“Ancient Times”

My pal Tiger Stripe sent this down Choco Lane, and I figured I’d hop on it because – outside of MondreM.A.N. being one-half of Main Main Attrakionz – the lyrics are super modest and deserved. Not like he’s just flipping out lyrics, but he invites people to join him in being human, which to me (sadly) presents an “Ancient Times” type of attitude. Produced by Al Jieh of SWTBRDS, MondreM.A.N. professionals out the kindest lyrics while a soft beat floats atop this vocals while something is roaring and/or breathing about it. “Ancient Times” is super intricate both in terms of production and lyrics intertwining and that’s something I can fuck on. And it’s not direct enough to clout my mind, either: double-edged smile.

Oh, but word, my pal sent “Ancient Times” to me because a pal of his, Tim Jieh directed the video. In it, we watch lush museum and street filming of MondreM.A.N. and [girl] walking around in focused slow motion – wait, he’s still in some cave too. Just picture this video like Night at the Museum by-way of smoking ALL the drugs, hiding within the penguin hut until closing time, and then hallucinating interactions with each era of “Ancient Times” as the exhibits are ordered. Nobody is coming. Enjoy!

MondreM.A.N.’s debut album THEY SAY I STRUGGLE RAP is out right now via SWTBRDS, scope the single/video “Ancient Times” below:

• MondreM.A.N.:

Yoshi & Komono

Cat Cafe EP

Screams at Uber driver
Like, hand me the aux cord pronto! Kinda unchill of me, but I’ll rate him ★★★★★ plus I got plenty of Cat Cafe to share, a perf-pick for a quick bubble tea run (feelin’ like Taro w/ rainbow jelly today). I plug-in and give my new amigo a reassuring wink. ( ͡~ ͜ʖ ͡°) On go, candied Jersey riddims pop off, bubble, and fizz over like a marble soda. Lychee flavor. Yum. Have a lick yourself. C’mon, don’t be shy!

First heard on Simon Whybray’s Jack댄스 NTS radio show, the title track evolved into a debut EP for Maltine Records. The label is str8 outta Tokyo, but Yoshi & Komono are a pair of American teenboy producers, from Austin and Seattle respectively (uh oh is indie rock dead ☠ ?). Cat Cafe is such a URL collab effort, like 100%. Artwork is provided by promising netkid Terrell Davis and Sarah Midori, of Kero Kero Bonito, and it’s basically a kawaii #starterkit with team inspo spread out on the table. Like rly tho.That’s the cover art. Get lost in the gloss and glow of a 3d-rendered desktop collage of cat drawings, Japanese snacks, and throwback toys, most notable being the Hello Kitty branded Dreamcast. Total pinkshinyultrablast. Chindamo ends the parade with a bedtime lullaby edit of “Okinawa”, which should help Keith Rankin (and me) finally catch some zzzs. Expect Maltine to enter the bubblegum club sphere alongside PC Music and Manicure Records in 2015.

Place mouth here ⇩

• Maltine Records:
• Terrell Davis:


Dance 4 Sun God EP

Who ready for a bit of that post-modem trans-hop? ‘Cause Top$ shit taking a pounding to ears on heads in his latest Dance 4 Sun God EP. Crammed into six tracks of that ain’t bring the rain, but a ray of gold… sunshine gold. And everyone north of Florida needs a bit of that heat right now. First you friend a stripper on Twitter, then overload your data plan with XHamster videos, and recently smoked four Ls in one night, boiii. Just tip it back. Relax in a few choice samples. Stew on these cooked up beats. Melody your way outta this one, and you’ll be kicking yourself. There’s turn arounds. Dirt and sand kicked in the air. Feet fasting. Fists, flailing. Top$ creeps into your skin with a lick of light via Dance 4 Sun God EP, streaming below:

• Top$:

Sun Pack


If you were having trouble getting your lazy ass motivated in the new year, I’d like to direct your attention over to Patient Sounds, who know how to seize that shit the correct way. They’ve announced no less than five new cassette releases promising the unveiling of a “new look” in the process, created this amazing cache for browsing and downloading-at-will (with a BIG DONATE option in there, of course!!), their presses are reportedly on their way to “rolling to a full boil” with the announcement of a new poetry chapbook, and they’re getting ready to let PSV #5 (the label’s fifth vinyl edition to date) rip:

It’s Sun Pack, who is Niki Smith of Fort Collins, CO (with PS co-owner Matthew Sage appearing on a couple of tracks), presenting her long-awaited vinyl debut Head Cabin. “Lagoon” is the lede for the release, a warm, lazy drift along an acid-dipped guitar line and a voice ringing out like orchestra bells at the bottom of the Grand Canyon. Some drunken drums sache their way on in there just as the flood of textures really starts to gel and wash out, snapping this very spacey “Lagoon” into a lovely shape. Great video, too, the Colorado-kid-California-dreamin’ thing in full effect, super dizzy, soft, and warm; what we all need right now this very chilly January season.

• Sun Pack:
• Patient Sounds (Int):

Future Punx

“I’m So Inspired”

The future is here, punk! Both the punk musicians afraid of MIDI and the electronic musicians afraid of guitars can eat their respective shorts, as Brooklyn’s Future Punx bust into 2015 givin’ smell-ya-laters to all the haters. OK, so this track came out in 2014, but since the vibe is 2043, being a couple months late on this write-up isn’t really such a big deal. The punkers dropped a four-track EP towards the end of last year, entitled I’m So Inspired, whose title track RIPS from start to finish.

“I’m So Inspired” clocks in at seven minutes, but feels like a minute and a half. After a taste of the double-layered vocals, distorted guitar stabs and can’t-not-wiggle bass line, one would be tempted to classify it as no-wave, new-wave, or perhaps post-punk. But you would be sorely, sorely mistaken. This is POST-WAVE. Taking elements from all these genres, but adding a distinctly now (a.k.a. tomorrow) vibe, FPX Twigs are the reason that everyone at that PLUR alien-welcoming roof party in Independence Day was raging as hard as they were. If you’re still living in 2015 you’re behind the fuckin’ times!!

The track’s layers casually but forcefully enter the track like VIP club goers skipping the line, walking straight past the velvet rope and through the door. Equal parts digital and live instrumentation combine in charming and subtle ways, no one stealing the limelight for more than a second or two, everyone’s priority being what it should have never ceased to be: grooving, hard. The live drums and guitar give this track a big edge over similar material. The 4/4 beat helps the track stay effortlessly danceable, while the introduction of instruments that aren’t totally locked into that (and are aware of their freedom to move around) help take it places other instrumental setups aren’t allowed to go. Like bishops on a chess board combining with the knights and rooks to trap the opponent’s king, every instrument here makes use of its unique advantages to push the overall objective forward: getting YOUR stiff ass moving.

You’ll try office yoga and cross fit, but you won’t dance at a show? What can I say? Deeply ashamed of u bro. But we can rectify all that with a few simple clicks on the Dull Tools Bandcamp, where the EP is for sale digitally and in futuristic vinyl. Up the Punx!

• Future Punx:
• Dull Tools:


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.