Bandcamp Picks

Bandcamp Picks of the Week 8/12/2022


It’s our Bandcamp Picks of the Week, featuring the worldly bilingual post-punk of Morgana’s CONTEMPORANEITÀ and the world building jazz of DoomCannon’s RENAISSANCE!

Morgana Cover


Genre: Post-punk

Favorite Tracks: “Arianne,” “Attaccati a niente”

Maybe the most punk thing you can do is not record in English. It’ll either piss off or moderately confuse us ‘Mericans. But, if you’re of a more culturally welcoming background, what are the odds someone speaks Italian and French? (I could Google it, but, again, ‘Merican.) Hailing from Florence, Italy, the four-piece Morgana have recorded CONTEMPORANEITÀ, an LP that “encapsulates the post-punk spirit” and features songs in both aforementioned tongues. Even though I didn’t understand a word, it’s a genuinely rollicking slice of brash punk.

You don’t need words when you have great hooks and a picture-perfect sonic aesthetic. Like “Stanchi,” where those guitars get all the room to twist and turn amid big, shouty vocals and heavy bass, or “Realtà,” which tosses in a dash or two of skate punk to really play with the intensity and sense of pacing. The band clearly know their influences and they’ve distilled post-punk into its purest form, blurring geographies and timelines for a sound dripping with angst and emotion without forgetting the slacker vibes and pronounced sense of disconnect. Of course, a lot of that is fostered in the vocal performance of singer Bri. In “Arianne,” when she sounds to be about 20 feet from the mic, you can taste the bitter tone and ceaseless discontent in her voice–even if she were singing about puppies or garlic bread. “Dialogue,” then, sees her pull back a little, and it’s almost like she’s swallowed up by the rest of the band until she roars back with a defiance that feels particularly epic, even for the genre. I know that most punk bands are made or broken by their front-person, but Bri especially has the unassuming fire that makes her a vital part of the band’s ability to capture that punk spirit and chutzpah.

It did, even momentarily, dawn on me that knowing the words might help. Because, yes, all punk music is political. (The band’s take is summed up with the especially cutesy slogan, “Hate fascism – love punx.”) And what is interpersonal interaction without comprehension—that’s why we had the whole “Tower of Babel” situation, yeah? But then I’d counter with the majesty of “Attaccati a niente.” It makes me want to dance my face off in a dim basement, preferably with a warm beer and a few dozen of my closest strangers and/or acquaintances. Would it enhance the meaning if I knew the song was about, say, dropkicking Nazis? Maybe—but it could be that punk is the place where such context fades in significance if it can fully connect you to the moment and the big, scary universe. In that sense, Morgana have achieved a truly elemental victory, and the LP sings to the wild soul in everyone seeking something fun and dark and all-consuming. In closing, cet album déchire! Listen to it now over on Bandcamp. [Chris Coplan]

DoomCannon Cover


Genre: Jazz

Favorite Tracks: “Dark Ages,” “Entrance to the Unknown,” “Uncovering Truth,” “Black Liberation”

With jazz compositions as his tools for conveying an optimistic spirit, Dominic Canning’s debut album as DoomCannon pulls you in with its adventurous sound, as much as it does with its powerful messaging. Largely inspired by personal experiences and worldwide circumstances over the past four years, RENAISSANCE’s name is more than just an elegant title: it’s exactly the kind of emotion Canning is looking to spark with his music here, a concept album centered around a world where equality and community support sit at the center of things and the current systemic injustices of the world—for this album in particular, the current issues in the United Kingdom are at the forefront—and with Canning’s music as the conduit, RENAISSANCE’s ability to bring you into that world and show you what it means to him. Across its nine tracks, that message is powerful and deeply felt.

A multi-instrumentalist with strong chops in both production and composition, RENAISSANCE sounds great and has the instrumental depth necessary to make these songs engaging and unique. There’s dense percussive grooves inspired more by electronic styles like drum ‘n’ bass and breakbeat than anything else all throughout the album; from the frenetic second half of centerpiece “Amalgamation” to the fiery and unrelenting force of “Black Liberation,” Canning makes sure that the emotional intensity that the broken government bodies and aggressive police brutality in the U.K that sparked RENAISSANCE’s flame isn’t lost in the music. You can feel the shifts in his worldview over the years in the constantly moving tempo and passionate solos on the nine minute “Uncovering Truth,” all the anger and sadness and hopefulness built up over time let out in a reverent burst of creative energy. Similarly the joyous, funky groove on “[i]This Too[/i]” brings a glimpse of the more peaceful world he envisions for the future, RENAISSANCE’S killer instrumentation is able to both deliver the stories Canning wants them to tell while still be great on their musical structure and composition alone. It’s not the most adventurous album in this electronic-infused avant-jazz style—he sticks to the melodic and colorful side of things more than the dissonant and atonal—but RENAISSANCE’s sound is so well kempt and emotionally resonant that it still succeeds at pulling you into his world.

As his debut under this moniker, RENAISSANCE does a wonderful job giving a first taste of what DoomCannon is and all the things he can manifest, a take on modern jazz that manages to be politically poignant and musically potent all at once. He’s got the clarity and mental fortitude to make the world of RENAISSANCE feel like a real possibility for our future, his music a luminary guide in support of a world finally rid of the longstanding struggles for power and justice that have been going on for decades upon decades now. It’s optimistic and uplifting while still taking account of how pressing and difficult the issues our society is facing are, RENAISSANCE provides a wonderful reprieve from it all. There’s surely more to come from DoomCannon in the future, but for now, RENAISSANCE’s wonderfully hopeful take on contemporary jazz is available to listen to and purchase over on Bandcamp. [Lurien Zitterkopf]

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