Young Smoke

Young Smoke, a barely-legal footwork producer in DJ Diamond’s Flight Muzik crew, was relatively silent in late 2011/early 2012, but he’s back in full force now. In late April, Young Smoke announced a whole slew of new releases (including a 10-minute preview of one of his upcoming summer albums, Astronaut Status 1.0), and just a couple weeks ago, he released a free EP called Smoke Session v.1 for those who were fast enough to pick it up. And just over the weekend, Young Smoke took to Soundcloud to post a bunch of tracks from his upcoming releases, such as “War Flutes” (from Gutta House Muzik v.2), “Floating Star” and “Fly Away” (from Astronaut Status 1.0), “Flight Lyfe In Yo Mouth” (from Flight Society v.1 with DJ Diamond and DJ Metro), a couple tracks that don’t seem to have homes yet (“Dream Land” and “Ocean Waves”), and the track below, “Warning,” which is off his upcoming Planet Mu full-length.

Unsurprisingly, “Warning” is the strongest of the bunch, which perhaps speaks in part to how much care Planet Mu continually exhibits in their curating skills (I’ve heard so many incredibly SHITTY footwork tracks now that I really appreciate Planet Mu’s ear, whether or not the releases “accurately” represent Chicago footwork). Listening to these tracks together, it’s clear that, while Young Smoke is still experimenting to figure out which approaches work and which don’t, he’s put considerable forethought into his weird space aesthetic and easily possesses the most clearly defined methodology of all the up-and-coming footworker producers.

Get your space suit on, and look for his Planet Mu release, called either Space Zone or The Space Cadet, in September.

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

Aesop Rock

“ZZZ Top”

Do you like Aesop Rock? Do you like kung fu? Is your idea of fun watching a game of baseball played with throwing knives? If you answered yes to any or all of these questions, you owe it to yourself to watch the new video for the rapper’s Skelethon track, “ZZZ Top.” Watch as Patti Li single-handedly delivers the ass-whooping of the century to a band of unlucky thugs, in the type of clip that reminds us of why Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon was such a hit in the first place.

Skelethon drops on July 10 via Rhymesayers Entertainment.

• Aesop Rock:
• Rhymesayers:

Deejay Earl

Audio Fixx [album stream]

Following along with the more fluid footworkers, Deejay Earl really brings the A-to-Z game on his newest full-length, Audio Fixx. Not giving it an order or nothing; just 14 tracks listed alphabetically. And this ain’t none of that weird footwork shit either. Audio Fixx is more something your Grams can slap on socks to hardwood and juke out. The sounds/noises are fresh and otherworldly; there’s beats on beats on beats; and I can’t remember the last time I’ve heard so much sushi-sliced soul. The dance floor has again been set on fire, and this time it involves Deejay Earl knocking the fire alarm out and charring the freshly lacquered wood. Just, um, Teklife for life, live your life today, and footwork too hard. That’s it; I’m done talking about music for this post now — hi-bye-yes.

• Deejay Earl:

Chocolate Grinder Mix 50

Sticks ‘n’ Stones ‘n’ Psychoacoustic Spatialization

This mix begins as any self-respecting mix should: with a slice of fresh Venezuelan bass music. Saigon84 is but the latest in a string of tasty releases from Latin American club tool specialists Cocobass. The mix then swings by some of the most recent UK funky, courtesy of Tactics and the Marcus Nasty-touted Jook10. Then onto a bit of Akkord, who, thanks to their wise purchase of a pair of balaclavas, remain anonymous, enigmatic, mysterious, intriguing, deep, etc. Furthermore, SND’s latest release for PAN has just blown me socks off, as has the indescribable collection of sounds known as FAY.

Now, I’ve been a huge fan of Alex Gray ever since he started shooting out mixtapes like he doesn’t do anything else besides shoot out mixtapes (and the occasional bizarre collage). But this whole name-changing, game-changing DJ/PURPLE/IMAGE thing is just something else. I can almost hear Alex screaming from the rooftops: “Move over “knackered house;” you’re nowhere near knackered enough — I’ll show you knackered, you cheap scoundrels!” I then decided that Mpala Garoo sound incredible when massively sped up (here’s the original for fans of comparisons).

Finally, there’s a geezer playing on one of three remaining East German 60s synths designed for advert sound effects, and I couldn’t resist inserting some of Brandon Locher’s incredible sonic practical joke. To conclude, some psychoacoustic wizardry from Ben Vida. Feel the “expanded spatialization,” man.

Stream below, and subscribe to our podcast here.

[00:00] Saigon84 - “Tigerlegs”
[03:01] Tactics - “No Games”
[05:51] Jook10 - “Minimal Dark”
[07:37] Akkord - “Nexus”
[09:39] SND - “15/16”
[13:21] FAY - “Use”
[15:40] DJ/PURPLE/IMAGE - “10”
[20:40] Mpala Garoo - “primiriirii”
[24:13] Frank Bretschneider - “Kippschwingungen part 2”
[24:43] Brandon Locher - “Conversations, 2012”
[27:56] Ben Vida - “zizzlerz”

Marielle V. Jakobsons

“Purple Sands”

Marielle V. Jakobsons, a player in many Bay Area drone outfits (Date Palms, Myrmyr, Portraits, et al.), presents a document of her solo capacity, Glass Canyon (the latest album to receive our Eureka! distinction). While the terms she’s most often pegged with — ‘sound artist’ and ‘drone artist’ — are decidedly nebulous, she shines as a composer with Glass Canyon. For this album, Jakobsons limited herself to primarily violin and synthesizer in an effort to focus “on where two timbres meet.” “Purple Sands,” the album’s opening track, is a great example, initiating the interplay between oscillators and bowed strings acutely, allowing each tool to relish in their strengths. The rich harmonics of the violin create a slow-moving airiness, while the synthesizer grounds the piece with pastoral textures that subtly slide underneath the strings. Listen here:

Glass Canyon is out now on Students of Decay.

• Marielle V Jakobsons:
• Students of Decay:
• Experimedia:

Pepe Deluxé

“Go Supersonic” [radio edit]

So, remember Pepe Deluxé from, like, five years, no, three years ago —errp, the beginning of this year? They took their old man/generation music mentality and made the album Queen of the Wave, which I think I read contains every instrument imaginable. Yeah, they kept going with the same style electronic dance shit after Kish Kash closed that book. But here they is with their extended-play number two this year entitled Go Supersonic on Catskills Records. Specifically, this post is “covering” the multi-instrument, unimaginative “Go Supersonic” [radio edit]. Which, [radio edit] seems age-/generationally appropriate for Pepe Deluxé to use. And aside from shoving away the female vocalists in any journalism/interview (for an album based around a Queen), they um… got wildly imaginative and, wait, how much of the Baltic Sea gets cleaned up because of this album?

Nevermind. Right, the imagination in this track comes from — well, it gives me the vibe of, maybe, like, a car commercial? NO! Cereal. This album is cereal to me musically. @PizzicatoFiveonrepeat HAH. I knew I could extract some sort of fantasy/fiction from this music. There IS inspiration. Also, I want someone to download a lot of expensive software for free, record their own sounds or find samples using a computer mic, and remake this album with more soul. Also-also, I’m ending this post because I can’t listen to “Go Supersonic” [radio edit] play once more in my head.

• Pepe Deluxe:
• Catskills Records:



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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.