I’m late on this one, but, whatever, ‘cause this new JAW GEMS DEMANDS to be heard. I don’t care if you’re having a baby, about to light off a grip of bottle rockets, or just selling your clothes to help pay for your pet frog’s daily diet of crickets — stop what you’re doing and turn “Young Pulp” up in your headphones. This jam’s gonna make everything alright. Crisp synth lines pile up atop boom-bap drums and a tasty bassline; each part mixing equally to create the right concoction of confidence to help you accomplish just about anything. You can go ahead and finish delivering that baby now.
Their new full length, Blades Plural, jumps around from the above G-Funk keyboard honey, to robot space jaunts, to pensive organ and guitar numbers, to champagne drenched jazz, and it ALL flows. In the same realm as their homies ALTERED GEE, these dudes know what the funk is up. Grab the whole thing digitally for eight bucks, or be a cheap ass like me and keep streaming it again and again ‘til payday comes.
• JAW GEMS: http://jawgems.com
So it’s like 3 AM-ish (late night), and you know the drill; you got that dreaded bright and early start in the morning, and your thinking, “Fuck that, I’ll be fine.” Because I got like 10-plus tabs open RN and I’m about to have me some of that good ol’ web surfin’ fun, nah mean? But it’s one of them days where it’s like link after link of just meh-iffy kinda shit, and lots of “yeah, I don’t know about that” type of stuff. And yet, for whatever reason you keep on browsing, as you do, and then BOOM! You happen upon that fresh-ass next-level dopeness like this right here new Tennis Rodman joint. And despite the fact that you’re gonna feel like absolute shit and that those 45 minutes of precious sleep you get in will pretty much render you useless at work in the morning, the pleasure of that little late night discovery of tasty audible goodness kind of makes it all seem worth it, no? (Call me crazy). [Editor’s note: I’m believing that lil Bosley is a bit batty! ;)]
Anyway, Tennis Rodman (coldest rap name in the universe by the way) is one cool MF. I mean, just look at dude all crouchin’ and such in this video, looking like a straight up hood Serpico. He’s been steady dropping flames this year on some real-ass noisy Thuggian shit. But damn, 251 views? I nearly shed a tear when I saw that, yo, people are sleepin’ on the kid. Not for long though, you can bet when he drops that tape full of top-to-bottom heaters people finna stop snoozing real quick. So peep this if you know what’s good for you!
• Tennis Rodman: https://soundcloud.com/morpheeus
Form A Log
Sneaking behind the housing construction, up along side the hill to see the skyline fading into night, there’s a beat pulsating atop the leafy mount, and a flicker of light licking the air with a chard scent. Ascending the the peak, there are three dudes fiddling with pieces of machinery that are spouting off sounds and are hooked to a power cord that’s hooked to a stretch of multiple extension cords that is plugged to somewhere across from the housing construction in the junk yard. Then, it becomes apparent that these backward vocals and slowed swaying sweltering beats are part of a ritual, as the shadows sitting on fallen trees around these fellahs are actually silhouettes of people, and a plume from the fire and announces the trio meddling in sound voodoo as Form A Log. But quickly, the plume turns to you with a sharp, but oozing/dripping purple face and yells, “Prime Suspect!!!!”
Running now frantically down the hill as a cloud is closely chancing you, you scope your cellphone for more information on Form A Log, and find this info, and hold up a peace sign, but the cloud becomes bigger. Then you find this on Bathetic Records’ Facebook profile picture. But lastly, this post pops up, and you realize YOU being “Prime Suspect” in Form A Log’s ritual was something written in the starts (NOT TMZ, either), and are disappointed you never read Tiny Mix Tapes more frequently.
If you’re still alive, scope the ritualistic new LP For The Record by Form A Log (who our newest Grinder Rick Weaver is involved in) via Bathetic Records NOW, and bare witness to their first incantation “Prime Suspect” below:
Various Artists: Opal Tapes
In early Winter, amid the foliage and flotsam of fringe tiki, my pal, a rum-centric bartender by trade, had a dream inversion. Everyday barback tasks failed to go off without a hitch. Blenders broke and membrane-red slush overflowed, staining Aloha shirts. Garish garnishes wilted; unsteady jiggers fell and wasted free pours of top shelf like sand in an hourglass.
He awoke in a sweat, with a feverish tropical disease, fearful of serving the next round lest the simple task go awry. The only way he could expunge his nightmare of stormy bartending was to act out the dream in public, making improvised messes colorful as the vomit outside of Pat O’Brien’s. This performance sublimated his mild fears and anxiety about his dream clumsily coming true.
Cambiare, a compilation on Opal Tapes, collects 14 grim and minimal tracks evoking a similar sublimation of “the job gone wrong.” Simultaneously sinister and mellow, this well-calculated sequence plays out like an occupational thriller, where small dangers lurk around the corner. Tame fears anticipate impending on-the-clock disasters. Slow-motion “fantasy street” beats conspire with straight-lined and cinematic minor chord accidents. Artificial searches down digital hallways yield no concrete results. The ever-present epidemic of repetition triggers slight increases in stress levels.
The musicians prepare us well for these twists and turns (cleanliness is favored over clutter in these efficient arrangements), yet we can’t predict them. Their sources are mysterious. The recitation is slow, turning the alarm-clock twists into character studies and heightening the suspense, before they are faded back in line. In order to keep their job, they’re going to have to play ball.
• Opal Tapes: http://opaltapes.bandcamp.com
There is no way caer-bien, maker of S/T, has ever been to Earth. S/he’s been on the moon, drawing on the surface with gloved forefinger, notching out symbols on crater walls while surrounded by unforgiving space. Debris passes by; notes are maybe, maybe not taken. Hale-Bop swung by. caer-bien saw it and admired it. S/he heard Marshall’s speech too, and drew a little picture for a reminder: don’t get too caught up. Just make a representation and move on.
caer-bien’s self-titled c25 is out now on San Jose Tapes in a limited run of 35 copies.