Susan Balmar


Susan Balmar, long one of TMT’s favorite beat makers and noise generators, has recently been spotted with LAMPGOD contributing to the Bootleg Tapes dynasty, but last week, he dropped a new full-length for the crazy people at Beer On The Rug. Titled SIGNUM, the 16-track album sees Balmar delving further into the sewers, with sheets of icy, metallic noise rubbing against the fuzzy, out-of-focus catalog of sparse piano, warbling harmonies, stuttering loops, and in-the-bedroom-closet beats, with all the warmth and intimacy of a monitor’s glow.

Check out SIGNUM below, and don’t forget to check out his guest mix from last year. Both are great.

• Susan Balmar:
• Beer On The Rug:

Yom San

playa piano

Within the heart of every dreamer lies forfeit. Eventually, the weight of everything that matters really isn’t as heavy as it could be, so recognition of the immediate becomes drowned out and washed into the backdrop of eyelids. Holy shit, it just took me a minute to realize playa piano by Yom San was entirely sample driven. Not until I was on the Crash Symbols’ website looking at how much the tape was (five buck, btw) did I realize this was sampled and NOT a cover band. This is too intense. Ooo - and I sing “you’s A baby, right?” all the time to my dog Maud, YES! She’s actually my best stoner bud (aside from Grams), and this cover art is TOTALLY her too. Minus the color of the j-card’s coat. I tell her, though, yo, and make it fair, “Maud, if you ask me to order you a pizza in English, I’ll do it!” She’s not interested in evolution.

But Maud keeps it real, ‘cause Yom San do it simple like too. No stings attached. Pure back spin glory. The common the jam, the ultimate head nods, fuckin’ fuckin’ – Super Street Fighter II Ultra on Sega down stairs playing loud, as the babysitter turned the volume up by 20 bars (in this BITCH), flex some playa piano – or something like that – on the reel, and went in your parents bedroom with “a friend” 30 minutes ago. Aye, but you flexing. Maybe go down the block for a soda from that bodega. If Ali working, there’s a Bic in it for a dollar extra for the underage cost, and maybe spark up some trash in the alley. Young living: cassette players taped on handlebars with speakers as worn as them bike seats.

Nothing is stopping youth, playa piano is the elixir, follow Yom San down the path of your mind, when you come out from listening below, you can find the tape on Crash Symbols.

• Yom San:
• Crash Symbols:

Sleaford Mods

“Tie Up In Nottz”

There is a strange paralysis gripping those people stuck somewhere between Birmingham and Berwick-Upon-Tweed in this potentially un-United Kingdom. It’s a crisis of political language and of capacities to dream new futures, but mostly it’s a crisis based on a legacy of Thatcherite destruction (yes, you too, Tony, you smarmy fuck); first the material tenets of a state that working people built, and then the very rungs of its ‘safety net.’ It’s a paralysis made all the more acute by the fact that no matter how radical Scottish independence may turn out, the notion that it will ‘inspire’ The North (never mind the Midlands) to take similarly progressive steps seems like a cold comfort. This is not enough in itself to vote ‘No,’ but when the cultural output accompanying independence gets lost in “platitudinous liberalism,” or seems to just treat ‘culture’ as a middle-class museum piece with a crucially high price-tag – a pretty piece in Scotland’s economic puzzle – it’s fair to be concerned. Luckily, Sleaford Mods have found their own political language, a sewer of FUCKS, wit and rage, flowing through the cracks of a Britain deemed ‘broken’ so that it was just that bit easier to sell-off.

The bus, the pervasive grey damp, the circling pummels of a post-punk backing track; all indexing a familiar Midlands/Northern experience, environments built with love and exasperation. Sleaford Mods let you scream each line back at yourself, a cathartic deliverance aimed at a world where the problem is not exposing the fact that everything is fucked (that’s evident), but finding a way to move beyond analysis when every critique just underlines the fact of our desperation. There is what Zizek might call a ‘Divine Violence’ to songs like “Tied Up In Nottz,” not a simple revenge, or a calculated move towards political goals, but a Popeye’s Spinach can of rage for your post-fordist anomie. Songs to make you feel ready to punch through walls. Of course, the Mods would stick up two e-cigarette-smoked fingers at such academic wankery, each tune on recent singles collection “Chubbed Up” and last album “Austerity Dogs” doubling as a sonic bullshit-detector for our (my?) personal lapses into the dying language of the ‘undergraduate humanities student.’ This is an eruption from a world that politicians in London and Edinburgh seem to be willfully constructing as a ‘desolate’ foil to their Capital dreams. In such times we remember that hope rarely comes with a 10 point prospective, and though (or perhaps because) “Tied Up In Nottz” is all derision, destruction, and post-colonal screaming, Sleaford Mods are a fucking life-line.

“Tied Up In Nottz” is taken from the new Sleaford Mods album Divide and Exit, ‘out soon’ on Harbinger Sound.

• Sleaford Mods:
• Harbinger Sound:

Chocolate Grinder Mix 102

Almost Everything

Whoa, 75% of iTunes hasn’t been played? Can’t find the right song on the radio? Interesting: you listen to everything? Is EVERYTHING so infinite that ouroboros becomes an actual diet? How do we make an escape so elaborate that nobody knew it ever happened? Could you spend your entire life clicking through the vastness of internet musician cemeteries? For how long can you set aside your impatience? Less than 18 minutes?

There’s never need for a track list. You figure it out. Or ask a friend. “Clifford Morrissey” is a name in a Hunger Games fan-fiction peice. Otherwise, Clifford Morrissey is out there digging pavement, burnin’ out concrete, and clawing at every last bit of flesh around his mouth. Everything is OK. Everything is a titty-tatt. In terms of the mix below… it’s Almost Everything. Please, enjoy in its entirety. SKEET SKIRT!

Stream below, and subscribe to our podcast here.

American Culture

“And That’s Enough For Me”

It’s been a long time since I first saw Chris Adolf perform solo as Bad Weather California with a guitar and a glockenspiel at Breakdown Book Collective on Ogden Street circa 2007 or ‘08. You know what’s in that space now? A goddamn Pilates studio. Things change, huh? Even I’m getting older. ME. Luckily, what’s filled the void that was once BWC isn’t quite so useless – yes, Adolf retired the brand after a solid run that included several years of patronage to Denver’s insatiable DIY scene, many line-up changes, a tour with the Meat Puppets, and a record out on Akron/Family’s Family Tree label. Culminating last year with the excellent, addictive Back Seats cassette on Fire Talk, Adolf finally ditched the name in favor of this new American Culture nomenclature, which finds his best band to date (a quartet that appeared on the aforementioned tape) carrying over into a slough of new material that adopts something resembling a more mature, wiser take on power pop. Don’t tell him I said that, though… Makes it sound like he’s getting older. But even with songs rife with girls and Coca-Cola® and listening to the Pixies while driving in your car, the lead track on this Pure American Gum collection (a full-length release due out this May) contains within it the kind of advice you might get from your big brother, stuff you want to immediately take to heart, mainly because Adolf’s sentiments are just so heartfelt to begin with. A democracy of pop is here, something with experience, looking down on hipster scrutiny and the mythos of pop culture to get at what makes this honest sort of music so great to begin with… the fact that it can, and should be, honest music; that a tune can make your toe tap no matter what kind of shoes you have on (if the rhythm is right – and it is).

• American Culture:



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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.