Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Gabe 'Nandez's HYPEBEAST-premiered "Escondido" Music Video from Upcoming Debut Studio Full-length Diplomacy (POW Recordings)

"Gabe 'Nandez reminds me of a young Carnival-era Wyclef before he got weird and started collaborating with Kenny Rogers and embezzling charity money. One of the best young rappers in NYC. Diplomacy drops in July,"
Jeff Weiss (@Passionweiss) exuberantly Tweeted Tuesday afternoon. Weiss runs taste-making music site, Passion of The Weiss, as well as sub-label POW Recordings. POW's current roster includes The Outfit, TX, Chester Watson, Natia The God, Jordan Raf, T.Y.E. Ness Nite, Pioneer 11, Kent Loon, Vince Ash, Zilla Rocca, Rhys Langston, and, of course, Gabe "'Nandez" Fernandez. Upon the initial announcement of his 2017 signing with the LA-based imprint, POW Recordings released an extremely well-acclaimed 14-track compilation-style album entitled Plaques. Although, 'Nandez has been self-releasing his own music since 2014 (if not longer) with collections such as H.T. EP, No Kliché-produced Sifu EP, Disconnected EP, and 2017 "posse" mixtape, CLIQUETAPE, with Noah Chase, Ibekelia, still available on his personal Bandcamp page. Now, POW Recordings has announced Gabe 'Nadez's proper full-length Indie/major label studio album, Diplomacy to be released at a currently unspecified date in mid-July.

Just yesterday, we were unexpectedly treated to our first proper taste of Diplomacy by way of HYPEBEAST-premiered "Escondido." It was co-produced by Gabe 'Nandez & Tony Seltzer with a dimly-lit Losmose-directed music video for STEREOMA, who, has, also, recently helmed clips for "Comets," "Plaques," "Scumbag," and "Arson." We were, actually, able to attain an advanced copy of Gabe 'Nandez's Dipolmacy directly from POW Recordings; while we're still on our first couple listens through, it's a phenomenal, extremely well-produced album, which, primarily features 'Nandez's own production work, as well as his own instrumental/sampled backing music. It definitely has a very worldly sound evocative of Yasiin bey FKA Mos Def or Wyclef Jean with an Indie Rap edge sonically in line with the likes of Busdriver, Cadence Weapon, or milo and en underlying eerie feel that reminds us of Wu-Tang Clan/Gravediggaz. "Escondido" is currently available to stream on Spotify and like-minded digital streaming platforms with Gabe 'Nandez's Diplomacy dropping this July.

"Gabe ['Nandez] has a really fascinating backstory. The son of a diplomat, he's half-Malian, half-Argentine, and grew up in Haiti, Jerusalem, Tanzania, and New York. He's tri-lingual and went to college in Montreal to study Journalism. He graduated about two years ago and realized that he had a bad drug and alcohol problem. He devoted himself to recovery, got clean, and changed up his entire sound. He took up the guitar and piano and began producing himself. Most of this album is produced by him and he plays the instruments.

It's, essentially, his life story of growing up shuttled all over the world at different UN posts, his struggle for clarity, and his eventual triumph. If his early stuff was really excellent Boom-Bap, he's moved into, almost, a form of "World" Rap—reminiscent to me of early Wyclef [Jean], if he lived in Brooklyn 2019. I even hear a little Mos Def—not as much sonically, but his desire to encompass and reclaim all sorts of sounds that were originally started by Black people across the globe."

- Jeff Weiss (@powrecordings)

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

CURTA, 4Digit & Brotherhood of Machines Join Forces As Elyria Sequence for Limited Edition SLAB "Double-tape" (Solium Records)

Solium Records is a French DIY and non-profit tape label; most of the imprint's releases are collaborative projects complete with high-quality packaging and artwork. Solium is run by a Frenchman named Yoan and has been steadily issuing Experimental/Hip-Hop/Noise-centric limited releases on Bandcamp since August 2018. For their latest release, Yoan recruited a cast of characters whom The Witzard regulars should be very familiar: Denver Noise-makers CURTA & 4Digit. Here, collectively billed as "Elyria Sequence" (for the first time!) CURTA & 4Digit are joined by fellow Denver-based beat-maker Brotherhood of Machines. Not to be confused with similarly-named Brotherhood of THE Machine, Brotherhood of Machines seems to have some sort of affiliation with Sean "Erik Samuel" Makau at Bob Cosmo Radio/Phantom Haus, who, just so happens to be CURTA's long-time manager and promoter.

Elyria Sequence's collaborative debut, SLAB, was cut together from 20+ hours of Improvisational Noise/Experimental recordings that took place over a year-long period in a home studio North of Denver, Colorado; "using free time, samplers, a drum machine, and an FM radio, CURTA, 4Digit & Brotherhood of Machines laid the framework for a monstrous album by connecting midi cables and sharing a tempo," Solium's Bandcamp page explains. SLAB features CURTA on drum machine, pedals, synths, and FM radio, Brotherhood of Machines providing arrangements, sampler, drums, and pedals, and 4Digit taking care of guitar, mixing, and mastering. The resulting SLAB is a powerfully dense piece of Electronic music. At times, Ambient and beat-driven, but given to manic changes. This album is an overwhelming monolith of a debut. Worthy, in the way of an ancient SLAB bearing unintelligible Commandments, of your attention," Solium continues.

Last night, coinciding with the 5/20/19 Internet release of SLAB, Elyria Sequence played a Record Release Show at The Oriental Theater in support of Pitchfork/Stereogum "Indie Rock" darlings, Xiu Xiu. Elyria Sequence's SLAB is now available as a double-tape either directly from CURTA, 4Digit & Brotherhood of Machines or from Solium Records' Bandcamp page. It's currently available in both European "longbox" and US "big box" editions limited to 20/10 copies for each territory, respectively. Yoan explains, "all tapes have been real-time recorded for best quality, artwork's been hand-cut, and the visuals printed on the tapes have been stamped from the ["SLAB"] artwork visuals. Every tape is hand-stamped and labeled with Stazon white permanent ink." Pick-up a super-limited SLAB double-decker tape while you still can and make sure to Follow $olium Records on Bandcamp, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Monday, May 20, 2019

Safari Al Readies steel tipped dove & Cold Lunch-produced "Split" Album strata: I Steel of Radiance, I Feel So Action (Early Bird Review)

Kenosha, Wisconsin emcee Safari Al—AKA, S. Al, Emmanuel Fade, Safari Al (Journeyman Hip-Hopper,) @s_afari_al, etc.—is a Ruby Yacht/Ruby Yacht Makers Guild (rbyt) affiliate and frequent milo/scallops hotel collaborator. The man also known as Alexander Kollman is, actually, a visual artist and carpenter by day with a degree in Biomedical Engineering. Safari Al has been consistently recording and releasing Hip-Hop music since about 2014 when he temporarily moved out to Los Angeles with milo; although, has been quietly making music for at least eight years, having released music as part of or alongside Busdriver, The Dilla Gents, milo, Mugwampers, REDWALL, scallops hotel, WC Tank, and short-lived Folk/Hip-Hop group, MANTRAS, as well as Ruby Yacht and now-defunct Hellfyre Club. Since 2012, Safari AL has rapidly recorded, finessed, and self-released nine separate projects on his own personal Bandcamp page. In-between these aforementioned releases, has appeared across milo/scallops hotel's critically-acclaimed body of work including over the carnage rose a voice prophetic, things that happen at day // things that happen at night, Plain Speaking, and I wish my brother Rob was here. Now, following REDWALL's 2018 single "AGONY (for Mark) (II)" with milo, safari al has returned with his next proper solo project: strata (I Steel of Radiance, I Feel So Action.)

"strata..." for short, will serve as a 10-track album/"Split" tape consisting of two very distinct "Sides" - Side A: I Steel of Radiance produced by one-time Das Racist affiliate and engineer steel tipped dove (Joe Fusaro) and Side B: I Feel So Action, as produced by new-comer Cold Lunch AKA Sahan Jayasuriya. Safari Al says he likes the continuous play format, which is why he's choosing to release both Sides A-B together and adds that "it also, lends well to/is inspired by the cassette format." strata's songs were recorded over the course of the last two years with work being divided 50/50 split at dove's home-stdio in Park Slope, Brooklyn and at Safari Al's own apartment in Biddeford, Maine. A 2016 Kenosha News profile described Safari Al's talents/instruments "at a glance" as "vocals, Jazz computer, CD DJ machine, cassette decks, loop station," which still seems fairly accurate. In addition to production work throughout from steel tipped dove & Cold Lunch, strata (I Steel of Radiance, I Feel So Action) features "approachable" Co-produced By: scallops hotel and "small shop" Feat. milo Co-produced By: Emmanuel Fade. strata... plays out in a similar manner to a 1980's Punk/Hardcore split or even a particularly finicky hand-dubbed "old school" mixtape, which you would have to meticulously re-wind onto the cassette spools with a No.2 pencil.'s rhyming style/delivery and cadence throughout strata... falls somewhere in-between that of sharp-tongued Stones Throw emcee Homeboy Sandman and Paul's Boutique-era Beastie Boys. "Despite a transportation ticket and an early morning Earthquake, I find myself sitting behind my desk at the SoulFolks Headquarters in Biddeford ignoring the [inaudible] telephone. I let it ring at least a dozen times; you don't have my attention..." effortlessly rhymes on the opening bars to steel tipped dove/scallops hotel co-produced "approachable" in a rather stream-of-consciousness manner over a cascading organ-like sample. "small shop" serves as the closing track on steel tipped dove's I Steel of Radiance "Side" and boasts the album's lone feature by way of milo's alter-ego, scallops hotel, and was co-produced by Safari Al under his Emmanuel Fade beat-making guise. It's warm, Postal Service-evocative Electro-Hip-Hop bloops and blips squeal their way into "TEXTBOOK ROMANCE" from Cold Lunch's I Feel So Action "Side." "IIIIIII was made for music and music was made for me... from Classic-al to Rap" an extremely lo-fi recorded girl's voice belts at the start of the track, before we hear a high-pitched shriek from an out-of-tune horn and almost instantaneously retorting, "my man said Rap IS Classical. I'm offa my sabbatical!"

Milwaukee-based 91.7 WMSE's Local Lunchbox segment fittingly describes Sahan Jayasuriya as "a Wisconsin native, who has served as drummer for a variety of Milwaukee bands over the last decade. His latest venture is a foray into sample-based beat-making under the name Cold Lunch, where he pulls from a variety of formats and music styles to create new works." Cold Lunch's I Feel So Action "Side" of strata... is a bit more Blues/Jazz-oriented when compared against steel tipped dove's I Steel of Radiance "Side." Cold Lunch's production work throughout strata... honestly, reminds us a bit of's 2011 Soundcloud loosie, "Moanin'"—or "a throwback vibe to help the ladies and fellas start kickin' the jive"—which expertly samples Art Blakey & The Jazz Messengers' 1959 track of the same name. I Feel So Action fittingly ends with a smile-evoking Cold Lunch-produced track, of course, entitled "HOT LUNCH." Safari Al's strata (I Steel of Radiance, I Feel So Action) will become available this upcoming Thursday, May 23rd on Apple Music, Bandcamp, Soundcloud, Spotify, and like-minded digital streaming services. Ahead of milo & ELUCID's European Tour together as Nostrum Grocers, Al let loose the "Split" album's lead-off steel tipped dove-produced track, "Rocco," accompanied by a simple typewriter-aided music video, as well as videos for "Occam" and "LUCKY DUCK." is, somehow, already working on his next full-length to follow strata... Blue mage, which will double as an album AND a collection of poetry.

Friday, May 17, 2019

Zilla Rocca Presents: Wu-Tang Clan & Madlib - "The Wu Digger" Playlist/Alternative to Of Mics & Men EP (Three Dollar Pistol Music)

"The new Wu-Tang EP is kind of boring. So, in response, I made my own "Wu-Tang EP" with all of their collabs/remixes with Madlib, who has surpassed RZA ten-fold: Wu-Tang Clan x Madlib - The Wu Digger... Madlib is what you get, if RZA just keep sitting in a room full of records from '95 until today. "And Madlib is who RZA would have been, if he could just learn instruments when he felt like it," Small Professor (@smallpro)... On some real sh*t, Madlib's remix of "Black Boy" by [Cappadonna] is better than almost any [Wu-Tang Clan] track this decade by any Wu member. These guys have access to any producer on the planet and act like Madlib or Alchemist don't exist."

- Zilla Rocca (@ZillaRocca)

Wu-Tang Clan & Madlib - The Wu Digger Playlist/EP (Tracklist)

01. Cappadonna - "Black Boy" (Madlib Remix) from Madlib Medicine Show #12: Raw Medicine [2011]

02. Method Man - "Uh Huh" (Madlib Remix) from MIND FUSION VOL. 1 MIXED BY MADLIB [2004]

03. Inspectah Deck's Verse from 7L & Esoteric's "Speaking Real Words" (CZARFACE) / Raekwon's Verse from Big Pun's "Fire Water" from Madlib Medicine Show #12: Raw Medicine [2011]

04. Ghostface Killah - "Save Me, Dear" (Madlib Remix) from Madlib Medicine Show #12: Raw Medicine [2011]

05. Ghostface Killah - "Block Rock" from More Fish [2006]

06. Musiq Soulchild – "Caught Up" / Ghostface Killah – "Love Session" from Madlib Medicine Show #12: Raw Medicine [2011]

07. "Track 2" AKA "Untitled" Feat. GZA from Madlib Medicine Show #12/13: Filthy A$$ Remixes (Black Tape) [2011-12]

08. Inspectah Deck - "City High" AKA "On The Ground" (Madlib Remix) from MADLIB REMIXES 2: 1980s SATURDAY MORNING EDITION (ALL SAMPLES 1977-1982) [2004]

09. Inspectah Deck - "Movement" from MADLIB REMIXES 2: 1980s SATURDAY MORNING EDITION (ALL SAMPLES 1977-1982) [2004]

Zilla Rocca's latest album, '96 MENTALITY. will become available this upcoming Tuesday, May 21st on Digital Album, CD + Exclusive Bonus Tracks, Cassette, and T-shirt/Apparel packages. Zilla's 2018 releases, Hard Boiled EP and Future Former Rapper, have also, recently been re-issued on CD with additional Bandcamp-only Bonus Tracks, as well. Zilla Rocca's 2012 project with Curly Castro, PremRock & Small Professor as Wrecking Crew, Wu-Tang Pulp, has now been re-issued on CD for the first time with previously unreleased singles "Known Pirahnas" and "Pinball Machine Gun Rap" Feat. ALASKA & CASTLE, plus, "3 original out-take Gambino Instrumentals by Zilla Rocca." CALL OUT CULTURE, a frequently updated podcast, hosted by ALASKA, Zilla Rocca & Curly Castro is currently available to stream on most digital streaming platforms. ALASKA & Zilla Rocca are, supposedly, working on a similarly-named long-rumored collaborative effort together, as well...

DEC 4 Unveils Dystopian Bob Sweeney-directed, Rolled Gold-produced "Sweet Fall" Music Video from Upcoming 4-track EP (Oxygen&Light)

"Sweet Fall" is a song I've had in my possession for, at least, six months now, as I received it literally days before my wedding. It's been a bit delayed on my end, as most coverage has been for the last few months because... well, life! Although, honestly, it might have just worked out this time because the accompanying Bob Sweeney-directed music video for "Sweet Fall" is out, now, too. DEC 4 is the newly-enacted project of Philly-based musician, vocalist, and lyricist Justin Zugerman (@zuwear_.) It appears as though Zugerman is, in fact, a childhood friend of both John Morrison & Josh "Indi" Leidy of the Serious Rap Sh*t podcast. After going on an indefinite hiatus from his long-time Psychedelic/Experimental/Hip-Hop project with Chris Grau, Oxygen&Light, Morrison & Leidy introduced DEC 4 to their friend and fellow Philly-based producer and multi-instrumentalist, Harry Metz, whom most of you may well know as Rolled Gold. Thus far, Metz has produced both as-yet-released DEC 4 tracks, "Trouble" and "Sweet Fall."

DEC 4 & Rolled Gold are, supposedly, working on a 4-track EP with Kilamanzego, as well, to tentatively be released in either June or July. So, now, we have the Bob Sweeney-directed music video for DEC 4's Rolled Gold-produced "Sweet Fall," which, for those who may not have heard it yet, sounds a bit like The Weeknd meets Nine Inch Nails. Sweeney has previously helmed extremely memorable videos for the likes of Queen of Jeans, Dewey "Dewey Decibel" Bryan Saunders, Zilla Rocca & The Shadowboxers, Nik Greeley & The Operators, Career Crooks (Zilla Rocca & Small Professor,) Moor Mother, Swift Technique, GRIFT COMPANY, and Moor Mother X Mental Jewelry. "Sweet Fall" was filmed in and around Justin Zugerman's own home in Northeast Philly, as well as a number of eerily vacant commercial buildings nearby; Sweeney & Zugerman collectively decided to shoot on digital film/cameras inside of his house and on Super 8 black-and-white film while outside, giving "Sweet Fall" an ominous, dystopian sort of feel. DEC 4 is currently finishing up his debut EP with Rolled Gold & Kilamanzego—and, potentially, maybe, even John Morrison—to be released sometime this Summer.

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Chicago Duo Tensei Let Loose Bandcamp & Spotify-exclusive Single "Walk It Out" Feat. Georgia Anne Muldrow (Tokyo Dawn Records)

Tensei is a Chicago-based composer/producer/musician/beat-maker/song-writer "dream" team consisting of Chris "Kramer" Kramer and Midas Wells. "The two have a vast wealth of influences and history to inform their production including: Hip-Hop, House, Soul, Jazz, Library, and Electronic music among others; as a result, they create eclectic compositions that fuse many disparate styles," Tokyo Dawn Records' press page explains. Since about 2012, Tensei have worked alongside and remixed the likes of A. Billi Free, Anderson .Paak, Bilal, Black Thought, Denmark Vessey, Jimetta Rose, Tall Black Guy, TOKiMONSTA, and Dirty Science emcee ADaD. Interestingly enough, Midas Wells & Kramer rarely ever make use of source material/samples, both playing and composing most musical elements themselves, but, often, enlisting a talented cast of Chicago-based Jazz & Soul artists, which includes Makaya McCraven, Greg Spero, Kafele, and Junius Paul, amongst others. Earlier this year, Tokyo Dawn quietly released Tensei's latest long-form project, Constellate—soon followed up by Constellate (Instrumentals)—featuring vocal assists from frequent collaborators ADaD & Jimetta Rose, as well as new-comer A. Billi Free on stand-out "Liquid Tongues." Tensei's "Liquid Tongues" AKA "40,000 Harpedelic" Feat. A. Billi Free, Tim Seisser & Brandee Younger was even given the visual treatment from Shawn Johnson (@oldsoulbrother1) of NEKTR, who has previously created eclectic music/promo videos for everyone from CZARFACE to The Du-Rites.

Just last night, I received a mysterious cold-sent email from Kramer & Midas Wells entitled "Tensi feat. [Georgia] Anna Muldrow Single." It was soon revealed, with a bit further investigation, to be feel-good Summertime jam, "Walk It Out." In addition to Stones Throw/BRAINFEEDER affiliate Georgia Anne Muldrow, "Walk It Out," also, features Jazz stalwarts Greg Spero (Halsey,) Brandon Meeks, and Kafele, as well as mixing and mastering by Benjamin Tierney. A track originally, several years in-the-making, Kramer tells The Witzard "Walk It Out" was recently dusted off for said collaboration with Muldrow and "is really, about telling folks to think twice, before doing things they will regret." Bandcamp Daily will be hosting an exclusive feature on Tensei's "Walk It Out" from May 15-20, 2019 with an accompanying editorial highlighting Chicago-based artists. Then, starting on May 20th, "Walk It Out" will be released on all other digital streaming platforms, along with the instrumental and two exclusive remixes from Tokyo Dawn label-mate Inkswel with John Robinson and Kenny Keys. Tensei plan to release yet another new single with Jimetta Rose this Summer and are preparing to soon tour behind their upcoming full-length collaboration with A. Billi Free, I Luma, to tentatively be released on Tokyo Dawn Records in late August.

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

The Find Mag's Bobby Obsy-designed "Chase The Grail" Limited Edition T-shirt/Sticker Pack (Remix EP Download Codes)

The Find "Mag" Magazine is an Amsterdam, Netherlands-based digital music publication founded and operated by Danny Veekens since 2007. Over the years, Danny & I have become pretty friendly, through social media, and definitely have a mutual admiration and respect for each other. In fact, our sites were amongst the first publications to cover Myrrow's Outlet (formerly TT5BR)'s Paul's Boutique-remixing BB PB EP and its recent follow-up, BB PB EP O. Following in line with our recent Punk/Hardcore merch feature, The Witzard's Best-Of Instagram: "Mommy, Can I... Buy These Punk/Hardcore Merch Oi!-tems?" we figured we do a little Hip-Hop/crate-diggin' merch feature, as well, for our good friends at The Find Mag. "The hunt for records never ends. No vinyl crate is safe. Our new T-shirt visualizes that: the art of crate-digging. Illustrated by beat-maker/designer Bobby Obsy (UK) in a 30's-style cartoon," reads The Find Mag's on-site description accompanying their Chase The Grail T-shirt. Only 35 shirts were made in a variety of sizes and colorways including, White Shirt/Black Print, White Shirt/Red Print, and Spectra Yellow Shirt/Black Print.

Danny Veekens was kind enough to send us an early test/slight "misprint" of the Black-On-White Chase The Grail colorway, along with 2 full-color die-cut stickers of the "Digger" and a complimentary Bandcamp download code for Chase The Grail Remixes. Bobby Obsy, who also, designed the shirts, is the man behind the atmospheric/entrancing Hip-Hop beats on Chase The Grail (Remixes.) It features 3 previously unreleased remixes of Wu-Tang Clan's "C.R.E.A.M." AKA "Cash Rules," Biggie Smalls' "Everyday Struggle" AKA "How It Feel," and Nas Escobar's "The World Is Yours" AKA "It's Yours." Here are 10 FREE Bandcamp download codes for Chase The Grail (Remixes) from The Find Mag exclusively for our readership here at The Witzard, which can be redeemed at Bandcamp. So, with that said, here are the 10 FREE codes, have a-go at 'em on a first-come-first-serve basis: p34s-jrw5, rdps-ydhr, hqlb-bhst, jbs5-wjcb, 9x4f-hysw, n4pl-53xs, lpfh-usmd, c6ws-e4yc, c3hp-3a2x, and cdeb-c7sq. Editor's Note: at press time, only 6 of 35 Chase The Grail T-shirts from the first limited run are still available directly from The Find Mag/Shop.

"Rather than going for "mass production" with bad shirts, we went for Fair-trade, chemical-free [shirts] silk-screened by a local studio here in Amsterdam and quality 100% ring-spun cotton. We all want our records in the best possible quality, so, then, why go for sh*tty shirts? So, even the execution in a very limited run fits the theme of crate-digging. We could've called it "The Near Mint Shirt," for that matter!

- Danny Veekens (@TheFindMag)

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Chicago Soul Legend Renaldo Domino Teams Up with Polish Producer xROB BLACK for "Never Thought" 7-inch & Music Video (Happy As A Lark)

"Renaldo Domino, one of the unsung heroes of Chicago Soul, is joined by six Chicago music veterans to unleash a groove explosion," reads the About Me section on The Renaldo Domino Experience's Facebook page. The Experience consists of Renaldo "Domino" Jones on vocals, Jason Larson on guitar, Kenn Goodman on keys, Ralph Baumel on bass, Joe Camarillo on drums, David E. Smith on saxophone, and Justin Amolsch on trumpet. Goodman & Smith previously appeared on "Lady (You Are My Woman)" B/W "Mercy On Me" from Pravda Records' 2017 7-inch as part of Renaldo Domino & The Imperial Sound. Renaldo Domino is a "Chicago Soul & Funk singer from "The Valley" around 49th & Forestville. He got his name because his voice was sweet like Domino Sugar," according to Mr. Jones' Discogs page. Domino originally released, at least, six 7-inch singles on Smash Records, Blue Rock & Twilight Records between 1967-71; Renaldo Domino then, seemingly returned to music-making around 2007 with "Not Too Cool to Cry" B/W "Nevermore" on Twilight and has since released a special 7-inch as part of Sincere/Numero Group's Eccentric Soul 45's series.

Now, Renaldo Domino has joined forces with Chicago-based "New/Vintage Jamaican" imprint, Happy As A Lark (HAAL) for his "Never Thought" 7-inch B/W Lone Ranger's "Think Again!" HAAL's Anthony "Nantee" Abbinanti explains, "when Poland-based Reggae producer xROB BLACK [Przemysław Kuwik] reached out to Happy As A Lark wondering about a collaboration, we immediately fell in love with an instrumental track he sent ominously titled "Majestic 12 Underground." xROB BLACK's submission was soon re-titled "Never Thought" and Abbinanti quickly reached out to unsung Chicago Soul/Funk legend Renaldo Domino, whom Happy As A Lark had "been trying to fit into the right project for quite some time!" Honestly, Renaldo Domino & xROB BLACK's "Never Thought" reminds me of similarly-named "Never Be Another You" (Reggae Remix) featuring El Michels Affair with Lee Fields, as released last year on Leon Michels & Danny Akalepse's Big Crown Records. Both Renaldo Domino's "Never Thought" & Lone Ranger's "Think Again!" 45's are currently available from Happy As A Lark—either together or separately—in a number of combo-packs featuring Gold & Silver Translucent Wax, Renaldo & Ranger Fridge Magnets, a 1-inch 45 adapter pin, 2 x HAAL Slipmats, and various standard black 7-inch packages on Bandcamp.

Monday, May 13, 2019

ECID Returns with "Guru" Music Video from HowToFakeYourOwnDeath/HTFYOD DELUXE Directed By: Mercies May (Fill In The Breaks)

Jason "EDID" McKenzie is a Minneapolis-bred/Brooklyn-based "Outsider Hip-Hop, Indie & Far Left-field" artist, who, by his own admission, "[makes] all the beats and [raps] all the raps." Since about 2004, ECID has established working relationships with like-minded Experimental Hip-Hop artists, such as Awol One, Eyedea, Kristoff Krane, Louise Dorley FKA Louis Logic, and milo; over the years, ECID has been part of a number of groups including Living Stereo, Jordan Miché & David Mars Accompanied By ECID, Saturday Morning Soundtrack, Sector 7G, and most recently, TOYFRiEND with Louis Dorley. As many of you may well remembers, we, actually, covered TOYFRiEND's debut 2017 Indie Pop/Hip-Hop EP, foolHearty with custom artwork designed by @unibrowduck. Just about six months after foolHearty, ECID returned with HowToFakeYourOwnDeath (HTFYOD) his first album solo since 2015's 2-pronged release, PHEROMONE HEAVY/Pheromone Coma: PHEROMONE HEAVY Instrumentals​+​B​-​Sides.

HTFYOD was my first full-fledged exposure to ECID's music and it's definitely an interesting listen with sonic allusions to Aesop Rock, Eydea & Abilities, Doomtree, El-P/Run The Jewels, Fake Four Inc. K.Flay, Open Mike Eagle, and SIMS. I've, actually, been communicating directly with ECID (@ECIDfitb) for, at least, the last year or so and we've stuck up an interesting digital friendship. For the first anniversary celebration of HowToFakeYoruOwnDeath, ECID released a Bandcamp-exclusive album entitled HTFYOD DELUXE complete with two previously unreleased bonus tracks and an "Alternate Beat" version of opener "Bng Mngr." Now, to celebrate the 2-year anniversary of HowToFakeYourOwnDeath, ECID has, once again, returned with the Mercies May-directed music video for "Guru." Below, you'll see a few words about "Guru" ECID sent us, via email. Both HowToFakeYourOwnDeath & HTFYOD DELUXE are currently still available on Bandcamp, as well as digital streaming platforms, in a multitude of formats.

"So, the track was featured on my 2017 LP, HowToFakeYourOwnDeath. It was written from the perspective of a victim confronting their oppressor. In this case—their spiritual guide/guru/idol—someone in a position of power [is] abusing their power/influence over them. I think the theme is pretty applicable to our current political climate. The video was shot at various locations throughout Minnesota & Colorado. We drove out the sand dunes and hiked to the middle of nowhere. It was one Hell of an adventure. Directed by my frequent collaborator, Mercies May. He really wanted to make a Sci-Fi video with me and having worked with him before, I put my trust in his vision."

- ECID (@ecidlikeacidwithane)

Friday, May 10, 2019

Members of Rancid, Operation Ivy & Jello Biafra's Guantanamo School of Medicine Form CHARGER & Release S/T EP (Pirates Press Records)

Christian Wagner from Emeryville, California-based Pirates Press Records has been sending us digital promos and EPK's for a year or so now, via email, but within the last few months, he's been sending us physical promos, as well: Lenny Lashley's Gang of One's All Are Welcome, Harrington Saints' 1,000 POUNDS OF Oi!, and most recently, CHARGER's debut self-titled EP AKA "S/T" EP. Oddly enough, CHARGER's S/T EP is the third Rancid-related release recently issued by Pirates Press; Landfill Crew's self-titled 2x7-inch EP features long-time Rancid frontman Tim Armstrong, The Old Firm Casuals' Holger Danske features Lars Frederiksen of both Rancid and Lars Frederiksen & The Bastards, and CHARGER features Matt Freeman (bass/vocals) of Rancid, as well as genre-shaping Operation Ivy. Just today, Friday, May 10th, Pirates Press are, somehow, releasing CHARGER's S/T EP, Harrington Saints' 1,000 POUNDS OF Oi!, and PROBLEM CHILD 7-inch from all-female Ramones tribute band, Ramoms. CHARGER is rounded out by guitarist Andrew "Drew" McGee and drummer/vocalist Jason Willer, who has, also, played with Jello Biafra's post-Dead Kennedys band, Jello Biafra's Guantanamo School of Medicine, and U.K. Subs.

"CHARGER is driven by a love for 70's Hard Rock, as much as it is the ever-presents "East Bay Sound" that has shaped these musicians' lives for decades," boasts Pirates Press Records' mailed-out one-sheet. It further details CHARGER's music is suitable for fans of Motörhead, Black Sabbath, Metallica, High On Fire, and Rancid, as well as Judas Priest, Dio, AC/DC, and Neurosis. Honestly, CHARGER's 7-track S/T EP sounds exactly as described: a bunch of seasoned Punk/Hardcore musicians playing sludgy 1970's-indebted Hard Rock/Heavy Metal music with a focus on guitar-heavy riffs. "CHARGER is the soundtrack to circle pits and bar fights, to long nights and even longer mornings, to unexplained bruises and epic hangovers (and headbang-overs,)" explains the whole vibe of their S/T EP pretty perfectly. Let's just say is, if you even remotely like Rancid, Operation Ivy, Punk/Hardcore, Heavy Metal, Motörhead, Black Sabbath, or Iron Maiden, chances are, you'll really dig CHARGER's S/T EP! CHARGER's self-titled EP is currently available to stream or purchase in either digital, CD, cassette, or 12-inch vinyl formats—as well as coffee, coffee mugs, T-shirts, scarves, beanies, patches, buttons, pins, etc. embellished with CHARGER's "Ram" logo—are currently available from Pirates Press Records or directly from the band. CHARGER are playing a Record Release Show next Friday, May 17th at Eli's Mile High Club with Black Cobra & WAR BISON.

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Japanese Hip-Hop Crew Drynage Orchestra (GG & Garahavi) Recruit Ed O.G. Affiliate Timid MC for "Forbidden Fruit" Music Video

From what I can gather, Drynage Orchestra is a Japanese Hip-Hop crew consisting of emcees Steez & Grow-D, as well as in-house producer GG. It appears as though there's, also, a group within the group, Garahavi, consisting of just Steez & Grow-D; "Garahavi takes their name from the classic Edo G[/Ed O.G.] song "I Got to Have It," which, when said in Japanese, sounds like "Garahavi."' Drynage Orchestra/GG & Garahavi's latest release, "Forbidden Fruit," features New York-based emcee Jaylon "Timid" Carter. Oddly enough, Timid has toured extensively with Ed O.G. and, actually, first met Grow-D & Steez a few years back while touring across Japan with Ed O.G. & Da Bulldogs and his crew. Timid has shared the stage with the likes of Travis Barker & DJ AM, Warren G, Paul Wall, Jeru The Damaja, CunninLynguists, A-Alikes, Agallah of Dipset, and Pack FM. Carter has been fortunate enough to work alongside Hip-Hop heavyweights such as Mikey D (Mikey D & The LA Posse/Main Source,) Granddaddy I.U. Ed O.G. Lin Que (X-Clan/MC Lyte,) and Domingo.

In recent years, I've been getting a lot more submissions from Japanese-based artists, including Deathbomb Arc-signed Dos Monos, Japanese Salsa group BANDERAS, Third Man Records-affiliated Guitar Wolf, legendary Japanese Jazz drummer Takeo Moriyama, Mark de Clive-Lowe/Ronin Arkestra, and Ghostroads: A Japanese Rock n Roll Ghost Story, as well as a slew of Japanese Punk/Hardcore bands. Anyways, it looks like Timid recently took a trip back to Japan to film the companion music video for "Forbidden Fruit" along with GG, Steez & Grow-D across their native country. It's a truly unique, fun-loving music video directed by Steez of Garahavi starring Timid MC, Ms. AH HUH, Grow-D & Steez himself. Timid is even wearing a T-shirt, which reads "TIMID FEATURING Q-UNIQUE," an allusion to his own 2017 single, "who's to blame?" Drynage Orchestra & Timid's "Forbidden Fruit" does a great job of seamlessly blending/fusing together the worlds of Eastern & Western Hip-Hop—albeit, over a Soulful J Dilla-esque sample—and honestly, makes me want to delve deeper into Japanese Hip-Hop.

"I linked up with the fellas of Garahavi for their joint "Forbidden Fruit." Their man GG produced the track. I met these dudes a few years back while on tour on Japan. Check out the full video on YouTube. Search for "Garahavi Timid." Thanks to Ah Huh for the assist. | GarahaviのGrow-DとSteezとForbidden Fruitと言う曲の為に集まって共同した。GarahaviのGGと言う友達はビートをプロデュースした。何年前、この2人は日本のツアーで会った。ユーチューブでビデオを観て。Garahavi Timidを検索して。Ah Huhにもありがとう。"

- Timid (@timidmc1)

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

The Witzard Premiere: Roughneck Jihad & Solomon Strange Join Forces for THE ADVENTURES OF DR. VOODUN E.S.P. (Guerilla Godz/EOOM)

As you may have seen last week, we hosted a nearly 12-minute video on our YouTube channel entitled "'The Adventures of DR. VOODUN" Starring: Roughneck Jihad & Solomon Strange (E.S.P. Teaser.)" Honestly, it's been hard to keep this quiet for the past few months... but, back at the top of the year, The Diabolical Doctor Strange AKA Solomon Strange AKA Solomon Caine personally, reached out to me, via emailed transmission. Solomon Caine was, initially, commending us on our recent string of coverage concerning Third Sight emcee, Roughneck Jihad, as both a fan and admirer of Jihad's sharp-tongued rhymes, as well as The Witzard. As you may well know by now, The Diablocal Doctor Strange is a mysterious, other-worldly producer, label head, and founder of the Guerilla Godz posse. Long story short, Doctor Strange kindly asked, if I might be able to get him in contact with Roughneck Jihad and I, of course, immediately obliged, as an eager fan and admirer myself. I've been getting regular updates concerning the continued progress of Roughneck Jihad & Solomon Strange's EP, or E.S.P. which, in this case, stands for "Extra-Sensory Perception."

Now, seemingly out of nowhere—less than a week after their aforementioned E.S.P. Video Teaser!—The Diabolical Doctor Strange & Roughneck Jihad have miraculously returned with a staggering 28-track EP/E.S.P. entitled THE ADVENTURES OF DR. VOODUN. We've been blindly reppin' this DR. VOODUN EP/E.S.P. for the past month or so without ever having heard a note of music and now, it's safe to say, we put our neck on the line for good reason; The Adventures of DR. VOODUN perfectly exemplifies the sum of its villainous parts! Long-time fans of both Roughneck Jihad/Third Sight and The Diabolical Doctor Strange/Guerilla Godz will quickly notice, each of them have come into this collaboration fully utilizing their strengths, as well as exploring new collaborative ground together for the first time. Solomon Strange has been incorporating Lucha Libre/wrestling imagery into his album covers, as well as the underlying references to Doctor Strange; Roughneck Jihad and his in-house producers, on the other hand, have been incorporating and comic book references and 1970-80's cartoon audio soundbytes into his beats and rhymes, at least, since THE WRETCHED OF THE VERSE, if not long before.

The Adventures of DR. VOODUN was originally supposed to consist of just 5 tracks, 5 remixes, and 10 instrumentals, but it seems as though, it has now organically morphed into a sprawling 28-track project... still consisting of original tracks, remixes, and instrumentals, as well as skits all produced by Solomon Strange. For the most part, The Adventures of DR. VOODUN E.S.P.'s formatting goes a little something like this: Skit, Original, Remix, Skit/Instrumental with a bit of variety mixed in for good measure; however, most often, when it's an Original/Remix in that order, you'll, obviously, hear Roughneck Jihad start out the tracks with the same introductory rhyme. Although, with that said, it's a very organic, free-flowing release and quite honestly, it's easy to forget this is Roughneck Jihad & Solomon Strange's first time working together! The Adventures of DR. VOODUN E.S.P. is currently available to stream or purchase from Roughneck Jihad's Bandcamp page. Jihad explains tapes and vinyl are coming soon, as well as further adventures: "We are going to continue working together and Solomon already gave me a bunch of beats for future projects..."

"The project grew all due to Solomon's creative genius. He added additional remixes and some skits to hold the theme together. We beat Marvel Comics to the punch, as they have yet to introduce Jericho Drumm [Brother Voodoo] to the MCU. We added a [Black Panther/Ryan] Coogler-esque course correction; "Voodun," instead of the more colloquial "Voodoo." The project is a throwback to the times when songs like Public Enemy's "Shut 'em Down" came back even harder with the Pete Rock Remix, for example, double-dope. Solomon steps up his game on each remix, bringing new life and texture to my vocals. We plan on dropping tapes and vinyl, in addition to the digital."

- Roughneck Jihad (@jihadtheroughneckmc)

Monday, May 6, 2019

Franks & Deans Return with "Too Drunk to F#@k" from Upcoming Punk/Surf Rock Instrumental Album SURFIN' TURF (SquidHat Records)

I've been, personally, mulling over something recently: what's the most creative Punk/Hardcore band name? I've since come to the conclusion that it's either The Mr. T Experience (MTX,) The Tony Danza Tapdance Extravaganza (TTDTE,) or Franks & Deans. MTX is American Punk Rock/Pop-Punk band formed in 1985 in Berkeley, California, while TTDTE is a now-defunct American Mathcore/Grindcore band from Murfreesboro, Tennessee. Las Vegas, Nevada's Franks & Deans—a homage to Frank Sinatra & Dean Martin, of course—have deemed themselves the "world's first Rock "N" Roll Rat Pack band tributing Sinatra and his boys of The Rat Pack." Franks & Deans are currently signed to SquidHat Records and consists of Robert "Rob" DeTie on vocals/4-string, Mike "Pip" Ullemeyer on drums/backing vocals, Jordan "HOSS" Hoss on guitar/vocals, Ryan "Sampson" Sampson on guitar/vocals, Nickole "Muse" Muse providing "visuals/innuendos." Rob DeTie has previously spent time playing with The Happy Campers & Betting On Tomorrow and HOSS has toured with The Reverend Horton Heat, as well as his own band, Switch Hitter. Franks & Deans have released two albums with SquidHat, 2015's How Did You All Get In My Room? and 2017's The Best You're Gonna Feel All Day, fully displaying their trademark Rat Pack/Punk Rock stylings.

Franks & Deans have covered everyone from Frank "Ol' Blue Eyes" Sinatra himself to Louis Prima/David Lee Roth and now, they've decided to flip the scrip a bit with their schtick: Franks & Deans' upcoming third album, Surfin' Turf will feature, according to HOSS, "Punk Rock songs made [into] Instrumental Surf tunes, while sneaking in a few classic Surf Rock melodies!" Our first teaser from Surfin' Turf finds Franks & Deans effortlessly flippin' Dead Kennedys' then-controversial 1981 non-album single for Cherry Red Records, "Too Drunk to F#@k" into a Beach Boys-reminiscent ditty riffing on guitarist East Bay Ray's original Surf/Garage Rock-indebted riffs. HOSS explained, via emailed transmission, that Surfin' Turf will, also, feature Punk/Surf Rock versions of smash hits and deep cuts from the likes of Bad Religion, Green Day, Lagwagon, NOFX, The Ramones, Rancid, Screeching Weasels, Teenage Bottlerocket, and... Herb Alpert & The Tijuana Brass! Franks & Deans recorded Surfin' Turf with Garage/Surf Rock & Rockabilly guru Deke Dickerson, who, HOSS explains, even makes an unspecified cameo on the record, as well. Franks & Deans' Surfin' Turf will be released digitally on SquidHat Records on Friday, July 12, 2019.

Friday, May 3, 2019

Massachusetts' 80HRTZ & Purge Team-up for Inexplicably "East Coast" Hip-Hop Album WHERE THERE'S SMOKE... (self-released)

"My good friend and partner-in-art-crimes @80hrtz entirely produced this album from Massachusetts Rap animal @purge508 Where There's Smoke... Link in the bio to support this heavy Hip-Hop slab. Play it loud for best results," BRZOWSKI (@brzowskimusic) posted on Instagram Thursday afternoon. BRZO's, of course, referring to 80HRTZ-produced Where There's Smoke... featuring New Bedford, Massachusetts emcee, Purge. I've, personally, been hearing about this album for at least six months or so now; while 80HRTZ & I worked together to orchestrate the release of his The Witzard-premiered remixes of both The Misfits' "ASTRO ZOMBIES" & Dead Kennedys' "California Über Alles," he was continually updating me on his then-in-the-works project with Purge. As you may well know by now, 80HRTZ had a sizable hand in the creation of BRZOWSKI's critically-acclaimed ENMITYVILLE, as well as DIG 2 GRAVES split with MC Homeless for I Had An Accident Records, on the production end of things. Purge is a talented emcee, as well as producer and drummer, in his own right, having fully self-produced his own 2014 EP, Purgatory Project, which was re-released digitally just last month. Purge has opened shows for the likes of DMX, EPMD, Esoteric (CZARFACE,) Obie Trice, and Scarface.

For their first collaborative offering, Purge & 80HRTZ have recruited Feral Serge, DJ Crown, DJ Hike, Shortrock—who appeared on 80's "California Über Alles" Remix—Bobby Craves, DJ Marco-Matic, one-time The Weathermen member Copywrite, and IONEYE to contribute to Where There's Smoke... 80HRTZ, Purge, and their talented cast of collaborators, somehow, successfully make Where There's Smoke... sound like it could have been created 20 years ago during the Underground Hip-Hop/DIY heyday of El-P & Amaechi Uzoigwe's now-defunct Def Jux imprint. Honestly, in addition to Def Jux, Where There's Smoke... also, has sonic undertones reminiscent of Wu-Tang, House of Pain/Everlast, and even El-P & Killer Mike's Run The Jewels. Whether intentional or not, 80HRTZ & Purge have definitely achieved an inexplicably hard-as-nails "East Coast" Hip-Hop/Boom-Bap sound throughout Where There's Smoke... Said album is currently available from both 80HRTZ & Purge's Bandcamp pages, as well as an increasing number of digital streaming platforms.

Thursday, May 2, 2019

The Witzard's Best-Of Instagram: "Mommy, Can I... Buy These Punk/Hardcore Merch Oi!-tems?" (Jared Gaines Spotify Playlist)

I. Atom Age Industries: MISFITS ENAMEL PINS WAVE 2 (@atomageindustries)

Atom Age Industries is a Bellflower, California-based clothing company and store-front. They re-produce and sell goods from artists such as AC/DC, Blondie, The Cramps, D.O.A. Dead Kennedys, FEAR / Lee Ving, Hüsker Dü, The Misfits, The Police, and Suicidal Tendencies. Atom Age primarily sells T-shirts, records, and enamel pins and carries a host of limited edition capsule collections for the above-listed artists, as well as countless others. Etched beer mugs/glasses, letterman jackets, enamel pins, patches, can & bottle cozy's, skateboard decks, button packs, CD's, silk-screened posters, and other assorted items. These newly-released Misfits Wave 2 Enamel Pins are now available... just in time for the next (fingers crossed!) Original Misfits show! Wave 2 features 6 glossy "BULLET," "FIEND EYES," "HALLOWEEN," "EVIL NEVER DIES," "DIE, DIE, MY DARLING" & "EVIL EYE" pins; a few Glow-In-The-Dark Misfits Wave 1 Enamel Pins are, also, still available, as well.

II. Broken Bootlegs: Blink Trio & TV Party T-shirts (@brokenbootlegs)

Broken Bootlegs is a mysterious company that specializes in #Punkmerch. Their Bigcartel store currently hosts a number of limited edition Punk/Hardcore T-shirts featuring custom hybrid designs. For example, their Blink Trio shirt features icon imagery from both Blink-182 AND Alkaline Trio, which is funny because co-lead vocalist/guitarist is currently doing double-duty in Blink. TV PARTY features allusions to both Black Flag's Damaged single, "TV Party," as well as Descendents-adjacent band ALL's popular zany-eyed mascot, Allroy. Some of Broken Bootlegs' other designs boast allusions to Suicidal Tendencies' "Institutionalized," Black Flag's Slip It In, Pepsi, The Misfits' "Horror Business," Descendents' "Coffee Mug," and Jawbreaker's "when it pains, it roars" Salt Girl. The above-displayed Blink Trio & TV Party T-shirts are both available to purchase/pre-order directly from Broken Bootlegs' Bigcartel page for €18.00—about $20.16 USD give or take—in sizes ranging from XS-XXL.

III. Howell Edwards Creative: MY FIRST PUNK ABC BOOK (@hecreative)

"Found a little project/idea we were working on a few years ago, The A-Z of Punk. The style was inspired by Mary Blair's beautiful illustration. We thought it would be fun to finish one of the pages. Here is "M" is for Misfits. What other letters should we do?" Howell Edwards Creative (@hecreative) posted on their Instagram page on APRIL 2. Howell Edwards is creative design studio based in Burnham-On-Crouch, Essex, England and is run by husband and wife team, Phil & Charlotte Howell. We had previously seen @hecreative posting their Punk/Hardcore-themed paper dolls, as well as various prints reminiscent of Archie/Riverdale, on Instagram. Now, Phil & Charlotte have returned with a seemingly abandoned idea with MY VERY FIRST PUNK ABC BOOK, which has done exceedingly well; quickly selling out in its first pressing, with a second already available for pre-order. Howell Edwards' Punk Rock A-Z features child-friendly renditions of everyone from Against Me! to Z... you'll just have to pick up a copy and see! Phil & Charlotte Howell's latest creation, HEAR US ROAR: A BRIEF HISTORY OF WOMEN IN PUNK, is currently available for pre-order from HE Creative's Print Store with orders expected to ship by or before June 2019.

IV. Jared Gaines Art: Black Flag DAMAGED Tattoo Flash Print/T-shirt (@jaredgainesva)

Jared Gaines is a Virginia-based artist, who primarily designs tattoo flash-style illustrations. Gaines' store currently sells prints, pins, and shirts based on a variety of iconic Punk/Hardcore bands and albums. Jared Gaines has designed what he calls "Tattoo Flash"-style prints for each track on genre-shaping albums, such as AFI's Black Sails In The Sunset, Jawbreaker's 24-Hour Revenge Therapy, Alkaline Trio's Good Mourning, Black Flag's Damaged (featured above,) Descendents' Everything Sucks, Rancid's ...And Out Come The Wolves, NOFX's Punk In Drublic, Avail's 4AM Friday, and countless others. Damaged & Everything Sucks shirts are currently available to purchase from Jared Gaines Art, along with a few other apparel items. Jared Gaines also, put together a 30-track HARDCORE PUNK Spotify Playlist exclusively for The Witzard featuring everyone from Bad Brains to Veruca Salt, which you can now listen to down below the break.

V. LUCHAFIEND Custom Action Figure (@karmadeperro)

Jesus Flores Olivera (@karmadeperro) descibes himself as a "Mexican't 30's bastard, father of the "LUCHAFIEND" figure, Bootleg dealer," who "[loves] to do trades" and "sometimes, [does] sh*tty draws." LUCHAFIEND, which I ordered about 2 weeks ago, is a custom-made action figure mixing traits from a Lucha Libre wrestler and The Misfits' iconic Crimson Ghost mascot/logo. It appears as though LUCHAFIEND is about @karmadeperro's third or fourth Misfits-related creation; with previous versions mysteriously hashtagged as "Mexican Horror," #frankensteincustom, #misfitsfiendclub, and "Mary Shelley's worst kid." "[I will] try to finish some other ideas through [the] next few weeks related to The Misfits..." Olivera recently explained to us within an Instagram Direct Message. Ch-ch-check out @karmadeperro's past, present, and future collaborations on their Instagram page and if interested in purchasing, I strongly urge messaging them before someone else gets your desired custom toy!

VI. TFU Studios: Nineteen Eighty Seven, Vol. 2 'zine & Soundtrack (@tfustudios & @bootsnboozemagazine)

"Nineteen Eighty Seven documents the adventures of a young graffiti artist amidst the Santa Cruz of the mid-80's. Count is a 17-year-old, who is desperately trying to prove himself to his peers and foes alike, all the while, keeping clear of the authorities. Starting as just a handful of friends, the group of graffiti artists soon grows into a small community. This burgeoning sub-culture of art existed amidst a town full of 1960's holdovers, rednecks, and Punks, whose response ranged from indifference to open hostility. A now-defunct club called Club Culture is one of the centerpieces of this story, as it was home to a growing Hip-Hop community dedicating weekends to Soul/Funk and open-mic events, while keeping weekdays to Punk Rock," Nineteen85's about. section reads. Nineteen Eighty Five Seven is the quasi-follow-up to 1985, as well as 1885. Both Nineteen Eighty Seven, Vol. 1-2 'zines come complete with with an exclusive Soundtrack Mix. TFU Studios mastermind James Reitano has previously created music videos or visuals for the likes of 14KT, Biz Markie, Cut Chemist, DANGERDOOM, DJ Nu-Mark, GZA, Kool Keith, MADVILLAIN, Manchester Orchestra, Mayer Hawthorne, Quasimoto, and Sesame Street.

VII. No More Industries/Six Feet Under Records: AGNOSTIC FRONT Demon Skin Hard Enamel Pin (@nomoreindustries)

NO MORE industries is an online store/creative collective that produces and sells "Black Market dry goods" often related to Punk Rock, Hardcore, Counter-Culture, and Pop Culture. Some are created right in-house, while others are made by outside companies and distributed by No More Industries. Their primary section of products consists of enamel pins, patches, and T-shirts with wholesale order welcome. No More's web-store currently consists of Punk/Hardcore-adjacent products with allusions to Spider-Man/Gwen, Bad Brains, Rocky Horror Picture Show, Samhain/Danzig, AC/DC, Motörhead, The Ramones, The Dead Milkmen, Murphy's Law, and L.L. Cool J. One of No More Industries' stand-out items is their AGNOSTIC FRONT Demon Skin Hard Enamel Pin. It's one of their personal favorites and is officially licensed by Roger Miret and his Agnostic Front bandmates; "The Demon Skin" character was originally featured on the cover for AF's iconic 1986 album, CAUSE FOR ALARM on Relativity/Combat Records. Get this pin directly from No More Industries/Six Feet Under Records and check out Ian McFarland's critically-acclaimed documentary, Agnostic Front: The Godfathers of Hardcore.

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

The Witzard Proudly Presents... "The Adventures of DR. VOODUN" Starring: Roughneck Jihad & Solomon Strange (E.S.P. Teaser)

It's truly great when The Internet works in mysterious, positive ways... for example, a few months ago, The Diabolical Doctor Strange reached out to me asking if I would be able to help get him in touch with Third Sight emcee, Roughneck Jihad. After checking with Jihad first, I, of course, obliged because, quite honestly, who wouldn't want to hear a collaborative effort from The Diabolical Doctor Strange AND Roughneck Jihad?!!!??! It's been a couple months now, through which I've been getting regular status updates from The Diabolical Doctor Strange AKA Solomon Strange, via Facebook Messenger; The Witzard Proudly Presents... "The Adventures of DR. VOODUN" Starring: Roughneck Jihad & Solomon Strange (E.S.P. Teaser.) So, just to be clear, this is a video teaser/preview of Roughneck Jihad & Solomon Strange's collaborative EP, or E.S.P. AKA "Extra-Sensory Perception," seemingly entitled "The Adventures of DR. VOODUN." It appears as though "DR. VOODUN" might be a riff on or homage to Marvel Comics' character, Brother Voodoo (Jericho Drumm) who ultimately, ends up replacing Doctor Strange as Sorcerer Supreme in The New Avengers #53 and is thereby referred to as "Doctor Voodoo" and "vodun" is another term for "voodoo."

"This is going to be a crazy record. Myself and Solomon Strange collaboration. This is just the teaser the full-length is coming soon," Juan L. Betts (Roughneck Jihad) exclaimed on Facebook. It appears as though The Adventures of DR. VOODUN E.S.P. will contain 5 songs, 5 remixes, and 10 instrumentals. One early stand-out cluster of rhymes is: "Never ghostwritten / I'm the author / Your rhymes are much softer / I spit venom / Eddie Brock Venom / Rattlesnake venom / Deadly, deadly venom / I split venom / Neurotoxin venom / F**k Peter Parker and his sonic weapons venom..." However, over the course of the next 8-9 minutes, Roughneck Jihad somehow manages to effortlessly shout-out everyone from Darth Bane (Star Wars) to Foster The People. It appears as though "The Adventures of DR. VOODUN" features about 3 tracks from the upcoming E.S.P. along with 3+ minutes of audio from an unspecified anime/manga series. While we wait for further release details concerning The Adventures of DR. VOODUN, I strongly urge you ch-ch-check out Roughneck Jihad & The Diabolical Doctor Strange's latest full-length releases, Juan Sequitur and STRANGE JACQSUN with Sauce Jacqson, respectively.

Monday, April 29, 2019

JE DOUBLE F's Nihilist New Wave Band TUFF TURF Return with "CLOSED UP" from NIGHT FINDS YOU (American Scream Records)

TUFF TURF is a New Jersey-based Nihilist New Wave band fronted by everyone's favorite Nihilist Punk-Rap super-star, JE DOUBLE F. Equal parts Glenn Danzig & RiFF RAFF, JE DOUBLE F is, actually, the ALL CAPS moniker of Atlantic City's own Jeff "Spooky" Richie. We've previously covered both Jeff's 2017 full-length, HUMAN RITES and TUFF TURF's "BODY HEAT" B/W "HEAVEN, RIGHT NOW" cassingle; plus, JE DOUBLE F was the second brave artist to submit a Beat-maker Bedrock to us, featuring particularly "gloomy" selections from Gravediggaz, Samhain & Nine Inch Nails, of course. Now, JE DOUBLE F-helmed TUFF TURF have returned with the long-rumored follow-up to their 2016 American Scream Records full-length, HUNGER & HAUNT, ominously titled NIGHT FINDS YOU. TUFF TURF, actually, take their name from Fritz Kiersch's 1985 American Drama film of the same name starring a young James Spader, Kim Richards, and a then-21-year-old Robert Downey, Jr. Tuff Turf's tagline was, according to IMDb: "The new kid in school must battle a gang of street toughs after stealing the gang leader's girl..." To be completely honest, TUFF TURF's latest single, "CLOSED UP," could have functioned as the soundtrack to, I'm assuming, one of Tuff Turf's many gang-led car chase/white-knuckle racing scenes. "'CLOSED UP" preaches the importance of self-reliance, personal responsibility, and emotional steadiness," TUFF TURF explain within a recent press release. NIGHT FINDS YOU is currently available for pre-order from American Scream Records, which includes immediate digital download + 2 extra pre-order-only songs, CD, T-shirt, sunglasses, and stickers. TUFF TURF's NIGHT FINDS YOU will become widely available on May 25, 2019.


"I take what's my mine because it's always been,
You can't achieve without pride and sin,
You said it all, you said it wrong,
You tear me up from my flesh to bones,

I'll take the fall, I'll take the ride,
Because what's inside me will not hide,
There's an undertow,
You'll under go changes to you,

I'll open up my hand, blood and anger crush,
You never understand, I never asked for much,
I was closed up, yeah, I couldn't clutch,
Now that no one loves me, I'm having all the fun.

There's an underneath to the things we seek,
We want them soon, we want to reap now,
It doesn't have to be fair and square,
I'll fight anyone for anything, anywhere,

It's boring to me, people who hide are weak,
So, find me, if you can hear me now,
It's never going to be fair and square,
I'll fight anyone off..."


Friday, April 26, 2019

Thirtyseven & Dr. Quandary (Algorhythms) Return with Lost Remixes from 2007-09 Feat. Louis Mackey, Gyver Hypman, Dolom Zero & Man Mantis

Justin Boland & Kyle Tierce were the co-founders of beloved and now-defunct Indie/Underground Hip-Hop label and collective, World Around Records. Thanks to Zilla Rocca, we ran a sort of label send-off/track-by-track breakdown for their final comp. before permanently closing up shop, 2017's We Are World Around, Vol. 6. Tierce frequently records and releases "dusty, sample-heavy beats inspired by the Psychedelic music of the late 1960's" as Dr. Quandary, according to Discogs. Aside from his solo output, Quandary recently released an album of fictional Italian "film scores" as MASSIMO E MASSIMO with Dakota Crane and produced the entirety of one-time label mate Louis Mackey's 2017 effort, AVGVSTVS. Boland, on the other hand, has recorded and released music under a revolving door of musical nom de plumes, over the years, including, but not limited to Thirtyseven, Humpasaur Jones, Hump Jones, FDR with Godforbid, and Wombaticus Rex with DJ Multiple Sex Partners. Together, Thirtyseven & Dr. Quandary function as Algorhythms and self-released a slew of albums, singles, EP's, and remixes between 2008-15.

Arguably, most notably, within Underground Hip-Hop/Rap Twitter circles, at least, was 2008's now out-of-print 9-track self-titled EP; although, it was re-released in 2014 as Algorhythms: Deluxe Edition with 3 B-sides and 1 previously unreleased original on 100 limited edition cassettes as The Turquoise Tape. Later that same year, Alogrhytms surprise-released their second full-length project, EELRIJUE EP to wide-spread critical and fan acclaim. In-between Algorhythms EP & EELRIJUE EP releases, Thirtyseven & Dr. Quandary slowly trickled out a de facto "collection" of remixes produced by their friends, collaborators, and World Around co-conspirators: Naturetone—later, half of Places&Spaces—s​.​maharba AKA THE LEGENDARY S.MAHARBA, Custom, Suplington, and Dr. Quandary himself. Algorhythms have remained largely silent since 2015 single, "Tulpas," until last night, when I was watching Avengers: Endgame with my grade school buddy... Thirtyseven & Dr. Quandary quietly released a 6-track collection entitled Lost Remixes. It consists of "REMIXES FROM THE VAULTS 2007-2009" featuring newly dusted off mixes from Louis Mackey, Gyver Hypman, Dr. Quandary, Dolom Zero, and Man Mantis. Lost Remixes is currently available on Bandcamp on a Name-Your-Price basis and, hopefully, we'll end up hearing more genre-eschewing material from Dr. Quandary & Thirtyseven together as Algorhythms before too long!

"I've had these cuts sitting on a hard drive for about a decade. Back when we put out our first project together as Algorhythms we had an impromptu remix "contest," which is how we met Naturetone, but we also reached out to our usual cast of co-conspirators with the acapellas. For reasons now-forgotten, most of them never saw the light of day, although, we did drop a couple as singles—my remix of "Blowing Numbers," Customs version of "Open Ended," and of course s.maharba's monster treatment of "Ram Nam Satya Hai."

Anyway, I was shuffling through my music and Louis Mackey's "Dreams of Lisbon" remix came on. I always loved that track, it's funky as Hell. Honestly, it's been like this every couple of years—I'd stumble into that folder again, listen to the cuts, be like "oh yeah these are extremely dope" and then forget about them again for another cycle. This time around I was like "hey, why not release these?" So I did. I don't have exact dates on any of them but I'm pretty sure most of them are from 2007, and none of them are more recent than 2009."

- Dr. Quandary (@quandary)

Thursday, April 25, 2019

Australia's Alnitak Kid, Nelson Dialect & Nate88 Form Variations of Light & Release Debut Project LUNAR BEAUTIFIC (Bleu Avian Records)

"Variations of Light. My new group and album with Alnitak Kid & Nate88. Lunar Beautific drops April 19. 3 releases in 4 months. No slowing up here..." Nelson Dialect (@Dialect.Official) wrote within a Facebook post earlier this month. I believe, the "3 releases in 4 months" Nelson is talking about are, in fact: Nelson Dialect + Architech's Opera House released on Galant Records, So.Crates / Alnitak Kid / Nelson Dialect's Sunset Cities on Bedroom Suck Records, and, of course, Variations of Light's Lunar Beautific released a matter of days ago on Bleu Avian Records. Trusty readers of The Witzard will, likely, recognize Nelson Dialect's name from his eppearances on "Beyond The 10th," "In The Pocket," and "Hold It Down" on Side B of Ray West & The Soul Misfits self-titled "one-off" cassette for Red Apples 45/FatBeats. Alnitak Kid, Nelson Dialect & Nate88 are three Adelaide, Australia-based artists, who have now, teamed up to collectively form Variations of Light; through Lunar Beautific's album roll-out, Variations of Light have garnered favorable reviews from across The Internet and even scored recent music video/single premieres on both Complex Australia & EARMILK.

From what I can gather, Lunar Beautific was recorded as a group production and painstakingly created through a series of long jam sessions with Nelson Dialect on the mic and sampler, Nate88 on keyboards, and Alnitak Kid providing a lush, organic production soundscape. It's an extremely enjoyable listen—clocking in at just under 24 minutes—with a sound largely indebted to Soul/Funk and "live" Hip-Hop bands, such as The Roots, Jurassic 5, Phony PPL, and even, Ray West & The Soul Misfits. Variations of Light even went as far as to recruit frequent Black Milk, Pharoahe Monch, Method Man & Redman, Phat Kat, and Slaughterhouse collaborator Melanie "M." Rutherford to grace single "Petty Love" with her lush harmonies. American Jazz & Soul singer Lauren Henderson is also, featured on Lunar Beautific stand-out "Stay Low," as well. Lunar Beautific was Mixed By: Deckdaddy & Mastered By: Adam Straney at Breakpoint Mastering. Variations of Light's Lunar Beautific is currently available to stream, purchase, or download from Bleu Avian Records' Bandcamp page, along with 150 limited edition 12-inch vinyl LP's available online.