Feb. 18 2014 07:51 PM

A look at some new releases by San Diego bands

Matthew O

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.

Live from the Lab, Edgar Is Real and Robinson Wigfall: It's not particularly rare in 2014 to hear live, jazzy hip-hop played by a full band rather than doled out in carefully stitched-together samples, though Edgar Is Real and Robinson Wigfall are very much doing the latter, despite the "live" in their record's title. Yet, Live from the Lab has such a smooth, organic flow to it, at times you can almost believe they've assembled a group of musicians in the studio. Whatever the case, they dispense chill beats with ease. 

littlecoaldoves e.p.
, littlecoaldove:
I don't really get what's going on with littlecoaldove's e.e. cummings-without-a-space-bar stylization, but I suppose that's not really important. The music he makes is less pretentious—solo-dude-with-acoustic-guitar folk that's reminiscent of Bon Iver before Justin Vernon went full-on Bruce Hornsby. It's nice enough, if not terribly memorable. 

Embodiment, Matthew O: Well, this is certainly odd. Matthew O's Bandcamp page is tagged with lots of genres that probably shouldn't be smashed together: "jazz & blues," "metal," "hip-hop," "minimalism," et al. That's a bit misleading; Matthew O doesn't really rap, shred, jam out or anything like that—he basically recites disturbing monologues over peculiar electronic compositions. It's somewhere between a robot reading poetry and a snuff film. He's certainly got my attention.

Spam, e-mailio estevez: I initially listened to this based on the name and pixilated image of a can of Spam, but it turns out this three-track release is a lot less jokey and cute than it initially seems. The EP is actually a series of ambient exercises using MIDI recreations of acoustic bass (or so it sounds, anyway). It's oddly soothing, pretty even. 

Finding Home for the First Time, Hotel Books: A split EP with Brave Coast, this short release combines post-rock instrumentals with spoken-word verses that approach screamo when the vocalist is at his most fired-up and seething. Itís emotional stuff, if kind of pretentious, and fascinating, if not necessarily fun to listen to. I keep waiting for the drums to kick in, but they never do. Solid effort for what it is, though.

jefft@sdcitybeat.com or follow him at @1000TimesJeff


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