White Suns

“Priest in the Laboratory”

So there you are, in the breakfast nook, about to tuck into a nice cup of chai. You prefer to call this room the “veranda,” but your better half insisted on the “nook.” Maybe it’s more of a “conservatory,” or like —

*FFFHHTHTHHAJSHHAHG*

A peal of feedback rends the air, windows shatter, and objects hit the hardwood: snare drum, distortion pedal, a mic and an XLR cable. Three men climb in over the broken glass and start setting up right there next to the table. “Excuse me, but wha-” You realize that it’s White fucking Suns. In your veranda. White Suns is playing in your veranda (your veranda). But who’s this fourth guy, and what is that he’s carrying? Oh my god it’s RICK WEAVER, 1/3 of Form A Log, 100% of Dinner Music, the veritable Mozart of tape culture. “B-, b-, bu-, but.” You’re too star struck to even speak with all these underground heavyweights in your veranda. You don’t question Mr. Weaver as he straps his mysterious device over your eyes: it looks cobbled together from cardboard, raw meat, paste, feathers, driftwood, turquoise jewelry. Some kind of basement-born Oculus Rift. The band starts playing. You know the tune. It’s “Priest in the Laboratory.” But when Weaver’s visuals hit your retinas, shit gets really real. What did you do to deserve such an honor?

White Suns made a stunning record called Totem and released in on The Flenser in March. The label is out of copies, but you can find them at Midheaven. Or ask the band to sell you one before they leave the veranda.

• White Suns: http://whitesuns.bandcamp.com
• The Flenser: http://theflenser.com

Jad Fair & Strobe Talbot

“Back on Track”

Shit, since the 1980s Jad Fair been rippin’ the pull at 120%. You got that
1/2 Japanese, a slew of his name AND [BAND] sorta gigs, and off-shoots like XXOO and the Abraham Lincolns; you got a dynasty to uncover (if you already haven’t). Now, as Joyful Noise Recordings’ “Artist in Residency,” Jad Fair has been working hard all last year. So hard, actually, that the fellah churned out four LPs in his time with the playfully cataloged label. Furthermore, ‘cause there ALWAYS gotta be more, lil bruhh: he made each album with someone different: R Stevie Moore, Danielson, Norman Blake, Strobe Talbot, including features from Boister, Brave Combo, Kramer, John Dieterich, Kristin Erickson, and Conrad Choucroun. Pretty much saying, “Fuck on me, music world. I got this shit on lock. You raisin’ up, life? ‘Cause you gonna lose them ups if you ain’t careful. Don’t think I’m keeping it fresh, still?” Well, in a totally non-violent way, Jad Fair’s time during his “Artist in Residency” at Joyful Noise Recordings is pretty much loaded clip after loaded clip of swag slugs lodging themselves in heads and ears across the world, touching youth and explorers and adventurers and seasoned ears.

Here’s the premiere of “Back on Track” by Jad Fair & Strobe Talbot, which I believe Strobe Talbot is the band Jad Fair belongs to now, but all the same: the boi continues to lick ‘em out, “Knock on wood.” And I LOVE the intensity of this track. It’s like intentionally lax in harmony, but totally smooth. Jad ramblin’ off and sealing out squeaks. The simplicity of drum and strum. “Friday night. It’s a date. I can’t wait.” Yeah. Anyhow, his recordings with Strobe Talbot will be released on Joyful Noise Recordings, along with the other three (colorful) LP colabs, in a limited edition wooden box set of 450 on May 6, screen printed with Jad Fair artwork, and each hand-numbered & signed by Jad Fair. Stream “Back on Track” below and keep itchin’ for that May month vibing:

• Jad Fair: http://www.jadfair.org
• Strobe Talbot: http://www.discogs.com/artist/1392271-Strobe-Talbot
• Joyful Noise Recordings: http://www.joyfulnoiserecordings.com

Outer Space

“Arrival and Assessment (excerpt)”

You wake up in a Bugatti. Alright. Pitch black outside. Interior looking nice, sure. Got that wood grain steering wheel. Leather up in here. Where are you? Can’t see past the hood. Come to think of it, who are you? You scan the zone, search your pockets. No clues. There’s something in the cup holder.

You pick up the styrofoam cup. Ah, now you remember. You are one of the bubbles on this cup. You play out your life in total harmony along with the other bubbles, stained into the cup once in your factory birthplace, never to move again. Which one are you? Definitely that big red one. You are the boss bubble. You stare at yourself. Looking real fly. Wonder what you’ll be up to later tonight. Probably still there on the cup. Not a care in the world.

A cord stretches from the AUX input into the backseat. You turn around and what’s this? A phono preamp and a little turntable. There’s a record. You press play. A steady synth sequence begins. You’re locked in. The patch thickens, rhythms pop up. Your head bobs. Somewhere in back of your mind you wonder, “When are the trap hats gonna hit?” The other bubbles are where they belong, but the big red one is on the other side of the cup now. You are in motion. Layers of ambient drift creep in. Squelch. Your eyes adjust, but in the wrong direction. Everything gets darker. The cup is glowing. Your eyes unfocus, and it’s two cups now. Gimme a cup twice.

Outer Space. After 2012’s triumphant Akashic Record, John Elliott’s solo project evolved into a duo with Andrew Veres. Their dense synth explorations survey ambient techno, minimal, kosmiche, early electronic music, future vibes. On May 12, Editions Mego releases their EP, Phantom Center. Follow Elliott and Veres through this chapter. No limit.

• Outer Space: http://editionsmego.com/releases/spectrum-spools
• Editions Mego: http://editionsmego.com

Cupp Cave

“Death Vessel/TT IBM”

Echoes from Belgium’s Cupp Cave have been few and far between since the producer’s debut, Garbage Pail Beats. That was like six years and 32 beats deep ago. Since then, it’s just been short-tracked vinyl releases every couple of years, all of which have kicked way too much bass to be so short: one song on a 7-inch split with Dem Hunger, another on a Surf Kill 12-inch in 2010, then a few songs on a handful of releases here and there on various Belgian labels (Vlek, Thin Consolation) and recently on RAMP Recordings. With Record Store Day this weekend, RAMP is putting out its third Cupp Cave release, this time, a limited-edition clear 7-inch, so, you know, just two tracks. But damn, these tracks are deep, the echoes bellowing from the darkest part of the Cave, with Actress-esque bass throbs thumping underneath a sheen of vocal samples that fumble over each other like crowds of people wandering aimlessly through the fog.

Keep an eye out for this one in your frantic Record Store Day-digging. It’s certainly one of the more exciting releases on this year’s RSD list.

• Cupp Cave: https://soundcloud.com/cuppcave
• RAMP: http://recordsaremypillow.myshopify.com

Thug Entrancer

“Death After Life VI”

Thug Entrancer, the nom de plume of Denver mainstay Ryan McRyhew, released one of our favorite albums of 2014 so far, with Death After Life. The album consisted of 10 rhythmically-fucked tracks, five of which were self-released last year on his Laser Palace imprint and five new ones exclusive to the Software version.

“Death After Life VI” is one of the new tracks, a squiggly, sedated hybridization of dance tropes that finds its visual complement here with surreal, off-colored digiscapes and flashing, glitched-out VHS geometry, courtesy of Montreal-based artist Sabrina Ratté. It’s arm’s-length hypnotism, Comte de Lautréamont in The Red Tower, José Santiago behind the bushes.

• Thug Entrancer: http://thugentrancer.com
• Sabrina Ratté: http://sabrinaratte.com
• Software: http://www.softwarelabel.net

  

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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.