Antony and the Johnsons

Antony and the Johnsons have contributed a new track called “Rise” to the film Coral Rekindling Venus, according to Listen Before You Buy. But this won’t be your typical movie-going experience. According to its synopsis, Coral Rekindling Venus is “[an] extraordinary journey into a mysterious realm of fluorescent coral reefs, bioluminescent sea creatures and rare marine life, revealing a complex community living in the oceans most threatened by climate change,” and to ensure this journey is an experience worthy of its subject matter, the film is only showing at full-dome digital planetariums. That’s right: Antony and the Johnsons’ music will be playing in a fucking planetarium.

Listen to “Rise” below, yet another beautiful, heart-wrenching work by Antony and the Johnsons that would well-suit the slow-moving marine life and vibrant coral reefs depicted in the film. Or better yet, grab a download of the track by donating to the Australian Research Council (ARC) Centre for Excellence for Coral Reef Studies, which serves to “empower local communities to manage the world’s most important and threatened coral reefs.”

Coral Rekindling Venus starts screening on June 5. Go here to see where.

• Antony and the Johnsons:
• Coral Rekindling Venus:
• Australian Research Council:

DJ Rashad & DJ Manny

“You Ain’t About That Life”

DJ Rashad’s long-anticipated full-length on Lit City Trax, TEKLIFE Vol. 1: Welcome to the Chi, isn’t even out yet, but that’s not stopping the Ghetto Tekz from already getting the word out about another upcoming Lit City release. Titled The Manny and Rashad Show, the album puts DJ Rashad with DJ Manny (a young producer/dancer) in a marriage you’d think would burst at the seams with synths, samples, and beats, a clusterfuck of sounds coming from all angles. Instead, we’re treated to “You Ain’t About That Life,” another characteristically cold, minimalist track. Put your sneaks on and turn this shit up:

No release info yet for The Manny and Rasahd Show, but be sure to check out TEKLIFE Vol. 1: Welcome to the Chi June 5 on Lit City.

• DJ Rashad:
• DJ Manny:

食品まつり a.k.a foodman

“La Men”

Footwork’s reach has long since departed Chicago, but while many people are concentrating on its European practitioners — Addison Groove, Kode9, Om Unit/Philip D Kick, etc. — there’s a whole slew of insane Japanese producers who are taking the footwork/juke sound to a more hyperreal, spastic, mind-fucking level. Perhaps most well-known are DJ Fulltono (who runs the fantastic Booty Tune label) and Satanicpornocultshop, but there’s also Kaoru Nakano, Paisley Parks (whose Geto Galaxy on Pan Pacific Playa is one of my personal favorites of the year), and my current obsession, 食品まつり a.k.a foodman.

食品まつり a.k.a foodman (whose real name is Shokuhin Maturi) makes some of the weirdest footwork out there. His tracks sorta flounder, yet they retain the sharp edges of his sticky-icky samples, a push-and-pull methodology that’s made doubly strange given their seeming disregard for structure or cohesion. There’s forward momentum, but his tracks ain’t going nowhere, and the deadly precision is usually offset by much-welcomed lightheartedness. Check out “La men,” one such example, here:

Meanwhile, plenty more Japanese footworking to be heard on Japanese Juke&Footworks Compilation, a behemoth 45-track compilation that features all of the above and many more, courtesy of Jap Mutation Bootyism. Now, everybody footwork, okayyyy!?

• 食品まつり a.k.a foodman:
• Booty Tune:
• Pan Pacific Playa:

Echo Beds

Arsonist Alibi [EP stream]

Denver’s Echo Beds has been terrorizing DIY audiences around town with scrap metal and contact mics for a minute now, forging an industrial aesthetic that catastrophically crashes as much as it crawls across the skin. To boot, though this is certainly noise, it’s important to note the musicality present here as well. Improvised in practice, maybe, shapely and well-composed nonetheless. Still, if you have a comfort zone, get the fuck out of it right now. You there? Now stream/download to your inner-monster’s content.

• Echo Beds:


Middle America [album stream]

Ah, Middle America. It’s so easy to fall into the slow-paced lifestyle that prevails between those rolling hills that guide you on the long stretches of highway between college towns. If you don’t fall into the lifestyle, you just end up bored most of the time, which is how so many Midwest kids become vandals and pyromaniacs. What else are you going to do?

Netherfriends (a.k.a. Shawn Rosenblatt) seemed to reach that plateau of boredom at a much younger age than most prolific Midwest kids. He was probably sitting around some huge bonfire in a corn field somewhere thinking to himself, “How about instead of doing this, I just tour the entirety of this country in one year and record a song in every single state?” And the real kicker? He actually did it. I can’t tell you how many ideas I’ve had for bands and music projects that haven’t survived past the hour or two of conversation I got from sharing the idea with a few friends while we shot off fireworks and vandalized things. Oh well, you can take the kid out of the Midwest, but you can’t always take the Midwest out of the kid.

Stream Middle America, Netherfriend’s nine-song musical companion to growing up in any of the included nine Midwestern states, and buy the digital version from Kilo Records. There are 41 more where this came from, so keep your ears open all you coastal kids!

• Netherfriends:
• Kilo Records:

Fatima Al-Qadiri

GSX Remixes

Fatima Al-Qadiri is one of a recent outcropping of soundmakers who increasingly blur the lines between pop music and multimedia installation. These pop conceptualists are more likely to refer to themselves as “multimedia artists” than musicians, and their work is often illegible without reference to their visual and textual components. Sure, you could choose to listen to last year’s Genre Specific Xperience EP in a vacuum and ignore the associated video pieces and experimental web art, but that would be missing the point… no? Maybe not. Al-Qadiri also released the Warn-U EP under the Ayshay moniker last year, and it stood on its own quite well. Still, you are much more likely to catch a FAQ performance at PS1 or the New Museum than Glasslands or Zebulon.

The point is that FAQ is up to something a little more tricky and complex than your average beatmaker, even though her beats are pristine and her command of generic tropes is impressive. For evidence of complexity, look no further than GSX Remixes, released this week on UNO. Here’s what FAQ has to say: “I really liked the idea of the remix album — a polarizing, commercial format that became popular in the 90s. For me, it was a way to explore the concept of genre as a commodity further.” These remixes present the listener with an unorthodox marriage: hyperreal musical virtualities by a conceptual artist, rewired and transformed by forward-thinking producers of largely non-conceptual electronic music.

Listen to three of the EP’s seven remixes below. Just be careful not to disappear into the infinite regress of meta-cognitive levels of commentary.

• Fatima Al-Qadiri:
• UNO:


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.