Talibam! with Yasunao Tone and Sam Kulik
Launch Pad #5 (Kanye West’s Yeezus)

Regardless of your feelings about Yeezus, one thing that’s objectively apparent about the record is that the whole album (and especially its first half) is mastered and mixed well into the red, with an emphasis on amplifying both the high and the low ends in the mix. Such mixing tactics, from a purely physiological level, make Kanye West’s music abrasive when played at high volumes or listened to for a long period of time. Even though Yeezus finds West experimenting with musically noisier textures as well, this relationship to the psychoacoustic effects of frequency and timbre is explored even further with episode 5 of Talibam’s Launch Pad series; here, the noisier aspects of West’s music are pushed to their disgustingly logical extremes by Talibam!, Sam Kulik and legendary Japanese Fluxus artist Yasunao Tone.

The trio use the first third of Yeezus as the catalyst for their collaboration, and the results present a magical alternate universe where the implicit use of frequency and volume in West’s music become explicit. Opener “Bon Zaite!” (oh yeah, puns abound with these titles) is perhaps the most overtly bombastic illustration of this, with Kulik’s absolutely guttural trombone and Tone’s piercing glitches threatening to swallow the track whole. However, the duo still leave room for West’s verses to cut through, which nicely draws a direct line to the source material. “I AM A SCROD” is another major highlight that nearly approaches prettiness while also thoroughly deconstructing “I Am A God’s” production. The idea of deconstruction is key to this material; listen to the original Yeezus tracks after listening to the Talibam! session, and it becomes apparent that these artists picked certain sonic elements of the original tracks and chose to highlight them by distorting them. The attention to frequency on “Bon Zaite!” mimics and warps the synthesizers on the original track; the rhythmic glitches on “FRACK S{PIN BREAD” subverts the pounding drums of “Black Skinhead;” and similarly the debased kalimba(?) and electronics of “I AM A SCROD” beautifully perverts the sounds of “I Am A God.” Umm, time for a full-album remix, guys?

You can listen to the Launch Pad session below:

• Talibam: http://www.talibam.bandcamp.com
• Sam Kulik: http://www.samkulik.com

Talibam! with Yasunao Tone and Sam Kulik

Launch Pad #5 (Kanye West’s Yeezus)

Regardless of your feelings about Yeezus, one thing that’s objectively apparent about the record is that the whole album (and especially its first half) is mastered and mixed well into the red, with an emphasis on amplifying both the high and the low ends in the mix. Such mixing tactics, from a purely physiological level, make Kanye West’s music abrasive when played at high volumes or listened to for a long period of time. Even though Yeezus finds West experimenting with musically noisier textures as well, this relationship to the psychoacoustic effects of frequency and timbre is explored even further with episode 5 of Talibam’s Launch Pad series; here, the noisier aspects of West’s music are pushed to their disgustingly logical extremes by Talibam!, Sam Kulik and legendary Japanese Fluxus artist Yasunao Tone.

The trio use the first third of Yeezus as the catalyst for their collaboration, and the results present a magical alternate universe where the implicit use of frequency and volume in West’s music become explicit. Opener “Bon Zaite!” (oh yeah, puns abound with these titles) is perhaps the most overtly bombastic illustration of this, with Kulik’s absolutely guttural trombone and Tone’s piercing glitches threatening to swallow the track whole. However, the duo still leave room for West’s verses to cut through, which nicely draws a direct line to the source material. “I AM A SCROD” is another major highlight that nearly approaches prettiness while also thoroughly deconstructing “I Am A God’s” production. The idea of deconstruction is key to this material; listen to the original Yeezus tracks after listening to the Talibam! session, and it becomes apparent that these artists picked certain sonic elements of the original tracks and chose to highlight them by distorting them. The attention to frequency on “Bon Zaite!” mimics and warps the synthesizers on the original track; the rhythmic glitches on “FRACK S{PIN BREAD” subverts the pounding drums of “Black Skinhead;” and similarly the debased kalimba(?) and electronics of “I AM A SCROD” beautifully perverts the sounds of “I Am A God.” Umm, time for a full-album remix, guys?

You can listen to the Launch Pad session below:

• Talibam: http://www.talibam.bandcamp.com
• Sam Kulik: http://www.samkulik.com

M.I.A.

“Bring The Noize”

So, this is totally another workout post, but in vein of M.I.A. Considering she’s probably 10+ years older than you, it’s weird to see that she’s still all about fashion. And in the video for “Bring The Noize,” it’s a fashion RIOT! Errrybody gettin’ theys hair done-up and kicks spiffed, etc. Why don’t you do the same? Get in the gym and grip a couple looks while wearing that fly jog-cloth. Drip in sweat and give that face-down, eyes-up look at someone, anyone, don’t matter if you single or not; the gym is all about looks.

“Bring The Noize” definitely provides the pump when it’s most needed. If you got an extra mile in ya, M.I.A. will provide three via sonic powers [slash] music. Only, if you’s a lady, make sure if you’re wearing white… Also, nobody really wants to watch stocks or the Chew or soaps while they work out, so plug in and bang out. But don’t forget to look fresh while you sweat. M.I.A. thrives on it! Also, she probably gonna try and thrive another year on her fourth album Matangi out this fall on N.E.E.T. and Interscope. Hi!

• M.I.A.: http://www.miauk.com
• N.E.E.T.: http://neetrecordings.com
• Interscope: http://www.interscope.com

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: http://rob-magill.bandcamp.com

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: http://mccann.bandcamp.com
• Recital: http://www.recitalprogram.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.