Warlock Asylum, a meeting of minds from Uptown, Manhattan and Greenpoint, Brooklyn, is the collaboration between poet / sound designer Messiah'el Bey and multi-instrumentalist / engineer Steve Berson. Together they have created a trip-hop soundscape over which Messiah-el drops spoken word poetry and vocalized hooks.
Warlock Asylum's sound can be traced to numerous influences, ranging from artists as diverse as Public Enemy, RZA, Fela Kuti, Portishead, Dead Can Dance, Babatunde Olatunji, Tricky, Common, The Last Poets, Squarepusher, The Beatles, and Gil Scot Heron. Drawing from these inspirations they have created a unique hard beat based ambient vortex that draws strength from both the ancient and the future.
Warlock Asylum's first album, "Kiss of The Immortal," was released by Total Sonic Media in 2009. More the aural equivalent of a graphic novel than a concept album, "Kiss of The Immortal" in words and music loosely tells the first part of the tale of Messiah-el and Lilith, soul mates in Eternity who are separated from each other by their birth into the mortal world. As Messiah-el searches to be reunited with his love, the album details his struggles navigating through a Gotham-esque labyrinth of trials and temptations.
After a short hiatus in 2010 to allow Messiah'el Bey to focus on writing a number of books and papers on magic and mysticism, 2011 saw renewed musical activities for Warlock Asylum. They premiered its live act (augmented by electronic violinst Megan Berson and drummer Ryan Diehl) to appreciative crowds at Brooklyn's Trash Bar and in Manhattan's Alphabet Lounge.
In July 2012 WA performed at The Studio at Webster Hall opening for hip-hop underground legend Vast Aire (of Cannibal Ox fame), followed by a September appearance at Arlene's Grocery in the Lower East Side with special guests Janet LaBelle (who is the featured vocalist on a number of Warlock Asylum's new recordings) and Evan Taylor (drummer with Bernie Worrell Orchestra). Warlock Asylum has also returned to the studio and is working on completing three new tracks, including the single "There In America," for release as downloads later this year.
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