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Showing posts from January, 2014

Fool's Gold Presents: Cam'ron, A-Trak & Party Supplies - "Humphrey" (Federal Reserve EP)

"WOOOOOO PARTTTTTYYYYY SUPPPPLLIIEESSS. "@ILLROOTS: CAM'RON & A-TRAK - HUMPHREY..." exclaimed Queens emcee Action Bronson in 140 characters or less; his Blue Chips 2 partner-in-crime and current tour-mate Party Supplies jointly co-produced the premier track from label-boss A-Trak and Cam'ron. What could quite arguably be labelled the Dipset general's long sought-after comeback, Federal Reserve EP is reportedly due out sometime this spring and will additionally feature Juelz Santana, Jim Jones, Just Blaze (drum programming), and executive producer Dame Dash. While the greater Hip-Hop-trolling corner of The Internet initially believed that Cam'ron's opening bars, "Dame said I'm 'bout it cuz I wanna fight B-Hop. I said I'll f*ck him up after 2 months of detox - true. Besides that, 8 mill from Reebok, I take him to the bar, pa. That's 33 shots..." was a lyrical jab at Jay-Z's cousin and Roc-Nation-affiliate B-High; it w…

Here and Nowhere Else: Cloud Nothings - "I'm Not Part of Me" (Carpark/Mom + Pop)

"I'm Not Part of Me" is the perfect kind of disjointed, yet introspective brand of Lemonheads-influenced Indie Rock that's almost tailor-made for use on modern Rom-Com film soundtracks. Cloud Nothings frontman Dylan Baldi recently described the band's forthcoming new album, Here and Nowhere Else as more "refined" and "subtle" that their previous works. Baldi further elaborated in a press release that "I was feeling pretty good about everything, so I just made stuff that made me happy. I had nothing to be angry about really, so the approach was more positive and less 'fuck everything.'" Ahead of Here and Nowhere Else's March 26-April 1st world-wide release, "I'm Not Part of Me" was unleashed Monday morning along with cover art, an 8-song tracklist, proper release details, etc. Since being initially established by Dylan Baldi as a one-man bedroom project back in 2009, Cloud Nothings has grown to include TJ Duk…

SONOS PLAYBAR Presents: N.A.S.A. & Karen O - "I Shot The Sheriff" (Grammy's commercial)

Well, it sounds like Lana del Rey wasn't the only artist to debut new music during a Grammy commercial break last night; Yeah Yeah Yeahs frontwoman Karen O has once again teamed up with N.A.S.A. aka Sam Spiegel (Spike Jonze's brother) for a twinkling Reggae-infused cover of Eric Clapton by way of Bob Marley's "I Shot The Sheriff." Initially appearing within a brief 30-second SONOS PLAYBAR spot, "I Shot The Sheriff" was soon re-uploaded to Soundcloud in full-length form, as well as select digital retailers. Speaking as both a music writer and a fan of both Marley and Clapton's original versions, I'd quite honestly say that N.A.S.A. & Karen O's updated take is a fresh, new, slightly club-ready version of a decades old classic about love, loss, and remorse. Without any apparent further pans for a follow-up to N.A.S.A.'s 2009 debut, The Spirit of Apollo and Indie Rock darlings Yeah Yeah Yeahs' most recent album, Mosquito already in …

Dale Earnhardt, Jr. Jr. - "I Think It's Gonna Rain Today" (PRODUCE, mixtape Vol. 1)

"We were working on samples to make a beat and we ended up sampling the Nina Simone version of Randy Newman's "I Think It's Gonna Rain Today" (1968), Josh Epstein recently told Paste Magazine in an exclusive premier-interview, which contrary to popular belief, dos not in fact sample Super Mario Brothers. Epstein along with fellow Detroit musician Daniel Zott are 2-man Indie-Pop band Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. who just released their second album, The Speed of Things back in October. Simply based off it's attached Souncloud cover artwork, "I Think It's Gonna Rain Today" will seemingly appear on Jr. Jr.'s forthcoming mixtape, PRODUCE, Vol. 1; set to feature a wide array of acclaimed rapper-producers including Murs, Slim of 112, Chuck Inglish, Quelle Chris, Asher Roth, Tunde Olaniran, King Chip, Self Says, Goldenboyz, and more. It'll definitely be pretty interesting to hear what Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr.'s Weezer-indebted brand of Indie-Pop

David Letterman Art-Installation: No Age - "C'mon Stimmung" (I Won't Be Your Generator)

It's pretty damn awesome that David Letterman's people are even remotely interested in booking a disjointed post-NirvanaSub Pop Art-Punk band like No Age to perform on national TV; following film director and special guest Spike Jonze, drummer/vocalist Dean Spunt and guitarist Randy Randall took the Letterman side-stage during the wee hours of Thursday night into Friday morning. The band had seemingly re-outfitted the set with stark white sheets, including Spunt's drum kit, and wore matching denim outfits... essentially rendering Late Night with David Letterman into a quasi-art gallery installation, while ripping through "C'mon Stimmung." Not even 5-6 hours after their Letterman performance, No Age released a brand new Oliver Payne-directed video for album track, "I Won't Be Your Generator" in true Noise-Punk Rock fashion, as well. It's an artfully weird intimate-object(s) collage, presented in stark contrast against their recent "C…

Matt Swinsky & ATL Twins Present: Black Lips - "Boys In The Wood" (VICE Records)

When describing their forthcoming album, Underneath The Rainbow to Rolling Stone back in December, Black Lips bassist Jared Swilley said that "'Boys In The Wood" is an ode to Lynyrd Skynyrd and growing up in Atlanta... [it's] about doing bathtub drugs and doing bathtub gin;" a sentiment which is without a doubt echoed through out the course of their grizzly, just-released "Boys In The Wood" video. For whatever reasons, it was jointly directed by Matt Swinsky and James Franco-affiliated weirdos The ATL Twins and by non-Internet standards, "Boys In The Wood" would surely be rated R (aka totally NSFW). It's kinda like a twisted backwoods video-collage chock-full of blood, piss streams, wrestling, masked vixens, blazin' fire, general weirdness, sex, drugs & Rock "N" Roll all captured in 4K vision. Underneath The Rainbow was recorded between New York and Nashville with musicians-producers Tommy Brenneck and Patrick Carney of…

Method Records Presents: Disclosure & Bishop Nehru - "You Stressin'" (Soundcloud Bootleg)

"Got a new track with @BishopNehru called "You Stressin'" produced by us. Coming out on @MethodRecords," English super-producers DisclosureTweeted Tuesday evening along with a Soundcloud link; following a productive week full of collaborations with Q-Tip, Mary J. Blige, and an appearance on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon (Monday). Electro-brothers Guy & Howard Lawrence linked up with the 17-year-old New York rapper for their first recorded foray into Hip-Hop, aside from Slum Village-sampling album track "Grab Her!"BBC Radio 1 DJ Zane Lowe debuted "You Stressin'" on his web-radio show Tuesday afternoon and an untagged version was re-upped to Bishop Nehru's Soundcloud page soon thereafter. Disclosure's production is without a doubt indebted to the late great J Dilla and honestly, it's a pretty solid Electro-Rap effort for the rising emcee-producer team; Bishop Nehru somehow teeters the line between 1980's Boom-Bap and mo…

Merchandise - "Begging for Your Life / In The City Light" (4AD 12-inch re-release)

I must admit, I was initially drawn to "Post-Punk" band Merchandise because a recently-penned Ad-Hoc article likened their sound to that of The Smiths, who just so happen to be on of my favourite bands. Between their rapid-fire 2012-13 albums, Children of Desire and Totale Night, the band's membership quickly multiplied from three to five; now including Carson Cox, David Vassalotti, Elsner Niño, Patrick Brady, and sax player Chris Horn. Marking the announcement of their new-found partnership with Indie label 4AD, Merchandise unleashed a limited run clear 12" for "Begging for Your Life / In The City Light," a 14-minute track which was previously released on a split Chelsea Light Moving tour cassette. While 1,000 12-inches were briefly available for pre-order, set to ship on February 25th, 4AD almost instantly sold out and "Begging for Your Life" is now alternatively available on iTunes and a number of other digital retailers. For all intensive pu…

Little Bit of Gold & a Pager: Chuck Inglish & Chromeo - "Legs" (Federal Prism)

While The Cool Kids have barely scratched the surface of their recent Retro-Rap return to form, rapper-producer Chuck Inglish is still planning to soldier ahead with his long-rumored album, Convertibles; now coincidentally complete with an April 8th release on Dave Sitek's newly-formed Federal Prism imprint. Chance The Rapper, Mac Miller, Action Bronson, Ab-Soul, buddy Sir Michael Rocks, and more are set to appear deep within. Federal Prism and Inglish's own Sounds Like Fun label unleashed a double-hitter of singles Thursday afternoon: "Legs" and "Came Thru/Easily" assisted by Chromeo, Mac Miller, and Ab-Soul (respectively). Chuck Inglish, Dave 1 & P-Thugg have almost seamlessly melded together their separate styles to create the buttery smooth Disco-Funk/Hip-Hop hybrid, now also known as "Legs." Although I must admit, genre-blending collaborations like these don't always end up sounding as good as they might seem on paper. But judging by…

Beats, Rhythms & Life: BADBADNOTGOOD - "CS60" (III, Innovative Leisure)

Following a steady stream of FREE-releases and countless Hip-Hop covers, Canadian Jazz trio BADBADNOTGOOD (BBNG) are finally gearing up to release their first label-backed album, III for Innovative Leisure. I think it's pretty safe to say that Chester Hansen, Alex Sowinski & Matt Tavares have progressed leaps and bounds since their early days of covering Odd Future and Waka Flocka Flame album tracks; instead, now penning their own original tracks with a definitive Hip-Hop-like edge. BADBADNOTGOOD's most recently released track, "CS60," seemingly pronounced "sexy," is a slightly darker 7-minute Jazz piece, which Complex vaguely confirms will indeed appear within III. Wu-Tang Clan-affiliated producer Frank Dukes and multi-instrumentalist River Tiber (cello) lent some additional recording assistance, perhaps outside of BBNG's typical cannon of knowledge. "CS60" seems to mark a new Jazzier and dare I say, more "adult contemporary" d…

The Boys Are Back In Town: The Cool Kids - "Computer School" & "Chop" (HBK Gang)

Well, I can't say I'm rally all THAT surprised, but it sounds like Chicago's very own 1980-90's Boom-Bap revivalists The Cool Kids are finally back together... or as Chuck Inglish recently told fellow rapper-producer and apparent super-fan Tyler, The Creator, "Never stopped...It was just a time-out;" contrary to what Sir Michael Rocks (formerly Mikey Rocks) told AllHipHop back in December 2012, "We'll probably do something else, but as The Cool Kids and as Shark Week, no. Those ideas are done, and we're on something different now." Ahead of their long-rumored second album Shark Week, the loose follow-up to Gone Fishing, Tacklebox, and When Fish Ride Bicycles (2009-11), The Cool Kids simultaneously unleashed 2 new tracks on the unsuspecting Internet Monday afternoon, "Computer School" and "Chop."Chuck Inglish & Mikey Rocks' own Cake Recordings imprint will seemingly self-release their new/shelved recordings, to av…

An Alfred Hitchcock Presentation: King Krule - "A Lizard State" (True Panther Sounds)

"Archy [Marshall] and I both love Hitchcock and we've spent a lot of time away from music talking about his films... I had this idea of Hitchcock introducing King Krule. I've seen every episode of Hitchcock Presents and every introduction that he gives is brilliant - you could use any episode and it would work. We loved the idea of Archy defying gravity and that being the setting for his performance," lamented interestingly-named director Jamie-James Medina in a recent True Panther web-press release. "A Lizard State" is only the second single pulled from King Krule's August-released debut, 6 Feet Beneath The Moon; modeled after Alfred Hitchcock's 1954 thriller Dial M for Murder, frontman Archy Marshall appears to be performing in some sort of anti-gravity room. 19-year-old Marshall kinda sounds like a whiskey-soaked Beat-Jazz singer mashed with a slightly misguided Lil' Wayne-like cadence (ie: "You're a bunch of f**king fat bitches&quo…

Action Bronson Presents: Party Supplies - "Security" & "Working Out" (The Fat Jew)

When functioning as Action Bronson's Soft-Rock-flipping power-producer, "Party Supplies" is the one-man moniker of Brookyln-bred own Justin Nealis. But Nealis recently started working with multi-instrumentalist buddy Sean Mahon and together, they created post-Blue Chips 2 masterpiece, Tough Love (Fool's Gold). After a few minor technical difficulties over the weekend, @xpartysuppliesxTweeted "as a band, sean and I have always wanted to write a song like this, so we did" mid-Monday afternoon, along with a still video/download link to Security;" a track that he further describes as 2014 Steve Miller Band and #motown, which was created using a sunburst Fender Telecaster seemingly given to him by frequent collaborator Action Bronson & The Alchemist. "Security" isn't exactly Hip-Hop, more along the lines a shimmery Island-tinged Pop-Rock jam... But it's perfect music for a chilly winter day like today, where most of the East Coast is …

Kennedy Center Honors... Herbie Hancock: Snoop Dogg - "Gin & Juice" (Cantaloupe Island)

Jazz-Funk pianist Herbie Hancock is quite arguably the Godfather of Hip-Hop; his 1983 Electro-Funk composition "Rockit" is oftentimes cited as an early sonic blueprint for the then budding genre. I can still vividly remember the first time I heard Hancock's music, on an RS 500 [Greatest Songs of All Time] sampler CD around the age of 12-15. It was "Watermelon Man" from his sprawling four-track Head Hunters album (1973) assisted by back-up The Headhunters; more or less a progressive and slowly deconstructing re-make of Herbie Hancock's own 1962 composition, which was originally inspired by "the cry of the watermelon man making the rounds through the back streets and alleys of Chicago. The wheels of his wagon beat out the rhythm on the cobble stones." President Obama & The First Lady amongst DC's finest inducted Herbie Hancock, Martina Arroyo, Billy Joel, Shirley MacLaine, and Carlos Santana at the 36th annual Kennedy Center Honors back on D…

The Perils of TMZ-style Reporting: Dan Auerbach & "Bob Dylan's Hair?" (The Black Keys)

In our web-industry, citing TMZ as a source is basically the real-world journalist equivalent of using Wikipedia as a source on a high school or college senior term paper; it's just something you're better off NOT doing, if possible because sites like these aren't generally the most reliable or accurate sources. But with that said, I think I'm about to commit blogger treason and cite TMZ within this very post (please forgive me!)... Back in late August, Pitchfork reported that Black Keys frontman Dan Auerbach supposedly lost an interesting asset which court papers described as "Bob Dylan hair" amidst his bitter divorce from ex-wife Stephanie Gonis. While it was then "unclear how the hair was obtained, when it was obtained, [or] if the hair [contained] any product," an updated TMZ report uploaded Friday morning specifies that Auerbach was never actually in possession of Dylan's curly locks. Dan Auerbach himself recently told a guerrilla camerama…

Mediation of Ecstatic Energy; an Interview with Guitar Mastermind Dustin Wong (Japan)

(1) For people not exactly familiar with your musical output, how would you best describe the process of recording with guitar pedals and loops?

I feel like my process is very straightforward. Its just one layer at a time, just like a painting. I use my pedals to change the color or timbre of the guitar. The loop pedal allows me to maintain a canvas, and the pedals and guitar allow me to paint on it.


(2) What sort of new projects, if any, are you currently working on? Would you care to go into a little detail (for each)?

As of now Takako Minekawa and I are working on a new record. I just bought myself a sampler keyboard, its exactly the same model Takako and I use for our duo. I told the public that the last record I made was my last guitar looping record. I wanted to get this sampler for myself and see what kind of sounds I can collect and use for my new adventure of music making.


(3) I recently reviewed your new Soundcloud track, "Foggy Cliffy Night Drive," which is a…

Vampire Weekend, Danny Brown, Heems & Despot - "Step" (Wintertime Remix)

Just mere minutes before the stroke of 12 midnight New Year's Eve 2013-14, @vampireweekend Tweeted out a pretty self-explanatory mini-message: "wintertime remix of "Step" featuring Danny Brown, Heems & Despot. Happy New Years from Vampire Weekend," along with a smarturl hyper-link. It's the kinda thing that probably shouldn't work anywhere near as well as it actually does, and I'd guess that this is your typical Pitchfork staff writer's ideal wet-dream collabo scenario ha. "Step" (Wintertime Remix) builds off frontman Ezra Koenig's original, penned for Modern Vampires of The City and acts as the B-side to lead single, "Diane Young" [see below]. When juxtaposed against Koenig's past relationship reminiscing lyrics, Danny Brown, Heems & Despot manage to fit in surprisingly well with "Step"'s running theme. While the track's supposedly based off an unreleased and re-purposed Souls of Mischief c…

Better Late Than Never: The Witzard's Top 5 Albums of 2013 (Happy New Year!)

Let's be honest here, it'd be almost impossible for a part-time writer/web-master like myself with a regular 9-5, too to even attempt to assemble a 50-album year-end list in an effort to "compete" with the Big Dogs like Pitchfork, Stereogum, etc; I think it'd be far more feasible to do a list of my Top 5 Favorite Albums of 2013, not even your typical run-the-mill best of list. So, with that said, here's a collective run-down of the most played artists and companion albums on The Serpent (my 160GB iPod), my car stereo, and personal iTunes library. I tried to compile a pretty diverse broad-spanning list, which ranges from Industrial Aggro-Hip-Hop to Philly-bred "Pig-Fuck." Enjoy the list and Happy New Year!

While The Wizard's #5-ranking album is seemingly an unwarranted 16-track leaked bootleg; the scattered fragments of Jai Paul's long-rumored XL Recordings album. Included within were 16 rough tracks, 3 of which had been previously released,…