Mad haPPy
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Mad haPPy


Band Hip Hop Pop


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Mad Happy — Frankenprophecy

Produced by Mad Happy and Zef Noi$e

Recorded at City Mice Studio in Pensacola, FL

Nothing’s shocking. The immortal words of Jane’s Addiction come to mind with a glance at the album artwork for Frankenprophecy , the latest effort from Mad Happy. The Kodak moment displayed on the cover, coupled with its painfully bright colors, hints at a tendency for shock value. But all preconceptions are quickly distilled as the album’s first track spins in.

Band members Rivka and Mike iLL share both vocal and computer-programming responsibilities on this gem. The duo’s vocal attack is reminiscent of Los Angeles stalwarts X; opposite-gendered voices enhance otherwise stale vocal abilities. Musically, Mad Happy embraces early 1980s bleeps and bloops: an Atari game played to an old-school Beastie Boys beat. Frankenprophecy is beautifully chock full of vocal hooks and memorable computer programming.

“Shoot,” a haunting and dreamlike song, is the highlight of the album. Rivka and iLL bounce back and forth between a Leonard Cohen-meets-NWA-esque narrative tale of social disobedience and a sing-songy chorus, which recalls Depeche Mode at its most intriguing moments. “Shortbus Riders” reflects the same cerebral conflict of influences. The song’s verse floats around a vocal melody with an attack similar to Grandmaster Flash and drops into a mellow and ethereal chorus that conjures moments of The Streets’ Mike Skinner at his druggiest.

Mad Happy has created a CD that will shock every listener — because perfection always has and always will. (Mutiny Zoo Records)

-Chris Parizo
- Southeast Performer

Midwives / The Feeding Fingers / Mad Happy

ISP Studios

Atlanta, GA

November 4, 2006

Nestled into a tiny venue birthed just a few short months ago, The Feeding Fingers headlined a show in the chill of a November Saturday night, stirring up a haunting atmosphere that escalated with each passing hour.

Opening up the night was surprise guest artist Midwives, who electrified the evening with a witty array of sharply composed piano pieces. The lead piano player and drummer just happened to be in the area, blasting off a small five-song set of jazzed-up, intellectual instrumentals.

The mastermind behind the music of The Feeding Fingers, Justin Curfman quickly moved the audience, delivering the title track “Mouth Filled with Sand” with a wretchedly unique vocal technique carefully derived. Todd Caras blended in a mixture of pulsating bass lines, accompanying the refreshing percussion of Danny Hunt to help the trio produce a complete and sharply hypnotic effect.

The audience of twenty-somethings, friends and locals in the Little Five Points area, were treated to a dazzling set: a group of densely packed, instrumentally laden tunes, fully toned with varying echoes and delays, making the music that much more enriching and gratifying.

Curfman’s genius is not well known, yet his courage and gift for reaching deep inside the darkest wells of our hearts and minds will not be buried or easily forgotten. He is a true artist, as his award-winning work in stop=motion films attests, and it is apparent that this brand of music is laden with emotional resonance. When one is feeling the darkest depression, anger or remorse, just experiencing this kind of music — dark and grotesque, mysterious and haunted as it may be — can help assuage the pain.

A richly layered eight-song set created a huge buzz, and the small, yet charged group of listeners kept its ears open as Mad Happy strode in around 1 a.m. Their eclectic rhythms and soulful, intellectually-brewed lyrics kept the young morning churning. Mad Happy got in late, but their catchy tunes capped off a memorable and successful night for the baby venue, ISP Studios, to build upon.

-Shawn M. Haney - Southeast Performer

Circle Bar

November 30, 2005

Mad Happy took the Circle Bar back to a sunnier time in rap Wednesday night. The duo from Pensacola's electro hip-hop was fun("All we wanna do is turn this party out") and quirky("Paint the White House pink"). Their vibe was reminiscent of DJ Jazzy Jeff and The Fresh Prince, De La Soul, and Biz Markie.

How the actual songs sound was something completely different. Mike iLL and Rivka mix up the usual boom-boom-shake-the-room beats with Aphex Twin-influenced stutter beats. And they rap over everything--Klezmer, two-step, pop, rock, blues. Basically, Mad Happy played fun, dance music with the catchiness of nursery rhymes. The diversity of Mad Happy's music kept the concert interesting. It was hard to tell whether the next song was gonna be slow or fast.

Rivka and Mike stalked the stage and worked the crowd. They talked to the audience about everything from a lack of underwear to the hurricane. It was a party in the Circle Bar as the band encouraged the crowd to break out of their cages. In other words: Dance, motherf----, dance. About fifteen or so boogied(do people really "boogie" anymore? Discuss) up close to the music.

Mad Happy often rapped together, and they executed well, but sometimes what they were executing wasn't all that great. Even though the band had an ear for epic rock melodies and hooks, their rapping was amateurish at times. It was obvious that the song came before the words. That doesn't mean they didn't have a message, though. Mad Happy focused on individuality and tolerance.

The best song last night was "File 2 The Metal." Go get it at their MySpace Page. It's the closest thing they have to a sure thing. - Live New Orleans

Mike iLL and Rivka are the Pat and Barbara K. McDonald of hip-hop, at least they are to me. They have the same subversive vibe as Timbuk 3, a couple that I could always imagine standing side-by-side at home making peanut butter sandwiches together. Mad Happy sports the T3 bounce (even if T3 rarely rapped), though their music is more electronic than organic, and slightly more in your face (but only slightly). Hot properties include the acerbic "Loaded Up," "Paint it Pink" and the title track, a pseudo anthem to underground life bearing a sneer that resembles punk (if it only didn't sound so much like Fresh Prince-era Will Smith). Includes six instrumental versions of included songs so you can make your own raps if you wanna. (1/21/06)

Tim McMahon - Lazy Eye

A press release that name-checks Public Enemy, Hank Williams, Nina Simone, Madonna and Sly Stone -- all in the same sentence! – wrapped around a disc that similarly skips hipply from Cream to Duke Ellington by way of the White Album …and again, that’s all in ONE song. Welcome to the mad mad mad world of Mike iLL and Rivka, one beastie boy and girl who, armed with a mere Danelectro six-string alongside the latter’s Roland MC-505 meaty beat box have gone and created one of the wildest, widest listening experiences this side of 2005 and counting. Sure, there may still be those out there who recoil at the mere mention of turntables scratching the night away, but slathered beneath THESE renegade geeks lay more jagged guitar hooks than a side of Flat Duo Jets, not to mention pure piles of kill-worthy choruses that leave no doubt Gwen and Fergie are already becoming blunt as an MC Hammer. “Loaded Up” is the obvious h-i-t here, dragging as it does no less than James Brown’s bag kicking and screeching into a Century 21 John and Yoko bed-in, while elsewhere “Wild And Bold” gives all nude meanings to the words “klezmer” and “chaos,” I kid you knot …with a little help from the still-Tom-Tomming-after-all-these-years Chris Frantz and Tina Weymouth by the way. Trip-hop, kid-hop, mmm-bop, whatever the case may be: Just remember, as Mad Happy always do, that’s it’s all just POP. And you’ll be just fine.

Gary Pig Gold - Ear Candy Magazine

Should you ever come across a caravan of cross-country traveling artists invading a Silverlake sushi bar/actual bar with one laptop between the lot of them heed my advice: don't blink because you might miss one of the acts.
When I realized that there was roughly a thirty-second lull between each performance, I got a bit nervous. Shit, did we miss Mad Happy? Fortunately, the answer was no.
The downside of the performance was that there were so many artists on the bill (I think we caught 5 out of 7 or something like that), that we suffered from band fatigue. Sarah, my cohort for the evening, and I discussed this phenomena on our ride back to the 818. There comes a point when one sits through so many acts that everything begins to blend together. Band A blurs into Band B, which all but obstructs proper viewing of Band C. Thus, by the time Bands E and F take to the stage, the show becomes one rock show montage notable only for the nagging thought in the back of your head that you probably should have brought earplugs. That's band fatigue.
Most of last night was a sonic haze of, well, stuff. There was a folk singer rallying the crowd to join in a chant regarding the uses of ostriches, a hip-hop artist from Louisiana dressed in white from the tip of his hat, to the bottom of his socks. Mostly, I remember the huge white chain hanging from his neck. There was a girl who looked like the widow in a noire film and offered Princess Superstar-style rhymes. Then there were Zef Noi$e and Mad Happy.
After the show, I learned that Zef Noi$e has collaborated with Psychic TV . He is the drum'n'bass violinst, tearing his instrument to shreds all Satriani-like as the beats raced towards a 200+ bpm finish line. It was intense. And loud. And it was then that I realized that I really should have brought my earplugs.
Mad Happy played a very short set of four songs: "Loaded Up;" "Renegade Geeks;" "Paint it Pink" and "File 2 the Metal." Partners Mike Ill and Rivka have a good vocal chemistry, going back and forth between rap and song without losing touch of where one or the other was heading, and write some damned catchy songs. I think Sarah and I were about ready to start singing a long by the end of "Paint it Pink." After hearing it live, I didn't think "File 2 the Metal" would end up being my favorite Mad Happy number (I thought that honor would go to "Loaded Up"), but after listening to the MP3, I realized that "File 2 the Metal" is the track. Here it on their My Space page .

-Liz O - Peoples Dance Party

Take some crazy hair dye, tainted conscious love, funky Eastern Euro beats, acid tabs - then take off your clothes - and you have ... electro-pop/hip-hop duo Mad Happy.

- Leah Petrusiak - Time Out Chicago


Frankenprophecy (Mutiny Zoo Records - 2007)

Renegade Geeks (Mutiny Zoo - 2005 - produced by Chris Frantz and Tina Waymouth)

Electro-Funk No-Wave Hip-Hop Compilation (Mutiny Zoo - 2004)

Desperate Living (TGH Present - 2003) Live DVD

Feel Good Music... for the Broke Middle Class (Bar None Records - 2002)



Mad haPPy is a guy/girl electronic duo with a distinctive sound, blending electro, hip-hop, folk and pop; Their lyrics, intelligent verse promoting tolerance and individuality. Mike iLL and Rivka draw on a rainbow of influences, from Hasidic folk melodies to Public Enemy to Hank Williams, Nina Simone, Madonna and Sly Stone. Mad haPPy twists it all up into electro-pop/hip-hop.

The two love birds were hatched in devout religious families. Rivka's parents, both born Jewish, joined the Hasidic movement during their college years in Boston and followed their Rabbi to New York where Rivka was raised the seventh of nine children sheltered from American culture in an enclosed Hasidic community in Brooklyn's Borough Park. Mike's parents, an ex-nun and seminarian were involved in the civil rights movement. They gave birth to Mike in Montgomery, Alabama where they were organizing an integrated county government. Looking to move to New York City, the young family settled across the Hudson River where Mike, the oldest of five children was raised amongst the working class artists of Hoboken, New Jersey.

Rivka and Mike iLL met in 1997 in a sweat lodge at Nature's Friends Farm in New Jersey. They got together for a musical project and ended up hopelessly romantically entangled in '98. It wasn't until New Years of 2002 that they formed Mad haPPy. The two have been doing over 200 live shows a year since; Releasing two full lengths; "Feel Good Music" (Bar/None Records), "Renegade Geeks" (Mutiny Zoo Records), Produced with Chris Frantz and Tina Weymouth, a live DVD, "Desperate Living" (Mutiny Zoo Records) and "The Electro-Funk No Wave Hip-Hop Compilation" (Mutiny Zoo Records).

Mad haPPy's live show is tight, energetic and emotionally charged. The charismatic pair, with manic colored hair, a laptop and a free spirited approach, can start a party anywhere.