Crowhurst
Death Van

The noise world is a funny place sometimes. In the time it’s taken me to check out Crowhurst’s album Death Van, the prolific group has already released two other records in the last month in addition to the numerous releases the band has had in the last year. In many circumstances, this level of productivity in the noise genre may reek of quantity over quality, but for the most part, Crowhurst has created an impressively varied catalog. Part of this may be the result of the project’s lone consistent member Jay Gambit’s approach to recording/composing. Crowhurst is not structured as a band nor a solo project but instead as a consistently evolving collaborative collective. In this way, Gambit’s role as a band leader is more along the lines of 70s Miles Davis. A lot of musicians get together and collaborate, but the end product is ultimately dictated by one individual.

Death Van finds Gambit working with a dozen different musicians (including members of Black Leather Jesus among others) across seven tracks. In other hands, this could easily result in unmitigated chaos, but Gambit manages to make these collaborative pieces sound like the work of one man rather than several. Even the non-electronic instrumentation/sounds are delicately stitched together to create monolithic drones that are constantly shifted and warped on each track. It’s dark brooding stuff that’s reminiscent of sunn 0))), Peter Rehberg, and even Tim Hecker at times. It may appear to be an immense album of sinister ambience, but it’s surprisingly welcoming in the same way that Gambit’s collaborative process appears to be.

You can stream Death Van in its entirety below. The album is out now on cassette from Static Reason or vinyl from Placenta Recordings.

• Crowhurst: http://www.crowhurst.bandcamp.com
• Placenta Recordings: http://www.placentarecordings.blogspot.com
• Static Reason: http://www.staticreason.org

Crowhurst

Death Van

The noise world is a funny place sometimes. In the time it’s taken me to check out Crowhurst’s album Death Van, the prolific group has already released two other records in the last month in addition to the numerous releases the band has had in the last year. In many circumstances, this level of productivity in the noise genre may reek of quantity over quality, but for the most part, Crowhurst has created an impressively varied catalog. Part of this may be the result of the project’s lone consistent member Jay Gambit’s approach to recording/composing. Crowhurst is not structured as a band nor a solo project but instead as a consistently evolving collaborative collective. In this way, Gambit’s role as a band leader is more along the lines of 70s Miles Davis. A lot of musicians get together and collaborate, but the end product is ultimately dictated by one individual.

Death Van finds Gambit working with a dozen different musicians (including members of Black Leather Jesus among others) across seven tracks. In other hands, this could easily result in unmitigated chaos, but Gambit manages to make these collaborative pieces sound like the work of one man rather than several. Even the non-electronic instrumentation/sounds are delicately stitched together to create monolithic drones that are constantly shifted and warped on each track. It’s dark brooding stuff that’s reminiscent of sunn 0))), Peter Rehberg, and even Tim Hecker at times. It may appear to be an immense album of sinister ambience, but it’s surprisingly welcoming in the same way that Gambit’s collaborative process appears to be.

You can stream Death Van in its entirety below. The album is out now on cassette from Static Reason or vinyl from Placenta Recordings.

• Crowhurst: http://www.crowhurst.bandcamp.com
• Placenta Recordings: http://www.placentarecordings.blogspot.com
• Static Reason: http://www.staticreason.org

Talibam! x Tom Smith

The Flux Rectorate [preview]

Tom Smith is the founder of the now-defunct music collective To Live and Shave in L.A., a group responsible for the insanely fantastic anomaly (not really) that is 30-Minuten Männercreme (1994) and a group that has featured everyone from Andrew W.K. and Thurston Moore, to Don Fleming and Weasel Walter. Yet despite TLASILA’s quiet yet deep-rooted influence, and despite Smith’s vibrant and multifarious activities of music-making (Rope Cosmetology, Boat Of, Ohne, etc.) and music-releasing (via his imprint Karl Schmidt Verlag), he has always existed in an aesthetic vacuum. Even his latest projects require proactive fans to discover (Did you know, for instance, that he’s in a trio called Psychotic with Kevin Drumm and Aaron Dilloway?).

One of those projects sees Smith looping and manipulating fragments from Talibam!’s 2012 rap album, Puff Up The Volume, a spirited approach to appropriation that Talibam! themselves have been taking to artists like Frank Ocean and My Bloody Valentine in their Launchpad series. In a way vaguely similar to his work in To Live and Shave in L.A., Smith energizes the music “at the juncture of aesthetic revulsion,” the original material itself being a source of distate and repugnance, a sort of revitalization through estrangement.

Listen to a preview from Smith’s upcoming The Flux Rectorate, his “Launchpad” version of Talibam!’s Puff Up The Volume, here:

Meanwhile, stay tuned for more Launchpad versions both from Talibam! and of Talibam!’s music. And like I said, Smith has a lot of things going on, but one of the more visible ones was the recent To Live and Shave in L.A. box set released in April on Monotype.

• To Live and Shave in L.A.: http://toliveandshaveinla.blogspot.com
• Karl Schmidt Verlag: http://karlschmidtverlag.blogspot.com
• Talibam!: http://talibam.bandcamp.com
• Critical Heights: http://www.criticalheights.com

Ken Camden

“eta carinae”

Ken Camden has not allowed the guitar to hinder him in any way. In fact, its pretty unbelievable the amount of noise he can produce with the instrument. Off of his upcoming album, Space Mirror, “eta carinae” is the beginning of an intergalactic odyssey. The processed strums in the first minute of the song imitate the footsteps of heavy space boots illuminating LED-set floor tiles of a space station orbiting Jupiter’s moon Titan. The space station has an artificial gravity field, and the footsteps lead down gleaming white hallways marred with knobs and screens displaying status updates and important messages. Finally, as the guitars reach a surprisingly intimate climax, full of self-contained grandeur and delicate reverb, the footsteps end at the observation deck to the ship’s main control room, where a massive window overlooks the moon in all its glory. The effect is tantalizing and dramatic, a nice preview for an album that will surely harken to distant galaxies and a shiny, white future.

• Ken Camden: https://www.facebook.com/ken.camden.3

D/P/I

ESPRESSO DIGITAL

D/P/I = DJ/PURPLE/IMAGE = HEAT WAVE = Alex Gray, and ESPRESSO DIGITAL is his latest offering, a 15-track mixtape that’s so good it hurts. It warbles, fidgets, and pulsates with the best of his music, impressionistic rhythms, flecks of digital ephemera, pitched-down tunes, even a wedding vow punctuating something understatedly moving deep within its core, despite its often minimal and distanced approach. This is Alex Gray (1/2 of Sun Araw) entirely in command and in the zone, the sound of electronic music kicked out of the club, shuffled into a claustrophobic alleyway, and digitally processed to his own redacted frequency.

Lyrics: Right now, as I stand here, you are the other half of me. The better half of me. Since I met you, you’ve been my third arm, my second heart, and my second set of ears. But tonight after we say “I do,” all that will change. The word “other” will no longer exist in our relationship vocabulary. Tonight, we will become one. Our hearts will beat in perfect unison; our eyes will blink the same speed. For the rest of my life when I wake up in the morning, your hair will be the first thing that I smell, and your skin will be the first thing that my lips touch and kiss; and tonight, I am giving you the key that unlocks every door inside of my body. In this moment, I promise to always defend you, and to protect you, and I give you my word that I will always do my very best to make you laugh, and to keep your cheeks sore from smiling so much. I will cook you breakfast and we’ll watch classic movies together. I will be an amazing father to our children one day. I will make sure that they know how much I love their mother. We will travel around the world together. We get to watch thousands of sunsets together. We will grow old together and watch each other’s hair turn grey. I promise you this, that I will always look at you the same as I see you today. I will tell you every day for the rest of your life how gorgeous you are. I will always sing for you until the day that I die. Even when I am 80 years old, I will still ask you to dance with me, when there’s no music in the room.

• D/P/I: http://chanceimag.es

Chocolate Grinder Mix 80

Six-Inch Cold Cut Combo

When I made this Choco Mix, I was thinking about experiencing seasons out of order, wintry songs sustaining their climates in summer, season-less nethersongs, peely stickers on overheating synths, corpse-cold hot licks, sweating through multiple layers, tempo changes as scalding water, hot-flash nostalgia, lukewarm desire, fans in concert halls, air conditioner hum, heating pipe clang, billowing dry ice, chicken soup spilled on tile…

Then I got hungry and upset and walked to Subway.

Stream below, and subscribe to our podcast here.

[00:00] James Ferraro - “Dove”
[03:35] ™CENTURY - “HD Window”
[06:15] Blanche Blanche Blanche - “I Circle Near”
[08:22] Synek - “Oddech” [excerpt]
[09:03] Miaux - “Stare”
[12:15] Jace Clayton - “Gay Guerilla: Part IV”
[15:15] él-g - “Grand Huit”
[18:15] Dean Blunt - “Y3”
[19:46] Stefano Pilia - “Stand Behind the Men Behind the Wire”
[23:01] David Newlyn - “Piano Piece”
[24:30] The Masque - “Mirror Secrets”

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.