Dean Blunt meets James Ferraro
“Watch the Throne 2”

Since we’re essentially a Dean Blunt and James Ferraro blog now, we of course had to post this bootlegged performance between the two last month at Unsound Festival in Kraków, Poland. The unannounced, impromptu jam session, titled “Watch the Throne 2” (the follow-up to their equally bizarre 2012 collaboration), lasted over 40 minutes, with Blunt on Rhodes/vocals and Ferraro on the venue’s house piano. Like last year’s performance, the two meander about on their respective instruments, with no clear scale or unified trajectory to anchor the sounds. Save for a few moments of melody and progression, it barely hangs in there for the majority of the time, its (mostly) modal, impressionistic explorations ultimately serving as background music for a chatty audience, occasionally punctuated by abrupt cheering from audience members who mistake sparseness for endings.

But this wasn’t intended to be a “concert” at all. Before the performance, Blunt encouraged the audience to chat, to socialize, to be as rude as possible. With no center, no spectacle, no channeling of violence or desire, we’re left somewhere in the middle, drifting aimlessly and hopelessly between concepts and percepts, our gaze frustratingly directed to nowhere in particular and our ears continually expecting a resolution that never comes.

• Dean Blunt: http://youtube.com/pollyjacobsen
• James Ferraro: http://hipposintanks.net/artists/james-ferraro

Charlatan

“Night Circus”

Among the shredded medal scraps covering the newest Charlatan release Night Circus rings the title track “Night Circus,” and it’s just about the only surface-dweller still breathing among the seven sonic excavations that make up the album. Glowing bleeps and bloops spin outward like bottle rockets screaming out their life’s story before bursting into dark clouds of smoke fading back into a sulfury night sky: a celebration of the light that still burns somewhere though you no longer feel it’s warmth.

Buy Night Circus (or as I like to call it, Charlatn Meets the Night Cee) over at Digitalis Recordings and get yourself all buried alive.

• Digitalis Recordings: http://www.digitalisindustries.com/music

Bastian Void

Phonics

Slow drippin’ into your horizon, Bastion Void (a.k.a. Homeowner, a.k.a. Joe Bastardo, a.k.a. one-half Diamond Chevrolet) increases each bit of electronic batter in his newest cassette on Chemical Tapes, Phonics. Upon individual listen/contemplation, one can muster up imaginings of the universe Bastion Void breathes within: metal shelled, portal windows, slow pulsating lights, knobs on everything, and a nose/mouth tube to respirate magic. As this tank finishes its journey to the bottom of the darkest ocean, Bastion Void begins motion via sound, managing to discover the most alien of sounds in the deepest crevasses of Earth. And as the trail of said “magic” emits, so does the reflection of engulfed majesty in the noise of new reality.

Joe, on the other hand, has a more nostalgic point of view: [(potential) liner-notes]: “Warm daylight, myself at age 8, sitting in computer class. Circuits and pine trees. Views out various bedroom windows. The research laboratory down the street. Atari in the basement. Wood paneling. Office buildings. Power generators sitting in the forest. Light shapes cast on walls. Science class. Old computer games. Leaves and educational video tapes.

Grip at the new reality of Phonics by Bastion Void over at Chemical Tapes today, and listen to the cassette in its digital entirety below:

• Bastion Void: http://bastianvoid.bandcamp.com
• Chemical Tapes: http://chemicaltapeslabel.bandcamp.com

The Room Outside

The Room Outside

Many years ago, I played violin with the Room Outside’s Karrie Hopper at a few of her solo shows and on a track for one of her records. What struck me about Hopper’s music even then was how she managed to make extremely difficult harmonic progressions and melodies sound like the most natural things possible. I can remember realizing this when trying to figure out how to play some of her other songs and being blown away at how difficult they were, despite their seemingly simple sonics. Back then, Hopper’s work mostly consisted of classical guitar and vocal works that were occasionally adorned by minimal arrangements. I always wondered what her music would sound like if played by a band, which her new self-titled record as the Room Outside finally answers that question.

The Room Outside’s debut record is a lovely slice of minimal twee pop. Hopper’s songs are still as structurally strong as ever, and it’s amazing to hear how great they sound fleshed out with minimal power trio accompaniment. Luckily, the band still keeps things pretty stripped down on the record, which makes the additional instrumentation on tracks, like “Once Upon a Time” and “Heaven,” sound huge when compared to the minimalist production elsewhere. The Room Outside also taps into another trait I’ve always admired in Hopper’s work: the ability to make something new sound completely familiar. Throughout the record, I’m reminded of a million different pop bands, like the Bats and Ashley Eriksson, but despite these initial surface level similarities, the Room Outside sounds distinctly like their own band.

The Room Outside is out now on the group’s Bandcamp. Currently, The Room Outside are on tour and you can find a list of their remaining tour dates on their Bacebook page. You can stream the record in it’s entirety below:

• The Room Outside http://www.theroomoutside.bandcamp.com

Zebra Katz

“BLK WICCAN”

The rising of a hip hop that queers, not only homophobic sensibilities, but also production itself, is a return of performativity from unconscious social construction, to its literalist roots — allow me to coin the phrase, ‘Keepin it realness.’

Mara Zampariolo’s (a.k.a. [MEDIUM-GREY’s]) new clip for Zebra Katz’s ominously funky “BLK WICCAN” uses rawness to illustrate magic, light to let there be darkness, and visions to chop and screw identity:

“Watch out for the weirdos, girls…”
“We are the weirdos, mister!”

View Zebra Katz’s premiere video over at Purple Fashion Magazine now!

• Zebra Katz: http://zebrakatz.com

Guest Mix: SPF420

Loud Pack Mix

Over the course of just over a year, SPF420 has flourished from a small vaporwave-heavy online community to a bona fide e-venue. It has mostly played host to a wide variety of weirdo electronic-based artists, such as Vektroid, coolmemoryz, SAINT PEPSI, Transmuteo, DJ Paypal, Meishi Smile, and Choongum, its overall aesthetic influenced variously by everything from trap, house, and footwork, to pop, vaporwave, ambient, and beyond. But SPF420’s reach keeps expanding, having done several high-profile events, like a Japanese footwork edition (with Paisley Parks, Foodman, and Giant Claw) and other installments with the likes of Traxman, DJ Earl, and, most recently, Ryan Hemsworth.

We invited SPF420 to make a guest mix for us, which comes courtesy of co-organizers Stress (master of ceremonies and kush) and Chaz Allen (visual wizard who also goes by Metallic Ghosts, Sugar C, and more). They included this special message with their mix:

“Because we specialize in virtual parties, we wanted to compile a mix of some of our favorite virtual party-startin trax. With some *lower-fi* rare gems such as F R E E B A S E’s ‘Jamaican Weed’ and Temporary Suicide’s ‘LACINOJ,’ some old SPF standbys like Taquwami’s ‘vvi+h you,’ Window’s ‘Ki,’ and Ryan Hemsworth’s outstanding Flocka-vapor mashtrap. There’s also some newer, hot hot jams from TEKLIFE’s Deejay Earl, Spanish producer Alizzz, and young gun Say Ikko. Plus, a world premiere from Sugar C and Contact Lens. Any night can be SPF420 now with this essential, fuckboy-free dance party mix!! Type 420 in the chat if ur turnt up 4 this shittttt!!!!!!!!!!”

Stream below, and subscribe to our podcast here.

[00:06] HD-ROM - “SPF420 Theme”
[01:19] Temporary Suicide - “LACINOJ”
[03:07] Freebase - “Jamaican Weed”
[04:45] Sugar C - “Candy To Dollar (prod. Contact Lens)”
[06:47] TV Nicks - “Sony”
[08:20] Deejay Earl x Heavee D - “We Juss Smokin”
[09:06] Taquwami - “vvi+h You”
[11:50] Window - “Ki”
[15:49] Ryan Hemsworth - “Bill Russell” (情報デスクVIRTUAL Mix)
[17:48] Alizzz - “In Chains”
[19:17] Say Ikko - “Forever”
[22:02] DJ Rashad - “Kush Ain’t Loud” / Brian Eno - “An Ending (Ascent)”

• SPF420: http://www.spf420.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.