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Buy Music: tQ Writers Share Their Bandcamp Tips, March 2020
The Quietus , March 20th, 2020 09:31

With Bandcamp waiving its share of sales made via the service today amid the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, tQ's trusty team of writers share a selection of their recent personal favourites

Hesitant as I am to add to the gloom that currently reigns above all else, there's no denying that it's been a bad week. In the UK, whilst contending with a wave of unhelpful rumours attributed by journalists on Twitter to "Whitehall sources" and a government that has been slow or unwilling to help various people in need, many of us have gone into self-isolation with no clear end in sight. Elsewhere, lockdowns and sadly necessary gathering bans are in place, keeping many in their homes. My inbox is loaded with emails wishing me well "in these uncertain times," a bizarre greeting I've grown all too guilty of rolling out myself.

Amongst the swathes of people who've been hugely affected by the events of recent weeks are those who work in the entertainment and hospitality industries, many of them just getting by on zero hours contracts or scrapping it out in the world of self-employment. We hope it goes without saying that we know there are so many different people around the world from all kinds of industries that are in need right now (may we recommend resources like this COVID-19-specific mutual aid tool, this mental health guidance from CALM and this tool to direct you to your local food bank), and we therefore do not wish to divert any attention away from anyone's struggles. The closure of clubs, bars, pubs, gig venues and various other similar community hubs, however, has been devastating for a whole ecosystem of which tQ forms a small part, and also relies heavily upon.

Bar staff, security staff, sound techs, lighting engineers and so many other behind the scenes figures that keep the club and live music scene alive are potentially facing months without work. Promoters and small, independent venue and club owners similarly face a potentially catastrophic period of inactivity, having already contended with the many cancellations and postponements that have rolled out almost daily over the last month or so. If you had a ticket for an event that's been affected and can afford to do so, may we recommend not getting that refund or holding onto the ticket for a possible postponement date to come through in order to support the folks putting on parties and gigs.

Around the world, those making music, who rely heavily on the gig economy and don't have the fortune of a savings net that other artists usually commanding high fees might have, are in an equally difficult position. It's with that in mind that Bandcamp, an organisation that is frequently so supportive of the people that make the platform what it is (a bare minimum you might think but something to be thankful for in the age of streaming services), has launched its latest initiative. Today (March 20), from midnight until midnight PT (that's 24 hours from 7am if you are in the UK), Bandcamp is waiving its revenue share on all sales so all the money you spend goes into artists' pockets, going some way to helping them recover some of the losses from cancelled gigs.

Bandcamp is one of the most direct ways you can support artists making music today. As a note currently reads on its homepage, "Fans have paid artists $469 million using Bandcamp, and $9.7 million in the last 30 days alone." We thought we'd assemble a team of tQ's editorial staff and trusty writers then to pull together a selection of their recent favourites in case you have the cash to spare and fancy going on a splurge to support some excellent, vital musicians. Below, you'll find Brazilian party music from BADSISTA, speedy 'Balani Show' sounds from DJ Diaki on the always reliable Nyege Nyege Tapes, vocal experiments from Lyra Pramuk, and so much more. We've also put it all together in a handy Buy Music Club list that you can find here. So wash your hands and get digging!

If you do find something you like amongst the 30+ recommendations below, and find you've still got some cash to spare after supporting these artists, if you're so inclined, you can support tQ through these equally uncertain, bleak months by heading here. A near complete drop-off in advertising revenue will very potentially be disastrous for us, so if you can spare the price of one or two of those pints you'll no longer be having while social distancing, it'll always be gratefully received and put fully back into keeping the site running. We'd just like to reiterate though that we absolutely do not wish to take attention or support away from the many other causes that are on everyone's minds right now.
Christian Eede

Villaelvin -
(Hakuna Kulala)

I'm going to hazard a guess that the idea of a lockdown won't impede the vivid creative drive of Elvin Brandhi - one part of the daughter/father duo, Yeah You, given that, notoriously, some of their shows have taken place in rush hour traffic, or parked up in a layby. I dare say, the front room holds no fear... Headroof is a dynamic, thrilling, absolutely blazing collaboration with several members of the Nyege Nyege family which took place at their Villa in Kampala, Uganda a year ago.
John Doran

Seven Orbits -

Spend a little time trawling Shanghai-based label SVBKVLT's back catalogue on Bandcamp and you're sure to come across all manner of truly head-scrambling, genuinely inventive electronic music, from key label artists such as Hyph11E, 33EMYBW and Zaliva-D. The latter two provide excellent remixes for EP0001, which is out today. Seven Orbits is Italian-born multi-disciplinary artist Matteo Zamagni and his debut for SVBKVLT, EP0001, with its fluctuating tempos and off-kilter drum patterns, goes some way to summing up what has made the label a firm buy-on-sight presence in recent years. It also sees Zamagni team up with fellow Italian TSVI on highlight 'Submechanophobia' which is a 165 BPM club weapon (just think ahead to how good those first nights back on a dance floor will be) that’s also given alternative life via an excellent, footwork-esque remix by 33EMYBW.
Christian Eede

Dale Cornish -
Thug Ambient
(Vanity Publishing)

Yeah, sure, Dale Cornish's latest is another excellent release in a catalogue full of excellent releases. But! There's something else at play on Thug Ambient, his ode to "the reconstruction of club music, Nag Nag Nag, masculinity, Finland, and Vatican Shadow memes." A good handful of the tracks here feel tighter, harder, more ready for the floor than they have in a bit, while all the things his fans have come to rely on - his cheeky sense of humour, a real mastery of space, Dale Cornish Brand (TM) claps and kicks - are very much present and accounted for. This is Cornish at his most highly potent, and a great entry point for folks looking to get into his deep back catalogue.
Bernie Brooks

Lea Bertucci -
Resonant Field
(NNA Tapes)

Composer and saxophonist Lea Bertucci just had a 22-date tour cancelled. Later today she's going to be posting a new track of recently recorded material she made on residency at Sonoscopia (where she is currently stranded) with Pedro Melo Alves on percussion. Her work is all about extended techniques, circular breathing, and long tones. If you didn't get into the sonorous Metal Aether or 2019's Resonant Field, which was recorded in a concrete silo, now would be the time.
Jennifer Lucy Allan

W00DY -
My Diary

I say it all the time and I'll say it again, there's nothing like a hearty dose of confusion on the dancefloor (though yes I realise I'm not exactly trying to sell you on music for communal listening right now). I'd say the same applies to home listening - exclaiming "what the fuck" to no one in particular is, to me, a mark of a good record. W00DY's My Diary checks that box and makes for an excellent soundtrack to hopping around your room in a restless frenzy, when you've given up on meditating to ambient playlists.
Ollie Zhang

Concentration -
I'm Not What I Was

This weekend I was supposed to go and see lunatic trio Concentration at their first UK gig. Alas, coronavirus scuppered that plan, but I've still got their debut record on heavy rotation. Noise, techno, an Australian Jew yelling about his foreskin neurosis, a cover of Dead Men Don't Rape and, in 'Spiderfucker', one of the bangers of the year.
Luke Turner

Boobs of DOOM -
Self-Defence for Victim-Shamers

I don't know whether more doom is precisely what's needed right now, but there's also something inspirational, even heroic, about this Scottish duo's 12 albums that they put out last year - albums which, from what I can gather, are largely the fruit of online collaboration. It's hard to pick highlights amid the seductive sludge, 'doom hop', dub detonations and feral jazz but this album is a great place to start. Alternatively, listen in order, or just decide which out of wEIRD aRT rIOT, Skeleton Jazz Wizard or Endless Doomlord Syndrome sounds the most intriguing.
David McKenna

Bastard Assignments -
Bastard Assignments

As a group of performer-composers, Bastard Assignments - consisting of Edward Henderson, Timothy Cape, Caitlin Rowley, and Josh Spear - have been responsible for some of London's strangest and most absorbing nights out over the last few years. Here, they turn their hand to an album, recorded at Snape Maltings by Jamie Hamilton. The eight tracks collected here prove just as melon-twisting as their live shows - and surely a track title like 'Enya, Do You Need A Tambourine Player, I'm Pretty Good' should be enough to appeal to any tQ reader.
Robert Barry

De Grandi -
(TV Showw)

De Grandi and his Paris-based Paradoxe Club cohorts are right out in front when it comes to combining zesty melodies with UK techno-esque rhythmic sensibilities, and his third full EP features some of his strongest material yet. 'My Volvo, My Rules (-555- Mix)' is a sparse 140 BPM tool, centred around sputtering breaks and metallic fits of percussion that eventually give way to a stripped-back electro beat. '2,75 €' is just as sparse, upping the tempo a little and letting some light in via a sequence of starry synths. Perhaps the highlight though is 'Laguna' with its brash, trance-y lead synth line and swaggering drum patterns.
Christian Eede

Various Artists -
Girih: Iranian Sound Artists Volumes I - IV
(Zabte Sote)

The physical box-set cassette edition of this compilation made it on to my Spool's Out year-end list back in 2018, but snapping up a digital copy now would stick some digital cash right into the pockets of a label promoting a variety of groundbreaking artists from one of the countries worst hit by COVID-19. Best of all, you get a killer compilation featuring brilliant contributions from a grand total of 40 Iranian artists! Girih is a portrait of a community trying to be as productive and forward-facing as possible, and who were already battling against myriad prevailing winds before this global disaster event began unfolding.
Tristan Bath

Bruxa Maria -
The Maddening
(Hominid Sounds)

The Maddening is the mightiest release yet from Bruxa Maria, with tracks called excellent things like 'Brutal Attack' and 'Pushed To The Brink Of Madness Then Demonised' appropriately enough built of muttered screaming, pile-driving through gravel, chopping great riffs. Just absolutely righteous.
Luke Turner

DJ Diaki -
Balani Fou
(Nyege Nyege Tapes)

One of the best labels in the world finds yet another way to keep the average BPM of its releases at truly aorta-scorching levels. Based in Uganda's capital Kampala, Nyege Nyege Tapes' recent releases have sometimes ventured beyond that nation's border (and beyond the eponymous format); DJ Diaki lives in a Malian village and plays Balani Show music, totally hectic percussive workouts which are supplemented by a live drum machine during DJ sets and built unapologetically for serious dancers. If you have a rhythmic affinity with go-go, ghettotech, ballroom house or the madness Nyege Nyege have previously unleashed from the Sisso collective, gird your loins.
Noel Gardner

Various Artists -
Big Material

A 19-track 'name your price' compilation from which 100% of the proceeds go to Stonewall Housing, a London-based charity supporting some of the most marginalised and vulnerable in society. Featuring JD Twitch, SIREN's Moonbow and Ciel under an alias called Moonphase.
Claire Sawers

The Master Musicians Of Dryffryn Moor -
Music for Hand-Washing

A brilliantly simple idea from the purveyors of "contemporary ritual trance music from rural Wales," each of the 26 tracks is introduced by a gong sound followed by 20 seconds of lively, beat-driven music to accompany your hand-washing session. WHO and NHS guidelines for best practice as well as a visual guide to hand-washing come free with each download. Get lathering!
John Doran

Graham Dunning -
Something About Still Trying
(Flaming Pines)

Whether the unstable bump and grind of his mechanical techno project or the artisanal conceptualism of Music By Metre, Graham Dunning has for some time proved himself one of London's most inventive sonic artists, a man with enough new ideas to fuel several careers. On this recent tape release from the always-reliable Flaming Pines label, he uses various tape-based processes to enhance and mutate field recordings from Walton-on-the-Naze and Harplinge, Sweden with bewitching effect.
Robert Barry

Bandcamp Collection

If truth be told, picking just one release from BADSISTA's Bandcamp collection is too difficult a task, so settle in and give it all your time. Whether it's the gunfinger-raising baile funk of 'NA ONDA DE BABYLON', the frenetic "funk rave" of 'MONTAGEM DA XERECA (FUNK RAVE COLAPSO 160 BPM)' or the giddy rush of 'TOMOTOMO', which comes off like a Brazilian take on donk and bassline, you're sure to discover some excellent music.
Christian Eede

Lyra Pramuk -
(Bedroom Community)

Lyra Pramuk wrote one of the most selfless 'help artists in these times' posts I've seen since the coronavirus crisis hit, which would be reason enough in itself to include her here, except that her debut album is also a tonic balm, her voice hovering over fractured patters of sound that flutter like a moth to flame. Deservedly our record of the week.
Luke Turner

Various Artists -
Doom Mix Vol. IV
(Doom Trip)

The fourth instalment in Doom Trip's ongoing mixtape series begins with Fire-Toolz, whose 'Report-Spiral' comes off like Prurient remixing Aphex Twin in an incense shop. The likes of Diamondstein & Sangam and Cruel Diagonals manage to be (somehow) dramatic and ambient at the same time (drambient?). KWJAZ is hypnagogoic pop for jazz-fusion enthusiasts. Pale Spring offers mournful trip-pop. Nmesh is vaporwave's answer to DJ Shadow with bonus animal growls. Much of the compilation is eerie and lush, skew-whiff yet smooth, from wonky home-brewed R&B to tracks by those who've probably taken too many drugs while listening to Vangelis. Mukqs' contribution is titled 'Hellhole' but the overall effect is more likely to lead you down a rabbit hole (and today is the right day to do that)...
J.R. Moores

Youth Stand Up -
Youth Stand United
(Autonomous Africa)

Youth Stand United is the latest from Optimo's Autonomous Africa label and the follow up to Youth Stand Up!, a collaboration between Glasgow’s Green Door Studio and young musicians from Belize and Ghana. It was recorded in Glasgow and Tafi Cultural Institute in Ghana (overseen by Golden Teacher's Laurie Pitt) and features members of Golden Teacher, Pu$$y Mothers, Whilst, Kaputt and Sordid Sound System who're responsible for the fizzy, bouncing backing tracks while the TCI musicians add colourful yelps and vocals. Proceeds go to a musicians scholarship fund. Infectious - in the fun way.
Claire Sawers

Jacques Thollot -
Quand Le Son Devient Aigu, Jeter La Girafe À La Mer
(Souffle Continu)

As well as being one of Paris' essential record shops, Souffle Continu has been active as a record label since 2014, reissuing "treasures of the French underground" from after '68, taking in jazz, experimental electronics, psychedelic folk and more. A short while ago they made the majority of their catalogue available digitally. Highlights include releases from Emmanuelle Parrenin, key players in the '70s underground like Jac Berrocal, Mahjun, Jean-Cohen Solal, Nu Creative Methods (featuring Pierre Bastien) and Lard Free, and this astonishing sonic patchwork from drummer Jacques Thollot.
David McKenna

Military Genius -
Deep Web
(Unheard Of Hope)

If you want an antidote to all of the anxiety and mither generated by too much bad advice and an absence of solid guidance, then Military Genius are on hand with salve. This solo record by Bryce Cloghesy of the Crack Cloud family trades in dubby lo-fi jazz, junkyard R&B and powerless ballads, and displays a clear respect for the kind of vocalist who places feeling and delivery over a need for always hitting the right note, such as the luminous Alan Vega, Dan Treacy or Robert Wyatt.
John Doran

The Silver Field -
Sing High! Sing Low!

Spring 2020 ought to have been all about The Silver Field, with rapturous reports from Coral Rose's tour dates before the remaining shows were, like so many others, canned last week. As yet there's only one track available from this album on her Bandcamp, but the sumptuous hazy swing of 'Hearth Bite' is a superb taster for what's to come. I guarantee this is a mere seven quid you'll not miss.
Luke Turner

Metal Preyers -
Metal Preyers
(Nyege Nyege Tapes)

With its screaming snakeskin X-ray face, Metal Preyers might have the grossest cover image of any LP I've willingly brought into my home. Building in tempo from loping shuffles of dub wreckage, pausing for eerie whistles through the walls, it gradually slithers into the skitters and scrapes of industry in a soundclash with Ugandan hand drums. Metal Preyers' transcontinental collab expertly blends the influences of the US Rust Belt, London sound system culture, and Kampala night rhythms into a future music all its own. The Nyege Nyege crew hits the mark, once again.
Kristen Gallerneaux

MoMA Ready -
Bandcamp Collection

There aren't many people in current dance music quite as prolific as New York's Wyatt D. Stevens, AKA MoMA Ready. Be it the large collections of house, techno and jungle he frequently shares under his main alias as well as the Gallery S moniker, or his collaborative work with fellow New Yorker AceMo (they work together as AceMoMA), there's swathes of music to be trawled through on Stevens' Bandcamp, the medium through which he's self-released the bulk of his output. If you're looking to direct your search a little though, may I recommend the joyful house of The NYC Dance Project (I'll particularly never tire of 'I Miss Your Love') and the dazzling jungle and D&B live jams on Ocean Walker I.
Christian Eede

Sloth Racket -
Dismantle Yourself

Cath Roberts is one of the lynchpins of London's free improvising scene. A dazzling inventive saxophonist and - through the Lume nights she runs with Dee Byrne - a key node in the capital's network of experimental music events programmers. Her group Sloth Racket (featuring Anton Hunter, Sam Andreae, Seth Bennet, and Johnny Hunter) also show off her deftness as a composer and band leader.
Robert Barry

Joanna Rose -
Private Line
(Avant Garde)

A release on the French Avant Garde label by LA singer Joanna Rose, recreating the gorgeous sounds of '80s babes like Evelyn 'Champagne' King, Stephanie Mills and Mary Jane Girls. Get loose with some daytime disco dancing around your isolation chamber.
Claire Sawers


A lot of musicians have been hit hard by this pandemic, but LINGUA IGNOTA has had a particularly rough time, revealing that the sudden loss of income from tour cancellations has left her unable to afford surgery for a severe disc herniation. So yesterday, when a bunch of pampered celebrities managed to remove the silver spoons from their mouths just long enough to vomit out an unbelievably smug rendition of John Lennon's 'Imagine' in a patronising attempt to show solidarity with those struggling, the speed and venomous glee with which she tore apart their efforts and reconstructed it in a bile-soaked blast of seething white noise was a deafening "FUCK YOU" that echoed round the globe. Obviously notably less structured and composed than her album material (she promises "there is actual new music coming next week if this does not excite you"), it’s exhilarating nonetheless, and genuinely affecting in ways the original sound source could never comprehend.
Kez Whelan

Karl D'Silva -

Sometime hornblower for GNOD and Drunk In Hell, Karl D'Silva's own pop is high sheen and high concept, with references that range from Grumbling Fur to Tears For Fears via Human League and Ultravox. That the synths here sound magnificent could have something to do with the production by analogue mastermind, Dean Honer of Eccentronic Research Council.
John Doran

Richard Skelton -
The Complete Landing
(Aeolin Ediions)

What's that you say? Turner's going on about Richard Skelton A-BLOODY-GAIN?! Too right, I say. It occurred to me the other day that I didn't actually have a copy of this, which is one of Skelton's earlier releases, so off I trotted to Bandcamp to buy a copy. In these times when we're all cooped up indoors, Skelton's music evokes a geological magnitude that I personally find far more helpful to mental health than any #mindful app.
Luke Turner

too oh won nein

Ever wanted to hear Caterina Barbieri's gorgeous synth tracks overlayed with a big fat gabber beat? Ever wondered what Oneohtrix Point Never and LTJ Bukem might sound like on one tune? Ever wanted to hear Shawn Mendes over Flux Pavilion's tearout dubstep wobbles? Well, AYA's got you covered with this collection of cheeky bootlegs and edits. Luck may not be looking down on us so far in 2020, but we are blessed at least to have AYA continually reminding us of how chaotically fun dance music can and should be.
Christian Eede

The Cool Greenhouse -
The Cool Greenhouse

Following the stellar Crap Cardboard Pet EP, Tom Greenhouse's post-punk bedroom schtick returns as a full band with a debut album. Atop schlocky Devo guitar scrambles, London outlier Greenhouse delivers lightning-sharp quips at the expense of the middle classes, the 4chan community and beyond. The irony is tasteful, and the wit is sharp. While The Cool Greenhouse loses the charm of the barebones guitar/Korg/voice minimalism of Crab Cardboard Pet, it replaces it with something all the more fully realised. It's available to pre-order now ahead of its May 29 release date and you can get a download of opening track 'The Sticks' instantly.
Cal Cashin

Claire Cronin -
Big Dread Moon

Chicago's Orindal label has quietly built up a roster of singular, often solo artists that take singer-songwriter models and gently twist them to their own aesthetic ends. Claire Cronin's recent album provides a striking example of just that, her resonant voice combining with songs that blend an understated warmth with a still audible starkness, ending on sudden notes, feeling like cold, lonely walks under the titular object at night. If the mythic haunted landscape of American nightmares and guilt seems to be even more so this year, better to have a guide who looks that feeling full in the face on songs like 'Wolfman' and 'Six Guns'.
Ned Raggett

Gavilán Rayna Russom -
Secret Passage
(Voluminous Arts)

Secret Passage is the second solo album from NYC artist (and ex-LCD Soundsystem band member) Gavilán Rayna Russom, which also launches her new label, Voluminous Arts. It's inspired by hanging about in the mile long East Side Rail Tunnel, free from surveillance or supervision. Check out 'Sarafina Calls because the Police are Beating People (for Brian c.)' and 'Fireworks (for Brian T.)' and pre-order now to get the full album when it's released on March 26.
Claire Sawers

Mai Mai Mai feat. Maria Violenza -
'Secondo Coro Delle Lavandaie'
(La Tempesta International)

You take your eye off the ball for two minutes and when you look back the becowled, Near East meets Mediterranean occult noise project has become a quite glorious exploration of Italian folk music that sounds like early Liars covering 'Mondo' Ennio Morricone. What a banger.
John Doran

Ondo Fudd (AKA Call Super) -

I first discovered 'Mietmiorse' via Call Super's excellent addition last year to the Crack mix series. Coming towards the end of that set, as the Berlin-based DJ and producer winds down from the dizzying electro and jungle techno that fills much of the first hour, its near ten-minute runtime allows him to indulge all his usual distinctive production tics, complete with plaintive pianos and oddball vocal samples. This one's only available for the next two weeks, so don't miss out.
Christian Eede