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Showing posts from September, 2018

Various Artists IV: How Compilations Influenced a Generation - BURGER SAYS SIRE! Penned By: John E. Swan (Cassette Store Day 2016)

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,

Action Bronson & The Special Victims Unit's "White Bronco" Produced By: Daringer from Forthcoming Album WHITE BRONCO (EMPIRE)

Last week, America's #1 Rap-Singer Action Bronson AKA Bam Bam Baklava AKA Mr. Wonderful released his first single, "White Bronco," since parting ways with long-time label, Atlantic Records . "White Bronco," the title track from Bronsoliño 's forthcoming WHITE BRONCO album/mixtape on EMPIRE , was produced Griselda Records ' in-house producer Daringer (@daringer_) and featuring The Special Victims Unit (@thespecialvictims) or The SVU , for short. It's all still a little mysterious, but it appears as though The SVU were/are Action Bronson 's live backing band on VICELAND 's The Untitled Action Bronson Show , billed as the network's "first food-oriented late night talk show" and as of 2018, was "the only culinary late night talk show on North American television." It appears as though The Special Victims Unit consists of @bae_bro AKA Paul Wilson on keyboards, @matt.carrillo AKA Young México on saxophone, @

Spiritual Cramp Announce TELEVISION 12-inch Compilation & Unleash Dogfilm Studios-directed "The Erasure" Music Video (Deranged Records)

Spiritual Cramp are a Bay Area Post-Punk band, who "exist in a strange vacuum somewhere between David Byrne 's over-sized suit and a bar fight between a bunch of drunk goons on Polk Street in San Francisco ." Honestly, for a Punk -adjacent band, Spiritual Cramp are surprisingly active on social media with frontman Michael Bingham running Twitter & Instagram accounts, @MBinhgam87 & @spiritualcramptv , as well as a YouTube channel dubbed "Spiritual Cramp Television." Although, maybe, social media is the new "DIY" for entrepreneurial 21st Century Post-Punk/Hardcore/Punk bands. In addition to Bingham, Spiritual Cramp consists of ex-members of Creative Adult , Fearing, Profile , and Primal Rite. Michael Bingham initially formed Spiritual Cramp in 2017 and their first official release—aside from Mass Hysteria Demo 2017 cassette—was their Mass Hysteria 7-inch EP on REACT! Records/Deathwish Inc. and their 2018 Police State 7-inch EP o

American-Japanese "Modern Funk" Duo Kay-Bee & KzyBoost Join Forces for We Came 2 Bring You Da Funk (The Sleepers RecordZ)

We Came 2 Bring You Da Funk by KAY BEE & KZYBOOST Kay-Bee & KzyBoost is an American-Japanese Modern Funk duo, who are preparing to release their full-length debut, We Came 2 Bring You Da Funk , on Barcelona -based label, The Sleepers RecordZ . Alan "Kidboogie" Castro Leal (Kay-Bee) is a professional dancer and musician hailing from Pasadena, Los Angeles, California , who released an album called A TOAST TO THE BOOGIE on The Sleepers RecordZ in 2017; while Kazuya Sakamoto (KzyBoost) is a musician, producer, and multi-instrumentalist, who adds "the spicy Japanese Funk touch coming from Osaka ." Earlier this year, Kay-Bee & KzyBoost first joined forces for their Funktastic 7-inch and digital single, "We Came to Bring You The Funk" B/W "Feel Da Funk" on Ivan Makvel 's The Sleepers RecordZ . Obviously, it was a wild success and now, Kay-Bee & KzyBoost have joined forces once more for an 8-track EP named after the afore

Experimental Brooklyn Producer Cloud. Re-emerges As guerrer@ with Debut EP Aggressive Healing Music (Akashik Records & Tapes)

"Hailing from Akasha, Los Angeles, California , the label , focusing on physical limited releases, got it start back in 2015. From Hip-Hop to R&B and now, House . There's a bit of everything for everyone here. The likes of Mndsgn , The Koreatown Oddity (Vivians,) Joyce Wrice , Nanna B, and B. Cool-Aid , to name a few, have contributed releases on this label. There's a sense of a DIY execution here; the sounds and cover art of the releases show it, but don't let that fool you. Nothing subpar here. Now, on their thirteenth release, at the time of this writing. Be sure to follow this eclectic label, for which they never disappoint." - Jerry Z. (@niceguyjerry) convalescence pt 2 by guerrer@ guerrer@ (@wristgameonchalant) is a Brooklyn -based Experimental artist and producer, who was formerly known as Cloud. or CLOUD. BEATS. Cloud. self-released an assortment of nine projects between 2008-12 and how now signed with Akashik Records & Tapes ; a label

3 Feet High & Rising: Scottish Beat-maker Ikant Noh Releases First Two Instrumental Hip-Hop Tracks "Ro" & "wAY" (@IkantNoh)

Ikant Noh (@IkantNoh) is a rather mysterious beat-maker, producer, and musician based out of Scotland, UK . Just this past weekend, as a matter of fact, @IkantNoh started Following me on Twitter , I saw that he had recently posted an Instrumental Hip-Hop beat, and had some interaction with The Witzard regular @Charles_Edison . While this is Ikant Noh 's first foray into Hip-Hop , he's been a long-time musician; having previously created and released Indie Rock and Electro/Synth-Pop style music, but has "now landed in the world of Hip-Hop ." Ikant Noh says he has drawn musical inspiration and influence from Kendrick Lamar , JAY-Z, and Eazy-E , as well as beat tapes from NIKK BLVKK, Kuartz, Tōfu-kozō Records from France , and kick a dope verse! from Russia . "I really think the genre of Instrumental Hip-Hop and beats is all about the "small guys" and I try to spend as much time finding new stuff as I do making my own," Ikant Noh explaine

"Where Everybody Knows Your Name:" Otayo Dubbs & Tahaj The First (The Regulars) Unleash Regular Rap On FWMJ's Rappers I Know

Regular Rap by The Regulars (Otayo Dubb & Tahaj The First) Last Friday morning, I received a Bandcamp Notification email from FWMJ's Rappers I Know concerning Otayo "Tayo" Dubb & Tahaj "The First" Edwards AKA The Regulars' Regular Rap (Instrumentals.) However, prior to listening, I already knew it would be Hella dope, judging by a handful of FWMJ's Rappers I Know's past releases: Jay Electronica 's Act I: Eternal Sunshine of The Spotless Mind (the pledge,) Danny Brown's THE HYBRID, Chris "Daddy" Dave 's Chris Dave & The Drumhedz Mixtape , Denmark Vessey's Martin Lucid Dream, Jake One 's #PrayerHandsEmoji , and King Mason x Kendrick Lamar's DAMN. (King Mason Remixes.) Needless to say, Tayo Dubb & Tahaj The First 's Regular Rap is an impeccable 11-track listen; I would, personally, say Regular Rap/Regular Rap (Instrumentals) is strongly suggested for fans of Black Star , The Cool Kids, T

Rolled Gold Serves Up Lunchtime Special Boogieman Dela "Hustler" (Remix) from Rolled Gold's Healthy A$$ Breakfast Follow-up

Boogieman Dela - Hustler (Rolled Gold Remix) by Rolled Gold Rolled Gold is the production alias of Philly -based beat-maker, multi-instrumentalist, and charismatic remixer Harry Metz . Over the course of the past year or so, Rolled Gold has become something of a mainstay and frequent collaborator, as you may have already noticed, here at The Witzard . It's been great to personally see Harry's whole sound, style, and musical approach grow and progress since his 2016 EP, The Great Fallback , with fellow Philadelphian , Uncle Crimson . What I have noticed, however, is Rolled Gold 's tendency to continually construct and release easily-digestible "bite"-sized projects, which are generally, very short and concise, yet extremely enjoyable and exceedingly well-orchestrated. For an example of what I'm talking about, I would strongly suggest checking out Rolled Gold 's SALTY (3P) EP, "The Field" Feat. No Headliner, "Nite Owl's Theme"

Tranzformer's Dirty Dome Records with Dankery Harv AKA Dank from Frank-N-Dank, Dusty Crates & Toxic Thoughts (Record Label Profile)

Airic "Tranzformer" Estala is a San Diego -based producer, emcee, beat-maker, and Punk Rock/Experimental artist born in raised in El Centro, California . Estala has previously collaborated with Blu , J57, Blame One , Guilty Simpson, Frank-N-Dank , ILL BILL, Rick Gonzalez , Planet Asia, Johaz , CashUs King FKA Co$$, Koncept , and more. Tranzformer is affiliated with producer J57 's newly-launched FiveSe7en Collective (@FiveSe7enCollective,) New York -based record label and digital distributor Soulspazm Records (@Soulspazm,) and his own label imprint, Dirty Dome Records (@dirty_dome_records_.) Since launching his Bandcamp page around 2013, Tranzformer has self-released a staggering 29 projects, be they beat tapes, albums, mixtapes, singles, or EP's. For the purposes of The Witzard 's introductory feature on Tranzformer & Dirty Dome Records, I would, however, like to primarily focus on Tranz 's currently released and as-yet-unreleased body of work w

Alpha x Scorcese Return with "Untitled" (Zilla Rocca Remix) Feat. Killer Mike & Pastor Troy from Upcoming A Remix Only Gods Know

A World Only Gods Know is a collaborative project from Dallas -based producers Alpha Davis & Chris Wright (The Directors) and Philly -bred emcee Scorcese Shells AKA Alpha X Scorcese/God Knows , which was released this past March. At the time, I got a number of emails about the project and really dug it, but, unfortunately, for whatever reasons, was unable to cover A World Only Gods Know within the pages of The Witzard . I've since gotten to know Brooklyn -based producer Jason/Griff (@iamJasonGriff) who's worked with Zilla Rocca , My Man Shafe, PremRock , Curly Castro, Kid Sister , Mr. Lif, and Akrobatik . Lo and behold, Jason Griff is currently working on a project with Scorcese Shells called Dream Team: A Stokely Hathaway Joint in collaboration with independent wrestler and "1996 Source Awards winner" Stokley Hathaway slated to be released this December. I've since been in touch with both Jason Griff & Scorcese Shells and have heard a number

The Bacao Rhythm & Steel Band's Björn Wagner Talks Steelpan Drums, Re-working Hip-Hop Hits, The Serpent's Mouth & More (The Witzard Interview)

Hip-Hop recently celebrated its 45th "Birthday" this past Saturday, August 11th on the anniversary of DJ Kool Herc's now-infamous Back-to-School Jam at 1520 Sedgwick Avenue AKA The "Rec Room" in The Bronx. Hip-Hop has gone through many stylistic permutations in the 44 years since, inadvertently birthing multiple sub-genres including: Boom-Bap, Gangsta/Mafioso Rap, Electro-Rap, Trip-Hop, Noise Rap, Chopped & Screwed, Trap/Drill, Horrorcore, New Jack Swing, Backpack Rap, and more. However, one of my personal favorites sub-genres of Hip-Hop is Instrumental Hip-Hop—no, not Breakbeat or J Dilla's Beat CD '05-style beat tapes—think, something more along the lines of The Roots with self-played interpolated "samples," rather than sampling actual records, tapes, CD's, etc. Aside from The Legendary Roots Crew, one of my favorite Instrumental Hip-Hop groups is Truth & Soul/Big Crown Records co-founder Leon Michels' El Michels Affair, w

Former Members of Creep Division, The F---ing Wrath, The Missing 23rd & No Motiv Form Dad Brains & Release 7-inch EP (Pirates Press Records)

Dad Brains by Dad Brains Oxnard/Ventura, California -based Punk/Hardcore band Dad Brains are, without a doubt, the epitomy of "Dad Rock" or, as they're calling it, "Dadcore." Drummer-turned vocalist Patrick Pedraza , guitarist Matt Kash , drummer John Crerar , and bassist Craig Kasamis formed Dad Brains —a tongue-in-cheek homage to Bad Brains —in the fall of 2017 around the sheer ideology of playing kid-friendly music for Punk dads and, of course, their families. Dad Brains' members previously spent time playing with No Motiv , The Missing 23rd, Creep Division (members of Sick of It All, Good Riddance & No Motiv ,) Night Demon, and The F***ing Wrath . While it appears as though Dad Brains have been playing the local Oxnard Punk circuit for a while now, they quietly released their debut 5-track self-titled EP digitally on, of all days, Father's Day 2018. Now, just three short months later, Dad Brains have effectively re-released their EP

The Reverend Al Green Releases First New Music In 10 Years with "Before The Next Teardrop Falls" (Produced By: Matt Ross-Spang)

The Reverend Al Green is a world-renown Soul/Gospel singer, song-writer, and record producer. Rev. Green has released countless hits and irresistible classics over the course of his 50+ year career. Although, The Reverend Al Green is likely, best known for a string of 1970's chart-toppers including: "Take Me to The River," "Tired of Being Alone," "I'm Still In Love with You," "Love & Happiness," and Former President Barack Obama 's personal favorite, "Let's Stay Together." Now, Rev. Al Green has returned with his first proper single in 10 years, a cover of Freddy Fender 's 1975 English/Spanish language hit, "Before The Next Teardrop Falls." It was produced by GRAMMY Award -winning record producer, engineer, and mixer Matt Ross-Spang for Amazon Music 's newly-launched Produced By singles series. Matt Ross-Spang has either produce or engineered albums for Margo Price , Lucero, Chris Isaa

Illinois Post-Punk/Hardcore Mainstays Hacked Nudes & Man Bites Dog Return for Collaborative Split EP (In The Lake Records)

Split EP by Hacked Nudes / Man Bites Dog Hacked Nudes / Man Bites Dog 's Split EP is Illinois -based DIY label In The Lake Records (@itl_recs) ' 13th release. It was released earlier today, September 13th, at 1:00pm AKA 13:00 Central Daylight Time. Hacked Nudes is a self-professed Post-Punk/Reggae three-piece hailing from the Northern suburbs of Chicago with a particular affiliation to Berserk/Dark Circles/In The Lake Records . It appears as though Berserk Records was a functioning label from about 2012-16 and that's, actually, where two-thirds of Hacked Nudes met; In The Lake Records founder and bassist Pete met guitarist/vocalist John E. Swan III of polynerve —a newly-minted small press and cassette label—while the two were working together at Berserk Records and around 2016, Berserk morphed into ITL Records . The Witzard regulars, at this point, might be familiar with John Swan (@midwest_stress) from his monthly column, Various Artists: How Compilations

UllNevaNo & illien rosewell Return for Third Installment of Basketball-themed Confidence Is Everything Series CIE3 (MGNTK.)

Confidence Is Everything 3 by ullnevano x illien rosewell Not entirely unlike how Action Bronson has grown to become associated with savory food-themed rhymes or how Westside Gunn & Conway The Machine 's rhymes are littered with references to pro wrestling, Baltimore emcee UllNevaNo has become synonymous with basketball-themed rhyme schemes; in recent years, UllNevaNo has let loose a string of "slam dunks," including Confidence Is Everything (CIE) 1-2 produced by illien rosewell , The Ghost of Len Bias EP helmed by Jumbled , and his #SHAMMGODWEDS singles series AKA SHAMMGOD EP produced by MANHE . Now, UllNevaNo & illien rosewell are back with the third installment in their critically-acclaimed CIE series, Confidence Is Everything 3 . Neva & illien , actually, recorded CIE3 at Kuzoe Crib in Maryland live "in the flesh" together in the same studio, which has become a rarity in The Internet Age. " Confidence Is Everything 3 is 8

TRAPPIST Emerge from Their "Monastery" to Unleash Beer-themed Punk/Hardcore Masterpiece Ancient Brewing Tactics (Relapse Records)

Ancient Brewing Tactics by Trappist TRAPPIST is are a band of Los Angeles -based beer enthusiasts consisting of Chris "Brother" Dodge , Phil "Brother" Vera , and Ryan "Brother" Harkins . Bassist & brewer Brother Dodge has previously played with Ancient Chinese Secret , Despise You, East/West Blast Test , No Use for a Name, and SPAZZ ; Guitarist & fermenter Brother Vera has spent time playing with -(16)- , Crom, Despise You , and Fresh American Lamb; Drummer & bottler Brother Harkins has played with Killed In Action and currently runs a Metal -themed burger joint called Grill 'em All . TRAPPIST have put together a complete ripper of a debut album titled Ancient Brewing Tactics , which blends together the stylings of Punk/Hardcore , D-beat, Crust Punk , Powerviolence, Grindcore , and a dash of Metal/Thrash . TRAPPIST 's label, Relapse Records , fittingly describes Ancient Brewing Tactics as "21 tracks and 33 minutes of booze