By Kent Davies
Witchpolice is a local music blog staring renaissance rapper Rob Crooks (Magnum K.I., Fucking Retards) and father of the year Sam Thompson (Mouthboat). As the dynamic duo known as Dynamo they created Witchpolice as a way to unleash their spaced-out hip hop to the world. “It was the only thing to do,” explained Thompson in a recent interview on CKUW 95.9 FM. “We weren’t playing shows at that point and we weren’t going to make any hard copies so we figured hey let’s just make a free blog and just put our music up there.”
Now the site has become a one-stop shop full of free local music rarities, unreleased demos, basement bootlegs, psychedelic videos and more.
Originally the blog only featured a few acts the two knew personally. Thompson explains, “Rob and I were in bands since we were kids and we knew a lot of people that played music of some kind or another.” Those musical friends being the Brat Attack, the punk band with the record for the most revolving door members, and teen ska sensation Grandpa’s Army.
Over time the response to the site has gotten larger as has the site’s content. “More people know about it now – their friends started checking it out and so it goes,” says Crooks. “It just seemed if we’re doing this for our own music we might as well do it for others.”
Although Witchpolice still features a majority of the staple acts Rob and Sam are involved in, many other acts are starting to submit their unreleased demos, bootleg shows and other content to the site. “We’ve been getting people submitting stuff to us that we don’t know personally which is cool,” says Thompson. The two are hoping the trend continues. “It’s not really about the recording quality. We want it if it’s something we think is cool or it sounds good or if we like what they’re doing.”
Along with the promise of local acts submitting their buried treasured tunes to the site, the duo are working on posting new material from Dynamo. “Expect a cross between Kraftwerk and the Butthole Surfers,” says Crooks.
The two also have plans to post past CKUW 95.9 FM live performances. Recently, Witchpolice posted a live recording of Canadian reggae band Friendlyness and the Human Rights. The act played the Albert as part of the last Winnipeg ska and reggae festival, which was originally broadcast on CKUW and UMFM and now posted to the blog. “I got it from the radio and have been listening to it straight since – I posted it because it’s one of my favorite acts in Canada,” explains Thompson. The site also features new videos from Shoshaku Jushaku, the new project from members of the legendary basement showmen the Mouthboat.
The great thing about Witchpolice is not just that it features local music but how it features local music. Instead of posting polished samples of a local artists’ latest album it’s often ten year old unreleased demos of a local artists’ first punk band. In that regard, hopefully musicians everywhere will start looking for something that may not sound so sweet but is worth sharing anyway. Check it out http://witchpolice.blogspot.com and submit it out at [email protected]
By Kent Davies