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Five on it: a ‘support artists and DJs on Bandcamp’ special

With artists among many who are set for a storm in the midst of Covid-19, our music editor uses this week's five on it to round up some Bandcamp releases which you can buy to help support.

20 Mar 2020

Five on it image composite of album artwork and press photos

Coronavirus news moves quickly – every day it feels like there is something else to give me hope, countered with something else to weigh on my chest. And while this will go on for the foreseeable future, if we are fortunate enough to be able we hole up in our homes and increasingly are reminded that it seems extremely unlikely that society can re-emerge from this untransformed.

In some ways, that’s a good thing – our ways of living have been unsustainable, and this has forced wider society to understand that capitalism offers no safety blanket. It’s hard to think of the other side of this pandemic too much without giving myself a headache, but also it’s worth remembering that not everyone who survives physically will be able to survive financially. 

All of this is to say, the Covid-19 pandemic has hit artists and DJs incredibly hard as tours and shows are cancelled – and paid live-streams are one way to counter that, but there has to be more we can do. And so today’s five on it is not a place for all the new releases we’ve been loving this past week – instead, it’s an imploration to buy some music on Bandcamp. Today, midnight to midnight Pacific Time, they are waiving their share of revenue – so all the money you spend will go to artists. 

Even if you miss out on doing it today (Friday 20 March), I’d still recommend buying digital releases on Bandcamp when you can – they give a much much much higher percentage of revenue to artists than if you were just streaming. Supporting artists and DJs who are really going to be struggling the next few months will be imperative to the arts, so if you are able please do get involved.

Here are 10 (!) releases and creators you could support – honestly just browse and get lost, there’s so much music magic on Bandcamp:

Manara International Presents: The Ultimate Spice Mix

If you have ever been to prolific London night Cousins, you already know you need to get this – you can pretend your self-isolation is the club and get lit with this over the weekend (or whenever?! What even are weekends anymore, what is time? Who am I?). Anyway my self-isolation breakdown aside, Manara and her peers (including A.G., Ikonika and BokBok) have put together a spicy blend of Bollywood and club bangers, and it is hot hot hot.

Nubya Garcia – Nubya’s 5ive

Yeah, yeah, we all know the ~London jazz scene~ is great, but honestly what a time to sit back and deep how beautiful some of the music coming out of the capital is. This from saxophonist and composer Nubya Garcia is smooth and rich – perfect to stick on and relax.

Mhysa – NEVAEH

You might remember we interviewed Philadelphia artist Mhysa recently about their fascinating, breathy experimental sounds that blend R&B, southern rap, gospel and glitchy electronics. This album is sparkly and sublime in a way that’s incomparable to anything else.

Logic1000 – Logic1000

Do you ever just get stunned by how incredible percussion can be? That is how I feel listening to ‘Precision’ from the Sydney-born producer, a track which channels her Indonesian-Indian roots. This whole release is a glorious and gorgeous blend of sounds (and elsewhere on Bandcamp she’s done Janet Jackson and Don Toliver edits created during this self-isolation period).

Bosco – b.

Propulsive but dreamlike bluesy/poppy/R&B songs (that sometimes sound like an indie Brandy), this is a 2017 project from Atlanta artist Bosco – who actually has just made her own imprint, releasing under Empire Records. So she’s someone who is likely to be on your airwaves more in future anyway – deep-dive into this excellent project to get to know.

Kadhja Bonet – The Visitor

Anything by her really – just The Visitor was the first thing I ever heard by the California artist. If you like cosmic, cinematic jazz (the kind of soaring magic of Kamasi Washington) and vocals that pour soft and sweet like delectable honey, check her out.

Ché Noir – The Thrill Of The Hunt 2

Dexterous, intricate New York rap over lush beats from 38 Spesh (think the warm, soulful production of someone like Madlib), Ché Noir has a classic hip-hop sound with an enticing bite. 

Afrodeutsche –  RR001

Uplifting with a dark undertone, this UK producer (who grew up in Devon) makes bleeping, melodic house and techno beats to get pumped and euphoric when you’re dancing on your own.

object blue – mini mixtape vol. 1

object blue gets weird and visceral with this small tape of pop edits she put out today – think Ariana, a frantic Cassie rework and a pulsing, almost-eerie take on Ashanti.

ana roxanne – ~~~

Healing and soft, this is perfect to check in with yourself and soothe the brain in this draining time.

The Five on it playlist will resume as normal from next week.