AS changing circumstances continue to affect live music in Cork and all over the country, independent artists of all genres have leaned into releasing new music, unreleased material and live recordings via independent streaming/download service Bandcamp.
For those who don’t know: independent artists and labels can upload their music to the platform, customise their page, and make their music available for free/donations, or set a price for download in a number of digital formats, as well as providing a mail-order service for physical merchandise, subscription services for artists, and a full complement of music blogs and podcasts for discerning listeners.
Friday, March 20, and Friday, May 1, saw the service waive its fees, and direct 100% of revenue to indie artists and labels, turning over record revenue and sales fees for the platform, and providing a boost for the independent music sector.
With the next #BandcampFriday happening in a little over a fortnight, on Friday June 5, there’s sure to be plenty of new tunes to be digging into, between a raft of last-minute new releases to be announced, and catching up on some of these recent Leeside records, some of them released, compiled and/or bundled together for the prior two occasions..
THE ALTERED HOURS - IMMEDIATE BELIEVER
As mentioned on these pages a couple of weeks ago, ‘Immediate Believer’ is a quick-and-dirty serving of markedly restrained psychedelia from the Cork outfit, in the form of three new songs marked by the band’s Cathal MacGabhann as ‘works in progress’. The less-is-more thought process of the Altered Hours abides here, yet these tunes point to a wide musical frame of reference. All proceeds to go to the Simon Community.
GADGET AND THE CLOUD - RUNNING AWAY FROM GHOSTS
Collecting a pair of new pieces of ambient electronica from Ballyhea’s favourite daughter, Kelly Doherty’s latest release sees Doherty’s penchant for sonic playfulness come to the fore, with soundscapes inspired by old videogame sound effects, building on stream-of-consciousness improvisation, the order of the day. Her entire discography is also available on her Bandcamp page, and makes for a pensive, hopeful and cathartic cross of Eno-esque minimalism and post-rock texture-play.
FIXITY - 4 & 5
Released amid the current restrictions, the fourth and fifth ‘numbered’ instalments in Mayfield multi-instrumentalist Dan Walsh’s extended discography under the Fixity banner are exercises in self-direction. Recorded and mixed solo, Walsh’s pair of lockdown recordings to date see him play with layers, ideas, and space, as is his wont, but with a subdued, lo-fi quality that’s suited to moments of quiet amid his ‘directions in music’ remit.
VARIOUS ARTISTS - THE 343 VOLUME 1
A compilation of female-and LGBT*-led music and sound-art from all over the island of Ireland, to benefit Belfast’s The 343 feminist event space and online radio station. Among an assortment of quality tunes are a new tune from The Altered Hours/Morning Veils/Crevice frontwoman Elaine Howley (the latest in a series of solo songs to find release via online compilations) and new sonic work from Cork-based audiovisual artist Vicky Langan.
DECLAN SYNNOTT - DISCOGRAPHY
Another lockdown release made mention of on these pages is the latest in New Ross-born/Cork-based experimentalist Declan Synnott’s solo discography. Aside from his preoccupations with black-metal family band Sioraí Geimhreadh and ‘death-punk’ four-piece Horse, Synnott explores the possibilities of modular synths and field recordings on a solo basis, and his full discography is available on Bandcamp in a bundle, with all proceeds going to MASI (Movement of Asylum Seekers in Ireland).
MERCURIAL - THE PEARL E.P.
A solo noise project from longtime Cork metal vocalist/harbinger of doom Liam Hughes (Soothsayer/Days of Night), the debut release under the ‘Mercurial’ name via US harsh-noise label Silent Method, sees the artist grapple further with the dichotomy that’s defined him to the city’s extreme scene. A quietly-spoken and serene figure off-stage and in his visual art, Hughes’ other side is expanded upon further across post-metal-inflected soundscapes.
SOOTHSAYER - LIVE IN MALTA XXIX
On the topic of Soothsayer, the Leeside post-metal/doom outfit responded to the second #BandcampFriday on May 1st with the release of live music recorded during an excursion to Malta last year. It’s a no-frills document of what sets the metallers apart in the live space, transmuting the textures and tensions of their music to a given moment, in this case captured and mixed by band member Pavol Rosa.
MATTHEW XAVIER CORRIGAN - ESTABLISHED FORM E.P.
Automatic Blue and Junk
AUTOMATIC BLUE - JUNK ACTUALACID - HEAVEN’S GATE NIKES (single)
A trio of May Day releases from the HAUSU collective of DIY artists, these serve as a powerful reminder of the raw talent and ingenue at the group’s disposal. The artist otherwise as Ghostking is Dead strikes out under his given name of Matt Corrigan, veering into decidedly pop territory over five tracks; electronic producer/autodidact Automatic Blue’s first long-player finally sees the light of day after numerous delays; and Jack Corrigan lays down some lo-fi inflected hip-hop with HAUSU stablemate Arthur Valentine on vocals.
MISSALETTES - THE MAN WITH ALL THE NOTES (single)
The debut single from Missalettes cements a long-standing collaboration between its component parts: Kevin J. Power, formerly of Cork outfits Circuits of Heaven, Versives and Sonus; and Simon MacHale, a longtime singer-songwriter have moved their collaborative endeavours from the Electronic Folk collective in a stripped-down direction, and it plays directly to their respective strengths.
MARK WALDRON-HYDEN - FUTURE LIFE CONTINUITY
A component part of cosmic/psych outfit The Sunshine Factory and Cork-based indie label Sunshine Cult Records, Mark Waldron-Hyden’s solo sonic explorations have sprawled in many different directions, taking in ambience, Krautrock, shoegazing, psychedelia, and electronics. Newest long-player, Future Life Continuity, makes along those same trajectories in a compelling manner, providing glimpses of a definite artistic vision that lie beyond the DIY nature of his work.
GAPTOOF - SPECIALITY REMIX SERIES
Following the release in February of full-length Looks Like Rain, Cork-based producer and Soft Boy Records acolyte Adam Gould, aka Gaptoof, has been staggering the releases of standalone bits of sample-play under the Speciality Remix Series name. Collaging beats together from a wide array of musical reference points, Gould moves his game along from the lo-fi wave to more uptempo fare, riffing on likes of RZA and A$AP Ferg in his selection of acapellas.
All of these releases are available from Bandcamp.com, at various price-points set by the artists.
Friday June 5 sees the service waive its fees, with all proceeds to artists, labels and/or causes of their choice. Use hashtag #BandcampFriday on social media and share your local music finds.
Joining the service and purchasing music adds it to your collection, allowing you to build your own personalised streaming service in its Android and iOS app.