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Showing posts from March, 2017

Zilla Rocca Unleashes El Malito & Margel The Sophant-assisted "Lemon Drop" Stand-alone Single (produced by Matt "Schadillac" Schad)

"It's a song I always loved, but I could never figure where to place it, in terms of albums and such. I've performed it a few times and it always did well... I kind of Kanye'd the hook and had variations of it done by El Malito & Margel The Sophant, before I put it together the way it is now. I just wanted it... to be great because the beat is crazy and the story/concept is heavily indebted to this book, The Song Is You by Megan Abbott,"Wrecking Crew & Career Crooks emcee Zilla Rocca wrote, via text Monday night, concerning his latest stand-alone single. "Lemon Drop" was released in a similar fashion to Zilla's recent influx of 90's Golden Age Hip-Hop-evoking Noir-Hop loosies: "98 Avirex Flow" and Ghostface Killah & Raekwon-flipping "Faster Blade Redux," which was fittingly premiered right here at The Witzard. Zilla Rocca further explained that it's his "goal to drop one song a month for 2017 and maybe co…

3 Feet High & Rising: Leeds-based Krrum Let Loose Hot Chip, Kanye, Thom Yorke, Bon Iver & Justice-inspired "Moon" from Forthcoming Summer 2017 EP (37 Adventures/+1 Records)

"Equal parts ethereal and infectious, "Moon" is a smoothly assured return from Krrum, with its early Metronomy or Hot Chip-inspired electronics enveloping a song which fundamentally deals, they say, "with the ritual of wanting to pursue a relationship with someone, but not wanting to jump the gun and ruin it. It's an uncomfortable place to be because you have no control and you're probably gonna mess it all up, like you always do,'"Krrum frontman Alex Carrie wrote within a recent Golightly Media press release. Krrum was founded by "spectacularly-bearded lead producer and song-writer Alex Carrie" around 2010 and sees to have recently morphed into a fully-fleshed out band, as their Facebook page repeatedly states, "Krrum is a band." It appears as though Krrum is often rounded out by lead vocalist and song-writer Harrison Warke—whom Carrie met while studying production at Leeds College of Music"Morphine" harmony vocalist…

Providence, Rhode Island Emcee Spocka Summa Unleashes Last Child-produced The Progression 001 EP & Companion THE LIVE WIRE Issue 001 Comic Book (self-released, Summer88)

Michael J. Collins (MJC) is the founder of FilthyBroke Recordings and an extremely talented mixing and mastering engineer I've recently crossed paths with; Collins has had a hand in a number of releases I've covered here at The Witzard in recent weeks, including Walter Gross' Black Box Tapes-released VESTIGE and CURTA's forthcoming CLICK BAIT EP, as well as FilthyBroke's own Library Lunch:A Benefit Compilation for Anti-Bullying. Michael messaged me Wednesday morning with a private press stream to Providence, RI emcee Spocka Summa's then-unreleased The Progression 001 EP, which he fittingly called a "gift" to help me "get ahead of some of the press." Spocka Summa further detailed that "The Progression is Part 001 of a 3-part series of EP's. Entirely produced by my close friend Last Child; this first installment serves as an intro to two upcoming bigger projects. The Progression is the journey of myself and my thoughts about our world…

DIY Punk-influenced Skate Hip-Hop Jumbled Affiliate Cody Jones (Formerly Still Born Identity) Unleashes Joey Smooth-produced "The Last Working Dinosaur" [Surface Level Records]

"'The Last Working Dinosaur" is the first single by Cody Jones (formerly Stillborn Identity) from his upcoming project, Out with The Old, In With The New. Follow Your Heart & You’ll End Up Alone. Cody had been listening to a lot of Serengeti, at the time and was drawn to the idea of his writing not being confined by events and thoughts that were literally true. The theme of the track is inspired by his working relationship with his dad, who he saw doing everything a very "old school" way at Northgate Auto Body, the garage he [has] owned and worked in for the last 30 years,"Cody Jones wrote within a recent press release. I first met Cody Jones (then still Stillborn Identity) through beatsmith John "Jumbled" Bachman, like many Baltimore and Philly area rappers and producers I've worked with over the course of the last year or so; "should've stayed in school—maybe been a journalist or blogger, but now I'm runnin' outta space…

Height Keech Waxes Poetic On Forthcoming MIND MOVES THE MOUNTAIN, Justin Barnes-directed "Trust No Blues" & Chuck Berry Medley (The Witzard Interview)

"Most of my favorites from 2016 have been from friends! ialive & Darko The Super from Philadelphia released a project called [Hell Hole] Store, which I picked up on tape. Height Keech from Baltimore has ventured off in a new direction on his Unending Blaze Vol. 1 EP. Local emcee and songstress Anna Notte put out her second EP and used one my of my favorite beats I’ve ever made called "Ppl Are Mean..." Baltimore "teacher, husband, beat-maker & dish washer" John "Jumbled" Bachman wrote within our 2016 published interview. I had simply asked Bachman to name a few of his personal favorite Hip-Hop releases from the past 6-8 months, but little did I know, I would eventually end up working with nearly ALL of the artists he had mentioned (besides Kanye) and countless Baltimore area friends, affiliates, and associates. Height Keech appeared on "Lamplight" from Jumbled's then just-released [I wish it was longer] album along with the likes…

UNPOLISHED, UNHYPE, UNSOBER & UNRAP: Doc Savior & Heavy Rev Compile "Recipe for Never Sleep Playlist" In Conjunction with Mahatma Crowley-assisted Album (Akashic Vibrations Records)

Mahatma Crowley, a friend and frequent collaborator here at The Witzard, messaged me an MP3 of "KAYFABE" a few weeks ago from a then unnamed mystery artist he had recently taken under his wing and signed to his Akashic Vibrations Records. I guess the best way I could even begin to attempt to describe Doc Savior and in-house producer Heavy Rev's unique output would be to try to imagine what Kendrick Lamar might sound like, if he were rhyming over an album full of samples culled from Black Flag's first album with frontman Henry Rollins, 1981's Damaged. Crowley generally unleashes new musical projects on various seasonal solstices and Doc Savior & Heavy Rev's Never Sleep is no different—released today, march 20th on the Spring (Vernal) Equinox. Mahatma Crowley served as Creative Director on Doc & Rev's Never Sleep, which was assembled and recorded 100% independently with Crowley coming in after its completion to handle branding and promotion. It appe…

Jonti Recruits The Internet's Kid-Genius Steve Lacy, Midnight Mutant Moses "Mohi" MacRae, Jo Ling, James Domeyko & Jack Prest for, "Scrood" First Single In Over 5 Years (Stones Throw)

"The "Scrood" video was directed by @captainearwax [Daniel 'O Toole]. He makes videos similarly to how I make music, by meshing together analog and digital layers to create a certain feeling or mood; in contrast to my other videos, which are more straight-forward narrative-based. It was a super fun process and I'm blessed that we got to do this,"@jontidanimals wrote within a heart-felt March 16th Instagram post. "Scrood" is Jonti's first proper single in over five years and his first piece of original material since submitting beats for "BARBELL," "Laguna," and "Turkuoise," which appeared on long-time friend and collaborator Hodgy's 2016 Columbia/Odd Future Records debut, Fireplace: TheNotTheOtherSide. I've spoken with Jonti pretty regularly over the years passed since his last album-length mixtape, Sine & Moon (2012) and I know's been diligently working on this as-yet-untitled Stones Throw album, …

Lushlife Unleashes First "New" Grizzly Bear Song In Some 5 Years with "Foreground" for Ever-evolving A SONG A DAY KEEPS THE PAIN AWAY Benefit Comp. (Rough Trade Publishing)

"When I was asked to contribute to Rough Trade Publishing's A Song A Day to Keep The Pain Away (#SADRTP) benefit project, covering Grizzly Bear's outstanding album cut, "Foreground" somehow felt like the right starting point; in the moment, I was reacting to the Trump Administration's Muslim Ban, projecting a song about a relationship falling apart onto man and country," one-time Das Racist affiliate and frequent Heems collaborator Lushlife wrote within a recent statement. "Foreground" was released on Day #74 of a planned 90-day initiative by Rough Trade Publishing, which they vehemently attest aims to "help a little with the pain and perhaps, even inspire you. We hope so. We all need to be doing whatever we can to make 2017 a better tomorrow." Previous prescribers to their A Song A Day Keeps The Pain Away benefit comp. include Sondre Lerche, Nada Surf, King Khan, A Place to Bury Strangers, Superchunk, awesomely-named Prism Tats, J…

Run It Back: Revisiting STATIC BROTHERS' Blood-curdling 2016 "Glitch-Hop/Noise-Rap" OBSTETRIC TRASH EP & Career Retrospective (U DONT DESERVE THIS BEAUTIFUL ART)

OBSTETRIC TRASH by STATIC BROTHERS
Static Brothers' Facebook Story fittingly describes their unique style of music as "bizarro spaced out drone trip-hop based out of Philadelphia, PA" and later, labels their Genre as "DIY GRIT-HOP NOISE-RAP" or "Blackhole Shoegaze Noise-Rap."Joe Hughes (DJ DM) and emcees A Dead Fox & Riff Quantum founded Static Brothers back around 2009-10 while attending college together and spent a few years conceptualizing what the group should be and collectively taking part in freestyle sessions, verse-writing, and brainstorming; Static Brothers' first official show as "a trisecting Noise-form" was in 2011 when JE Double F booked them for an Illogic show in Atlantic City, New Jersey. A Dead Fox parted ways with the group sometime between 2015-17, although, he still appears on their latest release, OBSTETRIC TRASH EP. Static Brothers quietly released their 2013 debut Ro6o6i6le on New Jersey-based "records, ta…

Zilla Rocca Re-contextualizes & Remixes CURTA's "Rap Trope Questionnaire" & CLICK BAIT EP Announcement (The Witzard Premiere)

"'Rap Trope Questionnaire" is kind of a round-about way of talking about being manic depressive, but from the perspective of someone inhabiting an arena where that sort of behavior is welcomed and even encouraged. It is like an asset in some ways to be able to turn the personality up to 150%, even if it is "blindness to kick bliss in the shin and put my emotional win on display again" (yuck, quoting [myself] feels gross!)"CURTA emcee Jake recently wrote within an emailed statement. CURTA was formed in Colorado a number of years ago because, as Jake puts it, he simply "wanted to make music that was not beholden to prior ideas of what a "band" should be;" often labeling themselves as a Glitch-Hop or Art-Rap group, CURTA and in-house producer 4Digit readily cite Pavement, Coil, Saul Williams, and Pere Ubu as immediate sources of influence and inspiration. Zilla Rocca, a close friend and frequent collaborator here at The Witzard, emailed me…

The Witzard Premier: Mega Ran's Fresh Kils & DJ DN3-produced Notorious R.A.N: Ready to Live EP On 20th Anniversary of Biggie's Death (Plus "Lyrically..." Music Video & Exclusive Interview)

"20 years to the day of the tragic murder of rapper The Notorious B.I.G. Mega Ran offers this heartfelt creative tribute to the man they called Biggie. Ran and producers Fresh Kils & DJ DN3 cleverly re-sample 10 classic B.I.G. bangers, adding new lyrics and perspective to the sounds of the legendary emcee. Narrated by Ran's childhood friend, Notorious R.A.N. revisits the feeling, the rhymes, and the charm of the fallen Hip-Hop hero, while continuing Mega Ran's track record of quality releases," reads an emailed press release sent along with Mega Ran's Biggie tribute mixtape, Notorious R.A.N: Ready to Live. As Ran (formerly Random) states, he's releasing Notorious R.A.N: Ready to Live today on March 9, 2017—the 20th anniversary of Christopher "Biggie" Wallace's tragic murder—with little to no prior press. I believe I first worked with Mega Ran—then, still Random AKA Mega Ran—around the time of his 2010 video game-sampling album, Forever Famic…

"High Desert Crunch Meets City Life Punch" On Clutchy Hopkins & Fat Albert Einstein's Visionary Folk-Funk Instrumental Hip-Hop Album, high desert low tide (Aural Tradition Records)

high desert low tide by CLUTCHY HOPKINS & FAT ALBERT EINSTEIN
"Clutchy Hopkins is the son of a Motown recording engineer. As a young man, Clutchy traveled the globe exploring exotic music, rhythms, and mysticism. He worked at recording studios in Bombay to Cairo and studied musical techniques of the Cahuilla Indians, Rinzai Zen monks in Japan, and Tribal drummers in Ethiopia. Returning to the US in the 90's, Clutchy worked as a session musician on obscure Funk and Jazz records; he was rumored to have collaborated with Moondog," reads the introductory paragraph of Clutchy Hopkins' Facebook-published Biography. Hopkins, by his own submission, "is a mystery wrapped in an enigma, covered in tape hiss, and deep-fried in a pot of melted Funk" and the story goes that although he recorded music throughout his travels over the years, his music only first saw a wider release as recently as 2005. The Life of Clutchy Hopkins was likely culled from "a crate of r…

Walter Gross - VESTIGE Cassette: The Witzard Album Review & WG Selects His Current Favorite Music, Books & Films, Etc. Playlist (Black Box Tapes/Alpha Pup Records)

Vestige by Walter Gross
"Walter Gross is truly a one of a kind artist, iconoclast and a master of many mediums. He is mainly known for his experimental audio soundscapes, which inhabit a space between Dustbowl Folk re-appropriations, walls of noise, sludgy Trap, Rap, and Prog-Rock. It's easy to throw a bunch of catchphrases together and make a bio seem compelling, but Walter truly walks these lines with grace and originality. Beyond being a music-maker, he is a film director and visual artist. His videos are obsessive collages and unlike so many who utilizes "found art," he brings these pieces to life and creates stunning and unique pieces with them," Black Box Tapes label head and Socially Conscious rapper-producer Tim "sole" Holland wrote within a recent BIO on Walter Gross' Bandcamp. Gross is a Baltimore transplant now living in Berlin, who has been making his own unique slightly Hip-Hop-leaning music and frantic video collages since about 2007…