Ash Borer
Cold Of Ages

You lie awake at night clutching the Cold Of Ages cassette and the Cold Of Ages CD like evil twin infants against your chest. Your mind races. “Ash Borer, I love you, but I just need more. I need your rhythm section to beat me to an even more disfigured pulp. I need your endless tremolo-picked guitar lines to criss cross down my limbs with even more clarity. I need whatever that synth-like ambience is, probably a synth, yeah, to permeate me to the core. What more can I do? Don’t leave me like this, Ash Borer.”

It’s ok. No more tears. As if you need a reason to gather more Ash Borer physical media, Arcata, CA’s soul-crushing black metal sorcerers — perhaps the closest American humans have ever gotten to Emperor’s high water mark (other than Weakling, of course) — just reissued the mammoth Cold Of Ages on two LPs “featur[ing] a vinyl-only mix and master for a heavier and more aggressive sound than the CD and CS versions” via the eternally dope Pesanta Urfolk. Take a listen to the album’s 16-minute opener, “Descended Lamentations,” below. If it doesn’t satiate you, I don’t know what will.

• Ash Borer: http://ash-borer.blogspot.com
• Pesanta Urfolk: http://pesanta.bigcartel.com

Stephen Molyneux

Called to Leave

No Kings: the name of the label itself signifies quality. From Lee Noble and Motion Sickness of Time Travel to Dan Svizeny and Secret Birds, No Kings’ lo-fi, half-reclaimed National Geographic/half-deco artwork and aesthetics of longing and happiness found in dark, sketchy places provide many a beautiful piece of tape.

Stephen Molyneux is no exception. His folk ballads are visceral and tactile, aided in part by the stark recording conditions (a single microphone, according to the website). On Side A, Molyneux squeezes seven songs into 11 minutes. Saving no breath, he allows the steady strum of his guitar to dictate the pace by which the tape progresses. His voice, the only other instrument present (for a while), mesmerizes with its unapologetic imperfections and boldly audible lyrics. Pairing folk images of ghosts, mountains, gold mines, legendary characters, and fruitless journeys, Molyneux is charming and engaging in his vocal delivery.

When “Of Ghosts” appears at the end of Side A, it signals — via time-tortured organ chords — the transition from the oddly jubilant air of discovery to the cold reflection on death of Side B. Here, the tape hiss threatens to overwhelm Molyneux’s singing, which is reduced to barely a gasp in a silent attic. Just as the rivers of Tennessee provides life and sunlight — birds, delicate beauty — straying far from it can lead to wasteland. There is recovery from the darkness in “Of Labor,” which is perhaps a darkly tongue-in-cheek eulogy to the hopelessness of rural poverty, where work and toil are only ever substituted by sleep.

• Stephen Molyneux: http://stephenmolyneux.bandcamp.com
• No Kings: http://nokingsrecord.co

Various Artists: Bridgetown Records

Last Batch Comp

Kevin Greenspon, I love you, dude, and I totally get doing anything to put Bridgetown Records out there, but there’s gotta be a better way than having to verify and type “Spend less with DISH” to download the transfer files for this mix. Hit me up. I got ideas and shit. ;)

Anyhow, I recognized something about Chocolate Grinder posts. We always write short blurbs for “popular” musickings, but never for the peeps who really “matter.” In light of that, this is the Last Batch Comp of tapes on Bridgetown Records for the year (until 2014) before a huge Kevin Greenspon tour. Most of ‘em are sold out because I’m a slow poke, but I been working on shit, so chill out and FIND THESE TAPES!

So without further ado, minus the hyperlinked names of every band/artist featured in this, Bridgetown Records presents THE Last Batch Comp: Cousins, Brahms, Hausu, No Paws, Mariposa, Nicole Kidman, Widesky, Hollow Sunshine, and R. Sawyer. Enjoy. And as always, “Hi!”

Download the comp here.

• Bridgetown Records: http://www.bridgetownrecords.info

White Poppy

“Daydreaming”

Layers upon layers upon layers upon layers upon layers. Our memories, our emotions, our neuroses are just layers upon layers. Nothing is black or white. To me at least, there always seems to be an ethereal filter or psychedelic effect turned way up on the amplifier of life. [Almost] all music is made of layers upon layers. A gentle voice rests upon an expansive rolling lawn of reverberating guitar ramblings. The subtle echo begins to grow, swallowing up the sustained airy vocals, creating a comfortable bed (which has many layers itself) of ambient undertones.

This is what is going on with White Poppy’s upcoming release Drifter’s Gold: layers upon layers. It’s certainly what is going on with the visual accompaniment for “Daydreaming,” a track off the cassette that’s due July 2 on Constellation Tatsu. The video features layers upon layers of color-soaked footage of foliage and wilderness, serving as the backdrop for Crystal Dorval (the solitary creator behind White Poppy) and her heavenly voice to fade in and out, but never quite disappear — just like on the record.

The Drifter’s Gold cassette released by Constellation Tatsu next week is in anticipation of a full-length self-titled LP to be released by Not Not Fun in August. Exciting!

• White Poppy: http://hellowhitepoppy.tumblr.com
• Constellation Tatsu: http://ctatsu.com

Oneohtrix Point Never

“Still Life” [excerpt]

The video for Oneohtrix Point Never’s “Still Life” in many ways mirrors the aesthetic that Daniel Lopatin employed on his new album, R Plus Seven. Like the video, the album is implicitly structured, but there is no cohesion, no resolution. Instead, the music suggests form, but rarely commits to any clear shape, often leaving tracks in a suspended, disembodied state while still relying on semiotic convention for tone. The resulting moods, then, feel disconnected yet assuring, synthetic yet transcendent. And on “Still Life” — one of the darker tracks on the album — we get an eerie desolation, a state that’s underscored in Nate Boyce’s fantastic video by the confrontation between a futurist sublime and the rooted aetheticization of branding, the liquidity of its imagery offset by a fetishistic, staid consumerism. And keep in mind this is just an excerpt! (The original track length is 4:55, and it doesn’t actually start in this video until 1:13.)

Oneohtrix Point Never’s R Plus Seven is out October 1 on Warp.

• Oneohtrix Point Never: http://www.pointnever.com
• Warp: http://warp.net

Dismembered Cattle Fireworks

All God’s Children are Terrible

As grindcore songs are often shorter than the :02 silence that typically separates tracks on a CD, grindcore albums are often made or broken by their sequencing. Sometimes the tracks are so short they sound like fragments of a larger movement, to the point where, done correctly, an entire grindcore album plays like one violenty spastic song. Recognizing this, the most astute grinders assemble their works accordingly, sequencing songs not only by length and sonic buildup, but also by title and theme. Case in point: All God’s Children are Terrible by Dismembered Cattle Fireworks, one of the latest from Grindcore Karaoke.

This 40-song assault clocks in at 15:16. Its longest tracks run 1:37 and 1:35, its shortest 0:01 and less than 0:01 (Bandcamp lists track 11 as 0:00). Thus, it actually takes longer to say the title of the shortest song, “Churches are the real faggots,” than it does to listen to said song. Expectedly, churches are targeted again on songs 23 and 24, “I was going to burn down a church (but then I got high)” and “I got drunk and now that church is on fire,” and once more with the album’s final sequence of holy book burners, but they are not the only victims of DCF’s wrath; others include PETA, Dave Mustaine, Varg Vikirnes, and just about every other human being living or deceased. All this is accomplished in less than 16 minutes by parsing the album into 7 mini-movements, each bookended by a harsh noise interlude or “CULL” playfully titled by the subject at hand, be it “Religion” or “Humanity” or “Food.”

Stream All God’s Children are Terrible below or buy it on cassette for $3 from Neural Discord Recordings.

• Neural Discord Recordings: http://www.neuraldiscordrecordings.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.