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Music

A Guide to the Brilliant DIY Pop of The Cleaners From Venus

Martin Newell has a name for the four-track recorders that he’s spent most of his life pouring pop gems into. “[They’re like] the cage to be brilliant in,” The Cleaners From Venus mastermind says over the phone wistfully. “[A four-track] takes away certain decisions that I can’t have—it puts me in a cage and says, ‘Go and be clever in […]

Music

Hidden Gems: Clarias, “La Venganza de la Calva”

//bandcamp.com/EmbeddedPlayer/v=2/album=3509572984/size=large/bgcol=ffffff/linkcol=0687f5/tracklist=false/artwork=small/ In our new series “Hidden Gems,” writers share their favorite Bandcamp discoveries. Clarias is something of a supergroup—their founding members are all legendary musicians in the local punk and hardcore underground. With ties to bands like Tropiezo, Juventud Crasa, Golpe Justo, and the punk salsa group Orquesta el Macabeo, the hardcore heavyweights joined forces in the summer of 2015 […]

Music

This Week’s Essential Releases: Ethio-Jazz, Experimental Electronic, Cult Metal & More

Welcome to Seven Essential Releases, our weekly roundup of the best music on Bandcamp. Each week, we’ll recommend six new albums that were released between last Friday and this Friday, plus pick an older LP from the stacks that you may have missed. Eddie Palmieri Full Circle //bandcamp.com/EmbeddedPlayer/v=2/track=1587795702/album=4282194741/size=large/bgcol=ffffff/linkcol=0687f5/tracklist=false/artwork=small/ Eddie Palmieri is, of course, a legend. The innovative pianist, composer, and bandleader, who’s […]

Music

Album of the Day: Mulatu Astatke, “Afro Latin Soul”

//bandcamp.com/EmbeddedPlayer/v=2/album=1250977659/size=large/bgcol=ffffff/linkcol=0687f5/ The discography of Ethiopian jazz pioneer Mulatu Astatke has become the stuff of legend. Following the 2017 reissue of Astatke’s brilliant Mulatu of Ethiopia, stories spread of the musician’s early days in America in the 1960s and ‘70s. With Strut’s newest reissue, Afro Latin Soul Vols. 1 & 2, we hear Astatke’s first forays into the pioneering sound that would […]

Music

A Brief Introduction to Traditional Mainland Southeast Asian Music on Bandcamp

“Southeast Asia” is the deceptively straightforward geographical name for a world region comprised of 1.75 million square miles, 11 countries, and dozens of ethnicities and spoken languages. Unlike its richer and more developed neighbors to the north (China, Japan, Korea) and west (India), Southeast Asia has been a relatively muted participant in the cultural flows facilitated by globalization, including the […]

Music

On “Coffin Birth,” Extremity Perfect “Dumb Death Metal”

Photos by Aloysius V Cummings While metal is undeniably physical music, that doesn’t stop some bands from instilling their work with a heady intellectualism. Take black metal acts Agalloch and Ludicra, experimental thrashers Vhol, and cavernous death metal band Vastum, for example. All of them American extreme metal bands, and all of them use their lyrics to explore dense themes, […]

Music

Big Ups: Wimps Pick Their Favorite Records on Bandcamp

Photo by Nathan Palace When it came time for Seattle punk trio Wimps to shoot the cover art for their latest record, Garbage People, they had a very specific idea in mind. “We wanted a picture in front of a huge pile of garbage,” remembers bassist Matt Nyce. “We were picturing an old-timey dump, like something that Heathcliff would live […]

Music

Album of the Day: Negative Scanner, “Nose Picker”

//bandcamp.com/EmbeddedPlayer/v=2/album=245225388/size=large/bgcol=ffffff/linkcol=0687f5/ On their new record Nose Picker, Chicago’s Negative Scanner perfect their formula for cheeky, guitar-forward post-punk wit. The album begins with vocalist Rebecca Valeriano-Flores hollering in a ridiculous faux British accent, “Is there anybody there?” The response comes in the form of a lightly-overdriven guitar, which plunges into the empty space with brash, simple bar chord hammering, propped up […]

Music

Straight Panic’s Very Queer Power Electronics

Photo by Jay Watson What happens when the ethos of your upbringing is in direct opposition to the person you are? For much of his life, and all of his work as queer power electronics artist Straight Panic, New Orleans’ Thomas Boettner has been exploring this existential crossroads. “I was born in Arkansas, but grew up in South Carolina,” Boettner […]

Music

Hip-Hop Producer Sadhugold is Quickly Becoming a Name You Should Know

Sadhugold has a thing for high-pitched frequencies. Speaking from his home base in Philadelphia, the 26-year-old hip-hop producer rattles off a list of likes, including “weird dinging sounds,” the music of David Axelrod, and the underappreciated role of the triangle in a band. “Everyone wonders what the triangle is there for when they first see it,” he says, “but you […]

Music

Celebrating Ten Years of Avant-Pop Label NNA Tapes

For all the precision and artfulness reflected in each release from NNA Tapes—uniform cover designs, boundary-pushing music—the Burlington, Vermont experimental label began with a joke. According to Toby Aronson, who co-founded the label with his friend Matt Mayer, the label’s name originated with an offhand comment. “We made a joke saying we’d call [our sound] ‘Nü New Age’—you know, like […]

Music

Album of the Day: Deafheaven, “Ordinary Corrupt Human Love”

//bandcamp.com/EmbeddedPlayer/v=2/album=2042026938/size=large/bgcol=ffffff/linkcol=0687f5/ Homogenization has never been on Deafheaven’s menu, and now they loathe it more than ever. With Ordinary Corrupt Human Love, they’ve decided that fitting any sort of niche is a cop-out. Those who adored the blackgaze grandeur of the band’s breakthrough album, 2013’s Sunbather, or the thrash-and-burn musculature and alt-pop sidesteps of 2015’s New Bermuda, might even be taken aback […]

Music

Album of the Day: Deafheaven, “Ordinary Corrupt Human Love”

//bandcamp.com/EmbeddedPlayer/v=2/album=2042026938/size=large/bgcol=ffffff/linkcol=0687f5/ Homogenization has never been on Deafheaven’s menu, and now they loathe it more than ever. With Ordinary Corrupt Human Love, they’ve decided that fitting any sort of niche is a cop-out. Those who adored the blackgaze grandeur of the band’s breakthrough album, 2013’s Sunbather, or the thrash-and-burn musculature and alt-pop sidesteps of 2015’s New Bermuda, might even be taken aback […]

Music

Papi Squad Brings Global Electronic Music to the Bronx

At 231st St., the elevated train screeches overhead in the Kingsbridge section of the Bronx. Near the end of the 1 line and just over the river from Manhattan, it’s a lot like the rest of the new New York, featuring renovated delis with vast hookah selections and sprawling, 24-hour chain pharmacies. But in many other respects, it reveals how […]

Music

Ten Bands Lighting Up the Metal Scene in Denver, Colorado

Love Gang photo by Matthew Binginot Historically, Colorado has been fertile ground for classical music, folk, and even bluegrass, but the region was never known as a hotbed for metal. Occasionally, groups like Jag Panzer, Cephalic Carnage, and Havok surfaced from the oxygen-deprived mountain air, but there was no discernible scene that was appreciated nationwide—until about five years ago. Coincidentally […]