Bandcamp Picks of the Week 6/7/17

Just another beautiful day with Bandcamp Picks of the Week!

bandcamp picks of the week gothic

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Gothic Fiction – PALE HONEY

Genre: Instrumental Hip Hop, Lo-Fi Hip Hop

Favorite Tracks: “Cigarettes,” “Lavender Blood,” “Shallow,” “Strawberry Shortcake”  

The product of a creative mind without much money or equipment but a lot of passion, PALE HONEY is the type of album that Bandcamp was made for. It’s a series of homespun instrumentals that could have been recorded in Gothic Fiction a.k.a. Jorge’s bedroom, but they still sound utterly gorgeous and crackle with life and warmth. Delicate pianos and synths calmly pulsate over a variety of different styles of hip hop percussion, lulling you into a gentle state of mind with the help of additional sound effects, like waves calmly riding up the shore on “Cigarettes.” Most of the instrumentals have an old-school jazz feel to them, and I could see someone like Noname fitting perfectly over them. What could have also become redundant introduces enough new ideas and sounds, like the exotic flute on “Strawberry Shortcake,” to keep things fresh. The music is not especially forceful, but it’s not trying to be, and PALE HONEY is near-flawless background music that doesn’t grab your attention, but rather caresses it sweetly. If you find yourself listening to those chill hip hop instrumental streams on Youtube while working or studying, then this is an album for you. [Blake Michelle]

bandcamp picks of the week tocaio

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Genre: Ambient, Downtempo

Favorite Tracks: “Lumo,” “Zuma Beach,” “Bokeh,” “Indigo”

Having followed Hector Carlos Ramirez since his early days in T.a.p.e.s, it’s a genuine pleasure to see him come so fully into his own with full-length debut under the name of Tocaio. The most notable marker of evolution is the attentive focus on the more downtempo-oriented elements of Ramirez’s musical predilections, with the entire LP’s dreamy ambience heavily bolstered by several singles entirely ready to please large festival crowds, pulsing with a backbone of sunset lounge-electronica and more unfiltered hip hop influences (“Naps,” “Skylantern”). An immersive tapestry of loop-based aural hypnosis, the tracks of POINTILLISM immediately grab you with their bright melodies, locking you into a groove that steadily develops a posse of beautiful, occasionally melancholic strokes of retro-fitted synthesizers. But, as I pointed out all the way back in 2015, there is an unsung influence of midwest emo and post-rock here that makes for several staggering instances of pensive introspection, with the guitar work on tracks like “Bokeh” sounding like they could help fill out a release from The World Is a Beautiful Place & I Am No Longer Afraid to Die. Put it on, bob your head, make out with someone cute, and look forward to the next release from what is sure to be one of Los Angeles’s buzzing acts in the near future. You can listen here. [Thomas Seraydarian]

The good people of Crossfader Magazine.

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