Various Artists: Haord Records

Haord’s Buncha

ICP must be making good on their promise, “I can breath the magic mist / And exhale your every wish,” because Haord’s Buncha compilation is more fun than a barrel of monkey men, and my wish was for more fun. It is chock full of desperate, skipped-a-meal, piss-and-vinegar fun. It is a simulacrum of Danny Elfman as a pauper: still struggling to break in, unrecognized; still pumping out colorful numbers, fatigued; still smiling like the devil at the camera, malnourished. His smile’s edges rise into the onset of dementia, as he incants, “Leave your body and soul at the door.”

The purest example of Buncha’s demented and desperate-for-more fun is “Buzzard” by TUMBLEWEAVE. “Buzzard” is buckled in the front seat of the Haord curated wild ride that hardly goes off-track. It is the compilation’s mission statement of mania. It broadcasts spinning color wheels, vocal warps, and impeccably arranged trick sounds. It is the forecast of many amusements to come: “Monkey Man,” “ZOP PLINKO,” “Let Me Tell You A Secret,” “Her Herd,” and other tracks that swirl like racing thoughts, triggering vertigo, leading the formless to the circus. In awe, jaws drop, like Avery’s Wolf, and mouths open, like clowns in a balloon race.

• Haord Records:

In Media Res

“Descending Zara”

As one is “Descending Zara,” In Media Res serves as guidance around the looped twists and turns of echoing madness coming from below. Soaked in barely liquid resin, traversing the staircase becomes more than just a chore, but a work of an artist retracing their steps. One forms an opinion during the slow drip. Nothing is as complicated as one step after another. “Descending Zara” intends to track your every move. Now, reverberating your ear drums, In Media Res beyonds your visual mindset of what is reality and holography. Sounds never came to life brighter than a repeated harkening creating a new form of what is “music,” slicing and dicing and layering and caking extractions from old forms. Are them ladies moving under that yellow sign? Is dem apples being ate? @WATCH

In Media Res (a.k.a. Mediafired, if y’all remember THAT dynasty), went for a completely different angle on ecco-jamming with “Descending Zara.” By displacing the genre, In Media Res leaps out of the nearly defunct sound, and brings to life a Frankenstein of peacefully maddening levels involving fleshed out oldies. Oldies?

Got word from old Exo Tapes that In Media Res is gonna be spinning out their next CDr リンキンパーク soon, which includes “Descending Zara.” Keep on the lookout, though. These releases are limited to (typically) 35, and run out fast than fuck!

• In Media Res:
• Exo Tapes:

Heroin in Tahiti


Heroin in Tahiti borrow Vannier’s clocks for the rhythmic foundation of “C’è la morte che ti cerca e tu sei in giro.” Low and high register keys duet with a guitar down the hall. Every note is struck with near Alessandroni-like abrasion. Every note rings out. Then, the dampness is wrung, fading under the stopwatch and a mangle of cassette tape.

The clock pushes forward into “La Madonna,” where the pace of Canicola’s remainder is defined. A worldly beat is up and running. Backwards strings run alongside the shaker, hi-hat, and tambourine. Two voices provide a “verse / chorus / verse” structure: one voice mutters while the other voice tells it on the mountain.

“Agri Deserti” is the heart of Canicola’s second side. It is a foliage of mystery and nicely cluttered percussion, strict in vibe. Its guitar lines peel off like paper bark and cover the ground, overlapping and turning as transparent as vermicelli, with the exception of the bass guitar, which swells and throbs with psych flexibility, mending the threads.

The ticking foundation of “Atlantropa (Panorama)” is proof that Heroin in Tahiti are never off the clock. The jam continues, cheerfully and with less mystery. The band is waking up from a fog and into lucidity; a vocal sample serves as their melodic searchlight. Their new triumphant tone is elaborated upon and resolved in “Granaglia.” After it peaks, an astral drone and a benedictory chorus interact, completing the well-calculated five-song cycle.

• Heroin in Tahiti:
• NO=FI Recordings:

Opal Onyx

“Black And Crimson”

Brooklyn via Cleveland duo Opal Onyx have been slow cooking since their 2010 genesis, rising up through the basements and lofts of NYC, and reaching symphonic heights on their upcoming full-length debut Delta Sands. Out next month on Tin Angel Records – a Coventry, UK-based folk-heavy label run by Richard Guy (not Guy Richie :/), band members Sarah Nowicki and Matthew Robinson introduce a new bloodline to the UK label. Though there are folk elements shared within – Matt boasts cello and lapsteel – Opal Onyx crawls in an electronic dirge, surreal and distant, previously unseen in co-roster artists like jazz-forward experimenter Polar Bear (2005 Mercury Prize nominee) or folk champ Devon Sproule (who’s 2007 album Keep Your Silver Shined saw much critical praise).

*And to be clear, there is no disdain for Tin Angel’s lineup outside Opal Onyx, more the variety creates a multi-demential platform for growth and I ‘effing love buffets*

The lead track of Delta Sands, weightless in body, “Black and Crimson” nests within the likes of Run DMT/Salvia Plath’s Bong Voyage, the soundtrack era of Karen O, and the varied influences the duo laid out in a March pre-Europe tour podcast for Tin Angel (who’s name comes from Richard’s cafe in Coventry which – I think – got it’s name from the sole release of highly influential blues-folk duo Odetta & Larry). And it looks like Opal Onyx added a third member, Heidi Sabertooth who flies her cherub around as 100 milkteeth, among others, composing electroacoustic temperaments and denouncing the socioeconomic constructs of a two-piece band.

Delta Sands is out August 23.

• Opal Onyx:
• Tin Angel:

Black Hat

“Dream Interlock”

Black Hat (the recording alias of Nelson Bean) has been slowly ripping up the Pacific Northwest’s underground electronic scene. Since arriving in the region in 2012, his regular appearances at MOTOR nights have become highlights of the events, as the raw, visceral power of his music sticks with you long after the night’s over. His recorded output has evolved as well, with recent tapes and EPs on Debacle, Field Hymns, and Hausu Mountain as evidence of his growing skill in combining doom-laden ambience with glitch-infused IDM. His latest cassette, Dream Interlock (via Digitalis), delves into Bean’s take on ambient, atmospheric techno that conveys a dreamy, claustrophobic vibe. Although the tape is sold out, you can stream the entire thing below and, should you dig it enough, you can purchase a digital copy over at the Digitalis store.

• Black Hat:
• Digitalis:



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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.