AND WE'RE BACK. Over forty days of quarantine since Bandcamp's last decision to waive their fees (when we published our first Bandcamp Essentials article), shit has got real. And unreal. And then real again. All that seems certain is that each day will bring peaks and troughs in mood, and that we will turn to music for escape, be it through sonic daytrips, headphone freakouts, or full-blown fantasy realms. As Bandcamp day returns, once again we implore you to dig into your wallets - if possible - to give artists the support they need, though this time some members of the artistic community are offering their revenue for the aid of others. Respect to those doing that, and to all musicians helping us maintain something like sanity in this historically unique time. Keep it burning.
This new comp by R&S (aptly named ‘In Order To Care’) includes tracks by stalwarts of the label’s current era (Space Dimension Controller, Lone) but also artists who are new to the label and who have been creating serious buzz in recent years (Anz, 96 Back - the latter of whom’s new album is also out today). Proceeds are going towards funding for PPE for the NHS during the current pandemic and for a bit more you can even buy the a themed label logo T-shirt with your digital copy for an additional sum, because who doesn’t love that lovely flipped Ferrari label logo.
Discovered this track through her tiny desk concert, really unique artist, in her identity (she’s obviously disabled) and her haunting sound. This track is a great quarantine track for lyrical reasons, though the opener to the EP is perfect if you want a little more calmness and warmth.
Save our scene is a very important community movement, with self/employed & freelance friends of mine having to rely on donations currently, it's important the scene and society as a whole support and promote independent charity's such as these as this time. "All proceeds from the compilation are split 50/50 with the artists and the Save Our Scene - Manchester & Salford fund offering a range of support for workers within our community who won’t qualify for government funding as they may be freelance, on zero-hour contracts, paid cash in hand, or don’t meet other criteria." The V/A is full of extremely talented local names bringing their absolute A game throughout. I've chosen to highlight a really gorgeous track by a Mancunian legend Jade Parker, who works in event production, one of the sectors hit hardest by Covid. Please check out the compilation:
Weirdly in your face and relaxing at the same time, like saying CALM DOWN and shaking you by the shoulders. It's impossible to not fall into this. One to quietly sit to and do nothing else but listen.
Best Available Technology is one of my favourite artists, and this was the release that inspired me to start a cassette label. I'm still yet to release any music by anyone, but the inspiration is still very significant to me, plus Kevin is a sweet guy and his music deserves your attention.
An ethereal stomper from China’s Knopha, the proceeds of which support the Firefly Plan in Wuhan. Recently featured on Ben UFO’s Rinse FM residency, he’s getting the right kind of attention for a reason.
Who needs love, anyway? Especially when you can be listening to Raver’s Guide to Love, released April 30th 2020 by Russian label, Syberian. Featuring four tracks by different artists, this EP has a diverse range of genres which all fall under the word rave. Special attention has to be paid to the second track, Greetings from the Hell by Yana, etc. This naughty little electro number has a creeping bassline I find irresistible. I can’t remember how I stumbled upon this and as I only downloaded it yesterday, it appears my brain is on lockdown too.
DAL DE VIVRE is a compilation gathering 47 tracks from French producers, ranging from ambient and noise to bass music, pop and techno. All benefits from the compilation will go to DAL, an organization that fights poor housing and its consequences, issues that have shown even more dramatic under the current pandemic situation.
The Birds That Mimic Solitude is a project that aims to unify the sounds of underground producers at a time of uncertainty to raise money for vulnerable communities during the Coronavirus outbreak. All proceeds for this release will go towards the National Emergencies Trust and other charitable causes. Curated by JAY (NTS/SIREN) & Blank Mind label boss Sam Purcell (Dance/SMX). The vision stems from bird calls, where unity incorporates different sounds that sequentially evolve. Some really nice ambient/downtempo/dancehall-y/techno bits on here.