Sat 26 March 2016 by Jim Purbrick

Black barn mixing desk

I love record shops. Whenever I had pocket money it would go on Metallica and Nirvana CDs bought from Our Price or black t-shirts to match. When I lived in Nottingham I bought Boards Of Canada CDs from the same Selectadisc that my Dad bought a rare Fairport Convention single from decades before and the latest Ninja Tune or Rudy Van Gelder edition Blue Note records for £5 from Fopp. While working at Linden Lab in San Francisco my brother and I gorged on releases by the Quannum collective hungrily snatched up from Amoeba Music. While walking home from BrewDog with Alistair recently, we were both enthusing about the amazing Resident in Brighton. I commented that it was a shame that even Resident didn’t have room for the incredible Tera Melos who I had just seen at The Green Door Store after finding their music along with Cleft, 100 Onces and many others on Bandcamp.

I also love making music. While I was still at school I recorded Timeless Mind songs on a Fostex X-28 cassette 4-track. When I got to Nottingham I watched 4hero coax amazing sounds out of an Atari while I projected virtual worlds on the wall behind them, tried to convince Cubase to sync MIDI parts to audio on an underpowered PC, shut my brother in my spare room until he recorded saxophone parts for Vanishing Trick and eventually saw some of my music in Selectadisc thanks to DJ SS and Formation Records. Computers democratized music production and unleashed a Cambrian explosion of DIY musical creativity that can’t fit in to any record shop, but can fit on the Internet. When Resident runs out of room, Bandcamp keeps going. Bandcamp also allows musicians to charge a fair price for their music and takes a fair percentage for their services: an important consideration in a world where making money as a musician is becoming increasingly hard.

A couple of days ago I was reminded of the conversation with Alistair when I started seeing mentions of this year’s #recordstoreday. #recordstoreday is great for record stores; Bandcamp is great for the rest of music; why isn’t there a #bandcampday? On the 23rd of April, the week after you spend the afternoon buying exclusive slabs of shiny black vinyl at your local record shop, why not spend an afternoon uncovering some of the musical treasures on Bandcamp? I hope to have the first Story Bird album and new Point Mass music finished by then; I have some old Vanishing Trick tracks I can release and if I can find a good tape recorder I might even be able to upload some of the Timeless Mind recordings from 22 years ago. If you’re a musician, do you have any hidden gems you could release on the 23rd of April? If so, join this event and let’s see how much music we can release on the first ever #bandcampday.


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