sex. & candy. & violence. the _ronitape

new 90-minute all vinyl mixtape loosely exploring a theme.

stream or DL!

"i smell sex and... vio-lence heeere"

new 90-minute _ronitape vinyl-to-cassette mixtape is here for yr listening pleasure! stream or download it with the Soundcloud link above. after completing that last theme-mix which i did the extensive blog about on here, Originals vs. Covers vol. 1, i wanted to ride that focused-mix wave a little bit for the next tape i made. a loose concept evolved organically thanks to my Record Store Day 2017 purchases. got up with mi brethren Esh on RSD & hit our local Jamaica Plain record store Tres Gatos; more than most spots in the city, Phil & the gatos go super hard with their Record Store Day event, its always really well done. there were way less RSD-exclusive releases i wanted this year, which i was relieved about since i drop enough loot on vinyl on the regular! they didn't get in the Pure Hell 7" i was looking for but i got the Danny Brown 10" & couldn't resist copping the nineties alt-rock band Marcy Playground's 1997 debut which was just pressed on wax for the first time; haha i hadn't heard any other song on it but the track "Sex and Candy" is just, well, too damn sexy & catchy & hypnotizing & haunting and i had to have it.

after Tres Gatos we hit up Do617's annual record store day event at Brighton Music Hall which features a good variety of local indie vendors & labels slinging records, tapes, tees and more. The Coathangers performed and totally kicked ass, we'll have to revisit them later since i copped all their vinyl there. i was trying to go light but a barrage of bloody marys on an empty stomach later and i was coming home with another huge haul of vinyl. the homie Tall Matt from Traffic/ Get on Down was there & i copped a bunch of gems with bent corners he laced me with for cheap (biggups!) including Boogie Down Productions' banger, Sex and Violence. so within my RSD2017 vinyl haul the new _ronitape was born, linking those two records' titles into the loose concept/subject/aesthetic/attitudes the mix would follow...

sex. & candy. & violence.

i wanted a loose concept to explore without having to put in too much thought, slowing down the process - that Covers vs Originals mix took a long time to plot out selection-wise, which was awesome, but i like to stay cranking out these vinyl mixes on the regular as i play records, much of the time while working on my art, so the notions of Sex & Candy & Violence were a perfect parameter to stay in abstractly adding a vague theme. physical emotion, love, hate, aggression, sexuality, drugs, affection, isolation, brutality, sensuality, anxiety... i think in some way all the tracks embody one, two, or all three auras associated with the 3 words, though not necessarily in a super literal way. little thought was put into the selection, just picked them based on the feelings or words or sounds associated with that sex candy violence feel.

i don't even know anyone else who makes mixtape cassettes like myself, but if they're out there, they know that the best part of the mixtape-making process is first listen! after completing the mix, listening to how it all ended up flowing together is super fun & rewarding; i typically notice connections between songs i hadn't consciously intended which is a great feeling, like when an observer sees something in your art you had never noticed before. i digitize these mixes in real time before uploading them to Soundcloud, so while doing that on my first listen i decided to add a further visual element to the experience, and towards the end of the b-side after soaking in the general aesthetic of the tape, i made this quick piece of inky expressive art, attempting to abstractly illustrate the feeling. the focus of this site (and my life in general, you could say) is exploring the connections between art & music, creation & inspiration, so it felt the only thing to do! while the art looks similar to my Witches Brew ink work, it is actually Marsh T-Grade black ink, though mixed with a little Witches Brew & applied with its dauber, on Arches Huile/Oil cold pressed, extra deluxe textured paper. i've been experimenting with that specific combination for a little while now but it's the first time i've debuted it! whereas the Witches Brew work is more about the strokes, the Marsh/Arches style is more about the blackness of the ink, if that makes sense. more to come, soon enough! if you dig the mix, share it with friends! i appreciate ya!

Free Kitten 4ever

Kim Gordon & Julie Cafritz's side project/ supergroup was the shit. Free Kitten, str8up... direct from da collecsch!

Kim G & Julie C's experimental outfit active from 1992-2008, Free Kitten, is some overlooked weirdo gold, punx! Kim Gordon from Sonic Youth & Julie Cafritz from Pussy Galore are post punk/ indie rock royalty and their musical friendship resulted in one of my favorite largely unknown groups that captivates me in a way uniquely its own. Kim & Julie both sing & play guitar with Yoshimi of Boredoms on drums & Mark Ibold of Pavement on bass for select albums.

why now? did someone die? lol - nope, but that's seems to be the only time these days when i see people rep any music that is not the current flavor of the month. and while most music blogs focus on strictly new or 'hot' music or only reference older albums because of some arbitrary release-date anniversary that no one actually cares about in real life & was just generated by some kinda algorithm so that the site can make itself look more relevant with their superficial click-bait practices, i have absolutely no interest in participating in that type of that largely worthless (non)discourse. fuck that! i'm just here to rep great music which i take inspiration from, regardless of all that other noise. after working in the music industry for 11 years, one of the things that bothered me most about the way it functions is how everything is so focused on new releases for a very brief amount of time before it's completely pushed aside, lest its popular enough to continually sell big numbers or get a reissue. i surely don't live in the past on a memberberry diet - in my opinion one should stay current & relevant to what's happening in the present, however most great music and art has no expiration date & should thus not be treated as such. that's a whole 'nother rant to expound on later, however - today we're just here to talk about Kitten!

pictured above are the 3 full-length albums by Free Kitten - 1994's Nice Ass LP, 1997's Sentimental Education LP & 2008's Inherit, which only dropped on CD unfortunately - 10 year anniversary comes next year so perhaps they'll finally press it on wax? one can hope.

Free Kitten came with a abrasive, 'alternative' experimental mix of postpunk-indie-art-rock-blues-rap-noise type sound, so if that scares you just stop here, this ain't for you! it's Kim & Julie with middle fingers out doing whatever the fuck they want, jumping back & forth across a wide span of genres & moods, sometimes aggro & much of the time sarcastic & hilarious as say on 'Dick', the ode to Richards (Hell, Kern...) from the debut EP or the numerous disses to the 90s alt rock scene on the Nice Ass LP ("play some records that tell it like it is/ i'm sick of Stone Temple Pilots jizz") which are maybe too dated for the younger crowd but still crack me up as a nineties kid. however, this music is still totally relevant in that it was ahead of its time - genre barriers were a way bigger thing back then, now that they're breaking down further & people are more opened to mixing it all together, Kitten may be appreciated in a whole new light. before the Internet changed the game for better & for worse, it was also harder to get exposed to more obscure projects like this which were never going to get mainstream appeal.

pictured above: the rest of my FK collecsch, as of now: 1992's Call Now EP, the Sex Boy/Darby Speak 7" & the Unboxed compilation of pre-1995 singles

i was born in '83 and grew up on punk, hardcore & alternative rock for much of the 90s before getting deeply into hip hop around 1997, obsessively focusing mostly on that for much of the next decade before expanding my tastes to a larger spectrum in the late 2000s when i transferred over to buying vinyl records from CDs. i mention this because as i got back into guitar music around then, Sonic Youth was one of the first bands who's catalog i fully submerged myself into, and that's completely because of Kim. while Thurston, Lee & Steve's contribution to the band are undeniable, it's always the Kim-sung tracks on any and all SY albums that are my personal favorites (though i dig most of what they did). i was enamored with many SY-affiliated bands heavy when i was young, Kurt Cobain was my first musical god years before he died so i was always aware & interested in Sonic Youth back then but i wasn't really ready for their aesthetic yet at that age. when i re-approached their music in my mid-20s as an abstract artist, it was exactly the type of inspiration i needed - it gets me open in a specific type of creation mode. after spending so many years mostly submerged in the male-dominated undergroundhiphop scene, i also sought better gender-balance in my record collection - listening to only the music of men is not healthy for anyone's mental health, balance is so key in all areas, though not if contrived - Kim's music specifically speaks to me, so i went deep in that direction. plus, she's always had a thing for hip hop, like her rapping style on the 1983 SY classic "Making The Nature Scene" or the 1990 "Kool Thing" collab with Chuck D, so i naturally gravitated to her music.

Julie Cafritz i know less about but also have tons of love for - she's definitely just as vital & present as Kim is on all of these records & is badass as fuck. she is first known as founding member of pioneering noise-rock provocateurs Pussy Galore, on guitar & some vocals for all of their 80s albums but left before the last LP in 1990. in the same way that the Pixies would've been even doper if there were more Kim Deal songs, Pussy Galore could've crushed it harder if Julie had more mic presence, imo - case & point being their track 'Cunt Tease' off of 1986's Groovy Hate Fuck EP, easily one of their best tracks. if yr unfamiliar with Pussy Galore, it's also where Jon Spencer (Blues Explosion, Boss Hog) & Neil Haggerty (Royal Trux) got their starts, and i will most definitely be revisiting all of those groups on here as time permits, plus plenty more on Sonic Youth & Kim Gordon, who i consider one of my most important creatively-inspiring guiding lights or 'patron saints' as i refer to those like her, who's art resonates with me the deepest. plus Free Kitten never broke up to the best of my knowledge, so fingers crossed they bless us with some newness, one can hope at least! i leave you with this classic Kitten cut off of Nice Ass, my fave of all their albums: