by Paul Bowers
The music blog SceneSC.com released its sixth statewide song sampler this week, and as usual, it's a sweeping overview of the state's indie-rock scene. One thing that stands out about this year's sampler? Charleston bands dominate the track list.
Of the 21 songs on the album, 13 come from Charleston-based acts. And most of those tracks bear the fingerprints of a man named Wolfgang Zimmerman. He produced the contributions by acts including Elim Bolt, Grace Joyner, ET Anderson, Johnny Delaware, Brave Baby, the Tarletans, the High Divers, Brian Robert (previously known as Company), and Hermit's Victory.
Aside from being a member of Brave Baby, Zimmerman has been making a reputation for himself in the past few years as one of the Holy City's most prolific and polished record producers. David Stringer, founder and editor of Scene SC, said in an email that he specifically wanted to thank Zimmerman for his work on the tracks, many of which were previously unreleased.
Zimmerman gives a lot of credit to the scene that's been growing around him. "Johnny [Delaware] comes in and helps me out all the time, and if I get stuck in a rut with someone and their songs, he'll come in and play or help them write lyrics," Zimmerman says.
"Tyler Morris from ET Anderson came over and helped on that Grace Joyner track, 'Dreams,' so it's almost got that ET Anderson vibe to it," he says.
As for Zimmerman's own band, Brave Baby released a brand-new track on the sampler from their upcoming album, which his due out this summer. He says there will be plenty of cross-pollination on that album, too.
"There's one chorus that I'm singing on that Johnny wrote, and we kind of have a heavy exchange between everyone, and I think it's really cool," Zimmerman says. "It's kind of almost like a '70s post-hippie era. Everybody almost has a commune aspect to it."
Outside of the Charleston bands, make sure you check out Muscle Memory's contribution to the sampler. Columbia songwriter David Adedokun has been crafting a crooning, synth-heavy sound that we first heard on last year's Scene SC standout track "Ball & Chain," and this year's offering, "Golden," made us fall in love all over again.
The 2015 Scene SC Sampler is available as a pay-what-you-want download on Bandcamp.