Local DIY label Digital Cloud has put together a compilation titled and themed Firsts. It’s stocked with exclusive tracks, seventeen in total, from a mix of San Francisco, regional, national and international bands. It’s an impressive collection for a first compilation from the label, especially the fact that all tracks are exclusive; that’s not something all compilations can boast (ahem).
Digital Cloud is a CD-r label, DIY in the most literal sense. With that in mind, it’s not surprising that a fair number of the bands on this compilation also fall within the DIY aesthetic. Many of the tracks are home-recorded in a variety of fidelities, from lo-fi to hi-fi. That’s not the only way this comp is eclectic. In a span of three tracks, it goes from a piano-based Anglo-American folk tradition-like ballad (Beatbeat Whisper) to a lo-fi casiotone for the marginally melancholy song (Megamoog) to a glitchy electro post rock tune (The Tomatometers). If there was an attempt to characterize this comp, it’d be that it leans toward the lo-fi and songs with Casio-like beats. That’s still leaving a lot of room for variation, I know.
Another thing one notices immediately is the lack of big names. I know a few of these bands, sure, but even as someone that prides himself with being familiar with a lot of bands, I have to claim ignorance on many of these. Just because this doesn’t have your favorite big indie band on it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t check it out; rather it acts to show you new bands once you give it a chance.
The Fits – Sign Language (mp3)