Release Date 02/19/2017
(Young Heavy Souls)
Tony Simon, a/k/a Blockhead, has been making and releasing utterly distinctive emotive music for the last two decades. He grew up in downtown New York City and as the son of an artist, surrounded by visual culture, he early on found that his passion was for music, for the sonic. A fan of a whole range of sounds, especially hip-hop, Blockhead steadily built a tremendous collection of tapes and later CDs from innumerable artists, a quiet accumulation of knowledge and know-how. Known for much of the production work on Aesop Rock's critically acclaimed Labor Days album for Def Jux, he also has worked with Atmosphere, Murs, Mike Ladd, and has produced multiple solo albums for Ninja Tune.
His third solo album, Uncle Tony’s Coloring Book, was originally released in 2007 and for years available exclusively on CD. Blockhead originally intended for the album to be more upbeat, contrasting the introspective production of his previous two releases. Over the years the album gained a cult following, one that grew substantially after Blockhead made the album available digitally in 2015. The demand increased for a proper vinyl release of the album and after 10 years it’s finally here.
Detroit record label Young Heavy Souls is collaborating with Blockhead to release Uncle Tony’s Coloring Book on vinyl for the first time. The vinyl edition of the album is set for a May 5th release, with pre-orders available now. Stream the digital version of the album via Blockhead's Bandcamp page.
More info on Blockhead:
After a brief stint as a rapper, Blockhead realized his calling was behind the boards and not on the mic – and from there he began to produce beats. Since making that decision, he's kept pretty busy: carving a niche as a sought-after underground beatmaker that people call when they want something special.
To understand Blockhead’s presence and gravitas – look no further than the fact that he has also contributed three tracks (including the first single) for Cage’s Hell’s Winter on Def Jux. The other producers on the project are DJ Shadow, El-P and RJD2.
All this occurred simultaneously to his debut album on Ninja Tune, Music By Cavelight, followed by 2005's Downtown Science, another set of deep, emotional instrumental hip hop tracks, this time dedicated to the downtown area of Manhattan where he grew up and has lived his entire life, encompassing all the attitude, anger and edginess of the neighborhood. This expansive album also features some melancholy reflections upon failed relationships and the promise of future loves.
The Music Scene was released in 2009 to both critical acclaim and commercial success – launching Blockhead on a global string of headlining dates ranging from Pittsburgh to Poland – where he participated in the world famous Zubroffka festival, providing a live score for some of Charlie Chaplin’s earliest films. Blockhead followed this album with Interludes After Midnight, further showcasing his development as a solo artist with a unique voice.
2014's Bells and Whistles spoke to emerging trends in music with a distinct back to basics approach, and Funeral Balloons in 2017, along with the long-awaited vinyl release of Uncle Tony's Coloring Book, sees he the producer returning back to the forefront.