This month's selection was difficult to say the least.
I somehow managed to stay within the 50 bucks spending limit and walk away with a bag of tunes worth its weight in gold.
I didn't intentionally go super eclectic, but there are many bases covered.
Not too many electronic tracks this month, but there are some atomic bombs that'll have even reticent shufflers out of their seat. There's old and new, covers and originals.
I tend to listen to music throughout the day and as my moods change, I'm drawn to different styles. Starters, mains and dessert - they're all on the menu!
Rather fabulously with Bandcamp, you can leave messages for the artists when you buy tracks, putting you in direct contact; something streaming can never achieve.
For those newbies that have just joined us, the idea is to showcase some of the beauties available on Bandcamp, an ethical platform, which pays the artists fairly, thereby putting money in the proper pockets. The budget is €50 including tax.
Please leave comments and share links with your friends.
Beats & peace
We kick things off with a concept album from Spain. It's by a band called The Born Messengers. An assembly of musicians that have played at Guzzo in Barcelona.
I was introduced to this by Ludovic (Art of Tones) and can't really take the glory of finding this treasure. It's a mixture of themes from jazz, soul, hip hop and funk, beautifully recreated by talented artists from a mixture of countries, that fuse together perfectly. It's hard to believe that these guys aren't a real band. It's the project of DJ Fred Guzzo and trumpet and Rhodes maestro, Raynald Colom. I just pray that there's a Volume 2 on its way.
With a new album coming out in April, I was more than happy to see a single released to keep impatient types, like me, at bay.
This is the new single from Jão Selva, and title track from the LP.
Reminds me of the tropical, creole sound you hear so often on Heavenly Sweetness, but this was snapped up by Under Dog Records (also French) and the forthcoming album is the second from this highly talented and infectious Brazilian.
Feel good music that oozes sunshine and wild nights in Rio.
We jump now to Brighton on the south coast of England. Prince Fatty has been making a name for himself covering disco, hip hop, Kraftwerk and more, in a super fresh reggae style. His singer, Schniece, is right on the money and this time they tackle Jefferson Airplane's psych rock hit, White Rabbit. Not exactly what you'd expect in a rub-a-dub fashion!
His prowess on the mixing board is complemented by some well sourced Alice in Wonderland samples. A truly brave and brilliant cover.
You get both vocal and dub versions for a couple of quid. A real trip down the rabbit hole and I can't guarantee there's any coming back.
Fitting artwork from Jake Detonator.
London producer Aroop Roy has released a six track DJ Weapons EP.
It features soul, jazz, and latin reworks that were previously exclusive to his DJ sets.
Patti Labelle, Anderson Paak, Black Machine are the tracks you'll be familiar with, and there're three other quirky bouncers to pack this arsenal of dangerous beats.
When I heard that Fourtet was doing the backing
for the new Madlib album, my otherwise numb hip hop ears sprung suddenly back to life. I've been unimpressed by most of the US scene recently and this has breathed new life into a stagnant pool.
It's like a massive dose of chlorine, killing all bacteria and leaving a Hockney-esque clear blue pool, inviting the listener to dive in and swim through rhythmic ripples.
What you make of this, only time will tell, because this will take many listens to pass judgement.
Full of deep themes, drawing from a smorgasbord of samples that only Kieren Hebden could weave together so well.
Time to jump around a bit.
We're off to God's Country (Yorkshire) and the duo from Leeds, PBR Streetgang (yes, that's the radio code used in Apocalypse Now for the air strike) have released a series called Lost Property. There are three EPs in this rework project and I've chosen the second.
The opening track reminds me of something Groove Armada used to play in their DJ sets, but I can't put my finger on it - it's coming, but who knows when.
There's deep house, disco and funk. Cymande's Brother's On The Slide is given a great treatment, but the final track Restless is the winner for me. Its haunting keys and fluctuating acid bass has been on rewind since I bought it.
A label I've followed for many years, Whiskey Disco, has landed a very fine fish from China.
Thoma Cher has excelled himself with this one. Three deeply funky, disco driven tracks that don't exceed the speed limit. Sultry goodness that doesn't try too hard.
Vocoder fun with the title track leads into the infectious Dancer which harks back to the days of roller disco. He has saved the best til last, because Be My Love scores five gold stars in my book. A slow burner that encapsulates the label's ethos of slow, dirty disco vibes.
Still a few coins in the pot, so its revival time with a rare reggae track that has been given a new lease of life by Supatone Records in Clapham (London).
Roots reggae at its finest by a band called The Mighty Threes - formed in Jamaica in the 1970s and only produced one album before splitting up.
These are 12 inch versions that contain longer dubbed out mixes. The b-side Sata is also a gem. They don't make 'em like they used to!
Damian Katkhuda and the boys recently got a boost when one of the band's tracks was featured on an IKEA advert: I'm Busy Doing Nothing.
The Mostar Diving Club have produced four albums and this one is a couple of years old, but well worth a listen if you're not familiar with them.
Acoustic purity you don't hear often these days. Wonderfully recorded and probably filed under modern folk, but I wouldn't tar it with that brush. It transcends pigeon holes and should be enjoyed by one and all. You don't need Birkenstocks and a beard to appreciate this musical voyage. File under "devine". Here Comes Joy.
Lush sound scapes with poetic lyrics.
So that's all for February. €49.80 on the till, after tax, so I've even got change.
That's one fat bag of tunes and several new bands to follow.
Next month will see guest author Andy Wilson from Sonica (Ibiza) selecting his 50 bucks of Bandcamp goodies.
Comments & feedback gladly accepted.