In this regular feature, Selections, we invite DJs, producers and label heads to dig into their digital crates and share the contents of their Bandcamp collections. This week, ahead of the release of his new album, ‘A View Of U’, on Ninja Tune, Machinedrum highlights some of his recent favourites, spanning futuristic footwork and d&b, healing jazz and ambience, nostalgic alt rock 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 up to July, as well as on 19th June (Juneteenth), when the platform donated 100% of its profits to the NAACP Legal Defence Fund. It was later 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 Bandcamp 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, ahead of the release of his new album, ‘A View Of U’, on Ninja Tune, ‘Machinedrum highlights some of his recent favourites. Featuring futuristic footwork and d&b, healing jazz and ambience, and nostalgic alt rock, his choices are as varied as his own sound, which has touched on almost every corner of the electronic music spectrum in a career spanning over two decades. Over the years, he has collaborated across genres too, working with artists including DJ Rashad, DJ Spinn, Azealia Banks, Roots Manuva, DAWN, Om Unit and Jimmy Edgar, to name a few. His new album is no different, and finds Machinedrum putting his own futuristic flourishes on d&b, pop, hip-hop and bass alongside a cast of collaborators including Freddie Gibbs, Rochelle Jordan, Sub Focus, Father, Chrome Sparks and more.
‘A View Of U’ is out on 9th October via Ninja Tune. Buy it here.
Check out Machinedrum’s Selections below.
“What can I say? This EP is so much fun and authentic. I’ve known Jason for years and this music embodies his personality perfectly and there are not that many artists I can say the same about. I’ve been excited about him releasing records as I’ve always found his taste in music, art and his sense of humor to be impeccable. The lyrics are so funny but the way he treats the vocals makes it seem like a very serious situation is going on. Playful techno, deep voice vocal phrases, lazers and club bangers that could work anywhere from Chicago to Berlin to London.”
“Hudmo can really do no wrong. He’s blessed us this year with not two, not two, but three albums of back to back heat. Every song is a freakin trip. Throw your hands in the air anthems, break your neck head-nodders, wacky weirdo beats that make you wonder what the hell is happening. You can tell Ross has a lot of fun making music as it’s hard not to smile from ear to ear while listening. He’s truly a beast when it comes to production. He’s constantly pushing boundaries and way ahead of his time. It’s incredible to think that some of these tunes are over five years old or more, but not surprising!”
“DJ Earl has managed to not only carry the torch of footwork after all these years, but also keep that torch LIT by tapping in to new worlds and discovering new ways to innovate in a fairly restricting genre. After you think you’ve heard it all, DJ Earl manages to flip a sample and execute a rhythm you have never imagined working together. Carefully dancing the line between minimal and complex, this album is very clever and fun while deep and cold, an instant classic for me. I’m super excited about his next full length as DJ Earl never disappoints.”
“Jorge’s music is mesmerizing. Incredible songwriting, genius arrangements, beautifully recorded, haunting and familiar sonics that take you on a journey from beginning to end. Timeless music that evokes the charming nostalgia of ‘90s alternative rock with blissful vocal treatments reminiscent of shoegaze, and lo-fi meets hi-fi aesthetics that keep everything in a very cohesive world of sound. Jorge is genuinely inventive in his choice of chord changes and melodic phrasing, taking twists and turns that are unexpected that resolve somehow in a place that’s comfortable and expected. I get excited any time Jorge puts out a record and this did not disappoint. The acoustic version of Ancient Grief is especially nice.”
“This album is immense. Somehow huge sounding but calming at the same time. Space choir music from the year 3000. Not much music gives me chills these days and every song on this album does it for me. This kind of music is deeply needed in these crazy times we’re living in. I appreciate artists like Julianna who project loving peaceful sonics to us. The title ‘Healing is a Miracle’ is so appropriate as it feels like the sounds are healing all my cells and reprogramming my brain to feel bliss and calmness. It’s music you could put on in the background sure, but as an active listen it gives you so many rewards as a listener. It gently persuades you to pay attention.”
“Actress truly is an original artist. He manages to create worlds with every album that are cohesive from beginning to end. Truly unique sounding. There’s a beautiful subtlety to Actress’s music. It evokes a mysterious vibe that is intriguing and groovy. It somehow makes me feel comfortable and uneasy at the same time. There’s always something a bit unsettling about every song but it’s anchored in undeniable forward momentum that keeps you wanting more. It’s very visual music, creating a very synthetic response when I listen to it. It’s like I’m looking into a dark void while flickers of neon colors jump out at me, like a haunted VHS tape.”
“I’ve been a fan of Jeff’s music for over 20 years. He’s been a part of multiple bands that I love including Tortoise, Chicago Underground Quartet, and Isotope 217. His guitar playing alone is fantastic, thoughtful and complex while not getting too show-offy or noodly. What I really love is how the whole album tells a story through melody and production that takes you on a journey. There are moments of contemplation, joyous celebration, straight up midnight jazz club vibes and overall masterful song crafting. Jeff is on a bucket list of artists I would love to collaborate with one day!”
“This music just slaps you from beginning to end. It’s pure LA beat music turned all the way up. Tsuruda is prolific as they come and manages to stay inventive and versatile in his approach to beat making. It’s bass music, sure, but there are so many unexpected twists and turns, bizarre transitions, unconventional production techniques, and wild rhythms that keep me intrigued from beginning to end. It’s dirty, filthy, muddy, slimy, funky, weird, banging, beautiful and overall groovy as hell. Works on a festival stage and in your headphones late at night. Can’t wait to see what he comes up with next.”
“Alix takes a break from his usual tirade of face melting beats and dancefloor slaughtering drum & bass to bring us something super thoughtful, calming, introspective and warm. These songs are full of expansive atmospheres, gorgeous reverbed-out piano ballads and soulful vocals, all anchored around crisp and clean drum & bass patterns that keep the momentum going. This album would be equally interesting listening to without the drums, a full on ambient journey. It’s really a gorgeous mini-LP with no filler. The production is so clean, Alix somehow manages to take the familiar sound of drum & bass and subtly update it for the future.”
“‘Chicago Waves’ holds you like a loving mother, cradled in her arms, safe and sound. It’s a nurturing and healing experience, almost like a shamanic ceremony. These songs blend elements of jazz, ambient, meditation and modern classical music. The breathtaking atmospheres are so gorgeous that you can’t help but feel uplifted in a state of blissed out oneness with the universe. Each movement feels like an ascension into a higher realm of consciousness, opening up portals into new dimensions each time. It’s truly trippy, beautiful and gives me an overall sense of hope during these mad times we’re living in.”
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