Thug Entrancer

“Death After Life I”

After relocating to the Chi-city in 2011, Ryan McRyhew has clearly absorbed a nice dose of Chicago-dance influence. As manifested in his upcoming release as Thug Entrancer, McRyhew has delineated a unique assimilation of analog dance exploration and arcane experimentation. Set to release on the beloved Daniel Lopatin’s Software, Death After Life is an eight-chapter progression that hones innovative analog brilliance, acidity, and a decidedly comfortable engagement of traditional techno-house motifs. In “Death After Life I,” the opening sequence and 808 jams both bobble under dragging synth evolutions. While our heads are spinning in the mix, we are given bursts of jukey-snare riddims that centralize and swing us on our journey. The calming yet obliquely meditative realm is uniquely powerful, especially when smeared on traditional dance elements.

“Death After Life I” is accompanied by an incredible, post-worldly 3D video rendering, directed by Milton Melvin Croissant III. The video is just as much a mind-winder as the track, and even more so when combined. We follow an ominous perspective as it progresses through a deconstruction of consumerist sci-fi aesthetics. We meet a friend with gloriously rag-dolled hair, before entering into its’ Star Wars mouth and climbing escalators into “techno-torture chambers, heavenly mall arcades and triumphant head-bangers,” as Milton describes. Ultimately, we’re brought to the pinnacle of the fluid construction, where questions of god might emerge. Totally interpretable, deliciously intriguing, and slyly satirical.

“Death After Life” by Thug Entrancer will be available February 11 via Software.

• Thug Entrancer:
• Software Records:



Dreamcrusher (Luwayne Glass of Wichita, KS) prepares his electronics on a three-legged table positioned under the exposed lightbulb providing the only source of light in the chamber. One hideous drainage pipe spans the west wall, dripping flakes of decay and asbestos onto the jackets of the pipe-leaning posse. Before anyone is even close to ready, Glass’s set begins.

Noise-Heads in attendance touch their temples with both hands and sway in arrhythmic ecstasy. “Oh daaaaaaggg!!!” “Straight up power electronics, man.” “Harsh Noise Walls FTW!!” No one, not even the screamers themselves, hear these screams over the torrent of static-blasted death gushing from the PA. Black plastic bags emerge from pockets and cover heads.

Ravers in attendance lick a finger and hold it out to test the barometric pressure. Perfect for throwing down and/or getting there. A bass drum throbs through the mayhem as the attendees spread out into their own radii of free motion. Arms fly and heads bang as side-chain compression squeezes peals of feedback and house beats into one pulse: “untz H*H#T(#TE untz 83ty9#YHT#AT untz *#TQ(HTAUTGND untz.”

People that don’t fit into either of these demographics, or fit into both, enjoy themselves down there in the basement. Dreamcrusher’s maelstrom of live destruction offers something for everyone.

Incinerator is available on limited edition cassette, and digitally via Bandcamp.

• Dreamcrusher:
• This Ain’t Heaven Recording Concern:

Isaiah Rashad


When Top Dawg released good kid, m.A.A.d city in 2012, everyone expected the label to dominate in 2013. Actually, I don’t know anyone who actually thought that, but if you did, you would’ve been wrong anyway: Top Dawg released 0 albums in 2013. This year, however, the label has an astonishing six albums planned, the first of which comes courtesy of Chattanoogan rapper Isaiah Rashad. The long-anticipated Cilvia Demo features 14 tracks, with guest spots by the likes of Jay Rock, ScHoolboy Q, SZA, and Michael Da Vinci. It’s officially out right meow, but before you drive off to your local iTunes Megastore, check out Rashad’s video for “Soliloquy” above.

Meanwhile, look for TDE’s second album of the year, Oxymoron by ScHoolboy Q, at the end of February, and a new release by Macklemore Kendrick Lamar hopefully sometime later this year.

• Isaiah Rashad:
• Top Dawg:

Hashback Hashish


Stoned: fresh insomniac house from New Delhi. Hashback Hashish is the emphatically pro-ganja moniker of Ashish Sachan, who’s been churning out thoughtful dance-floor bangers since 2005. Stoned is his second full-length, getting its release after deep-hazed, sleepless nights, and intercontinental time zone drifts between appearances at SXSW and IndiEarth Xchange last year. Sure enough, the release starts off slow within that zone between dusk and dawn, where the occasional rude scrape of an analog synth along the eardrum reminds that you’re still conscious in the dreamscape of canned piano licks and stock four-on-the-floor subs. Highlights include the album’s centerpiece “Burn,” a murky low-end slowburner done with Serbian producer Minitronik, and “Comfort,” a disassembled arp-funk jam co-produced by fellow Delhi sonic sculptor Audio Pervert of Teddy Boy Kill.

Stoned dropped online at the end of 2013, and gets a worldwide release January 31. Keep an eye on Hashback’s label REProduce for updates and more far-out sounds from the Subcontinent.

• Hashback Hashish:
• REProduce:

Eric Slick


Early next month, 200 LPs and 100 cassettes will be released into the wild by short-run label Soild Gold Recordings. The records and tapes will contain music made by multi-instrumentalist Eric Slick, who’s probably most recognizable as the drummer for Philadelphia rock outfit Dr. Dog, but has played in countless other groups and has a sizeable catalog of solo work. This time, he’s not on his native drum set, but has picked up a dusty old steel-string and is going all Americana ape-shit on it. Our first taste of his new release Out Of Habit is a track called “Release” and is accompanied by a splendid video that was created with the help of Zia Anger (who has directed fantastic videos for TMT-faves like Julianna Barwick, Jenny Hval, and Angel Olsen). A breakfast-time daydream features classic American scenes of misty farmlands, grungy girls dancing, creepy masks, and good ol’ close-up footage of people getting pied in the face. Slick’s free, intuitive handle of the guitar is comforting and natural. Get on the Soild Gold Recordings email list and find out when you can snag a copy for yourself.

• Erick Slick:
• PIAPTK & Soild Gold Recordings:…



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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.