Did I ever tell you guys about the time I purchased Crowhurst’s entire digital discography on Bandcamp?
Many of the writers and readers here at Toilet ov Hell are big fans of Bandcamp. For those not in the know, Bandcamp is “an online music store, as well as a platform for artist promotion”, which features a dizzying array of heavy metal (and music from all genres), the ability to purchase music and add it to your Bandcamp “collection”, and is extremely user-friendly and easy to navigate. Music players from the site are easy to embed within blogs and social media pages. As Celtic Frosty pointed out in his article on this very site (above), musical gifts can be given to friends and colleagues with a few simple clicks and keystrokes. Bandcamp is great for supporting artists, too, as most of the money from purchases goes directly to the artist (minus a nominal fee Bandcamp collects for the service).
I am solely a digital consumer of music. The death throes of physical media for me happened when the CD player shit out in my car a few years back, and I thought it would be silly to spend money to fix it when I had the luxury to play my iPhone through an adapter that plays music through FM radio. The standard data plan I already had gives me more than enough GB to stream music through apps like Spotify (of which I subscribe to a Premium account) and Bandcamp. The only way I could play a CD if I wanted to would be in my laptop computer, which, conveniently, is already connected to the internet. If I can’t find an album on Spotify, I check Bandcamp, and if I can’t find an album on Bandcamp, I check YouTube, which is perfect for binging on low fidelity recordings of early powerviolence bands (you might need to turn your speakers up, below). I’m hoping to buy a record player and start collecting vinyl in the near future, but I haven’t yet, so it’s a pointless thing to bring up here.
Even some of you diehard Bandcamp users may not be familiar with a feature I recently discovered from the service: purchasing an artist’s entire digital discography at one time. Here is how I found out about it: I was fooling around in the Toilet Ov Hell Facebook group sometime last December, when regular reader and stand up guy [Disqus handle] Richter mentioned to me that I could purchase Crowhurst’s entire discography on Bandcamp for a paltry sum. Richter knew I was a fan, as I had covered his / their (below) music for this site before. If my memory serves it was $15, U.S. currency, for what Crowhurst had on his Bandcamp at the time, seventy two albums. Seventy two albums, for fifteen dollars. Richter and I joked about my body dissolving into radio static and becoming the void; amusing as it was, this was an opportunity I couldn’t pass up.
I discovered buying the Crowhurst discography was just as easy and user friendly as buying a single album on Bandcamp. I clicked “Buy Now” and Bandcamp walked me through a couple of simple steps to complete my purchase. I was already familiar with logging into PayPal to make lightning fast and impulsive purchases, so it was a matter of minutes and I was finished.
At present, I own 119 albums on Bandcamp, and as mentioned, 72 of those are albums I bought from Crowhurst in one fell swoop. Sadly, Crowhurst released and uploaded four albums almost immediately following my Bandcamp purchase: his split with T.O.M.B. (on which “Insect Breath” is fucking excellent), Human Capture, Isolator, and The Mountain of the Cannibal Goddess, wholly savage harsh noise wall (which Toilet writer Link ninja assassin’d into a news roundup as “acid experimental black metal” and no one noticed!)
To give you an idea about how wide and varied this discography is, consider two of my favorite releases on it (besides the aforementioned Crowhurst): the No Life To Live 2015 remaster, and Crowhurst’s split with Intestinal Disgorge. No Life To Live is, based on some quick off the head crazy gorilla math, roughly two hours of drones, soft warm noise, weirdo sound effects, and even a bit of tribal singing on “Run For Your Life”. The original was remastered by none other than Steve Austin from Today Is The Day. It sounds amazing in headphones, and I was able to complete this entire piece in less than its runtime. The Devil’s Experiment (Crowhurst / Intestinal Disgorge, given that title on the cover but not on Bandcamp) is No Life To Live’s diametric opposite. It clocks in at about eight minutes, and alternates between short lived blasts of goregrind and glitched out noise effects. It stops and starts jarringly in staccato bursts. It’s a real life audio freakshow, and honestly, I wish it were longer.
Offering an entire discography is a slick marketing strategy, perfect for completionists and for those who want to support bands while carefully stretching their dollars. Next up I have my eye on the complete discography from Broken Limbs Recordings (25 releases for $18.33 U.S.). It features releases from Caïna, Krieg, Venowl, Immortal Bird, and many more. In the meantime, friends, I’ll be still sifting through the Crowhurst discography, as my body slowly turns ethereal.
Have you discovered any great discography deals of your own? Sound off, below.