Monday, 24 December 2012

Christmas Digest!

'Tis the season to post a much-delayed post talking about some great stuff found on Bandcamp recently. In a similar way to my occasional 'Foundcloud' feature, I considered naming this post 'Faaandcamp'. I rejected this, due to not genuinely having a Cockney accent, and worrying therefore about deceiving the Internet. And on CHRISTMAS, as well.

Uh... anyway...

Sparky Deathcap
Tear Jerky EP

Ever since Sparky Deathcap first appeared in my Recommended Radio, I’ve been looking for some place where his Tear Jerky EP was available for download. It was a pleasant surprise, then, to find that he’d made it available for download on the infinitely amazing D.I.Y. music store Bandcamp (for £4 or more).

To introduce Sparky Deathcap, it’s the lo-fi, indie folk project of Robert Taylor – now also a member of Los Campesinos!, which is quite relevant given there are some similarities that can be found between the work of that band and the songs on this EP. For the most obvious example of that, I’d probably point you in the direction of ‘Send it to Oslo’, as a track that’s strings, glockenspiels, and energetic shout-a-long lyrics would easily fit on We Are Beautiful, We Are Doomed, and for other, more general examples, I’d point out the somewhat similar lyrical styles between Taylor and Gareth Campesinos! – both speaking from an overtly singular first-person perspective, and often ruminating on the topic of sex and relationships, as can be seen in lines like “since then you just make cameos in my sleep, you’re the William Shatner of the elite genre of women I have loved and lost. But with Facebook hope and Myspace I could find you in a keystroke, but for air fores and the likelihood you’d have found another bloke” (from ‘Berlin Syndrome’) and “when we scraped our bones together, and we got fire” (from ‘September’).

Despite these similarities though, there’s no doubt that – with Sparky Deathcap – Taylor has put a lot of effort into crafting his own unique sound: he takes influence from the likes of (Smog) and The Microphones not only in the form of his lo-fi, DIY aesthetic, but also in his inventiveness and in his striving to make something big and ambitious from modest, homemade recordings. As pleased as I am with this re-release of Tear Jerky EP, I don’t think I’m alone in saying I look forward to whatever Taylor plans to do in the future with this project.

Download the EP for £4 (or more) here

Various Artists
...and Darkness Came (curated by Headphone Commute)

The online ambient / experimental zine +Headphone Commute have really done something great here.

As if it wasn't enough to organise and release an 87 track compilation of great ambient / experimental / neo-classical / electronic music (think the likes of Peter Broderick, Nils Frahm, Loscil and Max Richter, all of whom feature), they're also donating the proceeds to the charitable organisations Doctors Without Borders and the Humane Society, in the wake of Hurricane Sandy earlier this year.

It helps that this compilation of 87 tracks (many of which are previously unreleased) is also very consistent in quality and in tone, many tracks evoking that late-night, moody feel that much contemporary ambient, drone and 'neo-classical' music does so well.
Also... I've embedded a couple of my personal highlights, below...


All that said and done, I also wish you all a happy new year (given the promise of new My Bloody Valentine material and tour dates, I think it's fair to assume it'll be fairly happy).

No comments:

Post a Comment