Three Legged Race
“Dr. Wrong Element”

I would argue that the ‘experimental artists’ often covered in this section are searching for new outlets to evolve and elevate their sound. Not to insinuate that the search ever halts, but with the modern synthesizer explosion — that we are probably still in the midst of — comes plenty of artists content to ride the fad out without digging too deep. Robert Beatty, performing as Three Legged Race, is not one of the coasters. There are plenty of tickling, familiar tones on his new 12-inch EP, but they decorate and serve a minimal, droning bass thump that’s almost noble in its insistence. I guess it could be described as a new take on proto-techno, but there’s a modern flavor to it all that melds with a definite analog vibe and escapes clear categorization.

Preview the opening track from the Wrong Element 12-inch here:

And watch Beatty’s promotional video here:

• Three Legged Race: http://www.remainsstreet.com
• Acoustic Division: http://acousticdivision.com

Co La

“You’ve Been Expected”

For music so reliant on the repetition of samples, it’s interesting how little Matthew Papich’s Co La project defamiliarized the source material while still managing to incite confusion. 2011’s Daydream Repeater, the first vinyl full-length for both Papich (Ecstatic Sunshine) and NNA Tapes, was certainly a pleasurable and easy listen, but people seemed to have difficulty figuring out whether or not they were “enjoying” the experience. There’s an amateurish simplicity to the music, and it was precisely this aesthetic transparency, this refusal to bend samples beyond proportion, this matter-of-fact presentation of pinpointable samples that made listeners question the quality of the music.

Daydream Repeater, in other words, was so empty of easily discernible meaning that its meaning was up for grabs. But no one was really grabbing, because aligning yourself with an album that begins with an untouched Twin Peaks sample might just be too obvious a signifier that it’d be particularly uncool to like. But fuck crate-digging aesthetics and technical proficiency, am I right? First and foremost, Daydream Repeater created experience, not meaning, and our reactions to it say more about our preconceptions than whatever intentions Papich might’ve had. The album sounded at once familiar and foreign, a surreal and fully-remembered daydream.

The above video is titled “You’ve Been Expected” (which is also the title of a Co La mix from October 2011), but it actually consists of two tracks off Daydream, “Vanity Plate” and “Wanna Say Faux.” The latter track features an especially fun deconstruction of The Ronettes’ “Be My Baby.” (Fun fact: during live performances of the track, Papich pulls out Kleenex tissues one by one as a “gesture of solidarity” with the audience.) We set the Vimeo video on loop, so keep this browser tab open for maximum impact.

• Co La: http://soundcloud.com/co_la
• NNA Tapes: http://nnatapes.com

Kishi Bashi

“Manchester”

You may not know the name K Ishibashi too well, but you might’ve heard him before. Dude has played with everyone from Regina Spektor and Sondre Lerche (your favorite!) to Alexi Murdoch and of Montreal, of which he is a member. He also helped found new wave synth group Jupiter One, who you might also not be familiar with but may have heard while playing EA games like Madden NFL 08 and NHL 08. (Or maybe you’re more of a Leisure Suit Larry kind of gamer?)

But K Ishibashi seems less interested nowadays in soundtracking games and more interested in getting his mug/music out there under the moniker Kishi Bashi: he released the Room for Dream EP last May, started a YouTube channel late last year, and is now set to release his debut full-length, 151a, thanks to a successful Kickstarter campaign.

Kishi Bashi will be on tour starting in March, opening for of Montreal and playing shows with the likes of Deerhoof, Cults, and Loney Dear. Check him out virtuoso’ing on violin in the live video for “Manchester,” a track off 151a. The album, produced with the help of Kevin Barnes, is due April 10 on Joyful Noise.

• Kishi Bashi: http://www.kishibashi.com
• Joyful Noise: http://www.joyfulnoiserecordings.com

The Caretaker

Extra Patience (After Sebald) [free mini-album]

James Kirby, record spinner of morose ballroom jams and all-around distinguished gentleman, is currently offering a free download addendum to his new Caretaker album Patience (After Sebald) via his bandcamp page. This one’s called Extra Patience (After Sebald), natch. The man is just full of kindness and generosity.

And in case you’ve been living in a cave, his An Empty Bliss Beyond This World LP (TMT Review) made #4 on TMT’s favorite albums list.

• The Caretaker: http://brainwashed.com/vvm

Head Boggle

“Big Box of Evil”

Spectrum Spools, the fantastic imprint curated by John Elliott of Emeralds (and distributed by Editions Mego), is set to release Head Boggle’s first vinyl full-length, Headboggle. The album features Derek Gedalecia on everything from Moogs, EMS Synthi, and Serge Modular to drums, violin, and Irish harp. It’s a towering album, let me tell you. Look for it March 20 on Spectrum Spools.

• Head Boggle: http://soundcloud.com/headboggle
• Spectrum Spools: http://editionsmego.com/spectrum-spools

Magic Castles

“Death Dreams”

You want romance? Well, ya ain’t gonna get it while “Poppin V” in your 20s. I don’t know what y’all are into. And I’m TOTES not into this Magic Castles track “Death Dreams,” but yo, it sounds so rom-com kitsche. Perfffs for V-Day too. It’s the soundtrack to the best dick-on-my-sleeve date: menacing through an arcade, huffing gas-rags behind batting cages, skirt-lifting piss into the mini-golf waterfall, holding children hostage in the playpen for more pizza. Spitting shining copper badges when they arrive. Sand paper shitter tissue in the holding cell. Vomiting in the top of a toilet you think is a sink. Being released to sunlight and noises the next day. Good thing the Magic Castles double album ain’t coming out until March 20 on ‘a’ Records. Am I right?

• Magic Castles: http://www.myspace.com/themagiccastles

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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.


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