A new compilation of electronic music has brought together some of Northern Ireland’s best-established artists with a host of up-and-coming talent – and all for a good cause.
MINDS, which was released last week on the music site Bandcamp, is a 22-track album released to raise money for PIPS Hope & Support, the Newry-based charity that supports people affected by suicide and self-harm.
The compilation was put together by Adam Magill, a Belfast-based events promoter and the owner of Spilt Milk Rekords, who put together two hugely successful mini-festivals in 2018 and 2019, featuring the cream of the city’s electronic music scene.
This year, with the route back onto dancefloors still uncertain, he decided to put together a charity album instead.
“The first one was only meant to be a one-off,” he said, “We tried to create a mini-festival for one day. All the DJs played for free, all the artists contributed, and we raised about £1600 or £1700 pounds.
“Then because it was so successful, a year went by it was like, ‘feck it, we’ll do it again’. This year, because we didn’t know what the story was with events – and we still don’t – we’re trying to do something that wee bit different.”
PIPS is a charity close to Adam’s heart – some years ago he had his own struggles with his mental health, and the charity was there to support him. After that experience, he vowed to do whatever he could to give something back.
“PIPS were fantastic,” he says. “They brought me in and sat me down for an initial talk, and looked to see which therapy I would benefit from the most – CBT was the one that I availed of.
“I know so many others, even within the music scene, who have benefited from the help that PIPS give. I couldn’t praise them enough for the work they do, and on such a shoestring budget – it’s incredible.”
The album features stalwarts of our electronic music scene like Timmy Stewart (aka T-Bone), Jordan Nocturne and Bloom, alongside up-and-comers like Cartin, Gilmore and Irish/Saudi producer Moving Still, with a full range of sounds represented, from house and techno to jazz, grime and drum & bass.
It was launched with a virtual launch gig online, with bespoke visuals for all 22 tracks from Portadown artist Eoin Robinson, album art by Manchester-based Belfast artist Jane Catterson and specially designed merchandise by Matt Megaw.
“It was a collaborative effort and it was great that all the artists took centre stage, shone through and I think that was really important this year,” Adam added.
He is all too aware of what a difficult time it has been for charities like PIPS, for all sorts of reasons – fundraising has been tough to achieve because of social distancing and the ban on events, at a time when the demand for their services has seldom been higher.
“There are so many different hurdles in the way of fundraising, as well as the fact that people weren’t able to reach out and get therapy that was always available to them,” he said.
“I think there are going to be increasing mental health issues off the back of this as well, so they’re going to be constrained even further.
“So being able to look at an alternative way of fundraising for them was important. Hopefully we can raise as much as possible for them, given the current circumstances.”
MINDS V/A is available to purchase at spiltmilkmusic.bandcamp.com, priced at £15.