Kraken Mare
“End Ordovician” [excerpt]

Now THIS is what I call creative vision. Behind Kraken Mare (Adam Harris, owner of Retrograde Tapes)’s new 30-minute cassette tape Iapetus Ocean on Skell LLC is a world of mystery. Now, I heard the pre-pre production of a track or two off this, and it was NOT the same sound. There was much more fuzz, and I wasn’t into it. But “End Ordovician” is so crisp in sight and personal journey for the listener that’s it’s impossible to not envision something dramatic: Sounds created from what emerges as the world within mountains. Echoing insects never seen by the human eye but heard by ear. Coelenterata-like creatures softly caressing the sides and walls and cracks within, brushing tails against brine and sharp fragile and breaking rocks and minerals. As the cover art suggests, I personally see a slow blight from the dingy depths of darkness to murky sullen light at the top. Reaching toward the cloud floor. It’s all in effect. And Skell Recodings released Iapetus Ocean on the first of this month, so… WHAT ARE YOU STILL READING THIS FOR???

• Kraken Mare: http://retrogradetapes.blogspot.com
• Skell Records: http://skellrecords.blogspot.com

Big Boi

“In the A”

Big Boi is more generous than Santa Claus. Here’s yet another cut from his upcoming sophomore solo release, Vicious Lies and Dangerous Rumors. If the hook sounds familiar, that’s because it is — the rapper repurposes a line from his classic Sir Lucious Left Foot classic “Shutterbugg” for this love letter to Hotlanta. This is no “Welcome to Atlanta,” though; there are traces of sinister brass throughout and a snappy, snare-heavy beat. TI and Ludacris make guest appearances too, with entertaining results (Luda’s verse is particularly funny: “My weed need a chaperon,” he boasts, before hypothesizing that his ganj habit is responsible for the California brush-fires.) While it’s not as boundary-pushing as the previously-unveiled “Lines,” “In the A” is a solid slice of good ol’ fashioned dirty south rap. Yet another reason to get excited for what is shaping up to be one of the most impressive hip-hop albums of the year.

• Big Boi: http://www.bigboi.com
• Def Jam: http://www.defjam.com

WINDOW

“Stasis”

You walk up to the arcade prize counter with a handful of flopping strands of red paper tickets. You have to choose: Do you want the happy face lamp? Yeah, but you can get two yo-yos, a Chinese fingertrap, five peace sign erasers, eight tootsie rolls, and a parachute man for the same amount!

That’s the memory I recall when I watch this new video for “Stasis,” a new track from Montreal producer WINDOW. A happy face and a yin-yang sign join together for a terrifying acid trip; we watch them slowly melt on an abandoned plane somewhere in the depths of cyber space. Trippy breakbeats and bright syncopated rhythms accompany the hallucinations.

• WINDOW: http://soundcloud.com/windowmiusic

Hanetration

“Splinter”

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

  

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.