Jim O’Rourke has joined Bandcamp in a pretty extravagant fashion. He has just released eight albums’ worth of previously unreleased and extremely rare material. Titled Steamroom 1-8, they seem to differ from his Old News rarities series in that these are all pretty recent recordings, also the latter volume’s eight discs came out over several years while this just hit us all at once. Several of the releases (7 and 8 for example) are soundtracks to films, and all of the releases definitely lean more toward the droning and minimalist side of his work (as opposed to the covering Burt Bacharach side of his work to give you an idea of the guy’s range). That said these are all sounding really great so far, so if you’re a fan of the man the site is definitely worth checking out (and it’s hard not to be if you’ve ever enjoyed Sonic Youth, Wilco, Bill Callahan, Gastr Del Sol, the movie School Of Rock, or the countless other projects he’s lent his hand to.) If you’re not sure where to start give a listen to Steamroom 5 (done with a string quartet) or Steamroom 8 (below), which was recorded more than two decades ago and sounds almost like a blueprint for parts of Gastr Del Sol’s masterpiece, Upgrade and Afterlife.
Steamroom 1-8 are available on Bandcamp now.