♫♪  Hawawa - Through Landscapes From the Past (Album Preview)

What is it about music that draws its listeners closer to the process than the product? It’s commonplace to find demo tracks buried in an artist’s soundcloud or even tacked onto the bonus section of a deluxe album — the nuggets of lo-fi detrius sought out by fans and completists. You’re more likely to spot a Radiohead fanboy slobbering over their reconstructed bootleg of “Lift”, or a Bandcamp denizen extolling the rawer virtues of Julia Brown’s original take of “Nobody” than an gallery exclusively exhibiting a collection of artist’s studies or a director dropping some choice storyboards to hype their film.

Creatives usually let their audience beneath the hood of every medium to a certain degree, but for the past two years or so, many musicians — especially trap-rappers and IDM producers — use incomplete material as their primary means of promotion. Ugly God’s “collection” of tracks released last week contained approximately two minutes of unheard music and twenty minutes that had already been floating around cyberspace in some form. Most Playboi Carti songs streamable on YouTube are snippets culled from Instagram livestreams. Who could forget the Aphex Twin data dumps of 2015, published via an anonymous Soundcloud profile? The culture’s too accelerationist for the single/album cycle — I want the zeitgeist as quickly as possible in any form I can get it.

My roundabout point is that I have a lot of respect for the “album preview” format. Done well, it packs a half-hour’s worth of variety into a manageable 10 minutes, letting the listener absorb the gist of a record in a short time. You can bump it on the aux during a short drive or a walk to the CVS with time to spare. It suits Hawawa’s Through Landscapes From The Past perfectly, given the release’s uniform textures — bare, silicone synths and distant breaks — and its hustling rhythms. The 11-minute upload launches its hardest-hitting moments up in rapid succession, retiring the side in 12 soundbites. Maybe bump this video on mute while you’re listening. Seems like it’d pair well.

Chocolate Grinder

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.

Most Read