CDM regular Zaxx Davros sends word of a new, sprawling compilation to benefit Joplin, Missouri in the aftermath of that town’s devastating tornado. Charity compilations seem to be growing in number, but perhaps that in itself is worth mentioning. As social networks and (ahem) blogs spread, increasingly crowd-stimulated micro-donations drive charity. One-click giving is no substitute for getting involved in communities as a volunteer and getting out on the ground, but as a way of keeping charitable organizations funded and engaged, it shows promise. Some readers have pointed to criticism of some of those organizations, like the various entities of the Red Cross, for using funds as discretionary resources beyond the immediate disaster. In this case, the Recession Recordings charity goes directly to the affected area, the City of Joplin and the Community Foundation of Southwest Missouri’s own fund. (That, in turn, may be a sign of a growing trend.)
At a time when musicians ponder the value of their own work, these sorts of compilations have a secondary function. They make the release more of a collective, communal act, and assume that the digital download not only has value, but a value that will be invested back into a communal need. Make of that what you will; we’ll watch to see how such efforts do over time.
As for the music itself, I’d describe it as a delightfully-chaotic, eclectic mix of work, often raunchy and low-fidelity, from experimental sounds to the occasional blip of a chip to music channeling ambient and folk music, noise and IDM. It seems an informal gathering of producers trying lots of different things, which has its own special charm.
This compilation gets sent out manually after a donation; my guess is someone will come up with a site that makes choosing charities easier. A Music Hackday job for someone, perhaps?
While I’m unable to cover every charity that comes across my desk, this one is doubly meaningful to me – my parents lived through and were involved in recovery efforts of the last supertornado outbreak on April 3, 1974; they worked in Brandenberg, Kentucky.
If you’re a CDM reader impacted by flooding or tornadoes in the US, or face the challenge of natural disasters elsewhere in the world – our hearts go out yet again to our friends in New Zealand today — we’d love to hear from you.