Sizzlin’ down the staircase. Swirlin’ each step at the side, and then. Vanilla suit vibes signal in waves off foot movements lookin’ like they dousing cig butts. Fog machines each loaded with two ounces of reefer. Smoke surrounding the small theater. Attendees laughing and gazin’ and booging in AND on they seats. CY mixing up a storm on stage after ascending from smoke heaven. Neon numbers nearly visible flicker 905 in a visual thought bubble.

So much drizzle, people. Put in your requests now. Watch the amazing reeler mix music that moonwalks across your nods in the shiniest of shoes with the mellowest of moods. CY all up in your brain chill zones. Take this “TUESTUE” [teaser video] for example. Yeah, we got the obligatory nostalgia visual fetish flaring, you-know you-know, but the smoothness is so viable in stability that you could listen to it a thousand times and continue hearing something new. Now, imagine reeling the new CY 905 tape from EL SERENO RECORDS on a day in the leaves; making a snow angle for hours; standing in the rain at the bus stop; beachin’ like a bum in the sun. Get some CY ASAP via EL SERENO RECORDS, and peep the digital below:



“Watch over Stillness - Matters Principle” (excerpt)

Reaching the stratum of contemporary experimental music occupied by the likes of Stephen O’Malley (Sunn O))), etc.) and Mika Vainio (Pan Sonic, etc.) — call it, say, the Tier of Champions — requires years of deep focus: guiding principles and philosophies long since hammered out; gear known backwards and forwards; a catalog of classic albums under the belt, each a labor of tonal and structural dedication; a network of trusted musicians, engineers, producers, label humans, and booking agents making parallel efforts. Having climbed that mountain and constructed their bone-encrusted thrones at the peak, O’Malley and Vainio live as legends of extreme music because they can’t help but sound like themselves on every record. We know their sonic signatures by heart — the towering walls of guitar-derived drone, the noise-spattered drum machine rhythms — and have followed them for years with our fists in the air, galvanized by every tone that bruises our eardrums and reshapes our perceptions. We don’t want them to change, as if that’s even an option at this point. But to collaborate? Yeah, we want that.

O’Malley and Vainio finish off a solid 2013 (see Exhibits A, B, C, D, E) with Through A Pre-Memory, a 2xLP of duo recordings as ÄÄNIPÄÄ, which might be the Finnish word for the playback head on a tape machine. Preview one of the album’s four mammoth side-length sessions, “Watch over Stillness - Matters Principle,” below, and revel in the tones you’ve come to expect from these masters. O’Malley’s ‘verb-drenched guitar wails between iterations of a pure sludge chord progression. Vainio’s muffled analog thuds and electronic noise creep and swell through the mix. When I first heard this, I wondered “Which one of them is vocalizing? Who’s pulling off that Alan Dubin rasp?” Turns out… it’s Dubin himself (!!), he who demands silence while he strips bone, lending additional dissociative terror to the occasion.

Through A Pre-Memory is available to order now from Editions Mego. The album’s extended pieces evolve through a number of movements and atmospheres, so a sample snippet can only tease at the depth of the full sessions — but you can scope out more preview material at Experimedia.

• Stephen O’Malley:
• Mika Vainio:
• Editions Mego:


“Paradise Stress”

Perfection should by default be considered something suspicious, and that’s mostly because it simply doesn’t exist. This Thursday morning at my office, for example. Sure, it may seem just fine from an outsider’s perspective (that’s you, dear Chocolate Grinder patrons [Editor’s Note: <3<3<3<3]). I've got my coffee here, Pitchfork announced its new print edition... things couldn't get any better, amirite? iamwrong. In fact, my coffee tastes horrible, I forgot my lunch at home, and I have a pile of billing sitting next to me on my desk that I need to get through. The point is that the perfect is never perfect because it is constantly covered, shrouded and clouded with distortion on the periphery.

Mounting created Bloggif

And this is the kind of vibe that PHORK (an acronym for “People’s Higher Order of Royal Kinship”) nails to the wall for the aptly titled “Paradise Stress,” from his new cassette release American Tao on Noumenal Loom that follows outings with NNA Tapes, Orange Milk, and Opal Tapes. The track presents a serene and pristine Boards of Canada-like synth refrain, surrounds it with nervous noise, and balances itself upon a platform of unstable bass that rumbles like thunder. It’s at once a beautiful environment while also unsettling, dark, and mysterious — the type of place that could be a wonderful dream or a terrifying nightmare depending on your perspective. And perspective as a theme translates to the visual realm with Mateo Marquez’s hypnotizing video accompaniment as well, offering up a cornucopia of color, sliced with shadowy grays into a shattered frame of revolving hues. But no matter from which angle you look at this thing (or listen to it - headphones strongly recommended, of course), it’s pretty mesmerizing.

• Noumenal Loom:



Throbbing around 78 rpms per bit. Floating has always been this easy at 420 day rentals. And no late fees makes a cigarette add seem ethical. Just like Ferrari Jackson whipping around corners, KOOL ONE HUNNA is quick to spark and slow on that drag. Infinitely, in a loop hyphy-fi romance, spirals of tie-die neon flicker and signal off in eyes sponged of red. The love affair with SUPER LONG VIBES triggers an energy of smooth truth. “Sizzle-sizzle and maybe,” might be the only rational explanation when people bug out on all fours. Connection is a commitment that can never cease in existence.

Flare off like you ain’t got a pair. Why we always in this tango of cheap? Buck and a quarter? Buck FIFTY? Nah-nahhh. At Blockbuster Records, everything survives on chill vibes. Being cool is just an inspiration of social emotion and it’s totally never been researched. Maybe. Kinda like reefer. Also, maybe. But KOOL ONE HUNNA is like the fingerless leather gloves of musical masturbation. Only to touch. Just the tip of it all. Climax by edging. Wet on an all white wardrobe. Three-way with SUPER LONG VIBES via your left ear, your right ear, and your mind for the ultimate 2013 Blockbuster Records experience with the pre-pillow talk of KOOL ONE HUNNA. BeLOW!!!!

• Blockbuster Records:

Nicholas Krgovich

Who Cares?

At this point, I’m pretty convinced that Nicholas Krgovich is one of the most overlooked pop auteurs of our time. Various Krgovich projects, such as P:ano, No Kids, and Gigi, make it abundantly clear that the dude has a deep understanding of a myriad of pop genres and knows how to warp their harmonic/formal structures in consistently beautiful ways. On his latest solo record Who Cares?, Krgovich manages to combine a number of the various styles that his bands have mined into a subtle coherent whole that perfectly illustrates his songwriting craftsmanship.

Who Cares? is entirely centered around Krgovich’s voice and ukulele/guitar playing with minimal synths, bass, percussion, and backing vocals popping up on each track. This is perhaps the sparsest recording Krgovich’s done since P:ano’s minimal masterpiece Ghost Pirates Without Heads and there are definitely moments on”Loser,” “My Song,” and “A Reverie” that recall the folky work of that album. However, lots of Who Cares? falls very much in line with Krgovich’s explorations of warped contemporary R&B with No Kids and 50’s girl groups with Gigi. While both No Kids and Gigi’s records often explored their respective styles through production/arrangements, Who Cares? manages to reference these signifiers through Krgovich’s chords and vocals alone, illustrated impeccably in tracks like “Baby Blue Tutu” and “Party With Lewis.” Krgovich’s vocals throughout the record are particularly remarkable. While he’s always been a strong singer, Who Cares? finds the songwriter displaying an impressive range and his ability to evoke so many stylistic references with such a minimum of materials is largely due to this new-found emphasis on crooning. All of this musical subtlety works beautifully to underscore one of the most bummed out and bleak narratives that Krgovich’s structured his records around.

Who Cares? is out now on vinyl via Jaz Records. You can stream the album in its entirety below:

• Nicholas Krgovich:
• Jaz Records:


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.