inc.
“black wings”

As part of their ongoing effort to avoid capitalization, inc. have just released the video for their new single “black wings,” the subtle grunge outlier on their beautiful debut album no world (4AD). Directed and stylized in part by the enigmatic brothers Aged themselves, the clip sees Andrew and Daniel whiling away some fire, firewood, chains, and chords with their bandmates at a dilapidated ranch somewhere close to “the place.” The quintet, who put its nonpareil chops (and doubled-up drumsets) to mesmeric use onstage, is embarking next week on a tour through Europe. Check the dates here.

• inc.: http://www.official-inc.com
• 4AD: http://4ad.com

clipping.

Peformance + Interview @ Unisex Earplug

On March 15, Tiny Mix Tapes teamed with Northern Spy for a party in Austin during SXSW called Unisex Earplug at The Museum of Human Achievement. clipping., who recently dropped one of our favorite albums of the year, performed at the showcase, and it was absolutely mindblowing.

Sean from the mighty TERROREYES documented the performance and interviewed the group on behalf of NSPY and TMT. Check it out!

• clipping.: http://www.itsclippingbitch.com

Parallel Thought

FAME

In using only music recorded at Alabama’s FAME Studios to create what is essentially a b-boy break tape, the latest release from musical collective Parallel Thought could serve as a kind of mission statement, a sonic illustration of the shared lineage of blues, rock, R&B and hip-hop, carrying on in the tradition of Eccentric Breaks & Beats Volume 2. It’s also an undeniably cohesive mix that makes me wish I knew how to breakdance and will probably at some point cause me to injure myself pretending I do. Indeed, if one was totally ignorant of the collective/label and its myriad production credits, it wouldn’t be hard to mistake them for just some really eclectic and inspired crate diggers. Lucky for hip-hop fans, they’re more than that. FAME also functions as an aperitif for Artillery Splurgin’, Parallel Thought’s upcoming collaboration with Alabama’s own Gene the Southern Child. Due out May 7, this album marks the follow-up to 2012’s A Ride With The Southern Child. Check out the lead single, “Gangsta Shit,” here, and keep some ice handy for when you twist your ankle enjoying the stream below.

• Parallel Thought: http://pthought.com

Marcus Rubio

h_h

Movie Trailer 1 Synopsis:

Open with four crouching creatures scrounging among a prehistoric undergrowth for roots to eat. They resemble humans, but a little more troll-ish, with hairy feet and large Disney-like noses and sunken eyes and long fingers that curl among the large ferns that tower above them. Show a shot of the sun causing the ground to shimmer slightly, insinuating the hot, acrid environment these creatures live in.

Cut to a shore a couple miles inland. The water leaves a salty residue as it crashes against the rocks, the camera bobs at the surface slightly, as if it were floating on the waves. A shadow is barely visible crossing in front of a tropical growth of ferns near the rocks. Below the waves, prehistoric nautili float, tentacles radiating. Cut back to the sun. This time the creatures are peering up at it in awe, as the moon slowly passes across its surface, robbing the forest of light. There is the cry of birds and the shuffling of undeveloped feet as the creatures panic. But suddenly, a human voice emerges, booming and powerful and drenched in an extra-terrestrial reverb. It tells them not to panic.

Black.

Now under the water again. Blinking lights. A large craft emerges from the depths, breaking up the sand and disturbing wildlife as it rises. It sends off a signal that creates waves that break apart corals and cause the delicate undersea flowers to tremble. The scope of the craft is fully realized when it breaks the surface of the water and stretches beyond the frame, seemingly infinite in all directions, it rises upwards out of the water propelled by a technological force beyond the comprehension of the trollish creatures that watch in awe from the edge of the primordial jungle. Again, the human voice calls, louder against the din of the rising machine. It reverberates between trees and underneath the ground to reach every inch of every brain across the entire planet. It speaks soothingly, without menace, in a language full of nuance and articulation. Almost like singing. Cut to black and title sequence.

h_h, by Marcus Rubio (TMT writer), is out now on Already Dead Tapes & Records.

• Already Dead Tapes: http://alreadydeadtapes.com

James Blackshaw & Lubomyr Melnyk

“Haftorang”

Important Records’ press materials for The Watchers call the collaborative LP “historic,” and I don’t think this is a hyperbole: James Blackshaw and Lubomyr Melnyk may have created a Holy Grail of Shred. “Holy” in that the album contains four gorgeous, pastoral duets for 12-string guitar and piano. “Shred” in that these performers can play their instruments with insane speed and technicality. If you said “Mukqs, name for me 20 digits that perform with more precision than most other digits worldwide,” I could reasonably select the 20 fingers of these two men. But that’s just one part of the package: both have proven themselves brilliant composers over the course of their prolific careers.

How’d the stars of shred ever manage to align like this, you ask? According to Blackshaw, he first witnessed a Melnyk set at a festival in 2008 and the two became quick buds (virtuosbros), eventually coming together in early 2012 to record this album’s improvisations over the course of one six-hour session.

On the album’s last track, “Haftorang,” we hear Blackshaw and Melnyk cycle together through descending chord progressions and take turns discovering new melodies, all while cramming each beat with a deluge of cascading notes. The result is a dense, post-minimalist shimmer of tone and texture — a new incarnation of Melnyk’s trademark “continuous music” with two times the fingers keeping the waves rolling and pulsing.

Allow Important Records to continue taking over your life and your bank account and order The Watchers on LP or CD. It’s available now.

• James Blackshaw: http://www.jamesblackshaw.com
• Lubomyr Melnyk: http://www.lubomyr.com
• Important Records: http://importantrecords.com

C.L.A.W.S.

“That Magik”

Back in the day, when my friends and I grabbed for quarters underneath the couch cushions — occasionally coming up with nothing more than stale Cheerios — and considered the possession of those magical silver coins a sign of great wealth, we would waste them all at this arcade at the south end of Lake George. The lights inside hardly ever worked, and the guy who owned the place had blacked out the windows, so the only light we saw for hours on end came from the fluorescent blinking machines that each blared 8-bit-gangster rap from tinny speakers. High scores merited spiraling arpeggios that seemed to hit the ceiling and bounce in every direction.

There was one game that nobody could seem to master, though. It sat in the corner, behind a large racing simulator with a broken yellow plastic bucket seat, Dalmatian-spotted with blackened gum stains. Dubbed “C.L.A.W.S.,” it was a two-player adventure, with both gamers handling joysticks and a pair of shiny, red buttons. I remember how my best friend and I took turns at handling the two different roles: one of us drove a yellow convertible, viewed from the top down, through the streets of an alternate-reality San Francisco, a city experiencing a renaissance of debauchery and loose morals underneath violent neon billboards straight out of Blade Runner. The other player, a girl in a red-pixelated dress that blew mechanically in the wind, sat on the back of the car and operated a sub-machine gun-type thing that shot out a mechanical claw (this was all represented stylistically on the side of the arcade machine). The object of the game was to use the claw to steal jewels held by wizards who roamed the street and hid in the alleyways. This was quite difficult, because you had to simultaneously avoid all the other cars on the road as well as pedestrians. If you mis-aimed, you could accidentally tear off the head of an unassuming man in a suit, and then the severed head would trail behind the car, still attached to the car arm, spraying gallons of flashing blood onto the tarmac. Then the police would come and you had to evade them.

Needless to say, we wasted dozens of quarters trying to get the prize at the end of the game: a box at the end of an abandoned pier that could only be opened using 12 of the magic gyms. I’ll never forget that fateful day, after hours of sweating into our t-shirts, when we finally won it.

Standing there, a group of boys and girls all cheering us on, we watched as those monumental letters announcing our victory flashed across the screen, and we entered our esoteric three-letter code to represent our high score into the game (we had already agreed on a title: GOD). But then something unexpected happened. A seamless drawer concealed underneath the coin slot slid open, and within it lay a 12-inch LP recording of the game’s soundtrack, performed by C.L.A.W.S. himself and released by Ecstacy Records.

• Ecstasy: http://theecstasyblog.blogspot.com

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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.


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