August 28th, 2020

Out now: Touch & DJ Matto’s Electric Sheep!

I’ve been hearing early mixes of the first songs from this project from more than two years back, so I’ve been anxious to finally share it with everyone. I’ve always been a fan of both Touch and DJ Matto, and together they have each outdone themselves. And I love the subject matter! Give the album a chance, especially if you’re fans of sci-fi, and specifically Blade Runner.

01 – Electric Sheep
02 – Black Label
03 – Dystopia
04 – The Chinese Room
05 – Expand
06 – Rachel Rosen (ft. Yolanda Sargeant)
07 – Voight Kampff
08 – I Kill U (ft. Timbuktu & Chokeules)
09 – Soldier
10 – The Last Engineer
11 – Live in Fear
12 – Tears

Lyrics written and performed by Touch, except: 
Hooks on “Rachel Rosen” by Yolanda Sargeant 
Additional vocals on “I Kill You” by Timbuktu and Chokeules 
Production and cuts by DJ Matto

Mixed and mastered by DJ Matto 
Artwork by Damn Selene 
Original art design concept by Touch 

With his new album, Electric Sheep, Touch explores artificial intelligence, cyberpunk, futurism, and humanity as a social animal. Continuing his collaborations with a single producer, the Edmonton MC is joined by DJ Matto, previously of Vancouver, BC, horrorcore rap duo Hidden Fortress and currently holding down multiple MCs as DJ and producer in Fukuoka, Japan. DJ Matto’s crisp mix of heavy drums, deep bass, and haunting synth sound as if the music is emanating from an off-world colony and beamed directly into your mind, while the choruses consist primarily of his consummate cuts, a constant reminder that the album is also an exploration of hip hop. 

After a nostalgic re-watching of Blade Runner followed by a journey down the YouTube rabbit hole that ended with a lecture by John Searle on his famous Chinese Room experiment, Touch realized Searle’s experiment was almost identical to the Voight Kampff test used by the authorities in Blade Runner to identify a replicant from a human. Cue the epiphany: Ridley Scott’s movie isn’t about the protagonist, blade runner Rick Deckard, but is rather the story of the antagonist, replicant Roy Batty, and his impossible-to-contemplate self-awareness. Touch delves into the source material—Philip K. Dick’s sci-fi classic Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, the Blade Runner series, and the other movies peripheral to that universe, such as SoldierTotal Recall, and the Alien movies—to tell this story from the perspective of many different characters. “Soldier”, the rapid-fire first single, is the story of genetically-modified humans bred for war; the title track paints an uncomfortable picture of life on the run as a robotic slave, told by Roy Batty; “Rachel Rosen” explores the Rick Deckard of the novel in a twisted tale of love and robots featuring Yolanda Sargeant (of Sargeant X Comrade) as the titular love interest; and the aggressive posse cut “I Kill You” has Swamp Thing’s Timbuktu and Chokeules joining Touch to run through a number of classic death scenes from these movies. 

It begins with beats, bars and cuts, but Touch’s detailed character studies and his nuanced story further enable the listener to explore as far as their imagination will take them… into the dystopian universe of Electric Sheep!

August 21st, 2020

Chokeules – “Gold Metal Jacket” video

Chokeules returned from recording the new Swamp Thing album at a cabin in the woods and surprised everyone (including me!) with visuals for “Gold Metal Jacket”, the first single from new album Nepotism, a collaboration with his real-life cousin LRYBRDBTZ. The video is shot and directed by Dan Jardine for Boom Shoal Enterprises.

August 21st, 2020

Touch & DJ Matto – “Soldier” video & DJ Pack

“Soldier” is the first single from Electric Sheep, the forthcoming new album from Touch & DJ Matto dropping August 28 on Hand’Solo Records. Based on the 1998 movie of the same name and unofficial spin-off “sidequel” occurring on the edges of the Blade Runner universe, “Soldier” tells the story of genetically selected humans bred for war, the predecessors to the genetically modified humans and, ultimately, the synthetics soon to replace them. The accompanying visuals are filmed, edited and directed by Touch.

Written and performed by Touch
Production and cuts by DJ Matto

Mixed and mastered by DJ Matto
Artwork by Touch

July 30th, 2020

Nepotism vinyl has arrived!

The Nepotism vinyl was delivered today, and all pre-orders will be sent shortly… Thank you to everyone for your patience!

Stream the album in the player below, or click through to purchase the album on vinyl, CD, or digital…

July 30th, 2020

New song from Mickey O’Brien

Mickey O’Brien dropped a new song this past weekend, a little earlier than planned. It’s a rare track not produced by his usual collaborator, Fresh Kils.

Check the song with psychedelic visuals…

July 28th, 2020

Rap Reviews reviews Nepotism

“This album isn’t meant for the masses, nor to move asses, but it’s meant for those who want artistic rap that doesn’t compromise on the beats or rhymes.” – Rap Reviews

Awesome to receive another review for Choke’s Nepotism. Rap Reviews is always tough but fair, so I always anxiously await their reviews. Another 8/10 review for Nepotism! Read the review below, or click through to their website to read the review with all corresponding sample songs…

July 27th, 2020

Hip Hop Golden Age reviews Nepotism

“Nepotism is a project that will satisfy the tastebuds of any real Hip Hop connoisseur.” – Hip Hop Golden Age

A new review for Choke’s Nepotism album included by Hip Hop Golden Age in their epically titled list of “9 Recently Released Hip Hop Albums You Shouldn’t Sleep On (June/July)”.

Read the review here or here or below:

July 27th, 2020

The Renegades cassettes have arrived!

They just arrived in the mail… The Renegades from Primal Winds, on limited edition cassette.

July 25th, 2020

New Chokeules interviews on Word Is Bond Rap Radio and Music From Planet Earth

Two new interviews with Chokelues dropped recently. Check them out….

On Word Is Bond Rap Radio, Chokeules talks his history in hip hop from his early days as a graffiti artist in London, ON, and as a member of Toolshed through to his new album, Nepotism, with producer cousin LRYBRDBTZ. The show opens with a half hour mix of Choke tunes, followed by a half hour interview, and the second hour is a dope selection of hip hop.

Listen here.

Big thanks to Brady on Music From Planet Earth for the interview with Chokeules. After a 20-minute mix of Choke tunes, the next 40 minutes flips between interview and music. Hear Choke discuss and compare the writing and recording process for his group work with Swamp Thing and his solo material, the evolution of his odd rap monicker, and how Nepotism happened…

Listen here.

July 25th, 2020

Scratched Vinyl reviews Nepotism

“[Nepotism]’s a hip hop album for those that really love the art form.” – Scratched Vinyl

Another excellent review for Choke’s new album, this one rated 8/10 by Scratched Vinyl. Read here or below: