These are this week's vital Bandcamp releases (27th March)
As a show of solidarity to support the artists and labels impacted through the cornavirus pandemic, we've launched a weekly roundup of the most vital Bandcamp releases. This week, dig into EPs, albums and comps from the likes of Kode9, Ikonika, All City, DJ Paypal, Jasmine Infiniti and more
The pandemic of the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, has had a devastating impact on our scene, leading to the cancellation of countless club nights and festivals across the world.
Artists have been heavily impacted too, having their main revenue streams disconnected for the foreseeable future.
Last week, Bandcamp announced it would be waiving its revenue share for all sales on Friday 20th March between midnight and midnight PST, in support of artists.
The online music store and platform took no cut from purchases made, in turn offering a bigger payout to record labels and their artists. In total, $4.3 million was spent over the course of 24 hours, all going straight to the artists.
As a show of solidarity to support the artists and labels impacted through the pandemic, we have launched a weekly roundup of the most vital Bandcamp releases.
The list demonstrates a lot of what there is to love about our scene, with artists, labels and promoters pulling together to help those that need it most in these tumultuous times.
Check out this week's vital Bandcamp releases below, as picked by DJ Mag's editorial team, including unreleased projects from Hyperdub boss Kode9, brand new material from Bicep, all sorts of rare cuts, remasters and previously unheard tracks from Ikonika, Doc Scott, DJ Paypal, Walton, and much, much more.
It says an awful lot about Kode9 that his assembled musical debris still makes for some of the most nourishing UK club stuff we’ve heard so far this year. A collection of cuts produced largely in the early ‘00s, these eight tracks are a reminder (as if it were needed) of the Hyperdub founder’s forward-thinking technique, and his incomprehensible knack for weaving a hook into a complex rhythm.
‘Atlas’ was the Belfast duo’s “attempt at summing up some of the euphoric moments” experienced on their 2018 live tour, and as such, has had fans reaching for the lasers (and the track ID) in club test runs over the past few months. Thankfully, its casual breakbeat and signature noodling melody are just as moving blasted in your bedroom or from your balcony.
We’ve been eagerly awaiting this drop since news of it first popped up in early Feb. Like many of this century’s best instrumental hip-hop albums — ‘Donuts’, ‘Alone Together’, et al. — it arrives via Stones Throw and features a large number of tracks that, though short in length, are overflowing with ingeniously sourced, immaculately arranged, and irresistibly soulful samples.
Drum & bass don Doc Scott’s motto must be quality over quantity — that’s if his Nasty Habits discography is anything to go by. This ‘Remastered’ comp packs almost every track released under the moniker (not counting remixes), each of which has provided countless memorable moments and will continue to do so ad infinitum.
Tiding us over until the release of her ‘Bodies’ EP on the ever-excellent Don’t Be Afraid, Ikonika steps up with a collection of unreleased cuts and rarities from throughout the past decade. Rugged house and techno with an ‘80s synthpop edge, buoyant bass grooves and cinematic R&B make for a delightfully varied collection from the Hyperdub affiliate’s archive.
Joe Corti enlists the likes of Long Island Sound, Kassian, Cody Currie and more for a no-fuss compilation of breezy breaks, dazzling house and jackin’ grooves on China White Records. With all money raised from the collection going toward helping vulnerable people during the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s a no brainer.
The one positive takeaway from the coronavirus pandemic is the sheer amount of dubs it has unleashed onto Bandcamp. This 26-track care package produced between 2012 and 2020 delivers a wealth of typically diverse footwork, from the Rune-flecked ‘Loop’, through the stripped-back VIP of ‘One Star’, to a hyped-up take on garage classic ‘Flowers’.
Justin K Broadrick and Brendon Moeller meet on the former’s Avalanche label for the first in what looks to be a series of EPs. Four tracks — each titled ‘Fleshology’ — two driven by snarling b-lines, the other pair swamped in noise. Our pick has to be ‘3’, which bears a similar gloopy, squirming swing to Blawan’s ‘Why They Hide…’.
SlapFunk co-founders Samuel Deep and Julian Alexander may be better known under their individual aliases, but their joint work is just as potent. Think rolling house music with oodles of oomph, groove, and quirky bubblings. They’re funky and they slap — what more could you ask for?
First class techno from one of the States’ rising stars. There’s a fuzzy atmosphere tying Jasmine Infiniti’s debut album together that ever-so-slightly softens the edges of even the most punishing tracks (see: ‘GHETTRO’, ‘YES SIR’, ‘WELL FAIR’), and thus provides pensive moments throughout each and every track. Utterly captivating and absolutely essential.
The third comp (and cassette) from the Club Glow crew is raising money for the family of Naoki E-Jima, owner of Tokyo record store Disc Shop Zero, who sadly passed away in February. Expect break-driven, bass-loaded excursions from the usual faces, plus Etch, Sully, Mantra, Thugwidow, Benton, Itoa and more.
Bézier adopts a new moniker, bodyzone, for this sprawling album of dancefloor sizzlers. Over 14 tracks, the Honey Soundsystem spinner is audibly having an absolute blast on his hardware, dishing up banger after banger — from rugged acid techno and rumbling EBM to frenetic house to sci-fi synth experiments.
When making lists like this there’s always one that slips through the net. In our case it was Walton’s first batch of unreleased material last week. Having moseyed on by with a second selection, however, we didn’t miss another chance. Twenty tracks of chunky perc and riotous low-end to keep the whole street awake. (Grab the first volume while you’re at it too!)
Sultry, filthy guttural gubbins from the Les Disques De La Mort camp, this time from Italians, Tamburi Neri. Urged forwards by moody pulsing beats, breathy samples and digital drones, it’s the naturally explosive trills of the pair’s native tongue that really seal the deal here. The cosmic squelch of Marco Passarani’s remix addition can’t be ignored either.
Dublin’s All City gathers 21 of Ireland’s finest electronic artists for this charity compilation. All proceeds are going toward ALONE, whose work in supporting elderly people who live by themselves is so vital at this time. With tracks from ELLLL, R.Kitt, Fio Fa, Tr One and more, it’s a goldmine of tunes for a worthy cause.
Could there be a more appropriate moniker than On My Ones right now? Purchase for roof-raising garage and bassline bizznizz. You won’t be alone for long when your neighbours come banging on your door. At least the police have other things to worry about right now…
With a name like ‘Never Ending Nights’ you may think this two-tracker is built for the club — and it is — but there’s a warm, melodious quality to both tunes that make them ripe for a late-night social distancing sesh too. ‘For The Journey’ takes a deep house palette and gives it some extra welly, while ‘Lucid Dreams’ is sublime modern trance.
One to watch in the 160 sphere, Vienna’s Sentic Cycle shares four propulsive tracks. Head for the brilliantly titled ‘Cat Branchman’ or ‘Wi-Fe’ if you fancy something rowdy, though we’d actually recommend the errr… ‘softer’... offerings: heady opener ‘Flightbox’ and the widescreen halftime title track.
DJ and producer REES joins the roster at Man Power's ME ME ME sublabel, Ape-X — named for the long-running Newcastle clubnight. Breakbeat ecstasy is the order of the day, with the two originals setting the tone before A Sagittariun takes blows things up to a truly epic scale on his ‘Back From Rage’ mix and Matrixxman’s ‘Throwback’ mix brings gnarly Dillinja vibes.
We’re not sure we can do a better job than the description on the Bandcamp page when talking about his collection from Agentina’s DJ これからの緊急災害: “romantic reworks of guilty pleasures, phuture classix, and hot wet slappers” perfectly sums up this whopping great compilation. Just sling 25 of your hard earned Euros his way and see for yourself.
Manchester-based producer Paddy launches his United Dance Club imprint with a three-track EP. Each cut is club (read: home) ready, bringing the hip-thrusting, shoulder-swinging sounds of Italo disco to a living room near you. The kicks stomp, the snares thwack, and the synths reach for the rafters.
The sixth drop from Inner City Dubs, the sister label of Toronto’s Inner City Dance imprint, sees co-founder and local legend Marcus Visionary under his Stereo Mars Project guise. Five tracks are on offer, seamlessly blending the sounds of garage, house, UK funky and breaks. Grimy b-lines and syncopated beats abound.
Tech Itch is a master of double ‘ard d&b. His first album in three years arrives at a time of crisis and its relentless, industrial drumwork and growling low-end pressure could not better reflect the global state of anxiety we now inhabit. Highlights include the acid-bored title track and ‘The Angels’, which unleashes nearly six minutes of clattering percussive assault.
Garage veteran Mike Millrain has been sharing a chunk of previously vinyl-only cuts from his Soul Revolution label, including this slick four-tracker from the ‘Flashbacks’ series. The man himself appears in three different guises, delivering quirky swing as Large Joints, some laidback US vibes under his birth name, and a pair of tricksy 2-steppers as DJ South Central.
Emotional Rescue ends a run of three Noel Williams reissues with the Jamaican producer’s original 1983 version of ‘Music Street’. Not actually out until mid-June, but with two tracks — the lead and instrumental versions — available to download with the pre-order, it effortlessly combines elements from throughout Williams’ production history, from the main electro theme, back through disco, funk and even a touch of reggae bounce.
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