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Showing posts from October, 2017

The Witzard Premier: Purple Dialect Unleashes Halloween-themed PLANET PUMPKIN & Teams Up with Shawn Johnson & Spook Novel for "Cocoa" Video (GHOST VOLCANO)

planet pumpkin by Purple Dialect
"Purple Dialect answers an ad on Craigslist to raid PLANET PUMPKIN. The orc hives are a little more lit than they appeared [in] the brochure. Zane has to decide if the job is worth it when he finds out it only pays in candy corn and Samba 45's,"Zane Rice AKA rapper-producer Purple Dialect wrote within the Bandcamp description for his latest album. PLANET PUMPKIN is sub-titled, "GHOST VOLCANO: SEASON 1; EPISODE 4" and an impassioned Rice asserts, "this is a mixtape. It's raw as f**k. Hopefully, you like it." Purple Dialect's CAMPFIRE EP follow-up, PLANET PUMPKIN, as you might have already deduced, is a largely Halloween-themed and inspired album from Philly's own Purple Dialect. PLANET PUMPKIN consists of 13 spook-tacular tracks from Purple Dialect, who said he simply "just tried to make music that [he] liked." He then, called in frequent collaborators Luke "Spook" Novel (1/2 of GHOST VOLC…

Philly Punks DARK THOUGHTS Unleash Ghoulish HALLOWEEN TAPE with 4 "Rough Demos" from Upcoming Second Album (self-released)

DARK THOUGHTS HALLOWEEN TAPE by DARK THOUGHTS
It really makes complete and total sense for a band entitled "Dark Thoughts" to make a spook-tacular Halloween-themed mixtape just in time for All Hallows' Eve. I'm actually, a bit surprised they haven't done it sooner; considering Dark Thoughts are a self-described Pop-Punk-minded band "dressing up" as their beloved The Ramones nearly each and every day. Dark Thoughts have already opened up for fellow Philly Punks Blank Spell, Pissed Jeans, and SHEER MAG and are currently working on the follow-up to their critically-acclaimed self-titled 2016 debut. HALLOWEEN TAPE showcases four rough demos currently slated to appear within Album #2: "NO GOOD," "DON'T WANNA," "HATE THIS SONG," and "LITTLE THING," all of which collectively clock in right around the 5-minutes mark. Then, the remaining nine or so minutes housed on Dark Thoughts'HALLOWEEN TAPE consists of festive …

East Bay-based "4th Wave" Ska Punk Band Jokes for Feelings Let Loose "Sweet Song" from Too Much Too Hipster EP (Coming January 2018)

Jokes for Feelings are an East Bay-area Ska Punk band consisting of drummer Tony Acosta, vocalist/keyboardist/violinist/guitar player Bill Raphael, trombonist and back-up vocalist Allie Miller, bass player Dave Garcia, trombonist Noah Ortiz, sax player Michael Booker, and guitarist and back-up vocalist Josh Raphael. Jokes for Feelings regularly play gigs at 924 Gilman St. Alternative Music Foundation AKA "Gilman" in West Berkley, California. Throughout their brief, yet plentiful career, the "4th Wave" Ska band's members have played with Punk/Hardcore luminaries such as The Ramones' 1989-96 bassist C.J. Ramone, Agent Orange, Mike Watt of The Stooges and Minutemen fame, Voodoo Glow Skulls, The Specials (Roddy Radiation & Neville Staple,) The Aggrolites, and Guttermouth. Since forming in 2006, Jokes for Feelings have self-released three EP's—One of Us Sucks, Sleeping Giant, and We Don't Need Your Label Anyways—and one full-length album, 2014's

Leather Bull Mask-wearing Emcee Torito Unveils "Glowing Clothes" from Upcoming Self-produced Fabric Scraps Album (U DONT DESERVE THIS BEAUTIFUL ART)

"Nice Rhymes. Leather Bull Mask," is how Torito fittingly describes his musical approach within his Facebook About Me section; a full-time baker by day and masked emcee by night, Torito harnesses the ferocity of "a bull in a china shop." His latest single, "Glowing Clothes" is the third teaser from his upcoming self-produced album, Fabric Scraps, which will likely be released on rapper-producer Darko The Super's label imprint, U DONT DESERVE THIS BEAUTIFUL ART, at the top of 2018. "The beat is a little sample from "This Is Sally Hatchet" by Father John Misty, plus, me playing guitar and keys. It starts with a news [report] of a wild story about a bull that escaped from a Philadelphia slaughterhouse," Torito wrote via email, describing "Glowing Clothes." His frequent collaborator and Philly-based producer Johann Sebastian helped "beef up the drums a bit and offered some production guidance" and is also mixing/mas…

"Ladies & Gentlemen, It's My Honor & My Privilege & My Great Joy to Introduce This Next Band & Please, Give It Up for The Future of Hip-Hop:" Places & Spaces' Debut ALIVE (self-released)

Alive by Places & Spaces
Places & Spaces are a self-described "Hip-Hop Rap Boom-Bap Golden Age" production duo hailing from Switzerland consisting of old friends Naturetone and Zooki. "For the past 20-some years, Naturetone & Zooki went places, different places. In the early 1990's they made beats together and pioneered Swiss Hip-Hop as part of the group Three Tree Posse [AKA 3TP]," reads Places & Spaces' Bandcamp description. Places & Spaces' first song, also titled "Alive," initially appeared on now-defunct label, World Around Records' final compilation, We Are World Around Vol. 6. I actually had the opportunity to speak with Patric (Naturetone) as part of my label-encompassing We Are World Around Vol. 6 double-header piece earlier this year. Naturetone & Zooki first worked together as 3TP between 1993-95 and met back up again in 2016 at "some beat-making sessions run by a mutual friend for another project&quo…

ialive & Height Keech Join Forces for Forthcoming Rapper-producer Album TIMEWAVE ZERO & Cody Jones-directed "THE OUGHTS" Music Video (Cold Rhymes Records)

Timewave Zero by ialive / Height Keech
The Witzard regulars should almost instantly recognize the names "Height Keech" and "ialive," but for those who might not be familiar, here's a quick refresher: Height is a seasoned Underground Hip-Hop rapper-producer, Cold Rhymes Records founder, and 1/3 of Shark Tank, while Donovan "ialive" is a self-proclaimed "rap-singer-songwriter" who's affiliated with fellow Philadelphians Darko The Super (The Hell Hole Store) and Cody Cody Jones (Four to The Floor.) I'm sure ialive & Height's paths have previously crossed within their various East Coast-based Underground Punk-Rap circles and now, they've teamed up for a proper full-length on Height's Cold Rhymes Records; quite simply put, TIMEWAVE ZERO is ialive's rhymes over Height's beats and marks the first time the latter has produced a whole project for someone, aside from himself. Height Keech has been co-producing his own re…

Baltimore Sharp-spitter UllNevaNo Teams Up with Jumbled for Basketball-inspired The Ghost of Len Bias EP (MGNTK./Harford & Reckord Tapes)

The Ghost of Len Bias by ullnevano x jumbled
It would be safe to say that the immense musical diversity and sheer success seen published across the pages of The Witzard within the last year or two is largely due in part to one man, John "Jumbled" Bachman; a self-proclaimed "teacher, husband, beat-maker, and dish-washer," Bachman has been a long-time champion, supporter, featured artist, talent scout, and most recently, idea man behind Beat-maker Bedrock here at The Witzard. Jumbled has either produced beats for, set up shows, introduced, or simply referred me to an ever-evolving crew of head-nodding East Coast-based emcees and beat-makers since we first met, after he sent me his 2016 album, [I wish it was longer] AKA WIWL. John Bachman and his wife recently welcomed a beautiful baby girl into their family and started a new school year at a new school, all the while, simultaneously working on a number of extracurricular projects: The Ghost of Len Bias, Bully Preston

Dwell & salk.'s clint. Forms Baltimore Grindcore Band Constituents with Fellow Hip-Hop Heads Zap, José & Thor (Death, Agony & Screams Cassettes and Vinyl)

2017 DEMO by Constituents
"Heavy, Fast, Loud & Grinding. Powerviolence Forever. Grind or Die. Reppin' Baltimore, Maryland," reads Constituents' Facebook About description. Constituents (AKA CNSTS) is a newly-formed Baltimore Grandcore band consisting of clint. on guitar, frontman José, bassist Thor, and Zap on drums. Three of the four members being part-time rappers themselves: clint. AKA salk. of Dwell & salk.Zap/Zach moonlighting as Futurama-referencing sharp-spitter zap brannigan, and José being emcee no way jose—the latter two joining forces with DJ bobmaldad as Hip-Hop crew, Pleasant Boys. CNSTS are the latest in a recent trend... or maybe, just a mere coincidence of emcees starting/reverting back to their Hardcore/Punk-minded roots, such as: Ray Strife's OVER EVERYTHING (formerly DAD D*CK,) Carl Kavorkian's minimalist side-project MANIK|NETER, and Justin Mayer's DOOM & UK Crust Punks Doom mashing Old City EP, as well as clint.'s own …

Cowboys & Frenchmen's Baritone/Alto Sax Players & Co-band Leaders Owen Broder & Ethan Helm Talk Bluer Than You Think (The Witzard Interview)

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 last month from Massachusetts-based PR company Braithwaite & Katz Communications high-lighting the title track from Cowboys & Frenchmen's innovative, alto sax-led sophomore album, Bluer Than You Think—to be released today, Friday, October 13th, on Outside-In-Mu…

Philly-based Producer Old City Readies Debut Mash-up EP Black Bastards Showcasing DOOM & UK Crust Punks Doom (The Witzard Interview)

"I think a lot about genre-blending, so the relative novelty of mixing (MF) DOOM & Doom made a lot of sense to me. I've been a fan of mash-ups like Jay-Z at Studio One, WUGAZI, Leftöver Kanye, and Yeezer, but nothing that really touched Hardcore/Punk Rock," Justin Mayer AKA Old City wrote within a series of Facebook Messages. Just a matter of days ago, I got a cold-sent email, which started off by saying, "Old City, stage name of Philly-based musician/producer Justin Mayer, announces Black Bastards, a mash-up EP between rapper MF DOOM and Birmingham Crust Punk band Doom." Old City is currently prepping the release of his villainous Black Bastards EP—presumably named after KMD's 1993 pre-MF DOOM album, Bl_ck B_st_rds—to be unleashed this Halloween and has been preceded by "the first and only" DOOM & Doom-melding single, "Air Crimes;" a frenzied mash-up consisting of DOOM's oft-remixed verse from Dabrye's 2006 Ghostly Inter…

Walter Gross & k-the-i??? Reunite for First Youth:Kill Release Since 2012, A Hunter's Moon with 50 "Individually Hand-made" Cassettes for Harvest Moon (self-released)

Berlin-based multi-instrumentalist, producer, and Baltimore transplant Walter Gross has been steadily rolling out extremely limited edition, thought-provoking cassette releases all year; starting with Black Box Tapes-issued VESTIGE this past March, then, its SUPER BASIC companion piece two months later, and now, Youth:Kill's A Hunter's Moon EP unleashed today, on the Harvest Moon. Walter Gross also recently assembled "FBR SummerSchool GuestMix 3" for FilthyBroke Recordings'Summer School 2017 series. Youth:Kill consists of Gross along with Big Dada/Fake Four Inc-affiliated emcee Emmanuel "Kiki" Ceac AKA k-the-i??? A 2008 Dusted Magazine review once fittingly described Youth:Kill as "the Underground Hip-Hop version of Black Dice." A Hunter's Moon is their sixth overall release and first since a self-released 2012 split EP with sole, titled sole/Youth:Kill split. Not entirely unlike its 2017 predecessors, A Hunter's Moon is essentially, a…

3 Feet High & Rising: Guillaume Destot AKA Vim Cortez Re-emerges As NATION with Future Soul-minded Baltimore Rising EP (Kromatik Records)

"NATION is a Paris-based project that combines Pop song-writing with futuristic R&B influences. It showcases a synth-heavy, brooding brand of Future Soul and some of their preferred themes like complicated love, existential doubt, and the way music can repair our souls," read part of an email I recently received from MusigaMy founder Philippe Manivet. NATION is just the latest alias of French song-writer and multi-instrumentalist Guillaume Destot AKA Vim Cortez AKA Vim le Commodore. Destot's latest release and first billed as "NATION" is a 2-track EP titled Baltimore Rising, which I would fittingly describe as a stylistic mix between The Postal Service and Mayer Hawthorne & The County with a hint of "Get Lucky"-era Daft Punk thrown in, for good measure. NATION's Facebook page (The Sound of NATION) readily lists Guillaume & Co.'s influences as Little Dragon, D'Angelo, Jai Paul, Ben Khan, James Blake, NAO, Jamie Lidell, Mura Mas…

South London's Charles Edison Readies Reception EP & Discusses Work with Delusionists, Substance Abuse, Rehab & Recovery (The Witzard Interview)

Charles Edison is a sharp-tongued rapper-producer and beat-maker hailing from South London with a ferocity similar to that of a College Dropout-era Kanye West and a healthy vernacular comparable to either The Streets (Mike Skinner) or Dizzee Rascal. Edison has been actively producing and making beats since about 2013 or before and one of his earliest note-worthy productions was "Messiah Complex" for Delusionists—a self-proclaimed "Hip-Hop group who probably won't shoot you"—as well as his accompanying "Poison" Remix on the B-side. Charles Edison has released and self-produced two EP's, an instrumental beat album, and a handful of singles since 2014. He's currently gearing up to release his latest EP, Reception, this upcoming November 3rd, which features Delusionists' Ben Black on EP single "GALLERY." I first heard about Charles Edison when fellow Londoner and writer Hairy Fraud (@GingerSlim) premiered "GALLERY" on his s…