Yusaku Arai & Kentaro Minoura

ラグ

Artist Kentaro Minoura (whose Tumblr I am right now bookmarking for daily use) teamed with Tokyo-based musician Yusaku Arai for a 10 minute EP titled ラグ. A literal translation of “thick warm fabric” in terms of floor covering, something laying right between Arai’s temperate new age minimalism and Minoura’s sentient techno.

“A1” &ndash the futuristic personalized advertisement for anyone into consuming and the implied piece of mind attached to what the room. The colors involved are warm, taken straight from a night horizon. The room is white so the sole outliner of the set are shadows made by the western facing window’s natural light. The only color is the rug. It’s color varies from each persons read desires, but is usually vibrant nonetheless. Retail cost isn’t important – it’s the life you could have with it.

“B1” – comes from a place, when uninhabited, gathers crowds by the sheer welcoming of the noise like a state fair (lights, screams, carnival music) or bowling alleys (polyurethane hitting wood grain hitting plastic, chatter, cheers). Instead it comes from the otherside of the fun. It churns the cheery lively sounds into a placid, sunken melody almost naming the wall blocking it from the crowds, wrapped up in thick warm fabric.

The ラグ EP is available on Kentaro Minoura’s Bandcamp for ¥200 ($1.62) and comes with a digital poster of the EP’s digital jacket.

• Kentaro Minoura: http://minourakentaro.com
• Yusaku Arai: https://soundcloud.com/wlowlodub

Holly Waxwing

Peach Winks Remixed

Get ready for a deep weekend of Holly Waxwing Peach Winks Remixed tracks. Cut from the sonic fabrics of Nico Niquo, WISHDASHER, SO SO IN LUV, Ultramiedo, james deen, and Earthly, Peach Winks Remixed brinks upon the edge of club and spa, so fuck it and take that party to the closest hot-tub, mud-faced, cucumber-eyed “salon” down the road, and dip into the slow dance. Vocals become distorted and cut to bits. Sounds drop in and out of sound-consciousness. Timbres are contorted. Beats are fleshed-and-boned. And it’s really on the third track. Just wait until that Earthly bit too, because Peach Winks Remixed doesn’t bore or disappoint. It’s complete in a way any EP would be, and vastly expansive, considering it’s comprised of remixes involving three songs Holly Waxwing made for the newest Peach Winks on Cascine and Noumenal Loom. So feel the free on these Peach Winks Remixed traxx, and heat it up this weekend for a full-on parade of party:

• Holly Waxing: https://soundcloud.com/hollywaxwing

Ratatat

“Abrasive”

Ratatat are a band who, when you were between the ages of 18 and 22, were a really sick “indie electronic” band. Their self-titled debut, which came out 11 years ago (!), sounded like nothing else at the time. I saw them live in 2008, and “Seventeen Years” blew away then just as it did three years prior, when I first heard it. After their solid follow-up Classics, which actually might be better than the first LP, they dropped LPs 3 and 4, which were a big ol’ helping of meh. What once sounded fresh, crisp, and inspired quickly gave way to diminished returns over the course of those last two records. In the five years since LP4 no one would be mistaken in thinking the band had quietly called it quits, as both Evan Mast and Mike Stroud seemed as disinterested in maintaining Ratatat as the rest of were in hearing new material.

Alas, the band does indeed have a new record coming out in July, Magnifique, and the new song “Abrasive” has been given a video. The song and the video, apparently made of hand drawings by Mast (aka E*vax), is a big shrug of a “comeback” for these guys. It sounds like a Phoenix instrumental, meaning “Abrasive” is pretty half-baked and, as the second single for the new record, doesn’t inspire much confidence in what else we’ll hear from Magnifique. I don’t know, maybe Ratatat still appeals to college sophomores who are totally “into music,” unlike the other plebs trolling the dorm. Maybe it still appeals to people other than me, but when your entire discography mines the same trick that was used to death on your first record, I’m as excited about this record as I am about a new Strokes or Interpol record.

Magnifique is out July 17, via XL, blah, blah, blah.

• Ratatat: http://www.ratatatmusic.com
• XL Recordings: http://www.xlrecordings.com

DON DEF

THE BREAK OF DON

Though clearly well-versed in the art of hardcore boom-bap-style hip-hop, Cambridge, Massachusetts’ Don Def is not from the school of “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” No, Don Def studied at the Nicky Santoro school of “If it ain’t broke, I’ll beat you over the head with it until it breaks along with your skull.”’

Hence, The Break of Don, a fully self-produced debut that speaks to the fact I’ve personally seen Ghostface Killah get a livelier response at the Paradise Rock Club on Commonwealth Avenue than at the Best Buy Theater on Broadway. Speaking of Wu, Don Def actually produced a near-drumless song for Hell Razah years before that production style became all the rage, but that’s neither here nor there, as The Break of Don is heavy on hard knocks and altogether devoid of guest MCs. If it’s a wake-up call, it’s one equal to being woken up by getting drenched in a 12-gallon stew of blood, grime and “Dirty Water”-flavored hometown pride. The pride is Don’s, the grime his city’s, and the blood yours.

I’m not saying The Break of Don is for everyone. What I’m saying is if Don Def were to submit a thesis to the aforementioned school, it’d be titled, “Listen, Dogs. I’ve got your head in a vise. I’ll squash your fucking head like a grapefruit, if you don’t give me a name. Come on, Anthony. We go way back. Don’t make me do this, please. Don’t make me have to be the bad guy here.”

• DON DEF: http://dondef.com

Adam Lempel

“Jump”

Adam Lempel’s “Jump” is strictly for the PG dreamers. Now, this is a premiere, and I typically don’t dig on music like “Jump,” but it brings me back, you know? It’s definitely nostalgia pop. Potentially just a further variation of everyone doing that post-R&B shit, only Adam’s like “Yeah, I heard the commercials with music that sounds like mine in it, but Ima still do it for the gals.” Like, this video is proof that “Jump” can only be listened to on-the-go. And Lempel is a fucking cutie-pie. No shit this gal in her matching skirt feels so breezed with that top, like– “Jump” just feels like the perfect night out with the one you’re with, or wanna be with, and nothing can stop the feel. The beat is non-stop. This synthetic melody is relentless with the wind. Them vocals just soar.

Adam Lempel does plenty of other projects (with “…and The Heartbeats” and Weekend), but this single is off his newest Friends Records album Adam Lempel and the Casiobeats, so keep an eye out and listen to “Jump” videoing below:

• Adam Lempel: http://adamlempel.com
• Friends Records: http://friendsrecords.bandcamp.com

  

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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.