Friday, February 23, 2018

Rolled Gold Re-purposes & Re-releases "Nite Owl's Theme" with New Verses from Philly Emcees Ai-Que & Reef The Lost Cauze (The Nite Owls)



I'm not entirely sure what's the best aspect about Philly-bred producer Harry Metz AKA Rolled Gold: that his name is an allusion to delicious pretzel company Rold Gold, his logo is an upside down cigar-smoking pretzel, or that he makes infectious Jazzy Blues/Soul-inflected Hip-Hop beats. While remaining largely silent throughout 2017, Rolled Gold has returned to dominate 2018 with his unique hard as nails sour dough brand of Hip-Hop. Barely two months into 2018, Harry Metz recently told The Witzard about a slew of beat-twisting projects he currently has in store for this year; already having properly re-released an abridged version of his 2016 SALTY EP re-titled SALTY (3P) and effectively, trimming it back to a concise 3-track collection. Now, not even a full week later, Rolled Gold has already re-surfaced to unleash a vocal-assisted version of his 2016 single, "Nite Owl's Theme" with modern day composer/multi-instrumenatlist and cousin Nate Forman as The Nite Owls. "Nite Owl's Theme" is the second single from Rolled Gold's upcoming compilation album, which will also, showcase his 2017 single, "The Field" featuring No Headliner.



"The production is from me and my cousin's original composition, "Nite Owl's Theme," which I sped up and chopped up just a little bit and carries a Soulful groove, similar to soundtrack music from the 1960-70's era," Harry Metz wrote within a recent press statement. Rolled Gold alludes to the fact that he has quite the "versatile, life-long musical resume ranging from Jazz to Punk Rock bands, Trap beats to live Neo-Soul groups, and more." Metz readily lists J Dilla, RZA, and DOOM as his greatest sources of inspiration and influence, as well as the storied catalogs of Motown, Stax, and Philly International Records. Rolled Gold's "Nite Owl's Theme" now features amended verses from fellow Philadephians Ai-Que & Reef The Lost Cauze. "Nite Owl's Theme" ('Rap Version') features numerous sonic benchmarks akin to like-minded artists such as Bob James, BADBADNOTGOOD, Pat Van Dyke, El Michels Affair, Adrian Younge & Venice Dawn, and Will Sessions. Rolled Gold's upcoming releases will include instrumental/remix EP's and an as-yet-untitled compilation album, all constructed from 100% original samples and compositions.

Thursday, February 22, 2018

CURTA Announce 4Digit-produced End of Future Park EP, Unveil "The Messiah Complex" Single & cars & trains FICTIONS TOUR 2018 (self-released)



Die-hard Hip-Hop heads and The Witzard's trusty devotees alike will recall: the last time we heard from Denver emcee CURTA, he and long-time producer 4Digit were preparing to release their CLICK BAIT EP on FilthyBroke Recordings/Hello L.A. Lest we forget, Philly Noir-Hop originator Zilla Rocca's re-contextualized and remixed version of CURTA's "Rap Trope Questionnaire" was premiered right here at The Witzard last March. Now, CURTA are back with their first single, "The Messiah Complex," lifted from upcoming EP End of Future Park slated to be self-released on Bandcamp this upcoming March 19th. "End of Future Park is named for a construction sign meant to indicate the point at which the City of Denver's proposed "future park" starts and ends," CURTA wrote within a recent press statement. "This sign is painted on an underpass pillar a few blocks from my home and small studio where we recorded the album," CURTA further elaborated. End of Future Park EP is again, entirely produced by frquent collaborator 4Digit and teeters into fresh sonic territory for CURTA, "bouncing synth lines and Experimental noise combine as the lush backdrop for tracks obsessively tweaked into coherence."


Not only is CURTA back with six "very sexy"-sounding tracks, Side B of End of Future Park EP will include 26 minutes of un-used instrumentals producer 4Digit created around the same time CURTA wrote the preceding six songs. "The Life of 4Digit Vol. 1," as they're referring to it on Bandcamp, is an entire mixed down instrumental "beat tape," which can seemingly, be enjoyed, re-contextualized, beefed up, and re-used however you (the listener) sees best fit. CURTA's End of Future Park EP is currently available for pre-order on Bandcamp in a number of multi-formatted packages: 1.) standard digital album with high-quality MP3, FLAC, etc. download or 2.) 100 limited edition "gold"-encrusted cassettes... while supplies last! Only lead-off single, "The Messiah Complex," is currently available for streaming, along with the pre-order; however, I've heard the full End of Future Park EP and can assure you, it's indeed, a solid, single-song representation of CURTA & 4Digit's impending "fresh sonic territory." CURTA is currently gearing up to embark on a 14-date West/Southwest FICTIONS TOUR 2018 along with Portland-based Electronic/Folk singer cars & trains, which will culminate with CURTA's triumphant End of Future Park EP Release Show 3/14 at Denver's Seventh Circle Collective.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

San Francisco Rapper-producer OneWerd Unveils Self-directed "Inner Truths" Video from Alive EP (Fake Four Freecember 2017)


"It's cool to see things come full-circle. A year ago, nearly to the day, I walked out of my classroom and headed home for Winter Break. My only aim for that window of creative time was to put together the foundation for the best project possible to submit for Fake Four's Freecember series the following year," San Francisco/Bay Area rapper-producer OneWerd wrote within a recent press statement. Adding that he then, spent the next three weeks "experimenting with new production approaches, brain-storming, and collecting song ideas and working them out into lyrics." Upon completing eight genre-eschewing beats for what would ultimately, become his Alive EP, OneWerd reached out to a particular collection of artists he looked up to and admired to appear within Alive; this would end up including features from Denver emcee sole, Graves 33, Sleep of Oldominion, Ersatz Splynter, and Fake Four, Inc.'s own "anti-boss himself," Ceschi. OneWerd's Alive EP was released as part of Fake Four's Freecember 2017 series, along with Anonymous Inc. AKA Ceschi & David Ramos' Beta 1 EP, Oscar Goldman's Prevoid EP, and AllOne's Dusty Dossiers EP. It's also, of particular note that "all music and album art [was] produced, recorded, mixed, and mastered by OneWerd, 4 cats, and excessive amounts of coffee."


Since the December 2017 release of his Alive EP on Fake Four, Inc. OneWerd has been steadily promoting the EP (which is how our paths crossed) and repping his own unique brand of "Intergalactic Mood Music, Extraterrestrial Hardcore Big Band, Symphonic Experimental Shoegaze Trap-step," fused with slightly more traditional Hip-Hop. If pressed, I would likely, describe the sound contained on OneWerd's Alive EP as something between Run The Jewels and Imagine Dragons with a sonic dash of TV On The Radio. Last month, OneWerd unleashed his first self-directed and edited music video for Alive EP solo cut "Inner Truths." OneWerd explained: "Inner Truths," the first visual treatment from Alive, is an examination of what it means to stay rooted in the face of external pressures to change or conform. I've often felt discouraged by the pressure to fit within an easily-marketable template in the music industry and this song is a reminder to myself to fight back against the voices that would dissuade you from speaking your own inner truths." OneWerd further detailed, he had a bit of behind-camera assistance from his friends The IMF and Jeff Stone for "Inner Truths," which was shot in various locations around his hometown of San Mateo, California. OneWerd's latest Alive EP is now available to stream or download from Fake Four, Inc.'s Bandcamp, along with the rest of their Freecember 2017 releases.

Monday, February 19, 2018

J.Rocc Unleashes Long-vaulted J Dilla & Michael Jackson Blends Album SHARE MY BED (Original Artwork By: @UnibrowDuck)



It's safe to say, I've been patiently awaiting J.Rocc's J Dilla & Michael Jackson-blending mash-up project ever since Stones Throw posted: "Share My Bed=M.J. & Dilla 1st track "Player Has Butterflies"... wait 4 the rest" nearly 10 years ago back in November 2009. Over the years, a handful of tracks have been sporadically leaked out from the project—alternatively, referred to as "Dil Jackson"—but every year, as Dilla Month (February) comes and goes, I've always wondered, if we would ever hear the entirety of J.Rocc's Share My Bed. Even this year, J Dilla's birthday, Feb. 7th (same as my dad's!) passed, as well as Feb. 10th, the 12th anniversary of his passing, and still, no signs of J.Rocc's anxiously-awaited Dil Jackson project. However, just a few days ago, on Valentine's Day, J.Rocc quietly dropped Share My Bed on his Bandcamp, without any prior notice or warning. Self-described as a project Beat Junkies Founder & DJ J.Rocc admittedly, "started years ago, but never finished," Share My Bed consists of eight wonderfully-executed seamless blends of both Michael & Dilla's greatest hits and most beloved cult favorites.


J Dilla, himself, actually, sampled both Michael Jackson and The Jackson 5 on a number of occasions throughout his storied career: "Time: The Donut of The Heart" from magnum opus Donuts samples Jackson 5's "All I Do Is Think of You," "Inhuman Nature" naturally, samples "Human Nature" from Thriller, and "Track 19" from Dilla's infamous Beat CD '05 #3 samples Jackson 5's "Dancing Machine," which was ultimately, re-purposed on Q-Tip's 2008 single, "Move." Not only did J Dilla AKA Jay Dee produce a 1997 "Gone 'til It's Gone" remix for Janet, he also constructed a remix of Michael's "HIStory" along with A Tribe Called Quest members Q-Tip & Ali Shaheed Muhammad, collectively billed as The Ummah. "J Dilla once said he was [going] to make an album of him singing. The cover was a picture of him [on his side] like Michael Jackson on Thriller. The title of the LP was going to be SHARE MY BED," J.Rocc further detailed on his Bandcamp.


Upon first hearing J.Rocc's Share My Bed, I reached out to my friend and frequent collaborator, graphic designer Tin Kulj AKA Unibrow Duck to see if he could design an original alt. Thriller-esque album cover, as Dilla himself had imagined. Needless, to say, after a few emails back-and-forth over the weekend, Tin indeed, delivered! Unibrow Duck designed three pieces of original artwork inspired by Michael Jackson's world-renown album, Thriller; specifically, the 1982 inner-sleeve gatefold artwork featuring Michael posing with an adorable little tiger cub, to which Tin even added distressed "worn LP" details. Unibrow Duck's Share My Bed inner-sleeve art can be viewed at the top of this very post, with the rest of his artwork available to view at UnibrowDuck.Tumblr.com. Lest we forget, @UnibrowDuck also, recently designed original pieces of artwork for our recurring Beat-maker Bedrock producer column, as well as The Witzard's Andy Cooper "THE PERFECT DEFINITION" Remix Comp. playlist. "TURN IT UP! A LITTLE LOUDA!"

Friday, February 16, 2018

DARK THOUGHTS Unleash WINTER TAPE with 3 More Frantic Cuts from DARK THOUGHTS AT WORK (DARKTHOUGHTS.BIGCARTEL.COM)



"Some copies left from our tour of Mexico.
100 white tapes with blue insert.
3 songs from the upcoming LP 'DARK THOUGHTS AT WORK,'"
Philly Punks DARK THOUGHTS wrote on their Bandcamp page this past week. Fittingly-named DARK THOUGHTS WINTER TAPE is their latest quick-strike release and quasi-follow-up to October 2017's festively-appropriate DARK THOUGHTS HALLOWEEN TAPE. Not entirely unlike similarly-named DARK THOUGHTS HALLOWEEN TAPE, DARK THOUGHTS WINTER TAPE features three select songs from DARK THOUGHTS' upcoming sophomore album, DARK THOUGHTS AT WORK: "PSYCHO WARD," "NO GOOD," and "DON'T WANNA." "NO GOOD" and "DON'T WANNA" were previously featured on DARK THOUGHTS HALLOWEEN TAPE—along with "HATE THIS SONG" and "LITTLE THING"—in rough demo form; although, I'm assuming, much won't change from "rough demo" tape form to the finalized cuts to be featured on DARK THOUGHTS AT WORK.


It's since, seemingly disappeared from The Internet, but DARK THOUGHTS HALLOWEEN TAPE featured four tracks, as well as festive sound effects and "spooky noises," which is why DARK THOUGHTS WINTER TAPE appears to be so much shorter at a total of 4:01-minutes in length. Having already heard five tracks, as well as a couple rough demos, from DARK THOUGHTS' 2016 self-titled debut follow-up, it appears as though DARK THOUGHTS AT WORK is soon impending. DARK THOUGHTS currently have a string of gigs lined up for the next few months, including 3/23 W/ BUGG [& CLASP] @ EVERYBODY HITS and 4/5 W/ SWEARIN', BIG EYES & WEEDHOUNDS @ MARKET HOTEL (NYC) and new dates are regularly added to the sidebar of DARK THOUGHTS' Bandcamp. WINTER TAPE will be currently available at DARK THOUGHTS' upcoming East Coast dates and cassettes are also, available to purchase directly from DARKTHOUGHTS.BIGCARTEL.COM, if you aren't able to make it out to a show this Winter. ❄️

Thursday, February 15, 2018

The Witzard Premier & Exclusive Stream: Petridisch Releases First of 2018 Philip Glass Re-interpretations - "GLASS: Music In Contrary Motion (for Farfisa, Synth & Vocaloid)"


Petridisch (@petridisch) describes himself as a "mainly Electronic music composer on the Darkwave side, who loves VOCALOID / sometimes plays a reverbed-out guitar" hailing from Boston. Petridisch is a mysterious creature, also know as Thor Maillet, who has issued a staggering 26 individual releases, since first launching his project on Bandcamp in 2015-16. Just in 2017, Petridisch released four full-length albums: Wired, Classical Vocaloid, Monolith, Split—re-released on Amazon, Spotify, and Apple Music as An Interrogation—and most recently, 358, as well as limited edition 358 VHS + CASSETTE + DIGITAL + DVD! combo-packs on Illuminated Paths, as well as a unique "video album" crafted in collaboration with Broken Machine Films Presents... However, Thor Maillet has personally, been making music since 1995 as part of various bands, collaborative projects, and solo endeavors, including, but not limited to, Cryostasium / Thor Maillet, CTM, Petridisch, and simply "Thor Maillet."


Petridisch's music is equally influenced by both, the works of Philip Glass and Mylène Farmer, as Thor Maillet says his general intent with his music it to "explore the greyer areas of the psyche with inevitable elements of light and humor." Petridisch's latest release, "GLASS: Music In Contrary Motion (for Farfisa, Synth & Vocaloid)" is a 15-minute re-interpretation of a 1969 work by American "minimalist" composer Philip Glass. It's just the first in an on-going series of GLASS re-interpretations to be released throughout 2018. "GLASS: Music In Contrary Motion" will be released on Petridisch's Bandcamp page on March 2nd and is currently available for pre-order, however, it's currently streaming EXCLUSIVELY here at The Witzard. In addition to his GLASS Project, Petridisch has a number of projects lined up for release during 2018: Rêve d'un Rêve to be released on cassette through Norwegian imprint Asura Revolver on Feb. 24th, Illuminated Paths cassette entitled Umjammer, and VIPER & Broken Machine Films Presents... upcoming album 'BOUT THA MONEY will feature "mastering by Thor," as well as a number of yet-to-be-announced projects. I'll just let Petridisch himself further explain "GLASS: Music In Contrary Motion (for Farfisa, Synth & Vocaloid)" down below the break.


"THE PROJECT: At least two larger-scale Philip Glass works to be re-interpreted for Electronic Farfisa organ and Vocaloid with sometimes, other parts added for texture, by myself—directed by published Philip Glass scores. Vol. 1 is a single, the 1969 work "Music In Contrary Motion," to be released March 2nd. Vol. 2 will be the large-scale 1975 work, "Another Look at Harmony, Part 4" to be released [in] either, April or May. Other works to be determined.

THE SINGLE: "GLASS: Music In Contrary Motion (for Farfisa, Synth & Vocaloid.)" This will be released, via Bandcamp, on March 2nd in lossless and other formats and also, through digital distribution outlets.

THE PIECE ITSELF: This piece was originally composed in 1969 by Philip Glass. The instrumentation is open, pretty much whatever you see fit. It consists of 23 scored sections, or "modules," that one plays through with a few repeats, before moving onto the next section. The number of repeats per section is flexible; I chose none to give it an ever-moving and maybe disconcerting "roller coaster ride" feel. If you listen to other recordings of the piece, most of the time, you will hear sections repeat. All the music is written "in contrary motion." This means that the upper line of the music moves in direct contrast to the lower line of the music—in the score—every note. There are only five notes in total in the piece (A, B, C, D, E,) as well! I imagine, it would be extremely hard for a human vocal ensemble to pull off what the robots pulled off in Vocaloid, but it was the very reason I chose this particular piece. I wanted to hear voices sing these amazingly convoluted parts!"

- Thor Maillet AKA Petridisch

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Beat-twisting West Philly Producer Rolled Gold "Re-releases" 2016 SALTY EP As 3-track SALTY (3P) & Details 2018 Release Plans



Since we last heard from beat-twisting West Philly producer Rolled Gold here at The Witzard, it was when he and Philly emcee Uncle Crimson self-released their collaborative 2016 The Great Fallback EP. Rolled Gold producer Harry Metz quietly released a one-off single entitled "The Field" with a vocal assist from No Headliner in July 2017, as well as "Nite Owl's Theme" from The Nite Owls AKA Harry Metz and his cousin Nate Forman. The Nite Owls actually, formed in April 2016 and are being billed as a "Soul, Jazz, and soundtrack music duo," which also features contributions from musically-inclined friends Kavian Bina, Jonathan Vaders, and Ray Bailey. "This time around, me and my cousin are putting together a band that will do less Hip-Hop and more Soul, Jazz, and 1960-70's soundtrack music. I've linked up with a handful of Soul singers, as well to work with this year," Rolled Gold told The Key XPN back in 2016, upon the release of his SALTY EP, seemingly, alluding to The Nite Owls. Metz is actually, planning to re-release "Nite Owl's Theme" this upcoming Tuesday, February 20th with newly-added verses from emcees Ai-Que & Reef The Lost Cauze. Upon its initial release, SALTY EP was stylized as a compilation project showcasing 7-8 rappers hailing from Philly, The Bronx, Camden, NJ simply "talking sh*t" over seven dusty, sample-based beats.


This past Monday, February 12th @RolledGoldBeats Tweeted, "F**k it, just re-inventing my first compilation EP into a quick 3-song jawn now. Peep that #SALTY (3P) on Soundcloud, feat. @Ai_Que, @MrVisto, @thebulBEY & @UncleCrim." Essentially, Rolled Gold took his debut 2016 release and trimmed off a few tracks, re-branded it as "SALTY (3P)" and re-released it to the masses. When I reached out to Harry Metz for further commentary, he said, via email: "so, in the spirit of re-launching my brand this year, I figured I'd start promoting that project again as a quick 3-song EP for new listeners to digest easily and I know they'll like all 3 tracks." If you, much like myself, weren't exposed to Rolled Gold's SALTY EP when it was initially released in January 2016, now is the perfect time to re-visit Rolled Gold's Bluesy, Jazz-laden, and perfectly "sweet and salty" SALTY (3P.) I'm told Rolled Gold has a gaggle of upcoming projects currently in-the-works including, but not limited to, an as-yet-untitled album featuring Ai-Que & Reef The Lost Cauze, a Career Crooks remix with Wino Willy on Thieving As Long As I'm Breathing EP, an instrumental EP with 100% original samples, a joint EP with Boogieman Dela entitled Broken Watch Pt. 2, and an instrumental EP recorded with Wino Willy. Rolled Gold's recently re-packed and re-released SALTY (3P) is now available to stream or download on Bandcamp and Soundcloud; make sure to keep an eye out for The Nite Owls' "Nite Owl's Theme" (Rap Version) to be re-released this upcoming Tuesday, February 20th.