By Team JamBase Jan 8, 2007 12:00 am PST

ROPEADOPE To Launch Digital Download Exclusive Label

Debuting In February With Seven Releases By:
Aunt Jessica, DJ Klock, Electric City,
The Frequency, Skip Heller, Larval & Reminder

Brooklyn, NY — ROPEADOPE, the trend-setting independent record label, clothing company, Internet destination and all around lifestyle-defining endeavor, will launch a digital download exclusive label imprint, Ropeadope Digital, in February 2007. It will make its debut with releases from seven artists, including Aunt Jessica, DJ Klock, Electric City, The Frequency, Skip Heller, Larval and Reminder, offering full length albums exclusively via download at and all other major digital music retailers. This will mark the beginning of an ongoing series of Ropeadope Digital releases throughout 2007 and, in the process, establish the way Ropeadope presents new music and artists in the future. In addition, all of Ropeadope Digital’s artists will maintain ownership of their masters. Ropeadope will license only the digital rights for its releases. Royalties will be based on a complete profit share basis between the label and its artists.

“I haven’t been this excited about anything in the music industry for years,” says Ropeadope founder Andy Hurwitz. “While we will continue to release records, we are completely shifting our priorities by making Ropeadope Digital our focus. We have over 25 digital releases lined up for next year.”

True to Ropeadope’s rich history with artists like Christian McBride, Sex Mob, King Britt, Philadelphia Experiment, DJ Logic and Tin Hat, the releases on tap to launch Ropeadope Digital will represent a diverse spectrum of genre-bending sounds and styles, bridging together old school jazz, hip-hop, electronica, prog rock, soul and just about every other style imaginable, while running the gamut from well-established artists to debut releases by new names who are well on their way to becoming marquee artists. In the words of Ropeadope’s Andy Hurwitz, the first installment of Ropeadope Digital releases are as follows:

Aunt Jessica: “File under: Electronica-what-what-hip-hop-soul-R&B-rock-and shit. The future of all music can be linked to the past and Aunt Jessica is well versed in all tenses. They met as students at Temple University in Philly where they brought every possible musical influence into their confluence. Writing silly descriptions about music like this really doesn’t do anyone any good when trying to describe this band. Simply put, it’s the brand new flavor in your ears. We were inspired to bring Aunt Jessica into the RAD dig mix simply by listening. You should too.”

DJ Klock: “File Under: Avant turntablism, experimental hip-hop, brain twisting noise, squiggles and grooves. Klock emerges from the ferment of the Tokyo electronica scene. He’d collaborated with Japanese abstract hip-hop legend DJ Krush on the 12-inch/CD for Nike, DJ Krush feat. DJ Klock / 2001 Cage Odyssey, which became an underground classic. Here, he creates vignettes of sound ranging from looped snare drum patterns to digital squiggles and squeaks. Unexpectedly, fairy-tale melodies played on trumpet, xylophones and toy guitars can arise out of minimalist beats. Strange voices float alongside skeletal rhythms like previously unheard sounds from deep within the mind’s imagination. The album makes clear the arrival of a new producer schooled in the art of Krush’s brain-twisting beats, but possessing his own distinct sense of composition and sound. He’s a Japanese turntable visionary.”

Electric City: “File Under: Philly underground hip-hop. Electric City brings it back to the basics, moving forward all the while. The duo consisting of DJ Skipmode’s captivating turntablism and beat-making, paired with the energetic lyricism of Mighty FlipSide Esq., reintroduces the almost forgotten concept of MC/DJ/Listener interaction. Their live show is hailed as legendary (at least here in Philly) and the crew boasts the longest running monthly hip-hop event in Philadelphia to back up that sentiment. With the release of their first studio album, Everything, Everywhere, All the Time, Electric City maintains the integrity of their live performance, while paring intelligent lyricism and freestyle with innovative production; proving they are not just another ordinary hip-hop act, but true musicians.”

The Frequency: “File under: Ultra funky-organic-electronic-experimental music reminiscent of AIR, Pink Floyd and Herbie Hancock with an emphasis on live playing, feel and groove. The early roots of the group can be traced years back to a listening session of the Beatles’ Abbey Road (Side B when after several beers and multiple listens, college band-mates Marc Cazorla and Alex Stiff felt inspired. Years later, the twosome are making noise on the LA scene (their music can already be heard on Concord Records’ Bill Cosby and Quincy Jones: The New Mixes and the Concord release Explorations featuring artists like Thievery Corporation, Ozomatli and Mario C. They are poised to explode in 2007 with everyone and their mamma wanting a piece of The Frequency. Get yours now.”

Skip Heller: “File Under: Jazz guitar from the Left Coast. Time Out New York calls Skip: ‘an American guitar hero,’ while All About Jazz calls him a ‘genius.’ We just call him whenever we want fantabulous music. This album (Skip’s 12th!) is influenced by British calypso, Stevie Wonder, Sergio Mendes, Hawaiian guitarists, Jeff Beck, The Band, Hurricane Katrina and his wife. Skip covers XTC, Ani DiFranco, Si Kahn (look it up!) and lays down some Skip Heller originals. It clearly proves Skip’s place amongst not only the top jazz guitarists in this country, but also as one of the deepest thinkers, poets and artists out there right now. Get with Skip.”

Larval: “File Under: Classical rock. ‘Bill Brovold’s Larval represents one of the most accomplished sounds in music today, his complex compositions smash the border of rock and classical to create a truly original sound,’ or so said Alternative Press. Larval is Bill Brovold and Bill Brovold is one of the most talented composers, musicians and sound experimenters that you’ve never heard of. Long before he and his band, Larval, were signed to John Zorn’s record label or compared to King Crimson, Glen Branca and Godspeed You Black Emperor, Brovold was building his sound and sensibility, performing and recording with some of the most influential artists in modern music in the 1970s. An integral part of the New York No Wave scene, it’s hard to believe you still haven’t listened to him. Do it. Now.”

Reminder: “File Under: Chicago underground jazz/electronica/beat fusion with yummy vibrations. Reminder is the solo outing of Chicago scene staple Josh Abrams, whose bass playing has held the groove for many artists over the past ten years. A departure from the avant and jazz roots of his Town & County and Sticks & Stones projects, Abrams takes a cue from his residency as a member of Prefuse 73’s backing band (if you’ve seen Prefuse live and felt your body vibrate, it was more than likely thanks to Josh’s bass). Here, he ventures into beat constructions and sample-based compositions, yet his tracks possess a rich vocabulary that could only come from a schooled musician. Combining his upright and electric bass playing with MPC drums, synths, shakers, bells, chimes, mbira and xylophone, Abrams creates an organic palette to color his loose grooves. You’ll find subtle influences from J-Dilla or DJ Premier, while the inspiration of Sun Ra and Steve Reich loom in the distance.”

With 25 new releases on Ropeadope Digital planned for 2007, Ropeadope is poised to maintain its street credibility as a key tastemaker always ahead of the curve in the music industry. Plans are already in the works for a Ropeadope Digital tour along with complete promotional campaigns for each artist in the series. Ropeadope does plan the release of two new albums through traditional retail outlets in 2007: The Harlem Experiment (part of the ongoing Ropeadope “Experiment” series) and Marco Benevento/Live At Tonic (part of the ongoing “Live At Tonic” series), however, the focus for the year will be to establish the new imprint, while continuing to grow its brand identity through the already existing Ropeadope music catalog, its various clothing lines and ever-expanding web presence.

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