DJ Taye
Studio 24

Following a string of EPs released last year (Track or Die, ElevatorWORKZ Vol. 1, Just Chillin’), DJ Taye, one of the youngest footwork DJs/producers in the Ghetto Tek crew (DJ Rashad, DJ Spinn, DJ Manny, etc.), has just dropped his first full-length LP, Studio 24. Dude’s one prolific 17 year old. Studio 24, released via Lit City (DJ Rashad and Aziza Man’s new label), features 17 tracks of tightly-coiled snaps, window-seat samples, and mangled beats. Hear for yourself:

• DJ Taye: http://soundcloud.com/djtaye

Humans

“De Ciel”

It’s time to dust off your boogie shoes. On March 6, Vancouver humans Robbie Slade and Peter Ricq, also known as the electro-pop band Humans, are set to put out Traps, their third release and Hybridity Music debut. To alleviate the tension of anticipation, they’ve humanely released a teaser, the EP’s first single “De Ciel” as a free download. Where 2010’s Avec Mes Mecs was full of edgy beats, this cut is more on a soulful disco/old school house tip. Disco Stu likes disco music. Ayyyy…

• Humans: http://dashumans.com
• Hybridity: http://hybriditymusic.com

Mahogany

“Keystone Sonata Arrangement VII”

Philadelphia “massed guitar” ensemble Mahogany have been away for about six years since the release of Connectivity! in 2006. When I reviewed the last proper Stereolab full-length, Chemical Chords, I made a comment about other bands (Mahogany, to be very specific) outdoing them at their own game. Although one might be tempted to call a six-year absence resting on laurels, Mahogany’s first new song from the forthcoming Electric Prisms EP reaches farther out than anything resembling Stereolab. “Keystone Sonata Arrangement VII” does away with the submerged female vocals and replaces them with a prominent male voice (Mahogany’s Andrew Prinz perhaps?). The percussion rides what sounds like an ice bell for the duration of the piece, hitting a warm Appleseed Cast circa Low Level Owl place in my heart, while strings pan back and forth in the stereo field. Someone catch me; I think I just fainted.

• Mahogany: http://twitter.com/MahoganyCity

Knxwledge

Komfi [EP]

Knxwledge has been producing hip-hop beat mixes for years. Prolifically. Just last year, the Philadelphia-based producer released over 10 EPs; this year, he’s already released a full-length LP, Ovrstnd, and this, a new EP titled Komfi. It’s short, sweet, and a few days old, which means it’s about to expire. Listen quickly:

• Knxwledge: http://knxwledge.tumblr.com
• Knxwledge: http://gloof.bandcamp.com
• Knxwledge: https://twitter.com/#!/knxwledge

Sun Hammer

“Nighttime In Jefferson National Forest”

Michigan-based experimentalist Sun Hammer (a.k.a. Jay Bodley) has released a new record with Futuresequence, entitled A Dream In Blood. Bodley, who also records under the name A Sun Setting, delivers a lush ambient adventure, which really isn’t as gory as the title may imply. There is a bit of blood, but mostly the scene is quiet and safe. On “Nighttime in Jefferson National Forest,” Sun Hammer uses field recordings from the area (presumably at nighttime) and slowly adds fluffy coats of deep textured drone and piercing overtones until it is all suffocated by the light of day. You can hear the whole bloody thing on the Futuresequence site.

• Sun Hammer: http://soundcloud.com/sunhammer
• Futuresequence: http://www.futuresequence.com

The Makers

“Don’t Challenge Me”

I guess the whole point of electric soul is to combine “Smooth and Sexy” with robot twangs. Which The Makers do well. Don’t be put off by the first couple bars, which kinda sound like a precocious kid (or Frank Zappa) jamming on a Casio toy; once the pretty lady starts to growl, the whole thing gels and you’ll be smitten. What’s more to say? If you like soul — which you absolutely should, you heathen — this is solid stuff. Along with selections from other groovy music-makers, “Don’t Challenge Me” will be available in April on the compilation PERSONAL SPACE Electric Soul (1974-84) from Chocolate Industries. The CD even comes with a book of aerial photography by NASA astronaut Donald Pettit, which fits with the whole digital, galactic, heavenly, getting high vibe, which seems pretty intrinsic to the electric soul genre. Bow bow bow, bow-wow.

• Chocolate Industries: http://www.chocolateindustries.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.