Willie The Kid & Bronze Nazareth
The Living Daylights
Willie The Kid and Bronze Nazareth both originate from Grand Rapids, MI, and both represent the worldwide Wu-born swarm that is the Killa Beez, but their flight paths to this point are very divergent. While Willie The Kid’s older brother, La The Darkman, was among the first official Wu affiliates outside of New York State, after the release of his classic debut, Heist of the Century, he rose to greater heights not through his ongoing wufilliation, but by becoming DJ Drama’s go-to guest rapper, contributing verses to mixtapes by everyone from Lil Wayne to Gucci Mane. Along the way, La brought his younger brother Willie The Kid into the fold. Therefore, though originally inspired to rhyme by the verbal darts of La and the Wu, Willie came up in the mixtape circuit. Until recently, his craft was a reflection of that, which is not to say he wasn’t nice — he just wasn’t given the platform or the beats to do his dirtiest on until he got with the likes of Alchemist, with whom he released the Masterpiece Theatre EP last year.
Before Bronze Nazareth gained the attention, respect and endorsement of the Wu, he too got started rapping alongside his brother; in this case, the brother was Kevlaar 7, with whom he formed the group The Unknown. Their only album, 2000’s Death’s Birth: The Grip of Behemoths, showcased the two brothers (then known as Half Entity and 50/50, respectively) spitting spoken word-style think pieces over Half Entity’s cinematic, if off-kilter, production, which had not yet fully embraced “the Wu sound.” That evolution would occur after Half Entity met Moroccan wuffiliate Cilvaringz, who has the honor of being the first international Killa Bee. It was Cilvaringz who would crown Half Entity Bronze Nazareth and who would introduce Bronze to 4th Disciple, Killarmy, Sunz of Man, and eventually, RZA himself. From there, Bronze contributed beats to dozens of Wu projects and released several acclaimed solo mixtapes and albums, including Thought for Food Vol. 1-2 and 2006’s The Great Migration. That album’s follow-up, 2011’s School For The Blindmen, was marred by poor mastering and failed to live up to its legacy, but Bronze rebounded two years later with The Blenders EP on Man Bites Dog Records, and it was on this EP, on the song “Malcolm X Manuscripts,” that we first heard Willie The Kid over a Bronze Nazareth beat.
The chemistry between the two was immediately evident, so a full-length collaboration was almost inevitable. Well, it’s here now, with Bronze smartly keeping himself behind the boards this time. There is no denying the emotional depths that Bronze has dug from “Sinuhe’s Impasse” to “The Pain” to “Coming From” (which features his only verse on The Living Daylights), but this strength is not necessarily as easily sold as Willie The Kid’s scholarly gusto. Bronze’s always-infectious production, though, provides the perfect soulful complement to The Kid’s royal gospel. Find out for yourself by streaming The Living Daylights below or purchasing it via iTunes.
• Willie The Kid: http://www.datpiff.com/mixtapes-search.php?criteria=keyword:+willie+the+kid
• Bronze Nazareth: http://bronzenazareth.com
“Aye, man. What that is you wearin’? That ain’t beach wear,” says a street vendor pointing up and down at an “Ugly American.” The “Ugly American” barks back. Vendor stands and stares as the “Ugly American” walks slowly into the raging ocean. Waves pummel the “Ugly American” into the shore. Sand is everywhere.
Gang Wizard has been puking out the jams for about 19 years now. They’ve a slew of releases put out by only the best labels, including Load and Ecstatic Peace, while having constantly evolved musically and physically throughout the years. Now, they’re proud to present their magic to Earth by way of Important Picnic, their fifth “proper” full-length LP. And it’s such an Important Picnic, they’ve gone to MIE MUSIC and demanded (maybe) their music be ingested at any time, any day, on any blanket, using any basket.
“HELL YES!” these tracks chew on ears. Take “Ugly American” for example. I’ve had it on repeat since 9 AM, it’s 11:31 AM now, and I’ve been having a hectic morning. So, “Ugly American” has been quite the soundtrack to frantic edits and e-mails I’ve been receiving at my day job. People are fucking crazy. Gang Wizard is probably crazier, but much more in the musical maniac sense, rather than general insanity of typical people. I digress.
None-the-less, Important Picnic by Gang Wizard crawls out the MIE MUSIC womb March 3 (my pop’s birthday) on LP and/or digital, and you can pre-order here. Throw a party. In the mean time, listen to “Ugly American” below:
In a recent cover-piece, Archy Marshall (a.k.a. djjd sports, a.k.a. King Krule) mentioned that one of the best parts of his current living situation is being able to make beats in the bath. Though Marshall released a similar 10-minute-plus, low-key instrumental viber entitled “batch 1” three months ago, his latest “bath 1” feels more than a clever removal of the c. I digress: a few days ago, the beloved King Krule recently dropped a 12-and-a-half minute mix of experimental instrumental hip-hop: “bath 1”. The mix(tape) amplifies Marshall’s brilliant musical aptitude, expanding his jazzy-rock swoons to transcendentally smokey hip-hop. “bath 1” smells really dank; I fuck with his lifestyle, so to speak.
• djjd sports: https://soundcloud.com/djjdsports
“Let My Baby Stay” [a short film recorded at 180 Creative Lab]
1) Fuck Mac DeMarco.
2) If you’re big on reselling vinyl and/or cassettes, ALWAYS buy DeMarco on analog ‘cause you’ll consistently triple the price of it’s original cost.
3) Canal180 had a fun idea with this video.
4) Yeah, TMT is a tad late on this video, but so what…
5) ….fuck Mac DeMarco
Andrew Weathers & Eric Perreault
Over the last few years, Andrew Weathers & Eric Perreault have quietly been exploring the intersection between American primitivism and reductionist composition. Each release has been constructed quickly using minimal materials and each has illustrated a different relationship between the source instruments of old, weird Americana and the technology and space of modern experimental composition. In Since/Sense, the duo pair back even more from previous efforts and create a beautiful record of concertina (or harmonica) and synth drones. Weathers & Perreault understand how similarly these instruments are to one another and play with their timbral relationships throughout by creating a nearly singular sound out of organic drones and electronic arpeggios. Each composition revels in stasis which allows the listener to focus on these sonic similarities while slowly shifting in melody and harmony. As a result, Since/Sense comes off sounding like the similarly minded work of Mind Over Mirrors mixed with a heavy dose of Michael Pisaro’s spacious minimalism.
Since/Sense by Weathers & Perreault is available as a name your price download from the duo’s bandcamp page. You can stream the record in it’s entirety below:
• Andrew Weathers & Eric Perreault http://www.weathersperreault.bandcamp.com
Ill Fares the Land
As the development of new DAW software, means of digital processing, and virtual instruments breeds increasingly complex methods of electronic composition, more strategies exist now for a musician to max out his or her output than ever before. Some artists that embrace these new technologies can sink into a mire of endlessly customizable plugins, Macbook over-dependence, and physically stale live performance. Some continue, perhaps stubbornly, to mine the limitations and specific tones of analog instruments and processes, for better and worse. Some bold minds select what they want from the deepening arsenals of both electronic and analog tactics and mash them into previously unheard permutations, documenting the war of HUMAN vs. MACHINE from somewhere in the middle of its timeline.
Armed with a cello and a dense system of electronics, Koenraad Ecker produces overwhelming drone/noise compositions that blast hi-fi electronic depth-charges into your consciousness. Ill Fares The Land, his new LP on Digitalis, holds nothing back in its bleak vision of contemporary electro/acoustic music, cycling through consuming passages of white noise static and thick walls of barely tonal low-end savagery. Punctured with fractured rhythms, randomized synth bleeps, and martial bass drum beatdowns, Ecker’s post-industrial dronescapes slither with sonic details as they veer between near silence and maximal overload. The whole affair might run the risk of crumbling under the weight of its own abstraction, if not for the stunning moments of live cello performance that Ecker braids into his productions as tenuous lifelines back to some form of humanity. Grafted to our screens, tethered to a continual stream of data and stimuli, who among us is still purely “human?” Ecker demonstrates the futility of such a question: we are all enriched, cursed, augmented, and disfigured by the tools and machines we choose to integrate into ourselves. We are flesh and we are steel and we continue to evolve.
You can order Ill Fares The Land on LP from Digitalis. Strike before physical copies disappear, or remain strictly digital.