I am an avid reader of several national music blogs. They’re based all over the country and feature music from all over the country (sometimes the world), and one of the consistent themes of so many new tracks/artists out there is their electronic orientation. In the wake of Merriweather Post Pavilion, it seems, there is a market for electronic-based lo-fi psychedelia. When I first got to Austin, it seemed like this trend had passed over our fair city. Fortunately, though, there is a strong, active electro scene here, and today we’re featuring one of its most intriguing members: FM Campers.
Knowing them, the guys in FM Campers (Shaun, Anthony and Jason) probably would resent being lumped in with other artists as part of a “trend.” But I enjoy that Austin has its own response to the likes of Yawn, El Guincho, Elite Gymnastics, Delorean and Caribou. They are comprised of a live rhythm section (Anthony and Jason) and a programmer/synth player (Shaun). Anthony’s vocals are low in the mix, more textural than anything else. Jason drums with his back to the audience, which may even make him more compelling to watch than if he were in a traditional set-up. And I wish I knew what Shaun was doing, but whatever it is, it situates the style of the group squarely in that genre of pulsing, shimmering, cascading layers of sound. As Shaun says, though, this is “something more organic” than what you normally get with electronic groups – thanks largely to the interplay of the three musicians together.FM Campers-Bear in a Box
Despite some time on the coasts, the band members have been Austinites for quite some time now. They’ll be playing at least three different shows during SXSW (details forthcoming, though they’re part of a stellar line-up of local bands at 1808 on Monday the 14th). You can get some of their stuff at fmcampers.bandcamp.com for free! And if you catch them live, you can grab their newly released cassette tape and VHS tape. Says Shaun, via e-mail, “It’s an actual film, not just live performances. I have a pretty big VHS fetish…I love the look, the texture. Mostly oddball old stuff and old 80s horror. It’s just not the same on DVD or digital. So I put together a bunch of stuff kind of like how I did when I was a kid with my parents’ camera. It was fun. I may or may not post it to YouTube someday.” So you guys are multimedia now?
So go grab the Bear in a Box EP, enjoy the title track here on our site, and as usual, we’ll keep you updated with more info about FM Campers as it becomes available.