Nick James
The Hawk

Producer and soundtrack-ist, Nick James is back and in full sonic form with The Hawk EP, including an entire video encompassing the release’s length. That’s right. And if you easily get nightmares and/or are influenced creativity, watch this on the biggest screen in your house. There’s no turning back. The Hawk has you now.

Gaze into endless hallways and fall between infinitely growing skyscrapers. Follow the eye of artificial intelligence. Become the blood once digital and now flowing through you. Lava, lightning, smoke, fire, and completely electrical elements will aura your body with pure imagination. Thus, what do YOU hear while listening to Nick James’ The Hawk EP?

To me, it’s more like a video of dreams I once had, only in compilation form, cropped from the BEST parts. Then there’s this bit where I’m not entirely into the vocals, but the visuals make it appear as though the singer is like this virtual reality video game end-level boss, and I gotta beat him by saving up mana and use it on patience before winning ALL THE GOLD! But I lose in that purple maze there-after, and am turned into The Hawk. I see Nick James and land on his arm. Enjoy an adventure in imagination yourself via the video above!

• Nick James: https://soundcloud.com/nxjames
• Asystems: http://www.asystems.co

Joey LaBeija

“End of Time Vs Icy Lake [L-Vis 1990 Fire Alarm Remix] (Joey LaBeija Mash)”

OK. I know, I know: this is a mashup. I know this is a Beyonce song, and I would be judging myself too if Joey LaBeija’s mash wasn’t poetry. But it totally is. This is one of many mashups the New York DJ has posted in the past couple of months, usually mixing some forgotten or beloved early 2000s track with some mysterious, watery Night Slugs fare (read Danity Kane and Jam City). But this is much more than Girl Talk. By griming up “End of Time,” LaBeija actually makes the song apocalyptic, which – like – is the whole crux of the Beyonce song, but that meaning is lost on the original production.

And yes, I-know-I-know, I’m posting about a mashup, but pooping on mashups is like pooping on contemporary art. It’s not about the virtuosity. It’s about the fact that Joey LaBeija had and followed through with this idea and put it out into the world. I’m really excited about the way that Joey and other DJs in the queer NY scene are using and appropriating the 2000s. Yes, it is happening a ton right now in many different circles to varying degrees of success, but some DJs, like Joey, are mindful and intentional about it.

• Joey LaBeija: https://soundcloud.com/joeylabeija

Nick James

The Hawk

Producer and soundtrack-ist, Nick James is back and in full sonic form with The Hawk EP, including an entire video encompassing the release’s length. That’s right. And if you easily get nightmares and/or are influenced creativity, watch this on the biggest screen in your house. There’s no turning back. The Hawk has you now.

Gaze into endless hallways and fall between infinitely growing skyscrapers. Follow the eye of artificial intelligence. Become the blood once digital and now flowing through you. Lava, lightning, smoke, fire, and completely electrical elements will aura your body with pure imagination. Thus, what do YOU hear while listening to Nick James’ The Hawk EP?

To me, it’s more like a video of dreams I once had, only in compilation form, cropped from the BEST parts. Then there’s this bit where I’m not entirely into the vocals, but the visuals make it appear as though the singer is like this virtual reality video game end-level boss, and I gotta beat him by saving up mana and use it on patience before winning ALL THE GOLD! But I lose in that purple maze there-after, and am turned into The Hawk. I see Nick James and land on his arm. Enjoy an adventure in imagination yourself via the video above!

• Nick James: https://soundcloud.com/nxjames
• Asystems: http://www.asystems.co

Chris Kelle & Brad Rose

“Studies”

A pairing of two stylistically divergent yet complementary tunes, Brad Rose and Chris Koelle’s split seven inches for FET Press’ ongoing “Line Drawings Project” is a brilliant little nugget for your consumption. Rose – best known as the head honcho behind Digitalis Records, as well as recordings under his myriad solo aliases – has for us a track that highlights his mastery of noise and abstract electronics. It careens along on a warbling, insect-like buzz that is paired with an aquatic drone. It takes a minute to familiarize yourself with the sonic qualities here, but once you are it’s engaging in an elegantly weird, hypnotic manner.

Koelle – whose primary work is in art and illustration (fun fact: he did the drawings for this series) – contributes a solo piece that is striking in its simplicity. The sparse banjo plucks are like a breath of fresh air, as something you’d imagine hearing while staring out your window on a drizzly morning. The pairing of Rose and Koelle may seem at first like an odd coupling of musical visions; however, when heard back to back the songs perfectly complement one another. Head here to check out the rest of the series, which includes contributions from Cody Yantis, Anne Guthrie, Norm Chambers (aka Panabrite!), and Nathan McLaughlin, just to name a few. This is a true labor of love, with LP, cassette, and 7” editions of the series available from Desire Path Recordings, Digitalis, and FET-Press, respectively.

• FET Press: http://www.fet-press.com
• Chris Koelle: http://chriskoelle.com
• Brad Rose/Digitalis: http://www.digitalisindustries.com
• Desire Path Recordings: http://www.desirepathrecordings.com

Various Artists: Scenic Rhythms

Scenic Nights Vol 1

Attention beatheads: the Chicago based label Scenic Rhythms just set unto the world a grained smattering of in-the-pocket nodders entitled, Scenic Nights Vol 1. And what that idiotic statement means is that they just released a beat comp for your general enjoyment. Sorry for the confusion.

All thirty tracks are streaming for free as of now, but if you aren’t terrible at life, you’ll stop fiddling with your Erector set and send those fine folks some hard earned internet cash for one of the upcoming spooled versions of the compilation (and I’m assuming each tape will have all of the mentioned tracks, ‘cause if they don’t, that would be false advertising, and I’ll report those MF-ers to the Better Business Bureau so fast that it’ll make their (tape)heads spin).

Preview the previews for Scenic Nights Vol 1 below, and enjoy the loosened neck muscles that’ll follow in Scenic Rhythms:

• Scenic Rhythms: https://scenicrhythms.bandcamp.com

Marissa Nadler

“Firecrackers”

Just in time for my birthday (which is Friday), Marissa Nadler hopped on this bandwagon of EVERYONE celebrating me. I’m glad she finally caught on, ‘cause I AM a bundle of “Firecrackers,” and shit gets FOR REAL when I’m present IRL, only not really. Stereogum premiered this bad-boy, and I figured I’d follow, ‘cause I’m down with this album (outside them h8rs; <3) and have been feeling the Nadler vibe recently, again.

Snagged the special edition LP of July a bit back from Sacred Bones, and it came with a CD-R. And if you’re familiar with Nadler CD-Rs, it was beyond a treat! Tons of goth-ish folk covers of new and old tracks, including some demos, etc. Nothing as “horror story” as “Firecrackers” video, but… well, actually, I’ve never seen Marissa Nadler as something scary, even though Sacred Bones Records sorta blends these lines between her image and the physical release. Dunno if I’m chill with that. But I’ve ALWAYS pictured her as gothic and/or ghostly. As if she’s a really quaint and bard-scholarly vampire that will live and sing forever.

Anything is possible. Marissa Nadler will outlive you. Yet, that’s a really good thing!

• Marissa Nadler: http://www.marissanadler.com
• Sacred Bones Records: http://www.sacredbonesrecords.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.