Bandcamp exploration 1: Lowercase Noises

My Friday got cancelled. Well, cancelled not really, Friday did happen, but all the things I had to do just fell through. Of course, I had already woken up early and was nearly done getting ready when I realised – at least it was a no make-up day, so not that much effort had gone in the getting-ready part.

I was left with a whole lot of time to fill up however I wanted and alone as no one is free to come play with me at such short notice. So after a long – very very very long – time playing video games, I decided it was time to do something else. So I on a bit of an adventure – from the cosy warmth of my bed – and had a Bandcamp exploration session.

For the Bandcamp virgins – apparently, that’s a fair chunk of the population -, it is a website, where people – anyone really – can upload their music – apparently, it’s free – and sell it directly to anyone who visits the site, and is willing to buy it of course! Neat, right?

Practically, what does that mean for us music buyers? Well, it means we can get some new music for next to nothing. I, for one, love the whole DIY thing, and the lo-fi recordings and all that jazz, so that’s a good place to go. And provided you’re willing to look around a bit, you can find some really cool stuff.

Here is the fruit of my Friday research: Lowercase Noises – The Swiss Illness (2017)

When you get on the Bandcamp website, all the tracks and albums that are being bought at the moment appear in real time. On Friday, Anal Trump kept getting bought; but The Swiss Illness is what caught my attention – the title was intriguing and I don’t know, I’m Swiss.

This album is really atmospheric. The layers of noises work together to create melodies that are relaxing while at the same time make you feel that weird happy/sad thing that usually only looking at old pictures from a time that will never come back can give you.

The mix of really long songs – two of them are over 10 minutes – and really short ones – under 2 minutes for some of them – alternating is very clever; the songs are fairly slow and smooth, so this adds a dynamism that makes the album engaging and easy to listen to – which can be a bit challenging when there are absolutely no lyrics.

I thoroughly enjoyed the 45 minutes or so I got out of my first listen. I enjoyed it just as much the following times.

Oh and if you were wondering, the Swiss illness he is referring to is nostalgia. See, there was that Swiss scientist, Johannes Hofer, who wrote some medical dissertation and he came up with the word “nostalgia” to refer to the homesickness the Swiss mercenaries were feeling. Back then, they had funny ideas on how to cure nostalgia, as it was considered a medical condition.

You can find this Lowercase Noises album, The Swiss Illness, and others on Spotify and Bandcamp. There, you can buy it on a “name-your-price” basis; so technically, you can get it for free, but don’t be a dog really, give a dollar or two to the man.

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