Von Hertzog’s “Sincerely Yours”, available on Limited Edition Cassette Tape.

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Dearly Departed

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Kent Hertzog was always a huge fan of music. As a young child he learned how to use the family turntable and audio receiver before he could read or write. Music has always been very dear to his heart. Raised in a suburban nuclear house hold, he lived the American dream. His father was a teacher and his mother a stay-at-home mom. His parents were always very supportive of his creative endeavors and in high school, his love for music was channeled into DJing. Then using two turntables and a mixer, Kent took on his first alter ego, DJ Luciano. Kent achieved moderate success in his musical projects getting to work with some of the larger names in the hip-hop community.

While attending The Art Institute of Philadelphia he started making the transition from DJing to musical production. As his horizons were widening, so were his musical opportunities. After college he got the chance to work as a recording engineer in a Manhattan recording studio started by industry veteran Thomas “Big Wiggs” Wilson. Kent continued honing his craft and was able to produce music for some of the artists who came through the studio while he worked there.

But Kent’s heart was still back in Philadelphia, so as 2004 was coming to a close, he packed up and moved back to the city of Brotherly Love. Upon arriving in Philadelphia, the creative juices started flowing again. Branching out from only producing for hip-hop artists and incorporating his love for vintage 1980’s synthesizers, he began experimenting in different genres of music.

As life moved right along, in 2006 Kent married his wife, Natalia. The two of them decided they had seen enough city living for a bit and decided to relocate to the suburbs to also be closer to Kent’s family. This turned out to be a decision Kent now cherishes. Kent and his father, Noel, spent a great deal of time together since they were now living so close together. On the evening of November 25th, 2012, the Sunday after Thanksgiving, Kent was at his parents house helping his father upload a family photo for the 2012 Christmas Cards they were going to print. What came next was a total shock.

Kent’s father suffered a ruptured brain aneurysm. Luckily Kent, along with his mother and sister, were also in the house and were able to get Noel to the local hospital for evaluation. After determining that the Aneurysm was the culprit, Noel was flown from Reading Hospital to Thomas Jefferson Hospital for Neuroscience in Philadelphia where he underwent emergency surgery. While Noel survived, he later suffered a stroke at his home on January 29th, 2013.

The stroke caught everyone off guard and shattered Kent’s world. His father, Noel, ultimately passed away on February 8th, 2013. This forever changed Kent and drove him into his home studio as a place to help deal with the emotions he was experiencing. This is where Von Hertzog was born.

The music began flowing out of him, and in a matter of 14 days, he had 10 songs to show. But he didn’t stop there. He kept composing and in the end had written over 20 songs which were whittled down to the final 12 tracks that eventually became “Dearly Departed”. The album “Dearly Departed” is a tribute to Kent’s late father. The music was born out of the most emotionally tumultuous time of his life. It represents the death of one stage of his life and the birth of another. So while the name Von Hertzog may sound new, it comes from a long musical background that is still evolving. A limited run of 180g vinyl records were produced for the 2013 “Dearly Departed” release, in addition to CDs.

May 19, 2015 marks the release of Von Hertzog’s second full length album entitled “Sincerely Yours”. This album represents a turning of the page in Kent’s musical career. The sounds of “Sincerely Yours” are much more 80’s influenced and fall with in the Retro-Synth / Synthwave genres. The entire vibe plays like a cassette tape recently discovered in a forgotten shoe box. He was able to channel his efforts into a more succinct vision. Raw emotions no longer dictated where the music was headed and he allowed his nostalgia for his childhood years to shine through. A limited run of cassette tapes have been produced for Sincerely Yours marking his commitment to physical media in a world where digital releases dominate the landscape.

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