Jon Shina
Breaking Up With Music [album stream]

Mashups. You guys like ‘em? I can’t decide. I thought I hated them, but I happen to really enjoy the work of Brooklyn’s Jon Shina, a guy who makes music “for the love of it, and not for anything else.” Admirable. He’s got a few releases on his Bandcamp (all of which are free for download, by the way), and for some reason I end up really grooving with them. Most of this has to do with the fact that it seems like we have similar tastes in music, or at least the tastes we had when we were both five or ten years younger. Maybe the title of the album, Breaking Up With Music, is interesting in this way: is this our last real hurrah with the music that appears in these mixes? Is it finally time to start moving on? Or have we already moved on? These are questions that Shina is proposing to me here by sending in this little record — heartbreakingly sad questions I’m not sure I’m ready to deal with. But here we are. And, of course, it’s probably not even as personal as I’m describing. I wonder if a lot of you might feel the same way after listening.

So these tracks combine music from the likes of Radiohead, The Books, The Microphones, The Rolling Stones, MF DOOM, Jaques Dutronc, Dr. Octagon, and others. Sometimes the samples are cut and warped just enough to be slightly out of neuron-recognition reach but still at the very least familiar. I know I’ve heard that piano refrain in “For Josh,” but from where? Of course, trying to figure things like this out is half the fun of making your way through Breaking Up With Music. I don’t really want to spend too much time defending why Breaking up with Music is great. It’s just great. Nostalgia and stuff. Whatever. This just feels good. It makes me miss the music that I already forgot that I missed.

• John Shina:

Chocolate Grinder

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.