Chocolate Grinder Mix 92
The Mario Coin Mix
Last year, I posted a mix of 10 songs that sample the sound of a gun cocking (you know, that “chk chk” sound), but it was terribly timed: it coincided with the day of the Dark Knight shooting. While I’ve already collected enough gun-cock tracks to do a couple more this year, I’ve decided to challenge myself instead with an even more obscure sample: that cute, chimey little sound effect heard when Mario, ever the capitalist, grabs a coin.
First off, I love that sound (who doesn’t?) — not only for nostalgic reasons but also because, in the context of the sampling world of electronic-based musics, it now vaguely signifies achievement, using a simple two-note melody (B to G) that can be easily appropriated for both its cultural resonance and its harmonic potential.
Second, I just barely found enough songs to constitute a mix. There were 8-bit tracks and joke-y songs that I could’ve included, but I wanted a mix that I’d actually listen to. In fact, I cut out this $yrup remix track at the 11th hour because it was so annoying to hear on repeat. Luckily, the rest I genuinely do enjoy, and I think they all make great use of the Mario coin: the classic version can be heard on tracks by Sugar C, Paisley Parks, and Tedy, and the newer version on a track by Co La. It’s pitched down on “Coins For The Canopy” by Maximillion Dunbar, one of two artists (the other being Paisley Parks) who use the coin to signify its monetary nature, and it’s so heavily effected by Huerco S. and Quiet Evenings that I’m not even sure they’re sampling it (update: neither are).
But my two favorite uses of the Mario coin come at the end of the mix, where TONY FERARRI (a.k.a. SP wiz aaronmaxwell) has the audacity to chop the coin mid-sample and where Lil B, like on the gun-cock mix, concludes the mix with a humorously absurd, surreal deployment.
Stream below, and subscribe to our podcast here.
[00:00] Sugar C - “12 VAPORIZER” [prod. VHS LOGOS]
[01:09] Co La - “Melter’s Delight”
[04:42] Paisley Parks - “We Got”
[07:05] Heurco S. - “Hopewell (Devil)”
[07:40] Tedy - “Hashclub Party”
[09:31] Maxmillion Dunbar - “Coins For The Canopy”
[14:40] Quiet Evenings - “A Blue Dream” [excerpt]
[19:28] TONY FERRARI - “SPORTS”
[20:31] Lil B - “1000 Bitches”
Patrick Farmer & David Lacey
Pictures Of Men. [excerpt]
One may not immediately associate emotional noise music with the unaltered sounds of pigs and geese, but the first five and a half minutes of Patrick Farmer and David Lacey’s Pictures Of Men. does a lot to make that connection much more apparent. The unaffected agricultural recordings that open the album are among the more gutturally moving musical moments I’ve heard this year. There’s something about the unidentified squawking and oinking that immediately registers as “pained,” in the same manner that a black metal vocalist’s yelps signify despair despite the incomprehensibility of their words. However, with the case of black metal, a listener can always look at the lyric sheet and see the source of the singer’s pain. Pictures Of Men. requires close listens to reveal the origins of certain sounds.
Throughout these opening minutes, it’s easy to hear some kind of industrial clangor that could be the source of the animals’ distress, and it’s pretty much a given that the producer of that clangor must be human. In that case, it seems that Farmer and Lacey use the opening material to establish a subtle dichotomy between man and nature that continues throughout the duration of the 45-minute composition.
As Pictures Of Men. progresses, this dichotomy between the natural-sound world and the man-made world is explored through the juxtaposition of field recording and EAI performance. It’s often difficult to tell what’s a natural sonic occurrence and what’s the result of the duo’s extended percussion technique. As the timbral textures eventually move from farmland to factory, it becomes clear that the album’s opening material presents an unedited relationship between human technology and nature that informs the rest of work. As a result, Pictures Of Men. is an amazingly thorough composition that raises interesting questions about sound source while managing to warp its own sounds into an arresting piece of music.
Pictures Of Men. is out now via Copy For Your Records. You can stream an [excerpt] of the work below:
“Hadouken” (ft. Keke The Adopted Tabby Cat)
Lil B has released three mixtapes this year — 100% Percent Gutta, Pink Flame, and P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thug) — and a shit-ton of music videos lately, many of them hyping up his long-delayed mixtape, 05 Fuck Em (which is said to have grown to 70 songs across 5 “discs”). Today, however, we’re treated to something different: a weird (of course!) new BASED FREESTYLE track called “Hadouken,” a dedication of sorts to Ryu and Ken’s fireball projectile in the Street Fighter video game. The best part? The track features Keke “The Adopted Tabby Cat,” who had us all doing some BASED MEOWING last year with this genuinely bizarre song.
But wait, that’s not the best part at all. According to the video, Keke “The Adopted Tabby Cat” will soon be releasing a whole album, produced by Lil B himself. I really hope that’s not a joke.
• Lil B: http://www.basedworld.com
“Envelopment” / “Melting”
Last Mother’s Day, my family and I were heading to Carmine’s in the heart of NYC. A few blocks away, my mom points to the InterContinental Hotel and says, “That place is famous.” As we approach the hotel, there’s a mob of people everywhere, so naturally we muscle our way through. My fiancée trailed within our wake and yells, “Monster, I think you just shoved a celebrity!” Looking back, my first thought as I see Drake glaring at me was that part from Degrassi, but I only squeaked out, “Hi.” Had it been composer and ZS guitarist Patrick Higgins, I’d have geeked out, even though we‘ve met on several occasions.
But check it out: Higgins is poppin’ out a deluxe double LP this year, and it consists of work he wrote for Mivos Quartet, titled String Quartet No.2 (a group he’s very familiar working with), and a “remix” of his work called Glacia — LPs I’ve been waiting to spin since day one (for me). The album comes at listeners as a joint effort between Words+Dreams and new label Ex Cathedra Records, distributed exclusively by Redeye Distribution and available November 12 on CD, digital, and (of course) double tri-color splattered vinyls limited to 300 copies.
Can’t wait that long? You’re in LUCK! If you’re livin’ in NYC travel distance, Le Poisson Rouge will present a special album release concert on October 4 with Mivos Quartet, Buke + Gase, and Higgins’ quadraphonic surround-sound set beginning at 6 PM. Tickets are available here AND advance copies of the record will be available at the show!!!!!!!!!!!
Stream Patrick Higgins’ “Envelopment” from String Quartet No.2 and “Melting” from Glacia below:
Let’s get something straight: XXX was a great album, a complicated album, a psychedelic meditation on survival and excess, at turns (and sometimes simultaneously) a celebration and a lamentation. It was followed by a long string of strictly celebratory interviews, EPs, and guest verses — a blatant brand-building exercise that succeeded more in caricaturization than characterization.
Virtuosi, man. What to do with ‘em? Sit open-mouthed a few feet away as fingers move faster than the naked eye can register? Allude to “wankery,” in some form, as if instrumental prowess is little more than glamorized musical masturbation? Sure, a number of shredders apply their dexterity in bouts of hilarious self-service. Some, though, work to unlock otherwise unavailable harmonies or rhythms with their legendary digits, fitting their speed and precision into wider compositional frameworks. Lubomyr Melnyk’s style of “continuous music,” which finds the Ukranian composer exploring the piano’s keys at maximum velocity across improbable stretches of time, channels his virtuosity into post-minimalist compositions of extraordinary beauty and elegance. Although more than 60 years old, the man who once set world records for piano performance (19.5 notes per second per hand [!]; 93,650 individual notes in one hour [!!!]) has not yet slowed his roll, and a recent slew of new releases, collaborations, and reissues has earned him more love from listeners than ever before.
In 2013, Melnyk has performed as a duo with fellow mega-shredder James Blackshaw for Important Records, and released the Corollaries LP with UK contemporary classical/avant-garde hub Erased Tapes. Melnyk’s next album Three Solo Pieces continues his relationship with Unseen Worlds, who reissued his style-defining 1978 opus KMH: Piano Music in the Continuous Mode on CD in 2007. “Marginal Invitation,” one of the Three Solo Pieces, demands close listening of the macro- and micro- varieties. Measure by measure, Melnyk’s playing astounds: individual notes reach us with infinitesimal separations between them; left and right hands lay out a shifting rhythmic grid that slides into new chordal configurations after each phrase lives in the mix for its own moment. Zoom out, and whole measures of consistent 1/32 notes fuse into discrete chunks, yielding phantom melodies and overtones that float above Melnyk’s handiwork as a rarefied layer of slo-mo harmonies.
Three Solo Pieces arrives in November. You can preorder the album on LP or CD now.