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Showing posts from April, 2018

"Illest Rapper This Side of a Comb Over:" OLD SELF Speaks On Nostalgia-filled Debut Word Art Gallery with Lt Headtrip (The Witzard Interview)

"OLD SELF, aging Millennial Rap man, finds himself at corner of nostalgia sickness and questionable materialism on his debut album, Word Art Gallery. Headtrip, of NYC Rap outfit The Karma Kids, provides beats, building a relic-filled funhouse to explore as you experience OLD SELF's "various styles." Word Art Gallery is an endearing excursion in Late-stage Capitalism Rap. The copious quotables and near-rhyming Pop culture references will have you reaching for the Repeat 1 setting," reads we are the karma kids' on-site Bandcamp description.

OLD SELF's Lt Headtrip-produced debut, Word Art Gallery is a zany nostalgic trip through his "various styles" chock-full of countless 1990's-early 2000's lyrical references and allusions including, but not limited to: Britney Spears, Sammy Sosa, Chuck D, Metallica's Lars Ulrich, Salute Your Shorts, N64 cartridges, Dr. Octagon, beginner skateboard tricks, The Illuminati, Mark McGwire, Blink-182, Wil…

MANIKINETER Unleashes Third EP Not As They Do In Just 2 Years & Announces "Weekend Tour" with STATIC BROTHERS (Cult Member Music)

Not as They Do by Manikineter
Carl Kavorkian has returned with his third release as MANIKINETER in just two years; Not As They Do EP follows 2017's Missing & Mannequin Eater EP's, as well as a stand-alone single entitled "Shoot The Chalice." Kavorkian self-describes his MANIKINETER output on Bandcamp as "experimental, hip-hop, industrial, electronic, noise, and punk," but I've generally, just described it simply as Noise-Rap since first hearing Mannequin Eater. I've always enjoyed Punk/Hardcore and Hip-Hopconcurrently without finding many releases successfully able to blend the two (very similar) genres in a natural, organic way, aside from Mos Def & Black Jack Johnson's 2004 magnum opus The New Danger, of course. It appears as though Carl Kavorkian had been toying with the idea of merging Hip-Hop, Punk/Hardcore, Industrial, and a multitude of genres on his releases prior to MANIKINETER's Mannequin Eater EP; for those who still have …

Boogieman Dela Joins Forces with Philly Producer Rolled Gold for Sample-less Broken Watch 02: Future Currents EP (Sensi Starr Records)

Broken Watch 02: Future Currents by Boogieman Dela
Boogieman Dela is a charismatic singer and and rapper hailing from Philly harnassing a unique sound "with a great balance between smooth and gritty and between Boom-Bap, Soul, and Trap sounds." For his latest release, Broken Watch 02: Future Currents EP, Boogieman has joined forces with fellow Philadelphian, multi-faceted producer, and The Witzard regular Rolled Gold. Future Currents is the second volume in a planned 4-EP series, which will be slowly rolled out over time; 2017's Broken Watch 01: My Time EP was produced by Deet The Beat Machine and as you can see, each cover is one quarter of a larger image that's gradually, begun to piece itself together with each new release. "Boogie & Rolled met only about six months ago and both having a strong, ambitious drive, they wasted no time in creating and developing these songs, mostly at Rolled's home studio," Rolled Gold stated within an emailed press s…

Cooler Than The Other Side of The Pillow: Henry Canyons & Matt "Bones" Bowen Speak On Cool Side of The Pillow (The Witzard Interview)

Not long after publishing my review of Henry Canyons' La Côte West EP on The Witzard a couple months ago, I was fortunate enough to speak with Henry on the phone; it was at this point, which we formulated a tentative roll-out plan to publish this very interview. Henry Canyons was kind enough to send em a private Soundcloud stream of his then-unreleased album, Cool Side of The Pillow ("Cool Side," for short) and needless to say, I haven't stopped listening to the album since. Cool Side of The Pillow has since been released on billy woods' imprint, Backwoodz Studioz and was received to wide-spread critical/fan acclaim across "Rap Twitter." I'll personally, go as far as to say, Henry Canyons and his long-time friend and producer Matt "Bones" Bowen cooked up a solid contender for 2018's Album of The Year. It's easily one of the most simple, easy-listening, yet complex albums I've heard in a long time. "Bones" effortlessly…

3 Feet High & Rising: Portland's Bloodmoney Perez & B!LLY WH?T Join Forces to Form Hip-Hop Duo Bouquet of Bones (Damn That Noise Music)

Sonic Truth/Flex Pistols by Bouquet of Bones
Bouquet of Bones(@wearebouquet) are a Portland-bred rapper/producer duo in the same vein as Jaylib, Run The Jewels, Aesop Rock & Homeboy Sandman, Career Crooks, and their like-minded peers; consisting of the tag-team lyrical assault that is Bloodmoney Perez & B!LLY WH?T, Bouquet of Bones recently unveiled their inaugural release, "Sonic Truth" B/W "Flex Pistols." "@wearebouquet is a new group aiming to deliver gritty, sonically thick Hip-Hop throughout the remainder of the foreseeable future," Bouquet of Bones wrote Instagram post teasing their 4/20 debut release on Damn That Noise Music. Bloodmoney Perez(@DrBloodmoney)& B!LLY WH?T(@_murn_) list their collective interests as beat-making, writing rhymes, and drinkin' beer. "Sonic Truth" has been billed as both a mini-EP and 1990's-evoking maxi-single backed with "Flex Pistols" on Side B. Bouquet of Bones attained a neck-sna…

Baltimore/DC Punk Vets Form Power-Pop Band Blue Streak & Release "No Guns On TV Hill" B/W "Dog" 7-inch Single (Painter Man Records)

"No Guns on TV Hill" b/w "Dog" by Blue Streak
Blue Streak is a DC/Baltimore-based "super-group," of sorts, consisting of current and former members of local area Punk/Hardcore bands Angel Du$t, Give, Pure Disgust, and Red Death... although, they're playing jangly Power-Pop, rather than your typical Hardcore/Punk fare. Blue Streak consists of guitarist/piano player Ben Schultz (Give,) drummer/percussionist Robin Zeijlon (Red Death, Pure Disgust, Lackluster,) bassist Nick Heitman (formerly Angel Du$t,) and vocalist/guitar player Mike French (Angel Du$t, In Between.) French, Heitman, and Zeijlon previously played together in "Throwback Pop-Punk" outfit Dizzy Pleasure Club (DPC) with Pat McCrory of Turnstile & Angel Du$t, who released a 5-track EP entitled D.C.P. on Photobooth Records back in 2016. As you might have already gathered, Blue Streak is named after 1999 Buddy Cop Comedy film Blue Streak starring Martin Lawrence, Luke Wilson, and D…

Stones Throw Records Quietly Unleash Homeboy Sandman & Edan's First Collaborative Single "#NeverUseTheInternetAgain" (Sand & Edan)

Last month, Stones Throw (@stonesthrow) mysteriously posted "@edanexists & @homeboysandman are working on some music together, which will debut at our SXSW showcase this Friday" on their Instagram page, which has since garnered 2,667+ Likes. As should be expect, for anyone interested in Indie/Underground Hip-Hop, a few of my writer friends and I went nuts on Rap Twitter. About for weeks have passed with no additional mention of Sandman & Edan's rumored collaborative efforts from Stones Throw. Just this morning, on a whim, I decided to check Stones Throw's home page and BAM! there it was: "Homeboy Sandman & Edan #NeverUseTheInternetAgain"—right there in the middle column of the front page. It seems as though no one (aside from RAW DRIVE) had noticed or even checked Stones Throw's site for the past 7 hours or so, this including myself! While on a roll about the downsides of The Internet, Sandman jokingly(?) rhymes: "Internet journalism, …

Grass-roots Canadian Imprint Wandering Who Recordings Unleash Easy Ruckus' Glitchy Single "Pretty Face" (New Label Profile)

Easy Ruckus (or "ESY RKS," for short) are a Canadian Acoustic/Blues/Folk band hailing from Golden, British Columbia. While, at one point in time, it consisted of 3-6 members, ESY RKS currently features founding members Landon Bushell & Matt Downie. Matt & Landon, actually, both grew up in Sherwood Park, Alberta, Canada and oddly enough, attended the same elementary, junior high, and high schools, but didn't really connect until after graduation upon forming Easy Ruckus in 2011. Landon Bushell & Matt Downie have collectively, recorded, produced, and self-released two EP's—entitled Winter, Part 1 and Take Me Away—through 2016-17, after a nearly 3 year-long hiatus; as far back as Summer 2012, Easy Ruckus was holed up in Golden, British Columbia recording their first proper full-length, when Matt accidentally, spilled a cup of coffee across his laptop and the nearly completed album was lost for good. Since then, Matt Downie taught himself how to play drums an…

Dragon Fli Empire Return with "Hold Down The Fort" B​/​W "Right On Time" 7-inch (Beats House/Radio Krimi/Makebelieve Records)

Dragon Fli Empire (DFE) are a Calgary, Alberta, Canada-based rapper-producer duo consisting of emcee Teekay AKA Tarik and producer DJ Cosm AKA Cosmix. "Keepin' the Funk alive since 2002..." DFE have released four albums on Calgary's own Makebelieve Records since 2004—Conquest, The Invasion LP, Redefine, and Mission Statement—as well as a slew of singles, EP's and compilations on Bigfoot, P-Vine, and Traveller Records. Dragon Fli Empire's last proper full-length, Mission Statement (Deluxe Edition) featured a coveted guest verse from Brand Nubian's Sadat X and an incorporated sample from Ol' Dirty Bastard's "Shimmy Shimmy Ya," as well as a collection of bonus remixes and edits; Teekay & DJ Cosm have previously collaborated with the likes of Cadence Weapon, Djar One, Moka Only, and Masta Ace. Throughout the course of their storied 16-year career, Dragon Fli Empire have shared the stage with De La Soul, Jay Electronica, Joey Bada$$, Mos …

All-around Breakdown: Drew Scott Breaks Down Bedroom/"Basement" Pop Debut As Giddeon Gallows - CRITTER (ILL VESSEL MUSIC)

"Navel gazing in my basement for a decade plus / I f**kin' lied when I said it wouldn't take long / Hope you got all day maybe two / It's work, it's hard work / It took two weeks to climb down this hole," Drew Scott sings on "Avoidant" from his debut as Giddeon Gallows, CRITTER. I've been hearing about Scott's Giddeon Gallows side-project for about 6-8 months and now, it's finally out in the world and I'm able to write about it; to my ear, it sounds something like a stylistic mix of Kanye's "Auto-Tune album" 808's & Heartbreak, The Postal Service's Give Up, and early TV On The Radio à la Desperate Youth, Blood Thirsty Babes. "Giddeon Gallows is basically, just a pen name, it's not an alter-ego or anything. I have a deep appreciation for Pop music, not in a mainstream sense, but more as a vehicle," Drew Scott wrote, via email, describing CRITTER. "While I was finishing ILL VESSEL, I was exp…

Action Bronson & The Alchemist Reunite On Lunch Meat EP Single "The Hopeless Romantic" (Original Artwork Created By: E$ @theedollarsign)

Lunch Meat EP by The Alchemist
Action Bronson and long-time friend, collaborator, and food travel cohort The Alchemist have once again teamed up for 2 minutes and 47 seconds-worth of Jazz-inflected Boom-Bap bliss; previously having worked together a number of times since Blaxploitation-like Rare Chandeliers (2012) but not on a proper collaborative full-length project since, Bronson & Alchemist have reunited for "The Hopeless Romantic" from the latter's Lunch Meat EP. The Alchemist also drafted sharp-tongued emcees Roc Marciano, Westside Gunn & Conway (Hall N' Nash,) Styles P, and Benny The Butcher for his Lunch Meat EP, which features instrumentals for all four emcee-assisted tracks on Side B. To coincide with the release of Alchemist's Lunch Meat EP this past Friday, Action Bronson & Alan The Chemist recruited artist E Money (@theedollarsign) AKA E$ to create a series of original illustrations and pieces of artwork inspired by Bronson's excpectedl…

The Witzard Premiere: NotForgotten's Cryptic One-produced "Against All Odds" from Debut Album (Mixed & Mastered By: C$ BURNS)

"Keepin' grubby hands out my lane—I guess I'm McClane / Rap game's—my Nakotomi Plaza / I tip-toe through broken glass to rescue my oldest passion / bet it all against the house in the hopes it'd let me out,"Baltimore emcee NotForgotten ferociously rhymes on "Against All Odds," the first single from his as-yet-untitled debut album. NotForgotten is the emcee alias of Ricky Robertson, Jr. a self-described rapper, comic book artist, and illustrator; Robertson's been writing raps for the past 15 years and has been a self-taught artist for just as long, plus, 10 years prior. As NotForgotten tells "Against All Odds'" origin story to The Witzard, he "reached out to Cryptic One in response to an offer he posted on Twitter announcing that he had beats available." I have to admit, however, I'm still mildly intrigued to hear what NotForgotten & Cryptic One's Indie Hip-Hop-laden rendition of Phil Collins' 1984 Soft Roc…

French Mash-up Producer ToToM Blends Together El-P & Queens of The Stone Age Songs On 'El-Q' Remix Album (The Witzard Interview)

"someone did a mash up album of @qotsa vocals over various music i've made and it's kind of awesome. thanks for this weird gift @boototom," el-p (@therealelp) wrote within an enthusiastic April 3, 2018 Tweet. To be honest, I hadn't heard about ToToM's El-Q album either, until El-P Tweeted about it, but once I delved in and started listening, I thoroughly enjoyed it! ToToM is the production alias of Paris-based "bastard pirate producer" Thomas Boivin; after a bit of investigative journalism, I was able to get in direct contact with the mysterious producer himself. ToToM has been constructing genre-eschewing mash-ups AKA bootlegs AKA "Bastard Pop" since about 2005-06 and readily lists DJ Zebra, Nine Inch Nails, La Phaze, and LCD Soundsystem amongst his greatest sources of influence. He's released collaborative mash-up albums with SpareElbowSkin, Fissunix & Colatron (B.I.M.A.) MichMash, Shoefiti, MsMiep, and La Phaze, as well as onlin…