Every single day, hundreds of independent releases are being uploaded to Bandcamp spanning every niche micro-genre under the sun, and it can be a goldmine for overlooked gems. Many artists that use the platform can fall into the trap of becoming “Bandcamp artists”, rarely getting any exposure outside of the website. For many independent artists, Bandcamp can be a way to get their names out there without having to deal with labels, PR, and even social media platforms to try and promote their music. And in some cases, such as with Neckbeard Deathcamp, a lucky break on the Bandcamp charts can lead to them being signed to a reputable label like Prosthetic Records!

So for our brand new monthly column, we will scour the depths of Bandcamp blindly checking out releases that we are drawn to from the site. We would like to share with you some of our discoveries this August, and we encourage you to spend some time browsing through the Bandcamp “new arrivals” section to find some hidden treasures for yourself!

Astral Noize

August’s Bandcamp Breakout:
Adam Majdecki-Janicki – Demoludy

Prolific Polish musician and producer Adam Majdecki-Janicki has just released this delightful experimental electronic album. The album is a lengthy one, but it’s packed with variety and different moods, helping create an immersive, flowing album experience, from the nightmarish organ dirge ‘Kościoły Pod Niebem z Żelaza’, to playful, bouncy, dubby trip-hop jams ‘Otwieracze’ and ‘Moskwo Piękna Moskwo’. The album plays with lots of vocal samples too and it just has this cool, coffee shop vibe going on. Makes me think of Stereolab or Cavern Of Anti-Matter at times, with that Stones Throw kind of album flow to boot!

Demoludy is out now, self-released on Bandcamp.

Words: Chris “Frenchie” French

Astral Noize

Marozia – A Vida Cobra

This one caught my eye whilst checking the new arrivals thanks to the cover – not often you see black metal with a cute little snake smoking a pipe on the cover, and it made me wonder just what the EP was going to be like. Turns out that A Vida Cobra, and Brazilian duo Marozia as a whole, sound like something torn from the very earliest days of ’80s black metal – raw, primitive, but with a definite melodic edge. The bass is dominant in the demo-quality mix, which spoils things a little, but there’s potential here.

A Vida Cobra is out now, self-released on Bandcamp.

Words: Stuart Wain

Astral Noize

Shvdy – High Discussions

I was drawn to this one considering how badass the cover art is! Shaggy, Spongebob and Patrick getting blazed! I just had to hear what the music to accompany this was. Interestingly, instead of being stoner hip-hop bangers, Greek producer Shvdy has composed some really haunting and sophisticated jams here. Whilst there are some booming moments, the use of strings and ghostly piano on highlight ‘Food & Drugs’ evokes a really sobering, sombre vibe. In many ways, the music here starkly contrasts the funny cover art. Only three tracks, but the material is so solid, I’d happily check out more!

High Discussions is out now, self-released on Bandcamp.

Words: Chris “Frenchie” French

Astral Noize

Weed Addict – Acid Killed The Cat

I guess the reason I gave this one a listen was because I wanted to see if a band called Weed Addict (hailing from Massachusetts, US) were as generic as I expected… And yes, right away you can hear the direct influences of Acid Bath, Crowbar and Electric Wizard. The production is rather rough around the edges, with a lack of detail to set it aside from much of the established stoner/doom canon. Admittedly, I struggled to make it through the entire album, as I’ve heard far too many similar bands doing these sounds and vibes much better justice.

Acid Killed The Cat is out now, self-released on Bandcamp.

Words: Chris “Frenchie” French

Astral Noize

Siege Column – Inferno Deathpassion

The first thing you realise delving into the Bandcamp metal section is just how much shit artwork there is in circulation. It’s always important not to judge a book by its cover, of course, but that first impression can have a big impact over whether you hit play or not. It wasn’t Siege Column’s logo so much as the dark sketching behind it that struck a chord with me, and luckily the music behind it ain’t bad neither. The Bandcamp page itself is devoid of much detail, but the music certainly does the talking here, as the New Jersey outfit delve headfirst into guttural growls and indiscernible riffs that either pummel like a hammer or shriek like a banshee. I tried to throw myself a curveball by looking under the “thrash” tab, but the grainy assault offered up here is closer to death metal from the get-go. Never underestimate the enduring power of utter filth.

Inferno Deathpassion is out now on Nuclear War Now! Productions.

Words: George Parr

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Hatchet Face – Your Eyes Won’t Believe What Your Hands Have Done

Hatchet Face are a grind-influenced hardcore quartet from Edmonton, Canada. I was drawn to this release whilst scrolling through the new arrivals section in Bandcamp because the cover art had a bit of a Primitive Man/Vermin Womb vibe to it. This six-track EP is a pretty decent slab of hardcore, with a couple of samples here and there (closing with an obligatory It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia quote). Fourth track ‘Your Eyes Won’t Believe…’ is a welcome curveball, opening with gloomy clean vocals. In particular, the crunchy HM-2 inspired guitar tone and throat-shredding lead vocals are pretty tasty!

Your Eyes Won’t Believe What Your Hands Have Done is out now, self-released on Bandcamp.

Words: Chris “Frenchie” French

Astral Noize

Haest – EP1

Featuring members of prominent local bands such as Wizard Fight and Matilda’s Scoundrels, Haest’s debut release mixes lo-fi hardcore and sludge in the vein of Black Flag, with elements of Doom without the meandering. Coming in at around the ten-minute mark, what the EP showcases is the band’s ability to lurch from a less pained Bleach-era Nirvana into something that’s more upbeat and is impossible not to nod along to. There’s not a huge amount of variation going on here, but that isn’t really important when the songs are this concise and snappy. The highlight has to be the final track, ‘This Tired Boat Is Sinking’, which sums up everything that’s good about what has come before. The EP has house show written all over it. With its infectious grooves and short, foot-to-the-throat tracks, Haest’s debut has the right blend of heavy and fun.

EP1 is out now, self-released on Bandcamp.

Words: David Brand

Astral Noize

Sadness – Rain

After that unfeasibly scorching summer the UK just endured, I for one am loving the return of raincoats and grey skies, and I think I’ve just found the album to soundtrack this seasonal progression. Rain by Sadness kicks off with a lulling downpour à la Black Sabbath, but in lieu of chiming bells or ominous guitar we have soft melancholy keys, all building to the cathartic expulsion of pure anguish that soon follows in its wake. I’d never heard of Sadness before stumbling across this, and found info hard to come across online, but a look at their Facebook, plus the fact that they’re sitting pretty in Bandcamp’s best-sellers section, unveils that a fair few people were aware of the experimental blackened post-metal this prolific group champion for some time. Rain is the gentle tapping of drops on your window that helps you fall asleep at night, but it can also turn into a full-blown thunderstorm at the drop of a hat, causing a power cut and crashing a tree through your window.

Rain is out now, self-released on Bandcamp.

Words: George Parr

Astral Noize

Shye – Sounds To Drown To

I found this one in the “drone” section. The title really intrigued me, as well as the Australian artist’s own description, “aquatic soundscapes to keep you company as you sink”. The album begins rather peacefully and calmly, with backmasking effects and reverbed piano on ‘Wishing My Wishes Came True’. Considering the morbid nature of this release, the vibes are very peaceful and relaxing. ‘Infirmae’ is an atmospheric beauty with shades of Sigur Rós at their most ambient. Only with the closing track, ‘Give Up, It’s Easier’ do things take a slightly darker turn. Overall, a pleasant and relaxing ambient release.

Sounds to Drown To is out now, self-released on Bandcamp.

Words: Chris “Frenchie” French

Illustration: Blair Shaw (@blair_draws_stuff)

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