DJAO

“Basement”

I’ve been waiting on this. After a grip of remixes and compilation appearances, Seattle producer, Alex Osuch, (DJAO) has finally put together his debut self-titled long-player. Following last month’s premiere of “Depressing Jog Ends Well,” the Dropping Gems label has –uh– dropped “Basement.” Gem! While the former track highlighted glitchy characteristics reminiscent of their backlog of remixes, “Basement” perfectly blends a soft bed of wandering guitar and drowned percussion under Osuch’s own emotive vocal bellows.

Strange how it all fits together so well. On one hand, I’m hearing all of these dance floor cues (sputtering hi-hats, bass thumps, and that clap track), but the whisper of guitar has me thinking of “Do You Know Who You Are?” Hear me out. If all those 90’s “emo” (…) bands were responsible for replacing the rowdiness of rock music with a head-bobbing contemplation, “Basement” achieves the same effect with house music. All of its sweaty, ecstatic signifiers are there, but turned inside out to reveal what lies beneath the shallowness of the skin.

Listen to it below. Can you imagine someone really getting down on the dance floor to this? More likely, it’s got you getting down on your life, reminding you of some sad shit, like missing the Pacific Northwest as fall approaches here in the Heartland, or finally feeling the loneliness of your own one-bedroom apartment. But it’s a necessary balance. After all, we can’t just listen to PC Music all day, now can we?

Pre-orders for DJAO are available over at the Dropping Gems Bandcamp page. The limited edition cassette drops October 28.

• DJAO: https://soundcloud.com/d-j-a-o
• Dropping Gems: http://www.droppinggems.com

Felicita

Frenemies EP

After previewing “Doves” and “Climb Up Eh” over the last couple months, Felicita has blessed us with a full stream of his Frenemies EP. These seven sinuous, flexuous, curly, snaky, slippery, squiggly, undulatory, unstable, adaptable, flexible, conformable, pliable, malleable tracks were somehow wrangled together by Gum Artefacts and packaged as a yellow 12-inch with a custom plastic sleeve and a glow-in-the-dark, translucent yellow drawstring bag.

Wow. WOW!

Taste it:

• Felicita: https://soundcloud.com/felicita
• Gum Artefacts: https://soundcloud.com/g-u-m-o-n-e

Regional Curse

“Conversion Therapy”

There’s always a spark within impeding doom. There HAD to be something to set off that big-bang light-years ago; a light tingle can be found in all of everything. Including music. Take for example the new track “Conversion Therapy” by Regional Curse (Rites Wild’s “more instrumental solo vehicle”): no matter HOW brooding the beat or drone can get, there’s always a ting of hope splintered like a piece of candy-cane that’ll wear-out eventually, but for the time begin, I suppose having candy inside the skin ain’t bad. Maybe even holistic. I’m trying to convey how “Conversion Therapy” is holistic, yeah. -Err, wait, no. I’m saying she uses every bit of vibration to throw you from what’s really happening in “Conversion Therapy,” which is sheer bliss, mingled with the darker parts of synthetic electronic sound, creating that slow breathable anti-anxiety we’re all striving for in life. “Cut me a break,” am I right?

Following her 2012 CS Natural Living, Regional Curse is shortly birthing a tape of her newest (Self Titled) album any day now on Not Not Fun, but it’s all pending upon when they’re received by the Browns. In the mean-time, listen to “Conversion Therapy” below like it’s healing every bit of your mind/body/mind, and be on the click-out with the Not Not Fun “SHOP” tab until you see PayPal, pal.

• Regional Curse: http://regionalcurse.bandcamp.com
• Not Not Fun: http://www.notnotfun.com

Nick Storring

Gardens

At some point near the end of my historic run in college – seriously, I’m the Ryan Leaf of college-to-pro regressions – I became obsessed with the movie Once Upon a Time in America, starring Robert DeNizzy (distant relative of Donato Dozzy, I do believe) and directed by Sergio Leone. Particularly, I loved the part where it jumped from the present to the past to the future, all on the heels of an opium-induced haze DeNiro’s character was in. I bring this sequence up because the slow-lifting, ever-drifting, thought-sifting sections of the film’s soundtrack (by Ennio Morricone if you’re keeping score, get it?) seem to form the core of what Nick Storring creates and achieves with Gardens, a luscious, winding path through six tracks of thick head-forest.

In the day/age of cassette drone, Storring’s labor of love ironically stands out from the pack even more because it is totally effects-free. AND because it represents a specific mode, mood, and tone, rather than a smattering of pedal-speak piled up and slammed down onto tape. Frankly, if you’re in the whole Ben Frost/Philippe Petit axis, you couldn’t ask for a better, more next-level continuation of that sound. Funded by the Canadian Music Center, Gardens is delicate yet crisp, trippy yet grounded, hypnotizing yet never repetitive, and (perhaps most importantly) never so beholden to concept that it loses its fundamental girth as a composition. If you’d like to get your hands and ears around that girth, head to Storring’s record release show with Ben Frost on October 24 in Toronto, or order the physical artifact from Scissor Tail Records November 11.

• Nick Storring: http://www.nickstorring.ca
• Scissor Tail Records: http://www.scissortailrecords.com

  

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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.