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 ...

New Music: "The Lamentations"

Apr 12, 2013

“Based on some true stories.” - Humpasaur Jones

Allegedly a preview cut from the eternally forthcoming SQUIDTAPE project, this smooth slice of synth soul is a simple recipe that works: Hump Jones giving sly confessionals over DJ Squid production. If it ain’t broke…

#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 ...

#WAW: The Patience

Nov 23, 2011

Last week, Louis Mackey passed us this little gem that he recently produced for Humpasaur Jones. Apparently Jones banged out “The Patience” at Vault 46 during the final days of the No Humans Allowed sessions – and fans of that project will certainly not be disappointed.

World Around sound, and we build to suit
skills and truth, the foundation that fills the room
World Around sound, we build and we break
cuz we’re still willing to make all the illest mistakes

The Patience is available as a free download on Bandcamp and Soundcloud. Keep an eye out for our next World Around Wednesdays release, coming your way December 7th!

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.

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: "Leather Apron"

Jun 14, 2011

We’ve got a pretty exciting new track for you today: the debut single from Devastate, the Bearded Terror of Las Vegas and second-most elusive emcee on our roster.

On “Leather Apron,” Dev spits his finely-crafted fury alongside World Around mainstays Louis Mackey and Humpasaur Jones. What would WA-branded horrorcore sound like? We’re not sure we want to find out, but this track is epic all the same:

Keep an eye out for more music from Devastate this summer, and catch the Zero EP when it comes to World Around Records on October 14th, 2011.

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

Long, Hot Summer Update

Aug 16, 2010

dumate live hip hop MPC

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.

The dumate team has been very, very busy this year… especially MPC player / producer Man Mantis. He’s dropped an experimentally awesome EP’s with J. Dante, Whole New World, and a classic-flavored EP with dumate emcee D.L.O. the Iceman titled The IceMantis EP, which has been getting great reviews.

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!

Then came Dr. Quandary‘s magnum opus, Beyond All Spheres of Force and Matter. It’s been a trip watching this release ripple through Teh ...

Humpasaur Jones: The 2010 Anthembanger Remix Contest

Jul 27, 2010

Humpasaur Jones

Fresh out of a court-mandated rehab vacation, Humpasaur Jones has been sleeping in the studio again. The first new release is the “2010 Anthembanger”, which we’ve built into a remix contest. If you’re not the producer type, great news: there’s already 3 remixes done, courtesy of Louis Mackey, Naturetone, and our newest addition to the roster, Custom. (More on him soon.)

The acapella file is the last track on the “EP” and the tempo is precisely 99 BPM. The deadline for the Contest contest is August 29th, 2010. (Because it’s a Sunday…and because we want to post the winners on September 1st.) All submissions go to: powerweirdo at gmail dot com.

2 Exclusives on Potholes In My Blog

Sep 16, 2009

Humpasaur Jones - Breakup Music

First up is the title track from the upcoming Humpasaur Jones EP “Breakup Music” — entirely produced by Dr. Quandary. (Also, we’ve put up Keep it Moist on Bandcamp.)

Dr. Quandary - I Walk on Gilded Splinters (Remix)

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.

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