If you look at it one way only two of the 24 artists featured on this year’s sampler have appeared on one of our previous compilations. That would be Grace Joyner and Dear Blanca. Look at it another way and you can include She Returns from War and 2 Slices, who worked together on a track this year and you can include Human Resources who collaborated with fellow Charleston act Little Stranger for their sampler track. All the same, any way you look at it this year’s compilation features mostly artists who haven’t appeared on a sampler before. This is also the first year that Brave Baby (or Wylie as they were previously know) hasn’t appeared on a sampler. We do however have debut tracks from Brave Baby frontman Keon Masters and drummer and producer Wolfgang Zimmerman.
Now in our 9th year of putting out a South Carolina music compilation we still feel like the sampler is finding its identity. For a lot of people outside of our state, it offers them a glimpse into our indie music scene. It’s nowhere near inclusive of everything that’s going on. Podcasts like The Fringe are doing an excellent job of showcasing a broader spectrum our music scene, along with all of the other great media outlets we now have around the state. Independent media is in a really great place now around the state with outlets like Extra Chill, The Hoodoo Music Podcast, and BINACTÂ just to name a few. All of these outlets look to support artists early and showcase a wide variety of the local talent we have around the state.
Years ago we quit trying to imagine what a sampler would end up being and just let it develop with the artists. It isn’t something that’s forced into a mold. Some years it’s not until a week or so out from the release date that we know how it will turn out. This year, we’re releasing a month later than usual, and it’s only been over the last couple of days that we’ve been able to take in the compilation as a whole.
At 24 tracks, we still had to narrow it down to get there and that’s by far the hardest part of the compilation. Years ago we accidentally put together a sampler of exclusive tracks, so that’s become one of the most important parts. We favor exclusive songs, b-sides, very recent releases, or more established artists experimenting with their sound. We favor collaborations, and try to get artists who have yet to appear on a sampler included. If you compare this compilation to the previous eight, you’re going to notice a lot of new names. Some are new projects from artists who have appeared before, and some are artists who are still working to establish their name.
To us putting together a sampler isn’t just pulling tracks from South Carolina’s 20 biggest acts on a compilation and sharing it with the world. The magic is in showcasing new artists and projects, encouraging artists to work together, and connecting South Carolina musicians through this common outlet. Hopefully we’ve done that again this year, and as a listener you’ll find an artist or a song new to you who you enjoy enough to buy their music, go see them live, and become a fan.
The Vol. 9 cover art was designed by Nate Puza and the compilation was mastered by Kenny McWilliams at Archer Avenue Studio. They’ve both been there for SceneSC from the beginning. 10 years now. We’ve turned into a team with this project.