Ilyas Ahmed
“Skin In Circles”

Over the last couple years, Ilyas Ahmed has released a 12-inch with his Portland buddy Liz Harris (Grouper), a split with Steve Gunn, and a 10-inch called Live At On Land, but With Endless Fire is his first full-length release since 2009’s Goner. Our boys at Cerberus just reviewed the cassette version earlier this week; we recently interviewed Ahmed about the new album here; and we’re now ecstatic to premiere the video for standout track “Skin In Circles.” The pensive, amorphous footage of lights in the dark and sun through trees/curtains/etc. — by art director Julia Blackburn (who did that Levi’s campaign [and seemingly knows photographer Ryan McGinley!]) — wonderfully matches the understated doom-vibe of Ahmed’s strummy raga grooves. He says of the record, “[it] started out during an extended period of decline and gradually shifted focus to let more light in, to reconcile the murky depths and the ecstatic highs of everyday life.” Check out the video here:

With Endless Fire is out now on LP and cassette via Immune Recordings.

• Ilyas Ahmed:
• Immune Recordings:
• Julia Blackburn:

Neneh Cherry & The Thing

“Accordion” [Madvillain cover]

Last month, we posted Neneh Cherry and avant-jazz trio The Thing (Mats Gustafsson, Ingebrigt Håker Flaten, Paal Nilssen-Love)’s cover of Suicide’s “Dream Baby Dream.” It was pretty much unanimously loved. Today, we have a video for “Accordion,” their cover of the classic Madvillain track. When Cherry has the mic, it’s like the place get like, “Ah yeah!,” leaving pussy cats like wild hoes need Kotex. Got more lyrics than the church got “Ooh Lords,” etc.!

Check it out above, and then plan to pick up the group’s album, The Cherry Thing, June 19 via Smalltown Supersound.

• Neneh Cherry:
• Smalltown Supersound:

Francis Bebey

African Electronic Music 1975-1982 [album stream]

What happens when you work for free? You dream of escaping to somewhere exotic while working for free! Sometimes thoughts of escaping are essential. But with the internet, this notion is weird, since escaping within the internet is both a place to find where to escape to and where you want to burn down. Can’t burn down the internet, th’oh. However, if you found African Electronic Music 1975-1982 on the internet, which here you are doing exactly that, buy and download it so you can escape the reality of driving home. And what an escape it is. Not only is this shit FUCKING clever (@”NewTrack”), but it’s both African flavored and (mostly, I believe) sung in French. Yeah, I get why it’s French and African, but it’s beautiful and a delight to run to when you down on travel dough.

• Francis Bebey:
• Born Bad Records:

P Villa

“Beliefs Are Free”

Astro Nautico, the label responsible for putting out solid releases by howse, Time Wharp, Kuhn, Obey City, and Paul Jones, recently dropped Atlantics: Vol. 2, a beastly (and free) 41-track compilation of bass-heavy dance tracks, suffocated hip-hop, and ethereal bathdub constructions. Each morning this week, I’ll pick one of my favorite tracks, so you can start your day off astronautically.

Fuzzy bass, watery synths, chilled beats all the way through. I haven’t heard of P Villa before this compilation, but now I’m keeping tabs on him (I’m on a laptop outside his apartment right now). Villa released a full-length called Revist in late 2010, and he has a new one, Volacious, coming this summer. If the tracks are anything like “Beliefs Are Free,” then mark me down, +1. I’ll buy merch, promise!

• P Villa:
• Astro Nautico:

Acid Mothers Temple & The Melting Paraiso UFO

“Son of a Bitches Brew”

And from the womb comes colors dripping:

- The doctor runs his finger along the seam, tastes it, and mouth sticky he says, “It’s a boy.”
- The nun raises the baby as mucous stretches from him to the pool he was birthed in.
- The shaman places his hands in the pool and throws the goo-colors into the air.
- The guru releases a green fog entombing everyone in its eminence.
- The baby aura’s an almond glow separating itself from this green.
- The P premiers his haunting chant, sucking in plumes of fog.
- The Z freshens the baby and depletes green air.
- The Acid Mothers Temple seers the psychic wavelength received from the baby.
- The Melting Paraiso UFO channels the brew into chaos.
- The you can further find out about this through Important Records on June 28.

• Acid Mothers Temple:
• Important Records:


Music For Keyboards Vol. 2: “Whats My Age Again?” Variations [album stream]

I first heard Blink-182 in 6th grade. My initial exposure, to “All the Small Things,” must have made its way through my pores and found its way to something inside me primordial and fundamental, because I remember the song pervading my consciousness for months. In fact, I remember that whenever I was part of a class group or creative project and we had to make a presentation, my sole resource was to do a parody of “All the Small Things.” Maybe this owes more to Weird Al, who also played a dubious role model in those days. Either way, my fellow group members must have been weak-willed, or also of questionable taste, because I remember my grand plan winning out more often than was healthy or reasonable.

It matters not what generated my weird year of Blink-182 variations. What does matter is that, many years hence, d’Eon has embraced the passed torch with his own Blink re-imaginings. And thankfully the tracks here — vibing on “What’s My Age Again?” — are light-years better than a 12 year old’s “All the Small Things”/Julie of the Wolves mashup. Better, even, than the originals. Better than they have any right to be.

This mixtape, Music For Keyboards Vol. II, is out now from Hippos in Tanks (and premiered by Stereogum). d’Eon’s LP, LP, is also available from Hippos in Tanks.

• d’Eon:
• Hippos in Tanks:


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.