Barn Owl
“The Long Shadow”

Mssrs. Caminiti and Porras, San Francisco’s finest Creatures of the Mist, purveyors of drones of the desert-scorched and mind-altering variety, return to your turntable on April 16 when Thrill Jockey releases V, the duo’s fifth full-length album (omitting their earliest CD-Rs from discographical roman-numeration). At first, I planned on using some snappy phrase like “Barn Owl unsheathe their guitars” or “dust off their synths” or “fire up their Line6 DL-4s,” but if these two humans’ recent string of fully realized solo works and collaborations is any indicator, their gear has remained unsheathed, dust-free, and fired up for quite some time now. I imagine they’re working on their next releases, solo and together and with other loved ones, right now as I write this. Perhaps they’re standing a few feet away from each other on a bluff, their boots sunk into the mud, gazing out over the bay as the sun inches slowly upward into a plume of graying cumulonimbus. (This counts as “working on their next releases” on some level.)

“The Long Shadow,” our first taste of V, hits all the Barn Owl sweet spots: clean-toned guitars chime, reverberate, and loop back to do it again; a cloud of delay-bleached organ hangs over the mix, coming back to Earth to slip a four-chord progression into the murk; pedals click on and the guitar tone splinters into that overdriven howl we know and love. Something’s new here, though: the mix is denser than previous Owl offerings. As more synth layers accumulate and absorb the duo’s previously looped tones into one mammoth, pulsing swirl, these 5 minutes stretch into what feels like 15.

Pre-order V today from Thrill Jockey. Dust off your favorite armchair and settle in for the wait: when 40-some suns have set, the LP will be at your door.

• Barn Owl: http://electrictotem.com/barnowl
• Thrill Jockey: http://www.thrilljockey.com

Pete Swanson

“Grounds For Arrest”

Cut and shifted into what you think is thought of as music is really an intentional ploy for attention. Watching you. Him watching you. Grain is his digital. Your pores are his pleasure. He wraps his mouth around the eye piece of the camera. He watches you enjoy. Enjoy this night. He reveals her as him/herself. To nobody. To the interior of sweatpants. In a club. The club you’re in now. Invited to now. Be bare and driven by beat and dance. Ice tings flutter your throat from Bombay Sapphire when you yell at the DJ. And he can see you. Hand in the air. Hands in the air. Light in red on purple and blue; yellow becomes all one in green as grey and black. Sooooo exhausted. Your body dwindles. His stiffens. No gender. There’s so much footage. So much to edit and make. Whole entity. Sacrifice age and culture. Asexuality. Properly. Ego froze. Anticipation bare. Prepare for the worst in every situation, and yeah, your keys can’t help you turning down any alley. Especially this one. Digital smear. “Grounds For Arrest.” Laying down Punk Authority March 12.

• Pete Swanson: https://twitter.com/pete_swans
• Software: http://softwarelabel.net

ANTHM

“Nina”

On paper, ANTHM seems like the bougiest rapper ever. After graduating from Duke, Anteneh Addisu moved to Manhattan and started working on Wall Street as a trader for Citigroup. But then the northern Virginia native made a career swap bold enough to make any college career counselor wince: he ditched the suit and tie, picked up a mic, and turned a lifelong hobby into a career. The cutthroat world of the one percent, the rapper’s bio informs us, instilled in him an unstoppable drive — one that caught the attention of G-Unit producer DJ Whoo Kid, and led to opening stints for hipster-hop favorites like the Cool Kids and Hoodie Allen. Despite his white-collar cred, ANTHM’s sound is surprisingly modest, employing stripped-down, sunny production and wordplay that, while every bit as literate as to be expected from a Duke grad, somehow comes across as effortless and insightful. On his new track “Nina,” named for the famous jazz singer, the New York transplant invokes a decidedly Lupe-esque vibe, examining his unconventional rise to the top with a tone that’s as calm as it is critical.

• ANTHM: http://callmeanthm.com

Ohbliv

blk lite [EP]

I like how you can search genres on Bandcamp, but words like “experimental” and “hip-hop” aren’t nearly specific enough to dig up any consistent results. “SP-404” though? Goldmine! This Ohbliv EP, blk lite, is a perfect example. It’s like an 11-minute ascent into that really classy, poorly-lit lounge in the corner of heaven. That’s Central East Coast, man. They know how to make some beats.

Check it out.

• Ohbliv: http://ohbliv.bandcamp.com

coolmemoryz

“2 o X i i i P R E V i E W”

Six-pack of abs and ICE-heavy, the beach scene is in hi-def, the water a greenish pink. Survive for dolphins in the next level of reality. Swim alongside hidden buildings buried in code and waves of pixelated blur. Smash cut to the sound of cawing, and an island desertion becomes a dimension to itself and itself as a heightened state of euphoria. Question mark. Looking to click with eyes on the screen at a zonal distance, the graphics are as smooth to touch as is skin. Skin on skin: back to the beach party. A kung fu rig opens up on the sand, and there’s lots of blood that dries immediately. Or dissipates. Disappears. Here. Red hair? White hair? Stick with that metallic purple that turns green in the light. Flex into a shirt. Become digi in all literal and/or visual forms. Wash away in algorithms of design and random anonymity. Remember that? Remember this? Remember the sky and running through the mountaintops, thinking, “This ain’t possible” literally? …It was typed in. Everyone saw. Everyone read that, lil brahh. Someone is kicked for trolling. And it’s the beach and shit again. Thinking, “You got this. You got this.” This ain’t you. It’s “2 o X i i i P R E V i E W.” Pretty coolmemoryz.

• coolmemoryz: https://soundcloud.com/coolmemoryz

Hookworms

“In Our Time”

Dr John C Taylor’s Chronophage Clock eats time. It slows down, it speeds up. Sometimes it stops completely. It’s a huge golden disk, swirling and numberless, with a giant grasshopper sat on top. To be honest, it’s pretty fucking ugly. Yet as a physical invocation of “Relative Time” — the notion that an hour in good company flies by, but a minute of pain will seem endless — it’s almost perfect.

Hookworms are very good company, and, for a brief minute on a walk around the National Museum of Scotland last weekend, “In Our Time” mapped onto the Clock’s circling profundity with a strange precision. I know, it’s horrifically pretentious to wander around museums in headphones, trying to find odd hybrids of music and spectacle, but I can’t help enjoying it. You should try it some time.

I probably brushed sleeves with these Hookworms lads on some similar wander, back in the day, staring-out the distortion pedal section at one of Leeds’ many tiny, inexplicably terrifying, music shops. While my teenage pounds went towards the packaging labeled “METAL” and “MORE METAL,” they were eyeing each other across the shop; one testing the screeching frequencies of a battery powered mini-amp, the other asking a bewildered shop assistant for something “you know… cavernous?” Luckily, they found a rhythm section who don’t so much drive as stall, a steady call for calm in the sometimes overly frantic world of “psych,” and the internet erupted in a tide of not particularly astute Spacemen 3 comparisons.

Paired with “The Correspondent,” the band’s tune on Sonic Cathedral’s tricolour 3D compilation from Dec 2012, Psych for Sore Eyes, “In Our Time” provides an addictive force for expectation, stretching further than any SoundCloud timer: new album Pearl Mystic comes out February 25.

• Hookworms: http://hookworms.bandcamp.com
• Gringo Records: http://www.gringorecords.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.