Recommended by Nikkole Rathkamp
To put it simply, Visions: A Benefit Compilation for Artsakh has made me abundantly proud, and especially so for the stunning array of Bay Area talent it features. The compilation is a perfect example of the actualization of conversations I had heard so often on dancefloors before we were thrust into our COVID-19 reality. I’m referring to those idealistic, sweaty, and impassioned mid-crowd or afterparty conversations in which the full spectrum of human emotion perforated the room as we fantasized about more peaceful societies. Those words yelled at eachother over loud music were our collective frustration and fierce desire to improve the world around us: to do more than just dance in the face of pain and chaos.
Visions is a particularly beautiful expression by the 25 artists who came together to create it because the support it has provided for the displaced Armenians of Artsakh (in the form of 100% of sales donated to on-the-ground efforts in Armenia) reminds the underground music community that our potential is not confined to the spaces in which we once gathered. The compilation also serves as an important intimation that the repeated struggles of indigenous people do not dissipate simply because we are not reading about them regularly via mainstream media platforms. If we can continue on this path toward educating, activating, and inspiring each other, our capabilities for incrementally changing the world know no bounds.
I recommend listening to the compilation from start to finish in the order the tracks are listed, to me it felt as if they were carefully arranged this way to take us on a gorgeously emotive journey that stretches across house, ambient, acid, and techno. This isn’t a single listen compilation and is well worth the $15 on Bandcamp to treat your ears while supporting a good cause.
** Visions: A Benefit Compilation for Artsakh was organized and curated by Lara Sarkissian and Sebastián Ortega. Mastering by Rose Cherami, and artwork by Maral Matig. More information on the organizations the compilation proceeds are donated to, as well as educational resources about the current conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan are available on the Bandcamp page linked below. **