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 ...

Algorhythms - "Tulpas"

May 19, 2015

“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.

Nothing to see here. Move along.

“Tulpas” was recorded at Chowder Labs in Boston and passed to Dr. Quandary, who mixed and mastered this. (If you haven’t heard his recent synth burner “Beyond the Black Rainbow,” do so.) Big thanks to Soffie Hicks for the cover photo.

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.

#WAW: Algorhythms - Open Ended

Mar 28, 2012

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.

Open Ended is available as a free download on Bandcamp and Soundcloud. We’ll be back with another installment in the World Around Wednesday series on April 11th.

#WAW: IV the Polymath & Thirtyseven - The Frame

Feb 29, 2012

For World Around Wednesday #7, we’ve got a lush, dark banger from IV the Polymath, providing the canvas for Thirtyseven to unload a Dali rant which ultimately veers into 2 minutes of political science. Check it out:

We were honored to have IV aboard for this one. He’s having a stellar year so far, and this track comes on the heels of his latest record, the highly acclaimed New vs. Old.

The Frame is available as a free download on Bandcamp and Soundcloud. We’ll be back with the next installment in the World Around Wednesday series on March 14th.

#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 ...

Algorhythms: The Love Supreme Tour

Jul 01, 2011

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.

07/09 @ Charlie-O's in Montpelier VT | 07/13 @ Club Metronome in Burlington VT | 07/16 @ Parker Pie Co. in Glover VT | 07/20 @ The Crooked I in Erie PA

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:

July 9th — Charlie-O’s — Montpelier, VT
with No Humans Allowed, EARegulars & Aleck Woog

July 13th — Club Metronome — Burlington, VT
with Wombaticus Rex, Memaranda & EARegulars

July 16th — Parker Pie Company — Glover, VT

July 20th — The Crooked I — Eerie, PA
with Wombaticus Rex, Zilla Rocca & BlackDeath

New Music: "Funeral Groupies"

Jun 05, 2011

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).

Classic Logo Shirts Now Available!

May 18, 2011

Now available in our newly-opened store on BigCartel, our Classic Logo shirts feature an original design by Cole Eggen that was among the many emblems used by World Around Records in the early days.

Each one of these pre-shrunk, 100% ring-spun cotton shirts is individually hand-screened by our team of artificers at World Around East and shipped to you swiftly via USPS Priority Mail.

Supplies are limited, so make sure you order yours today!


Apr 27, 2011

Algorhythms × s.maharba

May 05, 2010

“We’ve been sitting on this track for way, way too long and it’s probably my favorite track I’ve ever been on. Today being my birthday, we decided to go ahead and drop it. Enjoy.” — Thirtyseven

s. maharba has been on fire lately, getting great reviews and international attention for his upcoming vinyl beat tape release, S/T. That’s dropping on May 18th, but you can pre-order a vinyl/shirt combo now by clicking here…

Algorhythms Remix Contest Results

Oct 30, 2009

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:

“Blowing Numbers”
“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.

“What’s This”
“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 ...

Algorhythms - "Blowing Numbers (Dr. Quandary Remix)"

Oct 22, 2009

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.

The Algorhythms Remix Contest

May 05, 2009

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

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.


Questions? Problems? Hit us up. Thank you.

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