Friday 3 December 2021

Last minute checks

Laura Knight - Sundown (1947)

Oh boy it's that time of the month again where Bandcamp Friday has done sneaked up on me again. I've actually been pretty good about it last couple of times so I can't really complain too much - it is my fault this time. With a return to tradition, let's all gather 'round the fireside as I try and find some choice selections from my ever growing wish-list that catch my ear (and hopefully, yours as well).

Kicking off with more from Soichi Terada and his new upcoming LP Asakusa Light. I'd wish-listed it before I even listened to any of it because Terada is among my favourite makers ever since I heard the original Ape Escape OST as a wee one. This album sees him return to House once again rather than the Drum & Bass that introduced me to him - but the man has a long history with the genre and he's damn good at it too. Enter the newest preview track to drop: Double Spire - I was pretty impressed with the last one, Bamboo Fighter and figured I'd take a look at it again, and let me tell you that Terada did not disappoint. Right from the get go, he launches a surgical strike on the deep house loving parts of my brain with a simply gorgeous, luscious pads - and then not content with just that, some swiftly applied pitch bends are there to win me over completely. Garnish with some deliciously retro piano stabs and it only goes from strength to strength. The whole thing isn't out until the 12th of December so I might not pick it up this time around, but if the rest of the LP is of this standard then I may have to do a full-on in-depth dive into it on release. Simply wonderful.

Other than that, I've been keeping up with the trend of the last few months where I've been picking up smatterings of Electro in the old school style. I've mentioned a few of them in passing already, but a new one this time is more from Versalife with the finale of the Night Time Activities series. After loving the first one I listened to the second entry and was kinda lukewarm on it, but there may be time yet for it to grow. Still, didn't want to write off the rest of it without giving it a go, so I put part 3 on just for completions sake - and I'm enjoying it much more than the predecessor, the opening track is right up my alley. Billed on the Bandcamp page as "Dark, sinister and intense!", the first track is anything but: very much of that sleek hi-tech school of sound that you might hear from the one The Other People Place album for example. I think spacing my electro stuff out like this has been a great idea, it can get a bit same-y at times just due to the nature of the genre - but much like my love for that particular brand of early 90's ambient techno stuff, I love to immerse myself in this kind of sound every once in a while.

Other than that, it's been a whirlwind of jumping down my list and sampling bits of it here and there, from the claustraphobic glitch techno of Zamilska to reissues vintage Japanese Ambient records and back again. It's very easy to burn yourself out doing this, I know as I have done it many times over the last year or so and even came close this time.

But to the surprise of no one, I ended up back in IDM territory - I have had a well documented long love affair with the genre (and a hatred of the name). I've added plenty of artists to my wishlist from various early 00's compilations I've gathered over the years and a fair few of them are still active! Martin Haidinger is one of them, with an impressive list of credentials: one half of Abfarht Hinwil and founder of Toytronic Records, the source for a lot of those compilations I mentioned. Back in April he released a new album under the Gimmik alias, Cloudwalker - I posted a track from it back when there was only one available for preview but this was my first time with the whole thing.

I wasn't dissapointed, the track that was up for preview way back when, Carters Final Transmission is very much in my favourite style of IDM - balanced glitchiness with these crisp and flowing synth accompaniment that has an edge of melancholy to it. I've been a little lukewarm on some of Gimmik's past releases but I'm very into this one so far, it sounds very much like the stuff from those early 00's compialtions I was talking about which as I already mentioned isn't a downside to me at all, I will always and forver love this style. Carters Final Transmission might still be my favourite of the bunch, but I've picked out opening track Short Wave Memories to highlight for now as it's probably the most evocative of that old style I mentioned - there's lots of lovely squelchy synths and catchy melodies scattered throughout if you're as big a fan as me. Keep an eye out for more pieces from this one in the near future.

And that'll do it for now - I've got some other things lined up to pick up but I'll figure I'll do a follow up post to this one as it might change a bit between now and then. Not sure if Bandcamp Firdays will continue into the new year, the line from BC themselves just said "Will continue for the rest of 2021", it'll be a shame if they stop but I do understand, they are a company after all, waiving your profits once a month probably isn't ideal. Even if they do stop, I'm thankful that I was personally able to support so many artists that I love and make plenty of new discoveries along the way as well - and I hope you have too! On that note, I'll wrap up here - As always, stay safe and enjoy the music.


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