Richard Pinhas & Tatsuya Yoshida / Richard Pinhas & Oren Ambarchi
“PART TWO CORE TRAX (Excerpt)” / “San Francisco T2V2 (Excerpt)”

Squint toward the horizon and you’ll notice the second or fourth or twentieth wave of avant/electronic rock pioneer Richard Pinhas’s career barreling toward you, clocking at like at least fifty knots, gathering foam and growing higher by the second on its path to obliterate your pathetic little body on the shore. Pinhas tore strings and opened minds in the mid-70s at the helm of French experimental ensemble Heldon — a project whose ahead-of-its-time catalog (synth programming + live drums + looped guitar improv?) has been revived out of hyper-rare-OOP limbo by way of Superior Viaduct’s reissue campaign. But the mind of present day Richard Pinhas — wizened by his subsequent decades of philosophizing, performing, and outright living — continues to expand in new directions alongside a growing network of acolytes-turned-collaborators.

After the surging gang warfare of last year’s Desolation Row, which found him spurring a crew of avant gurus into deep space synth improv, Pinhas toured internationally and linked up on bills with the likes of Wolf Eyes, Aaron Dilloway, Keiji Haino, and previous partner-in-crime Merzbow (scope this legend-studded lunch pic). For his two upcoming full-length albums on Cuneiform Records, Pinhas formed duos with two journeyman experimentalists from this new(er) generation of collaborators: Tatsuya Yoshida, and Oren Ambarchi. Each disc casts Pinhas’s chosen accomplice as the multi-instrumentalist foil to his extended guitar exploration — which flits from chiming ambience delivered straight from the “The Heavenly Music Corporation” to chaotic lead shred, all funneled into loops that wind through each jam’s overlapped vortexes. As a testament to their versatility as improvisers and their interdisciplinary live capabilities, both Yoshida and Ambarchi match Pinhas’s fire with maximalist performances on guitar, electronics, and drum kit. Never content to let their looped phrases or repeated riffs linger too long in the mix, Pinhas’s partners propel the extended sessions through disparate atmospheres and clear transitions, building into dramatic structures that organically decay and reform around the core of Pinhas’s six-string output.

Tatsuya Yoshida’s catalog with the continually inventive Japanese duo (sometimes solo [<-Seriously though… Wow]) project Ruins and the virtuosic opera prog-gasm known as Koenji Hyakkei casts him in a mastermind-behind-the-drum-kit role directly inspired by Christian Vander of Magma: leading each group through his metrically complex compositions while vocalizing melodies in the ecstatic nonsense language of Zeuhl. Just as Ruins and related projects couple Yoshida’s focus and performative discipline with his sense of abandon, the sessions with Richard Pinhas documented on the upcoming Welcome In The Void find him stretching out into passages of unrestrained electronic drift between his bruising drum beatdowns. Stream an excerpt from “PART TWO - CORE TRAX,” premiering below, for a taste of the duo’s live alchemy, propelled by manic snare rolls and a recursive haze of upper-register guitar texture.

Oren Ambachi has sketched out a singular vision of drone composition and performance through his modern-classic-laden solo catalog, and collaborations with the likes of Sunn 0))), Jim O’Rourke, and Merzbow, to name a few. On Tikkun, Ambarchi complements Pinhas’s cosmic delay trails with both his own searing guitar performance and the deep grooves of kraut-informed percussion we’ve come to love from his performances in Keiji Haino’s crushing power trios. The excerpt of “San Francisco T2V2” catches Ambarchi in a prickly distorted tone not far from 2012’s Raga Ooty LP, as his and Pinhas’s guitars bite and claw at each other in a cloud of layered tremolo picking. When Ambarchi gets behind the kit, the session blasts open into a molten rock rhythm, anchored by steady ride cymbal splashes and tom patterns, over which Pinhas ascends higher and higher into interstellar space.

Both Welcome In The Void and Tikkun arrive on May 27 via Cuneiform Records.

• Richard Pinhas:
• Tatsuya Yoshida:
• Oren Ambarchi:
• Cuneiform Records:


“Crutch - Of - Society - Mix”

So, what OTHER way does Alex Gray start off his European tour with Sun Araw & Laraaji? By releasing a 26-ish minute mix for Concepto Radio, duh! It’s like starting the first three hours of your full-time job for the day playing games. And the title “Crutch - Of - Society - Mix” really gets you thinking. It sounds more like a LIVE mix than anything D/P/I driven on CS/CD as of recent too. But you can hang. It’s nasty stuff. Mmm, I’m saying, it get’s deeper and layered and filthy, as usual, so you wont miss a beat, nahh. “Crutch - Of - Society - Mix” by D/P/I is below, so fuck Thursday:

• D/P/I:
• Concepto Radio:


“Diced by Light”

A couple weeks ago, Chocolate Grinder was honored to premiere JAWS’ newest track “Stay Free.” Since then, I’ve been huge on using the phrase, “Be free” to people who are just about to boil over. So far, it does not help. Anyhow, after having written about the new joint from the repeat Hundebiss productionist, Lumpa (from Edizioni Zero S.r.l.) had some kind Italian words to say about the post AND JAWS.

To attribute to more of the JAWShype in 2014, here’s his newest jam and video for “Diced by Light.” And it’s beyond delicious. If I’ve narrowed it down correct, after about eight plays now, the track is extremely maximalist in a super surfaced way. Thus, it sounds like there’s SO much happening at once, that it surprises me “Diced by Light” is just more than three minutes long. There’s beat and rythm and noise and more beat and white wash and sand blasting and NOISE. It’s as though JAWS’ entire track is comprised of a various between 50 samples and is covered up completely in three minutes time.

As well, JAWS’ video works the “Diced by Light” musical concept to the bone. I can picture being on a bike or a buggy for three minutes in ALL these scenarios feels like nearly an eternity, and as soon as you crash, it’s so quick, you don’t even realize someone is running to save your ass as it flips over your head and your back lands on the pavement around 80 km/h. Or your cartwheeling down a dune and people are filming you in case they don’t catch a limb snapping at first.

JAWS’ upcoming LP Keys to the Universe will be out soon on Hundebiss Records, so tease out to “Diced by Light” in the mean time, fool!


MAY 23 Dal Verme - Roma, ITALY
MAY 29 Muzak - Cagliari, SARDINIA
MAY 30 Villa - Brescia, ITALY + Primitive Art
MAY 31 - Vienna - Pratersauna, Austria
JUNE 1- Goleb - Amsterdam, Netherlands

• Hundebiss:

Daniel Bachman

“Pig Iron”

FOOLED YOU! Watch it here: Daniel Bachman - Pig Iron (on Vimeo)

Daniel Bachman sits in the green room and cracks a beer before his performance. With no setup required, no patch cables to unwind or pedals to configure, no amp to sound check, he’s: ( ∙_∙) ( ∙_∙)>⌐■-■ (⌐■_■) str8 chilling. Mind on nothing in particular. Maybe smoking fewer cigs. Or smoking a few more. Maybe thinking about his dad. Or Tom Petty. Sandy Bull. The ice cream man that used to drive around his neighborhood. The fly in the room. What goes into light beer. I think it’s all rice or something. I dunno. The glut of miserable Mumford-core “folk” “rock” terror that floods airwaves and festival bills couldn’t be farther from his reality. He purveys the good shit: that complex fingerstyle expression, like three or four brains addressing the guitar at once, that American Primitive revival — maybe don’t call it a revival, since someone’s been doing it in some form or another this whole time. Yeah. He gets up from the rocker (note: this “green room” is the porch of the home adjacent to a church) and heads in for the thing.

Like best bud and frequent touring/recording partner Ryley Walker, Bachman’s prodigious chops, discerning chordal sensibilities, and knack for memorable melodies seem impossibly developed for his age (24). But there they are, and there they will continue to be — and then some — for as long as he holds a guitar. Bachman’s right hand is a marvel to behold: intricate arpeggio patterns plucked with confidence by pointer, middle, and ring, as thumb maintains a steady bass pulse spanning multiple strings. If you’re like me, you watch the video of Bachman performing “Pig Iron” (link above) and think that the ecclesiastic backdrop pales in comparison to the holy notes crafted by those hands, spanning a dynamic harmonic range encompassing everything from delta blues to country twang, English “jazzy” folk a la Pentangle to the wholesome backporch chug of Fahey’s poor boy a long way from home.

Bachman drops a new album, entitled Orange Co. Serenade via Bathetic Records on July 15.

• Daniel Bachman:
• Bathetic Records:

Tom Carter & Pat Murano


Across a lifetime of solo sets, duo collabs, and memberships in larger ensembles, the veteran improviser’s tool (belt) [box] {shed} accumulates an inventory of performance tactics capable of fitting his or her output into any live context. On a practical level, these tools can manifest as effect pedal configurations or chord shapes, beloved synth patches or looping strategies — but the most important tactics, the ones that separate the upstart zoners from the deep heads, float on a more ethereal wavelength as the energy shared between oneself and others. Without a sense of teamwork, of selflessness within a group, one member can seize and scorch a session into something best left solo. If all of its participants strive for selflessness, we experience the delight of an absence of individual ego, and glimpse the spector of a mutual presence: a two- or three- or eight-headed chimera compiled of knobs, voices, keys, strings.

As a founder of long-running psych/drone explorers Charalambides and an endless roster of solo and collab projects, Tom Carter has pushed his fringe guitar performance through filters of atonality and loop/delay-based self accompaniment over more than one hundred physical releases, channeling the idiosyncratic strategies of forebears like Loren Connors or Derek Bailey into his own vision of fretboard freedom. Pat Murano adds volume after volume to his expansive solo catalog under the Decimus moniker, while infusing his unpredictable synth murk, hallucinatory lo-fi textures, and primal rhythms into the mighty No-Neck Blues Band. The New York City-based duo’s sidelong collaborative sessions on the upcoming Four Infernal Rivers span a wide palette of improvised atmospheres, from queasy trudges through darkened alleyways to bright-eyed drone hosannas. Their generative lattice of overlapping guitar loops, electronic pulses, and muffled rhythms provide each musician with a swath of the stereophonic spread to color without being too closely moored to the other, opening them up to meld their fried leads into a conjoined sear.

The 20 time-stretching minutes of Four Infernal Rivers B-side “Cocytus,” premiering below, begin in a murmur and swell to a roar as Murano low end surges buttress Carter’s self-consuming distorted shred. The session gathers looped layers into its open maw, alternately ruminating on its recursive elements and spewing new leads into the haze. For every passage of screeching guitar (anti)heroics that splinter the session down the center, a dose of warped synth (anti)melody bids it to crawl back into the underground cavern from which it slithered — as two minds and twenty fingers fused into one quivering mass.

Four Infernal Rivers lands on June 16 in an edition of 500 2xLP via London’s MIE Music. You can preorder it now.

• Tom Carter:
• Pat Murano:
• MIE Music:

Macho Blush


There’s a tiny shack outside Austin, Texas that can make the ill Unsick. Drawing from the light of her sturdy lantern, anti-folk noise-wave sha(wo)man Gina Probst gets Macho Blush on those incurable people through a variety of sounds that is nothing short of broken brilliance. Collaged and messed within the cycle of “what is music?” in honor of the Unsick, she has recorded some of these healing sessions and put it out on Crash Symbols. Within nine miracles, she hones in flecks of acoustic clash, warped chanting, and mixing alchemy to create some jarring internal care that all at once creates an uneasy of pure relaxation. So, weirdly, the antithesis of everything fucked in one’s body is actually the cure. Like in World War Z when Brad Pitt drinks a Pepsi and he’s invisible to zombies.

Last time we heard from the Crash Symbols legacy, it got a lil beaty/rappy. Now, they’ve gone and done themselves again, by pulling Unsick out of Macho Blush’s otherly being, and slapped it on tape. Progressing sound is the name of the game, and not only is Gina Probst on that via holistic listening, but Crash Symbols seriously never misses a beat. Even if Macho Blush is more of a clanging than a beat or crash.

Scope the stream of Unsick below, but if you want to get closer to 100% health, snag the new Macho Blush tape via Crash Symbols ASAP:

• Macho Blush:
• Crash Symbols:


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.