Thursday, September 26, 2013

recommended: eagleshadow - Cassette demo #1

 Don't really know a whole lot about this one, other than it was brought to my attention by Laurent Fintoni via his 'Best Bandcamp Releases' column for Fact. The tags indicate he's from Belfast, but wherever it originates from this is charming stuff that seems to nod at a number of electronic music trends without ever seeming like it's jumping on any bandwagon. Opener '909+C' has a peculiar, faded-tape quality that reminds you of quality-stamped cassette labels like Leaving Records, but its melody is bright, airy and buoyant, sort of like something from the Lucky Me stable except with the multicolour maximalism and hefty bass dialled back.

 'Ghost of (cassette mix)' is something else entirely: its main, bluesy guitar riff sounds like a vintage, virtuoso-but-understated jam from the 70s, the track's languid, mid-tempo drift evoking images of a smoke-filled lounge/studio. Everything is just so, with unobtrusive, barely-there percussion and lovely counter-melodies.
Then there's 'Jazz Sax', which is more along the lines of the electronica/brass hybrids of Archie Pelago (or, closer to home, ZoiD's jazzier experiments); listen closer and some of the more high-pitched, free-floating lines recall something like 'Kaotic Harmony'.

There's more stuff on his Bandcamp, including two volumes of 'B-Side Jams and Old Tracks', both of which are, like Cassette demo #1, available for name-your-price.

recommended: Divil A' Bit - In Deference To The Squeamish I

In Deference to the Squeamish I by Divil A' Bit from Divil Bit on Vimeo.

David Colohan (United Bible Studies, Raising Holy Sparks), Natalia Beylis and Willie Stewart (both of Woven Skull) make up the trio Divil A' Bit; Stewart also directed this evocative, gothic-tinged video for their track 'In Deference To The Squeamish I'. It suits the alternately eerie and serene folk vibes of the track so well, its bucolic setting (Drumnadubber Wood in Leitrim) reflecting the prominent, integral use of field recordings in the track itself. (Beylis hosts a 'daily sound diary project' called The Sunken Hum which is well worth checking out, its unaltered field recordings/soundscapes encompassing everything from creaking gates to cattle marts).

'...Squeamish...' is based around a simple but hypnotic banjo (or something similar?) figure that gradually, subtly builds into something more lyrical and intricate; just as essential to the overall atmosphere, however, are the sounds of stones steadily splashing in water, chirping birdsong, and the irregular hum of passing cars (the music was recorded under Archies Bridge, Royal Canal, Longford).

An album is on the way from the trio, who will be performing an interactive 'Keyboard Massacre' at this year's Hunters Moon festival in Carrick-on-Shannon (the festival is run by Beylis and Stewart).