Birds of Passage / Je Suis le Petit Chevalier / Motion Sickness of Time Travel / Aloonaluna
Taxidermy of Unicorns
Lynn Fister’s young Watery Starve Press has already made a big splash on the cassette market, following an incredible debut compilation with releases from the likes of Stephen Molyneux and Sparkling Wide Pressure. Each tape she’s put together has arrived with individually collaged artwork, impressive and beautiful stuff all around to be certain. But this latest release is taking the imprint to a new level, so we here at the Chocolate Grinder are proud to present this quadruple premiere of videos from Taxidermy of Unicorns, a four-way split highlighting the work of female experimental artists from around the globe, including New Zealand’s Birds of Passage, Belgium’s Je Suis le Petit Chevalier, Georgia’s Motion Sickness of Time Travel, and Fister herself under her musical guise, Aloonaluna. Although each performer has a singular and unique vision here, the four sides of music are bound by some intangible common thread, giving the project a feeling that is cohesive in its blurry beauty — a phenomenon Fister discusses in a personal essay found in the companion booklet that comes with the tape. Check out the videos created by Rachel Evans, Fister, and Brian Ratigan below.
Birds of Passage, “Dead Flowers” (excerpt):
Je Suis le Petit Chevalier, “Documents” (excerpt):
Motion Sickness of Time Travel, “Mutable Mode”:
• Birds of Passage: http://birdsofpassagemusic.com
• Je Suis le Petit Chevalier: http://www.facebook.com/jesuislepetitchevalier
• Motion Sickness of Time Travel: http://motionsicknessoftimetravel.blogspot.com
• Aloonaluna: http://aloonaluna.com
• Watery Starve Press: http://waterystarve.blogspot.com
“You’re The One” [Rihanna]
With his jazzy, funk-inflected beats, Deejay Earl, who celebrates his birthday today, stands as one of the biggest up-and-comers in the Chicago footwork scene. What makes Earl stand out is his keen ear for off-kilter samples, as well as his flexible sound, one that comfortably and effortlessly switches between downtempo dub and upbeat breakbeats. Last summer’s Audio Fixx LP got a lot of us talking, in part because it took the best elements from a variety of current dance scenes (juketronic, house, chopped and screwed) and blended them together in an intoxicating sonic slurry — sort of like one of those juice drinks you make with the Magic Blender, but better. Deejay Earl’s take on Rihanna’s 2011 hit “You’re the One” is a continuation of his pluralistic musical paradigm. He emphasizes the track’s latent reggae and dancehall elements, marrying them to skittering, disorienting drum loops. A strange marriage, but it works, especially with the synth flourishes that add that subtle jazzy touch without being too over the top.
• Deejay Earl: https://soundcloud.com/djearlteckz
If I were you, I’d be extremely wary of lending anything to Hartmut Geerken. In Egypt in 1971, Sun Ra left his Sun Harp with Hartmut before returning back to the United States. Its status at the time was legendary: a construction of strings and wood bearing resemblance to the Ukrainian Bandura, an instrument that looks something like this and is played something like this.
Sure, it was given as a deposit to guarantee a loan that was never repaid — the onus was most certainly on Sun Ra to retrieve the item. But even so, Hartmut is pushing the boundaries of respect as he feverishly claws at his museum piece in a way that makes this guy seem fairly horizontal. Having said this, I’d much rather it was in his wild hands than behind glass, man.
The minimalist style recently embraced by New York rappers/producers Roc Marciano and Ka yielded at least two of the best hip-hop albums of 2012 (namely Roc’s Reloaded and Ka’s Grief Pedigree, which I covered here). Another rapper/producer who’s put his own spin on this no-frills, back-to-basics approach is South Bronx-based rapper/producer $amhill, whose debut music video, “Poetic Justice,” directed by none other than Ralph McDaniels, premiered just over a year ago. Last week, The Almighty $amhill finally dropped his first solo release via Unkut.com. With seven songs and not a minute of wasted space, The Preface does exactly what an EP is supposed to, giving us just enough material to simultaneously satisfy our hunger for now while whetting our appetite for more.
Download The Preface here.
• $amhill; http://www.myspace.com/samhillthealmighty
“Bitch Don’t Kill My Vibe” (freestyle)
“I may be drunk on the couch, but I’m raising the bar.” Yikes. That type of line didn’t work well when Eminem did it in 2010, and hearing Rick Ross reprise it three years later hasn’t made it sound any better. But, oh well, the dude’s had a pretty hard time lately, what with allegedly almost dying and everything. Ross’ take on Kendrick Lamar’s “Bitch Don’t Kill My Vibe” has the same chilled-out cadence of the original, but the lyrics are more intimate than we’ve heard recently from Mr. Maybach Music (speaking of Maybach: I love how the Maybach Music shout-out is thrown in to EVERY Rick Ross song, regardless of whether or not it fits: pretty sure I laughed at its seemingly last-place insertion in this track). Did you know that Rick Ross battled dyslexia? Me neither.
• Rick Ross: http://www.rickrossdeeperthanrap.com
My Bloody Valentine
“she found now”
Twenty-two years since their classic Loveless and only two cover songs to tide fans over, My Bloody Valentine’s long-awaited third album m b v finally squeezed its way out of Kevin Shields’ perfectionist clutches last night. After breaking the internet with the lust of blitzing fans, the band’s newly inaugurated website is back up and selling m b v as a download, with CD and vinyl options. Hearing new My Bloody Valentine material is pretty shocking for someone who has been persistently betrayed by Shields’ promises, and it’s tempting to dismiss m b v and its artwork as a mere successor to Loveless, feeding off of its extended afterglow. But what at first seems to be a more straightforward follow-up, bereft of the loopy abstraction of the band’s most experimental wash, eventually delivers on the ecstatic bliss of peaking tracks such as “Soon” and “Swallow” with an ending so messed up that it evokes Royal Trux and To Live and Shave in L.A. at their most demented. Loveless was a grower, and m b v is already getting better with every listen.
Buy m b v at My Bloody Valentine’s official website, and stream the official upload of opening track “she found now” here:
The rest of the tracks have been uploaded by MBV here: http://www.youtube.com/user/TheOfficialMBV?feature=watch
• My Bloody Valentine: http://www.mybloodyvalentine.org