Bandcamp Roulette is a feature from contributor Secat that scours Bandcamp for interesting, new, and under-the-radar releases. This edition features albums from polarsmokemystic, Machine+, and dave phillips.
This edition’s theme is SHOCK AND AWE: As I scouted out projects to cover, I really began to reckon with the sheer amount of quality music hiding in plain sight on Bandcamp. I can only hope that what I’ve curated is able to at least somewhat represent the beauty and wonder of what languishes in the shade. Without further ado, here are three must-listens:
polarsmokemystic – FRUIT MUSIC
polarsmokemystic is from Uppsala in Sweden, apparently (near Stockholm), which is around a 12 ½ hour flight from where I live; I would have to fly coach to afford the trip. I’d like to make the journey anyways, just so that I can shake their hand – because FRUIT MUSIC, their newest LP after a long break in 2019, is on some absolutely KILLER shit. Weird-ass mutated TNGHT-core trap instrumentals interfiled with good ol’ y2k-is-imminent spacey dream-DnB influences – an eclectic, bouncy, and at times completely baffling thrill ride. When I listen to FRUIT MUSIC, it’s impossible for me not to break out into a huge, cheesy grin; it’s one of the most genuinely exciting projects I’ve heard in a while. Displays a huge passion for experimentation, lively noise, and sounds that set your head to Tumble Dry. It’s something that I can’t really make heads or tails of, in the very best sense of the phrase.
Listen if: the residual new-paint fumes in the stairwell leading up to your apartment are making you dizzy again (when will that go AWAY?!)
Favorite Tracks: “CGIBLUEBERRY”, “EARTH SUMMER”, “PLANTS GREW PANTS”, “RIKTIGHETSHETS”
Machine+ — Sāmsara
A surreal, weightless blend of shoegaze and post-rock aesthetics morphed and stretched like taffy across time and space, Detroit-based musician Machine+’s newest LP, Sāmsara (which purports to be “the end of a trilogy” and “the beginning of something new” on its release page), is the rare project that manages to be a clear product of its influences while simultaneously directing those influences to new and startling points of convergence. It teeters and warps fascinatingly under the weight of all of its different ideas; it almost, almost doesn’t work, but some mysterious force continues to pull it back from the brink of collapse. If this album is any indication, Machine+ is an artist to watch out for in the future: one who ignores the noise and steadfastly forges their own path ahead.
Listen if: you feel yourself drawn to the center of the earth; for you know there is some piece of you embedded in its core.
Favorite Tracks: “Scruff”, “On The Mountain”
dave phillips – post homo sapiens
Screeching, prying dark ambient assembled from ghostly hums, booming percussion, and various field recordings. It’s a testament to post homo sapiens’ power and sublime instrumentation that, even though it clocks in at over an hour in its entirety, I never fail to become completely transfixed by it, unable to look away from its first cry to its final death rattles. If I were in a score-giving mood it would probably get my highest rating. There isn’t much I feel compelled to say about it here; I think the music does the talking. As the release page says: “PLAY LOUD as one listening session.”
Listen if: you’re on an elevator, going up, somewhere: where? It doesn’t matter. On each floor, the doors open and close. No one gets on with you; nothing stirs the void beyond the doors. You don’t get off, either; you’re not sure how, but you know that you have a long way to go before you reach your destination.
Favorite Tracks: “biosemiotics”, “stridulated requiem for homo sapiens”