Various Artists: Lillerne Tapes
Compilation #2 [album stream]

Lillerne Tapes (a.k.a. Gabe Holocombe’s world contribution; thanks Gabe) has been pumping out zines, mixtapes, and cassettes from a Chicago apartment since 2007. The label is responsible for some of the earliest releases from Midwest basement-dwelling staples like Baby Birds Don’t Drink Milk, Vehicle Blues, Boo and Boo Too, and numerous others from the kind of soda-fizz filtered pop bands that have been making house shows fun since before this cassette tape thing caught on again. This dude deserves some credit.

The newest compilation spreads songs from some of the label’s past artists among tracks from other well-known labels such as Solid Melts, Life Like, and Bridgetown Records.

It doesn’t take much more than a look at the long list of out-of-print tapes on the Lillerne Tapes page to give you an idea of the gold on this compilation. So, if you are looking for some new music to check out, start with this one, but don’t be blame me a few months from now when your tape collection is taking up all of your floor space and you can’t afford to pay the water bill.

• Lillerne Tapes:

Chocolate Grinder Mix 53

Man: What a Mess

Ima ruin this mix for you right-quick: speeding to slow your roll, crushing high expectations, exotic elements mistranslated, ravenous biological dissection, guilt ad nauseum, savage foreign confessions, guttural collective effervescence, oblivious alpha domination, fucking with plugs, gear-shift dick dreaming, knockin’ em down, man becomes woman, “don’t say much,” mastering technique, booty anthem zoning, and wizardom.

The mix is just shy of 28 minutes and perfect for any commute. Shit’s rough around the edges too; bear with it, please. But maybe that’s what makes it human, and not something polished perfect because it was made on a computer. And I’ve always had a weird perception of mixing music. Like, where to input your own style. So, I suppose it’s all about individual choice and where you’re directing listeners. If that’s my case, this mix is all about choice and direction. That or this. HI FRIFRI!!!!!!!!!!

Stream below, and subscribe to our podcast here.

[00:00] Montmeló, Spain - “Formula 1 Circuit de Catalunya”
[00:08] Lloyd Banks - “Bring It Back (feat Fabolous)” [excerpt]
[03:00] Pflugerville, TX - “January 25th Thunderstorm”
[03:06] Rick Ross - “High Definition”
[05:56] Triad God - “Luung”
[05:57] Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument - “Dancing Albatross”
[06:56] San Diego Zoo - “Lion’s Roar”
[07:10] Kool Keith - “Fat Pussy”
[07:42] Charlemagne Palestine & Janek Schaefer - “Fables From a Far Away Future” [excerpt]
[09:39] CULP - “Apologize”
[10:40] Anders Behring Breivik - “Emergency Phonecall”
[10:51] Aaron Dilloway - “Tremors”
[11:15] Kauffman Stadium - “Booing at Home Run Derby July 9th”
[11:33] Lil B - “Bitch of the City”
[15:03] Keith Fullerton Whitman - “High Zero Generator” [excerpt]
[15:13] Schoolboy Q - “Sex Drive”
[17:51] Baton Rouge, LA - “USBC Open”
[18:03] Mykki Blanco - “Betty Rubble (I Got The Midas Touch)”
[22:05] Lantern - “Don’t Say Much” [excerpt]
[22:07] Patrick Higgins: Bachanalia - “Gavotte, Cello Suite No.6”
[23:50] Heat Wave - “Smoke Rings”
[24:03] Juicy J - “Bands A Make Her Dance”
[27:32] Foxy Digitalis - “Orange Mile Interview” [excerpt]
[27:48] Montmeló, Spain - “Formula 1 Circuit de Catalunya (Reprise)”

Alexandre Navarro

Sketches [album stream]

I know it’s technically August now, but I just realized that the July batch of cassettes recently released by Constellation Tatsu Recordings is incredibly great. Including the previously chocolate-gound Cankun record Idle, the four tapes include artists from all over the board and all over the map. French master minimalist composer Alexandre Navarro has contributed to this California cassette label Sketches, a full collection of signature electronica, which is, as always, delightfully crisp yet scrumptiously smooth and subtle — kinda like those flamin’ hot Frito burritos they had at Taco Bell for a while.

Navarro’s Sketches is out now on Constellation Tatsu. The July batch also includes recordings from ambient heart-wrenchers Billy Gomberg and Hakobune.

• Alexandre Navarro:
• Constellation Tatsu:



“Palekk” is the haphazardly braided ponytail that hangs loosely from an artist’s head. It seems unconsidered, but you can’t imagine a more perfect way for that hair to lay past her paint-speckled shoulders. The track is produced by Ahnnu a.k.a. Leland Jackson of Virginia, who is part of Richmond’s Chocolate Milk hip-hop collective (with Ohbliv, Shawn Kemp, and Lil Ugly Mane). Clocking in at under a minute and a half, this post hip-hop track does just enough to get the idea across before making its exit. Similar to Madlib’s short-form, Ahnu introduces a pause and morphs the pattern seconds before putting on the brakes. Although not abrupt, the track ends just as you realized you were going somewhere.

“Palekk” is from Prohabitat, the follow-up to Couch, released by WTR CLR.

• Ahnu:



YAY!!!! Unnecessarily swelled beats and fucked fighting. Creature bongs releasing lungs on lungs on lungs full of smoke. Getting them babies swinging and ripppppppppped. Try’na tell a toon to chill, ‘cause chase creeps can’t crash. “SUGARBRUSH,” yo — shit, CULP can’t crash. Like, the only way someone should enhance their CULP experience is to pop the new album TUNA into Audacity and MAX that bass. That’s my favorite part of all this CULP grime-pop: when the bass completely scorches the melody. Only competition with this is that Bolo Yeung volume collection off Dat Piff. But, I think the mythos of who the fuck makes these fresh beats is my biggest heartboner moment with CULP. Whoodie!!!!!!!!!!!!

• Vaatican Records:

Miracle Blues

Fullerton Avenue Rhythm Arranger [album stream]

The word drone, in its many forms, always seems to imply a sort of subterranean feel — an existence just outside of immediate consciousness. Take drone strikes, for example. They happen from a nearly undetectable mechanical force that seems to come from nowhere and disappear as quickly as they came. A military force with no visible military presence. The idea is the same when referring to worker drones. Employees capable of doing the work on a nearly unconscious level, their minds wandering elsewhere in order to retain sanity.

Drone, as a music style/genre, works the same way: a tuning out that exists below our surface consciousness, accented only by little spikes that attack from nowhere and decay as quickly or slowly as they came. The way artists incorporate these peaks above the surface is what seems to differentiate most drone music; it’s the way the song pulls you from the quicksand that all drone often spends the first minutes dragging you into.

The new tape from Miracle Blues, Fullerton Avenue Rhythm Arranger, on Lillerne Tapes is a perfect example of this format. The first minutes are spent pulling you down into a pool of synth waves, just shallow (as in not deep) enough to be seen and, therefore, mesmerizing. And just before you are entirely submerged, little spikes of gurgling drum noises begin to bubble up from the surface, followed by a detuned spike of noise to snap you out of your trance. It’s patient and subtle and paced in such a way that it doesn’t allow you to tune out. This one demands your attention at the very moments you are ready to give it up.

Take the plunge below, and buy the entire thing over at Lillerne Tapes.

• Lillerne Tapes:


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.