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 ...
“Tulpas is nightmare journalism from a country still haunted by classified crimes it can barely muster the courage to name. The victims are ridiculed and ignored, and the perpetrators are protected by the same National Security State that enabled them.
This isn’t a political song, though — this is a requiem for a war that was lost before any of us were born.
After dropping our 2nd EP, Yesterday, Tomorrow and You, we’re quite keen to avoid a long hiatus. We have a shit-ton of fun doing No Humans Allowed, if you’ll pardon the vernacular, and we need to get the name out there. Indefinitely.
With that in mind, we’ve got a mild barrage of singles on the way for the year to come. This first offering is a Dr. Quandary production — a jam we’ve been doing live for two years now, “Not Enough.”
Note the granular reality warp of the cover art — “Not Enough” probably marks the point this whole World Around enterprise descended from rap collective into a full-on parallel Universe.
Algorhythms - "Dreams of Lisbon (Suplington Remix)"
Mar 19, 2014
We’ve been fans of Suplington for a long time. He’s intricate, distinctive, and omnivorous on the instrumentals. This is why we asked him to provide the jumpoff track for our last volume in the We Are World Around series. This is why we asked him to bring us something dope & unexpected for the fan favorite Algorhythms track, “Dreams of Lisbon.” He delivers the goods.
…and right on schedule, we’re back. Our traditional New Years Day celebration/compilation is heavy on instrumental tracks and melancholy funk, this time around. This also represents the first compilation that was curated by our new Benevolent Dictator, Lou Mackey.
The rap game Sam Spade … returns with Has-Lo and Open Mike Eagle for “Full Spectrum 2.” Maybe the best part of the rise of otherground rap is the demise of the mean-mugs that dogged every old video. Not everyone can be Roc Marciano. After all, rap is rooted in the summer jam, and this might be one of the most joyous clips any of these three have released. … Philadelphia in the blazing sun, cold beers, red brick buildings and backyards play the backdrop. Cool as a menthol. Mike Eagle closes with the John Tenta finishing move.
In honor of the video, Zilla compiled the many different versions of “Full Spectrum” into a single release. The Full Spectrum EP includes the original track and its sequel, both produced by Dr. Quandary, along with remixes from Man Mantis and the incredible L’Orange. Even if you’ve heard it all before, it’s definitely worth checking out for the second Man Mantis remix, which was previously unreleased.
For the 9th installment of our World Around Wednesdays series, Algorhythms return with their first track in a year. Open Ended is a psychedelic slice of conceptual rap from one of our founding acts. As they gear up for a summer of touring and writing, they’ve been back at Vault 46, laying out a new set and a series of singles. Expect things to get stranger from here.
The first Algorhythms EP, one of our most downloaded releases, is still free as could be.
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 ...
Dr. Quandary is back from the desert with a dark slice of new instrumental work. Oneiric Field Mandala comes a week after the release of Full Spectrum 2, an epic single featuring Open Mike Eagle, Has-Lo and Zilla Rocca trading verses over Quandary’s signature production. This track occupies the transitory space between his recent Sigils EP and his mysterious next album, due sometime before 2019.
Oneiric Field Mandala is available as a free download on Bandcamp and Soundcloud. If you’ve somehow missed it, Dr. Quandary and the rest of the World Around roster dropped an album worth of new material last month…you can download We Are World Around Vol. 2 on Bandcamp. It’s a free “Thank You” project for all the fans & friends who made 2011 such a great year. Of course, World Around Wednesdays will keep going for the rest of 2012.
Earlier this year, Zilla Rocca made his World Around debut with the dark and stylish Bad Weather Classic EP, which served as a perfect soundtrack for the waning winter months. For the third round of our bi-weekly single series, Dr. Quandary hooked us up with his remix of the title track, which features visionary guest verses from Minneapolis rising star Mally and Zilla’s Wrecking Crew associate Curly Castro.
Contrasting the driving rhythm and epic vibe of Face One’s original beat, the Dr. Quandary version is violently ethereal, with the drone of heavy bass and plaintive guitars washing up against jagged, dusty percussion. A rough edit of the song first appeared on a compilation by the French label DEZORDR this fall, but this is the first time that Quan’s original final mix has been made available.
Bad Weather Classic (Dr. Quandary Remix) is available as a free download on Bandcamp and Soundcloud. We’ll be back later this month with another World Around Wednesday on December 21st, followed by our annual year-end compilation. Stay tuned!
This summer, Philadelphia’s Zilla Rocca put out a clarion call on Kickstarter to fund his Nights & Weekends project – a plan which included an ambitious film project. Together with Has-Lo, their fellow Wrecking Crew member Curly Castro, and directors Justin Clowes and Joe Castro, Zilla headed to Asbury Park, New Jersey to shoot this gorgeous piece entirely on real-deal, old-school Super 8. The end result is a classic that stands apart from most of today’s hip-hop videos.
Unlike their past collaborative work, these tracks feature the two working side-by-side as a production duo. Anyone familiar with their solo stuff knows that Quan and Lou are both students of psychedelia, so they play off of one another naturally, to the point where we’re not even sure who’s doing what. What we do know is that these tracks are heavy, and we can’t wait to hear what’s next.
We’ve all been waiting patiently since August, and the time is finally here: thanks to the efforts of his Kickstarter cohorts, Zilla Rocca is proud to bring you his third solo album, the Nights & Weekends EP.
Inspired by late night 1980’s films staples such as Barry Levinson’s Diner and Martin Scorsese’s After Hours (see the video below), the EP serves up a helping of booze hounds, dive bars, and all the wrong women you chase in your 20’s.
From the Philip Marlowe credo on opener “Creme de Menthe” to the sticky ‘60s funk cover of D’Angelo’s “Devil’s Pie”, Nights & Weekends EP lives up to it’s namesake: it’s where all the action goes down. Download it or grab the CD today.
Just in time for the changing seasons, experimental Boston beatmaker Dr. Quandary has surprised us with a new collection of instrumentals called Sigils.
According to the good doctor, the album is comprised of ambient and minimalist material that he began working on during the Beyond All Spheres sessions. All of the hallmarks of Quan’s moody, organic style are present – dusty drums, haunting melodies and psychedelic samples – but with a raw, sparse edge that contrasts his other work, while complimenting it all the same.
As an added bonus, check out “Vienna” — a version of the song “Holographic Body” that features some gorgeous microphone work by our own Zilla Rocca, whose third solo album Nights & Weekends will be available September 20th. The impromptu crossover single was written, recorded and released in just two days.
If you enjoy the tune, please visit Zilla’s Kickstarter pagebefore July 31st — on top of printing CDs and shirts for Nights & Weekends, purchasing Super 8 film to shoot the official video for “Full Spectrum” is on the checklist. Get involved here.
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.
UPDATE 2:Nights & Weekends will be available for download on Tuesday, September 20th 2011. CDs go on sale later that week.
UPDATE: Thanks to generous support from dozens of fans, Zilla was able to to fly past his original goal with time to spare. Keep an eye out for more news about his upcoming Nights & Weekends release!
Zilla Rocca hit the ground running in 2011 with his World Around debut, Bad Weather Classic, and he hasn’t eased up the pace. With a few more remixes and collaborative pieces under his belt, Philly’s finest is ready to drop his followup: Nights & Weekends.
The ten-track album includes the usual dose of Zilla’s noir-laden beats and gritty rhymes, along with a metric ton of special guest appearances. All money raised will go towards pressing physical copies of Nights & Weekends on CD, screen-printing special edition shirts and purchasing/processing a stockpile of Super 8 film.
The film will be used by Zilla and director Joe Castro to shoot a remarkable, one-of-a-kind video for the album’s lead-off single “Full Spectrum” featuring Mello Music Group’s rising star Has-Lo (and produced by our very own Dr. Quandary).
You’ll get a real taste of things to come when that single drops in a couple of weeks, but in the meantime, check out this little gem – a snippet of the new track “Michael Caine Glasses,” produced by Has-Lo:
That’s right, folks: nearly four years after releasing their debut EP, Thirtyseven and Dr. Quandary are finally taking the show on the road. As Algorhythms, the duo will be bringing their jazzy and distinctly psychedelic brand of hip hop to the East coast starting this July.
In honor of the tour, we’re also bringing you the song it was named after – a new twist on a Quandary favorite. Check out Love Supreme:
Today’s free download comes to us from Breakup Music, the collaborative album by Humpasaur Jones & Dr. Quandary dropping later this year.
Following in the vein of “I’ll Be Okay” (from his first album Keep it Moist), the song takes Jones’ signature sex rap to explore darker depths, with one of Quandary’s loping, funky dirges providing the backdrop:
Quandary & Jones, as Algorhythms, will be on tour in the Northeastern US this July and August. Breakup Music doesn’t have a set release date, but if you dig “Funeral Groupies” you might want to check out “Old Fashioned Love Song” (featuring Louis Mackey).
Update: Thanks to everyone who supported our efforts to send Louis Mackey and Dr. Quandary to Bonnaroo 2011! We may not have made it this year, but we had an incredibly strong showing for such a last-minute campaign. Who knows… maybe we’ll see you there in 2012!
On the heels of his instrumental debut Destroyer of All Things, Louis Mackey has broken the silence for his new project with beat wizard Dr. Quandary, The Dioscuri. Fusing concepts from ancient Greek and Roman epics with the dreamy, guitar-laden ambiance of psychedelic rock, the two created an incredibly unique hip-hop record that is utterly unlike anything else you will hear in 2011.
In honor of the release, Quandary artfully mashed elements of the album together with some of the obscure sword-and-sandal movies that inspired it. The resultant “short film” adds awesome visual life to some of the album’s great conceptual moments.
First up, the Madison heavyweight hip hop live band dumate has been having an amazing year, and to celebrate, they’re offering their full length album, We Have the Technology, for free through Bandcamp. Click here to get yours. This is a limited time offer deal.
I mean, really great reviews. The Onion’s A/V Club gave it an “A” rating, concluding that the dumate crew was “grotesquely underrated on both a local and national scale.” Amen.
Up next, Man Mantis is working on an instrumental release, Cities Without Houses. Based on what I’ve heard, I think it’s going to make some serious noise for him… stay tuned.
We’ve got a lot of extremely dope producers on the World Around roster. This year has seen incredible releases from nearly all of them. First we dropped Naturetone‘s debut, Nihon, an ambitious and exotic tribute to the music and culture of Japan. Naturetone was fortunate enough to make a pilgrimage there this year… and he got married this year, too!
Here at World Around, we’ve been fans of Witness ever since he dropped his outstanding EP Ever Since, way back in 2005. After that, he stepped up his game ferociously with the Evermore EP (Buy it here) and dropped a collaboration with AZ producer Mobb Robb named .45 Sweetheart.
Whatever he’s working on now, it’s crazy. Nobody knows if this collaboration will grow into something bigger, but for now — enjoy this for what it is. An exceptionally dope song.
Releasing this project is a huge milestone for World Around Records. Beyond All Spheres of Force and Matter is a vision that Dr. Quandary had back when we first started World Around, and I’ve listened to this album evolve for several years now.
I thought what I was hearing back then was dope, but Quan had a very specific vision and he kept pushing himself until he achieved it. Clearly, he was going for one of the most epic, spaced-out, and cinematic instrumental hip hop albums humanly possible, because that’s pretty much what happened.
After years of building the huge, intricate percussion and the rich layers of samples, Dr. Quandary turned to synthesizers to flesh out his vision even further. For several of the tracks here, he’s also worked with multi-instrumentalist mastermind Matt Scott who laid down (fretless) live bass to bring the final mix together. The result is something timeless, and the sci-fi cover painting by Federico Piatti compliments the project perfectly.
Yes, there will be posters. And vinyl.
For now, though, we’ve got it up on Bandcamp for $5. You can of course listen to the entire thing, for free, all day at work. We encourage that sort of thing. As a “thank you” for helping us to fund our operations, Dr. Quandary is including a bonus EP, Semuta, with every Bandcamp purchase.
By our best estimates, Louis Mackey has well over 100 full-length tracks that have never seen the light of day beyond MySpace or SoundClick. The man is a machine, constantly cranking out beats and lyrics however, the adverse effect of his rigorous routine is that he’s moved on to the next project by the time the first is finished.
That’s why Funky Motherfucker, Yeah! has been so long in the making: ever since it was conceptualized, it’s been restructured, rewritten and further honed by Lou’s ravenous appetite for quality. In the end, we’re glad he decided to just pull the trigger on the project, because the result is an excellent “best-of” style collection spanning Lou’s entire rap career, from as far back as 2004 to the present.
The record features Lou’s signature brand of lyrical wit and funky production, with cameos from beatmakers Dr. Quandary, Man Mantis and The Banana Hammocks, as well as guest verses from AnP and Vermont freestyle veteran Chris Dizzy.
Click on the cover to download Funky Motherfucker, Yeah! in 320k MP3 format, with high-quality album art by Jacob North and PDF liner notes.
“This is a tribute to the music of Africa — specifically, Mali. Ever since getting introduced to Ali Farka Toure and Lobi Traore, I’ve been increasingly obsessed with the melodies and rhythms of the Sahara. Mahdi Rock stands as a sign of things to come.”
Next up: Boston-based beatsmith Dr. Quandary has released a preview track from his upcoming album, Beyond All Spheres of Force and Matter. The name of the song is Eleven Eleven and it’s a perfect example of how insane his album sounds. Huge, orchestrated, and meticulous, Dr. Quandary has created something timeless and distinct…we can’t wait to put this album out. (But we have to.)
Our Algorhythms Remix Contest was a bigger success than we’d expected, resulting in 61 submissions. We figured the sheer volume of submissions would make it harder to judge, but our winner was a serious standout.
We’d like to introduce you to a producer by the name of Naturetone, from Bern, Switzerland. He’s got a lot of experience, having started out with Swiss rap group Three Tree Posse (3TP) back in 1993. His love of music has brought him back into the game and he’s currently working towards his first solo instrumental album… and you know we’ll keep you posted on that.
Here’s his rundown of the samples involved:
“The smooth and very nice song ‘Marcella’s Dream’ by The Crusaders from their 1978 album Images mixed with Quincy Jones’ beautiful version of ‘Summer in the City’ from his 1973 album You’ve Got it Bad Girl.”
“Dreams of Lisbon”
“Phil Upchurch & Tennyson Stephens’ great song ‘Don’t I Know You’ from their 1975 album Upchurch/Tennyson mixed with Millie Jackson’s ‘The Rap’ from her 1974 love concept album Caught Up.
“The Village Soul Choir single ‘The Cat Walk’ mixed with the song ‘Soul Suite’ from 1972 by Detroit’s grooving Dave Hamilton.”
“What’s This (Alternate Take)”
“The great song ‘Dolphin Dance’ by the great Ahmad Jamal, taken from his 1970 album The Awakening. Mixed with some trumpet of the great Miles Davies from the song ...
Even though the entire point of the Algorhythms remix contest was to make solid connections with new producers, we also wound up with about a dozen in-house remixes.
Prime example: a haunting new take on “Blowing Numbers” by Algorhythms’ very own Dr. Quandary.
FAQ: What happened with the remix contest? WE ARE SO DAMN SORRY. We know, we are months behind the ball on that. The announcement (and release of the winner’s tracks) will be next week. We’ve had our hands very full and we’re still learning what our responsibilities are, and how to juggle them. Thank you for your patience. We got a total of 61 submissions (!!!!) and that’s an amazing turnout.
This Dr. Quandary banger has been in our secret files for at least two years now. That’s…way too long. Dr. John remixed by aliens with stolen drum machines. This is also excellent morning music for a turbo-charged wakeup routine.
Since the Algorhythms EP dropped last year, there’s been a slow but steady demand for acapellas. Rather than just drop these quietly, we’re going to run a whole summer-long remix contest and keep feeding you more.
THE RULES: Do whatever you want. When you’re done, though, we do have a few regulations.
Submissions have to be rendered in at least 256kbps MP3 format — we don’t want any .WAV files until we decide we like your track. All entries will be judged by a rotating panel of WAR artists, with Thirtyseven and Dr. Quandary making the final decisions. Submit your track to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Deadline for submissions is August 1st, 2009. We might suggest/request changes if we dig the track but the mix is off. The deadline for finished tracks is September 1st. Also in 2009.
The winning submissions will all get included in a World Around Remix collection we’ll be releasing online and promoting like crazed fire ants. You’ll be alongside our in-house team, this won’t just be the “Random People Online Remix Our Shit EP” — this is an album-length project and it will be dope.