Single Review: Suicide, Part 2 - "SP2"

suicide, part 2 - love letters drenched in gasoline
(Self-Released 2015)

Much of my blog's content to date has been plucked from the murky depths of Bandcamp's "new arrivals" section, an imposing wall of data that convenes a ragtag bunch of polished full band recordings, solo demo tapes and half-hearted vaporwave records alike. The listener may sift their search for hidden gems through a filter of genre tags, but the quest for new and exciting sounds is mainly left up to the internet archaeologist behind the keyboard: Bandcamp's biggest limitation - its tough-to-navigate search function - is actually what brings me back to the site day after day for another plunge into the abyss. Thinking about it that way, perhaps my Bandcamp habit stems from the same crevices of the brain that fuel a gambling addiction. The new morning brings a department store window's worth of album covers to scrutinize, each a portal to a miniature universe that orbits around its creator, the artist, and to select one over the other is a gamble. Some expeditions produce little result, and some uncover hidden works of concentrated beauty. The thrill of the hunt is just as satisfying as the discovery of art, yet perhaps a bit more fleeting.

In recent months, however, I've been more drawn in to the world of Soundcloud when tracking down material to quench my thirst for new art. While Bandcamp is mainly inhabited by mid-fi cassettes pressed by suburban garage bands and 4-track recordings slaved over in upstairs bedrooms, Soundcloud offers a glance at other colors on the spectrum of self-released music. Side by side sit sleek remixes of pop tunes, fuzzed-out song sketches strummed out on acoustic guitars often recorded to cell phones and an unbelievably enormous glut of cloud rap mixtapes. While Bandcamp's appeal lies in its seemingly infinite yet impenetrable wealth of material, a trip to Soundcloud offers a more fluid search for music (albeit one that focuses more on singles than full records) - an explorer of the site can search through tunes that an artist has liked or reposted in addition to their uploaded sounds. A look through my friend Aaron's "liked" tracks, for example, can lead me to the woozy, grime-influenced hip-hop production of London-based beat-maker MISOGI, which in turn introduces me to Suicide, Part 2, his twee-pop project that blurs the distinction between hi-fi and lo-fi. 

With the help of his friend Teddy, (who uploads cloud rap and Spooky Black-esque R+B to his own Soundcloud), MISOGI is able to seamlessly introduce the textural ideas explored in his previous work to the shambolic c86 punk of Boyracer. "Dead By Christmas", the first of the two halves of their debut self-titled EP, starts with an initial layer of growling power chords and mumbled vocals that are gradually buffeted by crisp, vaporous bass and minimal digital percussion. Deceptively simple, the cut manages to construct a catchy single of anthem proportions out of a small handful of carefully crafted musical ideas. A trebly lead guitar riff (which sounds as if it were recorded to an old Nokia TracFone) joins the fray a third of the way into the song, adding a beautifully fragile layer of crunchiness to the nervous ball of musical potential energy. The combination sparks a chemical reaction - "Dead By Christmas" explodes into a powder of shoegaze dreamdust - the result is frission-inducing.

B-Side "Love Letters Drenched In Gasoline" fuses a guitar riff strangely reminiscent of Blink-182's "What's My Age Again?" with the glistening, glassy production of Wild Nothing's Golden Haze, resulting in a hard-hitting take on old-school gothic pop - the lead solo that concludes the song is wonderfully expressive, triumphant yet tinged with melancholy.

Melodic, well-produced and infectiously catchy, DS2 will delight cloud-rap diehards and shoegazers alike.