Saturday, August 18, 2018

Philly's Own Beat-twisting Producer & Multi-instrumentalist Rolled Gold Assembles Beat-maker Bedrock #23 (Rolled Gold Productions)

"Rolled Gold is a soulful Hip-Hop producer from Philadelphia, who has a versatile, life-long musical resume, ranging from Jazz to Punk Rock bands, Trap beats to live Neo-Soul groups, and more. His style has influence from Hip-Hop producers, such as J Dilla, RZA, and MF DOOM, as well as the timeless catalogs of Motown, Stax & [Philadelphia International Records]. While he has been sampling for most of his production, so far, this past year has been spent composing and recording friends and family to use as sample material. His next releases will be instrumental/remix EP's and a compilation album, all constructed from these original samples and compositions... These albums, in no specific order, are the first that come to his mind in his influence and evolution as a musician over the years."

A. Madlib - Beat Konducta: Movie Scenes, Vol. 1-2 (2006)

"This is the first album I heard, at age 13, that really made me think of music—specifically, non-soundtrack music—as illustrations of a hypothetical "movie scene." Literally due to the title, I listened with that in mind and went on a soulful, meditative journey through space and time. After that, I gradually began visualizing almost all pieces of music and imagining the accompanying "movie scene." It should be noted that I have a form of synesthesia, which allows me to see music in color schemes that make the illustrations come to life and evoke more emotion."

B. "Chef" Raekwon - Only Built 4 Cuban Linx... (1995)

"Much like Madlib's Beat Konducta: Movie Scenes, Vol. 1-2, Raekwon's 1995 debut, Only Built 4 Cuban Linx... (known by many as "The Purple Tape") is the perfect example of a cinematic experience, which I first heard in its entirety at age 15. I describe it as "listening to a movie" and of course, this specific movie is a Black Mafioso saga based in New York City, most specifically, Staten Island. Many people credit Raekwon with pioneering "Mafioso Rap" and due to the interludes, whether recorded by Wu-Tang Clan themselves or sampled from various Mafia & Kung-Fu films, the album has a fluent and exciting storyline. Of course, RZA's dark, soulful production, largely sampled from lesser-known Stax records, ties it together with an elegant, yet dusty and grimy canvas."

C. Os Mutantes - Os Mutantes (1968)

"This record, from 1968, is a masterpiece of Psychedelic Brazilian Classic Rock, although, calling it "Classic Rock" really doesn't do it justice. I heard it for the first time at age 16, I believe, and although, I had never heard anything like it at all, I compared it to The Beatles' Magical Mystery Tour & Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (1967.) While it's equally as versatile, "far-out," and smoothly-flowing as those albums, it's also, beautifully bursting with indigenous Brazilian percussion and possibly even "further-out" Experimental techniques that are still, somehow, digestible as Pop songs. One of [the] many techniques I adopted from this album is the use of field recordings—birds chirping, glasses clinking, etc.—to give songs unique textures and to help paint the picture, like the aforementioned "movie scenes" I already grew to appreciate."

D. Curtis Mayfield - Curtis (1970)

"Curtis Mayfield's debut solo album of 1970, Curtis, is another album I first heard at age 16. I believe, Curtis did most of his own composing, arranging, and producing, at this point, which reflects, in my opinion, one of the best era's sonically of all time. Similarly to 21st Century composer Adrian Younge, I view the late 60's-early 70's as the time in which recording techniques and technology were becoming [as] complex, sophisticated, and funky as they'd ever been, yet not as clean, rigid, and electronic as the latter half of the 70's and onward. Don't get me wrong, I love all eras after that, as well, but there's something magical about that time that I could probably describe for hours, but I won't. Curtis' music, along with Motown's extensive discography, gave me an appreciation for bells, strings, harps, etc. that most of my generation lacks."

E. At this point, I'm thinking of too many other important records in my life, so I will give a super-brief Honorable Mentions List:

- Charles Mingus' Mingus Dynasty (1960) may be my favorite album, but that's a crazy thing to say. Regardless, the songs "Slop" and "Far Well, Mills Valley" are some of the most beautiful recordings I've ever heard.

- Gil Scott-Heron's Pieces of a Man (1970) was given to me by my mother, when I was 16 and along with helping me get through changes in my life, it still, to this day, influences my drumming and bass playing, stylistically.

- Madlib & MF DOOM's MADVILLAINY (2004) & J Dilla's Donuts (2006) were introduced to me at age 13 and you know, they changed my life!

"Newer records that have held my attention tremendously in the past few years include: Westside Gunn's FLYGOD, Noname's Telefone, Anderson .Paak's MALIBU, and Tierra Whack's Whack World. Maybe, I will go into further detail on these in the future, along with some Philly Soul & Jazz records, some Stevie Wonder (obviously,) and... yea, lem'me just stop here. Thanks for reading and I hope y'all enjoy some of the albums on my list!"

- Rolled Gold (@RolledGoldBeats)

Friday, August 17, 2018

3 Feet High & Rising: Inglewood-based Emcee LOW BLOW Readies Gospel, Funk & Soul-steeped First Book of Timothy (Common Good Records)

Since its 2017 inception, LA-based imprint Common Good Records has released a string of continually phenomenal records and tapes, including: Te'Amir Sweeney's Tiger Breaks 45 + drum kit, Drtysoap's Merry Chrithmith, Unown & DJ Ragz's Pasta & Wings cassette, and Jake Najor's D$RTY M$NEY BREAKS 45 + drum kit. Plus, label co-founder J.D. (@OlogistBBB) has been extremely hospitable and supportive of both myself and The Witzard; even mixing and sequencing Mitchell Kezin's festive Mitchell's 'SOUL SISTA' Holiday Mix for The Witzard extremely last-minute! Now, J.D. & Common Good Records have announced their next proper release: Low Blow's full-length debut, First Book of Timothy. "Soulful, West Coast Hip-Hop. A sound unique unto itself. A sound that recalls a classic era nostalgia. A sound steeped in the deep roots of Gospel, Funk, and Soul. Low Blow [@thereallowblow] builds on that tradition with his debut album, First Book of Timothy," reads an album description on Common Good's Bandcamp. First Book of Timothy has a sound evocative of, in my humble opinion, Sa-Ra Creative Partners AKA Sa-Ra, Janelle MonĂ¡e, Kendrick Lamar, and OutKast—due in part to its soulful G-Funk-inflected production/co-production work from both Allakoi "Mic Holden" Peete (@micholdenfresh) and Luke Ellington (@luke.ellington) throughout. Mic Holden has previously worked with the likes of Kamasi Washington, Blu, Shafiq Husayn, Miguel Atwood-Ferguson, The Gaslamp Killer, Josef Leimberg, Fergie on Double Dutchess, Terrace Martin, and GB AKA Gifted & Blessed.

Luke Ellington, on the other hand, has had the opportunity to work alongside Anderson .Paak FKA Breezy LoveJoy, Jimetta Rose, Jonah Levine, Philip Ray, Tre Hickman, and Ernest Tibbs, as well as Mic Holden, Atwood-Ferguson, Washington, and Leimberg. Low Blow's First Book of Timothy features appearances throughout from many of Holden & Ellington's past collaborators and fellow LA-based artists, such as Miguel Atwood-Ferguson, Uncle Chucc (1500 or Nothin') Jose Rios, Ernest Tibbs, LEAVING RECORDS' Jamire Williams, Jimetta Rose, Breezy LoveJoy, and Inglewood's own Damani Nkosi. Low Blow's First Book of Timothy is currently available for pre-order in a number of formats including: Test Press Vinyl, Test Press + Metallic Gold Vinyl, Metallic Gold Vinyl, Standard Black Vinyl, Black + Metallic Gold Vinyl, and of course, Digital Album. Ahead of First Book of Timothy's Friday, September 14th wide release, Common Good Records are now streaming 'teaser' singles "Outta Control / Gangsta Walk" and "Can't Wait." Ladies and gents, trust me, I've heard the entirety of Low Blow's 10-track First Book of Timothy and this album is phenomenal! IT'S NOT TO BE MISSED and is, hands down, one of the strongest albums of 2018 (so far!) Expect a comprehensive interview with Low Blow, Mic Holden & Luke Ellington coming soon to The Witzard...

Thursday, August 16, 2018

From The Depths of Bikini Bottom... DJ Cummerbund Reviews SpongeBob SquarePants: The Broadway Musical (The Witzard Exclusive)

DJ Cummerbund is a mash-up artist and video remixer hailing from New York. He describes himself as the "Reigning World Mash-up Champion (2018-present,) Celebrity, Philanthropist & Dapper Man," as well as readily proclaiming he's "the greatest DJ on the entire planet!" The Witzard first encountered DJ Cummerbund back in Dec. 2016, after someone posted his phenomenal Foo Fighters/Rick James mash-up, "Freaktender," online. I soon reached out to the email address listed on Cummerbund's YouTube page and before long, was in contact with his "handler," J. Gary Gildersleeve at Gildersleeve Artist Management; although, over the past two years, I've had very little contact with DJ Cummerbund himself... until very recently. I noticed on Instagram—looking back, I believe, in real-time—that @djcummerbund had recently attended a showing of SpongeBob SquarePants: The Broadway Musical AKA The SpongeBob Musical at The Palace Theatre in New York.

Then, following a brief exchange of comments on one of DJ Cummerbund's SpongeBob pictures, I was soon instructed to "dm" him and asked Cummerbund if he might be interested in penning a review of The SpongeBob Musical for The Witzard. So, please, scroll down and enjoy DJ Cummerbund's... let's just say, very unique interpretation of SpongeBob SquarePants: The Broadway Musical. If you're unfamiliar, I strongly suggest checking out Cummerbund's top-notch mash-up videos on his YouTube channel and if you feel so inclined, donate to his Patreon page. I'm told DJ Cummerbund is currently working on an EP's-worth of original material to tentatively be released within the second quarter of 2019, if not sooner. It seems as though Cummerbund's Uncle Peter Phoenix, however, has been "making egg salad sandwiches in [the] studio" and it's been holding up the recording process. I was personally asked by DJ Cummerbund to publicly "SHAME" his Uncle Peter. TWADDLE, BABY!!!

SpongeBob SquarePants: The Broadway Musical

"Act I: meh...

Act II: much better!!!

In my humble opinion, seeing a 2-D cartoon acted out in original human form without any cheesy costumes: BRAVA!!! The whole show was family-friendly, with a few jokes sprinkled in for the older generation. I was sitting in the audience, hoping I wouldn't get recognized. Thankfully, I was only approached a few times with everyone else respecting my mother and her happiness. Anyway, I digress... the show was slow to start, but the actors grabbed fully onto their characters and hit a home run. It's a shame that it's closing... go see the show, if you get a chance. The DJ commands it!!! "

"POST-SCRIPT: The story [as] a whole, to me, represented a WWII storyline. SpongeBob was obviously, an Emperor Hirohito-type character. Which idolized the freedom and care-free state of Japan. He wanted so hard to make everyone happy that he forgets his own [happiness].

Sandy Cheeks: SpongeBob's loyal sidekick. Though, she is supposed to be independent, she's actually, very much dependent on the adoration and respect of The Sponge.

Squidward: This character represents The Irish community. Though, he comes through his facade with sarcasm, you can feel the sense of depression and longing for help. At the start, you can see the pain of The Irish, but by the end, you get the sense of American troops (AKA Mr. Krabs) coming to free his mind with Capitalism.

All I'm saying [is,] if you can't happen to catch The Broadway show, watch Garfield: The Movie (2004.) It's the same thing; just look through the playful characters."

- DJ Cummerbund (@DJ_Cummerbund)

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Ghostface Killah & Big Ghost Ltd Join Forces for The Lost Tapes & "Saigon Velour" (Embassy Mix) Feat. Snoop Dogg, E-40 & La The Darkman

Wu-Tang Clan emcee Ghostface Killah and Internet personality Big Ghost Ltd AKA Cocaine Biceps AKA The Illustrious Thor Molecules AKA The Infamous Galaxy Knuckles AKA Shampoo Bracelets The Panty-melter AKA The Mighty Hands of Zeus, believe it or not, have a long, strange history together. In his earliest aughts as a sh*t-talking writer/music critic around 2010-11, Big Ghost (then-Big Ghostface) was actually, widely believed to be Ghostface Killah; due in part to his 2011 Ayo The Top 10 Softest N****s In The Game! AKA GHOSTFACE KILLAH: TOP 10 SOFTEST RAPPERS IN THE GAME list. Ghostface Killah AKA Tony Starks AKA Ironman AKA Pretty Toney AKA Starky Love AKA The Wallabee Champ AKA Ghost Deini/Ghostdini AKA Sun God has continually released strong solo efforts and has been my personal favorite Wu-Tang swordsmen for the last 15+ years. Ghost was one of the first Wu-Tang/Killa Beez emcees to work with outside producers and in recent years, has worked with Apollo Brown, Adrian Younge, BADBADNOTGOOD, DOOM, J Dilla, Jake One, Madlib, Mark Ronson, Pete Rock, and Sean "Diddy" Combs. Big Ghost has since, become a reputable Hip-Hop producer in his own right and has released full-album projects with the likes of Westside Gunn & Conway (Hall N' Nash,) Vic Spencer, ANKHLEJOHN, Hus Kingpin, and CRIMEAPPLE—as well as singles with Raekwon, Masta Killa, Cappadonna & Ghostface Killah, Conway X Guilty Simpson, Vic Spencer & SONNYJIM, and Wale.

A'ight, now that everyone's caught up... yesterday afternoon, Ghostface Killah (@GhostfaceKillah) & Big Ghost (@BigGhostLtd) announced that they've mended fences and have effectively joined forces for a collaborative full-length album titled The Lost Tapes. Its title is seemingly, an allusion to Wu-Tang Clan's fabled 2015 double-album, Once Upon a Time In Shaolin; "In the first half of 2018, Wu-Tang Clan fans world-wide were hopeful that the previous sale of the one-of-a-kind Wu-Tang album, Once Upon a Time In Shaolin, would change hands from the currently incarcerated owner, Martin Shkreli, to Wu-Tang affiliate Matthew "M80" Markoff, who would release it freely to the public—to be appreciated by all," Mac Media Promo's press release details. Despite Markoff's $1 million offer, the sale of the coveted album, unfortunately, never came to fruition and for now, at least, M-Eighty has written off the notion of attaining Once Upon a Time In Shaolin. "Thinking "where do we go from here?" M-Eighty decided to link with Wu-Tang Clan's own Ghostface Killah to bring the world a brand new studio album alongside legendary underground producer phenomenon Big Ghost," Mac Media Promo continued. A phenomenal teaser single, entitled "Saigon Velour" (Embassy Mix) Feat. Snoop Dogg, E-40 & La The Darkman was released yesterday along with the album's announcement, as well as a nearly 6-minute mix dubbed "The Lost Tapes LP Sampler." The Lost Tapes is now available for pre-order from M80's Holy Toledo Productions, via Ghostface's own web-store, in two limited edition autographed packages. Daupe! Media will host super-limited edition vinyl, CD, and cassette packages, as well, and The Lost Tapes will be released digitally on Cleopatra/X-Ray Records Friday, October 5, 2018.

"The Lost Tapes also, features an all-star line-up including: Snoop Dogg, E-40, Big Daddy Kane, Raekwon, Masta Killa, Cappadonna, Killah Priest, Sheek Louch, Ras Kass, Michael Rappaport, and more. Unlike any previously-released Ghostface Killah or Wu-Tang album, The Lost Tapes will be receiving the LIMITED EDITION physical format treatment, courtesy of M-Eighty's Holy Toledo Productions imprint and the UK's own Daupe! Media. Fans of Daupe! Media will soon be able to purchase the album in vinyl, CD, and cassette formats, while starting today, Holy Toledo Productions, via, will be offering pre-orders for the first 1,000 CD's all to be included with an autographed poster from Ghostface himself, a Bonus EP, and more! On 10/5/18, independent mainstay Cleopatra/X-Ray Records will be releasing The Lost Tapes on all digital platforms."

- Mac Media Promo (@macmediapromo)

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Brooklyn's "noGENRE" Quintet Phony Ppl Return with Soul, Funk, Hip-Hop & R&B-inflected Single "Before You Get a Boyfriend" (300 Entertainment)

"The band we know as Phony Ppl is a mix of people, time, and sound that's been nurtured over generations in Brooklyn" currently consisting of members: Elbee Thrie on vocals, Elijah Rawk on lead guitar, Matt "Maffyuu" Byas on drums, Aja Grant on keyboards, and Bari Bass on, of course, bass guitar. Since forming in 2009—amidst self-releasing 3 albums and an EP on Phony PPL LLCPhony Ppl have had the unique opportunity to perform alongside Domo Genesis, Erykah Badu, Fetty Wap, Kali Uchis, Mac Miller, Odd Future, Princess Nokia, The Roots, Snake Hips, and more. Now, following a brief hiatus, Phony Ppl have returned with their first new material since Yesterday's Tomorrow (2015.) Last week, okayplayer premiered "Before You Get a Boyfriend," which effortlessly blends together Soul, Funk, Hip-Hop, and R&B-leaning sounds into a "noGENRE" musical mix the site deems "an ice-cold summer daydream." Phony Ppl's self-produced and Qmillion mixed "Before You Get a Boyfriend" was accompanied by an equally fun-loving music video, wherein frontman Elbee Thrie does his damnedest to "woo over" the cashier at a local corner bodega "Before [She Gets] a Boyfriend."

Phony Ppl recently compiled a 14-song Spotify playlist also called "Before You Get A Boyfriend" that consists of selections the band describes as, "sonGs we've been inspired by over the course of our journey creatinG this album. Some Old some New, all Good music;" Phony Ppl's playlist includes Bobby Hutcherson, Earth, Wind & Fire, Tortured Soul, Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Nxworries, AOE, Caldera & Dianne Reeves, Madlib, D'Angelo, Tierra Whack, Peggy Gou, Blame Candy, Pleasure, and CASIOPEA. It appears as though Phony Ppl are currently working on their long-awaited follow-up to Yesterday's Tomorrow, as when GRUNGECAKE asked the group if fans should expect a new album before year's end, Phony Ppl responded: "Yes, sooner than you probably think! đŸ˜‰" Phony Ppl's Facebook & Twitter pages (@PhonyPpl) as well as @ElijahRawk, @mrbaribass, @AjaGrantPurple, @MaffYuu & @ElbeeThrieBeats' personal pages have changed their Default pics to mosaic tile-like images very similar to "Before You Get a Boyfriend"'s single artwork. Phony Ppl's "Before You Get a Boyfriend" is now available on Soundcloud, Spotify, and like-minded streaming platforms, via 300 Entertainment.

Monday, August 13, 2018

"Beats, Lyrics, Cuts & Inside Story:" Roughneck Jihad Returns to The Witzard to Break Down The Red Herring Mixtape (All-around Breakdown)

When we last spoke with Third Sight emcee Roughneck Jihad, he was preparing to release his critically-acclaimed 2017 album, THE WRETCHED OF THE VERSE: A MICROPHONE MURDERER'S EXTENDED-PLAY RESPONSE TO UNABRIDGED WACKNESS IN HIP-HOP MUSIC TODAY. Since our comprehensive interview here at The Witzard, Roughneck hasn't slowed down one bit... releasing his IL Torsolo-produced Disco Sinistro EP, The Tarantula Bros. with Third Sight's "The Chef" DJ Du-Funk, and most recently, The Red Herring Mixtape. Next up for Roughneck Jihad is limited edition Tarantula Bros. vinyl, as well as his third solo album, Juan Sequitur (JS) expected to be released this Fall/Winter. JS will feature appearances from DJ Zuckell, Spex, Jason Lee, Abom, IL Torsolo, Sir Dino, Kwantize, and Teran. Enjoy perusing through Roughneck Jihad's Red Herring Mixtape All-around Breakdown below.

"Red Herring is made up of tracks I recorded between 2008-12; production duties are held down by Mr. Aeks, Du-Funk, Drumboy, and Maestro Gamin. The cuts were performed by DJ Vandal from The Netherlands and there are two guest emcees: Maestro Gamin & Drew Fairweather (Crudbump.) The tracks were languishing on my desktop, until Awkward offered to master them. He mastered Orchids & Corpses (2016) the same way. He also, did tracks for Third Sight's IV. In addition, he is remixing a narrative/comic book album, The Red Sentence, for me."

- Roughneck Jihad (@roughneckjihad)

01. "Elevator Action" (Prod. Drumboy)

"Elevator Action was one of my favorite arcade games. I loved the intro music and animation and I wasn't even that good at it. I put a lot of quarters into that game for a few minutes gameplay. I also, liked the whole spy thing being replicated in an arcade game and I wanted to riff off that angle and reference being in an elevator and what the whole thing would feel like. The hook on this one is like an outro, really, but I still tried to flip the words in an unexpected way."

02. "Gideon Version" (Prod. Drumboy)

"There was a time in my life when I was heavily listening to The Beatles and one of my favorite songs is "Gideon's Bible" ["Rocky Raccoon"]. The title of the song is an homage to that song."

03. "Lift Your Nuts Up" (Prod. Mr. Aeks)

"Is inspired by the Latyrx song where they rhyme at the same time on two channels right and left. [Maestro] Gamin and I did this... well, he ran with a soliloquy and I did the rhyme. It's a major chore of concentration and focus to separate them or digest them simultaneously."

04. "Ludovicko Technique" (Prod. Maestro Gamin)

"The Ludovicko Technique was a form of behavior modification used on Alex while he was in prison in the film a Clockwork Orange. This as one of my favorite films as a young man and there are a few references to this film in my catalog. Maestro made the beat and I called in my friend, Drew Fairweather from Crudbump to jump on with me... that guy is so unique and hilarious and woke all at the same time. It's great to work with a guy that just "gets it" and Drew always does."

05. "Mall Hotdog Stand" (Prod. Drumboy)

"As a teenager working at the local mall in Sunnyvale, I would often trip out over the Hot Dog On A Stick workers, who had to wear those costumes and jump up and down on those plungers to make lemonade. The impression those workers made on me was so deep that years later, I named a track after them."

06. "Primatologist's Gynecologist" (Prod. Du-Funk)

"I make unusual songs fairly often. Du-Funk hit me with this crazy beat and I just let the feelings flow. It was inspired by Jane Goodall, or at least, the idea of her doctor."

07. "Rat Racing" (Prod. Drumboy)

"As you may be able to tell, I'm a big rhyme pattern guy. I find the interrelation between rhyming words and groups of words and the spacing, pacing, and intervals very super-extra-stimulating. So, when I get a beat like "Rat Racing," I love to just do my thing and let it flow. I call it "running on the beat" and that's what I got a chance to do on this one. The formula was get your mind right and then, write and that's how it went down. It's also, motivating to write alongside a talented writer like Maestro Gamin; he would constantly keep me on my toes with his rhymes."

08. "See You In Hell" (Prod. Du-Funk)

"This was inspired by the Curtis Mayfield song, "If There's a Hell Below We're All Gonna Go." It starts out with all the ethnophaulisms and gets you into [it] then, the music drops and bang... magic! When I was younger, I was constantly enraged about sucker MC's and industry types and I wanted to establish that we are all going to the same place in the end. DJ Vandal is on the cuts on this one."

09. "Tellum Johnny" (Prod. Maestro Gamin)

"We were smoking and drinking and getting faded, then, rhyming and "Tellum [Johnny]" is what happened one day. I love these off-kilter joints. The title is a contraction of "tell him, Johnny;" loosely based on the call-and-response musicians, like James Brown on "Make It Funky" or Charles Mingus on "Fables of Faubus," had with their bands during the talking part of the song. It helps to feel this one, if you smoke some hash and drink some marijuana tincture."

10. "Dope Pays The Rent" (Prod. Du-Funk)

"I think, it was my friend and mentor, Sir Dino that said the phrase ["dope pays the rent"] in The Lab, our studio at the time, but it could have been any of The Darc Brothers crew that participated in the cypher, when I heard it. I always thought it was a clever way to describe selling dope and since I consider myself dope, I applied it to selling music for the little twist and bang."

11. "What You Need" (Prod. Drumboy)

"'What You Need" is a carnal song. The theme is the canvas for me to go through the balancing act of staying on topic and upholding a high level of clever wordplay. There is always the comedic element thrown in with the patterns and the storyline. This is one of the six beats I got from Drumboy, a producer I met through Maestro Gamin—an old friend and Rap partner from The Bay Area—once we reunited in Southern California in the early 2000's. My good friend from The Netherlands, Franck Van Dalen AKA DJ Vandal, did the cuts on this track."

12. "Yeah" (Prod. Drumboy)

"'Yeah" is a stream-of-consciousness/let-me-flex-my-rhyme-patterns kind of song. I was feeling the beat in a visceral sort of way and that just made me want to flow at that tempo. It's really open, in terms of structure, there is no hook or cuts, it's just the rhymes and the beat."

* BONUS CUT: Maestro Gamin *

"I met a young Maestro in the 90's, while I was going to junior college. He was a super-interesting dude and not only could he write rhymes and freestyle, but he was a beast in the martial arts. We spent a lot of time hanging out, writing rhymes, and having a great time, along with the homie, Adaza, who also rhymed. He moved away to LA and once I got to LA, we reunited. By this time, he was doing production and rhyming. We would party and write and then record and these songs came out of that interaction. He is also, featured on "Suns of Anarchy" on Third Sight's IV (2016.)"

Friday, August 10, 2018

BearTooth Collective Presents: cunabear's YAWNING TOWARDS HEAVEN!!!! & i pray that you enjoy your life (Limited Edition Gold Bricks)

Savannah, Georgia-based rapper and producer cunabear (@cunabear) has returned with his 40th studio album, YAWNING TOWARDS HEAVEN!!!! cunabear is the co-founder of tape label, BearTooth Collective and recently appeared on "untitled" alongside wc tank on 'i's' .and then there was flowers EP. YAWNING TOWARDS HEAVEN!!!! was produced by cunabear's Quasimoto/Madlib-esque alter-ego sp00ks, as are the majority of his recent releases. "YAWNING TOWARDS HEAVEN!!!! is something of a sequel or sister-project to i pray [that] you enjoy your life," cunabear recently told The Witzard, via email. "They were originally, one whole project and in the very beginning, it was less of an "album" and more of a "pet-project" that I wasn't going to release. I was experimenting with production styles both old and new, trying to breathe new life into what foundation I'd built so far," he continued. Nestled below is cunabear's latest music video for "Blueberry Jams" from his April 2018 album, Ursine Valor.

Honestly, in my humble opinion, cunabear's YAWNING TOWARDS HEAVEN!!!! sounds like something stylistically in-between Kanye's Aggro-Rap magnum opus, Yeezus and The Postal Service's 2003 debut, Give Up. YAWNING TOWARDS HEAVEN!!!! is actually, packaged along with it's aforementioned "sequel," i pray that you enjoy your life, in a special shiny gold double-cassette package now available from cunabear/BearTooth Collective's Bandcamp page. While i pray that you enjoy your life only boasts one feature: Valore AKA Lady Valore on "chai + honey & sativa blunts," YAWNING TOWARDS HEAVEN!!!! showcases guest spots from SB The Moor, BigStupid​!​diot, Gomec, Virgil Wolfe, Creative Space Cadet—all on one single posse cut!—Mugwampers, BigStupid!diot (again,) and four_circles. cunabear is, somehow, already working on the follow-up to YAWNING TOWARDS HEAVEN!!!!/i pray that you enjoy your life coming this September... as well as, if "the rumors" are to be believed, a collaborative project with Mugwampers & Unsung. Just 7/10 IPYEYL/YTH Limited Edition Gold Bricks (Double-cassette) are now available from cunabear's Bandcamp page for a limited time only!

Thursday, August 9, 2018

GooGiE Shares Cosmic Sophomore Album Floating Polygons Prod. By Headtrip, Blockhead, Raisi K. FAWWN & More (we are the karma kids)

The Witzard regulars may recognize Googie's name (sometimes, spelled "GooGiE") from "Innate Communication" from Henry Canyons' 2018 Album of The Year contender, Cool Side of The Pillow. Googie & Henry, actually, previously collaborated on a we are the karma kids' 2016 non-album single entitled "The What Ifs," which was later remixed by BRZOWSKI/Vinyl Cape affiliate and beat-maker C MONEY BURNS as #Goth Dancehall-tinged C$ Burns "Nocturnal Twinz" Remix. NYC/NJ-based emcee Googie is a member of Lt Headtrip's East Coast Hip-Hop crew, we are the karma kids AKA karma kids and has issued a number of releases on the crew's in-house label since first joining forces around 2013; Googie's karma kids releases include singles "All The Pretty Lights" & "Champion Sound," 2013 mixtape The Logic Is Sound, BALD AFRO with Lt Headtrip, and his 2016 debut full-length, 'Tis What 'Tis. Googie has since appeared on a number of his fellow label-mates' releases, such as MC Eleven & The Karma Kids' Kombinations, Headtrip's Comedy of The Filthbeast, OLD SELF's Word Art Gallery, LNYCHPIN's 2017 cross-label full-length, Gruff Lion's death or evolution, and Duncecap's Human Error. Just this past Saturday, August 4th Friday, August 3rd, ahead of a birthday show at New York's GOLD SOUNDS BAR, Googie decided to suddenly surprise-release his sophomore album, Floating Polygons on we are the karma kids.

Floating Polygons features 12 spacey Hip-Hop tracks produced by the likes of Raisi K. Esseks, Cousin Gabriel, Headtrip, Blockhead, General FX, Sifu, Wes Wax, Octopi Hip Hop, and FAWWN. "While Googie invites his listener to join him on his journeys, he features no other vocalists on the record, including only two light-hearted intermission tracks by comedians Phill Hunt & Matt Pavich," we are the karma kids explains within a recent press release. Floating Polygons is a free-spirit, free-associative Cosmic Hip-Hop album, at times, reminiscent of both Flatbush Zombies and Mr. Muthaf***in' eXquire, as well as The Grateful Dead, Janis Joplin, and Jimi Hendrix. I'm fully aware Floating Polygon's 12 tracks are produced by 10 separate producers, however, it feels like such a cohesive on-theme album; this is likely, due in part to mastering engineer Joel Gutman, as well as Headtrip's mixing work at Karma Kids Studios, Karmastoria, NY. Comedic interludes "Phill's Osophies" and "Matt Pavich Standards" featuring Phill Hunt & Matt Pavich, respectively, really do a great job helping break up Floating Polygons and giving the record some room to breathe, much like Hip-Hop skits of the late 90's/early 2000's. Googie's brand spankin' new music video for Sifu-produced "Molecules" premiered yesterday afternoon at The Deli Magazine and can now conveniently be viewed below. Googie's Floating Polygons is currently available to stream, download, or purchase on CD (salt crystals NOT included) exclusively at we are the karma kids' Bandcamp page. "QUASARS!!!"

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

L.A. to Cambodia: On & Offspring & ZAPPED Collaborators Gajah & Mute Speaker Reunite for "Bottle In The Sea" from VENT (Acid Lab Records)

Acid Lab Records (ALR) is a Los Angeles-based record label/crew established in 2011; it's members include BeOND, Express Fresh, Gajah, Myk Mansun, Olmeca, OneWerd, Upword, and 3-man emcee posse, Acid Reign AKA Gajah, BeOND & Olmeca. ALR's members have released a wide array of solo and collaborative projects since 2011 with each other and a handful of affiliates and frequent collaborators, including Kenny Segal, Le Parasite, Willie Green, Japanese emcee MC GEBO, Chrono Triggers, Herrmutt Lobby, Mute Speaker, Destruct, Scotty "Sixo" Trimble, Awkward, and Uncommon Nasa on Gajah's Hand of Gold Are Always Cold. While Acid Lab Records features a wide variety of talent, all of which can be streamed or purchased on ALR's Bandcamp page, this very piece will primarily focus on Gajah & Mute Speaker... hailing from Los Angeles and Cambodia, respectively, Gajah & Mute Speaker are currently gearing up to release their third collaborative album, VENT; preceded by 2013's On & Offspring and Frank Zappa & The Mothers of Invention-flipping ZAPPED (2015) VENT will be released on ALR Tuesday, September 25th.

Just this past weekend, Acid Reign emcee Gajah (@gajahmatik) messaged me on Instagram with the first single from VENT, "Bottle In The Sea" ft. Oso Negro. "This will be me and Rob/Mute Speaker's third project together. We really went into this one slowly, taking it one track at a time 'til we, eventually, had something," Gajah told The Witzard, via an emailed transmission. "We agreed to do the album, but didn't conceptually map out anything, unlike our efforts of the past; he just sent over beats periodically. I applied myself, put my current thoughts into motion and began to vent shamelessly," he tellingly continued. Gajah & Mute Speaker's past works, in my opinion, have a very glitchy late 90's/early 2000's Def Jux-type of feel, strongly indebted to cats like Aesop Rock, Cage, El-P, MURS, and Rob Sonic. "Bottle In The Sea," on the other hand, has a very laid-back feel throughout, almost reminiscent of D'Angelo's Method Man & Redman-assisted "Left & Right" with a touch of Sage Francis & B. Dolan AKA EPIC BEARD MEN's hard-edged Boom-Bap grit. In addition to Oso Negro's "Bottle In The Sea" assist, VENT will feature guest spots from 2Mex, A. Billi Free, BeOND, OneWerd, Woar2, and DJ ETHOS.

"I believe, VENT is our best sounding album together, sonically. Mute Speaker showed his true mixing prowess and MJC [FilthyBroke Recordings] put his mastering genius to work. The Mute Speaker-produced beats are full, yet minimal, allowing me to truly voice my tales of harsh realities that are sure to resonate with the listener. There is a slight uncertainty on my end, concerning this particular release, where reaction is concerned. I think, some will feel me, while others will pity me. But regardless of one's way of thinking, there are people out there living what I'm speaking and I will proudly be their champion, undaunted by popular opinion. Mute Speaker is originally from Brighton, England, but now based in Cambodia. I'm from Los Angeles, CA. The album features 2Mex (The Visionaries/OMD,) A. Billi Free, BeOND, OneWerd, Oso Negro, Woar2, and DJ ETHOS. VENT is a collection of 9 very personal songs that bleed honesty. There is really no better title concerning this record. I can't say it's a masterpiece, but more of a necessary reality piece of my present participle. VENT Release Date: 9/25 via ALR."

- Gajah (@gajahmatik)

Monday, August 6, 2018

Red Apples 45 Co-founder & Producer Ray West Assembles Ray West & The Soul Misfits Cassette All-around Breakdown (Fat Beats Records)

Hip-Hop super-producer and Red Apples 45 co-founder, along with A.G. of Diggin' In The Crates (D.I.T.C.) Ray West (@RedApples45) recently formed a free-spirited, one-off project—cleverly dubbed "Ray West & The Soul Misfits"—with A.G. of D.I.T.C. AKA Andre The Giant, Dave Dar, L-Fudge, Nelson Dialect, Moonshine, Phil Moffa, John Robinson, and Jay Rivera. Ray West & The Soul Misfits' initial collaborative sessions were held at Butchasound Studio during "a born day gathering" for West's 40th birthday and later, curated, further detailed, and finalized at Red Apples 45's home studio in The Bronx. "We had the MPC3000, John Robinson's SP-404, Phil Moffas's illustrious set-up of vintage drum machines (TR-808/909,) and his various synths," Ray West told The Witzard, via email. "My good bro, Jay Rivera AKA Jay Sidious, came with his vintage guitars. We all just [collaborated on] production and concepts..." West charismatically continued. Mr. West was gracious enough to provide The Witzard with a comprehensive track-by-track breakdown of Ray West & The Soul Misfits for our recurring column, All-around Breakdown. Ray West & The Soul Misfits' self-titled full-length debut is currently available in both limited edition blue-tinted cassette and digital album formats with artwork by @Sek3 on Red Apples 45, as distributed by Fat Beats.

01. "Soul Misfits" (Prelude)

"This was the first track we made together during the studio session. We were using the MPC3000. It was a "dirty" sample that Phil Moffa had on the sampler when we arrived... the groove is what made Dave Dar come up with The Soul Misfits hook. He originally laid it down as, like, a reference track... but it was full [of] feeling, so it stayed. Jay Rivera played guitars on top. It's real raw and spontaneous."

02. "How Much" ft. Moonshine, Dave Dar, Sean Santiago & John Robinson

"This track was also, created all together the same night. We used John Robinson's SP-404 and the MPC3000. Myself, John, and Phil Moffa all played different parts to the beat. All the emcees wrote their verses and [laid] them down on-the-spot."

03. "What Happen" ft. A.G. & Dave Dar

"This track was made previous to the LP concept. I used the MPC60. I had a session in my home studio with A.G. & Dave Dar. They wrote [it] together and [laid] it down together."

04. "Tribal Live" (Instrumental)

"This was an instrumental when I was working on the tracklist and finalizing the project. I used an MPC Live. This was made to give the project some Tribal-type of feel; since we were a large group collaborating, I wanted to capture that Tribal feel."

05. "Get You Some Protection" ft. Dave Dar

"This is a Dave Dar solo. We did this in the home studio. MPC2000XL - plus, some live Moog Synth overlays. I played a lot of live hand percussion on this: shakers, tambourine, and hi-hat [cymbals]."

06. "Fort Apache" (Instrumental)

"Same as the other instrumental, "Tribal Live;" this was made on the MPC Live for this project."

07. "Everything Is Bright" ft. A.G.

"Every Red Apples project needs the signature A.G. song - this is that! MPC3000. Me & A. in the studio doing what we do, free-spirited. I feel, it's a side of A.G. that the Red Apples umbrella opens for him; a more free-spirited side (at times) - I love this song!"

08. "Beyond The 10th" ft. Nelson Dialect & Dave Dar

"This is another track similar to "Get You Some Protection." MPC2000XL, live Moog, and a bunch of live percussion. Nelson Dialect really made the concept for this: "Beyond The 10th." It was a play-on-words. They say, we only use 10% of our brains. We are "beyond the 10th." We plan on more "Beyond The 10th"-type of music."

09. "In The Pocket" ft. Moonshine & Nelson Dialect

"This was made on the same night as the first two tracks, same studio session. MPC3000 and Jay Rivera's guitar. Moonshine & [Nelson] Dialect wrote together and laid it down. I did the cuts later in my home studio."

10. "Hold It Down" ft. L-Fudge & Nelson Dilaect

"My bro, L-Fudge! I feel so blessed for all of Fudge's contributions to Red Apples, over the years. He is such a talent. I had this track for a while and Fudge gave the green light to release. So pleased to have Nelson Dialect on this with him. It was a great closer!"

Friday, August 3, 2018

Bad Religion, The Bouncing Souls, Lifetime & Spanish Bombs Members Form Beach Rats & Release Wasted Time EP (Bridge Nine Records)

Beach Rats is a New Jersey-based Hardcore band consisting of vocalist Ari Katz, guitarist Brian Baker, guitarist Pete Steinkopf, bassist Bryan Kienlen, and drummer Daniel "Dubs" Windas. Amongst them, Beach Rats have about 32+ collective years spent recording, touring, and melting faces within countless New Jersey & New York-based Punk/Hardcore bands. Brian Baker alone has played with Bad Religion, Dag Nasty, Dead F**king Last, Doggy Style, Government Issue, Junkyard, The Meatmen, Minor Threat, Pavement (no, not that Pavement,) and Samhain. Ari Katz has spent his time playing with High School Sweethearts, Lifetime, Miss TK & The Revenge, and Zero Zero, while Pete "The Pete" Steinkopf & Bryan "Papillon" Kienlen have both been long-time members of The Bouncing Souls. Drummer Daniel "Dubs" Windas, the greenhorn of Beach Rats, has spent his early years between 1999-2007 and onward playing with A New Enemy, The Arsons, The Break, Joe Coffee, Let It Burn, Spanish Bombs, and To Each His Own. Frontman Ari Katz recently told New Noise Magazine: "dude, we all live in the same area. That's the biggest reason we are doing this; we all live 20 minutes away from each other," when the interviewer mentioned the abundantly used term, "Punk super-group." Katz says the earliest incarnation of Beach Rats dates back to a 2017 tribute show in memoriam of Vision frontman Dave Franklin, wherein he played alongside The Bouncing Souls' Pete Steinkopf & Bryan Kienlen, as well as local drummer, Daniel "Danny" Windas.

"I've been friends with the guys from The Bouncing Souls forever and we all live at the beach, so we just went for it," Ari Katz continued. New Noise notes that "from there, Kienlen raised the bar even more, when he told Katz that Brian Baker of Bad Religion, Minor Threat, and Dag Nasty-fame was living right down the street and looking to start another Hardcore band." It seems as though the neighbors and new-found bandmates simply started playing together with "no expectations" and as Ari Katz says, made sure "it was all about fun and friends and playing music together." Last Friday, Beach Rats unleashed their debut EP, Wasted Time, on Boston-based Hardcore/Punk label, Bridge Nine Records. It's a blisteringly fast, yet melodic 5-track EP reminiscent of Beach Rats' five members' past works, which clocks in at less than 7 frantic minutes, with the "longest" track lasting a mere 01:58. Beach Rats' Wasted Time EP is currently available from Bridge Nine in a number of multi-media formats, including limited edition 7-inch, digital album, 12x18" posters, and "Limited Authentic NJ Beach Badge." Wasted Time's first edition of 300 Red Marble and 700 Brown Marble-tinted 7-inches quickly SOLD OUT; although, a second pressing of 500 Blue Marble and 500 Standard Black Wasted Time 7-inch EP's are currently available for pre-order from Bridge 9's online store and are expected to ship before the end of August.

alt-J Share "In Cold Blood" Feat. PUSHA-T (Twin Shadow Version) Official Video & Announce RELAXER Hip-Hop Remix Album: REDUXER

Early on in their career, Leeds-based band alt-J were quickly heralded as "The Next Radiohead" due to their extremely well-orchestrated, thought-provoking brand of Indie/Art Rock heard across their 2012 full-length debut, An Awesome Wave. Then, Joe Newman, Thom Sonny Green & Gus Unger-Hamilton did a total 180° and more or less, alienated nearly half of their new-found fans—Ă  la: Beastie Boys' 1987 single "(You Gotta) Fight for Your Right (to Party!)" debacle—by releasing tongue-in-cheek Ă¼ber-"American" single, "Left Hand Free" from 2014's This Is All Yours... but, unsurprisingly, "the least alt-J song ever" pretty much back-fired because no one got it, including the label, and the song rapidly became, quite arguably, one of their biggest smash-hits to date. Last summer, alt-J suddenly returned this their third album (technically, an EP) RELAXER, which in the months since, has become my personal favorite release of their entire cannon; this, due in part to Iggy Pop-narrated absolute RIPPER of a single, "In Cold Blood," which was accompanied by a phenomenal Casper Balslev-directed video starring an intuitive little wood mouse and a murderous, blood-splattered desert killing spree. Now, nearly a full year after RELAXER's June 2017 release, alt-J have re-emerged with an 11-track Hip-Hop remix collection dubbed REDUXER.

"It's no secret that we love and are influenced by Hip-Hop and it's always been a dream of ours to work with Hip-Hop artists in re-imagining our music. With REDUXER, that dream has come true. We couldn't be happier with the results," Gus, Joe & Thom wrote within a recent press release. "This album is truly global, featuring rappers and producers from all over the world. After a very long time in-the-making, we are stoked to share it with you all," alt-J enthusiastically continued. REDUXER features 11 re-imagined remixes to RELAXER's 8 original tracks, showcasing the unique talents of Little Simz, PUSHA-T, Twin Shadow, Tuka, Jimi Charles, Danny Brown, Alchemist x Trooko, Paigey Cakey & Hex, GoldLink, Terrace Martin, PJ Sin Suela, Lomepal, Kontra K, and Rejjie Snow. So far, we've heard 2 select cuts from alt-J's REDUXER: "In Cold Blood" Feat. PUSHA-T (Twin Shadow Version) and most recently, "Deadcrush" Feat. Danny Brown (Alchemist x Trooko Version); back in June, before REDUXER was even announced, alt-J appeared on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert to debut "In Cold Blood" Feat. PUSHA-T (Twin Shadow Version) live on national TV. Just this past week, alt-J premiered the Osean-directed video for "In Cold Blood" (Twin Shadow Version) starring a computer-aided version of PUSHA-T. alt-J's REDUXER is currently available for pre-order in a multitude of formats and will see a wide release on Canvasback/Atlantic Records Friday, September 28th.

"PUSHA-T & alt-J have two completely different styles and coloring them together makes for an interesting sound. Instead of representing the two more so as a person-to-person [scenario], I decided to represent them as more person-to-experience or person-to-land. The way PUSHA is acting in the video is the same way, I feel, he acted in the song. He flows through the song as his experience in someone else's world trying to find his place. And so, in the video during the alt-J part, I wanted PUSHA to basically, experience "alt-J The Experience.'"

- "In Cold Blood" Director Osean

Thursday, August 2, 2018

The Deadeyes Return with "No More Later / Narco" Music Videos Filmed Live at The Boom Room In Philly (Paddy Wax Productions)

Philly's own Soul-Punk trio The Deadeyes are the self-proclaimed musical love-child of The Black Keys and Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds. Its founding members, vocalist/guitar playerPatrick "Paddy" McHugh, violinist John Coursey, and drummer David McMullin have previously played with the likes of Grubstake, High Hearts, The Mikroknytes, and Connie Chung. The Deadeyes have been featured on concert bills in support of The Dead Milkmen, Dean "Clean" Sabatino's Milkmen side-project I Think Like Midnight, Cheap Dinosaur, Dischord Records signees Alarms & Controls, and many more seminal Punk/Hardcore bands. Since 2013, The Deadeyes have self-released singles "Letters Left to Write" (Live On Y-Not Radio) and "Why Would She Love Me?" as well as Joe Reinhart-produced Demonstrationals & Remixes, Cover Songs EP, and their latest effort, "No More Later / Narco." Recorded and mixed by Aaron Martinez & Sean Ferguson for bits AND waves, "No More Later / Narco" is a raucous Double A-side featuring stripped down Indie Rock-evocative, bass-less rhythms and a sneering Punk/Hardcore ballad deeply reminiscent of The Ramones, The Dirtbombs, Eddy Current Suppression Ring, and The Replacements. Now, nearly four months after the initial digital release of "No More Later / Narco," The Deadeyes have returned with two live videos to accompany their latest 2-track Double A-side.

Patrick McHugh, John Coursey & David McMullin captured the stark black-and-white footage at The Boom Room in Philly last August, which was then, mixed (audio) by Eric Bogacz of Spice House Sound and edited (video) by long-time collaborator and graphic designer Derek Morton. When asked about "No More Later / Narco" Live at The Boom Room, drummer David McMullin (@PreemieD) said, "those two tunes, in particular, took a while to mutate into their final form and [there] are more moving parts and space in them than a lot of the stuff we'd done previously." "Narco" & "No More Later" were actually, filmed during the same sessions as previously released Boom Room videos "Everything You Ever Read," "Telephone Message from Franky Z," and "Beautiful Day." "We were really trying to demonstrate that our sound is a live, real, "organic" phenomenon, and not at all dependent on "studio tricks." We wanted to do something visually straight-forward and really, focus on the audio recording and mixing, which was a very detailed process in his case and turned out sounding wonderful," guitarist and vocalist Patrick "Paddy" McHugh continued. The Deadeyes' next show is Sunday, August 12th at John & Peter's in New Hope, Pennsylvania in support of Naughty Clouds. Paddy tells The Witzard The Deadeyes plan to re-enter the studio this Fall "to cut a few more new tracks" for their "No More Later / Narco" follow-up.

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Homeboy Sandman & Edan Serve Up A SLICE OF HUMBLE PI with "Grim Seasons" & Announce Collaborative Full-length (Stones Throw)

Bar for bar, Homeboy Sandman is easily, one of the most talented and somehow still, criminally under-rated emcees in all of Hip-Hop! I've personally been a Sandman fan since his 2012 Stones Throw debut, First of a Living Breed and since, he's worked with the likes of Blu, Jonwayne, Paul White, Jake One, L'Orange, 2 Hungry Bros. RJD2, Mono En Stereo FKA El RTNC, 88-Keys, and maybe, most notably, Aesop Rock; between 2015-17, Aesop & Sand infested the masses with Lice, Lice 2: Still Buggin' and Triple Fat Lice to wide-spread critical and fan acclaim. While we're still waiting for a proper Lice full-length, Homeboy Sandman has teamed up with kindred spirit, Brooklyn-based DJ, producer, and emcee, Edan, for a brand spankin' new collaborative effort. Edan is arguably, one of the greatest and most eclectic artists in all of Hip-Hop and while he hasn't released a proper album since 2005's Beauty & The Beat, he's been moderately active and still very in-demand. In recent years, Edan has appeared on esteemed projects from Mr. Lif, Blu, DJ Format, Memory Man, Your Old Droog & Wiki, Cut Chemist, and Homeboy Sandman. Now, this is where the dots start to connect... Edan produced "Talking (Bleep)" from Sandman's 2016 amidst-Lice 2: Still Buggin' album, Kindness for Weakness. "Their collaboration took off from there: whenever they could find a few open hours, they'd write and record in Edan's Brooklyn studio," Stones Throw revealed within a recent press release. After posting "Success! Physical objects come soon..." along with a TEST PRESSING dated 7 / 16 / 18, Edan & Homeboy Sandman have returned to properly announce Humble Pi.

"We're serving Humble Pi," says Sandman. "Humble math. Pi is a magic number." Magic and humility, he says, can coexist. "From time to time, folks need a couple slices of humble pie as a reminder of real magic." Not only have we learned their collaborative full-length will be dropping on October 26, 2018, Homeboy Sandman & Edan have also, liberated the quasi-follow-up to "#NeverUseTheInternetAgain" with teaser single #2, "Grim Seasons." It fits right in with the moody, uniquely fresh sonic framework laid out by "Talking (Bleep)" and "#NeverUseTheInternetAgain" and personally, I can't wait to hear how Humble Pi will sound from front-to-back. "Grim Seasons" is accompanied by a starkly animated music video by Kagan McLeod with an almost watercolor-type feel to it; we don't get a glimpse of Homeboy Sandman & Edan until the last few seconds of "Grim Seasons," wherein they're dressed like 1940-50's soda jerks akin to Stones Throw's "#NeverUseTheInternetAgain" single cover. So, for the time being, enjoy "A SLICE OF HUMBLE PI" served up by Homeboy Sandman & Edan with the full course expected to be served up Friday, October 26th on Stones Throw Records. Plus, if we're led to believe Edan's own Facebook Biography section, "EDAN SEND FOURTH ALBUM [UNFINISHED] TO QUEEN OF ENGLAND; QUEEN OF ENGLAND GIVING TAPE TO MIKE LEWIS IN HEAVY PRESSURE SECRET. MIKE MAKE LABEL..."

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Deathbomb Arc's They Hate Change Talk Now, and Never Again. Gary Wilson, Pyramid Vritra & Much, Much More (The Witzard Interview)

"GENRES UNKNOWN SINCE 1998 - Our goal remains the same, as it was when we started the label: to share bleeding edge music with as wide an audience as possible. Hearing new approaches to arranging sound should be a fun adventure. The sound of Deathbomb Arc is constantly changing, as explorers reach new frontiers. We invite you along on this exciting journey.

Deathbomb Arc has had the honor to work with so many great musicians and groups; putting out some of the first music by acts such as clipping., Foot Village, Black Pus, Death Grips, Julia Holter, Signor Benedick The Moore, tik///tik, [Lana del Rabies], I.E., and Captain Ahab. We encourage you to spend some time exploring our discography and large archive of free streaming music to learn more..."

"It's our favorite holiday of all... NEW RELEASE DAY!! We've been really excited to share this one with you. The long-overdue new album from THEY HATE CHANGE. 2 years ago we released this Florida-based Hip-Hop duo's album, Cycles. Now, we are thrilled to present their latest Now, and Never Again. It is available on cassette and at all major digital platforms. Plus, they got a new "FAILED" music video. Find out what that means by watching!!

- DEATHBOMB ARC (@deathbombarc)

I. I noticed your Bandcamp page notes: "All proceeds go to The Transgender Law Center (TLC) from now until forever;" mind if I ask why They Hate Change is so passionate about this organization, in particular?

André: We wanted to make sure we supported TLC and joined Bandcamp, as they gave their portion of sales for the day to the organization. As for continuing our support, it was a decision made on Vonne's part and I support them.

Vonne: For me, being an agender person and understanding some of the struggles that trans people go through in this country, it just makes sense to contribute something to an organization that's trying to end those struggles however they can.

II. How did They Hate Change get involved with Hal Williams AKA Pyramid Vritra for your 2013-14 EP's Control & Today.? Do you have any immediate plans to collaborate again?

Vonne: Hal is, like, the reason we do what we do. When we heard his group, Jet Age of Tomorrow, we became, like, instant stans. I emailed him early They Hate Change stuff and he dug it and we asked if he'd remix our song "Brittany" from Today. and he did! We’ve just been working on stuff here and there ever since. It's always pretty random. We have a song we worked on in LA last year that we're holding, so that'll probably come out soon enough.

III. I see that "Horn & Flute," as well as "additional vocals" on "Sandy Kissed Gary Wilson Last Night" were provided by Stones Throw's own Gary Wilson; now, how exactly did Gary get involved in Today.?

Vonne: Gary is the easiest, coolest person to reach. We just DM'ed him on Twitter and asked and he was down... before we had anything out! Sent him the track and he Sent it back in like, a day and was like, "I added some additional stuff. You can take it out, if you want." Of course, we didn't!

André: All I can remember is losing my damn mind at 2:00am on a school night.

IV. How would you personally say They Hate Change's overall sound, style, delivery, etc. has changed and progressed since your last album, 2015's Cycles?

Vonne: 2015, I would say we still sounded like our influences; maybe, a combination of all of them. Cycles is really indebted to Sa-Ra and stuff like that. But Now [and Never Again] really doesn't sound like anybody else, to me, at least. I think, we really found our own swag and delivered it in our own way this time. The message and the feeling was right in Cycles, but, I think, we really pinned everything down on here. Styles, beats, everything. It just feels new.

V. What's the story behind your recent Kenny Bobby-directed "OFFICIAL FAILED MUSIC VIDEO" for "Chase" from Now, and Never Again?

André: Watching and listening to a ton of UK Grime; sorta fell into a wormhole watching Tim & Barry videos and wanted to pay homage. Bad audio, weather, and random people jumping into clips were just some of the issues we had. We agreed to just chop up the footage and keep it as raw as possible. We've had plenty of trials and errors performing live, so this was no different.

VI. What might both of you cite as your greatest sources of inspiration and influence, while you were creating Now, and Never Again?

André: Jan Jelenik, Brain Eno, and Arthur Russell.

Vonne: Jam Pony DJ's, Harmonia, and DJ Rashad. There's a couple out-takes from the album that were really No Wave-inspired, like Teenage Jesus and stuff like that. You might hear more of that soon.

VII. What exactly were your typical writing, recording, creating, production, etc. processes like during the making-of Now, and Never Again?

Vonne: We pretty much, always start with making a beat. No concept or anything, just making something. I don't remember how or why we decided which beats would get verses... it had to just be the vibe. Like, when "Opposite Side" hits, it just feels like somebody should kill it.

André: I believe, once we had [written] to "Chase," it was like, "MAYBE, we got something." After that, Vonne and I would both look at each other and grin, make a few more tweaks, and we just kept going.

VIII. Now that Deathbomb Arc has unleashed Now, and Never Again into the terribly unsuspecting world, what else do They Hate Change have planned next?

Vonne: More tapes!!! More shows. Just more music. All of our records are wild short, so, I think, something a little longer is appropriate now.

IX. For listeners who may be new to the Deathbomb Arc (DBA) catalog, what specific releases from your fellow label-mates might you suggest they listen to first?

André: The No Children compilation (2015) would be a cool place to start, I think; gives you a small glimpse into the Deathbomb Arc world. And No Smoking (2016) by Ed Balloon, which is also, a favorite of mine.

Vonne: Turbine - Thanks Karen (2000) that's the first DBA release from all those years ago and still, nothing Mainstream really sounds like it. It shows how forward-thinking Brian [Miller] is. In The End I Am a Beast from Lana del Rabies (2016) that's probably, my favorite. It's just so damn physical. It's "3-D" music.

X. What might you be able to tell The Witzard's readership about your 2017 documentary, Californian Portrait of THEY HATE CHANGE? I believe, I read it includes footage of you working with Jonathan Snipes of clipping.; are there any immediate plans for the recordings from those sessions to be widely released?

Vonne: Our friend, Bryam Castellanos, had the idea to film our trip out to LA for a show at The Smell, so that's how that came together. That Jonathan track is sick! [I don't know] if we'll put that out any time soon, but we talked to William (Hutson) recently about all of us doing something new, so that's coming for sure.

Texas "Couch Potatoes" Virgil Wolfe & Strcolctr Join Forces for Unlimited TV Dinners EP (BearTooth Collective/Couchloaf Records)

Virgil Wolfe is an Alternative Hip-Hop artist based out of Baytown, Texas who's affiliated with cunabear's BearTooth Collective tape imprint. Wolfe has been rapping and self-releasing his own material at rather rapid pace since 2015. He's previously worked alongside the likes of Alcoda, Calamity, Pacman AKA "Da Round Hero," and Symmatree of Grid Squid. For his most recent release, Virgil Wolfe joined forces with Houston-based beat-maker Strcolctr for their Unlimited TV Dinners EP. "From the doctor love story to the childhood-filled with novellas, Unlimited TV Dinners is short, sweet, and packed with flavorful melodies for the whole family to enjoy," Virgil Wolfe's Bandcamp page enthusiastically proclaims. Clocking in at just under 12 minutes—or the length of one commercial break!—Virgil Wolfe & Strcolctr manage to cover everything from doctor love storylines to the fabled "Filler Episode;" to Star Trek's "Red Shirt Dilemma" to the lack of "darker Latin people in most Spanish soap operas," as Virgil described it, via email. Virgil Wolfe x Strcolctr's Unlimited TV Dinners is now available digitally directly from Virgil Wolfe with an extremely limited run of hand-made cassette tapes on Couchloaf Records.

"We met up one time after exchanging messages about getting booked on a Couchloaf [Records] show, I performed, and we developed a nice friendship. This was right before I went on my first tour with the homie, Calamity, who had worked with me fully on the project where he made all the beats, Before The World Wakes Up (2017.) When we got back, Calamity and I had decided to work on an EP together, but we live in different states, so I started looking for someone, who would be able to help scratch that itch. I HAD to create something! I messaged Strcolctr on his personal Facebook profile, asking him if we could work on something. It turned out to be a nice collaboration, instead of a "let me buy your beats" situation.

After idea-tossing and developing, we though about the television, how it influenced us as children, teenagers and adults... We met up once a week (I live about 30 minutes or so away from him) for progress reports; he'd have a new beat, I'd have a new idea or writing. We would also, message each other and I'd send him Voice Memos of the work I had done during the mornings. I work on music early in the morning to catch enough time. I'll wake up at 5:00am, shower, drink coffee, and get to writing until about 7:30 or so, before heading into work. That's how I worked on Unlimited TV Dinners."

- Virgil Wolfe (@virgilthewolfe)