If you want to explore the sounds of London, Ontario, look no further than bandcamp.
We searched London, Ontario yet again and found even more gems for you to check out.
A concept album about food?
Joe Tunes (J. Allen) is a beat maker from London, Ontario, whose latest collection Good Food, was released in October 2016.
Tunes’ style is easy going – his laid back beats and samples would work well for back-in-the-day style raps. While the bandcamp offering really only provides snippets and samples, it would be nice to hear more progression in the beats rather than straight loops. The material is there, it just needs to be organized.
Tracks Dickie Dee and Nachos are more starters than main course offerings, while Bruschetta and Lunch have verse meat.
The whole album feels nostalgic, like a throwback to block parties of days gone by.
All told, Good Food is a rap album starter kit. It’s got plenty of potential, but feels incomplete without transitions.
Hailing from St. John’s Newfoundland and Labrador, Jillian Rene is a singer-songwriter armed with an acoustic guitar and a good vocal range. Her second bandcamp release, Self-Immolation, was released in March of 2015.
Rene’s track, London, ON is sparse on lyrics but big on feeling. Verses often involve repeated lines, and the chorus consists of a single image – a burning fire covered in snow.
The recording itself is not great – the guitar chording tends to overpower the vocals on the hook, and the acoustic overdub is hard to make out at times.
Still, the combination of vocal and overdub melodies are very complimentary, each carrying the tune along at different times, lifting the other up when needed.
London, ON is a melancholy song for the most part, full of longing and self-doubt. However, it’s an easy listen and shows promise for future recordings.
The remainder of Self-Immolation has much better dynamics, and showcases Rene’s talents on the piano as well.
In an age of left vs. right politics, the Drunken Wobblies are definitely the former, singing loud and proud against corporate greed, environmental degradation, prejudice, and intolerance. Their 2013 release Londoom, Onterrible is a big shout-out to low-budget living in a city that is determined to gentrify.
The cover art for Londoom Onterrible proudly proclaims it is anti-oppression folk punk, and the lyrics suggest it’s by any means necessary. The imagery is one of Molotov cocktails, and the actual track Londoom, Onterrible simultaneously speaks out against income inequality and watching north London (and all its rich folk) burn to the ground.
The repeated phrase “Where the rich come to play/Where the poor get pushed away.” really does resonate, however. Take a walk from Oxford to Horton along Richmond Street and you can see the worlds of prosperity and poverty collide.
Londoom Onterrible features seven tracks, most of them solo tunes by David S., with the exception of a full-band version of Rise Up!
If you focus on they lyrics, you quickly learn – this guy knows London and loves London and hates to see it become inaccessible.
Listen and see if you agree.
The Economy is an experimental noise outfit from London, Ontario. While they have four online releases, it’s 2012’s The Economy, You Fuck that makes bandcamp’s top search results page.
At a slim five tracks, the EP is heavy on dirty metallic screeches, growls and feedback. Like hentai or ketchup chips, you’re either into it or not. This is a record that is best served in headphones. There isn’t much variation in the sounds used, but their placement in the stereo mix comes and goes so you can feel the noise move through your skull.
At nine minutes, the closing track It’s All Down Hill From Here is also the most diverse. The track is loaded with barely decipherable dialogue and a variety of sound samples.
Their most recent bandcamp release – 2014’s Recession Fissures – offers a wider range of sounds and better use of sampling and pitch shifting.
Non-noise fans may have some difficulty listening to The Economy, but it is still worth a listen with open ears and an open mind.
So, once again London, you’ve got some listening to do!
Feature photo by Nicki Borland