August 2021 Bandcamp Friday suggestions: ZENKA, Information Society, Harmony Woods, The Robotic Hands of God & more

Once again, Bandcamp Friday is upon us. It’s a good time to snag anything you’ve had your eye on from Bandcamp, and if you haven’t had your eye on anything? Well, I have suggestions!

Each single or album has a rating, using a modified Robert Christgau scale. Also check out my earlier recommendations from March.

ODDfellows by Information Society ★★★

New this week, ODDfellows has everything I love about Information Society’s early albums without sounding dated or repetitive. Haven’t had time for repeated listens but this is already in the queue for regular rotation. My sole complaint at the moment is that they only seem to be releasing this digitally. I really want this on physical media with the rest of my InfoSoc collection… even if I don’t actually pull the CDs out very often. (Sadly, I no longer have the Information Society cassette I played again and again and again and again in high school.)

Graceful Rage by Harmony Woods ★★

Bought the LP on the strength of the first song alone. “Good Luck Rd.” will hit you like a ton of bricks. Going to be visiting this one again and again. Look for a longer review when I’ve had more time with it, but don’t wait for that – go check it out today.

“December” by ZENKA ★

This one grabbed me instantly. It’s got a strong beat, hooks you in right away. Party music with a dark underbelly. Love the minor key synth motif that pops up throughout the song and adds just a little menace and tension. Song’s a bit pricey, with a $7 digital download for the single, but it’s damn good.

Structures: Duo Improvisations for Acoustic Guitar & Tabla by Nate Roberts & Doug Scheuerell ★

Pretty much what it says on the tin. If you enjoy tabla and acoustic guitar, you’ll probably dig this. As the description on Bandcamp notes, this isn’t big on dissonance — which is often a hallmark of improv and puts me off a number of recordings that might otherwise be enjoyable. Highly melodic and enjoyable.

Music from a Parallel Dimension by The Robotic Hands of God ★

Not quite as interesting or good as The Hidden Master, but still has its high points and is a fun ride.

EXCAVATION Unauthorized Cut​-​Up Vol 1 by Bill Laswell★

Shares a name and some tracks with an unofficial release from 2008 on CD-R, EXCAVATION has Laswell tinkering with tracks from JT Money & George Clinton, Bootsy Collins, and earlier adventures with Laswell and William S. Burroughs. Not an essential release but fun, nonetheless. “We Wanna See Bootsy” is quite a jam.

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