Virtual Flannel
Neon Waves

The thing I dig most about listening to music is that it’s sorta like reading musicians’ conscious thoughts. Creatively, with or without words, musicians are bestowing ideas unknown upon listeners, who then form original thoughts or feel nostalgia based on the music, all personalized to the closed-eyed imagination of the listener. It’s like a faux telepathic resonance.

Virtual Flannel (Chris Bridge) has been working hard to bring that resonance to every listener willing to take the journey. Starting this year with a TMT guest mix, Virtual Flannel now pops his second release on Noorden, blowing away dancers, ciphers, bobbers, and the like-mindeds, bending beat after beat in warped hip-hop explosion. And as his other Wet Money peers continue conducting shock and awe, dampening their beats in liquid electronics, Virtual Flannel still walks the line between warped-tape and fluid-skew on Neon-Waves. Enjoy it below! Sold out at the Virtual Flannel website, but more copies through Noorden!!

• Virtual Flannel: http://virtualflannel.bandcamp.com
• Noorden: http://noorden.bandcamp.com

Virtual Flannel

Neon Waves

The thing I dig most about listening to music is that it’s sorta like reading musicians’ conscious thoughts. Creatively, with or without words, musicians are bestowing ideas unknown upon listeners, who then form original thoughts or feel nostalgia based on the music, all personalized to the closed-eyed imagination of the listener. It’s like a faux telepathic resonance.

Virtual Flannel (Chris Bridge) has been working hard to bring that resonance to every listener willing to take the journey. Starting this year with a TMT guest mix, Virtual Flannel now pops his second release on Noorden, blowing away dancers, ciphers, bobbers, and the like-mindeds, bending beat after beat in warped hip-hop explosion. And as his other Wet Money peers continue conducting shock and awe, dampening their beats in liquid electronics, Virtual Flannel still walks the line between warped-tape and fluid-skew on Neon-Waves. Enjoy it below! Sold out at the Virtual Flannel website, but more copies through Noorden!!

• Virtual Flannel: http://virtualflannel.bandcamp.com
• Noorden: http://noorden.bandcamp.com

Justin Timberlake

“Tunnel Vision” [NSFW]

Boobs, block letters, and awkward dancing. I get the feeling I’ve seen this exact same video before. Seriously, though: if you saw Robin Thicke’s clip for “Blurred Lines” and thought to yourself, “this needs more nudity, less cute animals, and maybe project the singer’s face onto the naked models’ bodies and have Timbaland play some air trumpet for good measure,” then you, my friend, are in luck. JT’s new video for “Tunnel Vision” offers up seven whole minutes of NSFW goodies, with none of the cheeky enthusiasm. Given the length, you’d think there’d be some plot, but nope, sorry: but what you can watch is three attractive women, slowly writhing about like drunken koalas against backdrops of smoke and disco lights and Justin Timberlake’s handsome visage. The singer, of course, is fully-clothed, poorly-shaved, and far enough away from the naked ladies to ensure that the YouTube police don’t come calling again; the video, released last Wednesday, was initially removed, but later put back up in accordance with the site’s policy to “make exceptions when it [nudity] is presented in an educational, documentary or artistic context” (unfortunately, the NSFW version of the “Blurred Lines” video did not meet the site’s artistic expectations). Oh, bosoms — what a bother they are.

• Justin Timberlake: http://justintimberlake.com
• RCA: http://www.rcarecords.com

M/M

“Léger”

I remember a friend talking about “that one Daft Punk song where it sounds like someone is in the club when the song comes on, steps out to have a cigarette in the middle, and then steps back inside at the end.” It’s a matter of subtraction. When the speakers are right in front of you, you can hear everything, and it’s loud. As you begin to get some people, walls, and buildings between you and the source, you begin to lose those details, only receiving a general idea of what’s going on on the other side. When the “drop” comes in, I suppose that is where you fall through the ceiling, in a split second, right back into what is going on. Some songs build toward it slowly. Some cut things and drop them back into the mix numerous times throughout the song. And some spend the whole time digging upward from the depths, uncovering those little details along the way, without ever fully reaching the surface — the full 100% of the sound.

“Léger” from Midtown Direct, the recently released tape by M/M (Brooklyn’s Michael McGregor of Meadowlands and Chocolate Bobka) on 108op, is a slow digger. The song feels complete while still leaving you wondering how much further up it could’ve dug. But I guess that is what remixes are for.

• M/M: http://soundcloud.com/mmmmmmmmmmmmimmmmmmmmmm
• 1080p: http://1080pcollection.net

Jay-Z

“DP3”

The best song on Magna Carta Holy Grail isn’t on Magna Carta Holy Grail, probably due to the track’s lack of Basquiat references, but I digress. Presumably, the D-P in “DP3” stands for dead presidents, as in this is the third installment in a series that began with a 12-inch and was continued on Reasonable Doubt.

But then why not just call it “Dead Presidents 3?” Could it be code? A double meaning, perhaps? Is he poking fun at that Jay-Z/Jamie Foxx/Foxy Brown threesome rumor that came out before Foxy herself labeled it downright slander?

Doubtful, I guess, but wait… I mean, pause: “While others spit that Wonderama shit me and my conglomerate/ Same crime bigger trial your honor suck a dick/ Let me live out my dreams until my heart give out/ Involved with cream you know exactly what this is about” NO, SHAWN, WHAT EXACTLY IS THIS ABOUT?

I’m just kidding, though. This song’s great: Jay-Z bedded Foxy Brown; now he’s touching butts with Beyonce; and in all likelihood I’m going to die alone, having never tapped either songstress or stacked many dead presidents for that matter.

• HOV: http://lifeandtimes.com
• Roc-A-Fella Records: http://www.rocafella.com

Mudwise

“Binary Counter”

Nicola Lucchese’s new tape, performed on a modular synth, has some excellent click settings. I’m serious. There are a lot of clicks clicking on the sample track provided by label Dokuro (which is actually from Italy, not Japan; go figure, right?). And out of all the clicking music that I’ve listened to in the past month, “Binary Counter” got me the most anxious, in the best way possible of course. I’m 30% addicted to coffee, but I didn’t even need to drink any this morning because my brain became hyper-alert after jamming some Mudwise. I felt like I was in tune with the insects outside my window — the ants climbing in the potted plants on the patio below, marching in a staccato rhythm to the track’s clicking, somehow linking us all together. Science could most likely explain it.

Speaking of which, in the latest episode of Adventure Time, Pink Girl is a total dick to these wizards because she believes magic is just complicated science done by people who don’t understand it, and so they end up in wizard prison, which looks a lot like the prison from Bad Boys (the one with Sean Penn). In fact, — and here’s the tie-in — some of the music during the title slides for Adventure Time use modular synthesis in the same expansive, whimsical fashion that Mudwise is doing on his 4017 tape. The music is intense and intricate, but has that feeling of discovery and joyous noise that comes with improvisation. A bass line begins to emit faintly as the sample track “Binary Counter” comes to a close, so you know you gotta immediately cop this pro-dubbed, sweet-and-sour-synthesis to see how it ends.

• Dokuro: http://www.dokuro.it
• Mudwise: http://mudwise.tumblr.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.