Bandcamp Roulette is a feature from contributor Secat that scours Bandcamp for interesting, new, and under-the-radar releases. This edition features albums from illogical Compeuter, Tonopah Test, and alopratos.
Welcome back! You know the drill, let’s jump right in:
illogical Compeuter – And Neptune
Two dimly lit, obscurant dub techno soundscapes that keep their cards close to their chests. Pared-down, echoing kick drums roughly cut their way through walls of murky analogue wobbles and stuttering, oddly chopped lo-fi samples; a room filled with smoke that forces you to crawl your way to the exit, coughing, sputtering. “A Dust of Stars in Heads” begins to offer the listener brief glimpses of light as calmer, brighter strokes of guitar and chiming cymbal brushes slowly invade the frame; but, ultimately, the full experience is oppressive, singular, and, most of all, excellent. Joy is overtaken; only grime remains.
Favorite Track: “A Dust of Stars in Heads”
Tonopah Test – hypha
Tonopah Test offers a lot of titillating ideas in the accompanying press release for hypha – making claims, among others, that its 7 tracks were “harvested from the moldy walls of a dark and ancient file folder” and are capable of inducing “visions and psy-fi hallucinations” – from what I can gather, the album is conceptually meant to communicate the experience of traveling through a fungal network of mycorrhizae and encountering various fantastical landscapes along the way. The actual listening product offers many parallels to this central idea; the clanking, droning ambient backgrounds of each track, occasionally giving way to more hopeful, sparkling synth motifs that drift aimlessly in and out of the foreground, read to me as a meditation on fungal life, and on decomposition in all its forms – its capacity to destroy and create in equal measure. Things will always grow and die, but the soil will remain; and what is left behind must be consumed.
Pair with: Mushroom identification guides; fractal zoom videos
Favorite Tracks: “Looms”, “Stealing crumbs from the Giants”
alopratos – El perro del Verano
Discordant, reggaetón-inspired freakbeats for the afterparty after the afterparty – the one where everybody around you looks translucent, where you’re pretty sure you’re the only conscious person in the world. There’s an incredibly despondent, insular character to this album (made in the wake of the artist’s dog’s death, if the release page is to be believed) that leads to both pits and peaks, moments of triumph and incredible melancholy. The listener is permitted to explore every permutation of a headspace mired with grief: the bright spots, the washes of paralysis that move in like the tide, ebbing and flowing. The path to recovery occasionally reveals itself, but the mental roadblocks in the way manifest as dark, moody trenches of atonal recursion that eventually overtake each hopeful moment. The last track, “When the party’s over”, seems to be a (loose) cover of the Billie Eilish song of the same name – I wonder if it might represent how one can cling to music in dire straits, listening to the same things over and over, singing them to yourself when you can’t even find the will to press “play” – but, ultimately, that’s pure speculation. What’s important is that the release as a whole is evocative, inspiring the imagination; alopratos has done an excellent job at crafting a work that’s obviously personal, but still immediately understandable.
Pair with: Playing minesweeper alone in your bedroom; 2 lime White Claws at 1 A.M.
Favorite Track: “Transformer de playa”
Without really intending it, all three of these releases are somewhat similar in tone; well, try not to get too bummed out, O listener…