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Showing posts from June, 2018

South Philly Producer & Emcee King Ani Mal Compiles Indie/Dance Rock-indebted Beat-maker Bedrock #18 (NewBreed Records)

"I go by the name King Ani Mal. I'm out of South Philly and originally from Gulf Port, Mississippi. SPP GSF AFFILIATE. I am currently working on a "so-far" untitled 5-track EP produced entirely by Look! It's Aidan AKA Aidan Douglas AKA A.I.D. (@look_itsaidan.) It should be out very soon! To keep up with my music and shows, Follow my Instagram, @turbocrunch. Also, check out my latest album, Skinny God out on EVERY streaming platform. Here's my Beat-maker Bedrock:"

I. TV On The Radio - Dear Science (2008)

"I think, Dear Science was one of the first albums that made me want to dip into production. I just remember thinking how good the album was and telling myself that if they could do it, so could I. Then, I downloaded LMMS (Linux MultiMedia Studio) and started playing around on my laptop. At the time, I was playing guitar in a Punk band and no one wanted to hear what I was making, except my homie Scress. I didn't rap or even plan on becoming a rap…

Tom Caruana Re-visits Wu-Tang & Jimi Hendrix Mash-up Left-overs for Black Gold - Spare Nuggets & 2LP Vinyl Re-issue (Tea Sea Records)

Black Gold - Spare Nuggets by Tom Caruana Mashups
Not to be confused with similarly-named Davey Havok-fronted Horror Punk band, Son of Sam is a Soul/Funk-inflected Instrumental Hip-Hop band hailing from "Cinder Hill," UK. Founded by Sam Brothers John (drums) and Joe (bass & guitar) Son of Sam unleashed their 2017 debut, CINDER HILL with assistance from fellow bandmates Dutch Halligan wielding keyboard, flute & sax) and Tom Caruana helming percussion & production. Tea Sea Records-released CINDER HILL features a slew of emcees and vocalists including John Robinson, Sadat X, The Black Opera, Guilty Simpson, Organized Konfusion's Prince Po, Denmark Vessey, Quelle Chris, Masta Ace, and Large Pro. Tom Caruana, actually, runs Tea Sea Records, which boasts Son of Sam, The Menagerie, Professor Elemental, Dr. Syntax, Klondike Kids, longusto, Boiler Room Collective, and Grand Agent amongst their eclectic roster, as well as Caruana's own original works and mash-ups. …

Hangar 18 Unleash 4-track Collection of Previously Unreleased & Widely Unavailable Songs from Sweep The Leg Sessions (HANGAR RARITIES)

Hangar Rarities by HANGAR 18
For this article, I've decided to employ one of the oldest writing tactics from deep within my journalistic bag-of-tricks: "WHO, WHAT, WHEN, WHERE, HOW, WHY..." Hangar 18 was Hip-Hop crew consisting of emcees ALASKA & Windnbreeze and DJ paWL. Hangar 18, named after the Megadeath song of the same name, was together from 1994-2009 and released two albums—The Multi-Platinum Debut (2004) and Sweep The Leg (2007)—El-P's legendary and now-defunct Definitive Jux Records AKA Def Jux. Hangar 18 also, self-released both THE SHAMELESS SELF-PROMOTION CD (2003) and a 2006 compilation album entitled The Donkey Show, Volume 1 with remixes and features from Cryptic AKA Cryptic One, Blockhead, Aesop Rock, Bill G. and Blueprint. Hangar 18's members were also, part of larger New York/Tri-State Area crew Atoms Family, along with Cryptic One, DJ Cip-One, Jestoneart, Kasm, Molecule, Whichcraft, Genesis, Osirrus, Cannibal Ox's Vast Aire & Vordul…

Sure Fire Soul Ensemble & Rebecca Jade & The Cold Fact Drummer Jake Najor Releases D$RTY M$NEY BREAKS 7-inch (Common Good Records)

Dirty Money Breaks (Vinyl / Producer Drum Kit) by Jake Najor
Jake Najor is a world-renown drummer and frontman of newly-formed group, Jake Najor & The Moment of Truth. The GRAMMY-nominated drummer has played breaks for and performed alongside the likes of Redman, De La Soul, Big Daddy Kane, M.O.P. Percee P, The Beatnuts, SOUP (Jurassic 5) Raphael Saadiq, Jason Mraz, TV On The Radio, Joss Stone, Eamon with Connie Price & The Keystones, Kelis, Aloe Blacc, Kurtis Blow, Rebecca Jade & The Cold Fact, and Empire of The Sun. Jake Najor & The Moment of Truth was very recently established in San Diego, California and showcases the talents of Nick Costa on guitar, Tim Felton on keys, Matt Labarber on bass, and of course, frontman Jake Najor behind the drum kit. Jake Najor (@thenaj) & The Moment of Truth (@momentoftruthsd) are currently preparing their full-length debut, IN THE CUT, for a tentative release on The Redwoods Music this upcoming Fall. However, for the time being, …

Mugwampers Talk "Denial-ridden Ambition," Group Origin Story, Upcoming Releases, Scottish Hip-Hop & More (The Witzard Interview)

Mugwampers are a Scottish Hip-Hop crew consisting of beat-maker and producer Chris McCormick AKA 'i's and emcee Aaron Bonnar AKA SaIGO and collectively hailing from Livingston, Scotland. Although, they have yet to release a proper full-length collaborative project, SaIGO & 'i's been communicating through social media since 2014, working together, actively recording material, and earnestly started building their brand last Fall. 'i's has quietly released an album entitled failure.to.communicate and a 6-track compilation EP dubbed .and then there was flowers under the Mugwampers banner/Bandcamp page within just the last two months. Nestled amongst a who's-who of featured guests including billy woods, s.al AKA Ruby Yacht's Safari Al, Uncommon Nasa, and cunabear, 'i's & SaIGO slipped out their first collaborative track attributed to Mugwampers, "white liez," on .and then there was flowers. However, I can positively assure you, Mugw…

Darko Save The Queen EP Remixes 4 Creative Casualty Tracks Using Exclusively Queen Samples (U DONT DESERVE THIS BEAUTIFUL ART)

Darko Save The Queen by Darko The Super
Just since the top of 2018, Darko The Super has released a myriad of releases including Buzzy Linhart Changed My Life, Doc Heller's Or Do I Eat This Sandwich?! Bogus Poetry In The Dizzy Age, and Creative Casualty on U DONT DESERVE THIS BEAUTIFUL ART (UDDTBA) as well as Stories of a Made Up Year produced by Height Keech on Cold Rhymes Records, The Hell Hole Store's "I'll Take What I Can Get" Feat. Open Mike Eagle on Already Dead Tapes, and "Bike Spokes" as part of The Custodian of Records' Qwuickieleaks Challenge and a few more loosely released tracks. Now, a few months removed from it's initial release, Darko has decided to revisit a few tracks from Creative Casualty originally released on Pale Blue Records/UDDTBA back in April on limited edition 10-inch lathe-cut vinyl, as well as digital album; "Don't stop me now, buddy guy. The Summer of Darko continues! Darko Save The Queen 7-inch remix EP ava…

Vermont Producer & Artist Keenan Kilgore Joins Forces with we are the karma kids for Keenan & Karma Remix Album Ahead of SEPTEMBER

Keenan and Karma by Karma Kids
Keenan Kilgore AKA KK AKA Daniel K. Felicetti FKA Digitalfel & FEL is a Vermont-based producer, artist, and creator. For over a decade, Daniel Felicetti has been consistently recording and putting out instrumental and collaborative Hip-Hop and Electronic music under a number of aliases at quite a rapid rate; this including, but not limited to, Digitalfel, FEL, ham american, Cord5, DigitalDankin with producer/rapper Dominic Primus, Keenan Kilgore, and JWLS VRNE & Different Trucks with frequent collaborator Gruff Lion. Daniel Felicetti also, runs a few websites to host his music, production work, and visual art: first, DigitalFel - the "digital" representation of "fel" AKA his music site, next, MAN-GOES CO. - essentially, an "all-around portfolio" of various projects Felicetti and his wife have produced/curated together, and finally, TONERELATIONS - a new platform, still in development, to showcase new projects with phy…

3 Feet High & Rising: New York Indie Rock/Neo-Soul Quartet Holy Ride Share "Pictures" from Debut Party Tricks EP (The Witzard Premiere)

Holy Ride are a New York-based Indie Rock/Neo-Soul quartet, who formed while attending Columbia University in 2016. Consisting of vocalist/keyboard player Julian Ernest Wright, guitarist/bassist Caleb Oldham, second guitarist John Sudman, and drummer Mark Brathwaite, Holy Ride started playing dorm rooms, parties, and other collegiate functions, while three of it's four members were running a music blog called Rare Candy, as well as a small on-campus recording studio called CU Records. I guess, what initially drew me to Caleb Oldham's cold-sent email was this line, in particular: "We sound like D'Angelo meets Mac DeMarco," which they genuinely do! Holy Ride's aptly-titled debut EP, Party Tricks, is a self-described Soul-Pop/Pop Rock-minded affair strongly influenced by Fleetwoood Mac & Prince; although, I would also, liken their sound to something reminiscent of The Beach Boys, Chester French/D.A. Wallach, Childish Gambino's "Awaken, My Love!"…

Cell:Adore Re-releases For Her Cassette Tape In Limited Edition of 40 with Vinyl-cut Stickers & Revised J-card Artwork (Behind The Veil)

For Her by Cell:Adore
Drew Carpenter is a producer and beat-maker hailing from Bailiwick of Guernsey, Channel Islands, UK. Carpenter has been making music since about 2010; first, anonymously "just for fun," then, Deep Dubstep as Gastly around 2013, next, making more EDM-leaning music as Somber in 2015, and most recently, as Cell:Adore since October 2016. Cell:Adore now crafts his own unique brand of Instrumental Hip-Hop and Experimental Electronic music, but has previously released atmospheric EDM, Deep Dubstep, and a variety of Electronic-leaning music, as well as founding a Deep Dubstep blog called After Dark Music with his good friend Acomply, which has now grown into a fully functioning record label. Cell:Adore/Somber/Gastly has released music on a number of labels including Indonesia-based Tandem Tapes, now-obscure and mysteriously vanished Eight-Sixed Tapes, and Drew Carpenter's own imprint, Behind The Veil. Since being founded in 2017, the Guernsey-based imprint h…

Various Artists I: How Compilations Influenced a Generation - This Is Boston, Not L.A. Penned By: John E. Swan (Modern Method Records)

INTRODUCTION: Maybe, it's in the gray hairs that I've started finding in my thinning hair. Maybe, it's that dreaded third decade of life that seems to have been rearing it's ugly face around every corner. Maybe, it's a quarter life crisis, but something has been keeping me up at night. I sometimes, stay awake into the early hours of the morning spinning records and fumbling with CD jackets from high school, grasping hold of my youth for dear life. I search out elusive first presses of albums I'd somehow, lost to time, hoping that they'll somehow, tighten the thread leading from middle school to adulthood.

To be clear, I'm not fishing my torn band T-shirts or bondage pants from the depths of my closet, but as I make the transition into my 30's, shedding roommates and getting oil changes at regularly scheduled intervals, I can't help ruminating on where these albums came from and how they've shaped me. I can't help begging the question, &…

alt-J Join Forces with Pusha-T & Twin Shadow for Re-worked Version of RELAXER Single "In Cold Blood" (Canvasback/Infectious Music)

Late Thursday night into early Friday morning, while everyone else was listening to the livestream of Nas' Kanye-produced NASIR EP from G.O.O.D. Music's Queens Listening Session/Party, I was listening to alt-J on Repeat, instead. Right around 12:10am, I got an email from Atlantic Records titled "New Version of "In Cold Blood" Released Today;" when I opened up said alt-J Fan Club email, I learned it was actually, a Twin Shadow re-work of RELAXER single "In Cold Blood" with a guest verse from G.O.O.D. Music Prez. Pusha-T himself. It wasn't until a little later, I realized alt-J had actually, appeared on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert Thursday night with Twin Shadow frontman George Lewis, Jr. and Pusha-T in tow to perform the world premiere of "In Cold Blood" (Twin Shadow Version.) Now, let me just say this: I'm a fan of all three artists' bodies of work, especially, alt-J's RELAXER, Pusha-T's My Name Is My Name, an…

ON TILT's QM, Luke Sick, VRSE Murphy & Richie Cunning Unveil "All Liquored Up" Video Just In Time for The Weekend (Megakut Records)

Drink Floyd by ON TILT
ON TILT is a Bay Area-based Hip-Hop crew consisting of emcees QM (@QMRecLeague) & Luke Sick (@megakutrecords) and VRSE Murphy (@vrsemurphy) on beats and production work with Richie Cunning (@RichieCunning) supplying additional production and musical arrangements. I had heard of ON TILT over the last year or so, but hadn't really delved into their music FULL-TILT, until Damien Miller from I Had An Accident Records(IHAA) suggested I check out their recently-released second album, Drink Floyd. Honestly, I'm glad he did because ON TILT's Drink Floyd is one Hell of a listen; stylistically, Drink Floyd falls somewhere in-between the Beastie Boys' raucous 1986 Frat-Rap debut Licensed to Ill and their sample-laden magnum opus/follow-up, Paul's Boutique (1989) with a dash of Mickey Avalon's sleazy 2006 self-titled debut, as well as Action Bronson's foul-mouthed grown man/child-like sense of wonder. Drink Floyd is the follow-up to ON TILT…

All-around Breakdown: NATION Frontman Guillaume Destot Breaks Down "Something Happened" EP (Kromatik Records/Musigamy)

"One morning in October, 1999, it's very early in The Paris Metro. I'm bent double on a folding seat, unable to take back control. Suddenly, the storm that's been brewing in my head for weeks is to heavy to bear. I can't ignore it anymore, I can't pretend. It's the beginning of a long struggle against myself. It's the beginning of a quest not to founder completely, to tame the dangerous jungle that my brain has become. I have lost my moorings, those that connected me to a territory familiar to me: the I that I used to be, the world that I used to inhabit. I will never see it again, probably. But I can invent a new Nation," reads NATION's recent S o m e t h i n g H a p p e n e d promotional one-sheet.

NATION is the latest project from Paris-based musician and multi-instrumentalist Guillaume Destot AKA Vim le Commodore, formerly of Vim Cortez. Destot established NATION in 2016 and as their Facebook page reads, are "looking for somewhere t…

Scottish Beat-maker 'i's Unleashes .and then there was flowers EP with billy woods, Safari Al, SaIGO, Uncommon Nasa & More (Mugwampers)

Chris McCormick AKA 'i's is an Ambient Hip-Hop/Electronic producer and beat-maker hailing from Livingston, Scotland. Many of you might remember him from a The Witzard post back in 2016: 'i's—then know as ('i's')—along with all these fingers (now known as Gould '72) and Butch Dawson, produced beats hand-selected and gloriously re-used by Future Islands frontman Sam Herring under his rapping alter-ego, Hemlock Ernst. 'i's is now part of Mugwampers, a rapper-producer duo/crew with emcee SaIGO, which seems to also, be functioning as a label, imprint, brand, and Odd Future-like creative collective. "Mugwampers are a Scottish Hip-Hop duo that draw ideals from the abstraction of art, meddling in Experimental Hip-Hop, Ambient, Jazz, Plunderphonics, Punk, Metal, and whatever we like; we will just see where a session takes us. Mugwampers are the least important important people you have never heard of," 'i's recently wrote to The Witzard

MADVILLAIN - "Strange Ways" - Gorilla Glock - Promo Remix & Operation: Chat Noir - Mixed By Gorilla Glock (Sergent Records/Stones Throw)

First and foremost, shout-out to John Memorex at Beat Tape Co-Op for initially (unknowingly) peeping me to this fantastic audio-visual remix. Gorilla Glock AKA Gorilla Glockenstein AKA Calhoun AKA Mac Dough is a "French DJ, beat-maker, radio host, crate digger, and Hip-Hop activist," according to Discogs. He's also, the founder of Sergent Records, as well as a self-described "distributor, vinyl broker, and artist management" agent. While the details are still a bit fuzzy and likely, intentionally mysterious, Gorilla Glock has been releasing music since about 2012; first as Calhoun AKA Mac Dough and since roughly 2014, as Gorilla Glock exclusively. Gorilla Glock is a member of Saskwatch Iron with emcees Magnetic & Tofu, as well as Chat Noir, his crew with Odweeyne & Jeremie ILL. Sergent Records' latest release, Operation: Chat Noir - Mixed By - Gorilla Glock is a 32-track remix project compiled and released by Sergent Records in "tribute to the…