AESOP ROCK w/ ROB SONIC and DJ BIG WIZ
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.
Residing in the boogie down Bronx, 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, UltraMagnetic 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, whose 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 started DJing in late ‘83. Since that time, he’s worked as a DJ in various capacities including community and college radio shows as well as at one of the biggest commercial radio stations in the US. Big Wiz was also down with two of the original 3 groups on the Rap-A-Lot Records (home of the Ghetto Boys) in the mid to late 80's. WIZ has spun at clubs around the world and has DJ'd for various musical acts.
Moving from Houston to New York in 1996, WIZ quickly made his name known in the battles scene during the golden age of DJ battles with his crew the SteelWorkerz and he has appeared in several DJ/Turntabelist videos. As the in-house DJ for the independent hip hop label Def Jux, he’s mixed for EL-P, Cage, Mr. Lif and everyone else on the label. He is currently DJing for Aesop Rock and just finished touring this past year in the US and abroad. Making appearances on MTV, Fuel TV and rocking festivals such as Coachella, Sound Set, Treasure Island Music Festival and more, WIZ has earned his moniker, proving to be a true wizard on the tables.
Edison is a budding Bay Area producer who’s worked with Aesop Rock, Sole and 2Mex (amongst others). Born in Burnt Hills, NY, Edison found heart, mouth, mind and fingers forever full of music. After decades of listening, capturing and growing, he finds himself daily spinning in san francisco. Killing conceptions and sessions, he has vowed to never stop. The crew...papervehicle. The extended family....the cleaver leauge. Stopping time, one fell swoop a day, and no remorse. Engineer, sound design, composer, emcee, artist.
Dark Time Sunshine is comprised of Onry Ozzborn of Grayskul (Rhymesayers) and producer Zavala. Onry and Zavala first met and collaborated while working on mutual friend and rap artist Sleep's Hesitation Wounds in 2009 (Strange Famous). After this session the two continued their collaborative efforts and began amassing a collection of songs, melding Onry's debonair persona and wordplay with Zavala's strikingly innovative production to create Dark Time Sunshine's signature sound.