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Showing posts from September, 2017

ialive & Cody Cody Jones Unleash Second Split In Support of Upcoming 10/3-7 Four to The Floor 2 Mini-tour (U DONT DESERVE THIS BEAUTIFUL ART/Surface Level Records)

Four To The Floor 2 by ialive
Now, anyone even remotely familiar with The Witzard and what we do 'round these here parts, should almost instantly recognize the names "ialive" and "Cody Cody Jones" (formerly known as Stillborn Identity.) They're collectively affiliated with Philly/Baltimore-based Hip-Hop scenes and artists such as Height Keech, Carl Kavorkian AKA MANIKINETER, E. Grizzly & Felipe Pupo, Lt Headtrip, Johann Sebastian, Torito, JE DOUBLE F, BLKrKRT, all these fingers, Vinyl Cape, and probably most notably, Darko The Super(The Hell Hole Store) and John "Jumbled" Bachman. Friends, frequent touring buddies, and self-described "bike boy babes" ialive & Cody Cody Jones have now joined forces to form touring partnership Four to The Floor. ialive & Cody Cody Jones' touring partnership initially started this past summer with "a collection of songs compiled specifically for a 4-day jaunt with your best boys, Cody C…

4:44 Frontman Anthony "Free" Friedlander Talks Critically-acclaimed JAY-Z EP, 4-part parallelement & CARDINAL (The Witzard Interview)

"Anthony Friedlander, frontman of New Jersey-based Indie/Alternative/Prog-Rock band 4:44, gets it and really seized the day on July 9th when on a whim, around 3AM, he uploaded 4-track JAY-Z EP to their Bandcamp page. Friedlander and his 4:44 bandmates—bassist Greg, Mele Jr. and drummer Zach Gormley—readily admit that "THIS IS A SHAMELESS MARKETING TECHNIQUE," as JAY-Z's latest album was seemingly "named after" their band; just imagine a stylistic mix between alt-j, Indie Rock innovators Radiohead, and the frantic, frenzied vocal delivery of Modest Mouse frontman Isaac Brock," reads part of a 4:44-centric piece I published this past August. Since releasing their critically-acclaimed JAY-Z EP back in July, 4:44 frontman Anthony Friedlander (@anthokneefree) and I have, personally, had amany late night conversations about the future of the band, his solo music, and their wonderful—still largely unrecognized by The Needle Drop—"SHAMELESS MARKETING TEC…

Shabazz Palaces Emcee Ishmael Butler & Oneohtrix Point Never Join Forces As 319 On Latest [adult swim] 2017 Singles Release "The Rapture" (Sub Pop/Warp Records)

"Oneohtrix Point Never (0PN) teams up with longtime inspiration and Spiritual Rap guru Ishmael Butler, The Palaceer of Shabazz Palaces/Digable Planets. Listen to new track "The Rapture," below,"Warp Records wrote within a 26/09/2017-published press release. "0PN and Butler met and produced "The Rapture" on first meeting this Summer, creating the experiment of verses and spine-tingling dances of percussion. The track premieres as a unique addition to the [adult swim] singles club," it continued. "The Rapture" is actually credited to "319"—a newly-formed rapper-producer duo consisting of Ishamel "Butterfly" Butler AKA Palaceer Lazaro and Electronic producer Oneohtrix Point Never AKA Daniel Lopatin of Ford & Lopatin. It's been quite a busy year for both Butler and Lopatin with Shabazz Palaces releasing not one, but two full-length albums on the same July day, Quazarz: Born On a Gangster Star and Quazarz vs. The…

3 Feet High & Rising: New York-based Modern Jazz Quintet Cowboys & Frenchmen Ready Ryan Truesdell-produced Sophomore Album Bluer Than You Think (Outside-In-Music)

Cowboys & Frenchmen (C&F) are a wonderfully named, New York-based Modern Jazz quintet that describes itself as an act who "produces music that is expressive and fiercely creative, taking co-improvisation to new heights," as their Facebook About section fitting describes. I'll be the first to readily admit, I'm not the most well-versed on Jazz's formative late greats, but I've always enjoyed a Jazz-minded Hip-Hop sample and the Neo-Jazz stylings of Flying Lotus and his BRAINFEEDER crew, BADBADNOTGOOD AKA BBNG, Wu-Tang Clan-indebted El Michels Affair, Polish Jazz septet EABS, and even "The Greatest Band In Late Night,"Philly's own The Roots. I received a cold-sent email late last week from Massachusetts-based PR company Braithwaite & Katz Communications highlighting the title track from Cowboys & Frenchmen's innovative, alto sax-led sophomore album, Bluer Than You Think—to be released on Outside-In-Music this upcoming Friday, O…

Avant-Hip-Hop Emcee BRZOWSKI Unveils Dark, Twisted 80HRTZ, C$ Burns & Chryso-produced Album ENMITYVILLE (The Witzard Interview)

"BRZOWSKI is a touring Post-Rap artist hailing from the icy wastes of New England. This road-worn vocalist has been regarded as a standard-bearer for Avant-Hip-Hop since his first release in 2001. Always prescient, often verbose, never for the faint-of-heart," reads BRZOWSKI ("BRZO" for short)'s Bandcamp Bio. He's done over 1,000 live performances, released three critically-acclaimed albums, four mixtapes, five EP's, and two 7-inch singles, as well countless featured appearances with a who's-who of seasoned Indie Hip-Hop vets. BRZOWSKI has been steadily touring with a wide array of projects since 1993 and has logged road hours in support of Atmosphere, Astronautalis, billy woods, Brother Ali, Busdriver, Cage, Ceschi, Doug E. Fresh, El-P, The Gaslamp Killer, MURS, Open Mike Eagle, Sage Francis, solo, and Uncommon Nasa. BRZO initially emailed me back in July, praising my recent published works with Height Keech, E. Grizzly, and Lt Headtrip, with a pre…

Carl Kavorkian Unleashes Brooding MANIKINETER Single "Cocoon" from Upcoming Mannequin Eater EP Follow-up EP2/TBA (Cult Member Music)

TBA by Manikineter
Carl Kavorkian makes some of the most ferocious, experimental Noise-Rap music I've ever heard and (not) surprisingly, he's one of the nicest, most hospitable people I've ever met working in "the music industry." Case in point: my buddy Omarey and I went into South Philly one Friday night back in June for The Sh*thawks, Felipe Pupo, MANIK|NETER, Planet 88, and King Ani Mal's show at The Pharmacy. We grabbed a pizza back in Jersey and were pretty much on time for the show, although, Felipe Pupo frontman and show organizer Erik "E." Grizzly was messaging me on the way in; Erik mentioned he thought the set times were running a bit earlier than expected and Carl Kavorkian's MANIK|NETER was likely going on early. Now, while I was excited for all five bands on the bill, I was most excited to see MANIK|NETER and was looking forward to seeing his infamous executioner's mask-covered set! Once Omarey and I got into South Philly, we so…

3 Feet High & Rising: LA-based Hip-Hop/R&B Collective no suits Speak On Debut VIRGIN EP (The Witzard Interview & Playlist)

"no suits started in kindergarten, when Max Pierro and Sajan Sanghvi met on the first day of class. Pierro told Sanghvi shortly into their friendship "when we grow up, we gotta be entrepreneurs and never wear a suit to work." That single statement grew into a philosophy and continued to spread to this day and hence, became the label of their music group they began in 2014. Pierro & Sanghvi forged ahead to release their first single, a remix of ODESZA's "Say My Name." Shortly after, they recruited drummer/bassist Ed Hill, who was taking college classes with Pierro and had a similar passion for early Hip-Hop and shared the no suits' philosophy. The trio went on to release a slew of hit singles, namely "Strawberry Wine" ft. Aubren Elaine & Matt Capone, "Escape Reality" ft. Aubren Elaine, and a remix of Major Lazer's "Be Together"ft. Wild Belle.


Proceeding to execute their vision to push the boundaries of modern E…

Sapwood & Bear Faces Frontman Jason Brown Unveils Hardcore-minded Ear Nail with Blistering Anti-Establishment "Head of State" (self-released)

It was Winter 2013 and "Thrift Shop" was still rapidly rising through the ranks of Billboard's Hot 100 chart. I'll never forget the first time I met Jason Brown, it was up in the Shop Rite break room and said, "what's up, Macklemore?" I don't think it was in a particularly nice way, but regardless, we still became friends. I worked as a baker and Jason was checker at the front-end registers and eventually, worked his way back to frozen foods department. I soon learned about Jason's rapping alter-ego, "Jason Brownies" and he, knowing I ran an online music publication, was constantly passing me CD-R mixtapes and hand-made cassette tapes of his musical musings. He eventually hung up his "2 turntables and a microphone" in exchange for fuzzed out Garage Rock guitars and lush Indie Rock-minded melodies and formed solo projects/bands Bear Faces and Sapwood, which both still appear to be active, in one form or another. Bear Faces re…

The Witzard Premier: Jack Topht's "Come On Nike" Lyric Video from We Can't Go Back Now: The Cold Rhymes Collection (EDITED BY COOL GUY BRY)

"recorded in like, 2008 by mr. ski-mask on 1-inch analog tape at the electric pumpkin patch studio on the east side of buffalo. lindsey did guitar, i did drums, and me and ski-mask did synths. i wrote the song before i had a band in 2000,"Jack Topht AKA Jack Toft AKA Jack Topht with The Vegetables AKA Little Cake n Jack Toft AKA Lindsey & Jack Toft AKA TEENWOLF AND JACK TOFT wrote within a recent email exchange regarding "Come On Nike." His rather unique style has been self-described as "Kool Keith meets Crass" and has often been labelled Awesome Rap, Folk-Rap, Americana Grime, Grunge-Funk, Grunge Rap Punk/Ska, "kooky, riveting Rap, wild freak Anti-Folk Noise/Free Jazz" (Little Cake n Jack Toft,) and "part rapper, part performance artist, part comedian/motivational speaker." Jack Topht's largely genre-less style has been compared to the likes of Bob Dylan, Minutemen frontman D. Boon, Kool Keith, Le Tigre, Jonathan Richman, Das …

Already Dead VII Comp. Features The Hell Hole Store's Beastie Boys Cover "Brass Flunky" & Day Tripper-produced Darko The Super Loosie "I'm Only In It for The Money" (No Sleep 'til Baltimore)

No Sleep 'til Baltimore was a tribute/benefit show held at The Ottobar in Baltimore back on Friday, July 7th. It was billed as a "benefit to help local musician adopt" with "local musician" being producer John Bachman (Jumbled) and his wife Rachel. Not only was No Sleep 'til Baltimore a fundraiser to help The Bachmans earn money for their adoption, it was dually billed as a tribute to the Beastie Boys' monumental Rick Rubin-produced 1986 Def Jam debut, Licensed to Ill. Berko Lover did a rendition of "Girls,"GUY GRAMS performed a roaring rendition of "(You Gotta) Fight for Your Right (to Party!)" MC Bravado & S.U. The Clique covered "No Sleep 'til Brooklyn,"Drew Scott & Vans_Westly did "Hold It Now, Hit It" with a little help from Jumbled himself, The Hell Hole Store covered "Brass Monkey," and much, much more. By all accounts, No Sleep 'til Baltimore was a great success and now, nearly tw…

Mega Ran Discusses His Latest Retrospective Album EXTRA CREDIT & Breaks Down Selections from EXTRA CREDIT: The Inspiration Spotify Playlist (The Witzard Interview)

When we last spoke with Phoenix-based/Philly born and raised rapper, producer, wrestling super-fan, and former teacher Raheem Jarbo AKA Mega Ran, he was preparing to unleash his DJ DN3 & Fresh Kils-produced Biggie tribute, Notorious R.A.N: Ready to Live. Ran's since "[taken] on a rigorous touring schedule, [hosted] a wrestling podcast Mat Mania, and [made] high-profile appearances on WWE television" and "returns to release the introspective and enlightening album, EXTRA CREDIT." His latest collection, EXTRA CREDIT—which even I had absolutely NO IDEA about until about 2-3 weeks prior to its release—is effectively a "greatest hits" collection made up of equal parts new tracks, old tracks, and re-imagined versions. Anchored by a few RNDM left-overs, EXTRA CREDIT features production work from K-Murdock (mixing & mastering,) The Rockit Scientist, Charlie Mumbles, ECID, Kaito Kobayashi, RandomBeats & Middle East Modern, DIBIA$E, Wann Sklobi, Yon…

Behind The Beat, Vol. 2 Part 2: Homeboy Sandman & Aesop Rock Producer Ben Boogz of 2 Hungry Bros. Speaks On His "Pizza & Burgers" Beat from TRIPLE FAT LICE (Facebook DM Q&A)

Matt Horowitz: Let's do a little Nardwuar-type intro... who are you?!!!??!

Ben Boogz: Have you ever heard of my production duo, The 2 Hungry Bros? I'm Ben Boogz of The 2 Hungry Bros.

MH: Yessir, I have! I'm actually talking with Deep about another project for my site.

BB: From The Lower East Side (The L.E.S.) Manhattan NYC.

MH: You guys have worked with Homeboy Sandman since day one, right?

BB: Yes, that's correct. We have worked with Sand for some time.

MH: What was the first project 2 Hungry Bros. worked on with Sandman?

BB: He first was featured on our second compilation album called Table Manners (2008). Then, the first 2 tracks we did were the "iTunes Song" and the "2 Hungry Bros. Outro" on Actual Factual Pterodactyl (2008). Also, on The Good Sun (2010) we produced "The Essence " and "The Carpenter," the song that got him signed to Stones Throw.

MH: Really!? And that very track, "The Carpenter," is what helped get him…

Connecticut Rapper-producer & CURTA Opener Chef The Chef Unleashes First Proper Full-length DEMONZZZ "for The Ladies" (self-released)

Chefren "Chef The Chef" Gray is a rapper-producer, multi-instrumentalist, and singer hailing from Bridgeport, Connecticut. He recently emailed me, after being referred to The Witzard by my past collaborator CURTA, with a link to his latest 10-track project DEMONZZZ. Chef The Chef is playing a CURTA show along with fellow openers Zak G + ECID & PremRock at Connecticut's own Stella Blues this upcoming Thursday, October 12th at 8:00pm, as part of CURTA's awesomely-named Circus In a Suitcase 2017 Tour. "I was really influenced by my surroundings. My experiences and just the mental battles I fight everyday. So, I called it DEMONZZZ because I wanted people to instantly be able to see right through me," Chef The Chef wrote within an emailed statement. "I wanted to be very transparent. I feel like being vulnerable is a valuable trait in deciphering who we are as people," he continued. Chefren Gray initially told me he created DEMONZZZ on Tuesday, Augu…

3 Feet High & Rising: Australian Indie-Poppers Strange Talk's Gerard Sindu & Stephen Docker Form French Electro/House-inspired KNIGHTFALL & Unleash "Watching Me" (VOLUME 1 EP)

Strange Talk is a Melbourne-based Australian Synth-Pop duo consisting of Stephen Docker and Gerard Sindu. Their music has been likened to contemporary Indie-Pop acts such as Passion Pit, MGMT, Phoenix, Cut Copy, and Yeasayer. Strange Talk released one full-length album, Cast Away (2014) on Wind-up Records and two EP's for both Wind-up and Neon Gold Records, as well as a number of singles and commissioned remixes. However, "after working on nothing but Strange Talk for the last seven years, the duo decided to take a break from the Indie-Pop world to pursue their other love... French Electro/House," reads a recent press statement. Now, Gerard Sindu & Stephen Docker are actively readying their Electro/House-inspired EP-length re-birth as KNIGHTFALL, VOLUME 1. Following this year's previous two singles, "Speed Machine" and "Exodus," as well as "Motostop" (KNIGHTFALL vs. Q-Tip)KNIGHTFALL have unleashed the latest track from their VOLUME 1…

The Neatbeats Frontman Mr. Pan Stars As The Screamin' Telstars Bandleader Within Ghostroads: A Japanese Rock n Roll Ghost Story (ROBOT 55)

"Get ready for some groovy rockin' and rollin' with large doses of spooky intrigue, steamy jealousy, ribald rivalry, back-stabbing betrayal, the perfect black leather jacket, sultry groupies, a strummin' specter, and even a miniature stripper, as lead guitarist of the Japanese Rock group, The Screamin' Telstars meets his doom in the form of a smokin' vintage amplifier. After crossing the Ghostroad, Tony discovers there is nowhere else to turn—and if you don't give The Devil his due, payback is a b*tch," legendary Rock "N" Roll groupie, author, journalist, and musician Pamela Des Barres exuberantly proclaims. Ghostroads: A Japanese Rock n Roll Ghost Story has been quite fittingly described as "A Hard Day's Night in Japan [with] a Faustian Twist," which follows a struggling musician named Tony (AKA The Neatbeats frontman Mr. Pan) and his Retro-Rock band, The Screamin' Telstars. As you can see within ROBOT 55's Ghostroads