Arriving quietly on Christmas morning, we received this hushed gem of a Lotic track. “Shorn” is like a Haiku — a tiny meditation with potentially vast consequences for psychic renewal — an off-kilter pulse that quietly points to more crystalline and somber directions for the producer. It’s a brief moment of clarity, illuminated by a restored laptop screen that washes the already white walls of an empty bedroom an even paler shade. The track’s simple clarity demonstrates a distinct step inward, away from the socialized and reactionary violence of DAMSEL in DISTRESS. While we do have the artisanal-calypso and samba-swing in full effect, it only serves to support a floating aquamarine synth line that carries the high-end into an emotive, blissful ascension. We’re all semi-patiently awaiting further information on a potential, proper Tri Angle release. For now, this glimpse gives us indication of a music that will soundtrack the slightly anxious zen-mentality that comes from midnight private net-surfing; and, *whew* is that helpful.

Stream the track below and keep those fingers crossed for more.

• Lotic: https://soundcloud.com/lotic

n. brennan


Yup. The title ain’t lying to you: SCARY MOMENTS II is the second audio nightmare by n. brennan. Wait, I’m not actually sure if it’s the SECOND audio nightmare, but I’m definitely using audio nightmare in a descriptive way, and not negatively. Just because it’s like a blend of Lil $ega awk-sampling with a slice of BARELY matching time signatures, like how E+E uses. So, it’s like psychedelic sample-based visual bursts of maybe something you saw on television last night, but that was LIVE, so no way it was last night, even if they just spoke about yesterday’s date as “Today.” Like, wait a minute, is n. brennan watching me RIGHT NOW? I’ll test it out and say his name out loud in editorial right now and see if his head pops up. FUCK, everyone’s heads popped up. I’m doomed. He’s haunting me. SCARY MOMENTS II is consuming me. Listen to the new n. brennan SCARY MOMENTS II before it consumes YOU TOO!

• n. brennan: http://brennanisyou.bandcamp.com
• Wasabi Tapes: https://wasabitapes.bandcamp.com


“Hey QT Remix” [co prod. Ghibli & Max Piff]

It seems appropriate that Max Piff and Ghibli’s remix of QT’s song to advertise an energy drink has some croony, white boy vocals (and quasi rap!) added on top of it; this version is as syrupy as the original is Airheads candy sweet. It’s a simple edit, but it Americanizes the track with its soulful additions. But does it actually speak to a North American audience? Or is it just pretending to speak to us like advertising? Either way, I’d rather have QT advertised to me than Tide or Bounty or Chips Ahoy. What does it say to have Manicure Records boss Ghibli co-produce the track? Does that make it more legitimate? Does the fact that Ghibli is Canadian complicate things? Will “Hey QT” have longevity? Are we going to hear a remix from every single genre in the next ten years? Only time will tell.

• QT: http://drinkqt.com
• Max Piff: https://soundcloud.com/maxpiff
• Ghibli: https://soundcloud.com/gh1bl1

r u s s y


There’s something beautiful about defying odds and growing in climates — worldly or social — where negativity and shitiness is everywhere and you’re just a seedling who wants to live in an under two-minute visual for a song called “bleach.”

The above how-to video for defying all odds is from r u s s y’s excellent ( body ), one of two separate albums from Surf War Tapes. The label, co-run by r u s s y and Skelly Sküll, is a SoCal imprint with r u s s y manning a raw storm of glitch and Skelly Sküll laying pop-driven waves — hence, the surf war. The two released ( body ) and Underground Pop respectively on December 28 and New Year’s Day on their Bandcamps. So there isn’t a communal digital space where the beat friends can call their own yet, but we’re getting there. Both albums are becoming tactile and will be out on tape soon via said site.

To celebrate IRL on February 21, San Diego’s Visual Urban Art & Supplies Shop is hosting the physical releases with a coinciding zine release of LOST CAUS and SEXTING, SHAME & SUICIDE’s collaboration. Get more info on the flyer.

• r u s s y: https://russy.bandcamp.com
• Skelly Sküll: https://skellyapexrealm.bandcamp.com
• Surf War Tapes: http://surfwarpresshouse.tumblr.com

Diamond Terrifier

“Castles” (ft. Eartheater)

In 2014, we had artists like Lorenzo Senni and PC Music taking us to the limit of what we thought we could allow ourselves to consider “serious music” and, in the process, showing us that that hesitation was nothing more than our own preconceptions preventing us from enjoying entire sonic palettes. “Castles” by Diamond Terrifier (Sam Hillmer of ZS) combines elements from several oft-questioned genres (free-jazz, EDM, middle-class-girl-internet-whisper-rap) in innovate ways that produce stunning results.

I keep worrying the track’s about to go full-on EDM (spoiler alert: it never does), but it stays delightfully right on that edge, teasing, playing, building its allure. The track’s backbone is a bubblegummy ping-pong synth loop, with occasional percussive jolts that, quite selflessly, never take over the rhythm. There’s also a lot of synthy whooshes, tucked-deep vocal aahs thrown in for texture, and, not inconspicuously, a shredding free-jazz sax straddling melody, texture, and rhythm all at once. Eartheater carries us through the home stretch with a #GuestVerse, smooth-operating in stark contrast to Diamond T’s (no less enjoyable) atonal skronk. Hushed, hazy words flow out of her mouth like e-cig vapor, hanging in the air, catching the light and changing the vibe of the room into something silky and lucid.

TL;DR This track rules.

This is also a good time to mention that ZS have a new album, Xe, out next Tuesday on Northern Spy.

• Diamond Terrifier: https://soundcloud.com/diamondterrifier


CHOCOLATE GRINDER is our audio/visual section, with an emphasis on the lesser heard and lesser known. We aim to dig deep, but we'll post any song or video we find interesting, big or small.