Tom Caruana: Inner Space (Stream)

The mash up master, Tom Caruana, returns with another incredible project as he continues to blend areas of music that would otherwise remain perfect strangers. Following on from his earlier ventures, including Wu Tang vs. Hendrix and Wu Tang vs. The Beatles, the Tea Sea Records founder has now delved into the instrumentals of German experimental rock band, Can, who were one of the pioneers of the Krautrock explosion that occurred in the late-60s. Continue reading “Tom Caruana: Inner Space (Stream)”

billy woods & Kenny Segal: Steak Knives

One of the many gems from the billy woods and Kenny Segal collaboration has been given a new visual life, as Backwoodz Studioz release the video for Steak Knives. The track is lifted from Hiding Places, which is up there with the best albums of the year and is likely to remain in that spot, such is its majesty. Keep an eye out for woods ans ELUCID touring in the UK and Europe later in the year.

Blockhead: Free Sweatpants – The Instrumentals (Stream)

At the start of the year we saw the release of an album that will quite easily emerge as one of the strongest projects of 2019, when these 12 months are all done and dusted. For his first producer album, Blockhead amassed an intoxicating brew of instrumentals and vocal tracks, featuring some of the best voices in rap today.
Now we are being treated to the full instrumental release of Free Sweatpants, which is a must for any fans of the NY producer, or simply for fans of first rate beat-making. And as if the opportunity to digest all these gems in their rawest form wasn’t enough to pique your interest, the album also comes with two bonus tracks featuring billy woods, Curly Castro and Aesop Rock. You can listen to this bonus tracks and the rest of the album below, with downloads available via Backwoodz Studioz. Continue reading “Blockhead: Free Sweatpants – The Instrumentals (Stream)”

billy woods & Kenny Segal: Hiding Places

Among the superb albums that graced our Friday last week, was the latest offering from billy woods. A favourite of mine for a while now, woods has gone and made what will no doubt go down as a classic and a definite high point in a career that is stacked with strong projects. And he hasn’t done it alone. For Hiding Places he has gone down the single producer route, as he previously did with Blockhead, this time joining forces with Kenny Segal. Continue reading “billy woods & Kenny Segal: Hiding Places”

Blockhead ft. billy woods, Open Mike Eagle & Breeze Brewin: Slippery Slope

Blockhead kicked off 2019 with his new album, which is already a contender for all of your end of year lists. It included a stellar cast of supporting players, including this track Slippery Slope which features billy woods, Open Mike Eagle and Breeze Brewin. It’s now also got its own claymation video, courtesy of the talented Mr. Oz. Free Sweatpants is available now via Backwoodz Studioz.

Blockhead: Free Sweatpants (Stream)

Blockhead has been a favourite producer of mine ever since I first heard his work with Aesop Rock on Labor Days. Over the years he has maintained a steady stream of solid solo releases – Music by Cavelight and Uncle Tony’s Coloring Book, being two personal favourites – as well as some excellent production credits for some equally excellent rappers. The one thing I have always wanted to hear from him though was a production album, featuring loads of good MCs rapping their asses off, which is exactly what the New York producer delivered today.
Following on from last year’s Funeral Balloons – his debut release on his new label home, Backwoodz Studioz – Free Sweatpants merges quintessential Blockhead instrumentals, with plenty of strong features from a whole host of talented writers. As if it’s not enough having Tree, Hemlock Ernst, Aesop Rock, Armand Hammer, Homeboy Sandman, Vic Spencer and Marq Spekt involved, Blockhead kicks off the album with a track featuring Open Mike Eagle, billy woods AND Breeze Brewin. The result is as good as you would hope for and more. I spent years waiting for this album to happen and I am happy to be able to say it has surpassed all my expectations. Free Sweatpants is available to stream in full below and you find downloads over on Bandcamp. Continue reading “Blockhead: Free Sweatpants (Stream)”

Armand Hammer: Paraffin (Short Film)

A short but alluring film was gifted to us over Christmas, with a focus on one of 2019’s strongest releases – Paraffin by Armand Hammer. ELUCID and billy woods scored another critical success with their fourth release, rightly finding themselves in amongst the multiple end of year lists and best of categories that surfaced recently. This film, made by someone known only as Joseph, features a heady brew of live excerpts and behind the scenes footage, spliced with some almost Lynchian cut scenes. It’s basically the ideal accompaniment for the album. Paraffin is out now on Backwoodz Studioz.

Curly Castro: TOSH (Stream)

It was already a phenomenal year for hip hop, but the last month is seeing a flurry of releases that are pushing the standards even higher. One of them is Curly Castro’s solo effort, TOSH. The album is apparently inspired by George Orwell, Spike Lee and MF Doom, as well as Castro’s own background – West Indies, Philly and Brooklyn – resulting in a richly diverse sound throughout. That diversity is also thanks in part to the range of producers who are involved. There are beats from the likes of Blockhead, Blueprint, Zilla Rocca, Messiah Musik and NASA, as well as features from billy woods, PremRock and ELUCID, among others. When you put all those attributes together with Castro’s own inimitable talents, you get a worthy contender for your end of years lists. The album is available to stream below and you can grab a download over on Bandcamp. Continue reading “Curly Castro: TOSH (Stream)”

Zilla Rocca ft. Armand Hammer: Favors Are Bad News

Pleased to see the arrival of the lead single from Zilla Rocca’s long-awaited Future Former Rapper album. For Favors Are Bad News, the Philly artist has drafted in Armand Hammer aka billy woods and ELUCID, who are riding high off their recently released and rightfully acclaimed Paraffin project. This is Zilla’s debut on POW Recordings, the label attached to Passion of the Weiss, where Zilla is a regular contributor. Favors Are Bad News is produced by Disco Vietnam and you can listen to it below. Stay tuned for more news on the album coming soon. Continue reading “Zilla Rocca ft. Armand Hammer: Favors Are Bad News”

Armand Hammer: Paraffin (Stream)

At long last the latest album from Armand Hammer is now available for your streaming pleasure. Originally released by Backwoodz Studioz on a limited vinyl only run, last week saw its arrival in digital form. The pairing of billy woods and ELUCID is always a cause for celebration, with Paraffin continuing in the same vein as its predecessors, delivering an album brimming over with lyricism that will leave you still finding gems on your umpteenth listen. The production boasts some great names, with Messiah Musik, Ohbliv, August Fanon, Willie Green, Kenny Segal and ELUCID himself all providing suitable backdrops for the tracks to unfold on. There is also a lone, yet particularly strong feature from Sketch185. Paraffin is available to stream below, with downloads available via Bandcamp. Continue reading “Armand Hammer: Paraffin (Stream)”