Bandcamp Picks of the Week 10/25/17

Bandcamp Picks of the Week, as large and in charge as ever

Bandcamp Picks of the Week ozean

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Ozean – S/T

Genre: Darkwave, Shoegaze

Favorite Tracks: “Scenic,” “Porcelain” 

A series of interesting events, all of which are documented on the album’s Bandcamp page, led these lost songs from Ozean to hit my ears. Long story short, there was an accidental rediscovery of a cassette of the band’s recordings from 1992, leading to a few tracks being uploaded online. This is fortunate for all of us, because these three tracks from OZEAN highlight an interesting reprieve from the usual cargo-short grunge that was coming from most rock bands in America at the time. The San Jose act uses large, atmospheric sounds composed of guitars with lots of distortion and reverb, accompanied by subdued keyboards and Lisa Baer’s angelic, smooth vocals. The combinations simply works, and it’s the kind of music that makes one feel like they are floating across a river on a stormy cloud—the rare find of a group that captures tranquility with an added gust of intensity. In an interview on somewherecold.net, Baer mentions her appreciation of The Jesus and Mary Chain and The Cure, among a few other acts, and traces of influence from the aforementioned bands are easy to pick up on the EP, yet not in a glaringly obvious way. The slight nuances from other shoegaze and darkwave bands that Ozean take into the studio are more than enough to deem them capable of creating influence of their own, even though the group disbanded disappointingly quickly. Check the EP out here. [Emmett Garvey]

Bandcamp Picks of the Week SPC ECO

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SPC ECO – CALM

Genre: Darkwave 

Favorite Tracks: “Over,” “Get Lost,” “Out of Sight,” “Pearls,” “All the Voices” 

SPC ECO’s newest release, CALM, is brooding, moody and muddled, yet strangely mesmerizing. Halfway through its runtime there is a complete 180° in its sound, going from deeply saturated and overblown guitars and drum-driven beats to completely forgoing them altogether for a vocalist-centric and ambient drone sound, making this album almost seem like two EPs stitched together. CALM is quite sizable in terms of its runtime, having a total of 12 tracks, with the shortest runtime being almost four minutes. SPC ECO’s tracks are often very centered around their lead female vocalist, Rose Berlin, whose delivery is incomprehensible but eerily pretty. A prime example of this is on the track “Over,” with the most stripped-down instrumentation on the album. The beat is echoing and melodic, with heavy use of loops helping accentuate the emotion in the vocalist. The distortion given to the singing help create a unique soundscape, allowing it to serve as another integral part of murky instrumentation. The first half of the album, due to its use of guitar work, has a much fuller and energized instrumentation which can be heard on the track “All the Voices.” The driving drum patterns working in conjunction with the overblown guitars, giving it a sense of bite that is irresistible. The vocal harmonies and melodies Berlin deliver are fuller and more varied, at times bordering on spoken-word or rapping, making it a true standout among the track listing. CALM fits into two very different niches quite successfully, with its loud and surprisingly dance-friendly beginning followed up by its skeletal, moody tail end showing off the willingness of SPC ECO to experiment and push the boundaries of darkwave. [Will Turmon]

Crossfader Staff

The good people of Crossfader Magazine.

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