ESSENTIAL RELEASES Essential Releases, March 8, 2024 By Bandcamp Daily Staff · March 08, 2024

What the Bandcamp Daily editors are listening to right now.

al.divino
HAVE A BAD DAY

Even if I don’t always love the results, one of the things I admire about Lynn, Mass. rapper al.divino is his willingness to stretch himself. He spent the latter months of last year cranking out a series of albums that abandoned hip-hop and instead mined the manic sound of ‘90s UK club music, putting a psychedelic spin on house and techno to frequently exhilarating results. Less successful—though still impressively daring—were the albums he made as cvv.vino that sought to fuse his free-associative rhyme style with blistering electronics. The results reminded me of Aggro Drift, aesthetically impressive but tough to take in large doses. Nevertheless, it’s nice to hear divino back on familiar turf on Have A Bad Day, once again applying his barked vocals to instrumental backdrops that melt like Dali’s clocks. The album peaks with a string of mid-album collabs with fellow Lynn rappers The Hidden Character (or ??? as he’s often credited) and Estee Nack, because it’s always a trip to hear three different rappers apply their own spin on Lynn’s “splash” style—a kind of throw-everything-at-the-wall-at-once-as-fast-as-you-can flow. I’ve long maintained that the music coming out of Lynn serves as an alternative to folks who like the sound of Golden Age hip-hop but aren’t looking for carbon copies. All of the production here is soupy and out-of-focus, and the words come at you too fast to parse. Divino & Co. have been at it for almost 10 years now. The time to tap in is now.

J. Edward Keyes

Bacao Rhythm and Steel Band
BRSB

Merch for this release:
Vinyl LP, Compact Disc (CD)

Bacao Rhythm & Steel Band’s fourth studio effort plays very similarly to the first three: catchy, dynamic steel pan instrumentals with a pronounced emphasis on covers. To be clear, it’s not like the German ensemble are running a shallow, Trinidad and Tobago-inspired jukebox operation, given their wealth of originals; filtering steel pan fundamentals through disco, funk, and soul, cuts like “In the Crosshairs,” “Hazy Memories,” and “Treasure Quest” capitalize on the band’s instrumental proficiency to carve out dynamic, multi-faceted grooves that occupy multiple niches simultaneously. But let’s be real: if a respected steel pan fusion band came to you offering tropical reinterpretations of Drake, Tupac, Dr. Dre, and even the theme from Netflix’s Stranger Things, wouldn’t you be a little curious? I certainly was, and after multiple listens, I’m pleased to report that there are no gimmicks on BRSB, only good vibes and bountiful surprises.

Zoe Camp

Kim Gordon
The Collective

Merch for this release:
Vinyl LP, Compact Disc (CD), T-Shirt/Shirt

If Gwyneth Paltrow made an experimental electronic album it would be The Collective by Kim Gordon, whom I maintain inhabits and benefits from the same world of celebrity and outrageous privilege that GP does, though one carries more credibility with a certain crowd than the other for whatever reasons. Anyway, what makes The Collective a great record in particular is not only how cleverly it reflects the mind-numbing chatter of late stage social media brain where everything is for sale including and especially You; but moreover how subtly terrifying it becomes the longer you listen, that unmistakeable tinge of horror beneath Gordon’s blasé vocals at how little we all actually care about humanity as we go buy, buy, buy.

Mariana Timony

HIM LO presents 67th Infantry ft. Clever 1 & Grand Scheme
Stampede of Equestrianz

Merch for this release:
Vinyl LP, Compact Disc (CD)

Philly duo Da Buze Bruvaz have been working blue since 2014, serving up deliciously irreverent albums with titles like Drinkin’ Beer Wit Prostitutez and Perverted and Drunken. The group’s name is apt—many of their bars sound like the kind of thing you might say after you’ve had one too many and are looking to score an off-color laugh. On Stampede of Equestrianz, HIM-LO steps out on his own, enlisting features from familiar names in the Grilchy Party label family, among them Clever 1, Lord Beatjitzu, and Wino Willy, alongside celebrated underground figures like producer Giallo Point. Despite different hands behind the board, the production throughout favors big, sweeping string arrangements, layered luxuriously over lockstep, bass-heavy rhythms. It’s a delightful contrast to the impish lyrics, which step to inferior MCs one minute and drop a dirty punchline the next. And though they may not take themselves too seriously, there’s nothing half-baked about the level of craft here. Stampede of Equestrianz hits hard, even when it’s cutting loose.

J. Edward Keyes

MINING
Chimet

Merch for this release:
Vinyl LP, Compact Disc (CD)

Some field recording artists function as documentarians, taking sonic snapshots for posterity; others serve as activists, harnessing the medium to raise awareness of environmental and social issues, most notably climate change; still others are methodical world-builders who use field recordings to fill their self-contained universes with intermittent dashes of life, a kind of all-natural seasoning. MINING, a collective of improv musicians, data scientists, programmers, graphic designers, and photographers based in the UK, encompass all of the above. Described as a “meteorological and sea state algorithmic sonification project,” their debut album Chimet began as 2000 lines of raw weather data recorded in fall 2017, during a period of back-to-back hurricanes: snapshots of wave height, ocean temperature, wind speed, and the like, taken every five minutes over the span of eight days. With a bit of technological savvy, MINING managed to translate the meteorological minutiae into musical values (pitch, density, harmonic range), which were then chronologically arranged, condensed and topped off with improvised piano and cello performances. Judging by the hour’s worth of immaculate, abyssal ambient drone the ensemble wound up with, I’d say their endeavor was a success.

Zoe Camp

Tomato Flower
No

Merch for this release:
Vinyl LP, Compact Disc (CD)

Never mind the unenthusiastic title, enthusiasm suffuses No, the debut full-length from Baltimore-based Tomato Flower. In a sonic about face from their eccentric and jazzy EPs, the Baltimore-based band throw themselves with gusto into a trendier indie sound, Feeble Little Horse style. Even so, when the band uses their newfound in-the-room immediacy to upgrade their retro pop songs from kitschy curios coasting on vibes to proper song-y songs, the results are fun and effortless—the peppy “Harlequin” and breezy “Temple of the Mind” are highlights. Overall a compelling listen, especially in the latter half, the lasting impression of No is one of a band ripe to make a terrific record once they figure out what kind of band they’d like to be, aside from a popular one.

Mariana Timony

Meril Wubslin
Faire Ça

Merch for this release:
Vinyl LP, Compact Disc (CD)

Meril Wubslin joins Swiss natives and fellow Bongo Joe contemporaries like L’Eclair and Grup Şimşek down the psychedelic tunnel of contemporary West European music. Sounding like equal parts late CAN and no wave low-fi luminaries X-Ray Pop, distorted guitars ring true through atmospheric vocals, allowing the listener to walk–not run–through a daydream of their making. Organic textures and driving repetitive rhythms invoke a trance like state, but Faire Ça, the new album from Meril Wubslin, invariably renders their vocal harmonies crystalline, to the omnipresent foreground.

Josie Keefe

 

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