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Showing posts from May, 2018

ALASKA & Lang Vo's WORDS HURT Return with Punk/Hardcore-minded THE ATTITUDE EP Inspired By Circle Jerks & Sun Kil Moon (Bandcamp)

The Attitude by WORDS HURT
THE ATTITUDE EP is the latest release from ALASKA & Lang Vo's group, WORDS HURT. Although, it consists of 9 tracks, the EP only clocks in at just under 11:30 with the longest track lasting a frantic minute and 55 seconds. As many of you may remember, Lang Vo, actually, mentioned WORDS HURT's then-unnamed EP within The Witzard's December 2017 interview with both ALASKA & Lang: "I think, this time around, we were mostly dealing with fresh-ish material, on both ends. We actually made a whole EP and were going to release it for fun, but scrapped it and started over and made SOUL MUSIC FOR THE SOULLESS. We are still going to release that EP for free soon..." As Lang Vo mentioned, WORDS HURT in fact, recorded THE ATTITUDE EP prior to their 2017 full-length, SOUL MUSIC FOR THE SOULLESS, and initially, intended to release it before or in place of the album. While you may not hear it right off the bat, THE ATTITUDE EP was interestingly en…

The Witzard Premiere: Sulu & Excelsior's "The News Today" from The Tiny Desk Sessions/Eddie Romero (Slow Jam King Productions)

Although, they haven't released any additional material—aside from holiday single, "THE OVER UNDER"—since their 2016 debut, Eddie Romero, Sulu & Excelsior are still emphatically pushing the album, nearly two years later. I'm not exactly gonna get into it again within this space, but The Witzard & Steve "Sulu" Mallorca have worked extensively together on a wide array of unique content since Eddie Romero's 2016 release, including exclusive premieres, comprehensive interviews, Funk-tastic features, and much, much more. For those unaware, Sulu & Excelsior's sound has rather perfectly been described as something to the effect of "Johnny Mathis meets Mos Def meets Stevie Wonder meets Nat King Cole" or most recently, "a Hip-Hop version of Duke Ellington."

Listen If You Like: BadBadNotGood (BBNG) Beastie Boys, Durand Jones & The Indications, El Michels Affair, Jon Batiste & Stay Human, Mayer Hawthorne & The Count…

Brownout's Guitarist Adrian Quesada Speaks On Public Enemy Instrumental Covers Album FEAR OF A BROWN PLANET (The Witzard Interview)

Not only is guitarist, keyboard player, multi-instrumentalist, and producer Adrian Quesada one half of newly-minted Karma Chief/Colemine Records Deep Soul signees Black Pumas, he's also, one of the founding members of Brownout. An 8-piece Latin Funk group hailing from Austin, Texas, Brownout has Soul/Funk/Breaks ties to like-minded ensembles such as GRAMMY-winning Grupo Fantasma, Blue Noise Band, and The Blimp. Brownout lists drummer/percussionist John Speice, percussionist Alex Marrero, bassist Greg Gonzalez, guitarist/keyboard player Adrian Quesada, percussionist Matthew "Sweet Lou" Holmes, guitarist Beto Martinez, trombonist Mark "Speedy" Gonzales, trumpeter Gilbert Elorreaga, and baritone sax player Josh Levy amongst its current members. I, like many music fans, I would assume, first heard about Brownout on an episode of Ozzy & Jack's World Detour last year entitled Texas Bloody Texas. Ozzy's son, Jack Osbourne, managed to track down the band, s…

"Rolled Gold's Healthy A$$ Breakfast" Beat Tape Features Emcees O.H.M. Visto, Uncle Crimson, Reef The Lost Cauze & KAANG (self-released)

Rolled Gold's Healthy Ass Breakfast by Rolled Gold
Rolled Gold's Healthy A$$ Breakfast is the latest release from Philly's finest producer, multi-instrumentalist, and beat-maker Harry Metz AKA Rolled Gold. It's equal parts salty and sweet and although, it's a concise one-track beat tape with "a quick 8-minutes of #flysh*t," Metz delivers an everything pretzel-esque blend of Old School Hip-Hop, Boom-Bap, Trap, 808 drum fills, and Soulful R&B. Stylistically, falling somewhere in-between an instrumental EP and a re-mixtape/blends album, Rolled Gold's Healthy A$$ Breakfast consists of 100% original material made up of assorted song scraps, unfinished takes, left-over, acapellas, remix snippets, etc; "each beat is made from live recordings of instruments played by Rolled Gold's friends, family, and himself, of course, and they all run into the next in a cohesive, somewhat "day in the life" [field recordings] manner," an emailed p…

All-around Breakdown: Harvey Cliff MC Breaks Down Critically-acclaimed Strangers On A Train EP with Steel Tipped Dove (Cassettes Now Available!)

Harvey Cliff MC is a rapper, producer, singer, stand-up comedian, graphic artist/designer, and self-described "poetic polymath of vibrations, stimulations, and alternate universes," seemingly hailing from Kentucky. He's been recording and releasing his own unique band of Nerdcore Rap/Psychedelic Hip-Hop since 2015 on V-Neck Records and at some point, made his way to New York. There, he met eccentric Brooklyn-based music producer and recording engineer, Steel Tipped Dove. Harvey Cliff MC & Steel Tipped Dove first met at the now-defunct Bar4 in Brooklyn "back in the late aughts," as Cliff puts it. "He's one of the nicest and humblest dudes I know. I've been wanting to release something with him forever, so glad that it finally happened," he enthusiastically continued. Harvey Cliff is, of course, referring to his April 2018 released 8-track collaborative EP with Steel Tipped Dove, dubbed Strangers On A Train (SOAT.) Not unlike Cliff's pas…

The Witzard Premiere: MANIKINETER's Carl Kavorkian-directed "Rockatansky Memoirs (The Big Nothing)" Video [Cult Member Music]

Not as They Do by Manikineter
As many of you may well know by now, MANIKINETER is the Noise-Rap side-project of Philly's very own emcee, producer, graphic/web designer, Noise-maker, and frantic one-man band Carl Kavorkian. We here at The Witzard quite honestly, can't get enough of MANIKINETER's beautifully aggressive Punk/Hardcore/Hip-Hop-melding output and luckily for us, Not As They Do EP is Kavorkian's third MANIKINETER release in just two short years. While we're ecstatic to be premiering the music video for "Rockatansky Memoirs (The Big Nothing)" here at The Witzard; however, a few especially tech-savvy fans might have already been able to piece together the clip's URL from a series of cryptic Instagram posts shared by MANIK|NETER(@manikineter) just this past weekend:
"new 4ideo soon.... -," "n3w video soon... hidden," "new v1deo soon. cultmembermusic.com," "new video 5oon..... corridor," "new video 2…

Conway The Machine & SONNYJIM Join Forces for Scrumptious Death By Misadventure EP (Daupe! Media/Shady Records/EatGood Records)

Death By Misadventure by Conway X Sonnyjim
Conway is a Buffalo-bred emcee, Wrestle-Rap enthusiast, and one half of Hall N' Nash with his rapping brother Westside Gunn. Last year, both Conway FKA Conway The Machine & Westside Gunn and their Griselda Records(GxFR) imprint/roster signed an exclusive deal with Eminem's Shady Records/Universal Music Group. Following a string of critically-acclaimed releases and Wrestle/Rap-inflected guest appearances, Westside Gunn & Conway have temporarily "split" to issue a number of solo and collaborative releases: most recently, Westside Gunn's March-released, Mr. Green-produced FLYGOD Is God... All The Time EP and Conway's just-released, SONNYJIM-helmed Death By Misadventure EP. SONNYJIM is, of course, a UK-based emcee and producer whose name you may very well recognize from his recent collaborative outing with Chicago sharp-spitter Vic Spencer, Spencer FOR HIGHER. "Death By Misadventure sees Conway firing on all …

Career Crooks Return with "Crook with a Deal" Single & Zilla Rocca Pens Beat-maker Bedrock #16 (URBNET/Three Dollar Pistol Music)

"I'm Zilla Rocca. I rap, produce, and write articles. I have my own Indie label, Three Dollar Pistol Music and put out music with my friends Curly Castro, Small Professor, and PremRock as our posse, Wrecking Crew. Me and Small Pro put out a group album as Career Crooks [last] year called Good Luck with That, where he did all of the beats, but I've been a producer, as well for 15 years. So, here's some of the most important albums to me, when I'm "behind the boards.'"

I. Handsome Boy Modeling School - So... How's Your Girl? (1999)

"I remember buying this album in 1999 and having no clue how any of these songs were made. I didn't start making beats for another three years or so, but this album never left my conciousness. [Dan The] Automator is one of my all-time favorite producers because he bounces between genres effortlessly, from Serge Gainsbourg stuff with Lovage, to Sci-Fi Fantasy Robot sh*t with Deltron [3030], to the first Gorillaz a…

TT5BR Releases Limited Edition "SYR R" B/W "HL R" 12-inch from 2017 BB PB/Beastie Boys Paul's Boutique Remix EP (The Witzard Interview)

"Paul's Boutique was and continues to be a mysterious object, definitely, more than a just record. By now, everyone knows that when it came out in 1989, it wasn't the follow-up people expected, after Licensed to Ill; an opportunity for the Beastie Boys to weed out the real fans from the rest. To this day, Paul's Boutique is the Beasties' album we know [the least] about. At the time, they did only a handful of interviews, between television and magazines. Even the photographs from that period—mostly, shot by Ricky Powell—are not that many. Still, the record was light-years ahead of it's time and even if the whole sampling approach is similar to De La Soul's contemporary 3 Feet High & Rising., it's success and reputation has only gown over time. Now, it is (rightly so) considered a unique masterpiece that could not be made today or probably, ever again. Maybe, it's because of the whole concept the Beasties put into the record—the cover, the tons …

All-around Breakdown: THERE ISN'T VERY MUCH TIME: 14 ICE-COLD DEVASTATORS FROM COLD RHYMES RECORDS (Height's Label Comp.)

"Cold Rhymes [Records] has long been my own label for my own solo albums. I started releasing other people's music under the Cold Rhymes banner last Spring. Recently, my pals Mister & ialive have joined me in working behind-the-scenes to make this label a reality. This is a compilation of songs from all our recent/forthcoming releases.

The title comes from Kate Ferencz's opening track. In engaging with all these hard-working people over the last year, I'm constantly reminded how we're all engaged in a race against time. We all have to draw up our own battle plans and wage our own wars against the clock to bring this music and art into existence. I think, it's true that there isn't very much time and I'm amazed at the resolve my compatriots have to fight this fight."

- Height Keech (Cold Rhymes Records)
There Isn't Very Much Time: 14 Ice-Cold Devastators From Cold Rhymes Records by Kate Ferencz
1. Kate Ferencz - "Who Do You Really Love…

The Witzard's Cowboys & Frechmen "COMPANION PLAN" Remix Challenge: Mantis The Miasma Remix Premiere & "Drowning" Video (NeSCIENCE)

As many of you may remember, a few months ago, we here at The Witzard hosted, assembled, and compiled a 7-track remix contest/compilation dubbed The Witzard's Andy Cooper "COMPANION PLAN"Remix Comp. playlist. It included a selection of original genre-eschewing submissions from Places & Spaces' Naturetone, Djar One, Broken Machine Films Presents... (Illuminated Paths) Australian beat-maker Dros, Mike East, UncleRussie, and Three Tree Posse AKA 3TP's Getro. After receiving a moderate amount of praise from The Witzard's trusty readership, the participating producers, and Andy Cooper and his label, Rocafort Records, I decided to start planning for The Witzard's second remix contest. I soon reached out to my friend, frequent collaborator, and Baltimore-based producer John "Jumbled" Bachman.

Together, we collectively agreed to field an instrumental composition to be flipped, sampled, re-constructed, etc. for this second remix "challenge,&qu…

EQUIPTO & Brycon Present: The Watershed with Old Soul Kollective (Star Bakery/Solidarity/I Had An Accident Records & Gurp City Digital)

Equipto & Brycon Present The Watershed by The Watershed
The Watershed are a San Francisco-based Hip-Hop crew consisting of emcees Equipto and Old Soul Kollective members MC Pauze & Professor Gabel, as well as producers Brycon, Old Soul Kollective beat-makers Baghead & Mcstravick, and emcee/producer Monk HTS. However, Monk HTS only contributed his emcees skills to Equipto & Brycon Present: The Watershed. The Watershed describes itself as a "multi-generational group" with a line-up consisting of both "vets and up-and-coming Frisco-bred talents (with one exception.)" I personally, heard about The Watershed just this past weekend from I Had An Accident Records (IHAA) label owner Damien Miller of Luke Sick & Damien fame; we were discussing one of IHAA's upcoming releases—Rabbi Max's TRANSATLANTIC tape—as well as The Watershed, along with Luke Sick & Damien's Strike The Clutch EP and Bonzo Speechless & Damien's Aberration. Prior…