Chocolate Grinder Mix 06
“Don’t Doomgaze Childhood Wander Alone”

This mix is more of a trip than my last installment, less post-coital and more absinthe freebase. The bizarre "future primitive" vocal loop stylings of Scotland's Wounded Knee and the prickly acoustic guitar of Washington's legendary Kelly Joe Phelps sandwich a selection of hypnotic tracks that struggle to fall easily into a genre classification. With the possible exception of the upbeat Brazilian MPC house excursion of Azaxx (generously provided by Tru Thoughts), I feel all the tracks more or less build off each other like a proper mix should, rather than as the random collection of exciting new tracks it basically is. The birds from Balky Mule's Syd Barrett-meets-Damon Albarn mesh with Bibio's nostalgic wilderness, which leads to Shuttle (one of the electronic tracks to hear this year) going down a cave, and so forth. Buy the ticket, take the ride.

01. Wounded Knee - "My Wooden Cupboard" (Shimmering New Vistas)
- Start time: 0:00; Links: Benbecula - Wounded Knee
02. The Balky Mule - "Dust Bird Baths" (The Length Of The Rail)
- Start time: 4:12; Links: FatCat - The Balky Mule
03. Bibio - "Weekend Wildfire" (Vignetting The Compost)
- Start time: 8:08; Links: Mush - Bibio
04. Shuttle - "Tunnel" (Tunnel EP)
- Start time: 13:15; Links: Ninja Tune - Shuttle
05. Tycho - "Cascade (Live Version)" (Ghostly Swim)
- Start time: 17:49; Links: Ghostly International - Tycho
06. Gui Boratto - "Colors" (Take My Breath Away)
- Start time: 21:41; Links: Kompakt - Gui Boratto
07. The Show Is The Rainbow - "Who He Says He Is" (Wet Fist)
- Start time: 25:39; Links: Retard Disco - The Show Is The Rainbow
08. Azaxx - "Wild Strawberry Jelly" (The Exotic Delight Bay)
- Start time: 29:28; Links: Tru Thoughts - Azaxx
09. The Kilimanjaro Darkjazz Ensemble - "München" (Mutations EP)
- Start time: 33:45; Links: Ad Noiseam - The Kilimanjaro Darkjazz Ensemble
10. Kelly Joe Phelps - "Blowing Dust 40 Miles" (Western Bell)
- Start time: 39:44; Links: Black Hen - Kelly Joe Phelps

[Artwork: Keith Kawaii]

Chocolate Grinder Mix 05

“Brained By Falling Masonry”

This was originally supposed to be my "indie rock" mix. I don't listen to a whole lot of it and thought it'd be a nice challenge to create a mix that would, in my mind, place more emphasis on the form rather than the content -- trying to examine the recurring characteristics of my mixes through a style I'm admittedly very picky about. However, my predilection towards the more adventurous quickly seeped its way in. Consequently, what results is a mix that I feel unfairly makes some of the "noisier" sounds -- Alva Noto, Anthony Pateras & Robin Fox, Giuseppe Ielasi -- function as "transition" tracks (so if you find these tracks interesting, seek out the albums!). I suppose the assumption is that melodic music is more befitting of a mix -- but, oddly enough, what originally started out as an "indie rock" mix now has me thinking about how I can turn this assumption on its head. Are you pumped to hear this mix now??

"Brained By Falling Masonry" tracklist:

01. Alva Noto - "Xerrox Teion" (Xerrox Vol. 2)
- Start time: 0:00; Links: raster-noton - Alva Noto
02. Banjo Or Freakout - "Mr No" (single)
- Start time: 1:55; Links: No Pain in Pop - Banjo or Freakout
03. Anthony Pateras & Robin Fox - "You're All Answers" (End of Daze)
- Start time: 6:40; Links: Editions Mego - Anthony Pateras & Robin Fox
04. Cryptacize/C. Spencer Yeh - "Mini-Mythomania" (remix of Mythomania)
- Start time: 12:17; Links: Asthmatic Kitty - Cryptacize- C. Spencer Yeh
05. Shearing Pinx - "Smarts" (Ultra Snake)
- Start time: 15:35; Links: Endless Latino - Shearing Pinx
06. Antony and the Johnsons - "The Crying Light" (The Crying Light)
- Start time: 18:01; Links: Secretly Canadian - Antony and the Johnsons
07. Giuseppe Ielasi - [Untitled - Track 1] (Aix)
- Start time: 21:09; Links: 12k - Giuseppe Ielasi
08. Blackout Beach - "Astoria, Menthol Lite, Hilltop, Wave of Evil, 1982" (Skin of Evil)
- Start time: 24:27; Links: Soft Abuse - Blackout Beach
09. Mirah - "Gone Are the Days" ((a)spera)
- Start time: 29:21; Links: K - Mirah
10. Lotus Plaza - "Whiteout" (The Floodlight Collective)
- Start time: 32:59; Links: Kranky - Lotus Plaza

Artwork: [Keith Kawaii]

Chocolate Grinder Mix 04

“The Space Bud Fuzz Lounge Revolt”

When I sit down to make a mix, I do my best to include a little something for everybody, but also united by some intangible common thread. Despite working within a limited range of only new songs, I believe I achieved this here. Running the gamut from circuit-bent indie to instrumental hip-hop and breaks, the tone lends itself to a post-coital chill, getting a bit restless and ready for pancakes by the end. Hints toward my leftist politics and my use of humor as a coping mechanism arise throughout, especially the whistling in the Odd Nosdam track, the ranting and duck calls in the Filastine, and whatever Fol Chen is. It's a trip you can return to often, one that may reveal more about me than you ever cared to know.

"The Space Bud Fuzz Lounge Revolt" tracklist:

01. The Long Lost - "Amiss" (The Long Lost)
- Start time: 0:00; Links: Ninja Tune - The Long Lost
02. Skyrider - "Everyday Of Their Lives" (Skyrider)
- Start time: 2:56; Links: Sticks & Stones - Skyrider
03. Baja - "Kitten (Chaos & Numerology)" (Aether Obelisk)
- Start time: 6:50; Links: Other Electricities - Baja
04. Broadway Project - "Keats" (One Divided Soul)
- Start time: 10:40; Links: ODS - Broadway Project
05. Fol Chen - "You And Your Sister In Jericho" (Part I: John Shade, Your Fortune's Made)
- Start time: 14:55; Links: Asthmatic Kitty - Fol Chen
06. Odd Nosdam - "Fly Mode" (T.I.M.E)
- Start time: 20:51; Links: Anticon - Odd Nosdam
07. Sleeper - "Condition OR Effect" (Behind Every Mask)
- Start time: 23:39; Links: Mush - Sleeper
08. Filastine - "Bitrate Sneers" (Dirty Bomb)
- Start time: 28:33; Links: Soot - Filastine
09. Nanda - "Caveman" (Constant Change)
- Start time: 32:09; Links: Multi Music - Nanda
10. Qua - "The Magnificent Mister" (Q&A)
- Start time: 36:50; Links: Mush - Qua

[Artwork: Keith Kawaii]

Chocolate Grinder Mix 03

“Pumpkin Gets a Snakebite”

This is our first 2009 mix, and I've already managed to contaminate the temporal purity by including a 2008 song, Ryland Bouchard's "Woke Up Alone" (which didn't quite fit my first mix). The rest of the tracks, however, are so fresh and new that most of them have yet to be officially released, including a track from Dan Deacon's much-anticipated new album, Bromst, another from the hyped-up WAVVVES LP (which has been bumped to March), and one from Tim Hecker's An Imaginary Country, which sounds significantly better in its original context. Anyway, I'm sorta in love with my transition from the Psychic Ills track to the Dent May track, so take note and prepare yourself to be in awe of my mixing skills.

"Pumpkin Gets a Snakebite" tracklist:

01. Dirty Projectors + David Byrne - "Knotty Pine" (Dark Was The Night)
- Start time: 0:00; Links: 4AD - Dirty Projectors - David Byrne
02. Rose For Bohdan - "Boy Heaven" (There it is, The Creeping Moral Decay of the Past Thousand Years)
- Start time: 2:18; Links: Realicide Youth - Rose For Bohdan
03. Death Sentence: PANDA! - "New China Blazers" (Insects Awaken)
- Start time: 3:28; Links: Upset the Rhythm - Death Sentence: PANDA!
04. Psychic Ills - "Sub Synth" (Mirror Eye)
- Start time: 4:43; Links: The Social Registry - Psychic Ills
05. Dent May & His Magnificent Ukulele - "Meet Me in the Garden" (The Good Feeling Music)
- Start time: 6:39; Links: Paw Tracks - Dent May
06. Dan Deacon - "Get Older" (Bromst)
- Start time: 10:01; Links: Carpark - Dan Deacon
07. Ryland Bouchard - "Woke Up Alone" (Seeds)
- Start time: 16:33; Links: Swim Slowly - Ryland Bouchard
08. Tim Hecker - "Sea of Pulses" (An Imaginary Country)
- Start time: 19:23; Links: Kranky - Tim Hecker
09. Bosque Brown - "Went Walking" (Baby)
- Start time: 23:59; Links: Burnt Toast Vinyl - Bosque Brown
10. WAVVES - "So Bored" (WAVVVES)
- Start time: 27:43; Links: Fat Possum - WAVVES

Artwork: [Keith Kawaii]

Chocolate Grinder Mix 02

“Single Ladies (Put a Thing On It)”

I always go into music reviews with heavy skepticism. My mood turns wary and cynical after reading someone pontificate at length over a new rock album; I sneer when a writer tries to creatively describe in words the sounds bouncing around their headphones. Such translation usually doesn't make sense to anyone other than the writer, because music tends to elicit such personal reactions that aren't easily conveyed. Sometimes a poorly written review will sway my view of an album before I've heard a note, because when we read music criticism, our reaction, whether positive or negative, is to an author, not a musician. Then, other times, something magical happens. I finally get to hear the music that so many words have been spent on. And sometimes it's good, real good. I'm not discounting all criticism (or else I wouldn't be here), but I am saying that sometimes the music just has to speak for itself.

"Single Ladies (Put a Thing On It)" tracklist:

01. Dj Scotch Egg - "Drumized" (Drumized)
- Start time: 0:00; Links: Load - Dj Scotch Egg
02. MoHa! - "Karibcore" (One-Way Ticket to Candyland)
- Start time: 3:03; Links: Rune Grammofon - MoHa!
03. edIT (feat. J-Dilla, Phat Kat & Dabrye) - "The Game Is Not Over" (single)
- Start time: 5:21; Links: Alpha Pup - edIT
04. YMCK - "Major Swing" (Family Genesis)
- Start time: 11:02; Links: Avex Trax - YMCK
05. Femi Kuti - "One Two" (Day By Day)
- Start time: 14:01; Links: Mercer Street - Femi Kuti
06. DJ/rupture - "Plays John Cassavettes pt. 2: Ekkehard Ehlers" (Uproot)
- Start time: 16:16; Links: Agriculture - DJ/Rupture
07. Food For Animals - "Virgogo" (Belly)
- Start time: 18:28; Links: Cock Rock Disco - Food For Animals
08. Ponytail - "Small Wevs" (Ice Cream Spiritual)
- Start time: 20:35; Links: We Are Free - Ponytail
09. of Montreal - "Touched Something's Hollow" (Skeletal Lamping)
- Start time: 23:58; Links: Polyvinyl - of Montreal
10. Zazen Boys - "Sabaku" (Zazen Boys 4)
- Start time: 25:23; Links: Matsuri Studio - Zazen Boys

Artwork: [Keith Kawaii]

Chocolate Grinder Mix 01

“Rise of the Common Woodpile”

Welcome to Chocolate Grinder, our new multimedia section! To kick things off, we'll post a couple 2008 mixes to get in the groove and then start posting 2009 mixes on a regular basis, including tracks from albums that haven't been released yet. These mixes aren't necessarily intended to be promotional -- there's a reason we're sequencing them into one continuous track -- but we do encourage you to seek out the albums from which they're culled, if only to compare how their respective contexts shape our valuation of them. The first 2008 mix, "Rise of the Common Woodpile," compiles some of my favorite tracks of last year. If you scan through the tracklist, it's obvious I'm not aiming for comprehensiveness or popularity -- they're just simply songs that hit me in that warm, fuzzy spot.

"Rise of the Common Woodpile" tracklist:

01. YMCK - "Sabita Tobira no Dai 8 Tengoku" (Family Genesis)
- Start time: 0:00; Links: Avex Trax - YMCK
02. Kurt Weisman - "Mother Daughter Day" (Spiritual Sci-Fi)
- Start time: 3:03; Links: Important - Kurt Weisman
03. Foot Village - "Materialistic Crap" (Friendship Nation)
- Start time: 6:26; Links: Tome - Gilgongo - Foot Village
04. Kría Brekkan - "Skywinnowing" (Apotropaiosong Armor)
- Start time: 8:22; Links: Kría Brekkan
05. The Music Tapes - "Freeing Song for Reindeer" (Music Tapes for Clouds and Tornadoes)
- Start time: 10:01; Links: Merge - The Music Tapes
06. Matmos - "Rainbow Flag" (Supreme Balloon)
- Start time: 12:57; Links: Matador - Matmos
07. Max Tundra - "Gum Chimes" (Parallax Error Beheads You)
- Start time: 16:37; Links: Domino - Max Tundra
08. Evangelista - "For the L'il Dudes" (Hello, Voyager)
- Start time: 20:05; Links: Constellation - Evangelista
09. Sun City Girls - "Mr. Lonely Viola" (Mister Lonely OST)
- Start time: 22:53; Links: Drag City - Sun City Girls
10. Karl Blau - "Noah Richards' Sun" (AM)
- Start time: 26:47; Links: Whistler - Karl Blau

Artwork: [Keith Kawaii]



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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.