Ice Cream Social Releases All-Black Fundraiser Compilation for Community Wellness

.NET 1.5 cover artwork by Alfred.

It’s Bandcamp Friday once again, and for the rest of the day, the platform is waiving their usual share of revenue from sales to support artists during the ongoing pandemic. There’s no shortage of cutting-edge art and worthy causes to support, and you’ll find both in .NET 1.5, a new compilation out today from booking agency/artist collective Ice Cream Social RVA.

They coordinated the release as a fundraiser to support Peter’s Place RVA–an LGBTQIA+ recovery house in Richmond–and Trans Needle Exchange, a nonprofit that provides free medical supplies for transgender people undergoing hormone replacement therapy. 

“Peter’s Place supports people who come or may want to come to our events and parties,” says a joint statement from Ice Cream Social organizers Angel, Noir, and Judy. “This org looks out for people like us specifically, who may not have access to queer and trans-friendly healthcare and other vital resources. Ice Cream Social is a community-based organization and we consider them a part of our community.”

In the case of Trans Needle Exchange, the connection is just as personal. Earlier this year, Angel and Noir used Trans Needle Exchange services, finding it to be quick and convenient given the usual obstacles to care.

“The medical-industrial complex is already slated against queer and trans BIPOC,” they say. “Now with the pandemic, it’s even more difficult and riskier to get essential health services. The folks running [Trans Needle Exchange] were super responsive and the application process was low-barrier. It’s affirming to feel the security of a strong mutual aid network even in times of crisis.”

The goal is to raise a total of $10,000 to split among the two organizations as well as the contributing artists, all by doing what Ice Cream Social does best. Until the return of safe in-person events, .NET 1.5 is as close as you can get to the kind of dance party Ice Cream Social is known for. The compilation features an all-Black lineup, and the organizers say it was chosen specifically to present an expansive vision of what Black dance music can be.

“We wanted to showcase the limitlessness of Black queer expression. Black dance isn’t tied to any particular genre. Black people can and will dance to anything. Black expression is the blueprint for all genres.”

The featured tracks and artists certainly illustrate that range. Throughout its 14 tracks, .NET 1.5 features hip-hop, house, R&B, pop, and a few different flavors of experimental electronic music. Featured artists include ♡VØID♡, Dazeases, Ahomari, DJ Love, Ty Sorrell, Jasmyn Milan, DEMI-MARIONETTE, Hunting Dog, ghost.slut, Hajj (ARCHANGEL and MARS OBSIDIAN), :3LON, INDEX, BAE BAE, and NO EYES.

And in breaking down those preconceived ideas about identity and genre, Ice Cream Social aim to completely reorder the way music communities are built–leading away from genre and toward more practical and progressive considerations.

.NET 1.5 shatters the limits of what confines us, ushering the world into a future where creative ecosystems are built upon a framework of mutual aid and reparations.”

There are plans for physical merch in the works, but for the time being, you can get a digital copy from Ice Cream Social’s Bandcamp.

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