ALUMNI ROUNDUP 2017: The Year in Review

Jan 30, 2018

We may have shut our doors in 2016, but 2017 was still a banner year for the World Around family. Here’s a list of all the new music released by former World Around artists.

Louis MackeyAVGVSTVS

This long-awaited LP from rap classicist Louis Mackey features some of his deftest, most heartfelt lyricism to date, signalling a huge step forward in style while simultaneously serving as a return to the funkier roots of his early work. The whole affair is conducted over a backdrop of Dr. Quandary beats with a distinctly dusty, old-school vibe, adding to the air of nostalgia.

Man MantisBoss Skeleton + Dawn of the Def (Reissue)

Released in July, Man Mantis’ Boss Skeleton is a collection older tracks from his Majestic Dimensions EP series. The project features Mantis’ signature sonic landscapes, lush with otherworldly synthesizers. Though mostly instrumental, you’ll find a couple of expertly-placed, late-game features from Terra Lopez, Nocando, Decomposure & Sole.

As if new Mantis wasn’t enough, we also got some classic Mantis: as an added year-end bonus, the long-defunct imprint Loretta Records resurfaced in December with an official dead-stock reissue of his 2005 debut, Dawn of the Def. The album follows in the footsteps of RJD2’s Deadringer, blending soul & funk into a cinematic instrumental experience.

S.maharbaMirror & Veil

The latest EP from UK gloom king S.maharba is a ...

Farewell, World Around (2006–2016)

Feb 14, 2017

To Our Loyal World Around Family,

You might have noticed that things have slowed down here over the last year or so — our last official album release was Waldo from Cincinnati’s Yonder Works (And Then Some) back in September of 2015; things are quiet on Facebook; we haven’t tweeted in almost a year.

For the most part, this is due to bandwidth issues. The administrative side of World Around has always been a two-person operation (three at the absolute zenith), and keeping things running is an insane challenge, especially since we’re all artists too. We all know that balancing everything demanded of us — family, friends, life, art, work, school, etc. — can be challenging enough; the full-time management of a label is really tough to fit into that mix. That said, we did it for as long as we could, out of love — for our music, for each other, and for everyone who listened and supported us along the way.

Justin & Kyle in 2006

On top of that, a lot has changed since we opened our digital doors on MySpace in 2006. There have been career changes, new opportunities; some of us have married, started families. Musically, many World Around artists have gone on to do bigger, better, more beautiful things: after a brief stint with our friends at Potholes Music, Man Mantis linked up with legendary rapper Sole and joined the ranks of Shoeboxx Recordings; Daimyo fell in with the amazing crowd of beatmakers at Cult Classic ...

#WAW: Big Day for the Little People

Feb 15, 2012

World Around Wednesday #6 comes to us from Thirtyseven:

I spent about a year in Mars Hill, North Carolina clearing brush in the mountains and playing bass every night, and the only rap CD I had was Alaskan Fishermen’s Fire and Ice. Most of my favorite rappers are forgotten masters like Sir Menelik and Motion Man, and so when Godforbid agreed to work with me, it was such an accomplishment that I spent about 3 years celebrating and completely blew all traces of a deadline like a f’ing teenager. Such is life in the fast lane. Today, I return to Boston, refreshed by weeks in Blue Ridge Mountains clearing brush on drugs, and so I wanted to drop a lost demo for the party people. Get hip to That Handsome Devil & American Style Cardboard and buy all of their shit if you have any disposable investment capital. There is more on the way.

Apparently, this song was originally recorded sometime during 2007 for the now-defunct Attack of the Mobile Rotting Machines project. It appeared briefly on the dread MySpace, and the beat was featured on Dr. Quandary’s Freestyle Fondue! tape, but this is the first time it’s been made available for widespread release. If this track and these pictures are any indicator, future material from these two should prove to be some next level stuff.

Big Day for the Little People is available as a free download ...

VIDEO: Wombaticus Rex - Minimum Wage

Jul 23, 2011

Early this spring, a World Around strike team hit the campus of Bennington College in Vermont armed with two HD video cameras and a wardrobe of loud collared shirts. Though engineer-turned-director Nick Williams is still combing through the solid terabyte of footage from that week, you can see some of his incredible work in this video for Minimum Wage, a recently re-issued Wombaticus Rex classic.

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