Bird Eat Snake // The Love Offering (My Intention Mix)
My first exposure to Elucid’s brand of audible mindrape came during the 4th Annual Yule Prog, where his all-out sonic assault of a set suffered from a few major technical difficulties (the kind of feedback that momentarily deafens you and leaves your ears ringing for days). Nevertheless, my interest was piqued enough that I soon downloaded his 2009 and 2010 albums, The Sub Bass Diet and Super Chocolate Black Simian. It was after listening to these when I began to really appreciate the MC’s gutteral intensity and forward-thinking beat selection.
Fast-forward to Yule Prog 5. Elucid has now teamed with fellow Brooklyn transplant and progressive hip-hop production wunderkind A.M. Breakups to form Cult Favorite. The duo’s show-stealing performance (especially impressive in light of the night’s heavy-hitting lineup) has me me on the low calling these guys the next Public Enemy, Breakups’ discordant yet anthemic beats serving as the ideal poster board for Elucid’s outraged calls to arms. They followed this performance up with The Kingdom Mix, almost 20 minutes of punch-you-in-your-shit insanity, and of course another knock-out performance at Yule Prog 6.
That said, one would be remiss to ignore Elucid’s latest contribution to the Brooklyn-raised prog-hop scene. This nearly one-hour continuous mix comes guaranteed to turn a fuckboy’s knuckles white. And while you’re enjoying these digi plants, look out for the group’s debut album, which, last I heard, is scheduled for a March 5 digital/vinyl release.
Live in the Boiler Room
Those of you who enjoyed Holly Herndon’s Movement (TMT Review) would be well-advised to check her recent live set for Boiler Room, now available to stream on Soundcloud and YouTube. This writer particularly enjoyed the sleepy-looking guy in the back of the YouTube clip who sneers behind Holly’s back throughout the first 15 minutes of granulated drone-drip before storming off to the bar when those high-tension old-school electrowave snares kick in.
“Started from the Bottom”
Here at the Chocolate Grinder, we’re typically concerned with breaking new artists and gathering aural tidbits that you wouldn’t find anywhere else. Drake does not fit into either of those categories, but his latest clip for “Started from the Bottom,” which he helped to direct, is so incorrigibly absurd that it deserves a shout-out. On one hand, it’s a pastiche of rap video clichés: you’ve got the “rags-to-riches” storyline (complete with ghost-riding a whip out in the snow), the non-sequitur, poorly-integrated skit inserted in the middle without any explanation, and plenty of vaguely misogynistic scenarios involving the ladies (apparently telling a girl she looks like your dead ex is a good pickup line; who knew?) But the locations and situations that Drake/Drizzy/Champagne Papi/Jimmy from Degrassi use to frame his narrative are so out of sync with those put forth by the song that you can’t tell whether he’s thumbing his nose at convention, establishing his own context, or is simply just plain confused.
Just like a bad Lisa Frank sticker collage, none of the visual components of “Started from the Bottom” match up, resulting in one heaping pile of self-serious silliness that warrants a watch solely by account of its inanity. From the dubious youth-league soccer match that opens the clip (I think the kid scoring the goal is supposed to represent Drake killing the rap game, but it’s hard to focus on metaphors when you’ve got the giant Toronto Parks & Recreation logo filling up half the screen), to the sloppy editing that creates the illusion that Drake is simultaneously flying his plane AND chilling on it, the laughs keep coming. I especially enjoyed the strange parallel drawn between “the bottom” and what appears to be an otherwise enjoyable job at a Walgreens-esque store in Toronto. I worked at CVS, and we did NOT have the privilege of a confetti deluge every night after closing, so I think Drake’s complaining a bit too much.
This might not be The Room of rap videos — as far as I know, that holy grail of god-awful hasn’t been found yet — but it’s definitely at least Gigli. And if you’re looking for further proof that nobody will ever surpass Lil B as the rightful heir to the hip-hop crown, just take a gander at this clip. And don’t ask me what any of it means.
• Drake: http://www.drizzydrake.org
I’ve been wondering when Heavy Hawaii were going to get off their asses and actually release a debut full-length. The time has come! With “Airborne Kawasaki,” the band has picked up the pace and finally gotten their heads above water. Which isn’t to say they’ve lost any of their waterlogged charm. Matt Bahama’s gargling-water vocals are still intact. The guitars and drums still sound recorded from the other end of a high-ceiling concrete room. And the 1960s pop tambourine hits and doo-wop harmonies still glue together the reckless, lazy garage rock sound. Oh yes, this is a good sign of things to come, finally!
Listen to “Airborne Kawasaki” below and look for the full-length LP, Goosebumps on San Diego’s Art Fag Records on March 19.
Pink Flame [mixtape]
Sorry I’m so late on this Lil B Pink Flame mixtape, y’all. I mean, I’ve had a good amount of time to listen to it, and this is how I feel:
I feel like nobody understands me. Like, even though I can work around that through humor or creativity (ehh, maybe), I cannot seem to be in the positive numbers of people who understand what I talk to them about. And I’m not suggesting: “Why don’t you just UNDERSTAND me?? Why don’t you GET me???” I’m talking about, “I want this green,” and then someone is looking at me like my skin is green. OR, or, like saying, “Man, I’m really happy about [whatever],” and then the person breaks down why I SHOULD be happy. I’m a very patient person. As well as extremely non-competitive. Drastically non-competitive. I live the most maybe/neutral/okay existence ever. So when people give me their “two cents” on whatever it is I am saying, I usually nod and smile and tell them thank you, because it’s important to make people feel needed.
When we get to Lil B’s new Pink Flame, I think I’ve finally figured out what’s going on. Lil B is the vessel in which Brandon McCartney can try to completely understand himself while totally not grasping that at all. Pink Flame, again, is the collective point/mixtape where Lil B is at in this stage of his life/career. And he’s OVERLY “okay.” He got the funk, yo; yeah he’s powered up, brahh. But can we get a break? I still like Lil B’s music, but I just think it’s time in his life to collect more than what he has said already. It’s all in there, but at this point, it’s suppressed, caged within the art he has established. I want him to break out of that art. Bring that new Based-swing or something. I don’t want him to smile and nod at what we expect him to continuously make. There’s gotta be more challenge to the Lil B adventure. He has the patience and gumption, the character and charm, the OKAY and MAYBE. He’s Martha FUCKING Stewart for shit’s sake!!
UPDATE: I legitimately just smacked my face on the door and am bleeding, and people thought it was joke.
• Lil B: http://www.basedworld.com
Chocolate Grinder Mix 72
For Collin Anderson
Our good friend and fellow TMT writer Collin Anderson (a.k.a. unicornmang) passed away last week. We made a special mixtape for him, featuring a song from each of his favorite 10 albums from 2012. Listen to it and please keep his family and his friends in your thoughts.
[00:00] Maria Minerva - “The Sound”
[03:40] Micachu and the Shapes - “Low Dogg”
[07:30] Shackleton - “Music for the Quiet Hour Part 3”
[17:43] Spiritualized - “Huh? (Intro)”
[18:38] BEBETUNE$ - “SIRI POP”
[19:48] Dean Blunt and Inga Copeland - “2”
[21:57] LE1F - “Wut”
[24:44] Laurel Halo - “Light + Space”
[29:11] Pete Swanson - “Remote View”
[34:16] Swans - “Song For A Warrior”