Ahnnu
“Palekk”

“Palekk” is the haphazardly braided ponytail that hangs loosely from an artist’s head. It seems unconsidered, but you can’t imagine a more perfect way for that hair to lay past her paint-speckled shoulders. The track is produced by Ahnnu a.k.a. Leland Jackson of Virginia, who is part of Richmond’s Chocolate Milk hip-hop collective (with Ohbliv, Shawn Kemp, and Lil Ugly Mane). Clocking in at under a minute and a half, this post hip-hop track does just enough to get the idea across before making its exit. Similar to Madlib’s short-form, Ahnu introduces a pause and morphs the pattern seconds before putting on the brakes. Although not abrupt, the track ends just as you realized you were going somewhere.

“Palekk” is from Prohabitat, the follow-up to Couch, released by WTR CLR.

• Ahnu: http://www.dogtropic.net
• WTR CLR: http://wtrclr.com

CULP

“SUGARBRUSH”

YAY!!!! Unnecessarily swelled beats and fucked fighting. Creature bongs releasing lungs on lungs on lungs full of smoke. Getting them babies swinging and ripppppppppped. Try’na tell a toon to chill, ‘cause chase creeps can’t crash. “SUGARBRUSH,” yo — shit, CULP can’t crash. Like, the only way someone should enhance their CULP experience is to pop the new album TUNA into Audacity and MAX that bass. That’s my favorite part of all this CULP grime-pop: when the bass completely scorches the melody. Only competition with this is that Bolo Yeung volume collection off Dat Piff. But, I think the mythos of who the fuck makes these fresh beats is my biggest heartboner moment with CULP. Whoodie!!!!!!!!!!!!

• CULP: http://www.myspace.com/culprit303
• Vaatican Records: http://gestrococlub.org/tympans.htm

Miracle Blues

Fullerton Avenue Rhythm Arranger [album stream]

The word drone, in its many forms, always seems to imply a sort of subterranean feel — an existence just outside of immediate consciousness. Take drone strikes, for example. They happen from a nearly undetectable mechanical force that seems to come from nowhere and disappear as quickly as they came. A military force with no visible military presence. The idea is the same when referring to worker drones. Employees capable of doing the work on a nearly unconscious level, their minds wandering elsewhere in order to retain sanity.

Drone, as a music style/genre, works the same way: a tuning out that exists below our surface consciousness, accented only by little spikes that attack from nowhere and decay as quickly or slowly as they came. The way artists incorporate these peaks above the surface is what seems to differentiate most drone music; it’s the way the song pulls you from the quicksand that all drone often spends the first minutes dragging you into.

The new tape from Miracle Blues, Fullerton Avenue Rhythm Arranger, on Lillerne Tapes is a perfect example of this format. The first minutes are spent pulling you down into a pool of synth waves, just shallow (as in not deep) enough to be seen and, therefore, mesmerizing. And just before you are entirely submerged, little spikes of gurgling drum noises begin to bubble up from the surface, followed by a detuned spike of noise to snap you out of your trance. It’s patient and subtle and paced in such a way that it doesn’t allow you to tune out. This one demands your attention at the very moments you are ready to give it up.

Take the plunge below, and buy the entire thing over at Lillerne Tapes.

• Lillerne Tapes: http://www.lillernetapes.com

Mark Przybylowski

Lonely House [album stream]

More insanely good music from the highly (and criminally) unknown jazz cassette label Galtta Media, this tape finds honcho David Lackner releasing a beautiful collection of classical- and folk-leaning balladry from the otherwise moderately well-known jazz bassist Mark Przybylowski. The house, grey skies, and bare tree branches on the cover have me longing for the cool winds of winter, though outside temperatures refuse to clock in anything lower than 90° (#FML). Still, the overall feel of the cassette does help to cool things off, at least mentally.

Musically, Przybylowski evokes notions of impressionism with the pastel compositional strokes of masters like Erik Satie. Recorded with a single mic in an empty house over the course of a year, Lonely House features skeletal acoustic guitar, singing cellos, double bass, and the occasional vocal inflection. Ultimately, the tape is sold on its ability to break the heart with such an astoundingly soft touch, the airy quality of the tape imagining an armchair’s lulling rock, the withered, paper-soft skin of a grandmother’s brittle fingers, or the last leaf ever-threatening to fly headlong with the chilling winds. An old, sepia-toned photograph. A trembling memory. A devastating sadness. A warm, comforting blanket of beauty. Yeah, all that and probably a lot no writer could even attempt to describe properly. Find your adjectives:

• Galtta Media: http://galttamedia.com

DJ/PURPLE/IMAGE

IM FUCKIN YOU TONIGHT VOL. II [mixtape]

/// / “Heat Wave over. This is the beginning of the new chapter,” says Alex Gray, king of everything vibing your ears (Deep Magic/Tapes, Dreamcolour, DJ/PURPLE/IMAGE… his mainstays). Well, help me tell Thursday back the fuck up by collectively listening to DJ/PURPLE/IMAGE’s IM FUCKIN YOU TONIGHT VOL. II. On the real, VOL. I (TMT Review), released under his Heat Wave moniker, was the only CD I bought this year — well, in many years. VOL. II fronts that same magic, with editions like Drake, Kool Keith, and (of course) 70s pro-no jams all mixed by your warp master DJ/PURPLE/IMAGE. My definition of SWAG is more visual than anything, but hear IM FUCKIN YOU TONIGHT VOL. II and recognize Gray got that hard audio lean. So pop off your lean-on immediately, blast this mix at max, and get wet:

• DJ/PURPLE/IMAGE: http://djpurpleimage.tumblr.com
• Deep Tapes: http://deeptapes.com

Kuhn

“Even Bears”

So, here’s a great idea: take seven artists from Brooklyn label Astro Nautico’s roster and have them each build a track using samples from Akira Kurosawa’s The Seven Samurai, and then get a Japanese-based label, let’s say… INNIT for example, to do the same thing, except switch the movie to our Westernized version of the same film, The Magnificent Seven, and then release a cassette of the 14 songs for the entire world to enjoy.

Whoa! That sounds incredible!

Thanks, but it wasn’t my idea. I thought of it last night and woke up this morning to find that Astro Nautico and INNIT were already on top of it. I guess that’s why I’m the one doing the writing and they’re the ones selling tapes. Oh well.

Check out the first track released from the tape, “Even Bears,” by label Astro Nautico’s Kuhn below; buy the tape over at Astro Nautico (for US dollars) or Day Tripper Records (for yen); and then cross your fingers that the Wu-Tang Clan get a hold of this and decide to do a collaboration.

• Kuhn: http://kuhn.bandcamp.com
• Astro Nautico: http://astronautico.com
• INNIT: http://innitmusic.com
• Day Tripper Records: http://daytripperrecords.com

  

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.