“Step into the Marina”

It’s not surprising that Talibam! (Matt Mottel on synth, Kevin Shea on drums) is releasing a rap album. Actually, what the fuck am I saying — yes, it is. Despite the genre and conceptual fluidity that Talibam! have exhibited from its early noise/rock/jazz/harmoniacal experiments (Ordination of the Globetrotting Conscripts made #86 on our favorite albums of the 2000s), to dizzying sound experiments with the likes of Peeesseye and Daniel Carter, to boogie-ing in the breeze blocks, to, most recently, the absurdist prog-narrative of Discover AtlantASS, there has still been little to prepare us for Puff Up The Volume — yes, Talibam!’s forthcoming rap album. A statement:

GONG ACCIDENT LEADS TO RAP ALBUM: If you went to rap school, you wasted your money. Talibam!’s #noschoolrap is the result of circumstance. They never studied old or new school rap. Rap found them. In 2009, a falling gong broke Kevin Shea’s bass drum foot in Torino, Italy. In a subsequent recording session, Shea adapted using his other foot on the bass drum. The ensuing beats, composed without samples or loops, inspired Mottel and Shea to flex their symbiotic verbal epiphanies within their self produced floral pop paradise.

The video below is for “Step into the Marina,” the world’s first #noschoolrap single off Puff Up The Volume. It’s about as bizarre and alienating as anything they’ve done yet. The single, backed with “Party Like A Star,” is being released tomorrow for Record Store Day, with Puff Up The Volume due in September, both via Critical Heights.

• Talibam!: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Talibam/102564367491
• Critical Heights: http://www.criticalheights.com

Motion Sickness of Time Travel

“One Perfect Moment” [excerpt]

Holy shit!! If only you could hear the full version of this track. Goodness, me. It’s like —er, it HAS been my entire Thursday morning. Not only do I despise Thursday mornings at work, but I equally disregard [Experts]. However, y’all GOTTA here this excerpt of “One Perfect Moment.” I mean, if you know how to use the internet, I’m sure you can come across the full version. But just know a 21-ish-minute track like this exists out there, and it turns Thursday morning into an afternoon. Tell ya what, let’s try an experiment, click that LIKE button at the top of this screen and we’ll see what happens. Won’t change the fact that Rachel Evans’ self titled Motion Sickness of Time Travel 2xLP comes out on Spectrum Spools May 15, th’oh. Still gotta wait for that. But you can get it digital and pre-order it now.

• Motion Sickness of Time Travel: http://motionsicknessoftimetravel.blogspot.com
• Spectrum Spools: http://editionsmego.com/releases/spectrum-spools


California Republic [mixtape]

For a free mixtape, Game’s latest offering, the California Republic, is stacked with enough high-end guest spots and production credits to justify a proper commercial release. Snoop Dogg, Rick Ross, Drake, Busta Rhymes, and Lupe Fiasco are just a handful of the friends Game’s recruited this time around, against some equally impressive tracks by the likes of Cool & Dre, the Neptunes, and Boi 1DA. Building upon last year’s solid R.E.D. Album, California Republic has plenty of high points: “Roll My Sh**,” which mixes classic West-Coast stylings with ominous choir music; the spooky posture-off with Fabulous, Eric Bellinger, and Slim Thug in “Death Penalty;” and “Come Up,” which is being included in this list on the basis of Drake’s hilarious gunshot onomatopoeias. Sure, some of the purported features are missing — no Schoolboy Q or Kendrick Lamar here — but if you’re having doubts about nabbing this, let me just say that again: Drake makes gunshot sounds.

• Game: http://www.comptongame.com

DJ Earl

Above & Beyond [album stream]

At 21, DJ Earl is one of the younger producers in the Ghetto Tekz crew (Rashad, Spinn, Traxman, Manny, etc.). He’s also one of the most well-known. Earl’s been on two Planet Mu releases (Bangs & Works Vol. 2, the Ghettoteknitianz EP), regularly DJs at footwork events in Chicago, releases blistering monthly footwork mixes via his SoundCloud, and was on Lit City’s recent monster mixtape.

Above & Beyond, DJ Earl’s latest album, was released yesterday via Bandcamp. It features 11 tracks, all of which serve as good representations of his minimal, jazz/funk, synth-heavy aesthetic. The whole album’s definitely worth listening to, but please do yourself/humanity a favor and pay careful attention to “Open Up to the Circle.” It’s fucking amazing.

Stream Above & Beyond below and purchase for $12 at Bandcamp:

And while you’re in the DJ Earl mood, check out his DJ work at a footwork battle. Argh, it kills me that the best footwork out there may never see proper release. Make us proud, Lit City!

• DJ Earl: http://soundcloud.com/djearlteckz
• Lit City: http://twitter.com/#!/LITCITYTRAX

Lieven Martens / Dolphins Into The Future

26 Shores of Chorals [Underwater Peoples Mixtape #5]

Mm, Lieven Martens. Listen to that seductive introduction. I’m not sure how many times the warm weather can “officially start” on the internet, but with this mix, it HAS! Just, the most beautiful melodies and harmonies, reality smacks you so hard on this mix you might have to constantly check your environment. Best part about this is I was making my summer “RITUAL” mixtape last week and was tracking it similar to Lieven’s tape here, but with less of an island theme. However, I’m more satisfied with 26 Shores of Chorals because of my extreme deserted-island fetish. Thanks, The Blue Lagoon. And thank you, Lieven, always forever (next summer, maybe?). ALSO-ALSO, don’t try and purchase this shit; it’s just digital. So, take ya cassette recorder, crank your car stereo, and smack that red button for maximum shit-fi pleasure!

• Dolphins into the Future: http://cetaceannationcommunications.blogspot.com
• Underwater Peoples: http://underwaterpeoples.com

Peaking Lights

“Lo Hi”

Peaking Lights are about to drop a new full-length, Lucifer, and they’ve got a track from the album to prove it. “Lo Hi,” the psychedelic-dubfuck number that it is, features Aaron Coyes and Indra Dunis’ son Mikko on vocal/cooing duties. Check it out:

Look for Lucifer June 19 via Mexican Summer and Weird World. It has great artwork.

• Peaking Lights: http://peakinglights.com
• Mexican Summer: http://www.mexicansummer.com
• Weird World: http://www.weirdworldrecordco.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.