Aesop Rock

New York-born, San Francisco-based Aesop Rock (aka Ian Bavitz) is a critically acclaimed hip hop artist/producer, recognized for his dense and abstract word play. Between 1997-2007, he released five solo albums, three EPs, and a 45-minute piece of music designed for runners, commissioned by Nike. His lyrics have been published in the New York Times Best Seller Hip Hop Speaks to Children, by author/activist Professor Nikki Giovanni (Oct. 2008), as well as Yale University's Anthology of Rap (Nov. 2010). Aesop is also co-founder of 900bats.com, a creative resource of arts, information, and oddities.

Since the release of Aesop’s last solo album None Shall Pass (2007), Aesop toured the US extensively, as well as Australia, UK and Europe, returning to an eclectic mix of collaborations, landing him both behind the board and in front of the mic. He provided music for the short film Wallyball (Apr. 2008) for the McSweeney’s “Wholphin” short film series, scored the Ace Norton-directed short film Dewana's Bridal (Sep. 2009), produced the third installment of the Slug and Murs Felt series A Tribute to Rosie Perez (Nov. 2009), contributed both beats and vocals on Kimya Dawson's album Thunder Thighs (Oct. 2011), created music in collaboration with Jeremy Fish's “Ghosts of the Barbary Coast” art show in SF (2009), co-produced SF rock outfit Dirty Ghosts' debut album Metal Moon, (Feb. 2012), and started and recorded albums with two new groups – Hail Mary Mallon (with rapper Rob Sonic and DJ Big Wiz) and the Uncluded (with Kimya Dawson). Aesop also started his own imprint, Block Block Chop, which is now the home to his catalog.

Skelethon marks the first entirely self-produced album for Aesop Rock, with additional instrumentation and back-up vocals from the likes of Allyson Baker (Dirty Ghosts), Hanni El Khatib, Nicky Fleming-Yaryan, Rob Sonic, and the Grimace Federation, as well as scratch performances provided by long-time friend and collaborator DJ Big Wiz.

Starting off by touching on the death of a close friend in 2008, subject matter wades through subsequent losses, jostled memories, relationships gone awry, and the occasionally amusing, if futile, attempts we make to cope with these things. There is light humor in the darkest corners, juxtaposed with pitch black in the jokes. With Kimya Dawson as its sole vocal collaborator, Skelethon is packed with Aesop's unique handle on interweaving imagery and urgency together in what will surely prove to be the centerpiece of his catalog thus far.

Rob Sonic

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.

Edison / Dark Time Sunshine

Edison:
Alexander Savoth | Michael James Murray | Gusten Rudolph | We are a band based in Philadelphia.

Dark Time Sunshine:
Dark Time Sunshine is comprised of Onry Ozzborn of Grayskul (Rhymesayers) and producer Zavala.

$19.50 ADV / $22 DOS

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