The briefest of briefs that can be found on two of Bunkbed / Max Hill’s three Bandcamp projects is a collection of words that can be taken as the unspoken bog standard opening hook for any aspiring kid musician trying to make a name for themselves on the merciless internet; “hey guys. i’m max, and i’m a 13 year old singer/songwriter/musician guy from Auckland, New Zealand. enjoy. x” (Presumably spoken in one long sentence, riding out on one singular breath.)
So, from this mostly uncapitalised blurb, it would be entirely expected that Hill might be expected to be putting out sloppy covers of mopey songs teenagers listen to ad nauseam – the kind of simplistic tracks easily emulated on a secondhand acoustic guitar. Right? Not so.
Young Max has been going hard at this for some time, a recent post on his Instagram detailing that he’s put out something close to 13 albums in the last three years. He’s managed to create some stunningly inspired, albeit occasionally haphazardly mixed barebones numbers, each of which invoke the same warm fuzzies you could get from the murky works of Daniel Johnston or Bill Ryder-Jones.
While his other products might come off as processed teeny jangle, the 30 tracks featured here are honestly genuine, featuring little more than Hill’s voice and guitar work, only once or twice enhanced by a bit of effect tinkering. While each differs in quality, going from what sounds properly recorded to crumbly cassette-quality off-cuts, this only enhances the DIY feel of the thing, invoking the image of a car boot sale with a jumble of pre-loved records and tapes, each in varying states of decay.
‘Fuzz Folk Black Market’ shows off a very promising talent that is somehow simply lurking around in the overcrowded ‘lo-fi’ sub-genre subsections of the internet as a virtual unknown, one of the countless post-millennials building themselves a creative backlog which everyone might miss out on.