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.

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.

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.

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.

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…

Alaskan Fishermen - "Hands Up feat. Thirtyseven"

May 05, 2012

Thirtyseven: I spent a long, weird, formative year listening to only two albums: Tool’s Aenema and Alaskan Fishermen’s underground classic, Fire and Ice. I was living outside Asheville, North Carolina — word to Mars Hill! — and walking precisely 2.4 miles every day to get coffee, talk to humans, and steal Internets from the local college.

I’m not entirely insane. Del the Funky Homosapien thought it was a dope album, too. Alaskan Fishermen, that is, not Tool: I have no idea how Del feels about Tool and I don’t need to know, either. Right from the opening track, the album was balls-out, rewind-worthy, non-stop bars.

Meanwhile, I was writing the songs for the first Wombaticus Rex project, Live from Islamabad. The influence is there if you listen for it: the flow patterns, the imagery, and the callous disregard for whether or not the casual listener can follow along.

Years down a tangled & twisted road, and BOY HOWDY: I am one of the only featured guests on the second Alaskan Fishermen album. It matters to me, yet to most folks, it won’t mean a thing. That’s beautiful. I hesitate to offer any Life Lessons based on this small achievement, but the moral of the story is clear…Fuck the Dumb. Focus on what you know is great. Don’t ever stop working.

Also, brush your teeth more often than I did.

#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 ...

#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

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.

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 ...

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