Oct 04

A3C Hip Hop Festival

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Folks have been crazy running around ATL this week at the A3C Festival.   There are a ton of performances and panels covering everything from building a buzz to how to be a better performer.  9th Wonder  and DJ Premier are  doing a panels tomorrow.  Talib Kweli is performing tonight.  J-Live is performing several times.  Aesop (w/ Rob Sonic & Big Wiz) and Madlib are playing on the Redbull Sound Select stage tomorrow night. Check out the schedule here.

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Mar 27

We were sworn to secrecy, but since RSE just announced it, here it is:

Iconic New York-born, San Francisco-based rapper and producer, Aesop Rock, is joining forces with Rhymesayers to release his sixth studio album, Skelethon, on July 10th 2012. Since the release of None Shall Pass in 2007, we’ve seen Aesop Rock touring the world, launching online arts outlet,, and collaborating on LPs with Felt, Hail Mary Mallon, the Uncluded and more. Skelethon not only sees the rapper back waxing poetically on his own but also marks his first wholly self-produced effort. While the sounds are familiar, we see Aesop venturing in some exciting new directions with guest appearances from indie rock archetype, Kimya Dawson, as well as Allyson Baker of Dirty Ghosts, Hanni El Khatib, Nicky Fleming-Yaryan, Rob Sonic, DJ Big Wiz and the Grimace Federation. Aesop’s new album follows in the wake of several deep personal losses and highlights subject matter that deals with the sometimes-futile ways people try to cope with serious issues. The cover art comes from Barcelona-based painter Aryz. Skelethon is set to be both a showpiece for his illustrious career and a serious payoff for his droves of ever-patient loyal fans.

1. Leisureforce
2. ZZZ Top
3. Cycles To Gehenna
4. Zero Dark Thirty
5. Fryerstarter
6. Ruby ’81
7. Crows 1
8. Crows 2
9. Racing Stripes
10. 1,000 O’Clock
11. Homemade Mummy
12. Grace
13. Saturn Missiles
14. Tetra
15. Gopher Guts

Follow Aesop Rock on Twitter @AesopRockWins

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Nov 03

Hail Mary Mallon

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DJ Big Wiz, Rob Sonic & Aesop stopped by on their way to their show at Sacamento State tonight.  Tickets still available here.   We are all waving hello to @MattRevelli

Aesop also dropped off some Appleseed cds which should be posted shortly.  He promised to come back and sign some when he has a moment…

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Aug 25

Aesop Rock x Kimya Dawson

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We’ve been uber negligent about posting news, but we’re trying to catch up.  Still a few more dates left on the Aesop x Kimya Dawson tour.  Q Roadhouse just tweeted that the show tomorrow is almost sold out…tickets at Q or

August 26
Wilson, WY – Q Roadhouse w/ Kimya Dawson, Rob Sonic, and DJ Big Wiz,
August 27
Bozeman, MT – The Emerson Theatre w/ Kimya Dawson, Rob Sonic, and DJ Big Wiz,
August 28
Spokane, WA – The Knitting Factory w/ Kimya Dawson, Rob Sonic, and DJ Big Wiz,

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May 06

After some one-way phone tag

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with Aesop Rock, I botched up the chance to get the repress of Appleseed on the site for the weekend (sorry, he tried,  I didn’t pick up the phone).  I am offering a goofy picture of Kimya & Rob instead.

Check them all at the Greek Theater in Berkeley with Atmosphere on the Family Tour tomorrow night. Tickets still available!

Also, finally got the new shirts on the site: Hail Mary Mallon, Aesop Rock Crow (silver), Aesop Rock Crow (white).  All designed by Coro!    We only have a limited quantity of the shirts, as they are taking most of them on the road with them.  The east coast leg of the tour starts Tuesday…

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Apr 27

HMM Office Visit!

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People comment all the time how we never update the blog with office visit pictures anymore…folks still stop by, but they’re all pretty much tired of posing for our bad pictures.  Rob Sonic, DJ Big Wiz, and Aesop Rock (the group now known as  Hail Mary Mallon) humored us.  They even posed with a copy of Sonic Sum’s second single, “Callarama Galla”  (featuring a Dan Lang cover).  They’re about  to do a bunch of tour dates (and release a new album on RSE).  More Aesop news on his new site including new shirt designs & tour dates…

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Apr 20

What’s up with Aesop Rock

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new site!

new tour dates!

new side project!

Hail Mary Mallon with Rob Sonic & DJ Big Wiz (art by Coro)

You can hear a preview song, “Smock”  on the Rolling Stone site.  Album coming out via RSE on 6/7.

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Jan 21

900 Bats: Rob Sonic, Aesop, Cage

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Sorry, we’ve been somewhat snoozy about keeping up to date with Aesop et al happenings, here are some recent vids from the the 900bats blog they’ve been doing:

Rob Sonic Answers Important Questions:

Aesop Doing “None Shall Pass” at ZeroFriends (someone recently asked me if he was still rapping…uh, yes)

Cage doing “Blood Boy” at ZeroFriends

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Jul 15

No news means…

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We’re just hella busy.  Like shipping out stuff to people on tour.  Reminder: Aesop this weekend in Wisconsin!

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Apr 16

Rob Sonic Interview

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Sonic Sum

OK. Please introduce yourself.

My Name is Rob Smith. I am from the group Sonic Sum. I am also called Rob Sonic.

Can you give us a little background info on Sonic Sum: Who it consists of, when you formed under the banner and mission objective if any?

Sonic Sum is: My self vocals/production, Eric M.O. production/Bass, Fred Ones Turntables/production and Dj Jun, Turntables/production. We have been formally working together as Sonic Sum for about 6 years. But we worked on stuff before that, just not as a group. We are all on highly classified missions, so if you have a problem and no one else can help and you can find us.

Where did you grow up and where do you currently reside?

I grew up in the DC area, and have been coming to NY since I was child. I’ve lived for over a decade. I’m in the Bronx now but I’ve lived in every borough.

The thing that strikes me the most about Sonic Sum is the feel of live instrumentation within the music. Do you use live instruments on your records? Are they used on the majority of your records? Are you at all musically inclined (trained) or are you going based off feel?

Yeah. We enlist every thing we can from church organs to guitars with not enough strings. Necessity you know? Eric is really the only one with any training. The rest of us come from a more traditional hip-hop production background, but there’s really nothing traditional about the way we do it. Whatever works is our motto, we try to keep our songs as different from each other as possible!

Your lyrics hearkens a sense of compression & encoding; as if you’ve packed so much information into a very small amount of space. How do you feel about meaning in songs, levels of encryption?

I don’t really follow the compression thing because writing is how I decompress, but I’ll take a shot. It all makes sense to me when its written, but I am aware of my selfishness as a writer. I feel like I give it back the way I get it. Like you’re not going to pull ten things of true worth out of a days worth of information from the various sources we have. And if you do it’s instantly erased by some shitty add for a product. Well it’s like I comprehend in short hand, so that’s going to come out in my writing. I try to deliver message 1 and message 2 as rapidly as possible. So that people can see the similarity in opposites and that the sense that isn’t made is not our fault cause we are overwhelmed.

Do I remember correctly you hanging around the old Ozone message boards a few years ago?

Ummm. Yeah I guess, but how does one hang around images on a screen?

Does technology, and more directly the internet fit into your own strategical plan for Sonic Sum. In what degree?

Sure, the internet is cool. I’ve met lots of cool people on the web, its a good economical way to promote and surf the web, its mad webbed out. I just hope artists don’t have to rely on it, I know I wouldn’t, I’ll stop releasing music if there isn’t the human contact that music naturally evokes, It’s like anything else good and bad.

Please describe your relationship with Ozone.

If not for Ozone I prolly wouldn’t have put anything out, really Meech believed in me when I did not. Showed me the ropes of this the realities and most of all they had the vision. So they are friends, as well as Management, and they put out our music.

Have you known Mike Ladd for a minute? How did ya’ll meet up?

I have known Mike for years, We met through friends. I was kinda going through a bad time when I met him. I think the actual meeting was me being passed out drunk on his floor. And he just came in like it was nothing. Just came in went about his Biz, like “What up man”?

Just recently, you’ve linked up with Definitive Jux. Can you go into that partnership: its history, present & any possible future plans?

I’m doing some stuff outside of the group. And if it’s Ill, then Definitive Jux it is. I mean I’m a fan of the label so it’s got to be a great record for me to approach them with it. The way it happened is that I’ve known El for a while through Ozone, We always talked music and shit clicked on some things. I think he liked some of the more recent stuff I’ve been doing and it sparked some interest. We’re friends anyways so.


Do you get a bugged reaction performing in NYC? How does the crowd react to your live shows, and is it any different from a few years ago?

For the most part people are receptive and we try to put on the best show we can. I think the thing with crowds anywhere now that is different from when I was younger is, it seems to me everybody wants to hear from someone else what they should like. So you develop these championing super fans and if you’re not who they want to see they don’t give you a chance. Which I think is bullshit. For the most part we get a great response.

Rob Smith: Top left, DJ Jun Bottom Left, Eric M.O. Right Front, Fred Ones Right Back

What’s the stage setup, live bass?

Its me on vocals and Eric on bass up front, And Fred and Jun on three turntables spinning our instrumentals and cuttin and Jun playing keyboards in back…So there’s more to look at than just me runnin my yap.

Are you hip to overseas reaction? Any feedback been thrown your way?

Of course I got friends all over the UK and Eric is from Dublin so, we are actually received very well on the other side of the drink. The thing about Europe is that they really enjoy going to venues and they dig into music quite deeply. So they are knowledgeable about acts that may not be that well known here. It’s fresh, always a good reaction, don’t really know about anywhere else.

What kinda science fiction you dig on?

All kinds. Mostly the standards: Bradbury, Vonnegut, P.K. Dick, Aldous Huxsley…

Favorite author?

It’s between Kafa and Mikhail Bulgakov…Too many to pick though. Reading is the one thing I wish I could do more.

Any non Def Jukies you’d like to get up with and collaborate on?

I don’t know, I’d like to work Shadow, Roots Manuva, Mike Diamond. The rest is people I know El-P, Anti Pop!

Have you ever visited the Peach site?

Yes a few times, It’s fresh.

So go ‘head and tell us what’s coming up for Sonic Sum: Future releases, all

In late April we are releasing a limited edition CD called “Plaster Man” which will have songs that we only released on vinyl and a few exclusive tracks. Then in September we are dropping our second album called “Films” and I really like it. It’s more aggressive but not outside of our sound so, yeah that’s the big one.

And finally, any closing words?

The lobby with it imposing mouth and morning breath, it’s disregard chewed us both. We were stories that were told to its friends that were giant and Laughing. Train’s pitched us like pennies from their drunken hands, they watch us lean. – Grand Central Station 1993.

Special thanks goes out to Rob Sonic, Ese @ Ozone, KennyK & Reggie for their help with this interview.

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