Since opening in 2013, Black Cake Record Label has published 13 audio albums through bandcamp. I love bandcamp. Unlike Amazon (& co), through bandcamp you listen to the full albums before purchasing and decide which, if any, you wish to download. Even greater, Black Cake Record Label currently has their albums downloadable at a “name your own price” with no set minimum, a nifty option as some of their albums are longer than others. Albums range from straight-up spoken word to compilations of music, news clips, and poetry. With that in mind, I’m going to very briefly touch on a couple of their current titles:
Curfew by Dot Devota
Devota weaves her poems into the backdrop of Ferguson, MO, and Taiwan, remixing the sound of protests, Chinese, with her own whispered verse. In short, an album of haunting tracks and impeccable editing.
“In Taiwan I can go anywhere and silence follows
My hand looks the same when it is empty or when its holding on tightly”
The Carpenters and Other Strangers by Brandon Shimoda
Shimoda mixes jazzy music with his poetry. I say jazzy because it’s not quite what one thinks of when hearing thinking of jazz, but is more deconstructed, more reverberating, and relishes in its beats.
“The world exists to end up in a book
It is the book that sees me change
We cannot all be rocks in Heaven”
Phrasis by Wendy Xu
Unlike Devota and Shimoda’s albums, Xu gives it to us straight. No fancy editing. No music. No whispering words in another language. Just Xu being Xu, delivering seven great poems. Not surprising as she received a 2014 Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry Fellowship.
“I put down the mildest impressions of life, strict bodied,
giving you un-invaded space and how it divided
referring to the self in thirds”
For these, and other great albums, visit Black Cake.