Friday, May 31, 2019

Riley Hawk's Skate Punk/Horror Rock Band WARISH Returns with "Runnin' Scared" B​/W "​Their Disguise" 7-inch EP (RidingEasy Records)

WARISH are a self-proclaimed "Low-Budget Horror Rock" band hailing from Oceanside, California; yes, their guitarist/vocalist is Tony Hawk's son and fellow Pro "Street" Skater, Riley Hawk. Oddly enough, my first real-deal "concert"—aside from Dexys Midnight Runners & Sesame Street/Disney On Ice—was Activision O2 Presents: Tony Hawk's Boom Boom HuckJam held at the then-First Union Center (now-Wells Fargo Center) in Philly in November of 2002. Boldly billed as "THE ONLY ACTION SPORTS TOUR THAT MATTERS!" and featuring the biggest, gnarlist SKATE/MOTO-X/BMX stars of the day rippin' it up on a giant half-pipe constructed right atop where the Sixers & Flyers would typically play. I can vaguely remember, my family went with my best buddy, Ryan, and his family and little did we know, in addition to Action/X-treme Sports, we'd be treated to our first Punk/Hardcore X-perience: Punk Rock/Blues pioneers Social Distortion! So, it's pretty wild to think that Tony Hawk's son, Riley, now fronts his own Skate/Horror Punk & Noise band; in addition to The Birdman, Jr. WARISH, also, features the talents of bassist Alex Bassaj and drummer Nick "Bruce" McDonnell. Hawk & McDonnell have previously played together as part of Skate Doom/Psych Rock band PETYR and Bassaj moonlights as "ROCKN'ROLL TRASH VINYL DJ," DJ Lexicon Devil.

"Imagine if INCESTICIDE-era Nirvana were crossed with Static Age-era Misfits. You'd have sinister Low-Budget Horror Rock with a visceral, twisted weirdness and bludgeoning riffs. Some might call it nightmarish... we call it WARISH," proclaims WARISH's Bandcamp page. Formed in early 2008, WARISH's harsh-edged, skate-friendly output has previously been likened to Motörhead, who are, admittedly, one of Riley Hawk's favorite bands, as well as 90's Alternative/Noise Rock pioneers Butthole Surfers. "We wanted to do simpler riffs and a fun live show. A little more Punk, a little bit of Grunge... a little evil-ish," Hawk recently explained to REVOLVER Magazine within a WARISH profile/premiere. "Runnin' Scared" ​/ "​Their Disguise" were both debuted within the aforementioned REVOLVER feature yesterday and as of today, Friday, May 31st, are now currently available in both digital and 7-inch single formats from Hermosa Beach, California-based RidingEasy Records. RidingEasy is, actually, run and operated by Daniel Hall AKA DJ Daniel Haul, whom, from what I understand, is an extremely talented DJ and party-starter unto his own right and, also, just so happens to be a long-time friend of The Witzard's frequent collaborator, Dan Ubick of Connie Price & The Keystones, The Lions, and most recently, The Mad Geezers. WARISH are currently gearing up to embark on Acid King's 21-date BUSSE WOODS 20TH ANNIVERSARY US TOUR with special guests Wizard Rifle & Witch Mountain this September-early October.

Thursday, May 30, 2019

Titus Andronicus Return with "STACKS" [PILOT EPISODE] & "STACKS ON STACKS: The Official S+@CKS After-Show" Q&A (Merge Records)

Over the years, Patrick Stickles-helmed Titus Andronicus have unleashed quite the expansive, genre-eschewing back catalog-worth of music; for me, personally, it all started with 2012's Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band-evocative Local Business. Titus Andronicus—often, affectionately referred to as simply "+@"—have since released a cascading 29-track "Punk" Rock Opera, The Most Lamentable Tragedy, a 2016 live album, S+@dium Rock: Five Nights at The Opera, and most recently, Folk Rock/Acoustic opus, A Productive Cough. In-between said releases, +@ have meticulously trickled out a gaggle of official/"unofficial" non-cannon releases, such as their mail-order SEVEN SEVEN INCHES series, Titus Andronicus, LLC Mixtape, Vol. 1, Lil' Wayne-referencing +@ LLC MIXTAPE, VOL. 2A: SORRY ABOUT THE DELAY, Titus Andronicus Mixtape, Volume III: A Reductive Scoff, and spook-tacular "Home Alone (On Halloween)" 12-inch. Titus Andronicus have somehow (un)surprisingly already returned with a new album, An Obelisk, set to drop Friday, June 21, 2019 on Merge Records.

Patrick Stickles & Co. have quietly dropped two pre-album singles from Bob Mould-produced An Obelisk, "(I Blame) Society" and "Tumult Around The World," although, now, have already returned with "the pilot episode of "Prestige" [Situational] Comedy, STACKS." "STACKS" is, supposedly, a long-standing nickname for +@ frontman Patrick Stickles, or amongst close friends, "Paddy Stacks." Coinciding with the debut/pilot episode of STACKS, Stickles partook in a comprehensive Vulture interview with columnist Justin Joffe fittingly titled Why Titus Andronicus Made Its Very Own Sitcom Pilot. It's definitely inspired by Seinfeld, MARON, Crashing, Arrested Development, and Curb Your Enthusiasm and STACKS follows a "day-in-the-life" of a semi-fictionalized version of Paddy Stacks, "as he attempts to navigate a "heightened" reality, where the perils and pitfalls of the modern music industry take on nightmarish proportions." I won't give too much away, but STACKS [PILOT EPISODE] co-stars Patrick Stickles' fellow Titus Andronicus bandmates Liam Benson, R.J. Gordon, and Chris Wilson. Plus, former/part-time +@ players Matt "Money" Miller & Cary Kehayan and Shea Stadium/Records Founder Alexander "Orange Drink" Levine of The So So Glos.

Again, without giving too much away, bartender Matt "Money" Miller, who previously provided lead vocals on "Home Alone (On Halloween)" appears at about the 16:45-minute mark as part of 2 Guys Rappin' his supposed Hip-Hop crew with Stickles from high school. In addition to previously released single, "Tumult Around The World," STACKS features two previously unreleased An Obelisk tracks, "Troubleman Unlimited" and "Just Like Ringing a Bell;" there's, also, separate music videos for "Just Like Ringing a Bell," "Tumult Around The World" & "Troubleman Unlimited" excerpted from STACKS. If you're really into the fully-immersive experience, last night's live fan interactive Q&A with Paddy Stacks himself, of course, titled "STACKS ON STACKS: The Official STACKS After-Show" is now streaming on YouTube, as well. Titus Andronicus' "(I Blame) Society," "Tumult Around The World" and "Just Like Ringing a Bell" / "Troubleman Unlimited" from An Obelisk are now available on your digital streaming service of choice. Also, make note: tickets for the staggering 63-date Titus Andronicus Autumn 2019 Tour go on sale this Friday, May 31st.

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

3 Hits from Hell: The Witzard's Favorite Punk/Hardcore Music Videos Feat. Dad Brains, GoGo Loco & King Gizzard (Vol. 1 Issue #1)

"I went to Las Vegas to perform with Liberace and went [with] him to see Elvis' show. I had never seen someone boldly standing on a stage–supposedly, a heterosexual male–wearing turquoise eye shadow and grinding his hips like that. The orchestra, one-by-one, put down their instruments. They crossed their arms and refused to play. The audience started booing and they booed him off the stage. Then, a voice said to me–and I wasn’t on any drugs–"go around the side of the hotel. There's a swimming pool and you'll find someone in a canary yellow jacket."

I went around and in the dark Moonless night, far away, I could see the double-doors of the casino, golden with light. They opened and a figure came into the doorway. It was Elvis, wearing a canary yellow jacket. He looked confusedly into the darkness, so I said, "I'm over here." We walked towards each other, sat down, and talked. I told him that I was a performer and that what happened was absolutely awful. He said, "every night before I go on, I talk to God and he always answers me. But tonight, he didn't answer. When them curtains opened and I saw all those white heads and them glasses, I knew why..."

- Maila "Vampira" Nurmi (Bizarre?, 1956)

Dad Brains are a Punk/Dadcore band based out of Oxnard/Ventura, California with a tip of the bottle lid to Bad Brains. Their Bandcamp page clarifies: "Hardcore Punk made by dads, about dads, for everyone!" Dad Brains' members include D*ck Circus drummer John Crerar, The F**king Wrath bassist Craig Kasamis, The Missing 23rd guitarist Matt Kash, and frontman Patrick "Pat" Pedraza. Last year, Dad Brains unleashed their self-titled debut 7-inch EP on Pirates Press Records, as well as a holiday-themed split 7-inch with Philly's very own Ramoms entitled MERRYXMAS. Now, Dad Brains have returned with their long-rumored second 7-inch/digital EP, dadditude to be released on Friday, June 14th on Pirates Press, again, just in time for Father's Day! "Father's Day" is the first proper single to be lifted from dadditude and, I can only guess, it features Crerar, Kasamis, Kash & Pedraza's own kids gallivanting around with their dads at a raucous backyard BBQ/Springtime gig.

GoGo Loco are a Punk/Rock "N" Roll, R&B, Trash Blues & Soul group hailing from Northampton, UK. It consists of members Joe Go Loco on vocals and guitars, Cheadle A' GoGo on maracas, drums, and vocals, and (sometimes) Jon "The Loon" Martin on guest piano, keyboards, "additional vocal interruptions." Joe Loco & Cheadle GoGo previously played together as part of extremely well-groomed, beer-loving Garage Rock/Punk ensemble, The Mobbs. Following a series of shows across Spain in support of their 2018 digital/7-inch EP, The GoGo Loco Twist, GoGo Loco have now, returned with their second proper release: "Whizz Pop!" Once again, presenting their unique brand of two-man maraca and guitar-driven Rock "N" Roll/Trash group have, seemingly, returned to the same space wherein "The GoGo Loco Twist" video was filmed. This time, however, Joe Go Loco & Cheadle A' GoGo are donning green and red superhero-like eye masks and capes, further accented by ACTION words and maraca-starring animations.

King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard are a critically-acclaimed Australian Psychedelic/Garage Rock band consisting of Michael "Cavs" Cavanagh, Cook "Cooky" Craig, Ambrose "Amby" Kenny-Smith, Stuart "Stu" Mackenzie, Eric "Mu" Moore, Lucas "Lukey" Skinner & Joe "Joey" Walker. Back in 2017, King Gizzard embarked on a courageous journey to release a whopping FIVE albums in ONE year—their ninth, tenth, eleventh, twelfth, and thirteenth—Flying Microtonal Banana, Murder of The Universe, Sketches of Brunswick East with Mild High Club, Polygondwanaland, and, finally, Gumboot Soup. After a much deserved, self-imposed sabbatical period through 2018, King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard have, once again, returned with their fourteenth studio album, Fishing for Fishies, on Flightless/ATO Records. Now, nearly a month after the release of Fishing for Fishies, King Gizzard have already returned with a non-album track entitled "Self-Immolate." Supposedly, this track and similarly-minded "Planet B" will be appearing on an upcoming King Gizzard "Thrash" (Heavy Metal) album to be titled Auto-Cremate, which was recently teased within a Reddit AMA.

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Run It Back: Dave Mustaine's Short-lived "Punk/Metal" Megadeath Side-project MD.45's The Craving (1996 Lee Ving Version)

"Mustaine & Ving created the band name by reversing their initials. Dave Mustaine's reversed are "MD" and Lee Ving's are "VL," which is 45 in Roman numerals, hence, the name MD.45... The initials, also, stand for members of the band: Mustaine, DeGrasso, Ving, and LeMieux," according to an answer given on Megadeath's website. MD.45 was, in fact, a short-lived Punk/Metal side-project of Megadeath guitarist and frontman Dave Mustaine, along with FEAR's founding guitarist Lee Ving, Electric Love Hogs and future Goldfinger bassist Kelly LeMieux, and former Suicidal Tendencies drummer Jimmy DeGrasso. DeGrasso would, later, join Mustaine's Megadeath between 1998-2002 for Risk, The World Needs A Hero, and Rude Awakening; in-between his time spent with Electric Love Hogs & Goldfinger, LeMieux was, also, briefly a member of FEAR from either 1995-97 or 1997-98. Lest we forget, FEAR were one of the first and only Punk/Hardcore bands to play Saturday Night Live (SNL) for about 25 years! Championed by then-cast member and early supporter of Punk/Hardcore music, John Belushi, FEAR played the Halloween 1981 episode of SNL; along with them, traveled a crew of DC-based slam-dancers, which included Belushi, Ian MacKaye of Minor Threat, Tesco Vee of The Meatmen, Harley Flanagan & John Joseph of The Cro-Mags, and John Brannon of Negative Approach. FEAR and their slam-dancing cronies' raucous display, ultimately, resulted in the aired TV performance being cut short and caused somewhere between $20,000-500,000 worth of damage to the SNL/30 Rock set.

MD.45 was only briefly active through 1996, released one album, The Craving, and, supposedly, only played one live show together. The Craving was originally released in Japan first on May 29, 1996 and saw a release in other nations across the world a few months later on July 23, 1996. However, unfortunately, the original Lee Ving-fronted version of The Craving has become widely unavailable in recent years, as when Capitol Records re-released The Craving (Remastered) in 2004, it was then, suspiciously realized that both Ving's vocal AND harmonica tracks were missing. Dave Mustaine, of course, decided to re-record the "missing" vocal and harmonica tracks himself (simulating the harmonica parts on his guitar.) In his book, Mustain off-handedly mentions he chose to replace Lee Ving's vocals to appease the Megadeath audience and hopefully, have better sales. I, personally, think Lee Ving's original 1996 vocals on The Craving sound phenomenal and far superior, but I've, admittedly, never been much of a Dave Mustaine/Megadeath fan, so, maybe, that's why... although, you can decide for yourself, as we've included Lee Ving's original version of The Craving down below—thanks to YouTuber Anti-Patriot009's 40-minute CD rip/stream—and I'm sure Mustaine's 2004 The Craving Re-mastered is now-widely available on digital streaming services. FEAR & Lee Ving, as they're now billed, have recently reunited with original line-up members Philo Cramer & Tim "Spit Stix" Leitch, as well as former AFI/Tiger Army bassist Geoff Kresge and former The Henchmen/Viva Hate guitarist Eric Razo. FEAR & Lee Ving recently opened for also-newly-reunited Punk/Hardcore pioneers, The Original Misfits and are gearing up to unleash a brand spankin' new 7-inch single on Atom Age Industries entitled "FUEL TO THE FIRE."

Friday, May 24, 2019

Leeds-based Jazz/Hip-Hop Big Band Abstract Orchestra Returns with Villainous MADVILLAIN VOL. 2 Re-works Collection (ATA Records)

Abstract Orchestra (AO) are a Leeds, UK-based Jazz/Big Band that, much like El Michels Affair & Brownout/Brown Sabbath, often plays Jazz renditions of popular Hip-Hop compositions. Their current line-up plays out a little something like this - Conductor/Music Director: Rob Mitchell, Saxes: Rob Mitchell, Jim Corry, James Russell, Dan Brunskill & Simon Kaylor, Trumpets: Malcolm Strachan, Jack Davis & Simon Beddoe, Trombones: Kevin "Kev" Holbrough, Danny Barley, Patrick Martin & Chris Hibard, Bass: Chris "Fatty" Hargreaves, Keys: George Cooper, Drums: Joost Hendrickx, and Vox/Vocals: Anna Uluru & Akin Amusan. AO's past incarnations—seemingly, always led by The Haggis Horns' Rob Mitchell—have performed live sets with the likes of Slum Village, De La Soul, and Yasiin Bey FKA Mos Def; with past releases including 2017's critically-acclaimed DILLA and 2018's "New Day" 7-inch/digital single Featuring Illa J. Now, Abstract Orchestra have, once again, joined forces with Leeds-based ATA Records to present their second collection of MADVILLAIN (Madlib & MF DOOM) reinterpretations, fittingly titled MADVILLAIN VOL. 2.

Much like its similarly-named predecessor, MADVILLAIN VOL. 1, VOL. 2 features a collection of newly re-worked compositions, both recognizable and deep cuts, from 2004's beloved MADVILLAINY, as well as MADVILLAINY 2: The Madlib Remix. Plus, a few "Madmixes" & "Mashups" stylistically strewn throughout the course of this enthralling 13-track journey through the mind of The Metal Face Villain himself, Daniel "DOOM" Dumile. As a bit of an added bonus, MADVILLAIN VOL. 2 features a special 100% Ghostly/Gas Drawls-sanctioned re-work of oft-remixed "Air" from Two/Three generously billed as "Abstract Orchestra, Dabrye, MF DOOM - "Air" Feat. MF DOOM (Abstract Orchestra Remix.) It appears as though ATA Records' Bandcamp page features a quasi-album breakdown, which, I would assume is, penned by Abstract Orchestra themselves. Stay tuned to this space in the coming weeks, as we're soon planning to conduct and publish a comprehensive interview with AO MD/Conductor, Rob Mitchell. For now, though, Abstract Orchestra's MADVILLAIN VOL. 2 is currently available to stream or purchase in a multitude of formats directly from ATA Records.

Thursday, May 23, 2019

Soul Supreme Reinterprets Grandmaster Flash & The Furious 5 & Mos Def On "The Message" B/W "Umi Says" 45 (Star Creature Universal Vibrations)

"New music alert! I'm super-happy to announce that I got 2 45's out today. First one is my versions of 2 classic cuts: "Umi Says" & "The Message." Get them while they last, via @starcreaturevibes. Link In Bio. Appreciate everybody that's been supporting me along the way," Noam (@soulsupreme) posted on Instagram on May 21, along with a couple "Praying Hands" Emojis. "Noam" is, of course, Tel Aviv, Israel-born, Amsterdam, The Netherlands-based producer and multi-instrumentalist Noam Ofir; professionally, he goes by Soul Supreme, as well as Love's High, when playing with Marlon Penninkhof AKA Marlon Penn. Soul Supreme has previously done "live" remixes of everyone from A Tribe Called Quest to Stevie Wonder on his Instagram & Facebook Live pages. Noam & Marlon have released music—both together and separately—on Chicago-based Star Creature Universal Vibrations, Elivity Records, and Tugboat Editions. All three labels are, actually, sous/sub-labels of Tim Zawada & Boogie Munsters DJ Ben Van Dyke's Tugboat Motion Co. whose labels include: Astro Tapes, Hotmood Records, Star Creature, Tugboat Editions, Tugboat Edits, Star Creature Universal Vibrations/Vibes, and, of course, Tugboat Motion Co. As mentioned above, Soul Supreme/Love's High has returned to Star Creature Universal Vibes with two freshly-pressed limited edition 45's.

The first features instrumental re-works of both Grandmaster Flash & The Furious 5's seminal 1982 smash-hit, "The Message," as well as Yasiin Bey FKA Mos Def's "Umi Says" from his 1999 Rawkus/Priority Records debut, Black On Both Sides. Oddly enough, one of the first times I heard Mos Def rhyme was during a then-freestyle, which would later, become "Close Edge" from The New Danger, backed by a CD-R in Dave Chappelle's SUV and presented on a now-infamous episode of Chappelle's Show. Mos ferociously rhymes, "Don't push me 'cause I'm close... to the streets, to the beats / the b*tches, the n****s, the women, the children / the workers, the killers, the addicts, the dealers / the quiet, the livest, the realest / And that's close!" Everyone, even fans of Happy Feet, should know the famous refrain Mos Def slickly interpolates within "Close Edge:" "Don't push me, 'cause I'm close to the edge / I'm trying not to lose my head / It's like a jungle sometimes / It makes me wonder how I keep from going under," from, of course, Grandmaster Flash & The Furious 5's "The Message." Also, just-released is Eric "E Da" Boss & Ishtar AKA Lucid Paradise's "A Little Mo' Betta" B​/​W "Tonight" (Love's High Remix) produced by Soul Supreme. "The Message" & "A Little Mo' Betta" 45's are currently still available directly from Star Creature Universal Vibrations' Bandcamp page... but get your copy while you still can 'cause they're goin' fast!

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Gabe 'Nandez's HYPEBEAST-premiered "Escondido" Music Video from Upcoming Official Debut 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 an 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 found himself in the throes of a serious substance abuse 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 are part and parcel of the global Black diaspora."

- 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 strata: I Steel of Radiance, I Feel So Action "Split" Album (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 (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," "FLOES," 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.