“House of Mutes Vol. 1” (stream)
Charles Ballas is a name that I want you to write down. He’s a stealthy figure here in my hot-as-hell-right-now home of Denver, CO, quietly creeping his way through the town’s glittery, glitchy electronic underground. In addition to being a sometimes-member of the shifting live iteration of Howling Hex, and now a cornerstone of the quartet Dan’l Boone, he’s also sweating out some pretty sweet tapes here in the throes of summer with his Obsolete Future imprint, including this excellent, deep-IDM collection, House of Mutes.
Compiled by Conor Walker and including a number of contributions from Ballas (particularly on side B), this mix is dim, darklight-lit with glowing electronics zapping off the bass floor in lightweight polyrhythms… I guess I should point out that Ballas was also a member of Gemini Trajectory, too, (remember them?) [Editor’s Note: !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!], and that’s important because it’s the vibe you can imagine when you’re thinking about how the comp shapes up. It’s true to its name in this way: not a single breath of a human passes through the headphones, although the beats do whisper an enticing spell in your ears anyway, summoning your own little private dance party for whenever you want.
Thug Entrancer is the one name I really recognized on the track list; the others (aside from Ballas himself) are all pretty much new to me, but the way in which they’re skillfully woven together through this c42.5 tape makes each a bold coordinate on the graph worth zooming in on. I’m remiss to post the Bandcamp stream below here, because it’s not how I want you to hear this. Best consumed in one workout, a flip between A and B for a nice water break opp. Pure cassette tape mix perfection, and it could be yours, easily.
• Obsolete Future: http://obsoletefuture.tumblr.com
Chocolate Grinder Mix 106
>_> >_> >_>: @_@ @_@ @_@
I give up. This is the third time writing something here. It’s totally unimportant. Nobody cares or will read it. Very few will listen to this mix. But I dig it. And the songs in it. Even if it cut off Taterbug and Sugarm at the end. I love them too. Atlantic City this weekend. Mick Raws and Savannah are getting corn-rows. Ima tan my dick. Listen below. Enjoy, fuck-o! Blessed with all the new writers too: film, news, reviews, and (especially) Grinders.
Stream below, and subscribe to our podcast here.
[00:00] Outside My Grams’ Place
[00:19] Seth Graham - “When I was sick”
[02:09] Hype Williams - “Kim Gordon”
[03:59] Hospital ER
[05:15] Magic Eye - “Babylon”
[07:34] Future - “Move That Dope” (feat. Pusha T)
[09:58] GFOTY - “KISS”
[12:21] V E S A - “寛げる ( r e f l e c t i o n )”
[12:30] Satanicpornocultshop - “frEEwheelin’”
[14:12] TCF - “486669f0e9b8990384108f3d54c6a8f036adeb8bc7108f3d54c6a8f036adeb” [excerpt]
[15:43] FKA twigs - “Two Weeks”
[19:14] Rick Ross - “Rich Bitch Skit” [cropped]
[20:09] Bryant Canelo - “Steven Seagal - On Deadly Ground (demo)”
[21:07] メトロノリ - “e”
[21:17] copeland - “Diligence”
[21:26] Francisco López - “Yanayacu - Environmental sound matter from the Peruvian Amazon” [excerpt]
[22:54] Brood Ma - “EMJ-12” [intro]
[23:37] Diamond Black Hearted Boy - “Frank Ocean Approximately”
“Gucci Gang” (ft. Justo & Tadoe)
Our relationship with Keef is 300% natural. First, Bang Mixtape — we’re feeling each other out, something’s there, we’re sitting around playing N64, and Keef’s throwing out freestyles in our ear in the hall between classes. It’s young fun. Then Back From the Dead — BANG. We’re hitting it off with this unadulterated infatuation; there is love and admiration big enough to make a huge impact, the abrupt change we wait for. Then the honeymoon — Bang Pt. 2, Almighty So — where we’re vibing, enjoying each other’s presence, buying matching four-wheelers. Keef starts auto-tuning, but the love is still there, so we tolerate it — hell, sometimes we love it (“Citgo”). But then Keef starts running in with the law and we’re apart for long periods of time and the auto-tune that was once tolerable because a nuisance and we become distant.
The next stage brings us up to date. Keef is still getting in trouble, but the auto-tuned craziness has died down. He’s promised things — Bang 3 — will be better, and we want to believe him; our love was so pure two years ago. So now we’re in this weird relationship-limbo, where we start asking other people for advice. They keep saying, “He’s only 18; you’ve only known the man for three years. Maybe it’s time for a break. Maybe things will change for the better, maybe not. Just remember all the fun you had together, and then maybe down the line you can save that shit.”
• Chief Keef: http://www.chiefkeef.com
Tablo x Taeyang
“눈, 코, 입 (Eyes, Nose, Lips)”
There are by now a healthy handful of competing theories – mostly in my head – about what it might take for Korean pop to light up the west in a way that doesn’t hinge upon equine dance voodoo. Anyone sharp enough to know the answer also knows better than to blog it on out there uncompensated, but today we’ve found occasion for a sneak peek. Bear in mind, “Gangnam Style” was a fantastical, rainbow fluke assemblage of perfectly complementary ship model debris inside a needle-sized, hay-submerged soju bottle, and it would take a weekend summit of former Bridgewater employees simply to describe it to Psy himself. In other words, no 95% Korean-language global conquest hit about a specific class stereotype in a specific neighborhood of Seoul is ever going to naturally occur again.
The solution? Let’s just say it probably involves English. Fluent-like. And – pains me to say it, but – it probably doesn’t involve accents; or Konglish; or bilingual ad-libs, even, if we’re really playing it safe (which, if my math is correct, we maybe should) [Editor’s note: people gettin’ all math in Choco today, y’all!!!!]. Conveniently, as of just now, we have ourselves a working template: Korean emcee Tablo’s Taeyang-featuring cover of Taeyang’s “눈, 코, 입 (Eyes Nose Lips).” It’s an arresting performance, the two vocalists fashioning a fresh set of hooks over DJ Tukutz’s elegant restatement of the original harmony. But the real K-pop milestone here is all that flawless pop esperanto, driven home by the acerbic wit of Stanford-certified creative writer Tablo — somewhere in the orbit of emo-mode Eminem and Drake at his filter-swept saddest. (This take marks the third official version of “눈, 코, 입” released in the past three weeks alone, following triumphs by KoreaRnB god Taeyang and teen folk dyad Akdong Musician.)
Theirs may not be the tune that starts the American K-craze proper, but Tablo and Taeyang have broken new linguistic ground in the industry. A major piece of the puzzle lies herein, should K-pop’s executive cabal care to use it.
I listen to noise made by people I have never met and I construct, with peals of feedback and swathes of static as my building blocks, exaggerated profiles of the creators. I know that they probably live something like “normal lives” when they’re not conjuring chaos from a table of pedals and contact mics, but I try to forget this. In that moment of recording, or in that live performance, the creators wanted to confuse you, chase oblivion, maybe even obfuscate their own role in their process of creation — so I allow them to do this. Divorced from considerations of true demeanor, day job, socio-economic reality, any version of reality at all, really, I allow my imagination to shape these strangers into best-case-scenario monoliths: colossi seen from across a field, cobbled together from a mess of magnetic tape and scrap metal, all but indiscernible from this distance, but gnarled in improbable detail up close.
I listen to Reversus and I find there’s no need to construct such a monolith — or that, despite the presence of peals of feedback and swathes of static, it would be impossible to do so in the same fashion. As guitar chord shrapnel swirls through her in-the-red mixes, Brooklyn-based multi-instrumentalist Amanda Salane (1/3 of Advaeta) directly testifies to the conditions of her existence by way of screams, ‘verbed out vocal melodies, and trance-like sing-song monologues. On gloriously clipped opener “BIRTH,” as her voice rings out in disarming juxtaposition with her six-string savagery, she shouts, “I fucked confusion and I came out clarity.” However exaggerated this persona may be, Salane applies her noise-based practice to a end more nuanced than self-abstraction: self-elucidation; a congress with and acceptance of one’s darker half. The Reversus monolith, glimpsed from across the field, appears as a giant incarnation of Amanda Salane, unmodulated, clawing at the fretboard, howling into the fog.
You can buy 01, Reversus’s debut 10”, from her Bandcamp page, or catch her ON TOUR THIS SUMMER with Silent Land Time Machine.
• Reversus: http://reversus.bandcamp.com