See Wolfram’s Bizarre New Video for ‘Talking To You’

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Photo by Lukas Gansterer

Wolfram is the brainchild of Austrian composer Wolfram Amadeus, who, when he isn’t creating “sound-scape” installation art or wacky music videos, also records some offbeat club music for DFA Records. The 32 year-old, Austrian-born musician has just released a homemade music video for his recent single “Talking To You” (featuring Andrew Butler). The video is, presumably, a screengrab of Amadeus’ home desktop for the duration of the song. During the song, he performs a kind of live ‘VJ’ (as opposed to DJ) session, on his desktop, playing a bunch of seemingly random lo-fi videos that he says were mostly recorded on his phone over the past few years.

“It’s all friends or weird people dancing at my DJ gigs or somewhere,” Amadeus told us. “Honestly, I’m just a lazy and cheap guy who tried to make a video that costs less than an espresso and takes about the same time to finish.” He said he’s been interested in parodying the “YouTube fan video” aesthetic since the beginning of his musical career, as is evidenced by his previous work.

His video-making inspirations include “Fireworks” ft. Hercules & Love Affair, YouTube’s Microwave Dinner Guy, Guy Fieri’s “sunglasses behind his head look in Flavortown” and Karl Lagerfeld’s cat Choupette. Bizarre.

Serious or not, enjoy Wolfram’s new music video for his single off DFA Records, “Talking to You”.

Featuring: Wolfram & friends including fashion designer Bernhard Willhelm, Artist Christian Rosa, Roshi Porkar, Jacques Renault, Patrick Pulsinger etc…
Video clicked and directed by Wolfram

 

Before You See ‘Inherent Vice’, a Joaquin Phoenix Retrospective

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Joaquin Phoenix, an actor known for his explosiveness as well as subtlety on screen, is just as infamous for his reticence towards interviewers. And his collaborators are just as sheepish when it comes to talking about him. Amy Adams, who has worked with Joaquin Phoenix on multiple movies:

“He’s a very private and tender person, very sweet. It’s hard to talk about someone who operates that way.”

And Josh Brolin, more recently:

“More than any woman I’ve ever worked with, I absolutely fell in love with Joaquin Phoenix. Joaquin is the most wonderful human being and actor.”

master-1 This protective reflex is most likely a result of how vulnerable Joaquin makes himself in front of the camera. Still, you would think a man with such extraordinary control over his soaring emotional range would be a bit more expressive. It could be that Phoenix’s bull-shit radar is so high that he can sense the awkward extortion of a journalist’s conventional interviewing format. Or he might just rather be making movies.  Either way, anyone who’s seen his work can understand his chameleon- like ability to disappear into a role as a force to be reckoned with. From a disturbed, lovestruck teenager in To Die For (1995) and a merciless Roman emperor in Gladiator (2000), to a melancholy, professional love-letter writer in Her (2013) and an impulsive drifter in The Master (2012), Phoenix is known for playing troubled, desperate men who seem, at any given time, to be on the verge of an emotional meltdown. While some may chalk this up to an inner darkness of the man himself, it more likely stems from Phoenix’s keen understanding of people and his observant eye. Using the words of the late Dennis Hopper, he suffers from “an acute perception”. How appropriate, then, that Phoenix’s next role should be a private detective in Paul Thomas Anderson’s upcoming adaptation of Thomas Pynchon’s 2009 novel, Inherent Vice. Set in 1970s LA, the story follows Doc Sportello as a groovy, perma-stoned, “gum-sandal” detective on the trail of an ex-girlfriend who’s mysteriously gone missing. Joaquin plays the barefoot, dread-locked private eye, who chain-smokes joints and assumes persona after persona as he goes deep undercover in a conspiracy theory-filled wild goose chase in classic Pynchon form. Throw in Paul Thomas Anderson returning with longtime DP Robert Elswit and a diversely skilled supporting cast and mix it all around and you’ve got yourself quite the trip, man. JP

Recently Phoenix has experienced a kind of renaissance. From his public, self-imposed character exile in the hilarious and haunting I’m Still Here (2010), to his spellbinding work in PTA’s last flick, The Master, Spike Jonze’s Her, and his fourth collaboration with the incredible James Gray with The Immigrant, Phoenix has been playing roles so naturally that they seem to be more documentary than fiction. “You play yourself in every movie,” Joaquin once said, echoing Jack Nicholson’s sentiment back in the day:

“Everything I do in the movies is autobiographical, no matter what the surface says.”

Hopefully Phoenix continues to defy the easy labels people may try and stick on him in Inherent Vice, which premieres this Saturday night at the New York Film Festival. To prepare for his latest role, I’ve compiled a Joaquin Phoenix Retrospective of sorts below. So, in honor of Doc, sit back, light up, and dig these clips from the life and work of the soulful creature that is Joaquin Phoenix.

TO DIE FOR (1995) http://youtu.be/uJYAvNk2EqM


GLADIATOR (2000)


THE YARDS (2000)


WALK THE LINE (2005)

http://youtu.be/W9V-JDeNQcY http://youtu.be/XC_8kKo8nZs


WE OWN THE NIGHT (2007)

http://youtu.be/EICvzhDt0wc http://youtu.be/cWdNm2kdp5Q


TWO LOVERS (2008)


I’M STILL HERE (2010)


THE MASTER (2012)


HER (2013)


INHERENT VICE (2014)


Inherent Vice is out in theaters across the country on December 12, 2014 and plays the New York Film Festival this Saturday.

Steven Soderbergh’s Version of ‘Raiders of the Lost Ark’

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A crazy idea that works today is tomorrow’s normal.

It’s something friends and I have been doing for a while: We listen to our favorite music while watching muted (usually completely arbitrary and obscure) YouTube videos. If the tone of the two are synced up just right, magic happens. Giddiness ensues as we watch the repetitive build of the music match perfectly with the visual cuts of the video. Easy enough.

But if you’re Academy Award-winning filmmaker Steven Soderbergh, you’re probably going to take this creative impulse a bit farther. Soderbergh recently posted on his website a version of Steven Spielberg’s Raiders Of The Lost Ark that he stripped of its color and all of its original sound. Soderbergh added some badass electronic music (Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross’ synth scores for David Fincher movies) designed to, as he explains in his artist statement, “aid you in your quest to just study the visual staging aspect”, or rather to study “how the various elements of a given scene are aligned, arranged, and coordinated”.

Woah, big words. Basically, just sit in and appreciate the beauty of the cinematography and editing of a filmmaker (Spielberg) at the top of his game. Soderbergh’s simple editing experiment lays bare the process of framing and editing a film, and reveals the manipulative necessity of filmmaking when it’s done right. The musicality of Spielberg’s editing process, the repetition of visuals used as refrains to sweep viewers up into the conflict and energy of the story, the queuing along of plot-points as if they were musical verses, all while sustaining viewers’ ever-crucial suspension of disbelief.

Active in film and TV since the late 80s, screenwriter and director Steven Soderbergh (who recently claims to have retired from making movies) often acts as his own director of photography (under the alias of Peter Andrews) and occasionally as his own editor (under the alias of Mary Ann Bernard, his mother’s maiden name). It would make sense then that such a technical chameleon would be so fascinated by the dissection of the shooting and editing processes. If you’re anything like me and my YouTube video jockeying buds, you’ll appreciate it too. You can watch Soderbergh’s Raiders on his website, along with some of his other work. He even sells some swanky booze on there too.

 

Netflix to Release Its First Major Motion Picture in 2015

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After the overwhelming success of The Weinstein Company’s early Video on Demand release of Snowpiercer a mere two weeks after its theatrical debut this summer, Harvey Weinstein once again is going all in with a simultaneous VOD/IMAX release of the Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon sequel in August 2015.

Weinstein is teaming up with Netflix to release Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: The Green Legend, a follow-up to Ang Lee’s Academy Award-winning martial arts drama released in 2000, as a Netflix Original, making it the first film to be acquired by the streaming service (Netflix has previously acquired television shows like House of Cards and Arrested Development). While this distribution model is nothing new to the industry (Steven Soderbergh and Magnolia were among the first to do a simultaneous VOD/limited theatrical release of Bubble in 2005), The Green Legend will be the first major motion picture to make its debut streaming and in theaters at the same time. It will be available on August 28 at no additional charge to Netflix subscribers. It will be the first of several films that Netflix is backing that will follow this new model for release.

Crouching_Tiger_Hidden_Dragon_The_Green_Legend_67445

Whether you think the rise of VOD signals the end of cinema as we know it or you love the idea of watching movies from home, it looks like the change is inevitable. Perhaps the movement towards VOD will usher in a new wave of easily downloadable HD video free-for-all, similar to what has happened with the music industry. The only problem with that is how much more expensive it is to make movies than it is to make music. Filmmakers can’t perform their work live like musicians can in order to make money off of their new work. What is most interesting, however, is the possibility for theatrical exclusivity that this new release format is opening up. Only IMAX is involved with the release of The Green Legend, no other theater chains will screen the film. This may result in some much needed competitiveness within the theatrical distribution industry (Regal Entertainment, AMC Entertainment and Cinemark control the majority of movie screens in the U.S.). Who knows? We can only speculate at this point. All I know is that I won’t stop watching.

Australian Dream Pop: Sunbeam Sound Machine’s Trippy New Video

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Australian musicians have been climbing the ranks of American popularity over the past few years. Pumping out smooth, listenable dream pop from the likes of Flume, Chet Faker, and Tame Impala, Australia continues the trend with Sunbeam Sound Machine. Brainchild of Melbourne-based multi-instrumentalist Nick Sowersby, Sunbeam Sound Machine’s recently released the lead single “Real Life” is off his upcoming debut LP Wonderer.

After dropping an EP last year, Sowersby teamed up with Stu Mackenzie (King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard) and Andrei Eremin (Chet Faker, Oscar Key Sung, Banoffee) to produce Wonderer. A dreamy psych-pop release with heavy emphasis on catchy and repetitive lyricism, the layered quality of the record fills any space it occupies; be it headphones, bedrooms or live venues. “Real Life,” for example, rides on percussive swells of layered drums and swooning, repetitive vocals that distort reality. The kaleidoscopic new video for the LPs lead single takes the ethereal vibes to new heights as viewers are brought on a trippy tour of the Victorian forest.

Wonderer is out November 4th via Dot Dash / Remote Records.

Terry Gilliam on Dystopia, the Rise of VOD, Guerrilla Filmmaking, + ‘The Zero Theorem’

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Image via The Zero Theorem

Terry Gilliam’s new  film, The Zero Theorem, which has been in the works for several years, was finally released to theaters last Friday. The movie completes Gilliam’s dystopia trilogy, which began with the now-cult-classic Brazil in 1985 and 12 Monkeys in 1995. Needless to say, it had a lot to live up to.

While Gilliam’s original conception included stars like Billy Bob Thornton, Jessica Biel, Al Pacino, as well as a much bigger budget, the lead role of a dystopian worker Qohen ended up going to Christoph Waltz, who nonetheless provides the film with a committed performance. Lucas Hedge (Moonrise Kingdom, The Grand Budapest Hotel) joins him as a techie youth who breathes new life into the stale misanthropy of Waltz’s character.

Last week, we sat down for a conference with Terry Gilliam and the young Lucas Hedge to chat about The Zero Theorem. What followed was an impassioned take on our society’s technological dependence and communication conformism as the legendary filmmaker riffed on Facebook, Video on Demand, low-budget filmmaking, and the importance of not compromising when it comes to your vision.

Gilliam on his use of technology—Shutterstock imagery, GoPro cameras, and Google Earth—to help with the film’s lower budget:

TERRY GILLIAM: Anything cheap, quick, and efficient, that’s what we go for. I can include the iPhone as well. There are many lines of dialogue in the film that were recorded on an iPhone. The sunset scene on the beach, that’s from Shutterstock. But we mixed a lot of them together. It was basically that. All these technologies. GoPro! I’ve always been intrigued by those, and so we stuck them all over the set. But of course we cheat and lie throughout the whole thing, that’s the process of making films. So there are shots that look like GoPro shots but they’re not. We took our normal camera shots, warped them, made them black and white, and made them look like GoPro. But all that technology is very useful and it makes filmmaking easier and cheaper which is, to me, the key because the cheaper you can make a film, the more you can say exactly what you want to say the way you want to say it and not have to listen to the corporate dickheads telling you what the public really wants.

The Internet is another great resource. I find on the web I’m constantly lurking around because it’s infinite what you can find there. You just have to do the work, but its all there. The thing that always bothers me with the web is how few people actually use it for the knowledge that is there. Most of its used for gossip, ‘what am I eating’, ‘who am I sitting with’, and porn sites, basically. And [Lucas] uses them all, don’t you?

On the process of developing the script:

GILLIAM: This is very different than the other films I’ve done because Pat [Rushin] had written a script. I liked a lot of it. I found it full of interesting ideas. Pat and I never met until we were actually shooting the film.

HEDGE: He hadn’t been out of the country until he came to Romania, which was funny! And what does he teach?

GILLIAM: Creative writing.

HEDGE: And European history or something like that.

GILLIAM: In Florida. And he’s actually an extra in the scene when they’re in the park.

HEDGE: And you sort of threw him off to the side so he couldn’t ask any questions.

GILLIAM: Well that was probably the best thing! [laughs] But he wrote the short story. The script was only vaguely related to the short story. But in this instance, I didn’t do much fiddling with the script. I did more fiddling with the script in post, in the editing. Because we basically shot what he had done and then I started playing in post. Rearranging things, cutting scenes in half.

HEDGE: Christoph was very, very diligent about changing words around. Both of you were.

GILLIAM: That’s what we do. Because when you’re working with good actors, they’ve got their own ideas. Hopefully we’ve convinced ourselves that we’re making the same film. That’s how it works. Every day we change things, we see what’s going on. ‘Why not do it this way?’ ‘This way will work quicker.’ A script is not a finite thing. It’s the first stage of the whole process. Then, over the course of making the film, you know, you go to Bucharest instead of London. Everything changes. You’re constantly shifting the whole time. And that’s the fun of it because you surround yourself with good, talented people.

On his dystopian visions of the future:

GILLIAM: This isn’t a dystopia, this is a utopia! It’s a wonderful world! Everybody’s out there, they’re dressed smartly, they have a lot of color, they’re bouncing around the place. Cars are zipping back and forth. Shopping is 24 hours a day, 7 days a week! What more do you want?! The workplace is full of rollerblades, scooters, zippy clothes, lots of primary colors. It’s a fantastic place. There’s only one guy who’s the dystopic element. He’s called Qohen. And he needs a kick in the ass. And this is one of the kicks [referring to Hedge]. Everyone keeps referring to it as a dystopia! If you think the world we’re living in now is a dystopia, then you may be right. But we’ve been looking forward to this time for so many years. We’ve got all the goodies.

HEDGE: It’s a matter of what perspective you see it from. And we see it from Qohen’s perspective. And I guess his perspective is very much nihilistic and dystopic and sad.

GILLIAM: He’s the odd man out! My tendency in films is to see the less good things in society, in the world we live in. Because at least those are the things you can criticize, and possibly comment on, and possibly it might change something in some small way. Not likely, but we can pretend. We can have some potency in our ability to help change the world. [Lucas] has got to believe things like this. He’s got his whole life ahead of him. I’m old. I know the truth!

On the film industry’s distribution shift and the film’s VOD release:

GILLIAM: I didn’t choose this. It’s what the world has become. With small distributors, they don’t have the kind of money that Hollywood has to get the audience’s attention. So basically we’re relying on people who might like a Gilliam film or want to see a Christoph Waltz film to take interest. It’s a way of making the grassroots work. So if people see it on Video on Demand then hopefully the word gets out. What I love on my Facebook page – because I use Facebook to promote, not to converse – I watch people on it who say ‘I saw it on Video on Demand but I can’t wait to see it in a cinema’, or other people who say ‘I’m waiting to see it in a cinema, if only there was one within a thousand miles of my house.’ And that’s the problem, getting films that don’t ‘fit in’, it’s hard to get them into cinemas. So maybe Video on Demand is the only way some people are going to see it. The reality is, in the past, when I look at my films, they’re made for a big screen. But I know that in reality more people have seen them on DVD then they have in the cinema.

HEDGE: Even I grew up in a different generation than the ‘Video on Demand’ generation. I went to DVD stores with my dad and I went and got VHSs. So I feel somewhat dated. This is very new to me. I don’t feel comfortable watching videos on demand. I get to a theater when I get to a theater.

GILLIAM: It is very interesting because my complaint it seems is that we’re becoming more and more infantile in the fact that, ‘Oh, there’s something interesting! I’ve got to put it in my mouth!’ It is essentially that. ‘I want it now! I’m not going to work towards it. I’m not going to wait. I need it now!’ And that’s, in fact, infantile. But that’s what we’ve become. A lot of the film is a resistance to that. Escape it. For me, coming to New York, it’s like Qohen going out his front door. It’s just like, ‘WHAT!?’ In London we’re overwhelmed with stuff but it’s provincial and pissy-small compared to walking into Times Square. What is this about? Where do we fit into it? Are we just these little dots that connect around a way? Are we just becoming social insects, like worker bees? And our job is to keep cleaning and connecting. Spreading those pheromones so that they sort of go through the ether. ‘How do you feel?’ ‘What do you think?’ So nobody really has to have their individual opinion. People are constantly communicating. ‘Should I say that?’ ‘Is that right?’ ‘Have I gone too far?’ ‘Have I offended?’ ‘Am I rude?’ All these words keep coming up. Fuck this! People have got to start being individual and offensive! I’m obsessed about offending people, because then you might start talking about things, instead of ducking and diving.

On the evolving nature of the project and reconceptualizing with a new cast:

GILLIAM: The big difference was the fact that three years earlier we had a budget of 20 million, and then we made the thing for 8.5 million. So immediately we’re not shooting in London. We’re in Bucharest. We’re in a very different world. The film changed enormously. It was nice being in Bucharest because it’s such an odd, interesting city. And that immediately infects what we’re doing. And the lack of money meant that you couldn’t have normal, proper costumes, you had to fake it. We had to make things out of plastic tablecloth and shower curtains. We found this wonderful Chinese market outside of Bucharest where you bought fabric by weight, not by length. We had to be incredibly clever. And I like that situation because we were a small group, it was mainly Romanians. I think I brought five people from England or France, people I worked with before. And that was it. It wasn’t the big American operation pouring in and using the locals as slaves. They were our equals. So you cut through the bureaucracy of complex filmmaking. Because it is a complex film. We have to build a world. We have to build everything in there. Everything is invented, created in one form or another. And on a larger budget, communications aren’t as direct. Things end up costing more because people will do three versions of something just in case the director changes his mind. We had no time for that. Everything was fast. And that’s very exciting to work like that, because there’s no time to double-think. It’s a form of guerilla filmmaking, I suppose.

On the change from a Hollywood ending and developing new ideas not intended in the beginning:

GILLIAM: I had a lot of arguments with the producer. I felt it was very important to leave [Qohen] with dignity and something we’d never seen in the course of the film. To me it’s a very sad ending but I also think it’s an honest ending when you think of how many people find the virtual world more comfortable than the real world, how much time is spent in the virtual world now. And it may be the moments when they feel they’ve got control and they’re not just completely impotent in the world. But it’s sad. It’s not where people should end up. They should end up in the real world, with all the messiness of it. So we have a sad ending. But at least one I feel honest about.

Lucas on his perspective shift after working with Gilliam:

HEDGE: It’s changed more and more as I’m able to look back on it. You sort of realize an experience like that seems infinite in the moment, and two months can seem like a lifetime, especially to a 15 year old. But it’s so fleeting, it’s so ridiculously fleeting. You have to really be in it and you have to be taking risks all the time. Otherwise you’re just looking back on regrets.

GILLIAM: Films are pretty extraordinary. And we’re lucky to be able to make them. They’re so intense when we’re making them, it’s like there’s nothing before and nothing after. It’s that moment. And you have to be in the moment the full time you’re there. And then it’s over. And then when you look back at films where you’ve done good work, you look back on them happily, proudly. That’s all you need, to look back and not feel ashamed or that you were compromised to the point that you didn’t do what you were capable of.

 

The Zero Theorem is out now in theaters across the country.

Get Excited for Tim and Eric’s New Show With Their Top 5 Moments

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In honor of their new series Tim and Eric’s Bedtime Stories, which premieres tonight at 12:15am on Adult Swim, I compiled my Top 5 Tim and Eric moments below. Enjoy.

Sweetberry Wine!”
DR. STEVE BRULE (John C. Reilly)

Absolut on Ice”
A VODKA MOVIE (Zach Galifianakis)

“Tayne”
PAUL RUDD’S COMPUTER

THE UNIVERSE

THE COMEDY

Tim and Eric’s New Show ‘Bedtime Stories’ — The Future of Comedy?

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“We’re tired of trying to make people laugh with our humor. We want to make people cry.”
-Tim Heidecker

Largely overlooked comic genie Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim once again team up for their signature, home-grown blend of deadpan, satire, and gross-out humor. Their new TV show, Bedtime Stories, featuring John C. Reilly, Zach Galifianakis, and Jason Schwartzman, premieres tonight at 12:15am on Adult Swim. From the look of the trailer, Bedtime Stories seems to be a much more cinematic, narrative-based venture than we’re used to with Tim and Eric, with higher production quality and level of accessibility.

Tim and Eric are most known for their previous show on Adult Swim, Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job! which ran for three years until 2010 and featured brilliantly surrealistic and often satirical humor/anti-humor, including public-access television–style musical acts, bizarre faux-commercials, and editing and special effects chosen to make the show a parody of camp. The creators of the show have described it as “the nightmare version of television.”

tim and eric awesome 1

In line with the content of their previous television series, Bedtime Stories embraces the absurdity of American suburbia in a uniquely dark, Twilight Zone kind of way. Heidecker and Wareheim, who cite David Lynch and the Coen brothers as their storytelling influences, said that for their new series they were inspired by Louie‘s format of multiple episodes that loosely connect with recurring cameo/celebrity appearances. Unlike most of their previous work, their new series is focused much more on narrative and storytelling. “We wanted to tell little short stories that have a darker edge, kind of a nightmarish quality to them but still funny and absurd and go the opposite direction from the lo-fi aesthetic that we’ve established,” Heidecker said in a recent interview.

“I feel like most of life is a nightmare,” Wareheim said in response. “You have a couple friends and a couple beautiful moments, but everything else … and this show kind of embraces those moments of, like, ‘I cannot believe that this is really happening.'” Wareheim continued by noting that for the tone of the new series they were going for something like The Shining. “Real psychological horror, which I think we’re almost there in some of these episodes. Like, true horror. Not gore, but true really-fucking-frightening.”

tim_eric_bedtime

Even though they seem to be approaching a well-earned level of funding, through all their work the comedic process is rooted in an intimate level of comfort that they’ve established since their filmmaking days at Temple University in Philadelphia, where they first met. “I’m trying to make Eric laugh and the cameraman laugh, and he’s trying to make me laugh when he’s on camera, and that’s always at the heart of everything we do,” Tim said. “And that’s really the end of the conversation.”

Upon being asked if perhaps they have taken comedy to the limit of where it can go, Wareheim responded: “We are going to take it beyond that limit. Just flip it inside out. It’s this ever-expanding universe of comedy and we’re just going to keep on trucking.”

Tim and Eric’s Bedtime Stories premieres tonight at 12:15am on Adult Swim.

 

Premiere: Watch the New Video for Cazwell’s “Dance Like You Got Good Credit”

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Openly gay rapper Cazwell’s new song “Dance Like You Got Good Credit” and corresponding music video (NYC-based) parodies normative lifestyle values in the traditional rap-god video format. The lyrics are almost a little too real for many hip-hop listeners, and sure to stir up some controversy. Riding the recent vaporwave internet trend, Cazwell’s video still manages to balance the satire with a healthy amount of humor. And not to mention a sick beat.

Cazwell’s new album Hard 2 B Fresh comes out on September 30th via Peace Bisquit.

Cazwell creates an eclectic fusion of moombathon (electro/reggaeton/house) with rap and colorful lyrics.

The Massachusetts-born Cazwell has proven himself a hard worker: from becoming a YouTube sensation after a million people viewed his “Ice Cream Truck” music video in a single week, to producing a steady flow of tracks and videos that has his engaging charisma and personality immersed in it. He has since earned credibility with danceable hip hop tracks −including “Rice & Beans” and “I Seen Beyoncé At Burger King” and “No Selfie Control” − that impressively showcase his hypomanic take on pop culture. “Good Credit” featuring Cherie Lily tackles the debt crisis the United States is in – a situation Cazwell finds amusing because “we go broke trying to make ourselves look rich”. Cazwell has been described as “what would have happened if Eminem had grown up on Madonna’s front lawn.”