Bandcamp Picks of the Week is back and better than ever
Beeef – BULL IN THE SHADE
Genre: Summer Rock
Favorite Tracks: “Devil’s in the Details, “Slide,” “Name in the Lights,” “Big Brown Bag”
The best “summer” record is obviously subjective, but for me it’ll always be music that rushes me back to the summer before college. Songs from artists like Robbers on High Street, Tokyo Police Club, Army Navy, and other various blogosphere corners dominated my headphones, and so when I hear a record like BULL IN THE SHADE while the nights are long and the hum of the AC isn’t just a comfort but a requirement, I’m brought right back to that carefree summer before adulthood would really begin. Massachusetts rockers Beeef are a decade removed from LimeWire and MySpace and AIM away message links, but they certainly remind me of walking to friends’ houses late at night and long drives to camp. “Slide” in particular nails the hooky New York indie rock that was quickly falling out of fashion in that moment (remember Albert Hammond Jr.-produced band The Posetelles?), and honestly, if I could jack the faux-nostalgia the song gives me into my veins, I’d do it. The band settle into a comfortable groove when they offer lax, frolicking country drive jams like “Morning Light” and “Charlton Plaza” and the vibey closer “Big Brown Bag,” and while I’d be lying to say the vodka soda I was drinking while writing this was extra cold and refreshing because of these tunes, because that’s obviously an impossible thing to measure, I really did nonetheless enjoy my night cap that much more. Also look, it’s former Bandcamp Pick Sidney Gish in a peaceful by-the-pool duet, and the melancholy build on “Name In Lights” makes for a great summer-bummer jam. It’s as solid a summer record as you could hope for, so break out the to-go cups, fix yourself a cocktail, pop in the headphones, and take a mid-August stroll around the block. Listen to BULL IN THE SHADE on Bandcamp.
Various Artists – OUTRO TEMPO: ELECTRONIC AND CONTEMPORARY MUSIC FROM BRAZIL 1978-1992 / OUTRO TEMPO II: ELECTRONIC AND CONTEMPORARY MUSIC FROM BRAZIL 1984-1996
Genre: Lost Brazilian Music
Favorite Tracks: N/A
As far as reissue labels go, Netherlands-based Music From Memory have established themselves as one of the 2010s’ best. Having now released two collections of lost Brazilian music, the first in 2017 covering a period of 1978 to 1992, and the second earlier this year focusing on a later period ranging from 1984 to 1996, they’ve provided the most complete collections of the country’s forgotten beat tape electronica, avant garde jazz, new age fusion, and experimental folk to date, all under their banner OUTRO TEMPO. The first collection is dark and mysterious, a truly vast soundtrack that in its best moments visualized the expanse of Brazil’s small rural towns and lush landscapes through twisted jazz (Os Mulheres Negras “Mãoscolorida,” Nando Carneiro’s “G.R.E.S. Luxo Artesanal / O Camponês”) and minimalist South American raga or bossa nova music (Bené Fonteles’ “O M M,” Carioca’s “Branca”); Priscilla Ermel’s 15-minute “Corpo Do Viento” is not to be missed, an odyssey of guitar and piercing flute unlike anything else on either volume. The second collection brings things into the city, a series of more electric and energetic tracks whose highlights include the David Lynchian haze of Edison Natale’s “Nina Maika,” Akira S’s harsh Italian nightclub riff “Tokei,” the empty jazz club slink of Chance’s “Samba do Morro,” and the neon backlit fantasy of Tião Neto’s “Carrousel.” Both are fluid and highly cinematic listens in spite of being jarringly varied, a testament to John Gomez’s work putting both releases together and the sonics he chose to focused on altogether. Both need to be experienced to be fully appreciated, and both can be found right now on Bandcamp.