Just Blaze

“Behold (Exhibit J)”

Listening to Just Blaze’s latest house venture, “Behold (Exhibit J),” it may seem hard to believe that the man behind the console is the same one responsible for brawny hip-hop smashes like Eminem’s “No Love” and Joe Budden’s “Pump It Up.” But all of the Jersey native’s signature touches are there: jazzy piano, peppy bass lines, and, above all else, a sound steeped in 90s club and R&B. Blaze draws on a variety of textures to create a dance song much more sophisticated than that of his peers: airy synths float above a restless, lounge-y piano line, buttressed by classic house beats and just a dash of hip-hop bravado. Definitely a reason to get excited for Blaze’s upcoming EP, coming to you soon on Fool’s Gold.

• Just Blaze: https://soundcloud.com/just-blaze
• Fool’s Gold: http://www.foolsgoldrecs.com

Motion Sickness of Time Travel

The Perennials EP

Rachel Evans’ Motion Sickness of Time Travel project is like an untiring astronomist obsessed with finding the limits of the universe. One look at her Bandcamp page will reveal an average of nearly one release a month for the entirety of 2012, and already three different releases for January of 2013 alone. Her newest observation, The Perennials EP, is an investigation into that dance-floor urgency without all of the sweaty kids, not unlike some of the lighter moments of Actress’ 2012 masterwork, R.I.P. Yet it’s not an entirely new direction from MSOTT’s own 2012 self-titled breakout, more of a detour through an asteroid field. I can’t wait to see what February brings.

The Perennials EP is available now over at Boomkat. You can listen to a couple of the songs from the EP below.

• Motion Sickness of Time Travel: http://motionsicknessoftimetravel.bandcamp.com
• Boomkat: http://boomkat.com

Lil B

“I Love You”

Lil B has just released what he calls the most honest, touching video of 2013. You might say, “wait a minute, that doesn’t make any sense! 2013 just started!” Well, you’re just jealous that you lack Based God’s Based Clairvoyance, because he’s spot-on with his assertions. Whether it’s a guinea pig, a dog, or even a boa constrictor, Lil B’s love knows no gender, race or species. Around the 3:00 mark, he starts to cry, and you can bet that I started crying too. Because when Lil B cries for you, he’s also crying for me, humanity, and love in general. Lil B loves you. Never forget that.

[Editor’s note: who knew Lil B was a Final Fantasy X fan?]

• Lil B: http://www.basedworld.com

James Matthew


Sanding down the smooth surface of R&B history with rough, tape-hiss sandpaper, this new SLF Tapes release from James Matthew spans some real distance in just under nine minutes. The sheen on all of those saxophone solos and silky synth melodies has disappeared with age and been buried so far into the mix that it’s like Kenny G cut all of his curly locks and is now just another member of a horn section in some smokey lounge band. I really prefer it this way.

Listen to it below, and download the entire nine-minute experience for yourself over at the SLF Bandcamp page.

• SLF Tapes: http://www.slftapes.com


“Lead Balloon”

I’ve never been to Minnesota. But surely residents of the state claiming the blueberry muffin and common loon have their demands — surely they have needs. Some people need warm food, some people need mo’ money, some people need less problems, some people need a little love, some need a country with fewer idiots with guns, some just need fewer idiots, and some people only need one more toke, man, just one more. With upcoming EP Needs, to be dropped February 12, Minnesotan band Carroll proposes to tell us just exactly what four young men in the Bread and Butter State have been jonesin’ for.

Turn, then, your attention to Carroll track “Lead Balloon,” premiered and streaming below. The track appears to assert Carroll’s belief that sometimes all a song requires is a full-throated, candid vocal performance and a producer who can mix those croons to the track’s front. The lush guitar blooms and lazer-pointed synth provide easygoing support to Brian Hurlow’s lyrics. While there are certainly bands and bards in 2013 hunting for ways to revolutionize melodies with unknown sounds and shapes, Carroll’s “Lead Balloon” propose that a crystal, honest voice and clean chords are all it takes to fully sate a certain set of aural needs.

• Carroll: http://carrollmusic.tumblr.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.