One of the few music platforms that consistently aims to give back to it’s users, Bandcamp started an initiative around the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis that waives their transaction fee for the first Friday of every month, till the end of the year. Practically, this means that any money you spend on the platform goes directly and only to the artists you support.
In anticipation of Bandcamp Friday this upcoming August 7th, Scene Noise has compiled a list of our picks of some of the most exciting Middle Eastern labels to support, both at home and in diaspora.
It goes without saying that there are dozens of labels and artists in the MENA/diaspora that are worthy of being featured, and so consider this the first of a series where we will be featuring 10 different labels to support for each month.
BLTNM [Palestine] - Hip-Hop/Trap
A Ramallah-based independent record label that defies persecution and apartheid witht their homegrown that fuse hip-hop, trap and UK drill.
Djameed - ZI7
Shabjdeed - SINDIBAD EL WARD
Shabjdeed & Al Nather - ADEENA
ANBA [CAIRO/LONDON] - Experimental/Avant-Garde
A self-described “sonic platform exploring the fringes of sound and art within contemporary music”, ANBA is the brainchild of Cairo’s 1127a and London's Mang, and has consistently delivered genre-defying releases by internationally acclaimed acts.
ON4B (Onsy + ABADIR) - BAR(A)CA
Ice Eyes- Intolerant Skin
jjjacob - Destructive Examinations Pt.1
AFOFORO MUSIC CLUB [TUNISIA] Jazz/World/Experimental
A Tunis-based experimental label/blog with a deep catalogue that leans towards the experimental shades of jazz and world music.
Giacomo Sferlazzo - Arrispigghiativi
LUBUAKU - LUBUAKU
AL MUSTAQIL - Harraga
SLOVVDK [CAIRO] - Pop/Indie
Forward-thinking pop/indie music curated by Cairo’s Ragy Ahmed and Moe Hani (of Dirty Backseat), featuring an extensive roster of local and international acts.
SLOVVDK Mixtape II - (various artists)
Mineral Kult - Disko Edids
Dirty Backseat & Zeyada - Aeroplane + No Closure
BIZAAR BAZAAR [NEW YORK] - Experimental/Techno
Brainchild of Moroccan-born Salwa Abd (Bergsonist), Bizaar Bazaar is a long-running label/sound archive focusing on “unique resonant aesthetics,” and intertwined at a genetic level with socially-conscious activism and charity.
Responses to Police Violence (various artists)
BizaarBazaar01 (various artists)
Bergsonist, & Speaker Music - Sublime Language of My Century
ASTROFEVER [MOROCCO] - House/Nu-Jazz
Casablanca-based independent record Label that upholds a wide range of eclectic influence, drawing from “Afrofuturism blueprints while seeking a balanced celestial future, far-off of the standard paradigms.”
Feverish Cuts Vol.1 (various artists)
Feverish Cuts Vol.2 (various artists)
NOTES & SPIRITS [CYPRUS] - Hip-Hop/Jazz/Dub
A listening bar/independent label based in Nicosia, Cyprus, that focuses on blending instrumental hip-hop, lo-fi, trip-hop, funk and dub influences. More low-key and lounge friendly, Notes & Spirits certainly know how to curate a comfortable atmosphere.
Raincoats in Summer (various artists)
The Manifesto (various artists)
Mr Pakman & Friends - La Libertad
KALIBR+ [KUWAIT] - Post-Club/Ambient/Experimental
Based in Kuwait but managing an international roster, Kalibr+’s prolific release schedule always lies on the cutting edge of contemporary electronic music.
Scuba Girl - Medusa
Edyth - Xian
CH4INS4W - Turbo Apocalypse
SAMPATIC [IRAN] - Minimal/Techno
One of the forces quickly establishing Tehran as a hub for the deeper end of club music, fledgeling label Sampatic has kept up a busy release schedule in 2020, and is a constant source of some of Iran’s best talents via close ties with Deep House Tehran and other local venues.
NERVEBLOCK - NK-7117
Kamya Khanzaei & Nesa Azadikhah - Shout It Out
KUDD - Analogy
COUP [TURKEY] - Techno/Harcore
A no-holds-barred techno label/collective from Istanbul that focuses on “like minded souls who have joined forces for the greater good of techno anywhere needed.” Their extensive roster has received support and acclaim from such acts as Amelie Lens, 999999999 and The BRVTALIST.
Less Distress - Tsar-City
Black on Ammo (various artists)
B2 - Hymnen an die Nacht