Friday, January 31, 2014

Bandcamp Is Still The New Cassette Culture

Like I was saying...Listen for free, buy if you like.

This batch is loosely associated by a shared fascination with the surreal and fantastic,  injecting a little much-needed magic into our world.

- Ergo Phizmiz "Idiot": The prolific madman across the water has two more winners. This one's a generous 18 tracks of mostly instrumentals (w/some sampled vox) cobbled together out of found-sounds and whimsical instruments. "Ornidisco" is a dance track ingeniously fashioned entirely from sampled bird sound effects. "Night on The Town" is an absurd disco raver performed entirely acappella (complete with beatboxing) that's as funny as it is funky. Avant-garde, or just good ol' British eccentricity? Price: free.

- Ergo Phizmiz "Music for Pleasure": "A 17 track behemoth of Ergo Phizmiz's singular take on guitar based rock'n'roll & pop music." Yep, these ramshackle constructions suggest actual rock music, sometimes in the Neil Innes or Syd Barret vein, with much Kink-y garage punk energy. Bonus points for reviving Bobby Goldsboro's '60s bubblegum gem "Little Things." Album title = truth in advertising. Price: £7.

- Doctor Midnight "Crotch Rocket Extremities and​/​or Popular Culture Atrocities": What the ..? This short (12 tracks in 23 minutes), utterly unpredictable album makes as much sense as that album title. This duo comes from Alabama, not with a banjo on it's knee, but plenty of other noises: sound effects, screaming, computers, piano, marimba, guitars, and scary hillbilly voices that may be sampled, or may belong to the band members. My fave moment is when "Chocodino" almost turns into a remake of Steve Reich's "It's Gonna Rain," followed by 38 seconds of "There Ain't Shit On TV!" Price: free.

Paul and Pierre "Eggs Benedict With Mr Wu On The Seahorse Monorail": Pierre is the man behind naive/ toy-pop masters Carton Sonore; this time out he's joined by Scottish warbler Paul Vickers for actual songs, but still retaining the whimsy of past projects. Acoustic instruments like musical saw and mandolin meet Casio-tronics to realize sea shanty-like sing-alongs replete with fantastical imagery. Well written, wonderfully evocative, effortlessly enjoyable. Price: €7, tho the super song "Lon Chaney" is free, and you know a song has to be good if it's about Lon Chaney.

- Zlata Sandor/Shaun Sandor "Band on the Moon": If you're pressed for time, here's 5 minutes of a father and his 4-year-old daughter singing about the kinds of things you would expect little girls to sing about, e.g.: party balloons, animals, and playing on the moon. C'mon, how can you not like this? Price: $1.00.

Timur and the Dime Museum "X-ray Sunsets": These Angelenos conjure up a dark carnival for accordion, ukulele, violin, and on the rollicking "Distance Of The moon," a spot of toy piano, with a bona-fide opera singer up front; I featured their amazing take on Nine Inch Nails' "Closer" here previously, but this album is all original and it's all good. Don't be surprised if David Lynch uses the dreamy doo-wop ballad "Asleep At The Wheel" in his next film. Flamboyantly theatrical without quite being campy. Recommended, even if you hate opera. Price: $7.

Tho he was hardly an indie band/ bedroom producer like the above, I still would like to point out that - holy crap! - there are now 48 Fela Kuti albums now available on Bandcamp.


Ivan T. W. said...

I had never heard of Ergo Phizmiz before you posted "Nose Points in Different Directions" and now he's one of my favorite acts. Thanks, Mr. Fab!

Mike Langlie said...

Some great discoveries! I've long mourned the death of MP3-dot-com where I'd find lots of weird and wonderful bedroom musicians. Bandcamp has filled that void nicely in the past couple of years. I'd say 90% of new music I heard (and even bought) last year was found via Bandcamp.