As devastating bushfires continue to rage across Australia with seemingly no end in sight, people around the world have started coming together to raise money to help ease the burden on the people and wildlife affected, as well as support the brave volunteer firefighters who are valiantly working around the clock despite not having seen their families for months and being so exhausted some are literally collapsing on the job. The electronic music community in Australia has rallied to the cause in a big way, with promoters and artists around the country throwing events, releasing music, and running donation campaigns that have already raised thousands of dollars and things don’t look like they’re going to slow down anytime soon. Here are all the ways you can contribute to bushfire relief and enjoy some quality music in the process.
Ongoing Fundraising Campaigns
Trance legends Binary Finary are collecting donations via Facebook for WIRES [https://www.facebook.com/donate/587715942006664/], one of Australia’s wildlife protection agencies, who are working overtime trying to rescue wildlife affected by the fires. They’ve already raised over $17,000 of their $100,000 goal with no signs of slowing down.
Record labels from Australia and across the world have pledged to donate profits from any releases sold to a variety of causes, including NSW Rural Fire Service (NSW RFS) [https://www.rfs.nsw.gov.au/], RSPCA’s bushfire appeal [https://www.rspcansw.org.au/bushfire-appeal/], South Australia’s Country Fire Service [https://cfsfoundation.org.au/donate], WIRES [https://www.wires.org.au/], First Nations Communities [https://www.indigenous.gov.au/communities/list-view], Victoria’s Country Fire Authority [https://www.cfa.vic.gov.au/about/supporting-cfa] and the Red Cross [https://www.redcross.org.au/campaigns/disaster-relief-and-recovery-donate#donate].
Australian labels helping out include
Pelvis [https://www.pelv.is/], NLV Records [https://nlvrecords.bandcamp.com/], Salt Mines Records [https://www.instagram.com/saltminesrecords/], Butter Sessions, Animals Dancing [https://www.animalsdancing.com/], Superconscious Records [https://superconsciousrecords.bandcamp.com/], Burning Rose [https://burningrose.bandcamp.com/], Pharmaceutical Audio [https://pharmaceuticalaudio.bandcamp.com/music]. California’s ESP Institute and Public Possession from Germany are among the international imprints getting involved.
Numerous artists have self-released EPs to help raise funds for many of the organisations listed above. Top tier Australian export Mall Grab has put out an EP of four previously unreleased, heavy-hitting, rave-focused tracks via his Bandcamp page [https://lookingfortrouble.club/album/dont-keep-the-fire-burning. Melbourne’s DJ Plead and Sydney’s Cop Envy have bass music fans covered with their excellent Massari For Relief [https://sumactrac.bandcamp.com/album/massari-for-relief] and Z-Sides [https://copenvy.bandcamp.com/album/z-sides] EPs respectively.
If dancefloor edits of classic jams are more your speed, Berlin master Logic1000 has just put out two choice cuts on an EP entitled Australian Bushfire Relief [https://logic1000.bandcamp.com/album/australian-bushfire-relief]. Electro and leftfield techno heads should head over to iota’s Bandcamp and grab a copy of 3 Tracks With Sam, which delivers stripped-down, mechanical sounds and glitchy aesthetics [https://iota-music.bandcamp.com/album/3-tracks-with-sam].
The futuristic vibes continue with Against The Flames [https://loukarsh.bandcamp.com/album/against-the-flames] from Melbourne’s Lou Karsh, which features four spacey, sci-fi electro jams dripping with soul. Escape Artist has released a collection of B-sides and rarities on the Bushfire Relief EP [https://escapeartistaus.bandcamp.com/album/bushfire-relief-ep that range from atmospheric jungle to Detroit-flavoured techno, but all retain that signature early-90’s influence he’s known for. Analogue techno/industrial/noise maestro Barking channels the anger many Australians are feeling at the government’s inaction on his Bushfire Relief EP [https://barking.bandcamp.com/album/bushfire-relief-ep].
Sydney artist Salece is offering a matching donation for every purchase of Alarm [https://salece.bandcamp.com/track/alarm], a lush ode to his home town. Finally, E Davd has just put out Part 1 of Environmental Justice https://edavd3030.bandcamp.com/album/environmental-justice-ep-1-3, a three-part EP featuring previously unreleased material.
Beats Of No Nation and NLV Records have both dropped VA compilations chock full of quality local and international music. Dance For A Future Green [https://beatsofnonation.bandcamp.com/album/dance-for-a-future-green-bushfire-fundraiser] features quirky electro from Jad & The, Sam Stosuur going all-in on the disco/funk vibe, and a lush deep house ride courtesy of KX9000 (to name just a few). NLV Records 4 Bushfire Relief [https://nlvrecords.bandcamp.com/album/nlv-records-4-bushfire-relief] is a rugged mix of off-kilter club music from the likes of Strict Face, Lewis CanCut, and Nina Las Vegas herself.
There’s plenty more to keep an ear out for in the coming weeks too. Australian minimal/techno imprint Bassic Records is putting out a 25 track VA compilation in February. Dutch artists Roel Funcken (Funckarma/Legiac) and Julien Mier, with the help of local photographer/visual artist Magda Kozuba, are curating a compilation of electro, ambient, and electronic experimentations for Touched Records due in March. They are currently accepting submissions from producers worldwide via their Facebook group [https://www.facebook.com/groups/638773073529901]. Melbourne’s Nervous Affliction in conjunction with Brisbane artist Metapattern are also in the process of curating tracks for a compilation. Submissions can be made via the contact link on their Bandcamp [https://nervousaffliction.bandcamp.com/].
Parties & Promoters
I hope your calendar is free, because there is a veritable truckload of events happening around the country over the coming weeks (and most likely more to come that haven’t been announced yet) either featuring artists waiving their performance fees, or promoters donating profits from ticket sales to a variety of organisations involved in managing the ongoing crisis. For sake of ease, these are divided up by city and presented in chronological order in each city.
Saturday 11/01 sees the launch of daytime, open air party VIER, featuring Australian artists who are making moves overseas such as Monika Ross and Danni B. [https://www.facebook.com/events/734913650335373/]. Free party vibes courtesy of ēteru [https://www.facebook.com/events/582143785962848/] featuring Dialogue London artist Modebakú are happening at the Imperial Hotel on Sunday 12/01, with a donation box being present for those who want to do a little charitable giving. If thumping tech house is more your thing, head over to Ivy for Fisher & Friends [https://www.facebook.com/events/2521970874749489/], featuring an extended set from the hitmaker.
An all-in of Sydney mainstays is happening on Saturday 18/01 at Hermann’s Bar, with the likes of Dunj, Heavenly, Ghostly, Buzz Speaker Hire, Alien, and pitching in to put on a big one. A Local Love Affair [https://www.facebook.com/events/1244592825931104/] features the likes of Magda Bytnerowicz, Kato, and Adi Toohey bringing diverse flavours all afternoon. On Sunday 19/01, Portugal’s DJ Marfox will be showcasing his unique Kuduro sounds for Nectar [https://www.facebook.com/events/501358267141116/] alongside Nat James, Hed Ardennes (Live), and C.Frim, which promises to be an up-tempo, percussion driven afternoon and evening of music.
The Australia Day Long Weekend is of course packed with events. First up is Call On The Rain at Universal (who kindly waved venue hire expenses) on Friday 24/01 [https://www.facebook.com/events/598424687612817/]. Featuring artists from ALLFRIENDS., Deeper Than House, Earthlings Collective, Fur Coat Club, GiRLTHING, Rave Reviewz, Refuge, Rotarydisco, Simmer Sessions and Toasted, this is set to be a big one for house music fans. The house vibes keep flowing with Danni B and Cassette’s new venture BodyWork [https://www.facebook.com/events/1583126581825033/] at The Rooftop on Saturday 25/01. Monday 27/01 sees artists from house and techno crews ASSEMBL, Free House, Lovejoy PTY LTD, Nerve, Touch Of Loft, and UNDISCLOSED join forces for Solace at The Chippo Hotel [https://www.facebook.com/events/915185338940050/].
The first weekend of February sees Return To Rio and CABAL head north to Wamberal Surf Lifesaving Club for Rain Dance [https://www.facebook.com/events/560867001422251/], a 12 hour shindig featuring Rio favourites like Mark Craven, Ricky Cooper, and Jac Frier.
Mahogany Soul [https://www.facebook.com/events/2388890391364366/] has the disco, funk, and soul vibes locked down on Saturday 11/01 at The Gasometer Hotel. Post Percy, Eddie Example, and more are on good times duties for the evening. If you’re after something heavier that night, Cool Room [https://www.facebook.com/events/2735277389870684/] are hosting electro renegade Reptant for a rare back-to-back with Hymns, supported by the likes of Sophie McAlister, DJ Mum, and Kane Ikin.
If you have skills on the mic, Rhyme Therapy [https://www.facebook.com/events/675820086282380/] is a brand new open mic jam for rappers, vocalists, and MCs, covering hip-hop and drum & bass vocal stylings. It’s happening on Friday 17/01 at Rubix Warehouse.
A huge collaboration between local musicians and artists, Mutant Dance Bushfire Fundraiser [https://www.facebook.com/events/1223230794543153/] will be happening on Saturday 18/01 at Captain in Geelong. Have a dance to the likes of President Press and purchase unique art from creators such as Georgia Naughton.
Fiction is hosting FEEL featuring cheeky anthem slinger and tech house connoisseur Denis Sulta [https://www.facebook.com/events/769590456820079/] on Friday 10/01, supported by locals Point Guard, Monty McGaw, and Tekito.
Local DJs from across the state will cover the full spectrum of house music at The Irish in Launceston for AURA [https://www.facebook.com/events/1247838125422312/] on Saturday 11/01. Dan Bower, Fotti P, Liam Wood, and more will take the night from deep to tech. On Saturday 15/01 SPICYMUSIC [https://www.facebook.com/events/2495998730641086/] return for their first event of 2020, featuring an all local line-up of Tasmania’s finest. It’s taking place at The Irish in Launceston, and features the likes of Allan Pillai, Gypsy, and Logan Barker.
Those are (currently) all the ways you can support the electronic music scene’s fundraising efforts. If we’ve missed anything in this article, please mention it in the comments below!