Updated: Jan 31
The idea is to showcase Bandcamp releases and make a monthly selection that doesn't blow the budget.
Guest authors will also make the odd splash to keep the pool properly chlorinated.
30 years as a DJ has meant that listening to music is a full time occupation, so I hope you find this selection stimulating and broad enough to cater for sunrises, sunsets , bike rides, car journeys and kitchen discos.
Music is a medicine we all need, and streaming sites do not support musicians properly.
50 ethical bucks a month seems reasonable, especially if you cancel 'sweatshop' subscriptions.
Naturally, you can set your own musical pocket money and if you're feeling generous, Bandcamp also allows for buyers to tip. It's a fair platform that regularly waves its fees on Fridays.
Each title has a link (red) to Bandcamp. It's free to join and easy to create your profile.
Beats & peace
My first choice is a jazz album that came out a couple of years ago.
The Fergus McCreadie Trio created this album dedicated to rural Scotland, and you can literally picture the landscapes as Turas is so evocative. The soundscapes they achieve are beautifully crafted and the recording is sublime. Even if you're not a huge Jazz fan, this will affect you.
£10 (ex VAT)
Next up is the Perfect Pitch compilation which not only has 14 superb re-edits from the likes of Al Kent, Mikeandtess, DJ Laurel etc....(oh, and a couple from yours truly) but it's a fund raiser for Crisis Group, helping political prisoners in Belarus. It starts really slowly with tracks from Van Morrison and Lonnie Smith, leading onto some wonderfully loose grooves, culminating with Chaka Khan,The Salsoul Orchestra and Parliament to get things really swinging. An album that works its way through the gears effortlessly, deeply funky.
€10.99 (ex. TVA)
A French DJ that caught my eye was Captain Cumbia. He combines latin rhythms with reggae, RnB, Balkan beats, hip hop - just about anything. It's essentially party mash ups that you've never heard before. It's crazy off the wall stuff that might not have huge longevity but it certainly is a lot of fun.
Cumbia Got Dub is Ritchie Spice's Earth A Run Red transformed into cumbia style. Genius, considering this slow latin groove has risen in popularity since that travesty called Despacito hit the charts. This, however, is not pop crap, but social comment given some spice.
€1 (ex. TVA)
Wow, two albums and a single and we're only half way through the budget!
Keeping the cumbia theme going, we're slipping into the latest Whiskey Disco release Pambele Remixes by the wonderfully named Vagabundo Social Club. Jkriv and Sleazy McQueen deliver some remix action on tracks that came out in 2019. These reworks keep the spirit of the Colombian duo's originals, but the 2020 versions are harder, cardio work outs. This is latin disco with a house edge. Can't really go wrong....
$5 (ex. sales tax)
Keeping the heart rate high, I now select the new album by Nicola Cruz called Subtropique .
This is deep studio action from the finest. Complex rhythms that take on you on a twisted electronic journey through the imagination of this Ecuadorian maestro. This is a step away from simple four to the floor deep house, as this exudes texture and emotion. Full release is 19 Feb, but you get one track taster to keep you hanging on.
£5 (ex VAT)
World music now, with a mixture of ethnic electronic beats. Remixoskop Vol. 1. This is the remix version of the album and you can donate anything you want for a digital copy. I'm going to suggest ten bucks for this inspired collection of groovy goodness. The money goes to Oro Verde charity which helps preserve tropical rain forests, so give generously.
To be honest, I haven't heard of any of these producers, which is the joy of Bandcamp - it never fails to surprise you.
German duo called Pauken & Trompeten. Original album is Kaleidoskop Vol. 1
€10 (ex. MVST)
So there you go. We've hit 42 - which, when you add local tax, makes about 50 bucks.
You can follow all these artists and labels on Bandcamp
Please share this blog with your friends and compare notes.
Spotify, Deezer etc. do serve a purpose, but they do not sustain many artists, so please think about where you spend your money.