Friday, October 19, 2018

The Witzard Premiere: 80HRTZ's The Misfits "ASTRO ZOMBIES" Remix Feat. DJ Halo On "The Wheels of Steel" (@80HRTZ & @HALO203)

Dennis "80HRTZ" Faria is a musician, beat-maker, producer, and multi-instrumentalist hailing from Fall River, Massachusetts. 80HRTZ has been playing with local Southeastern Mass area bands since about 1995; from '95 to around 2004, Faria played bass with a variety of bands including, a 7-piece Hip-Hop crew called Nyhilistx and female-fronted Rock band, Eryss. Since halting his career as a bassist around about 2004 due to severe carpal tunnel, 80HRTZ has largely focused on making music by himself from behind his computer. 80 has either produced or contributed to Portland, Maine emcee BRZOWSKI's New England Gothic, General Surgery, Blooddrive Vol. 1, 2017's ENMITYVILLE, and most recently, his DIG 2 GRAVES split with MC Homeless. Dennis Faria was part of The Witzard's comprehensive Round Robin-style interview in support of BRZOWSKI & MC Homeless' collaborative split, DIG 2 GRAVES on I Had An Accident/Milled Pavement Records. 80HRTZ has hand-crafted neck-snapping remixes for the likes of Ghostface Killah, EPIC BEARD MEN's B.Dolan, and SHREDDERS AKA Lazerbeak, SIMS, Paper Tiger & P.O.S. over the years. I'm told, he's currently working on a full-length with New Bedford, Massachusetts-based emcee Purge, as well as a Hip-Hop remix of Dead Kennedys' 1979 7-inch single, "California Über Alles."

We're proud to present, today, here at The Witzard, 80HRTZ's Hip-Hop-leaning remix of "ASTRO ZOMBIES" from Horror Punk pioneers The Misfits' 1982 debut, Walk Among Us. 80HRTZ, actually, stumbled upon frontman Glenn Danzig's acapella from Guitar Hero 5 while searching for unique acapellas on YouTube recently. "I have been a fan of The Misfits since I was 12-years-old. They were very popular amongst the skateboarders in the 1980's. So, when I saw it, a light bulb immediately went on in my head! I thought, "I've never heard anyone do a Hip-Hop-style remix of a classic Punk Rock song like this,'" 80HRTZ told The Witzard. Honestly, I share a very similar sentiment, as The Misfits were one of the first bands I cut my teeth on during my earliest exploration of Punk/Hardcore as an angsty, pimply 15-year-old. After running into a few sonic speed bumps, such as lining up drums, slowing down the tempo, punching in F-bombs, and recording precision bass lines, 80HRTZ recruited frequent collaborator DJ Halo. "When the idea of having a DJ on the "ASTRO ZOMBIES" remix struck me, it was only natural to ask if this might interest him. I sent him the track and I'm pretty much sure, he was on board instantly," 80HRTZ exclaimed. The Misfits' current frontman Jerry Only recently reunited with founding members Glenn Danzig & Doyle Wolfgang von Frankenstein for the first time in 33 years as "The Original Misfits" and embarked on a string of select tour dates through 2016-17.

Thursday, October 18, 2018

LEAVING R E CORDS Presents 12-inches of Pleasure: "Anymore" from Flaunt Edwards AKA J.Rocc's The Name Is Flaunt (Stones Throw)

Flaunt Edwards is a long-standing alias of J.Rocc The Funky President. Jason "J.Rocc" Jackson has, over the years, become one of the most world-renown and sought-after Hip-Hop DJ's, turntablists, and producers. One of the founding members of The Beat Junkies, J.Rocc has spent time either playing with or recording alongside artists such as Axel F. with M.E.D. Bumrush Bros. D-Styles Sextet, DJ Spinna, Dirty Fingered B-Boys, J Dilla, Jurassic 5, Madlib, and PSK, as well as being the honorary "third member" of Jaylib. The Witzard, actually, has a very special relationship with J.Rocc, as I've been patiently waiting to hear Jay's long-rumored J Dilla & Michael Jackson mash-up/blend album, SHARE MY BED, for about 10 years now. Although, miraculously, earlier this year, J.Rocc surprise released an 8-track version of SHARE MY BED on his Bandcamp page; along with it, was this quote, seemingly, paraphrased from Dilla himself: "J Dilla once said he was gong to make an album of him singing. The cover was a picture of him like Michael Jackson on Thriller. The title of the LP was going to be SHARE MY BED." I soon reached out to my friend and frequent collaborator, unibrow duck (@UnibrowDuck) to see if he could whip up an alternative SHARE MY BED cover based off of Dilla's vision. In a matter of days, unibrow duck had designed a cover image, complete with a tiger cub, and we soon reached out to @jrocc, who, to our surprise, offered to graciously adopt our alt. cover design as the official SHARE MY BED cover artwork!

Now, J.Rocc has returned to Stones Throw Records for the follow-up to his 2014 cassette release, Beats On Tap(e). J.Rocc has, over the years, been featured on countless Stones Throw releases and DJ mixes, although, starting around 2003, released a number of projects attributed to his own name on the label, including: Play This (One) 12-inch, Play This Too 12-inch, Stay Fresh 12-inch, Some Cold Rock Stuf, Mystery Tracks EP, The Minimal Wave Tapes: J.Rocc Edits Volume 1-2, and the aforementioned Beats On Tap(e). This brings us to The Name Is Flaunt, J.Rocc's upcoming release attributed to Flaunt Edwards to be released on Stones Throw's sister label LEAVING RECORDS Tuesday, October 30th. "Best DJ in the world, J.Rocc gives you six bootleg bangers of Electro ecstasy as Flaunt Edwards on 12" VINYL channeling legendary party people like Ron Hardy, Larry Levan, DJ Harvey, and Kraftwerk," Matthewdavid's LEAVING RECORDS wrote within a recent email blast. The Name Is Flaunt is the quasi-follow-up to J.Rocc's previously released—and now, mysteriously scrubbed from The Internet—full-length/bootlegs as Flaunt Edwards, 2012's J.Rocc: Flaunt Edwards Edits and 2015's J.Rocc X Flaunt Edwards - The Edits, Vol. 1. The Name Is Flaunt seems to follow more in the same vein as J.Rocc's edits of Tuxedo's "Do It," 2013's "Wheel me Out" (Edit) & "Rock Creek Park" (Edit,) and Salsoul vs. West End Edits 7-inch. Flaunt Edwards' The Name Is Flaunt 12-inch is now available for pre-order from both Stones Throw & LEAVING RECORDS with FREE digital download available instantaneously, upon vinyl purchase.

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Dinked Records Presents: Run-D.M.C. "Down with The King" Feat. Pete Rock & C.L. Smooth 7-inch Re-issue (Artwork Designed By: Ricky Also)

Dinked Records (@dinkedrecords) was established as recently as 2015 and according to Discogs, "aims to put out high-quality 7-inch records with big holes (dinked centres) all 100% officially licensed and re-mastered for vinyl." Around 2016, Dinked launched a sister/sub-label called Random Rap Records to fittingly release "random rap records," such as Souls of Mischief, Boogie Down Productions, and KRS-One. Dinked Records is actively re-issuing and releasing top-notch 7-inches and are currently working on launching The Dinked 45 Club. For their latest archival release, for the first time ever on 45, Dink Records have re-released Run-D.M.C.'s 1993 single, "Down with The King" featuring Rev Run, D.M.C. & Jam Master Jay, as well as Pete Rock & C.L. Smooth. First and foremost, Dinked Records' "Down with The King" 45 re-issue cover art was designed by acclaimed graffiti artist and graphic designer Ricky Also from Paintshop Studio. It's great to see "Down with The King" get a proper re-release for a whole new generation, nearly 25 years after its original release.

Ricky Also used Google Street View, some detective work, and a little luck to locate what he believes is the same exact church on Jamaica Ave. Hollis, Queens, New York from the cover of Run-D.M.C.'s 1993 single, "Down with The King." Ricky Also's cover re-design features Rev Run & D.M.C. in front of the same Jamaica Ave. church as the original Profile Records single and Jam Master Jay peering down from a cloud up in Heaven with a ghettoblaster in hand and his Shell Toe Adidas. Dinked Records' 45 re-issue of Run-D.M.C.'s "Down with The King" Feat. Pete Rock & C.L. Smooth is currently available for pre-order on their Bandcamp page and I'm quite sure Bobbito Garcia isn't the only one who's "amped to play this!" Dinked Records pre-orders are expected to ship on or around October 30th, which is coincidentally, the 16th anniversary of Jason "Jam Master Jay" Mizell's untimely passing.

"I love record sleeves that have a bit of a story behind them. I used to spend hours checking out every detail on every vinyl I brought and you could always tell which covers were created with love; they would have that extra level of detail and story behind them. "Down with The King" is such a dope release, it still sounds as fresh as it did when it was first came out in the early 90's. I wanted to create a cover design that looked as fresh as the record sounds, but also, had that nod back to its past and the original sleeve design. The original sleeve shows Run, [Jam Master Jay] & D.M.C. sat on a fenced wall in front of a graveyard and church. After a fair amount of research, a few educated guesses, and a lot of routing through Street View maps, I found the same church on Jamaica Ave. Hollis, Queens, New York. I was then, able to create a broader view of the scene and show JMJ floating above the graveyard and Run & D.M.C. still in the same position on the fence. It felt like a nice story to be able to tell. It reflects the history and roots of the group and almost gives the song a new perspective, now that the legend, Jam Master Jay is no longer with us."

- Ricky Also (Paintshop Studio)

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

OVER EVERYTHING Fronted By Trenton Emcee Ray Strife Unleashes Frantic Debut EP HARD FEELINGS (Negative Hardcore)

"There isn't much to say. Nothing is OK. We're over it. We are OVER EVERYTHING," is the oft-used mantra of Trenton-based OVER EVERYTHING. A self-described "Negative Hardcore" band, OVER EVERYTHING's line-up consists of frontman Raymond "Ray Strife" Novak, guitarist Erik Monsees, bassist Ricky Scheinder, and drummer Brendan Lipira. OVER EVERYTHING's debut EP, HARD FEELINGS, is Ray Strife's first released piece of work since his April 2018 full-length with producer and frequent collaborator, iLL-Omega, Go for The Gusto. Ray Strife defines "Negative Hardcore" as "a place to get out all the negative sh*t in your life and brain; take the anger and aim it through the speakers! That's what I use it for, anyway" and adds that OVER EVERYTHING may (or may not) have, actually, created the genre. I've personally, been hearing rumblings about OVER EVERYTHING for a year or so now, so with that said, it's great to see their long-rumored debut EP has finally come to fruition. It's, honestly, pretty refreshing to hear a modern day Hardcore/Punk band that doesn't sugarcoat the highs and lows of everyday life!

"We formed about a year ago. Ray would be working in The Basement at Millhill, me and Brendan would usually be there for shows or to just hang. We sat around listening to bands like Trash Talk, Tear It Up, PAINT IT [BLACK], etc. and talk about how we felt there was something like the missing from our current scene," guitarist Erik Monsees told The Witzard. "We spent a few months drunkly saying, "we gotta start a band, man!" like most people do, but, then, Ricky and I started going to [Brendan's] house on Friday nights and we sat at his kitchen table working riffs out. We got a few songs together, showed them to Ray, and took it from there," Monsees continued. OVER EVERYTHING's HARD FEELINGS EP, to my ears, at least, evokes sonic undertones of early 80's staple Punk/Hardcore imprints, SST Records & Plan 9/Caroline Records' genre-shaping releases from Black Flag, Hüsker Dü, Minutemen, The Misfits, and pre-Danzig incarnation, Samhain. OVER EVERYTHING's debut EP, HARD FEELINGS, is now available to download or stream on their Bandcamp page with CD's available directly from the band, as well. For details on OVER EVERYTHING's next 3 shows, which are going to be admittedly "wild!" head on over to their Facebook page.

Monday, October 15, 2018

Thelonious Monk Quartet's Long-lost MØNK Unearthed from 1963 Danish Broadcasting Corporation Live Tapes (Gearbox Records)

It isn't often we cover posthumous releases here at The Witzard, but honestly, we just couldn't pass up an opportunity to cover Gearbox Records' newly-unearthed 5-track collection, MØNK. World-renown American Jazz pianist and composer Thelonious Monk, unfortunately, passed away back in 1982, although, his estate has continually released a slew of previously unissued recordings since his untimely passing. Not entirely unlike similarly-minded "lost" albums John Coltrane's Both Directions at Once, Miles Davis & John Coltrane's The Final Tour: The Bootleg Series, Vol. 6, and Monk's own Les liaisons dangereuses 1960, MØNK was initially recorded at a live concert held at Old Fellow Palæet in Copenhagen, Denmark on March 5th, 1963. MØNK features the genre-shaping talents of Thelonious Monk's most widely-acclaimed Quartet: sax player Charlie Rouse, future Sun Ra Arkestra bassist John Ore, and drummer Frankie Dunlop, who all previously appeared within Monk's 1963 albums, Monk's Dream & Criss-Cross.

"The original tape was a Scotch broadcast tape amongst a collection of delights we bought from a Danish producer, who had literally, picked them from a skip [dumpster] some 20 years ago," according to Gearbox Records owner/founder Darrel Sheinman. "He was going to use them to sample and remix during the Acid Jazz heyday, but didn't have time," Sheinman further explained. It's believed the Thelonouis Monk Quartet's performance was recorded by the Danish Broadcasting Corporation and aired four days later, on March 9th, 1963, for a local radio audience; however, it appears as though the original broadcast was the only time the recordings were widely heard... until now! Oddly enough, it appears as though no one ever even knew the raw tapes for MØNK ever even existed, until Gearbox's Darrel Sheinman, literally, saved them from being thrown in the trash and discarded forever without being heard. "Bye-Ya," "Monk's Dream," and "Body & Soul" previously appeared within the Thelonious Monk Quartet's album, Monk's Dream, released earlier the same year.

"I'm Getting Sentimental Over You" was previously released on a 1960 Riverside Records 7-inch issued by Thelonious Monk Quartet Plus Two, while "Nutty" was originally released on The Quartet's 1958 live album called Misterioso. MØNK took several years to create because Darrel Sheinman & Gearbox Records painstakingly created a special all-analogue AAA recording, which is analogue through and through, all the way from the source to 180g vinyl LP's and CD's. "AAA" meaning Analogue recording, Analogue mix, and Analogue master with no digital technology whatsoever anywhere in the path. "We felt this was the only way to produce, probably, one of the best Monk renditions we have ever heard," Sheinman explained. Thelonious Monk Quartet's MØNK is now available to purchase, download, or stream on Gearbox Records' Bandcamp page, as well as select digital and physical retailers. Honestly, for entry-level Jazz/Hard Bop fans or listeners new to Thelonious Monk's music, much like myself, MØNK seems like a perfect jumping-off point into his storied 66 year-long (and counting!) discography.

Friday, October 12, 2018

Russian Skinhead Reggae Group The Punchers Unleash Debut EP Punch from The Jungle (Magnetic Loft/Mangy Little Mut Records)

Not many people know this, but aside from Jamaican Rocksteady/Ska music, Second Wave Reggae, actually, first started in London, England during the 1970-80's with the onslaught of Hardcore/Punk. Oftentimes, known as "Skinhead Reggae," the genre was largely supported and played by non-violent working class youth and was chronicled on a 2002 3-CD collection called Trojan Skinhead Reggae Box Set. Now, it appears as though Skinhead Reggae is experiencing a comeback, of sorts, in of all places, Moscow, Russia. The Witzard has recently showcased two Russian Library Music/Funk bands, The Great Revivers & The Soul Surfers, but I have to admit, this is the first time I've ever heard of any Punk/Hardcore-related music coming out of Russia. The artist in question is Moscow-based Skinhead Reggae group called The Punchers and they've just released their first physical release, Punch from The Jungle EP, on Magnetic Loft Records. The Punchers have been together for about a year, according to Magnetic Loft Records, and have been steadily playing shows in and around Russia. Magnetic Loft, actually, released The Great Revivers' 2014 limited edition 7-inch, Spy Potion / Rural Moonshine / Rhino's Walk.

It appears as though the band consists of frontman Kirill Sosed, bassist Vladimir Jurin, guitarists Artem Piskun & Evgeniy Balashov, keyboardist Kamil' Gazizov, and drummer Stas Ikonov. Prior to forming The Punchers, its members have previously played with The Wheeler-Dealers, The Skatholics, The Invibers, and The Lappers and have been a major part of the local Russian Ska & Reggae scene for a number of years. "We support [the] original Reggae sound of 1969. No peace, no love, just pure Aggro sounds!" The Punchers enthusiastically write on their Facebook page. As a life-long Punk/Hardcore & Ska fan, The Punchers' debut Extended Play, Punch from The Jungle, is a perfectly quick, yet effective 12-minute blast of feverish old school Skinhead Reggae! Punch from The Jungle is now available to stream or download from Magnetic Loft Records' Bandcamp page with 100% of the proceeds earned going directly to The Punchers. Early next year, Punch from The Jungle will be available as a 7-inch vinyl EP from Moscow-based Mangy Little Mut (MLM) Records. Frontman Kirill Sosed says The Punchers are currently "planning to play more shows and record more songs soon."

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Boog Brown & Son of Sam's Tom Caruana Announce Boog Brown EP & Release Teaser Single "A Little Light" (Tea Sea Records)

Boog Brown is a Queens-based emcee, originally hailing from "Atlanta by way of Detroit." Her last full-length project, The Late Bloom, was released in 2013 on Working Class Music Group with production work from Dynamite Bruhz, Illastrate, Joe D. and Lex Boogie. Since 2010, Boog has released a multitude of projects and has worked with Hip-Hop heavyweights such as Apollo Brown, Live Percenters, L'Orange, Georgia Anne Muldrow, and Dillon Maurer as Martha Knuckles—primarily, issued on Mello Music Group. For the last few months, I've been hearing rumblings about a mysterious project called "The Boog Brown EP" with production work from UK-based beat-maker Tom Caruana. Caruana is, of course, the man behind the boards for phenomenal mash-up albums, such as Wu-Tang vs. The Beatles - Enter: The Magical Mystery Tour, Jimi Henrdix vs. Wu-Tang - Black Gold, An Adventure to Pepperland Through Rhyme & Space, okayplayer: The Bollywood Re-make, and most recently, Black Gold - Spare Nuggets. Although, I didn't get a chance to cover it within the pages of The Witzard, Tom Caruana and his band, Son of Sam, released one of the strongest "Live" Hip-Hop albums 2017 with CINDER HILL. Tom Caruana (percussion, piano, samples & clav) along with drummer John Sam, bassist/guitarist Joe Sam, and keys, sax & flute player Richard Halligan recruited a who's-who of sharp-tongued emcees from both sides of The Pond to help fill out CINDER HILL. Shout-out to Tim Fish at GingerSlim for initially turning me onto Son of Sam!

Just this past Tuesday night, Caruana's Tea Sea Records surprise-released a digital single from the Boog Brown EP called "A Little Light." They've also, announced Boog Brown & Tom Caruana's collaborative Boog Brown EP will be released digitally on Monday, October 22nd. It appears as though the CD/tape/digital versions of the Boog Brown EP will feature a whopping 13 tracks—10 originals and 3 Tom Caruana Remixes—while the 7-inch vinyl version will feature 4 stand-out tracks. Boog Brown EP will feature guest verses from BIGREC, Flo, Dillon, Nolan The Minja, and yU AKA yU The 78er. Caruana provides production, various instruments, and mixing throughout the Boog Brown EP and his fellow Son of Sam bandmates John & Joe Sam make appearances on select tracks. A crew of talented players including Nick Maxwell, Jabbathekut, Andy Vickery, and mastering engineer Chemo help fill out the rest of the Extended Play. I was fortunate enough to receive a pre-release press advance of the Boog Brown EP and trust me, this one's not to be missed! I would even go as far as to liken it to something to the effect of Aesop Rock & Homeboy Sandman's critically-acclaimed LICE 1-3 EP's or El-P & Killer Mike's Run The Jewels 1-3. Boog Brown & Tom Caruana's Boog Brown EP is currently available to pre-order from Tea Sea Records' Bandcamp page; 7-inches, CD's, and cassettes are expected to ship by or before Monday, October 22nd.

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Unsung Liberates Material from 3 Long-shelved 2002-04 Umm... Albums On Umm... and The Haunted Apartment Comp. (self-released)

Not entirely unlike his last retrospective release, The Station Signal's Collection of Work, West Virginia emcee and producer Unsung (@UnsungTheRapper) has returned with Umm...'s and The Haunted Apartment. Umm... is one of Steven Miller AKA Unsung's many recording aliases I've been hearing about these last few months. Umm...'s and The Haunted Apartment is, essentially, a long-shelved compilation culled from three separate previously unreleased Umm... albums initially recorded between 2002-04: Umm... and The Surprisingly Well Garnished Plan, U Look Like Pumpkin Pie, and Umm... and The Giant Windmill. Unsung self-recorded the albums onto a dusty old 4-track recorder from a friend, while compiling his first and second Hip-Hop albums, Embrace The Shellfish & TWIN, burned onto CD-R's, and passed out to his friends, family, and classmates nestled inside of "folded and staples [pieces] of paper." For the trio of Umm... albums, Unsung employed a slew of unconventional techniques and instruments, such as acoustic guitars, keyboards, drumming on random objects, answering machine messages, and spacey sound effects.

Unsung says the songs contained within Umm... and The Haunted Apartment were largely inspired by "a lot of lo-fi music anticon was making, at the time, a few Internet relationships, the birth of Emo music, and, of course, Radiohead." Unsung told The Witzard one of his greatest sources of inspiration on Umm... and The Hunted Apartment was a recurring nightmare scenario, which you can read about at length below. I would, however, personally liken Unsung's Umm... and The Haunted Apartment to Bright Eyes, Bon Iver, Stereopathetic Soulmanure-era Beck, Death Cab for Cutie, John Frusciante's From The Sounds Inside (2005,) and Ben Folds. Unsung's freshly dusted off Umm... and The Haunted Apartment is now available to stream or download on Bandcamp on a Name-Your-Price basis, oddly enough, akin to Radiohead's In Rainbows. Unsung's next proper Hip-Hop full-length, An Interior History will be released on Friday, November 9th. I've also, heard, through the grapevine, that Unsung is currently working on a number of projects with Scotsman SaIGO & 'i's AKA Mugwampers!

"One night, I had the same dream at least 30 times. I wake up in my dream and I'm in my bed. The apartment looks just like it really does. I sense that there is something in the kitchen, a presence. I wake myself up, fall back asleep, and it starts the same way. Every time I dream the dream, I go further and further, before waking up. The final time I have this dream that night (which is now morning) I actually, open the curtain and walk into the kitchen. I can feel my heart pounding, but there's no one there. All of a sudden, someone walks out from the bathroom and towards me. It's a sexless spirit. I couldn't recognize either masculine or feminine traits whatsoever.

I remember thinking it was derived from some sort of Native American religion. It urged me to be seated at my table and it began to speak. In the dream, it felt like I listened to it speak for hours/days. It was fascinating! I remembered thinking that I HAVE to remember all of this. The only part of the conversation I remembered was the last thing it said: "you have two people that matter more than anyone else. When you wake up, one of them will die..." I woke up and immediately called my parents and a few friends. Everyone was fine."

- Unsung (@UnsungTheRapper)

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

UncleRussie Presents: Bulma3 & TrunksEP2 [Album Preview] Featuring Benjamin Banger, Action Bastard, Malcolm Maximillion & eu-IV

Just about a year ago, John "Jumbled" Bachman helped link me up with a fellow Baltimore-based producer buddy of his, Timothy "Tim" Chester AKA UncleRussie (@PeaceRussie.) Right around the time Tim. & I first met, he was preparing to release his next project, Trunks EP. which was a 14-track audiophonic examination of Trunks Brief - Past, Present, & Future(?) from Dragon Ball Z. Now, while I'll readily admit, I'm far from a die-hard Dragon Ball Z fan, it's been pretty interesting to learn about the series through a medium I'm extremely familiar with: Hip-Hop! For Trunks EP. UncleRussie recruited a who's-who of The East Coast/Baltimore's finest emcees, singers, and producers to help convey his vision, such as: Benjamin Banger, Dot-Com Intelligence, Swellthy, Action Bastard, TEK.LUN, ONLY, Jumbled, and Drew Scott. Many of you may recognize UncleRussie's name from his submission(s) to The Witzard's Andy Cooper "THE PERFECT DEFINITION" Remix Comp.Tim. actually, sent in TWO "Perfect Definition" remixes!—earlier this year, on the heels of Rocafort Records' the layered effect. Now, UncleRussie has effectively returned with a 12-track preview of his next, not one, but two projects: Bulma3 & TrunksEP2 [Album Preview], which will both be released this Fall/Winter.

Bulma3 & TrunksEP2 will each feature roughly 13-15 tracks each, maybe, more depending on each album's final sequences; UncleRussie has, again, recruited a who's-who of featured producers for the releases, including (so far) Benjamin Banger, Action Bastard, Malcolm Maximillion, and eu-IV, as well as addition still-to-be-determined guests. "The [Album Preview] for Bulma3 & TrunksEP2 lends itself as a snapshot of what both albums will sound like; different timelines and scenarios from the Dragon Ball series will be highlighted throughout," UncleRussie charismatically explained to The Witzard. "Though, Bulma3 will attempt to shine a light on the different periods in which Bulma, the character and primary inspiration of The Bulma Tape project, has adapted throughout the series," he continued. It's safe to say, Russie. has inadvertently created his own unique sub-genre of Hip-Hop, which I would even go as far as to label "Dragon Ball Hip-Hop" or "Anime Rap." UncleRussie's Bulma3 & TrunksEP2 [Album Preview] is now streaming on Soundcloud and both albums should be expected before year's end. Also, as a BONUS, I've included UncleRussie's Kanye West Feat. Mos Def & Freeway | "Two Words" | (Bulma2 Mix) below, which blends together The College Dropout stand-out and "The Cracked Seal." from The Bulma Tape: Side B.

Monday, October 8, 2018

BBE Music Re-issues Japanese Jazz Drummer Takeo Moriyama's 1983 VAP Album 'East Plants' (J Jazz Masterclass Series)

Takeo Moriyama is an acclaimed 73-year-old Jazz drummer, composer, and musician hailing from Katsunuma, Yamanashi Prefecture, Japan. Moriyama started working as a Japanese Jazz (commonly known as "J-Jazz") drummer during the 1960's, released at least four solo albums between 1981-91, and has appeared within countless albums as part of numerous J-Jazz ensembles and retrospective compilations. Takeo Moriyama has lent his air-tight talents, over the years to groups, such as: Aki Takase Trio, Akira Sakata Trio, Miyazawa Akira Quartet, Brötzmann, Satoh, Moriyama: The Heavyweights, Yosuke Yamashita Trio, and his own Moriyama Takeo Percussion Ensemble & Takeo Moriyama Quartet; in addition to albums credited to Manfred Schoof, Akira Sakata, Yosuke Yamashita & Takeo Moriyama, Takehiro Honda, Nobuyoshi Ino & Takeo Moriyama, Mal Waldron & Takeo Moriyama, Shibuya Takeshi + Moriyama Takeo, and Takehiro Honda, Nobuyoshi Ino & Takeo Moriyama as recently as 2002.

Earlier this year, London-based label BBE Music issued a wildly successful compilation called J​-​Jazz: Deep Modern Jazz from Japan 1969​-​1984, as curated by J-Jazz aficionados Mike Peden & Tony Higgins. BBE's vinyl-only edition of J-Jazz, actually, featured two selections from Takeo Moriyama, who was the only artist to appear twice within the inaugural comp. J​-​Jazz: Deep Modern Jazz from Japan 1969​-​1984 almost immediately and was soon re-pressed and effectively re-stocked at digital and physical retailers world-wide. Then, as part of BBE's newly-minted J Jazz Masterclass Series, Higgins & Peden oversaw the proper re-release of Tohru Aizawa Quartet's first and only album, 1975's Tachibana Vol. 1. Now, after the undeniable wide-spread success of Takeo Moriyama's "North Wind" & "風 (Kaze)" as included on J​-​Jazz: Deep Modern Jazz from Japan 1969​-​1984, BBE has returned with the second installment of their J Jazz Masterclass Series: Moriyama's East Plants. A bit more of an "under-the-radar set," as described by Tony Higgins, when compared against it's J Jazz Masterclass predecessors, Takeo Moriyama's East Plants was originally released on Japanese label Video Audio Project (VAP) in November of 1983.

East Plants has become, in the years since its initial release, a widely sought-after collection of truly unique compositions inspired by Avant-Garde Jazz, Post Bop, Contemporary Jazz, and Modal music of the time. Takeo Moriyama assembled a 5-piece ensemble for East Plants, which included bassist Hideaki Mochizuki, percussionist Yoji Sadanari, and tenor/soprano saxophonists Shuichi Enomoto & Toshihiko Inoue with arrangements by Moriyama & Toshihiko Inoue and entirely produced by Genji Sawai. Moriyama's long-time pianist, Fumio Itabashi, was, unfortunately, unable to play on East Plants, as well as its 1982 predecessor, My Dear, and as a result, the album showcases a uniquely sparse sound with just percussion, bass, and reeds, as well as other unorthodox textures. BBE's J Jazz Masterclass Series' mission is fairly simple: "to issue the finest in Japanese Modern Jazz in full re-production artwork with translated original notes, new essays, photos, and OBI strips." Takeo Moriyama's long-lost 1983 VAP album, East Plants, is now available on BBE Music in CD, digital album, and 2xLP vinyl formats, each complete with the aforementioned fully-immersive 2018 re-issue features.

Friday, October 5, 2018

Eminem Unveils Villainous "VƎNOM (Music from The Motion Picture)" Music Video from Tom Hardy's Venom & Kamikaze [Shady Records]

A couple months ago, Eminem surprise released his tenth studio album, Kamikaze, overnight between Thursday, August 30th into the early morning hours of Friday, August 31st with no prior announcement whatsoever. Kamikaze first caught my attention because of its front and back album artwork, an obvious homage to the Beastie Boys' genre-shaping 1986 debut, License to Ill, complete with cleverly scrawled "TIKCU5" and "FU-2" fighter jet tags. An obvious rebuttal to Eminem's widely-loathed and seemingly half-a$$ed 2017 album, Revival, Kamikaze, however, made headlines for homophobic slurs on Justin Vernon-assisted "Fall" allegedly, aimed towards controversial rapper/producer Tyler, The Creator. While, yes, this is unfortunate Em is still using such homophobic slurs in 2018, honestly, is anyone really all that surprised? Not that it makes it right, but Eminem has, unfortunately, been using racial, homophobic, misogynistic, and hateful speech since "My Name Is" from his commercial break-through, The Slim Shady LP (1999.) Despite all this controversy, I personally, enjoyed Kamikaze as much as one could/should; while this isn't Eminem's best album, it's also, far from his worst, especially, for an emcee nearly 30 years into his storied career. While we, here at The Witzard, DO NOT promote or endorse such hateful language... at this point, we really shouldn't be surprised by Marshall Mathers and his repeated attempts at garnering the spotlight however he can; even though, he's undoubtedly, one of the most skilled lyricists Hip-Hop, and music as a whole, has ever seen!

Aside from the aforementioned tracks, Kamikaze also, includes Machine Gun Kelly (MGK) feud re-igniting track, "Not Alike," to which MGK responded with lackluster "Rap Devil." Eminem, soon responded with Ether'ing diss track, "Killshot," to which Machine Gun Kelly responded with a... Tweet, which read: "2 weeks and 3 interviews later..." as well as a couple Emojis, silly hashtags, and a Dancing with The Stars meme. Yes, this is the state of Hip-Hop in 2018! DISCLAIMER: I'm a life-long Spider-Man super-fan, so, in my humble opinion, one of Kamikaze's saving graces was album closer "Venom (Music from The Motion Picture.)" Somehow, for whatever reasons, this is a Spider-Man-less Live Action/Super-hero film starring Hollywood hunk and former rapper Tom Hardy as Spidey's greatest adversary, Eddie Brock/Venom. Just this past Thursday night, on the eve of Venom's world-wide release, Eminem unleashed a sinister music video for "Venom (Music from The Motion Picture)" wherein a Revival CD births a Symbiote, which wreaks havoc upon the dimly-lit New York City streets. Sample lyrics: "Ain't no telling when this choke-hold / On this game will end, I'm loco / Became a Symbiote, so / My fangs are in your throat, ho / You're snake-bitten with my—venom!" Also, featured within the film (which I have yet to see!) are Venom-themed tracks from PUSHA-T and supposedly, Run The Jewels, as well as a score composed by frequent Childish Gambino collaborator Ludwig Göransson.

Foster & The Pranksters Share "Live As It Gets" (Prankster Remix) Feat. Royce da 5'9" from La Honda EP [A Band of Pranksters Publishing]

Foster & The Pranksters are a "Garage Rap"—essentially, Garage Rock + Hip-Hop—band hailing from Jersey City, New Jersey. Foster & The Pranksters consists of frontman Foster The Prankster, guitarist Mike "The Irate Genius" Chowanec, bassist Steve Padelski, and newest member, drummer Chris Stadler. The Pranksters are equally influenced by sharp-spitters, such as Yasiin Bey FKA Mos Def, Kanye West, The Roots, Wu-Tang Clan, and Lauryn Hill, as well and Classic/Alt. Rock icons like The Strokes, Jimi Hendrix, The White Stripes, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and The Black Keys. Since their 2016 debut single as a group, "Think Me a Fool," Foster & The Pranksters have garnered a sizable buzz, based on their signature blend of Blues, Hip-Hop, and Rock "N" Roll. Recorded in a marathon 12-hour "one-take" session, Foster & The Pranksters' latest EP, La Honda, is a collection of studio recordings, singles, and B-sides from the band's vault and live repertoire. La Honda EP stand-out, "Live As It Gets" (Prankster Remix) is, actually, an updated version of "Live As It Gets" from a 2009 mixtape Foster released under his now-retired rapping alias, Vibes, called THE NEW GENERATION, which is still currently available on DatPiff for comparative purposes.

Both the 2009 & 2018 versions of "Live As It Gets" feature a very special vocal assist from Bad Meets Evil, PRhyme, and Slaughterhouse emcee Royce da 5'9". "It's a completely different song, with Royce's verse being the only constant between them," Foster The Prankster explains. La Honda was, believe it or not, recorded in bassist Steve Padelski's parents' basement in one 12-hour recording session held on Saturday, June 28th, 2018. "While house-sitting for my parents, we set up some mics and laid down a few jams that we'd been sitting on for the past year," Padelski confirms. "What we recorded that weekend were some of the rawest cuts I've ever been a part of," he continued. Honestly, in addition to the aforementioned sources of influence and inspiration, Foster & The Pranksters' La Honda EP evokes Asher Roth's 2011 Pabst & Jazz mixtape and The Knux's genre-eschewing album, ERASER, from the same year, as well as self-proclaimed "noGENRE" Brooklyn-based quintet Phony Ppl. Foster & The Pranksters' La Honda EP is now available to stream or download on Apple Music, Bandcamp, Soundcloud, Spotify, and like-minded digital streaming services. La Honda's release was, also, accompanied by a BTS Collage-style music video for "Live As It Gets" (Prankster Remix) Feat. Royce da 5'9" consisting of stitched together live performances, candid photos, and behind-the-scenes studio footage.

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Titus Andronicus Return with Spook-tacular New "Home Alone On Halloween" EP from A Productive Cough Sessions (Merge Records +@)

Alright, ladies & germs - now, first and foremost, I don't generally post press statements in full, but this one was, honestly, just too good to pass up: "With Home Alone on Halloween, noted Rock band Titus Andronicus celebrate the spookiest of the seasons by staring into the abyss and confronting the bone-chilling terror, which lies at the haunted heart of our human experience. Bearing the justly feared catalog number "MRG666," the 12-inch EP spans 31 minutes and features three tracks recorded concurrently with the group's most recent full-length, A Productive Cough, offering an Autumnal tableau of dread and decay to complement its LP companion's Springtime visions of re-birth and new possibilities." Essentially, beloved Brooklyn-based Alternative/Hardcore/Punk/Folk quintet, Titus Andronicus (or +@ for short) have returned with their latest seasonally-appropriate offering titled Home Alone On Halloween. +@ kick off the particularly ghoulish affair with a slight re-work on "Home Alone" from their latest long-player, A Productive Cough, now, fittingly dubbed "Home Alone (On Halloween.)"

Home Alone On Halloween EP features a slightly more beefed up version of Titus Andronicus featuring "century" members Liam Benson, R.J. Gordon, Alexander Molini, Patrick Stickles, and Chris Wilson, as well as Cary Kehayan, Kevin S. McMahon, Matt "Money" Miller, Jane Scarpantoni, and Rick Steff. Matt "Money" Miller takes the lead, in lieu of frontman Patrick Stickles, on EP opener "Home Alone (On Halloween)" which, in my humble opinion, give The Misfits' festive mainstay, "Halloween," a run for its discount candy-buying money. It's an absolute bone-crusher of a composition that spans nearly 10 minutes and comes complete with seasonally-appropriate "BOO's," wails, and ghoulish sound effects. Next up is a Stickles-led cover of Bob Dylan's "Only a Hobo," which he originally recorded in 1963 and has appeared, in various forms, on The Bootleg Series, Vol 1-3: Rare & Unreleased 1961-1991, The Bootleg Series, Vol 9: The Witmark Demos: 1962-1964 (2010,) and 2013's Another Self-Portrait (1969-1971): The Bootleg Series, Vol. 10.

Last, but not least on Titus Andronicus' festive frolic is "A Letter Home;" a 17-minute multi-movement opus spanning a multitude of musical genres, styles, and deliveries that echoes +@'s 2015 5-act Punk Rock Opera, The Most Lamentable Tragedy AKA TMLT. Boston's B87FM posted this rather chilling statement attributed to Titus Andronicus frontman and mastermind, Patrick Stickles: "Death is not scary. Everyone has to die, but not everyone gets to die surrounded by love with the satisfaction of a life well-lived. What frightens me, far more than ghouls or goblins, is knowing that I may yet face the former without the comfort of the latter. When it comes to that of which nightmares are made, a Werewolf popping out of the bushes is nothing next to a life without love, when it is too late to turn back." Titus Andronicus' Home Alone On Halloween EP is currently available to purchase in a limited edition run of 12-inch vinyl on "seasonally-appropriate pumpkin-orange vinyl" from Merge Records, as well as digitally from your preferred streaming platform.

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

DIG 2 GRAVES: The Witzard's Round Robin-style Interview with BRZOWSKI, MC Homeless, 80HRTZ, C$ Burns & Damien Miller (I Had An Accident)

"In the Punk-derived tradition of split releases, DIG 2 GRAVES pairs a trio of new songs from Portland, Maine purveyor of dour verbosity, BRZOWSKI with the first [newly-]recorded material from erstwhile Ohioan, MC Homeless. Old friends who have shared stages across The US & Europe, these two both share an affinity for Indie Rap, Punk Rock ethos, and a nostalgia for the schlocky Horror of the 1970's & 80's.

BRZOWSKI sculpted the majority of the lyrics for this release immediately following the sessions for 2017’s acclaimed opus of personal ghosts and political realities, ENMITYVILLE. An Indie stalwart with many note-worthy credits under his belt, BRZOWSKI has not slowed his pace of peculiar catalog pieces in the space between solo offerings, to which DIG 2 GRAVES is the latest addition. The lush production provided by C$ Burns + BRZOWSKI (as Vinyl Cape) & 80HRTZ deploys samples evenly with live instruments, woven in layers thickly appropriate to the nature of the lyrical approach. These three new songs, distinctly "Goth-y" in nature feature Maine songstress Renée Coolbrith and the singularly strange sounds of Avant vocal performance artist, The Asthmatic, along with a "cover" version of The Conqueror Worm by Edgar Allan Poe. The overt politics and personal revelation of the ENMITYVILLE album have given way to a trio of songs about "Flesh," in a critical, Gothic-Romantic, and observational capacity.

Native son of The Rustbelt and no stranger to Indie Rap from the basement up, MC Homeless is back after six years of self-imposed musical exile. Since his classic 2010 album, 27 he's toured through 20 countries and subsequently, "retired" from rapping for a spell to direct and produce the critically-acclaimed Punk/Hardcore documentary, Destroy Cleveland. Returning to the microphone after a 6-year hiatus, the material on DIG 2 GRAVES serves as the debut of a sonically harsher, more confrontational, and in many ways, a loudly retro nod to Hardcore 1980's-90's Shock Rap in lyrical content, if not aesthetic. San Antonio's rising star of ardently Queer Rap, Chris Conde contributes a scathing verse to "Dead Rappers" and all Noise-laden production for MC Homeless was contributed by the mysterious and unheralded upstart, Death Woods."

- I Had An Accident Records (@ihaarecords)

I. How exactly did two emcees hailing from Maine & Ohio who have never, seemingly, worked together link up for this split, DIG 2 GRAVES?

MC Homeless: I think, the first time we actually worked together was 14 years ago on a song in my friend's basement in Youngstown, Ohio. No clue what release it ended up on. BRZO might have a better idea. We have known each other a long time and have played together in at least 10 states and two countries that I can recall, off the top of my head, but we never did a full-fledged tour or anything. Just lots of fun, seemingly random shows. The Underground Rap world is small and BRZOWSKI is one of my closest friends in it. Even when I stopped rapping, we would still hang out, if he was doing a show in my city and that says a lot because I was seriously a ghost for a while.

BRZOWSKI: Back in 2004, I took a bus for 23 hours from Providence, RI to Youngstown, OH to do three shows with Homeless and work on a track and we have been friends ever since. Our mutual love/hate relationships with Punk Rock, Schlocky Horror, and Indie Rap sort of sealed the deal... plus, we were both using the "Crass" font for our logos back then and so, I thought, "well, great minds think alike!" During The Homeless Hiatus, we still stayed in touch and would talk music, UFO's, wrestling, and grab a taco or low-calorie beer, what have you. Almost all of the people I would call "friends" were made through music and that connection does not stop, if someone is inactive at their given craft. I've performed more places with Homeless without being on tour with him than anyone else... I think, maybe, k-the-i??? would be the close second.

II. How would you personally say the material each of you contributed to this split differ from you past releases and larger bodies of work?

MC Homeless: I don't even feel like the same "Matt" or "MC Homeless." My influences and who I am has drastically changed. Around the time of 27, which was my full-length on Milled Pavement, my biggest influences were Project Blowed, Vincent Gallo, and Black Flag. It's worth noting that I had a lot of melodic beats on my old releases, but the new stuff is harsh, aggressive, noisy, and Industrial. Ironically, I feel a lot less inner turmoil these days. I didn't care if I lived or died around the time of 27. My new music has been a very cathartic way to release demons and keep my mind on the positive things in life.

BRZOWSKI: These three songs I contributed are about "Flesh," in one form or another. It was refreshing to put together a suite of material about a specific topic handled a few different ways than the ENMITYVILLE album or the Vinyl Cape material, which are meant to be taken as far-reaching Grand Inquisitions. There are connective tissues to the past, of course. I touched on the topic of "Flesh" on the 2009 7-inch, [Your] Phantom Limb, and I rapped a dead writer's words on "Notes from Baudelaire" on the Vinyl Cape Veneficium 7-inch... "The Conqueror Worm" on this tape is an Edgar Allan Poe poem.

III. I understand BRZOWSKI & MC Homeless are heading out together on a 6-date DIG 2 GRAVES 2018 Fall Tour. Now, is this your first time touring together?

MC Homeless: This is news to me! I have a job working with dogs full time that is very fulfilling, but unfortunately, doesn't allow for much time to tour. I prefer my nice, quiet life, but also being involved in the Rap community on a local level. I throw Homeless House [shows] each month, which is a totally DIY showcase we hold in different people's living rooms. Bushwick Bill of The Geto Boys even played my old house. Kool Keith is my ultimate goal, but really, it's a nice gathering of friends and something to bring people together. It's been a huge success!

BRZOWSKI: Oh, actually, that's just me, solo, doing a series of spot-dates, as I do every Fall. We WILL be playing the 1-year anniversary of Homeless House in Austin late September, as a "release party," of sorts.

IV. How exactly did this release end up in your hands, Damien, and ultimately, released on your label, I Had An Accident (IHAA) Records? Especially, since BRZOWSKI & MC Homeless are both signed to/affiliated with Milled Pavement Records?

MC Homeless: I wouldn't, necessarily, say I am "signed" to any label, but I do feel an affiliation to Moshe, BRZO, and The Milled Pavement family. I have also, worked with DIY Bandits and have stuff in-the-works with Fake Four & Audio Recon. Also, super-important to me is my own personal brand, Rust Belt Hammer. RBH is basically, me. I released a full-length movie that screened theatrically, a video collage of VHS footage, cassette tapes from Punk bands, had a website with extensive articles, and do multiple podcasts all under the banner of "Rust Belt Hammer."

Damien Miller: Me & BRZOWSKI have been discussing doing a release, now for over a year, a question of timing was the biggest barrier, but finally we were able to connect and set everything up and get it started. Really excited to finally get this project out! We, actually, should have the tapes within the next week or so; they went into production today.

BRZOWSKI: *chiming in* Damien & I have been talking for so long about doing a project together, over a year. I have [had] a great home with Milled Pavement Records since 2006, but that does not mean I'm barred from releasing music with different people that are interested in working with me. I'm glad IHAA+MP could both handle an aspect (tape vs. digital) of this release. I'm a fan of what IHAA has been doing over the years. I knew it was only a matter of the stars and schedules aligning.

V. What might each of you site as some of your greatest sources of inspiration and influence on your side of DIG 2 GRAVES? I instantly recognized a jarring difference between ENMITYVILLE (2017) and BRZOWSKI's side of the split!

MC Homeless: "Dead Rappers" is a collaboration with Chris Conde and for me the influence comes from Extreme Metal music, like Venom, plus, 1970's & 80's Horror films mixed with braggadocios 90's Rap. It's kind of accidentally a Horrorcore song. "Annie Lennox" & "I Am The Wind" take some inspiration from Ice Cube, Snoop Dogg, Lil' Wayne, and Myka9 of Freestyle Fellowship. Funny combo, right? There is also, some cinematic influence on "I Am The Wind." I took some inspiration from Alejandro Jodorowsky. "Manimal" is influenced by Skinny Puppy, Nine Inch Nails, and Nitzer Ebb.

BRZOWSKI: Honestly, I feel like the "BRZO" side of this release is just a natural exploration hewn from the sounds and concepts that have been deployed on the last few records I've been a part of. Exploring new topical ground, this time around with more melody and 70's influence, which has not really cropped up as clearly-voiced on "solo" record from me before. Matt, what are you hearing as a jarring difference? I may be too close to the project to hear the divergence.

The Witzard: I just meant "jarring" in a sense, whereas this being the second release I've heard of yours, EMNITYVILLE & DIG 2 GRAVES just seem so different, when compared against each other; equally great, but just cut from different cloths. Catch my drift, homie? The "BRZO" Side of DIG 2 GRAVES just seems so much less harsh and abrasive and even less Hip-Hop overall. Dare I say, it even sounds upbeat? lol. It's great and I very much look forward to hearing where your music progresses sonically post-DIG 2 GRAVES!

VI. In addition to BRZOWSKI & MC Homeless, who else contributed to DIG 2 GRAVES? I noticed a few familiar names within IHAA's "liner notes" on Bandcamp, as well as a number of names I'm not entirely familiar with?

80HRTZ: I—Dennis Faria, otherwise known as 80HRTZ—produced one track on BRZOWSKI's side.

MC Homeless: Besides the Chris Conde verse, my side is mixed and recorded by Chris Boasso. C Money mastered both sides and Death Woods produced all of my jams.

BRZOWSKI: Renée Coolbrith is an amazing vocalist from Maine, whom C$ and I have had the pleasure of working with a few times in the past on BRZO, Vinyl Cape, and C$-driven material. Always a pleasure to hear her angelic tones over the material we present... this time, on an 80HRTZ beat, which she was perfect for. The laser-precise Mo Niklz of Fake Four Inc./Vinyl Cape contributes turntables to "The Conqueror Worm" and The Asthmatic is another local legend in the outré Portland, ME music ecology. Asthmatic has some of the most original and Experimental music/live performances I've ever heard/witnessed being made in the state. C$ is working on behind the boards their debut solo album... I'm excited for it to come out!

VII. Who produced the tracks contained within Side 1: BRZOWSKI & Side 2: MC Homeless of DIG 2 GRAVES? How did said producers initially get involved in this project?

80HRTZ: I produced the second track on BRZOWSKI's side titled "Cemetery Rose." I've known Jay (BRZOWSKI) for many years and have sent him probably 100 beats by now, but he showed immediate interest in this beat, when I sent it to him in 2013. He even kept the title I gave the beat and built off it. As far as how I became involved in this project is Uncle BRZO turning my instrumental into a dope song that fit perfectly into what he was building, I suppose.

MC Homeless: Death Woods is my exclusive guy on this one. He will eat your soul.

C$ Burns: BRZO & I produced "The New Flesh" & "The Conqueror Worm," credited as Vinyl Cape. I played baritone guitar and bass on both. We're generally working on a pool of material for several projects at once—BRZO's solo stuff, Vinyl Cape, some of my projects, some one-offs, soundtracks, and collaborations—and these two tracks came from some demo beats BRZO had been making from Horror movie soundtrack samples. We started with five tracks for our side, but these two tracks fit the best with "Cemetery Rose" and ended up being one of our most melodic, organic-sounding sets of songs yet.

BRZOWSKI: I'm spoiled by working with these mega-talents. I rarely seek to work with anyone else these days, truthfully. It's rare to be such good friends with your co-creators and I'm thankful.

VIII. Who exactly is "Death Woods" from MC Homeless' side of DIG 2 GRAVES? I've heard rumblings they are, in fact, K Death from Moodie Black; although, when I recently reached out to K Death, she denied she was "Death Woods" or had any involvement in this very project...

MC Homeless: Death Woods was not available for this interview, as he lives in the woods and is a bringer of death, as his name implies. He has zero social media presence and may or may not even have a phone. Very dangerous and elusive fellow. Don't ask him to produce your sh*t, you won't find him. I can assure you that Death Woods has NEVER even heard of Moodie Black. K Death/Moodie Black produced my whole upcoming EP called Sex & Death, so maybe, some people are confused. She didn't touch this release, though. They both just have an Industrial edge to their beats, but I can spot a Moodie Black beat pretty easily; very distinct, heavy sound. Death Woods is more spastic and crazy. That's why every song on my side of the cassette sounds different.

IX. What made you decide to re-emerge from a six year-long self-imposed sabbatical period, subsequent hiatus, and "retirement" from rapping for this specific release, MC Homeless?

MC Homeless: I have been involved in the Punk scene on and off for my whole life, but I just got sick of their gossipy, high school, cliquey ways. It's a scene full of people who are too afraid to have thoughts that differ from the pack or fall out of line with the herd mentality. They believe whatever they read on The Internet and severely lack critical thinking skills. Come to think of it, sounds like I'm describing a Trump voter. They have more in common than they think. Seems scathing or like I'm bitter, but I'm not. It's just the truth and some people are hurt by the truth, when it affects their social identity.

This doesn't apply to everyone, of course! Look, things go in cycles and it was time to move on, so here I am. I was burnt out on Hip-Hop for years and knew that if I were to ever return, it would be with a completely different approach and vision, both musically and aesthetically. It happened pretty naturally. It wasn't just for this cassette. I'm being myself without having to force sh*t or act like someone I'm not. It was a physical and emotional need for release. I had a sound in my head and needed to find the producers who could lay down the foundation for that sound. That's where Moodie Black & Death Woods came in. They provide a great canvas for my paint.

X. Now, following the imminent release of DIG 2 GRAVES, do any of the involved artists have any immediate or future plans to work together again in any specific facet?

80HRTZ: Well, I will continue to work with BRZOWSKI as long as the two of us are still making music. And every time I do work with Jay, I kinda work with Chris (C$ Burns) as well through his post-production. He's super-good at what he does. I've never directly worked with him in creating a piece of music, but I certainly would love too! He's a beast of a musician and one of a kind. I'm game to work with any of the talented G's involved on both sides of this project! Who knows what the future will bring?

MC Homeless: Maybe, we could star in a buddy sitcom together.

C$ Burns: BRZO & I are still actively writing and recording Vinyl Cape material for future release and are generally, always working on either that material or BRZO solo music, which includes a decent amount of 80HRTZ beats. Dennis & I have never worked together directly, but I love all the material he supplies us with and am grateful for the amount of trust he has in us to work on his creations from afar. I write a ton on my own and occasionally, release the better/less terrible parts under a few project names: KENNY ❖ LOGIN, MAXX LEGROOM, ELEVATOR HOTELS, and C Money Burns.

BRZOWSKI: Well, I have at least three more songs in various stages of completion with 80HRTZ, over 12 already recorded with C$ for solo/VC or C$ releases... and the machine keeps rolling on. I don't like to divulge details, but there is a lot on deck already for 2019 from the three of us (80, C$ & I) in different projects and configurations. Personally, it's an exciting time to be working with other motivated people at the peak of their powers.

Homeless & I are way overdue to make some songs and I like the idea of a "buddy sitcom" or maybe, a satirical "buddy cop" movie, where we are both terrible people... like real contemporary cops, but with zombies or vampire/aliens running the world... like the regular real world. Hmmm, I guess, I'll need to go back to the the drawing board on this.

XI. I know MC Homeless recently released a Joseph Ramirez-directed video for "Dead Rappers" with San Antonio-based Queer emcee Chris Conde... but are there any immediate plans for any more music videos or anything of that nature planned for DIG 2 GRAVES release roll-out?

MC Homeless: I actually, co-directed, co-edited, and conceptualized that whole video with Joseph. I probably won't do another video for a while. We gave it our everything.

BRZOWSKI: I don't like to talk about things that aren't completely finished and in my possession, so... hard maybe, as far as future video treatments for this project are concerned.

XII. What are each you favorite songs/moments from the side of DIG 2 GRAVES you WERE NOT personally involved in creating and why?

80HRTZ: Well, since I've only heard the two songs from the pre-release—aside from the rough cuts of "Cemetery Rose"—I have to say "Dead Rappers"!!! BRZO, WHERE'S MY CARE PACKAGE? Haha! Yeah, this joint's dope! MC Homeless & Chris Conde both have dope verses and the beat is sick and is suspiciously produced in the style of K Death of Moodie Black fame, who I'm a fan of. So, whether it's [her] or not... Death Woods, keep it up! Love it!

MC Homeless: "The New Flesh" is pretty awesome. Not to blow up your spot BRZO, but is that a Videodrome (1983) reference? The beat reminds me of Goblin or John Carpenter, so you really can't go wrong there.

C$ Burns: The moment in "I Am The Wind" where Homeless says, "coming down the mountain with a snake around my neck..." It's the first track of his new batch of music that I heard since 27 on Milled Pavement. There's something about how he says it, where it's funny and dead serious, at the same time and I think it perfectly expresses his confident new direction and mindset. I instantly knew all the other tracks were going to be super-different than any of his earlier stuff—both musically and lyrically—and it was even better than I had hoped. "Goth Rap Super-star" indeed.

BRZOWSKI: I'm in awe of the amount of talent packed into this brief release, truly. It takes 20 people to make a record like happen and people like Damien to believe in and place some gusto behind it, to give it legs. Put generally, I'm enjoying the re-imagining and re-invention of "MC Homeless" as a whole entity—from the aesthetics, to the jarring lyrics, to the delivery and beat selection. He's a new iteration and maybe, a truer manifestation of the music he always wanted to make and that is a difficult and admirable undertaking.

"The New Flesh" is a kaleidoscope of rapid-fire imagery, definitely, a nod to Videodrome, Deleuze, and Guattari's A Thousand Plateaus, "The New French Extremity" movement, Hellraiser nods, all stretched over some loudly retro 70's Horror soundtrack vibes... a real party jam for the ages, you folks know how I roll! *laughter and spilled coffee*