tech noir


Oh, what the FUCK? You missed too? ‘Cause Ima b real w/ u. It’s just a step beyond, like. So claims the millionth Bandcamp from Shanghai, China. And thus my threads begin to unravel, because if you’re hearing 精神 (BELOW) without first, go back, and restart the adventure. It’s so worth the mechanical singe of mixology, less than 12 minutes of baffling autonomy. Like flexing your muscles all at once and settling and all at once, and shipping away shoes back for return to China and are wasted beyond that, but keep asking “Two receipts, please.”

Then seeing other colors in white becomes a cornea problem, but it’s not permanent, just your twitching leg makes the blood coursing through your veins is continuing a high akin to sludge and anti-matter. Though, what kind of anti-depressants would it take to satiate the physical torment of ejaculating dark matter. Is it possible to listen and adsorb music as one would a chemical balance we believe exists, but is nearly unseeable? Are we all doomed to this haze of invisibility clouding our judgement? tech noir will clear you of your Chinatown dilemmas. The only mystery here is of self. But noir entails mostly lighting upon a situation than any sort of sleuth, the genre just took the word; noir defines the lighting of a scene, and 精神 is exactly that gust of wind.

Just wait until the next two drop:

• tech noir:


“Serious Times”

Bungee linked to bungee to bungee to bungee and stretched around the hedges, an unintended maze. Just as soon as you get up, you’re down again. What goes up, must go down, must go up, must go down… The detective’s fists make certain of that. Just ‘cause the detective’s fists are everywhere, doesn’t make the detective’s fists safe, or normal. The presence–the overabundance–of fists and bungees would alarm you if you were cautious. You are not cautious, so scaling then trimming the projection map should prove to be no challenge. Guesswork will get you by, so long as you are ‘always thinking in 3-D.’   - - when you are always thinking forward, your mouth running ahead of your nose.   - -with your fists talking as fast as your smart ass mouth.

• Carrageenan:


“Futures Past”

Leave it to Oakland’s Inner Islands to come up with incredibly chill tunes I never knew I needed. The label’s latest batch includes a self-titled gem from Oakland’s Dragontime, with “Futures Past” kicking off the relaxed atmosphere. It’s got this ambient, mystical vibe that brings to mind the animated version of The Lord of the Rings that no one seems to like (or, at least, it took a more low key approach that’s been overshadowed by Peter Jackson’s CGI circle jerk of a trilogy). I can easily see Frodo and his crew wandering around in the woods with this jam in the background. What I’m trying to say is there’s less of a “back to nature” vibe, though, and more of a fantastical outdoorsy feel, if that makes sense to anyone? It’s a recurring theme with Inner Islands, if you go back to label head Sean Conrad’s Ashan project, as well as Stag Hare’s Spirit Canoes LP. Anyway, if you think I’m out of my damn mind or something, just stream “Futures Past” below, and browse the Inner Islands Bandcamp to see just what the hell I’m rambling about. I’ll finish by saying this is another underrated tune from an underrated label, and I recommend everything with that Inner Islands logo on the side.

• Dragontime:
• Inner Islands:

Ben Varian

“Throw Away My Hair”

Fresh off a private, Seger-themed pizza party paid by the fat check Patient Sounds sent him for last year’s Real Domestic Scene, Ben Varian is cuddling up with another tape label, whispering sweet-nothings, swapping field recordings over toast, and prepping Ben’s new album Part of the Y’all with MJMJ Records. The relationship begin back in June when Ben was featured in a long list of future MJMJ releases on their Back in Business Vol. 3 mixtape. The song, “Cop Car Parking Lot,” was a PSA to hot summer lovebirds everywhere, saying “that’s a cop car parking lot, try not to make out there.” Thanks, Ben.

Part of the Y’all has five of the 12 song album streaming at MJMJ’s Bandcamp prior to it’s July 28 released date. All of which boast Ben’s dry honesty – a commonality with friend and frequent tourmate Jake Tobin – peppered over jazzy bedroom funk (“Float Day,” an instrumental, was literally recorded on a mattress he was living on). But nothing in Part of the Y’all screams Ben Varian like “Throw Away My Hair.” An unsettled message to the second half of an unsettled relationship, advising over phone lines, “I know it makes a nice souvenir, but you have to throw away my hair.” It’s kinda sad, but when said over Ben’s easygoing, proggy sound, I feel better about the whole thing. Maybe that’s the point. Part of the Y’all is another seamless collection of words scratched into a legal pad from Ben Varian.

Alright, you can preorder a Part of the Y’all pro-dubbed cassette for $6.66 and peep the big ol’ MJMJ back catalog – where every album is available digitally for $4.20 – on Bandcamp OR, if you’re a big ol’ MJMJ fan, you can get the MJMJ Records Subscription Service! It includes ALL of their new releases at 25% off the retail cost PLUS two past releases. P.S. the twelfth song isn’t available for digital download, but it is a part of the cassette. No big spoilers, but Ben’s bringing back the skit! Ben Varian and MJMJ, changing the game.

• Ben Varian:
• MJMJ Records:


uggghh riot

The body of work yeongrak has amassed understatedly huge and ever-growing. It spread out over so many streaming platforms, net labels, and compilations, collaborations, yeongrak would have some trouble compiling a list of it all. I ran into yeongrak’s D’Chrone last year from Hope Sick Cola. The album, like this most recent release uggghh riot from Emergency Tapes, hosts yeongrak’s footwork signatures and lands on the cleaner side of their noise meter – compare it to IMI DA LE DA LIL, one of the EIGHT albums released so far this year.

uggghh riot is Emergency Tapes’ second tape in 2015 (with a href=””>Detriot’s Five Star Hotel) and it sits on the noisier end of yeongrak’s scale. Nick Risola is brought in for the tear-it-the-fuck-up track “femriotguard.” Later flipping the mood with yzome on “lower my aqi sugarhoney” – a featherier, quick paced song swirling around like a draining opiate high. The album, 16 songs in totally, is really comprehensive, filled with every page of what yeongrak has written in the past, but if you’re reading this it’s probably too late to cop a tape (only seven left as of Friday July 17, 4:20 PST), but if I’m wrong or you’re snagging the digital go to Emergency Tapes’ Bandcamp or the beast’s head at Visual Disturbances.

• yeongrak:
• Emergency Tapes:



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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.