Tashi Dorji & Frank Meadows

Number Six is Sacred

Witnessing Tashi Dorji play guitar is almost like watching a caged tiger in multiple moods: in meditation, playing with it’s food, or lashing out against cold, steel bars. His skill is obvious, dexterous, and nimble; but, even more compelling is how brazenly out he can get over the course of a short improvisation. The dude takes you places, often risking entire “improvisational moods” for the sake of dynamism. This wild style WORKS for me –
I’m not always down with boring free-improv/woody guitar hoopla – if I’m enjoying the communication between freewheeling instruments, there better not be any tacit string scraping, put-on Americana bravado, or mousy, faux-Cagean slop (*you know who you are!). I like that energized, Bailey-style shit that Tashi owns so well.

Like a fresh pot of coffee, a new release comes to to refill the empty Dorjian cup (a cup that’s barely empty…he just got back from a tour with Richard Bishop AND released an album on Ben Chasny’s Hermit Hut).

Here, Dorji has paired up with bassist Frank Meadows for Number Six is Sacred – a frenetic collection of works that has the two “locked in” on a focused improvisational space that’s equal parts tension, release, and insane. Frank Meadows’ bow-sweeps and prepared fretwork help ground Dorji’s fierce runs and bursts; their movements diverge and reunite according to an unknowable psychic framework. Frank’s literally my boy and helped organize the Hopscotch TMT day party; so, I’m not gonna flatter him too much here :). But, jeez, they are some advanced players – they’re way beyond just proving they can sling out some acrobatic licks. Instead, they choose to focus on the materiality of their instruments, pushing their personal, idiosyncratic tendencies into an objectification of the potential freedoms accessible through a focused, instrumental process. It’s an abstract listen, one I’ll be using to craft potential mental narratives into autumn.

Purchase the beautifully packaged tape from Cabin Floor Esoterica, it comes with a rusty nail. Also, stream the album below:

• Cabin Floor Esoterica: http://www.cabin-floor-esoterica.com

Giant Claw

“DARK WEB 002”

Eventually, all desire of the Internet will be condensed and immediate. Something would-be sealed. Everything you want, wirelessly. Depths scooped throughout. DARK WEB is audible evidence of telepathy.

The first time I listened to an album was with Keith Rankin in second grade at his parents’ house. Keith was the kid who drew the devil on everything. Keith began solo-ing as Giant Claw in 2010 (?). I caught on (luv 2 Tomentosa) around 2011. I took his job last year. I had always been a deep admirer of his craftsmanship and musings. Personally, DARK WEB is something I use to recollect youth, rebellion, coincidence, honor, and esteem.

Amongst a myriad of websites this decade covering “groundbreaking” new music, Tiny Mix Tapes had/s equally enjoyed similar fruits of the loom (e.g., footwork/juke, vaporwave, Lil B, eccojam, queerhop, bathdub, PC Music, ringtones, pack/zip/ship/etc.). Outside DARK WEB being of the Internet Age, and as previous editor (10 years of volunteer writing), Keith Rankin covered and analyzed the current generation’s constantly shifting sounds. Literally, DARK WEB is Keith Kawaii.

A nor’easter shit two-feet of snow at 5PM one 2012 Tuesday, such that if Sandy left a leaning telephone pole, it was THEN weighed down by icy snow. Eventually, the government will need to put all cords underground if the weather keeps up like this, so WHAT will happen to our brains when Earth is almost entirely wireless? Speechless communication? ‘_’ *wink* Creatively, DARK WEB is sonic documentation of human evolution, representing the way humans absorb, data-bank, and regurgitate creative information.

I was blaring DARK WEB out my car last week, windows down, and the person to my left at the stoplight asked if I could answer my cellphone. Now Giant Claw needs to U2 ALL cellphones with new ringtones or just leave voicemails containing the entire album as a message. Publicly, DARK WEB is: “Are you gonna get that?”

Not only does Giant Claw flip classical piano into a drum (the instrument, not just percussion), but he picks up where footwork has left listeners lulled. And the sampling turns every daily hateful noise into one that is uplifting; wherever you are, Giant Claw will end your audible surroundings on high notes. Musically, DARK WEB is entirely composed of smiling sounds.

DARK WEB is based on the phrase, “Know what Im saying?” Giant Claw made an incomplete album, yes, but these inconsistencies sound-collage in a way, where everything is exactly in place. The fluidity is intentionally diced. The music is talking to you in a variety familiar languages, but (intentionally) nothing is immediately understandable. Telepathically, DARK WEB answers all your unasked questions via music.

As for the taste below, “DARK WEB 002” is an excellent example of everything I wrote above. It’s no DARK WEB in its entirety, but it launches the point across your nodes in full Giant Claw force. DARK WEB is being released next week on LP by Keith’s co-owned label Orange Milk Records and Noumenal Loom (next to his label/Cream Juice partner-in-crime, Seth Graham).

• Giant Claw: http://www.orangemilkrecords.com
• Orange Milk Records: http://www.orangemilkrecords.com
• Noumenal Loom: http://noumenalloom.com

LEF!!! CREW!!!

13th Mixtape

Mixtapes that incorporate multiple genres within the tape’s hour duration tend to hold my attention a little more than the ones that are confined to strictly “deep house cuts” or “obscure [insert genre here] tracks.” The ones that stick to the latter are usually interesting at first, but then I gradually shift my attention elsewhere. For Japanese DJ duo LEF CREW’s 13th mix, they are thankfully bringing in track from across the spectrum, from MIDI versions of your favorite hits to weirdo pop punk. I strolled into work last Friday, found this in my inbox, and had a smile on my face the entire time. It reminds me of a lot of things, but most of all it reminds me of the thrill of the mystery of the mixtape. Anything can be on it, and that is definitely the case with this one. This is without a doubt the soundtrack to the party you’ve never been to before, but you know deep down that it would be a killer bash.

• LEF!!! CREW!!!: http://reclash.com/lef-crew-wsz80-dj-mayaku-moro-cbtek.html

David Paha

Fiction Wisdom

Granular Synthesis is based on the principle of subdividing a sound source into various chunks of microsound. In theory, this gradual destruction/processing of a given signal could be used to produce an infinite number of timbres and effects with only a single short sound. As sample lengths are cut shorter and shorter, the hidden acoustics of a particular sound begin to reveal themselves and take on a life of their own while retaining vague sonic signifiers of their original source. In this sense, granular synthesis simultaneously allows us to truly know the DNA of a single sound while completely clouding it at the same time.

David Paha’s Fiction Wisdom is built on the concurrent microscopic and obstructive nature of granular synthesis, and throughout the album’s seven tracks, Paha manages to create a mesmerizingly exhaustive deconstruction of a sustained piano chord. Opener “Violet onset” plays as somewhat of a prelude to the other tracks by isolating and looping the album’s quite lovely sound source for nearly six minutes after emerging from silence. From there, Fiction Wisdom explodes this sound over its remaining tracks, which glitch and process the initial chord into slabs of psychoacoustic drone on the title track and eventually lead to brutal distorted arpeggiating on “Vague Stimulant.” Closer “Bardo’s” quiet, pitched looping seems to hint at Paha’s attempt to reassemble the original sound source while still being thoroughly deconstructed.

However, despite the radical directions that Paha’s original sample takes, these tracks still maintain hints of that initial chord underneath their clipped hypnotic textures. The somewhat tonal aspects gives these pieces a surprising sheen that comes close to approximating a HNW-obsessed Daniel Lopatin or a fictional collaboration between Nicholas Szczepanik and Kevin Drumm. Overall, Fiction Wisdom is a truly mind blowing examination of granular synthesis’ potential as a simultaneously minimalist and maximalist compositional technique, and it rides this contradiction to further examine the contradictory nature of what it means to know a sound.

Fiction Wisdom is out on Bandcamp now. You can stream the album in its entirety below:

• David Paha: https://davidjamespaha.bandcamp.com

Torn Hawk

“I’m Flexible”

It seems that Luke Wyatt’s solution to the heartbreak problems would be quite different than most people’s way of dealing with it: instead of hitting the bottle (or turn to similarly self-destructive pursuits), he proposes to sweat it out, as exemplified in the title of his new album: Let’s Cry and Do Pushups at the Same Time. The track that promotes the album follows the gym-friendly ideology of Torn Hawk. “I’m Flexible” walks the line between dynamic electronic workout soundtracks and melancholic, drunk guitar workouts, which works as a musical translation of the album’s title, gradually shifting from the quirky hypnagogic pop to the emotion-fueled electric solo towards the end. And the YouTube video is worth watching, too — there’s too much happening there to consider it a simple audio track with a picture in the background and also too little to consider it a music video. This one, too, is an example of walking somewhere between. Combining wild video editing with fragments of other videos, it complements the cut-up music with unique plunder-visuals.

Let’s Cry and Do Pushups at the Same Time will be available November 11 via Mexican Summer.

• Torn Hawk: http://tornhawk.com
• Mexican Summer: http://www.mexicansummer.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.