Dishital Weekly is Counterzine’s weekly roundup of 5 digital only releases we think are worthy of your attention. The only rules are that we like it and there’s no readily available physical version at the timing of writing. When it was released, genre, platform: none of these matter. If it’s new to us and it’s new to you, it’s new.
1. Arusha – Evolving Mysteries
The most recent EP from Sweden’s Arusha (as well as Irish psytrance netlabel Shunyata Records), Evolving Mysteries is the first goa trance release we’ve covered on the site. For uninitiated, it’s more or less psychedelic EDM, relying on fast, hypnotic grooves, squelching electronics, and steady shifts and builds that combine to evoke a feeling akin to fleeing from a relentless horde of killbots in a post-apocalyptic Indian jungle after consuming a fistful of mushrooms. Evolving Mysteries nails this while still finding plenty of room for deviation (“Katara Cat on the Run” for instance slows to a crawl around the three-and-a-half minute mark to introduce some spacy whispered vocal samples before re-emerging at a hyper frantic clip). A very strong example of the genre.
2. DYED – s/t
Seattle’s DYED deliver their debut self-titled EP, a diverse set of four tunes that blend electroclash and post-punk to varying ends, from the dance-oriented, synth-heavy opener “Bebe” to the raw, snotty and angular “Pigs” (where the band comes across as a sort of Gang of Four/X-Ray Spex hybrid) to the seven-and-a-half-minute brooding, bass-driven slow burn closer “First Bourne”.
Cassettes exist, but as of now seem to be exclusive to their recent tour with Black Marble and Froth. Here’s hoping that changes, but for now, the digital is available to stream and buy and we highly recommend you check it out.
3. Fruit & Nut – Answers to Come
To think we almost didn’t get this.
Answers to Come is a three song EP by Australia’s Fruit & Nut, originally recorded in 2016 with the intent for it be a 7″ release and finally released just two weeks ago digitally on Bandcamp. The band’s sound could be broadly described as ‘art rock’ but broken down into components could be looked at as XTC’s new wave meets the Slits’ dub meets Emerson, Lake & Palmer’s prog rock (with the second track’s title “Aquatarkus” seemingly referencing that band’s “Tarkus” and Jethro Tull’s “Aqualung”). It’s a wild, thrilling listen, and while we generally don’t like to play favorites on Dishital Weekly, if you only listen to one of these releases, make it this one. It’s free to download and only 69 American cents to add to your collection, so there’s no excuse here.
4. Greg Mendez – Home Videos (2006-2018)
Do you love Elliott Smith? Do you dream of a world where his brand of soft, sweet, emotional, brilliantly written folk pop was still being released? If the answer is yes, you’re going to love Greg Mendez. The Philadelphia singer-songwriter’s Home Videos (2006-2018) compiles 14 beautiful ‘demos’ (much of Mendez’s output could technically be called such, but they sound excellent), ‘mostly’ home-recorded between the years of, you guessed it, 2006 and 2018. As such, it’s arguably the best overview and entry point to his music.
Mendez also recently released a brand new EP two days ago called Heavy Metal High. If it weren’t the first time we were covering Mendez, it’d be the focus, but it’s both very brief and a large deviation from his other material, at least in form: it’s an electropop record. Still a very solid project and we recommend checking it out once you’ve gotten a handle on his usual output.
5. MOON DUNES – Are You Kind?
MOON DUNES are a four-piece psychedelic rock band from San Marcos, Texas who describe themselves as “bright eyed, nature loving artists creating music made to melt your heart in a positive flow of ancient rhythm and future peace”. If you truncated that to ‘hippies’, well, you wouldn’t necessarily be wrong. Their new album Are You Kind? wants to travel to space with you, but also lets take your odyssey at a relaxed pace that allows you to take in the sights. The band does a great job of blending the throwback elements of 60s psychedelia with more modern ones to form a sound that’s a good bit tighter than many of their contemporaries while still sounding new and fresh. It’s a trip, but a mellow and pleasant one, while still rocking hard enough to avoid being considered soft or psych ‘pop’.