Source: Bandcamp Daily.
Give teens a pop culture oddity and they’ll turn it into a life-or-death challenge fit for an evening news panic attack. In October 2020 on TikTok, an application fueled by twitchy, high-energy dance music and gimmick rap, the British ambient artist Leyland James Kirby has become an unexpected viral hit. His 2016-2019 releases as The Caretaker, entitled Everywhere at the end of time, frequently pop up on Bandcamp’s ambient recommendations for their serene, if disturbing, progressive disintegration, meant to represent the onset and development of dementia. But in the past month, teens have taken the concept record as a challenge, documenting their responses to listening to the supposedly cursed work of art. “It will break you,” warns one TikToker. But rather than brush off the work’s newfound popularity as vapid, Kirby sees its virality as an opportunity: “Ultimately if younger people see that music can be an experience and goes deeper beyond what is being manufactured and bombarded at them then independent musicians benefit.” The ambient selections from October embody that spirit of diving deeper, from Michael Scott Dawson’s pontifications of the wonders of flight to Oliver Coates’ exploration of new looping techniques for cello.