The new Necker Cube 2 comp features top underground rappers alongside local artists, showcasing music that ranges from trip-hop to rock. It's the second compilation from Cleveland indie label La Rock Inc., which is run by rapper-producers Johnny La Rock and Mush Mouth.
"Johnny La Rock and Mush Mouth [are] nice guys, and I wanted to help them out," says nerdcore icon MC Lars, who introduces the comp. "[They] are dedicated to the regional Cleveland scene, and it's cool to meet people who take hip-hop and its creation seriously."
Lars met La Rock and Mush Mouth when they opened one of his shows. La Rock (Scene contributor Eddie Fleisher) met other artists over the internet and at regional gigs — from clubs to the Warped Tour. The two cover a broad spectrum of music and topics. None of it is mainstream.
Connecticut MC Ceschi (who appeared on Busdriver's latest Epitaph release) calls out U2 on "You Killed Rock and Roll." Seattle's Square Wail, who uses Game Boys to make music, appears in "Headphones on Your Heart." Chicago's Parsley Flakes' "Fuck the Media" is borderline digital hardcore.
Local contributions include rap by Youngstown's MC Homeless, electronica from Kent producer Chrismick, soul by the Woovs, trip-hop from Presque Vu (a project featuring Chrismick and La Rock), and more. Most of the tracks are comparable to what you'd hear on releases by experimental labels like Warp or Anticon.
The Necker Cube 2 is available via CDBaby and at www.myspace.com/larockincrecords. Since 2002, La Rock Inc. has released nine discs. Over the next year, Fleisher plans to release more CDs and digital EPs in a variety of genres.
"With this second comp, I wanted to broaden our horizons a bit," he says. "We want people to listen to the records we put out and say 'Damn, these cats are on some other shit.'"
• Audio Spectrum Recording will tape the entire lineup of a roots/Americana show on Thursday, April 17, at the Beachland Tavern (15711 Waterloo Road), for possible future release. Studio engineer-producer Clint Holley will record songs by Open Range Torch Songs (a Woodshed Mercy side project), Crookneck Chandler & the Tibbee Bottom Boys, and the Brian Lisik Band.
• Encoder has posted a sultry cover of Eurythmics' "Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)" at www.industrialstrengthmusic.com. Mainman DJ Cable says the industrial-dance group plans to begin a new album this summer, its second for New Mexico's DSBP label.
• Bluto's Revenge plays Pat's in the Flats on Saturday, April 19 (West Third and Literary Streets, Tremont). It's the Cle-punk veterans' first show at the club since 1992. Dead Man's Curve and Ycoin will open.
• Hockey Fight plays Lakewood's Mahall's Twenty Lanes (13200 Madison Avenue) on Friday, April 18. The hardcore group features the same lineup of musicians as Cleveland's drone-metal band Iron Teeth, but with more hockey-themed songs — like "Goal," "No Goal," "Mario Lemieux Crew," and "Ten Yard Hockey Fight."