Saturday 12 June 2021


No Bandcamp Friday this month, but there is a Juneteenth even in its place. Seems like there isn't one for July either so it's given me a chance to review my wishlist and do a bit of trimming. That's not what this post is about though, here I'm just going to talk about some things I have lined up to get!
Art from Plantasia's liner notes

It's a little bit of a mixed bag this time, with some last minute additions and some that I'm not going to talk about b/c I've already posted about them. To start off we have something that I'd completely forgotten was on Bandcamp at all until recently and something that I have been meaning to scoop up for a while. A little something from early Synth experimenter Mort Garson - for a long time the work of these early synthesiser experimenters has been a little hard to come by, a similar thing happened to Wendy Carlos' output as well.

Though Garson's work enjoyed a little bump in popularity after being used by the McElroys as the intro music to season 1 of The Adventure Zone, not sure how much of a factor that had on these reissues but like I always say: the more eyes on electronic music the better. Plantasia from 1976 is a lovely album, though very of the era in parts - I was going to pick Swingin' Spathiphyllums to post which illustrates this pretty well, but I still love it dearly and completely un-ironically regardless. Instead I went with the opening Plantasia instead as I think it gives a better idea of the album as a whole and really lets Garson flex his composing skills. An intro full of delicate synths soon gives way to some bombastic brassy tones that are evocative as ever. It's a piece very reminiscent of the synthpop / new age stuff from Kraftwerk and Jean Michel Jarre in my Dad's collection that I was fascinated with as a child and pretty much sent me on my electronic music journey.

Moving into more conventional territory now with a surprise drop from The Knife. A simple one track EP that's a studio version of Pass This On as played on the Silent Shout tour in 2006 that like the name suggests was only included on a 7" version of the EP. Like Carpenter Brut's Maniac I'd just assumed that it'd never see a studio version come out, not unless I wanted a vinyl rip from someone on the net who had the EP with it on so this was a nice surprise indeed. I absolutely adore and have played to death the live album that has the actual recording of this on it, so hearing it free of crowd noise and the atmospheric reverb of the venue the recording was done in is pretty trippy but a welcome addition, especially for the low low price of 8 Swedish Krona that they're asking for it - that's 12 cents in USD! It's a a complete flip of the original, swapping the upbeat synthpop for a more menacing pulsating feel that's brings it more in line with the stuff on Silent Shout - though the steel pan from the original is still there!

Similar to Garson, I had a bit of confusion with Gimmik - he's putting stuff out on the label n5MD at the minute and that label has their own bandcamp, typically these are linked back to the artist even acorss multiple labels, that's how I've seen it work on DMX Krew's at least. But it turns out after a couple of months of following I didn't even realise Gimmik has his own BC page with most of his releases on there, though to confuse things further it also includes the new stuff from n5MD too. Regardless, I'm glad to have found it - I fell in love with Gimmik's work off the heels of a couple of compilations I picked up from a now defunct label called Toytronic and I really gravitated towards the style of IDM he was working with there, nice and melodic and not too harsh, the kind of techy groove that's more accessible than your snare rushes.

I can't stop listening to Back To Basics in particular, the title pretty much nails it - this is back to basics IDM. It's not quite as out and out old school as the proper early 90's Warp stuff, but it definitely wears the inspiration from those releases on it's sleeve. I knew from that gorgeous swooping synth of the opening I was going to have a good time here, it's again another one of those tracks that almost feels like it was designed to cater 100% to me. The whole album is similar too, nicely riding that line between the full on IDM world and these lush melodic pieces that have a technological streak to them. It's one that I definitely recommend picking up if you're at all into the genre, and one that's made it's way onto my list of recommends for newcomers to the genre or those looking for something a little more softer in the IDM world.

And that'll do it for this slightly eclectic edition of this month's roundup, I think Plantasia might be one of the oldest tracks I've ever posted here for starters! I hope that you find something here that really appeals to you, honourable mention to the one album that didn't make the list this time: Perturbator's Lustful Sacrements, which sees the Synthwave vet take a more Industrial turn. There's nothing wrong with it, I just haven't spent enough time with it yet - it may make an appearance in the near future yet.

And as always: Stay safe and enjoy the music.


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