Dolphin Tears

Respawn Heaven [excerpt]

The afterlife can be a bitch, maybe. -Err, who knows, really. Luckily, Dolphin Tears has ripped up a new bit of sonic blunders and wonders for y’all to contemplate on while reloading through Respawn Heaven. Think hard, though, on when YOUR Respawn Heaven exists. My best guess at mine is when I’m dreaming, right? That’s the PG version of my interpretation of WHEN that exists in my life. Maybe when I’m drunk and/or blasted beyond the point of keeping my eyes open. Fuck that, maybe it’s deeper. It’s possible that Respawn Heaven is just the limbo we’re currently in as humans. Or, something as trite as flipping the damn tape itself.

Though the title is one thing, the music on Respawn Heaven is a complete different being/world. It surpasses every tape you find esoteric at the thrift store, and takes a dimensional leap into a place similar to our universe: there are no corners or edges or end, just a constant mish-mash of new found objects colliding or existing entirely on their own. Thus is the case for MOST Dept Tapes. And them snagging Dolphin Tear’s for Respawn Heaven has brought them Mexican sons-of-guns to next level label shit, that hasn’t faltered since DT01.

Grip Respawn Heaven by Dolphin Tears on Dept Tapes ASAP, as it’s limited to 30, along with a new tape by Mother’s Breast and a split tape by Monte and Magnétophonique

• Dolphin Tears:
• Dept Tapes:


Absence of Shitperson

Where did Shitperson go? Find out in the critically acclaimed documentary Searching for Shitperson. Just kidding, but anyway, here a compilation of previously used instrumentals from Richmond-based LIL UGLY MANE. Although the ALL CAPS, deliberately obscure song titles, and strange mythology of said MANE’s Bandcamp are highly reminiscent of one Dem Hunger’s deranged, shell shocked, and hysterical persona, the instrumentals together on display like this – in contrast – are stunningly smooth and trappy; the work of a capable producer who merely wears a mask of madness.



“All Raps Come To An End”

Is Damien_Hirst.JPG marking the end of rap? Nah; prolly just the beginning.

• Damien_Hirst.JPG:

Grateful Dead/John Oswald

“Clouds Cast”

“Step into the Phil Zone, man.”
“I’ve been tryna get deeper into the 90s, man.”
“Jerr Bear really killed it that night, man.”
“Pig, man. RIP.”
“Donna, man. DONNA. Damn.”

My roommate is terminally obsessed with The Grateful Dead and I am not. Every day I hear him wax nostalgic for shows that took place decades before his birth, compare musicians, compare eras, spout legends, solemnly eulogize his idols. What I once perceived as his pidgin Dead babble has crystalized over the years into jargon I can more-than-half comprehend. When he puts on a Dead tape, I find myself asking what year it was recorded, or who’s on keyboard. Maybe I’m getting sucked into it. More likely, a casual appreciation has developed as a survival tactic in the face of his devotion. With the Dead forced into my airspace virtually every day of my life without my input, I could never dream of listening to them alone, of my own free will. But I will grin and I will bear his selections unto eternity, not without a liiittle enjoyment.

Grayfolded, though, man.”

A whole ‘nother beast. A project that has called me back for repeat listen after listen: live performances of the Dead repurposed into source material for John Oswald’s consonant musique concrète collage. The legendary Plunderphonics guru / OG remix artist ransacks the Dead vaults with more reverence than, say, his mind-warping “Bad” -> “Dab” edit, but he isn’t afraid to make seismic changes that elevate the project into new strata of avant reconfiguration. Oswald vertically stacks multiple performances onto each other, time-stretches drifting passages into open-mawed drones, and arranges everything into “new” “compositions” comprised of the mulch of decades-worth of “Dark Star.” Jerry Garcia on his own? Alright, yeah, great. Jerry Garcia smashed into two or three or four other Jerry Garcias, conflated into a pulsing cloud of arpeggios and self-accompanying improv? Sign me right up. Stream “Clouds Cast,” a cut from Important Records (!) forthcoming Grayfolded 3xLP reissue, and allow Oswald to cast your mind back through the ages, as live Dead incarnations from the 60s, 70s, and 90s morph into improbably extended vocal lines, spastic panning shakers, and guitars on guitars on guitars on guitars… man.

The label hasn’t announced a release date yet, as far as I can tell. Rumors are floating of an upcoming preorder (a rarity for the Imprec crew). Snatch a copy before the heads get there first.

• Grateful Dead:
• John Oswald:
• Important Records:

Greg Manata


Good gravy, are you hearing this? It’s as if there’s an eclipse in my ears and you’re all invited… to tell me that there’s also an eclipse outside, and that I should definitely NOT stare into it.

Featuring a sample from previous collaborator and TMNT TMT favorite Sean McCann, "Arboretum" by Greg Manata thoroughly takes its time, expanding slowly and naturally, like a budding leaf on budding day. Swells of synths huddle together and intertwine gracefully, complementing one another oh-so well. And around the six-minute mark, when that delayed-to-pure-bliss guitar line gently emerges from beneath the beauty, like a sprouting plant on sprouting day: things go from good to great. In spite of it’s name, this piece won’t leave you grounded. Trust me: it’s straight up antipodal to asphalt.

Washing by Greg Manata is one of three releases featured in Constellation Tatsu’s new summer batch. That stunning cover art, by the way, was drawn (!) by the man himself. Nice work, Greg!

• Greg Manata:
• Constellation Tatsu:



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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.