Various Artists – Datawaslost Split Single Series Vol 1 & 2

Various Artists
Datawaslost Split Single Series Vol 1 & 2

Here’s a unique idea. Splitting the difference between the popular split 7″ format and a split EP, the Datawaslost label is offering split CD singles, featuring two bands offering two tracks each. These mini discs come numbered, with only 100 of each being pressed, and I feel honored to have copies of the first two editions. The whole series will focus on Cincinnati-area artists, which helps narrow the scope a bit, but the artists themselves are quite diverse, coming from indie-rock, post-punk, electronica, experimental, and combinations of the genres.
In an effort to be concise, I’m going to write about both of the first two volumes (seven are planned so far). The first one is my favorite of the two, teaming Velcro One, which is Swissfarlo member Tim Heyl, with Folk?, the project of Spectacular Fantastic member Mike Detmer. Velcro One feels like a very tight project, and I complement Heyl on giving it more than a lo-fi bedroom feel. Filled with electronic beats and intriguing background atmospherics, “A Futile Answer” sounds a bit like Beck – especially in the vocals – but the music is far more interesting. “No Flash (Remix)” is more focused around Heyl’s excellent guitarwork, and while the beats are prominent, the mood in this song is carried by the guitars, and it’s carried off quite excellently. Folk? takes a more simple direction, filled with guitars and vocals, but the songs are filled out with beats, electric and acoustic guitars, and more to give them a feel beyond the singer/songwriter genre. “Free” feels a bit like a Tom Petty-style anthem at times, while “Future Beat” is more of a garage-rock song, filled with noisy guitars and slightly off-tune vocals.
The second edition in the series contains full bands. Burning Star Core has been around for 10 years, releasing a variety of tapes and CD-Rs, while Coltrane Motion is working on its second release. Burning Star Core only offers one track, but it’s 10 minutes long, and “Ten Eyes Under Three Skies” is an odd track. Odd beats, off-kilter effects, and a sort of charming chiming fill this track, and while it drags on obscenely, at times, it’s also pleasant as a kind of laid-back, beat-driven ambience. “Supersexy “67” from Coltrane Motion is pretty similar to its name – a sexy rock track riding Brit-style beats and vocals and great backing vocals. By contrast, “Grass / Sky” almost sounds like another band. Soft, with acoustic guitars and hushed vocals, it’s pretty during the verses and soaring during the chorus. These two songs are stellar and reason enough to buy into this series.
I have to commend Datawaslost for introducing a host of young bands, for the most part, usually lo-fi-style projects. These artists get better and more accessible with every release, and this series is a nice way to introduce fans to some excellent artists. The fact that they’re all from the same place is a side note, really, one that speaks very well for Cincinnati. I’ll look forward to hearing more in this series.