Zang Productions
The Custodians

The Custodians

I'm Joel, one half of The Custodians. I'm a multi-national chap, born and raised in Ireland, fine-tuned in Germany and living in Birmingham since 1991.

As well as being a rap artist I'm also a rap coach, a word-nerd, a dad and a film-maker.

Here's a selected filmography:
Movement Builders - 2005 - Documentary
Illumination - 2009 - Documentary
The Tree - 2009 - Documentary
Reckless Love for a Reckless Nation - 2011 - Documentary

Music videos:
The Flood - 2011 - artist: The Praying Mantis
Zang Zero - 2011 - artist: Barrowclough
Sea Land Air - 2011 - artist: Quartz Crystallus
My Rescue - 2011 - artist: Fiction Fight
Say Anything - 2010 - artist: Josiah Gillespie
Higher Higher - 2009 - artist: Juice Aleem

Currently I'm editing this film


Eliot Best, the other Custodian, is an intuitionist producer, throwing those hardcore punk, sci-fi & horror-flicks, new wave, boom bap, 80's children's TV samples together and dicing beats. He loves watching Kubrick films, vibing off MF Doom and hanging out with his two sons.

I started writing and recording rap lyrics 20 years ago! During the first five years there was little progress. If you're getting started here's some simple advice to speed you along:

1. Write rhymes AND rehearse a lot!
2. Spend time around positive, prolific and creative rappers [and actually ask for constructive criticism]. If there are none in your circle of friends, find them on facebook/myspace world.
3. Read widely [fiction & non-fiction, contemporary & classic]
4. Study hip-hop history [get to know the key artists and moments in each of the 4 decades of hip-hop]

So Long, Farewell, Goodbye, I Love You

20th Mar 2013
So Long, Farewell, Goodbye, I Love You

After a decade of musical jestering Zang Productions Cheap Soma is finally to be shut down. We leave you with these parting gifts:

-One last album, called So Long, Farewell, Goodby, I Love You. It's free to download, and it features University of the King, Florent, Barrowclough, Benjamin Blower, Greybeard, Vincent Gould, Fiction Fight, Ebenezer,Bethan Marshall and Selina Blakeney.

-And also three music videos - dug out out of the vaults of unfinished Zang work. One for Selina Blakeney's Stay Tight, one for The Custodians' Sacred, and one for Benjamin Blower's Hey Hey Babylon is Dead...

With love x

Advent Day 18

18th Dec 2012
Advent Day 18
Barrowclough and Joel the Custodian givve us a glimpse of what Christmas would be like for Santa and the Elfs climate change were to mean there was no snow anywhere at Christmas...

It's Christmas time, but where is all snow? 

Advent Day 4

4th Dec 2012
Advent Day 4
2541 days ago to this day, The Visitors by The Custodians was released. Joel the Custodian takes us on a Nativiteous - definitely a word - adventure with some beautiful additional vocals from Selina Blakeney.

Go and grab it now

Joel The Custodian - The Visitors - Nativity Music Video

8th Dec 2011
Joel The Custodian - The Visitors - Nativity Music Video
Another Christmas present for you all!

Joel the Custodian has produced a music video for the festive track - The Visitors.

From Joel - "Peace people, This is my entry to the Nativity Factor Video Contest [being judged by Michelle Williams of Destiny's Child among others].

Rap, astrology, prophecy, 8-sided dice and my daughter starring as an angel: the perfect combo. Watch, share, go to the Nativity Factor site and vote for it! Thank you & I wish you a  pensive advent!"

View the video on Youtube.

Please vote for the video over at the Nativity Factor Website, you'll have to scroll down the page a bit to find it...

By the way, this track is still available in our free download section :)

Zangthology 2000-2010

9th Nov 2010
Zangthology 2000-2010
Zang very proudly presents ZANGTHOLOGY 2000-2010, a compilation celebrating the indie- label's first decade of work.

We have selected 30 tracks from the first 10 years of Zang featuring University of the King, Ickberg, Benjamin Blower, The Custodians and Bethan Marshall. For some of these tracks, it is the first time they have been available online...

Don't Forget Last Years FREE Christmas Album!

13th Dec 2009
Don't Forget Last Years FREE Christmas Album!
The Zang Productions Ensemble's "Christmas Time Is Here Again" is released tomorrow... But for those that need some extra Christmassy-ness today, go and download last years free Christmas Album - "A Zang Christmas"

The free Christmas album has 10 tracks on it with an accompanying music video for the track "Jumping Home For Christmas" with can be watched HERE

The Custodians - Bullet Eater: NEW VIDEO

9th Nov 2009
The Custodians - Bullet Eater: NEW VIDEO
This month we have a new video promo from The Custodians.

The video is for the track 'Bullet Eater' taken from 'My Organs Are Yours' which was released earlier in the year for free.

You can view the video in the Free Download section.

Or you can watch it in HD at: Youtube & Vimeo

You can get 'My Organs Are Yours' HERE

Mr. Z

The Custodians - My Organs Are Yours PT2: NEW FREE EP

1st Jun 2009
The Custodians - My Organs Are Yours PT2: NEW FREE EP
Following the release of 'My Organs Are Yours PART 1' back in April, we can now bring you PART 2!

There are another 5 tracks on here and its available absolutely free in the FREE DOWNLOAD section.

You can also purchase both E.Ps together on CD in the Online Store, these have some bonuses too..

The Custodians Live at Lunchtime In the Bull Ring

14th May 2009
The Custodians Live at Lunchtime In the Bull Ring
We've got a lunchtime treat for Birmingham people. A free half-hour set of progressive hip-hop with Joel the Custodian and other Zang peeps including Greybeard and Benjamin Blower.

This will be an experiment. Who knows what will happen! There'll be live instruments, a kaoss pad and an odd bunch of rap songs and chain-gang ditties.

Don't be late: this will kick off at 12.30 in the main sanctuary of St. Martins Church In the Bullring in Brum city centre.

For more details click on Next Live Date

Michaelis Constant Remix: NEW FREE DOWNLOAD

3rd May 2009
Michaelis Constant Remix: NEW FREE DOWNLOAD
We're talking about the late nineties/early naughties. Barrowclough, Joel the Custodian and Michael Stork were weirding out the whole UK hip hop scene as Michaelis Constant. They were a defining influence for University of the King, and a catalyst for the birth of Zang itself.

I, Mr. Z, found this lost remix of a track from their critically acclaimed and financially disasterous second album Gondwanaland. Go get it from the free downloads page. Who did the remix? It's a competition. Email your answers to ...winner gets used toothbrushes from all three MCs.
View all blog items from The Custodians
Benjamin Blower
Fiction Fight
The Custodians
Josiah Gillespie
Bethan Marshall
University of the King
Selina Blakeney
The Zang Productions Ensemble
Vincent Gould