As the sun finally beats down on England and the days reach their longest of the year it’s high time we had some music to go with the weather and Damien Beebe, or Day as he is better known, delivers with one of the freshest and summeriest records of the year.
Land of 1000 Chances is a wonderful collection of instrumentals crammed with catchy melodies and soulful vocal samples effortlessly blending jazz and downtempo grooves to give that classic hip-hop vibe. It’s cut and paste nature moves it along at a steady pace, shifting continuously but never out of character, diverse yes but also tastefully mixed.
The idea for all of this was to go back to my roots and encapsulate the last few years of what was going on in my life. I needed to get away from the clean, over-produced music I was making that had slowly put me in a creative corner cover the last 5 years. I was stuck. It’s not in me to make electronic music (I suck at it to be honest) and I didn’t want to re-hash the cut and paste stuff I had done before, so what the fuck do I do now? I go back. Back to the first album I ever made in a bedroom in Palm Springs with an EPS, my cousins drum kit and some records. I had to get back to where I came from in order to harness where I was now. Fuck layering and smothering songs to oblivion. These needed to breathe. Keep it intentionally sparse and simple. It had to be about creating a vibe and sticking to it. Not throwing in a random dance cut or having it cluttered with guests. It had to be honest and real. Somewhere along the way, I ended up drinking way too much, traveling and hanging out way too much and on the precipice of divorce. They say write what you know, so I did. – Day
It may not be that adventurous, nor entirely unique, but it’s undoubtedly well crafted and that’s all we ask for in a record like this. Suitable for driving with the windows down soaking up those summer vibes, or laying on a warm beach with a beer this record suits the sunny season no end.
Grab Land of 1000 Chances over on Day’s bandcamp page.
While American blues and North African music, in particular the ‘Desert blues’ that has come out of Mali – probably best represented by the late legend Ali Farka Touré, are no stranger to each other it still sounds incredibly fresh to hear two continents influences collide with such graceful results. What Dirtwire, the duo David Satori (Beats Antique) and Evan Fraser (Hamsa Lila), have accomplished on their debut full length is not only beautifully composed but incredibly well executed with wide instrumentation and carefully considered orchestration. It’s not simply a mash up of music from across the world but a subtle and most importantly genuine sounding blend.
Western beats sit side by side with African live instrumentation, Banjo, harmonica, piano and even hints of dub basslines all come together but where Dirtwire excel here is not seeming to lean toward any one influence. What can begin as a very rough, Americana sound can soon be filled with North African vibes and flow effortlessly together. We’ve seen it before with other musicians but Dirtwire make it relevant to fans of western beat music and with an entirely instrumental take, if I didn’t know better I’d never have guessed their country of origin; which it turns out the pair met at the California Institute of the Arts where they studied World Music and Composition together. Skilled individuals no doubt but together they’ve really come up with something wonderful, lets hope to hear more from them in the future. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend this album to someone who wanted an introduction to Desert Blues or North African blues generally.
DIRTWIRE is available to buy on bandcamp. It’s name your price so if you enjoy it, think about supporting the guys.
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.
Tracklisting as follows:
1) Hacienda Motel
2) When Rosa Speaks
1) The Round
2) Staged Names