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Showing posts from February, 2019

Various Artists VIII: How Compilations Influenced a Generation - Generations I: A Punk Look At Human Rights Penned By: John E. Swan (Ark 21 Records)

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

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

Label Profile: 2018 YEAR IN REVIEW [MIXTAPE], 'FEATURE LENGTH' EPISODES 1-2 & 2000's PASSAGE EP's Comp. (Illuminated Paths)

2018 YEAR IN REVIEW <MIXTAPE> by Illuminated Paths and Broken Machine Films presents...
Joshua Rogers (@pathilluminated) otherwise known as Broken Machine Films Presents... has been creating and banking samples since 2002. He's created over 30 albums utilizing only vintage equipment and medium and practicing the art of cassette-to-cassette manipulation. Broken Machine Films Presents... was recently featured on Memories Overloaded: A Tribute to The Caretaker, Godless America Mixtape Vol. 4, Gorgeous Lights' Latenight, and Bedroom Cassette Masters 1980-89 Volume Nine. Rogers himself attests his "creations have been most associated with like going to a late 70's lo-fi drive-in Grindhouse B-movie double-feature with your main squeeze; putting the listening device on your [car] door and continuing on with your date. Not paying so much attention to what is transpiring on the screen anymore... you have more pressing matters to attend to." Broken Machine Films Prese…

QM, Luke Sick, VRSE Murphy & Richie Cunning Return with ON TILT "Posse" Comp. THE TITALATION (I Had An Accident/Megakut Records)

The Tiltalation by ON TILT
"It would be sick, if all these people were on the same album: ON TILT, Monk Madino, J-Lately, Dev Rambis, Eddie K, Brandon B, Ben Buck, L*Roneous, DJ MARZ, Richie Cunning, D. Vincent, Diamond Lung, Big Shawn, Bad Larry, Kayer, Rime Force Most Illin', Pudge, Squalid, Philo, Gus Cutty, Ritchy Flo, White Mic, Sacred Hoop, Monikape, DamCold$, S.T.A.T.I.K. Too Tough, Uncle Buck, Brycon, G-Pek, DJ Eons One, Yelir, Spex, Shag Diggler, Chaz One, Just Jay, VRSE Murphy, and Z-Man... Oh yeah, it drops tomorrow... THE TILTALATION," Mega Kut cryptically posted on their Facebook page late Monday night. Megakut Records are, of course, speaking of Bay Area Hip-Hop crew ON TILT's third proper release, THE TITALATION. ON TILT consists of emcees QM & VRSE Murphy, producer/multi-instrumentalist Luke Sick, and the group's own personal "Bob Power"A Tribe Called Quest, De La Soul, The Roots, and D'Angelo super-producer—Richie Cunning. Much…

The Witzard Premiere: Los Angeles-based Emcee & Bartender Alex Ludovico Unveils THE VIVIAN MAIER EP (#MedicineMondays2019)

The Vivian Maier EP by Alex Ludovico
Since we last spoke with Los Angeles-based bartender and A Clockwork Orange-referencing emcee Alex Ludovico, upon our premiere of "Calendar," he has released five more one-off single installments in his ever-evolving #MedicineMondays series. The, suddenly, before year's end, Alex Ludovico unleashed a brand new 10-track full-length entitled pretendtobe, which we previously teased within our "Calendar" premiere. Just this year, as part of his #MedicineMondays2019 series, Ludovico has already unleashed six one-off singles, as well as a fittingly festive 3-track EP entitled New Year's Resolutions. I've heard "through the grapevine" that Alex Ludovico is earnestly at work finishing up an EP with Brooklyn-based producer and fellow Zilla Rocca collaborator, Jason Griff (@iamJasonGriff) which should be properly released within a month or so. It appears as though, in the meantime, Ludovico has still been cranking ou…

Ancona, Italy-based Garage/Blues Rock Band Gentlemens Return with Third Ferocious Full-length TRIAGE (Hound Gawd! Records)

As many of you may well remember, Gentlemens/The Gentlemens are a frantic young Garage/Blues Rock band hailing from Ancona, Italy. I believe, a number of years ago, Gentlemens' guitarist G.F. AKA Giordano Baldoni found us on Twitter and started frequently sending the band's music; at that point, they were unsigned, but we eventually, ended up publishing a comprehensive feature on The Gentlemens' sophomore full-length, HOBO-FI, released on Pisa, Italy-based Area Pirata Records back in 2016. Now, just about three years later, Gentlemens have returned once again with their third full-length entitled TRIAGE, this time, however, on German imprint, Hound Gawd! Records, as "powered by" Rough Trade Distribution. Since HOBO-FI's initial release, Gentlemens nearly trekked across the "entire Boot," as well as two European tours in just one year with stops in Switzerland, Germany, France, and Spain for a total of about 75 dates, plus, opening for The Oblivians

Uncommon Records Presents: Last Sons' "Champions" Feat. Barrie McLain & Guillotine Crowns (Short Fuze & Uncommon Nasa)

Chekhov's Gun by Last Sons
For at least a few years now, I've been speaking with UK emcee Duke01 (@DukeBinary) effectively one 1/2 of Last Sons, about their long-rumored full-length debut to be produced by Uncommon Nasa. Merely separated by an ocean, Staten Island, NY-based producer/emcee, Uncommon Nasa, has been working with Nottingham, UK-bred Duke01 and his in-house DJ/turntablist, Furious P, since about 2014. Duke01's Steroid Stereo (Orange Edition) EP was released in collaboration with Nasa's Uncommon Records and features cuts throughout from Furious P. Now, nearly five years later, Last Sons & Uncommon Nasa have reunited for their aforementioned Steroid Stereo follow-up that's now being billed as Chekhov's Gun; a couple weeks ago, I received an early press advance of Last Sons' Chekhov's Gun and trust me, it's well worth the wait! Still about a month ahead of Chekhov's Gun's March 15th world-wide "street date," Uncommon R…

Stuntdouble & Tenshun Talk 3-part "Welcome to San Diego, Now Go Home" EP Series & Pump The Brakes (The Witzard Interview)

Bob "Stuntdouble" Surratt AKA Bobby Stuntdooblier & Jon "Tenshun" Calzo—or sometimes, just 10shun—are an emcee/producer duo hailing from San Diego, California. Stuntdouble & Tenshun quietly unleashed 3 self-released EP, as well as an additional EP's-worth of out-takes or "party-starters" between 2011-18. Said 3-EP series was fittingly dubbed Welcome to San Diego, Now Go Home and consists of, in order: The Ballad of Shawn T. Nelson, Pay Us a Visit & The Hunchback of Golden Hill, as well as 2016 out-liers EP, Pump The Brakes. Bob & Jon first met around 2003 while being employed at the same place of work, as Tenshun's boss suggested Stuntdouble check out his then-newly released Grey Death.

Prior to unveiling their Welcome to San Diego, Now Go Home EP series, actually, recorded and self-released two earlier small-batch "full-lengths" on CD-R throughout 2005: Don't Have to Be Drunk to Tell The Truth & You Can't Po…

Dutch Producer Reinier Thijs Pens Beat-maker Bedrock #26 On The Heels of Thijsenterprise's DOKKUM EP (Thijsenterprise Label)

"Any question which starts with "Top 5..." is hard to answer. I used to ask all my friends and other musicians about their Top 5 albums. And since I asked them, they used to ask me the same. I have been with the same list for the last couple of years, which is, maybe, not really my Top 5 right now, but it's pretty OK for a Top 5 of all-time. Any of these albums I've played intensively, most of them for years straight on a daily [basis] and I can sing/rap them along or even play some of the solos. These are must-listen records for anyone because these records are my friends in the good and dark times. The Top 5 is in order of discovery because after all, there can't be just one winner. Let's start!"

- Reinier Thijs (@thijsenterprise)

I. Jimi Hendrix - Band of Gypsys (1970)

"When I was around 14/15-years-old, I got really into music; not only the mainstream, which was on MTV, but, also, the older stuff. I don't really know how I stumbled on Ji…

The Witzard Premiere: Raymond Strife & iLL-Omega's The Replacements-evoking "Shane Falco" Music Video (Invisible Library Records)

Last year, Trenton, New Jersey-based emcee/producer duo Raymond "Ray" Strife & iLL-Omega unleashed their second proper long-form collaboration, Go for The Gusto. It's the full-length follow-up to Ray Strife & iLL-Omega's 2017 Preface: I Will Never Be Beautiful EP, which was, actually, premiered right here, across the pages of The Witzard. On Super Bowl Sunday, I received an email from Ray Strife entitled "Wanna premier a new video?" It was during, as we all well know, a fairly lackluster game between The Patriots & The Rams, so I quickly watched the video and sent an exuberant "Hell yes!" Reply back to Ray. Said music video is for Go for The Gusto stand-out "Shane Falco"—an allusion to Keanu Reeves' character in 2000 Sports/Comedy film, The Replacements—is now, proudly premiering right here on The Witzard, as well, this afternoon. Throughout "Shane Falco"'s nearly 5-minute duration, we're treated to, at…

CZARFACE Meets Ghostface's "MONGOLIAN BEEF" Music Video Directed By: Shawn "Shon J." Johnson (NEKTR/@oldsoulbrother1)

Shawn Johnson is a multi-talented artist, who makes digital art and videos, as well as Instrumental Hip-Hop. For his digital art efforts, Shawn goes by @oldsoulbrother AKA NEKTR (@SHONJART) and has released music, over the years, as Shon J. Mr.J with Mr. Backside, OLD SOUL with Optimus Prime, and as part of Hip-Hop/Rock band, NOGENRE559 with affiliation to The Natural High, Amajin Records, and Alpha Force. Shawn Johnson has worked with and created Cut-and-Paste-esque music videos for The Witzard mainstay Purple Dialect, Slum Village emcee T3, Westside Gunn & Conway affiliate Benny The Butcher, J-Zone & Pablo Martin's The Du-Rites, Ali Miller FKA Truck North (The Roots,) K.A.A.N. and Lance Skiiiwalker. I've previously spoken with Shawn Johnson concerning his work on Purple Dialect's "Cocoa" video, as well as Shon J & Mr. Backside's 32-track Mr.J beat tape; however, in recent months, Shawn has been mentioning a number of high-profile collaborations …

Mr. Dibbs & DJ T-Rock Present: P**NTABLISTS' "Just The Tip" from The 2nd Cumming Full-length (Parental Advisory/Not Safe for Work)

Just The Tip by DJ T-Rock and Mr. Dibbs
Mr. Dibbs is a producer, circuit-bending artist, and long-time touring DJ for Atmosphere, El-P, Run The Jewels, and Eyedea. DJ T-Rock is a modern-day "cowboy," aspiring actor, and experienced turntablist with recent releases on Cold Busted. Mr. Dibbs & DJ T-Rock have known each other for at least 16 years with one of their earliest appearances on-record together being "Porntablist" from Side F of Dibbs' acclaimed 2003 Rhymesayers Ent. 3xLP, The 30th Song. DJ T-Rock & Mr. Dibbs have since collaborated countless times, including: "Dibbs (Outro)" from RAP ON ME?THE ORFANZ EP, "Rock Out" from DJ T-Rock & Squashy Nice Present: OUTLOUD, A.P.S.O.'s single "The Isle" with @E_makes_music, and a mysterious project called Travel Lodge 305. Now, Mr. Dibbs & DJ T-Rock have once again reunited as Porntablists to collectively display "the art of manipulating pornographic sound bites&…

These Bastards Rip Through Choice Cuts from Old... ...and pissed 7-inch on KZSU Stanford's Wednesday Night Live (90.1FM)

Old and Pissed by These Bastards
These Bastards are a phenomenally-named Punk/Hardcore & Powerviolence band hailing from San Francisco, California. It appears as though These Bastards initially formed around January 2018, prior to the release of their frantic 6-track DEMO 2018 EP. These Bastards' first proper release, Old... ...and pissed's 7-inch liner notes proclaim, "These Bastards are these bastards: T.C. Bonelocs: Drums, Stoney: Guitar, Leech: Vocals, Bruno: Bass." These Bastards' Bandcamp page boasts it, in fact, consists of members of Conquest for Death, Venkman, Slobber, Agents of Satan, and Go Like This. These Bastards'Facebook page—I know, these bastards are all over social media!—additionally lists their "Affiliations" as: Dioretix, Fassbender, Mad Cow Dizeaze 182, Translators, Feldmans, Creepy People, Shed Wellaz, Gym Class Heroes(?), Say Bok Gwai, Theeannoying, Three Wheel Motion, and Useless Youth. Lo and behold, "Stoney Malone…

Moshuss & Hanses' Japanese Instrumental Hip-Hop Album Poltergeist On Limited Edition 10-inch with 5 Silk-screened LP Covers (Fennek Records)

Poltergeist by Moshuss & Hanses
Moshuss & Hanses are are two new-comer producers hailing from Mannheim, Germany and their 10-inch vinyl, Poltergeist, is the first release on Fennek Records. Fennek is, in fact, run by Hannes AKA Hanses, along with Heinrich AKA Shaga—yes, we're all on a first name basis around here! It appears as though Fennek Records plans to continually release a series of limited edition hand-made silk-screened projects on 10-inch vinyl; again, their inaugural project, Poltergeist from Moshuss & Hanses is currently available in 5 different "cardboard" cover designs complete with OBI strips that are limited to 50 copies each with 250 copies available all together. Poltergeist consists of 24 Instrumental Hip-Hop beats all clocking in at abut 1-2:00 minutes or less, which were jointly composed and created by Moshuss & Hanses. Hannes & Lukas (Moshuss) went diggin' through an endless trove of both digital and physical source material, …

Chicago Progressive Hip-Hop Crew Jyroscope Unleash Jyroscope On The House Follow-up MUTE EP (ReSERVED Records)

MUTE by JYROSCOPE
Jyroscope is a Chicago-based Hip-Hop crew/self-described "3-headed monster" consisting of producer I.B. Fokuz, emcee Collasoul Structure, and turntablist DJ Seanile; "Jyroscope is the epitome of Progressive Hip-Hop over ear-consuming soundscapes, upon which the strongest impressions of truth are painted. Ranging from poetic rhyme schemes to heart-felt imagery, this group symbolizes the first time you fell in love with music," explains their impassioned Facebook Biography. Jyroscope (@jyroscope) are affiliated with Chicago-based Tomorrow Kings collective, which was actually, founded by I.B. Fokuz and are loosely "signed" to close friend and emcee Gilead7's LA imprint, ReSERVED Records. Jyroscope's past releases include 2011's RAGTIME and Rock "N" Roll-flipping JYROSCOPE ON THE ROCKS... Mixtape, and 2016's House music re-working Jyroscope On The House, as well as 2018 released singles, "MUTE" Feat. Gatz N…

Grand Invincible Announce First-ever Digital Re-issues of COLD HAND IN THE DICE GAME & WINTER 365 EP (Megakut Records)

WINTER 365 by Grand Invincible
Grand Invincible is a California-based 2-man Hip-Hop crew featuring emcee Luke Sick and esteemed producer/turntablist DJ Eons One. Luke Sick AKA J. Luke Oakson & Clell Miller owns and operates Punk/Hip-Hop imprint, Megakut Records. While DJ Eons One AKA Dan Lactose was once a founding member of Hip-Hop-loving Powerviolence band, SPAZZ and has his own small-batch imprint called Tinted Windows Record Co. Both DJ Eons One & Luke Sick have released countless records under an infinite amount of aliases, but together, they've released three albums and three singles/EP's as Grand Invincible between about 2008-15. Ask The Dust (2008) was self-released by Grand Invincible themselves, 2010's COLD HAND IN THE DICE GAME was released on Zero Friends, and Menace Mode was released on super-limited cassette by Luke's own Megakut Records. Amidst this aforementioned series of releases, Luke Sick & DJ Eons One unleashed WINTER 365 as both a 2-tra…