Michael RJ Saalman


Aww, man. So, I’m very hot and cold with this Michael RJ Saalman release Lxus Shaq that Illuminated Paths and Crash Symbols is sharing. Below is the entirety of Lxus Shaq, and some tracks are fucking KILLER, but others fall drastically flat. Then I found there’s been a video made for the song “Softley,” so inevitably I watched it. And the visual fuckery around the fellah in the video is tite. Oh man, I love you guys: Illuminated Paths and Crash Symbols. Always tryna do good/right to y’all.

Michael RJ Saalman has an excellent voice and a working knowledge of production and mixing and music making, and it’s flagrant within Lxus Shaq. As well, the Lxus Shaq remixes are SUPER tite. But judge it all for yourself. You may find light:

• Michael RJ Saalman: https://soundcloud.com/michaelrjsaalman
• Illuminated Paths: http://illuminatedpaths.bandcamp.com
• Crash Symbols: http://crashsymbols.bandcamp.com

Mike & Cara Gangloff

“West India”

From your starting point in rural Virginia, dig a hole straight down into the earth. If what the kids told you on the playground is true, you’ll end up somewhere in Asia, right? After narrowly escaping the heat of the core, pop your head up through the mantle and take a look around: you’ve reached “West India.”

Mike and Cara Gangloff understand that such an (impossible) journey isn’t necessary to bridge far-flung folk traditions. The taut strings linking carnatic music, Appalachian folk, dhrupad, bluegrass, and minimalism sit right out there in the open, waiting to be plucked: cyclical melodic repetition, the capacity for modal improvisation, the keening voice of the violin, the presence of an underlying drone. A solid line traces across the international folds of the twentieth century from Khansahib Abdul Karim Khan to Pandit Pran Nath to Henry Flynt to John Fahey, branching a few years before the turn of the millennium into the Gangloff-helmed posses of Pelt and the Black Twig Pickers.

Last year, Mike Gangloff issued two full lengths to illuminate his omnivorous folk explorations. The solo effort Poplar Hollow sang out over the tree line with its hushed raga improv and sublime back-porch fiddle workouts. Melodies for a Savage Fix, hammered out over the course of a cabin-bound all-nighter with the mighty Steve Gunn, pitted decidedly “eastern” instrumentation like gongs and tamburas against a flowing stream of six-string melodic mantras. Now, Mike and Cara Gangloff come together to complete this informal trilogy with the collaborative full-length Black Ribbon Of Death, Silver Thread of Life, due November 3 on MIE Music.

Press play on “West India,” premiering above, and feel the knots in your shoulders loosen instantly with the onset of Mike Gangloff’s yearning fiddle. A thick drone from Cara Gangloff’s sruti box hangs over the mix in a benevolent curtain of sustain, shifting its root note in step with the fiddle’s ascending figures to form a conjoined incantation that channels the pioneering string-based drone minimalism of Tony Conrad. As the visual feed, crafted by the musicians themselves, cycles through a slideshow of stills and videos of the natural world, we imagine the roots threading their way through the disparate geographies — rural Virginia, India — that define their compositions. Close your eyes for a moment to focus on Gangloff’s swirling leads. When you open them, there’s no telling where the video will have taken you. Probably somewhere isolated, still, relatively untouched by human hands. Mike and Cara Gangloff make sure to leave no trace as they head back to the cabin.

• MIE Music: http://mie.limitedrun.com

〄 DJM 〄 Trio

“Paine” (Poptartpete cover) / “Koolout Ish” (Ohbliv cover)

Reappropriation levels are off the CHARTS these days. To be honest, I HATE kitche cover band shit, like Bad Plus. However, 〄 DJM 〄 Trio goes more than hard on the beat scene cover band niche. Like, Poptartpete and Ohbliv are already on some re-trope’ic levels of taking something “made” and then “making” it theirs. How does 〄 DJM 〄 Trio respond? Making the beat scene theirs via keyboard, bass, and drum-kit. Insanely-so, they nail it down to the very melody sound-pitch/key. I can’t take it. It’s sorta what Prism Corp did with vaporwave.

Main-man at Paxico, Chris, traded me the new 〄 DJM 〄 Trio this weekend for a DJ DJ Tanner tape at the Cassette Store Day swap-meet, and the fellah GEEKED about the excellence of the new cave art tape. We listened to it on the way home to Long Island and felt the GEEK-OUT, as well. And it’s coming soon – one-sided straight-forward program, B-side is a softer version of A-side, only played backward, including a secret track (!!!!!!!!!!) – to the dynasty of Paxico, so keep your eyes peeled and listen to greatness below:

• 〄 DJM 〄 Trio: https://soundcloud.com/dominicjmarshall
• Paxico Records: http://paxicorecords.com

Stelvio Cipriani

Concorde Affaire ‘79 Original Motion Picture Soundtrack Snippets

For each of us, there is that one film score or soundtrack that constantly eludes physical ownership. (For me, it’s Lowball, possibly Schoolly D’s first work as a film score composer.) Maybe it was only released overseas; maybe it wasn’t released at all. Stelvio Cipriani’s soundtrack to Ruggero Deodato’s Concorde Affaire ‘79 falls into the first of those two categories. Though easily obtained on mp3 since 2011, the LP was only released in Japan in 1979 and in Italy earlier this year, meaning unless you were willing to shell out $40 to $100, your desire to hold in your hands an artifact of “propulsive motorik disco funk, epic soaring strings, smooth tropical jazz, ominous atmospheric industrial synthscapes and more” would have to remain unfulfilled.

But no longer! Thanks to all-new all-American record label VOMBIS, the Concorde Affaire ‘79 Original Motion Picture Soundtrack by famed Italian composer Stelvio Cipriani will soon be available stateside for just $23 plus a reasonable shipping cost. Pre-orders are being taken now via VOMBIS’ Big Cartel shop, and the gorgeously packaged “First ever COMPLETE release with all 30 tracks including ALL tracks from the original Japanese LP plus a 2nd LP with 15 bonus tracks” ships out October 15.

That is of course assuming that the shipment isn’t sabotaged, forcing it to crash in the ocean, leaving only one survivor, who’s rescued by two fishermen, who are then killed off by corporate agents because they witnessed the crash… You get the idea. Preview the soundtrack below and allow these snippets to build your anticipation like a vintage trailer.

• Stelvio Cipriani: http://www.discogs.com/artist/125377-Stelvio-Cipriani
• VOMBIS: http://vombis.com

Maharadja Sweets & Seth Graham

“Space is the Place .​.​. For TV”

It’s not that “Space is the Place .​.​. For TV” is the best song of 2014. But it’s certainly the ONLY song of 2014 that’s made me cry on various occasions while listening on repeat, and through a plethora of emotional levels. Sometimes it’s a trifle heartbreaking. A lot of times it’s imagining being together with my sig-nif forever throughout time. Knowing Richard (Maharadja Sweets) and Seth Graham, and thinking of their emotions makes me emotion. And it’s perfect length and now I’m holding back tears at work while birthday donuts are behind me and all my co-workers are feasting. My pop making my brother and me jazz-out through our youth: Miles, Monk, Sun Ra (rite, rite?). Let’s do it again!

Right now, I can’t handle “Space is the Place .​.​. For TV” so much that I want to and must continue to try. Lyrically, this song is perfect. Musically it’s spaced and distant and –again– perfect. Maybe this is my favorite song of 2014. Maybe I can’t let it go and the connection I have is oddly impersonal, while also stifled by internal feelings of New York sweatshirts, fart smelling cars, Joe Bastaro and Sam Gas Can live collab, Dayton hanging, reused tissues, preparing for hotdogs in the cold, etc.

Got an e-mail from Joey B. He heard from Maharadja Sweets or Seth (who’s Goop made TMT’s 2014 Third Quarter Favorites) that I was in love with this track, and it’s official up on the Moss Archive Bandcamp. Immediately, my heart fluttered. “Space is the Place … For TV” is on Maharadja Sweets’ newest tape The Cassette Label Heads Who Went Outside. Most of the tape is spoken-word/audio-book, but Richard is probably the most incredible story-teller performer I’ve witnessed live, so scope out the rest after crying for hours listening to “Space is the Place … For TV” on repeat streaming below:

• Maharadja Sweets: http://maharadjasweets.com
• Seth Graham: http://sethgraham.bandcamp.com
• Moss Archive: http://mossarchive.bandcamp.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.