So I suppose my Bandcamp Find of the Week series should technically be renamed Bandcamp Find of the Season. We’ll gloss over the lack of follow ups since that January article, here’s the latest one. I present to you Pickwick.
There’s scant information across the internet on these guys so this is what I do know; there’s six of them, they’re from Seattle, they have a penchant for vintage gear and they love vinyl (men after my own heart there). But what I can tell you from listening to their debut record Myths, interestingly split into three EP’s and released over a period of months, is that they are a great blend of Soul, R&B and Indie rock with shades of blues and the songwriting skills to boot. It’s raw stuff, don’t expect lavish production here. That’s not to say it’s badly produced however, far from it, there’s perfect clarity and it does nothing but accentuate the bands sound, giving each member’s instrument room to breathe and stand out – there are some infectiously catchy melodies here. Most importantly however, it sounds like the band are having fun and this bleeds into their sound freely at all opportunities. Across the record (or three EP’s depending on how you buy it) Pickwick display great skill in creating meaningful songs full of soul. It’s also worth mentioning the interesting presentation and method of releasing three EPs as a full length. The band clearly have a vision and it’s great to see them experimenting with the way they release their music. Each EP comes with it’s own artwork, all stylistically created to compliment each other, it’s a nice idea well executed.
Have a listen over on the Pickwick bandcamp. Note if you want to grab Myths as a complete piece rather than the three EPs via bandcamp, you can purchase it digitally for $8 (USD) or physically for $10 (USD) on their kungfustore here. Highlights include the superb Hacienda Motel (live version below, well worth the watch!) and The Round.
I spend quite a bit of time on bandcamp trawling through the countless albums and eps picking out the artwork that displays some excellent design or something with a creative name and then checking out the music that follows. It’s a fantastic way to find artists if you’re willing to put the time in and listen to some questionable music along the way. This will be a series of posts for 2012 I’ll be writing most weeks of the year, essentially when something interesting crops up. So, for the first of 52 I present you with this weeks find, Question.
What drew me to Question was actually bandcamps Gallery page which is a selection of artists whose design is worth you looking at essentially. He’s got a superb header on there and nice set of album artworks and that’s reason enough to have a closer look in my book.
So what’s the music like? Well, Question’s bandcamp bio goes like this “This Southern California beatsmith has been spinning hiphop since the early 90’s. His production style is a mixture of obscure jazz samples, heavy beats, and live orchestration. Question’s music can be defined as an interpretation of a timeless era, purely fueled by Jazz & Soul.” and this is exactly what you get, only it’s incredibly well made.
I started with the free downloads of Interludes & Interpretations and Re-Deux before purchasing the full length Standard Translation. All follow the same template, great straight up beats combined with a wide collection of obscure jazz. This plays to it’s benefit and where the music really excels is in this collection of the samples, all interesting and consistant throughout. It’s got the dusty analogue feel down to a tee complimented with warm production and speaking of consistency that’s pretty much where Question is elevated above his peers. His work flows incredibly well and is all of a superb standard, there’s no throwaway tracks or gimicky moments and for this I thoroughly recommend the above collections. There’s no frills here, it’s just straight up, well made, jazzy instrumental hip hop and that’s a good thing. It’ll be in my playlist for a while to come.