Tuesday, July 30, 2019

ialive & The Custodian of Records Join Forces for Non-album/Stand-alone Collaborative Single "INTERVALS (Cold Rhymes Records)

"We got something special for you today. ialive & The Custodian of Records teamed up to bring you this one-off gentle heat. Make it rain on the boys with half dollars," Cold Rhymes Records ecstatically posted on their Facebook page early Tuesday morning. ialive & The Custodian of Records' (TCOR) debut collaborative stand-alone single together, "INTERVALS," was quietly released late Monday night into Tuesday morning. It appears as though "INTERVALS" came to fruition rather organically, as ialive & The Custodian of Records are, simply, fans and mutual admirers of each other's work; "I believe, I reached out to ialive after peeping "THE OUGHTS" video and then, purchasing TIME WAVE ZERO and enjoying the album. He may have expressed interest in a possible collaboration, so I sent him a couple tracks and this is the one he chose," TCOR recently explained to The Witzard, via email.

"Custo hit me a while back about doing a track together and he sent me this loop and we went in. I heard a track he did with Darko [The Super] and also, a project with my guy, Sleep Sinatra, so I was aware of his work. Glad we could connect to do a track together," ialive continued. TCOR & ialive are, of course, talking about each other's respective projects, Height Keech-produced TIME WAVE ZERO, Qwuickieleaks Challenge: Darko The Super - "Bike Spokes," and SOURCES OF NATURE with emcee Sleep Sinatra. The Witzard regulars may well remember, we first covered The Custodian of Records & Sleep Sinatra's pre-SOURCES OF NATURE collaboration, "B.I.E." Prior to "B.I.E." TCOR & Sleep Sinatra previously worked together on the awesomely-named "Anchorman Fight Scene" alongside Vic Spencer from Flashius Clayton's 2018 EP, Wolf Moon. "INTERVALS" is currently available to stream, purchase, or download for just $0.50 directly from ialive's Bandcamp page, while TCOR's The Collection Plate, Vol. 1 and ialive's DON'T DO NOTHING are now available from Chopped Herring Records and Cold Rhymes Records, respectively.

"F*ck this woe is me /
How can we openly /
Move on as a society /
without respect for the ovary /
Riding this broken dream /
Hoping the oceans clean /
But never sowing seeds /
Just blowing trees, like Dopamine /
Blowing trees like fires gone wild /
And I ain't never smoke, not once in a while /
And I don't ever hope, since I retired /
It got [too] much to cope, when rope is required /
I keep quiet and try to keep on /
And go all night like closed signs in neon /
You ain't a professional, you ain't no Leon /
Best open eyes and do your recon /
'cause it's coming as wide as your peripherals /
Higher than the ceiling and liver than your visuals /
Dividing us up like old religious rituals /
Finding the time is tougher than fighting off the sentinels /
F*ck Joe Biden, MacGyver, and these criminals /
I'm looking for an island in my mind to spend the interval /
violence and the rising tide a sign of where were getting to /
Where [we're] coming from and where [we're] heading to..."

- "INTERVALS" Lyrics By: ialive (@ialive_)

Monday, July 29, 2019

F-Spot Records Presents: Night Owls' "There's A Break In The Road" B/W "Inner City Blues (Make Me Wanna Holler)" Homage Series 7-inch

Not to be confused with Rolled Gold's The Nite Owls, members of Los Angeles' The Lions & The Aggrolites have joined forces to form Night Owls. Blake Colie, Dan "Connie Price" Ubick & Dave Wilder from The Lions have linked up with kindred spirit, Roger Rivas from The Aggrolites. For Night Owls, Colie has stepped behind the drum kit, Ubick provides guitar/percussion, Wilder plays bass, and Rivas provides organ & piano duties. Night Owls' first collaborative offering stands as "There's A Break In The Road" & "Inner City Blues (Make Me Wanna Holler)" 7-inch/digital single as part of F-Spot Records' ongoing Homage Series. "There's A Break In The Road" is an uptempo Reggae/Soul cover of Allen Touissant & Betty Harris' 1968-69 smash hit now featuring long-time Breakestra vocalist Afrodyete. Side B features Night Owls' moody, Dub-infused rendition of "Inner City Blues (Make Me Wanna Holler)" from Marvin Gaye's classic 1971 album, What's Going On, with Terin Ector from Orgone, Moswen & Soluzion. Both covers were recorded and mixed by Dan Ubick for DanUbe Productions at The Lion's Den in Topanga Canyon, California. Night Owls' "There's A Break In The Road" B/W "Inner City Blues (Make Me Wanna Holler)" single is currently available in both physical and digital formats directly from F-Spot Records. I've very recently heard this is just the first taste of what we're, ultimately, expected to hear from Night Owls...

"Night Owls is a group and production team featuring members of Los Angeles groups The Lions & The Aggrolites. This core features Blake Colie on drum kit, Dave Wilder on bass, Roger Rivas on piano & organ, and Dan Ubick on guitar & percussion. Night Owls' first offering brings a unique take on two classic Soul hits, but with a Jamaican twist that is fresh, yet true to the original intent. Part of F-Spot Records' Homage Series, Side A keeps the uptempo groove alive on the Betty Harris/Allen Touissaint classic, "There's A Break In The Road" featuring LA's own Soul belter Afrodyete (Breakestra) on vocals.

Side B is a more moody, but uptempo Dub-infused rendition of Marvin Gaye's "Inner City Blues (Make Me Wanna Holler)" lead by Terin Ector (Orgone, Moswen, Soluzion) whose whirling vocals will keep you wanting more. Another DanUbe Production recorded and mixed to perfection at The Lion's Den utilizing the Roland Space Echo and the Mu-Tron Bi-Phase to give Night Owls a vintage Jamaican twist."

- Night Owls (@fspotrecords)

Friday, July 26, 2019

The Distillers Unspin "Spider-Man Theme" Cover from 2004 Spider-Man 2 Video Game (Plus, Spidey Film & Covers Spotify Playlist)

"Theme from Spider-Man" was originally written by Academy Award-winner Paul Francis Webster with music composed by Robert "Bob" Harris for the now-iconic 1967 Spider-Man animated TV series. "Spider-Man" was recorded at RCA Studios in Toronto, Canada featuring 12 CBC vocalists—including members of The Billy Van Singers & Laurie Bower Singers groups—who embellished the musical backing track supplied by RCA Studios, New York; according to a long-standing rumor, the song's bassline might have even been played by American Jazz heavy-weight Charles Mingus... It's been 52 years since Webster & Harris' composition was originally released and there have been countless Spider-Man animated series and live-action TV shows, as well as several made-for-TV films since. Although, most fans are, likely, most familiar with the onslaught of Spider-Man films released since 2002, including Sam Raimi's Spider-Man 1-3, The Amazing Spider-Man 1-2 starring Andrew Garfield & Emma Stone, and most recently, Marvel Studios' Spider-Man: Homecoming, Spider-Man: Far from Home, and Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse. Over the years, said directors have recruited everyone from Dashboard Confessional to Post Malone to record original material for inclusion on their accomapying film soundtracks.

Amazingly, a whole web-full of artists have uttered the sticky sing-songy words, "Spider-Man, Spider-Man, does whatever a spider can..." including Web Spinners, The Ramones, Aerosmith, Michael Bublé, and The Mr. T Experience. Now, it appears as though a "new" version of "Spider-Man Theme" has been unspun by newly-reformed LA Punk/Hardcore band, The Distillers. "it feels like spidey season, so in honor of the new movie being released, we'd like to share our cover of the "spider-man theme" we recorded back in 2004," @The_Distillers_ Tweeted earlier this month. From what I can gather with a bit of Peter Parker-esque digital sleuthing, Brody Dalle & The Distillers originally recorded their "Spider-Man" cover for inclusion on Activision's video game adaption of Sam Raimi's Spider-Man 2. For their 2004 rendition, The Distillers recruited Alain Johannes (Spinnerette) & Natasha Shneider to co-produce the track together at 11AD Studios in Hollywood. Now, for this 2019 re-release of "Spider-Man Theme," The Distillers recruited Linas Garsys (@lgarsys) to design the Spider-Man/Brody Dalle-melding "Spider-Bro" single artwork. The Distillers first proper release in 15 years, "Man vs. Magnet" / "Blood In Gutters" was recently issued on Third Man Records and they will soon enter the studio with Talking Heads & Yeah Yeah Yeahs producer Nick Launay to work on their fourth full-length album. Below, you will find a The Witzard-curated Spotify playlist consisting our personal favorite Spider-Man film compositions, covers, etc.

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

It's Been 2 Years Since Experimental Singer-songwriter 4:44 Released JAY-Z EP After JAY-Z Released 4:44 Album (Run It Back Edition)

Free is a New Jersey-based singer-songwriter that releases music under the name "4:44." He writes, records, and plays all of the instruments across his rapidly-released albums. July 25th, 2019 will mark 2 years since the initial release of his critically-acclaimed EP. 4:44 has put out a staggering 7 albums since 2015; each album encompasses a completely different genre. Since JAY-Z EP, Free has self-released 4 separate full-length albums as 4:44 - PARALLELEMENT, RECKONING, CREATURE, and DREAM-WAKE. The JAY-Z EP featured members of 4:44's live band (bassist Greg Mele, Jr. & drummer Zach Gormley) playing on the songs. 4:44's JAY-Z EP has been featured on the pages of Rolling Stone Brazil, Pigeons & Planes, The Daily Dot, and Philly's own The Key, who published the initial 2017 feature. 4:44's latest album is an Experimental Semi-dream Pop album called DREAM-WAKE. You can listen to it on Bandcamp & Soundcloud. You can still listen to the JAY-Z EP on Spotify here—scroll down to "Artist Playlists." The JAY-Z EP is ONLY on Spotify, but the songs that make up the EP are available on various streaming services (LINKS BELOW.) For more information concerning 4:44 & JAY-Z EP, scroll down to read our 2017 interview with Free himself.

The JAY-Z EP consists of the original 4:44 songs:

111. "Hallelujah" from the album, GREENWAVE,

222. "Blood Red Moon" from the album, CARDINAL,

333. "Child of God" from the album, CHILD OF GOD,

444. "Derf" from the album, GREENWAVE

SPOTIFY: https://open.spotify.com/artist/3gePQgAnVkdvuHV1c4I5nU?si=Dg5hNj4aQlStvSzwKBFucg

APPLE MUSIC/ITUNES: https://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/4-44/1440426970

OFFICIAL 4:44 WEBSITE: https://444band.com

BANDCAMP: https://444band.bandcamp.com

SOUNDCLOUD: https://soundcloud.com/fourfortyfourofficial

YOUTUBE: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EdkbCTk7O_U

INSTAGRAM: https://www.instagram.com/fourfortyfourofficial/

FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/fourfortyfourofficial

TWITTER: https://twitter.com/444bandofficial

THE WITZARD INTERVIEW: https://thewitzard.blogspot.com/2017/09/444-frontman-anthony-friedlander-talks.html.

2 Years Since Experimental Singer/Song-writer "4:44" Released "JAY-Z EP" After "JAY-Z" Released "4:44" Album (Run It Back)

Revisiting Experimental Singer/Song-writer Free's 4:44 JAY-Z EP On It's 2-year Anniversary/Since 4:44 Album Release (Run It Back)

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

1930-40's Hot Jazz/Swing Revivalists The Hep Chaps Share "What Is This Thing Called Love?" from Hepnotherapy Re-release (BBE Music)

The Hep Chaps are a 1930-40's Hot Jazz/Swing Revivalist act consisting of core members David Howarth & John Wallace. David & John first met each other in 1996 on The West End of London, while performing in a stage production of Good Rockin' Tonight. Since 2005, The Hep Chaps have dually function as a duo, a trio, a quartet, and a sextet with additional players including bassist John Day, guitarist Zac Zdravkovic, "vibe" specialist Roger Beajolais, and a mysterious drummer only known as "Damon." The Hep Chaps have, essentially, forged out their own unique style over the past 23 odd years; mingling together well-known Swing tunes from the 1930-40's with their own originals with "zany lyrics and punchy Swing rhythms" in the same classic style. Further details concerning The Hep Chaps are scarcer than expected across The Internets, but it appears as though an album called Swingin' On Nothing was released on Raucous Records in 2011, it's follow-up, Crazy Rhythm, was seemingly self-released in 2010, and The Hep Chaps' most recent effort, HEPNOTHERAPY was released on CJRO Records in March 2017. Now, it appears as though, The Hep Chaps are planning a proper digital/re-release of HEPNOTHERAPY through esteemed London-based Hip-Hop/Jazz label, BBE Records. One of said originals with "zany lyrics and punchy Swing rhythms," "What Is This Thing Called Love?" is now available to stream on BBE's Bandcamp page. The Hep Chaps' 2017 album, Hepnotherapy, will see a proper re-release on BBE Records Friday, August 23, 2019.

"David Howarth: David started playing and singing professionally with the local Big Band when he was 16. Django Rheinhardt, Hank Williams, and the crooning of Frank Sinatra rank amongst his early influences. He has played in various bands since and acted and played in the original cast of Buddy & Good Rockin' Tonight in The West End. As well as The Hep Chaps, over the last six years, Dave has played with Appalachian Strings, one of Ireland's foremost Bluegrass bands.

John Wallace: John started up with a band called The Stargazers, who were signed by CBS [Records] and had some singles [with] chart success. From there, John played with JoBoxers, The Big Town Playboys, James Taylor Quartet, Little Willy Little Field, and Robert Plant... the list goes on. West End credits include Good Rockin' Tonight & Elvis. At the moment, John is, also, one part of the Acid Swing band Heavy Shift and is working with The Jive Romero's, plus, the Blues group Snakebone.

The Hep Chaps' Sound: Together, The Hep Chaps are a tight, authentically Swinging outfit, perfect for functions, dancing, and cool evenings... very groovy and very special. Mingling well-known Swing tunes from the 1930's & 40's with their own originals in the same classic style, this band is one of the most fun and accessible Dance bands around. Some of their tracks are amongst the most popular tunes for the UK Swing Dancing community, including the quirky and humorous songs "Doin' The Jellyfish," "Just Dug Spuds," and "Hoover The Duvet!" The band have performed at Swing Dance clubs, festivals, parties, and balls all over the UK and in Europe with special appearances at London's famous 100 Club, The Jitterbug Ball, The Rhythm Riot & The Swing Cats Ball, as well as at Copenhagen's famous Jazzhouse."

- The Hep Chaps (@www.hepchaps.co.uk)

Monday, July 22, 2019

DOOM & Damu The Fudgemunk's Infamous "Coco Mango," Sliced & Diced Gets 7-inch Re-issue & NEKTR Music Video (Redefinition Records)

MF DOOM/DOOM die-hards will know, in addition to his plethora of officially released albums under his various aliases, side-projects, and producer-helmed albums, there's a gaggle of unofficial remixes, mash-ups, bootlegs, etc. Although, even as a self-professed DOOM super-fan, there's one particular release I—and I'm sure many villainous collectors—hadn't heard of until very, very recently: MF DOOM & Damu The Fudgemunk - "Coco Mango," Sliced & Diced. Parisian production duo Union (sometimes, referred to as "Union Analogtronics") quietly released the original version of "Coco Mango" on their 2012 FatBeats Records album, Analogtronics; in addition to DOOM, Union's OJ & GOLD, also, recruited the likes of Sly Johnson, Talib Kweli, Moka Only, eLZhi, Rapper Big Pooh (Little Brother,) Roc Marciano, and Guilty Simpson, amongst other Hip-Hop/Electronic artists. Those who KNOW, may know Union Analogtronics additionally put out a 2016 joint FatBeats album with ever-elusive LA emcee and producer, Blu, entitled Cheetah In The City. Around 2011-12, Redefinition Records' co-founder Damu The Fudgemunk cooked up a couple remixes of Union & DOOM's "Coco Mango," often labelled as "Boy Scout Remix," "Power Outage Mix," "Redef Remix," "Redef Boy Scout Remix," "Y Society Power Outage Mix," or most frequently, "Sliced & Diced."

Damu The Fudgeunk's coveted Boy Scout/Power Outage Remixes were, supposedly, released on a limited edition 2011-12 7-inch that "sold out in two weeks and became an underground smash in it's own right," but I can't currently find any sign of it on Discogs. There are, however, listings for 2012's Redef Remixes CD and a Union Remix Instrumentals 10-inch. Now, "Coco Mango," Sliced & Diced has been properly re-issued on 7-inch vinyl for the first time in seven years; we were able to get our hands on the super-limited orange-colored vinyl second pressing, which is now completely SOLD OUT... but a "third" standard black edition is currently still available directly from Redefinition Records. World-renown artist and illustrator Joseph "Joe Buck" Buckingham, Jr. (De La Soul, Blu, Kev Brown) did the artwork and front cover design for Redef Records' 2019 45 re-issue. Last week, a music video for DOOM / Damu's "Coco Mango" premiered on the esteemed pages of our mate's site, GrownUpRap. It was artfully directed and animated by The Witzard's friend and frequent collaborator, Shawn "Shon J." Johnson (@oldsoulbrother1) for NEKTR. Also, down at the very bottom of this post, you will find a 16-track Spotify playlist entitled DOOM & Union "Coco Mango" (Sliced & Diced) Cuts, wherein I tried my absolute best to loosely trace back the lineage of "Coco Mango," as well as a few choice cuts from Union Analogtronics' follow-up releases.

"In 2011, Paris-based production duo the Union collaborated with DOOM for their album, Analogtronics on the single, "Coco Mango." This track would be remixed by DC's, Damu The Fudgemunk for a limited 7-inch that sold out in two weeks and became an underground smash in it's own right. Being a DOOM & MADVILLAIN fan, Damu took to the opportunity to lay 2 remixes both inspired specifically by MADVILLAIN's track, "Rhinestone Cowboy." The results are commonly dubbed "Coco Mango, Sliced" (Power Outage Mix) and "Coco Mango, Diced" (Boy Scout Mix.)

"Coco Mango, Sliced" enlisted a sharp guest verse from Boston's Insight The Truncator. Fun Fact: while producing the remixes, Damu lost power in his studio, literally, after recording a demo of the the first mix and lost the unsaved [beat] in his MPC. That 2-track demo would become what was published, hence the "(Power Outage Mix.)" Instead of re-creating the exact same beat he lost, Damu took the same sample and put a different swing on it, giving us Remix No.2, "(Boy Scout Mix.)"

Since it's original release, these remixes have become known as "The DOOM Record You've Never Heard," due to it's short shelf life. Though a re-press would've made perfect sense in 2011, it's now 2019 and these tracks are finally getting a proper re-issue. The cover art was handled by well-known artist Joe Buck of De La Soul fame and pays homage to DOOM using his signature hand-drawn technique accenting a classic masked photo of Damu The Fudgemunk. Everything about this record screams High Quality Hip-Hop.

Brought to you by one of the genre's most respected producers, Damu The Fudgemunk & Redefinition Records, fans now have an opportunity to own this gem documenting and celebrating one of our largest icons, MF DOOM."

- Redefinition Records (@REDEFrecords)

Thursday, July 18, 2019

Jonah Ray Lets Loose "Amish Paradise" from Upcoming Weird Al Punk Covers EP You Can't Call Me Al (Asian Man Records)

Many of our trusty readers/music "nerds" may well know Jonah Ray from either Mystery Science Theater 3,000 (MST3K) or The Nerdist Podcast or even his band, Pressers with Cody Votolato from The Blood Brothers/King Krule and Denver Dalley from Desaparecidos/Har Mar Superstar. Come to find out, Jonah is, also, a member of the esteemed Hawaiian Punk scene, which I didn't even know existed until writing this very sentence! Now, Jonah Ray has joined forces with Mike Park & Asian Man Records for his first ever solo musical release, You Can't Call Me Al. It's a collection of five "Weird" Al Yankovic classics paired with original music, in the vein of said Hawaiian Punk scene; "the result is a crazy mish-mash of Atom & His Package meets Jeff Rosenstock meets Weezer meets warmed hearts," reads an on-site Asian Man Records product description. Jonah Ray's You Can't Call Me Al EP will feature charismatically Punk-ified renditions of Weird Al's "Dare to Be Stupid," "Frank's 2000" TV," "Amish Paradise," and "Eat It," plus, a "New Wave" version of the "Reptilicus" Rap from MST3K.

Cody Votolato from The Blood Brothers, Pressers, and King Krule's touring band plays guitar throughout You Can't Call Me Al and FIDLAR's Zac Carper helmed production duties for Jonah's inaugural EP. Jay Howell, who has done original character design for both Bob's Burgers and Sanjay & Craig, created an exclusive YOU CAN'T CALL ME AL T-shirt logo as part of Asian Man's super-limited JONAH RAY 12" BUNDLE. Jonah additionally recruited Dana Lechtenberg to design a special etching to be featured on the B-side of Asian Man's one-sided 12-inch EP. Coinciding with his release announcement, Jonah Ray let loose our first proper sonic preview of You Can's Call Me Al by way of his Punked up cover of Weird Al's beloved Coolio "Gangsta's Paradise" cover, "Amish Paradise." Jonah Ray's You Can't Call Me Al EP is now available in a number of pre-order packages directly from Asian Man Records ahead of it's Friday, August 9th wide release.

"So, a bit ago, for kicks, I would make Punk songs and use Weird Al lyrics. Then, my old Hawaii buddy @zacharydoncarper from @fidlar said, "brah, let's record 'um!" I thought that was a stupid idea, so I said, "yes." Then, we called @codyvotolato from @thebloodbrothers to accompany me (along with a yeti growl by @nails13.) @chantalclaret said, "call it #YouCantCallMeAL." I was just gonna release on Bandcamp, but, then, @mikeparkmusic from Skankin' Pickle said he'd put it out as a one-sided [12-inch] vinyl on @asianmanrecords! I used a photo @daltongaudin took for the art and got @subpop2000 to do the etching on the B-side of the [12-inch] and then, @punksgitcut from BOB'S BURGERS did a shirt design that will be sold as a combo! Also! This past weekend me, @davidblyons, @paulbonanno, @micahslay & @roboticwilly got a ton of friends together and made a last-minute quick video. Liiiink in Bio. Portions of the profits will go to the ASPCA. The single, "Amish Paradise," is out now and pre-orders are available."

- Jonah Rodrigues (@jonahray)

Headbanger Hip-Hop Crew Midwest Avengers Return On Their 27th Anniversary with "Unstoppable" Feat. Lacey Corbett (Year 25 EP)

Midwest Avengers (MWA) are a self-described "Hip-Hop/Rock/Rap/Metal/Punk/Funk" band hailing from St. Louis, Missouri, often times, billed as "Headbanger Hip-Hop." MWA celebrated their 25th anniversary as a genre-eschewing band back in 2017 with their latest effort, Midwest Avengers 25th Anniversary Edition AKA Year 25. Originally formed in 1992 as a straight-up Rap crew, Midwest Avengers has evolved into a live music band, in a similar vein to The Roots, Bad Brains, or Jurassic 5; primary emcee John "BC" Harrington is, however, the only remaining member from the original '92 MWA line-up. Midwest Avengers current iteration additionally consists of fellow emcee James "So'n'So" Coleman, guitarists Joe "That Guy Joe" Caratachea & Mason "Mace The Kidd" Caratachea, drummer Alonzo "Zo Prophet" Jamison, and bassist Shawn "Moses" Moses. MWA's Facebook page readily lists Black Flag, Bad Brains, A Tribe Called Quest, The Cure, Fugazi, The Misfits, Public Enemy, Slayer, Slum Village, and Run-D.M.C. amongst their primary sources of influence.

MWA was re-formed in 2004 transitioning from an all-emcee group to a Headbanger Hip-Hop act and has since released Evil Super-heroes (2006,) Headbanger Hip-Hop (2010,) Hurry Up & Wait (2014,) and, of course, the aforementioned Year 25. Midwest Avengers 25th Anniversary Edition EP appears to consists of revised and "Rocked up" versions of MWA's deep album cuts and BC-selected staples. Midwest Avengers are, apparently, still actively touring across The Midwest area and pushing Year 25 coinciding with their 27th anniversary as a band/crew... a mere two weeks ago, MWA unleashed the Team Wood Farms-directed music video for "Unstoppable" Feat. Lacey Corbett of Apollo's Daughter. Midwest Avengers 25th Anniversary Edition AKA Year 25 is currently available to stream, purchase, or download on Apple Music, Spotify, Soundcloud, and like-minded platforms.

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Alec MacKaye, Mary Timony, Mark Cisneros & Chris Wilson Unveil First Proper HAMMERED HULLS Single "Written Words" (Dischord Records)

Hammer Hulls are a Washington, D.C./harDCore-adjacent band I've been hearing rumblings about for at least a year or so now; I always knew it involved Alec MacKaye—younger brother of Minor Threat & Fugazi frontman, Ian MacKaye—but wasn't exactly sure who else, but knew they had been playing shows both in and around the D.C. area. It has now been revealed that, in addition to MacKaye, HAMMERED HULLS, also, consists of bassist Mary "T$" Timony, guitarist Mark Cisneros, and drummer Chris Wilson. Hammered Hulls' members either are or were once active as part of bands such as Acquaintances, American Hearts, Autoclave, Chain & The Gang, Deathfix, Des Demonas, Ex Hex, The Faith, The Firebird Suite, Green 4, Helium, Hound, Ignition, KID CONGO & THE PINK MONKEY BIRDS, Led Byrd, THE MAKE UP, The Mary Timony Band, Medications, Mind Science of The Mind, Open City, Shake Ray Turbine, The Spells, Titus Andronicus, Ted Leo / Pharmacists, The Warmers, Wild Flag, and Untouchables.

Aside from his musical prowess, Alec MacKaye might be best know for his role as "cover model" for Minor Threat's genre-shaping Minor Threat EP, "Filler" 7-inch, Minor Threat/First Two Seven Inches, and Complete Discography, as well as The Teen Idles' Minor Disturbance EP. HAMMERED HULLS have now unleashed their first proper single, "Written Words" from their forthcoming S/T EP to be released on iconic harDCore imprint, Dischord Records. "Written Words" is definitely a feverish call-to-arms reminiscent of Alec MacKaye's work with Untouchables, The Faith, Ignition, and The Warmers, as he repeatedly belts, "YOU GOT TO HAMMER THEM HOME..." HAMMERED HULLS' forthcoming 3-track EP was recorded in a single afternoon at Inner Ear Studios with Alec's brother, Ian MacKaye, and long-time collaborator, Don Zientara (Bad Brains, Fugazi, Q and Not U.) HAMMERED HULLS' S/T EP is currently available for pre-order and will see a wide release in both physical and digital formats on Friday, August 9, 2019.

"THE HAMMERED HULLS are a brand new band from Washington, D.C. made up of some very old connections. Mary Timony (bass) and Alec MacKaye (vocals) grew up in the same Washington neighborhood and have spent the better part of their lives in each other's somewhat distant orbit. Always aware of each other, but never able to play together.

Mark Cisneros (guitar) has been in D.C. for more than a decade. He cut his teeth in Los Angeles listening to both Mary & Alec's bands, but, also, a healthy dose of Free Jazz & Garage. He is the man who plays everything with everyone, but this is his band.

HAMMERED HULLS are rounded out by Chris Wilson (drums,) a monstrous drummer with no shortage of love for all three of his bandmates. Every person in this band is a fan of every other person in this band. Mutual respect drives this train. To say they are an odd collection of influences is to understate the point. If you tried, you couldn't imagine what this band might sound like. The band's three-song debut single was recorded in a single day at Inner Ear Studios with Don Zientara & Ian MacKaye."

- Brendan Canty (Fugazi & The Messthetics)

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Members of G.L.O.S.S. P!SS, Rock & VEXX Let Loose URIN's "Whizzing" Swedish Hardcore-indebted INCYDENT EP (Erste Theke Tonträger)

URIN are a newly-minted Swedish-style Hardcore/Punk band based out of Berlin, Germany. Well, they're located in Berlin, wherein they regularly play and rehearse, but originally came from all over the world; URIN currently consists of Karolina (ex-Rock,) Per (ex-P!SS,) David "Suckles" (C__troaches,) and Corey Evans (VEXX, ex-G.L.O.S.S.) URIN—not to be confused with P!SS—play a very specific regional style of 1980-90's Swedish D-beat Hardcore/Punk first popularized by SH*TLICKERS AKA Skitslickers and upon their 1982 break-up, eventually, turned into, Anti Cimex until about 1993. While Karolina, Per, David & Corey previously self-released their 2018 DEMO EP on VOICE FROM INSIDE TAPES last May, their most recent effort, INCYDENT EP, is, technically, their "debut" release. Honestly, the only vaguely Swedish Hardcore/Punk I'm, personally, similar with comes from Refused's seminal album, The Shape of Punk to Come, as well as sharp-dressing Swedes, The Hives... but URIN's brand of 1980-90's Swedish D-beat/Punk revival does, in fact, sound pretty legit! URIN's INCYDENT EP is now available to stream, download, or purchase on limited edition vinyl from Erste Theke Tonträger or directly from the band.

"It's always great to release records of bands with members of other outstanding bands, especially, when they sound f*#^ing dope! Members of Rock (Karolina,) P!SS (Per,) C__troaches (David,) and VEXX/G.L.O.S.S. (Corey) got together in Berlin, Germany and started this band.

This is raw, lo-fi Hardcore Punk in the vein of [SH*TLICKERS]—which seems to be [blasphemous]—but, believe me, it is not! Most of the time, I am bored when there are new bands trying to deliver Hardcore Punk. So, I have just a real ear for bands that take Hardcore to some new, weird, and exciting places. And that's why ETT brings you this EP; straight out of the Berlin gutters!

The new wave of raw Berlin Hardcore is here and alongside fellow bands, like LIFE F@*&ER & P!SS, URIN are holding a match to the firecracker set to explode under the a$$es of all the would-be artists, Internet "activists," and party people currently scourging the German capital, too.

Short, fast, loud, brutal, heavy, obnoxious. Too Punk for Metal, too Metal for Punk; this is deadly serious Raw Punk, much better than most of the so-called "Raw Punk" bands out there. It has that "broke-into-the-studio-in-the-middle-of-the-night" sound quality. The vocals, drums, and guitar tone—everything sounds like a lost 1982 recording out of Gothenburg. Four perfect tunes, in the vein of SH*TLICKERS & Anti Cimex! No compromises—just pure Swedish! Ultra! Mega! Raw! Hardcore! Punk!"

- Thomas Haug (@erstetheketontraeger)

Monday, July 15, 2019

Mysterious London-based Avant Hip-Hop Artist Ubik MCDXCII Returns with Brooding Album Blackout Blinds (Solium Records)

Ubik MCDXCII is a mysterious London-based Avant Hip-Hop/musical artist and analog photographer. His second full-form project, Blackout Blinds was recently released on French tape label, Solium Records; Yoan at Solium, also, very recently released a double-tape dubbed SLAB attributed to Elyria Sequence, AKA CURTA, 4-Digit & Brotherhood of Machines. The Witzard recently premiered an exclusive offering from Cindy Bluray & CURTA called "N0153_W45H" and now, it appears as though, Bluray has mixed "Mythologies" from Ubik MCDXCII's Blackout Blinds. Otherwise, the rest of the record was tediously mixed by Riccardo "Rico" Gamondi of Italian Experimental Hip-Hop group, Uochi Toki. "This is a boisterous record. The ever-present clamor making life in London claustrophobic lifestyles, the Orwellian high-tech modernity clashing with an ancient past, the parenting of an Autistic child in an autistic society; these are all important themes in this album, illuminating the schizophrenic duality of present-day urban life," reads a brief Bio posted along with Solium's Bandcamp product description.

Blackout Blinds features collaborations with Eyebolt, Florian Ayala Fauna, Jirin, and Tobeats, as well as analog video art clip for "Rites & Ceremonies" created by Austin Settle & Philipp Haffner. "This record is a heavy and powerful piece of Hip-Hop. A noisy, atmospheric, and really personal collection of tracks all crafted into an oppressive and multi-layered album, assembled from field recordings, voice samples, beats, and instrumentals recorded here and there between London & Morocco. Vocals blend in this musical landscape to create an oppressive and overwhelming tape. This is a biting record, but definitely not the kind you'll bang your head to!" Solium continued. Blackout Blinds definitely does sound like something to the effect of a twisted stylistic mixture of dälek, Eric B. & Rakim, Death Grips, and Throbbing Gristle. Ubik MCDXCII's Blackout Blinds is now available to purchase, stream, or download in both Digital Album and Limited Edition Cassette formats directly from Solium Records' Bandcamp page.

"I've always been into Hip-Hop & Punk, but, I think the way that influence is expressed in my own unique way. Influences include classic innovators of British Trip-Hop (Massive Attack, Tricky,) Old School (Eric B. & Rakim, Large Professor) to "Outsider" Hip-Hop (RAMM:ΣLL:ZΣΣ, dälek, Cities Aviv,) Free-Jazz to Electronic and more extreme Punk, Industrial, and Noise (Rudimentary Peni, Septic Death, Discharge, Godflesh, and Throbbing Gristle) and not to forget legendary producers, like Madlib.

"Ubik" is a Science Fiction reference, a Phillip K. Dick novel, in which this dark and crazy symbiotic God-like presence permeates over and throughout everything; a mist life moving through life, setting back in time whatever it reaches. "MCDXCII" is for the year 1492, when America was "discovered," bringing forth genocide. The same year, in Spain, Ferdinand & Isabella took control of The Keys of Granada, in Andalusia, the final vestige of The Kingdom of Moorish Andalus.

My Romany Gitano [Spanish "Gypsy"] heritage is important to me, as is Sufism and the occult. One of the big motifs is that conflict between darkness and light, deep macabre darkness, but, also, spiritual light; a spiritual combat that plays out in sonic collages that battle for redemption."

- Ubik MCDXCII (@ubik.mcdxcii)

Friday, July 12, 2019

Leeroy Stagger Returns with Glam Rock-indebted Single "Strange Attractors" from Strange Path Album/Book (True North Records)

Leeroy Stagger is an Alternative Country singer/song-writer hailing from Victoria, British Columbia/Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada. Stagger has been steadily recording and releasing music since 2002's Six Tales of Danger EP and has toured with everyone from Hot Hot Heat to The Pixies, Modest Mouse to The Lemonheads' frontman Evan Dando. Leeroy Stagger has previosuly released music under the umbrellas of Easton Stagger Phillips, Leeroy Stagger & The Wildflowers, Leeroy Stagger & His Band, Leeroy Stagger & The Sinking Hearts, and most recently, Leeroy Stagger & The Rebeltone Sound. 2017's critically-acclaimed Love Versus was touted as a "re-emergence after a years-long fog of anxiety and depression" and featured contributions from drummer Pete Thomas, guitarist Paul Rigby, keyboardist Geoff Hilhorst, and Stagger's long-time bassist Tyson Maiko. Now, Leeroy Stagger has returned with the announcement of his second album of 2019, Strange Path, following May's self-released Me & The Mountain. "Strange Path is the end result of a triple-album's worth of scrapped demos and a spirit-reviving retreat inwards," explains a recent press release from True North Records. "The name Strange Path applies as much to Leeroy's unexpected route from the [British Columbia] Punk scene to Southern Alberta singer/song-writer, as it does to the album's own evolution," it continues.

True North will be presenting Strange Path as an 11-track album and an accompanying self-help book penned by Stagger himself. Last night, we got our first proper sonic preview of Strange Path by way of Glam Rock-indebted single, "Strange Attractor." "Nothing is permanent when you really stop and think," says Leeroy Stagger. "The home we live in, the car we drive, the children we raise, the art we make, and the skin that we're in. It's not forever, it's barely real, and that's OK to me because I've been shown the truth of it all. In seeing that it's not that big of a deal, this has shown me how beautiful it all is. It's precious, impermanent, and beautiful. "Strange Attractor" is about the unseen nature of impermanence and the sacredness of the life we live." While Strange Path is, technically, a "solo" record, Leeroy Stagger, once again, recruited a team of his closest friends and bandmates including drummer Pete Thomas (Elliot Smith, Los Lobos,) long-time collaborator Tyson Maiko, Paul Rigby (Garth Hudson, Jakob Dylan,) Ryland Moranz, and Michael Ayotte. The album was, then, mixed by five-time GRAMMY winner Ryan Freeland (Ray LaMontagne, Bonnie Raitt, Rodney Crowell) and Brad Barr of The Barr Brothers shared producer's chair with Leeroy himself on four of the album's 11 tracks. Leeroy Stagger's Strange Path will become available on True North Records starting Friday, September 13, 2019.

Thursday, July 11, 2019

Eddie X Murphy & Steven Seagal Team Up for First Off-screen Italian Noisecore/Grindcore Digital "Split" (SPUTO RECORDS)

It appears as though Grindcore/Noisecore's popularity truly spans from coast to coast, ocean to ocean across the globe; today's particular Noise-making specimens are Italian Harsh Noisecore band Eddie x Murphy (AKA E x M) and Chilean Noisecore band Steven Seagal. Yes, there are, in fact Grind/Noisecore bands named after two of America's most beloved Comedy/Action actors—watch out, The Mr. T Experience & The Tony Danza Tapdance Extravaganza! E x M currently consists of players Alex D. Luca Scaglie Di Rumore, and Tommy Deaf, while Steven Seagal are a self-proclaimed "a$$hole duo, who make Noisecore." For their latest collaborative release, E x M & Steven Seagal have joined forces with Italian imprint SPUTO RECORDS for a 9-song digital split. "Simply, Eddie X Murphy likes Steven Seagal's Noisecore and we asked him to do a split," E x M's Alex D. explained how said split organically manifested itself. For this E x M/Steven Seagal split, Alessandro Calaon filled in for regular drummer Tommy Deaf, alongside core members Luca Scaglie Di Rumore & Alex D.

Eddie x Murphy submitted the first eight songs for the SPUTO split, the longest of which clocks in at a brief, albeit, ferociously pummeling 01:11, while Steven Seagal contributed 02:07 closer "Colectivo por la Destrucción de la Industria Musical," which roughly translates to "Collective for The Destruction of The Music Industry." I'll readily admit, I'm far from a specialist on Grindcore/Noisecore (yet!) but it definitely seems as though there are striking similarities to Punk, Hardcore, Metal music, and even Hip-Hop. Both Eddie x Murphy and Steven Seagal have a plethora of albums, EP's, singles, splits, etc. currently available on their respective Bandcamp pages. Eddie Murphy's IMDb page currently lists Dolemite Is My Name, Coming 2 America, Triplets—yes, a sequel to Danny DeVito & Arnold Schwarzenegger's 1988 film, Twins—and Beverly Hills Cop 4 as all being in various stages of pre/post-production. Steven Seagal's page currently lists Aylan Baby (Sea of Death) and Above The Law 2 amongst the disgraced actor's upcoming projects.

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

AllOne Returns with Gramatik "Anima Mundi" (DJ Second Nature Remix) Single & Music Video from WHOLE > SUM PARTS Comp.

Last we heard from Long Island emcee, Experimental Hip-Hop lyricist, performance poet, singer/song-writer, author, and beat-boxer Bruce "AllOne" Pandolfo, he had just released his Dusty Dossiers EP as part of Fake Four Inc.'s month-long FREECEMBER 2017 initiative. Dusty Dossiers was inspired by both producer Dope KNife's Jazzy, dusty beats, as well as AllOne's own submissions for Local Gems Poetry Press' 30 Poems In 30 Days contest and esteemed True Crime podcast, CRIMINAL. AllOne has since continued his weekly Spontaneous Sundays freestyle video series and issued a poetry collection entitled "THIS IS CRIMINAL" (30 TRUE CRIME POEMS IN 30 DAYS.) Now, AllOne has returned with his first compilation of new material since Dusty Dossiers, aside from last June's one-off single, "Sloth," entitled WHOLE > SUM PARTS. It's a 13-track collection of demos, snippets, unfinished, unreleased, and other odds-and-ends-style compositions.

WHOLE > SUM PARTS' second single, "Anima Mundi," was produced by fellow Long Islander DJ Second Nature AKA DJ BMO and intended as an "unofficial" remix to Gramatik's 2016 single of the same name featuring RusS LiQuiD. There's also, an extremely creative "Anima Mundi" music video directed and edited by yet another Long Islander, Chris Rodriguez. Bruce "AllOne" Pandolfo has quick become one of my favorite artists and one of the most lyrically tactful, expertly-mustachioed emcees I've ever personally encountered and it's great to get a glimpse behind his creative process! I'm, admittedly, a bit biased, but I would strongly recommend checking out The Witzard's comprehensive 2017 Dusty Dossiers-era interview with AllOne. WHOLE > SUM PARTS is currently available to purchase, stream, or download on AllOne's Bandcamp page with a thorough song breakdown, behind-the-scenes featurette, and "Anima Mundi" lyrics now available, via The AllOneNetwork.

"WHOLE > SUM PARTS is the third compilation to collect my scattered collaborative ventures with talented friends from around the country and give home to unreleased songs or fractions of songs. Some songs are unmixed and unfinished, but would otherwise go unheard—"Opening The Door" & "Colors" are two such songs—so, I've decided that "warts and all" is better than "never heard at all."

The collection's title plays with the phrase "the whole is greater than the sum of its parts," which I've adopted and interpreted as an apt description of what happens in the process of all true and great collaborations. I don't know if these songs are all truly great, but I know they're all greatly true and I know that it felt great to make them.

The timeline of these songs goes as far back as recordings from 2013 ("Within First...") and as recently as just a few weeks before this release in 2019 ("Adjectives.") I'm greatly indebted to the array of friends and admired talented artists who agreed to make projects with me.The songs were not initially intended to sit together, yet here they are, and here you are, sitting reading this. So here you are, I hope these songs sit well with you. Thank you for all of your support. All artist's roles credited to the best of my memory in each individual song."

- Bruce "AllOne" Pandolfo (@allonevoice)

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Mike Park Introduces Latest Line-up of The Bruce Lee Band Featuring Kevin Higuchi, Dan Potthast & Jeff Rosenstock (@asianmanrecords)

"New @bruceleeband coming soon. Even made an [Instagram] page which means this is serious stuff, so please Follow. This photo was taken about 20 [minutes] ago in San Jose in front of @districtrecording I ❤️ San Jose," Mike Park (@mikeparkmusic) mysteriously posted on his Instagram page over the weekend. The Bruce Lee Band has existed in various incarnations since 1995, while the "Bruce Lee" name itself was adopted as a pseudo-nickname by Mike Park during his time spent playing saxophone and singing with Skankin' Pickle from 1989-96. Although, the band is, often, officially known as "The B. Lee Band" because, supposedly, following the release of The Bruce/B. Lee Band's 1995 self-titled debut, "Lee's brother, Robert, who happened to be the manager of the CD manufacturing plant responsible for pressing the album, contacted Park to give him a friendly word of caution that Bruce Lee's name and likeness were copyrighted." Mike "Bruce Lee" Park & The B. Lee Band have, gradually, covered nearly any and all sub-genres of Ska over the years and have released music on Park's own Dill/Asian Man Records, Jeff Rosenstock's Really Records, and Tokyo-based Ska In The World Records.

The earliest iteration of The Bruce Lee Band (I) consisted of Park, as well as Less Than Jake's Chris "Lee" Demakes, Vinnie "Lee" Fiorello, Roger "Lee" Lima, and Derron "Lee" Nuhfer and played across their aforementioned 1995 debut. The Bruce Lee Band (II) re-emerged in 2005 with their Beautiful World EP and featured Mike Park backed by Rx Bandits' then-line-up of Joe Troy, Christopher Tsagakis, Matt Embree, Steve Choi, and Steve Borth. The Bruce Lee Band (III) returned after a 9-year self-imposed sabbatical period with an EP, "COMMUNITY SUPPORT GROUP," and an accompanying full-length titled "EVERYTHING WILL BE ALRIGHT, MY FRIEND," this time, consisting of Park, Jeff Rosenstock (Antarctigo Vespucci, Bomb The Music Industry!) Kevin "The Guch" Higuchi (The Chinkees, Whiskey Avengers,) and Mike Huguenor (Kitty Kat Fan Club, Hard Girls.) It appears as though the most recent iteration of The Bruce Lee Band (IV) now consists of Park, Rosenstock, "The Guch," and long-time Asian Man Records affiliate and friend of The Lees, Dan Potthast of Dan P. & The Bricks, MU330, Sharkanoid, etc.

Last night, @asianmanrecords posted, "SKA SKA SKA @bruceleeband is back. New record coming soon. Follow their Instagram. How many Followers can they get with no posts? Who can name all 4 members of this band? Will this album only be keyboards? What is the meaning of life?" to which I (very confidently!) yet, incorrectly Responded. While there's currently no additional news concerning said Bruce Lee Band "record" or "album," there are a few B. Lee-related releases of particular note: Kitty Kat Fan Club—featuring Mike Park and his former Bruce Lee Band bandmate Mike Huguenor—released their full-length debut, "DREAMY LITTLE YOU," on Asian Man Records this past May; Mike Park & Maura Weaver of Ogikubo Station unleashed their latest EP, Okinawan Love Songs, featuring Dan Andriano (Alkaline Trio, The Damned Things) on two of its three tracks. Below, you'll find our recently assembled Bruce Lee Band - Rude Boy A-Go-Go Spotify Playlist, which attempts to re-assemble Ska In The World Records' 2014 Japan-only comp. of the same name. Stay tuned to this space for contained updates concerning The Bruce Lee Band's forthcoming release, which, it sounds like, will likely materialize before Summer's end. It will definitely be interesting to see what sub-genres of Ska/Punk The Bruce Lee Band decide to tackle next!

Monday, July 8, 2019

Height Keech Returns with "That's A Wrap for Radio Shack" from Forthcoming Album RAW ROUTES (Cold Rhymes Records)

Last we heard from Dan "Height" Keech, he was prepping his 2018 E-40 & B-Legit-style double-mic sonic assault, Computer Rocker, on his very own imprint, Cold Rhymes Records, with partner-in-rhyme, MISTER as a "Featured Emcee" throughout." Prior to Computer Rocker, Height and his crew unleashed THERE ISN'T VERY MICH TIME: 14 ICE-COLD DEVASTATORS FROM COLD RHYMES RECORDS, which boasted choice cuts from their 2018 release schedule: Height-produced Stories of A Made Up Year from Darko The Super, Speak N' Eye's Cypher At The Gates of Dawn, and Kate Ferencz's What Was The World, as well as Param Anand Singh's Psychic Arpeggiator, 808's & Milkshakes from Desperate Band Appreciation Society (Darko & Harvey Cliff MC,) Vans_Westly's Bubble Boy, HEIGHT KEECH 1000: The Tightest Songs 2000-2018, ialive's Don't Do Nothing—one of our personal Favorite Albums of 2018—Year of The Darko Hosted By: Height Keech, and MISTER & CURT CATARACT's cross-continental collaborative effort, Approaching Land.

Now, Height Keech has suddenly returned with the lead-off single from his first proper long-form release of 2019, "That's A Wrap for Radio Shack" from RAW ROUTES. It's an homage to now-defunct American electronics chain, which closed its last remaining physical brick-and-mortar stores during Summer 2017. "That's A Wrap for Radio Shack," actually, starts with a couple warped fragments from old RadioShack commercials, as Height ferociously rhymes, "Back in the day, when Hip-Hop was new, me and my pals start rhymin' was the thing to do / Nobody had the know-how in my neck of the wood, we went to RadioShack to get the cheapest of goods / You could make a 4-track outta plugs and chords, your dad's tape deck, and some Mickey Mouse keyboards..." RAW ROUTES will feature appearances from Illingsworth, MISTER, ialive, Hemlock Ernst, Goldzilla, PT Burnem, Travis Allen, Ashley Alexander, and Emily Slaughter with Additional Tracking by Eddie Logix, Mastering by Carl Saff, Mixing by Brandon Lackey at Lineup Room, and Album Art created by ialive. RAW ROUTES will be widely released on digital album/12-inch vinyl formats on Cold Rhymes Records Monday, September 2, 2019.

"This is Height Keech. I've got good news and bad news. The bad news is that Radio Shack no longer exists. The good news is that my new song, "That's A Wrap for The Radio Shack," is out now. It's the first single from my forthcoming album, Raw Routes, coming out September 2nd on Cold Rhymes Records. You can pre-order the vinyl here. My good pal MISTER shot and edited this video. I hope you can dig it. Thanks for reading.

- Height Keech (@coldrhymeslabel)

Friday, July 5, 2019

Tom Caruana Presents: "Inner Space - Side B Taster" Feat. Willie The Kid & P. Blackk, Kool Keith, yU & ODDISEE (Tea Sea Records)

Many of our readers may unknowingly know Tom Caruana from his work on genre-shaping remix/mash-up albums, such as Wu-Tang vs. The Beatles - Enter: The Magical Mystery Chambers, Black Gold - Jimi Hendrix vs. The Wu-Tang Clan, and An Adventure to Pepperland Through Rhyme & Space. Caruana has, also, received critical acclaim (especially, here on The Witzard) for his band, Son of Sam's 2017 album, CINDER HILL, Black Gold: Spare Nuggets 2xLP, and 2018 self-titled EP with Detroit emcee Boog Brown. I've been frequently emailing back-and-forth with Tom Caruana and it appears as though, he has a handful of as-yet-unannounced/unreleased projects currently in-the-works or nearing completion; although, until very recently, I had not personally heard a peep about Carauana's latest project, Inner Space. It will artfully incorporate and remix samples culled from iconic Krautrock/Prog-Rock band Can's storied discography and takes particular inspiration from their 1973 Future Days album. "Someone said I should do an album called "Can-Ye." I liked the idea, but don't really like Kanye. So, I found acapellas by good and interesting rappers. Many of the acapellas [were] sent to me by the artists themselves," Tom Caruana explained on the origins of the album within an email.

"Made loads of beats out samples from of Can album tracks and out-takes, matched beats up with acapellas, [and] put them into four rough groups: 1. Uptempo, 2. Mellow, 3. Deep, and 4. Dark. Each group of tracks became a 20-minute Side of a record," he continued. Inner Space will feature found acapellas from Abdominal, dead prez, Blu & M.E.D. Willie The Kid & P. Blackk, Kool Keith, ODDISEE, Devin The Dude, East, Kev Brown & Grap Luva, eLZhi, Bahamadia & Hezekiah, Björk(?) & Thirstin Howl The 3rd, Percee P & Edan, MF DOOM, Stahhr, Sean Price & Roc Marciano, Run The Jewels, Danny Brown, Afu Ra & Fat Cat Kareem, Pharoahe Monch, Bahamadia, and Sir Menelik. Plus, exclusive acapellas attained directly from artists including Soundsci, PATEN LOCKE, Phill Most Chill, Homeboy Sandman, Andy Cooper, Oxygen, yU, Dillon & Greg Nice, billy woods, and Supastiton. Tom Caruana has, also, culled acapellas from Denmark Vessey, The Black Opera, and J Scienide's contributions to Son of Sam's various projects, as well as a brand new track with Willie Evans, Jr. Each track is, simply, labelled with each artist(s)' name and thus far, an 8-minute "taster" from Side B/2 has been released. It features previews "Willie The Kid & P. Blackk," "Kool Keith," "yU," and "ODDISEE" all expertly spitting atop airy instrumentals constructed from Can samples. Tom Caruana's Inner Space will be released on digital album, CD, cassette tape, and Blue/White & Red/Black 2xLP formats on Tea Sea Records Tuesday, July 15, 2019.

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Refused Return As "Chrome Rock" Band SAMURAI with "Chippin' In" from Cyberpunk 2077's In-Game Soundtrack (CD Projekt Red)

Refused is a Swedish Hardcore Punk/Post-Hardcore band, which was, originally, active from 1991-98; during their brief 7-year initial run, Refused released three full-length albums, two compilations, and multiple EP's, culminating with their genre-shaping '98 album, The Shape of Punk to Come. Refused have been effectively re-formed since 2012 and their current line-up consists of frontman Dennis Lyxzén, drummer David Sandström, guitarist Kristofer Steen, and bassist Magnus "Flagge" Björklund. Refused's members, during their two iterations, multiple hiatuses, and break-ups, have, also, functioned within a number of currently active and inactive solo projects, side-bands, etc. including, but not limited to: Abhinanda, AC4, Brainsquashed Puppies, David Sandström Overdrive, Final Exit, The (International) Noise Conspiracy, Instängd, INVSN/The Lost Patrol, and most recently, Fake Names with members of Minor Threat, Bad Religion, Embrace, SAVAK & Girls Against Boys.

Now, following their fourth studio album, Freedom (2015) and recent Official Swedish SCREAM TEAM TOUR with fellow Swedes, The Hives, Refused have re-formed as SAMURAI. "Oh, in between recording @refused and @invsn records, there's also this. This is a part of the new @cdpred game, @cyberpunkgame and it's pretty awesome. Check it out," @dennislyxzen further explained on Instagram. Cyberpunk 2077 is the next installment in the ongoing Cyberpunk/Cyberpunk 2013, Cyberpunk 2020/Cyberpunk V.2, and Cyberpunk V3.0/Cyberpunk 2030X series from CD Projekt Red, the Polish development studio behind the acclaimed Witcher video game series. Keanu Reeves will even star as Johnny Silverhand, the cybernetic-armed frontman of an in-universe "Chrome Rock" band, SAMURAI. Yesterday, CD Projekt Red & Refused unleashed their first proper single as SAMURAI, "Chippin' In," from a planned EP's-worth SAMURAI's "Greatest Hits." Cyberpunk 2077 will become widely available across multiple consoles on 04/16/2020 and Refused & INVSN are, supposedly, both actively working on new albums, as well.

"I know for a fact there are a lot of fans of the band at the studio, including Piotr Adamczyk, one of the composers working on the game, who came to me with the idea for this collaboration," says CD Projekt Red Music Director Marcin Przybyłowicz. "I'm very happy he did because the massive riffs, powerful drums, and hard-hitting vocals the guys from Refused deliver as SAMURAI have blown me away."

"Like us, SAMURAI is a group of rebels, albeit, in a different time and place," adds Refused's Dennis Lyxzén. "Working together with CD Projekt Red, writing music and song lyrics for Cyberpunk's Chrome Rock icon was fun, but, also, very different in the creative sense. It was an unexpected challenge that turned out to be right up our alley and really got us going. The songs turned out great and the game looks insane."

- CD PROJEKT RED (@cdpred)

Tuesday, July 2, 2019

3 Feet High & Rising: Brutalligators Unleash Nu Shooz-inspired "Crows" Music Video from Friends I Wish I'd Had EP (Real Ghost Records)

Brutalligators are a Post-Youth/Indie Punk band hailing from South East UK. The band consists of members Luke Murphy-Wearmouth, Paul Wade, Rhys Kirkman & Simon Lee, who readily list Dikembe, Death Cab for Cutie, Smith Street Band, The Hard Aches, The Mountain Goats, Foxing, and American Football amongst "Artists We Also Like." Brutalligators' Facebook page lists their Genres as "Punk, Alt. Indie, Indie, Pop Rock, Emo, Post-Emo, Bed Wetting, and Musicals" and somewhat eerily admit they "have a penchant for long walks on the beach and severed limbs." It appears as though Luke, Paul, Rhys & Simon formed Brutalligators around July 2017 prior to the release of their debut EP, Animals I Wish I'd Seen; through 2018-19, they self-released covers of both Frightened Rabbit's "My Backwards Walk" and Blink-182's "Going Away for (to) College," as well as a 2018 holiday single, "Christmas In July." Now, Brutalligators are gearing up to let loose their second proper EP, Friends I Wish I'd Had, on UK-based D.I.Y. imprint Real Ghost Records. The first single from Brutalligators' forthcoming EP, "Kill Your Heroes" AKA "KYH," is a tried and true Punk/Hardcore ripper that lasts less than two minutes.

Over the weekend, I received a cold-sent email from Real Ghost Records concerning the "four-piece pile of limbs" and their latest music video/single for "Crows" from Friends I Wish I'd Had EP. "🎺🎺 Second single klaxon: 🎺🎺 "Crows" is out for your listening pleasure today, along with Paul [Wade's] insane video for it. If you've ever stayed up late watching 80's music videos (and maybe, one particular one by Nu Shooz) you may recognise it..." Brutalligators posted in celebration of said single. "Crows" was directed and produced by Brutalligators' own Paul Wade, along with Simon & Donna Wade, and is meant to pay homage to Portland-based Freestyle/R&B group Nu Shooz and their 1986 music video for "I Can't Wait." It's definitely a grainy 1980's-reminiscent music video and the song, "Crows" itself is a sun-soaked undeniably infectious Pop-Punk in it's own right. Friends I Wish I'd Had EP is currently available to pre-order directly from Brutalligators' Bandcamp page on both Limited Edition Yellow Cassette and Digital Album formats. It will be widely released on Real Ghost Records on Friday, July 12, 2019.

Monday, July 1, 2019

DJ Oonops Presents: Japanese Jazz Fusion Trio Nautilus' De La Soul "A Roller Skating Jam Named Saturdays" Cover/Remix (Oonops Drops Vol. 2)

"So, I asked Toshi[yuki Sasaki] from Nautilus because of his creative Jazz style and singer Fleur Earth, who I had in mind as the voice for this version to [fully] realize it for me. And yes, there will be another cool re-interpretation of a classic tune... I'll keep you updated," DJ Oonops told The Witzard roughly two years ago. He was talking about Nautilus & Fleur Earth's Beastie Boys "Root Down" cover from Oopops Drops Vol. 1; at the time, the part about "another cool re-interpretation of a classic tune..." was largely irrelevant, but now, all of a sudden, it has become relevant! DJ Oonops is currently assembling Oopops Drops Vol. 2 for a September release on Hanover, Germany-based Agogo Records—an "extensive compilation covering genres from Dub, Jazz, Funk, Soul to Beats & Hip Hop"—and has unleashed "another cool re-interpretation." This time, Oonops has paired Japanses Jazz Fusion trio Nautilus up with Japanese songstress Kei Owada, Canadian emcee Abdominal, and German producer glueset for a cover/remix of De La Soul's 1991 single, "A Roller Skating Jam Named "Saturdays'" from DE LA SOUL is dead originally released on Tommy Boy.

For the purposes of Nautilus' single, now fittingly re-titled as "Rollerskating Jam Named "Sundays,'" DJ Oonops has released a digital single version of the B-side from Agogo Records' upcoming 7-inch. While Side A will feature Nautilus' stripped down version of De La Soul's "A Roller Skating Jam Named "Saturdays,"' as well as The U.M.C.'s "One to Grow On," Side B will feature glueset's remix of Nautilus' original instrumental re-interpretation, this time, with Abdominal & Kei Owada. It's a jarring re-vision, which seemingly retains the whole "old school rollerskating jam" feel of De La & The Native Tongues' original, yet, much like "Root Down," adds a whole new 2019 flip to an undisputed Conscious Hip-Hop classic. Nautilus' "Rollerskating Jam Named "Sundays'" White Vinyl 7-inch is currently available to pre-order from Agogo Records' Bandcamp page and the glueset Remix from Side B is now streaming. Both "Rollerskating Jam Named "Sundays'" & Oonops Drops Vol. 2, on which Nautilus' single will re-appear, will be properly released on Agogo Records starting Friday, September 25, 2019.

"I had this idea of a cover version of De La Soul; plus, a little part of The U.M.C.'s. So, I asked my friends Nautilus (Kei Owada is featured on their album.) So. I thought it would be an interesting twist on this classic to have a Japanese vocal part in it. Next, I thought about the dope Rap style of Abdominal from Canada. Last step, was to get a heavy drums version for the dancefloor; besides DJ'ing and hosting my radio show, I'm a professional product designer and work together with glueset, who is a [serious] vinyl digger and producer—and graphic designer... he did the cover design for my compilations, [Oonops Drops Vol. 1 & 2, too—so, it was clear for me to ask him for this remix."

- Oonops (@dj_oonops)