Friday, May 26, 2017

The Roots & The Tonight Show Band's @questlove Reminisces About The Beatles' "Anti-Beatle-like Mixtape" Sgt. Pepper's On Its 50th Anniversary (Parlophone/Capitol Records, 5/26/1967)

"#ItWas50YearsAgoToday This LP was always in my dad's collection (Dad was a vocalist who LOVED Pop. Yeah, he looked like a member of the #BlackPanthers. Ran the house like he was #JamesEvans. But his go-to zone was some of the best dentist office music ever—feed your kids equal [Barbra Streisand] #StoneyEnd & [Rufus] #Rufusized & see what happens? lol)—I ignored #SgtPeppers because I never liked the 60's @capitolrecords logo (see how everyone is going #FigitSpinner mad? My version of that was taking records out the sleeve, & spinning them on my finger watchin' the logo rotate. Seriously, I was obsessed with all spinning rotating objects—hence, my record obsession)—If the logo was dope? I'd give the record a chance. I'd love to revision a story of singing "Within You Without You" in my 2nd grade class—but the truth is, it didn't hit me 'til 22 years AFTER its release. Sgt. Pepper's was the 4th CD I ever purchased for my high school graduation gift (CD player) (my 1st? @LivingColourofficial's #Vivid, 2nd #SlyAndTheFamilyStone's Anthology 3rd) #WalkingWithAPanther by LL [Cool J] & I think my 5th was #CookieCrew's "Born This Way"—sidenote: their "Females" was used on #ADifferentWorld, but WAS NOT ON THE LP—WHY!!?

OK, lemme stay on track—entire Summer of '89, this record blew my mind, man. It still does. I'm recording music now on 16-track machine & struggling. Meanwhile, these guys are using a 4-track machine & making some of the most timeless, futuristic long-lasting music ever. This LP INVENTED the idea of LP's being a statement. Not just a collection of 3 good hits & some cover songs. Liner notes? This album. Gatefold? This album. Matter of fact, this is the 1st "departure LP" (@TheBeatles wanted to be taken seriously & lose the "Teen Pop" tag, so they made "a mixtape" of weird, anti-Beatle-like songs experimenting [with] different genres & recording techniques & the plan backfired: they became even bigger than ever—one could say so big that this actually became their undoing?) this album inspired Stevie Wonder to dream of endless musical possibilities (I say his [catalog] picked up the torch left by The Fab 4 once they imploded in 1970) words can't express the ripple effect this caused on its release. HAPPY ANNIVERSARY!"

- Questlove Gomez (@questlove)

Film & Television Composer, Multi-instrumentalist & Illustrator Silas Hite of Satin Cowboy & The Seven Deadly Sins Unleashes Jarring Cover of Metric's "Other Side" (The Witzard Premier)

"I've always been big fan of Metric. Their lyrics are always so impactful and their music delivers so much genuine emotion, from sadness to elation and all the complications in between. What struck me the most about "Other Side" was the beauty of the lyrics and the vocal melody. Those were the two elements I tried to be faithful to in my cover; although, I ended up giving the melody a bit of my own flavor when I sang it," film and television composer, multi-instrumentalist, artist, and illustrator Silas Hite wrote within a recent email. He's of course, referring to his recent cover of Metric's "Other Side" from their 2015 album, Pagans In Vegas—founding members Emily Haines and Jason Shaw recently re-joined forces with with their long-standing Toronto-based musical collective, Broken Social Scene, to prep their first proper album in some seven years, Hug of Thunder. Silas Hite did the vocals, guitar, bass, drums, and keys himself on "Other Side" and additionally recorded, mixed, and produced his Metric cover. He then recruited cellist Timothy Loo and violinist Nancy Kuo to help put a few finishing flourishes on the tracks, which was mastered by Hans DeKline at Sound Bites Dog. Silas Hite's complex, yet fittingly simplistic "Other Side" single artwork was designed by Los Angeles-based graphic artist Derek "D-WREX" Zimmerman.

Silas Hite has had a rather long-standing musical career himself and over the course of the last 14 years, has amassed quite a staggering resume of credits: co-scoring Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs and Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist with his uncle Mark Mothersbaugh (DEVO), scoring episodes of Chef's Table, contributing music to Catfish: The TV Show, The Simpsons Game, American Pickers, Pawn Stars, and Keeping Up with The Kardashians, as well as popular commercials for Apple, Blue Moon, Chevy, Dunkin' Donuts, Microsoft, and most recently, Chipotle. Hite has additionally performed with a variety of genre-blending bands including, but not limited to, Satin Cowboy & The Seven Deadly Sins, Alma Sangre, Hellbeast of The Night, Happiness Realization Party, and Project Parallel. "Other Side" is currently available for streaming on Silas Hite's personal Bandcamp and Soundcloud pages, as well as both Apple Music and iTunes for an extremely reasonable $0.99 price tag. Silas Hite tells me he's currently scoring two video games that are scheduled to come out this upcoming Fall (although, he can't mention any names yet) and just finished a commercial campaign for Chipotle that's playing on TV right now. Hite additionally mentioned he's hard at work on the third full-length from his American Rock "N" Roll band, Satin Cowboy & The Seven Deadly Sins.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

ialive Returns from it's all down south from here. Tour with Darko The Super & Torito with "A C U R A (back in my bag)" Ahead of East Coast Dates Along with Oddisee & kidDEAD

"I was feeling a little overwhelmed and burnt out with doing shows and being a wack promoter, so I decided to sit down at my funk machine and do a jam; this is the result. I did all of this in a few hours—beat, rhymes, record, and mix. It's all about the music and it always has been about the music. THANK YOU! <3 kidDEAD and I leave for a short run of shows this Thursday," Philly beat-maker, emcee, Rap-singer/song-writer ialive wrote within a recent Facebook post. ialive is of course, one half of The Hell Hole Store with fellow rapper-producer buddy Darko The Super and his latest single, "A C U R A (back in my bag)" is his first since April 2016's The Jelly EP. ialive further details that he doesn't tour as much a some of his road dog friends, but steadily maintaining a 40-hour a week schedule at his day job, booking shows for his rapper friends throughout Philly, and upkeeping a somewhat regular existence, he understandably gets tired rather easily, as most of us often do. "I focused on the feeling of thankfulness and gratitude I felt while on tour with Darko and Torito two weeks ago. I [wanted] to focus on that and not feeling rundown."

"A C U R A (back in my bag)" is largely anchored around a muffled sample that proclaims, "WHEN I'M ON TOUR, FOR'REAL..." to which ialive quips, "I'm not on tour!" ialive just recently got back from the it's all down south from here tour with The Hell Hole Store (Darko) & Torito—they even came "BACK IN THE DAMN ACURA" and is headed back out this week on a 6-date East Coast jaunt along with kidDEAD: 5/26 at Legion Bar in Brooklyn NY, 5/27 at Oxbow Brewing in Portland ME, 5/28 at Shaskeen in Manchester NH, 5/29 at The Hollow (opening for Oddisee) in Albany NY, 5/30 at an unspecified venue in Allentown PA, and finally, 5/31 at The Pharmacy in Philly PA. Darko, ialive & Torito triumphantly returned from said tour with a stack of Homeboy Sandman-esque it's all down south from here. (Tour Tapes) available on either band-made cassette or Name-Your-Price digital download. I recently heard from a little birdy that ialive and Darko The Super have reunited as The Hell Hole Store for a proper follow-up to their self-titled 2016 Already Dead Tapes album, Return to The Hell Hole Store, will be out this upcoming June 23rd. They've already released one Das Racist-sampling teaser single from their second album, "Mellow Yellow 2" to help whet your appetite and even went as far as to perform their very own "NPR Tiny Desk Concert" submission.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

South Philly's "Least Important Most Important" Zilla Rocca & Small Professor Team Up for Career Crooks' URBNET Full-length, Good Luck with That (The Witzard Interview)

"I used to watch Run-D.M.C. videos on my grandmother's TV in South Philly; then, I had to hide Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg CD's from my parents when I was 10-years-old. I used to make Rap tapes on my dad's stereo system. I would record every episode of BET's Rap City in high school on VHS. In college, I started my first Rap group. After college, I started my own Indie Rap label. Today, my first album released on a record label is out. And I can't believe it!" Zilla Rocca ecstatically wrote within a Friday afternoon Facebook post. Friday, May 19th was the release day for the seasoned South Philly rapper-producer and remixer's major label "debut," Good Luck with That on Toronto-based Indie Hip-Hop label URBNET. Zilla recently formed Career Crooks with his long-time friend and partner-in-crime Small Professor (Small Pro) and ahead of Good Luck with That, they released two hard-as-nails pre-album collections: last year's Sin Will Find You: The Collected Works and Name-Your-Price Take What's Coming EP. URBNET fittingly describes their sound as being "steeped in the late 1980's to early 1990's Career Crooks, couples street smart blue collar futurism, with a modernist approach, launching them to the level of current luminaries like KA, Roc Marciano, and Westside Gunn."

"[Career Crooks] hits you like a big-a$$ 60's Batman sound effect. Go get that," Hip-Hop critic and purveyor of all things dope Elmattic (@thisiselmattic) wrote on Twitter Friday afternoon; characteristically continuing, "Yo @ZillaRocca & @smallpro, that "Corrupt Novelist" joint hits you like..." along with an attached image that simply read "ZLONK!" Good Luck with That does indeed hit you like a ton of cocaine-filled bricks and is very reminiscent of 36 Chambers-era Wu-Tang Clan, as well as similarly-minded Hip-Hop duos like Run The Jewels and OutKast. I was lucky enough to obtain the unique opportunity to interview both Zilla Rocca & Small Pro coinciding with the release of Good Luck with That this past Friday; Career Crooks waxed poetic on everything from Sin Will Find You: The Collected Works to Take What's Coming EP, Good Luck with That's friendly features, "Cheesesteak Noir-Hop," Zilla Rocca's now-infamous voicemails, and inventive album artwork. I suggest you do yourself a favor, download or order a cassette copy of Good Luck with That, pop open a nice aged bottle of Cognac, and delve into this expansive interview with Zilla Rocca & Small Pro!


Matt "The Witzard" Horowitz
"The Humpty Dance" Contest Winner

I. How did you guys initially meet and ultimately, decide to start recording together as Career Crooks, a 2-man faction of your larger group, Wrecking Crew? How did you come up with the name Career Crooks anyways?

Zilla Rocca: Me and Small Pro met in like 2007-08. We were the only dudes in Philly getting blog love around then with dope underground sites, so I made it my business to find this guy and make him work with me. I came up with the name just driving around listening to Jay-Z's "So Ghetto;" plus, it fit in with our underworld themes, like our past projects, Major Crimes EP and Thieves with Good Taste EP [with PremRock.] Plus, we just steal a lot of sh*t.

Small Pro: I prefer the term "illegally recycle," but yes... very fitting group name. I actually didn't like it at first, but it grew on me, like most of Zilla's artistic suggestions do. My mother also pointed out that it's (slightly) alliterative, after slightly frowning upon learning that her favorite middle son is literally a "career crook."

II. As Sin Will Find You: The Collected Works expertly shows, you've been "unofficially" working together as Career Crooks for a number of years now... but what exactly made you decide to make it "official" with a proper rapper-producer full-length?

Zilla: The album was going to be just "Zilla Rocca & Small Pro," but after talking with people I respect and thinking about how it would be dope for us at this point in our careers to have something brand new out, making it an official group was the right move. Like Run The Jewels is obviously Killer Mike & El-P and they could've just dropped their music like that under their names, but making it a group name to me, creates a real bond with the music and to the fans, like this isn't a one-off or just some quick sh*t we put out. It's about formally uniting.

Smalls: I think that conceptually, it made sense to make Career Crooks its own distinct entity; this way we can go places creatively that we might not, if it's a Zilla song produced by me.

III. How do the tracks on your recent pre-album EP, Take What's Coming relate to Good Luck with That? Is it mostly composed of album left-overs and voicemails?

Zilla: There was one song that we left off the album and put it on the EP, but everything else was built from scratch. We spent a long time with the album, so the EP was just light work. It was more fun and quick to put together. By that point, we knew what worked best with each other, so I know if we do another album, it would be very comfortable and simple, just based off how cool the EP came out.

Smalls: [Take What's Coming] is [Good Luck with That's] companion piece; an introduction to our world and a preview of the debut, as well as being its own entity. I'm sure [Zilla] has his own reference point for it, but mine was Soul Position (RJD2 & Blueprint) releasing the Unlimited EP in 2002 before they released 8 Million Stories in 2003.

IV. What can you tell me about your now-infamous voicemails, Zilla, which Small Pro included within your recent Take What's Coming EP and Good Luck with That? What struck you as so compelling about them, Small Pro and why did you ultimately, decide to include them within the recordings?

Zilla: I don't even remember those at all! If Smalls didn't put them on the albums, I'd have zero recollection of ever leaving them! But I miss hearing voicemails on people's albums in general—you can't put a f**king text message on a song.

Smalls: Zilla leaves me stuff like that all the time, in all honesty... it picked up more during the making-of [Good Luck with That] since we were actively working on an album and therefore, communicating with more regularity. However, until we started working on the EP, I was planning on using them on something completely different, since they didn't really fit in anywhere on the album comfortably. The EP setting worked better for the voicemails because of its loose and fun nature.

V. What was your typical writing, recording, and beat-making process like for Good Luck with That; was the album fully written, recorded, and produced with both of you together in the studio in South Philly, remotely via email transmission, or a little bit of both scenarios?

Zilla: We both work completely alone—we don't live far away and we talk on the phone and kick it in person; but we keep very different hours and schedules, so it made sense for Small Pro to bang out stuff on his end and me on mine. We both are self-sufficient people and very prolific artists who don't like people telling us what to do, so it was the smartest way to maximize both of our strengths.

Smalls: Most Rap songs/albums follow this sequence during their creation: producer makes beat at some point in time, rapper hears aforementioned beat, rapper records pre-written lyrics or writes new lyrics to beat. We did things the opposite way this go 'round: for the most part, I crafted and worked around Zilla's pre-existing vocals. Same end result, just our own particular process.

VI. How would you attempt to best describe the underlying 90's Hip-Hop-reminiscent Noir-Hop feel heard throughout Good Luck with That, for someone who may have never previously been exposed to your solo music or Career Crooks' storied output?

Zilla: It's just natural for us to make sh*t like this. My other projects that are more Experimental and Proggy on purpose, such as No Vacation for Murder or The Slow Twilight; they were natural and effortless when I made those with my homie Douglas Martin aka Blurry Drones. He and Smalls have had this years-long respectful rivalry with each other as producers. It's just Douglas lives in Seattle and Smalls lives here, so they're not going to do sh*t the same way—Douglas' beats feel like the Northwest. Small Pro's feel like the East Coast, but I'm the constant between both sounds. Like I worship Nas and Ishmael Butler [Palaceer Lazaro,] Aesop Rock and Nas, Raekwon and doseone. So, I've always straddled the line between traditionalist and progressive with Hip-Hop. I think this album is more "traditionalist," but me and Small Pro love Prefuse 73 and Drake, so there's little moments on the album that aren't strictly [just] for back-packers in their thirties.

Smalls: On the production side of things, I've always liked the idea of purposefully using previously utilized samples in my music; even though Guru of Gang Starr once famously said, "Rap is an art, you can't own no loops," there are still producers that feel like using the same piano sample as DJ Premier from 1998 would be heresy, no matter how different the end result comes out. Even unwritten rules are meant to be broken. Also, we both grew up on dark and gritty NY Rap... so, even though we weren't trying to sound like a particular year, there's simply a specific and special feeling you get when you hear hard drums and a loop and that's what we were aiming to convey.

VII. Where exactly did you draw your greatest sources of inspiration and influence while creating what Passion of The Weiss scribe Chris Daly fittingly described as your unique "Cheesesteak Noir[-Hop]" style showcased throughout Good Luck with That?

Zilla: After we finished the album, Smalls told me our album was incredibly "South Philly," which I never picked up on, until he said that. But I'm a life-long South Philly resident, so I'm too close to pick up on that. He's not, so he has the outside eyes to peep it. But since we both live in South Philly, it had to come out that way. And when I was writing songs like "Cold Ten Thousand," that's inspired by real people I knew around South Philly—the loser who gambles and works side jobs, the loan shark who is everyone's buddy, the wife who just tolerates it because she's loved her man since they were teenagers. On "Dock Street Suspicions," I pick out very specific real places in Philly to tell a fictional story, so I guess that's what Chris [Daly] meant by "Cheesesteak Noir" haha!

Smalls: South Philly definitely has its own sound, which [Zilla] has always interpreted in his own way... both subconsciously and on purpose. But having the added dimension of a fellow South Philadelphian picking sounds to match his words accentuated those vibrations.

VIII. How exactly did you go about fielding and recruiting Good Luck with That's featured artists: DJ Manipulator, Curly Castro, ALASKA, My Man Shafe, Defcee, s.hablB, PremRock, Dewey Bryan, and MaLLY? How did you decide which artists to place on each corresponding track?

Zilla: Almost all of those guys are good friends of mine and cats like beeb (s.habIB) and DJ Manipulator are dope cats I met on Twitter that I wanted to bring in for their specific skills. But I've known MaLLy 10 years, [Curly] Castro is my best friend. I've toured with PremRock and have hung out with Dewey [Bryan] countless times—again, real life friends. So, it's just a natural extension, not like we had to reach out to big-name guests to sell the record, which I'm not against, but the album was built on camaraderie. I started getting really cool with ALASKA way after the album was in post-production and was like "I need this guy, too." It's all organic.

Smalls: The guest performances are one of my favorite details about Good Luck with That, especially PremRock's two spots. Everybody in the Wrecking Crew is heavily influenced by the Wu-Tang Clan's string of albums in the 90's... so, for example, you might hear a [Career Crooks] song one day where a featured artist's verse is longer than Zilla's, or elsewhere, it might not even have Zilla featured at all, even though it's still Career Crooks/Wrecking Crew. As long as it comes out dope, we have zero issue with sharing the spotlight or letting a guest's star explode on a track. And we love posse cuts... just ask Curly Castro.

IX. How important was it for you guys to really "hit the nail on the head" and capture some dope inner-album imagery to accompany Good Luck with That's CD/cassette release, considering Zilla's day job as co-creator of @rapbooklets alongside @EgyptoKnuckles?

Zilla: I'm really big on artwork—I feel like that's the one piece of props I've never gotten in my Indie Rap career that I'm salty about still! Any project I put out, I think about how it will look next to all the other artwork on my Bandcamp page. Because I'm a fan of discovering people completely off great artwork. I just discovered this band SHEER MAG because their album was so inspiring. I cheat and screen-grab sh*t all the time from Instagram, Tumblr, [Twitter,] or will snap a pic out and about and go back to it. My wife is a photographer, so I've cheated from her style a bit about framing, lighting, and sh*t like that. Rap Booklets is all about that—just letting people know the more imagery with Rap beyond a Soundcloud .JPG or a YouTube video is better.

Smalls: As far as the group photos accompanying [Good Luck with That] are concerned, we were just having fun... especially me, with the mask! There will be more masks.

X. What can you gentlemen tell me about Good Luck with That's striking Golden Age Hip-Hop-reminiscent cover image? How does it correlate to the lyrical themes, style, overall feel, etc. of the record? What do you think of my Good Luck with That re-design commissioned by self-described Instagram Outsider/Folk Artist @grimeytapesnewportcigarettes?

Zilla: I don't know what's "Golden Age Hip-Hop" about the cover honestly—it was just a scene I saw one day getting coffee on Broad Street not too far from where we both live. So, I snapped it, posted it on Instagram, and Smalls and a few other people were like "YO! THAT'S AN ALBUM COVER RIGHT THERE!" So boom—we had that album cover before we even had a group name or album title. But Smalls was right—the cover fits the album because it's completely South Philly—the old stretch Cadillac parked between two funeral homes on a dreary day.

Smalls: The commissioned re-make made me chuckle, once I figured out what it was. Above all else (and in my not-so humble opinion,) [Good Luck with That] simply looks like it's probably a dope album based on the cover and that especially is something that both Zilla and I try to be mindful of, in our respective fields.

XI. How did you initially come to get in contact with Canadian Indie Hip-Hop imprint URBNET and what made you feel as though they were the perfect fit for a label to work with to unleash Career Crooks' premier project, Good Luck with That?

Zilla: My homies PremRock and Fresh Kils dropped an album late 2016 with them called Leave In Tact. And Prem was always saying great things about the label and the big cheese Darryl [Rodway] that runs it. I wasn't too familiar with them, but once I did my research, I thought it would be a new, fun outlet for this record. We're the first 100% American act they've ever signed and they've been around almost 20 years, which is dope! And me and Smalls wanted to catch more people that might've never heard of us before this album, so why not attack the Canadian Rap fans?

Smalls: I had heard of URBNET previously through releases by Moka Only and Elaquent, but after a little bit of research and discussion, Zilla and I agreed that it was the right way to go. This will sound a little weird, but since I place a lot of stock in album artwork, I went to their Bandcamp page and imagined our record there next to their other releases and it made sense. I also knew that if they were putting out and standing behind records like the Leave In Tact album, we would be right at home.

XII. What do you fellas have planned next for Career Crooks or within the confines of your separate, yet often over-lapping solo careers? I know you've recently been hittin' it outta the park with your 90's Hip-Hop-evoking Soundcloud loosies series, Zilla and you with your ever-infectious Jawns beat series, Small Pro!

Zilla: I have my long-awaited solo album on deck [called] Future Former Rapper. Looking for a home for that now. But beyond that, it's good to not be sitting on music anymore. I'm stacking up more remix credits, which I'll compile for another remix project as Anything I Touch I Bruise Vol. III.

Smalls: Let's see... currently working on a group album with a Philadelphia-based singer that doesn't have a name/title yet, I'm in the middle of my second official instrumental album, and I've started setting aside beats for Gigantic, Vol. 2, the follow-up to my first compilation album.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Michael J. Collins Surprise Releases Expanded One Man Love Triangle "Bully Boi" EP, Emergency Contact As 10 Limited Edition Hand-made CD-R's (FilthyBroke Recordings, FBD012)

"'Bully Boi" ended up being a single that I put out a coupla of weeks ago; sorta a prelude to this album, on which it is also included. It was going to be a 2-track release, but BALAM ACAB decided he wanted that other song for our upcoming split on a label outta EU. So, that is the next One Man Love Triangle stuff, the split with [ON GOD.] 3 songs each," FiltyBroke Recordings founder Michael J. Collins (MJC) wrote within a recent email. Not only does Collins single-handedly run FiltyBroke, he's an acclaimed mixing and mastering engineer who's done post-production work with "Fake Four Inc. sole's Black Box Tapes & Walter Gross, Megakut Records, and many New England artists both established and up-and-coming." Michael J. Collins' recent mixing and mastering work includes Walter Gross' phenomenal Ambient-Noise beat album VESTIGE, Dean Cavanagh's Rock und Roll (released as YAH!), FilthyBroke's own Library Lunch: A Benefit Compilation for Anti-Bullying, and "about 15 LP's coming out of the Bay Area in 2017 alone already." MJC has previously released a number of his own recordings on FilthyBroke since its 2014 formation including: FBR001 Earwax Vol. One with Odd Nosdam, Ceschi [Ramos,] Zackey Force Funk, Morbidly-O-Beats & Benito, FBD003 Zha's Collected Works 2014, FBD004 One Man Love Triangle, FBD006 MJC ?, FBD007 One Man Love Triangle's Crushed EP, and FBD009 The Floor (Bonus Version) released simply as Michael J Collins. MJC told me he frequently draws inspiration from Stephen Mallinder from Cabaret Voltaire, SARN from Deathbomb Arc, Ween, Elliot Smith, Pavement, and "lotsa Dub and lotsa 90's Alt. Rock."

Emergency Contact EP is Collins' latest release as One Man Love Triangle. It's both a precursor to his upcoming 6-track split EP with BALAM ACAB's Alec Koone (going by ON GOD) and an expanded version, of sorts, of his recent 2-track "Bully Boi" EP AKA FBD012(A). Emergency Contact EP was was surprise released this past Thursday afternoon, May 18th by Michael J. Collins and is limited to 10 CD'R's; "each contains a CD-R-only song and ships with a sticker... each sleeve has hand-written tracklisting and is numbered, as are the CD-R's themselves." It's being heralded as One Man Love Triangle's first physical release and at the time of this article's publication Friday afternoon, only 3 of the 10 limited edition Emergency Contact CD-R's are currently still available. Emergency Contact features six tracks with one CD-only bonus track and "Bully Boi," as well as both new and re-mastered old material in various stages of completion. One of my personal favorite tracks, "Glue Girl" (2014 Demo) originally appeared on One Man Love Triangle's self-titled 2014 release in Rough Demo Idea format; while both "Mandy" and "Homegirl" originally appeared within his 2016 Crushed EP.

"So, I sorta just released this CD on a whim and made it really limited on purpose. I mean, there's digital too, but people seem to gravitate towards our physicals these days. I have so little time to write that when I do, it's sorta painful, total cliche, but the f**king truth. I let a lot out. All of these songs are based on true stories, sadly. The therapist that ended up being homeless on drugs with me after she "treated" me at 21, being bullied horribly, wanting to f**k someone up over stealing/lying (I won't.) One Man Love Triangle sorta morphed outta the MJC stuff coming out on other labels that I was feeling stale about," Michael J. Collins recounted about his Emergency Contact EP, in closing. There are currently 2 hand-made CD-R's left available on FiltyBroke's Bandcamp page, so get one while you still can! EDITOR'S NOTE: As of Saturday morning, May 20th, all 10 Emergency Contact CD-R's have completely SOLD OUT! However, a 6-track digital version is still available at FilthyBroke's label Bandcamp page.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Flying Lotus Shares Thundercat, Brendon Small & Miguel Atwood-Ferguson-assisted "You and Your Friends Are Dead" & "North Star3" from You're Dead! Sessions (THUNDERDETH LOTUS?!!!??!)

It appears as though BRAINFEEDER founder, Los Angeles multi-instrumentalist, Experimental Hip-Hop producer, DJ, villainous rapper, and film-maker Steven Ellison AKA Flying Lotus AKA Captain Murphy AKA Kuso director steve. has been doing an Ideas+drafts+loops-style purge of his old hard drives recently; Ellison has upload a staggering seven previously unreleased tracks to his Flyinglotus Soundcloud page just this past week! FlyLo first uploaded a remix of Angelo Badalamentii's iconic "Twin Peaks Theme" and Queen-sampling "Night Grows Pale" this past Tuesday, May 16th. Then, came a whopping five tracks just one day later: Captain Murphy-helmed "Crowned," Miguel Atwood-Ferguson-assisted "LoveTrue Opening" and "LoveTrue Opening Alt1" from Alma Har'el's 2016 Netflix film of the same name, and two mysterious left-overs from You're Dead! (2014) credited to THUNDERDETH LOTUS... DETHKLOK-hashtagged "You and Your Friends Are Dead" with assists from Thundercat & Brendon Small and Thundercat, Miguel Atwood-Ferguson & Brendon Small-featuring "North Star3."

Brendon Small is one of the co-creators behind both [adult swim]'s Home Movies and Metalocalypse, as well as the aforementioned show's "virtual" Death Metal band, Dethklok. Small additionally fronts his own similarly-minded Melodic Death Metal/Prog-Metal band called Brendon Small's Galaktikon with Dethklok members Gene Hoglan and Bryan Beller. Small, Hoglan, and Beller are currently working on a proper follow-up to Brendon Small's Galaktikon (2012) with producer Ulrich Wild that's being billed as "a Dethklok album [that] just can't be called Dethklok 'cause of rights." Drummer Gene Hoglan went on to explain, "if you love Dethklok, you will love this record. The lyrics, the music, and everything is Dethklok-styled." Thundercat recently unleashed his third album, "DRUNK," which featured numerous contributions from both Flying Lotus and Miguel Atwood-Ferguson. Brendon Small previously contributed guitar licks to "Turkey Dog Coma" and "Siren Song" from Flying Lotus' 2014 Warp Records album, You're Dead! It's currently unclear if and when "You and Your Friends Are Dead" and "North Star3" may appear on a proper release from a re-formed and fully-fleshed out THUNDERDETH LOTUS.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Gabriel Reyes-Whittaker (GIFTED & BLESSED) & Yeofi Andoh (A Race of Angels) Re-form The Steoples for Stones Throw Single, "From The Otherside" & Six Rocks Full-length

"Six Rocks is the first full-length from long-time collaborators GB and Yeofi (Gifted & Blessed // A Race of Angels,) known collectively as The Steoples; with solo careers working across genres, this album stands as a statement and homecoming for the duo," read a brief, yet rather telling description attached to a recent TICKETFLY page for The Stoples' Saturday, May 13th show at Zebulon in LA. Stones Throw's latest signee, The Steoples—consisting of singer-producer Gabriel Reyes-Whittaker and assumed multi-instrumentalist Yeofi Andoh—played their premier show along with label head and DJ Peanut Butter Wolf, DJ Rani de Leon, and DJ Sonny Abegaze. The Steoples' musical stylings have been previously described as "Electronic, Deep House, Downtempo, and Electro" by Discogs and tagged as "electronic, experimental & post-avant garde, healing & meditation, techno-indigenous studies, and los angeles" on GIFTED & BLESSED's label Bandcamp page.

Gabriel Reyes-Whittaker has been releasing a variety of genre-spanning music under a multitude of aliases since around 2004-05, some of which include releases from GIFTED & BLESSED (or simply GB,) The Abstract Eye, The Reflektor, Julian Abelar, GaBe, POLY, SOMOS, and most recently, Frankie Reyes; producer and bandmate Yeofi Andoh has released past musical efforts as A Race of Angels, Outside, and may even be a part-time member of GIFTED & BLESSED. Andoh seems to have even shot the cover image for English Punk/Indie Rock band Mega City Four's debut Tranzophobia as far back as 1989. Stones Throw's Friday afternoon introduction to The Steoples and their latest track, "From The Otherside," simply read: "a new track from the latest name at Stones Throw. The Steoples are Gabriel Reyes-Whittaker & Yeofi Andoh. Expect an album this summer." It appears as though said The Steoples album is likely called Six Rocks, as intentionally (or unintentionally) revealed within TICKETFLY's aforementioned Zebulon LA event listing. Judging by "From The Otherside" and The Steoples' lone 2012 self-titled EP on GIFTED & BLESSED, I would best equate Gabe & Yeofi's output to something along the lines of Stones Throw left-fielders James Pants, Australian multi-instrumentalist Jonti, or even recent signee Gabriel Garzón-Montano.