J.Smo Releases Mixed Genre Collaboration Project, Purgatory
The days of simply using some tight hip hop loops is something of the past for most serious artists in the genre, most are branching out. But few branch out as far as J.Smo and collaborative crew have done here.” Buddy Nelson, Jamsphere
J.Smo’s highly observant, articulate lyrics capture the zeitgeist of 2016 with “Purgatory”. via BeachSloth.com
J.Smo is Hip Hop. He’s universal voice, from humble beginnings.” -Zion Antoni, Urban Cry, LLC
Whose lovechild…Atmosphere with a touch of Struggle Jennings.” via The Ark of Music
The fusion of genres in this one is undeniably fresh, and it works – experimentation or a desire to be original have not taken the place of great music, they have driven it towards you with great personality and style.” via Stereo Stickman
Sacramento, CA – J.Smo of BUNKS has released a Hip Hop founded, mixed genre collaboration project titled Purgatory featuring songwriters and musicians from various genres and locations around the world.
Purgatory is available on Bandcamp. Five of the six songs are streaming on major streaming services. J.Smo is supported by MPC Recording Company and Unlimited Sounds Publishing & Distribution.
I have always wanted to work with a band so the idea of taking music from indie bands and blending them with my production style stems from that desire. As a music blogger, I come in contact with hundreds…thousands of musicians from all over so each of the bands featured on this EP are cats I have reviewed or featured on Middle Tennessee Music.com,” states J.Smo.
The lead track Radio Lies is a remix of UK Progressive Rock band Permanent Moods single of the same name. The song also features Bronx emcee Zion Antoni and touches on the effects of minimizing mainstream playlists, the use of entertainment as corporate propaganda, and how these things, filtered by a small group, impact human consumption and behavior.
Forsaken Veteran of the Drug Wars is an updated edition to Australian Folk songwriter and musician Bob Crain’s original written decades ago. J.Smo and Bob Crain’s approach to the topic of the Drug War comes as a report from the front lines exploring how the war has evolved systematically from the 1960s into the present day.
“Leslie approached me about Chin Up and asked if I could help create a Hip Hop version of her Indie Pop release. I had to say yes!” says J.Smo about his remix of the Canadian songwriter’s original. He continues, “The Leslie Rohonczy Band knows how to jam and lay down the groove. My lyrics are intended as an assessment of the current human predicament with encouragement toward a hopeful future. We just have to keep our chins up!”
“Brother Octopus is one of my favorites making music in Canada so when he sent over the instrumental mix for Swim, I couldn’t wait to jump on it,” J.Smo states about the Electro-Rock collaboration. The song is a journey through an underwater landscape as J.Smo crosses paths with Brother Octopus to encourage us to let go and just keep swimming. Brother Octopus is one of the main forces behind Oak Apple Records based in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.
Wish You Were is an older song and the first time J.Smo took a song from another band and turned it into a Hip Hop beat. F.M. Down is an alternative rock band based in Eau Claire, Wisconsin. J.Smo sampled and flipped the band’s acoustic version of this emotional, reflective song.
The day I went into the studio to record my verse I had just survived a pretty serious car crash..unscratched. I was hit nearly head-on by someone who had fallen asleep at the wheel; fortunately I swerved and they sideswiped me instead. Everyone survived but I ended up throwing out my original verse for this song and recording what you hear on this album. It’s a very in-the-moment verse.”
Angelo’s Breakdown is the oldest song on the EP, recorded in 2006, and represents the first time J.Smo wrote and recorded with live musicians in a studio setting. The music was written at Small Barn Sound by C Bret of Stephenson Rd after witnessing the burning down of a 300 year old log home across the fields from where the studio was located.
After hearing the story and the soundtrack, J.Smo wrote lyrics and had a song recorded within the hour. This song explores the potential mentality of the individual who broke down and set the log cabin into flames.
“Bret has been a long time friend, mentor and partner. We started Middle Tennessee Music.com in 2011 but before that we spent many nights just hanging out in the studio sharing and creating music at Small Barn Sound. It was natural that a song with him be included on this project,” J.Smo reflects.
Purgatory is available on Bandcamp. Tracklist below.
- Radio Lies with UK Progressive Rock Band Permanent Moods ft Zion Antoni
- Forsaken Veteran of the Drug Wars with Australian Folk singer/songwriter Bob Crain
- Chin Up with Canadian Indie Pop/Rock singer/songwriter Leslie Rohonczy
- Wish You Were with Wisconsin alt-rock band FM Down
- Swim with Canadian electro-rock producer Brother Octopus
- Angelo’s Breakdown with Tennessee alt-country songwriter C Bret of Stephenson Rd
- IBG Video Interview – 7 Questions with J.Smo via Indie Band Guru
- J.Smo Drops A Critically Acclaimed New Record via Above Average Hip Hop
- J.Smo: “Purgatory” – art of making music! via Jamsphere
- J.Smo – Purgatory (review) via Stereo Stickman
- J.Smo (Purgatory Review) via Beyond The Record
- J.Smo Blends Connections With Collaborations via Indie Band Guru
- J.Smo of BUNKS – Purgatory (Review) via The Ark of Music
- Interview with J.Smo of BUNKS (video) via The Ark of Music
- J.Smo – Purgatory via Beachsloth.com
- Hip Hop And Impact: An Interview with J.Smo of BUNKS via UL Sounds
“Hip Hop has taken me from small town Tennessee to Brooklyn, New York to Sacramento, California and a growing list of places in between. Considering some of the things I have done and people I have met, I am humbled yet amazed looking at my journey through music. There’s no reason to slow down now…”, J.Smo states.
Father, husband, songwriter, producer, music blogger, and consultant are only a few of the hats he wears on any given day.
One-half of the Manchester, Tennessee collective BUNKS, J.Smo has been molding the sounds, the rhythms, the feelings, and the stories in over a decade’s worth of recordings. BUNKS – Bringing Unmatched Noise Knowledge & Sound – began releasing music in 1999 and have an expansive catalog in their crates.
“Everything you hear in rap songs, I’ve done…but those times are over, I’m back to the music,” J.Smo reflects about the new album. “The Joshua Story has been a long process. This album is the abridged version of everything that happened from the time I left Coffee County until I relocated to the West Coast in August 2013. A few of these stories have never been told to my family and will shock 99% of the people who knew me growing up…
This record is also about remaining true to the roots of Hip Hop music and the culture that created it; the culture that raised me, the culture that’s made me.”
Originally from Manchester, TN, he now resideds in Northern California. After signing distribution and publishing deals with Unlimited Sounds, LLC, J.Smo was named CMO of the company in the first quarter of 2015.
J.Smo actively supports and promotes the indie music community through Middle Tennessee Music. He has been mentioned in the book Your Band Is A Virus by James Moore, interviewed by LA Weekly, and his writing has been published on Ariel Hyatt’s’ CyberPR blog as well as Music Think Tank. He also self-published and co-authored Getting Your Music Heard Online alongside C Bret Campbell.
- J.Smo opened for Sage Francis at Harlow’s in Sacramento with Mr. P Chill, January 2015.
- J.Smo Interviewed Masta Ace and Zoolay after their show in Sacramento.
- Tours in the US have expanded the BUNKS’ brand beyond Middle Tennessee.
- We placed 3rd in Murfreesboro Daily News Journal’s Battle of the Bands.
- Probably the only Hip Hop group to ever appear on WMSR in Manchester, TN.
- Boropulse.com artist spotlight alongside NIMA album of the year winners, Streetlight Allstars.
It’s always a pleasure to discover something genuinely unique in nature. The fusion of genres in this one is undeniably fresh, and it works – experimentation or a desire to be original have not taken the place of great music, they have driven it towards you with great personality and style.” Rebecca, Stereo Stickman
This particular release manages to bring a sensation of nostalgia to this release and reminds of the golden era of rap music while keeping a modern appeal at the forefront. One doesn’t need to listen closely or try to grasp what is being said which is to the betterment of the music as each track has a message with meaning and depth. He remains clear and concise with his wording, which appeals to a larger group of people extending to even those who may not particularly enjoy hip-hop music.” Beyond The Record
In this crazy world of the new music business, we meet many interesting individuals. Unfortunately, some just expect everything to be handed to them as they are entitled to success. Then there are the real artists like our friend J.Smo who fully involve themselves in every aspect of the business to make the connections needed to get ahead.” Keith, Indie Band Guru.com
Basketball legend, Charles Barkley once said, “Any knucklehead can score.” In the same vein, any knucklehead can rhyme (as pop-hop is proving to be the case). But the art of storytelling—the art of creating a narrative with the perfect balance of honesty and skill—that’s something totally different. The breath of fresh air that is Purgatory is living proof that J.Smo has kept that art alive and well. If you thirst for hip-hop that is unique, genuine, and highly creative, while simultaneously delivering a message which speaks to you with depth and meaning…Purgatory will quench that thirst.” –Noah James Hittner, The Ark of Music.com
J.Smo and BUNKS Buzz
- Seven Indie Musicians You Need On Your Playlists via PopWrapped.com
- The Power Of Old School: J.Smo Releases ‘Banks Of Savannah X Endurance’ via PopWrapped.com
- Forsaken Veteran of the Drug Wars – Folk/Rap Fusion With A Message via IndieBandGuru.com
- Interview with J.Smo on Riot’s Modern Life Podcast
- Exclusive Interview with Author, Musician & Music Marketer via Independent Music Promotions
- Interview on Social Media for Musicians via Reputation.com
- Are You Guilty? Four Ways Indie Musicians Are Killing Social Media via CyberPR
- The Big Business of Fake Fans via LA Weekly
- BUNKS, This is More Than Impressive Hip Hop – This Is A Movement via IndieBandGuru.com
- Generica by BUNKS via Coyote Music
- It’s One Amazing BUNKSperience! via Indiemunity.com
- The BUNKS: “Generica,” A Subtle Lyrical Tirade Of HipHop Awareness via Jamsphere.com
- Interview with J.Smo on TDB Pirate Radio via Timothy Dean Blog
- Generica by BUNKS – Album Review via Murfreesboro Pulse
- NeuFutur Magazine Introduces BUNKS
Also featured on:
Out of the rough, comes this polished diamond of a group. BUNKS has brought a new sound; one that needs to be heard by all those who love music that makes you move… What was most surprising to me; for one of the first times; I wanted to listen to the words and not just the beat. Each song was a new experience and I have noticed the range these guys’ posses. It is a force to be reckoned with. J. Gro & J. Smo have unique, distinct voices that just work. The flow of the songs has been selected perfectly. A perfect duo that is in it to win! This has just become my new favorite CD, and I’m sure it will be yours too. –Shexy, music lover
Unlike most commercial rap music and its profanity-laden jabbering about thug life and violence, this record is actually relatable for a Tennessee hillbilly, with songs about crusin’ around the Tennessee backroads, improving American society and the struggles and joys of being a parent… The artists touch on consumerism, chemical dependency, obesity, materialism and other social observations multiple times, and the themes tie the record together and let us know these guys are about more than making cool beats… Also the album’s very inspirational for an expecting father to hear. –Bracken Mayo, Murfreesboro Pulse