Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Bandcamp Is The New Cassette Culture 4

Continuing our survey of new music you can listen to, and in many cases, download for free on Bandcamp.com, we fly off to exotic lands. It is the depths of winter now, so I felt a tropical vacation was in order. 

And this first album is especially timely, as it features Evan Crankshaw from the great  "Flash Strap" blog, who just debuted his all-exotica radio show, "The Explorer's Room" last week. 

The Cumberland County Mean Gang "Crashing Waves"

Starts off a bit New Age-y, but track #3 "Slave Trade" is really great psychedelic exotica that sounds like it was played on your grandma's electric organ after someone spiked her Ensure with mescaline; it dovetails nicely right into the next track, which is almost 9 minutes of pure lysergic abandon. "Under The Jungle" does indeed sport jungle ambiance, tho the music is more Jean-Michel Jarre '70s-type electronica than Martin Denny. It's melody is re-used in the next track, a Giorgio Morodor-on-cheap-ass-Casios techno-dance stomper. The most excellent "Ritual of Flight" begins with theremin- ish electronics, followed by haunted-house organ...and exotic bird calls?  Just what kind of spook show is this, anyway? Was happy to hear grandma's psychedelic organ again on track 8. Price: Name Your Price. And enjoy your flight.

The Mad Drummer - from South Africa, but sounding more Zappa than Zulu. The inverse of Paul Simon and Vampire Weekend? A lot better than them, that's for sure. All 6 songs are good, but for someone who calls himself a mad drummer, the synthetic drums are the one (minor) fault I find with this. Price: $3.

Boolz "S.O.S.[Slovvd-n-Chopped]" - Also from South Africa comes this trippy dub electronica. I like the bugged-out VV3ΔK [SLOWD-N-CHXPPXD]  Price: Name Your Price

Some comps that will keep you busy and dancing for days: 

Peru Maravilloso: "Vintage Latin Tropical Cumbia"

Analog Africa - 21 albums!  Haven't listened to all of them, but I can def recommend "African Scream Contest" - just don't buy the line about it being "psychedelia." It's James Brown-ish funk and West African highlife, and what's wrong with that? Can we stop throwing the word 'psychedelic' around so much?  It's getting to be as meaningless a term as 'experimental.' And be sure to read this as you dig the crate diggin' sounds of Analog Africa: Dusty African Grooves.

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