After 16 years of scene-building in New England as an mc and banner-guard for Milled Pavement Records, 10 years of touring throughout 6 countries (most recently headlining an 8-date stint in France and Switzerland during the Winter of 2017), over 1,000 performances, 3 critically acclaimed albums, 4 mixtapes, 5 ep’s, 2 7″ singles, countless featured appearances, and performing live with a venerable who’s-who of independent hip-hop, BRZOWSKI is shredding the envelope with all the desperate energy of a man on the edge.
The Portland, ME by-way-of Providence,RI emcee kicked around the Massachusetts and Rhode Island music scenes in varying projects since 1993, before taking a permanent vacation to the northeast tundra, where long winters and unsuspecting audiences could better nurture his creative spirits and personal demons. Cutting his teeth with demo-CDRs and booking small rooms around New England all the while completing his BFA at the Maine College of Art (Painting, Art History Minor, ’03). He has spent the subsequent decade-plus steadily amassing a sizable groundswell of indie hip-hop true believers who clamor for something more artfully substantial than the narrow mainstream of “hip-hop” could spoon-feed them. Armed with wry wit, black humor, brutally honest autobiography, complex flow/vocabulary, and an intense live performance that rivals the best in the business, BRZOWSKI has earned the respect of fans, artists, and critics alike.
After self-releasing the efforts “New England Gothic” and “Perpetual Winter”, whose hand-to hand sales reached several thousand, the workaholic vocalist set his sight on releasing a proper full-length album on the seminal indie label Milled Pavement.
Following the dense, dark, and demanding “MaryShelleyOverdrive”, released to critical acclaim in 2006, he toured the North American continent for 3 years before dropping “Blooddrive Vol. 2”, a compilation of tracks and guest-appearances using the dark thematic elements set forth on 2002’s “New England Gothic”;(“…like Robert Frost contemplating suicide in a cabin in the woods…” The Portland Phoenix) as a launchpad. The album contains many truly atypical aspects for the era: lengthy songs, techno/industrial influenced beats fused with traditional hip-hop, literary and visual culture references, a touch of the defiance of early 90’s punk rock, and a threatening cloud behind every silver lining.
BRZOWSKI longtime kindred-spirit MOSHE then joined forces musically in 2009, citing their similar interest in all things “Wicked Dahk” (re: Melancholic, Horror-tinged), for a collaborative project. The two seized upon the opportunity to further capitalize on the forward momentum each was garnering in a solo capacity like wild beasts on a wounded gazelle. As two of the remaining flagship members of Milled Pavement Records, their limited edition ep “Like Woe”, and subsequent 6 European tours together (Dec. ’09-April ’15) marked the most well-received ventures Milled Pavement Records had ever embarked upon. Moving from the 1-2 punch traditional rapping style, lathered with images of self-destruction, in the title track “Like Woe”- to the trademark arrhythmic lyrical torrent on “The Coming Plague” BRZOWSKI laced MOSHE’s stark, plodding beats, and the duo set a new standard for what the terms “progressive” and “dark” have come to mean in independent hip hop circles.
BRZOWSKI’s 2011 sophomore solo album “A Fitful Sleep” found our narrator moving away from the thick veil of funereal affectations of his debut, and now speaks from a soapbox steeped in the culture of independent artistry and on top of a widely broadened palette of production sounds (most notably the coloring of distorted-guitar proto-psychedelia), even if the punk/ metal/ gothic aesthetics remained on the skin. This album begins at the touchstone of hip-hop, and then musically enacts a swift departure. Doomy rock guitar/live instrumentation, Rapped/sung/screamed vocals, traditional sampling, ominous synths, and electronic drums all vie for elbow room in this carefully constructed Frankenstein of an album. Think Black Widow mugging an early 2000’s art-rap DJ outside a dive-bar on the edge of town. The Burlington Vermont entertainment paper Seven Days described his material of the time thusly: “…(the sound of) a Backwoods Lunatic Legend.”
2012 saw the release of the third installment of non-album tracks “Blooddrive Vol. 3” as well as the heavily left-leaning ep “Songs for Marty” with France’s MONSIEUR SAI, followed by another round of intensive touring. The collaborative EP “Wichitah” with Fake Four Inc’s DJ HALO (Oakland,CA) was self released in 2015, peaking at #22 on the CMJ Hip-Hop charts.
BRZOWSKI’s ongoing band-oriented project is a ghoulish synthesis of goth, pop, doom, and hip-hop entitled VINYL CAPE. The project is rounded out by MilledPavement’s prolific producer and multi-instrumentalist C MONEY BURNS, and Fake Four Inc. affiliate MO NIKLZ on the turntables. A three-song ep “Famine First” was released straight to Bandcamp in May of 2014, and has garnered international acclaim from the blogosphere. Following a tour stint with ex-Def Jux / current Uncommon Records label-head NASA, a 7″ single “Veneficium” was released Summer 2014 on the DIY BANDITS imprint. The full length offering “The Glitter of Putrescence” was released in September of 2016 to critical acclaim, followed by an east-coast tour.
The French electronic band D-DAZ recruited BRZOWSKI for an EP and subsequent tour of France and Switzerland in early 2017, with the eponymous EP “D-FAZ with BRZOWSKI” charting in the top 40 on the French/Belgian Ferrarock Radio group.
Autumn 2017 brings the third BRZOWSKI full-length solo offering “ENMITYVILLE”, a searing critique of contemporary issues such as wage-slavery, corporate culture, consumerism, unrealistic standards of physical beauty, digital alienation, gentrification, and the plight of the artist in a society racing to the bottom. Acting as a bridge between the painfully personal and the outwardly political, “this is not background music for your cocaine habit”- as BRZOWSKI states on the track “Ordinary Monsters”. “ENMITYVILLE” drops late summer 2017 on CD and all major digital outlets courtesy of MilledPavement Records. Nation-wide spot-dates are being booked for Fall 2017 and further tour plans to follow.
Headlining festivals overseas and domestically, winning poetry slams and MC battles, 8 European tours, appearing at SXSW, moon-lighting tour stints with Sage Francis, Open Mike Eagle, Mykah 9, Ceschi, Epic (Canada), Qwel+Maker, Sole, as well as playing to packed clubs supporting the varied indie-hop stripes of Busy Bee, El-P, Ill Bill, Slaine, Busdriver, 2Mex, Killah Priest, Atmosphere, Murs, Gaslamp Killer, Brother Ali, Doug E. Fresh, DJ Vadim, Billy Woods, Cage, Astronautalis, B. Dolan, and myriad others have cemented BRZOWSKI a reputation for quality live performance, an alignment with the best in the business, and an uncanny knack for harvesting the fans of artists with higher profiles.
BRZOWSKI’s grueling pace of hard-work and hard-living lends credence the axiom that to achieve any modicum of notoriety, you must suffer for your art.
Welcome to ENMITYVILLE.