Once again leaping to action when leaders, politicians, and other music platforms continually remain tone-deaf and tardy in response, Bandcamp will be donating 100 percent of its revenue on Juneteenth (June 19th) to the NAACP in solidarity with recent protests against police racism and brutality. CEO Ethan Diamond made the announcement on Monday, adding that the Oakland-based music sales site would repeat the practice annually while also allocating an additional $30,000 per year to partner with organizations that fight for racial justice and create opportunities for people of color.
Juneteenth is recognized as the date of emancipation—June 19th, 1865—for the last remaining enslaved African Americans in the Confederacy, two and a half years after Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation.
“The recent killings of George Floyd, Tony McDade, Sean Reed, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and the ongoing state-sanctioned violence against black people in the U.S. and around the world are horrific tragedies,” Diamond said. “We stand with those rightfully demanding justice, equality, and change, and people of color everywhere who live with racism every single day, including many of our fellow employees and artists and fans in the Bandcamp community.”
So here are some suggestions on what to purchase. Your money is helping, and alive at this moment. Fight The Power!
NAPPY NINA, 30 BAG
Dropping a wordplay buffet to commemorate her 30th orbit around the globe, Oakland’s Nappy Nina, who currently resides in the Republic of Brooklyn, makes ’30 Bag’ is a well-needed win for us. Beats, rhymes, flows, frequencies all collide for the perfect amalgam, presenting this emcee, here and present, taking on all comers. Yeah, the cameo on Yaeji’s major-label debut earlier this year was cute, proper introduction for some, but one listen to this bounce-n-bump release—make space and time for the heady bomb “Modestly”—things become automatically crystal. Nappy Nina is nobody’s side piece. Happy belated to the one who loves grilled cheese sandwiches and is a connoisseur of trees.
MOODYMANN, “TAKEN AWAY”
Opting for Black authenticity and controlling his image over cookie-cutter mundane tropes has been Moodyman’s objective since day one. With a preference to self-reference black music (1996’s “I Can’t Kick This Feeling When It Hits” sampling Chic into the ground to remind all of y’all who started this shit) he along with fellow Detroiters Theo Parrish and Rick Wilhite administer record nerd cues within the sermon of a song, putting those who need it on notice about who built the foundation EDM wobbles on today. The backs of disenfranchised folk, who got used up and discarded like a facial mask.
San Francisco, I don’t need to tell you how the city flips out when Moodymann comes to touch down for a gig. Shit gets cray, the right way. Just know this. The next time the media tries to pass him off as some type of ‘weird behavior’ DJ, producer, or presenter? Think of the loudmouth DJ David Guetta who at one point a couple of years ago claimed to bring house music to America. For shame, Davey.
Naah, Mang. Moodymann just doing himself, Kenny Dixon, Jr. And we should all trust THAT truth.
GEORGIA ANNE MULDROW, “COWRIE WALTZ/JYOTI”
Acclaimed Grammy-nominated singer, songwriter, producer, multi-instrumentalist, and culture protector Georgia Anne Muldrow returns in 2020 with her solo jazz project, Jyoti, the nickname bestowed upon her by the late great Alice Coltrane. Always outspoken, and universally respected she is the creative you want to hear insights from and engage with during good and difficult times.
“Cowrie Waltz” from her upcoming release in August, is a mid-tempo jazz stepper, drenched in history, patience, and love. The album also features two Charlie Mingus compositions that Georgia remixed for the album, “Bemoanable Lady Geemix” and “Fabus Foo Geemix,” both commissioned by Jason Moran and The Kennedy Center in 2017, a project that manifested into a live performance entitled “Muldrow Meets Mingus” which just re-aired on NPR.
THE DU-RITES, “JHERI CURL”
Just in time to pick you up from all the heaviness abound is the duo consisting of J-Zone and Pablo Martin aka The Du-Rites, coming with all the signifiers and qualifiers in doo-rags, pillowcases, and activator spray. “Jheri Curl’ is only joking in its vocal stretches. The grooves, from an organ, snare drum, guitar picking, and timbales are straight Meter vibes attacking your good foot. We need this!
KING BRITT, BACK2BLACK
It took me a second to chase down this project. When you are King Britt—DJ, composer, producer royalty, and assistant teaching professor at UCSD in the Computer Music Department—there are many projects to meander through. But this, on Black Catalogue for his first full EP, “Back2Black” is the one worthy of the search. A bit more steppy, experimental, and introspective in the techno vein, it’s a deep reminder of how much a trailblazer and in-the-minute massive talent King Britt remains, 30-plus years in the game.
Still, The Don. Now if we could just get a dance floor open to blare it… Oh, and go seek out Monty Luke’s Hard Work Not Hype LP that Britt co-produced as well.
JENIFA MAYANJA, “SEEDS ALTERNATE VERSIONS PART ONE”
Very new to this artist’s work so I can only speak on feel. But after the first couple of listens, “Alternate Versions Part One,” which spans three tracks and ,according to Jenifa Mayanja, “illustrates all the many alternate creative universes where my tracks live,” these compositions hit like a happy ghost who moonlights in atmospheric rendering on the side. What does that mean? These songs feel very experienced and lend themselves to, in their older age, just hooking off for that groove stretch. Imagine it’s a sweltering night and “The Calling” comes on, all of a sudden breezes just gust for days. Mayanja has found the right balance between whimsy and correct…..and I don’t want that one-two combo to ever end.