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A new owner yet again, half of the employees laid off, among them curiously not only many responsible for editorial content, but also those running their union - there's definitely a process of enshittification going on over at our beloved Bandcamp, because it's the internet in the year 2023, so the last good things can't just stay that way.

That being said there haven't been any of the feared big potential changes for users of the platform... yet. Buying music on Bandcamp still is a thousand percent more moral than the streaming scam of Spotify, it still remains the last standing safe haven with global reach for independent artists to release digital music and sell merchandise, a place where they don't get completely ripped off and receive most of the earnings themselves. And on several first Fridays of the months during the year they can even keep the full revenue. As of now it seems that Bandcamp Fridays are still a thing, like the one that just ended proved.

I bought a couple of things. Here's the haul of my strictly digital purchases:

LINGUA IGNOTA - The End: Live at Islington Assembly Hall (2023)

The final release of Kristin Hayter under the moniker of Lingua Ignota? If she doesn't unearth or reissue some older material this will probably be it. A recording of the last show, where she played Lingua Ignota songs. It's already a different beast than the performances which supported her work until "Caligula". The music is all based on piano, there are no other noises, drones and samples, she doesn't scream as unhinged and unhealthy as when I saw her the first time at Roadburn 2019. The heart-wrenching emotional intensity of her lyrics and versatile voice, which wanders between intimate crying, operatic wailing and terrifying screeches however hasn't changed a bit.
So of course the songs all sound distictly different than their studio versions. More bearable perhaps, but definitely also fantastic, with the added feeling of relief as Hayter leaves some of the personal pain they carry with them behind.

Witnessing the fifteen songs of this show in London live must have been a unique experience - and I will admit I am an envious, because the cancellation of her previous European tour robbed me of the chance to have this goodbye in Copenhagen. (I ultimately ended up changing my Colossal Weekend visit, so that I also went on Friday instead of Sunday as intented, seeing many good shows. So ultimately I've actually made my peace with it.)

It for sure is great that we at least have this live album now. It ends with an encore of her most famous (?) cover versions: Chris Isaak's "Wicked Game" and Dolly Parton's "Jolene". What more do you need? This surely is also a great spiritual companion to hear in a row with Emma Ruth Rundle's "Engine of Hell - Live at Roadburn"

BRUTUS - Love Won't Hide The Ugliness (2023)

A band I very much will see live again soon in its current form is the Belgian Post Hardcore trio Brutus.

They already released this new track from the "Unison Life" sessions in September, and now I finally got it too. Lively drumming, Stefanie's raw and beautiful vocals, rumbling bass, epic Post Rock guitars... this has all the qualities and can live up to anything of the album. If you love Brutus - and who doesn't? - you'll love this track, too. Even if it won't hide the ugliness.

SLIFT - Unseen (2022)

A release I slept on last year is this EP by the wild French Psych Rock trio Slift, whose coming new album you can already pre-order. "Unseen" however is an outtake from their last masterpiece "Ummon", which probably just was already full enough. Good that this Space Rock track has been published later in this way. Same thing as with Brutus: just as good as the album stuff. Maybe the vibe is a little bit different.

The B side "The Real Unseen" is a Noise improvisation, which they spontanously played directly after the song while the recording was still running. It's basically like the finale of real long and great live show, where the band just doesn't want to leave the stage. That would surely have been a little too much for the album, but here it's cool. So why not?

THE LORD & DANIAL KUBINSKI - Palliare (2023)

We're ending this haul with another single track. Drone Metal grandmaster Anderson from Sunn O))) has released yet another collaboration, this time with Die Kreuzen vocalist Daniel Kubinski.

When The Lord slows down time with the tectonic tone of his guitar you already know you have a killer foundation. Kubinski's layered vocal performance on top of it is eery, haunting, pained. All in all nothing ouside the realm of what we've come to expect from Anderson, so yes, this is of course a great tune. Brrrzzzt.

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