Artist Spotlight: Blockhead

Blockhead? Who the heck is that?

A producer who’s crafted songs for indie rapper Aesop Rock and whose album releases span 10 years, Blockhead is the name of New York native James Anthony “Tony Simon”. He first began his career when he enrolled in Boston University in 1994, meeting rapper Aesop Rock and beginning a fruitful partnership. With Blockhead’s hypnotic hip-hop music and Aesop Rock’s fast-paced, intelligent rap style, the duo dominated the underground rap scene in the 1990’s and early 2000’s.

“Music by Cavelight,” Blockhead’s first solo album, features the delightful waltz “Insomniac Olympics,” a cornerstone of the sound that defines Blockhead’s trip-hop aesthetic. It may be my favorite track by the artist.

Another great song (this time including lyrics) is “Put Down Your Dream Journal and Dance.” Chock-full of disco and soul sound textures, this track is another one of my favorites.

Fast forward to 2014 and Blockhead’s released another album, “Bells and Whistles,” along with a reddit AMA in which he reveals production secrets and insights into his personal life. If you find yourself liking this artist as much as I do, then definitely check out the AMA here.

and the newest album on bandcamp, right here.

Tune in next time for another obscure artist!

 

By Nicholas Randall

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