Panabrite
“Rainbow Sequence” / “Camembert Symphony”

Do you ever watch old nature documentaries or sci-fi flicks from the 1970s just for the loopy soundtracks? You know, the kind of spacey arpeggios and synth chords that were designed to accompany footage of a Galapagos tortoise, but somehow transcend the dated schtick of it all? Panabrite (the nom de plume of Seattle keyboardist Norm Chambers) makes music like that: fibrilating whorls and whooshes that inhabit that strange space between the intimate and the epic. “Rainbow Sequence” and “Camembert Symphony” are two cuts off this year’s Soft Terminal LP: the former a glittering, skittering mid-tempo song with a flourish of R&B, the latter a more driving, persistent dance track. Both selections recall Epcot, circa 1979: futuristic, fun, and heartwarmingly campy.

• Panabrite: http://panabritesounds.blogspot.com
• Digitalis: http://www.foxydigitalis.com/rec_index.html

Pond

“Pond in a Park”

I like when the soundwave visuals for a track on SoundCloud are maxed-out for the whole song. Alas: “Pond in a Park” does show some white space, but only a pair of seductive slivers. That, I would think, is the band’s invitation for you to slip inside. Take a sip. Settle down. Stop taking your music so seriously, pardner.

It’s a B-side from the new album by Pond, a band that shares members with the magnificent Tame Impala, who sincerely seem to just wanna rock. They turn the vastness of lo-fi into the agility and precision of hi, and this time all with a vaguely Southern hemisphere (read: deep deep deep South [they’re from Australia!]) country twang. The album is called Beards, Wives, Denim, which, I guess, when you get down to it really are a few of life’s essentials. Don’t expect life-changing epiphanies though — Jay Watson himself, one of the Impala-Pond cross-pollinators, says the band’s meant to be dumb. Which means don’t read into it. I know you hate that. But it’s straight from the horse’s mouth, and the horse has a better beard, better partner, and way better denim than you ever will.

Beards, Wives, Denim was released by Modular in the US earlier this month.

• Pond: http://modularpeople.com/artists/pond/2593.html
• Modular: http://modularpeople.com/

David Ramos

“Still There”

The opening shot of David Ramos’ new clip for “Still There” is an intimate one: an old music box projects its tinny melodies, opening to reveal a jewel-studded cross, hidden away as if for years. When we finally see Ramos, sitting on an old rocking chair in a state of introspective desolation, that intimacy morphs to sadness. Ramos, whose grandmother passed away two years ago, sits alone in what appears to be his grandmother’s home, surrounded by trinkets, photographs, and above all, the growing gravity of loss. “All of your things are still here,” he deadpans. “All of your clothes are still here, along with your hair in your comb.” It’s a trip into that strange space between presence and absence, where seemingly meaningless objects — music boxes, half-empty medicine bottles — morph into relics that help us to heal and remember. The track is upbeat, with a driving, 8-bit undercurrent, but it’s clear that this cathartic track was born out of a sense of loss many of us know all too well. The former Busdriver drummer is in pain, sure: but his sorrow is our own, and this heartfelt little video is proof of music’s ability to help us make sense of the unsensible — to look at that music box, through the brain fog and the tears, and smile.

David Ramos’ Sento La Tua Mancanza is out May 29 on Fake Four.

• Fake Four: http://www.fakefourinc.com

Walton

All Night EP [preview]

All Night is the soundtrack to you puking after listening to a mix of dance/electro from 2012. More so, it’s the tense moments while being shuffled out the club and a dude is trying to catch all your spray vom in a bucket. Bitches be dancing all stoop’it, and ladies walk around your inner art piled across the club. Walton starts to puke at the smell of yours and the sound of his own music. Greasy men start yelling, “Yeah” while throat-choking their own vomit back. Bodyguards beat the shit out each other cause they can’t stand the environment and rumors they’ve been spreading about each other. Tail feathers and denim dicks all stain with dark brown and a strong vinegary smell. Toy dogs start to whimper. People flood the door and get stray-punch knocked out from the bouncer fight. Everyone now is slipping on a communal vom pile at the exit. That or they laying in it wasted asleep or comatose. One dude slips and bangs his head hard. So there’s blood now, and things is getting soupy. Walton All Night EP out in April for private voming on Hyperdub.

• Walton: http://www.discogs.com/artist/Walton+%282%29
• Hyperdub: http://www.hyperdub.net

Death Grips

“The Fever (Aye Aye)”

It is happening again.

Look for The Money Store April 24 on Epic.

• Death Grips: http://thirdworlds.net
• Epic/Columbia: http://www.sonymusic.com

Featureless Ghost

“Sim.”

We may have reached a point in music, particularly pop-oriented music, where something we could hear as influenced from the past or an intentional reference to something that has been done before may actually be coincidental or even subconscious. It is surely possible that Atlanta-based Featureless Ghost are deliberately mimicking nostalgic style, but they do it so effortlessly that it almost seems like they are from some remote island and didn’t experience the same 1980s we did and just made this music out of nowhere with zero influence. Just sayin’.

Night People have released Featureless Ghost’s new full-length called Mindbody. The video above is a trippy trippy vid for laid-back track “Sim.”

• Featureless Ghost: http://www.featurelessghost.com
• Night People: http://raccoo-oo-oon.org/np

  

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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.