Bandcamp Picks of the Week 4/26/17

Can you smell what Bandcamp Picks of the Week is cooking?

bandcamp picks of the week deafcult

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Genre: Shoegaze, Dream Pop

Favorite Tracks: “Akira,” “Heathen Flow”

The term shoegaze comes from the fact that its artists stare at their shoes while performing. I can’t think of a less appealing description of music, but DEAFCULT’s debut EP jacks up the tempo without sacrificing its spaciness and layers upon layers of sound. It’s a wall of harmonized, spooky vocals like some nightmarish Robert Smith impersonator and a mix of buzzing and ethereal guitars that never lets up for a second. Even when the mix gets muddled, the drums do a great job of keeping the rhythm and stopping the record from descending into aimless noise. A self-confident debut that stands out from many of its revivalist contemporaries, with more slick pop sensibility and a relentless drive that wouldn’t feel out of place on a punk record, it’s a shame they haven’t released anything since its release. In such a short running time, DEAFCULT will have you spinning around in a trance while your ears bleed from sheer abrasive noise, and you will enjoy every second of it. If you want your bands to feature four guitarists, you can find it here. [Blake Michelle]

bandcamp picks of the week dem ju

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Genre: Afrofunk

Favorite Tracks: “People’s Republic,” “Barabara,” “Flowers For Lions”

Though sifting through the jazz tag on Bandcamp can prove to be a daunting endeavor, Dem Juju Poets’ LIBERATED THOUGHTS stood out not only because of its legendary name, but also because of its wonderfully trippy cover. The album’s exterior could easily lead to the assumption that it is some sort of psychedelic, post-Sun Ra free jazz odyssey, but the music inside is instead gleeful, breezy afrofunk. LIBERATED THOUGHTS is a project by German jazz producer David Hanke, whose experiences as a DJ inspired the boogying tunes on his latest release. The music’s greatest strength is its listenability and playfulness, strongly aided by the fact that there is no track over six minutes on the album. This helps the project evade jazz’s impressive yet more formidable side, as it plays more like the soundtrack to an arcade racing game than a post-BITCHES BREW attempt at an epic. Because of its relative lack of pretension, LIBERATED THOUGHTS proves itself to be more enjoyable than provocative, making it one of the more approachable jazz records of recent years. Listeners looking for worthwhile new funk should be sure to check out LIBERATED THOUGHTS here. The music is as fun to listen to as the name Dem Juju Poets is to say out loud. [Ted Davis]

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