Bandcamp Roulette: Randaru, Meltway, ChXnSxCh

Bandcamp Roulette: Randaru, Meltway, ChXnSxCh

Bandcamp Roulette is a feature from contributor Secat that scours Bandcamp for interesting, new, and under-the-radar releases. This edition features albums from Randaru, Meltway, and ChXnSxCh.


Randaru — À SUIVRÈ / SYNK

Minimal, sticky, glossy tech house from Ukraine: a dark dancefloor submerged in Vaseline. Both tracks on this release, despite their subdued sonic palettes—a deep, cavernous bass thwob here, a clicking percussive skeleton there—make the absolute most of their time, and Randaru does a pitch-perfect job at controlling their pacing and evolution. Like crumpled origami placed in water, the mood swells, unfolds, bursts; sultry vocal samples and warbling sine waves echo brightly, tall, lit lampposts that signal to one another from across canyons of darkness. There’s not much in these songs to anchor yourself to; they function more like abysses. You descend, and you descend; up becomes an impossibility.

Pair with: ill-advised spelunking expeditions; making slow, soapy circles with your mop on the linoleum

Favorite track: “synk”


Meltway – Everytime

Wistful, shoegaze’d dreamy Danish indie pop, with all the familiar elements you might expect from such a genre combination: wafer-thin, unintelligible vocals, heavy reverb, guitars drenched in feedback, and so on and so forth. In spite of this seeming predictability, Everytime carries with it some certain ineffable quality that makes it a genuinely exciting, euphoric listen; you know this sound, but you know not where it will take you. There’s a distinct forward motion to each track, and Meltway is never mired down with the worthless noodling or flat, unchanging dynamics that tend to detract from the projects of their peers. “All killer, no filler” feels almost inappropriate to say for something of this genre, but it’s the most apt note for what Everytime delivers. Kick up your feet; you will remain entertained.

Pair with: fresh carnival cotton candy; partially-filled ashtrays

Favorite tracks: “Strangers Dream”, “From Blue”, “I Want to Forget”


ChXnSxCh – >°))))

The most interesting (so, naturally, the hardest to pin down semantically) project of this trio, >°​)​)​)​)​is a catalog of previously unreleased work from Los Angeles(?)-based artist ChXnSxCh. As one might expect from an archival release, the artist’s core folky, confessional sound veers chaotically through dozens of genre filters picked up and discarded over the years: Mezzanine-esque trip-hop, spoken-word tabla breakcore, moody post-punk; it’s a beautiful, puzzling snapshot of a lush musical life filled with fascinating pockmarks and idiosyncrasies. >°​)​)​)​)​ may not be the most stylistically unified album out there, but it’s all the better for it. Ultimately, I’m just thankful that it’s been given a platform; according to label THEJJC.ORG, ChXnSxCh’s work “would otherwise not exist on the Internet” were it not available here, and that’d be a damn shame.

…Also, the album cover is fucking RAD.

Pair with: butt-quality boxed wine; ankle socks with holes worn in the heels

Favorite tracks: “Dessicant Silicangel [DANGEROUS: DO NOT EAT]”, “ʻThe Proof’”, “jawmoansneon (Shakshouka)”


Secat is a musician and writer based in Houston, Texas. To see more of their work, you can follow them on Twitter (@secatsecat) or check out their personal blog at

Bandcamp Roulette: illogical Compeuter, Tonopah Test, alopratos

Bandcamp Roulette: illogical Compeuter, Tonopah Test, alopratos

Bandcamp Roulette is a feature from contributor Secat that scours Bandcamp for interesting, new, and under-the-radar releases. This edition features albums from illogical Compeuter, Tonopah Test, and alopratos.

Welcome back! You know the drill, let’s jump right in:


illogical Compeuter – And Neptune

Two dimly lit, obscurant dub techno soundscapes that keep their cards close to their chests. Pared-down, echoing kick drums roughly cut their way through walls of murky analogue wobbles and stuttering, oddly chopped lo-fi samples; a room filled with smoke that forces you to crawl your way to the exit, coughing, sputtering. “A Dust of Stars in Heads” begins to offer the listener brief glimpses of light as calmer, brighter strokes of guitar and chiming cymbal brushes slowly invade the frame; but, ultimately, the full experience is oppressive, singular, and, most of all, excellent. Joy is overtaken; only grime remains.

Pair with: Liquid smoke (in the form of patented, space-age, out-of-this-world Moon Waffles); Interview with a cigarette

Favorite Track: “A Dust of Stars in Heads”


Tonopah Test – hypha

Tonopah Test offers a lot of titillating ideas in the accompanying press release for hypha – making claims, among others, that its 7 tracks were “harvested from the moldy walls of a dark and ancient file folder” and are capable of inducing “visions and psy-fi hallucinations” – from what I can gather, the album is conceptually meant to communicate the experience of traveling through a fungal network of mycorrhizae and encountering various fantastical landscapes along the way. The actual listening product offers many parallels to this central idea; the clanking, droning ambient backgrounds of each track, occasionally giving way to more hopeful, sparkling synth motifs that drift aimlessly in and out of the foreground, read to me as a meditation on fungal life, and on decomposition in all its forms – its capacity to destroy and create in equal measure. Things will always grow and die, but the soil will remain; and what is left behind must be consumed.

Pair with: Mushroom identification guides; fractal zoom videos

Favorite Tracks: “Looms”, “Stealing crumbs from the Giants”


alopratos – El perro del Verano

Discordant, reggaetón-inspired freakbeats for the afterparty after the afterparty – the one where everybody around you looks translucent, where you’re pretty sure you’re the only conscious person in the world. There’s an incredibly despondent, insular character to this album (made in the wake of the artist’s dog’s death, if the release page is to be believed) that leads to both pits and peaks, moments of triumph and incredible melancholy. The listener is permitted to explore every permutation of a headspace mired with grief: the bright spots, the washes of paralysis that move in like the tide, ebbing and flowing. The path to recovery occasionally reveals itself, but the mental roadblocks in the way manifest as dark, moody trenches of atonal recursion that eventually overtake each hopeful moment. The last track, “When the party’s over”, seems to be a (loose) cover of the Billie Eilish song of the same name – I wonder if it might represent how one can cling to music in dire straits, listening to the same things over and over, singing them to yourself when you can’t even find the will to press “play” – but, ultimately, that’s pure speculation. What’s important is that the release as a whole is evocative, inspiring the imagination; alopratos has done an excellent job at crafting a work that’s obviously personal, but still immediately understandable.

Pair with: Playing minesweeper alone in your bedroom; 2 lime White Claws at 1 A.M.

Favorite Track: “Transformer de playa”


Without really intending it, all three of these releases are somewhat similar in tone; well, try not to get too bummed out, O listener…

Secat is a musician and writer based in Houston, Texas. To see more of their work, you can follow them on Twitter (@secatsecat) or check out their personal blog at

Bandcamp Roulette: ex-tech, black smokers, ITCHY ROTTEN

Bandcamp Roulette: ex-tech, black smokers, ITCHY ROTTEN

Bandcamp Roulette is a feature from contributor Secat that scours Bandcamp for interesting, new, and under-the-radar releases. This edition features albums from ex-tech, black smokers, and ITCHY ROTTEN.

Another 3 marvelous wonders to peruse in this edition, all with a focus on texture and experimentation: here, have a listen!:


ex-tech – Double Tape

Double Tape is one of the more interesting experimental pieces I’ve had the pleasure of experiencing in some time. It revolves around one main song – a sound collage of repitched and digitally processed tape player samples – that is used as the framework to create an all-encompassing, holistic expression of the tape player as instrument, producer, and recorder. First, the main song is performed live (“double-tape-live”); this piece is then recorded back onto the tape player from which it originated and replayed to form the work’s second movement, “double-tape-rec”, described on the release page as “the tape player’s ‘performance’ of its own composition”. The two tracks reflect and refract each other like funhouse mirrors – details obscured in one move to the forefront of the other, and vice versa. The live piece is shadowy, ghost-like: a pale shade that flits though dark spaces; the recorded piece, on the other hand, is much more grounded and earthy, blanketing the ears with lush, supple pads and warm percussive dewdrops. With a concept as heady as Double Tape’s, one runs the risk of the hype and intrigue outweighing the actual content at hand; but, happily, in this work, both content and concept are complementary, creating a worthwhile whole that is very proudly the sum of its parts.

Pair with: your favorite cassette tape (to be admired, lovingly, from a distance); water-soluble packing peanuts

Favorite track: “double-tape-rec”


black smokers – 02022020

A short series of deep, tunneling ambient explorations from Russia (cutely tagged “superslowsonicattackfromrussia”) that are as difficult to write conclusively about as they are pleasurable to experience, with each track stretching guitar, synthesizer, and foley sounds out into abyssal plains of abstracted, vibrant harmony. The palindromic title holds something of a key to the work itself; it digs down into the soil, then claws itself back out again, creating a resonant, restless circle. Some of the textures and musical structures on display in 02022020 will certainly be familiar to those well-acquainted with ambient music, but that doesn’t mean they haven’t been put to good use here; they feel more like black smokers’ acknowledgement of the wider canon of their genre than they do lazy or overly referential callbacks. The perfect soundtrack to your next meditation session.

Pair with: bubbles in blue dream; the elusive scent of yoga mats

Favorite Track: “8-4-1”


ITCHY ROTTEN – grey majique

Skin-crawling San Antonio IDM bangers possessed with the righteous fury of a thousand suns, slathered heartily in anxious crescendos of frenetic, stomping breakbeats. Music for panic rooms and the last hour of the night shift. grey majique’s nine tracks aim to confuse and galvanize; they tap you on one shoulder, then appear, cackling, beside the other. The raw, driving energy of this record leaves almost no room to breathe; if you can make that vibe work for you, however, you’ll be treated to one of the best songs of the year in “cypto”. Kind of like if Clark’s discography was host to an infestation of silverfish. Contains oodles of certified Secat Shiver Moments (which are the most important way to rate an album, of course).

Pair with: instant espresso crystals placed directly on tongue; gary busey

Favorite Tracks: “stardd shit (sync up gen)”, “ai incantation”, “cypto”, “10 mind cunts”


Hope at least one of these tickles your fancy; hope even more that all three of them do. I’ll see you next go-around!

Secat is a musician and writer based in Houston, Texas. To see more of their work, you can follow them on Twitter (@secatsecat) or check out their personal blog at

Bandcamp Roulette: Cypher Sanctuary, randal b., Ghetto Henry

Bandcamp Roulette: Cypher Sanctuary, randal b., Ghetto Henry

Bandcamp Roulette is a feature from contributor Secat that scours Bandcamp for interesting, new, and under-the-radar releases. This edition features albums from Cypher Sanctuary, randal b., and Ghetto Henry.

Sumptuous sweets! Decadent delights! It’s a smörgåsbord of . . . uhm . . . symphonies! Today’s Bandcamp Roulette lunchbox is packed to the brim with delicious snack cakes and sandwiches! Enough preamble! Let’s get moving!


Cypher Sanctuary – Warrior Way

Warrior Way comes to us via one of my favorite record labels, Melbourne-based, who consistently release fantastic house/dance/techno projects (including one of the very best of 2018, park hye jin’s IF U WANT IT micro-LP). Cypher Sanctuary hails from Moscow and makes teeth-shattering darkwave-y industrial techno bops full of roomy thud and ample hi-hat simmer; Warrior Way steps on the gas from the opening kick and never lets go. It’s impressive how much variation Cypher Sanctuary pulls out of his overarching style here, which can appear a tad monochromatic at first ear-glance; these 6 tracks dip their toes in everything from vaporwave to IDM to downright saccharine pop-house and still come out as relentless and pulse-pounding as they came in. A triumphantly fun and intense half-hour full of darkness, light, and all that good stuff in between.

Pair with: the Nightman intro (2x speed); Monster Energy; acid-rainwater collected in plastic bucket

Favorite Tracks: “Red Ball Burn”, “Dark Shadow Creep”, “The Tree”


randal b. – Huett

Scratchy, undefined, and insular hip-hop instrumentals from Milwaukee that reach your headphones as though broadcast from a thousand miles away. Huett is possessed with a moving, graceful undercurrent of anxious fervor that propels it far beyond your typical “beats to study to” mix; it blends and recontextualizes recognizable genre signifiers into an immediately personal concoction brimming with love and dignity, building textural walls of jazzy, smeared lo-fi samples that duck and shrink from the kick drum as though wounded. The project starts and ends without discretion, almost as though you managed to briefly intercept an aural transmission of someone’s mental state; the signal is eventually lost, but the feeling, the intimacy, remains. A worthwhile (if brief) diversion from the outside world.

Pair with: ambient rain sounds; TV static; chocolate-covered coffee beans

Favorite Tracks: “mooncr*****”, “old dusty”, “rimnod”



Ghetto Henry – Ghetto Henry Vol. 1

Incredibly fat, syrupy, bass-laden ghetto tech from German record label Doom Chakra. This is music that fucks, and fucks hard; it should be played as loud as is humanly possible in your car. It is raw and explicit and boiling over with rump-shaking basement jam energy (with some pleasing detours into smooth, ambient pads and soulful vocal samples). If you can’t devote at least a few minutes of feverish dancing to this record, then DON’T PLAY IT AT ALL! Good material with which to meet your monthly head-banging quota. If you’re not at least a little sweaty and flushed when it’s done, then you weren’t listening right.

Pair with: PEPINO DE NOVO; quad-shot of espresso at 11 P.M.; sprawled out on concrete floor with unknown stain after furious windmilling

Favorite Tracks: “Bumpin’”, “Player Haters”, “Seven Dirty Words”, “Up & Down”


For my money, this edition happened to collect an especially strong selection of releases; I hope you agree, O listener. I’ll see you next time!

Secat is a musician and writer based in Houston, Texas. To see more of their work, you can follow them on Twitter (@secatsecat) or check out their personal blog at

Bandcamp Roulette: Tunnel One, Agus Garcia, Midpoint Union

Bandcamp Roulette: Tunnel One, Agus Garcia, Midpoint Union

Bandcamp Roulette is a feature from contributor Secat that scours Bandcamp for interesting, new, and under-the-radar releases. This edition features albums from Tunnel One, Agus Garcia, and Midpoint Union.

Bandcamp Roulette is back on the lightwaves after a brief break! I’m easing back into the usual workflow with some short and sweet projects. Here, have a look:


Tunnel One – skattag

Of all the projects I’ve heard that self-describe as “braindance,” skattag might be the closest in sound to the kind of hypothetically fussy and intellectual music I audiate when I see the term. It’s awkward, uncanny, and unsettling – a barrage of intimidating, offset clickfuzz and halogen flares – it does very much feel like it is designed to be tapping into some weird higher order of my cognition. 5 minutes of activation. My brain is doing the Lindy Hop. I might be a sleeper agent now. Keep a close eye on your REM sleep patterns.

Listen if: you have the courage to say the phrase “intelligent dance music” out loud amongst your peers

Favorite Track: “sjwip sjwap”


Agus Garcia & Eme – Hypnosis EP

Supremely slinky, blessedly uncomplicated house beats to stick your head out of a sunroof to. Works in a fantastically esoteric sense; I hear and I do not question. I have no interest in dissecting. Whatever parts there are to this assemble behind closed doors to create an inscrutable whole. Intoxicating. Cool. Mood-setting. Smoke a cigarette, interestingly. You are sitting in the darkest corner of the nightclub. You are an informant for a nosy private eye who doesn’t even know the half of what they’re getting into. You flash a coy smile. You’re holding all the cards; everything becomes a means to your end.

Listen if: you are on a posh (docked) yacht and trying (unsuccessfully) to gracefully fish the olive out of your 3rd martini of the evening

Favorite Track: “Hypnosis (Rowlanz Remix)”


Midpoint Union – New Turn

Dreamy, creamy, sweet dreampop nothings from Portugal. A pound of cotton candy (which weighs exactly as much as a pound of steel, a pound of feathers, a pound of . . . ) that melts and diffuses when exposed to water. It exists for a reason, and that reason is to make me feel OK about where I’m at and how my life is going at 10 P.M. on a Tuesday night. Joyous in a way that lots of things have the potential to be; the pleasure of eating a snack cake you used to love as a kid and finding it every bit as good as you remember (maybe a little sweeter, though). Maybe it’s a little disposable, a little slight; but, good grief, must everything linger?

Listen if: you’re flying into Seattle in the mid-afternoon; you pack your clothes in a guitar case

Favorite Tracks: “Forgotten Places”, “Perfectly Unfinished”, “Making Bounds”


That’ll do for today. Try to keep your socks on, O listener!

Secat is a musician and writer based in Houston, Texas. To see more of their work, you can follow them on Twitter (@secatsecat) or check out their personal blog at

Bandcamp Roulette: Col. Warren, Indistinct voices over PA, shauni (name might change)

Bandcamp Roulette: Col. Warren, Indistinct voices over PA, shauni (name might change)

Bandcamp Roulette is a feature from contributor Secat that scours Bandcamp for interesting, new, and under-the-radar releases. This edition features albums from Col. Warren, Indistinct voices over PA, and shauni (name might change).

Three genres, three moods, three very un-SEO-friendly artist names: just another day in the life here at the COUNTERZINE underground headquarters in Undisclosed Location, U.S.A.!


Col. Warren – ecco cemetery

Plunderphonic sewer vaporwave: as in, it crawled out of the storm drain and now it’s sitting on your front porch daring you to look away. Extremely direct in tone and style; refuses to pull a punch; undulates between your two earbuds, incessantly: what a wiggly little creature! I think of it like I would an old-fashioned telegram punctuated by the word STOP. Very interested in showing you its nooks and crannies, its chops and seams; will lead you down numerous fractal alleyways if you don’t watch your step. ecco cemetery is content simply to bask in the luxurious warm glow of the samples it is recontextualizing rather than waste your time with soupy overproduction. It is the panda: it eats, shoots, and leaves.

Listen if: you are standing on the deck of a cruise ship at 1:30 A.M. in your négligée and looking all windswept and interesting

Favorite Tracks: “you’re such a thing”, “en chemiqlés”


Indistinct voices over PA – Closing credits // Patterns OST excerpts

Four tracks scraped out of context from a full soundtrack made by the artist for an unreleased immersive VR dome horror film, Patterns, that apparently featured cymatics, ferrofluids, photogrammetry, and “pioneering ambisonic sound processes”. These concepts can all be felt palpably in the final musical product: the noises are freakish and all-encompassing, sweeping murderously around the stereo field in a manner clearly designed for intensive headphone listening. It’s all achingly close to being totally immersive; the mystery of the full VR experience that accompanied the music lingers heavily over this music to varying effect, and, occasionally, I found myself quite frustrated at not having any visual context to what I was hearing. Well worth a listen, because it is very good; but, it is also difficult to detach from some glorious vision of what might have been.

Listen if: you’re a haunted house employee and you’re finally on your crummy 15-minute lunch break but you can’t afford to lose your immersion in the spooky character you’re playing

Favorite Track: “patterns III (first draft)”, “ghouls (a séance)”


shauni (name might change) – Demos

Firstly: I hope shauni (name might change) never changes that name.

Secondly: What is this? What is this doing on a nondescript Bandcamp page? This is impeccable. Forlorn, dark, romantic trip-hop-y glitch pop (trip-pop?) from Paris: a cauldron full of still, glassy crude oil. Think Baths; think ODAE; think Junior Boys, but melancholic. An excess of black bile. Quite expressive. Might be in need of a haircut.

Sometimes, the really excellent stuff I find leaves me a little lost for words, which is annoying, of course: but, it’s a fun process to fumble, to hunt around for what phrases might somehow transcribe the way the music makes you feel. Without adornment: Demos is good, and I like it a lot. Give it a few spins.

Listen if: the wind is howling

Favorite Tracks: “Wolfskin”, “The Hooks”


Another three down . . . How many more to go? Sheesh, your guess is as good as mine.

Secat is a musician and writer based in Houston, Texas. To see more of their work, you can follow them on Twitter (@secatsecat) or check out their personal blog at

Bandcamp Roulette: wellkeptnothing, Yuki Fukuyama, Robert Crosbie

Bandcamp Roulette is a feature from contributor Secat that scours Bandcamp for interesting, new, and under-the-radar releases. This edition features albums from wellkeptnothing, Yuki Fukuyama, and Robert Crosbie / Geisha.

Albums time, albums time, albums time! Four instead of the usual three, for reasons that will be explained further down. Check ‘em out, already!:


wellkeptnothing – 8PM

You might do a bit of a double-take when you check out the release page for 8PM and notice a seemingly esoteric collection of tags: “alkaline”, “canvas”, “oil painting”, and “superconnected”. If you’re anything like me, those tags will drive you to listen to the project, an understated, appealing collection of hazy lounge-jazz-y cuts quietly bubbling over with tasteful electronic accents. It’s easy to fall harmlessly into the groove here; the artist provides plenty of soft cushioning to pad your landing. Snuggle up within the tunes. Pour yourself a mug of hot chocolate. Grab a pillow: A Pillow Pet, even (hey, remember those?). Don’t get too comfortable, however; inspect the release page a little more closely, and you’ll see that this album is currently priced at a whopping ¥100,000 (a little under $910 U.S. dollars). The “oil painting” tag makes more sense now; it is a thing to be viewed under the soft museum lighting of the Bandcamp interface, admired, and then left alone. You can’t take this piece home with you and confine it to the digital waste dump that is your mp3 folder (unless you can, in which case: gimme some, moneybags), and perhaps that makes it all the better.

Listen if: you are the Monopoly Man

Favorite Tracks: “l’histoire du soleil”, “smiles from the memory she made with you”


Yuki Fukuyama – Three Dimensional Effect

Goofy, atonal deep house assembled with care from a bricolage of bleepity bloops, bloopity bleeps, and radio squawks. Each song evolves as though running through an all-encompassing generative engine; the sound is like an entity, untouched by human hands: merely observed, transcribed, and replicated. Sort of what I imagine a Magic Eye picture would sound like before you diverge your eyes. Each subsequent song iterates on what came before it (as outlined by the track titles, “One Dimensional”, “Two Dimensional”, and “Three Dimensional Effect”) by adding new, dynamic percussive and timbral elements. The electronic version of a traditional classical “Variations on a Theme” suite.

Listen if: you are a robot wearing human skin; you’re one of those accursed few who has to hold the Magic Eye book THIS. CLOSE. to your face to get it to work right and make a fool out of yourself in the Barnes & Noble

Favorite Track: “Two Dimensional”


Robert Crosbie / Geisha – Hummm and Turbulent Mediator

These are Dublin-based musician Robert Crosbie’s third and fourth EPs, respectively, but they’re marketed as companion pieces; one does not exist without the other (or, at least, the two are not as meaningful if not experienced as dual parts of a conceptual whole). Both projects focus on shoegaze aesthetics, lush, heavy ambience, and wistful composition, but to different ends: Hummm (Part 1 of the duology) is sun-kissed, almost triumphant, while Turbulent Mediator is earthier and more subdued. If Hummm is the event, then Turbulent Mediator is the aftermath, picking up the fragments that Hummm leaves shattered in its wake after the bombastic, psychedelic closer track “Reverie” and reassembling them into a frail after-image. Of the two, I think I might prefer Turbulent Mediator just the slightest bit more – but both EPs have a great deal to offer, and I wouldn’t listen to one without at least checking out the other, as well. It was a smart move on Crosbie’s part to separate the two, rather than just combining them into a single release; I think it’s much more fun to pick at the component parts of both EPs and see how they complement one another than it would be to do so with individual tracks on one exhaustive LP.

Listen if: you’re on a hill, it is five or so minutes until dawn, and you have ready access to a good, bassy boombox

Favorite Tracks: “Ummm” (from Hummm), “Seneath” (from Turbulent Mediator)


Good grief, that’s a lot of music, huh? The roulette wheel, it just keeps on a-turnin’!

Secat is a musician and writer based in Houston, Texas. To see more of their work, you can follow them on Twitter (@secatsecat) or check out their personal blog at


Bandcamp Roulette: Spectrum Ryder, Swami Raja, PinaepplaGog

Bandcamp Roulette is a feature from contributor Secat that scours Bandcamp for interesting, new, and under-the-radar releases. This edition features albums from Spectrum Ryder, Swami Raja, and PinaeppplaGog.

Three gems that all flirt heavily with the unknown and esoteric; listens for the head and the heart. Let’s jump right in:


Spectrum Ryder – Spectrum Ryder

Hailing from Austin, Texas, Spectrum Ryder’s self-titled debut LP is a difficult project to write conclusively about, but for the right reasons; over its seven sweeping, moody, rumbling soundscapes (my personal highlight of which being the stellar “Moon Bloom”), Spectrum Ryder creates its own singular universe of sound, exerting a gravitational pull that anchors you to it firmly. Low-key enough to serve as effective background noise, but complex and varied enough that a focused listen proves endlessly rewarding. In the hands of a lesser creator, these compositions might unravel themselves, dissipating into meaningless echo and fuzz; but, instead, they engage and challenge the listener: drop whatever you’re doing, and pay attention. Your ears will thank you later.

Listen if: you’re the protagonist of a Silent Hill game but you can spare a few minutes away from the game loop to relax and sit on a beach chair somewhere

Favorite Tracks: “Moon Bloom”, “Realism in Blue”, “Rippling Chemtrail”


Swami Raja — भगवद् गीता

The latest release from Louisville, Kentucky-based record label Infinite Sync Studios, भगवद् गीता  is a sublimely cacophonous and deeply moving statement of identity that brings an overlooked creative perspective in ambient and vaporwave to the forefront; it shimmers and shakes and grits its teeth in modes that may be outside your understanding. Come for this, the newness, and stay for the beauty; the way it moves through water, how it holds its breath.

Listen if: you have lost contact with the abyss, and wish to reestablish it

Favorite Tracks: “विभूतिविस्तारयोग”, “ज्ञानत्रयधारायोग”, “श्राद्धत्रियविभागयोग”, “मोक्षसंन्यासयोग”


PinaepplaGog – PinaepplaPOP

Stutterpop contortions: blown-out wastelands of reminiscence, signifiers that cry out to each other from across the dark. Gaunt, frail reverb: ghosts wailing from the walls and the ceiling; everything is compressed, bending in on itself. The songs seize up; they stop and start at whim. Strange, joyous, fleeting, indistinct. Made to be lost in. Keep your hand on the right wall of the maze. Look straight ahead.

Listen if: you’re trapped inside a copy of Mary-Kate & Ashley: Magical Mystery Mall (ugh, again?!)

Favorite Tracks: “Samok 4_2”, “Didn’t Mean It”, “Break Apart”, “Chase”


‘Till next time; keep on, rockstars!

Secat is a musician and writer based in Houston, Texas. To see more of their work, you can follow them on Twitter (@secatsecat) or check out their personal blog at

Bandcamp Roulette: Xoma18, Opus Nigrum, bunq

Bandcamp Roulette: Xoma18, Opus Nigrum, bunq

Bandcamp Roulette is a feature from contributor Secat that scours Bandcamp for interesting, new, and under-the-radar releases. This edition features albums from Xoma18, Opus Nigrum, and bunq.

Welcome back to another fab edition of BR, the best PR for the UTR! This time, I’ve got 3 projects that all contain more than meets the eye (or the ear):


Xoma18 – –

Charming, low stakes J-house in the vein of Shinichiro Yokota and Soichi Terada. There’s a pleasing, unexpected focus on melancholic atonality and melodic structures that are just the slightest bit off in each of ‘s 7 tracks that elevates this release beyond your usual fare; it exists on some strange border between restraint and indiscretion, with towering, meaty basslines and percussion accented by tinny, discrete synths and pads that echo softly into that good night. A prickly kiss on the cheek; thick black thread sewn through tissue paper; trembling water held above the rim of a glass by surface tension. Intensely, inherently, wonderfully danceable.

Listen if: you’re rockin out with a cold, cold can of sparkling water at your neighbor’s rooftop garden and you can feel it’s about that time to bust a move to the utmost

Favorite Tracks: “-1”, “-4”


Opus Nigrum – Rizoma

Evil Grouper makes spooky, chilling soundscapes out of half-whispered vocal runs and harsh, spiraling feedback loops to create an engrossing project that’s reverential and evocative of its musical forebears while still bringing something new and beautifully indistinct to the table. The quiet murmuring of a live crowd occasionally punctuates the music, offering a compellingly discordant aftertaste to noises and expressions that feel private in nature. Best viewed from a distance; take care not to disturb.

Listen if: you’re about to have one of those dreams where your teeth fall out

Favorite Tracks: “Dos”, “Tres”, “Rugido/ruido”


bunq – Live in Mancuso

A throbbing techno odyssey built around gorgeous modular synthesis work and exquisite timbral interchange of clinical KSSH TWHOMP *BMMM* sounds (look, sometimes words are hard for music). Full of absolutely SUMPTOUS caramel flan dessert textures; the noise is SILKEN. It offers no resistance to your spoon. Please, for the love of God, dig in.

Listen if: you woke up from that dream but it turns out you’re in another dream now where you’re in hell and the devil is your dad asking why you don’t come home more often

Favorite Tracks: “bunqOLA01”, “bunqOLA03”, “bunqOLA06”


There, have at ’em!

… And, if you don’t clean your plate, there’ll be consequences, young’n!


Secat is a musician and writer based in Houston, Texas. To see more of their work, you can follow them on Twitter (@secatsecat) or check out their personal blog at

Bandcamp Roulette: polarsmokemystic, Machine+, dave phillips

Bandcamp Roulette: polarsmokemystic, Machine+, dave phillips

Bandcamp Roulette is a feature from contributor Secat that scours Bandcamp for interesting, new, and under-the-radar releases. This edition features albums from polarsmokemystic, Machine+, and dave phillips.

This edition’s theme is SHOCK AND AWE: As I scouted out projects to cover, I really began to reckon with the sheer amount of quality music hiding in plain sight on Bandcamp. I can only hope that what I’ve curated is able to at least somewhat represent the beauty and wonder of what languishes in the shade. Without further ado, here are three must-listens:


polarsmokemystic – FRUIT MUSIC

polarsmokemystic is from Uppsala in Sweden, apparently (near Stockholm), which is around a 12 ½ hour flight from where I live; I would have to fly coach to afford the trip. I’d like to make the journey anyways, just so that I can shake their hand – because FRUIT MUSIC, their newest LP after a long break in 2019, is on some absolutely KILLER shit. Weird-ass mutated TNGHT-core trap instrumentals interfiled with good ol’ y2k-is-imminent spacey dream-DnB influences – an eclectic, bouncy, and at times completely baffling thrill ride. When I listen to FRUIT MUSIC, it’s impossible for me not to break out into a huge, cheesy grin; it’s one of the most genuinely exciting projects I’ve heard in a while. Displays a huge passion for experimentation, lively noise, and sounds that set your head to Tumble Dry. It’s something that I can’t really make heads or tails of, in the very best sense of the phrase.

Listen if: the residual new-paint fumes in the stairwell leading up to your apartment are making you dizzy again (when will that go AWAY?!)



Machine+ — Sāmsara

A surreal, weightless blend of shoegaze and post-rock aesthetics morphed and stretched like taffy across time and space, Detroit-based musician Machine+’s newest LP, Sāmsara (which purports to be “the end of a trilogy” and “the beginning of something new” on its release page), is the rare project that manages to be a clear product of its influences while simultaneously directing those influences to new and startling points of convergence. It teeters and warps fascinatingly under the weight of all of its different ideas; it almost, almost doesn’t work, but some mysterious force continues to pull it back from the brink of collapse. If this album is any indication, Machine+ is an artist to watch out for in the future: one who ignores the noise and steadfastly forges their own path ahead.

Listen if: you feel yourself drawn to the center of the earth; for you know there is some piece of you embedded in its core.

Favorite Tracks: “Scruff”, “On The Mountain”


dave phillips – post homo sapiens

Screeching, prying dark ambient assembled from ghostly hums, booming percussion, and various field recordings. It’s a testament to post homo sapiens’ power and sublime instrumentation that, even though it clocks in at over an hour in its entirety, I never fail to become completely transfixed by it, unable to look away from its first cry to its final death rattles. If I were in a score-giving mood it would probably get my highest rating. There isn’t much I feel compelled to say about it here; I think the music does the talking. As the release page says: “PLAY LOUD as one listening session.”

Listen if: you’re on an elevator, going up, somewhere: where? It doesn’t matter. On each floor, the doors open and close. No one gets on with you; nothing stirs the void beyond the doors. You don’t get off, either; you’re not sure how, but you know that you have a long way to go before you reach your destination.

Favorite Tracks: “biosemiotics”, “stridulated requiem for homo sapiens”


Secat is a musician and writer based in Houston, Texas. To see more of their work, you can follow them on Twitter (@secatsecat) or check out their personal blog at