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 ...

No Humans Allowed - "Not Enough"

May 07, 2015

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.

Louis Mackey & Elder Orange - "Waiting For You"

Nov 30, 2014

“Murder murder murder, kill kill kill.” Don’t get us wrong, though, this is a barn-burner take on a classic — a funky, sharp collaboration between multi-instrumental mutant Elder Orange and our in-house monster Louis Mackey.

We’ll have more from Elder Orange — and Louis Mackey — on the shortly upcoming We Are World Around Vol. 5 compilation. Dropping as ever on the first of the new year.

Louis Mackey - "Silex Scintillans"

Nov 19, 2014

This week, we’ve got something new from Louis Mackey, a bleak and beautifully understated soundtrack for our downward spiral into winter. “Silex Scintillans” is a reminder that moments of clarity usually hurt.

From Word is Bond: “… Mackey returns to the World Around Records Single Series after his track ‘Daytime Auguries‘ was featured a few weeks back. The beat on ‘Silex Scintillans’ is noticeably minimal and sombre in comparison but the discourse is just as piercing, as critical fancy and other negligible whims are given perspective against the cold nature of the universe. Perhaps. You can never be sure with World Around Records.”

This was produced, recorded and mixed by Louis Mackey. Big thanks again to Michael Mocksary at Chowder Labs for doing quality mastering work.

Cover art here is courtesy of The Memetic Supply Co.

Louis Mackey -"Daytime Auguries"

Oct 15, 2014

Louis Mackey returns with a resounding facemelter, “Daytime Auguries.” As the coming months will demonstrate, Lou has a great deal to say and there is a Blitzkrieg of new material on the horizon.

In addition to an imposing, secret solo album somewhere in the works, Lou recently wrapped recording with Thirtyseven on No Humans Allowed II and those files have been shipped to Custom for finalization. Nescit vox missa reverti.

The World Around Single Series is powered by a global network of… well, actually this one was 100% Louis Mackey: the beat, the raps, the recording, the mixing, the master print. Respect the Architect.

Cover art is courtesy of The Memetic Supply Co.

Louis Mackey - "Magician in the Mountain"

Oct 01, 2014

The World Around Wednesdays single series has returned, leading off with a triumphant lucid dream from our poet laureate Louis Mackey.

The beatsmithery here is courtesy of Dr. Quandary, and the cover art came from our usual contractor, The Memetic Supply Co. This jam here was mastered (through a TEAC A-3340s) by Walter Westinghouse for NEKtones in beautiful Burlington, Vermont.

FDR - "Destroyer of All Things"

Jun 24, 2014

From mitochondria to militaries, from your breakfast to your bloodstream, FDR‘s first single is a song about the slaughterhouse we take for granted because we live in it every day. Featuring Godforbid (That Handsome Devil) and Thirtyseven (Wombaticus Rex) summoning demons over a driving Louis Mackey beat, this is a blues rap meditation on The Way of All Flesh.

That cosmic cover art is courtesy of Californian illustrator Michael Salas, who generally works with death/speed/thrash metal bands. We think he is completely awesome and we’re grateful he exists. FDR’s first EP, Fear of Death and the Need for Reproduction, is available now, featuring production by Louis Mackey and Dr. Quandary.

FDR - Fear of Death and the Need for Reproduction

Jun 03, 2014

“A gorgeous slice of Americana tinged hip hop.” - Word is Bond

This EP features a cast of All Bad People: with Godforbid (That Handsome Devil) and Thirtyseven (Wombaticus Rex) trading verses while Dr. Quandary (Algorhythms) and Louis Mackey (DJ Multiple Sex Partners) oversee the production. The project was mastered to perfection by Walter Westinghouse for NEKtones here in beautiful Burlington, Vermont.

We Are World Around, Vol. 4

Jan 01, 2014

…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.

#WAW: Everything, Everywhere, Always

Dec 21, 2011

Louis Mackey has had a hell of a year in 2011. He released an epic concept album with Dr. Quandary, dropped a nihilist braggadoccio classic with Thirtyseven (most of which he also produced) and joined Algorhythms for the majority of their Love Supreme Tour. Now Louis is back behind the boards, working on the much-anticipated followup to his 2010 instrumental album, Destroyer of All Things.

This latest glimpse into his catalog has all of the tell-tale hallmarks of Lou’s production: big banging drums, languid funk guitar licks, and a laid-back downtempo groove which is guaranteed to cause some serious head-nodding. We still don’t have any official word on the timetable for the DOAT sequel, but if this track is any indicator, it’s going to be one smooth ride.

Everything, Everywhere, Always is available as a free download on Bandcamp and Soundcloud. We’ll return early next year with our annual compilation and more World Around Wednesday singles!

#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!

Louis Mackey & Dr. Quandary - White Nights & Black Days

Oct 27, 2011

Last week, we received some new demo material from Louis Mackey and Dr. Quandary under the working title Order of the Sword and Pine (which appears to be a veiled Twin Peaks reference).

Check out White Nights & Black Days:

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.

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.

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

World Around on the Road to Roo

Apr 12, 2011


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!

New Album: The Dioscuri

Jan 06, 2011

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.

You can stream the full album for free here at If you dig it, the download is available exclusively through Louis Mackey’s Bandcamp page for just $5.99.

<a href="">The Dioscuri by Louis Mackey &amp; Dr. Quandary</a>

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.

New Album: Destroyer of All Things

Jul 07, 2010

Available exclusively in conjunction with our friends over at Potholes In My Blog, World Around Records presents the first installment in Louis Mackey‘s new beat tape series, Destroyer of All Things. This tidy collection of seven beats is a perfect way to familiarize yourself with with this poet-cum-producer’s signature blend of psychedelic soul and hard-hitting, barbarous breaks.

As always, you can check out the album page to listen to the stream. If you like what you hear, you can only get the goods at Potholes In My Blog — show them some love.

Reintroducing Louis Mackey

Jan 20, 2010

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.

Or, if you’d prefer, check out the streaming previews here on the album page.

New Music: "Space Rock"

Dec 01, 2009

<a href="">Space Rock by Louis Mackey</a>

Available exclusively through Bandcamp, Louis Mackey brings you a psyched out web-single with a truly epic sound. The free download includes the new song “Space Rock”, the B-side “Hades Isn’t Real” featuring Adam Kadmon and, in true single fashion, instrumental versions of both tracks.

You can preview the whole thing by using the player above, and grab it for your collection by clicking the download link.

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