Bandcamp Picks of the Week 5/10/17

Another mickey-ficking installment of Bandcamp Picks of the Week

bandcamp picks of the week industrial

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Veil of Light – FRONT TEETH

Genre: Industrial

Favorite Tracks: “Soul in Ethanol,” “Sturm and Drang,” “Bridges of God,” “Body to the Ceiling”

I was going to feature the Zurich-based Veil of Light’s previous record URSPRUNG on one of these articles, but the muddy vocals ruined the otherwise punchy beats and cool ambience. FRONT TEETH is vocally a massive improvement, contributing a sense of menace that would have fully completed UPSPRUNG. They hit that perfect sweet-spot of being somewhat buried in the mix but remaining very clear and expressive, giving the impression that they’re trapped and infusing the angsty lyrics with less dimension. The overall sound is less fuzzy and more ‘80s synthpop, with bleeping keyboard melodies with terse notes. However, their trademark gunshot snare still hits as hard as ever, and the overall mood is just as pensive and harsh, if a bit more urgent. Like all good industrial, it builds into a chaotic yet well-controlled storm of fake and real drums and short and long synth notes. If you wanted your PRETTY HATE MACHINE to be more European and less metal, you can listen to such a desire here. [Blake Michelle]

bandcamp picks of the week yussef

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Yussef Kamaal-BLACK FOCUS 

Genre: Broken Beat 

Favorite Tracks: “Yo Chavez,” “WingTai Drums,” “Lowrider”

When you search jazz in Bandcamp, what comes up is usually just jazz-sampling beat tapes instead of true jazz. Yussef Kamaal’s BLACK FOCUS is a Bandcamp gem in that it strives to update jazz instead of just covet its nostalgia. Sounding like a cross between an adult smooth jazz record and a Flying Lotus-coveting nu-jazz release, the album is funky and likable, with some genuine chops thrown in for good measure. The track “Yo Chavez” is the album’s finest moment. The song starts with a dissonant electric piano and eventually incorporates a brushy drum beat and wonky Moogs that sound like Miles Davis’s IN A SILENT WAY for the digital age. It’s an impressive track that eschews the overall funkiness of the rest of the album to create what is ultimately the record’s finest moment. Though Kamaal’s best sounds are the ones that he uses the least, the upbeat moments on the record are still incredibly impressive and listenable. Listeners looking for jazz with a modern sheen that does not sound at all post-Kenny G should give BLACK FOCUS a listen here.  [Ted Davis]

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