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 ...

Zilla Rocca - Full Spectrum 2 (VIDEO & EP)

Aug 21, 2012

Zilla Rocca debuted his latest video over at Passion of the Weiss yesterday. From PotW:

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.

The iTunes drop is coming later this week, but for a limited time only you can snag it for free on Bandcamp.

Zilla Rocca - Full Spectrum 2 (L'Orange Remix) feat. Has-Lo & Open Mike Eagle

Mar 13, 2012

The latest single from our resident pulp raconteur Zilla Rocca dropped over at Word Is Bond today, and this time around he’s rolled out a remix of Full Spectrum 2 featuring a beat from the homie L’Orange, who recently made a bunch of noise with his album Old Soul. Check it out:

The track is yet another installment in the impromptu Full Spectrum anthology, which will be released as a single collection via iTunes and other channels in the near future. Stay tuned!

And check out more from L’Orange:
Bandcamp / @LOrangeMusic

Wrecking Crew feat. Boogieman Dela & Dave Little - Pulp Banga 101 (prod. Small Professor)

Feb 09, 2012

Philadelphia’s Wrecking Crew (consisting of core members Zilla Rocca, Has-Lo & Curly Castro) has been masterminding their Wu-Tang Pulp project for a minute now, and with the album release not far down the line, they’ve dropped another righteous re-imagining of a classic Wu track. Get schooled in the trade with Pulp Banga 101, and check the squad’s Soundcloud for previous Wu-Tang Pulp singles.

VIDEO: Zilla Rocca - Full Spectrum feat. Has-Lo

Oct 27, 2011

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.

If you dig the track, you can download it for free on Bandcamp.

New Album: Nights & Weekends EP

Sep 20, 2011

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.

The 29-minute album includes appearances from World Around’s Dr. Quandary, Has-Lo (Mello Music Group/ Wrecking Crew), Brian Brizzo (Lessondary Crew), Curly Castro (Wrecking Crew), Small Professor (Wrecking Crew) and more, as well as a bonus remix of the lead single “Full Spectrum” from our resident beat auteur Man Mantis.

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.

New Album: Sigils

Aug 20, 2011

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 like what you hear, check out the album page and head over to Dr. Quandary’s Bandcamp to scoop the free download!

New Music: Zilla Rocca - Full Spectrum

Jul 25, 2011

Today we have a new cut from the Corrupt Novelist himself, Zilla Rocca: the lead single from his upcoming summer jaunt, Nights & Weekends.

“Full Spectrum” features Zilla’s fellow Wrecking Crew member Has-Lo of Mello Music Group, with a bass-heavy Dr. Quandary backdrop. Colorful dressings, vivid shades of cinema; solids for the winter, brightness in the summer.

Y’all fade to black — this is full spectrum:

If you enjoy the tune, please visit Zilla’s Kickstarter page before 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.

KICKSTARTER: Funding "Nights & Weekends"

Jul 06, 2011

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:

Zilla Rocca - Michael Caine Glasses (Snippet) prod by Has-Lo

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

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!

Introducing... Zilla Rocca

Aug 18, 2010

Zilla Rocca | Photography by Liz Padova

First of all, if you’ve never heard the 5 O’Clock Shadowboxers, take some time out to fix that today. Zilla Rocca is the man behind the mic on that project, and he’s teamed up with World Around for some new projects. We met up at a dive bar in Quebec City for this introductory interview…

Thirtyseven: What are the influences that have brought you to where you are today?

Zilla Rocca: I got caught up in ‘08-‘09 with people I no longer work with in trying to be something that I wasn’t, namely to land a nice plushy Major Label Rap Contract. At the same time, I was doing Shadowboxers, which became the biggest thing I’d ever done. But the people I was dealing with didn’t like it, didn’t understand it, and frankly became resentful and petty when it proved to be more successful than any of their work. But I was a “team” player and enjoyed their stuff, so I was gung-ho about sleeping with the devil because we were “a squad”. I compromised myself, something I swore I’d never do.

Now that I no longer deal with them, I’ve realized that the people I respect and enjoy the most don’t do things conventionally. They don’t buy into the norms of What You Must Do As An Artist in 2010. El-P has never played it safe; his music is raw, he stands behind it, it’s got ...

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