Abe Leonard

Night, Late w/Out

For some time now, Abraham Leonard has been leaving giant conceptual footprints all over the hearts of NCers – ambling through either cataclysmic mountains of guitar drone or terse song-craft as a means toward stark emotionalism. Such, Night, Late w/Out has been a long time coming; as, folks have been BEGGING the dude to release recordings for years now. Of course, there have been the obligatory Bandcamp live recordings, which served as shadowy reminders to the 10 separate “moments-of-clarity” received during some woody, isolated house show that could have taken place any time during the past 5+ years. BUT FINALLY, Boone label New Body Tapes has stepped up to release Abe’s most definitive statement thus far, a work that sounds like it’s been stewing at the bottom of a well to collect more concentrated doses of poignancy (“you should not believe me”), weirdness (any of the “instrumentals”), and pure evil (“blood seed”).

When taken as a whole, Night, Late w/Out’s unrelenting sincerity is as hardened as two stone fists slugging you in the gut for hours, bent on turning you “soft” and getting you to sit down for a goddamn minute (in pain, or relief). Mainly, the work helps sketch out an impressive/alienating Appalachian landscape – drawing lines between all kinds of dislocated musicalities (and, yes, FEELINGS!) that have been buzzing around Blue Ridge valleys throughout NC. It’s an “authentic” mission, one that serves as a “heart-wrenching” reminder that such adjectives are, indeed, still applicable to musical experience, and to any individual will capable of identifying with the struggle or triumph of another.

Get “turnt soft” by listening to the full album below, or by gathering the tape from New Body Tapes:

• Abe Leonard: https://soundcloud.com/abe-leonard
• New Body Tapes: http://newbodytapes.tumblr.com

Will Redman

Teeth of Gold

A limestone cowboy’s vision runnels-off road and bears right into smooth and shattered grins of clints and grikes glinting off glass mosaic pieces.

This must mean that the musical instrument, composer, and performer known as Dr. Will Redman is near, with vibraphone and computer in tow.

Will Redman, Ph.D.: flummoxing drummer; percussive puzzler; confounding composer; one of three mavericks in the meat and three trio Microkingdom, whose performances often provoke Qs such as “was this written or is it improvised?”

Teeth of Gold, however, does not intend to provoke. The natural and artificial flavors of its low-viscosity lubricants - loops, cut-ups, live licks, flash sounds, modifications - flow together, encapsulated as relaxants, as five atmospheres of polish and pleasure. Even the most abrupt and out-of-order time jumps and glitches, as we hear in the hit-the-jackpot harmony of “First, One,” work in the current. “First, One” is the last track, not the first, and not the first and only to hit the jackpot. Each track shimmers in the tanning bed-like light that is reflected off ore.

The bedroom scene from Indecent Proposal comes to mind. Only, the paper money is replaced with coins, thousands of golden coins, as varied in design as carpet beetles, falling from the ceiling. Demi Moore and Woody Harrelson are replaced with a vibraphone and a laptop. The coins strike the vibraphone’s metal bars, creating a trickle of pitches, fills, and accents; the coins roll off and land on the laptop’s keyboard, creating a series of edits, impressions, and effects. The scene, in which we now have a bed, a vibraphone, a laptop, and an overabundance of golden coins, is without signification. Except, as in the original scene, it is a celebration, a small victory, short in duration. From here on out, one feels, as Moore and Harrelson’s characters felt, that it will be a smooth ride.

• Will Redman: http://www.willredman.com/home.html
• Friends Records: http://friendsrecords.tumblr.com

Legendary Hearts


Sliding down the back-side of your brain into spinal cord territory, Legendary Hearts takes hold of the mind and body in the most serene creativity of imagination. Burst of joy come in colors of light picks and softly phased taps as “Acceleration” picks up and whisks every listener away to an Aerial View via Not Not Fun. And if you don’t see what I mean, look further into the song: close your eyes and breath with the air that Legendary Hearts swirls within “Acceleration.”

Thankfully comprised of Angel Eyes and Kieran (of Superstar), Legendary Hearts is finally releasing their second tape – after one amazing reeler on Dungeon TaxisAerial View, but this time on Not Not Fun. Out August 19, Legendary Hearts falls in line with a solid mixture of the label’s lower-fidelity guitar lickers and lush-lingering syth keyers. The blend is beyond the horizon. Will you make it through this beautiful sunset without crying? Find out August 19 and snag yourself a tape at Not Not Fun while listening to “Acceleration” below:

• Legendary Hearts: http://legendaryhearts.bandcamp.com
• Not Not Fun: http://www.notnotfun.com

Dean Blunt

“SON freestyle”

I remember watching “Felony” for the first time last year and nearly gasping out loud when Dean Blunt suddenly looked up and sang straight to the camera. It’s not like he was camera-shy before (at all), nor is eye contact in a music video unexpected (at all), but within the closely guarded smoke-and-mirrors world of Hype Williams it felt unprecedented, a new dimension of engagement that was plainly open but more inscrutable, intensely private art copy/pasted onto the raised public platform — an unexpectedly amorphous context, with less smoke but bigger mirrors.

Since then there have been quite a few direct encounters with Blunt, and today we get a new clip: “SON freestyle.” As C pointed out with the last one, “SON” is “flagrantly not freestyle-to-video,” though maybe it’s referring to a looser presentation of a finished (Black Metal) product? With “BLOW,” the whole track was definitely pitch-shift tweaked, calling the finality of the song into question even as it produced a bodily chill. This one is [1080 HD] clean and clear, the contents of Blunt’s pockets laid out on the table across from us, but who knows, maybe this one’s jacked too, a two-second loop of a larger song? Questions like these always immediately come to mind and then seem like inane defense mechanisms; to get at the richness of this stuff, you have to look past the potential for trolling and take what’s put in front of you, let it seesaw through the mind, something funny, sad, weird, and raw, still so confusing but in no small way potent.

• Dean Blunt: https://www.youtube.com/user/pollyjacobsen

Orlando Scarpa Neto

Se fôssemos hipopótamos, com certeza fugiríamos

Pensive is the person who transforms from man to hipopótamos. Awaiting the mutation to blend into the skin. Accessing a trunk no longer than their body’s torso. Fist and feet curling and melting into giant palms. Tusks jutting from boogers left unpicked. A tail ripping from the spine’s base. Cartilage popping, stretching, and growing into winged ears. Trampling all life was never this easy before.

In comparison, Se fôssemos hipopótamos, com certeza fugiríamos by Orlando Scarpa Neto (dear bro of Paulo) is similar to his last output, Imprevisibilidade do Pulso in terms of patient transformation. Typically starting out with a slow breath, swirling sounds become the meat of every single track this man shits out, and it makes me anxious. Totally in a good way. Like, mellow music for the action scene, you know? Something stirring continuously until fruition is the climax for the rest of the track.

If I were a hippo, I would flee in any way possible, and as I stomped out every bush, tree, and animal in my way, Se fôssemos hipopótamos, com certeza fugiríamos by Orlando Scarpa Neto would be blaring at max levels, as the fellah would be standing atop my back with a slew of pedals, an amplifier bigger than two of him, and an axe that rips down a forest as good as my new found animal strength. Listen below, won’t you?

• Orlando Scarpa Neto: http://orlandoscarpa.bandcamp.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.