen Kaye at SunKing Studios," The Lions producer and bandleader Dan Ubick AKA Connie Price enthusiastically wrote on Facebook this past May; just about a month after "Wallflower," Kotolan unleashed their second Dan Ubick-produced single, "Toyko Subway." Trombonist, audio-visual artist, and "OTO" half of Kotolan, Otto Granillo recently told me that he and his wife/bandmate Junko Seki "have been writing an producing singles lately, instead of making an album." Although, Granillo says they're currently "throwing around the idea of releasing a full-length album in the future [with] a group of previously-released singles from a specific year/period" of Kotolan's recent work. Granillo currently plays trombone with Dan Ubick's Soul-Reggae revival group, The Lions and recorded trombone riffs for their third album, Soul Riot (2015) on Stones Throw. It appears as though Kotolan currently features only Junko Seki & Otto Granillo, as well as "honorary member" Dan Ubick. While "Tokyo Subway" only features Junko, Otto & Dan, "Wallflower" additionally highlights the talents of baritone saxophonist David Ralicke and trumpet player Jordan Katz. Kotolan's former La Tienda de Groove-era line-up showcased The Lions players Blake Colie and Eddie Felix, as well as guitarist Carlos Kuhlmann. I would like to bring particular attention an 80's New Wave, Synth-Pop, and 2 Tone Ska playlist featured down below, which was assembled by Otto & Junko, complete with songs that influenced and inspired them while recording "Wallflower," "Tokyo Subway," and their as-yet-unreleased recordings. Now, I'll let Kotolan frontwoman and synth-keyboard player Junko Seki take it from here!

"I met Dan Ubick through my husband, Otto, who is also a member of The Lions. Otto had just finished recording trombone at The Lion's Den (Dan's studio) for their second album, Soul Riot, when he brought up to me the idea of collaborating with Dan on our project. Otto and I started Kotolan in 2008. We explored an eclectic range of styles in our compositions, which you can hear in our first album, La Tienda de Groove, but eventually, evolved to our current sound. Otto and I have a passion for late 70's British and American Rock and early 80's New Wave. Artists like The Cars, Talking Heads, Ultravox, Gary Newman, The Police, Madness, The Jam, The Specials, The Clash, The Selecter, Blondie, Culture Club, Joy Division, Laid Back, and XTC, to name a few. After a discussion with Dan, we decided to collaborate on a couple of singles with a New Wave[-influenced] sound in mind and him taking the role as music producer. Our first single, "Wallflower" took on a Soul-Disco/New Wave sound with synth and guitar lines, along with the three-horn Kotolan sound (trombone, baritone saxophone, and trumpet) we've maintained, since the beginning. Dan played the guitar, drums, bass, and percussion..."

"Our second single, "Tokyo Subway" dug deeper into the New Wave sound with more synths being used. Otto came up with the Micromoog lines and I layered a variety of other synth sounds on top of it. Dan got in the mix, adding even more synth parts, along with playing drums, bass, and guitar. We chose to leave out the horns on this one. Both songs were mixed and mastered at SunKing Studios by Stephen Kaye (also, a member of The Lions) who's got a pretty impressive resume as a mixing engineer. Otto also has a passion for [film-making] and photography (which he did while at Cal Arts working on his master's degree in music) and filmed both music videos. "Tokyo Subway" was filmed in Tokyo, during our recent trip there. Our current plan is to continue releasing singles for now and we'll be collaborating with Dan on a couple more songs this year."

- Junko Seki (Kotolan)

Kotolan's Influences & Inspirations Playlist

I. Ultravox - "The Voice" (1981)
II. Ultravox - "I Want to Be a Machine" (1977)
III. The Jam - "Going Underground" (1980)
IV. Tubeway Army - "Are 'Friends' Electric?" (1979)
V. Gary Newman - "Cars" (1979-80)
VI. The Cars - "Moving In Stereo" (1978)
VII. The Cars - "Touch & Go" (1980)
VIII. Talking Heads - "Psycho Killer" (1977)
IX. Talking Heads - "Making Flippy Floppy" (1983)
X. Madness - "My Girl" (1979)
XI. David Bowie - "Ashes to Ashes" (1980)

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Baltimore "Talk Singer"-producer Height Keech Complies Beat-maker Bedrock #5 On The Heels of Shark Tank's Dan's House (Cold Rhymes Records)

"I'm Height Keech. I'm a rapper from Baltimore, MD. I grew up being the guy in the crew that didn't know how to make the beats I heard in my head... Now, I feel like I've found my own voice as a producer and I'm off to the races. These are some of the records [whose] production has inspired me, through the years."

- Height Keech (Shark Tank)

I. Public Enemy - It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back (1988)

"A lot has been said about this album, so let me zero in on my favorite track: "Night of The Living Baseheads." The main sample is like a Jack-In-The-Box opening every two seconds. The change-up leading into the second verse feels like a transmission from another planet. Every little piece is perfectly executed, yet it feels like you’re on an insane train that could go off the rails at any second. It used to be way more labor-intensive to do all these weird one-off changes and flourishes; the level to which [The Bomb Squad] knocked it all out of the park floors me."

II. Ice Cube - Death Certificate (1991)

"There aren’t many Rap albums where the beats feel more like one solid statement. This album always made me feel like I was in California, before I had ever been there. I love how they freaked all these loops that are tied to LA music history in a very specific way. It feels like an Uncle Jamm’s Army party, but the hard-as-Hell drums and great mixes place you in what could only be Cube’s World."

III. Koopsta Knicca- Da Devils' Playground (1999)

"Three 6 Mafia have one million imitators, but I don’t think anyone has really captured the eerie, bleak, lo-fi sound of their 90’s releases. There’s a sadness and strangeness to it. It’s like a Psychedelic take on Southern Gangster Rap. DJ Paul is under-rated as a producer, both when unearthing unheard loops and when manipulating well-worn material."

IV. Quasimoto - The Unseen (2000)

"The summer this came out, I was in NYC on one of my first tours. I was crawling into a sleeping bag and my host suggested I pop this album into my Discman as I doze off. I instantly felt like I was floating around in someone’s cartoon dreamworld. All the loops are bananas, but that’s just half the story; even if you sliced up all the same samples and gave them to another producer, they would never come up with this totally unique world. It feels like Madlib spilled this whole universe out of his brain and on to the album."

V. Boogie Boy Metal Mouth - Boogie Boy Metal Mouth (2013)

"To me, these guys created a new chamber of Rap. It was only acknowledged by a few, but those few really cherish it. It doesn’t seem like they were trying to innovate, as much as if they were just compelled to do this unique thing. With these beats, I can’t always tell what I’m hearing. I’m never sure what’s a sample being triggered and what’s being cut up on a turntable. For me, that confusion makes it more mysterious and helps me get lost in the music. The meat and bones of the beats are all A-plus and then, they hit you with all these smaller, subtle change-ups that add up in big way."


I. Spoonie Gee - "Spoonin' Rap" (Prod. By Peter Brown)
II. Rammellzee & K-Rob - "Beat Bop" ("Prod. By" Jean-Michel Basquiat)
III. Man Parrish feat. Freeze Force - "Boogie Down (Bronx)"
IV. Fantasy Three - "It’s Your Rock" (Prod. By Master O.C.)
V. Schoolly D - "Saturday Night"
VI. KMD - "What a N***y Know?" (Prod. By Zev Love X AKA DOOM)
VII. New Kingdom - "Mexico or Bust"
VIII. Ghostface Killah - "Nutmeg" (Prod. By Black Moes-Art)
IX. Project Pat - "If You Ain’t from My Hood" (Prod. By Juicy J & DJ Paul)
X. Esham - "Nowimtalkinbout"

For maybe about 10 years or so, I've heard the names "Height," "Height with Friends," "Height Keech," etc. uttered throughout Indie Hip-Hop/Rap Blog circles and seemingly, always being rather highly-regarded. Although, for whatever reasons, I never really took the opportunity to delve in much deeper (now, I see that was a BIG mistake!) However, I do remember buying Height with Friends' ROCK AND ROLL CD (2012) from Baltimore-based Friends Records either along with WEEKENDS' Strange Cultures LP or Dope Body drummer (David) Jacober's Water Karaoke solo tape. Fast-forward to April-May 2016, when I received a fateful cold-sent email from John "Jumbled" Bachman concerning his latest producer album, [I wish it was longer], which just so happened to feature a who's-who of talented Baltimore emcees and beatsmiths, as well as recently re-branded Height Keech on "Lamplight." Around Feb. 2016, Stereogum's Senior Editor Tom Breihan premiered Height Keech's "DEAD RIDER RIDE ON" from his then-impending 4/25 album, MIND MOVES THE MOUNTAIN on his own label imprint, Cold Rhymes Records.

I really dug what I heard and figured, although, it was likely a shot in Hell, I would reach out to Height to see if he would want to potentially do a feature or interview for The Witzard. "Yes! The fourth Shark Tank album will be the next release on Cold Rhymes. Our mission this time was to steer away from the extremely zany/inside joke territory explored on our last album [Don't F**k with Us] and come with an concise album of straight heat," Height replied within our March 2017 The Witzard interview when questioned about his group, Shark Tank. Now, that fateful day has arrived; just a mere three months after MIND MOVES THE MOUNTAIN, Shark Tank AKA THE FUN YOUNGS' fourth album, Dan's House is here! I've taken it upon myself to embed wonderfully-titled album closer "Chris Isaak Can't Do a Thing (to Stop Me)" and "Dan's House (Shouts to Hell Rell)," as well as The Witzard-premiered "ACE," within this very Beat-maker Bedrock column. Shark Tank's Height-produced Dan's House is currently available on Cold Rhymes Records.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

THE NATURAL CURRICULUM's "Chief Producer" AVER Readies Latest Instrumental Hip-Hop Album, Die Berlin Dateien (Village Live Records)

"'Die Berlin Dateien' is the first fully Instrumental Hip-Hop album by AVER, the chief producer of THE NATURAL CURRICULUM (TNC). Created whilst living in Berlin, AVER developed the 16 tracks as part of an attempt to evolve traditional sample use with more complex rhythms and off-beat drum breaks. The album features scratching and [beat-boxing] by fellow members of TNC and is overlaid with German-language vocals that provide an abstract narrative to further embellish the dream-like, somewhat dystopian nature of the album," Village Live Records' Die Berlin Dateien Vinyl + Cassette Tape product description reads. AVER AKA Joey Average AKA Joe Mills is one of the producer-emcees behind Manchester-based THE NATURAL CURRICULUM, along with emcee Bill Sykes, rapper-producer Chalk, DJ-producer Omas, beat-boxer Jam, DJ El Statiko, and (sometimes member) DJ Ink. It's currently unclear which of Joey Average's fellow THE NATURAL CURRICULUM'ers are featured "scratching and [beat-boxing]" through out Die Berlin Dateien, but Village Live says orders will likely start shipping around 24/07/17.

AVER and I last spoke around the time he released January's similarly-minded INSTRUMENTALS.3, which he then described as "a collection of ideas I was experimenting with in 2016 that don't quite fit into a bigger instrumental project I am currently working on (you could say they are the off-cuts, I guess!)" It now appears as though this "bigger instrumental project" AVER casually mentioned is his first label-released album, Die Berlin Dateien. As of just yesterday—Monday, July 17th, 2017—Die Berlin Dateien is currently available for pre-order in a number of limited edition formats: 300 vinyl LP's, 50 cassettes, 1 now-sold out white label test pressing, and digital album download. Village Live Records have uploaded a few multi-media album teasers including THE NATURAL CURRICULUM DJ Omas' 14-minute "Die Berlin Dateien Promo Mix," Ja-a-mes-directed Die Berlin Dateien (Official Trailer,) and Facebook-shared "one-off Test Pressing" teaser clip tagged #Aver, #DieBerlinDateien, #Testpressing, #Hiphop, #Triphop.