Sunday, March 19, 2017

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 appears as though Mahatma Crowley, Doc Savior, and Heavy Rev are planning to collaborate on a number of as-yet-unannounced future projects. Lest we forget, I recently had the unique opportunity to premier Crowley's latest iLLMAGIC [PROJECT 2] mixtape right here at The Witzard, published along with a comprehensive interview conducted with the Occult Rap pioneer himself. As previously mentioned, Never Sleep is now available for your mass consumption and general bemusement, accompanied by a playlist chock-full of sources of influence and inspiration we're calling "Recipe for Never Sleep" compiled by partners-in-crime Doc Savior & Heavy Rev. Enjoy, ghouls & gals!

"Doc Savior and I connected in early 2016. He showed a deep respect for my music and I immediately checked out Doc & Heavy Rev's Crusade Cult. Our paths run parallel in the same direction. We each had our own focus, but knew eventually, we would form an unholy union. Now, is the time. I'm proud to give Never Sleep my stamp-of-approval, literally; The Beholder's Mark is on the cover. Our fates have become inextricably tied. Never Sleep contains our first collaboration. Doc & Rev both have contributions to my upcoming [PROJECT 3]. More is sure to come with time. I am Crusade Cult. Doc & Rev carry The Mark of The Beholder. We are Akashic Vibrations Records. All is one, one is all. The unholy union is sealed with the blood of those in this circle. Expect us or expect to get run over. #BEHOLDTHEMARK"

- Mahatma Crowley
Never Sleep Creative Director

I. Tyler The Creator - "Radicals"

Doc Savior: In the forming of the forming of the Crusade [Cult] sound, a lot of different music was going into it. We wanted to make something that was our own sound and go at it sort of loosely. In the beginning years, two emcees really stuck out to me, when I was trying to nail down how I wanted to approach this and they are Vinnie Paz and Tyler The Creator. Think what you want about Tyler now, [but] the guy is wildly talented, but when Rev first showed me the song "Radicals" off the GOBLIN album, I said, "I f**king love this." We were super tired of Conscious Hip-Hop and despite the fact that the issues that more message-driven groups are worth talking about and dealing with, we were just sick of hearing about it and wanted to write music that just says, "f**k it, we don’t care." The hook to "Radicals" is, "kill people, burn sh*t, f**k school" and I popped for it mercilessly. I heard it and a light just when on that said, "oh sh*t! I can literally just write whatever I want!"

Heavy Rev: Tyler opened my mind up to saying, "f**k it, do whatever you want" and if it sounds good to you, then, you are being true to yourself. Even if people don’t vibe on your music, they can still appreciate the fact that you did your own thing.

II. Vinnie Paz & Ill Bill – "Devils Rebels" [-feat. Crypt The Warchild]

Doc Savior: Vinnie Paz with Jedi Mind Tricks and Army of The Pharaohs, dude! Rev and I would just have too much to say about him. No doubt, one of the most influential people to both of us and I personally credit him for helping me find my own voice. Don’t get me started; easily, one of the most important emcees to me [in] my lifetime. While I was writing Never Sleep, I was listening heavily to Ill Bill & Vinnie Paz's Heavy Metal Kings. I can never get tired of that record. Especially, when I was writing Track #3 on Never Sleep, "All God Killers." It is impossible to hide how influential those dudes really are to me!

Heavy Rev: Vinnie Paz is one of the prominent guys to really combine the gritty side of both Punk and Hip-Hop genres. We listen to both genres [to no] end, so why not combine them? Paz did it and saw a lot of success over it, plus, it cemented him as his own emcee with his own style that up until recently, no one was really on.

III. Captain Murphy – Duality (full album)

Rev and I both agree that Crusade Cult would not be the thing it is today without Captain Murphy's Duality album. If you are not hip, watch the whole video on YouTube. Nothing even comes close! It is the perfect mixed-media album and Rev and I have sat down and watched the entire 30-minute video together more times than I can count.

IV. Run-D.M.C. – "King of Rock"

Run-D.M.C. is perhaps, the most personally important Hip-Hop group to me. On top of being legends, they were the group that my dad played over and over in the car every day [when] I was young. The self-titled album was the first record I ever bought in my life. Rev and I both agree that the track, "King of Rock" was so important in the blending of Rock music and Hip-Hop culture, if they hadn’t reached out like that, there [would be] no Punk/Hip-Hop Crusade Cult.

V. Dead Kennedys – "Holiday In Cambodia"

When I started writing Never Sleep, I knew that there was a lot of hate combined with a lot of humor that I personally needed to get out, but still wanted there to be some charm to the lyrics. Thinking about this, I listened heavily to the Dead Kennedys' Give Me Convenience or Give Me Death. Jello Biafra’s satire was so important to me in developing a sense of humor with Never Sleep. It pushed me in the direction of writing these songs and lyrics that are so overly-aggressive and obscene and ridiculous that you would have to be pretty dense to not realize that most of this is a work. DK, mad important to my writing!

VI. Mahatma Crowley – "Glass Half-Empty"

There are a lot of musicians and groups I can say helped inspire the Never Sleep album, but there is one man who was not only an influence, but was also a direct part of all of this; Crowley is someone I genuinely just can’t compare to anyone. Not only is his flow absolutely unique, but his mind for music and the future is just unparalleled to anyone I've ever known. iLLMAGIC dropped months ago now and I still listen to "Glass Half-Empty" at least once a week. When we first started talking, I was just happy to talk to someone who understood the niche of Occult Hip-Hop, now it is a friendship that I cherish and am beyond proud to wear The Beholder's Mark. We both knew we had separate paths that were heading in the same direction. Crowley has it all in wit, composure, and focus and it translates directly into his music. This album would not be what it is without him.

VII. The Acacia Strain - "JFC"

While Rev and I were talking about the sound we wanted to have for Never Sleep, there is one song I listened to over and over and that is "JFC" by The Acacia Strain. This band is so heavy and so p*ssed and when that song comes on and I hear, "I am the end of the world," I just start head-banging uncontrollably. That was when we really decided to start incorporating the Hardcore and Punk music that we grew up with and loved into something we could call our own.

VIII. Craig Xen – "Isis"

I have nothing really deep to say about this track, other than, Rev and I banged this sh*t heavy. A lot of people that hear Never Sleep might think the lyrics are a little blunt or lazy, but I know myself and I know that I love bold, short statements and I wanted every line to be a punch in the face. So, if you think our music is minimalist, don’t even try [listening to] this track.

IX. Cattle Decapitation – "The Gardeners of Eden"

One album that will forever be in my Top 5 of all time is Cattle Decapitation's The Harvest Floor. I cannot put this album over enough. These dudes write some really brutal music that frequently explores the theme of total human extinction; not a far stretch from what we’re talking about. One of the most talented bands of all time! When this album dropped, I sat and read the lyric book front to back on repeat and when it came time to start writing Never Sleep, I sat and read it all over again.

X. Morning Glory – "Gimme Heroine"

I don’t know how much it really played into influencing our album, but while we were recording, Morning Glory's The Whole World Is Watching album was on every single day for me.

*** So, without really any explanation, these are some other tracks that were listened to heavily, while writing Never Sleep (BONUS TRACKS) ***

XI. Toxic Narcotic – "People Suck"
XII. System of a Down – "B.Y.O.B."
XIII. Operation Ivy – "Room Without a Window"
XIV. Dr. Dre – "Let Me Ride" [-feat. Jewell & Snoop Doggy Dogg]

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