Work From Home is a new vertical dedicated to life and culture in the strange and unprecedented situation of self-quarantine that many of us are dealing with right now. From what to watch to how to get a fit off and how to not think about anything, this is our guide to the great indoors. For updates on the spread of Covid-19 and how to keep yourself safe and informed, consult WHO and the CDC.
Writing this, it's all too apparent that working from home is a luxury afforded to the lucky few. Independent musicians, while they might record the majority of their work in bedroom studios or Mom's basement, make the majority of their living through performing live; sustaining themselves not just through performance fees, but also through the promotional and merchandising opportunities that getting in front of a crowd can offer. In only a few months, the Covid-19 pandemic has crashed through the live music industry like a tsunami, and so musicians need support from their fans, and the ability to reach new ones, now more than ever.
Doing their part to support the hundreds and thousands of artists that make up their indie distribution platform, Bandcamp waived their entire revenue share from record sales on their site last week, meaning that this past Friday, artists were able to recoup 100% of revenue that their music brings in. "For many artists, a single day of boosted sales can mean the difference between being able to pay rent or not. Still, we consider this just a starting point. Musicians will continue to feel the effects of lost touring income for many months to come, so we’re also sharing some ideas on how fans can support the artists they love and how artists can give fans new, creative ways to provide support," writes Bandcamp Co-Founder and CEO Ethan Diamond, announcing the awareness campaign.
If you missed the promotion last week while Netflix bingeing, it is still hugely important to help these artists (if you are able to). With that in mind, to help you navigate through the labyrinthine library of Bandcamp's enormous catalog of indie releases, we linked up with London-based DJ Liana and some of her favorite curators in the scene to bring you a myriad of independent acts to discover. So open your ears, and your wallets, and enjoy.
Liana - DJ
I think if more companies took notice and actually listened to how this pandemic is affecting its communities and the people suffering the most (in this case, the independent artists and creators) then a lot of people would be in a much less bleak situation tomorrow. So please, buy as much as you can on Bandcamp as, for once, this revenue is going directly into the artists' pockets.
Lobster Theremin, a great indie label from London, released a three volume digital compilation series today entitled PLUR ("peace love unity respect") just in time for quarantine. Tracks spanning house, techno, electro, jungle, ambient, breakbeat, garage and loads more.. so something for everyone in there. 100% of profits from these compilations are actually going from Bandcamp to Lobster Theremin and then onto mental health charity MIND, homeless relief charity Shelter, and an independent fund for a number of contributing artists to help give back to the music and wider community during these uncertain and strange times. Even more reason to support.
A silver lining amid these bleak times, the celebrated but elusive Mssingno has released three new tracks, "GUIDERS," "HIGHLIKE2" and "CAYA." An exciting and welcome release to lift us all up with his esoteric style - perfect for times like these.
Reboot wise for my club sets I'm also loving JETSSS' Corona Care Pack released today with some tracks that slap exceptionally hard.
Lea Ogunlami - Director of UK Programming at Know Wave Radio
We are living in some generally spooky times. However, financially, it has never been so important to support our creative industry. Specifically, our music-makers who we will be relying on massively in the coming weeks to relieve our idle minds. It’s a pretty good time for sonic exploration.
Lil C - DJ and A&R, Prestige Pak and XL Recordings
Undeniably one of the best things about the music industry co-existing with the information age is the freedom artists have to connect, create, and release music independently. Over two decades of this freedom has been facilitated through accessibility to various digital platforms (and slightly more affordable digital equipment), birthing several DIY scenes on a global scale.
It's difficult to narrow it down to just a few picks, so I’m going to represent my ends - highlighting some labels and artists who are helping to keep club culture in LDN galvanized.
Karen Nyame KG is an incredible London based producer and DJ – she has released collaboration projects on Hypderdub and just dropped an EP called Sensei on Goon Club All Stars (another independent LDN based collective and label) I love the energy in her production and its danceability – it bangs in the club.
Cotch International are a South London Based label, run by some of the most genuine music lovers I know. Even though it’s based in London, they have a global vision and help showcase up and coming talent alongside more established characters.
Moretime Records is a powerful partnership of its founders - producers/DJs, Ahadahdream and Snøw. Their releases capture the international/diaspora club sounds – they are also so much more than just a label; active figures in night life, broadcast a monthly radio show on Reprezent, and throw club nights regularly.
Jubilee – DJ, Producer and Founder of indie label Magic City
After a long wait, the new record from Manchester based collective Swing Ting just came out, and it's excellent. I've been waiting forever for this one, because everything they release is quality.
Jasper Lotti is another favorite of mine. She refers to her music as "dystopian pop" which I feel is very appropriate for times right now.
Also look out for Jubilee's Magic City label.