“From Fallen Eyes”

Production quality is a weird thing. Some bands use it to draw links between the music they want to make and their decades-old influences. Some bands, financially speaking, have no choice but to record at a lower fidelity. And some bands use production quality as an effect, a conscious dynamic, an instrument in itself.

The production quality in “From Fallen Eyes,” the new track from London duo Youthfall, is like the Flatten Image option in Photoshop; it flattens all of the various layers into one, unified piece — in this case, wrapping all the layers of instrumentation in the same haze and pressing it down into one cloud-covered wall of sound. That overused term “dream pop” has never sounded so fitting.

Check it out below. It’s really quite pretty.

• Youthfall:


“Special A”

“Outer blues,” huh? Down. Nashville’s Ttotals (best band name ever?) is a duo that has been killing this scene of outer bluesmen for some time now (at least since 2009, when their Myspace was created… sigh, 2009…), not that I know exactly what that means or that many have known a damn thing about it. I guess it has something to do with a live tape on No Kings and a 3-inch on Kim Dawn, probably. (Oh, and there was a self-released LP on yellow vinyl, too.) Anyway, hopefully the release of a solid 10-inch record will change things. Check out this heavy sample from the forthcoming slab of wax, Silver on Black, with its super drowsy, brooding blues, some helicopter blade guitar delay, mile-deep drum tones, and some vintage Spaceman 3 spaciousness.

• Ttotals:


RASUNA [album stream]

One of the only things explained about TIGA BAKSO by Vlek’s website is, “Tiga Bakso grew up in former East Germany, in a concrete cube.” This succinct statement paints a stark visual that reflects his music distinctly. The electronic music that this guy makes is so cold, so empty, so dark, so hard and coarse that it seems like he must still be in that concrete cube, pumping out haunting, architectural beats.

As of right now, you can download TIGA BAKSO’s new record Rasuna for free from SoundCloud, or you can name your price for a digital copy from Vlek on the label’s Bandcamp.

• Vlek:

Freddie Gibbs & Madlib


The recent collaboration between Midwestern MC Freddie Gibbs and acclaimed producer Madlib (a.k.a. Quasimoto a.k.a. the most prolific producer wunderkind in the history of the game) is one for the best-of books: Gibbs’ proficiency with the mic has drawn comparison to the guitar skills of Eddie Van Halen (hopefully that simile doesn’t extend to the ghastly Twister soundtrack that Halen contributed to), while Madlib just may be the best hip-hop producer, well, ever. Directed by Jonah Schwartz, the new clip for “Shame” plays close to the title, focusing on the emotionally-draining world of the cocaine business. Seeing as how pretty much everyone was a fan of Requiem for a Dream, you’ll probably like this video, especially because Jared Leto’s mug is nowhere to be found.

• Freddie Gibbs:
• Madlib:
• Stones Throw:

Public Spreads the News

Treat Yourself [album stream]

Public Spreads The News is the culture jamming mission of Wes Ables, and Treat Yourself is a 10-track, re-appropriated Tom Haverford mantra that straddles the line between psychedelic bedroom funk and mixtape hip-hop instrumentals. This Ailanthus Recordings issue relies on loops and samples, but rather than layering elements into oblivion, Ables opts for sturdy, sleek structures that he then breaks and rebuilds. Ables is flexing as a craftsman with the display of the grooves he’s molded from a small set of simple sounds.

• Public Spreads the News:
• Ailanthus:

A$AP Rocky

“Purple Kisses”

DON’T WATCH THIS ONE AT WORK! Not only are there bare butts, but also plenty of boobs and doobs. So if you’re on break at the local law firm/Thai restaurant/dog groomery, consider yourself warned. All disclaimers aside, with his new, controversial “Purple Kisses” clip (it’s been removed from YouTube once before, though it appears to be back up), A$AP continues to push the boundaries of rap vids by taking us on an unprecedentedly trippy, hedonistic journey fueled by all the substances you were told to stay away from in sixth grade health class. There’s a part where A$AP takes out some jolly ranchers, and you wonder if things are going to be G-rated. But nope, it’s just another ingredient in the sizzurp-du-jour (On a related note, why didn’t he opt for the blue-raspberry flavor, which is clearly superior? Never mind.) Between the kaleidoscopic shots of derrieres and the slow-motion, drugged canoodling going on in the hot tub, this isn’t just downright decadent: it’s rap’s equivalent to “The Picture of Dorian Gray.”

“Purple Kisses” is off the upcoming A$AP Mob mixtape, Lord$ Never Worry, slated for release 8/28 on

• A$AP Rocky:


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.