With Bandcamp waiving their fees for another 24 hours, we’ve pulled together a list of highlights on the platform – new and recently released – to celebrate black artists and black-run labels. To widen the net further, there is also a live resource with 1000+ black artists and labels to support on Bandcamp.
To accompany this list, we have made donations to 4front Project, Black Minds Matter UK, Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust and a collective of community bail funds, mutual aid funds, and racial justice organizers in the US.
We are also undergoing a thorough review of our diversity shortcomings, covering internal structures, our writers, editorial guidelines and the stories we cover. We’ll be publishing these next steps, alongside thoughts on our actions to date, in an op-ed by the end of the month.
Azu Tiwaline – Draw Me A Silence Part I [I.O.T Records]
“A new name for a new spirit”, Tunisian producer Azu Tiwaline uses music as a medium to examine her roots, mixing traditional Berberian music and Saharan transe with dub, techno and polyrhythms. Her debut album, Draw Me A Silence, which is conceived in two parts, serves as music for more than just the body, but for the mind and the soul too. Keep an eye out for her next release on Livity Sound.
Barney Artist – Lofi Lockdown [Self-Released]
Throwing back to the pre-streaming hey day of hip-hop mixtapes, London MC and producer Barney Artist assembles nine tracks made in lockdown on a single track, mixed by DJ Chux. Guests include Jordan Rakei, Lex Amor, Ghostpoet, FloFilz and his mum.
Bubas Produçoes – MEGA [Club Yeke]
Tash LC is an absolute firecracker in the scene especially when it comes to platforming amazing black music from all the corners of the globe. As a selector, Tash truly represents the immense diaspora of black music, from Brazil, Portugal, South Africa the UK, to Côte d’Ivore. Not only though her radio shows and sets, but actually by connecting with artists and scenes first hand, she is quite the globetrotter! Her label Yeke Yeke just dropped its second release today with DJ Bubas of Guinea-Bissau, a “5 track EP of emotional, dancey and uplifting afrohouse”.
Citizen Boy – Dark City [GQOM OH!]
Citizen Boy and Mafia Boyz have spearheaded a new sound coming out of the Durban townships in South Africa over the last eight years, that has now been globally recognised. Earlier this year on their own Gqom Oh! Records, that takes its name from the sound that’s core to their music, they released a retrospective made between 2013 and 2019 that guides the listener through Gqom’s past to its present.
Ego Ella May – Give A Little [Self Released]
Self-doubt and forbearance are notions many of us are faced with at some point in our lives. Ego challenges these with uncomplicated beauty yet with the slightest hint of jeopardy in her vocal delivery over healing production from Eun and MELO-ZED.
Kaidi Tatham – You Find That I Got It/ Mjuvi [2000Black]
The boundaries seem to be endless when it comes to Kaidi, one of the originators of the broken beat sound. So distinctive is his sound, yet time and time again it effortlessly brings a mixture of joy, awe and a need to move. Pure genius.
Likwid Continual Space Motion – Earthbound [Super Sonic Jazz]
Afro-futuristic jazz from broken beat icon IG Culture, assembling an all-star cast – including Edward ‘Nache’ Hick, Wayne ‘Ahnansé’ Francis, Nathaniel Cross, Dwayne ‘Wonky Logic’ Kilvington and Fred Humain ‘Neue Grafik’ Salle – for 21 tracks recorded at Total Refreshment Centre.
Lord Apex – Higsolation [Self-Released]
Prolific London based wordsmith Lord Apex produces an album to aid in our navigation of the haze that is isolation. Beats that warrant the mind to drift, at times driven by verses asking for a little more attention, Apex replicates a dreamlike existence we’ve become accustomed to, providing catharsis.
Maxwell Owin and Phoebs – Come With The Ragga [Síbín]
The first outing of South London’ Síbín, an extension of the party run by Anja Ngozi and Maxwell Owin, is a collaborative 7” from Max and lyricist Phoebs a.k.a Iron Dread. A blend of both of their inspirations in early 00s grime beats, soul ballads, electronic music and sound system culture, Phoebs’ razor sharp and poignant lyrics are the perfect match for Maxwell’s syncopated, sample heavy beats.
Pink Siifu – NEGRO [Field Left]
Siifu’s latest offering NEGRO will certainly have had many perplexed at his move to experimental and industrial from the more soulful beats flecked with jazz. But the essence of soul is not lost here, channelled in the most honest form Siifu could offer.
Scott Groove – A’round Midnight [Natural Midi]
First time digital release for the 2007 EP by one of Detroit’s most underrated house custodians, and the first on his own Natural Midi imprint.
Taves – Akátá [Harsh Riddims Blood Sucking Cassette Co.]
Exploring influences in R&B, synth-pop and DnB, this debut release from Atlantan vocalist and producer Taves is an ode to the femmes in their family, those who’ve impacted their life and those who’ve suffered under failing systems. Released on cassette label Harsh Riddims, the nine track EP – which also includes demo versions of four of the tracks – matches Taves’ beautiful vocals with lofi beats and sparse atmospheres.
The Colours That Rise – Grey Doubt [Rhythm Section]
The debut album from London duo consisting of Simeon Jones and Nathanael Williams, traversing cosmic space funk, jazz and hip-hop underpinned by themes of space and afrofuturism.
V/A – Loosies Vol. 2 [The Loosies Project]
The second of two 10-track compilations from London collective Loosies Project. Tracks made in isolation by Caleb Femi, Lex Amor, Kinkai and heaps more, rallying round the message “when the world crumbles as we know it – art will continue; and so too then, will artists.”
Wu-Lu – Overgrown Interludes [Self-Released]
Having never been one to compromise on his approach to exploring his own expression, Wu-Lu’s growth over his career is more than evident. Graduating from the school of the MPC 1000, Wu-Lu has learnt to find new inspiration and function from the tools around him to form his own conversation with music that nods to hip hop, jazz, rock and beyond.
Words by Aaron Levitt, Andrew Mensah, Mia Zur-Szpiro and Rosie Cain
Design by Alex Beausire