CDM regular Zaxx Davros sends word of a new, sprawling compilation to benefit Joplin, Missouri in the aftermath of that town’s devastating tornado. Charity compilations seem to be growing in number, but perhaps that in itself is worth mentioning. As social networks and (ahem) blogs spread, increasingly crowd-stimulated micro-donations drive charity. One-click giving is no substitute for getting involved in communities as a volunteer and getting out on the ground, but as a way of keeping charitable organizations funded and engaged, it shows promise. Some readers have pointed to criticism of some of those organizations, like the various entities of the Red Cross, for using funds as discretionary resources beyond the immediate disaster. In this case, the Recession Recordings charity goes directly to the affected area, the City of Joplin and the Community Foundation of Southwest Missouri’s own fund. (That, in turn, may be a sign of a growing trend.)

At a time when musicians ponder the value of their own work, these sorts of compilations have a secondary function. They make the release more of a collective, communal act, and assume that the digital download not only has value, but a value that will be invested back into a communal need. Make of that what you will; we’ll watch to see how such efforts do over time.

As for the music itself, I’d describe it as a delightfully-chaotic, eclectic mix of work, often raunchy and low-fidelity, from experimental sounds to the occasional blip of a chip to music channeling ambient and folk music, noise and IDM. It seems an informal gathering of producers trying lots of different things, which has its own special charm.

This compilation gets sent out manually after a donation; my guess is someone will come up with a site that makes choosing charities easier. A Music Hackday job for someone, perhaps?

While I’m unable to cover every charity that comes across my desk, this one is doubly meaningful to me – my parents lived through and were involved in recovery efforts of the last supertornado outbreak on April 3, 1974; they worked in Brandenberg, Kentucky.

If you’re a CDM reader impacted by flooding or tornadoes in the US, or face the challenge of natural disasters elsewhere in the world – our hearts go out yet again to our friends in New Zealand today — we’d love to hear from you.

Listen below:

  • We are accepting confirmations for donations made directly to the Community of the Ozarks (&nbsp ; ) to unlock the digital version or to be eligible for the physical release as well!

    Thanks for the kind words and mention of the circumstances surrounding what some of us have to go through. The main reason we all came together to produce this album at our own costs is because a town was literally wiped off the map. It is tragic how often this happens and how powerless we are to be able to help everyone. So we are doing the best we can and hope that you can too!

    Donate Today and help re-build lives!

  • Shawn Telkamp

    So proud to depart of this as Vendetta Sonata. Can't wait to see how this impacts the people of Joplin.

  • Great article Peter! I'm particularly glad you touched on who we chose to direct the donations to and why. It was one of the more difficult things to decide as I wanted something non-religious and the funds to be totally localized and used what they were intended by the donors to be used for.  It was actually harder then you might think to find a charity to accommodate such criteria.  I just got word that  the Community Foundation of the Ozarks  is even waiving all in house administration fees and just ignoring their own overhead and putting 100% of the donations back into Joplin.