Blurred July (Chocolate Industries, 2003)
(P-Vine, 2003) PCD-3975 (Japan)
Format: 12” EP & CD
1. Goodbye May Kasahara
2. Blacktops & Plains (feat. Diverse)
4. Sipping Snake Blood Wine (Savath & Savalas Remix)
Artwork by Kid Acne
Following the Paint EP & his debut full-length for Chocolate Industries, Stars On My Ceiling, Zachary Mastoon aka Caural brings you the third installment in the series: the Blurred July EP. Inspired by the events of his bizarre summer month and Haruki Murakami's novel The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, Caural comes correct with two brand new instrumentals and a collaboration with the up & coming Chicago emcee Diverse. Coupled with a hauntingly beautiful remix by Savath & Savalas (aka Prefuse-73) and UK graf artist Kid Acne's imagery bringing it all together, Blurred July is an embarkation on an exciting era for this Chicago artist.
XLR8R (June 2003)
Zachary Mastoon is lost in the cornfields and abandoned factory rows of America's Midwest with only an MPC3000 as his compass. Like DJ Shadow's early works, these three lush, romantic, deconstructed hip-hop instrumentals and one vocal cut with MC Diverse reach out in the dark, longing for connection with some familiar soul. Reach out for this.
Excellent new EP from Chocolate Ind's Caural featuring a deeply moving, super-lush remix from Scott Herren's Savath & Savalas alias. A four-tracker that kicks off with "Goodbye May Kasahara," jazz vibrations, full on bass stabs, handclaps, sweet harmonic chimes, found sound and moog bass drops. In fact it was inspired by "The Wind-Up Bird Chronicles" by Murakami and it shows- lush. "Blacktops & Plains" features Diverse rocking the mic with a rapido flash rap style over an old school crunch melodic hip-hop instrumental - dope. "Visuals" offers delicate guitar samples, bubbling beats and textures on a rainbow-coloured electronic tip, call it advanced downtempo. Last up, a mighty Savath & Savalas remix which floats on hi-hat drum resonances, crisp click beats, firm and deep bass and finely honed melodic accompaniment. A mixdown of styles part Kid Koala, Hint & Prefuse all presented in another ace Kid Acne sleeve. High recommendation indeed.
I must listen to thousands of downtempo tracks in a year. Filtering the best ones is a grueling process, lots of grey area to swim around in. But records like this are a no-brainer, the one I’ll recommend to you face to face in the store. “Goodbye May Kasahara” is getting downloaded into my iPod immediately. So warm and rich, like a big pussy, this one goes into my running for favorite downtempo tracks of the year. Give tracks like this and “Visuals” time to develop, they evolve and mug you of your pocket change with guile. The sound engineering here gets extra attention, crunching together bedroom electronic aesthetics and a John McEntire-type warmth. Prefuse 73, here as Savath & Savalas, offers yet another shimmering remix job on “Sipping Snake Blood Wine.” While the equally appropriate guest, emcee Diverse, offers excellent abstract accompaniment over some big vintage crunch drums. As good as abstract gets. Recommended.