Underrated Jemz is a promo channel “Dedicated to finding and sharing awesome underground music.” It certainly does this, but that’s not what makes it unique. Entire supercluster’s worth of channels like this exist.
But Jemz has a place in my heart because (along with The GΔmes We PlΔy), it was one of the first places I drew inspiration from after joining Pastel Wasteland. And more importantly, Jemz has always had a particular aura of mystery around it.
The GΔmes We PlΔy’s channel is part of a label, with a full suite of information and links attached. Jemz has no links to social media and little info about who’s behind it. In fact when you search for it online, one of the top results is us.
The mystery around it deepened in late 2018. The channel’s upload schedule had been out of whack for ages, but on September 3rd it froze entirely. To all intents and purposes, Underrated Jemz was dead.
Until March 25th, 2020, when there was a sudden burst of activity. A channel that hadn’t uploaded anything for well over a year lit up, with (at the time of writing) seven songs uploaded in the space of two weeks.
Underrated Jemz never had many views. Roughly 478,000 total over its lifetime, with many uploads only making it into three figures. But the comments revealed an appreciative audience. Listeners with a fondness for the channel as well as the music it carries. In fact its revival may be down to an act of solidarity with its community. Born from comments like this perhaps?*
It’s also worth noting that the uploader commented on Bandcamp’s own recent act of solidarity.
All of this goes to show why channels like this matter. They’re labours of love. They give oxygen to indie artists, and bring people together through a shared love of music, regardless of how obscure it is.
I always wanted to discuss this treasure of a channel, but given its silence, I let it go. Now it’s back, I’d like to produce a series of lists; each showcasing some of the great singles, EPs, albums and playlists it contains.
This has been an introduction. And here’s a little taste…
* I checked out X Zykron X’s SoundCloud. You should too.