Seth Kasselman

Leaves From Istros

With the reflection of a well-rubbed prayer bowl, Seth Kasselman (a.k.a. one-third of Warm Climate) traverses the unexplored ground of self by-way of focusing listeners mentality. In Leaves From Istros, he draws from his electronic skill set by producing multiply-layered found-sound samples into an awry of descriptive sound imagination. Through his ability to just MAKE music – having already proven he’s acquired multiple sets of skills through Warm Climate, amongst other endeavors – listeners a BOUND to witness in their subconscious mind, the atmosphere of the Greek colony, Istros, during Autumn.

Now, Leaves From Istros isn’t entirely sample drive, as I can hear a bunch of feedback in here, but super subtly. More like that shimmer of non-reality you get everywhere, well Seth Kasselman is ripping this one from the mind-depths of sixth century AD. Then the reeded instrument slips in, and now it’s a street fare, selling the finest of Greek culture and future anthropology, climaxing into a jam of drums and drone, fading to side-B, lacquered with tired and warped animal groans into town-square. Eventually the flute and didgeridoo (?) ring out into the soaring (again) with a reeded wood-wind; Seth Kasselman just refined modern folk. When you realize he’s blending drone with found-sound and elements of practiced and skilled instrumentation, the talent and vision here becomes vast.

Listen to the new Mmm-Sounds’ Seth Kasselman tape Leaves From Istros below, and believe you became from a world before this one:

Part One:

Part Two:

• Seth Kasselman:
• Mmm-Sounds:

Nicolas Jaar

The Color of Pomegranates (OST)

This is too interesting to pass up. Famed electronic artist Nicolas Jaar recently uploaded his very own original score to The Color of Pomegranates, what is considered to be the legendary yet still underappreciated Armenian-Soviet filmmaker Sergei Parajanov’s 1969 masterpiece, if not his most well-known film, a quite unorthodox biography of the 18th century Armenian poet Sayat Nova. Actually, you can hear the entire score while watching the entire film on YouTube. Jaar needs no introduction, but Parajanov’s life is something straight out of a movie, from creating a totally experimental filmography out of the folk cultures of the Caucasus region, to hiding his homosexuality, to being sent off to a labor camp in Siberia for years before unexpectedly being granted freedom, this all being in the 60s, 70s, and 80s. Oh yeah, and his films are extraordinary, but see for yourself if Jaar’s score matches up.

• Nicolas Jaar:


“New Or Leins / Training Day” (prod. by Blue Sky Black Death)

In case its title didn’t already clue you in, TREE’s new mixtape, Trap Genius, starts off with the rapper/producer conceding that this release is going to be a trap project, presumably, as opposed to the soultrap sound he’s developed over the past few years. To my ears, the absence of soul samples is only really noticeable for the first few tracks, because before long TREE re-reveals his inner-Chicago bluesman and you remember that the “soul” in soultrap has just as much to do with his voice as it does his beats.

And then this happens…

I don’t know what the fuck that was … but it was fucking beautiful.

• Blue Sky Black Death:

Hot Sugar


So your best friend, your guidance counselor, and Patti Smith have all told you, “Go for it!” Just move to New York, hustle for a year or two, keep working at it, and eventually it’ll all pay off, you’ll be a well-off artist or musician for sure. Lukewarm response to your work? No worries – you’re ahead of your time, like Jandek, Van Gogh – nay, Jesus…right?

Fuck no! There are literally thousands of us in NYC for whom this isn’t paying off whatsoever, and although it sort-of-has or eventually will for some, it’s more apparent every day that our only TV appearances will be five-second slots in the documentaries about our friends who do make it. In the meantime, what do we do?

Thus, does the camera in Hot Sugar’s latest video “Sinkies” begin rolling. Jack, a would-be somebody about to turn 30 with fewer options and more bad habits than he had five years ago. Rose, a pill-popping layabout with too much money, a laptop, and a pet snake. Will they meet?

Rough drafts of texts written and scrapped, half baked scams, small time dealing, big time using, and lots and lots of time spent staring at screens – all these and more form the backdrop of the video. Sound-wise, it feels like a video with background music rather than a music video, which makes sense given that Sugar’s experiments frequently are backing tracks on Broad City. If Jon Brion had grown up listening to rap in the 90s, and had a MIDI keyboard and a laptop, the result might be something like the melodic latter half of the video. The diversity of individual sounds used and atypical structure keep “Sinkies” interesting and fresh - not to be overlooked are the sounds in the first half, layered and FXd cityscape natural sounds that provide an uneasy backdrop for the tense footage.

The ship on which they’re sailing, New York City, is at this moment how everyone viewed the Titanic after it set off on its maiden voyage. Invincible, too big to fail - the future. Then it hit an iceberg, and the first-class passengers got into the lifeboats and bailed. What becomes of our Rose and Jack? See for yourself.

Check out the video and Hot Sugar’s new album, God’s Hand, out this past Tuesday on Break World Records.

• Hot Sugar:
• Break World Records:

Devon Folklore Tapes Vo.II

Graves (excerpt)

The corpse eye gets a squint of daylight as the coffin creaks open. Dancing in the daylight is the rhythm of collage. Dancing with the rhythm, adults, masked, in children’s bodies. Their footsteps evoke death ritual, a sluggish live action “Skeleton Dance” struck with the Horror of Hammer. Behind the footsteps, an abandoned Catalina floats in the Gulf.

–feat. Ghédalia Tazartès as Christopher Lee, a field researcher carrying an emerald vial filled with poison, just in case.

The corpse mouth swallows the poison, then the dirt. More dirt, Earth’s natural animal muffler.

• Folklore Tapes:


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.