CD, Bearsuit Records, 2008
Whether you agree or not, MySpace has changed the way music is promoted on a massive level. It has allowed artists to be heard, maybe even signed up to large record companies and have their world changed overnight. It’s also allowed independent record labels to spring up left, right and centre by giving them the ability to promote and advertise their music, and connect with other like minded musicians. And this is where Bearsuit Records come in to the mix: “A Weevil in a Biscuit” is a collection of artists on the Bearsuit Records label, each and everyone of them have a MySpace account advertised in the liner notes and, yes, Bearsuit are a MySpace label; they don’t appear to have a presence elsewhere and seem to get by doing things this way. Which is probably why you may not have heard of them before.
This compilation is downright strange with tracks ranging from the sublime to the ridiculous. Starting with Ann King “Unknown us apart” is a strange way to begin proceedings – it can only be described as an odd mixture of electro and IDM, but rather than it being a great fusion of styles it just doesn’t find its flow. It seems twitchy and just doesn’t really get anywhere, and leaves you feeling mildly confused, wondering what it is you’ve just been listening to. And, generally, that is the overall feeling I got from this compilation.
However it is not all bad by any means – there are some utterly glorious tracks in the midst of all the nonsense. Alone Together’s “Human Beings” is delightful – starting with some silly sounding piano, it soon descends in to some quite lovely electropop; PNDC “Pick up your tears” is some nicely chilled indie electronica; Kaboom Karavan “Toambertree” bringing some glitchy ambient, which is both unsettling and strange but in a good way; and Cahier “Bebe” being a beautiful closer – melancholy piano with an interesting sample running underneath, really quite gorgeous and could have done with being a good 3 minutes longer as the track only runs to just over a minute.
Overall though “Weevil in a Biscuit” just leaves you feeling a little disappointed and unsatisfied, regardless of the really great tracks. Here’s hoping Bearsuit Records focus on the really great material and get some more releases out by those artists, rather than album length releases that are mostly stuffed with fillers.
– Kate Turgoose
EDIT – it feels really strange reading back through reviews done a few years ago and seeing the difference in technology. MySpace is basically dead in the water now, yet it seemed so important less than a decade ago.