Bandcamp has been waiving its share of fees the first Friday of the month since April. The idea is that artists and labels get more money to support themselves during a pandemic that has stripped musicians bare of earning opportunities. In light of the horrific murder of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer, and the new movement for change it sparked, many artists and labels are donating their earnings to key organizations both in Minneapolis (my hometown) and in other cities.
I’ve donated to Black Visions Collective, the National Lawyers Guild, the Minnesota Freedom Fund, and the Brooklyn Community Bail Fund, and Reclaim the Block so far, and I see some of these organizations are beneficiaries of artists and labels today on this list that Bandcamp put together. I also see plenty of other great organizations from all over the country set to benefit from this Bandcamp initiative.
For the purposes of this post, I’m highlighting some of those artists and labels that fall into one or more of the genres typically covered on this site. This list is by no means exhaustive. It’s merely curative. (By the way, here’s a growing list of all the black artists on Bandcamp. Some volunteers are updating it regularly, I’m told.)
The LA-based mood-making label is donating 50 percent of all proceeds to Black Lives Matter.
The NY/NJ dance label started by Mike Sniper and Mike Simonetti is donating 100% of its digital sales money to its artists and separately made donations to Black Visions Collective and the Atlanta Solidarity Fund. Here’s one of my favorite releases on the label:
The Pittsburgh-based synthwave pioneers are donating today’s profits to the NAACP Legal Defense Fund.
One of my favorite artists has released a special instrumental album, Fundamentals, Vol. 1, a collection of instrumentals improvised through livestreaming. He is donating 100 percent of sales of this album to Campaign Zero, an organization that seeks to identify solutions, provide research and data to organizers and policymakers, and advocate to end police violence nationwide.
Beats in Space
Tim Sweeney’s New York-based dance label — named after his immensely popular and profoundly enjoyable, long-running radio show — is an intergalactic breath of fresh air on a regular basis. BiS is donating the label’s share of sales to Black Art Futures.
One of my all-time favorite labels. You saw me wearing their shirt when I hosted The Midnight’s COVID relief livestream. Monty Luke started it in Detroit and now runs it out of Berlin. All of today’s proceeds from the release of King Britt’s Back 2 Black will go to the Louisville Community Bail Fund, a non-profit organization dedicated to assisting people in need, in memory of slain ER tech Breonna Taylor. For those unaware, police in Louisville conducted a “no-knock” raid on her home, shooting bullets into the residence and killing her and injuring her partner, Kenneth Walker. Neither of them were involved in any criminal activity. She would have been 27 today. The FBI has thankfully decided to investigate the police officers, who have not yet been charged.
The legendary New York alternative pop and electronic label (and releaser of a Seahawks album) is donating a portion of all sales to Black Visions Collective. Check out the fantastic new Yumi Zouma album below.
Dark Entries Records
Dark Entries is known for reissuing Italo Disco and other music from the ’80s, as well as releasing new material. Most notably, perhaps, are their many reissues of Patrick Cowley material. They release great work from all over, with Germany’s Angela one of many. All proceeds from digital sales go to Black-led LGBTQ+ organizations.
Drum & Lace
One of Vehlinggo‘s favorite film and TV score composers has a new album coming on June 12, that you should pre-order today. Drum & Lace (AKA Sofia Hultquist) has got so much for you to also buy. She’s giving all of what would be Bandcamp’s share to Black Visions Collective and Black Mamas Matter Alliance.
The highly influential, Austin, Texas-based pioneering electronic label is donating money to a host of organizations, including bail funds, the NAACP, Austin Justice Coalition, the Black Trans Travel Fund, and many more.
The Italy-based post-punk outfit will be donating proceeds from all sales to the National Bail Fund Network.
The Philly-based dense ambient artist will be donating all proceeds to Campaign Zero, which is aimed at reducing police violence.
The London-based Hyperdub label, which releases work by artists such as the inimitable Jessy Lanza and Lady Lykez, will be donating the label’s share of sales to Black Lives Matter and other related causes.
The London-based label is donating 100% of profits to organizations that benefit people of color, as well as to bail funds.
The label, part of the Gorilla Vs. Bear family, has released some earth-shattering albums from the likes of Magdalena Bay and Hana Vu, among others. Luminelle is donating 100% of digital revenue to the Detroit Justice Center.
The absolutely legendary Ninja Tune, the London-based label of artists such as Tycho, ODESZA, Helena Hauff, and Bonobo, and parent label of The Midnight’s and RAC’s home, Counter Records, is donating its share of sales to the NAACP Legal Defense Fund.
The Austin, Texas-based synth storm is donating 100 percent of her proceeds from Bandcamp today to the Austin Justice Coalition.
Sacred Bones — the Brooklyn-based label of the likes of John Carpenter, David Lynch, Black Marble, Lust For Youth, Daniel Davies, Jenny Hval, Zola Jesus, and so many more — is giving 100 percent of all digital sales split between The Loveland Foundation and a fund that splits donations among community bail funds.
The Boston-based label and related act, known for bringing us an array of disco, funk, house, and other related gems, have a multi-threaded donation plan: Donating 100 percent of the label’s share to Black Lives Matter; and 30 percent of the label share from sales of Life on Planets’ “Only You” to Black Lives Matter in perpetuity.
(Editor’s Note: This list isn’t remotely inclusive of all artists and labels giving money to organizations helping to restructure our unequal and unjust society. It’s just a few. Make sure you read that entire Bandcamp list I sourced for some of the listings above.)
Juneteenth and Bandcamp
This coming June 19 (also called Juneteenth) and all Juneteenths after that, Bandcamp will donate 100% of its share of sales to the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, a national organization with an extensive history of effectively getting racial justice and change through lawsuits, advocacy, and public education.