No man’s journey through the bowels of Bandcamp
Hell has been depicted in many guises over the years. Three of the best descriptions are Dante’s Inferno, Westfield on Christmas Eve and Bill and Ted’s Bogus Journey. However in recent years a new one has emerged. One that is never ending, and makes Dante’s 9 Rings of Hell look like a walk in the park. At midnight. Pissed up. Whilst being stalked by urban foxes. With fuck off sticks. I’m talking of course about Bandcamp. Any of your who have tried to navigate this space of the internet know that it is a perilous walk between excellence and the worst shit you have ever heard.
On my trips through this ether, I have stumbled across some hidden gems, but I’ve also stumbled on some utter weird shit. Here are some things that have been buried under an almost unending stream of new music.
RareBit - Daizo
First up we have an album from electronic artist RareBit. Daizo is 40 minutes of glitch, ethereal, dream like electronica. Released on Non Projects, an LA based label with connections to Dub Lab, it is the ideal home for a release like this. For the recording process, RareBit (AKA Justin Hopkins) recorded different musicians in different locations, with different devices and then patched it all together. At times it works really well and sounds fresh, but at other times it sounds like Thom Yorke fucking about.
Chancha Via Circuito - Amansara
Next up we have some Brazilian folktronica. The interplay between traditional Brazilian instruments and electronica production techniques is what makes this. At times is reminds me of the Tropicalia scene in the late 1960’s and 1790’s. The juxtaposition of the old and new. Kids being exposed to a how different approach to music, and then mixing in their own indigenous style. As with all folktronica, after a few songs it starts to get fucking boring, but on Tarocchi there are stabs of techno synth and some filthy bass drops with picks the interest up.
Kouki Izumi - Japanise EP
Continuing with the music from other countries, here is some techno from Japan. Kouki Izumi’s EP does exactly what it says on the tags electronic, tech house, electronica, industrial techno, minimal techno, Japan. This isn’t trying to fancy up the genre. From the opening bars you know exactly what you are getting. Techno. From past experiences, it doesn’t matter where techno comes from it always sounds like techno. Only Geishun add Japanese influences to the mix. At one section the beat stops and traditional Japanese instruments enter the mix, then the beat comes back. It works better on paper, and then the instruments vanish from the mix the track sounds a lot fucking better. For ¥400, or three quid you get a pretty decent EP.
שולי רנד (Shuli Rand)-שולי רנד בקיסריה (Shuli Rand Caesarea)
Even for me this is a bit fucking weird. I have no idea what this is all about, but it sounds good. When I saw the picture of Rand I generally thought it was going to be bollocks, or like Matisyahu. However I was very pleasantly surprised. It’s a live album by an Israeli singer, who I think is called Shuli Rand (thanks unnamed search engine translate). Musically it’s all over the shop, blues, folk and rock are all shoved into a blender and mixed up. After a few tracks the novelty starts to wear off and you realise these are some decent songs. The crowd really seem into this shit though, but again it’s hard to gather what’s going on. He could just be saying “make some noise for Jerusaleum”.