Whatcom Weird Vol. 1

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This kooky little collaboration is a collection of various artists from our fair county gettin’ weird with it. I didn’t really know what to expect when I first heard of this album, but once I actually heard it, I totally understood: it’s just about making weird music with no rules attached and no ego in the way.

The album opens with “Plums/Pizza, What A Shame” by Chris Stainback. It was a brisk two minutes of spooky guitar work and string plucking. It wasn’t exactly weird though. No sir, the weirdness did not go into effect until the next track by Brandon LaBotz (Falling Up Stairs.) This quirky little nugget was my favorite song on the album and has a definite hip-hop vibe to it, but really goes all over the place, while staying cohesive. I don’t know how that works, but it does.

Most songs on the compilation album are more in the ambient territory of music, rather than the noise side, which was a pleasant surprise. On one hand, I was expecting something interesting (which it was,) but I also expected at least one or two songs to be unlistenable cacophony (which it wasn’t). I do wish there was something unlistenable on the record though, just for posterity’s sake.

Zach Zinn and Kat Bula’s collaboration on the album was another highlight for me. It features some haunting sounds courtesy of Kat Bula, with some spooky guitar work by Mr. Zinn.

Other performers on the album include Pan Pan, a killer cut by Falling Up Stairs, the Bellingham Improvisatory Ensemble, Skiks, Shawn Collins, heatsink, Mindmeld, Spencer Thun, Nightly Apparition, Todd Francis Smith and Face Police.