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Showing posts from September, 2016

"[I'm] not sure there's ever been a Hip-Hop producer less Hip-Hop than me," Dan Hayden On Homeboy Sandman & Aesop Rock's Lice 2: Still Buggin' EP (Behind The Beat, Part 1)

"Aesop Rock & Homeboy Sandman are back together once more, to deliver a new strain of Lice to fans worldwide. People of Earth, we are proud to announce our new FREE EP—Lice 2: Still Buggin'—available for download NOW, via Rhymesayers Entertainment and Stones Throw Records... Now, go share Lice [2] with everyone you know," Homeboy Sandman & Aesop Rock wrote within a rather spur-of-the-moment joint statement to accompany their 2015 Lice EP follow-up, Lice 2: Still Buggin' yesterday morning; their latest "infestation" of Lice showcases production from the likes of Dan Hayden, Mondee, SoberMindedMusiC, Your Old Droog producer (El) RTNC, and Aesop Rock himself. Bristol-based producer Dan Hayden, who hand-crafted the beat for "Zilch," was recently profiled within Homeboy Sandman's inaugural self-penned Bandcamp Daily column titled, Big Ups: Homeboy Sandman Picks His Favorite Hip-Hop Artists. "Kid has mad range. Kid also has straight he…

Mysterious Pouty-lipped Soul-Pop Songstress Red Rosamond Evokes Amy Winehouse, Lana del Rey & Nancy Sinatra On CLASH Music-premiered "Looks Can Kill" Follow-up, "Damn" (WAX LTD)

"What would happen if 007 was portrayed by a strong female lead, photographed by Helmut Newton, and adorned with a soundtrack of dark romantic Soul? Meet Red Rosamond," LA-based songstress Red Rosamond's Soundcloud reads. Although, she's only released two songs thus far, Rosamond has already drawn rather striking comparisons to Amy Winehouse, Lana del Rey, and Nancy Sinatra. "I am driven by love. I am inspired by the emotionally authentic—the passionate, the bold, the determined—and the flawed. I grew up listening to stars like Aretha Franklin, Dinah Washington, Al Green & Tina Turner. Inspired by their work, every song I write I aim to be true. "Damn" is about the power play between two people. The magnetism, the seduction... It’s about desire and heartbreak, about someone who has a hold on you. We all have that one that got away and this is our soundtrack, my love letter to you," signed 𝔁 𝓡𝓼𝓭, written within her emailed "Damn"…

HOMEBOY SANDMAN. EUROPE, OCTOBER 2016: Onra Resurrects 2007 Chinoiseries Instrumental for Latest Homeboy Sandman Non-album Loosie, "Bus (A Rhyme)" [Stones Throw/Favorite Recordings]

"cats that wanna send beats, [my] email is homeboysandman@gmail.com. only send 2, as mp3 attachments. I'll only respond if I pick 1, but I'll listen," read a very recent open casting call from Stones Throw emcee @HomebpySandman dispatched to earnest beatsmiths world-wide. It seems as though the construction of Sandman's latest release was conducted in a somewhat similar manner: "well, it [happened] just by itself. One day, I got an email from Homeboy Sandman, who asked if he could use this beat from my Chinoiseries album that I released in 2007. It's a really old beat I made over 10 years ago, so I wasn't too keen at first, but I decided to let him use it, since he's a real dope emcee and the result came out as a "Bus (A Rhyme)." He made a dope video that comes with it and that's that. Thanks," Arnaud Bernard (better known as Onra) wrote within a Facebook message sent directly to The Witzard. I've been mulling over it for …

3 Feet High & Rising: Eric Reid (A Prince) Unveils IMPOSE-debuted EP Single, "I Need You Closer" (Formerly "Hedgehogs Dilemma") [Soundcloud, self-released]

"This song was pretty therapeutic in helping me come to term with a failing relationship. It failed not because we didn't work at it, but maybe because we worked too hard at it and it became this thing that we both started resenting on some level. By the end, we were kind of like two mismatching puzzle pieces that had been shoved together... It's hard a hard spot to be in and I've had lots of friends that have been in this same place in relationships. It wasn't a horrible relationship either and I think that's what makes it harder, when its good like 50-60% of the time, but is that a way to live? ["I Need You Closer"] kind of helped me just face it in a very literal sense. This was also the fastest song on the album to write, I think I started recording it at like 11am one day and by 9pm, it was done. I remember texting my friend being like, "you have to come sing some group vocals on this song with me RIGHT NOW, before the urgency expires…

Tanya Morgan Rapper-producer Donwill Surprise Releases J Dilla Ruff Draft & "Bully Joel"-reminiscent stop. waiting. EP (with SOAP Goods Creative PDF 'zine)

stop. waiting. by Donwill
"Hailing from both Brooklyn and Cincinnati, Tanya Morgan formed on the message boards of okayplayer.com in 2003 when Donwill, Ilyas Nashid, and Von Pea were all solo artists trading demos and beat tapes. The three emcees decided to collaborate for a one-off project and settled on the name Tanya Morgan—an inside joke to trick Hip-Hop crate-diggers and sample-searchers into thinking the record was an old-school Soul singer..." reads a clever emailed press release from HiPNOTT Records; while Donwill's Soundcloud description simply reads, "Donwill makes music and you can hear it here." Donwill quietly released a compact 12-minute EP, stop. waiting. under the cover of night late Sunday evening, which he described within an emailed statement as: "basically [though,] it's an EP that I made for myself and mostly by myself to help me get out of my own way. The images in the PDF booklet are a metaphor for me balancing using my art as a …

Night Drive Fearlessly Meld Led Zeppelin's "Whole Lotta Love" & LCD Soundsystem's "Too Much Love" On Future Wave-tinged Pre-album Single (Soundcloud, self-released)

"Night Drive co-founders, Rodney Connell and Brandon Duhon met after a young woman they were both unknowingly dating was killed in a car crash. The tragic event bonded the two and shortly afterwards, they began a musical collaboration," reads a rather cryptic introduction to "Future Wave" duo Night Drive's Facebook Bio. "This guy we met at a bar (who [said] he used to guitar tech for Jimmy Page) dared us to cover "Whole Lotta Love." It just so happened that "Too Much Love" came on the house speakers in the background and we thought that was kind of interesting. It all just materialized from there," Rodney Connell detailed within a recent emailed statement. Night Drive further describe "Whole Lotta Love/Too Much Love" as a "dark Electro-Pop re-imagination," which they say is "what you might expect, if Jimmy Page and James Murphy had a child in a dystopian NYC, circa 2041." I wonder if Robert Plant, Ji…

Nerve Leak's Sam Friedman Evokes James Blake, The Weeknd & FKA Twigs On Self-reflective Disconnected EP Follow-up, "Moon Pulls" (Soundcloud, self-released)

"Part of my goal in writing "Moon Pulls" was to simply just be more honest. I've always been cryptic in my writing; instead of saying what really happened, I would use a metaphor or some type of simile to get the point across. With this track, I wasn't afraid to talk about the intense feelings of lust, love, and confusion I was experiencing. I feel like "Moon Pulls" is a drama condensed into a four-minute, Pop-structured song because it has movements that represent certain moments in time for me and it builds to a climax of myself bluntly asking, "what did I do to deserve you?" When I perform the song live, I always find myself screaming that part—it's such a human experience, being both grateful to have someone, while simultaneously feeling afraid to lose them," Brooklyn-based singer-songwriter and producer Sam Friedman (professionally known as Nerve Leak) wrote within a recent emailed statement exclusive to The Witzard. While penn…

New York Pianist Toby Pazner Recruits Lee Fields & The Expressions, The Dap-Kings, Menahan Street Band & The Arcs Players for Revitalized "Sirens of Jupiter," The Olympians (Daptone Records)

"After repeatedly being visited by a strange messenger in his dreams while on tour in the islands of Greece, Toby Pazner became consumed with a vision to tell the stories of The Olympians through music. Chosen by the gods as a messenger for not only his musical gifts, but for his unique position at the center of the Daptone family, Toby built a home studio from scratch and employed some of the top Soul musicians in the world to help him breath life into this album," reads a fragmented chunk of The Olympians' on-site Bandcamp press release. Tobias "Toby" Pazner's musical journey with the Daptone/Truth & Soul/Big Crown Records-affiliated family dates back as far as 2005 and his piano-vibraphone credits include records by Lee Fields & The Expressions, Lady, El Michels Affair, Lady Wray, Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings, Menahan Street Band, Aloe Blacc, Bronx River Parkway & Candela All-Stars, Ultimate Breaks & Beats, and The Bushwick Philharmo…

The Mobbs' Well-groomed Frontman Joe B. Humbled Talks Wilko Johnson, Garage Punk for Boys, The Fallen Leaves, PIFFLE! & "Pale & Interesting" Beer (The Witzard Interview)

"The Mobbs are a trio of English gentlemen whose urbane and well-bred appearance lies in stark contrast to the ferocious intensity of the rocket-fueled sonic blasts of their guitar-based rave ups... Being aware that these gentlemen are planning to [kick] your ar*e and leave you for dead in a Northampton gutter is one thing; their brilliance is that they do it in such a way you can't help but pour them a gin and run them a bath first," reads a fragmented chunk of a wonderfully well-written mynewsdesk press release I recently received from London-based Dirty Water Records. Drawing assorted influence from both sides of "the pond" across nearly four decades-worth of Punk Rock, The Mobbs, at times, evoke The Clash, Black Flag, mid-90's Ska revivalists Rancid, and Celtic-Punk forefathers themselves, Flogging Molly; Joe B. Humbled, The Bishop & Cheadle have somehow still managed to craft a unique sub-genre best described as "Punk Rock for Gentlemen" …

Mahatma Crowley & The Beholder's Trinity Unveil Ghoulish THE BEHOLDER'S MARK Follow-up, "Glass Half Empty" [PROJECT 2] Ahead of Fall Equinox (Akashic Vibrations Records)

"[PROJECT 2] is a concept mixtape that covers the themes of fame, isolation, Armageddon, suicide, immortality, dark magick, and Christian mysticism. "Glass Half Empty" is the mid-point of this story and deals primarily with the emotion of helplessness... How do you see the glass? Can you see it any other way? Will my visions ever change? [PROJECT 2] on the horizon," self-described Occult Hip-Hop emcee Mahatma Crowley wrote within recent Facebook and Soundcloud statements; both mysteriously hashtagged "BEHOLDTHEMARK" and "SOLSTICEWEEK," which would be this upcoming week, to be exact, the impending Autumnal Equinox, Thursday, September 22nd (a potential release date). Mahatma Crowley's ghoulish delivery vaguely reminds me of his grizzled bark predecessors DMX, Ja Rule, Rick Ross, Yeezus-era Kanye, and at times, even Death Grips' frenzied frontman MC Ride. Upon first hearing Crowley & The Beholder's Trinity's latest single, &qu…

3 Feet High & Rising: Ancona, Italy's Gentlemens Evoke Iggy & The Stooges, The Rolling Stones & The Black Keys On HOBO-FI (Area Pirata Records)

"This album [expresses] the gathering of the band's journey across the past two years; a journey full of encounters, people, music, places, and coincidences. All [of these] adventures are permeated in the band's sound, like the memories of a tough hobo. There are hobos who ride trains [and] others ride roads. The HOBO-FI rides Rock "N" Roll from a Blues train to all the lonely Punk ways," self-described "GARAGE / LO-FI / power BLUES" Ancona, Italy-based band Gentlemens (sometimes, referred to as "The Gentlemens") wrote within a brief, albeit perfectly descriptive, emailed statement. I first spoke with Gentlemens pseudo-frontman Giordano Baldoni about a year ago, June 2015, after either I discovered them or they discovered me via Twitter; his initial email included this interesting little tidbit, "We are a little and unsigned band from Ancona (Italy), we like to play live, and our main favorite bands are the Garage bands from Detroi…

The Witzard's First Ever "Cross-continental Transmission" with A Cosmic Safari Masterminds, Cold Busted Beatsmiths & Space-Funk Revivalists, Jenova 7 & Eddie Shinn (The Witzard Interview)

"ATTENTION EARTH PEOPLE! FROM THE STRANGE AND INFINITE WORLDS OF OUTER SPACE COMES A DUO OF INTERGALACTIC TRAVELERS! EXPERIENCE SOUNDS NEVER BEFORE DREAMED! ASTONISHING JOURNEYS AWAIT ON A COSMIC SAFARI WITH JENOVA 7 & EDDIE SHINN! INCOMING TRANSMISSION," reads a rather impassioned, albeit gloriously spaced out, precursor to the description attached to Cold Busted's A Cosmic Safari Bandcamp page. Self-described "producer, crate-digger, beat poet, time-traveler, [and] instrumental storyteller" Michael J. Sirois (Jenova 7) by way of Boston, Massachusetts and Ulyanovsk, Russia-based producer and Cold Busted author Eddie Shinn are separated by a half-world's distance; however, still managed to jointly co-produce "A Cosmic Safari [which] takes this international concept and launches it skyward... the album’s songs take place in an intergalactic sound-space." A Cosmic Safari is scheduled to "land" this upcoming Friday, September 9th in 11-…

Change The Beat: Blondie's "Rapture" Name-checked Emcee & Hip-Hop Pioneer Fab 5 Freddy Re-emerges for First Recorded Verse In 34 Years, Vex Ruffin's "The Balance" (Ben Marlowe)

"The video began taking shape a year ago. Fab [5 Freddy] and I have been friends for a while now and we connected with Peanut Butter Wolf. Wolf thought Vex Ruffin would be a great fit with my animation style. The video and song have strong connection to Fab's earlier Hip-Hop NYC roots. I started as an experimental animator, so this was a great chance for me to get real crazy with it. Giving a nod to the early 80's experimental films that the sound is inspired from," director and animator Ben Marlowe wrote within an email Wednesday afternoon, concerning his latest creation, "The Balance." Marlowe says it was "filmed, then created using a [combination] of hand animation and special effects" over the course of the past year. "The Balance" is Vex Ruffin's first properly released sampling of new music since his self-titled (alternatively known as ¢) 2013 Stones Throw debut full-length; while it additionally serves as one-time Yo! MTV Rap…

The Men Triumphantly Return to Punk Rock Roots with Tomorrow's Hits Follow-up, Devil Music, Typewritten Letter & Rollicking "Lion's Den" (We Are The Men Records)

"Today, we announce our forthcoming full-length record, Devil Music, on our very own We Are The Men Records. The LP will be available on Friday, November 11, 2016. We found a [farm] and scratched down the songs on this LP after just a couple of days in our practice space. Luckily, our space and our studio are the same exact f**king room!, so the proceedings went quickly. “Gun” was [cut on] Friday after our shifts and some messing around with a Harry Nilsson tune. The rest were recorded on Saturday and Sunday, the holy days. You haven’t heard much from us lately, have you? It’s good to be alive and playing music," read a typewritten statement, addressed to "Everyone," published to The Men's Blogspot-run band site Monday, September 12th. It's an odd coincidence, since I was just listening to their infectious Creedance, Bob Dylan, and Rolling Stones-influenced 2014 album, Tomorrow's Hits on my Nexus 7 last week at work and wondering when the next, normall…

A VILLAINOUS ADVENTURE... Thom Yorke Liberates Unreleased 2009 Lex Records-comissioned DOOM "Gazilli[on] Ear" (Man On Fire Remix) During Benji B BBC Radio 1 DJ Set

"Previously unheard vintage Thom Yorke remix of DOOM's "Gazzillion Ear." Thom sent us this nasty re-working back in 2009. It was marked "Man On Fire Remix," but no one heard it until last night when he dropped it on an epic [installment] of Benji B's BBC Radio 1 show," LexRecords wrote within a brief statement attached to their Thursday, September 8th Soundcloud upload of DOOM's mysterious "Gazzillion Ear (Thom Yorke Gazilli Remix)."
It seems as though DOOM and long-time Radiohead frontman have maintained a mutual admiration for each other's work and wildly different aesthetics since around 2008-09—Yorke has included not only DOOM, but countless J Dilla, Madlib, Flying Lotus, Quasimoto, and MADVILLAIN tracks within numerous BBC Radio 1 DJ sets. Thom Yorke's latest nearly 3-hour Benji B BBC Radio 1 DJ set included everything from Frank Ocean and Sampha to James Blake & Vince Staples' "Timeless" Remix and Deat…

Finnish Multi-instrumentalist Jan Anderzén (Tomutonttu) Delves Into His "Electro-Acoustic Elven Groove Collage" Style of Music & Latest Album, TRARAT [The Witzard Interview]

"Tomutonttu is a creature who looks after all the dust. Jan Anderzen is a Tampere-based artist who re-arranges images and sounds and makes the music of Tomutonttu audible. Read streams, mutilated voices, groovy animal noises, and records other people have made are some of the ingredients AnderzĂ©n uses to mold his ecstatic music. Someone described it like this: a confusing close-up of music, a microcosmos of strange sound events and dirt flying around in stereo space, interacting with a logic all of their own. Jan AnderzĂ©n is also the leader of the band Kemialliset YstĂ€vĂ€t and one of the most recognized Finnish experimental music makers. He's actively performing around the world and his discography is a labyrinth reflecting the nature of his art," reads a BIO penned about Jan AnderzĂ©n (sometimes known as Tomutonttu) lifted from his band, Kemialliset YstĂ€vĂ€t's site. AnderzĂ©n's unique blend of progressive instrumental music is a hard nut to crack, but I would almos…

"where the days are all night..." Zack de la Rocha Unleashes El-P-produced "digging for windows" from Long-awaited 2017 Debut Solo Album (Sombra Sounds & BitTorrent Download)

"Thank God I can finally say publicly HERE'S A ZACK DE LA ROCHA SONG I PRODUCED... and shout out to my friends @nickhook and [Matt Sweeney]. They are both playing on the jam, as well... the [Zack de la Rocha] the album is happening. 2017... and that's all the info I'm authorized to give out... and yes, this is new material made this year and yes, there is more where that came from," @therealelp revealed on Twitter early Thursday morning, concerning one-time(?) Rage Against The Machine frontman Zack de la Rocha's first solo single in over a decade. "Been keeping my mouth shut about my work with Zack since January when we did it. It hurt. Now, I'll commence keeping my mouth shut about the rest," an exuberant El-P gushingly continued. Aside from his short-lived 2008-11 group formed with The Mars Volta drummer Jon Theodore and The Locust keyboardist and organ player Joey Karam, which produced a single 5-track One Day As a Lion EP, de la Rocha has r…