Music club

Buy Music Club offers playlist lovers a community-driven alternative

In concept and in practice, Buy a music clubThe purpose of is very clear: it’s a website where you can compile songs available for download and purchase on Bandcamp into a playlist, and then post them for the world to see. Originally conceived by DJ / producer Avalon Emerson in 2018 as a way to redirect year-end enthusiasm for making rosters into significant financial gains for independent artists, the project has quietly become a valuable utility to a time when the cutthroat economy of streaming made it difficult for many musicians to make any money.

Although digital downloads accounted for just 6% of total US recorded music revenue in the first half of 2020, down 22% year-on-year, as streaming continues to gain popularity, that small percentage is still growing. translates into hundreds of millions of dollars. And judging by the popularity of Bandcamp Fridays, where the company has responded to the COVID-19 pandemic by forgoing its monthly sales cut percentage, there are legions of music fans who will always pay for it. the MP3s.

BMC aims to help paying customers navigate their way through the endless number of tracks on Bandcamp, which currently do not offer read-only list functionality. “We’ve seen how playlists have become such an important feature for big streaming services, and it’s only natural that certain tools are needed to pin down people’s tastes, giving them a place to present them outside of the major platforms. -forms, ”explains software engineer BMC. Jason Fellows. “This is what we hope to accomplish – so far only with Bandcamp, as it is a fair way to distribute your own music. “

“A lot of music, especially dance music, requires the context of a playlist or, better yet, a mix or a radio show,” Emerson adds. “So it helps to have a list building platform that is really simple, but allows people to connect the dots across a bunch of songs as they wish.

Emerson initially started BMC with designer Ignatius Gilfedder and developer Louis Center. As of 2019, the site’s volunteer team also includes fellows and music journalist (and Pitchfork contributor) Shawn Reynaldo. BMC focuses on dancing, but it has also become a great way to find new ambient, folk and experimental music. Some playlists serve as introductory guides for small labels and collective of the whole world; others are more conceptual, with titles like “Sundays are for …” and “Sleep curiosities. “You will also find some compiled by notable artists like Four Tet, Yaeji, and Jacques Greene over there, alongside the singer-songwriter Helado Negrocompilations of various Bandcamp Day releases and releases from its extended musical family.

Yaeji, who has been using the site since Avalon first put it on his radar in 2018, has cataloged every piece of music she’s played during her recent residence on the influential online radio station NTS from London. “I mainly use it to share artists that I’m passionate about with others and then to promote the link to my list through social media,” she says from Seoul via email. That way, listings are a natural extension of a DJ’s job, and they’re usually easier to analyze than finding an unofficial track listing. They’re especially useful for someone like Yaeji, who spends a lot of time digging into Bandcamp, and she adds that they’ve already led to some “pretty conversations” with some of the artists she’s featured.