The Trying
“Ghostly Manipulator, Stillborn Marionette”

Get that attic dance party pumpin’. Everyone is invited ‘cause there’s always a flow to fuck with, right? Crazy bounce-out transitions into a variety of genres storming your party-going, beer-can-crush diet. Either you’re grinding to that heavy electronic neon-lit shadow dance, cast upon the insulation stapled to the wall, raging on a breakdown, metal bent and booze raining on a crowd of fists pumping, or freaking to a trailed beat-bit popped-out sermon: this is out there. People are right now ‘bout to light the roof off an abandoned farmhouse, dance in flame, and worshiparty into the night. It’s not about the fear or the freedom, but about feeling it all. Conveniently, it’s raining, and soot, blood, beer, and Earth wash off you, as sparks ignite from musical equipment surging. “Look out!” is yelled as you’re still dancing, and the explosion that just set off has hurled a 4x4 truck your way and… “I’d be better off without me” continues into reality.

“Ghostly Manipulator, Stillborn Marionette” is off The Trying’s Suicide Pact demo, found digitally below. But for a party like that, you gotta keep looking (or contact The Trying through his Bandcamp page below — hi)!

• The Trying: http://thetrying.bandcamp.com

Ekha

“Ahsanullah”

According to the bio on Ekha, “Each song [from their debut album BCWTIOT] has been named for a friend that influenced the record physically, emotionally or spiritually.” Judging from the words and sounds of their first single, as well as the visuals presented by its accompanying video, one might guess that their buddy Ahsanullah is quite the character.

He/she is a ball of energy, loves to dance, looks ahead with great anticipation, always keeps it moving, and might actually be able to fly given the right combination of club drugs and weather conditions. On the other hand, he/she can be very introspective, deals in abstractions, pays close attention to detail, breaks things down to build them up again, and is capable of destroying anything in his/her path, especially gnomes, hourglasses, piñatas, and TV sets. He/she gets the party started, but is often first to leave. Or maybe he’s just the ghost of this guy.

We don’t know for sure, but what we do know is that Ekha is OneLoudBellow founder and jazz/soul singer Thimali Kodikara; Daylight Curfew founder and former Def Jux marketing director DJ Jad1 (a.k.a. Cassettes Won’t Listen a.k.a. DFalt); and multi-disciplinary designer/producer Devang Shah. And if after absorbing the audio-aesthetics below you’ve got the hankering for some more songs inspired by their friends, you can stream the rest of BCWTIOT on SoundCloud and/or cop it here.

• Daylight Cufew: http://www.daylightcurfew.com

LAMPGOD & **Ł_RD//$M$

??LAMPGOD??**Ł_RD//$M$??**$$EXT8PE?? [NSFW]

LAMPGOD & **Ł_RD//$M$ has just dropped the nastiest mixtape of the year. Titled ??LAMPGOD??**Ł_RD//$M$??**$$EXT8PE??, the mixtape is a sticky mess of chopped & screwed beats from deep between your warm thighs, a libidinous balm of looped sex jams running through SP samplers and tape-hiss aromas mixing with heat-wave body vapor in one ecstatic fidelity orgy.

The best part? This mixtape comes with a sextape! Musically, the mixtape is more engaging (and twice as long), but the “sextape” tugs out the latent sexuality of the music with blowjobs aplenty — in vehicles, hanging from cliffs, under water, at the gym, etc. At one point, we see a girl masturbating with her shades (for the SPF?). At another point, we watch someone eating Chinese takeout while watching porn (Cream of Sum Yung Gai?). At still another point, we’re watching someone film someone watching porn while he himself is filming and watching the porn through his cellphone (??). These sequences are combined with scenes from movies (Robocop, Enter the Dragon), random clips (skateboarders, Keith Sweat tattoo, Snoop Dogg, terrible misogynist standup), and other moments of self-indulgence, hedonism, and consumption that ensure that this particular sextape is more a jumbled, sensorial collage of signifiers than a treatment for your lust.

Check out the SFW mixtape and NSFW sextape directly below.

??LAMPGOD??**Ł_RD//$M$??**$$EXT8PE?? is available for $10 at Bootleg Tapes’ Bandcamp, but you can also purchase the mixtape and sextape as a cassette/VHS combo for $20.

• LAMPGOD: http://soundcloud.com/lampgod
• **Ł_RD//$M$: http://soundcloud.com/bessedof
• Bootleg Tapes: http://bootlegtapes.bandcamp.com

Henry Plotnick

“Live at The Other Cinema”

So, I get this email out of nowhere one day earlier this month, and it’s from John, the fellah at the label Holy Mountain. He presented me with this new album by Henry Plotnick called Fields, which came out July 9 (so I’m late to the game — EEK!), and gave me a mini rundown of the music and the musician’s background. Now, John requested not to make a big deal about it, but Henry Plotnick is 11 years old, and I just can’t help to not make a big deal about raw talent. I don’t mean raw in an improvisational or gritty way, but raw as in natural and new. It’s so interesting to see such fresh youth tearing down what adults practice hours and hours to achieve. The kid has jest and gumption and zest, and it’s noticeable in the music. It doesn’t sound crayoned or angsty, voice crackled or fashionable. It sounds pleasant and patient, with hints of “All that yes, Ima pour a warm bath and take a nap.” Which seems like an interesting pride in modern parenting.

So, sorry, John. I had to be a booger about Henry’s age. But Henry, you got people going “WOO!” and it ain’t ‘cause the music is racy or egoing out; it’s ‘cause you got that inborn ability to patiently compose. Good enough to bounce a double LP out on Holy Mountain? Yes.

• Henry Plotnick: http://www.reverbnation.com/henryplotnick
• Holy Mountain: http://www.holymountain.com

f(x)

“미행 (그림자 : Shadow)”

South Korean girl group f(x), formed in 2009 as a mathematic derivation of CEO Lee Soo-Man’s cultural technology concept, have just dropped their solid Pink Tape album. “미행 (그림자 : Shadow)” is an eccentric highlight, mixing a jazzy discord of flats and raised sevenths with what sounds like fairies getting fumigated. Vocalists Krystal and Sulli begin by trading the lines, “Every day I secretly chase your footsteps/ I’m always careful, so you won’t notice/ No one knows it, but our date has started, our own date.” Wry stuff for teen pop.

The tune has already caught the fancy of Busan-based producer and sasaeng fan Reynah, who’s uploaded a music box arrangement that emphasizes the composition’s strange beauty.

• f(x): https://www.facebook.com/fx.smtown

Chief Keef

“Go to Jail”

Listening to — or at least attempting to listen to — “Go to Jail,” I can’t help but find my thoughts circling back to Rowan Savage’s review of Farrah Abraham’s disasterpiece, My Teenage Dream Ended. In that write-up, Savage challenged us to get off our high horses and peer down into Abraham’s hurricane of diapers and despair, and see it for what it really was: “a reflection and magnification of the typical issues of the teen Self,” percolated through pure, unadulterated suffering. That the album, to quote Savage, “now encompasses the world, magnified — and in that magnification, reveals the seams” doesn’t make the album any easier to handle — I swear I can feel my neurons sizzling when I listen to this thing — but it certainly lends it credence. After all, to put it in the terms of my middle-school journal: the world is an ugly place.

Like Ms. Abraham’s magnum opus, “Go To Jail” is painful to listen to. Auto-Tune-drenched and more indecipherable than the hieroglyphics from Lost, Keef’s lean-addled mumbles appear incapable of staying in time with the song’s bare-bones trap beat. He’s had no problem spitting over these types of beats for the past two years, but now, it seems that the Chicago rapper would rather let loose pitch-shifting wails and rhythmic grunts. And yet, terrible as the track may be on a superficial level, it’s still writhing with the same level of anguish that made MTDE such an unexpected stroke of genius. Just as Abraham used her franken-pop as a spastic sounding board by which to process the stresses of love, loss, and unplanned parenthood, Keef has constructed “Go To Jail” as a puzzling bit of stream-of-consciousness therapy. After spending 60 days in prison, the 17-year old is clinging to his freedom more stringently than ever, even if it means giving up on the thuggery of his earlier days: “Don’t touch my pistol/ Cuz I don’t wanna have to blow/ Cuz I don’t wanna have to go to jail.” Of course, with a canvas this muddled, the interpretations are endless: thug poseur critique, post-rap experiment, paranoid rant, or maybe just a sub-par rap song. But I’ll leave the sentencing to you.

• Chief Keef: http://www.chiefkeef.com
• 1017 Brick Squad: https://www.facebook.com/pages/1017-Brick-Squad/110722132272401

  

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.