Violet Replacement

Months ago, I was listening to a piece on NPR about an artist who had taken Beethoven symphonies and slowed the tempo down far enough to stretch the piece into a 24-hour experience of listening and relaxation. Listeners were invited to bring blankets and pillows to the premiere and immerse themselves in the slow-churning epic for as long as they so desired.

Violet Replacement, an hour-and-a-half, two-song tour CD-R set, follows the same idea. But just as a simple violin stroke can be rendered unrecognizable when stretched to fit a new timeline, the Wurlitzer warbles, guitar strums, and field recordings — made familiar over the span of four Grouper albums and a number of splits and collaborations — are pulled nearly to their limits over a deserted, auditorium-style emptiness. It provides the breathing room to separate the tidal waves of drone from the singer-songwriter tendencies done to perfection on last year’s double album, A I A (TMT Review).

Watch an excerpt from the recent Torino, Italy performance of Violet Replacement above.

• Grouper:

Physical Therapy

“Record Sales”

TMT’s in-house doctor, a quack if I ever saw one, recommends Physical Therapy “if you want.” Get emergency medical help if you have chest pain, weakness, shortness of breath, slurred speech, or problems with vision or balance. The music may also cause serious effects on the stomach or intestines, including bleeding or perforation (forming of a hole). These conditions can be fatal and can occur without warning. Call your own doctor at once if you have symptoms of stomach bleeding, such as black, bloody, or tarry stools, or coughing up blood or vomit that looks like coffee grounds.

Safety Net, the debut EP by Physical Therapy, is out June 19 on Hippos In Tanks.

• Physical Therapy:
• Hippos In Tanks:


“Laud the Hyena”

Simon Price, singer/guitarist of stoner rock band The Heads, is set to release a solo album as kandodo. The self-titled album features nine tracks of stretched-out, psychedelic meditations — a Thrill Jockey strength of late — via a 1965 Magnatone Typhoon guitar, keyboards, slight percussion, and a “slowly breaking Walkman” for field recordings. The result is a highly textural soundworld that embodies everything from the experimental rhythmic scene of 70s Germany and its ambient aftermath, to Price’s South African origins and his interest in “animist religions, hyenas, sharks, and dusty drives.”

“Laud the Hyena,” the album’s second track, features a driving four-note progression that uses repetition and dense layering to eventually push the song from its humble, somewhat staid beginnings into more dynamic, chaotic territory. It’s not only one of the album’s loudest moments — matched only by its sister track (and album closer), “Lord Hyena, 3am” — but it’s also one of its darkest ones. Check it out here:

kandodo is out June 12 via Thrill Jockey. Pre-order the album here.

• kandodo:
• Thrill Jockey:

The Communion


Still lingering in creeping holes and cellars are oozing rituals upon perceived blood thrones and smeared visages on walls and heads. Hymns come tattered and frothing from the mouth in both ancient and modern derelict languages — eyes pinned back, choking venom from bile, excreting memory. Unspeakable thought becomes reality, drenching a kneeling mass in virgin cum and blood. Once the body is split, everything pours out, and The Communion feast begins at the feet. Upon the alter rattles a severed head soaking in a vat of toxins. It’s raised by two hands and used as a baptism device among the starved, gorging themselves asleep. Everything happens underground, so getcha “Stirrups” and explore! While you’re at it, snag a Prison Tatt.

• The Communion:
• Prison Tatt Records:

Laurel Halo

Quarantine [album stream]

Some of us here at TMT (me me me me me) are overexcited about Laurel Halo’s new album Quarantine, which is out next week in Europe and May 28 (new release date!) on Hyperdub. We’ve been selfishly squandering it behind our closed doors where we wear white lab coats and goggles to protect us from any back splash from some of the bullshit we have to sift through sometimes around here. (That Best Coast promo is burning my eyebrows off already; gotta step away before I get a chemical burn.) Laurel’s an android so, you know, we respect that shit because science built her. She is excellent at mimicking the human voice — er, most of the time anyway. More to the point: she might have made one of the best albums of 2012, if you believe me. But you don’t have to trust my word. The fine people at FACT are offering a full-album stream of Quarantine, so what are you waiting for?

• Laurel Halo:
• Hyperdub:

[Photo: Tim Saccenti ]


The Road Soda [album stream]

RUN DMT has a way of making the old sound new. Since his early releases Bong Voyage and Get Ripped or Die Trying, RUN DMT has been piecing together sound collages using vocal samples seemingly pulled from forgotten interviews and home videos, popping and crackling over drowned melodies forced out of keyboards on their last leg. RUN DMT’s 2011 album, Dreams, took that formula and injected it with bits of the ocean-pop laziness that artists like Ducktails and Rangers have been swimming in for the past few years. The Road Soda, RUN DMT’s 2012 CGIFriday split with Tracey Trance, takes a step away from the structured pop songs like “Richard” and “Romantic” on Dreams toward those earlier sound collages, while still retaining the watery laziness of tracks like “Cash for Gold” and “Winn Dixie.” This time around, each track is built on melodies that sound pulled from all of those early-90s ocean noise meditation cassette tapes, run through RUN DMT’s echo-heavy, airy filters that keep them from drowning in all of the secondhand damage and tape hiss.

Listen to the entire album below, and order the tape from CGIFriday here.

• CGIFriday:


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.