[Music] Bandcamp: The Best Albums of 2018

I’ve crowed about this in the past, and will continue to do so in the future.  If I don’t see top-shelf artists like Santiago Fradejas, Jeff Gburek or Jan-Dirk Platek (among a host of others) on a year-end list, it’s not worth that much to me.  Still, Bandcamp is a very valuable resource overall, and despite the occasionally lame SJW-infected reviews one gets subjected to, there are quite a few gems in this list of 100.

#20-1

#40-21

#60-41

#80-61

#100-81

[Music] ʻĀina – Lead Me To The Garden


Aloha Got Soul’s latest release is a reissue of a rare psychedelic Christian folk record by a Hawaiian project called ʻĀina, which, according to their Bandcamp album site, “means land or earth in ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi, the Hawaiian language.”

It’s definitely a product of the 1970s, full of hippy vibes, a naïve sense of idealism, and themes which would be recognizable to people who go to Pentecostal Churches. There was nothing bad about this release at all. It was a smooth, mellow and enjoyable listen.

[Music] a place both wonderful and strange – The City Smells Like Cat Spit


These fine folks must be from either New York or Los Angeles, as the euphemism cat spit (well, something more urine-related, anyway) seems to hold true in both cities to an ugly degree.

More importantly, that term serves as the title of an EP released by Brooklyn residents a place both wonderful and strange, who produce music that straddles the grimy Batcave-era London goth music scene with a more ethereal touch that would be familiar to fans of Dif Juz, Chandeen or even the Cocteau Twins.

I like the directions this EP is heading. It’s nostalgic, but there is a lot of fertile ground the band can plow in this style.

[Music] Astral & Shit -XĤ


Though I’m not a big fan of bands who release new music almost daily, there are a handful whose work I enjoy in small doses. One of these is the Russian project Astral & Shit.  Yes, I know, lovely name, but the music is soothing enough to let one drift into the Solaris Ocean when one is feeling a bit exhausted from the daily grind.

With well over 660 releases to their credit, I’m not about to become a completist, but it’s nice to know that there are artists who are putting out high-quantity/high-quality ambient music to keep my ears busy.

[Music] Midnight Radio – NOIR JAZZ


I never thought I’d review a Signora Ward release here, namely due to a prejudice I’ve developed against modern noise, as too many releases sound like some idiot kid flipping on the vacuum and then recording it, and THEN having the nerve to expect someone to pay for that garbage.  Thankfully, I was wrong about this particular label.  Perdonami, Signora!

This compilation is a teachable moment for me.  Never, ever judge a record label by one or two releases, as every one of them have the capacity to surprise you with something utterly brilliant.

Thanks to groups like the Orchestra of Mirrored Reflections (friends of the blog whose works have been reviewed here in the past) and the Kilimanjaro Darkjazz Ensemble, I’ve begun to fall in love with the deep, creepy, noir-ish sounds they emanate.  Signora Ward have done a service in collection some of the leading lights of the darkjazz genre together to make one of the most enjoyable collections I’ve heard in a while.

I’ll do well to pay more attention to this label in the future!

[Music] Jeton Hoxha – Vowel


I’m tempted to say that this release came from out of nowhere, but that simply wouldn’t be true.  Once again, my good friend Raffaelle from Eighth Tower Records releases a bombshell of a release for those of you who are into drone, especially of the kind made by luminaries like Thomas Köner or the Cold Meat Industry roster.

Jeton is a Macedonian sound artist from Struga, Macedonia, who goes deep in for bleak, rumbling sounds which give you a good shaking, especially if you decide to download the FLAC file and hear it on great headphones.

Essential.