Ashan

“Earth Magic Life Celebration”

I cannot claim to be a huge fan of the series Star Trek: The Next Generation, but a friend who is highly recommended an episode a few months back. “The Inner Light” details how Capt. Picard gets transported to a peaceful society in the past, only to discover that their world is slowly dying due to a persistent drought. The episode itself is quite good, however, the image of Picard learning to play some mystical flute stuck with me long after the episode ended.

When Sean Conrad, who records under the name Ashan and heads the ultra chill Oakland label Inner Islands, e-mailed me about his latest record, Earth Magic Life Celebration, I knew I was in for a treat. But I didn’t know how chilled out and positive this record was going to be. If any record was going to remind me of that Next Gen episode, it is most definitely Earth Magic Life Celebration. Two years in the making, the record combines earthy drones and relaxed percussion to a very mellow effect. In addition to the sounds, Ashan has put together a 36-page, full-color zine. The tape and zine are available thru the Inner Islands Bandcamp. While you’re there be sure to browse the back catalog, including the very essential Oceanic Triangulation compilation. Damn, listening to this makes me want to brew some green tea, bring out the bath salts, and take a long soak with these grooves on in the background.

• Ashan: http://thegentleways.com
• Inner Islands: http://innerislands.com

Ariel Kalma

An Evolutionary Music

What Ariel Kalma learned from spending hours preparing a piano, only to watch an “amazing piano player” smash the thing like orange juice would come out:

“Crazy people can do crazy things, and have a career out it.”

Maybe all of those lunatics out there who read Tiny Mix Tapes will find inspiration in the words of such a singular character. In a club like musique concrète, where layers of corrupted audio are left to smolder like sweet, French, homemade crude oil in modern, high-tech studios, being an “individual” doesn’t exactly set you apart. But Kalma is truly an individual among his peers, having shirked the amelodic tendencies of 20th century experimental music for a more unifying, zen approach to drone. His method and legacy are explored a documentary that accompanies An Evolutionary Music (Original Recordings: 1972 - 1979), which has been released on RVNG, which is presented in the meditative, phasing style of his compositions. Against a relaxing b&w palette, the artist describes his journey from a jazz horn player to avant-garde raga guru. His transformation into pioneer of tape phasing techniques and drone wizardry started when Kalma took a trip to India and was moved to tears by a group he heard playing there. Nowadays we have obscure .blogspots to provide us with endless raga improvisation, but in the 70s… and especially at a time when experimental musicians were focusing on playing their instruments the least they possibly could, Kalma was awestruck by the trance-like state the players put him in. It’s worth giving his early material a listen, as it is mesmerizing.

• Ariel Kalma: http://www.ariel-kalma.com
• RVNG Intl.: http://igetrvng.com

Paul Cherry

On Top

Pictured above: Paul Cherry. On the outside, this fellah is a soft, gentle spirit, tangoing with guitar and audience, accompanied with a patient back-up rythm crew, licking out tracks that both get up and go, while keeping steady and slow. Inside, Cherry’s core is that of a hardened pit, which gives him the earnestness of genuine themes propelling sensitive yet demanding lyrics in On Top. Take it all in. He’s not planning on harming nothing. Just a man about his own persona and feelings. Thus, Paul Cherry’s personality is drenching On Top, while also harkening the likes of many Burger Records, Gnar Tapes, and even Night People grimy low-life love bugs. Only thing wrong with the cover art is the shape; had Paul’s picture On Top been round, it’d be the perfect… Cherry. Hi!

In On Top, Paul Cherry is pummeling directionless (as all of us are in life) toward an understanding of all these fucked and mixed emotions; his organization is wonderfully heartwarming. And what I thought was a clever way of saying, “I’m successfully high,” On Top really means Cherry is putting a slice of peace to that smooth-garage rock game with six new tracks on baby-label Feeltrip this December 16. Since Tiny Mix Tapes is halting all publication starting Friday for music’s beloved/dreaded year-end antics, I figured 11:45 AM on this Thursday morning was a serene time to feel On Top.

Also, and most importantly, if you’s in Chi-Raq right now, plan on seeing Paul Cherry perform, details here.

• Paul Cherry: https://soundcloud.com/pauldcherewick
• Feeltrip: http://feeltrip.bigcartel.com

duwop

sometime tomorrow

Husked to the innards. Green is just blue and yellow. Depression and mania. I know I’ve heard that loop on “Yellow” before, but I can’t put my finger on it. Who used it first? What the fuck is first? Surrounding statues with active sculptures. Carving out noses and thighs to be used on new works. To be had. Have at it. dwuop already has. Take your turn.

• duwop: https://soundcloud.com/dadadaduwop

Mariah Carey

“All I Want For Christmas Is You” (Christmas in Rockefeller Center 2014)

I only believe in Mariah Carey Christmas. And it begins when you feel her sweat in the midst of every single person in Manhattan on December 3 around 9PM (EST). No matter how crazy she gets – especially how crazy she gets: she is the mother of unreality. Her dawn continues to glisten in the pine-light, and she just Rocked-a-feller. Seriously, though. I’d rather a front tooth for Christmas. But if Mariah Carey keeps begging for me via radio and television in “All I Want For Christmas Is You,” I’d be her slave. Forever.

So oh, oh, oh, oh, so oh, oh, oh, oh
So oh, oh, oh, oh, so oh, oh, oh, oh
So oh, oh, oh, oh, so oh, oh, oh, oh
So oh, oh, oh, oh, so oh, oh, oh, oh

• Mariah Carey: http://www.mariahjournal.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.