Friday Bandcamp Roundup: May 15th

With venues closed and gigs cancelled, it’s a hard time to be an artist. More than ever, they need our support.

Bandcamp has emerged as one of the most ethical platforms for buying music, with a favourable fee structure that means most money spent on Bandcamp goes directly to the artist or label. In an effort to support the music we love, we’ve started a weekly Bandcamp roundup highlighting our favourite new releases available on the platform, as selected by our staff.

Fire-Toolz – Rainbow Bridge

Fire-Toolz is one of the most unusual artists in electronic music, combining a wide swathe of styles into something incredibly specific. If you cross black metal with vaporwave and jazz fusion—imagine James Ferraro’s Far Side Virtual as played by a one-woman virtuoso band—you get Rainbow Bridge, an album of jaw-dropping musicianship and raw feeling, inspired by the death of the artist’s cat. Best of all, her music underlines the ecstatic side of black metal, where the pained screams become a joyous catharsis. Set that over jazzy melodies and futuristic synth textures, and you’ve got yourself an album like you’ve never heard before.

The Limit Xperience: Xtended Release & Friends For Street Watch LA

“There Is A Kandi Kid Inside All Our Heads. He Must Be Destroyed,” Xtended Release’s manifesto reads. The former Los Angeles party and current label is uninterested in dance music as escapism. The collective considers the rave as another means to confront political realities, and their new compilation does exactly that. The record benefits Street Watch LA, an organization working to protect the rights of poor and unhoused people in LA. Among the highlights are Maral’s disjointed and dreamy “let’s go,” a track that borders industrial and ambient with brushes of Middle Eastern percussion. DJ Peer2-Peer’s “Unite” is also a trip, starting out with a meditative intro that recalls the first few moments of Prince’s “Lets Go Crazy” before blazing into hardwire acid.

Tobey – Balada

Argentinian producer Tobey returns to Buenos Aires’s finest club label, Vista Recordings, for an EP that mixes genres in a genuinely refreshing way. “Perreo”? Somewhere between Jersey club and dubstep. “Instagram Crash”? An old trap instrumental with itchy feet and a stuttering cough. These tracks go unexpected places without veering too far-off course. And if you’re new to artist or label, it’s worth digging deeper, too.

Thurlow Joyce – Bootleg Mosaics

Blissed-out cosmic jams—somewhere between trance and house—carved out of other tracks from a bunch of producers, including Vancouver’s Hashman Deejay. But like the excellent Duane Island EP from last week’s roundup, it’s more than just edits, and it’s more than the sum of its parts: just put on “99 Metro” and ride the filter house wave.

DJ Pacifier – Rescue & Research Pt. 1

Guttural vocals twice in one column? Sure, why not. Montreal producer DJ Pacifier’s new release is a hair-raising mishmash of hardcore techno kicks, breakcore blitzes, growling croaks and muttered vocals. It has a sense of humour, but it’s also absolutely deadly, and it comes with a blistering remix from promising British producer Daniel Ruane.

747 – Aurora Centralis: The Remixes

A classy selection of remixers take on Vancouver techno producer 747’s dark acid track. Tin Man, nthng and Primal Code all put in spirited efforts—special shouts to Tin Man’s digital-only bonus “Detroit Remix”—but the Schacke rework is the ticket here, another pitch-perfect banger during an incredible streak for the Danish producer. Whether you like your acid surging, reflective, moody or sad, you’ll find something to like here.

Pacific Coliseum – How’s Life

Feel-good, chilled-out disco and downtempo to soundtrack the holiday you wish you could be on. Canadian artist Jamison Isaak, better known as Teen Daze, has used the Pacific Coliseum alias to reinvent himself as something of a house producer, but the trademarks of his music—beautiful textures, sun-kissed melodies and tight arrangements—are still intact.

Roam – The Wraith

An atmospheric UK garage album, The Wraith is for anyone who likes producers like VVV, old Synkro and, of course, Burial. The album features gorgeous, perfectly swung tracks that range from chunky to featherweight, with tender vocals chopped up and manipulated in genre tradition. It’s dance music with heart, and Roam says that the record is meant to help create “a more vulnerable masculinity within music as I showcase a multitude of the raw emotions men (especially black men and other men of color) are taught to repress.”

RAMZi – cocon

The Montreal artist’s cocon is meant as a “silken safe haven offering up an idyllic space,” and the nine-track LP is indeed a little different than her usual stuff: it feels closer, wrapping around you like a warm hug, and the beats are deep and extra bass-heavy. But even if it’s meant as a more intimate record, the grooves here are unlike anything we’ve heard on past RAMZi records, from the drum & bass flirtation of “spring emu” to the roly-poly funk of “couer dodu.”

ᕦ(ò_óˇ)ᕤ – High School Blues

Home to the likes of X.Y.R., OL and Perila, Russia has become a hub for electronic music that falls in the liminal zone between ambient, AMSR and leftfield house. The ridiculously named ᕦ(ò_óˇ)ᕤ is New Experimental Russia’s next generation. His new tape for Motion Ward, High School Blues, is likely titled literally as its creator, Nikolay Kozlov, is only 17. The tape is full of chilled-out Chain Reaction-indebted drifters that prove he’s wise beyond his years.

Andrew Ryce, Matt McDermott and Kiana Mickles contributed to this roundup.