Daniel Bachman

“Pig Iron”

FOOLED YOU! Watch it here: Daniel Bachman - Pig Iron (on Vimeo)

Daniel Bachman sits in the green room and cracks a beer before his performance. With no setup required, no patch cables to unwind or pedals to configure, no amp to sound check, he’s: ( ∙_∙) ( ∙_∙)>⌐■-■ (⌐■_■) str8 chilling. Mind on nothing in particular. Maybe smoking fewer cigs. Or smoking a few more. Maybe thinking about his dad. Or Tom Petty. Sandy Bull. The ice cream man that used to drive around his neighborhood. The fly in the room. What goes into light beer. I think it’s all rice or something. I dunno. The glut of miserable Mumford-core “folk” “rock” terror that floods airwaves and festival bills couldn’t be farther from his reality. He purveys the good shit: that complex fingerstyle expression, like three or four brains addressing the guitar at once, that American Primitive revival — maybe don’t call it a revival, since someone’s been doing it in some form or another this whole time. Yeah. He gets up from the rocker (note: this “green room” is the porch of the home adjacent to a church) and heads in for the thing.

Like best bud and frequent touring/recording partner Ryley Walker, Bachman’s prodigious chops, discerning chordal sensibilities, and knack for memorable melodies seem impossibly developed for his age (24). But there they are, and there they will continue to be — and then some — for as long as he holds a guitar. Bachman’s right hand is a marvel to behold: intricate arpeggio patterns plucked with confidence by pointer, middle, and ring, as thumb maintains a steady bass pulse spanning multiple strings. If you’re like me, you watch the video of Bachman performing “Pig Iron” (link above) and think that the ecclesiastic backdrop pales in comparison to the holy notes crafted by those hands, spanning a dynamic harmonic range encompassing everything from delta blues to country twang, English “jazzy” folk a la Pentangle to the wholesome backporch chug of Fahey’s poor boy a long way from home.

Bachman drops a new album, entitled Orange Co. Serenade via Bathetic Records on July 15.

• Daniel Bachman: http://danielbachman.com
• Bathetic Records: http://batheticrecords.com

Tom Carter & Pat Murano


Across a lifetime of solo sets, duo collabs, and memberships in larger ensembles, the veteran improviser’s tool (belt) [box] {shed} accumulates an inventory of performance tactics capable of fitting his or her output into any live context. On a practical level, these tools can manifest as effect pedal configurations or chord shapes, beloved synth patches or looping strategies — but the most important tactics, the ones that separate the upstart zoners from the deep heads, float on a more ethereal wavelength as the energy shared between oneself and others. Without a sense of teamwork, of selflessness within a group, one member can seize and scorch a session into something best left solo. If all of its participants strive for selflessness, we experience the delight of an absence of individual ego, and glimpse the spector of a mutual presence: a two- or three- or eight-headed chimera compiled of knobs, voices, keys, strings.

As a founder of long-running psych/drone explorers Charalambides and an endless roster of solo and collab projects, Tom Carter has pushed his fringe guitar performance through filters of atonality and loop/delay-based self accompaniment over more than one hundred physical releases, channeling the idiosyncratic strategies of forebears like Loren Connors or Derek Bailey into his own vision of fretboard freedom. Pat Murano adds volume after volume to his expansive solo catalog under the Decimus moniker, while infusing his unpredictable synth murk, hallucinatory lo-fi textures, and primal rhythms into the mighty No-Neck Blues Band. The New York City-based duo’s sidelong collaborative sessions on the upcoming Four Infernal Rivers span a wide palette of improvised atmospheres, from queasy trudges through darkened alleyways to bright-eyed drone hosannas. Their generative lattice of overlapping guitar loops, electronic pulses, and muffled rhythms provide each musician with a swath of the stereophonic spread to color without being too closely moored to the other, opening them up to meld their fried leads into a conjoined sear.

The 20 time-stretching minutes of Four Infernal Rivers B-side “Cocytus,” premiering below, begin in a murmur and swell to a roar as Murano low end surges buttress Carter’s self-consuming distorted shred. The session gathers looped layers into its open maw, alternately ruminating on its recursive elements and spewing new leads into the haze. For every passage of screeching guitar (anti)heroics that splinter the session down the center, a dose of warped synth (anti)melody bids it to crawl back into the underground cavern from which it slithered — as two minds and twenty fingers fused into one quivering mass.

Four Infernal Rivers lands on June 16 in an edition of 500 2xLP via London’s MIE Music. You can preorder it now.

• Tom Carter: http://www.wholly-other.com/tom_carter.html
• Pat Murano: http://decimus.bandcamp.com/album/tom-carter-pat-murano
• MIE Music: http://mie.limitedrun.com/

Macho Blush


There’s a tiny shack outside Austin, Texas that can make the ill Unsick. Drawing from the light of her sturdy lantern, anti-folk noise-wave sha(wo)man Gina Probst gets Macho Blush on those incurable people through a variety of sounds that is nothing short of broken brilliance. Collaged and messed within the cycle of “what is music?” in honor of the Unsick, she has recorded some of these healing sessions and put it out on Crash Symbols. Within nine miracles, she hones in flecks of acoustic clash, warped chanting, and mixing alchemy to create some jarring internal care that all at once creates an uneasy of pure relaxation. So, weirdly, the antithesis of everything fucked in one’s body is actually the cure. Like in World War Z when Brad Pitt drinks a Pepsi and he’s invisible to zombies.

Last time we heard from the Crash Symbols legacy, it got a lil beaty/rappy. Now, they’ve gone and done themselves again, by pulling Unsick out of Macho Blush’s otherly being, and slapped it on tape. Progressing sound is the name of the game, and not only is Gina Probst on that via holistic listening, but Crash Symbols seriously never misses a beat. Even if Macho Blush is more of a clanging than a beat or crash.

Scope the stream of Unsick below, but if you want to get closer to 100% health, snag the new Macho Blush tape via Crash Symbols ASAP:

• Macho Blush: https://soundcloud.com/macho-blush
• Crash Symbols: http://crashsymbols.tumblr.com

Die Antwoord

“Pitbull Terrier”

FUK! Is it just me that hoped this might be a completely awful joint single with everyone’s least favourite slap-head gangster? For the world cup?!

Now that would have been truly subversive.

Maybe after the incest, blackface and bad handle-bar moustaches, the most controversial thing for Ninja and Yo Landi to do would be release a motivational samba song with PITBULL and JAY LOW themselves?

Instead they douse the poor man with a water pistol and maul him to death, not a fair dog fight.

Visually it’s a classic Die Antwoord dystopia, with a few less giggles and bit more gore; prosthetic canine masks, dark industrial wastelands, moments of frenetic humping, and obviously a total lack of restraint with the fake blood and contact lens budgets.

Yet the weirdest thing about the whole piece is the idea of the pair sitting watching Serbian filmmaker Emir Kusturica’s cinematic love letter to Balkan gypsy music, Black Cat White Cat, and deciding to construct a single based upon the favored anthem of its leading comic gangster, Dadan. Sure enough, Kusturica is there at the bottom of what must be one of the longest Youtube credit lists on record, his song apparently “Used With Permission”.

I guess there’s an energetic abandon that links both parties into this weird feedback loop of transnational satire, partly ridiculing the plastic gangsterism of the Pitbull’s of this world, partly reveling in their virility.

You can decide for yourself who the real subversives are, or who is taking themselves too seriously. I’ll be blasting the original in the club with these guys and a wad of Hungarian cash, enjoying the far smaller “About Section”, which in three words sums up all we need to know: “funny music video”.

New album Donker Mag is out on June 3 via Zef Recordings.

• Die Antwoord: http://www.dieantwoord.com

Jay Curry


Now, I’m not REALLY a fan of Bootleg Tapes, but in the past 24 hours, I’ve listened to Jay Curry’s S/T more than anything on my USB. Shit, even more than Lil B shitting butt naked with a gun in the bathroom. Legit, though, S/T draws upon anything and EVERYTHING for a beat. Sax? Easy! Give the dude two sticks of wood to tap and he’ll give you a masterpiece. “GLASS BENZ” just proves that. And the movement of his music is more than just straight forward. Fuck it, Jay Curry is just beyond beat progression at this point.

It really comes down to the momentousness of his beats. Not that they begin, end, or come to a climactic burst of monumental furry, but each beat is within an actual moment. Take “FLOSSIN,” for example. Curry literally draws upon a breathe for the beat. The dude even breaks down language barriers. Yo, Curry IS a language. And S/T is just a bit of that lingo. Thankfully the (not-so) shittiest label EVER (but is it?) picked up the tape and put it out in limited quantities. He’s Woody Allen. He’s Antonio Banderas. He’s a set of fucked up and out of tune bells. He’s… a west coast guy, right?

Grip the new Jay Curry reeler S/T ASAP off Bootleg Tapes and stream it in the mean time below, ‘cause cassettes at the beach beats WIFI every time:

• Jay Curry: https://soundcloud.com/JAYCURRY
• Bootleg Tapes: https://bootlegtapes.bandcamp.com


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.