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Showing posts from June, 2017

E. Grizzly Preps Beat-maker Bedrock #3 Ahead of 6/30 The Pharmacy Show with THE SH*THAWKS, FELIPE PUPO, MANIKINETER, PLANET 88 & KING ANI MAL (Producer-selected Playlist)

"When you're a DIY musician/producer, you do everything; you write the songs, you record, you compose, produce, and mix. I look at production as a finished product, not just a beat to sell to an emcee. And really, I don't sell beats. I produce my own albums and EP's. It's so time-consuming that it's hard to do it for someone else, unless I'm a huge fan. But when I first started making music back when I was a wee-lad, I had these cliché ideas of how an album is produced. I was an emcee, so I needed beats and I started sampling. It was pretty simple stuff. Mostly, a couple samples chopped and Copied together as a few loops on Reason. Then, I would put a drum beat on it; either Reason drum sounds or drums I sampled, chopped, and Copied together. There's certain albums that helped change my whole perspective about production, though. These aren't my favorite albums, but they definitely influenced how I make music."
Mannequin Eater by MANIK|NETER
I.…

British Rockers Slydigs Talk How Animal Are You? EP, Touring with The Who, Eddie Vedder's Words of Praise & More (The Witzard Interview)

"Hailing from Britain's North-West, a thriving hub of musical heritage, Slydigs are a charismatic four-piece leading the rebirth of Rock "N" Roll music by bringing a fierce modern edge to a classic sound. Consisting of four school friends who grew up together in the industrial wasteland between Liverpool and Manchester, Rock "N" Roll music became an effective escape from their seemingly pre-ordained destinies in the factories and building sites of the North-West," reads the intro to Quite Great!'s recent Slydigs press release. Slydigs founding members Dean Fairhurst, Louis Menguy, Pete Fleming, and Ben Breslin readily cite The Rolling Stones, Oasis, The Kinks, and The Black Keys as sources of both classic and contemporary sources of influence. They've previously supported Rock legends THE WHO ON TOUR in 2016, as well as played gigs supporting Catfish & The Bottlemen, The View, The Libertines frontman Pete Doherty, and two full European tou…

Beat-maker Bedrock #2: Nihilist Punk-Rapper & TUFF TURF New Wave Revivalist JE DOUBLE F Picks His 3 Most Influential Albums (Producer-selected Playlist)

"I'm Jeff Richie from New Jersey. I make Punk-Rap under the name "JE DOUBLE F" and New Wave under the name "TUFF TURF." First of all, I've never considered myself a "beat-maker" or a "producer." I've never considered myself much of anything. Nothing specific, at least. I write songs, I record them; sometimes, with sequenced instrumentation à la Rap/New Wave, sometimes not. No bullsh*t, no claim to be part of any specific "culture" or "scene." In fact, I think music culture and scenes are a complete waste of time. With that said, here are three albums that f**ked me up permanently:"

I. GRAVEDIGGAZ - 6 FEET DEEP (1994)

"I had been listening to a lot of traditional Hip-Hop around the time that I first heard 6 FEET DEEP. I was probably 16-years-old. This album proved to me that you can make "Rap music" that's not about intercity violence and drugs—two things that I had (and have) no interes…

Karma Kids Founder & Label Head Lt Headtrip Unleashes Full-album Stream of Self-produced Comedy of The Filthbeast (The Witzard Premier)

"I'm Lt Headtrip, head of the Queens-based Indie Rap label, we are the karma kids. Also, a part of the Rap group, The Karma Kids. It started with me, Samurai Banana (my DJ/producer,) and Reson, another rapper friend from my hometown on Kent, OH, back in a basement on Long Island in 2008. We were just our Rap group, Sarcasmo and a rotating cast of spitters and Punk bands back then. Nowadays, we throw shows in NYC, book ourselves tours, make music videos, record, mix, help out fellow rappers, etc." reads a brief intro to Lt Headtrip directly from the deranged, often lyrically unhinged man himself. Lt Headtrip has released a number of projects under various monikers and with a handful of groups including, but not limited to Webtrip, BALD AFRO, Sarcasmo, Impervious Machine, and bluelight + Lt Headtrip, since around 2007. Headtrip's New York-based label imprint and collective, we are the karma kids (or The Karma Kids, for short) now includes sharp-tongued emcees Googie, D…

Height Keech, Drew Scott, Ray Strife & Lt Headtrip Play Vans_Westly's "QUILLS RELEASE PARTY" On The Eve of Nelwayne & Scott-produced Quills EP (The Windup Space)

Quills by Vans_Westly
I was attending a wedding reception here in South Jersey at The Little Red Schoolhouse this past weekend with my fiancé, when I received a Tweet from @DrewciferScott tagging me in a previous Tweet from @Vans_Westly, which simply read: "Yo, I really want someone to review Quills." Westly was of course, referring to his latest Quills EP, which was completed and released just in time for his Quills Release Party this past Saturday, June 24th at Baltimore's The Windup Space with "special guests" Height Keech, Drew Scott, Raymond Strife, and Lt. Headtrip—nearly all of whom I've previously worked with and covered here at The Witzard. Drew Scott, who produced "Spring Sh*t" on Quills, road tested a few new tunes from his upcoming "weirdo Psych-Pop EP," which soon after The Windup Space show, he said "felt real sexy and pathetic;" in addition to Vans_Westly's Quills EP, Scott also released a long-in-the-works r…

The Witzard Presents: A Brand New Column, BEAT-MAKER BEDROCK with "Teacher, Husband, Beat-maker & Dish Washer" John Bachman AKA Jumbled (Producer-selected Playlist #1)

Just about a month ago, I got an email from my friend, producer buddy, and frequent collaborator John Bachman AKA Jumbled mysteriously labelled "2 things." Bachman was writing me about his upcoming Bmore Club-minded project, as well as an idea he said he had been "kicking around;" wherein he simply detailed he wanted to ask "producers to name 3-5 albums that influenced them/their style and talk a little about each album and maybe their [favorite] track." Needless to say, I was immediately interested and Jumbled and I collectively decided we would jointly run our producer playlist column (now, appropriately deemed "Beat-maker Bedrock") on both The Witzard and his Hatford & ReckordTumblr. And without further ado, here's the inaugural Beat-maker Bedrock artist-penned column with brainchild and beat-maker himself, John "Jumbled" Bachman. Beat-makers and producers: if you're reading this and could like to partake in future volu…

"I DON'T RAP IN BUMPERSTICKERS:" Insurgent Rap Music Emcee sole Speaks On First Album, Bottle of Humans' Kickstarter-funded Vinyl Re-issue (The Witzard Interview)

"After being out of print for almost two decades, I am finally re-issuing my debut album, Bottle of Humans on double-vinyl. In 1998, I moved to California to start a record label with my friends and dedicate my life to music. I was a stranger in a strange land. I didn’t understand it then, but this was a magical period of human and musical history... it was the early era of The Internet and digital recording. Record stores were still a thing. We sat in rooms and made music together. We recorded onto tape. We wrote rhymes on paper. We broke all the rules. These were the early days of what some might later call "Art Rap," "Alternative Hip-Hop," or "Experimental Hip-Hop." Bottle of Humans was my first solo contribution to it.

This album wasn’t meant to be an "album" at all; it was an evolving collection of songs I burned onto a CD-R that I strangely titled "Bottle of Humans." I would burn CD-R's at my corporate job, when my boss …

Shark Tank Let Loose Chummy Third Single from Height-produced Dan's House, "Dan's House (Shouts to Hell Rell)" COLD RHYMES RECORDS

Dan's House by Shark Tank
Not only is Shark Tank a Kevin "Mr. Wonderful" O'Leary-helmed dream-crushing ABC reality show, it's also a dream-crushing Kingston, Ontario/Pittsburgh, PA/Baltimore, MD-based Hip-Hop posse. Shark Tank AKA The Fun Youngs—fronted by "John" Height and backed by lyrical assassins "John" Lord Grunge, "John" B.Rich, and sometimes, "John" Mickey Free—are currently prepping their fourth Height-produced album, fittingly titled Dan's House for a summertime release on Cold Rhymes Records. "This is the video for "Dan's House" filmed by Ben O'Brien and edited by B.Rich. Naturally, this was filmed in my house. We were originally supposed to play ourselves in the video, but when a wrench got thrown [into] our travel plans, we got Emily Slaughter, Jones, and Mickey Free to stand-in. All three of them are fire emcees and beat-makers and of course, Mickey Free is the Jarobi White of Shark …

The Witzard Presents: Another EXCLUSIVE Interview with Seanh On Villainous Follow-up, SADEVILLAIN II (DOOM + Sade Mash-up)

"After /r/jimmyjrg created those stems of MF DOOM, I knew I had to follow up SADEVILLAIN with a [sequel] and this is exactly what I've done. I've had nothing but free time on my hands and went right to work on this project. The amount of recognition of the first tape got was insane, it was incredibly overwhelming and I still thank everyone who has listened to it," Seanh AKA clerksfanboy AKA Snh AKA @TheSeanh2k11 recently wrote within an /r/MFDOOM Subreddit titled I Present to You... SADEVILLAIN II. I've spoken with Seanh a few times over the course of the past year since the release of SADEVILLAIN (2016) and last I knew, he was busy crafting some original beats for an Aesop Rock remix project, which became his recent Aesop Rock vs. Seanh EP. It appears as though Seanh quietly uploaded SADEVILLAIN's proper sequel, fittingly titled SADEVILLAIN II, Monday afternoon and seemingly wasn't picked up by an media outlets until @okayplayer Tweeted out: "Ol'…

Zilla Rocca & Small Professor AKA Career Crooks Join a Long Line of Hip-Hop Luminaries Waxing Poetic About Steve Martin with Bob Sweeney-directed "Steve Martin" (GrownUpRap)

Steve Martin's long-standing and storied relationship with Hip-Hop goes back nearly 30 years. It seems to have all started with "The Steve Martin" from EPMD's critically-acclaimed and genre-shaping debut Strictly Business (1988) which goes a little something like this:

"Well, I have a new dance, that you all must learn
You may have seen the Pee-Wee Herman, but it's had it's turn
Now, this brand new dance, I know you not with it
You might break your neck, to really try to get it
If you seen the clumsy movie it was called The Jerk
You had to check out Steve Martin, as he started to work
He was doin' freaky moves with his feet and head
With his blue farmer suit and his big Pro-Keds."
Good Luck With That by Career Crooks
It appears as though, according to YouTube's Learn Hip Hop Dance instructor MahaloDance, "The Steve Martin" is also "an old school Hip-Hop move," which I would assume was likely inspired by EPMD's 1988 albu…

Walter Gross Unveils 50 Limited Edition Hand-made & Re-dubbed VESTIGE Companion SUPER BASIC "Beat Tapes" (Bandcamp, self-released)

Super Basic by Walter Gross
"I don't want to go into too much detail with this release, except for the idea that it was made in the spirit of a beat tape, even [though] it's not traditionally a "beat tape." Meaning, it's a hodge-podge of random stuff that is sequenced and edited to be able to enjoy as a little journey. And it is also an excuse to use these [CHILDREN'S TALKING BIBLE] cassettes I had and make some art. The term "SUPER BASIC" is a bit of commentary on the state of our world right now; this super-mechanical, very stagnant status of things," Berlin-based beat-maker and multi-media artist Walter Gross told The Witzard within a recent email. SUPER BASIC is a companion piece, of sorts to Gross' March 2017 Black Box Tapes-released cassette, VESTIGE and he'll be the first to tell you why it was released so soon after its predecessor: "Rent. I need rent money!" SUPER BASIC was made in true 1980's Golden Age Hip-…

Darko The Super Unleashes New Doc Heller Beat Tape BUMMER EVERY SUMMER; Feat. Apocalyptic Bastard Left-overs & 90's Sample Flips (U DONT DESERVE THIS BEAUTIFUL ART)

Bummer Every Summer by Doc Heller
Mere hours before penning this very piece you are about to embark upon, I was taking a late night scroll through Twitter and happened to stumble upon HYPEBEAST Editor Ben Roazen (@broazay)'s recent interview with [adult swim] Vice President & Creative Director Jason DeMarco (@Clarknova1.) DeMarco is of course, responsible in part for [adult swim]'s seventh annual Singles Program, Williams Street Records, DANGERDOOM's THE MOUSE AND THE MASK, and bringing together Run The Jewels, amongst countless animated/musical triumphs. I was, as a matter of fact, at the time, trying to figure out a slightly unique angle to approach this Darko The Super BUMMER EVERY SUMMER write-up and VOILA... Near the end of HYPEBEAST's interview, Ben Roazen asked Jason DeMarco to briefly discuss [adult swim]'s storied years-long working relationship with DOOM; to which DeMarco replied in part, "I've got paintings that DOOM made for me on my desk. …

3 Feet High & Rising: Superet Unleash Glitchy Zane Lowe-premiered "Pay It Later" from LCD Soundsystem, David Bowie & The Bravery-evoking Full-length (Rob The Rich Recordings)

"Superet is an American Rock band that formed in Los Angeles on Valentine's Day of 2016. Tattooed across the arm of singer/guitarist Matt Blitzer, the date marks both the project's genesis and the manifestation of the musical partnership between five close friends," reads a press release I recently received from BB Gun Press. Superet consists of Blitzer, along with keyboard player Alex Fischel, drummer Sam KS, bassist Patrick Kelly, and guitar/keyboard/percussion player Isaac Tamburino, who have previously "collaborated in various iterations over the preceding years;" further detailing that Superet is "the culmination of their long-standing creative kinship." While Superet recently premiered their first single, "Pay It Later," on Zane Lowe's Beats 1 radio show, the majority of their social media sites cryptically read either "Superet is coming..." or "SUPERET IS A BAND." Frontman Matt Blitzer and his fellow bandma…

Brazil/Australia to America: Fernando Aragones Unveils First Proper EP As Animal Ventura, Forrest St. (Pat Van Dyke Sessions)

Forrest St. by Animal Ventura
"Back in Summer of 2016, I got an email from Brazilian-born/Australian-based song-writer Fernando [Aragones](aka Animal Ventura) inquiring about having me produce his upcoming record. Last November, we did just that," Jersey City-based drummer and producer Pat Van Dyke wrote within a recent email. Van Dyke is of course, referring to an album he produced, recorded, mixed, and drummed throughout for Animal Ventura over a span of 10 days last November. What was birthed out of those five days of recording and five days-worth of Jersey City gigs between sessions will now forever be known as Forrest St; an instantly timeless 8-track collection which blurs the genre lines between "Alternative, Electronica, Roots, Dub, Electro, Groove, Hip-Hop, Jazz, and pedal steel guitar," as listed on Bandcamp. Forrest St, to my moderately trained and traveled ear, sounds something like a mix between Pharrell, fellow Aussie Jonti, Jason Mraz, and Madlib'…

Double Decker Records & YO! BABY SUP's Alex Sanchez On "Pressing" 30 Limited Edition JAY-Z/The Ultimate Warriors "Split" 12-inches from Record Store Day 2017 (The Witzard Interview)

Discogs simply describes JAY-Z, The Ultimate Warriors ‎– Split 12-inch as: "a JAY-Z 12-inch single glued to The Ultimate Warrior's Our Gimmick Is Wrestling LP. Limited to 30 copies for Record Store Day 2017 at Double Decker Records. Some copies have orange "IMPORT" sticker on the front. Some copies have the the A-side of Our Gimmick Is Wrestling LP playable and some have the B-side." The Ultimate Warriors were a Nazareth-based Wrestling-themed Hardcore/Powerviolence band active from about 1998-2003, which notoriously heralded as a pre-Pissed Jeans incarnation of Pissed Jeans; featuring Matt "Rageez" Kosloff (Korvette,) Brad "The Mothaf**ka" Real (Fry,) and Little Randy Youth (Huth,) as well as additional members who went on to form Pearls & Brass, The Gate Crashers, and Torchbearer. Throughout their short, yet sweet tenure, The Ultimate Warriors unleashed seven singles and split EP's with the likes of Abathakothie, Warrior Noise, Day…