Bandcamp Picks of the Week 9/14/16
Bandcamp Picks of the Week brings you two more stellar records.
蜃気楼MIRAGE and waterfront dining – SONGS FOR LOVERS
Favorite Tracks: “甘いタブー,” “one last thing,” “step by step,” “return to bay point”
No one is more aware of the fact that vaporwave has fallen from its pedestal of hip, ironic consumer commentary than I, but every once in awhile it can be nice to look at nondescript photos of urban Tokyo and press play on a release that is only physically available on cassette. What’s especially staggering about how vaporwave has progressed is that people are still making the music in droves, with 蜃気楼MIRAGE and waterfront dining emerging as two of the largest artists in whatever “post-” heavy wave of vaporwave we’re in now. 蜃気楼MIRAGE ‘s half of SONGS FOR LOVERS takes the route of the fairly unmediated, putting its eggs in the basket of smoky, late night curation as opposed to extensively messing with master tapes of smooth jazz, but the results are as sultry and sensual as the you would expect. waterfront dining’s half, meanwhile, sticks to the guns of traditional vapor, turning in woozy, eyelid-closing loops of the soft pop and AOR of yesteryear. The result doesn’t reinvent the wheel, but is perfect fodder for a lazy afternoon spent cursing summer for not taking its temperature somewhere else already. You can listen to it here.
Gendo Ikari – UNIT 1 (MRIP026)
Genre: Grindcore, Powerviolence
Favorite Tracks: “Assistance,” “Celebutante,” “Isolation”
Waxing philosophical about this kind of music is an exercise in futility, purely because the music itself is so unapologetic in its desire to be reductive carnal aggression. However, Gendo Ikari proves to be a decent bit more interesting than the average run-of-the-mill grindcore band for a few reasons. Most notably, they don’t shy away from their roots in the slightly less grating and more brooding histories of punk and hardcore (“Epitome”), and moments such as the second-half “Categorised” are uncharacteristically restrained and melodic, proving that the band did their homework. Furthermore, Gendo Ikari manage to sneak in some of the harmonic pitch-shifts and bends of classic death metal into their churning stew of hatred and frustration,and tracks such as “Celebutante” are perfectly believable crossover efforts. Furthermore, all across the board, the band demonstrates a propensity for shifting rhythm and styles on command, and they can’t fall back on a lo-fi recording to mask any errors. All in all, this is a well-produced (listen to that bass!), heavy, and unrelenting grindcore / powerviolence release that’s perfect for nine minutes of ear abuse. You can listen to it here.