Rob Magill
Love Is Mental Illnesses Greatest Enemy

Set aside all your pretenses of emotion or improvement or intuition about music, and submit yourself to the art of Rob Magill. Forever endless in strife, Rob struggles to bring you the rawest form of man to mic to music you’ve heard to date. It’s not about originality. And totally not about ego. It’s Rob. He’s your man, and he’s telling you Love Is Mental Illnesses Greatest Enemy. Now, I ain’t one to tell you what to think, nor am I the embodiment of Rob’s voice, but with a deep back catalog of work, including a slew of releases this year alone, y’all gotta accept he’s got answers. And whether or not their clarity speaks to you, there’s a musical inclination here that is unlike most in the avant community — that in a way of complete feeling. Feeling of tone. Feeling of emotion. Feeling of calloused fingers tapping strings or keys or plugging wind holes. But for what outcome? It’s Rob, friends! There’s a vibe here aching to match your level, and level it is with an array of ups and downs, frustrations and difficulties, assurance and wonder. Makes you feel like there’s hope in none at all. As if there was a society based around no rules or order, and shit just works out. Rob Magill is exactly that: the dude who everyone can relate to when shit’s gone wrong. He’s you pal. He’s got the tons. He’s gonna tell ya Love Is Mental Illnesses Greatest Enemy. Pry a bit more, and you may meld with his soul. Believe!

• Rob Magill:

Chocolate Grinder Mix 84

Guitar Veshch

Even though the TR-808 drum machine has gradually been squeezing its way into the top slot on Earth’s favorite musical instruments list for the past 20 years or so, the guitar has been the world’s most coveted instrument for much longer. From intimate acoustic campfire performances to outrageously distorted heavy metal shredding, the guitar can play any role to fit any occasion.

This mix exhibits the omnipresent influence of the guitar. Whether it’s sampled (Infinity Frequencies, ZOUK), recycled (NYKDLN), refurbished (Calypsomall, Weather Channel), rearranged (The Focus Group, ASTRO ZWO), acoustic (DEEP MAGIC, LAKE R▲DIO), electric (Alexandre Navarro, Hleger), or just plain groovy (Beat Detectives), some form of guitar graces each one of these savory slices of experimental music. Enjoy!

Stream below, and subscribe to our podcast here.

[00:00] DEEP MAGIC - “Only Me”
[01:41] NYKDLN - “VTMS2”
[04:13] Weather Channel - “$Reboot”
[05:31] Alexandre Navarro - “traverser les miroirs”
[07:27] LAKE R▲DIO - “Bleeding Thumb”
[09:03] ZOUK - “DOSED (feat. BOY FROOT & KEIKI)”
[11:18] The Focus Group - “tigt gruffil”
[12:30] ASTRO ZWO - “Deine Schönen Arme”
[14:42] Calypsomall - “$hopping $pree”
[16:26] Beat Detectives - “No Matter How Hard I Try”
[17:26] Public Spreads the News - “jive in”
[19:03] Infinity Frequencies - “Wisdom”
[20:07] Hleger - “Motivational Elevator Music”

Sean McCann

“Character Change”

There was a time when a blown note meant something. When a change in tempo and timbre signaled a dynamic shift in idealism. It was the art of composition, now adrift in a sea of improvisation and impatience. The investment in time by a listener presenting diminishing returns. Mozart tossed in his grave; Glass wears a hangdog face; Kanye compares himself to God.

But lo, Sean McCann re-emerges from our apathetic mist with enthusiasm, unfurling long compositions with no worry of rebuke or haunted by missed opportunities. His return isn’t some snooty dressing down of current pop sensibilities; it’s a strident call to recapture the spirit of Sergei Prokofiev. Music is allowed to be fun and exciting, even if carefully crafted notes on a scale are played just so.

At least so it goes with “Character Change,” an agile piece showcasing McCann’s growing proficiency as a composer and musician, each instrument a separate voice conveying a tale as vibrant and rich as the listener’s imagination allows. Early bellows give way to twinkling toes and nose kisses, majestic forest creatures prancing across an idyllic meadow. The mist eventually parts, and we are left in a meadow of unpronounceable respite.

You know, rainbows and unicorns and all that shit.

Sean McCann’s new album, Music For Private Ensemble, ships July 9 via his own Recital imprint. Reserve your copy here.

• Sean McCann:
• Recital:



Remember back in 2007 when Kim Deal said she doesn’t want to release a new Pixies album? And then remember earlier this month when Kim Deal left the band? Well, coincidentally or not, the group saw it fit to now release a brand new Pixies song, their first new recording in almost a decade. Check it out above.

And hey, now that Kim is out of the band, maybe they should get Kelley Deal on bass!

• Pixies:

Baby Birds Don't Drink Milk


The closing track, “Burt,” from forthcoming Baby Birds Don’t Drink Milk album Think Tone, is like the completion of the band’s sound, finally blending the Campfire Songs-with-electronics sound of their first proper full-length, Eek Shriek Beak, with the grandiose walls of harmonized distortion on the follow-up, Skeletor & Me. For a band so molded by the damp floors of basement shows, “Burt” is like the comfortable warmth of stepping out of the basement and back into the sunlight as your eyes begin to readjust to that initial punch of light and color up here on the surface.

Listen to “Burt” below, and be sure to also check out the album’s other single, “Saturday.” Think Tone is out on Brooklyn’s Fire Talk on July 9.

• Baby Birds Don’t Drink Milk:
• Fire Talk:

Alessandro Cortini


Wow. Say what you will about the limitless capabilities of software synthesizers, but Alessandro Cortini is about to throw down a knob-gripping gauntlet on behalf of the analog realm. Forse 1, his upcoming double LP for Important Records, showcases a series of his compositions for the Buchla Music Easel that tonally chew up and spit out the synth competition.

Check out our first taste, “Resta,” below. Revel in the thick, juicy oscillations of its central chord progression; peep those gentle little upper-register chirps; try to hold back your smile as the cutoff opens up and the piece escalates into beautiful distortion (I’ve just been sitting here playing it over and over for a while). In the composer’s own words: “The real change happens at a spectral/dynamic level, as opposed to the harmonic/chordal one. I believe that the former are just as effective as the latter, in the sense that the sonic presentation (distortion , filtering, wave shaping, etc) are just as expressive as a chord change.” I agree, man. Damn.

The Italian-born sonic guru has put in years of synth work, live performance, and production for the likes of Nine Inch Nails, M83, and Ladytron. A member of Chicago-based synth collective Trash Audio, his Easel played a crucial role in Trash Audio founder Surachai’s Embraced LP earlier this year. Forse 1 (due July 8th) represents some of the first solo work released under his own name — and, according to Imprec, the album represents only one-third (!!!) of his music they’re releasing this year. May all six of these LPs someday reach my turntable safely and come to wholly consume my home with their insane tones.

• Important Records:


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.