Lieven Martens Moana (Dolphins into the Future)
“Act One, Under The Stone Pine”

Lieven Martens Moana’s Dolphins Into The Future project is one of the rare fascinating fusions of the academic Erstwhile scene and the more “pop”-oriented synth world of the current American cassette underground. Even though Moana’s visual aesthetic and synth sounds have always been more in line with kosmische purveyors such as Emeralds, his notions of both sonic and physical space fall closely in line with the work of Graham Lambkin (who mastered the last Dolphins Into The Future record). Like Lambkin, Moana is fascinated with implicitly implying space in his recordings.

His last record, the excellent Canto Arquipélago, saw Moana creating “NEW landscapes, UNREAL landscapes, that penetrate down to the deeper psychology of music.” Canto Arquipélago’s use of field recordings and gentle electronic instrumentation created an entirely new space that incorporated the listener’s connotations of the tropical/exotic through Moana’s fuzzy field recordings but placed them against synths that equally utilized and warped preconceived notions of the cosmic. With this minimum of materials, Moana managed to layer his sounds in such a way that the listener’s juxtaposed preconceptions were forced to create/imagine a new terrain that incorporated these old definitions of the “exotic” while not adhering to either the outer space realms of the synths or the worldly exotica of the field recordings.

However, with Moana’s tour-only album Writings, it was clear that the composer’s ideas about sound’s ability to evoke space was changing. That record was surprisingly austere and electronic, though still wrapped in Moana’s layer of analog haze. Writings seemed like Moana’s first attempt to create unreal landscapes without attempting to call the listener’s past sonic associations into question.

Based off of “Act One, Under The Stone Pine” from Moana’s upcoming release (and the first under his proper full name), Music From The Guardhouse, Moana seems to have fully realized this new sonic language. Like Writings, the sounds here are strictly electronic and quite tonally removed from much of Moana’s Dolphins Into The Future work. In some ways, this new work is reminiscent of early electronic composers such as Stockhausen, but Moana’s work is much friendlier and inviting despite its alien nature. Perhaps Moana is creating a new environment out of our past conceptions of experimental music? But, then there are all of the allusions to romantic poets in Music From The Guardhouse’s song titles that further complicate things.

Maybe all of these mysteries will be solved June 3 when the record is released via Kraak. Until then, we’ll just have to revel in the bell like burbles of this strangely gorgeous track:

• Lieven Martens Moana:
• Kraak:

Mistah FAB

“Movie Thug”

Mistah Fab, the Bay Area vet who brought the local phenomenon of ghost riding the whip to national attention, has another lesson to teach: stop imitating what you see on the silver screen! Don’t be a “movie thug:” someone who strolls into the theater to see Scarface or Menace II Society and comes out thinking they’re Tony Montana or Caine Lawson. The song makes film references left and right, but unless your last name is A.O. Scott, you might have trouble keeping them straight. Thankfully, Mistah Fab’s video includes clips from all the films that he mentions. This might be the only time that it is okay to insert scenes from The Lion King in a music video on YouTube (and believe me, I’ve seen blank>hell).

• Mistah Fab:
• Thizz Entertainment:

Rob Magill

The Deconstruction Tone

It helps to use five or six alarms to wake me up every morning. But between 7:15 and 7:30 AM, I feel stuck in this haze of, “When is my alarm going to ring? What’s on my list before I leave? How’s will work be today? Why am I stressing out and not sleeping?” And as I deconstructed my sleep this morning, I awoke to the crooked smile that is “D.W. Sir” off Rob Magill’s newest joint The Deconstruction Tone. So heavy in its short burst of joyful repetition, it took me more effort to lift my eyes than my body from bed. Yet, the rest of the album is pretty much that same “almost awake enough to open my eyes” mood, in a variety of ways. Below is (less a description and more of) a mini-mythos of The Deconstruction Tone sent to me from Rob himself.

The Deconstruction Tone was recorded in Ojai, Calif. “The Piano Held Your Hand” was recorded at Ted McCormick’s house on his family piano while his grandmother was getting a foot massage in the next room. Dan Masiel recorded it on his two track tape recorder, in one afternoon. “The Fail to Feel You” was recorded at my grandmother’s house at 1 a.m. Dan Masiel also recorded it and playing second guitar. “The Monks are in The Blinds,” “Love is Fine,” “In The Sake of Freedom also know as Loneliness,” and “The World Touches Too Hard” were all recorded in one session. “The Stones of the Night” was recorded outside in one Ojai day at noon all in one take by Nick Ali, and his wife Fanny Penny sang.

The Deconstruction Tone is on Bandcamp right now, but for the love of Rob, someone pimp this music already: Cabin Floor Esoterica, Paw Tracks, Drag City, Woodsist, c’mon!

• Rob McGill:

Zac Nelson

“Her Female Breath” (Vanilla Hammer remix)

“Vanilla Hammer” is slang for a certain part of the male anatomy. It is also a kung-fu move. Vanilla Hammer is also an alcoholic drink popular in Indonesia and other surrounding island states. It consists of a moonshine that is derived from sugar cane that’s been fermented in coconut halves harvested from the island volcano Batu Tara. Mangosteen fruit are then soaked in the liquor for days, until the sweet taste has fully saturated the alcohol. The drink is imbibed and then the moonshine-soaked fruit is eaten (presumably for the “hammer” effect).

What is interesting about Vanilla Hammer’s remix of Zac Nelson’s “Her Female Breath,” off of his recent LP for Debacle — Charbroille — is that it plays like a continuation of the song instead of a recreation. Nelson ended his track with a female voice, and Vanilla Hammer starts his remix off with the same voice, a capella, before diving straight into the heart of the sun. Like any good remix, “Her Female Breath” is newly engaging for different reasons than before, and Nelson’s dynamic, aggressive drumming is blanketed in sheets of noise instead of pushing along the beat.

• Zac Nelson:
• Vanilla Hammer:

Dean Blunt


Don’t fucking talk about it. Don’t even look at it in the eyes. This ain’t on The Redeemer. This that “ROAD 2 REDEMPTION.” Take it in strides. Take in long/deep breathes. Have it out for everything you want to say. Have it around next Wednesday. Thanks to Hippos in Tanks. Thanks to wealthy metaphors. I want it all! I want it right now. Two times I repeat the first word of every sentence. Two times I gotta look at these words to be careful. You been careful? You ever feel anxious? Trust in your gut instinct. Trust that Dean Blunt will never stop making music you’ll love. Keep it around. Keep praying. It’s about the art. It’s collapsing in on me. Next time we’ll get it all. Next Wednesday Redeemer is coming out on Hippos in Tanks. So I’m buying all the copies. So you can only hear it digitally. Hi. Hi!!!

• Dean Blunt:
• Hippos in Tanks:

DJ Diamond

Deeper Than Trax

One of my favorite things about footwork/juke is that it’s based primarily around dancing. So, because of that, we get a lot of crossover trax and “covers” of either a style of dance or just a way dancers have adopted moves to a certain song. This draws the battle a step away from the foot-floor, and more-so into a battle between producers. For example, Paisley Parks ([slash] greatest thing that has happened to 2013 so far) honorably faced DJ Rashad’s “Ghost” with their own trolled out version. And here on Deeper Than Trax, DJ Diamond tries for the same with “Itz Not Rite,” which falls a little flatter than Rashad’s 12-inch version. Yet, I really dig the stand up bass on DJ Diamond’s take. As well, the title Deeper Than Trax stares Traxman straight in the face, in a crooked alley with lots of sharp corners and slick pavement.

Listening further into Deeper Than Trax, I was distracted at first and disappointed I heard no Rick Ross reference (considering the title). But I found it (DUHHH) in “Whip It.” And I’m into how “Digital Junkie” begins with that slick trap-work. “Tear It Up” also proves DJ Diamond’s still on his sample-slicing game too. But “Randomness” is as tossed off as its title. “Kill Switch” hardly goes anywhere. “Make Her Say” starts to get deep, but then it’s like no. That “Crazy SH*_*T,” however, is trolling supreme! And then so is this remix of “Harlem Shake,” but…. no thanks. So DJ Diamond made a real incline of a release. :^//

• DJ Diamond:


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.