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2021 digital latecomers (feat. SPINIFEX, THISTLE and TUSKS)

Since we don't know yet, if there will even be Bandcamp Fridays this year, I guess I'm just going to highlight some stuff I downloaded without a specific occasion from time to time. Today let's take another look back on previous year, with one freebie I got gifted from Stoned To Death and two releases which waited long ebough on my wishlist and now finally found their way into my digital collection:

THISTLE - Teleopsia (2021)

This mini album of the Czech/Finnish electronic duo Thistle draws you into an almost meditative environment of hypnotic ambience, without lingering on any idea so long that it gets torturous.
Even though it drifts into some darker places, it remains a soothing affair. Don't mind the dangers! In this vessel you can close your eyes, lay back and be safe. Have an epiphanic journey! "Teleopsia" is also available as a limited cassette edition.

TUSKS - Change EP (2021)

Last year's EP by singer/songwriter Emily Underhill aka Tusks is also at home in the realm of droning electronic ambient music, but shows you that this categorization in itself is quite loose, because the ethereal vocals and wafting dream pop appeal of these three tracks - which are all reprised in instrumental versions - leads you to a completely different place in your imagination than Thistle. Even though they don't go far beyond the five-minute-barrier, the songs on "Change" use their layered textures to build impressively vast and beautiful landscapes. Apart from the need for more I can find nothing not to love about this little art pop gem.

SPINIFEX - Spinifex Beats The Plague (2021)

And finally here's one longer album, which breaks the one-hour-mark. It's also hands down one of the best jazz releases of all year and crying to be put out there in some physical format. The title already tells you, that this is one of those pandemic times works, but you can be sure that Spinifex don't wallow in self-pity, but meet the viral shit show with a fight! Each and every one of the nine tracks, which range from under one to over thirteen minutes length, is a big energetic fuck you with just the right mixture of powerful positivity and artistically resolved anger. With a line-up of bass (I've mentioned Gonçalo Almeida before in this blog), guitar, drums and a wind/brass section of two saxophones and trumpet, Spinifex alternate between sounding like the most brassy instrumentals of prog/funk/soul/metal/whatever fusionists Thank You Scientist helped out by Turkish avant-garde jazzers Konstrukt, including some nods to their orientalisms. The drive and vibe also points to John Zorn's covers of Ornette Coleman, and in the shortest tracks even to the noisier projects which followed later in his discography. The songwriting of this heavy jazz rock album is quite intricate, at its best even rivaling the mastery of Yazz Ahmed, while being decidedly rougher around the edges. The dirty bass, wild drumming and those jumps into pure jazzcore territory take care of that. This is the shit. Awesome!

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