If you search for albums tagged "San Diego" on Bandcamp, you'll find some interesting stuff. In this semi-regular column, we sift through recent Bandcamp postings and report on our findings.
5, FunkyRL: The "funky" in FunkyRL's name is not to be taken lightly. This Chula Vista-based instrumental hip-hop project definitely brings the funk, via some ethereal, jazz-based samples. Only two of the seven tracks on this EP cross the two-minute mark, but nothing here feels incomplete. The beats are hot, the grooves are chill and itís not a stretch to imagine a high-profile MC rapping over these beats, even if it's unlikely to happen in the immediate future.
Soulis, Dustings: Soulis, the new album by Dustings, aka Daniel Fritz, is labeled "post-rock" and "shoegaze," but that's not exactly right. More accurately, it;s late-í90s-era alt-rock, mostly performed without vocals. Tracks like "Reality Will Crush Me" and "Incision: aim for anthemic heroism, and it's plenty enjoyable, even if the thrills are fleeting and the songs feel more like demos than fully fleshed-out pieces. Not a bad start, though.
Hiss & Hearse, Cameron Fraser: I was mostly intrigued by Cameron Fraser's Hiss & Hearse because of its cover art, depicting some abstract, interconnected shapes inside a thin white frame and against a black backdrop. The music is even more intriguing, a mostly ambient blend of distorted loops and eerie effects. It's dark and gorgeous, bringing to mind the likes of Tim Hecker and William Basinski. And I don't throw around names like that carelessly, so take note.
What Happened, DuneKat: The scratched-out eyes, 8-bit font and laser-tag artwork of DuneKat's What Happened had me a little worried that I'd be getting myself into some (groan) "witch house." And I suppose that's one way to interpret the music DuneKat makes. But, more accurately, it's a kind of hazy, stoned update on trip-hop, peppered with pitch-shifted chipmunk vocals and some sinister, Crystal Castles-style atmosphere.
Blood Island EP, Blood Island: It's hard not to love a band called Blood Island, particularly with tracks titled "Escape from Blood Island" and "Return to Blood Island." But the band's music more than matches up with its name. The group cranks out an intense but melodic post-hardcore sound that's catchy yet goes straight for the jugular. That's a rare-enough thing to come across these days, but Blood Island pulls it off nicely. I recommend a visit to Blood Island—please enjoy your stay.