Young Smoke
Astronaut Status 1.0 [album preview]

Last year, Chicago footwork producer Young Smoke released three albums: Gutta House Muzik 1.0, The Flight Zone 1 & 2, and The Space Zone. I heard none of them (if you find a copy, get a hold of me!). But I’m happy to hear that Young Smoke has a shit-ton of releases due this year, including — bear with me — Disco Flight, Pluto Lounge, Smoketronix, Astronaut Status Planet Invader 2.0, Gutta House Muzik 2.0, Flight Society (with fellow Flight Muzik cohorts, DJ Diamond and DJ Metro), and, most excitingly, a Planet Mu full-length called The Space Cadet, due sometime in September. (You can hear three of his tracks off Planet Mu’s stellar Bangs & Works Vol. 2 comp.)

Whether the releases mentioned above are LPs, EPs, singles, or USB sticks shoved in gummy vaginas is not 100% clear, but we do know that, in addition to the Planet Mu release, Young Smoke is set to drop an album this summer called Astronaut Status 1.0. The preview below is presumably a mix of some of its tracks, much like the Space Zone and Gutta House previews from last year. It sounds like his planetary aesthetic hasn’t changed much — we still have airy synths, militaristic shuffles, stuttering snares, and spaced-out melodies — but that’s a good thing: no footwork sounds like this, and I love it.

• Young Smoke:
• Flight Muzik:
• Planet Mu:


“the best”

The rustling start of “the best” is a good transition between Northern Spy Records’ free-jazz outputs and Starring’s newest joint ABCDEFG-HIJKLMNOP-QRSTUV-WXYZ. Now, they ain’t no Guardian Alien when it comes to recorded performance music, but you can hear how Starring juxtaposes bass lines, drum beats, and sighing-screeching electronics just before falling into a pattern, then “SIMPLY THE BEST.” It presents a purposeful performance-driven outlet, as most of Northern Spy’s peeps have attained. They ain’t just giving you a one point performance, either. It’s the whole package of five people doing that same sort of “we’re giving you something that’ll help your mind more than your ears” vibe. See if they touring your way anytime soon. And don’t forget to check out ABCDEFG-HIJKLMNOP-QRSTUV-WXYZ June 12 on Northern Spy. Also, HAPPY BIRTHDAY, LEAD SINGER CLARA HUNTER!!

• Starring:
• Northern Spy Records:

The Avalanches

Sleepy Bedtime Mix for Young Ones [mixtape]

Clash and FACT informed a groggy TMT reporter at 4 AM on the West Coast that legendary one-hit one-bat-splitting-grand-slam wonders The Avalanches have shared a new ∆v∆L∆NCH∑≤ mixtape for everyone on the internet. The reporter went back to sleep, but now he’s back with the scoop: The hour-long mix is credited to recurring Charles Bukowski character Henry Chinaski, but it’s a bit of a “red herring” since there are no songs on here about being depressed and horny at the post office. Instead, the mix is made up of gentle psychedelia, easy listening, and records that sound like a fireplace. Listen to the whole thing or download it here.

The site hosting the mix, Pinchy & Friends, appears to be related to The Avalanches in a few ways, as the group’s Darren Seltmann has posted a mix (mixes??) there under a pseudonym (and according to the band, the whole thing is run by Tom Kuntz, director of their “Frontier Psychiatrist” video). Who knows for sure? I don’t.

Don’t forget that the Since I Left You reissue with lots of bonus material is still on its way, and until then, you can get a 2xLP reissue on blue vinyl from XL Recordings. Just buy them all, okay?

• The Avalanches:

Beachwood Sparks

“Forget The Song”

“Warmth of the spring melts the winter in my heart…” I’ve got a lot that needs-be-melting, dear Sparks of the Beachwood, my heart left freezer-burnt by now, still and chilled beneath a hard shell of a 10-year blizzard in InternetWorld having wrought cynical scoffs and disoriented blog-drifters, spotified eyes and worn out ears, with glossy magazines getting gaga over the new ostensibly-sellable-breed of neo-country co-opters who get to give acceptance speeches on television.

I’ve missed you, your purity, your preservation of that Byrdsian beautification of nature’s glorious grime and verdant soils seeping and swirling into the enlightening frolics of incense-swathed daydreams and evocative drifts into the “cosmic”-tinged realms of surf-toned guitars, pedal-steel purrs, sweet organ thrums, and ambling rhythms. The harmonies, my word, the harmonies.

Wherever you’ve been, if busking on the third ring of Saturn or hitchhiking off on some Easy Rider trip, under the radar, slipping through and past the stiff-folded arms of those prejudice to pure country-psyche pop, or the jaded, or the uneducated internet-stumblers, wherever or however long its taken, I’m glad you’re back.

Beachwood Sparks, California’s cosmic-country elite, have released “Forget The Song” on SubPop, with a full album, Tarnished Gold, due June 26.

• Beachwood Sparks:
• Sub Pop:



It’s lime-green Kawasaki time! James Ferraro, the most beloved musician on Earth, took to SoundCloud minutes ago to release Rain, a two-track, 23-minute mix/EP/something-or-another by his new band, BODYGUARD (I think they prefer caps, right?), featuring ambient thuds, sampled shouting, deep-deep bass, fleeting beats, and mountainous guitar soloing. “Rain 1” actually sounds like an elongated version of “Sex With AXE™ On,” except without the sexy R&B vocals. “Rain 2,” in turn, sounds like a shortened version of “Rain 1,” which makes the track also share similarities with “Sex With AXE™ On.” Hear both “Rain” tracks here, and feel free to note whatever similarities you want:

• James Ferraro:!/JFerraro_zip
• James Ferraro:
• James Ferraro:
• Hippos In Tanks:

Lil B

Trapped in BasedWorld [mixtape]

Lil B’s at 96 tracks in roughly 2 months + an NYU lecture. We are definitely Trapped in BasedWorld. THANK YOU BASED GOD.

• Basedworld:



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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.