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Showing posts from November, 2016

Chance The Rapper's Social Experiment Band Mates Nico Segal & Nate Fox Re-imagine Paul Simon's "The Clock" & "The Werewolf" as "Stranger" (Concord Records)

Never since Paul "Rhymin'" Simon boldly recruited ferocious emcees Biz Markie & Big Daddy Kane to introduce his re-released "Me & Julio Down By The Schoolyard" (1988) music video did I think the Newark, New Jersey native would produce something so, dare I say... hip! "Honored to work on this re-imagination with my brother [Nate Fox] for @paulsimonofficial. I have been a fan of Mr. Simon since I was a little kid listening to Graceland and Songs from The Capeman. I did history projects on this mans music in high school! So cool to say we aren't "Stranger"s anymore," Chance The Rapper affiliate and Donnie Trumpet & The Social Experiment frontman @nicosegal ecstatically wrote within a recent Instagram post. "Strangers" is Nico Segal's first piece of music released under his given name, since denouncing his former moniker in light of Donald Trump's incredibly unexpected 2016 Presidential Election victory; "…

Emmy-winning Film & Television Composer Silas Hite Unleashes The Beach Boys, Ben Folds & Weezer-evoking Love & Loss EP as "Satin Cowboy & The Seven Deadly Sins" (self-released)

"This is the oldest song on the [Love & Loss] EP. I wrote the lyrics on a plane ride almost eight years ago and I recorded the majority of the music back then, as well. The guitar solo I played on my uncle, Mark Mothersbaugh's sweet '72 Telecaster, when I was still working for him. He was nice enough to share his fantastic guitar collection. The chorus of this song (with beautiful harmonies sung by Sam Nelson, Ricky Nelson's son) came together just a few weeks before the release. I sat on the song for years before realizing the obvious problem—it was missing a chorus! I played all the instruments myself on this one and the vocals were my first take. Something about that first pass just had the right emotion," Silas Hite wrote within a recent emailed statement concerning his composition, "Not Afraid of The Knife." Hite is a self-described "Emmy-winning film and television composer" and illustrator, as well as the frontman of awesomel…

Philly Rapper-producer Duo Uncle Crimson & Rolled Gold Unleash Collaborative The Great Fallback EP (Rolled Gold Beats)

"Basically, since Uncle Crimson and I hang out often, one day he walked in the door and I was chopping up a sample; he literally just started rapping a verse he had just started writing and it sounded so perfect, we decided to just put together a short project. Then, I put one of my simple drum breaks on that sample, which became "Book of David." The rest of the project fell together very naturally and we recorded all the verses in one Saturday afternoon. Looking forward, since our chemistry is so great, our future work will hopefully come together just as naturally, but with live instrumentation replacing the samples," Harry Metz, otherwise known as Philly-based producer Rolled Gold, wrote within a recent emailed statement. Metz was of course, talking about his recently released The Great Fallback EP recorded with fellow Philadelphian Dante D. Hill aka sharp-tongued emcee Uncle Crimson. Rolled Gold further describes The Great Fallback as "a 5-song EP that te…

"Wake Me Up" Retro-Soul Crooner Aloe Blacc Reunites with Homeboy Sandman & Snoop Dogg Producer Exile for Emanon's First Project In 10 Years, Dystopia EPx2 (Dirty Science Music)

“There’s a song on there called "Shine Your Light" ["This Little Light"] and it’s about people being more aware about things happening in their government and the society around them. Using that awareness to spread light to other people about what’s going on,” Aloe Blacc revealed during a 2011 interview with Cuepoint @ Medium Managing Editor & Co-creator Mike "DJ" Pizzo. Blacc was referring to his Joanna Newsom"The Book of Right-On" (or The Roots "Right On")-sampling "Shine Your Light," now slightly re-titled "This Little Light," from his long-rumored comeback with 1999-2006 rapper-producer group Emanon. It appears as though Aloe Blacc's Exile-produced Dystopia EPx2, which was somewhat surprised released this past Blacc(k) Friday, has been completed in some form since around 2011 and back then, may have been called either Bird's Eye View or Bullet; "Emanon’s Bird’s Eye View has not seen the light o…

Minneapolis Emcee Analyrical & @RapBooklets Curator Egypto Knuckles Unleash Background Noise Crew's Remix-ready "Swan Song," The Heartbeat EP (Bandcamp Deluxe Digital Edition)

The Heartbeat Deluxe Digital Edition by Analyrical
It all started with one fateful Passion of The Weiss-published Rework The Angles piece re-arranging Mos Def's pummeling Bad Brains & Living Colour-assisted The New Danger (2004) penned by Zilla Rocca. I soon realized, through a number of conversations with the man himself, that Zilla was in fact, a Philly-based rapper, producer, and Noir Hip-Hop originator; along with Minneapolis-based producer and music critic Egypto Knuckles, Zilla Rocca recently started a nostalgic 90's-leaning inner CD booklet highlighting @RapBookletsInstagram and Twitter page. I recently discovered Egypto Knuckles' Soundcloud page, which showcases a number of 2-5 year old instrumentals and assorted compositions, as well as "TV Party," which somehow miraculously manages to sample Black Flag's similarly-titled 1982 12-inch EP. "10 years. Sometimes, you pour everything into an idea: money, time, effort, energy, and focus all of it…

Kanye's "MONSTER" & "New Slaves" Collaborator Ben Bronfman's Band/Production Collective TEACHERS Premier Ocean Single, "Mannequin In Heat" at okayplayer (Green Owl Records)

"Leading with dream-like panpipes floating over TEACHERS' signature Tribal percussion; "Mannequin In Heat" is a breezy cut that will transport the listener to warmer climates. Speaking on the track, experimental and innovative lead singer Ben Bronfman says: "This is one of those tunes that wrote itself, sometimes you struggle to find the right melody, sometimes it just comes through you and all you have to do is get out of the way. "Mannequin In Heat" is one of those tunes, just step aside and let it be. We got some Caribbean vibes mixed with Afro-polyrhythmic Pop that stays true to our leftist/Punky swagger! We do it for the love!"

- TEACHERS Frontman Ben Bronfman

"'[Ben] Bronfman first collaborated with [Kanye] West in 2010, when he flew out to Hawaii to work on My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. (You can hear a mangled sample of his voice weaving in and out of the mix on "MONSTER," plus a keyboard melody he contributed). Thi…

Dublin-based Singer-songwriter Keith Cullen Talks High Strung-featured "Say Something," Opening for Hozier & Working with Beyoncé & Michael Jackson Producer DJ Mike Cruz (The Witzard Interview)

"In this time of worldly confusion, Ireland’s Keith Cullen takes a stand for integrity in word, action and song. "Say Something" is the first single from Keith’s upcoming album Dear Future Me (Spring '17), a collection of catchy Alt-Pop tracks with inspired lyrics, lushly-produced to showcase an impressive vocal range not often heard in a male performer. Keith Cullen calls his music "Honest Pop." "There is a lot of noise in our world today," he says. "There is such a need for someone who says something genuine. My lyrics are about authentic stories—people don’t always get to the point of being honest with each other, much less themselves,'" read part of an emailed press kit I received from Magician Media back in late October. Keith Cullen has been actively composing and recording his own music since around 2011-12; having released his self-described "debut track," "Losing my way" to Soundcloud nearly five years a…

LION BABE Deliver ROOOAARING Message of Self-empowerment, Health & Acceptance with Latest Julian Branciforte-directed Begin Single, "Got Body" (Interscope/Polydor Records)

"I got body, no matter what I wear." "Got Body" VIDEO IN BIO! Directed by Julian Branciforte. Celebrate your difference, your individuality, your heritage, your family, your love, your hair, your ancestors, your growth, your skin, your organs, your fat, your bones! We really don't need to look, act, or be the same. It is a distraction. Celebrate life and the changes that come with it. Surround yourself with love!" @lionbabe recently wrote within an exuberant, self-empowering statement accompanying their latest Begin single, "Got Body."LION BABE consists of sultry songstress, dancer, and H&M & Pantene model Jillian Hervey and multi-instrumentalist and record producer Lucas "Astro Raw" Goodman. "Hervey dances in the streets, record stores, and subway train cars, while Goodman purchases and makes a beat on what appears to be a Roland SP-404 sampler; the duo eventually meets up with friends for a chill session," okayplaye…

"Nagoya" & "Samurai" Collaborators Hodgy & Jonti Reunite for Somber "BARBELL" Music Video Ahead of Fireplace: TheNotTheOtherSide & 'Midnight Mutants' Album (Columbia/Stones Throw)

"Yoooooo! Back in 2011, @monkmiyagi [Hodgy] and I connected and put out some music. When we dropped "Nagoya," it really helped me out a lot. Since then, our friendship has grown and we have a lot more music together; "BARBELL" is the first song to come from that. It is also the first single from Hodgy's debut solo album, Fireplace: TheNotTheOtherSide. Hodgy, I'm grateful for your friendship and I hope you like it because there's a lot more music coming from both of us JD X," @jontidanimals wrote on Instagram over the weekend on the heels of Hodgy's first single from his forthcoming December 2nd full-length debut. "Recording "BARBELL" back in May—often, I sit around with my acoustic [guitar] and record harmonies, as a kind of meditation process. I find it soothing; this was one of those, which I then turned into a beat, which @monkmiyagi turned into a track," Jonti continued late Friday night. Fireplace: TheNotTheOtherS…

Jumbled Unveils "action shots" EP: Introducing Dwell-assisted Bully Preston & Featuring Jack Wilson, Dot Com Intelligence, Nyoka Ny-D & JBerd (Harford & Reckord Tapes)

"Action Shots is the new EP from Baltimore beat-maker Jumbled. Living in a Soundcloud world, collaborations between producers and emcees are trickled out as singles—so in an effort to avoid that, Jumbled compiled [six] new songs together in this EP," Baltimore producer, Power Pop drummer, and high school engineering teacher John Bachman (aka Jumbled) wrote within a recent emailed press release. Maybe most notably, Bachman's Action Shots EP marks the premier of his latest rapper-producer duo, Bully Preston formed with one half of Dwell & salk. from his The Witzard-premiered [I wish it was longer] single, "Train of Thought." "He misspoke when asking about a Billy Preston beat and it stuck (pretty obvious), but I think he's recorded 4-5 songs already and more to come," Jumbled said, as he detailed the origins of Bully Preston's name; a minor faux pas on Dwell's part, when once referring to "Fifth Beatle" and legendary Rock &quo…

RESISTANTMINDZ Founder & my trippin' mojo's Johannes Riedel Talks German Deep Funk, Edda's Garden & More (The Witzard Interview)

"my trippin' mojo is a raw tape recorded Funk "N" Soul band from Leipzig, Germany. Impressed by the sound and style of the 60's music, they are presenting a current refreshment with their debut called Edda's Garden. Every moment [breathes] the smell of the late sixties and [early] 70's, where the essential of this genre have been defined in a formula which exists nearly unchanged since then. Heavy drums, Funky basslines, hot brass sections, and an extra portion on the guitars wah-wah pedal. On the top of this rhythmic basement, you got Sabrina Bornmann with her powerful voice—sometimes complaining, sometimes demanding. All in a mix which is characteristic for the time before Soul music got straight and more Disco-like. This orientation consistently impacts on all fields of the musical production of the album. And so, Edda's Garden has been recorded complete analog with old mics and a dusty tape machine. 10 tracks full of love, emotions, Soul, and hea…

Run The Jewels, Adele & Johnny Cash Guitarist Matt Sweeney Reunites with Clay Tarver, Scott Marshall & The James Lo for First Chavez Release In 20 Years, "The Bully Boys" (Matador Records)

"It’s been 20 years since Chavez released their second and final studio album Ride The Fader (1996), but in late 2015, Matt Sweeney, Clay Tarver, Scott Marshall & The James Lo resumed operations; once again ensconcing themselves with John Agnello at NJ’s Water Music, ignoring the label’s demands for a full-length album and instead delivering three knockout punches that prove these Godfathers of Art Metal (for f*ck’s sake, please don’t actually call them that—or tell them we said it) are as idiosyncratic, inventive, and anthemic as THE LAST TIME THEY TOLD US THEY WEREN’T GOING TO TOUR..." Matador Records wrote within a rather tongue-in-cheek Chavez Cockfighters EP press release. Chavez have been neither active nor inactive over the course of the past 20 years, reuniting sporadically—first, on a Stereogum-sponsored concert at Brooklyn venue Warsaw back in 2006 and a TV appearance on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon back in 2011. Matt Sweeney has gone on to form Superwolf with…

Pissed Jeans Announce "Gutter-scraped Amalgamation of Sludge, Punk, Noise & Bracing Wit" Materialized On Lydia Lunch & Arthur Rizk-produced WHY LOVE NOW? (Sub Pop Records)

"'The Bar Is Low," which, according to [Matt] Korvette, is "about how every guy seems to be revealing themselves as a sh*thead. It seems like every guy is getting outed, across every board of entertainment and politics and music. There’s no guy that isn’t a total creep,'" reads a fragmented chunk of Sub Pop's latest WHY LOVE NOW-announcingPissed Jeans press release; "WHY LOVE NOW picks at the bursting seams that are barely holding 21st-century life together," describes Sub Pop's press release, which additionally refers to "The Bar Is Low" as a "grinding rave-up." It can only be assumed that Korvette is likely referring to one-time men of power and current American disgrace stories like Bill Cosby, Swans frontman Michael Gira, fallen Indie Rock PR heavyweight Heathcliff Berru, and our newly-elected President Trump. Pissed Jeans recruited New York No Wave pioneer Lydia Lunch, who's worked with everyone from Teenage Je…

Smoove & Turrell Singer, Lyricist & Melody-maker John Turrell Talks Hot Chocolate Frontman Errol Brown's Afghan Coat, McEwan's Lager "The Chinheads" Advert, Your Old Droog & Latest Album, Crown Posada (The Witzard Interview)

"Bringing their Northern Coal Music to the masses once again, Smoove & Turrell, our favorite Newcastle bunch return with a new record, Crown Posada, and a new single "You Could’ve Been a Lady." Today, we premiere the video for the track, produced by David Macgill and directed by Smoove & Turrell themselves. These chaps have been holding their own for quite sometime, broadcasting a blend of Soul and Electronic music that has propelled them from their North East base to international festival favorites. They are working-class to the soul (pun intended), and this first track on the record is a beautiful re-working of the Hot Chocolate track. While the original, slower and sweet with it’s heavy guitars can move you like it’s 1971, and the April Wine version is a little more upbeat and 70’s radio style, the Smoove & Turrell version is updated, more Dance-friendly, and has that back beat that knocks. Let us not forget the organ that winds itself in and out through…

Hemlock Ernst Beatsmith & "Electric Wizard" All These Fingers [âtƒ] Unleashes Hip-Hop, Jazz & Electronic-indebted 44th Mixtape, golden pears (ATF Sound, self-released)

golden pears by âtƒ
"I wanted to make a full, lush-sounding album that retained lo-fi aesthetics... something that works as one big piece, instead of just a beat batch. Tried to mix everything together like I would a DJ set, hopefully it works. Also notable that I included a no-sample, guitar-based track ("duckling") and worked with an artist (Jared Pittack) on the cover. I usually don't included my non-beat music because it feels out of place, but it just felt appropriate to put it on there. Letting someone else design the cover was awesome, Jared came up with all that on his own and I think the tape is the better for it. Thx for the support man, cheers," self-described "electric wizard/cave-dweller" All These Fingers (âtƒ) wrote within a recent email containing his latest, and 44th released, mixtape: golden pears. I recently got in touch with âtƒ after hearing Future Islands frontman Sam Herring, aka sharp-tongued emcee Hemlock Ernst, ferocious…

Jaubi's Ali Riaz Baqar Waxes Poetic About The Deconstructed Ego EP, J Dilla's Influence, "Lahore State of Mind" & Forthcoming EP2 (The Witzard Interview)

"Jaubi is a collective of musicians hailing from Lahore, Pakistan who aim to create whatever sounds good and whatever feels good. The emphasis is on amalgamating different musical styles such as Indian Classical music, Jazz, and Hip-Hop into short musical pieces," producer, guitarist, and kalimba player Ali Riaz Baqar wrote within a recent emailed statement. Jaubi (جو بھی) is an urdu word, which roughly translates to "whatever;" a sentiment that has directly influenced their band mantra of "creating whatever sounds good and whatever feels good." I recently stumbled upon Jaubi while researching for a then as-yet-unpublished interview with Basement Donuts mastermind and She's So Rad frotnman Jeremy Toy. Stones Throw wrote, within their piece titled LEONARD CHARLES - BASEMENT DONUTS - J DILLA TRIBUTE: "our friend DJ Mehdi, who passed away in 2011, was among the first to create a whole album inspired by Donuts, his 2006 mixtape Loukoums. The Roots ga…

P.I.C. Emcee & Musician Steven E. Mallorca Re-emerges As Sulu & Excelsior with Eddie Romero Single "Up to You" (Slow Jam King Productions)

"One of the running themes [throughout] Eddie Romero can be heard in the opening and closing tracks of the album, when I rhyme: "shall I croon or shall I spit?" Basically, I wanted to play with the image of an old school crooner, "a slow jam king," that all of a sudden flips his ballad on its ear and starts rhyming all fast and frenetic. On the first single, "Up to You" this idea is in full effect; to me, I feel like the melody is really sweet and romantic, but I wanted to contrast this with a fast and somewhat hectic beat that hits hard and could be equally at home with Big Daddy Kane rhyming over it."

- Steve Mallorca (Sulu & Excelsior)Eddie Romero by Sulu and Excelsior
New York-based trumpet player, multi-instrumentalist, vocalist, producer, rapper, and film-maker Steven E. Mallorca's Sulu & ExcelsiorFacebook page self-describes his music as "Johnny Mathis meets Mos Def meets Stevie Wonder meets Nat King Cole;" a long-tim…

Lee Fields & The Expressions Pianist Toby Pazner On The Olympians' Daptone All-Stars-assisted Self-titled Debut (The Witzard Interview)

"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 Philharmon…