Back around the end of June, I broke all the rules and wrote an ABSOLUTELY MASSIVE (it wasn’t that big) two-part post about Big D and the Kids Table. Now, I’ve had a tumultuous summer, so I haven’t been able to post as much as I should be, but my last post was about Zorch’s wonderful debut ZZOORRCCHH. Shmit back and shmrepare yourself for the shmequel to that Zorch post, and the shmequel to the idea of a shmequel to a post: Shmu.
If you didn’t keep up with, like, last month’s post or however long ago it was (and you probably didn’t), let me refresh your memory a bit: Sam Chown plays drums for Zorch (who are great) and sometimes calls himself Shmu. As our founder Marc told me, Shmu also makes music under that name, and even though Discipline/Communication came out a year ago, I’d like to tell you about it because I really liked what I heard.
I’m not sure if it was the headphones I currently have to use, but I immediately noticed the lower-fi sound of Discipline/Communication compared to the relative sheen of Zorch. Now this is the part where I stop comparing and contrasting the two musical projects. In a nutshell, Discipline/Communication sounds like what I would describe as “nocturnal basement-dweller mad-scientist popgaze.” At times lush and meditative, at times glitchy and harsh, Discipline/Communication brings it all together with acoustic guitars, subtle yet sweeping electronics and a cut-and-paste sensibility. To explain it more bluntly, Shmu sounds somewhere along the lines of M83 meets Beck. The songs are fun, weird and varied but manage to keep their focus throughout the album. Give this track a listen:
And maybe this one too:
Now I know that I’m not the only one who likes free music. Grab his stuff from Bandcamp here