Music Update: May 8 | Buzz Blog
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Music Update: May 8

Local Bandcamp Drops and Artists to Support

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Below are just a few notable local things to check out on Bandcamp this Bandcamp Day. If you’re unfamiliar with the holiday (it’s a holiday now, in my mind), it’s the first Friday of the month where Bandcamp waives fees for all artists, giving them a larger cut off of all purchases of their music made on the platform. It’s a tradition that sprang up around this time last year, when it quickly became apparent that artists of all stripes were going to struggle through this pandemic without the ability to tour and make money that way. Since, Bandcamp Friday has been a great monthly tradition among music lovers, a chance to indulge in merch, digital files and physical music purchases with the knowledge that the artist one loves is getting all that moo-lah. This is a short list because here at City Weekly, we cover a lot of local artists, so if you’re at a loss of where to start, start by recalling any local music pick you enjoyed reading about this last year that introduced you to a new artist—chances are they’ve got a Bandcamp page worth visiting.

UPHERE! Records Artists
From our feature this week, UPHERE! Records has a Bandcamp page of their own, where they house links to all the recordings they’ve thus far worked on with their roster of artists. That includes recent work by local artists like super young adult, Backhand, Landscaping, Nicole Canaan and Toothpicks. That’s a lot of local art all in one place—convenient on a day where the options can seem overwhelming. I dare you to stare into the lightning speed ticker at the bottom of the Bandcamp page that tracks purchases as they happen. It may give you a seizure, it flickers so fast. Visit uphererecords.bandcamp.com for an easier way to browse some locals.

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Syzygsm’s Computer-Generated Power Violence
This isn’t a new release per-se, but it’s one I’ve been meaning to mention for a while. If you thought it was only angry humans who could create screeching noise music, think again. Computers—dastardly human creation that they are, like Frankenstein’s own monster—are seemingly also angry at their bound existence, though it may be an existence bound in circuit boards. Hence local musician Josie Cordova’s syzygsm project, Cum From a Planet Called Earth, which is a computer-generated experiment that builds a powerful wave of noise, power violence, thrash and other aggressive, aimless sounds. It’s an interesting experiment, though—one that goes beyond any kind of meditation on this kind of music by a human artist, instead engaging the computer-as-creator. Or, as Cordova explains in the Bandcamp page notes, it’s a “one-take unedited improvisation by Rough Hands, a short-lived virtual computer thrash band composed of four semi-discrete ecosystem simulations. Rough Hands existed for approximately 21 minutes, and disbanded (was destroyed) upon completion of the session which produced Cum From a Planet Called Earth. The memory addresses where this occurred have likely since been overwritten.” Find it at syzygysm.bandcamp.com.

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Octave Willis Releases EP
City Weekly has written about Octave Willis before, and the experimental electronic artist is at it once more with his Bandcamp Day release, the EP Gateway. The four-track EP is similar to much of Willis’s work, a study in ethereal, almost-ambience. It’s a little too energetic to be ambient, but it has aura like qualities that make it feel so, even as it shifts and moves with understated beats. This release in particular, especially on tracks like “She Who Dreams,” sounds future-angelic, and perhaps it’s just because I just watched the film Annihilation the other day for the first time, but it has “shimmer” like qualities—much of Willis’s music does. The songs are quite brief, around 2 minutes-30 each, making it a short and enjoyable listen. If you happen to read this today, it really suits the windy weather that’s happening now, as I write about it. Listen to it—and if you like it, buy it at octavewillis.bandcamp.com