Friday, February 23, 2018

Rolled Gold Re-purposes & Re-releases "Nite Owl's Theme" with New Verses from Philly Emcees Ai-Que & Reef The Lost Cauze (The Nite Owls)

I'm not entirely sure what's the best aspect about Philly-bred producer Harry Metz AKA Rolled Gold: that his name is an allusion to delicious pretzel company Rold Gold, his logo is an upside down cigar-smoking pretzel, or that he makes infectious Jazzy Blues/Soul-inflected Hip-Hop beats. While remaining largely silent throughout 2017, Rolled Gold has returned to dominate 2018 with his unique hard as nails sour dough brand of Hip-Hop. Barely two months into 2018, Harry Metz recently told The Witzard about a slew of beat-twisting projects he currently has in store for this year; already having properly re-released an abridged version of his 2016 SALTY EP re-titled SALTY (3P) and effectively, trimming it back to a concise 3-track collection. Now, not even a full week later, Rolled Gold has already re-surfaced to unleash a vocal-assisted version of his 2016 single, "Nite Owl's Theme" with modern day composer/multi-instrumenatlist and cousin Nate Forman as The Nite Owls. "Nite Owl's Theme" is the second single from Rolled Gold's upcoming compilation album, which will also, showcase his 2017 single, "The Field" featuring No Headliner.

"The production is from me and my cousin's original composition, "Nite Owl's Theme," which I sped up and chopped up just a little bit and carries a Soulful groove, similar to soundtrack music from the 1960-70's era," Harry Metz wrote within a recent press statement. Rolled Gold alludes to the fact that he has quite the "versatile, life-long musical resume ranging from Jazz to Punk Rock bands, Trap beats to live Neo-Soul groups, and more." Metz readily lists J Dilla, RZA, and DOOM as his greatest sources of inspiration and influence, as well as the storied catalogs of Motown, Stax, and Philly International Records. Rolled Gold's "Nite Owl's Theme" now features amended verses from fellow Philadephians Ai-Que & Reef The Lost Cauze. "Nite Owl's Theme" ('Rap Version') features numerous sonic benchmarks akin to like-minded artists such as Bob James, BADBADNOTGOOD, Pat Van Dyke, El Michels Affair, Adrian Younge & Venice Dawn, and Will Sessions. Rolled Gold's upcoming releases will include instrumental/remix EP's and an as-yet-untitled compilation album, all constructed from 100% original samples and compositions.

Thursday, February 22, 2018

CURTA Announce 4Digit-produced End of Future Park EP, Unveil "The Messiah Complex" Single & cars & trains FICTIONS TOUR 2018 (self-released)

Die-hard Hip-Hop heads and The Witzard's trusty devotees alike will recall: the last time we heard from Denver emcee CURTA, he and long-time producer 4Digit were preparing to release their CLICK BAIT EP on FilthyBroke Recordings/Hello L.A. Lest we forget, Philly Noir-Hop originator Zilla Rocca's re-contextualized and remixed version of CURTA's "Rap Trope Questionnaire" was premiered right here at The Witzard last March. Now, CURTA are back with their first single, "The Messiah Complex," lifted from upcoming EP End of Future Park slated to be self-released on Bandcamp this upcoming March 19th. "End of Future Park is named for a construction sign meant to indicate the point at which the City of Denver's proposed "future park" starts and ends," CURTA wrote within a recent press statement. "This sign is painted on an underpass pillar a few blocks from my home and small studio where we recorded the album," CURTA further elaborated. End of Future Park EP is again, entirely produced by frquent collaborator 4Digit and teeters into fresh sonic territory for CURTA, "bouncing synth lines and Experimental noise combine as the lush backdrop for tracks obsessively tweaked into coherence."

Not only is CURTA back with six "very sexy"-sounding tracks, Side B of End of Future Park EP will include 26 minutes of un-used instrumentals producer 4Digit created around the same time CURTA wrote the preceding six songs. "The Life of 4Digit Vol. 1," as they're referring to it on Bandcamp, is an entire mixed down instrumental "beat tape," which can seemingly, be enjoyed, re-contextualized, beefed up, and re-used however you (the listener) sees best fit. CURTA's End of Future Park EP is currently available for pre-order on Bandcamp in a number of multi-formatted packages: 1.) standard digital album with high-quality MP3, FLAC, etc. download or 2.) 100 limited edition "gold"-encrusted cassettes... while supplies last! Only lead-off single, "The Messiah Complex," is currently available for streaming, along with the pre-order; however, I've heard the full End of Future Park EP and can assure you, it's indeed, a solid, single-song representation of CURTA & 4Digit's impending "fresh sonic territory." CURTA is currently gearing up to embark on a 14-date West/Southwest FICTIONS TOUR 2018 along with Portland-based Electronic/Folk singer cars & trains, which will culminate with CURTA's triumphant End of Future Park EP Release Show 3/14 at Denver's Seventh Circle Collective.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

San Francisco Rapper-producer OneWerd Unveils Self-directed "Inner Truths" Video from Alive EP (Fake Four Freecember 2017)

"It's cool to see things come full-circle. A year ago, nearly to the day, I walked out of my classroom and headed home for Winter Break. My only aim for that window of creative time was to put together the foundation for the best project possible to submit for Fake Four's Freecember series the following year," San Francisco/Bay Area rapper-producer OneWerd wrote within a recent press statement. Adding that he then, spent the next three weeks "experimenting with new production approaches, brain-storming, and collecting song ideas and working them out into lyrics." Upon completing eight genre-eschewing beats for what would ultimately, become his Alive EP, OneWerd reached out to a particular collection of artists he looked up to and admired to appear within Alive; this would end up including features from Denver emcee sole, Graves 33, Sleep of Oldominion, Ersatz Splynter, and Fake Four, Inc.'s own "anti-boss himself," Ceschi. OneWerd's Alive EP was released as part of Fake Four's Freecember 2017 series, along with Anonymous Inc. AKA Ceschi & David Ramos' Beta 1 EP, Oscar Goldman's Prevoid EP, and AllOne's Dusty Dossiers EP. It's also, of particular note that "all music and album art [was] produced, recorded, mixed, and mastered by OneWerd, 4 cats, and excessive amounts of coffee."

Since the December 2017 release of his Alive EP on Fake Four, Inc. OneWerd has been steadily promoting the EP (which is how our paths crossed) and repping his own unique brand of "Intergalactic Mood Music, Extraterrestrial Hardcore Big Band, Symphonic Experimental Shoegaze Trap-step," fused with slightly more traditional Hip-Hop. If pressed, I would likely, describe the sound contained on OneWerd's Alive EP as something between Run The Jewels and Imagine Dragons with a sonic dash of TV On The Radio. Last month, OneWerd unleashed his first self-directed and edited music video for Alive EP solo cut "Inner Truths." OneWerd explained: "Inner Truths," the first visual treatment from Alive, is an examination of what it means to stay rooted in the face of external pressures to change or conform. I've often felt discouraged by the pressure to fit within an easily-marketable template in the music industry and this song is a reminder to myself to fight back against the voices that would dissuade you from speaking your own inner truths." OneWerd further detailed, he had a bit of behind-camera assistance from his friends The IMF and Jeff Stone for "Inner Truths," which was shot in various locations around his hometown of San Mateo, California. OneWerd's latest Alive EP is now available to stream or download from Fake Four, Inc.'s Bandcamp, along with the rest of their Freecember 2017 releases.

Monday, February 19, 2018

J.Rocc Unleashes Long-vaulted J Dilla & Michael Jackson Blends Album SHARE MY BED (Original Artwork By: @UnibrowDuck)

It's safe to say, I've been patiently awaiting J.Rocc's J Dilla & Michael Jackson-blending mash-up project ever since Stones Throw posted: "Share My Bed=M.J. & Dilla 1st track "Player Has Butterflies"... wait 4 the rest" nearly 10 years ago back in November 2009. Over the years, a handful of tracks have been sporadically leaked out from the project—alternatively, referred to as "Dil Jackson"—but every year, as Dilla Month (February) comes and goes, I've always wondered, if we would ever hear the entirety of J.Rocc's Share My Bed. Even this year, J Dilla's birthday, Feb. 7th (same as my dad's!) passed, as well as Feb. 10th, the 12th anniversary of his passing, and still, no signs of J.Rocc's anxiously-awaited Dil Jackson project. However, just a few days ago, on Valentine's Day, J.Rocc quietly dropped Share My Bed on his Bandcamp, without any prior notice or warning. Self-described as a project Beat Junkies Founder & DJ J.Rocc admittedly, "started years ago, but never finished," Share My Bed consists of eight wonderfully-executed seamless blends of both Michael & Dilla's greatest hits and most beloved cult favorites.

J Dilla, himself, actually, sampled both Michael Jackson and The Jackson 5 on a number of occasions throughout his storied career: "Time: The Donut of The Heart" from magnum opus Donuts samples Jackson 5's "All I Do Is Think of You," "Inhuman Nature" naturally, samples "Human Nature" from Thriller, and "Track 19" from Dilla's infamous Beat CD '05 #3 samples Jackson 5's "Dancing Machine," which was ultimately, re-purposed on Q-Tip's 2008 single, "Move." Not only did J Dilla AKA Jay Dee produce a 1997 "Gone 'til It's Gone" remix for Janet, he also constructed a remix of Michael's "HIStory" along with A Tribe Called Quest members Q-Tip & Ali Shaheed Muhammad, collectively billed as The Ummah. "J Dilla once said he was [going] to make an album of him singing. The cover was a picture of him [on his side] like Michael Jackson on Thriller. The title of the LP was going to be SHARE MY BED," J.Rocc further detailed on his Bandcamp.

Upon first hearing J.Rocc's Share My Bed, I reached out to my friend and frequent collaborator, graphic designer Tin Kulj AKA Unibrow Duck to see if he could design an original alt. Thriller-esque album cover, as Dilla himself had imagined. Needless, to say, after a few emails back-and-forth over the weekend, Tin indeed, delivered! Unibrow Duck designed three pieces of original artwork inspired by Michael Jackson's world-renown album, Thriller; specifically, the 1982 inner-sleeve gatefold artwork featuring Michael posing with an adorable little tiger cub, to which Tin even added distressed "worn LP" details. Unibrow Duck's Share My Bed inner-sleeve art can be viewed at the top of this very post, with the rest of his artwork available to view at Lest we forget, @UnibrowDuck also, recently designed original pieces of artwork for our recurring Beat-maker Bedrock producer column, as well as The Witzard's Andy Cooper "THE PERFECT DEFINITION" Remix Comp. playlist. "TURN IT UP! A LITTLE LOUDA!"

Friday, February 16, 2018


"Some copies left from our tour of Mexico.
100 white tapes with blue insert.
3 songs from the upcoming LP 'DARK THOUGHTS AT WORK,'"
Philly Punks DARK THOUGHTS wrote on their Bandcamp page this past week. Fittingly-named DARK THOUGHTS WINTER TAPE is their latest quick-strike release and quasi-follow-up to October 2017's festively-appropriate DARK THOUGHTS HALLOWEEN TAPE. Not entirely unlike similarly-named DARK THOUGHTS HALLOWEEN TAPE, DARK THOUGHTS WINTER TAPE features three select songs from DARK THOUGHTS' upcoming sophomore album, DARK THOUGHTS AT WORK: "PSYCHO WARD," "NO GOOD," and "DON'T WANNA." "NO GOOD" and "DON'T WANNA" were previously featured on DARK THOUGHTS HALLOWEEN TAPE—along with "HATE THIS SONG" and "LITTLE THING"—in rough demo form; although, I'm assuming, much won't change from "rough demo" tape form to the finalized cuts to be featured on DARK THOUGHTS AT WORK.

It's since, seemingly disappeared from The Internet, but DARK THOUGHTS HALLOWEEN TAPE featured four tracks, as well as festive sound effects and "spooky noises," which is why DARK THOUGHTS WINTER TAPE appears to be so much shorter at a total of 4:01-minutes in length. Having already heard five tracks, as well as a couple rough demos, from DARK THOUGHTS' 2016 self-titled debut follow-up, it appears as though DARK THOUGHTS AT WORK is soon impending. DARK THOUGHTS currently have a string of gigs lined up for the next few months, including 3/23 W/ BUGG [& CLASP] @ EVERYBODY HITS and 4/5 W/ SWEARIN', BIG EYES & WEEDHOUNDS @ MARKET HOTEL (NYC) and new dates are regularly added to the sidebar of DARK THOUGHTS' Bandcamp. WINTER TAPE will be currently available at DARK THOUGHTS' upcoming East Coast dates and cassettes are also, available to purchase directly from DARKTHOUGHTS.BIGCARTEL.COM, if you aren't able to make it out to a show this Winter. ❄️

Thursday, February 15, 2018

The Witzard Premier & Exclusive Stream: Petridisch Releases First of 2018 Philip Glass Re-interpretations - "GLASS: Music In Contrary Motion (for Farfisa, Synth & Vocaloid)"

Petridisch (@petridisch) describes himself as a "mainly Electronic music composer on the Darkwave side, who loves VOCALOID / sometimes plays a reverbed-out guitar" hailing from Boston. Petridisch is a mysterious creature, also know as Thor Maillet, who has issued a staggering 26 individual releases, since first launching his project on Bandcamp in 2015-16. Just in 2017, Petridisch released four full-length albums: Wired, Classical Vocaloid, Monolith, Split—re-released on Amazon, Spotify, and Apple Music as An Interrogation—and most recently, 358, as well as limited edition 358 VHS + CASSETTE + DIGITAL + DVD! combo-packs on Illuminated Paths, as well as a unique "video album" crafted in collaboration with Broken Machine Films Presents... However, Thor Maillet has personally, been making music since 1995 as part of various bands, collaborative projects, and solo endeavors, including, but not limited to, Cryostasium / Thor Maillet, CTM, Petridisch, and simply "Thor Maillet."

Petridisch's music is equally influenced by both, the works of Philip Glass and Mylène Farmer, as Thor Maillet says his general intent with his music it to "explore the greyer areas of the psyche with inevitable elements of light and humor." Petridisch's latest release, "GLASS: Music In Contrary Motion (for Farfisa, Synth & Vocaloid)" is a 15-minute re-interpretation of a 1969 work by American "minimalist" composer Philip Glass. It's just the first in an on-going series of GLASS re-interpretations to be released throughout 2018. "GLASS: Music In Contrary Motion" will be released on Petridisch's Bandcamp page on March 2nd and is currently available for pre-order, however, it's currently streaming EXCLUSIVELY here at The Witzard. In addition to his GLASS Project, Petridisch has a number of projects lined up for release during 2018: Rêve d'un Rêve to be released on cassette through Norwegian imprint Asura Revolver on Feb. 24th, Illuminated Paths cassette entitled Umjammer, and VIPER & Broken Machine Films Presents... upcoming album 'BOUT THA MONEY will feature "mastering by Thor," as well as a number of yet-to-be-announced projects. I'll just let Petridisch himself further explain "GLASS: Music In Contrary Motion (for Farfisa, Synth & Vocaloid)" down below the break.

"THE PROJECT: At least two larger-scale Philip Glass works to be re-interpreted for Electronic Farfisa organ and Vocaloid with sometimes, other parts added for texture, by myself—directed by published Philip Glass scores. Vol. 1 is a single, the 1969 work "Music In Contrary Motion," to be released March 2nd. Vol. 2 will be the large-scale 1975 work, "Another Look at Harmony, Part 4" to be released [in] either, April or May. Other works to be determined.

THE SINGLE: "GLASS: Music In Contrary Motion (for Farfisa, Synth & Vocaloid.)" This will be released, via Bandcamp, on March 2nd in lossless and other formats and also, through digital distribution outlets.

THE PIECE ITSELF: This piece was originally composed in 1969 by Philip Glass. The instrumentation is open, pretty much whatever you see fit. It consists of 23 scored sections, or "modules," that one plays through with a few repeats, before moving onto the next section. The number of repeats per section is flexible; I chose none to give it an ever-moving and maybe disconcerting "roller coaster ride" feel. If you listen to other recordings of the piece, most of the time, you will hear sections repeat. All the music is written "in contrary motion." This means that the upper line of the music moves in direct contrast to the lower line of the music—in the score—every note. There are only five notes in total in the piece (A, B, C, D, E,) as well! I imagine, it would be extremely hard for a human vocal ensemble to pull off what the robots pulled off in Vocaloid, but it was the very reason I chose this particular piece. I wanted to hear voices sing these amazingly convoluted parts!"

- Thor Maillet AKA Petridisch

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Beat-twisting West Philly Producer Rolled Gold "Re-releases" 2016 SALTY EP As 3-track SALTY (3P) & Details 2018 Release Plans

Since we last heard from beat-twisting West Philly producer Rolled Gold here at The Witzard, it was when he and Philly emcee Uncle Crimson self-released their collaborative 2016 The Great Fallback EP. Rolled Gold producer Harry Metz quietly released a one-off single entitled "The Field" with a vocal assist from No Headliner in July 2017, as well as "Nite Owl's Theme" from The Nite Owls AKA Harry Metz and his cousin Nate Forman. The Nite Owls actually, formed in April 2016 and are being billed as a "Soul, Jazz, and soundtrack music duo," which also features contributions from musically-inclined friends Kavian Bina, Jonathan Vaders, and Ray Bailey. "This time around, me and my cousin are putting together a band that will do less Hip-Hop and more Soul, Jazz, and 1960-70's soundtrack music. I've linked up with a handful of Soul singers, as well to work with this year," Rolled Gold told The Key XPN back in 2016, upon the release of his SALTY EP, seemingly, alluding to The Nite Owls. Metz is actually, planning to re-release "Nite Owl's Theme" this upcoming Tuesday, February 20th with newly-added verses from emcees Ai-Que & Reef The Lost Cauze. Upon its initial release, SALTY EP was stylized as a compilation project showcasing 7-8 rappers hailing from Philly, The Bronx, Camden, NJ simply "talking sh*t" over seven dusty, sample-based beats.

This past Monday, February 12th @RolledGoldBeats Tweeted, "F**k it, just re-inventing my first compilation EP into a quick 3-song jawn now. Peep that #SALTY (3P) on Soundcloud, feat. @Ai_Que, @MrVisto, @thebulBEY & @UncleCrim." Essentially, Rolled Gold took his debut 2016 release and trimmed off a few tracks, re-branded it as "SALTY (3P)" and re-released it to the masses. When I reached out to Harry Metz for further commentary, he said, via email: "so, in the spirit of re-launching my brand this year, I figured I'd start promoting that project again as a quick 3-song EP for new listeners to digest easily and I know they'll like all 3 tracks." If you, much like myself, weren't exposed to Rolled Gold's SALTY EP when it was initially released in January 2016, now is the perfect time to re-visit Rolled Gold's Bluesy, Jazz-laden, and perfectly "sweet and salty" SALTY (3P.) I'm told Rolled Gold has a gaggle of upcoming projects currently in-the-works including, but not limited to, an as-yet-untitled album featuring Ai-Que & Reef The Lost Cauze, a Career Crooks remix with Wino Willy on Thieving As Long As I'm Breathing EP, an instrumental EP with 100% original samples, a joint EP with Boogieman Dela entitled Broken Watch Pt. 2, and an instrumental EP recorded with Wino Willy. Rolled Gold's recently re-packed and re-released SALTY (3P) is now available to stream or download on Bandcamp and Soundcloud; make sure to keep an eye out for The Nite Owls' "Nite Owl's Theme" (Rap Version) to be re-released this upcoming Tuesday, February 20th.

Monday, February 12, 2018

The Du-Rites, Side B: Previously Unreleased 2017 Greasy Listening-centric Q&A with Jay "J-Zone" Mumford & Pablo Martin (The Witzard Interview)

First and foremost, I have to readily admit, what you see below is a previously unpublished 2017 interview with Jay "J-Zone" Mumford & Pablo Martin of The Du-Rites conducted right around the release of their second collaborative album, Greasy Listening, or "2 albums - 1 CD Mo' Funk, Less $$." After conducting the initial emailed interview with both Jay & Pablo, my fiance and I purchased our first home together, the holidays came and went, and amidst constant preparations for our Fall 2018 wedding, I quite simply, and unfortunately, forgot to publish my second comprehensive Q&A with The Du-Rites. It actually, makes complete and total sense, in its own weird way, to publish this interview now, as Greasy Listening and almost all the separate projects from J-Zone & Pablo Martin mentioned within—aside from The Du-Rites' full "The Odyssey" (The Fizzy Wo-Magnificent Remix)—have been effectively released to the masses: THE ZONE IDENTITY's "Funk-I-Tus" 7-inch, MANZEL with J-Zone's "High & Tight" 7-inch, LULU LEWIS' self-titled EP and "One Note Rock and Roll" featuring both Pablo Martin & J-Zone, The Du-Rites' remix of Wax Tailor & Ghostface Killah's "Worldwide," and and The Du-Rites' first original theme song for Vivica Fox's 2017 film, Fat Camp.

Honestly, now seems like as good a time as ever to finally publish The Witzard's second interview with J-Zone & Pablo Martin of The Du-Rites,as they're currently preparing a slew of releases for 2018, including, but not limited to: J-Zone's Gorilla Breaks (break beat record,) The Du-Rites' "Gamma Ray Funk" B/W "Fish Sammich" 7-inch, THE ZONE IDENTITY's "Melting Pot" B/W "Soul Food" 7-inch, and The Du-Rites-composed score/theme for Bobbito Garcia's upcoming Rock Rubber 45's documentary, as well as purported releases from Benjamin & The Dreamdancers, LULU LEWIS, and PABLO. The Du-Rites' comprehensive 2 albums 1 CD Mo' Funk, Less $$ combo pack is currently available to stream or download on Bandcamp, along with the the aforementioned 2017-18 J-Zone & Pablo Martin releases.


Matt "The Witzard" Horowitz

I. How has your combined sound as The Du-Rites, recording processes, musical approach, etc. noticeably changed and evolved since 2016's J-Zone & Pablo Martin Are The Du-Rites?

Jay "J-Zone" Mumford: I think the songs are beginning to write themselves. The first time around, I personally, would try to aim for something I'd heard before or something I had in my head and I'd dictate the direction to Pablo. He would end up just doing his own thing, anyway and it was almost always for the better. So, this time around we just did what came naturally, rather than trying to micro-manage. I think we also have more of a focus on good song-writing and composition, as opposed to jams and vamps.

Pablo Martin: On this album, we got rid of big orchestrations; we went for a smaller ensemble—mostly drums, organ or electric piano, one guitar track,and one bass track. Very minimal. Songs used very few tracks. It's very gritty. Written very fast; we're basically, relying on dirt.

II. Greasy Listening was cut live in-studio in "The Collard Green Lounge," correct? How does this approach differ from how your first album together, J-Zone & Pablo Martin Are The Du-Rites was recorded?

J-Zone: Same process. We just added the faux-live thing to be tongue-in-cheek about our live show limitations as a duo.

Pablo: It's was pretty much, the same [thing as] the first album, in terms of recording.

III. Now, what exactly are you currently willing and able to reveal about your upcoming The Du-Rites remixes for Wax Tailor, Ghostface Killah, Large Professor, and Lil' Fame (of M.O.P. fame)? Were you initially approached by these artists/labels or did you fellas seek them out?

J-Zone: Wax Tailor is a French producer and DJ. He's dope. He had done a song called "Worldwide" with Ghostface and reached out for a remix. The song with Fame, Large Pro, and Timeless Truth is called "The Odyssey." That was done as an EPK [electronic press kit] theme song for a wedding DJ named Choimatic. There were a lot of remixes for that song and ours was one. The instrumental was strong enough to ride on its own, so we added it as a bonus track called "Du-Matic!" * on the CD and digital versions of the album.

Pablo: Except for the Lil' Fame [remix], they are all already done; in fact, the bonus digital and CD-only track from Greasy [Listening], "Du-Matic!" * is the playback for the Large Professor track. We were approached by the producers, that's how we got into [these] remixes.

IV. How did you get involved with Vivica Fox's [2017] film, Fat Camp? Your Reks-featuring "Fat Camp Theme" is showcased within the movie's trailer. What was it like working with an outer-Du-Rites emcee, let alone an award-winning actress and major film studio?

J-Zone: That was through Brian Hamilton over at Beats & Rhymes, who does our sync stuff. We never had any interaction with Vivica or Rex (the emcee,) but the song came out dope and we're happy to be in a film!

Pablo: That was through the people who license our music, they got us the gig. Again, Jay got it first, I think. He got the vocal track and some music that the production didn't like, so we removed it and Jay did the drums and sent it to me because the producers liked the guitar sound of "Git'n Off;" so, I made a riff and the bass line. It was pretty much, like the remixes—just one more track, in this case, vocals. I did not see Fat Camp yet. It's on Amazon for $5.99 rental feels like a deductible of my fee.

V. What can you fellas tell me about the making-of The Du-Rites' first proper music video, "Du The Twitch" directed by Pablo's wife and LULU LEWIS bandmate, Dylan Hundley? Who thought up the various concepts and scenarios employed throughout? It's a very fun-loving, amusing video!

J-Zone: That was all Dylan and Pablo. I got a migraine that day. The heat, dealing with shooting a video, and being around a lot of people and having to entertain was too much for me. I had some of my friends show up, but my involvement in video stuff is almost zero. I do more of the boring data, merchandise, and shipping stuff. Pablo usually handles visuals and locations and Dylan is great at that stuff. I totally hate doing videos and anything related to promotion, to be honest, but it came out spectacular.

Pablo: The Du-Rites are not very trendy, when it comes to real estate. Jay is from Jamaica, Queens and I'm in [Washington] Heights, New York. We're neighborhood guys. For a while, I wanted to catch the essence of an uptown block party, so we talked with Kyle Scott, who's a good friend of Dylan. He runs a public garden on the corner of 142nd and Amsterdam Ave. and he BBQ's for the 'hood every Saturday weather allows; anyone can go there and have an amazing meal, while you get to meet a really incredible group of characters. We shot on Dylan's phone, the same way we do with LULU LEWIS. We just let her direct and do her thing. We just invited our friends and the people there to create their own step, "The Twitch" and we went from there. It was hilarious and great fun. Overwhelmed by the social environment, Jay got a migraine...

VI. What's the current status of upcoming releases from your various outer-Du-Rites bands: Tom Tom Club, PABLO, THE ZONE IDENTITY, SUPER-BLACK with Prince Paul & Sacha Jenkins, LULU LEWIS, MANZEL, Benjamin & The Dreamdancers, etc? Any tentative "release dates" to "announce?"

J-Zone: THE ZONE IDENTITY is working on a follow-up 7-inch. That MANZEL 7-inch is about to drop this Fall. I'm the drummer for both LULU LEWIS and Benjamin & The Dreamdancers. SUPER-BLACK, I'm not sure.

EDITOR'S NOTE: J-Zone's listed "SUPER-BLACK LP (with Prince Paul and Sacha Jenkins) – Fall 2017/TBA" within their A Generic Update (Because when you're silent on social media people think you died) as recently as May 18, 2017.

Pablo: LULU LEWIS is growing and playing regularly in NY, posting video frequently, and getting ready for the full-length. LULU is complex to mix—takes time and when I'm by myself, I have a tendency to procrastinate. PABLO is on stand-by, but I'm gonna post the single with two songs pretty soon. Tom Tom, I go when they call, but at this moment, Chris & Tina are enjoying life and who can blame them?

VII. How were you able yo fully write, record, produce, mix, master, etc. and ultimately, release Greasy Listening so soon after J-Zone & Pablo Martin Are The Du-Rites? It's been a little less than a year!

J-Zone: Funkin' is a daily routine. We're always making music.

Pablo: These are the times we live right now: release or get lost in the pile. We were pumped by the success of the first album and we wanted to keep going, while we were still "hot." I guess, the first album took years in-the-making, since we started 'til we decided we were a project and we put it out. By writing the second album so quick, we're just catching up with the average time to do things.

VIII. Your recent album press release states that "Greasy Listening is a "live" concert staged at a fictions hole-in-the-wall chitlin' circuit venue, fittingly dubbed: "The Collard Green Lounge."' How was your recording set-up arranged differently this go-'round than last time?

J-Zone: Recording set-up was pretty much the same. Just swapped out a few keyboards, on my end.

Pablo: All I can say is: how many bands [do] you know that never played a live show that already have a "live" album?

IX. What was your inspiration behind Greasy Listening's 1960-70's-reminiscent front and reverse vinyl LP covers? Now, was the front cover image taken in a diner or something, fellas?

J-Zone: Since it was a faux-"live" album, I thought it'd be cool to channel those early 70's live album covers, where they had a photo collage. I always used to trip out off those covers, as a kid looking at old records.

Pablo: Jay came up with the concept, which is definitely a literal interpretation of the title of the album. We even bought the chef jackets and we made sure to take good care of them, so we could return them right after. Shot was taken by my friend, Juan Mirko, at a Dominican joint in Harlem called El Nuevo Amanecer. They have been feeding me consistently in nine years or so I've been living here. The ladies who run the place are sweethearts. They let us do it at the bar; we wanted to be beside the counter, but we would have to wear hats, due to sanitation codes and that would have messed up we the look... The back cover was also Jay's concept and it's the register of a "show" at The Collard Green Lounge.

X. How did you guys decide to issue J-Zone & Pablo Martin Are The Du-Rites/Greasy Listening together on one CD for your "2002 Ford Focus-driving contingent?" This is the first time J-Zone & Pablo Martin...'s being released on CD, correct?

J-Zone: Yes, both albums were short enough to fit on one CD. CD's are a risk these days, unless you have a core following that buys them or you tour often. We didn't know what type of response the first album would get and we weren't touring, so we never did CD's. We figured with two albums-worth of material at a decent price and a limited pressing, we could satisfy any demand there was for CD's and have it make sense.

Pablo: People kept asking about CD's,so we gave it a shot. It's technically, a Greasy Listening CD version, but since all our [complete] discography is there, I'd like to call it "Mo' Funk, Less $$."

Friday, February 9, 2018

Nihilist New Wavers TUFF TURF Return from The Shadows of Atlantic City with "HEAVEN, RIGHT NOW" Video (AMERICAN SCREAM RECORDS)

JE DOUBLE F (Jeff Richie) is a self-described "Punk-Rap" emcee and producer hailing from Atlantic City, New Jersey. Richie has previously crafted demonic-sounding beats for fellow East Coaster Stillborn Identity AKA Cody Cody Jones, released a split 7-inch with Sleep Beggar, and runs his own music, film, and book imprint called AMERICAN SCREAM RECORDS. Last year, Jeff put together one of the earliest Beat-maker Bedrock columns for The Witzard, which showcased Gravediggaz's RZArector-produced 6 Feet Deep, Glenn Danzig-fronted Samhain's Final Descent, and Nine Inch Nails' critically-acclaimed 1989 debut, Pretty Hate Machine. JE DOUBLE F's latest solo release, HUMAN RITES, was issued on AMERICAN SCREAM in June 2017 and was fittingly, first described to me as something along the lines of "Danzig [meets] MF DOOM." When Jeff Richie's not composing his own unique brand of Punk-Rap head-bangers, he's busy fronting a "Nihilist New Wave" revival act dubbed TUFF TURF. Since first forming in 2013, TUFF TURF have self-released two full-length albums, one EP, and a characteristically "New Wave" cassingle/sunglasses combo pack on AMERICAN SCREAM RECORDS. TUFF TURF readily list their greatest sources of inspiration and influence as The Cure, Oingo Boingo, The Cars, Joy Division, Bruce Springsteen, and of course, Danzig & Samhain.

Last year, Jeff Richie and mysterious TUFF TURF members JH & CM quietly released their latest 2-track "BODY HEAT" Cassingle backed with melodically brooding B-side "HEAVEN, RIGHT NOW." BODY HEAT is currently available in a number of unique formats including pro-dubbed cassette + full-color sticker + custom-printed sunglasses combo pack, digital download, or standard cassingle. Upon its Sept. 1, 2017 release, TUFF TURF's "BODY HEAT" Cassingle was accompanied by a "Love Will Tear Us Apart"-evoking music video for its A-side. Now, at the top of 2018, Jeff Richie & TUFF TURF have re-emerged from the shadows of the Atlantic City Boardwalk to release a similarly-minded music video for B-side, "HEAVEN, RIGHT NOW." "Atlantic City Nihilist New Wavers TUFF TURF release video for "HEAVEN, RIGHT NOW," B-side to the late 2017 "BODY HEAT" Cassingle. "HEAVEN, RIGHT NOW" is a New Wave dreamer's nightmare with it's delayed guitars, classic Roland Juno synth bass, and a frighteningly direct message: no one knows somebody who has been strong enough for long enough to ever get to Heaven," reads a recent TUFF TURF press statement. BODY HEAT is currently available to stream or purchase in a number of limited edition packages from TUFF TURF's Bandcamp, via JE DOUBLE F's New Jersey-based AMERICAN SCREAM RECORDS.

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

The Witzard Premier: Zilla Rocca's Latest Disco Vietnam-produced Stand-alone Single "99 Triple 5 Soul Flow" (Three Dollar Pistol Music)

South Philly rapper-producer and one half of Career Crooks, Zilla Rocca has returned with his first proper solo release of 2018, "99 Triple 5 Soul Flow." Zilla is not only, part of Career Crooks with producer buddy Small Professor, but also, runs with his own crews, The Shadowboxers—formerly, The 5 O'Clock Shadow Boxers—and Wrecking Crew with fellow emcees Curly Castro & PremRock, along with Small Pro. Zilla Rocca additionally, runs his own Philly-based label, Three Dollar Pistol Music, is co-creator of @rapbooklets' Instagram, and fancies himself a "Noir-Hop originator and corrupt novelist." "99 Triple 5 Soul Flow" is of course, a reference to infamous 1990's Hip-Hop clothing brand Triple 5 Soul and is the sequel to last year's similarly-minded "98 Avirex Flow;" a stand-alone single with sonic ties to Zilla Rocca's upcoming '96 Mentality, which was produced by Disco Vietnam AKA @SupernovaLox. Now, this is where it gets a little hairy, Disco Vietnam was and still is a Rock "N" Roll band with a rotating cast of characters, which currently includes: Barry Schwartz, his brother Kenny Schwartz, and keyboardist Nicki Kunzinger.

Disco Vietnam (the band) is currently on a bit of a hiatus, but Barry Schwartz still records and releases Hip-Hop music and beats as "Disco Vietnam"—also, his recent beat-making alias. "99 Triple 5 Soul Flow" is made up of "an old beat Zilla dusted off," as Schwartz put it. When asked for comment on "99 Triple 5 Soul Flow," Zilla Rocca, or their future work together, Barry Schwartz said: "me and Zilla Rocca dug coal together." Between 2007-12, Disco Vietnam released three Bandcamp EP's: Get at Me Corruption, TOTALLY AWESOME DECISIONS, and wonderfully-titled Fear of Lava. Disco Vietnam's 2007 smash single, "The NP (Natalie Portman)" was even featured on HOT 97's Rosenberg Radio. However, if you're more into the beat-making side of things, Disco Vietnam also, has a Soundcloud page chock-full of beats, rough sketches, demos, features with rappers, Disco Vietnam (band) songs, and much, much more with material dating as far back as 2011. Zilla Rocca is currently wrapping up a number of projects to be released throughout 2018, including, but not limited to, Career Crooks' Thieving As Long As I'm Breathing remix EP, '96 Mentality, and his long-awaited solo album, Future Former Rapper. I'll just let Zilla Rocca take it from here...

"I have a few releases dropping this year with Career Crooks being a remix project, Thieving As Long As I'm Breathing and then, my official solo LP, Future Former Rapper, probably in the summertime. '96 Mentality is a project I just did really quick—it's where my head is right now. Most of the songs are two minutes or shorter and it's a bunch of producers on there that I'm very cool with that are incredibly dope: Disco Vietnam, Ray West [Red Apples 45], The Expert, DJ Manipulator, Dr. Quandary, and more. It's just a banging Rap project that made me think about how much I loved Rap in 1996 and how that year inspired me to take Rap seriously. So, here I am 22 years later, putting out my own music based off that year!"

- @ZillaRocca (The Grey Ghost)

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Sleep Sinatra Unleashes Kendall Carter-produced XMXTHXST (AMETHYST) EP & "Narcisse" with THE HISTORIAN [DREAMSCAPE Media Group]

The Witzard regulars might recognize the name "Sleep Sinatra" from a recent post on these very pages; if so, you've likely heard his silky smooth rhymes schemes on either "B.I.E." with The Custodian of Records AKA TCOR or Flashius Clayton's The Custodian of Records-produced "Anchorman Fight Scene"—or maybe, even TCOR's recent "Anchorman Fight Scene" (Frozen Earth Mix)—alongside equally gritty SPENCER for Higher emcee Vic Spencer. Since running said "B.I.E."-centric post, both Sleep Sinatra and The Custodian of Records have issued new projects: surprise-released XMXTHXST (AMETHYST) EP and mail-order "Lousy New Year's" B/W "Blizzard" 7-inch, respectively. 7-inches can be ordered directly from The Custodian of Records at, however, at the time of this articles's publishing, post-Super Bowl LII, @Custidainofreco Tweeted 7-inches were quickly "Going, going, GONE! (Almost)" I'm just happy I already got my TCOR "Lousy New Year's" B/W "Blizzard" 7-inch, before they nearly sold out! From what I've heard, "B.I.E." and "Anchorman Fight Scene" are just the first sonic previews of what could likely, be an on-going fruitful collaborative partnership between Sleep Sinatra & The Custodian of Records.

"This EP came about by having a long-standing musical relationship with producer Kendall Carter. I met Kendall through a mutual friend/another long-time collaborator of mine, M.O.D." Sleep Sinatra wrote within a recent emailed statement. "This project first began to manifest itself in late 2016-early 2017 and through mid-2017, my home recording set-up crashed. I thought I had lost everything, until further inspection recently, when I discovered I still had all the tracks" @SleepSinatra enthusiastically continued. Upon discovering, he in fact, hadn't lost the entirety of his collaborative 5-song EP with Kendall Carter, Sleep Sinatra surprise-released his XMXTHXST (AMETHYST) EP Monday, January 22, 2018 with little to no warning. XMXTHXST EP's 5 tracks run a combined total of nearly 12 minutes, but it's a truly great, innovative listen; Kendall Carter's sample beds are chock-full of references to amethyst fields, audio sound bites, and Jazz-laden samples that evoke Bob James' landmark 1974-77 album series: One, Two, Three, and BJ4. Aside from one lone feature from Abe The Griot on "Social Sciences," Sleep Sinatra effortlessly bodies Carter's beats all by himself with intuitive, hard-as-nails verse after verse. XMXTHXST (AMETHYST) EP is currently available to stream or purchase on Sleep Sinatra's Bandcamp and Soundcloud pages. Sleep's THE HISTORIAN-produced XMXTHXST EP follow-up, "Narcisse" is available to stream on Soundcloud now, as well.

Monday, February 5, 2018

"Wax Watchers:" A Track-By-Track Review of Jokes for Feelings' Ska/Punk Too Much Too Hipster 7-inch E.P. (NEW COLUMN ALERT!!!)

I'm proud to present to you, my trusty The Witzard disciples, a new (hopefully) recurring column to be tentatively entitled "Wax Watchers," which will, for the time being, at least, chronicle physical reviews of physical media, such as: full-length vinyl, 7-inches, cassettes, and CD's. This first introductory installment of Wax Watchers will showcase a freshly-pressed 7-inch EP from Bay Area Ska Punks Jokes for Feelings (JFF) entitled Too Much Too Hipster. Last October, I was "cold sent" a pre-release digital single from JFF called "Sweet Song," which was slated to appear within the band's then-upcoming 4-song EP to be released at the top of 2018. Last month, Jokes for Feelings played an EP Release Show at notorious West Berkley Punk/Hardcore venue 924 Gilman St. AKA Gilman, along with Mustard PLUG, Buck-O-Nine, Neverlyn, and Shark Punch—awesome band name; just about a week or so ago, I received my characteristically checkered press copy of Jokes for Feelings' Too Much Too Hipster 7-inch EP by mail, which I'll be reviewing track-by-track down below the break! Get your moshin' shoes on and brace yourself for the inaugural installment of The Witzard's Wax Watchers column. Jokes for Feelings' Too Much Too Hipster EP is currently available to stream or download on Amazon, Apple Music, CD Baby, Soundcloud, and Spotify or on 7-inch vinyl directly from the band themselves.

Too Much Too Hipster EP opener "Camphill Lane" sounds something like early 2000's Euro-Ska/Punk, i.e: Gogol Bordello or Balkan Beat Box. It features playful violin-accented lyrics, as well as Gypsy-Punk-esque stylings. Around the 1:30-minute mark, "Camphill Lane" gets characteristically more Jokes for Feelings with accents of Berkley Ska Punks Operation Ivy/Rancid. Sample lyrics: "Hungry Hungry Hippos, where did they go? I miss my Barrel of f***in' Monkeys!!!" The track reverts to its previous Euro Ska/Punk-evoking vibe, before closing.

"Sweet Song" was the first single/teaser I initially heard from the EP back in October 2017. It features a vocal delivery vaguely reminiscent of New Found Glory frontman Jordan Pundik. "Sweet Song" is a slow burning Ska/Punk "love song," which features an incredibly infectious hook, by way of: "never gonna get nowhere until you take a chance with me..." "Sweet Song" additionally, showcases Jokes for Feelings' extremely talented then-horn section of trombonist Dice and trumpet player Angela, as well as a top-notch shreddin' guitar solo from either Bill or Josh Raphael. New trombonists Allie Miller & Noah Ortiz, as well as as player Michael Booker have been added since the EP's recording sessions. "Sweet Song" closes out Side A.

"The Muppet Show with My Bro" sounds something like an old pre-Enema of The State Blink-182 jam. Lead vocals reminiscent of ...And Out Come The Wolves-era Rancid are accented by 2 Tone Ska-evocative horns. It consist of silly, youthful lyrics, such as: "he was tough as hard nails and he crushed up all my snails." "The Muppet Show with My Bro" is brimming with cartoonish lyrical references to "Saturday morning cartoons" and memories of watching The Muppet Show "on the couch with my bro."

Too Much Too Hipster EP Side B closer "Vitamin Girl" instantly comes in with the rather anthemically-posed question: "won't you be my vitamin guuu-rrrrlllll?" Harnessed within is a classically-composed Punk/Hardcore ripper reminiscent of Alien Ant Farm, Blink-182, Fall Out Boy, and Sum 41. "Vitamin Girl" even contains a few Techno/Electro-sounding bleeps and blips with references to staring "through the smoke-filled laser beams." However, for the end-all-be-all review, my beautiful fiance Caroline added: "it's so '07; I love it... but I feel like I'm 17 again!"

Friday, February 2, 2018

Strange Famous Records & Epic Beard Men Present - B. Dolan's UNJUSTIFIED: MAN OF THE PECKERWOODS (Justin Timberlake Mash-up)

Justin Timberlake released his long-awaited fifth studio album, Man of The Woods today, which has taken him "back to his Nashville roots," as well as his pre-Timbaland production partners, The Neptunes. This upcoming Sunday, Timberlake will also make his return to Super Bowl LII, playing his first half-time show since 2004's Super Bowl XXXVIII half-time show controversy, widely regarded as "Nipplegate." "When it was announced JT would return to the Super Bowl, after spectacularly failing to stand by [Janet] Jackson at the height of his career, it started bugging me more," one half of Epic Beard Men, B. Dolan wrote on Soundcloud early Friday morning. "I started out to make a single one of these mash-ups out of curiosity. Then, I kept going because I'm petty and a music nerd and it was stunningly easy," @BDolanSFR continued. B. Dolan is of course, referring to his "dope, highly unofficial 30-minute satirical mix" entitled UNJUSTIFIED: MAN OF THE PECKERWOODS presented by Strange Famous Records & Epic Beard Men. Just this past holiday season, B. Dolan and his Epic Beard Men partner-in-rhyme, Sage Francis released their second collaborative single as a group, "WAR ON CHRISTMAS."

B. Dolan has spent the last month meticulously "removing Justin Timberlake from each of his hits and replacing him with MJ & Pharrell affiliates." UNJUSTIFIED: MAN OF THE PECKERWOODS features "appearances" from A Son Unique AKA Ol' Dirty Bastard, The Clipse, JAY-Z, Janet Jackson, Jesse Williams, BBC Radio 1 DJ Zane Lowe, and Strange Famous signee and actor Scroobius Pip. UNJUSTIFIED: MAN OF THE PECKERWOODS showcases thrilling re-visions of Justin Timberlake's "SexyBack," "Señorita," "Rock Your Body," "Take Back The Night," "What Goes Around... Comes Around," "Cry Me a River," "What You Got (Oh No)" JAY-Z's "Holy Grail," and likely, a few others, as well as a few notorious "Nipplegate" era sound bites. For the time being, B. Dolan's UNJUSTIFIED: MAN OF THE PECKERWOODS is now available for FREE download from Strange Famous Records' Soundcloud page and since Spotify recently changed their rules for remixes, might soon become available on the streaming platform, as well. Epic Beard Men will be doing some sort of #UNJUSTIFIED Half-time Livestream this upcoming Super Bowl Sunday and will soon announce their proper debut, Season 1 EP for a 2018 release. Epic Beard Men have announced a string of East Coast dates through March and plan to tour relentlessly through 2018.

"In 2001, Michael Jackson was offered a bundle of songs from The Neptunes. MJ's management rejected them and they found their way to Justin Timberlake—creating the breakthrough album, Justified (2002.) That's always bugged me. When it was announced JT would return to the Super Bowl, after spectacularly failing to stand by another Jackson, at the height of his career, it started bugging me more. I started out to make a single one of these mash-ups out of curiosity. Then, I kept going because I'm petty and a music nerd and it was stunningly easy. In the end, though, I figured out what had been bothering me all along about Justin: it was his presence. And his whole personhood and self. Once those things were out of the way, I really liked a lot of his music. And so, we offer this as a free download for as long as we can keep it on The Internet. Spread it far and wide. It's yours! For Janet. For Pharrell & The Clipse. For Michael. For Britney, Goddamit. Shouts out to my musical partner Adam Schneider for help with glitches and keys. Man's a wizard. Cover image by Kairkhan (@LiveLongDieLast) Enjoy the game!

PS: THE EPIC BEARD MEN are about to release their debut and have announced a string of tour dates across The East Coast. It will NOT feature this music. We will be doing a high-powered, party-rockin' Rap set full of new and old material. Hit EPICBEARDMEN.COM for dates and details!"

- B. Dolan (Epic Beard Men)

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

The Witzard's Andy Cooper "THE PERFECT DEFINITION" 7-song Remix Compilation (Exclusive Soundcloud Playlist)

"DEDICATED TO LOVERS OF MAXI-SINGLES AND EVERY JAZZY, ACOUSTIC BASS-DRIVEN HIP-HOP SONG, WHICH PROVIDED THE SOUNDTRACK FOR A PRETENTIOUS, UNNECESSARY ARTSY RAP VIDEO DURING THE EARLY 90'S..." reads the reverse side of Long Beach rapper-producer Andy Cooper's latest "Here Comes Another One" 12-inch. If pressed, I would likely equate Andy Cooper's second solo album, the layered effect to something along the lines of Homeboy Sandman's First of a Living Breed or Beastie Boys' 1989 cult favorite, Paul's Boutique; an increasingly fun, charismatic Golden Age Hip-Hop-reminiscent album chock-full with an insane amount of genre-eschewing samples. the layered effect is entirely self-produced by Andy Cooper himself—particularly, note-worthy for his past work with Ugly Duckling and The Allergies—and plays out like a care-free, fun-loving Hip-Hop album of days past.

After seeing Andy's "Here Comes Another One" video on Flea Market Funk, I reached out to Phil Rocafort at Barcelona-based Rocafort Records; I soon, heard a pre-release advance of the layered effect, which ultimately, led to The Witzard's recent comprehensive Andy Cooper interview. I soon, stumbled upon both Instrumental and Acapella stems for 2015's The Free EP and reached out to Andy & Phil at Rocafort Records with the preposition to host a remix "contest" (no prizes or places) at The Witzard. Now, a matter of mere weeks later, I'm proud to present to you: The Witzard's Andy Cooper "THE PERFECT DEFINITION" Remix Compilation featuring 100% original remixes from Places & Spaces producer Naturetone, Djar One (from Andy's personal wish-list,) Broken Machine Films Presents... Australian producer Dros, Drew Scott affiliate Mike East, recent The Witzard subject UncleRussie, and Swiss beat-maker Alejandro "Getro" Ortega. Andy Cooper's the layered effect is now available on Rocafort Records or wherever fine records are sold!


Matt "The Witzard" Horowitz
Remix Compilation Coordinator

NATURETONE (Places & Spaces) - Swiss Hip-Hop producer Naturetone hails from Bern and started making beats during the early 90's as an emcee and producer with Swiss Rap group Three Tree Posse AKA 3TP. Heavily inspired by the Native Tongues movement, 3TP released two independent albums between 1993-95 before disbanding. Naturetone then, went on a lengthy hiatus and after a nearly 10-year self-imposed sabbatical period, made a quite return to the world of Hip-Hop; focusing primarily, on building up a back catalog full of new beats and finely-crafted original remixes. Naturetone Remixes for Algorhythms (Thirtyseven & Dr. Quandary) garnered him a slot on World Around Records' storied roster. Nihon (2010) an instrumental tribute to Japan and Turnings of The Sun (2012) incorporating live instrumentation amidst original compositions soon followed. Naturetone joined forces with fellow Swiss producer Zooki in 2016 to form Places & Spaces; their debut track recorded together, "Alive," was premiered on World Around Records' swan song, We Are World Around, Vol. 6, which was soon followed up by Places & Spaces' proper debut album, also, entitled Alive. TheRise, a star-studded remix album with contributions from various emcees, producers, singers, etc. from all across the world will arrive sometime this year.

DJAR ONE - "DJ Format has already "Re-layered" one of the tracks, but aside from him, I would love, production-wise, to collaborate with People Under The Stairs, Djar One, DJ Suspect, Propo'88, and of course, it would be fun to hear how The Allergies would deal with these songs," Andy Cooper replied when asked who he might like to have participate within a hypothetical the layered effect remix album; in all honesty, this very answer was the match that sparked the initial idea for this whole Andy Cooper "THE PERFECT DEFINITION" Remix Contest/Compilation here at The Witzard, in the first place. I personally, reached out to the five emcees highlighted within Andy's own producers "wish-list" and Djar One was the first, and only, beat-maker to reply back. Djar One is a Le Havre, France-based DJ, emcee, producer and beat-maker from the Serpat Crew, who runs an independent French Hip-Hop label called Beats House Records. "The label started [to] release the discography of the Funkiest posse ACOOSMIK. We continue to release the solo projects of Djar One, Senbeï, and Kesta and work on the new group PITCHCAPS, who rock a heavy Boom-Bap Rap [edge]," Beats House Records write on their Facebook page. Beats House Records' Bandcamp page features a slew of projects from Senbeï, il Ritalo & Djar One, PITCHCAPS, Kesta, and Djar One himself released on successful 45 vinyls throughout 2017. One of Djar One's latest releases was, in fact, "The Get Down" B/W "My World" 45 featuring Andy Cooper and RYT, respectively. Djar One has also produced a handful of tracks for other artists all over the world, like Dragon Fli Empire, Loréa, Gérard Baste, Le Studio Bagel, Carpetface, and many more.

BROKEN MACHINE FILMS PRESENTS... - Josh Rogers, otherwise known as Broken Machine Films Presents... has been creating and banking samples since 2002. He's created over 30 albums utilizing only vintage equipment and medium and practicing the art of cassette-to-cassette manipulation. Broken Machine Films Presents... was recently featured on Memories Overloaded: A Tribute to The Caretaker, Godless America Mixtape Vol. 4, Gorgeous Lights' Latenight, and Bedroom Cassette Masters 1980-89 Volume Nine. Rogers himself attests his "creations have been most associated with like going to a late 70's lo-fi drive-in Grindhouse B-movie double-feature with your main squeeze; putting the listening device on your [car] door and continuing on with your date. Not paying so much attention to what is transpiring on the screen anymore... you have more pressing matters to attend to." Broken Machine Films Presents... has additionally, been doing video production/documentation for fellow artists since 2001. Josh Rogers also, runs what he affectionately describes as "a little label called Illuminated Paths" (IP.) Upcoming IP releases to primarily feature Broken Machine Films Presents... production works include Houston emcee VIPER's 'BOUT THA MONEY and NOOB SAIBOT's I and II featuring a variety of Underground Hi-Hop artists; both albums are expected to be released sometime during 2018 and are currently available to preview on Illuminated Paths' Bandcamp.

DROS - "One day, Dros was born. Dude made beats for days and breathed fire-lasers out the mouth with abundance; plus, I heard he claimed like... seven gold medals in the local amateur triple-bypass surgery circuit. My dad says he's a true hero," Dros (News) charismatically wrote on his own Bandcamp page. Since kick-starting his career in 2017, Dros has self-released a number of beat-minded projects including Hieronymus Dros, Fresh to Death, Nature of The Beat Vol. I, and most recently, "Chameleon" featuring New Jersey emcee CRIMEAPPLE. According to the mysterious man himself, Dros has more projects currently in-the-works to be released throughout 2018.

MIKE EAST - "My name is Mike East. 30-years old from West Warwick, Rhode Island. Been making music my whole life. Started out playing guitar trying to get bands going, sharpening basic song-writing skills. Bands never seemed to work out and rapping was much easier to not only practice, but it also, wasn't necessarily, a group activity. Around the end of my junior year, LimeWire instrumentals sucked, so I decided to start making beats, so that me and my friends could rap over them; got a copy of Fruity Loops 3.0 and the rest is history, as they say. Been making beats almost daily for the last decade or so. Gonna make them almost daily for however many more decades I get to rock it on this rock," Mike East wrote within his self-penned artist bio. Not only has Mike East produced various loosies for other artists and friends, such as "Save Your Aim" and "Wreckshop" for Drew Scott and Eze Jackson's "For The Win!!!" he has produced albums on his own, as part of two Rhode Island-based crews: Ocean State Horror House's BETWEEN HELL AND A HOT PLACE (2013) and Devil Squad's self-titled 2014 album AKA The Secret Order of The DEVIL SQUAD.

UNCLERUSSIE - Baltimore-based producer and beat-maker UncleRussie describes his latest EP as "the follow-up to The Bulma Tape series, the Trunks EP. sequences and highlights various timelines of Trunks Brief - Past, Present & Future(?)" He's of course, referring to 2016's The Bulma Tape and The Bulma Tape: Side B from last year, a Hip-Hop/Anime trilogy, which will likely, close with Trunks EP. successor #TheBulmaTape3. UncleRussie's Trunks EP. takes inspiration, as well as direct samples, and influence from Dragon Ball Z's "Future" Trunks, Androids, and Cell Sagas. UncleRussie single-handedly edited, arranged, and produced his Trunks EP. with assists throughout from beat-making buddies Action Bastard, Benjamin Banger, Bito Sureiya, Drew Scott, Jumbled, TEK.LUN, Swellthy, and UncleRussie himself. Trunks EP. features three sparse, yet fitting vocal assists from emcees Dot Com Intelligence, ONLY AKA @GwapSinatra, and El Hippie Moonbear. Since 2016, UncleRussie has self-released The Bulma Tape, The Bulma Tape: Side B, The Bulma Tape | Side B | Extras, Iman Europe-remixing The Caterpillar Remixes EP, BXRTHDAY. Remix EP for Berko Lover, and most recently, Trunks EP.

GETRO - Alejandro "Getro" Ortega originally, started making beats during the early 90's, as a founding member of Swiss Hip-Hop pioneers Three Tree Posse (3TP) along with Patric AKA Naturetone and Bowie. 3TP released two albums between 1993-95, The Quest and Ostlärm on Sound Service/Ostring Records. Ostlärm featured Three Tree Posse's core members, as well as new additions Zoran AKA Zooki, Mirio, and DJ Pablo. Soon after, 3TP disbanded and Ortega says "life happened" and years later, he would return with his solo project simply entitled "Getro." Getro released his first and to date, only, single "Chumm mir schwümme drvo" feat. Chantemoisselle was released on Spotify in 2013; a few years later, Getro started holding regular beat sessions with his old friends from 3TP and got back into Hip-Hop again. Alejandro Ortega's Andy Cooper "THE PERFECT DEFINITION" (Getro Remix) is actually, his first original remix in all of his years of Hip-Hop beat-making.

UNIBROW DUCK - "Hi, everybody! My name is Tin AKA Unibrow Duck and I'm a graphic designer from Croatia, now living in Canada. I finished a graphic design high school, then, moved on to have an M.A. in Art History (both in Zagreb,) but all the time, doing some graphic design work on the side. I had a lot of small jobs/volunteer projects, which definitely gave me the confidence that graphic design is something I wanted to do in my life. Whenever I can, I like to use my drawings in the design, but if some other approach works, I'll use that. It's important to think outside the box. For example: Matt asked me to create an illustration for [The Witzard's] Andy Cooper [Remix] Compilation. Here, I included a mix of things: a swan (reference to Ugly Duckling,) stacked LP's—representing old school sampling in Rap, when you had to actually, have a certain LP to use that sample and a reference to the name of the album—and a hat and a scarf, which is a reference to "Rick Said So;" based on one of the photos of Rick Rubin I found, when he was the Beastie Boys' DJ. I drew everything, scanned the image, made the adjustments with an image-editing program, and that's it! I would like to thank Matt for this opportunity; keep up the great work, man! If you like my stuff, you can check my Tumblr and Twitter pages. QUACK!"

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Russian Funk, Library & Organ Groove Band The Great Revivers Unleash "тутутру [Tuturu]" B/W "Ездок [Rider]" 7-inch (Funk Night Records)

The Great Revivers Instrumental Band (крепчайший алкоголь инструментальный ансамбль) or just "The Great Revivers," for short, are a self-described "Instrumental Funk, Library, Organ Groove band" hailing from St. Petersburg, Russia. The Great Revivers was collectively formed by one-time members of Wake&Bake! and The Reggaenauts and consist of players Artem Beresnev, Roman Lebedev, Stanislav Rybochkin, Alexander Shtykov, and Roman Zyryanov. Since initially forming, The Great Revivers have released a staggering 10 7-inch singles on Mocambo Records, Detroit-based Funk Night Records (Fnr,) Magnetic Loft Records, and Elchrecords between 2013-18, as well as a 2015 full-length entitled Have a Drink with Great Revivers. The Great Revivers' latest Fnr 7-inch, "тутутру [Tuturu]" B/W "Ездок [Rider]" went on sale a mere seven days ago and has already, completely SOLD OUT. Shout-out to Skeme Richards AKA @hotpeasandbutta at Nostalgia King for initially, turning me onto this fine slice of groove-inducing Russian Library/Funk on shiny black wax!

However, Funk Night Records' head label designer, part-time DJ, and full-time "general record nrrrd" Matthew Manley (@therealmomanley) explains it as: "ESSENTIAL, drum-heavy Russian knock-out here; had me seein' Cyrillic when I came to. I don't know what The Great Revivers sipped on before putting down this two-sided beast, but if you drank it, too, you'd be benching 3x your weight, like, immediately." Manley likely designed, photographed, and arranged the "тутутру [Tuturu]" 45 sleeve and center label graphics and insists he "almost hates to see this one go out because it's been [his] secret weapon for a while." Matthew Manley characteristically continues: "A-side is the bonkers B-boy-friendly "Tuturu" and for me B-side wins again with what was my favorite cut of 2017, "Rider." Slays a floor in seconds; an instant upgrade to your box, designed by yours truly." While, as previously stated, The Great Revivers' "тутутру [Tuturu]" 45 is now, completely SOLD OUT from Fnr, limited copies are still, however, available from select digital and brick-and-mortar retailers, such as Discogs, Juno Records, and Great Revivers' own Bandcamp.

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

LiKWUiD, 2 Hungry Bros. & DJ Evil Dee Let Loose Vinyl-indebted "IllFayted" Music Video for National DJ Day 2018 (ORIGU/HiPNOTT Records)

2 Hungry Brothers—or just "2 Hungry Bros." for short—have cemented a place as one of the strongest and most sought-after production teams in post-2000's Underground/Indie Hip-Hop; over the years, having accumulated production credits for the likes of Homeboy Sandman, Fresh Daily, P.SO The Earthtone King, LiKWUiD, 8thW1, Doc Reevez, and 2HB's off-shoot crew Hunger Division, as well as numerous solo productions from each Deep & Ben Boogz. Last year, fresh on the heels of both Ben Boogz's I Moreno and Deep's Depth Perception Vol. 3, 2 Hungry Bros. produced a full album for Hunger Division emcee LiKWUiD entitled Fay Grim. They, then, partnered with German-based imprint ORIGU to release a special 7-inch showcasing DJ Evil Dee-assisted "IllFayted," as well as P.SO The Earthtone King & Donwill-featuring "Hold That (Faybles)" on Side B. Now, LiKWUiD, 2 Hungry Bros. & DJ Evil Dee (Da Beatminerz/Boot Camp Clik) have once again, partnered with HiPNOTT Records to release a short, yet incredibly effective Pesuto-directed music video for "IllFayted," which was quietly released this past Saturday, January 20th, 2018 to coincide with National DJ Day.

"Follow our music-lover (Deep) on the search for his next fix; watch his journey [through] a series of gatekeepers (Ben Boogz, P.SO, LiKWUiD) before ultimately, meeting The Boss (DJ Evil Dee)" HiPNOTT's recent press release reads. "In celebration of National DJ Day, we release this video to give a shout-out to DJ's across the globe who love the feel, sound, and nostalgic energy of vinyl. Confined by the digital age and a shortage of quality tunes, vinyl is now a rare luxury," HiPNOTT Records enthusiastically continued. LiKWUiD's 2 Hungry Bros.-produced Fay Grim is now available to stream or purchase from Amazon Prime, Apple Music, Bandcamp, Google Play, Spotify, and like-minded digital retailers. However, if you're an avid collector of shiny black wax, much like myself, LIMITED EDITION "IllFayted" B/W "Hold That (Faybles)" 7-inches are currently still available directly from ORIGU, along with Deep Breez AKA Breez Evahflowin' & Deep's "Project: Draw" 45 lifted from their collaborative 2017 album, Bring Out Your Dead.