Chocolate Grinder Mix 58
Three weeks ago, my girlfriend and I migrated up the West Coast from Southern California to Seattle, WA. The journey was rough. We cruised through the miserable Central Valley blasting the air conditioner to keep the Jeep from overheating, as we hauled hundreds of LPs and trash bags full of flannel shirts. We made it just fine though, settling in a run-down brick building, battling bed bugs, and bartering with fish vendors. It’s been 72 degrees every day. Wait, what? Rainy, kill-yourself Seattle is just like Coastal California? Yep. Not a drop of precipitation. The locals keep telling me this won’t stay for long. But as long as the sun keeps shining, I’m going to celebrate the heat with a mix full of hot jams.
Originally, I planned on making a mix that would transition from California musicians (DJ/PURPLE/IMAGE, aaronmaxwell) to artists from the Pacific Northwest (O L D M O M S, a i r s p o r t s, Panabrite), but that plan didn’t last long as I began to add music from Canada (Window), Europe (Jam City, Mediafired), Virginia (ahnnu), and who knows where (Sacred Tapestry). So it’s pretty much just a bunch of great jams; from vaporwave to rap to simple synthesizer magic, this is a mix that accompanied a transition in my life and just might make you consider making a transition yourself. Wow, I feel like I just wrote a horoscope.
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[00:00] Window - “Trye”
[03:21] Jam City - “Backseat Becomes A Zone While We Glide”
[04:47] O L D M O M S - “SOME PLACE ELSE”
[07:07] DJ/PURPLE/IMAGE - “GOT A NEW 1”
[09:47] ahnnu - “nitemeeting”
[10:25] Fat Tony & Tom Cruz - “Bout It”
[12:23] Sacred Taestry - “リーミー”
[16:23] Strategy - “Interlude”
[17:59] public spreads the news - “you might just fall in love with that girl on the unicycle”
[20:23] /please/ - “why should I”
[21:59] Reality TV - “Tina and Corcks”
[22:28] Panabrite - “Garden Interlude”
[24:26] a i r s p o r t s - “b a b e l a n d”
[26:39] aaronmaxwell - “brain lapse”
[27:04] Mediafired - “Pixies”
“Pearls and Shells”
João Costa Gonçalves, the precocious mind responsible for Mediafired and JCCG, has just dropped a coaxing new track with The Exhalers. This peachy addition to the ultra-tight handles he has attached himself to of late sprinkles cardinal flecks of fluorescence on the direction that this innovative artist from Coimbra, Portugal is taking us in. What lies in store, especially for those who have been following the artistic ripples of like-minded practitioners throughout the year, is a revealing and consistently gratifying audio journey that has already surpassed critical expectations over the illustrious tide of vaporwave and through the perplexing realm of eccojams.
The Exhalers sees Gonçalves crossing new currents, particularly on “Pearls and Shells,” which bears witness to tranquil frequency processing and aquatic-ambient textures that come complete with an extra helping of warm Mondego flows and crisp feedback. Check out this gorgeous little number below and keep your ears open for more echolocation and splendor from The Exhalers on the Exo Tapes SoundCloud.
Aaron Dilloway / Jason Lescalleet
Something wicked this way comes. It’s like the ambient noise that plays behind the creature cam shots in Evil Dead falling out of your television in slow motion. And coming from two artists praised so highly for their ability to create these atmospheres within a live setting, it makes sense to consider “Burning Nest” from a visual point of view, rather than one formed by opinions. I’m talking about actually seeing the “wall of sound”: a black mass flooding from the speakers like blood from the elevator in The Shining. The way screams sound from inside the gelatinous ooze of The Blob as it slowly approaches all those dumb enough to walk, rather than run, from it.
It makes sense alongside these horror film descriptions because, in a sense, this is horrifying stuff. Its tension rises slowly, as screams and cries echo outward and fall, allowing us only brief moments to hear our own frantic breathing under the shadow of approaching dread. And this is just an excerpt. Can’t wait for the sequel.
Listen to “Burning Nest” below, and buy the full Grapes and Snakes collaboration album from noisemakers Aaron Dilloway and Jason Lescalleet over at PAN.
• PAN: http://pan-act.com
“BDA (Ball Dropper’s Anthem)”
This is really just a taste, a preview, the opening rounds. Hey, look over here. Listen up. Detroit-based emcee SelfSays is psyching himself up, upping his stats and getting “motivized” with a time-is-now-type rap over a hail of hearty funk-march beats and warm soulful organ hooks (compliments of NY-producer Blockhead with dazzling reggae-ish fx on the vox by Ann Arbor-producer Buffay).
Having just past the age of 30, SelfSays (a.k.a. Charles Vann) is getting into the game a little bit later than some, but he’s kicking all that self-doubt aside with heart-on-the-sleeve, swiftly cadenced quips of no-time-like-the-present. Indeed, with the rise of Danny Brown, there’s potential that many other eyes are peeking through Detroit’s hip-hop hotbed and they’d be wise to keen in on SelfSays, backed by a range of eclectic and esteemed producers on an EP released last month to commemorate a springtime tour through Europe with Michigan-based electronica composer Shigeto. Consider it a primer, though, because he’s got yet another release (a 7-inch split) coming out in the last week of September: Not Another Video Game Song / They Shootin’ is his debut on iNsect Records. Level up.
I’ve gotten a bunch of e-mails in 2012 from a guy in the Netherlands (Eindhoven, to be exact) named Joep van Son who make lots and lots and lots of music both solo and with tons and tons and tons of bands. I get the impression they’re all basically the same thing, but my favorite so far was the incredibly energetic and ballistic self-titled Nikoo album. That came out in 2010, so since it was older and I couldn’t really share it properly here on the Chocolate Grinder (we do have rules, you know), I’ve been biding my time, waiting patiently for the next one that really struck my fancy.
Enter: This new “lo-fi song in a day, once every six weeks” (until…. ___?) series that Joep apparently started, like, 18 weeks ago under his solo moniker [V]. He steps into the studio, right back out, gets his buddy Bas to make a little artwork and BAM! Release for me, and release for you. And this one (like the others) is pretty great — Joep’s biggest strength is his ability to write a terrific chorus, and “Charlie D” is no exception with its super-catchy hook that lasts but just a moment before the verse sinks its pearly whites back into your neck. Acoustic guitar as the backbone, melody does all the work; the track reminds me most of Blur’s “You’re So Great,” but maybe with a bit more bite. It’s over in the blink of an eye, leaving you with the sweet aftertaste of an even sweeter tune.
“TOKYO_DAYS,” / “真夜中のJAZZ滑らかな心”
A couple weeks ago, I posted a mix of appropriation music called ║█║▌║█║▌│║▌║▌█║. I had finished the mix earlier that week, but on the day of publishing, that Friday morning, I heard this amazing song by transmat思 い 出 (a.k.a. coolmemoryz), an eccojam so heartwrenchingly beautiful I decided to redo the entire mix in order to fit it in.
Since then, the artist, now going by coolmemoryz, has released a handful of tracks, all with a vaporwave/eccojam vibe. They’re all so good that I had a hard time choosing which to write about, so I’m writing about two of them. The first is titled “TOKYO_DAYS,” a six-and-a-half-minute track that reflects a kind of pseudo-globalism with its effected Japanese voice clips, shuffling beats, and New Age synth washes. It’s all spa- and lounge-like for most of its duration, but it crawls, bloody and near-lifeless, to an unexpected demise toward the end. You have to hear the song to understand why.
The second track, “真夜中のJAZZ滑らかな心,” (roughly, “Smooth Jazz Heart of Midnight”) is less narrative, but equally enthralling. This is chopping and screwing at its finest, sounds that are pitch-shifted, looped, and tempo-fucked until you’ve all but lost any sense of center. What’s often highlighted here is not the cheesiness of the music, but the in-between moments during the decay and just before the attack. Sure, the notes and rhythms are stretched (and can be transcribed as such), but the moods are made decidedly anew.
• coolmemoryz: http://coolmemoryz.tumblr.com