Monday, May 24, 2010

Good Times for Dark Time Sunshine

Seattle mainstay Onry Ozzborn has spent the last five years on Rhymesayers Entertainment putting out underground hip hop classics such as Grayskul’s Bloody Radio and touring and collaborating with everyone from Aesop Rock to Atmosphere. Now he has started a new group with producer Zavala called Dark Time Sunshine - some say this sounds like a “Psychedelic Gangstarr” others refer to the “slight bit of Company Flow twirling in the waters beneath them” - whatever it is - it’s some of the most exciting new hip hop to hit ears in a long time.

Under the moniker of Cape Cowen, Onry spits abstract anthems while Zavala’s boom bap psych rock production swirls, twists and bangs beneath. The album features Aesop Rock ,P.O.S., Solillaquists Of Sound ,Qwel ,Ceschi Ramos , Oldominion, Champagne Champagne and an array of great vocalists such as Reva Devito ,Poeina Saddarth ,Kaitlyn Leathers and more.

The duo met a couple of years ago in Portland, OR at a professional DART competition where Zavala was crowned victor and won a life-time supply of Tap Out attire (but that’s neither here nor there) - although it’s still a proud moment in D.T.S history. Both interested in Hip Hop,Punk, Electronics and Lady Ga Ga, the two started to formulate a genre of music some call snob rap ,dark pop and theatrical lazor blur under the moniker DARK TIME SUNSHINE. After releasing the FREE album BELIEVEYOUME (released mid - Nov 2009) the duo sets sail soon to bring forth their OFFICIAL, debut release of VESSEL (via Fake Four Inc.)

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Hip-Hop Symphony Jazz Mafia Readies LP: Brass, Bows, & Beats

The Jazz Mafia—a collective of MCs, jazz virtuosos, arrangers, and composers—that include many of the Bay Area’s most innovative and prolific musical forces are releasing their debut album, Brass, Bows & Beats.

Unlike anything else to date, Jazz Mafia is the first hip-hop orchestra to perform 60 minutes of entirely original composition. Among the list of MCs making up the collective are Lyrics Born, Dublin, Aima The Dreamer, and Seneca. Now, Jazz Mafia are set to hit the road, bringing their borderless tour de force—by principal composer, arranger, and conductor Adam Theis (pictured)—outside the Bay Area for the first time.

The Jazz Mafia is bravado post-modern orchestration, improvisation, blistering solos, spoken-word, Latin poly-rhythms, boom-bap rhymes, and emotive ballads, all spun together with the spirit of a Jazz-era big band—but also masterfully adhering to symphonic structural elements.

Production on Brass, Bows & Beats is shared by Ben Yonas and Adam Theis. The album drops June 15, 2010.

June 8 Sonoma Valley Jazz at Grinstead Amphitheatre Sonoma, CA
June 11 Harmony Festival at Sonoma County Fairgrounds Santa Rosa, CA
June 13 Playboy Jazz Festival at Hollywood Bowl Hollywood, CA
June 25 (le) Poisson Rouge New York, NY
June 27 Montreal Jazz Festival Main Stage Montreal, QC
August 7 Newport Jazz Festival Newport, RI
August 14 San Jose Jazz Festival/California Stage Theater San Jose, CA
September 17 Monterey Jazz Festival Monterey, CA
October 15 Laxson Auditorium/CSU Chico Chico, CA
October 30 Kimo Theater Albuquerque, NM

Monday, May 10, 2010


No doubt, one of LA's best kept secrets is rapper and musician Amad Jamal. He's been on the scene for a while, releasing singles on ABB Records with DJ Khalil, Evidence of Dilated Peoples, and producer Brisk One, but now after years of recording --and a few life hurdles--Amad Jamal is finally ready to release Barely Hangin’ On: The Chronicles of a Brotha Like Rodney King (Urban Umpire Records/ABB Records). Guest appearances on the LP include Dilated Peoples, Defari, Mayya Lady Dragon, and Gotham Green. Production is on Barely Hangin’ On is shared by Brisk One and DJ Dahi.

Barely Hang’ On’s jazz infused beats and live instrumentation make it unlike any other hip-hop record to date. In fact, the album was completely remixed after it was finished. Amad-Jamal and his partna Colonious Funk (of The Solution) added live base, drums and sound to all 13 tracks.

Born and raised in LA, Amad Jamal, named by his mother after the famous Jazz legend, had a pretty typical upbringing, listening to N.W.A records and free styling at The Good Life Café as a teen. He attended John Burrows Jr High with Rakaa Iriscience where they were both immersed in the graffiti scene.

This is really one of the dopest new hip-hop albums in the past few years. Do not miss it!