Tough Fuzz

Vol 2. This Was Not Heartbreak

It’s no secret that I’m a big Tough Fuzz fan. If you browse back a little ways in the Chocolate Grinder archives, you’ll see a number of posts about this dude written by your very own Top Heavy. Most recently, I mentioned the single “LUXRY,” unveiled prior to the full release of Vol 2. This Was Not Heartbreak (the excellent follow-up to August’s Vol. 1). “LUXRY,” with its tough-guy, all-caps title and previously-mentioned Nintendo-training montage sound, is actually about as heavy as Vol. 2 gets. Beginning with the sea-sick feel of a cruise ship lounge on album opener “friend ship,” repeated in later tracks like “soft focus” and “broken beat,” the whole of Vol. 2 is decidedly softer, leaning more toward jazz than the funk-driven Vol. 1.

Check it out and look for the tape from Portland’s Ewe of Now Records this month.

• Tough Fuzz: http://toughfuzz.bandcamp.com

Coyote Image Classic

“Untitled” [excerpt]

Grant and Rachel Evans, owners of the most-perfect-name-for-what-the-band-sounds-like name (Quiet Evenings), have… well, they have a new name, Coyote Image Classic. Don’t worry, I don’t think “Quiet Evenings” is necessarily going away, and this excerpt from the duo’s new double cassette on their Hooker Vision imprint does carry a different flavor to their more familiar configuration. Here we have “twin meanderings” as they describe them, the two gracefully breaking shackles of synth to tackle new textures that come across incredibly humble and slight. I know that Grant has been experimenting with homemade records lately on his solo work as Crippling with completely bizarre results, and I can’t help but suspect some of that stuff enters here with these tones and their squishy compositions. This excerpt makes the unique approach seem fully functional and realized, a gorgeous accompaniment for the unassumingly beautiful melodies that sway right alongside.

• Hooker Vision: http://hookervision.blogspot.com

Laurel Halo

“Sunlight On the Faded”

According to Hyperdub’s Twitter, Laurel Halo’s Quarantine will be topping that illustrious of music nerd year-end lists, Joseph Davenport’s Top 50 Albums of 2012…. oh yeah, and that other one from The Wire too I guess. She’s taking a victory lap by dropping yet another slab of vinyl just for me (and you too; don’t get all jealous) also via Hyperdub in the form of the “Sunlight On the Faded” single, which you can stream right here in this very post.

• Laurel Halo: http://www.laurelhalo.com
• Hyperdub: http://hyperdub.net

Rites Wild

“Ways Of Being”

Hot off the press at Not Not Fun Records is the debut album from Australian jamstress Stacy Wilson, who records as Rites Wild. Layered repetitive synth lines, echoing cosmic-zaps on dizzying drum machines, and hazy psychedelic vocals make for a classic and refreshing listen. Here you can hear “Ways of Being,” the title track from Rites Wild’s new release, which is a compilation of tracks from some of her past tapes and a few fresh tunes as well.

• Rites Wild: http://riteswild.com
• Not Not Fun: http://www.notnotfun.com

En / Jefre Cantu-Ledesma

“Blood”

Last spring, ambient adventurers En (who are Maxwell August Croy, who helps run the label Root Strata in San Francisco, and James Devanne, who shares the same name as my cousin in Oklahoma), went on tour in Japan with Grouper. On this journey, En discovered new places and began to construct a piece called “Blood.”

Then they got back to Cali and gave all their friends little souvenirs from Japan. And when they met their good friend Jefre Cantu-Ledesma (who co-founded Root Strata with Croy), they gave him a Clefairy keychain and a copy of their new recording of “Blood.” JCL dug it and recorded two variations on the piece; one is a minute-and-a-half bloodbath of static and noise, and the other is the growling evil twin to En’s masterpiece “Blood.”

Today, we can get the split cassette compilation of the three pieces from Constellation Tatsu.

• En: http://ennnnnnn.com
• Jefre Cantu-Ledesma: http://soundcloud.com/jefre-cantu-ledesma
• Constellation Tatsu: http://www.ctatsu.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.