We are living in strange and stressful times and music can be a great escape, in some cases the only escape, so it seems now, more than any time, that music is incredibly important to so many people; listeners and artists alike. Because so many artists rely on performing live for a large percentage of their revenue, an avenue now slammed shut for the foreseeable future, buying their music online is a brilliant way to continue showing support. With Bandcamp waiving their revenue share on all sales on Friday, March 20th, what better time than for me to highlight some artists who have been producing amazing music for quite some time, many I have written about or featured on The Jupiter Room, all of them are deserving of a platform for their skills and dedication.
I salute you all you beautiful, beautiful people.
In no particular order, here they are for you to explore, to discover, and to support by buying their music in the safe knowledge that ALL the money goes to them. Click their names to be transported to their respective pages. Come on, let’s do this:
Hazy and diaphanous soundscapes from one of Merseyside’s leading electronica exponents. Expect external meditations, voices in the ether, twinkling electronics and the static pull of post-storm atmospherics.
A collaboration between Plike‘s Em Baker and Pinklogik‘s Jules Straw, Wire & Wasteland conjure dreamy and windswept electronics of dark melodic beauty.
Plike is the solo project of Em Baker who’s sound is hauntingly beautiful, dark and twisting. This is dream-infused gothic electronica that is intoxicating and utterly bewitching.
Dense and textured ambient techno that pulses and beams with gorgeously analogue melodies.
Not strictly electronic but I’ve included them anyway because they are ace. Sanchez 77 burst with a camp-chic swagger and old-school-cool detached poise as they create playful and emotionally resonant music. Very post-punk with Adam Ant posing.
Synth/electropop duo who evoke a clean and punchy 80’s vibe reminiscent of early Depeche Mode (you know when they were really good).
Intricate and pinging electro with an overcoat of techno designed for the main room. Stefanie is a Liverpool-based techno DJ and producer with impeccable musical pedigree.
Polypores is part vintage sound archivist, and part cold-war audio alchemist, weaving sounds and textures to create electronic, lo-fi sci-fi soundtracks. Expect coiling drones, pastoral spookiness and the ambient echoes of transformer coils.
Concretism has an unerring ear for melody and production and his music incorporates pastoral tranquility, cosmic spookiness and indeterminate dread. An absolute must-listen for these disquieting times.
Weaver of dark and unsettling electronic drones and spectral beats, Field Lines Cartographer is Mark Burford who also records as Impulse Array (more of that in a second). FLC‘s music sounds ancient, like a long-buried artifact transmitting from a dying space station.
With Impulse Array, Mark explores IDM and dark techno. However, Impulse Array is a sound artist, a master of sonic collages that draw you in and fold the sound around you, encasing you in a warping and humming cloak of jarring rhythms and reverbing ambience.
Mark Lawless is a Liverpool-based producer and deals in mainly ambient techno mixed with a sprinkling of deep house grooves whose understated electronic vibes can shape all moods.
Dan Clarke aka ZAFLON creates deep electronics with a neo-soul vibe. Utilising hip-hop and trip-hop beats, dub bass lines and talented guest vocalists and MC’s he forges a dark and unsettling groove that belongs as comfortably in the main room of clubs as the fabric coated walls of chillout rooms.
a.P.A.t.T. are a unique force of nature, going beyond the definition of band, they epitomise left field creativity. Incantations, explosions of reality warping anti-nostalgic utterances and dread are all part of the package. Sounding like somewhere between a sectioned Devo and an ‘approach warily’ Cardiacs their sounds are often spasmodic and convulsive.
Lilies on Mars are ostensibly an adventurous dream pop band wearing a cloak of phasing, shifting electronica and downtempo beats. Their voices intermingle with the space-like ambience of the production; cosmic shards of nebulous clouds scattering pinpoints of light that wink in the spatial rifts.
Charging, energy-fueled retrowave with thumping house beats and driving arpeggiators. Moondragon has encapsulated the thrill and excitement so prevalent in classic 80’s synth compositions. This is the outrun you have been searching for.
Dark and experimental soundscapes from the North West of England. The deep-field electronics seem to beckon the echoing void of deep space and into the phantasmal realm.
Australian-based electronic artist influenced by the music of late 70’s and early 80’s artists such as Gary Numan, Ultravox, and Japan. Euphoric and huge tunes that are worth replaying over and over and over…
Faex Optim is best known for creating haunting, melancholic and sample-laden downtempo. Evoking the rich ambience of Boards of Canada, Faex Optim explores blurred and bleached-out Super-8 textures with elements pastoral spookiness and hauntology.
As Lost Idol, James Dean creates delicate and spacious soundscapes dabbling in experimental, jazz, downtempo and ambient electronics. James also incorporates live and acoustic instruments to bring a tangible and tactile essence to the electronics, evoking an emotional warmth and depth so often lacking in experimental music.
Also piloted by James Dean, BUNKR has all the elements that gave Lost Idol its emotional weight and languid depth, with the mood and feel of a post-club chillout room. There are beats and there is bass, yet this isn’t 4-to-the-floor pumping kicks, it’s far more subtle than that. Melody takes precedent, the beats tumble and break into the tide of sparkling electronics and vaporous harmonies.
Atmospheric guitar-ambient (guitarbient anyone?) compositions from Engineers songwriter and co-founder Mark Peters. These are beautifully balanced and languidly paced instrumentals that sit somewhere between ambient, dream pop and shoegaze.
RYKARD is a purveyor of chilled grooves and ambient bliss, conjuring vistas of audio escapism through divine electronics, tumbling beats and smooth melodies. Immerse yourself in windswept arrangements, dense electronics, and eddies of aural loveliness.
Neil Scrivin aka Phono Ghosts produces widescreen, technicolour vistas through the art of sound and tape manipulation, cut-up sample collages and bass-heavy grooves. Expect bright, wide-eyed and summery synth-funk with thumping bass swerves and dreamy electronic textures.
Deeper and funkier than his other project Phono Ghosts, Neil Scrivin‘s solo exploits explore similar subjects but with elements of 8-bit, chillwave and kosmiche-disco to create a fully immersive listening experience.
Also check out Meatbingo which allows Neil to explore jagged funk blasts and staccato beats through cut and sample techniques and glitch-edged production. It is a heady and hugely enjoyable listen. And The Night Monitor through which Neil indulges his fascination with the paranormal through ominous and the pulsing beats, and radiophonic creepiness. The Night Monitor pulses with disquiet throughout, transforming the eerie realm into sonic and cosmic weirdness.
Liverpool-based electronic producer of dark, spacial landscapes often spun with layers of beautiful, buzzing, humming and twinkling cosmic soundscapes.
Dark avant-pop from Liverpool. Dramatic and probably supernatural, Foxen Cyn is a proper one-off, a glitch in the matrix, who conjures tunes from the seemingly possessed realm.
Kieran formulates sonic journeys into the oscillating realms of fog-shrouded found-sounds to weave hypnotic and eerie constructions. Pretty much eschewing drums and beats he uses the pulsing arpeggios instead to give his tunes their hypnotic rhythms.
Adrian Hughes, as Nurse Predator, has been steadily releasing old recordings for the last few years. Often exploring the sounds he conjured back in the 80’s and 90’s, his sound is one of industrial bleakness. Tracks are cloaked in coiling ambience, allowing them to drift, wraith-like into haunted woods. His sound is astonishing and hugely immersive and listening is akin to resurfacing through the dense waters of the Acheron.
Experimental coldwave from Canada, Scene Noir encompass the soft abstraction of hissing electronics, chilly desolation and eerie balladry creating songs that are both robotic and emotive.
Tom McConnell has mastered the fine art of creating the classic pop and gentle psychedelia of the 60s and early 70s. Fresh and fun uptempo pop songs with an electronic edge with the sheen of dreamy pop that proves just what an ace tunesmith McConnell really is.
Brilliant, darkening dub-techno suspended in billowing clouds of ambience.
Gorgeous, lush and nostalgic 80’s trip with elements of Italo disco, funk and super-glide electronics. This is retrowave and synthwave of the highest order dealing in deep, up-beat synth funk with the roundest of edges.
Often confessional and dark lullabies that stay with you. Beija Flo is an electronic poet of stark and haunting beauty.
Amazing narrative-driven electronic compositions that incorporate rock guitar, drums and low-slung basslines. The electronics are so atmospheric that rain and lightening practically fall from the speakers transporting you to another world.
There you go, please visit these artist’s Bandcamp pages and consider supporting them by buying an album or two… or three. Find something new and exciting, something you will miss if you stick to the mainstream ‘cos it gets pretty boring there.
Stay safe, stay well and keep playing those tunes.