Featureless Ghost

We may have reached a point in music, particularly pop-oriented music, where something we could hear as influenced from the past or an intentional reference to something that has been done before may actually be coincidental or even subconscious. It is surely possible that Atlanta-based Featureless Ghost are deliberately mimicking nostalgic style, but they do it so effortlessly that it almost seems like they are from some remote island and didn’t experience the same 1980s we did and just made this music out of nowhere with zero influence. Just sayin’.

Night People have released Featureless Ghost’s new full-length called Mindbody. The video above is a trippy trippy vid for laid-back track “Sim.”

• Featureless Ghost: http://www.featurelessghost.com
• Night People: http://raccoo-oo-oon.org/np


“Skate to Death”

Yeah, fuck yeah! Who else had a winter that lasted two seconds? Well, I’m thinking these fellahs kept summer alive all year thrashing and skating and crushing bugs. Eating bugs. Where’d all the thrash go? Where’d all the dumb-fuck head, snot-for-brains music bury itself? Justin Pearce, come back! Thankfully, the Earthsurfers are keeping the heat alive, specifically on cassette tape, by sludging carnage via drum/vox/guitar smear. But is the culture gone? Will this project work? How much left you got in that can? How much in the 12-pack? Scope the Earthsurfers’ release on Deep Tapes — YES, DEEP TAPES — sometime soon. Maybe a Pukers collaboration on the horizon? Or maybe my mouth shits bull. Fuck off!!! @punkSNOTdead

• Earthsurfers: http://deeptapes.com/artists/earthsurfers
• Deep Tapes: http://deeptapes.com



Awesome Tapes From Africa, the hit blog-turned-label, is preparing its second release, a double LP/CD reissue of an album called Volume 7, originally released on cassette in 2008, by Ghana artist and kologo virtuoso Bola. This bewildering mini-dv short film transforms into a music video (with some ace dancing) four minutes in. Let’s all agree to spread this around as much as possible, and hopefully this will become a new dance craze. Pre-orders are up now, discs drop April 3.

• Awesome Tapes From Africa: http://www.awesometapes.com

Alexandre Navarro

“Effacer le noir”

French minimalist Alexandre Navarro has released his third full-length record, Elements, on his own SEM label. Although Navarro would surely be considered an electronic musician, it’s his gentle guitar playing and sample manipulating that makes his music so emotional and memorable. On this new album, Navarro’s guitar plays a different role, as it echoes tender melodies in the background and serves as a delectable sound to sample and engineer into rich beat-oriented music. Many of the pieces feature more electronic rhythm and percussion than Navarro’s more recent previous releases, but many of the tracks manage to keep in step with his move towards a compositional and even post-rock approach to minimal electronica.

You can hear the whole record on the SEM site , and we are streaming the exceptional track “Effacer le noir” below.

• Alexandre Navarro: http://alexandrenavarro.com
• SEM: http://semlabel.com

Merzbow Marhaug

“Mer Mar” [excerpt]

If there’s no public bathroom to share with people at your work, then the office will eventually fall apart. Think of it as showers after a sports game. Or the locker room. The more private groups of people form, the more the whole office feels like people are gossiping. Lack of camaraderie comes from little to no neutral physical public submission. Lemme check that. No. Neutral. Physical. Public. Submission. It’s like taking a loud shit, two coworkers coming in to take a leak, and them being cool with the situation because where the fuck else y’all going to take internal business? Thus, this Mer Mar LP by Merzbow Marhaug (on sale meow at Editions Mego) places listeners at both an acceptable distance and neutral submission. It’s more than 45 minutes in length, sounds like tearing apart a body with electronics, and if you listen to it in the world surrounding your world, that means — I think — you’ve just submitted yourself to both the grinding of mantle and walking on dirt. Maybe. Who is this C Monster guy, anyway?

• Merzbow Marhaug: http://www.merzbow.net
• Editions Mego: http://editionsmego.com

California X


People living outside California tend to think California is a place inoculated to rage. Sunshine breeds sterility, it seems. Well, while there may be more breathing room along the Bay than in a Manhattan tenement, less brittle air than in a Chicago slum, more mild-mannered Googlers in a West Coast acre than in the entire swath of Baltimore, the truth is that the complacency is maddening, invigorating, combusting. The sunshine and its cults can become ecstatically infuriating. Life isn’t this sunny! Wake up, CA! You Sucker! The same thing everyday! Petrified! You Mummy! Although California X may actually be from Amherst, Maryland, they nailed their name, nailed the sound of physical ecstasy paired with emotional putridity. This writer applauds, being from Virginia at first but now lodged in the Golden State herself. There’re all kinds of afflictions, and each kind needs its own soundtrack. But truly, California aside, “Sucker” is pitch-perfect, every raucous pitch. If you’re craving guitars in these dark digital times, this may be your panacea.

The two-side single “Sucker/Mummy” became available March 12 from The Sounds of Sweet Nothing.

• California X: http://californiax.bandcamp.com
• The Sweet Sounds of Nothing: http://thesoundsofsweetnothing.tumblr.com


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.