Described as “a set of dated incidences, started in April 2020”, this mysterious Bandcamp release is a product of lockdown.
The name is ambiguous, the credited artists use pseudonyms and songs are titled with nothing more than the dates recorded.
What unfolds is a series of short, haunting instrumental landscapes and playful lyrical oddities.
13-14.04.2020 kick off the album with tripped out abstract tones, vocoded vocals and percussive weirdness. Lyrically, it’s poetic yet bizarre. Four short sentences, each partly linked to the next. The delivery is staccato, coinciding with the clanging percussion. Seemingly building, it then abruptly cuts back to the opening pulses.
There’s a real sense of joy in the construction of the lyrics, as evidenced on 25.05.2020, with satisfying mouthfeel present in the nonsense. For example “Are you those fragments now sunk in dark worn out carpet holes? Or a grasslike tuft being blown by the floors very own little seasons”. Musically it has a slightly out of tune high pitched guitar jangle, relentless galloping drums and keyboard shimmer.
Next comes the first of several instrumental tracks. Firstly, 08.04.2020 evokes a sense of unease and dread with its drawn out notes, discordant slow stabs and delays. It feels pulled straight from a David Lynch nightmare, providing a stark contrast to what came before. Secondly, 13.04.2020 has a more jaunty approach. Crooked guitar work gives way to strange synths and distant drums that sound almost like they’re coming from inside a closed cupboard. This is followed by a mid-late era Flaming Lips-esque instrumental in 05.04.2020. It has an expansive, yet short-lived, sombre beauty.
They took an unusual decision, when assembling the album, in placing a remix of a track before the original. The skittering electronica drumbeats and distorted repeated vocal parts of 21_29.05.2020 remix of 16.05.2020 admittedly bear very little resemblance to the fantastic Beach Boys style piano, soft harmonies and Ariel Pink delivery of closer 16.05.2020.
Gorgeous glacial synths are the focus of the dark, brooding 04-05.04.2020 and 03.04.2020. These appear before two of the most surreal but delightful tracks on the album in 11.04.2020 and 04.04.2020. The former is crazed, with gloopy funny computer game synths, bizarre vocal delivery and comical lyrics that seem to delight in schadenfreude.
The latter’s soft almost twinkling pulsing sounds are surrounded by swooping synths. It builds layers of melody like a shimmering winterscape by a wrong headed Sufjan Stevens.
According to the release page on Bandcamp (and aptly, given the title) this album may well continue to be added to. This approach is, of course, as unique as the content of the recordings and the situation in which the ideas were conceived.
“Bottomless, Fluffy and Responsive” is out now via Mr Hystericords.