Bandcamp’s Fundraiser Special – Albums (Friday 20th March 2020)

bandcamp

It doesn’t happen everyday that online music platforms champion the cause of musicians, but Bandcamp has showed us, more than once, to be different from the vast majority of music platforms. Today (until 11.59PM Pacific Time), to support all the artists affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Oakland-based company will be waiving its revenue share on sales and redistributing 100% of sales profit to the artists.

Since we can’t bless enough every initiative that helps musicians, we also can’t avoid spreading the word about the Bandcamp’s COVID-19 fundraiser. So, we  thought we would put together our own buyers’ guide and suggest to you some albums to support.   

Check out our favourite albums of 2020 (only the ones available on Bandcamp) and join the campaign!


Various Artists – Distance Will Not Divide Us (COVID​-​19 Italian Charity Project) [Distance Will Not Divide Us]

Italian electronic and global beats scenes’ best youths come together to support the Lazzaro Spallanzani National Institute for Infectious Diseases in Rome.

This is a particularly meaningful and momentous entry in our list, because it’s not only a well-needed spotlight pointing out the new vibes coming from Italy, but it is also a fundraiser campaign for one of the Italian hospitals most involved in the current battle against COVID-19.

The compilation gathers together some of the most up-and-coming acts and labels in the Italian dancy panorama, featuring 14 unreleased far-reaching tracks exposing the richness in ideas, grooves and beats that were igniting the dance floors across the peninsula before the coronavirus outbreak.


Irreversible EntanglementsWho sent You? [International Anthem]

The fast paced and powerful music of Irreversible Entanglements is just what you need to get you through you those slower days. Politically charged, aggressive jazz that fuses melody and message to pure perfection. Led by Moor Mother, moments on the record recall her more experimental solo music, but don’t get it twisted: this is a jazz album, and one hell of a jazz album at that. (Alex Fox)


Hamish NapierThe Wood

Hamish Napier’s series of gentle Scottish folk albums has resulted in The Woods, a musical journey through Anagach Woods in Grantown. After playing an exciting set at Celtic Connections, this is an album that has been on my ‘look out for list’. The album is inspired by woods local to where Napier grew up, and throughout the album you can hear the fiddle fluttering like highland birds and the pipes groaning like trees in northern winds.  (Alex Fox)


Jeich Ould BadouMusic from Saharan WhatsApp 03 [Sahel Sounds]

The music industry may seem a little shaky at the moment, but DIY is alive and well. Portland’s Sahel Sounds has come up with an ingenious series Music from Saharan WhatsApp, which does exactly what it says on the tin: a monthly release recorded on a mobile phone, fired off across WhatsApp, and uploaded to Bandcamp.

Part 3 presents a fine selection of Mauritanian WZN riffs played by Jeich Ould Badou on tidnit and Boss DR-770 drum machine ready to transport you to the souks and squares of Nouakchott. Looking for an antidote to panic buying and rationing? Try some of this! (Eero Holi)


Hailu MergiaYene Mircha [Awesome Tapes from Africa]

Hailu Mergia reminds us why it is important to look away from London for some truly mesmerising contemporary Jazz. Hailing from Ethiopia, he reminds us why we turn, time and time again, to the African continent for musical inspiration. With all the talk of the British Jazz scene, all one must do is listen to Mergia’s back catalogue and upcoming album to realise that he was breaking these frontiers all along. Pre order Yene Mircha this Friday or pick up some of his back catalogue for something to listen to while isolating! (Chloë Cochran)


Let Drum BeatLua Cheia

The London based all female group consisting of Alba CabralBéa ShantifaLizzie Ogle and Tuca Milan have created an album that is charming and simmering with energy. A beautiful take on folk and Afro-Brazilian music with a London flair that not only has deep appreciation for the music they are influenced by in Brazil, but also for the other influences from the band, which breathe life into the music. (Xi-mali Kadeena-Guscoth)


Spoek MathamboTales From The Lost Cities [TEKA Music]

Always had a soft spot for visionary talents like Spoek Mathambo, whom year after year, album after album and side-project after side-project has grown into one of the most brilliant musical daydreamers of the prolific South African music scene.

The man behind TEKA music has just released a sequel to Mzansi Beat Code. With Tales from the Lost Cities, he doesn’t make any compromise about his country’s state of affairs. He hits – and hits hard – at the powers-that-be, by employing plain-spoken lyrics and a renewed passion for hip-hop rhymes and beats. (Marco Canepari)


The SorcerersIn Search Of The Lost City Of The Monkey God [ATA Records]

We didn’t have to go too far into 2020 to find one of the best albums of the year. In Search Of The Lost City Of The Monkey God is 40 minutes of pure groove. Inspired by Mulatu Astatke as much as 1970s psychedelia, the second album of Leeds-based The Sorcerers is a misty and atmospheric instrumental voyage to the bottom of jazz, funk and soul. (Marco Canepari)

 


Various Artists – LÉVE LÉVE Sao Tomé & Principe sounds 70s-80s [Les Disques Bongo Joe]

Sao Tomé & Principe might not boast the most hyped music scene in Africa, but still the island nation sitting in the Gulf of Guinea a few miles from the Equator has an incredible and almost unspoiled music heritage uniting the dot between the Lusophone repertoire and the West African one.

Thanks to the research work done by DJ Tom B. and behind the scenes efforts of Les Disques Bongo Joe, you can revel in the lush islands’ vibes and discover how they resonate between the 1970s and ‘80s. The French DJ and Swiss label have indeed put together a 16-track compilation brimming with far-reaching influences from Cape Verdean coladeira to Nigerian afrobeat, from Ghanaian highlife  to Angolan semba, and from Congolese soukous to across the ocean Brazilian and Caribbean feelings. (Marco Canepari)


Simo Lagnawi & Gnawa LondonAfrika Soyo // Cheb RunnerTagnawit EP [Rebel Up! Records]

Two albums unfolding the present and future of gnawa. Simo Lagnawi’s Afrika Soyo and Cheb Runner’s Tagnawit are two close, yet very different perspectives of the 800-year old African tradition.

Their authors, who both come from the region where gnawa originated, are at the same time, bas

ed miles away from it. They are both dedicated torchbearers for the entrancing music and at the same time, inspired experime

nters in their very own way.

 

If Simo Lagnawi transposes gnawa imaginary and relentless rhythms to London and the UK, widening his musical horizons with a blend of Pan-African and global influences, Cheb Runner conjugates gnawa in the future tense and boosts up his roots with techno and house.

 

Still, both Afrika Soyo and Tagnawit feature all the quintessential elements characterizing African music, from the emphatic sound-defining guembri lines, to incessant krakebs and handclaps, from vigorous tbel beats to calabash energic pace. (Marco Canepari)


Onipa – We No Be Machine [Strut Records]

We are all in desperate need of some dancy and uplifting vibes in these times. So, there’s no better treatment for the widespread blues than an energetic and upbeat album that will (sadly only mentally) transport you directly onto the dancefloor.

Onipa (Kweku from K.O.G. & the Zongo Brigade, Nubiyan Twists’s Tom Excell and Finn Both, and Wonky Logic) have what it takes. They finally released their debut album titled We No Be Machine, on Strut Records, and are here to juice up your quarantine and self-isolation days with a full load of afro-grooves and Pan-African rhythms. (Marco Canepari)


Son Rompe PeraBatuco [AYA Records]

The heart-warming sound of marimba! Guess you weren’t used to listening to albums entirely focussed on the marimba, and arguably even less accustomed to such a punk and exciting way to play it. But Son Rompe Pera is here to strike you with awe as much as they energetically strike the marimba’s bars.

 

Batuco, the debut album of the Mexico City quintet, is one of the most exciting releases of 2020. They are able to blend together traditional melodies of Latin American folk with smooth cumbia rhythms, punk aggressive drive and even rockabilly rowdy attitude. All led by the marimba and its innate expressiveness. (Marco Canepari)


CollocutorContinuation [On the Corner Records]

It might be titled Continuation, but the third album of Collocutor released by On the Corner Records at the end of February, moves on different tracks to its predecessors. Not too faraway or discordant, still parallel but not coincident.

In Continuation, Tamar Osborn and her ensemble fully embrace spiritual and modal jazz but outpace and almost overcome them at the same time. The album is indeed animated by more vivid and glowing feelings: each member of the quintet enjoys and makes  full use of the additional musical breadth and space they granted themselves, setting free and fully expressing their creativity. (Marco Canepari)


Lina / Raül RefreeLina_Raul Refree [Glitterbeat Records]

You must fully own and belong to a tradition to rework and reshape it with the due respect. Lina and Raül Refree succeed in the arduous task to “give a face lift” to fado and its repertoire deep-rooted in the Portuguese tradition.

The duo formed by one of the most inventive Spanish producers and guitar players (Raül Referee) and talented Portuguese singer and Amalia Rodrigues’ devotee (Lina) have achieved their original aim to “do something different with fado”. They paid tribute and at the same time, transcended the Portuguese style’s strict borders, transposing Amalia Rodrigues’ timeless songs to the present and possibly future days, through distorted arrangements, protracted notes, sudden noise explosions and abrupt silences. (Marco Canepari)


DJ DoraemonAfrican Voices [Basy Tropikalne]

Portuguese producer of Cape Verdean descent, DJ Doraemon is one of the rising names of Lisbon’s innovative music scene. Following the footprints left before him by producers like DJ Nigga Fox and many others, DJ Doramon’s music is an explosion of complex and relentless rhythms – tracing back to the dance tradition of his native land – mixed with heavy electronic beats, row basslines and funky voices. Dressed with a creative use of samples – the bird chirp in “Tayla” is a perfect example – these nine powerful and bouncy bangers are perfect for the dance floor lovers, be them  DJs or clubbers. (Stefania Vulpi)


Tino Contreras – Musica Infinita [Arc Records]

An explosion of sound and compositional courage, Musica Infinita is a re-press of the 1978 original release by Mexican drummer and composer Tino Contreras, who was discovered by the world music selector Gilles Peterson. It’s an ecstatic voyage into Mexico City’s 70s psychedelia, evidently grounded in jazz but enriched with daring musical experimentation, such as strident string sounds, lyrical singing and polyrhythmic percussion breaks. Creative, visceral and explosive – a nice little gem for your own personal joy. (Stefania Vulpi)

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