Iconic New York-born, San Francisco-based rapper and producer, Aesop Rock, is joining forces with Rhymesayers to release his sixth studio album, Skelethon, on July 10th 2012. Since the release of None Shall Pass in 2007, we've seen Aesop Rock touring the world, launching online arts outlet, 900bats.com, and collaborating on LPs with Felt, Hail Mary Mallon, the Uncluded and more. Skelethon not only sees the rapper back waxing poetically on his own but also marks his first wholly self-produced effort. While the sounds are familiar, we see Aesop venturing in some exciting new directions with guest appearances from indie rock archetype, Kimya Dawson, as well as Allyson Baker of Dirty Ghosts, Hanni El Khatib, Nicky Fleming-Yaryan, Rob Sonic, DJ Big Wiz and the Grimace Federation. Aesop's new album follows in the wake of several deep personal losses and highlights subject matter that deals with the sometimes-futile ways people try to cope with serious issues. The cover art comes from Barcelona-based painter Aryz. Skelethon is set to be both a showpiece for his illustrious career and a serious payoff for his droves of ever-patient loyal fans.
Ask ten different people in the know what they think about Rob Sonic, and you may very well get ten distinct and very interesting answers, though chances are the things they'll all agree on a few things, like "amazing production" or "unbelievable lyrics". Not a bad consensus. What we at Def Jux have known for a few years now, the rest of the music community is about to get their first real taste of, courtesy of Mr. Sonic himself and his seriously accomplished debut album, Telicatessen. We'll throw all the hackneyed cliché's at this one - 'tour de force', 'jaw-dropping', 'work of art', 'virtuoso performance', 'panoply of artistic accomplishment'- and you know what, they all kind of stick. Now that we've set unrealistic expectations for you, not to mention Rob, throw it all away and hear this album for what it really is: one man's musical journey through his mind, his experience and his reality of living in this day and age. It's a menu of musical exploration, with lyrics that will alternately tickle and confuse you ("what the fuck did he just say?") and beats that at times might just snap your neck, having gotten you so vigorously open. A masterpiece of focused abstraction, held tightly together by a commanding and confident flow, Telicatessen was completely self-produced using a variety of gear, both vintage and tech (ARP Odyssey, Little Brother, Mini Moog, Yamaha SK-20, Roland Juno 106, Fender Rhodes Piano Bass, Korg MS-2000, Akai MPC 2000 XL plus Technics 1200's courtesy of DJ's Big Wiz and Fred Ones), Rob Sonic has delivered one of the most accomplished independent hip hop albums of the year, one that deepens and stretches the tradition simultaneously.
Originally from the Washington D.C. area, Rob has been devoted to music since he was a kid, maintaining a deep connection to it in multiple forms (The Beatles, The Stones, Melle Mel, Run DMC, Kraftwerk, The Soul Sonic Force, The Talking Heads, Zeppelin, BDP, Public Enemy, Muddy Waters, UltraMangnetic MC's, The Clash, Devo, Goblin, David Bowie, EPMD). He developed his expressive abilities through grinding for 10 + years in New York City, living life in a way unique to the New York experience – hard fought, hard luck, high stress and no money tempered by huge dreams. In 2000, Rob gained critical acclaim as the front man of the group Sonic Sum, who's album The Sanity Annex won rave reviews in the U.S., Europe and Japan, with SPIN magazine voting it the "2nd Best Album of the Year that No One Heard". Kudos rolled in from publications such as The Source, The Wire, XXL, NME, Urb (Next 100), and CMJ. Word got around and soon came offers from artists like DJ Krush and Funkstorung to get down on their albums, a collaboration with Slug (Atmosphere) and Mike Ladd, plus shout outs from Radiohead, Bobbito Garcia, Autechre and others. Rob also happened to share the same management as Def Jux honcho El-P, and a friendship, as well as mutual artistic respect, formed. In 2003, Rob signed with the label, asking only for the opportunity to make a record with his heart, mind and soul, hence, Telicatessen. And it's all we could have ever asked for.
DJ BIG WIZ
True to this, not new to this... probably been through more than you for this. DJing since 1983.
Beaus$Eros, the seventh full-length from indie rap trailblazer Busdriver, forgoes the lightening-speed rhyming that defined his style in favor of a diverse, off-kilter brand of pop and post-hip-hop. Called "...as technically impressive as an MC can get" by Pitchfork and others, Busdriver has made his most personal and avant-garde work yet with Beaus$Eros. Focusing on a devastating break-up and personal failure, the album is buttered in stirring melodies and complex vocals. In step with Busdriver's recent work with forward-thinking producers Flying Lotus, Modeselektor, Nosaj Thing and others, the production on Beaus$Eros takes root in beat music, lush IDM, and sythpop.
Inarguably one of the premiere risk takers in modern indie rap, Busdriver has been a fixture in the scene for ten years, releasing compelling left-field rap albums on taste-maker labels like Mush, Big Dada, Alphapup, Polyvinyl and Anti-. Performing and collaborating regularly with acts likes The Roots, CocoRosie, Aesop Rock, The Glitch Mob, Deerhoof, the beatmakers of Low End Theory and more, his place in the network of left-leaning musicians is as unique as it's ever been.
Up-and-coming Belgian production wiz Loden doctors every moment on Beaus$Eros as the album's only producer. Without ever physically meeting or speaking live, the two manage an electric synergy that usually comes from years of working together. Loden's Hindenburg-sized beats push Busdriver's croons and spat thoughts into difficult-to-label territory. Think Bjork's Post filtered through the sensibility of Outkast's The Love Below with outsider artist goals hidden in every measure. Beaus$Eros is the colorful sum of his wildly adaptive voice in music and proof that he still reigns over entire undiscovered worlds to which his loyal following is now invited.
Possessing a hyper-literate, intellectual style of rapping augmented with dizzying elocution that would tongue-tie even the fiercest auctioneer, Busdriver is eclectic and eccentric enough to cite vocalese jazz singer Jon Hendricks as a primary influence. Born Regan Farquhar, the Los Angeles MC was introduced to hip-hop culture early -- his father wrote the screenplay to one of the earliest films focusing on hip-hop, Krush Groove. He began rapping at age nine, releasing his first record at age 13 with his group, 4/29, named after the 1992 L.A. riots. By the mid-'90s, Busdriver was a regular at the Project Blowed open mic, where he would meet future collaborators and underground luminaries like Aceyalone, Abstract Rude, and Freestyle Fellowship. And shortly after, the vinyl did flow.
Busdriver guested on upward of 20 singles, and by 2001 he could no longer be contained by guest spots, releasing his first full-length, Memoirs of the Elephant Man. There were just as many detractors as supporters for his singular style, which was so densely packed it made his chosen name seem a reference for multiple-personality disorder, and the lo-fi production also left more listeners scratching heads than nodding them. His next album, This Machine Kills Fashion Tips (2002), continued in a similar manner before being trumped by better production and more focused rhymes on Temporary Forever the same year. Joined by another West Coast avant-garde MC, Radioinactive, and the breezy, fractured pop of electronic producer Daedelus, Busdriver released yet another odd puzzle piece in 2003, The Weather. Fear of a Black Tangent followed on Mush in 2005. After moving to Anti-/Epitaph, the rapper issued RoadKillOvercoat, which featured production from Nobody and Boom Bip. His second Anti- release, Jhelli Beam, appeared in 2009. In 2010 he put out a full-length mix tape of unreleased gems and illegal remixes called Computer Cooties. It was released as a free album.
2010 saw Bus toiling over a new album that will shock fans and confuse the unconverted into unwilling servitude. It is called Beaus$Eros and will be released in February 2012 on Fake Four.