This week’s Key Studio Session brought local MC Curly Castro into the studio. The exceptionally expansive session of six tracks and six banter breaks bridges the duality of modern day hip hop: Castro has the rare ability to be both hype man and activist, alternating between the two. He was joined by fellow Philly producer Zilla Rocca, who Castro worked with on last year’s Wu Tang Pulp tribute project. Stream and download “West Indian Rum” below and check out the full session here.
Following his debut single “Away,” new Philly rapper JustXSudan has shared another new track called “A Couple Wishes.” Where “Away” served to introduce himself to his new audience, “A Couple Wishes” takes JustXSudan’s listeners into the reality of his everyday environment. Stream and download the song below and keep an ear out for Sudan’s debut record.
On the one hand, I think of Philadelphia rockers Univox as a bunch of funny, irreverent dudes. I remember recording their Key Session and watching drummer Kent Boersma run laps around the studio, apropos of nothing. They put out an iPhone video game (that I still have yet to beat). They recorded campy Halloween songs. But there’s also an undeniably sensitive, introspective, yearning side to them – you’ll hear it in the lyrics to “Tonight.” And you’ll also hear it in the solo tracks from singer and songwriter Josh Jones. Released this June, “All I Think About” and “The Body Grows Back” come from the perspective of a heartbroken character, knowing that the end is imminent but still struggling to express love. The warm synthesizer beds and slow dance pulse make these tracks – lo-fi as they might be – come across almost like R&B pop ballads asking forgiveness for wrongs he’s done. Maybe Jones is the Drake of the Philly punk scene, I don’t know. In any case, he makes his last Philly appearance of 2013 tonight at J.R.’s Bar in South Philly; get information on the show here, and grab free downloads of these two tracks below.
Brooklyn four-piece Companion visited Philadelphia last Thursday to play Kung Fu Necktie upstairs. Fronted by singer and songwriter Pepi Ginsberg – who had a short stay in Philadelphia in the mid-aughties – the band released its self-titled debut LP last fall. Joining them on the bill was surreal Oklahoma outfit Evangelicals. Josh Jones of Philly’s Univox also performed an opening set. Check out photos from the show in the gallery below.