Dishital Weekly: Benchmark, Commander Spoon, Fluorescent Half Dome, Makeunder, Yoshe Malkus

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. Benchmark – All of the Possible Outcomes

benchmark

Maybrook, New York’s Benchmark deliver up a solid slice of indie rock with their third EP All of the Possible Outcomes. The band’s sound exists as something of a blend of the nineties’ most prominent alternative stylings, with rousing power pop jams such as “Feel It Out” and “All In” and the brief downbeat grunge ballad “Foam”, all with a light through-line tinge of emo, one could assume they were raised on a steady diet of early Weezer, Nirvana, and Third Eye Blind.

No physicals as of right now, but last year’s Blossom, Bloom did see a CD run, so keep an eye out.

 

2. Commander Spoon – Facing

commander spoon

From saxophonist Pierre Spataro’s Belgian quartet Commander Spoon comes Facing, the third in a series of scintillating nu jazz EPs, following last year’s Introducing and Declining. As with those releases, Facing is a four-part-suite of generally moody, atmospheric, laid back sax-led pieces, though our favorite section is probably Part II with its more speedy tempo, active drumming and deft guitar work (when Part III goes heavy metal on us in its final minute-and-a-half comes really close).

We also highly recommend those other two EPs mentioned: they share a clear kinship and we personally feel a physical compilation of the three would definitely be worth getting our hands on.

 

 

 

3. Fluorescent Half Dome – Cool Trash Magazine Has Your Diary!

cool trash

Released in October of last year, Cool Trash Magazine Has Your Diary! is the sophomore EP from Nashville’s Krista Glover aka Fluorescent Half Dome. A hyper addictive set of new wave/dream pop tunes, we’re somewhat shocked that songs such as “Summer Blessing” haven’t gone ‘viral’, as the nu internet says. The algorithm is known to be fickle, but THIS fickle? So Glover isn’t a household name yet, but we’re happy to champion her early so we can cash those “I told you so” checks later.

 

4. Makeunder – Pale Cicada

makeunder

Makeunder is Oakland, California’s Hamilton Ulmer, an art pop/R&B artist with his first major release since 2015’s Great Headless Blank in Pale Cicada, his debut LP on Good Eye Records. The experimental production qualities along with Ulmer’s own vocal cadence are highly reminiscent of David Longstreth’s Dirty Projectors, but the form in which they’re presented is more akin to the funk/dance-pop of Prince and Stevie Wonder, with single “In Between My Dead-End Jobs” especially likely to please fans of the latter. While we couldn’t find any information on a physical release at the time of writing this, Great Headless Blank did receive a vinyl press, so we wouldn’t be shocked to learn about this getting one as well in the near future.

 

5. Yoshe Malkus – Darker

yoshe

There’s no sugar-coating it: Yoshe Malkus’ Darker is an immensely daunting behemoth of a record, and one only the truly patient and likely crazy will see through all the way to the end. Luckily here at Counterzine, we’re kinda fucking crazy, but unluckily, we’ve basically no idea how to communicate what exactly this is short of a 20,000 word essay. At 27 tracks, more than a handful of which reach the double-digit minutes mark (including the epic 42-minute closer “Catharsis”) is an avant-garde record with seemingly unmatched ambition, blending experimental rock, neofolk, psychedelia, ambient, drone and basically anything you can think of into a monument to sound itself. We’re actually very conflicted in including it here, simply because it deserves more. For now, if you can make the time (the album is broken up into three still very large chapters and we’d suggest one at a time), just listen. This is one of the year’s best without question, and maybe one day we’ll get around to that essay.

 

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