There have existed varying degrees of anonymity in musical output throughout 2012. The staggeringly vast estrangement of vaporwave artists from their work presumably originated as a means of distancing credibility from each release while also allowing for curious meta-contexts to take on the guise of a creative force. Meanwhile, others have tried to distance themselves from the music they create through (dub)stepping out of the limelight in allowing for the tunes they produce to speak for themselves, void of any excess contextual baggage.

Hanetration falls into the latter category: an anonymous musician with a slowly emerging back-catalogue of EPs and a recent release on Vulpiano Records that has already sunk its teeth into the gloomy, tribal realm in which it operates. The music comfortably nestles itself in an autumnal glow of rippling drone and spiked percussion that is looped, scuffed, and corroded across the breadth of the eight tracks that are currently available for free download at the artist’s Bandcamp.

Whatever we might expect to see emerging from Hanetration in 2013, there is little doubt that it will come soaked in an obscurity that is, in this instance, secondary to the music. For as long as the artist keeps pumping these sorrowful, resilient tones out of Vulpiano, Bandcamp, or wherever else, there is sure to be an audience peering in from afar. This distinctive producer is one to look out for in the new year — though at this stage, there is little indication as to the clandestine direction they might be coming from.

• Hanetration: http://hanetration.bandcamp.com
• Vulpiano Records: http://vulpiano.tumblr.com

Mr. Oizo

Unreleased Unfinished Unpleasant

Looks like people’s champ Lil B isn’t the only one to have dropped a strange and oblong load on your family bird this past Turkey Day: Mr. Oizo, the original French touch provocateur, went ahead and brought his own seamy ‘n steamy .zip to the table. Titled Unreleased Unfinished Unpleasant, the collection delivers exactly what’s labeled on the tin, at last loosing a dozen costive holdovers from the past nine years of his career. Most of it’s actually perfectly listenable, and it can be slowly extracted from the cold dead hard drive of Oizo’s bullshit website, graciously free of charge.

And let’s see the Based God try to make a feature length film, huh? Oizo, known at your local cinema/criminal records service as Quentin Dupieux (TMT interview), has been hard at work on a couple of films this year — including the highly Ben Pearson-anticipated Wrong Cops. It stars Marilyn Manson, about whom Lil B has in fact noted a physical resemblance to himself. Which makes us wonder: what might happen were he and this wily Frenchman actually to share a meal?

• Mr. Oizo: http://oizo3000.com

Freelove Fenner

“Paisley & Pastel”

Freelove Fenner is the Montreal trio I so unabashedly declared my like for in a letter that was somehow published on Tiny Mix Tapes. Well, for all you gossipers out there: it’s been a little over a month, and I’m happy to say that I’m still in like with them. Actually, it’s getting pretty serious, guys. Hangouts with the Pineapple Hair EP are on the daily, and even after all this time, it’s like we still have new things to show each other. Like this video for “Paisley & Pastel,” one of the short tape’s strongest moments, with those melodies curling through the crimson hue like ribbons of sweet clove smoke. Just more greatness from a great tape that is unsurprisingly out of stock from the label, but is available digitally. The band has a full-length in the works, so keep a keen eye out for big things to come.

• Freelove Fenner: http://www.freelovefenner.com
• Fixture Records: http://www.fixture-records.com



So, jDean originally requested to cover 18+’s 2012 mixtape MIXTA2E, but after he said “i already did one for New Dreams Ltd. today. i can’t do everything,” I decided to write it in lieu. In the past, I’ve written about 18+ in broad and confusing prose, a style inspired by the music. And I’ve always been obsessed with how musicians/artists remain anonymous within an information-ensnared age; in the case of 18+, the enamoring effect that took over my sense of reality was believing the music to be organic and cool/calm. There is little context or background to 18+, only random robotic, distorted images on their homepage and CEE-GEE-EYE and/or manipulated visual videos. I’m absorbed in 18+ as music rather than thinking of it being something physically real. Always situational. While MIXTA2E provides a little more context, it’s still straight-up blank-faced/vacant for more than 54 minutes. Yes. Finally. Hi!!!

Find the album’s trailer below, and download MIXTA2E here.

• 18+: http://18plus18plus18plus.tumblr.com

Various Artists: Lumenous

Warm #1

Repping dreamy beat maestros like AyGeeTee and Coyote Clean Up, Lumenous’ Warm #1 compilation provides some serious, attention-demanding relaxation. Kind of like getting ripped and doing nothing but watching episodes of Planet Earth on your roommate’s huge HD television all night. You could listen to it below, or you could just go over to the Lumenous Bandcamp page and download the entire thing for free. No pressure either way. The Chocolate Grinder is a place of peace and relaxation, after all.

• Lumenous: http://lumenous.bandcamp.com

New Dreams Ltd.

New Dreams Ltd. / FLORAL SHOPPE / 札幌コンテンポラリー

As we have noted before (and before that) (and even before that), 2012 is not only the year of vaporwave, but also the year vaporwave exhausted itself and transformed into something else entirely. While we are still only catching the barest glimpses of that new form in the process of being born, the ruins of the old forms are still haunting the internet. For a limited time, you can download three of the finest examples of the genre for free from the Bandcamp site of the Beer On The Rug imprint. Get a digital copy of 2011’s scene-defining New Dreams Ltd. by LASERDISC VISIONS, the gorgeous FLORAL SHOPPE by MACINTOSH PLUS (one of our mid-year favorites), or the compellingly bland 札幌コンテンポラリー by 情報デスクVIRTUAL.

All three albums are the work of the same mysterious artist, all three under the New Dreams Ltd. brand umbrella (itself a subsidiary of the even more esoteric Prism Corp.), and all three have been retrofitted with bonus tracks and subtly altered cover art. The new artwork is particularly cryptic, each collage having been inexplicably vacated by any trace of humanity, leaving behind empty museums, abandoned galleries, and barren cityscapes. Strangely however, the music continues to be piped in. Enjoy it while it lasts.



情報デスクVIRTUAL’s 札幌コンテンポラリー:

• New Dreams Ltd.: http://newdreamsltd.tumblr.com
• Beer On The Rug: http://beerontherug.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.