Bandcamp Roulette is a feature from contributor Secat that scours Bandcamp for interesting, new, and under-the-radar releases. This edition features albums from wellkeptnothing, Yuki Fukuyama, and Robert Crosbie / Geisha.
Albums time, albums time, albums time! Four instead of the usual three, for reasons that will be explained further down. Check ‘em out, already!:
wellkeptnothing – 8PM
You might do a bit of a double-take when you check out the release page for 8PM and notice a seemingly esoteric collection of tags: “alkaline”, “canvas”, “oil painting”, and “superconnected”. If you’re anything like me, those tags will drive you to listen to the project, an understated, appealing collection of hazy lounge-jazz-y cuts quietly bubbling over with tasteful electronic accents. It’s easy to fall harmlessly into the groove here; the artist provides plenty of soft cushioning to pad your landing. Snuggle up within the tunes. Pour yourself a mug of hot chocolate. Grab a pillow: A Pillow Pet, even (hey, remember those?). Don’t get too comfortable, however; inspect the release page a little more closely, and you’ll see that this album is currently priced at a whopping ¥100,000 (a little under $910 U.S. dollars). The “oil painting” tag makes more sense now; it is a thing to be viewed under the soft museum lighting of the Bandcamp interface, admired, and then left alone. You can’t take this piece home with you and confine it to the digital waste dump that is your mp3 folder (unless you can, in which case: gimme some, moneybags), and perhaps that makes it all the better.
Listen if: you are the Monopoly Man
Favorite Tracks: “l’histoire du soleil”, “smiles from the memory she made with you”
Yuki Fukuyama – Three Dimensional Effect
Goofy, atonal deep house assembled with care from a bricolage of bleepity bloops, bloopity bleeps, and radio squawks. Each song evolves as though running through an all-encompassing generative engine; the sound is like an entity, untouched by human hands: merely observed, transcribed, and replicated. Sort of what I imagine a Magic Eye picture would sound like before you diverge your eyes. Each subsequent song iterates on what came before it (as outlined by the track titles, “One Dimensional”, “Two Dimensional”, and “Three Dimensional Effect”) by adding new, dynamic percussive and timbral elements. The electronic version of a traditional classical “Variations on a Theme” suite.
Listen if: you are a robot wearing human skin; you’re one of those accursed few who has to hold the Magic Eye book THIS. CLOSE. to your face to get it to work right and make a fool out of yourself in the Barnes & Noble
Favorite Track: “Two Dimensional”
Robert Crosbie / Geisha – Hummm and Turbulent Mediator
These are Dublin-based musician Robert Crosbie’s third and fourth EPs, respectively, but they’re marketed as companion pieces; one does not exist without the other (or, at least, the two are not as meaningful if not experienced as dual parts of a conceptual whole). Both projects focus on shoegaze aesthetics, lush, heavy ambience, and wistful composition, but to different ends: Hummm (Part 1 of the duology) is sun-kissed, almost triumphant, while Turbulent Mediator is earthier and more subdued. If Hummm is the event, then Turbulent Mediator is the aftermath, picking up the fragments that Hummm leaves shattered in its wake after the bombastic, psychedelic closer track “Reverie” and reassembling them into a frail after-image. Of the two, I think I might prefer Turbulent Mediator just the slightest bit more – but both EPs have a great deal to offer, and I wouldn’t listen to one without at least checking out the other, as well. It was a smart move on Crosbie’s part to separate the two, rather than just combining them into a single release; I think it’s much more fun to pick at the component parts of both EPs and see how they complement one another than it would be to do so with individual tracks on one exhaustive LP.
Listen if: you’re on a hill, it is five or so minutes until dawn, and you have ready access to a good, bassy boombox
Favorite Tracks: “Ummm” (from Hummm), “Seneath” (from Turbulent Mediator)
Good grief, that’s a lot of music, huh? The roulette wheel, it just keeps on a-turnin’!