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Showing posts from December, 2018

Hip-Hop/Metal Producer, Composer & Engineer William J. Sullivan Re-emerges with Chapter I: Transition EP (Wreckin' Joint Productions)

Transition by William J. Sullivan

To be completely honest and transparent, our first ever brush with William J. Sullivan was very recently while we were assembling our comprehensive track-by-track breakdown for Zilla Rocca's POW Recordings debut, Future Former Rapper. Sullivan produced FFR stand-out "Make The Sickness, Sell The Cure" Feat. Curly Castro and graciously revealed the story behind making the track, as well as his long-standing relationship with Zilla. I have since learned, through a series of detailed email conversations, that, in addition to being a skilled Hip-Hop/R&B beat-maker, William J. Sullivan is, in fact, a Los Angeles-based composer, engineer, producer, and label owner. Over the years, he has worked on a series of projects including film and TV scores, as well as engineering and producing a slew of LA/Philly Metal albums. Wreckin' Joint Productions' credits include Kanye West Presents: G.O.O.D. Music - Cruel Summer, American Pickers, BEL…

South Philly's Own Hoagie-core/Noise Rockers Body Spray Unveil "Edgy" Music Video from Music to Fall Down To (Coming March 2019)

Hell by Body Spray
Body Spray are a Noise Rock band hailing from South Philly, who first met while competing in a local bowling league. Back in March 2017, I attended Pissed Jeans' WHY LOVE NOW? Release Show at Philly venue/watering hole Boot & Saddle and Body Spray, along with M Ax Noi Mach, were the were the show's openers. From what I can remember, Body Spray tore it up and played a completely frantic, rousing set to help get everyone amped up for The Jeans. I've since been in contact with the band, via email, and have learned that Body Spray consists of bassist Adam Black, vocalist Dan Haddigan, guitarist Eric Kenney, and drummer Ian Kiesel. For a Punk/Hardcore band, Body Spray have a surprisingly impressive social media presence, actually; their Facebook(@bodysprayband,)Instagram(@bodysprayband,) and Twitter(@BodySprayStinks) pages are all regularly updated with show flyers, recording information, and interesting quips. Body Spray's Bandcamp page declares: &quo…

Luke Sick & Damien Return with Strike The Clutch Full-length Released On Cassette, Digital & Lathe-cut Bundle (I Had An Accident/Megakut Records)

Strike the Clutch by Luke Sick & Damien

It's been a big year for Spokane, Washington-based I Had An Accident (IHAA) Records. Just this year, they've released a staggering number of releases from EQUIPTO & Brycon Present: The Watershed, Rabbi Max, Tenshun & Bonzo, BRZOWSKI/MC Homeless, C$ BURNS, Audiosiris, Bonzo Speechless & Damien, Namo, Blood Monk Consortium, Mhaze, The Deaf Index, SKRAPEZ AKA Tenshun & Psychopop, and countless others. Now, IHAA have returned with what's poised to be their last release of 2018: Luke Sick & Damien's Strike The Clutch. As many of you may well remember, Luke Sick & Damien previously released a similarly-titled EP together, which was featured within an edition of The Witzard's Rap EP Wrap-up earlier this year. Damien Miller is, actually, the current owner and label-head at I Had An Accident, as well as a skilled producer on their roster, while Luke Sick is an emcee and founder of Megakut Records. Damien ha…

Pre-release Review: Moodie Black's MB I / I I Follow-up MB I I I EP Ahead of 0 1 0 4 2 0 1 9 Digital/Physical Release (Fake Four Inc.)

Earlier this year, Moodie Black released their phenomenal third full-length album, LUCAS ACID, on Fake Four Inc. It features two lone features: one from French singer and song-writer p i e r r e m o t t r o n (Pierre Mottron) on "v a n o w e n" and another from rapper, singer, and Fake Four founder c e s c h i (Ceschi Ramos) on "l i p s."Moodie Black consists of long-standing members, frontperson Chris "Kdeath" Martinez and multi-instrumentalist Sean Lindahl; they have been self-releasing their own music since 2011 and over the years, have partnered with Ceschi & Fake Four for a number of critically-acclaimed releases. I recently received a mysterious email entitled "MB I I I" from Kdeath, which contained a Zip file and what appeared to be lyrics for a selection of songs called "I. MOSS," "II. PINK POUT," "III. - Privilege," and "IV. Gasp, Then." After speaking with K, they soon informed me that MB I …

Various Artists VI: How Compilations Influenced a Generation - A Santa Cause (It's A Punk Rock Christmas) Penned By: John E. Swan

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, &…

dj BC Presents: The Beastles' Christmas Jingle "A WONDERFUL CHRISTMAS CARD TO NYC" (Plus, 12 Days of Stocking Stuffers 2018)

Last we heard from dj BC, we were posting about the re-release of his MENORAH MASHUPS:crazy chanukah mixes & mashups (a dj BC compilation) just in time for Hanukkah. Now, a few days before Christmas, @realdjbc posted "Get it while it's cracklin' like fire..." on his Instagram page, along with a mysterious link to TheBeastles.com. When clicking on the image that reads, "A WONDERFUL CHRISTMAS CARD TO NYC," a song of the same name plays, attributed to The Beastlesdj BC's infamous Beastie Boys/Beatles "super-group"—seamlessly blending together The Beasties' "A Letter to NYC" and Paul McCartney & Wings' "Wonderful Christmastime." This isn't, however, the first time dj BC has juxtaposed The Beatles & Beastie Boys' music together, as he has previously released collections entitled dj BC Presents: The Beastles, Let It Beast, and ILL COMMUNICATION, as well as a single entitled "2 Many Beastles.&quo…

New Jersey's FRND CRCL Return with Promstarr EP Recorded at Ace Enders & Nik Bruzzese's The LumberYard (FCMEDIA Productions)

FRND CRCL are a Vineland, New Jersey-based Pop-Punk/Rap-Rock band consisting of vocalist/guitarist/piano player Zac Johnson, vocalist and bassist Adam Skirvin, guitarist Dom Giacalone, and drummer Aaron Smith. Full disclosure: I actually, used to work with Aaron at Shop Rite until about three years ago and I went to high school with a couple of his band mates' older siblings, as well. It's great to see FRND CRCL getting some well-deserved attention and success on a local level and it appears as though the South Jersey Punk/Hardcore scene I used to be a part of is back on the rise! Oddly enough, FRND CRCL are influenced by a lot of the same bands—both local and mainstream—my friends and I used to listen to while we were skateboarding or attending local shows all around South/Central Jersey back in the early 2000's, including: Blink-182, All Time Low, and Green Day, as well as Eminem, Mac Miller, Beastie Boys, and The Dirty Heads.


FRND CRCL initially formed in 2015 as a 2-pi…

Christmas with DOOM: Cookin' Soul Unwraps DOOM XMAS (MF DOOM Remixes) Collection Mixed with Villainous Holiday Classics

DOOM XMAS (MF Doom remixes) by Cookin Soul
"Why spend X-mas Eve waiting for some extra-fat white dude to come bursting through the ceiling... when you can spend X-mas Eve with yours truly, The Super-Villain, DOOM!!? HO, HO, HO!"DOOM himself proclaims within the opening bars of "Xmas with DOOM (Intro)." It appears as though the holiday greeting stems from [adult swim]'s 2006 Christmas with DOOM holiday special, which was used to help promote either Danger Mouse & MF DOOM AKA DANGERMOUSE's THE MOUSE & THE MASK or its follow-up, Occult Hymn EP. DOOM's jolly refrain has now been re-purposed as part of Spanish beat-maker and producer Cookin' Soul's latest creation, DOOM XMAS (MF DOOM Remixes) a collection of re-works of The Metal Face Villain himself. DOOM XMAS serves as a quasi-follow-up to Cookin' Soul's like-minded 2012 Ready for Xmas (Biggie Remixes.) Earlier this year, DOOM reunited with "Ka-Bang!" collaborators DJ 7L, E…

Dutch Beat-maker & Producer Reinier Thijs Returns with Third Jazz-inflected Release of 2018 DOKKUM EP (Thijsenterprise)

Dokkum by Thijsenterprise

Thijsenterprise is the recording alias of Dutch beat-maker and producer Reinier Thijs, who currently resides in Barcelona, Spain. Earlier this year, Thijs self-released his 42-track debut, STEPBACKS & SETBACKS, as well as Je Hebt De Boem En De Klap with Laurens Beijer (Drumma Sheen) as 2-Two Legged Dogs. STEPBACKS & SETBACKS even received critical acclaim from The Find Mag, Beat Tape Co-Op, and Sampleface, amongst other reputable music publications. Thijsenterprise says "Side A" of STEPBACKS & SETBACKS is inspired by the city of Barcelona and serves as a loosely-orchestrated tribute/homage to J Dilla's Donuts, while "Side B" of the record "deals with much more personal issues [such as] cheating, heartbreak, and solitude." Now, just before year's end, Reinier Thijs has returned with his staggering third full-length project of 2018: DOKKUM EP. It's named after Thijs' home city of Dokkum in Friesland, The …

How Warzone Drummer Eric "E.K." Komst Ended Up On New Kids On The Block's "This One's for The Children" (REVHQ FUN FACT Re-print)

December 14, 2018: "Last week, we told you about the 80's boy band New Kids On The Block having recorded at Syncro Sound in Boston, a studio with a clients list that boasted notable Hardcore acts, such as Bad Brains, Wrecking Crew, etc. but there's another Hardcore connection to NKOTB that goes back even further than their recordings at the famed studio, but this time by way of one specific NYHC drummer.

Eric Komst, better known in Hardcore circles as just "E.K." played drums for legendary Hardcore band Warzone on their 1988 LP, Open Your Eyes and their self-titled follow-up LP in 1989 and later, did time in Sick of It All, recording on their We Stand Alone 7-inch in 1991; but years before, he was playing in NYHC bands, E.K. was living in Boston and playing drums in a band called Miracle Boy all the way back in 1983. Miracle Boy featured a 13-year-old E.K. on drums and none other than Jordan Knight from New Kids On The Block on guitar and vocals. The group was r…

Black Feminist/Sistah Punk Band Big Joanie Talk Debut Full-length SISTAHS, The Daydream Library Series & Much, Much More (The Witzard Interview)

Big Joanie are a Black Feminist/Sistah Punk band hailing from London, UK. Big Joanie initially started as the "solo" project of singer/guitarist Stephanie Phillips, who self-released 2013's "Out In The Country" & Demos EP before turning Big Joanie into a full-fledged band. Phillips and newly-recruited members Chardine Taylor-Stone on drums/vocals and Kiera Coward-Deyell on bass/vocals were enlisted for 2014's Lounge Sessions and Sistah Punk EP, as well as 2016's "Crooked Room" 7-inch EP. However, in true Punk/Hardcore fashion, the most recent incarnation of Big Joanie features Stephanie Phillips & Chardine Taylor-Stone, along with newest recruit, bassist Estella Adeyer.

Big Joanie have been creating a lot of buzz, garnering critically-acclaimed reviews, and amassing a slew of fans through a largely DIY/grass roots campaign for just about six years now. Miraculously, Big Joanie have now signed with Thurston Moore (Sonic Youth) & Ev…

Uncle Russie Returns with Dragon Ball Z/Super-themed Bulma3 & TrunksEP2 Co-produced By Baltimore's Graffititech (self-released)

Over the course of the past year, Timothy "Tim" Chester AKA Baltimore-based producer and beat-maker UncleRussie (no spaces!) has become something of a staple here at The Witzard. Thanks to a recommendation from Jumbled, we featured his January-released Trunks EP. and soon after, Russie submitted not one, but two remixes for The Witzard's Andy Cooper "THE PERFECT DEFINITION" Remix Comp. and most recently, Bulma3 & TrunksEP2 [Album Preview]. Now, UncleRussie has returned to properly release both projects simultaneously: 16-track Bulma3 AND 20-track TrunksEP2. I'll be the first to admit, I'm far from a Dragon Ball Z/Super expert, but I do know that the bulk of Russie's work, especially, these two most recent projects are largely influenced by the beloved manga. Bulma3 is the third and final album in UncleRussie's ongoing Bulma Tape series, preceded by 2016's The Bulma Tape and its 2017 counterpart/follow-up, The Bulma Tape: Side B.


While

J57's Unveils Limited-release Album LP2 Featuring Slipknot's Sid Wilson, The Audible Doctor, Jamo Gang & More (Only Available 12/8-15)

It's honestly, not often we, here at The Witzard, feature music that you (the listener) can't hear for yourself... but we figured we would give it a-go, before the year's up! I actually, first heard about Brooklyn-based emcee and producer James "J57" Victor Heinz's latest effort, LP2 through this very Tweet from @HomeboySandman: "New sh*t from Tha God available for one week only better peep that stat." It Re-Tweeted a previous statement from @j57 himself, which read, "J57 LP2 is out now, for 1 week. You can only get [a copy] via J57MUSIC.com, before it's gone. Enjoy!" Acting fast, as it would only be available from December 8-15th, I reached out to J57 directly and was soon able to procure a copy of LP2, sub-titled WE CAN BE KINGS. from the man himself. Whether you've been fortunate enough to hear LP2 or not, I'm just gonna jump right into it now... LP2 is the follow-up to J57's 2016 limited-release album, I'm The J57,…

Defcee Unveils A Mixtape As God Intended, Vol. 1 with Beats from The Alchemist, Goodie Mob, Nas, Rick Ross & More (Machine Wash Music)

"J.I.D. Saba, and Defcee have been the best rappers of 2018. It's not even close," Chicago emcee Lamon Manuel (@LamonManuelFCLA) recently proclaimed on Twitter. Defcee is a fellow Chicago-based emcee, also, known as Adam Levin, who has been ferociously rapping and actively releasing music since 2007; at the tender age of 17, Defcee self-released his debut album, One Eye Open. It was soon followed by 2011's The Panama Sessions and Out from Under EP's, as well as a full-length entitled Selves fully produced and mixed by Moses. Then, four years later, Defcee released his next project, 2015's Damn Near Grown, which featured appearances from Saba, Noname, Sev Seveer, goldenbeets, and Otis Brown Jones III, as well as artwork by Dewey Saunders. Defcee's most recent guest verse was on GrownUpRap-premiered "Babel" from Curly Castro's forthcoming Backwoodz Studioz album, TOSH, alongside Collosoul Structure & ELUCID, as produced by Wrecking Crew h…

ialive Returns with "Little By Little" from Upcoming Self-produced Full-length DON'T DO NOTHING Mastered By C$ BURNS (Cold Rhymes Records)

Donovan "ialive" Phillips is a self-described "Rap-singer-songwriter/beat aficionado/musical collector" hailing from The City of Brotherly Love, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. ialive has released numerous collaborative and solo projects over the years, but hasn't released a tried and true "solo" album since 2015's Awake In The Snake Hole. However, in recent years, he's released collaborative projects with both Darko The Super as The Hell Hole Store and TIMEWAVE ZERO with Height Keech, as well as Four to The Floor 1-2 EP's with Cody Cody Jones... just this past week, ialive announced his long-awaited third solo album, DON'T DO NOTHING, which will be dropping on Height's Cold Rhymes Records Friday, January 11, 2019. DON'T DO NOTHING was fully produced, recorded, and mixed by ialive himself at The Green Gem in Philly with mastering done by Vinyl Cape's own C$ BURNS. On the most recent episode of THIS COLD RHYMES PODCAST, Mister s…

James Mercer & Danger Mouse Return with First Proper Broken Bells Single "Shelter" Since 2015's "It's That Talk Again" (30th Century Records)

Broken Bells (@broken_bells) have been teasing something since about August with cryptic black-and-white in-studio Polaroid-esque photos, some dated as far back as 7/26/18. Broken Bells is, of course, the collaborative duo of James Mercer & Brian Burton. Mercer is the long-time frontman of The Shins/Flake Music and Burton is also, known as super-producer Danger Mouse; who has worked with everyone from MF DOOM (DANGERDOOM) to The Black Keys, A$AP Rocky to Parquet Courts, and likely, most famously, as Gnarls Barkley with Cee-Lo. Since initially forming in 2008-09, Broken Bells have released two full-lengths, 2010's Broken Bells and 2014's After The Disco, as well as a 2011 EP dubbed Meyrin Fields and a number of non-album singles. Honestly, we, here at The Witzard, personally, favor Broken Bells' self-titled 2010 debut, but their entire cannon of music is phenomenal! Lest we forget, Broken Bells courted a then-relatively unknown Christina Hendricks (Good Girls, Mad Men) …

South London Beat-maker Charles Edison Unleashes "Electrifying" 9-track Filaments - Season 1 EP (Remix Challenge Announcement)

Filaments - Season 1 by Charles Edison
Aside from being an extremely talented beat-maker, emcee, and producer, South London's Charles Edison is simply, a phenomenal human being. He, like all of us, has his vices and admittedly, had a substance abuse problem, but seeked help through treatment and is now celebrating over two years clean and sober. Earlier this year, The Witzard partnered up with Charles Edison on the one-year anniversary of his Waking Up EP/sobriety. Together, we cooked up a comprehensive track-by-track breakdown of Charles' Waking Up EP, paired with the moving story of his journey to a completely clean and sober lifestyle. It's a truly inspiring story and we've already received a plethora of phenomenal and equally inspiring feedback since initially publishing. Just throughout the course of 2018 alone, Charles Edison has self-released his Everything Is Fine EP and long-rumored Beats from The Seventh Floor beat album, as well as a special Beats from The S…

The Witzard Presents: John Morrison's 93-song BEASTIE BOYS BOOK (Influences, Samples & Rarities) Playlist & Exclusive Mini-breakdown

"I'm a huge Beasties fan and have been since I was a kid. Coming out of Hip-Hop and crate-digging culture, I'd always find records like The Moog Machine's Switched-On Rock (1969) and Led Zeppelin IV (1971) that The Beasties had sampled. As I was going through the BEASTIE BOYS BOOK, I noticed in a few chapters, they'd talk about the mixtapes that they'd make and trade with samples, skits, weird Jazz records, and stuff. I remember a great interview that Wax Poetics did with The Beasties years ago that mentioned these tapes, as well. I figured I could make a playlist equivalent.

The early chapters of the book are fascinating to me, as well. They really capture this culturally-rich time in New York in the late 70's/early 80's when you had early Hip-Hop like DJ Jazzy Jay and The Zulu Nation playing at The Mudd Club, as well as No Wave/Post-Punk bands, like Sonic Youth and Arto Lindsay's DNA playing Punk clubs and art galleries. The mixtape aspect of th…