Wizard Apprentice
Keep It Cool

In 1980, Devo toured Japan and it was there that they came across two overjoyed businessmen jostling each other’s suits. As Mothersbaugh recollects to Maron, one man’s tie donned a particular tie bar with the curious design of a businessman’s hand poking out of his suit sleeve and holding a pen. Atop this appendage were the words “New Traditionalists.” This piqued the interest of the young American band then in the process of shaping their own foundational mythology and practice. “That’s what we want to do, we want to start new traditions,” an optimistic Mothersbaugh thinks, “we want people to think first, we want to cause positive mutations.” As such, Devo’s proceeding fourth studio album came to incidentally inherit its name from a far-right Japanese political group likely unconcerned with the daily practices of hyper-conscious domestic life to which Devo aspired and of which they preached. When Devo returned to Japan on their next tour cycle they found that the album had been alternatively dubbed Yuppie. Nonetheless, Devo’s appropriated, alluringly oxymoronic misnomer served their mission and philosophy as they saw fit, contributing to the Gesamtkunstwerk cult-fandom of a band with big aspirations.

It is with a similar self-contained politics and manifestoed foundation that we find U.R.L.G.U.R.L founder Wizard Apprentice and her practice of digital folk art. Wizard Apprentice is a “singer-songwriter, electronic music producer, and motion graphics artist” who centers her multimedia practice around the documentation of “emotional states, psychedelic and sensory experiences.” The composite formed from this process is what she has lightly theorized as digital folk art. Wizard Apprentice “takes advantage of accessible, user-friendly technology … to skip time consuming learning curves” and to grant herself greater access to self-expression. This resourcefulness presents itself with an unlikely sheen on “Keep It Cool,” the leading single from her new split with Kohinoorgasm, out now on Practical Records. A cool demeanor delivers contracted, interior lyrics in a direct way. “Keep It Cool” has a palatable pop surface and a deeper layer of honesty that may be Wizard Apprentice’s truest realization of her digital folk art to date. Check it out and nab the cassette here:

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.

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