I’ve written about bagelproject before, and with the release of this new EP my confusion remains, but my fascination is equally just as strong as before. Fuck me this music is a total mess, and sometimes it’s barely music at all, but there is something about it which I find absolutely fascinating.
Just about the only other person on the whole internet who seems to have written about Funmi Wittle’s stuff is Joe from A New Band a Day, which is reassuring because of who Joe is, but still a little depressing, because I think this deserves a bit more attention than it seems to be getting. Quite a bit more, in fact.
I agree with Joe, though, in that the difficulty with this music is that for large parts of it there is not the slightest semblance of structure at all. It’s just a messy collage of samples, drum beats, unfathomable vocals and off-mic chatter.
Some of this dissolves completely, and sometimes I like it and sometimes I don’t. Mia Rambling doesn’t do it for me, for example, but the title is entirely literal, so I can’t say I wasn’t warned. This kind of stuff is most prominent on Soundcloud, where more or less every little experiment and half-idea seems to end up, pretty much in no discernible order.
On Bandcamp, however, there are a handful of EPs which, just about, sound like proper collections of (vaguely) proper songs. And you know what, somehow I think it kind of works. It is, as I have said, all over the place, but from this fug of wobbly snippets of vocal and lurching samples there does indeed emerge something which is a pleasure to listen to.
It can be self-conscious and, I suppose, a little overdone here and there, but that’s sort of the way this kind of music works – if it didn’t follow every whim and digression it would lose its charm pretty quickly, I think. On the other hand, if you just sit back and let it take you wherever it’s going, then there are loads of moments of melody and fumbling beauty to be enjoyed.