Bandcamp is somewhat like the Etsy of the music world, and an absolute treasure trove of independent music to boot. Whilst SoundCloud interest has in some ways curtailing, Bandcamp has been consistently rising in the direction of artist-lead representation, and killing it. The flavours of music coming out of Bandcamp are completely individual and unique, with movements of genre reinvention, and space for artists to explore complex and wonderful identities. Ninja Tune, Sub Pop, R&S, Soulection, Jagjaguwar, Hyperdub, Future Classic and LateNightTales are just some of the incredible independent labels, with incomparably cracking rosters that have already made a move onto the site.
So why host your music on Bandcamp if you're an independent musician? Firstly, Bandcamp takes only 15% on digital sales, and 10% on merch as well as being free to sign up to as an artist. If you're a super creative DIY musician you can host madly inventive merchandise on there - some examples could be personalized lyrics, potato printed t-shirts, limited physical releases, personalized band jewelry etc. You name it, the possibilities are endless. Other advantages include streaming in lossless audio for all the audiophiles out there, the ability to sell your music in just about any currency, and complete artist control and flexibility.
1. The first debut LP I'm featuring through Bandcamp today is Kickinit Alone from Kiefer released March this year on Leaving Records. The amazing LP (which also features an hidden cassette track) orienteers at that remarkable meeting point between jazz and lowkey hiphop that evokes strong memories of the irreplaceable J Dilla. The LP has seen Kiefer Shackleford gain Soundcloud support from Tom Misch, with Kiefer now touring as part of the Mndsgn live trio.
2. The second artist I've featured today from Bandcamp is Bicep, and if you haven't heard of them yet, consider this an lifetime introduction to their addictive cloud techno. The duo debuted the immense, minimal, dark and haunting release "Just" on independent label Aus in collaboration with Boiler Room a couple of years ago. Their incoming Aura 12" vinyl due to ship out on around August 11th 2017, comes with news of their debut LP on Ninja Tune arriving in September. The band also run and take submissions for their own blog and mixtape series on their website Feel My Bicep.
3. The third release I want to showcase through Bandcamp is the magnificent return of shoegaze alchemists Slowdive through their eponymous LP. The release, which has been pressed onto vinyl, CD and cassette sees a rediscovery of the band into new territory after reforming in 2014. The album's guitars alternate between hazy swathes, and summery, light, high-flying threads of gold, with percussion that drives and bites. It creates an urgent atmosphere throughout Slowdive. Deciding to name their LP Slowdive as statement of "this is Slowdive right now"; we thoroughly welcome their new chapter.