By : Steve Bychowski
5 min read
I don’t know anything about Cameron House (name of a band? name of a person?), but I wish I did. I found the album “Spiral Time” when poking around the internet, and I was blown away. The Bandcamp page says Cameron House is based out of Boston and the album was recently released on October 15th. Google searches got me nowhere, I can’t find any other albums or shows, and my email to the account holder was unanswered. But let’s just say that the mystery adds to the allure and dive in together.
At first blush, the album comes across as another self-released electronic/ambient/experimental adventure by sometime with a keyboard, fancy computer, and free time—short songs, mainly electronic instruments, droning, samples, lack of song structures and melody. But if you move past the surface, there is real depth, complexity, and an expert ear. This album is made by people who really know what they are doing and have something interesting to say. Harmonically and rhythmically, there is depth and thoughtful complexity, and despite the sudden shifts in tempo and levels of dissonance, there is a coherent thread and vision that runs through the album.
The backbone, while obscured, is clearly jazz. But it is re-combobulated into the form of snippets of Nintendo background tracks. (The song “Sunshine Cart” in particular seems like a riff on a Mario Cart song.) It is as if Herbie Hancock was filtered through a video game and then put into a blender. The song “Open Portal,” for instance, seems like free jazz run backwards through a Muzak filter. “Float 1-2” is my favorite song and features well known drummer Carr, followed as a close second by “Eagles” with its clever jumbling of rhythms.
Check out “Spiral Time” on Bandcamp and the major streaming services.
Originally published in-print in Boston Compass Newspaper #153 December 2022
Check out all the art and columns of December's Boston Compass at www.issuu.com/bostoncccompass