Big Jazz Boys Unite And Listen To Peculate


I found some cool music that was new to me, and tried to think of a theme to tie a post together. Maybe get some other, similar bands to go with it, or just get stupid with it. But you don’t care about themes and clever garbage. You just want buttery ear globules to slither into your salivating head.

Music, is what I mean. You want to hear music.

I was browsing the avant garde metal tag on Bandcamp, being a douche and all, and I clicked on an album called Mines in the Sand by a band called Peculate. Look at these tags.

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I’m helpless trying to resist tags like that. You can print out this picture of Bandcamp tags and put it next to a dead, sweaty bat on a pile of hair and I will give myself rabies rolling around on it in order to get closer to what has been tagged with such fantastic tags. So I clicked play and was immediately greeted by a marimba riff. I’m helpless trying to resist marimba riffs. I have two useless degrees in percussion, since I use my time and money wisely, so that sank the hook hilariously deeper. Cue some jazz meandering, getting progressively more angular through vibraphone and piano phrases, and BOOM. Mathy, angry, jagged hardcore à la Dillinger Escape PlanBotch, and (some lesser-known band in that vein that I’ll name to increase my street cred).


I get irked when bands say that have jazz influences. More often than not, bands say that to sound cool when they really mean “we sometimes have clean sections.” I really like Peculate’s take on that idea here: juxtapose the jazz and metal in disparate sections. Later in the album the two combine in interesting ways, but the breakneck transitions between the two make for some fascinating tracks.

The next step was naturally to browse Peculate’s back catalog (which turned out to be quite an undertaking), where an existential rumination on butter, an anti-love project, and many deep philosophical tracks all walk hand in hand. I then discovered that this is all the work of one guy name Ben Norton. Ben is either a magnificently hard working genius, or a total weirdo with far too much free time. Or both? Either way, he boasts an impressive array of musical compositions; Peculate, 12-tone inspired jazz works, classically oriented chamber works, electronic music, and full orchestral pieces. On top of that, he apparently makes films with his brother, keeps an active blog of political and satirical content, and has written eight plays. Obviously.


I then came across Ben’s project called XYAXa spacey, technical death metal project he did with a guy named Dave Tremblay. I spent sleepless, frustrated minutes trying to remember where I knew that name, then I remembered that it’s none other than the vod man himself, with whom W. did a fantastic interview. Dave actually mentioned his work with Ben in the interview, something I failed to look up from jamming vod too much. It’s a small Toilet world out there guys, and we have truly come full bowl. Enjoy the vast world of Ben Norton, revisit vod, and then join me as we cry about how little we’re doing with our lives.

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