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Showing posts from November, 2017

King Tony & Happy As a Lark Present: WORD is BOND - A Musical Excursion Into Jamaica's Love Affair with Agent 007 (The Blends Vol. 33)

Anthony "Nantee" Abbinanti AKA King Tony is the CEO & Co-Founder of Chicago-based Reggae label Happy As a Lark (HAAL) and moonlights as drummer and producer for the label's flagship band, The Drastics. Abbinanti and a few like-minded friends initially formed HAAL around 2009 to quietly issue two MC Zulu-assisted Drastics 7-inches and recently re-formed early in 2017 as a more fully-formed label; Happy As a Lark has since released a brand new Drastics album, Noir—accompanied by a feverish remix album, Noir Dub—each digital album packaged with an exclusive 7-inch from the imprint's artists and affiliates. The Drastics quite fittingly describe themselves as channeling "Roots Reggae from 1982's future of 2187" and in addition to a slew of original material, have released not one, but two EP's-worth of Reggae-fied Michael Jackson covers, dubbed MJ a Rocker and MJ a Rocker No.2. Now, Anthony Abbinanti has teamed back up with The Blends to compile his …

Lt Headtrip Returns with Bone-chilling Gary Blake-directed "Three Dollar Watch" Video & Exclusive ialive Remix (The Witzard Premier)

Since unveiling his latest album, Comedy of The Filthbeast, right here at The Witzard earlier this year, New York rapper-producer Lt Headtrip has let loose a series of bone-chilling video accompaniment including Raisi K.-premiered"Father, Father,""Neck Right," and lest we forget, his 40-minute full-album stream. Now, Lt Headtrip has returned to The Witzard to premier Comedy of The Filthbeast's next music video treatment, "Three Dollar Watch."Headtrip and his creative cohorts fittingly describe "Three Dollar Watch" as "[within] the third video from Lt Headtrip's self-produced album, Comedy of The Filthbeast, director Gary Blake captures the tension between a caged snake and its unguarded prey, set to a song about a naive young girl's relationship with her abusive father figures." "Three Dollar Watch" consists of rather chilling footage of a snake stalking his dinner (a little white mouse) filmed by Blake a few yea…

3 Feet High & Rising: Baltimore Emcee EU1OGY Unleashes Heavy Monique Juliette Baron-directed "TOP DOWN" Video from DAGGERS (self-released)

DAGGERS by EU1OGY
"PROGRESSIVE. Post-Violent, Hardcore Electronic Experimental. Aggro-lyrical tension like metal tentacles over a visceral palette of production. Primal screams, sentient machine bleeps, and heavy guitar," is how EU1OGY fittingly describes his musical output within his Bandcamp Bio. EU1OGY is the latest project from Baltimore emcee and multi-instrumentalist ISAAC.SHANE, which he formed between 2014-15. Prior to forming EU1OGY, Shane was part of a number of genre-blending bands including DEADABOVEGROUND (2003-05,) THE DEFECT (2007-09,) Letter Racer-signed NORMALLY IMPORTANT (2009-13,) A N M L AKA ANIMALHOUSE (2012-14,) and VYPER_ (2013-15.) EU1OGY's latest project, and first proper full-length, DAGGERS was preceded by 2016 single "DOWNWARD / BACK HOME," FIGURE IT OUT EP, and FLAWLESS VICTORY EP. DAGGERS was mixed and recorded by frequent EU1OGY collaborator P.MORRIS with production work from SPRAY, M4NNY, YUNG GUTTED, RICHMAN, and FAWKES, addition…

Baltimore's Drew Scott Assembles Pop-minded Beat-maker Bedrock #13 & Teases Giddeon Gallows' 2018 Full-length CRITTER with "Forbid"

"Nowadays, I'm more influence by the artists around me making making music here in Baltimore. We probably take that for granted a bit, but we're really lucky. When I [first] started making beats at 16-17, I was pretty much just biting DJ Premier and every producer on [Nas'] Illmatic, sampling the hand-me-down vinyl I was given from my friend's weird uncle. As I got older and more fascinated with Pop and Alternative music—especially, the really depressing stuff—my production was shaped by hearing this handful of albums in my early beat-making days. Honestly, it's really hard to narrow down [to] under 10 (I wish I could pick a Prince album or Madonna's first album) but I'll keep it at six."

- Drew Scott (AKA Giddeon Gallows)

Forbid feat. Al Rogers Jr. by Giddeon Gallows
I. OutKast - Aquemini (1998)

"First CD I bought with my own money; hearing the 808's and that guitar on "Rosa Parks" at 10 years old was a moment. I already had a pr…

DertBeats Returns As Derty Dan with Single Group-sampling "Last Album" Derty Dan's Cheap Thrills (STREET CORNER MUSIC/Fat Beats)

Derty Dan's Cheap Thrills by Derty Dan

"Dert is back. Kind of; Derty Dan's Cheap Thrills, his second release on [STREET CORNER MUSIC], and fourth record in as many years, has arrived. As with prior self-released albums Westside of The Moon and Eclipse, Dert sticks to one group for the source material that he then [flips], chops, and obliterates over the album's 16 tracks. This won't be around long. It's also Dert's last album he will be making," reads the Bandcamp listing for Derty Dan's Cheap Thrills. "Derty Dan" is the latest alias of West Covina-based Instrumental Hip-Hop producer Dert AKA Dert Floyd AKA DertBeats AKA Derty Dert AKA Don Baker. As with The Westside of The Moon, Eclipse, and Talk Strange: A Beat Tape Inspired By Björk, Dert sticks to just one single artist for the source material (a feat unto itself!) which can't exactly be revealed, but I could imagine, the avid Hip-Hop/Classic Rock listener could quickly decode the…

Westside Gunn & DOOM's WESTSIDEDOOM Double-A-side Single Gets Beefed Up with WESTSIDEDOOM (Thanos Beats EP Remix)

"I did this project paying homage to Westside Gunn and MF DOOM for always inspiring us to create and stay creative and true to the culture we love. I stopped making hardcore beats for a while, thinking it was over,"Thanos Beats wrote on Facebook this past Sunday, November 19th. The Brooklyn-based, Avengers super-villain-referencing producer has taken WESTSIDEDOOM AKA Westside Gunn & DOOM's recent 2-track EP and successfully flipped it into a sprawling 22-minute, 6-track EP fittingly dubbed WESTSIDEDOOM(Thanos Beats EP Remix.) "Then, we get hit with Griselda Records. After hearing the catalog and following their movement, I knew they were building a legacy of greatness. I thank y'all brothers, personally," Thanos graciosuly continued. According to Thanos_Beats.Beatstars.com, Thanos Beats has previously "produced for notable artists such as Domingo, Joell Ortiz, Lil' Fame, Chris Rivers, Cappadonna, Vast Aire, Sadat X, Smoothe Da Hustler, Genesis …

TV On The Radio's Dave Sitek & Daniel Ledinsky Form The Neverly Boys & Release First Single "Burn, Hollywood, Burn" (Acid Moose)

Now, many of you may or may not recognize the name "TV On The Radio," but for me, personally, they were my first favorite Indie Rock band. Their 2004 major label debut, Desperate Youth, Blood Thirsty Babes was essentially, my gateway into Indie Rock and to an effect, helped shape what I do now here at The Witzard. Since TV On The Radio's initial ascension to Indie Rock super-stardom, long-time guitarist, multi-instrumentalist, and producer Dave Sitek has produced albums for everyone from Kelis to Cerebral Ballzy, released a 2010 solo album as Maximum Balloon, and in 2012, even started his own label imprint called Federal Prism and launched a sister label, Sounds Like Fun Records, with The Cool Kids' rapper-producer Chuck Inglish. LEDINSKY AKA Daniel Ledinsky is a Swedish-based singer, producer, and song-writer, who had a massive streaming hit last year with "DonalTrumpMakesMeWannaSmokeCr**k" and has worked with Cee-Lo, Rihanna, Shakira, and Tove Lov. Prior…

Height Keech Unleashes Fourth Project of 2017 POWER MISSION: SELECTED GUEST SPOTS Featuring Cuts with TOBACCO, Jumbled, Drew Scott & More (Cold Rhymes Records)

POWER MISSIONS: Selected Guest Spots by Height Keech
"This is POWER MISSIONS, a collection of Height guest spots from 2002-present featuring @maniacmeat, @DrewciferScott, @TheMahogany, @cexmang, @kingrhythm, @emceeineye, @NapalmDef, @mickeymistakes, + more,"@HeightKeech wrote within a recent Tweet self-promoting POWER MISSIONS: SELECTED GUEST SPOTS. POWER MISSIONS marks the fourth Height release of 2017 on his Cold Rhymes Records imprint, following self-produced album MIND MOVES THE MOINTAIN, Shark Tank's Height-produced Dan's House, and ialive & Height's collaborative TIMEWAVE ZERO album, as well as Height-compiled We Can't Go Back Now: The Cold Rhymes Collection from prolific oddball rapper-producer Jack Topht. POWER MISSIONS: SELECTED GUEST SPOTS consists of hand-selected Height features recorded and (un)released from 2002-17 with the likes of Grand Buffet, TOBACCO, Drew Scott, AK Slaughter, PT Burnem, Bow n' Arrow AKA Mickey Free, Emceein' Eye

The Witzard Presents: Ila Zair's ZAIRISMS, Vol. 1 Beat Tape & Comprehensive Interview with Jaubi's Ali Riaz Baqar (World-wide Web Premier)

ZAIRISMS (vol 1) by Ila Zair
Since conducting and publishing our 2016 Deconstructed Ego-centric interview, I've been in contact with Jaubi guitarist and producer Ali Riaz Baqar every couple weeks; he's been painstakingly writing, recording, and meticulously re-arranging his Hip-Hop-minded solo debut as Ila Zair ("Ali Riaz" backwards.) While Ali Riaz Baqar has been fine-tuning his premier release, Jaubi's The Deconstructed Ego EP has garnered wide-spread acclaim from the likes of Bandcamp Daily, Beat Tape Co-Op, Flea Market Funk, Music Is MY Sanctuary, and Stones Throw. With their Astigmatic Records-released EP, Jaubi have single-handedly introduced the Hip-Hop-loving world to a unique brand of Experimental Pakistani Instrumental Hip-Hop, largely due to their critically-acclaimed cover of J Dilla's "Time: The Donut of The Heart." I've personally heard at least three different versions of Baqar's self-produced beat tape, which through the month…

Carl Kavorkian Assembles Metal-tinged Beat-maker Bedrock #12 & Unveils Brooding MANIKINETER EP2 Missing (Cult Member Music)

"I am Carl Kavorkian: rapper/vocalist/producer and (currently, the sole) member of MANIKINETER. I'm originally from West Chester, Pennsylvania and have been involved with music since seventh grade. I started writing raps because I thought I could do it better than MC Hammer; I started producing because I needed original stuff to rap on; I started screaming because it was fun as f**k. The idea of taking a canvas of complete silence and painting it with sound into whatever you want it to be or whatever it evolves into, is a liberating feeling. Here are three albums that had an impact on my production."

- Carl Kavorkian (MANIKINETER)

Missing by Manikineter
I. Redman - Dare Iz a Darkside (1994)

"If you close your eyes and listen to this, it really is like a journey through a f***ed up world. Even with the humor sprinkled throughout, it's a very moody album from front to finish. The skits tying the different stops together, the brooding, Funky basslines throughout, and…

3 Feet High & Rising: Height Keech-backing Cornish "Abstract Deconstructed Folk" Band Zapoppin' Unleash Frantic Live at THE CURSE (Last Shop Recs/Damnsonic)

Live At The Curse by Zapoppin'
Earlier this month, I got a cold-sent email from a fellow named Luke Richards entitled "Zapoppin' (UK band just been touring with Height.)" Luke was of course, referring to Height Keech's recent MIND MOVES THE MOUNTAIN UK TOUR with Zapoppin' AKA his own band spanning six consecutive dates from 10.18-23. Luke Richards went on to mention that Height suggested I might be interested in their new album, Live at THE CURSE, for potential review on The Witzard. Zapoppin' not only opened for Height, but backed him "with drums and organ on his sets" playing new arrangements of his MIND MOVES THE MOUNTAIN compositions and various tracks from throughout his storied discography. Zapoppin' is a self-described Powerskiffle/"Electrick" organ and drums duo consisting of Luke Richards & Matthew Collington hailing from Falmouth, Cornwall (England.) When asked what they might cite as their greatest sources of influen…

WORDS HURT Producer Lang Vo Assembles Beat-maker Bedrock #11 & The Witzard Exclusive "OFF INTO THE DISTANCE" from SOUL MUSIC FOR THE SOULLESS Sessions (FREE Download)

"My name is Lang Vo. I'm one half of WORDS HURT with Def Jux alum ALASKA and the other half of the group REINFORCED STEEL with my friend and sage, Kwamizzle. I've been producing and making beats for the last 20+ years. Back in the heyday, before I had kids, I used to work the Columbus, Ohio scene and did shows with Camu Tao and opened for his group, S.A. Smash. I've opened for Atmosphere, Mr. Lif [& Akrobatik AKA] The Perceptionists, Blueprint with Soul Position [RJD2], etc. Although, I never hit "The Big Time," I had a great time back then. My last show was a show with Killah Priest in 2009. Once I started having kids, I still made music and did a few shows here and there in Austin, Texas, but staying out late and having drunk people dump beer on my equipment didn't seem as fun anymore. I didn't pick it back up again seriously, until I started working with Alim Wade, a rapper in Atlanta. He started sending my beats out to people like Kool A.D. a…

Maryland Rapper-producer Dot-Com Intelligence Chops It Up with The Witzard Concerning Logic Marselis-produced PROTOCULTURE, Inspirations & Influences & All Things In-Between (Interview)

Dot-Com Intelligence AKA D.O.T. AKA Divine Cipher Truth Communicates Intelligence AKA Terrence Patterson is a rapper-producer hailing from Waldorf/Prince George's County, Maryland. He's an affiliate of 4Ever Records, Client-Tel Gang (CTG,) and Constellation 52 Blocks (C52G) and whole-heartedly "reps The DMV" AKA DC/MD/VA area. I first heard Dot-Com's 1980-90's Boom-Bap-evoking rhymes on "Puma Suede" and "BBFVK" from Baltimore producer and beat-maker John "Jumbled" Bachman's 2016 EP, Action Shots. Jumbled recently urged me to re-visit Dot-Com Intelligence's latest Logic Marselis-produced MGNTK. release, PROTOCULTURE, which was unveiled almost immediately after Bachman's own MGNTK. project with emcee UllNevaNo, The Ghost of Len Bias EP. PROTOCULTURE is the proper follow-up to Dot-Com Intelligence's Balibz-produced Summer 2017 album, SWAG GODLY HARD BODY VOL. 1. After giving PROTOCULTURE a few digi-spins on MGNTK.…

New Zealanders Jellphonic & Leonard Charles Recruit Reggie Blount & DJ Kutcorners for Rick James Covers EP ALL NIGHT LONG (self-released)

"When Reggie Blount came to New Zealand last, me, him, @LeonardCMusic & @kutcorners united to do these Rick James covers. Reg on all vocals! I am so proud of these tracks and my Funky street brothers!" Kiwi multi-instrumentalist and producer @jellphonic recently wrote on Twitter. Taking inspiration from Rick James' Vanity 6-esque girl group, Mary Jane Girls' 1983 single "All Night Long,"Reggie Blount & Jellphonic formed a loose collective with Charles and DJ Kutcorners. Jellphonic & Reggie had, in fact, worked together some six years prior on "Sexxy" from Jellphonic & Zackey Force Funk's Clone Crown Ltd. 12-inch, "100 Snakes" and again, on "PUMP" from HIT+RUN's 2014 777 singles series. Leonard Charles & Jellphonic, on the other hand, had previously collaborated on numerous remixes including "Can't Buy My Love LA," "Flashback '92," "SMOKE N MIRRORS," and "Di…

Adam Lempel Lets Loose "Let's Be Real" Composed from Facebook Messages, Texts & Skype Chats (Produced By Friso Hoekstra)

Adam Lempel is a song-writer, composer, and musician currently living in Queens, New York via Amsterdam and Baltimore. Lempel is one half of Baltimore Art-Rock/Noise band WEEKENDS. I can still vividly remember meeting Adam and his bandmate Brendan Sullivan at now-defunct South Philly venue First Unitarian Church sometime between the releases of WEEKENDS (2008) and Strange Cultures (2011.) WEEKENDS were then-signed to Friends Records and were opening for Surfer Blood on their Astro Coast US tour. Somehow, my buddy and I ended up missing WEEKENDS' opening set, but I still managed to sneak back into the venue's "greenroom" AKA church pews for a Monster-sized canned beer with Adam & Brendan before Surfer Blood's headlining set. Since then, Adam Lempel moved to Amsterdam for a few years to pursue a Masters in Music Design at Hogeschool voor Kunsten Utrecht.


WEEKENDS have been on hiatus for a number of years now and Lempel released three solo albums and various pro…

The Witzard Premier: Words Hurt (ALASKA & Lang Vo) Announce New Album SOUL MUSIC FOR THE SOULLESS & Unleash "World's Worst Life Coach"

Soul Music for the Soulless by WORDS HURT
"The single is called "World's Worst Life Coach." It is from the album SOUL MUSIC FOR THE SOULLESS, which drops on Tuesday, November 28th and is available for pre-order. It is a comical take on New Age bullsh*t, personal branding, life coaches, and modern conformity,"Words Hurt said within statement accompanying "World's Worst Life Coach," premiering right here at The Witzard. Words Hurt consists of emcee ALASKA and producer Lang Vo, who first worked together on "Impulse Control" from Lang Vo... Is Just An A**hole (2005.) ALASKA has been rhyming for nearly a quarter century and as part of the late 90's New York Indie-ground scene, his group Hanger 18 was once signed to El-P's world-renown Definitive Jux AKA Def Jux imprint. He's also part of The Atoms Family collective and has released projects with Cryptic One as IT, Crack Epidemic with Kojo, ATOMS, Zilla Rocca's Wrecking Crew, an…

"It's Bully Season:" Baltimore's Jumbled & Dwell Join Forces As Bully Preston for Rapper-producer Album THE INSULT (Full Album Review)

Let's Get Saucey Single by Bully Preston
"I'm walkin' down the street mindin' my biz, just thinkin' about my wife and my kids and all the stupid sh*t I did when I was a kid. I pass this dude mean-muggin' - huh? The way he's lookin' kinda buggin' me - what? This motherf**ker tryin' to thug with me - what the f**k? Tryin' to invoke The Incredible Bully P. But I don't know, guess I'm beyond that; then again, a year ago, I was beyond Rap. But now, I'm back and it's all thanks to Jumbled Beats for makin' music for the mind. Designer. Sonic treats..." Dwell mercilessly rhymes on "Lovely Day to Bully;" the intro to THE INSULT, an album in collaboration with John Bachman as Bully Preston, quite simply billed as "Jumbled makes the beats / Dwell raps to them." Dwell & Jumbled's Bully Preston project dates back as far as 2011 with then stand-alone single, "'llatio," which has now b…