Climate catastrophe: this is the real issue of our time, although the ongoing Brexit negotiations might lead some to think otherwise here in the UK. Barring nuclear war, which has a helpful way of sharpening minds, it’s an existential crisis that is unparalleled in scale by anything our species has faced before.
DJs for Climate Action (DJS4CA) seek to highlight this global behemoth with the launch of a new compilation on Soul Clap Records of over 50 tracks in length. Offerings have been shared sporadically since March 8th, building to the full release on April 19th. The launch coincides with sponsored parties in Brooklyn, Detroit, Berlin, Barcelona and beyond through their EARTH NIGHT initiative, which amassed over $25k for their selected charities in 2018 and seeks to raise awareness amongst dancers again in the build-up to Earth Day on April 22nd.
Much like the varied attempts from humankind to revive our fragile climate, the jams featured are far-ranging, differing broadly in both form and delivery, some sounding much crisper than others. Standout contributions come from the likes of Ozgood, who collaborates with vocalist Yacouba Diarra to provide a meditative, sun-kissed, Middle-Eastern cut. Another track that sits snugly within the ‘festival-at-sunset’ vein is Till Von Sein’s “Filter”, a floating, cosmo-chic disco groover.
The assortment is also littered with a handful of darker blends, such as Silvie Loto’s flickering, rugged tech-roller “Answer”, and Mystic Bill’s stark, no-nonsense warning “The Arctic Sea Ice Is Decaying”, where deep voices proclaim the dark reality of climate change that we often choose to ignore. Another explicit voice for the cause comes in the form of Reelsoul’s young son Jayden, who innocently declares alarming climate statistics atop Mr V. and his father’s “Be The Change”, the first track from the compilation to be released. It’s not all doom and gloom though, with the likes of SlothBoogie’s “Cherry Blossom” serving as a friendly reminder that there’s still hope, as excited synth-lines and relaxed mallets meet the saturated thwack of pounding house drums.
The body of the compilation diverges wildly, featuring tracks as far removed as Red Rak’em‘s sparse, kaleidoscopic trip-hop jam “Wonky Hip Hop” and Nickodemus’ spiritual marimba-dance “We Give Thanks” (feat. Florencia), which features corny but somewhat alluring vocals. Variation is rarely a bad thing, but in the middle-ground between these small gems, the release tends to fall short – somewhat unsurprising due to its length – with many tracks feeling misplaced or unnecessary. In spite of this, the group and the artists involved should give themselves a well-deserved pat on the back for their efforts to raise awareness and funding for this worthy cause.
The problem at hand is something we should all be grappling with, whether it’s by going vegan, flying less, reducing plastic use or putting pressure on careless corporations and governments to make change. If you’ve ever laid eyes on a dishevelled festival site after the party’s over, or the worrying carbon emission stats of major touring artists, then you’ll be well aware of the need for a climate consensus in the electronic music industry amongst promoters, party-goers and artists alike.
For more info on going green with top tips from David Attenborough and the science community click here. For an insightful video on our scene’s carbon contributions from Stamp The Wax, click here. To get involved with DJS4CA and the Earth Night project, click here.