“Free Mind”

Oh shiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiit! Mariah’s gonna be piiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiisssed! Joel Ford (as in the Ford of Ford & Lopatin) has chopped, screwed, and synthed-out Mariah Carey’s powerful cut “Prisoner,” and he didn’t even ask her if she was down! It’s the new Frank Ocean vs. Don Henley! Nah, just kidding. Ford, who calls himself Airbird when he’s alone, has utilized the loophole-jumpin’ Legitmix to promote his new record Romance Layers. Legitmix makes you purchase the tracks he’s sampled (if you don’t already own them, and you know you own that Mariah track) in order to avoid legal confrontation. Maybe it’s not as badass as Ocean’s blatant theft of “Hotel California,” but it’s pretty chill I guess. Good thing is you can listen to the song right here, right now and get excited about the rest of Airbird’s new recording, which also includes reworks of music by Steve Roach and Basia.

• Airbird:
• Legitmix:

Chocolate Grinder Mix 51

The Gun-Cock

Over the last year or so, I’ve noticed an increasing number of artists sampling the sound of a gun being cocked. You know, the “chk-chk” sound usually heard before someone’s brain splatters on the wall (hahahahah!!). Perhaps it’s been here all along and this “trend” that I’m picking up on merely reflects my current predilection toward sample-based musics. But already in the first half of 2012, this sound, this aural signifier of threat, has played such a prominent role in specifying what I consider to be a signature sound of 2012 that I was compelled to make a mix out of some of my favorites (yes, I found more than these 10 songs).

I included a couple rappers (Lil B, Joey Bada$$), but I generally avoided rap since it already has such a rich history with the gun-cock (which perhaps speaks to the influence that rap has had on the rest of the tracks here). Aside from Alex Gray (as DJ/PURPLE/IMAGE on “02” and as Heat Wave on “Every Fuck Shop”), the gun-cock sample is featured prominently in these tracks, either for narrative or aesthetic purposes. Of course, in this context, it all boils down to aesthetics in the end, but the gun-cocking in tracks like “SEX TAPE” (BODYGUARD) and “Bludgeon Riddim” (Massacooramaan) do little in service of any kind of storyline. Instead, the gun-cock is included here as a sound among many others, oftentimes without the subsequent gunshot, a sort of democratization that deflates the cocked gun’s implied violence while acting as an aesthetic shorthand for a tension that’s internalized rather than released.

Stream below, and subscribe to our podcast here.

[00:00] White Rainbow - “DUUUUK IT OUT”
[01:33] Heat Wave - “Every Fuck Shop”
[09:40] Joey Bada$$ - “Survival Tactics”
[13:02] Alphabets - “Made U Sick. Kill Them All.”
[21:09] Dean Blunt - “The Narcissist II” [excerpt]
[26:43] Massacooramaan - “Bludgeon Riddim”
[31:31] DJ/PURPLE/IMAGE - “02”
[35:26] Ahnnu - “db4ser”
[36:28] Lil B - “Dirty Game”

Thanks to C Monster and Strauss for a couple of the more siginficiant tracks (Lil B’s “Dirty Game” and Alphabets’ “Made U Sick. Kill Them All,” respectively).

Raymond Scottwalker and Viktor Vibes

Watchin Yu [EP stream]

Fallopian Tunes is a new label and collective based in Melbourne and specializing in experimental electronics. Formed by one half of Yolke during a recent stint in Berlin, they’ve been releasing material for a couple of years now mainly on tape and MP3. But the pace and quality has really picked up in 2012.

Following the release of the excellent Gloss & Moss compilation with New Weird Australia in May, this collab between Raymond Scottwalker (also of Yolke) and Victor Vibes dropped this week. “Watchin oVR Yu” is maybe the standout track (though Clikk Up has a mighty fine groove too), proving it’s not only those crazy cats at DIS Mag riding the vaporwave, yo.

• Raymond Scottwalker and Victor Vibes:
• Fallopian Tunes:



It seems rare for a band of such sonic genotype and high ambition to have unleashed an album that’s both so low-profile yet so fully gestated. That’s to say, Merchandise’s recent Children of Desire is fantastic and, so far, fantastically overlooked. The band, rising from a sector of Tampa’s authentic punk scene, is an astronomically rare example of authentic “post-punk.” What happens when punks grow up? When their pallets overspill and flourish? Something like this, full-throated and honest and honed.

“Time” is a fine choice for the record’s lead single, even if it lacks the awe of the album’s 10-minute “Become What You Are,” which tames an 80s breed of melancholic euphoria into a 2012 reality. As for the video, if you see palimpsests of Space Men 3 or Spectrum’s cosmonauts, it can only be augury of Merchandise’s great things to come, as there’s already been a great start.

Children of Desire is out now from Katorga Works.

• Merchandise:
• Katorga Works:

Golden Retriever

“Serene Velocity”

Fuck Folgers, amirite? I have to drink that shit every day at work. The actual best part of waking up? “Serene Velocity” by Golden Retriever. It’s the new caffeine. Your brain dripping out your earlobes and soaking into your headphones; this is exactly what you need to get your day going — trust me. I count close to one zillion tones by the time this thing hits its peak, the duo of Jonathan Sielaff and Matt Carlson adding layer after layer of melody to create an insanely intense polyphony from very monophonic instruments (fun fact: both the bass clarinet and the analog modular synth the two use for their music, respectively, are only capable of playing one note at a time). The result is an intrepid trip through deep space, an incredible journey of sonic discovery. An exploration of astounding heights and breathtaking lows, newly documented for the listener to follow, bob and weave with, rise and fall with, and basically freak out entirely over. Those highs are so damn high. The lows rumble the guts. And the experience is one of immeasurable psychedelic effects. Every day should start like this. Every single day.

And lo — street date for Occupied with the Unspoken, the Thrill Jockey debut for the group, is July 24. That means you still have time to pre-order and take the label up on its offer to package the LP with an 8 oz. bag of your very own Retriever-approved bean: Stumptown Coffee’s Costa Rica Montes de Oro. All of this is good. Good to the last drop? Oof. Even though it’s true, I really should not have gone there. The Folgers thing was bad enough. Anyway, dig the trip while dodging bitmapped asteroids of electronics and geological formations in this excellently-paced clip from Jamie Potter. WAIT! Are your headphones on? Full volume? Okay.

• Golden Retriever:
• Thrill Jockey:

Diskette Romances

Diskette Romances [album stream]

Following in the footsteps of artists like INTERNET CLUB and LASERDISC VISIONS/NEW DREAMS LTD. (a.k.a. Macintosh Plus a.k.a. 情報デスクVIRTUAL a.k.a. esc 不在, etc.), Diskette Romances brings the lo-fi, bizarro-90s board-meeting jams to the mighty and prolific Sunup Recordings, a Minnesota-based (represent!) label that’s part of the Living Room Visions collective. The music on Diskette Romances’ self-titled release is what you might expect from a so-called vaporwave practitioner: breezy, barely-effected samples of on-hold music, moving from one teleconference to another, with training video on pause as one ponders the drudgery and tedium of worklife. MORE PLEASE!

The tape is available now for $4 via Sunup.

• Sunup Recordings:


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.