Bandcloud Presents Missives
A diverse collection of contemporary electronic moods in tribute to the influential mailer
Content warning: self-promotion!
For the past 5 years, Dublin-based music journalist and techno dad Aidan Hanratty has penned a weekly email newsletter for a dedicated audience of open-minded fans, covering new digital releases and mixes available on Bandcamp and Soundcloud. Dubbed “Bandcloud” (get it?), the mailer leverages Aidan’s formidable editorial chops, honed as a longtime staffer of the incredible Truants, to shine a light into those platforms’ esoteric corners. Any single edition might cover anything from sunny house mixes to thunderous dark ambient, with an eye for under-exposed talent and a self-effacing sense of humor.
Aidan’s never been concerned with a contrived “brand”, and Bandcloud is just about as far as you can get from the copy-and-paste press release coverage that permeates most electronic music outlets. At its best the mailer evokes the enthusiasm of the glory days of music blogging, where authors were in it for the sheer love of the game, and the real treasure was the friends we made along the way.
With a distinct point of view and an admirable perseverance, the mailer evolved over time into a community-minded, multi-channel umbrella for sharing music, while staying true to the author's genuine passion for lifting up nascent artists. As it grew in subscribers, Bandcloud grew organically into an impressive platform that comprises monthly guest mixes, a DDR radio show, and exclusive compilations.
Which brings us to the album at hand. Missives is a 15 track album featuring original work from artists in the Bandcloud orbit, and it's an engrossing and eclectic survey of contemporary electronic sound. Reflecting the distributed appeal of earnest creativity that Bandcloud represents, participating artists hail from Vancouver, Berlin, London, Seattle, California, Montréal, and parts unknown, with a healthy dose of local Dublin talent. Best of all, proceeds are being donated to two deserving Dublin causes tackling homelessness and addiction: Merchants Quay Ireland and Ana Liffey Drug Project.
The result is impressively cohesive for a collection that tumbles through as many sub-genres as it has tracks. For the most part, the album is threaded with a sense of subtle melancholy, and despite the name Missives, the tracks here are more like memoirs than screeds. Introspective dub, wistful techno, eerie drone, and fragile ambience. Even in the album’s most foreboding moments (Debby Friday’s uplookingdown, Cruel Diagonals’ Praxis), there is a sense of tender beauty, and the most banging tracks are still shot through with a touch of heartstring-tugging pathos (Yakui’s Airycloud, Violet’s Baby Doll).
While the comp sports contributions from a few internationally-known acts, the inclusion of lesser-known projects (including Motoko & Myers, a project of Wonja and myself) tells you all you need to know about where Bandcloud's allegiances lie. No clout-chasing or industry maneuvering, just a heartfelt interest in the kind of post-local scene-building that Bandcloud has come to represent for so many.
In a decidedly meta move, the compilation is available now on Bandcamp.
- Yamaneko - Dissolving All Ghosts Unknown
- CCL x Flora FM - Winding Plod
- ACI_EDITS - [untitled]
- Gadget and the Cloud - Quiescence
- Blusher - Snowy B
- Motoko & Myers - Leaf Lottery
- Yakui - Airycloud
- Violet - Baby Doll
- Lee Kelly - Forever In Doubt
- Persuasion - Aidan's Dream
- Debby Friday - uplookingdown
- Doc Sleep - Three Suns
- SDDS 3 - HUP [2019 Mix Adjust]
- Cruel Diagonals - Praxis
- James N Murray - Silver Dollar