Richard Sanderson’s For Syria album collects 17 unheard or unreleased tracks from a range of experimental musicians, many of whom have released music on his Linear Obsessional label, in aid of the Disasters Emergency Committee Syria Crisis Appeal. It is available only until June 1, so if you haven’t already got a copy, head over to the label’s Bandcamp page now and get clicking.
At just five pounds, it’s a steal, chock full of left field artists creating some of the most interesting, non-conformist, challenging and beautiful music of the moment. There’s something for everyone here, I’ll wager. If it’s ‘nice’ you want, check out Sanderson’s own contribution, ShiverTipple, a golden sigh of a drone that probably involved his beloved melodeon somehow, the understated loveliness of Dead Voices On Air’s Coele-Syria, or the stark, short beauty of Bruce Hamilton’s Mohika, an angular piano piece that opens the album.
Something more astringent? How about Mark Browne’s bracing saxophone piece, Violence For Your Furs, a rework, whose see-sawing groans are so unwilling to act as background music that even simple tasks like making a cup of tea are an impossibility.
Husband and wife duo Sue Lynch and Adrian Northover pick up the free jazz baton, cooking up a wild and whirling vortex hoots and horns, while electronic music maven Skitter hits us with a textured blast of noise that ebbs and flows like a river bursting its banks.
There’s plenty more good stuff here. My own personal favourite is Iris Garrelfs and Viv Corringham’s out-there vocal duet, Brixton Lullaby, spooky and atmospheric and joyful all at the same time. The best thing you can do is buy it and dig in.
Of course, this isn’t really the point. The point is that the ordinary people of Syria are caught in the middle of a terrible conflict that shows little sign of resolution soon. As Richard notes on the album’s release page:
- Over 100,000 Civilians Killed.
- Over 4 Million People In Need Of Food.
- 2.5 Million Refugees in Neighbouring Countries.
- 6.5 Million People Internally Displaced in Syria.
- 9.3 Million People In Need Of Aid In Syria.
Given the seriousness of this cause, you can’t begrudge spending a little of your hard earned on this album, can you? There’s no physical release, so very little cost involved in producing the album.
All of the artists donated their work for free, too. Which means all of the money raised will go straight to the appeal.
Go on. You know it makes sense.