The Cigs: Defunct Tempe Rockers Peddle Mystery and Feces References

Categories: Album Stream

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A band with genuine mystery is hard to come by in the Internet age, but Tempe scrap-pop outfit The Cigs had it: Not much is known about the short-lived project, but last week, the band posthumously released its second full-length, Marble Red, on Bandcamp.

The band started in January 2012 and abruptly broke up that summer, slinging their confessional and crude blend of jangle-pop and synth stutter at only a handful of shows. Thankfully, The Cigs were quick to record their output and Marble Red is a welcome second ode to comically bad relationships, '80s vocal grandiosity, and select elements of the slacker rock palette.

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-13 Bands You Need to Hear in 2013
-The Top 10 Phoenix Albums of 2012
-12 Favorite Local EDM Mixes of 2012
-Top 10 Reissues and Compilations of 2012

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The Cigs

Black One Gets a Little Help from His Friends on Latest Record, The Rise

Categories: Album Stream, Q&A

Phoenix-by-way-of-Tucson rapper Jaron Ikner is really over the whole, "me first mentality" in hip-hop culture. Long gone are the days of quality congregations of rappers like that of 90's supercrew Wu-Tang Clan, but it's something the Black One wants to change.

Starting first with his latest record, The Rise, which features a wide range of local MC's and continuing with a new assembly of Arizona rappers he calls the Starstruck Collective.

We caught up with Ikner to talk about his latest release and the promising state of Southwest hip-hop.

See also: Black One Explains "City Lights," Set To Share Stage with Writer's Guild in March

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New Phoenix Mixtape Pairs T.I., Lil Wayne, and E40 with Phoenix Rappers

Categories: Album Stream

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Rapper T.I. must have seen something he liked when he stopped by Phoenix this past weekend. His Atlanta-based record label Grand Hustle is showing Arizona some love with a new mixtape, The Phoenix Edition Mixtape.

The 17-track release showcases some of the Valley's up and coming hip-hop acts including Yung Kooky, Hannibal Leq, and New Orleans-native Jae E, as well as Lil Wayne, E40 and T.I.

Rapper Jae E's track "Go Get It" is just one of the record's highlights. We talk to him about what defines Arizona hip-hop.

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DJ Dn3 and Rappers Random, Mouse Powell, and Mr. Miranda Celebrate Election Day

Categories: Album Stream, Q&A

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Well folks, this is it. Election day is here and that means one thing: regardless of how you vote today, campaign season is over.

Uncoincidentally, local hip-hoppers Random a.k.a Mega Ran, Mouse Powell, Mr. Miranda and DJ DN3, wrapped up their campaign tour a few weeks ago and as a tribute to the voting spirit, have some new music out today.

Appropriately titled The Campaign EP, the entire production on this latest group effort was quite literally conducted while the quartet was on the road in October. "[DJ Dn3] had like a full power strip running out of the cigarette lighter in the car and a mobile hotspot, so it was like the back seat was his office," emcee Mouse Powell says.

"Rap cats Mr. Miranda, Mouse Powell, Mega Ran, and myself recently embarked on a tour to campaign for your ears," DN3 says on his bandcamp site where you can stream the new release. "On this campaign, I took the opportunity to create some music and ideas that would be formulated to this short EP while I was on the road."

We caught up with Powell for the skinny from the road, as well as his political perspective.

See also: Random, Mr. Miranda, and Mouse Powell: Phoenix Hip-Hop Trio Announce West Coast Tour

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Local Wizards' The Signal Blends Every Internet-Spawned Genre You Can Think Of (And It Rules)

Categories: Album Stream

The weird-bearded wait is over: the new album by Tempe based-gaze project Local Wizards has arrived in sweet digital stream and neat-looking CD digi-pak format.

Performed, recorded, and released entirely by 19-year-old Kendall Humbert, The Signal is a collection of amorphous dream-pop, understated space ballads, and cathartic synth rippers.

See also: Local Wizards: Songwriter Makes "Based Garagebandcore;" We Interview Via Twitter
See also: Local Wizards Enlists Santa Claus to Promote New Album

Humbert also put together a video for new bit-crushed rocker "Thomas Kinkade," one he says aimed for the feel of simple yet transfixing one-take videos like LCD Soundsystem's "Losing My Edge" or Tyler, the Creator's "Yonkers."

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Phoenix Rapper FACES Is Aggressive and Confident

Categories: Album Stream, Q&A

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Maybe west side rapper FACES chose his moniker because that's the place he's most comfortable: in the faces of listeners.

Along with his partner in grime, producer/percussionist YAWNING BOY, recently dropped a new record that continues to showcase an abrasive style and staccato deliver. With an aggressive flow and slow, head-banging beats, he's on pace to get in the faces of hip-hop heads everywhere with his latest release and music video.

See also: Rapper Faces Explains "BMO," Set to Play Newly Minted Wall Street Venue

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Download: Space Alien Donald's "Robot Rap" from New L.A./Phoenix Comp

Categories: Album Stream, Mp3

Daniel Funkhouser
Space Alien Donald
See also: Space-Alien Donald (aka "The World's Oldest Gay Canadian Rapper") Opens New Venue Called Funny World
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Ladies and gentlemen, meet Phoenix's ambassador to Los Angeles on Kingdom Mammalia's new L.A./Phoenix compilation Bringing it Together Like Pangaea: 76-year-old spoken word artist Space Alien Donald, "The World's Oldest Gay Canadian Rapper."

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DJ John Blaze and Team for New Mixtape

Categories: Album Stream

See also: The Writer's Guild Release Song in Response to Dark Knight Rises Shooting in Colorado

Local music website has been an advocate of the Valley's hip-hop scene since its inception in 2009.

Sticking to its promise to "help continue the growth of the Phoenix area's hip-hop scene by providing a medium for artists and fans to interact and share music," the website has teamed up with Arizona turntablist DJ John Blaze for a new mixtape series.

Heat Warning Vol. 1 dropped last week and features a compilation of 22 tracks of Arizona's hip-hop talent.

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Span Phly Name-Checks Kissinger Samples The Doors on Spy vs. Spy Vol. IV

Categories: Album Stream, Q&A

See also: Span Phly Drops Third Free Album in Spy vs Spy Series
See also: Phal Kilmer Talks Spy vs. Spy Collab, Set to Challenge in The Voicebox Battles

Phoenix rapper Jose Alberdi, better known as Span Phly, continues his lyrical assault with the fourth release in his collaboration series, Spy vs. Spy.

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Tempe Band Vial of Sound Is Obsessed With Analog

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Jayk Grittman
Kym Gooday, Josh Gooday and David Owens of Vial Of Sound.
Tempe's Josh Gooday is obsessed: The 29-year-old collects and restores vintage analog synthesizers.

"I started going to law school and spending all of my loan money on buying synthesizers, and it just started to get out of control," Gooday says.

The habit eventually gave Gooday and his friends an unlikely creative outlet. Along with high school friends David Owens and Michael Freeland, the trio formed Vial of Sound, a new electronic group serving up retro rhythms, bleeping beats, and digital harmonies using synths manufactured between 1973 and 1984.

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