KeithCharles Spacebar first came to my attention through his show-stopping verses on fellow ATL rapper/producer Ethereal’s 2011 album, ▲BSTR▲CTIC▲. These standout performances had me backspacing to KeithCharles’ earlier 2011 release Before Common Era, which turned out to be a damn fine debut in its own right. Later that year (August 8, to be precise), KeithCharles and Ethereal teamed up as Supperbuddah for Watch the Couch, a same-day, different-shit response to Ye and Hov’s luxury rap manifesto.
After that, Ethereal continued to release all manner of cloudy beats, but not much was heard from KC Sb. It was as if he watched the couch so hard that it sucked him in, tucking him away like loose change beneath a cushion’s linty underside. Who would’ve guessed that two years (and change) later the kid would emerge with a self-produced, five-song EP doubling as an elementary mathematics instruction manual?
• KeithCharles Spacebar: https://twitter.com/_SPACEBAR
Pardon the obvious, but TREE’s been growing. From the Tree EP to Sunday School and beyond, it ain’t hard to tell that he’s continued to refine his craft with each project. This was basically the central point of my review for Sunday School II: When Church Lets Out. One area of improvement I neglected to really delve into, however, is his storytelling prowess, which was best showcased on SSII on the SC-produced “Project Parties.”
For the first single since that mixtape-of-the-year frontrunner was released in May, TREE’s back with another SC-produced crime ballad, one that briefly recalls Kool G Rap’s 1992 mafioso shootout manifest “On the Run.” Take “32 Shots” below.
DJ Rashad & Heavee D
Let’s all thank DJ Rashad, he of the Hindu-Kush mountains, for the man has graciously entered his login/password to SoundCloud, hit enter, and with just a few mouse clicks, keyboard strokes, and pursed-lip poses, has uploaded a new cut just for us. Well, it’s not exactly new. “It’s Wack” was plucked out of the footwork ether by Flying Lotus for his in-game radio station on Grand Theft Auto V, where millions of people will get to not only pump DJ Rashad while torturing Azerbaijani fugitive Mr K, but also hear Rashad himself in attack mode: made in collaboration with Heavee D, the song is an older DJ T-Why diss track in response to an even earlier Heavee D diss track by T-Why. Interestingly (or not), the classic drum shuffle, which Rashad has used before, has recently been reworked by T-Why himself (now EQ Why) for a track called “660.” Check out Rashad and Heavee’s track here:
Chocolate Grinder Mix 91
So it’s 2:07 AM, and I’m trying to remember the vibe I had in mind when I started making this mix. It’s tricky, maybe because I mostly thought about these songs late at night while refusing sleep, still slightly buzzed from working a show, or caught up in bummers and nerves after spending too much time by myself. I’m still wired like I’m starting school again, and I’ve got all these weird ideas running in a million different directions.
I’m going to sound a little bit moody and a little bit saccharine. I can’t help it.
This mix is about obsession with autumn fighting with nostalgia for summer. Shared cigarettes burning quickly because of a chilly breeze. Long drives out to a lake and racing a dog to the water. If that could all happen in one day.
This mix is about 24 photographs taped to my bedroom wall. A glam rock birthday party, graduation beers, cats, rocks, a Jenga tower built up to the ceiling of my old place, wizard robes, band practice, a hat made of tinsel.
This mix is about hating everything sometimes but still wandering around and trying to learn all of it by heart.
Stream below, and subscribe to our podcast here.
[00:00] Weekend - “Mirror”
[05:59] Thee Open Sex - “Live Dead”
[12:34] Andrew Cedermark - “Tiller of Lawn”
[16:35] All Dogs - “Farm”
[19:10] Speedy Ortiz - “Pioneer Spine”
[22:44] Waxahatchee - “Swan Dive”
[25:55] White Lung - “Two of You”
[27:23] FIDLAR - “Cheap Cocaine”
[30:20] Kitty - “hittin lixxx”
Blip sorcery. Squelch seduction. Two measures. One measure. The “beat.” The “leads.” The “melody.” Steady creeping. Space nautilus. Demon semaphore. Quicksand villa. Tape seam. Tape dust. Tape spawn. Spew deputy. Pan pots. Manhole midwife. Webster’s Dictionary defines unguent as “n. an oily substa—” oh, god, what’s happening to my legs (?) make it stop (!) — no, no, I realize now to just let it do its thing. I have faith that nothing will go wrong. I creep into the alcove, cover my lower half in sawdust from the bag, and try to just wait it out. I cannot see the moon from where I am laying. “There was a band/ playin’/ in my head,” and it was one man looping Sidrassi tones and alien signals into, like, songs, but maybe closer to episodes.
Unguent crawls out of the Philthdepthsia underground clutching his head and also 100 tapes in a box. I approach him and hold both hands out, palms up, but already have $7 folded into a neat square in one of the palms. This is how to initiate the handshake. Mid-handshake, I whisper all of my pertinent details. Unguent assures me that he will withdraw relics from his Refulgent Sepulchre and convey them to me as soon as, like, soon, but that it can’t be now. He strokes the box. “Not with them looking.” I look around and think there is no one else here.
Some copies of Scanners remain, but I dunno, I bet not many. E-instructions are available to complete the grip.
Fault Lines [even-track sampler]
Willfully stuck between the mineral and metal, this particular soiree of travelers (known as the Fault Lines) have hiked their way down into the Earth to scour and sniff out the most unheard of sounds. Teetering on the brink of madness and genius, these few are daring to dig into dark psychological depths, deep in doubt and dehydration, while trying to avoid fate by drawing upon the inspiration of pitch-black atmosphere. The Fault Lines’ group discussion is all about chance and destiny, though most of these traveling artists speak in tongues, if at all, and instead veer off into unpredictable territory, which in turn complements their intention. Starved of originality and nutrition, this wide-eyed team glows only in their collective mind. They stretch the ability to perceive beyond what is visually imaginable by tapping straight at the core. OUR pounding core. And are potentially bringers of new land. Who knows? Pack Projects knows.
Fault Lines 12-inch has been pressed on clear 180-gram vinyl, which is limited to 150 copies, including a custom ink-printed jacket, insert booklet with text and photos from writer Jen Hutton and composers, and a full-color immediate digital-download postcard. Composers consist of Morgan Gerstmar, Molly Allis, Jenica Anderson, David Paha, Jules Gimbrone, Aidan Reynolds, Max Wanderman, Odeya Nini, Marcus Rubio (Choco’s own m rubz Grinder), Todd Lerew, Alex Black, Sarah Faith Gottesdiener, and Óscar Santos. Ships out “on or around” September 29. Dig in and stream the even-numbered tracks on this 11-song compilation below:
• Pack Projects: http://packprojects.us