Sunday, February 17, 2019

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 least 3-4 different on-screen versions/multiple personalities of our titular character, Raymond Strife. Strife himself describes "Shane Falco" as primarily being "about feeling like you've dug a whole you can't get out of. Like you're trapped in quicksand; like I'm my own worst enemy, which, I think, is kind of illustrated in the video. Eric [Backlund], actually, came up with the video's concept."

Director Eric Backlund of Sketchisms Media fondly describes his experience working on "Shane Falco" "with Raymond Strife," "and Raymond Strife," and "guest star Raymond Strife" as: "the scene driving in the car was a pain in the a$$ to shoot and edit... but the fact that Ray trusts me, makes it a lot easier and less stressful. I like shooting an entire video in one day." Ray Strife tells The Witzard he's already working on the proper follow-up to Go for The Gusto with frequent collaborator iLL-Omega, as well as new material with his "Negative" Hardcore band OVER EVERYTHING. He also, says he's actively working on an EP with another Trenton-based producer named Bockman and preparing music with a "secret" Trenton band that's playing a special gig within the city on Friday, March 29th. Ray Strife, iLL-Omega & OVER EVERYTHING are all planning to head out to Austin, Texas between March 8-17th for a number of gigs they have lined up during South By Southwest AKA SXSW 2019. Raymond Strife & iLL-Omega's Go for The Gusto is currently available on Bandcamp, as well as like-minded digital streaming services, through Invisible Library Records.

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