Space Music: Five Bandcamp Picks to Support the ACLU

Listen...   Nikolai Larin/Imagezoo/Getty
Listen... Nikolai Larin/Imagezoo/Getty

If you just emerged from a hermetically-sealed time vault after years of blissful oblivion, then you might not suspect the degree of political and social unrest in the world right now -- and if that's the case, I urge you to return to the vault before you hear anything you can't unhear.

But if you're still here, and you're concerned about the preservation of individual rights and liberties in the United States, then you might want to support the American Civil Liberties Union. I'll let the article "How the ACLU Works" fill you in on the details, but the non-partisan group has worked for decades defending the rights of individuals and groups from all corners of society.

And this Friday, Feb. 3, 2017, the music website Bandcamp will donate the money it earns from music sales to the ACLU -- that's roughly 15 cents on every dollar, with the rest going to the artists [source: NPR]. If you'd like to participate, I figured why not present a few recommendations from the Space Music blog series.

No overarching theme here, other than music and artists I admire. Let's do it...

'Beyond the Black Rainbow OST" by Sinoia Caves

The film itself is a hypnotic masterpiece of VHS-infused psychedelic horror -- and the transcendent score by Sinoia Cave (Jeremy Schmidt of Black Mountain) has a lot to do with its power, complementing it in majesty and nostalgic synesthesia at every turn. Grab it here.

'Subtemple Session II' by The Wyrding Module

Yes, I can rarely get enough Wyrding Module and may never stop blogging about Christopher Gladwin's uncanny sound tapestries. Really, your best course of action is to give in to these sounds from beyond -- perhaps by purchasing 'Subtemple Session II' on Bandcamp.

'Zones' by Pye Corner Audio

Yes, I am also forever praising the work of the Head Technician at Pye Corner Audio. His uniquely foreboding blend of hypnotic techno and ambient music is the perfect soundtrack for whatever unfilmed or unfilmable horror film plays continuously in the arthouse cinemas of your mind. He offers a number of his compositions on his Bandcamp page, including the excellent "Black Mill Tapes" series, but his latest re-release there is 2015's "Zones." Have a listen:

'Degrade" by 3Teeth

For my money, no one else is quite lighting up the industrial music scene like LA-based 3Teeth. Their sound partially recalls the sound of early 90's Nine Inch Nails and Ministry, but contemporary electronic music elements and modern anti-establishment messaging really define a unique sound. Plus, frontman Alexis Mincolla really brings an intelligent focus to the project that evokes everything from mythological tropes and anarchist poetry to counterculture satire. They have a new album on the way, and here's one of my favorite tracks the forthcoming release (And you can buy their first album at Bandcamp too).

'Alienation' by Umberto

Another artist to excel in the nostalgic exploration of retro synth sounds, LA-based Umberto has evolved his sound out of purely VHS-era synth into something that straddles realms of electronic ambience and even pop music. His latest release "Alienation" is a supurb example of this, exemplified in the track "Elimination."

Not crazy about any of these? No problem. There are countless other sound realities to explore at Bandcamp, and if you buy them tomorrow you can help support both the ACLU and the artists behind the music.

Space Music is a continuous exploration of our expanding cosmos of sound, with an emphasis on electronic music. Sample a little of everything from past posts at the Space Music Sampler playlist on Spotify.

About the Author: Robert Lamb spent his childhood reading books and staring into the woods — first in Newfoundland, Canada and then in rural Tennessee. There was also a long stretch in which he was terrified of alien abduction. He earned a degree in creative writing. He taught high school and then attended journalism school. He wrote for the smallest of small-town newspapers before finally becoming a full-time science writer and podcaster. He’s currently a senior writer at HowStuffWorks and has co-hosted the science podcast Stuff to Blow Your Mind since its inception in 2010. In his spare time, he enjoys traveling with his wife Bonnie, discussing dinosaurs with his son Bastian and crafting the occasional work of fiction.