Jazz and All That

You know, we like to think we've got pretty good taste in music (we'd like to meet someone that doesn't think that about themselves). For our part, we wear our inspirations pretty squarely on our sleeves, but we've always done our best to ignore the stereotype of the cafe full of brooding hipster tunes. We've been lucky enough to put out some incredible collaboration with folks of all genres, but today we're talking about Jazz. More American than Apple Pie (which we'll remind you comes from England) and twice as sweet, here's a look at some of the more syncopated projects we've taken on over the years 

 

2014 - Astro Black

A collaboration between Chicago Jazz Fest, Corbett vs Dempsey art gallery, Philly's King Britt, and ourselves to pay tribute to what would have been Afro Futurist and Arkestra leader Sun Ra's 100th year on this planet. While he wasn't born in Chicago, it's inarguable that Ra was shaped by his experience during his time here. Or maybe it was the city that was shaped by its experience with him? You decide.

Like the disparate sounds that led to his cosmic approach, Corbett vs Dempsey provided four colorways of their super-sonic design to combine with King Britt's reinterpretation of Space is the Place, which you can listen to below. This was followed by a live performance by King Britt hosted by Chicago Jazz Fest at Constellation the day before Sun Ra's birthday.

As a bonus, our own Minister of Groove Marc Bonadies also put together this mind blowing mix dedicated to Sun Ra as well!

 

2016 - Robert Glasper Experiment - ARTScience

In our eyes, there aren't many - if any - echelons of jazz that exist above Blue Note Records. We'd also like to argue there are few modern pianists that can look further into the future than Robert Glasper for that matter. Needless to say when approached with the opportunity work with Mr. Glasper and his upcoming album ARTScience on Blue Note we jumped. In addition to selling the coffee alongside the vinyl, we hosted Robert and his crew for a backyard barbecue at our Star Lounge location, which featured guest dj's, a listening party of the album, and a media interview where we heard Robert wax poetic on "What is Jazz?"

 

 

2019 - Vinyl Freak with John Corbett

 Vinyl Freak, Love Letters to A Dying Medium is a book celebrating crate diggers and vinyl junkies. Author John Corbett compiled an exclusive mix to celebrate and contemplate the desire that drives everyone to acquire those dusty fingertips. John is a long time friend and collaborator of DMC, having helped us release the Sun Ra inspired Astro Black coffee back in 2014. 

Discussing more than 200 rare and out-of-print LPs, Vinyl Freak is composed in part of Corbett's long-running DownBeat magazine column of the same name, which was devoted to records that had not appeared on CD. Perfect for vinyl newbies and veteran crate diggers alike, Vinyl Freak plumbs the motivations that drive Corbett and collectors everywhere.

 

2018 - Hyde Park Jazz Festival

 

In 2018 we were one of the proud sponsors of the Hyde Park Jazz Festival, and spent our time handing out coffee over a chilly September weekend. Rather than being held in one centralized location, the festival takes a more intimate approach by holding a number of concerts in venues spread throughout the University of Chicago campus and surrounding neighborhood. Some of the highlights were performances by Ben Lamar Gay, Brandee Younger (who also gave an incredible talk on the legacy of Alice Coltrane), and Junius Paul. 

 

January 18, 2021 — Jake Kryshak

Blast from the past - January

2021, we are here! Coinciding with the theme of rising from the ashes in January's limited blend Through the Fire, we to poked around our own past for some brighter of the brighter embers. Here's a few ghosts of Januarys past -

2016 - Nordic Thunder

In retrospect, this release still ticks all the right boxes for us. It's the first blend to feature our cask conditioning process thanks to a custom CH Distillery Aquavit. It also celebrates local legend, air guitar world champion, and all-around really nice guy Nordic Thunder. And finally, an opportunity for love to win over hate -taking a website spreading messages of white supremacy and turning the domain into Nord's personal website: a testament to peace, love, and shred. We hosted a website launch party in the upstairs of our Star Lounge location and let us tell you, it was THUMPIN!

We even did a video to teach future shredders the ins and outs of air guitar! Check it out below -
2019 - Laura Jane Grace and the Devouring Mothers - Brewed to Rot

For those of you who didn't dabble in punk rock and nihilistic anarchy in the mid-2000's, you may be forgiven for not knowing Against Me! or frontwoman Laura Jane Grace. Brewed to Rot is the companion piece (and dream fulfillment for us) to her first solo album, Bought to Rot. Thanks to our friends at Bloodshot Records, we released the coffee and got to spend some time watching LJG and her band tearing up the stage in Austin during SXSW that year. Coming off of the success of this collaboration, we pressed a split 7" with Laura Jane Grace as well as Publicist U.K. (and our friends at Smashed Plastic) called This Caffeine Kills Fascists. With proceeds going to the Woody Guthrie Foundation, Laura Jane Grace and the Devouring Mothers provided an acoustic version of This Land is Your Land and Publicist U.K. offered up their take on All You Fascists Bound to Lose.

2018 - Brendon Small - Galaktikon II

Another companion piece and dream fulfillment, our Galaktikon blend got us working with Brendon Small to help promote his new album Galaktikon II: Become the Storm. You may know him best as the mastermind behind Metalocalypse and Home Movies. Locked out of releasing more material as Dethklok (the fictional band from Metalocalypse, also fronted by Small) this album serves as a spiritual successor and by all means a new Dethklok album. We were obviously stoked with the idea of collaborating with Brendon and sticking it to the man Full of soaring melodies and absolutely destructive riffs, the album in Brendon's own words is "a Frank Herbert intergalactic war story with a splash of Flash Gordon high-stakes drama". 

 

January 05, 2021 — Jake Kryshak

Live at Star Lounge, The Patch: The Twilite Tone

Chicago legend, The Twilite Tone, graced DMC's Star Lounge Coffee Bar for a live performance featuring two tracks, "Do It Properly" and "The Lite", from his recent Stones Throw records release, The Clearing. The third track is an unreleased gem he decided to include because the vibe is ALWAYS correct at Star Lounge. 

Born Anthony Khan, TTT rose to fame as co-producer w/No I.D. on Common's 1992 classic, "Can I Borrow a Dollar?, with additional work including Kanye West, Pusha T, John Legend, and Gorillaz, to name a few. 

Sit back and zone out to the trans-genre sounds of one of the best artist to call Chicago home. Then go grab his latest release on TTT's bandcamp.  

December 10, 2020 — Kyle Hodges
Sleep Walk and La Rifa!

Sleep Walk and La Rifa!

Sleep Walk is a collaboration spanning borders. Chicago meets Mexico City, coffee meets Cocoa. Introducing DMC’s partners, La Rifa!

November 10, 2020 — Jake Kryshak

Heavy Metal Collaboration Coffee!

Heavy Metal Coffee Bag

 

Heavy Metal has teamed up with Dark Matter Coffee to bring uniquely designed coffee bags with the highest quality grounds to your mornings! This coffee will be sold EXCLUSIVELY on the Heavy Metal website, as a single or subscription option. Links at the bottom to order! 

This Heavy Metal collage features characters new and old. Some unfamiliar characters are from the following stories!
Maiden: By Bart & Michelle Sears, debuting in Issue #302
Savage Circus: By Brendan Columbus: Serialized from Issue #300! 
Dark Wing: By Matthew MedneySerialized from Issue #300! 
Sun Eater: By Dylan Sprouse, Written By Dylan Sprouse & Joe Harris: Out Now: Comic Series 
Beyond Kuiper: By Matthew Medney & John Connelly: Out November 11th
WonderWerk: Original Podcast Series: Out everyone one can listen to podcasts!
 
Single Product  Grab a bag featuring exclusive artwork! 

Subscription   Get a subscription to the DMC x Heavy Metal coffee delivered to your door every month! 

October 23, 2020 — Kyle Hodges
Tags: Heavy Metal

Chicago Presents: Uprise x DMC

 

Uprise x DMC are celebrating one of the most recognizable skate spots in Chicago, Clemente High School. Known for hosting epic sessions from all over the city, it also hosts an After School Matters program. 

The Coffee Cold and t-shirt release will raise money to help restore the ramps in the spring of 2021. 

Artwork was created by the equally legendary artist/skater, Jourdon Gullett!   

Grab the t-shirt, or Coffee Cold now! 

October 10, 2020 — Kyle Hodges
New Single Origin Packaging

New Single Origin Packaging

Welcome to the world of cleanliness and purity. Like that of the sea jellies, these coffee seeds were soaked in an ocean of water. During the coffees’ short swim, fermentation, acting as wisdom, drives acidity, clarity, and focus throughout each tentacle of possibility.
Agua Single Origin Packaging

The coffees we source are extremely important to us. They shape the identity of our company as they convey a thought process; a commentary on flavor preference, political and cultural awareness, and business practices. With this in mind, we have ideated for years how to effectively convey the importance of our coffees as a singular idea. We are proud to finally share our reimagined single-origin packaging with you! 

Each concept will rotate coffees that fit these categories. 

Each bag represents a major expression of coffee; Agua = Washed coffees. Showcasing the genetic identity of each cultivar  

 
Celebrating ripening as beautiful imperfections, these coffee seeds are pulped from their skin and rested in their own sugars. With the passing of time and contact with land, they become graced with an aerial development as righteous as a flamboyance of flamingos. 
Aire Single Origin Packaging

The coffees we source are extremely important to us. They shape the identity of our company as they convey a thought process; a commentary on flavor preference, political and cultural awareness, and business practices. With this in mind, we have ideated for years how to effectively convey the importance of our coffees as a singular idea. We are proud to finally share our reimagined single-origin packaging with you! 

Each concept will rotate coffees that fit these categories. 

Each bag represents a major expression of coffee; Aire, is Honey Processed, emphasizing body and sweetness. 

Embracing realms of influence and experience, we have transformed our collective curiosity and abandoned conventional practices of coffee fermentation. This shamanic jaguar blazes our path forward in action, but one cannot progress these ideas without fueling the fire of psychedelegance.

Fuego Single Origin Packaging

The coffees we source are extremely important to us. They shape the identity of our company as they convey a thought process; a commentary on flavor preference, political and cultural awareness, and business practices. With this in mind, we have ideated for years how to effectively convey the importance of our coffees as a singular idea. We are proud to finally share our reimagined single-origin packaging with you! 

Each concept will rotate coffees that fit these categories. 

Each bag represents a major expression of coffee; Fuego  = Experiments, Pushing conventional wisdom on process and flavor.  

Brilliant, synaptic, and adaptive, like that of the spider monkey, these coffee cherries encapsulate the majesty of mother earth. With merely time, maturity, and control, the evolution of flavor becomes explosive with the funk, fruit, and soil in which they were grown.
 Tierra Single Origin Packaging

The coffees we source are extremely important to us. They shape the identity of our company as they convey a thought process; a commentary on flavor preference, political and cultural awareness, and business practices. With this in mind, we have ideated for years how to effectively convey the importance of our coffees as a singular idea. We are proud to finally share our reimagined single-origin packaging with you! 

Each concept will rotate coffees that fit these categories. 

Each bag represents a major expression of coffee; Tierra = Natural Coffees,  Promoting dramatic expressions of fruit character and acidity  

November 19, 2019 — Accounting DMC

Holiday Hours For DMC Retail Shops

November 16, 2018 — Kyle Hodges
Dark Matter Coffee And Friends Tokyo Pop-Up

Dark Matter Coffee And Friends Tokyo Pop-Up

Dark Matter Coffee & Friends is a two day pop-up in the Shibuya-Ku neighborhood of Tokyo, hosted by Craftheads. Featuring experimental coffees, beer collaborations, artwork from Shawnimals and a Public Image Ltd presentation from Martin Atkins! Join us Thursday & Friday, September 20 & 21st starting at 11:00am!
Your Guide to S.A.C.R.E.D. Agave Tastings

Your Guide to S.A.C.R.E.D. Agave Tastings

 

S.A.C.R.E.D. is a Chicago-based nonprofit that uses traditional and artisanal agave spirits to improve quality of life in rural Mexico. You may remember them from past collaborations/coffee projects like this:

 or agave distillations like this:

They use revenue generated from tastings and events to build libraries and greenhouses and to maintain water preservation systems in the same communities where agave spirits are fermented and distilled. In order to continue this growth and revitalization, they need your help. The best part? All you have to do is grab a drink and join a tasting! Here's the upcoming event schedule:

 

Sunday, Apr 22
3 - 7pm
Dove's Luncheonette
1545 N. Damen Ave.
Chicago IL 60622
Celebrate Earth Day!
Replant agave!
Your donation of at least $25 gets you one of three special flights, and 100% of that will be used to purchase agave plants from the middle school in Zaachila and gift them to maestros mezcalero in Oaxaca.

Monday, Apr 23
4 - 5:30pm
Garfield Park Con.
300 N Central Park
Chicago IL 60624

Chicago's only blooming agave!
Celebrate Agave Week with a talk about Chicago's only blooming agave, by Mezcal Lalocura maestro Eduardo Angeles! A tasting follows the talk. Free to industry folks.

Wednesday, May 2
6:30 - 8pm
Screaming Tuna
106 W Seeboth St
Milwaukee WI 53204

Milwaukee Sushi & Agave Dinner
A special dinner pairing five rare agave expressions with the award-winning sushi of Screaming Tuna. All profits will be donated to libraries and greenhouses in Mexico. A donation of $45 gets you a seat at the table.

Thursday, June 28
Time to come
Journeyman Distillery
109 Generations Dr.
Three Oaks MI 49128

 Journeyman Journeys to Mexico

We took the team from Journeyman down to Oaxaca for a week of visiting maestros — taste what they came back with and enjoy dishes Chef Luke imagined on the trip!Email us to be alerted when tickets are available.

Can't make any of those? Check out these opportunities!
Chicago's own Agave Triangle
Ongoing, self-guided tour in Logan Square
Estereo
Masa Azul

Quiote
Mi Tocaya
The best way to learn more about agave spirits in Chicago! Donate $25 to replanting agave, bring that receipt to the four participating Logan Square bars, and get sample tastes and agave knowledge on a 1.2-mile walk!
April 17, 2018 — Jake Kryshak