It's been awhile since I've posted some music on here for you to escape into. While many different websites are putting out their end of year lists, I find it is time that I provide you with some music that is just hitting the streets. Some of what's included is also a bit old, but I find it to be completely amazing and happy to have stumbled upon it. I am also going to include what will soon become a regular feature called "Bandcamp Thursday." Bandcamp is an amazing website in which artist can put their music out and tell you how much they want to charge for it. Sometimes they just say download it and enjoy. Free of charge. Who can't want that during the holidays? I know I enjoy it. So here we go.
Today I downloaded two albums off of Bandcamp from a kid from the UK.
Jae Genius - Sundance
- Jae Genius describes his music on Bandcamp as funk, but I find it to be something totally different. Not to say that it isn't funk, but I have a different idea of what I think of funk to be. What I love about this album is that it has traits of funk with electronica interwoven into it. It makes you want to move, but at a smoother rhythm of most bad electronic music. It isn't bass heavy nor is it too wah-wah. There are essences of a little disco-house that I remember listening to back in the day. It is more of a chill-funk, disco-house mix. If you are into a change of tempo, then this is going to get you going. The opening track is also the title track. "Sundance" sets the tempo greatly. With a smooth syncopated rhythm, you start to feel your shoulders start to move. Once that happens, you know the rest of you is going to follow. The second track "Faster," starts out a little opposite the title name. While, I find the track to be good, I do wish that it was a little faster. "SheetMusic%(WheretheSheetsRemix)" is the third track and you get the feeling that you are being set up for something that should take you somewhere else. With the hook, I feel that I was hearing a missing lyric from an old 80s London dub song. The song is a wonderful remix, but I find that there was a chance to make it something a little more. Track four, "Everyday Miracle" is more to the idea of what I thought the whole album should be like. With a smooth build, an identity to English roots in music, I find it to be a nice track. Smooth and flowing, there is little escape from what the start and finish sound like. The final track, "Relax," is exactly that, relaxing. You start the day with a sundance, but you need to finish with some relaxation. That is precisely what the final track does. You feel some of your day wash off of you and your troubles just lift up and sail away for a bit.
Jae Genius - FunkHaze
- Jae Genius's other offering on BC is an album titled "FunkHaze." It starts off just the way I think it should. While still not what I would call "funk," I get the feel of a more electro centered album. The opening track gets your head nodding at the drum beats while finding a relaxing rhythm in the remaining elements. This album I find is more laid back than Sundance. There is no hurry-up, nor is there anything over powering. It is smooth like funk can be. It is rhythmic like house music can be. It is as if there is a haze being put over you and I like the way it makes me feel.
Also on BC, I came across this crazy house track from Greece. I don't know if the DJ who produced it is from Greece or if the owners of the production company are. His name is Afefe Iku. The name of the track is called "Mirror Dance." The remix, which is also provided, has a great spoken word poetry segment in it. These tracks will get you moving. There is an over abundance of repetitiveness in the track, but that is understandable in house music. You get a great flow from the track to your body and a little bit of some moombahtan vibe as well. The tracks are 8 and 10 minutes long respectively, so proceed with the desire to move and have it play in the background. And for you djs out there, this might be a little treat for you in any future mixes you are trying.
<------ Here is the original.
<------ Here is the remix
Next up is another little steal from BandCamp. The name of the artist is Port St. Willow. These cats are completely amazing. They placed their album under the genre of "ambient." To me, ambient means that there is no real vocals and that it is nothing but random sounds made from whatever the hell there is to use. These cats do something different. In all honesty, it reminds me very much of what The Antlers are doing these days. The album may not truly be a concept album, but I feel very much like a journey and story are being told over the course of the tracks. There is a compete mellowness to this album that anyone who finds themselves in a stressful day should listen to at the end of the day.
The following track is from the song "Amawalk." While there are plenty more tracks I could give you, this one to me seems to find the right mood and rhythm for these moments in my life. The weather is grey because it's winter. The house is cold because it's winter. Life just needs to have that moment to just be finished with this year and this song to me hits in the right places. I suggest getting this album if you like to read and playing it in the background. Not overly vocal nor too sleepy, it is the perfect fireplace reading music.
Next off of Bandcamp, comes a little duo from Chicago. I don't know how I stumbled across this little treasure, but if you like Metric, Yeah Yeah Yeah, or anything somewhat similar, then you will love My Gold Mask. The are an unbelievable duo in which the lead singer plays the drums and sings and the other guy provides backup vocals and plays the guitar. While not some overly heavy drum and guitar driven band like the White Stripes, these kids get it right. They have a new album coming out in February and I will get it when it appears. The first track released is called "Further It Gets" and is provided below. The song I picked up is called "Violet Eyes." I find that it drives very similar to some of the things Metric has done, but there is a difference in the rhythm.
Next up is a little crew from Portland, OR called StarFucker. Yes, that is their title and what else would you expect from the hipster capital of the world? Their album "Reptilians" came out a couple of years ago, but I was happy to find its way into my collection. The album very much reminds me of a band trying to find a sound, but not too shy about where they show their influences. There is a bit of Passion Pit and MGMT in them, but I love some of the things they are doing that help make them who they are. It starts out the way I think a movie about summer camp would start out. Then they move into the rock stars they should and one day might be. What I love in the tracks are the little surprises to be found. When they use the laid over vocals from movie clips to make a side track seem out of place yet the uniting factor of the album. I love the use of the Alan Watts speeches in two of the tracks. There is nothing more to add to the track "Hungary Ghost" that Mr. Watts says himself. I was a little worried at first when I heard it, but have been very happy with the resulting album and I enjoy the wait for more.
- "Bury Us Alive"
Finally, we get to the coup of the year. There is a cat named Captain Murphy. He has a concept album called "Duality." He is a hiphop phenom in my book. I liken him to the first time I heard Del the Funky Homosapian and Wu-Tang Clan. Mostly because both those cats came out of way, way left field with their resulting products. Wu-Tang, I don't have to explain to many of you, but Del was the first real skateboard kids, extra piercings, tats galore rap star. He has always been that little bit extra hit of acid musician, but just in the hiphop world. That is how I think of Captain Murphy. He release a video that you just have to watch a little bit of it to believe it's awesome artistic appeal. Some people say, "That's not art" because they don't understand it. Well, I can tell you 100% that I believe something to be art that I know many people won't get. Lyrically, there is nothing super genius in his words. There is some hilarity to the word play, but if you never played Street Fighter, you won't get it. Plus, you can download both the regular and instrumental versions free off his website. The following video is 30 minutes long. If you are somewhat intrigued by the sounds you hear, then please venture forward and join me on the other side. You can retrieve the download from the wonderful folks over at GorillavsBear, right here
Until next time kids. Enjoy the tunes and see you next week. Or maybe before.