Today - June 5th - Bandcamp once more waives its fees, meaning that all money raised from purchases go directly to the music makers involved.
A platform that does an enormous amount to champion left-field and underground music, Bandcamp has been used as a resource by a new generation of Black British creators to forge communities, and get their voices heard.
We've decided to focus this latest Bandcamp round up on Black British creators, highlighting some of the voices we've championed previously, while adding some that have caught our eye while surging down internet loop-holes.
The piece is limited to seven picks - which is Clash standard - but in truth it could have been 7000, such is the enormous debt British music owes to Black musicians, producers, and label owners.
Dig deep and support these people, please.
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South London’s Ojerime supplied one of R&B’s most adventurous releases of the past 12 months, with her supple, daring, and highly emotive ‘B4 I Breakdown’ mixtape matching superb creativity to stark lyrical honesty.
Staying utterly true to herself, ‘B4 I Breakdown’ charted Ojerime’s movement away from devastating mental health issues, doing so in a manner that is beautifully open. The process was by no means easy, as she revealed to Clash shortly after the tape’s initial release:
“To normalise to something I used to do again was very strange. When you’ve lost your confidence, you’re going to start questioning yourself more. That was something I’ve never felt in music, in the past if I was putting something out but was confident that I liked it, I would put it out.”
A truly remarkable, touching, evocative record, ‘B4 I Breakdown’ has much to teach us. Given an ultra-limited cassette drop for Bandcamp-only, this is the perfect time to absorb some of her lessons.
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London collective Touching Bass have been throwing some of the city’s best parties for some time now, a group of selected chaired by Errol and Alex Rita whose open-minded approach links jazz to hip-hop, R&B, soul, and so much more. Put simply: these are adventurous ears, and the sort of DJ sets that remind you how thrilling and endlessly innovative club culture can be.
Outernational in their approach, the Touching Bass crew have touched down everywhere from Jamaica to Australia, developing deep friendships in the process.
Holding down one of the most popular residencies on NTS, Touching Bass is also blossoming as a label. We’d recommend a pair of outstanding releases from Melbourne based Clever Austin, or their deeply influential comp ‘TB Afro Chronicles: Volume 1’ as starting points.
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Has a single DJ set made a bigger impact across the past two years than Sherelle’s Boiler Room debut? An astonishing display of decks wizardry, the sight of this young black women absolutely, utterly shelling it down while joining the dots between footwork, drum ‘n’ bass, and other cutting edge sounds was absolutely revelatory, a set that truly put her on the global map.
Linking with close friend and Beats resident NAINA to forge their own imprint, Hooversound aims to platform innovative sounds from across the spectrum of club culture.
Opening release ‘BS6’ set the tone, linking Surrey-based digi-scientist Hyroglifics with Detroit force Sinistarr for a dancefloor-ready concoction – watch out for Scratcha DVA’s moody gqom leaning remix on the flip.
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Saxophonist, composer, band leader, and broadcaster, Nubya Garcia is at the front line of London’s jazz community. A phenomenal instrumentalist and an excellent collaborator, her highly musical tone has adorned everything from club cuts – check out YAM Records’ outstanding ‘Idiom’ EP – to more straight-forward bop blowing sessions.
Her own work is forging a singular path, building up into a supreme aural autobiography. Nubya’s ‘5ive’ session for Jazz RE:Freshed still sounds, well, fresh, and her ‘When We Are’ EP was a potent, highly individual move from the tenor colossus.
There’s a lot more to come in 2020, too – this is your chance to get acquainted.
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Big Joanie are a force of nature. Stalwarts of the DIY community, their feral, abrupt, challenging take on punk is viewed through their experiences as Black British women, resulting in something that stands apart from their peers.
An astonishing live proposition – they’ve supported everyone from Downtown Boys to Bikini Kill – they’re self-described as “Black feminist sistah punk” and in all honesty we’d struggle to pin-point them further. Also their words: “We're like The Ronettes filtered through 80s DIY and riot grrrl with a sprinkling of dashikis...”
Essentially, Big Joanie are the best band you haven’t discovered yet. And if you’re already a fan, all proceeds from today’s sales are going to Black Lives Matter UK, so why not grab their catalogue all over again?
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Mr Mitch is one of London’s most forward-thinking producers, someone who cut his teeth in instrumental grime before expand his palette, absorbing ideas as diverse as new age ambient and left field techno in the process.
Gobstopper is his label, and it’s essential catalogue includes some long-time Clash favourites, such as deeply influential system movers from Loom, Otik, Tarquin, and Odeko.
Earlier this week Mr Mitch was extremely open on social media, and confirmed that all ongoing releases from Gobstopper would be Black artists, providing a platform for these artists to express their creativity. We want to support that affirmation, while also highlighting some of the excellent work Gobstopper has done since its inception.
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If there’s a more honest, enthusiastic, and open champion of new music in the UK right now than Jamz Supernova then we have yet to meet them.
The 1Xtra host is also a club favourite in her own right, while her imprint Future Bounce allows Jamz to work with new talent from the ground up. It’s a diverse catalogue, too, with picks ranging from emerging indie pop to deep and soulful cuts, via some system flavours along the way.
Earlier this week Jamz Supernova hosted a very special 1Xtra show dedicated to Black creativity, so it seems only right to highlight her own work in return. A national treasure.
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Nubya Garcia Photo Credit: Adama Jalloh
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