Rafael Toral

“III.I”

Space Elements Vol. III, the third album in Rafael Toral’s Space Program series, is simply astounding. The idea behind the series is to perform what would essentially be “jazz” music with electronics, and it has resulted in one of my favorite albums of the year so far. Listen to those electronics growl and squeal like some fierce tenor saxophone! The album’s out on CD courtesy of Staubgold, but Taiga has just released it on 100 opaque olive green and 400 plasma-colored virgin vinyl (with mastering by Khanate’s James Plotkin).

More explanation from Toral:

All these instruments are different but have a few things in common. The first is that they don’t have a conventional interface, which means that for all of them I have to find out what they do and develop technique to play them. The second is that none of them respond accurately to performing action. So there’s always a live tension between an accurate decision and its somewhat unpredictable outcome. I meant to play music technically free from any school and teachings, but beyond that I also wanted the music somehow to escape my own self, playing instruments with a sort of life of their own, never allowing complete control and making any repetition virtually impossible.

Please buy it now. Thanks!

• Rafael Toral: http://rafaeltoral.net
• Taiga: http://www.taigarecords.com
• Staubgold: http://www.staubgold.com

James Blake

“Lindisfarne”

With everyone Wilhelm screaming over James Blake, we thought we’d share the video for his latest track, “Lindisfarne,” which we produced, directed, and starred in. I think we even wrote the song? I can’t remember. Anyway, check out the disturbingly intriguing video. (via P4k)

• James Blake: http://www.myspace.com/jamesblakeproduction
• Universal Republic: http://www.universalrepublic.com

Angel Olsen

“Tiniest Lights”

Last month, Angel Olsen re-released her 2010 cassette Strange Cacti on vinyl. The video for “Tiniest Lights,” the album’s haunting leadoff track, features the song “played three times and filmed on a single roll of celluloid,” providing an ethereal spookiness befitting of the song. Visit Bathetic Records for more info on the 12-inch.

• Angel Olsen: http://www.myspace.com/ghostgrocersings
• Bathetic: http://www.batheticrecords.com

Demdike Stare

“Violetta”

Manchester’s Demdike Stare premiered a new video for “Violetta” at The Wire. This heretofore unreleased track wasn’t on Tryptych (TMT Review), but you should buy the album anyway because it will change your world. Check out Wire issue #328 for Demdike Stare’s Invisible Jukebox.

• Demdike Stare: http://www.myspace.com/pookawig
• Modern Love: http://modern-love.co.uk

La Big Vic

“Musica”

Last week, La Big Vic released Actually, their debut album on Underwater Peoples. The group currently resides in Brooklyn, but these cosmonauts — Toshio Masuda on guitar, Peter Pearson on synth, former TMT contributor/current Altered Zones editor/Visitation Rites mastermind Emilie Friedlander on vocals and violin — make music that sidesteps geography, that deterritorializes. For a clear example, check out the stream for “Musica” (via The FADER). Also, be sure to take a close look at Robert Beatty’s artwork above. If you adopt a ‘critical gaze,’ as your friendly intellectual might suggest, you might recognize where it comes from. I have no idea.

Plenty of La Big Vic fun over at Pixelhorse; click here for more.

• La Big Vic: http://www.myspace.com/labigvic
• Underwater Peoples: http://www.underwaterpeoples.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.