disband camp

I have another entry for my coffee ratings: New England Coffee Witch’s Potion goes on the S Tier. Cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, anise and vanilla, in perfect balance (too much anise could easily have ruined it).

I went ahead and grabbed Seqund. Playing with it for just a short time and using it with more percussive sounds yields some great rhythmic bits. If there was an option to use Euclidean sequencing for the gates that’d be even better, but I definitely can’t complain. Also there are a couple of features I didn’t notice originally — each lane has its own direction control (which can be random)

Bandcamp is in crisis. Back in March 2022, Epic Games bought them, which seemed weird. They promised not to break anything and apparently wanted (A) some kind of connection to Fortnite and (B) to use in their legal fight against Apple’s app store. For quite some time, they held up their promise; Bandcamp Daily continued and expanded, Bandcamp Fridays continued and they kept treating artists right.

And in May 2023, the workers of Bandcamp voted to form a union, Bandcamp United. They have been in negotiations…

And then recently Epic laid off 16% of its workforce and (among other things) announced that they were selling Bandcamp to Songtradr, which is a company that arranges music licensing deals. They claimed it’d be a good fit but the culture of Songtradr is very obviously not the same — Bandcamp has always been about musicians and fans, but Songtradr is very much marketing-speak and does business-to-business stuff. This was cause for some concern…

…and then Bandcamp’s workers started hearing “some of you might not survive the transition but that’s a sacrifice we are willing to make” from management. And some of them got locked out of essential functions required to do their job and didn’t get any communication about it. And Songtradr didn’t answer any of Bandcamp United’s requests to talk. And Bandcamp’s executives “vanished” as far at the workers could tell.

And most recently, “50 percent of Bandcamp employees have accepted offers to join Songtradr” according to the announcement… but what that really means is 50% got laid off.

It is no coincidence that this 50% includes all 8 members of the Bandcamp United bargaining team. 40 of the 67 union members. 12 out of 13 of the union-eligible support staff. Yet Songtradr claims they “didn’t have access to union membership information.” Suuuuuure they didn’t.

Pitchfork isn’t being too alarmist when they ask Is Bandcamp As We Know It Over?

This is extremely frustrating and disheartening. What am I going to do?

  • I’ve taken Bandcamp gift cards off my holiday wishlist.
  • I already have downloaded everything I’ve bought, so that part isn’t a concern. I highly encourage others to do the same. (Apparently there’s a Chrome plugin to help automate that, but I haven’t looked into it.)
  • I exported my mailing list. I don’t know if I’ll ever use it, but the option will be there.
  • If Bandcamp Friday does happen for November, I will buy everything left on my wishlist, just in case that’s the last chance.
  • I will buy nothing through Bandcamp except when the service forgoes its cut, at least unless things are satisfactorily resolved.
  • I will buy nothing from Epic Games. This is their fault.
  • I will continue to follow the news about this, updates from Bandcamp United, and about viable alternatives. I will support BU in any action they take.
  • I was planning to release a collection of the tracks that I contributed to Ambient Online compilations. That is now on hold.
  • I’ll delay the release of my next album if things are still in flux at that time.
  • I’ll remove all my content from Bandcamp if necessary. Whether I have to host it on my own site or find another service, we’ll see.
  • I won’t go back to any streaming-only services either as a musician or a listener.