Watching the Prescribed Burn

In moments alone, reading at the kitchen table or laying on the couch, my mind wanders and I tune into the little domestic drones around me: the hum of the fridge, the downstairs heater’s muffled whirr, the murmuring ceiling fan in the bathroom. It would be a stretch to call them an “orchestra of appliances.” None of them are in tune with one another. They share the space, executing their task as quietly as they can, their little voices encroaching over thresholds or through floors into other rooms. For as often as I put his cassettes into the tape deck in the living room, I count the work of Hakobune among this set of domestic drones. With the volume cranked, his music manages to fill the room to its corners without disrupting its quietude. With the volume low, the tape deck whispers at the same level as the vent behind the shelving unit.

Since 2007, Takahiro Yorifuji has blessed us with 15 and a half hours of slow-churning guitar dronescapes as Hakobune, spanning 30 physical releases for over 20 labels including Constellation Tatsu, Fabrica, and Cassauna. With the recent release of Watching the Prescribed Burn on CD and Bandcamp via Italian micro-label Pure Wave Recordings, we’re only seven-and-a-half hours of material away from the possibility of a Whole Day of Hakobune. Imagine with me: at midnight, your Walkman clicks on and Yorifuji’s delay-smeared chords collude as you fall asleep; breakfast takes on a hushed reverence as the juicer burbles; at laundry time, each machine rumbles alongside Hakobune in a different register; back at midnight, the day’s sounds sustain in your mind as clearly as the space heater’s persisting drone after the last tape ends.

• Hakobune: http://hakobunemusic.jp
• Pure Wave Recordings: http://www.purewaverecordings.com

Mark So / Patrick Farmer

“sitting and listening” / “let’s grasp it, naked as it is… under a storm of stones”

I once saw Mark So give a surreal lecture about his music over a carefully placed tapestry of sounds provided by tape recorders spread throughout the room. Each tape recorder contained intermittent snippets of field recordings that were preceded and followed by silences, but given the lo-fi mid-80s answering-machine quality of the recorders that So was using, true silence was never really achieved. Instead, an interesting dichotomy occurred between the white noise of the tape hiss and the organic white noise of the environments that So recorded. So’s “sitting and listening” on his collaborative split with Patrick Farmer is seemingly a recorded version of this piece that subtly juxtaposes the noise of So’s equipment with the ambiance of various locations. The result is something that calls to mind the recent studies between found sound and silence seen in Graham Lambkin and Jason Lescalleet’s collaborations as well as Michael Pisaro’s recent work with Toshiya Tsunoda. Farmer’s side of the split (titled “let’s grasp it, naked as it is…”) is full of delightfully gurgling electronic-sounding underwater recordings that come across like a dirtied up Chris Watson. Farmer pairs these sounds with quiet ambient recordings that create a similar effect to the white noise of So’s side, yielding an interesting implicit dialogue about the different sonorities of various spaces/noise.

You can listen to excerpts of the album from Experimedia’s SoundCloud below. A limited number of tapes from Wind Measures’ website can be found here..

• Wind Measures: http://windsmeasurerecordings.net


I’m an impressionist, you’re dumb: a compilation of bass tracks

friendships entered the room. [1:22 AM]
tmtcrew entered the room.
squirrell_nuts entered the room.
*Type /help for a list of commands.

Friend_ships: DAMN [1:22 AM]
M I S H A: LOL [1:22 AM]
CliffOrd //M//: Hi! [1:22 AM]
Friend_ships: waaaaaaaaaa? [1:22 AM]

M I S H A: I’m an impressionist [1:23 AM]
Friend_ships: You’re dumb [1:23 AM]
JP∆rk: Ur a Drag [1:23 AM]
JP∆rk: Drop that B A A S S S S [1:23 AM]
Skinimin: word [1:23 AM]

M R P: 1am (slow release) is tiiiiiight [1:23 AM]
CliffOrd //M//: mmdammmmmnnn [1:24 AM]
RaRakin: represent [1:24 PM]
Friend_ships: who the hell is squirrel_nuts!? [1:24 AM]

• friendships: https://soundcloud.com/friendships


“Hamburger Touchdown” [NSFW]

Now this is an interesting piece of work/ass, Boron. Only in flashes can I actually watch this video at work, because it’s totally tits out. Totally, literally, digitally: tits out. But also, like, this is borderline unwatchable because of all that decay and digital smear. Again, literally unwatchable; this doesn’t involve taste. Yet it so cleverly matches the track “Hamburger Touchdown” through vaginal and sexual insinuation, and warped sounds of maybe musical intention stacked on musical intention stacked on a mess of electronic core vibrations.

It’s unsettling, but wonderfully so, and with the Google Stalker app running across the globe, it’s like I’m right there, in real life, watching this broad pixelate into a Picasso. Oh-oh, and our Choco papi Keith Kawaii slipped me this dic— VIDEO; he slipped me this VIDEO, yes, and I’m totally not hard at work because of it. Well, mostly I’m pitching a tent because of these noises, though a blocky nip slips into my vision occasionally and so I think it confuses my parts. Again-again, “Hamburger Touchdown” and it’s video encompasses some happily acceptable parts, making parts part in parties for… CHECK OUT: Boron’s new jam The Beige Album on Field Hymns immediately, or people will think your parts are slipping.

• Boron: http://boron.fieldhymns.com
• Field Hymns: http://www.fieldhymns.com


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.

• Elucid: http://elucid.bandcamp.com
• Cult Favorite: http://cultfavorite.com
• Reservoir Sound: http://reservoirsound.com

Holly Herndon

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.

• Holly Herndon: http://hollyherndon.tumblr.com
• RVNG Intl.: http://www.igetrvng.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.