Bitter Fictions

Derelict Drift

Hear’s that rainy Wednesday morning vibe y’all be searching for all last night! So hang-time on these Bitter Fictions Derelict Drift vibes, because today will not break a ray of sunshine, guaranteed. And from what I’ve heard, each of these Derelict Drifts were recorded from June to September intermittently on solo guitar, strung out on tape loops and feedback. Also, it’s my understanding that “the 15 minute chunk of “dream negation / catalogue (waking version)” is structured on a piece [Bitter Fictions] ‘wrote’ for when [he] opened for Merzbow in Calgary this past May. So let the length of Derelict Drift cast away every fleeting thought, and wallow in the weather of Wednesday.

Also caught wind that a super 8 film is also being created for Derelict Drift’s closer “Mirror Bay,” a film that “was recently selected by Weird Canada for the 2015 Calgary $100 Film Fest; the film, with accompanying performance, will debut during festival at the end of February.” So keep your eyes peeled for that Bitter Fictions taste of soundtrack, Canadians. And/or snag the new tape Derelict Drift off Shaking Box Music today!

• Bitter Fictions:
• Shaking Box Music:

Dais Queue/Mope Lounge


Before Tiny Mix Tapes closes its virtual doors for a short spell, here’s one more downer for your listening rotation. The new VAALD tapes are surely filling that void as is, but Oxtail Recordings has made their own bummed out splash by way of a split between Dais Queue and Mope Lounge.

Like wading too far out at night on a stolen boat, with the faint tings of metal hooks tapping the hull and the growing pulse of your broken psyche thumping away, Dais Queue’s A side piece “Amorphous Other(s)” works its way into your ever increasing paranoia. Treated guitars, keys, and a sruti box are the IRL vessels that transport you to the cold lake of “Amorphous Other(s),” chopping through the waters and relaying the sonic ripples onto chrome tape.

If Side A was you lost at sea, then side B is you returning to land, shaken and life-punctured. Label head Mike Nigro and partner in crime Zak Krone’s project Mope Lounge slowly assault your ears with churning madness, letting the ooze of electronics push away the pretense of your thinker. Composed of one short piece, “And Stop”, and one longer piece, “Mope Lounge Rides Again,” the two tracks pare well together, like grape soda and creme brulee: gross but good.

So, with that nonsense said, stop risking your precious freedom by stealing boats and maybe put down that the spoonfull and glass of sugar, and listen to to the stream of the split below and/or pick up a cassette for goodness sakes!

Bonus: once again, Oxtail has a bundle deal going, and this time around you can grab yourself a cassette of side-splitting gags, songs, skits, and rants alongside the aforementioned doom-and-gloom. You like jokes, right? You, like, get them? Good, ‘cause while the tape is “not an official Oxtail release,” its fucking hilarious, especially “How Babies Are Made,” and worth a listen. You can stream the whole thing below, or you can pick up the bundle deal here or the individual cassette here. But not here.

• Oxtail Recordings:



Rick Rab is really on a collaboration kick this year. NANNY has be real tite, but now another fresh BREEEZE has been added to the mix and the Baltimore R[ab]&B[rown] picked up a digital EP on HOSS Records entitled, PRECIOUS CARGO. Lotta fucking hyperlinks there, proving how busy the fellah has been. And PRECIOUS CARGO is exactly the crooked smile mood I’m in right now. Trying to be as nice as possible to people before just losing my shit. Keeping cool. Being the anti gravity. It’s some hard shit to maintain. Know who proves it via sound? LOL @3:07 mark of “I’ll Be Home For Thanksgiving” too. Exactly fellahs. Proof is below. Wonder if they made it for the holiday weekend..

• HOSS Records:

Mark So

“Pale Plumes of Dullness” / “Shenandoah Suite”

It’s hard to imagine a contemporary composer other than Mark So whose work utilizes found artifacts as scores to create compelling minimal soundscapes. Over the last several years, So has excelled at assigning compositional values to found texts and visuals that render gloriously fuzzy sonic results. The works “Pale Plumes of Dullness” and “Shenandoah Suite” continue these studies but also implicitly explore So’s choice medium of cassette tape as a tool in and of itself.

“Pale Plumes of Dullness” is largely a continuation of the John Ashbery based works that So explored on last year’s excellent Reading Illuminations. However, “Pale Plumes of Dullness” creates an even more dizzying effect than the former composition through the hard panning of So’s voice and more frequent tape cuts to environmental sounds. The simultaneity of So’s different dialogues in each channel coupled with the quick cuts in and out of various settings creates a near canonic effect where speech and white noise create a very different kind of counterpoint.

Similarly, “Shenandoah Suite” explores a contrapuntal contingency through the use of two found mix tapes and intermittent field recordings. The results in this case create chance driven mashup music that is truly remarkable. At times, the content of the mix tapes surreally align and Elvis Presley and the Sugarhill Gang fuse together into a blur before So begins recording natural sound onto one tape and the temporary alignment is destroyed and then rebuilt only to have the same process occur again. It’s a simple work that is nonetheless extremely entrancing and effective.

Taken in tandem, both of these pieces show that So has started using his lo-fi tape manipulation as another conceptual layer in his composition. What was once simply the ends to a score’s means has become yet another found tool in the composer’s catalog and what he’s doing with it is wonderfully engrossing.

Both “Shenandoah Suite” and “Pale Plumes of Dullness” were posted to So’s soundcloud page nearly a year ago but just recently saw very limited respective releases from Motor Image Recordings and So’s own Death Spiral.

• Mark So:
• Death Spiral:
• Motor Image Recordings:

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.