steering clear of the mainstream
since 2001

june 2010

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info opinion

Don Campau and MJB

"Sinecure" CDR

Semper Lofi / Lonely Whistle

Genres: lo-fi, hometaper

Lonely Whistle
PO Box 9162
Santa Rosa, CA

Sep 23 - 29 2002

Don Campau and MJB (aka Michael J. Bowman) are two big names on the diy hometaper scene, and thus it is no surprise that this is an extremely impressive release. Although the recording style is definitely less-than-perfect (it's a lo-fi release for gosh sakes!), the duo's ideas and musical talents are what really shine.

Instead of striving to fit in, Sinecure eschews all the regular expectations of a modern "pop" release, instead vying for a more silly, nonsensical style. As such, the cdr is littered with humourous phrases and sentence fragments ("This I will, I will fulfill/I'll be there like a monthly bill/More pungent than some fresh cut dill..."). Although they do shatter most of the guidelines of "pop" music, what Don and Michael do keep intact is the all around catchiness of the music; while the manner in which it's played may seem bizarre and unfamiliar, most of it is surprisingly hummable. "Eat Meat" is a good example of this; with a repeating guitar riff, odd found sounds, drum machines, and MJB's unique vocals chanting "Eat meat/Drive a car/Get a job/Watch TV" in order to make an environmental statement, it all seems very bizarre. And to tell the truth, it is - but that's all part of the fun. Meanwhile, "Collab" tells the story of a tape collaboration that, due to unforeseen consequences, takes years to complete (read: procrastination). The song, which could or could not be symbolic of the circumstances surrounding Sinecure's release, is a hummable little ditty that really flaunts the lo-fi sound well.

Altogether, Sinecure is an album that dares to mess with the intransigent pop norm. They probably won't make much of a dent, but at least there's fun to be had.


Matt Shimmer

[Vitals: 38 min 3 sec; 9 tracks; distributed by the label; released 2002]