Five Bandcamp Releases Worth Buying To Support The ACLU

Dig deep and get involved...

 In an open letter Bandcamp's CEO and founder Ethan Diamond denounced the ridiculous medieval proposals by President Trump (who lost the popular vote by millions lest we forget) to outright ban travel to the USA from seven majority Muslim countries.

Best of all though, Diamond says: "all day this Friday, February 3rd (starting at 12:01am Pacific Time), for any purchase you make on Bandcamp, we will be donating 100% of our share of the proceeds to the American Civil Liberties Union, who are working tirelessly to combat these discriminatory and unconstitutional actions."

So with that in mind, here's five picks for albums to fling your money into, and contribute to a great cause which could raise millions this Friday.

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Omar Souleyman – Highway to Hassake: Folk & Pop Sounds of Syria

No musician has managed to introduce as many new listeners to the music of North Africa and the Middle East as Omar Souleyman.

A Syrian wedding singer necessarily limited to keyboards, vocals, and the odd lightning fast passage of saz (a lute like instrument), Souleyman's songs here are blisteringly lo-fi and uncompromisingly raw dance anthems. He's since gone on to releases music produced by the likes of Four Tet on labels as big as Domino, normally in far cleaner and slicker production.

'Highway to Hassake' however, is where the legend began.

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Sote – Hardcore Sounds From Tehran

Ata 'Sote' Ebtekar is a seasoned Iranian musician who studied in the States. Way back in 2002 he even had a hefty release out on the legendary Warp Records, but this album issued by UK-based Opal Tapes has been blowing the minds of everybody who's braved giving it a try.

Pixelated noises and jelly like walls of power electronics get carved up by Sote into two very looong (27 and 20 minutes apiece) seamless sides of hardcore industrial techno. It's manic and chaotic, and it's incredibly brutal, but it's still club music. This is what the future of angry club music sounds like.

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Various Artists – Physically Sick

Issued by wonderfully off kilter label Allergy Season, this vast 42-track compilation is already a charity compilation in itself angled as an anti-fascist collection, contributing all profits to the ACLU, Callen-Lorde, The National Immigration Law Center, and Planned Parenthood. In effect, any purchases of this one are going to count as a DOUBLE DONATION! And you get a lot of bang for your buck….

Genius producers like Russel E. Butler, Umfang, Via App, Isabella, and Steven Warwick (aka Heatsick) produce a relentless heap of tracks that don't merely retain "dancefloor functionality", they redefine the dancefloor as a safe space for weirdos and futurist geeks.

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Various Artists – Music, Awareness & Solidarity w/ Rojava Revolution

Compiled by female:pressure (an international network aiming to support female experimental musicians) after an open call for submissions from female artists, this album aimed to support females actively resisting oppression in the Rojava region of Syria. Unsurprisingly the host of experimental musicians were pretty inspired by the idea of a women-only village being built, so the collection is almost an avant garde radio show at times, littered with monologues about the Rojava resistance and snippets of Middle Eastern sample littered over an experimental ambient bed. A gripping listen, and yet again an opportunity to make a 'double donation'.

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Various Artists – Our First 100 Days

In addition to being a charity compilation in its own right and boasting a lineup of names far larger than your average bandcamp compilation (Animal Collective's Avey Tare, Toro Y Moi, Angel Olsen) this is just a great idea.

For $30 you get access to 100 songs, each one released a day at a time. It's currently barely a dozen songs deep, and it's going to continue being a sore reminder not to give up, and a daily call to arms, or even just a daily moment to set aside for yourself and remember there's a lot of us out there – and we're ready to help each other.

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Words: Tristan Bath

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