Saturday 26 September 2020

(Trying To) Wind Down

Juan Gris - The Open Window (1921)

Things have been a bit hectic as of late, and because of that I haven't managed to keep on top of my emails which only adds to the chaos. I sat down and rifled through them this morning and something I really appreciate is when Bandcamp keeps me up to date with artists I've bought from, so many times over the last couple of years an album or EP release has just completely passed me by and this helps mitigate that a bit, doubly so if you follow a label's bandcamp and see *all* their releases that way. They're ramping up lately which is to be expected with Bandcamp Firdays becoming a regular fixture. Here's a couple of things from both the new list and my archives:

And what better way to try and soothe than with the old tried and tested lo-fi style hip hop. I know it's become a bit of a meme in modern times (like so many other genres I like!) but I'll always carry a certain fondness for it, dating back to my times of staying up far too late and watching [adult swim] commercial breaks with that same vibe. I struggle to critique the genre in all honesty, it's pretty hard to get wrong; pick a nice sounding sample and you're pretty much there. I'm not super well versed in it admittedly, it's something I indulge in every now and then. Axian is one of the few examples I have in my library, and I had a look at the new stuff they have put up recently (though this one is originally form 2017 it's 'new' to Bandcamp) and Seasons Change really hit the spot. After being inactive for a long time this was a super sweet thing to come back to.

And just for old times sake, the original tune of theirs that I never actually posted about but included on a podcast way back when we used to do them. This one is a lovely slow-jam lo-fi'd version of Duvet by Bôa, which is one of my all time favourite songs in the non-electronic side of things. It was a lovely serendipitous moment where it appeared in my youtube auto-playlists for a long time but I assumed like so many one-off fan tracks that it wasn't anywhere else, only one lazy day did I read the description and find the Bandcamp page, and for a solitary dollar it was certainly worth it. Something both me and Axian agree on is that perhaps a little more of the original should have been included here, there's a small tease at the end of what could have been if that were the case. Not even the original lyrics, just a little more of that guitar work would have been a great closer.

Another one from the archives, I picked up Jasper Byrne's Night after hearing the title track on Adult Swim's synthwave as hell Fever Dreams compilation, and of course adoring his pieces from the Hotline Miami soundtracks from long before that. It's a lovely little album, although if you're coming off the Hotline Miami soundtracks don't go in expecting full-on synthwave ultra-violence. Having said that however, Bliss does have the feel of Miami from those soundtracks, having the same smooth synth melodies that were present on that track and the breakdowns of Voyager too. While it's got that neon-drenched vibe going on but overall has more of a chillwave style influence, like a slightly retro electronic version of Washed Out's Life Of Leisure, doubly so with those hazy vocals. They appear on a few tracks from this album and they're a nice addition, Jasper's instrumental work is gorgeous on it's own but the addition of vocals is super refreshing to hear.

And finally, yet another artist with a connection to Adult Swim for me, Casino Versus Japan. I've regrettably not really taken a really deep dive into their works in all these years, which is an absolute crime considering I've had Go Hawaii for ages, my original copy being a very low quality version from limewire of all places. Consider this then another one of my usual 'friendly reminders' to myself to actually do that in future. In the meantime, have one of my favourites from Go Hawaii, Local Forecast. It's a lovely little piece of melodic, squelchy home-brewed sounding electronic. The beat is a little harsher than I remember but that could be these laptop speakers that I'm stuck with at the minute. Be sure to stay tuned after the main tune fades out! there's an absolutely divine little bonus ambient piece on the end that I could immerse myself in for ever.

And so ends this time's slightly scatterbrained selection of things. As mentioned last time things might be getting a little more sparse from here on out so I hope you can have patience, as we all know a lot of things are a bit of a mess right now. Not to dwell on the negative though, I hop that firstly you are all well and secondly that you find some things you really dig in this selection. And finally, as always, stay safe and enjoy the music.


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