Music matters; music keeps us connected to our emotions and one another. So don’t give up on it. Here’s music for this moment, with an emphasis on Ukrainian voices. But I hope we also acknowledge that musical livelihood is on the edge everywhere, too. And wherever you are, I hope this gives you even a little peace.
Our friends and colleagues in Ukraine do encourage direct giving to relief, so please prioritize that. But I believe it’s also important to feed yourself music, not to face hard times in silence. So that matters, too.
And yes, it’s Bandcamp Friday, so more of the funds go to the cause than on other days. Plus we should support specific documentation of where funds go – even well-meaning music projects who fail to do this also fail to support the cause.
There’s just one big problem – Bandcamp doesn’t support payments in Ukraine, because of a limitation of PayPal. Act to change that (they also advocate blocking PayPal in Russia, but as far as I know that effectively has happened already because of restrictions on banks):
Diggers, don’t forget the massive collaborative spreadsheet we shared earlier, which is exclusively dedicated to Ukrainian labels and producers!
The Quietus has a great round-up, too – respect as always:
Jakub Knera has a great list of new music from Ukrainian creators, late 2021-2022. I endorse all of these; it’s extraordinary music.
There’s a second list, too – the most comprehensive one I’ve seen yet of charity compilations:
Jakub, I’m following you now – great stuff, and look forward to checking your journalism:
Inverted Audio also have a great list:
Our friends at ШЩЦ (pronounced “shits” if you literally read the letters) are not only giving to Kyiv Civil Defense, but doubling their donation. I wrote about this compilation when it came out. Here’s my updated review: buy. it.
Ukrainian label Muscút (Мускáт) and sublabel Shukai “focusing on pseudo and practical audio archaeology” have a massive, massive catalog to dig through.
100% of digital and physical materials are going to a mix of critical organizations, including LGBTQI military, and they’re documenting the results:
Upcoming is this indescribably magical track from label boss Nikolaienko, to give you a sense of this artist’s deep imagination:
Or try the fanciful worlds of Playbacks for Dreaming, just-out by Vlad Dobrovolski:
Standard Deviation in Kyiv has put together an epic international compilation with Aquarian, Dasha Rush, The Lady Machine, Henning Baer, Jay Glass Dubs, Julia Govor, Kangding Ray, Laurent Garnier, Phase Fatale, Projekt Gestaltan, Zoe McPherson/Ciarra Black,Terrence Fixmer, and many others. But it’s personal to me, as my friend Alinka is here and was born in Ukraine and had recently connected to its scene. Her track is earnest and essential, and I’ll always associate this time with the protest with her as this started:
And some notable international efforts…
Some 130+ drum & bass artists teamed up to make a brain-bending compilation fundraiser dubbed Together with Ukraine; benefits go to the Ukrainian Red Cross:
HAINBACH seems to be having some real success with fundraising for his beautiful music:
“Places for peace” from Brighton-based Home Normal is just a beautiful album from diverse producers, benefiting UNICEF efforts to protect Ukrainian children:
Also, not music, but I want to again mention Solitype. Not only are they working on Ukraine now, but they have been vocal throughout the past year-plus about all refugees coming to Europe, as I wrote this time last year. Those issues are directly related, as the current Ukrainian crisis can be traced back to the refugee crisis on the border between Poland and Belarus. That means that concerns about different refugee groups now are not whataboutism – they’re at the core of the issue, both for Europe and for how we value humanity.
Anyway, those lofty ideas aside – I like the idea of spotting these great independent, limited-run fonts in the typography of zines and album releases in the future, and knowing that people cared about both designers and causes. Even if it’s something small, it means something – just like all those albums we paid for to download.
And meanwhile, more than fonts – refugees welcome. Here in Berlin, all my friends in the electronic music and music tech industry, we can go meet people at Hauptbahnhof. The refugees from Ukraine are not only Ukrainian.
And housing in Germany – need/have:
CTM Festival colleagues have put together an easy-to-navigate list:
If I missed anything, let me know.
And generally, if you have music for a good cause – any good cause, anywhere – feel free to bug me. My inbox is a sort of a flood-hurricane situation, so don’t be shy about bugging me more than once; I don’t mind.