Crystal Stilts
“Star Crawl”

So, Sacred Bones Records sold their soul to ABC, but they’ve kept consistently good with their picks to press: Pharmakon, Vår, Case Studies, etc. But what’ll end my life this year is the new T-Buggins and Crystal Stilts album Nature Noir. Russian Tsarlag’s “Become Solid” has been emotionally hard enough this year, but “Star Crawl” gives that same sort of desolate abandonment, only more on the local garage-rock show hosted by the hobo who lives in the empty mill at the end of town. Only 10 people are there, swaying, one crying; the hobo is yelling out of his tent; two guys are making out slowly on a pile of plastic bottles; and lots of different kinds and colors of smoke collect in a cloud, chimneying out, as the mill has no roof. Nobody sees. And then it starts to drizzle, sparks flicker off Crystal Stilts’ equipment, only searing a more scrum-driven sound of fuzz into the patrons’ ears, either passed out on the ground soaking or slowly sway-grinding into a mess of wet.

This is the first release from Crystal Stilts since all dat shit they birthed in 2011. Their new album Nature Noir pops on Sacred Bone Records September 17th. Happiness!

• Crystal Stilts: http://www.crystalstilts.com
• Sacred Bones: http://www.sacredbonesrecords.com

Dean Blunt

“Champagne Dance Scene”

The long wait is over: Dean Blunt has finally released a preview of his forthcoming movie, The Rhinestone Bezel!! Okay, okay. We had no idea he was releasing a movie. In fact, we don’t even know that it’s a movie at all. (Can’t forget too that Dean Blunt isn’t even his real name.) But according to the SoundCloud description of a newly released track called “Champagne Dance Scene,” it seems as though TMT All-Star Dean Blunt might be releasing something called The Rhinestone Bezel that is apparently due “in cinemas Winter 2013.” Check out “Champagne Dance Scene” below, a moody, foreboding creeper — separated into two sections by four and a half minutes of silence — that drags itself slowly and hypnotically to no specific end.

And don’t forget about The Redeemer, one of our favorite releases of the year, out now on World Music/Hippos in Tanks.

• Dean Blunt: https://www.youtube.com/pollyjacobsen
• Hippos in Tanks: http://hipposintanks.net

Crystal Stilts

“Star Crawl”

So, Sacred Bones Records sold their soul to ABC, but they’ve kept consistently good with their picks to press: Pharmakon, Vår, Case Studies, etc. But what’ll end my life this year is the new T-Buggins and Crystal Stilts album Nature Noir. Russian Tsarlag’s “Become Solid” has been emotionally hard enough this year, but “Star Crawl” gives that same sort of desolate abandonment, only more on the local garage-rock show hosted by the hobo who lives in the empty mill at the end of town. Only 10 people are there, swaying, one crying; the hobo is yelling out of his tent; two guys are making out slowly on a pile of plastic bottles; and lots of different kinds and colors of smoke collect in a cloud, chimneying out, as the mill has no roof. Nobody sees. And then it starts to drizzle, sparks flicker off Crystal Stilts’ equipment, only searing a more scrum-driven sound of fuzz into the patrons’ ears, either passed out on the ground soaking or slowly sway-grinding into a mess of wet.

This is the first release from Crystal Stilts since all dat shit they birthed in 2011. Their new album Nature Noir pops on Sacred Bone Records September 17th. Happiness!

• Crystal Stilts: http://www.crystalstilts.com
• Sacred Bones: http://www.sacredbonesrecords.com

Guest Mix: Susan Balmar

GLUED TO WALL AS HEAD, TAR BODIES IN AFTERLIFE

Follow Brighton-based artist Susan Balmar down the rabbit hole, and you might not ever come back. Being a fan of Susan Balmar — expert beat maker, drone channeler, noise maker, sound manipulator, SLF Tapes proprietor, and Roland SP extraordinaire — requires a proactive mentality, the sort of mindset spawned from endless scrolls through audio streams and Tumblrs, but nurtured only through a modernist obsession. New tracks exist on SoundCloud for mere hours; limited-edition tapes sell out before we even hear about their existence. It’s even harder to keep tabs since Susan Balmar is just one moniker of many from one Perry Trollope — others include Warm Thighs, 0000-A70U-0075, LEWIS CARROL & THE ACADEMY, and _lip — and, seriously, just while writing this post, I found out that he released a cassette as Prada & Oregon in April on Auditory Field Theory.

For his guest mix for TMT, Trollope recorded select tracks to cassette, bounced them back through SP effects, and ends up with a breathtaking 46-minute survey of the deeply obscure. And I’m not talking about those from the beat/cassette culture. On this mix, Trollope unearths tracks by the comparatively unknown likes of 80s classical composer Alo Põldmäe, 60s jazz saxophonist Steve Marcus, and Italo Disco artist Francesco Messina, even delving into 90s RPG soundtracks for games like Elder Scrolls Arena and Stonekeep. You’ll still hear some of Trollope’s “contemporaries” (Wanda Group, John Wiese, P00K), but no matter when the tracks on this mix were released, what we’re just as importantly listening to is Trollope’s audio manipulations, the sound of an artist not only compiling the mix, but also embedding himself into it, implicating both himself and us, the listeners, in the process.

Trollope’s identity on the web may be ever-changing and his methodologies may be transient, but his in-command, in-control presence in both his music and this mix is always felt, showing that perhaps Trollope’s many pseudonyms have less to do with a crisis in identity and more to do with an aestheticization of it.

Stream below, and subscribe to our podcast here.

[00:06] Hong Kong 73 - “Electronic ID”
[00:17] Jeanne Lee - “When Flamingos Fly”
[02:48] Eric Miller - “The Loneliness of Objects”
[03:47] (80) Berlin - “Children of the Sun (Buhl - Kniel)”
[05:20] Sogar - “Isolohr”
[06:15] Son Sauvage - “Son Sauvage”
[09:49] Alo Põldmäe - “Sentimentaalne Valss”
[10:50] Eric Miller - “Sinter”
[10:50] Susan Balmar - “After Exterior Seeing Your Baby Inside Her E-Meter”
[14:11] WANDA GROUP - “U GRA”
[16:39] Interior - “N.F.G.”
[19:15] Lena Platonos - “Markos”
[19:37] Unreal Tournament 1999
[20:15] Ape Explorer - “He Stabs Himself in the Eye with the Crystal to Gain Her Power”
[22:08] Elder Scrolls Arena
[23:00] Steve Marcus - “Amy”
[23:00] Hexen - “Guardian Of Steel”
[24:00] Stonekeep
[24:17] Colored Music - “Ei Sei Raku”
[28:43] Francesco Messina - “Uffici Dei 126 Piano”
[32:40] Clarence Peters - “The Magnetic Atmospher”
[32:40] Sogar - “Ui Spalt”
[33:11] Bayete - “Pruda’s Shoes”
[34:14] THE HERS - “OX DANCE”
[34:24] P00K
[37:20] John Wiese - “Track 1”
[39:08] Editor - “Digital People - Useless”
[39:19] Joe Lee Wilson - “One”
[43:29] Alo Põldmäe - “Onneseen (7 LAULU HANDO RUNNELI SONADELE)”

• Susan Balmar: http://susanbalmar.tumblr.com
• SLF Tapes: http://www.slftapes.com

Preservation featuring 32 FX

“Disorderly Conduct”

Do you like ski masks? How about VHS? Are your main modes of transportation forcefully borrowed skateboards and stolen cars? Ever feel like kidnapping an engineer so you can force him or her to record you and your buddy’s ’90s-style boom-bap threat matches, or like graffiti-painting a stranger’s back in broad daylight just for the hell of it?

If you answered “yes” to any of the above, then this video is definitely for you. If you answered “no” to all of them, then you’re probably an upstanding citizen of the 21st century, but that’s perfectly fine too because you still might get a kick out of the rest of Preservation’s debut production album, Old Numbers, available now on LP, CD, or iTunes. In addition to “Disorderly Conduct,” the album features raps by Yasiin Bey (Mos Def), Jean Grae, Edo G, and several others, not to mention a piece called “O” written by GZA and read by Jim Jarmusch. Get it here.

• Mon Dieu Music: http://www.mondieumusic.com

Forest Swords

“The Weight Of Gold”

Forest Swords (Matthew Barnes) has always drawn from a deep sheath of patience. Lightly gripping the handle. Stroking the hilt with his pinky. Ringing metal against bamboo, gradually pulling out the blade. You can hear the sharpness. Barnes waits for the right time to implement his attack: sounds, beats, melody, samples, rhythms, vocals (!!!), etc. Planning only strategy, he both delivers and reveals the mysteries behind “The Weight Of Gold.” Carving into the heart of art, one can only distinguish the piece as a whole, not in sections; the sounds mix masterfully and fluidly. Barnes grinds feedback into tape-warp-squeezed crackles, from beat to heat, to sweltering a pace that is unending and driven from the core.

Three years after the Forest Swords’ epic Dagger Paths EP, Tri Angle Records was finally able to squeeze a debut album outta him. Engravings arrives on August 26 in CD, digital, and double-LP formats. Hi!

• Forest Swords: http://forestswords.tumblr.com
• Tri Angle Records: http://tri-anglerecords.com

  

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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.