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Junk Food Charlie delves deeper into the facinating story behind the new Stew Hat Records reissue of Mr. Applesauce’s classic underground album, The Story of the Gelatin Girl

After standing in the naughty corner for a while after a breach of contract, Junk Food Charlie has lost a special friend and we find out all about this terrible loss and the 2nd coming of The Story of the Gelatin Girl.

Llewelyn: Junk Food Charlie. We appreciate your time with us today and welcome to A&R Factory. 1st question. How did you get the name and what is your fave meal in the whole wide world?

Junk Food Charlie: Thank you for having me. Since I’m acting as Mr. Applesauce’s publicist for this new release, I’ll answer this question as if I were him. Mr. Applesauce’s name comes from his style of writing which is often made to seem nonsensical (though whether it truly is or not depends on the specific song in question) and was inspired by a “Word of the Day” email in which the word of the day was “applesauce.” His favorite meal was roast beef Manhattans.

Llewelyn: Ok, next question. Are you back in the good books of your label after this release or is more work still to be done?

Junk Food Charlie: I’d say there’s more work still to be done, but doing press for this new Mr. Applesauce release is a step in the right direction. I would have done this regardless because he was a good friend of mine but if it eases some of the tension between the label and I, that’s an added bonus. As of right now, the label (Stew Hat Records) is also using all of my platforms to promote its other artists, with a focus on Mr. Applesauce right now given his recent passing. Even though my name is attached to the other artist’s projects, I don’t take credit for their work. It’s really more of a marketing thing considering the publicity I got for getting my show canceled. I feel like it’s only fair that they use my name for promotional purposes to try and make some kind of money after that project tanked. While the way we’ve gone about rebuilding our relationship has been unorthodox, I’m hoping it will work out.

Llewelyn: We’re very sad to hear about the cancellation of The Junk Food Charlie Variety Hour. Many condolences on the loss of your co-host Mr. Applesauce. What would you say are your fondest memories of his life?

Junk Food Charlie: Thank you. Fond memories are many when it comes to Mr. Applesauce but in light of this new release (or I suppose I should say reissue), I’ve been thinking about actually being in his studio as he was writing and recording the original version of The Story of the Gelatin Girl several years ago. We didn’t know each other as well back then but I learned a lot about him by watching him work. He really immersed himself in the experience and always worked off of intuition. I asked him at a couple points where certain lyrics came from and he’d always say, “not sure, might just be applesauce, but it feels right.” I think the album really reflects that carefree nature he had in more ways than one. Sure, some of the songs are purely driven by feeling and aren’t necessarily making some big statement, but there are plenty of moments on the album that are inspired by his life that are quite vulnerable and others that seem nonsensical at first but actually have their own logic that they’re built on. In every case, he approached creating with an enthusiasm that was particularly contagious. One final thing I’ll say is that I really admired his conscience. I remember when he finished the album, he was worried about how some songs might be interpreted. I simply told him, “I can tell just by watching you work that this was more about you having fun than it was about calling anyone out or starting any kind of drama. Sure, you happened to process some pretty intense emotions along the way, but I don’t think anyone should fault you for that because I can tell it genuinely helped you.”

Llewelyn: You had so much underground popularity before. What do you think is the main reason for that and are you proud of this project?

Junk Food Charlie: To be fair, Mr. Applesauce had more underground popularity than me back in the day. I did some stuff here and there but his work ethic was always on another level. I think the main reason for his popularity though was his authenticity. He considered his music to be pop but it was never pop music that was trying to please the masses. He created on his own terms and I think people saw that and were drawn to it. I know he took a lot of pride in The Story of the Gelatin Girl. He often described it as his most “in the moment” project and I think that’s extremely accurate. It’s like a time capsule.

Llewelyn: What do you feel is the future of Stew Hat Records?

Junk Food Charlie: I feel the future of Stew Hat Records is bright. They’ve got so many talented artists on their roster, many of which are working on their debut albums. I’m not at liberty to get into too many specifics right now about all that, but I know I’m personally very excited about their recently signing Glown About Sten to the label. He’s got chops.

Llewelyn: Last question. What does the future hold and do you have any exciting plans for the rest of 2023 and beyond?

Junk Food Charlie: I actually just launched a store on Threadless for some visual art I’ve been working on (I’m on there as Junk Food Charlie.) The label is also working on possibly putting a show together later in the year so I’d encourage anyone interested in that to keep an eye out on Instagram (@junkfoodcharlie.) There’s definitely more music in the works as well, but when it will be released is still uncertain as of right now. There are multiple projects in production though, so stay tuned!

Turn this up on loud via Spotify.

Interview by Llewelyn Screen

Written in books: NMBtranq sees the mad get uncomfortable on Hood Militia’s

With his mind ready to get away quickly before his number is called, NMBtranq has just dropped a raw soundtrack to chop it up with no matter what fires are currently raging outside on the eye-opening track Hood Militia’s.

NMBtranq aka Javon Miller is a Greensboro, North Carolina-based underground hip-hop storyteller who uses a quick-witted lyrical technique to enlighten the lost like a lighthouse during a ravaging storm.

With bags of talent to spare and surging ahead with something rather explosive for our palates, NMBtranq stuns all of our hearts in the right way. If you love it straight to the point and without cheese, this is the song to boom on loud to wake up the neighbourhood.

Hood Militia’s from Greensboro, North Carolina-based underground poet NMBtranq is a track which grabs us quickly and takes us into a whole new world of insight. We find a single laced with so much honesty and shall impress even the most hardcore rap fan.

Fighting away the demons and never giving up, this is an underground classic waiting to be crowned.

Laser into this gem on Soundcloud.

Reviewed by Llewelyn Screen

So it won’t suffer unless it’s physical: Tankee M wonders why we spoil the pure air on Cactus won’t puke its water

Steering us more in-depth within the mindset of the world and all the wasted resources, Tankee M sends shivers down the spine of millions with one of the most real singles possible called Cactus won’t puke its water.

Tankee M is a mysterious multi-talented rapper and artist who makes the kind of tracks which are raw to the core and unearth important issues for us to learn from.

Foreing rapper trying to get new sounds. Currently using music ’cause every misspronounce might sound acceptable if poetic. Learnt how to produce in case the voice might sound really incomprehensible.” ~ Tankee M

Sizzling all fans with a blistering performance, Tankee M is rather fiery here and has dropped a lyrically aware single which contains wordplay which is rather elite.

Cactus won’t puke its water from the underground rapper Tankee M is an electric performance which will shock many and impress others. Sending our souls into a whirlwind and never holding back even for a second, this is a simply earth-shattering track which might get the day started in the right way.

Turn this up louder on Spotify.

Reviewed by Llewelyn Screen

Found Dead: PhantomTex drops frosty-to-the-core chilly classic Cold (prod. Evasion2k)

Leading us into the warning and detailing the escape from hell, PhantomTex got a grip on life and asks for the world to join him on this hardcore journey through the corpses on Cold (prod. Evasion2k).

PhantomTex is a 25-year-old German indie underground rapper who thunders in with a sterling blend of intense music which will alert many to a better sound.

Tremendously assertive and propelling an ominous song into our brittle bones, PhantomTex slices through a massive single into our awaiting veins. This is must-listen stuff from a flourishing soul who does things his own way and shall remain away from the fake flash which tricks too many.

Cold (prod. Evasion2k) from German indie underground rapper PhantomTex is a heavy experience which might break windows and certainly crack some earlobes. Sizzling in with a bite like a lion and a shiver like a shadow, this is a mind-bending new track to mesmerize millions.

Lace-up the day on SoundCloud.

Reviewed by Llewelyn Screen

Speaking My Mind: H2SO4 shreds life back into our impressionable ears with Outsiders

Battering through the floor and slowly flowing deep inside our buzzing hearts, H2SO4 urges the lost to merge together in order to join forces when the bass hits on Outsiders.

H2SO4 is a UK-based underground electronic duo that began as a remix project and has developed into one of the best acts in the game who have been shown love by legends such as Pete Tong and John Peel.

Co-writer and producer Andy Phillips broke away from H2SO4 after the release of the Japan-only follow-up album ‘Glamtronica’ and formed the production partnership Bombay Monkey with Guy Martin, leaving Graham Cupples and James Butler to continue making music as H2SO4.” ~ H2SO4

Boggling our minds with something heavy but somehow manageable on the earlobes, H2SO4 has dropped something to be surely proud of. This is a stupendous experience to appease all worries and to bring in a new wave of hope to the disillusioned amongst us.

Outsiders from the much-respected UK dance duo H2SO4 is a rather splendid track to play when an extra boost of natural energy is needed in those throbbing veins. Slicing through our dazzled ears and taking us for a ride of a lifetime, we find a splendidly assembled song to admire for its soul-healing superpowers.

Turn it up loud and proud via Spotify.

Reviewed by Llewelyn Screen

Show Me What You Want: CONT4MIN4TED shows us those deep desires on So Easy

Treating us to a stunning video created by Ekaterina Poletaeva, CONT4MIN4TED shows us why love can be So Easy if we let it flow and are brimming with compassion and understanding to truly contemplate.

CONT4MIN4TED is an underground EDM artist and music producer who is hugely motivated to emerge from the shadows and into millions of lives.

Introduced with so much incredible soul and meaning, CONT4MIN4TED lathers a bow of truth into our lives rather excitedly. This is a superb experience to swim deeply into, as we find a special single to bathe briskly inside. Deep in comfort and taking us into a better place, it’s hard not to love So Easy.

So Easy from underground EDM artist and music producer CONT4MIN4TED is a stunning sizzler of a soundtrack for our weary hearts. Projected so radiantly and flowing into our ears like a weekend away at a waterpark, that shall instil memories into our hearts forever. Packed with a glowing ray of sunshine and hope, this is a gem of a song and video made with love.

Sometimes it really can be so uncomplicated.

Listen up on Spotify.

Reviewed by Llewelyn Screen

Floating on The Wings: Mirko Sangrigoli waited so long for that special moment on Never Enough

With his focus back on writing songs again and sensing the right time to get his compositions out into the world, Mirko Sangrigoli demonstrates to us the power of a chance collaboration with Never Enough.

Mirko Sangrigoli is a London, UK-based indie singer-songwriter who is a true muso and shines a light on underground tracks made from the soul.

I remember always mucking about with any instrument I could get my hands on. The first thing I ever played was my father’s drums. It quickly developed from there, and the next thing you know, I was writing songs about everything I could think of on a toy keyboard. Growing up, I didn’t have fancy equipment, so I learned to get creative with what was available.” ~ Mirko Sangrigoli

Sinking in the dark all alone and waiting for the kiss that might never arrive, Mirko Sangrigoli is in top form and shows us where real quality is in this watered-down world. This is a class personified and ultimately a fine effort.

Never Enough from London, UK-based indie singer-songwriter Mirko Sangrigoli is a real stunner of an experience for anyone who’s waited so long for something, to ultimately feeling like it was a complete waste.

Projected so eloquently and soaked in a ray of hope, that perhaps the feeling will change, even though deep down, the defeat is rather close.

Meaningful music with impact will always sound a bit better than most. Mirko Sangrigoli has just proved this notion with some aplomb.

Hear more on YouTube.

Reviewed by Llewelyn Screen

More Than Your Friend: Sincerely Him feels dead already on CEMETERY (prod. Nextime)

Known best for his previous single called Wasting My Time, Sincerely Him shows us his hugely exhilarating skillset to its best possible format on the broken heart anthem for anyone who wanted more, CEMETERY (prod. Nextime).

Sincerely Him is a Connecticut-based underground rock musician who likes to blend the boundaries between punk and alternative music to awaken fatigued souls.

Delightfully direct and opening up the door to the barren feeling of frustration, Sincerely Him has created a modern-day gem of a soundtrack. This is raw. This is powerful. This is an awakening single of magnetic proportions. Ears will be sparked up here as we find so much pain intertwined into every sinew of this worrying storyline.

CEMETERY (prod. Nextime) from the mesmerising Connecticut-based rock artist/former pro soccer player Sincerely Him is such a relevant song in this lost love kind of world. Launched with honesty on a striking beat, this is a real soul-opener of a song for those who have loved someone who didn’t feel the same.

Listen up on SoundCloud. View more on IG.

Reviewed by Llewelyn Screen

You’ll Be Leaving Him: Minneapolis folk artist shugE drops live version for Concrete and Steel

After a decade away from the music game shugE resurfaces and goodness, it was certainly worth the wait on the super single to gain knowledge from inside the eye-opening track, Concrete and Steel.

shugE is a Minneapolis, USA-based indie folk singer-songwriter who is one of those underappreciated musicians who is truly respected on the underground circuit.

In 2013 shugE went on hiatus to fight a long, drawn out child custody battle & was triumphantly able to return to performing in 2022.” ~ shugE

Rather angry as he wrote the lyrics, shugE shows us the harsh realities where cities are built to be seemingly unhospitable and hard to navigate. Questioning the reality of our current land, this is the story of wondering where a true home really is.

Concrete and Steel from Minneapolis, USA-based indie folk singer-songwriter shugE is a rather real song for so many to ponder on deeply. In a rush-rush world, we find a quality song taken off the upcoming EP I’ll be in love with you until the day I die, which is due out on 13th April.

If this is a sign of things to come, our tired souls will surely reinvigorate.

Listen up on Spotify. View more on IG.

Reviewed by Llewelyn Screen

Crossed The Line: Blacktown’s finest Sergio Tachini is the underdog hero the world needed on the hauntingly beautiful Back To You

Transported from his latest spellbinding new project called Physically Here, Mentally Not, Sergio Tachini feels the burning bones inside his fiery soul in the extremely memorable mental health struggle that is life on Back To You.

Sergio Tachini is a Sydney, Australia-based indie hip hop artist who is heavily fused in with the underground graffiti scene in his multicultural home of Blacktown.

My music is deep, raw and honest. I hope people can relate and feel these lyrics. Everybody has their story.. so here’s mine.” ~ Sergio Tachini

There is a rare occasion when a song really hits the middle of the heart and is suddenly on repeat. Each line is thoroughly explored and everything changes. Sergio Tachini’s Back To You might be the most important single to hear in 2023. This is monumental stuff made with only genuine intentions. The underdog shall reign.

Back To You from Sydney, Australia-based indie hip hop artist Sergio Tachini is such an incredibly honest anthem for anyone who has dealt with heartbreak which is fused with mental health struggles. Urging his pain to go away, we find the truth inside a lyrically excellent track to cement into the minds of those who need something to believe in.

Hear this fine new single on Spotify. See more on IG.

Reviewed by Llewelyn Screen