In this regular feature, Selections, we invite DJs, producers and label heads to dig into their Bandcamp crates and share the contents of their digital collections. This week, Bristol’s Laksa highlights some of his recent favourites, from heavy percussive club cuts and UK funky to weightless grime, dancehall and more
Clubs around the world are shut, and opportunities to find new music out in the wild have been ripped from under our feet as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. While hearing new music played out by your favourite DJs will have to be put on hold due to these unprecedented circumstances, it’s never been easier, or more important, to support the artists and labels putting out EPs, albums and compilations in the midst of all the madness.
With tour cancellations and festival postponements leaving many members of the international electronic music community out of pocket, Bandcamp has become an even more vital platform for supporting the music you love, with 80% of all sales from the online music store going directly to artists and labels. In March, the platform announced it would be waiving its revenue share for all sales for one day, and on Friday 20th, took no cut from purchases made. In total, $4.3 million was spent on music over the course of 24 hours, all going straight to the creators. Throughout lockdown, Bandcamp continued to waive their fees on the first Friday of every month, as well as on 19th June (Juneteenth), when the platform donated 100% of its profits to the NAACP Legal Defence Fund. In July, it was announced that a fee-free "Bandcamp Friday" would take place on the first Friday of each month for the rest of 2020.
In this series, Selections, we’re inviting DJs, producers and label heads to dig into their digital crates and share the contents of their collections. In lieu of opportunities to discover new records on the dancefloor, Selections – along with radio shows and mixes – will give you the chance to nab sounds from the crates of tastemakers, and support the artists behind them while you’re at it. Win-win, right?
This week, Bristol’s Laksa highlights some of his recent favourites: from heavy percussive club cuts and UK funky to weightless grime and dancehall. You’re always in capable hands with Laksa, a DJ whose amorphous sets, which you can hear monthly on NTS alongside re:ni, weave futuristic global club sounds into explosive and complex tapestries. His productions, released on renowned labels such as Timedance, Ilian Tape, and, most recently, Hessle Audio, soak agile, syncopated rhythms in dubstep weight and bass pressure, marking him as an artist at the cutting edge of the UK techno sound.
‘Sen On One’, which landed on Timedance in September, is a glowing example of the label’s signature sound. Percussive grooves sprint and erupt across its four tracks, while flourishes of dubstep, jungle and grime zoom around its orbit, showcasing an accomplished producer immersed in the history of UK soundsystem culture. These are tracks made to be heard on huge speakers on dark dancefloors, but they make for a more than gratifying trip on headphones just the same. You can buy it here.
“He’s put the bongos down and done an absolute madness with this one. I always loved this tune but after hearing it in his White Hotel Mix I had a whole new level of appreciation for it…absolute mind melter from Ploy!”
“This whole EP is sick with so many upfront and heavy tunes from a range of vocalists. MANS O is the maestro behind the buttons so I’m looking forward to hearing what they and the vocalists do next.”
“Love this tune from Shanique. Part of the Equinoxx family, Shanique brings her unmistakable energy and flow to the track. Need to get low to this in a club!”
“Had to include something from SVBKVLT as this label has been killing it for a while and has really established its own sound. This remix from Kode 9 would go off in the club and I love the way it seamlessly skips through breaks, trap and two-steppy drum patterns. 33EMYBW from the label has particularly been influential on my music.”
“Another label that’s been so influential on my production and DJing. This album is amazing and I would love to see them play live. Killer grooves and drum patterns with lots of doses of weirdness and headfuckery. Futurism in full effect.”
“A real great range of tunes on this EP from Nico. I saw him play out in Mexico when I was there last year and was impressed with his set - was very UK. He’s alongside a range of amazing South American Artists pushing UK sounds and this tune in particular has such a moody, paranoid and dubsteppy feel…you can almost smell the smoke in the club listening to it."
“Bristol meets Mexico in this footwork weirdness. Killer! This track and the whole EP are quintessential curveballs that you’d draw for to mess with some minds. Bokeh are on such a roll and I love the other projects related to the label - Avon Terror Corps and Duppy Gun.”
“One thing I love about Plead's music is you can always pretty much tell it’s him after 5 -10 seconds of listening to a tune. Battered this one so much in clubs before lockdown so it’s great to see it finally out.”
“Hypey, funky and filthy. PERFECT! Would love to hear this one out. Really been feeling the output from Future Bounce this year so shouts to Jamz Supernova and all the artists she’s been pushing.”
“Was super impressed with this EP by Kamran (FKA Moleskin). This tune has that weightless grime feel to it with the sparse arrangements, grimey bass and strings whilst managing to keep things dreamy and energised. Feels like you’re riding on a soft but stormy cloud. Top curveballage from Kamran!”
“A beautiful song that has been a go to for me in lockdown. Inspired by her experiences of police brutality at a protest in the aftermath of George Floyd, you can really feel the emotions in this track.”