Bandcamp Picks of the Week 5/16/18

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

Bandcamp Picks of the Week Dreams on Diskette

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Dreams on Diskette – DREAMS ON DISKETTE

Genre: Video Game Music

Favorite Tracks: “Real rock music,” “Chiptune.. eh.. Chillwave,” “RGB”

Inspired by NES, SNES, Sega Genesis, and tracker music from the Amiga and DOS days, Dreams on Diskette’s self-titled debut is wholeheartedly an ode to vintage digital paradises, featuring all the sounds of playing video games on a Saturday morning as a kid . . . or adult. The opening “Real rock music” is a balls-to-the-wall, full-force exploitation of all the technicality and skill that went into DREAMS ON DISKETTE, full in sound and bouncing with all sorts of synths. “Airship” could be equated to the ballad, a chill float through clouds that’s never sporadic, following a very direct path to the end, while “80s detective show” has a minimal funk influence and plinks along with incredibly high-pitched synth beeps. “Trademarked character name & Bass” is full of the adrenaline rush downhill in a racing game, bright and poppy, crossing the finish line very slowly with pat-on-the-back emphasis. One of the album’s standout tracks, “Chiptune.. eh.. Chillwave,” has the most consistent flow, and could even be a real EDM track for a club. It starts and ends with a trap influence and is even darker in tone than the rest of the album, or at least marks a point in the album where not everything is as colorful as before. The ‘80s-workout “Don’t Worry, Your Headphones Aren’t Broken” could be the most diverse, but is unfortunately among the shortest tracks of the bunch, and the more prominent synth melody overpowers the gummy bass. None of the album fits into modern music spaces, but it’s an incredible voyage into video game music. The greatest sendoff is main tracklist closer, “RGB,” perfecting all the grow-in-size-sounds played with before, but now cohesively brought together. The tracks mill about in structure, mainly playing with sounds and creating a fanfiction, if you will, of the video game music genre. Check it out on Bandcamp. [Nikki Reifler]

Bandcamp Picks of the Week illuminati hotties

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illuminati hotties – KISS YR FRENEMIES

Genre: Tenderpunk

Favorite Tracks: “(You’re Better) Than Ever,” “Shape Of My Hands,” “Patience,” “Paying Off the Happiness,” “Pressed 2 Death”

illuminati hotties’ debut, KISS YR FRENEMIES, is a lot of things. Honestly, it’s kind of overwhelming just how many directions this debut goes in. And yet, like mastermind Sarah Tudzin, I am in my mid-20s, and both of us have grown up through passing eras of internet indie rock and been influenced by all of them equally. The songs of KISS YR FRENEMIES represent those passing eras with respect and enthusiasm, and Tudzin embraces a spectrum ranging from the playful indie rock of artists like Tokyo Police Club and Los Campesinos! to the soaring and mysterious confessions of Death Cab for Cutie or Julien Baker, with flourishes of surf pop and garage punk in-between. In that way, KISS YR FRENEMIES acts like a comforting mixtape from Tudzin to a specific generation of music lovers, an album that can go from something as musically fun and silly as “Pressed 2 Death” to a downtrodden piano ballad in “Declutter” and never seem out of place. The variety of sounds that are explored on Tudzin’s debut are effortless, and undoubtedly her years of working in music studios has slowly shaped this project to exude a personal joy for music, one that’s relatively low stakes and comes from the heart. With that, illuminati hotties provide an authenticity and validation to how each song on the mixtape flows, even when on paper the pitter-patter build of the drum pad on the emo rocker “Cuff” shouldn’t work following a beach day ripper like “Shape of My Hand.” On standout single “(You’re Better) Than Ever,” Tudzin flatly states that, “All the things I used to do are boring now / All the baddest words I knew came pouring out / When I heard / That you feel better / Better than ever.” KISS YR FRENEMIES, in the best way, really does feel like it was forged out of that lazy summer boredom, an exploration of indie rock’s foundation done so because, well, why the hell not? Listen to KISS YR FRENEMIES on Bandcamp. [CJ Simonson]

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