‘Spillin’ The Beans – To Chechnya With Love: A Benefit Compilation for Chechen LGBTQ+ (Vol 1)

This week, ‘Spillin’ The Beans is stepping sideways to some degree to listen to an album that is all about a particular cause, LGBTQ Rights in Chechnya.

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The press release explains the reasons behind this album – “TO CHECHNYA WITH LOVE is a brand new grassroots benefit compilation to support persecuted LGBT+ people in need of urgent aid who are encountering violence, torture and murder in Chechnya, Russia.

Originally planned as a standalone release, the response to the project has been so overwhelming that it will now be a multi-volume series of releases. Volume 1 of the series is out on 1st June 2017 and available to download from Bandcamp – all proceeds will go to the Russian LGBT Network whose work directly supports those suffering in Chechnya.

Now, I suppose that some people might say “OK, this might be a good cause, but is the music any good?“, which is a reasonable question. We can all probably remember some dodgy charity records in the past, but there have also been some great ones. Who remembers the whole series of Red Hot Organisation AIDS Support compilations kicked off by the Red Hot + Blue album? There were some cracking records released in that series, culminating in 2016’s “Day of the Dead” box set, a masterful set of reworkings of Grateful Dead music.

Anyway, IS the music on this any good? Well, yes, it is actually, mostly. There is a huge range of music to listen to, pretty much everything from folk to metal, including a storming cover version of Led Zeppelin‘s classic “When The Levee Breaks” by The Janitors. As it says on the Bandcamp page, “This compilation includes music by LGBTQ+ musicians and allies, with rare and unreleased material by Bent Knee, William Ryan Fritch, Asva, Trojan Horse, Pijn and more. From psych folk to doom metal, electronica, punk, indie, modern prog and shoegaze – whatever your tastes, we’ve got you covered.”

I’ve listened to the whole thing, I like some tracks more than others, I especially liked the gentle drifting ambient “Hidden Zooms” by RememberRemember, and the opening track “Lux/Lumen” by Pijn is fantastic, but what I can most definitely say is that the music is that most important of things, it is interesting. If you like music that challenges, that gives you something to get your teeth into, you’ll find something here. Even better, you’ll be doing something about an absolutely dreadful situation, with mass arrests, detainment in secret prisons, torture and even murder being inflicted on people whose only “crime” is their sexual orientation or gender expression. Hundreds of LGBTQ people have been detained and at least twenty six people have been killed, though it is extremely likely that extra-judicial ‘honour’ killings, encouraged by the state, have resulted in further unrecorded deaths.

But don’t take my word for it. Read these links.

ampsforequality.wixsite.com/chechnya

attitude.co.uk/chechen-authorities-summoning-parents-to-prison-camps-to-kill-their-gay-sons/

www.dazeddigital.com/artsandculture/article/35576/1/help-stop-the-torture-of-gay-men-in-chechnya

You can also donate directly via PayPal to ampsforequality@gmail.com if you wish!

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