INTRODUCING MIXTAPE. MONDAY 27/08/2012
In the small hours of a Monday morning from 2-3am you can hear a selection of my favourite new tunes compiled into an hour-long mixtape of nonstop music. All the audio is sourced from the BBC Introducing Uploader - some of it recommended by friends and colleagues and some discovered via Twitter and my own Fresh On The Net blog.
From 3am each Monday the latest mixtape is available free via the 6 Music Downloads Page - where you'll also find archived episodes from the previous 4 weeks. All the tracklists and start times for each track are published here - together with a link to each artist's website. These are the listings for Monday, August 27th.
LET'S GO SAFARI - BYOB [Starts 0:14]
Poole outfit Let’s Go Safari formed in August 2010 and consist of Ryan Wood on vocals, Clive Coats on guitar and programming, Oli Crisp on bass and James Mosley on drums. The band's stated goal is to "write simple, catchy songs in a frighteningly complex way." This is their latest single and - Willie Wonka style - they've placed place a golden ticket in one of the limited edition CDs. Said ticket can be redeemed from the band for, um... apparently that's for you to decide. Where can you buy one ? Well either online or at their next gig which takes place in London at Vibe Var later today - Monday, August 27th from 8pm
DENNIS - Caught In The Middle [Starts 3.57]
Dennis are an 8-piece "roots, folk-rock & brass band" from the former pit town of Hetton in County Durham. The individual members have played European tours, O2 Academy tours and National Brass Band finals with previous projects, and collaborate as DENNIS to create music influenced by their local heritage: brass bands, workingmens clubs, pit village life and stories of the working class. This track comes from their Colliery Welfare EP due out on September 10th. Not the easiest band name to Google, you’ll them at online at dennisband.com
JAC M & ZOË PHILLIPS - Rainy Thoughts [Starts 7.53]
This is a collaboration between Polish chillstep musician Jac M in Warsaw and 21-year old songwriter Zoë Phillips in rural Hertfordshire. Neither of them believes in giving away any hard factual information about themselves online, let alone a biog. However Zoe tells me she started out on clarinet at age 7, bought a drum kit at 10, has played at "countless initimate venues around the South East of England" and been praised by Greg James. She has a BMus degree in Music Technology from the University of Surrey and enjoys collaborating with other electronic producers. Such as, for instance, the shadowy and enigmatic Jac M.
ASTRO-PHYSICS – Chances [Starts 12.58]
Brighton’s Astro-Physics are a 6 piece collective drawn together through a love of oldskool hip-hop. Influences range from N.E.R.D and The Roots through to The Fugees and early era Prodigy. They’re fronted by fronted by Rapper/MC Skilf, singer Rachel Mosleh and also include Steve Rainbow (bass), Martin Deering (drums), Jonny Coote (keys) and Mike Hawkins (guitar). Far from imitating their idols and influences their stated goal is to fuse hip-hop, rock and pop in a fiercely distinctive British fashion. Having recently undergone changes to their sound and lineup, Astro-Physics are, they tell us, “back in full force with a handful of new tracks, shows in the diary and a new EP called It’s a Mindstate”. From which this well-liked track is taken.
THE KNIEVEL DEAD - Something Of The Night [Starts 16.29]
The Knievel Dead's website offers us the options of News, Audio, Video, Images, Live and Links. But not, alas, anything called Biog or About. I eventually supplied the following info on their Bandcamp page: "London based via the North East singer, songwriter and multi instrumentalist in the form of The Knievel Dead produces a blend of haunted malaise and harmonious alternative sound waves. Conceived after the break down of The Night Terrors whose demise spurred on the initiation to produce the début album And We Sleep". Said album was in fact launched this Saturday with a gig at the Dublin Castle in London, where former Night Terrors members Odel and Joe were joined by messrs Jeremy Knievel and Old Greg (possibly not their given names.) Apart from that, web-wise at least, their album release seems to be one of the best-kept secrets on the planet. Which is a shame because it's damn good.
NATALIE McCOOL – Fortune [Starts 19.38]
Well connected Natalie McCool definitely is - with fans ranging from Mark Radcliffe and Chris Martin to Paul McCartney and über producer Steve Levine - who was impressed enough to sign her to his label Hubris Records whilst she was still studying at LIPA. While there, she recruited her current band and her latest batch of songs has been taken up and championed by a tastemaker I trust more than all of the above rolled together - namely Fresh On The Net's resident Girl Music Guru the mighty Ruth Barnes - who featured Natalie as one of her Artists Of The Week earlier this month. Steve meanwhile promises us that The Best Is Yet To Come. Watch this space.
EIGHT ROUNDS RAPID - Channel Swimmer [Starts 24.02]
This track by Eight Rounds Rapid drew overwhelming support from many discerning regulars on my other blog recently and listening to them you can hear why: the sound is raw, urgent and authentic - in a world of pastiche wannabes going through the motions, this band is the real deal. Their biog’s a bit sparse, but at least they’ve got one: “Essex bred four piece Eight Rounds Rapid write songs for themselves. Regardless of the latest musical fads and fashions they will produce a hard edged sound all their own. For better or for worse. They are: David Burke – Vocals, Jules Cooper – Bass, Simon Johnson – Guitar, and Lee Watkins – Drums.”
BLABBERMOUTH - Money Year [Starts 26.44]
Steve Thompson aka Blabbermouth grew up in Littlehampton on the South Coast of England. One afternoon in the loft he happened upon the classical guitar he'd once been encouraged to learn but never had. After playing in a range of bands at Art School, Steve took the a guitar he’d finally learned to play and went solo in 2006. He now writes and records music on the 45 ft roaming narrowboat "Whittington Myth" he shares with his wife and cat - and several summers ago Steve embarked on a successful busking tour of The Grand Union Canal. We played his music a number of times on my old Fresh On The Net shows and this song is taken from his third album 'Ramble' which was released in June through Proper Music Distribution.
ELLIOTT MORRIS - Stand Up, Be Heard [Starts 30.05]
Based in Lincolnshire, guitar virtuoso Elliott Morris (see photo above) is a longstanding friend of BBC Introducing on 6 Music. He's set to release two new EPs and embark on an extensive tour across the UK and Ireland this Autumn. This high energy track Stand Up, Be Heard comes from his forthcoming 4-track studio EP As The Waves Came In and features his equally talented younger brother Bevan on drums. Also released on September 10th to coincide with Elliott’s five-week string of dates will be a special live acoustic EP called Take One. Videos for the new tracks can be seen on his YouTube channel while the full list of upcoming dates is on Elliott's main website.
THE FADES - Be Your Man [Starts 33.47]
A song as apparently simple as Be Your Man can be deceptively difficult to write and play – needing to be both minimal and massive at the same time. It's true that there's no fancy stuff in the lyrics or chord sequence yet – at the same time – it takes real musical smarts to get the voicing and arrangement right. You have to grab listeners in bar one, then keeps them mesmerised as the songs twists and builds right through the full four minutes. To bring it off takes the commitment, conviction – and deafening power – of a band like The Fades. Be Your Man comes from their debut studio album Ragnarok and is available in two versions – the one we've included on this week's mixtape - and the unexpurgated version. [Starts The band’s current single Foot In Your Mouth is available as a free download from their Facebook Page and Londoners can experience the full might of their live sound at the album launch on September 29th at The Borderline. Take ear protectors.
MIRACLES - Pieces Of You And Me [Starts 37.50]
The band known as Miracles sprang from a chance meeting outside an East London bar earlier this year between producer Joe Philip and songwriter Heather Vansaint. The two fell to talking and within a couple of hours (and several beers) the project was born. Their goal is, we're told, "to straddle the line between electronic dance and indiem, creating a unique and impassioned sound as a platform to express their tales of love and loss." Pieces Of You And Me is the first of three releases planned for this year and will be available at a free download from their Bandcamp page on September 2nd. The tracks that follow will "explore further the length and depth of their contemporary alt electro sound, punctuated all the while by Joe’s impressive breadth of musical wizardry and Heather’s haunting and heartfelt vocal delivery, a combination that sounds as fresh on radio, as it does through broken speakers at a 5am squat party." So now you know.
DELTASOUND - Enemy [Starts 41.41]
"Hello. We’re Deltasound - a guitar/synth/noise band from the North East of England - and we play pre-apocalyptic electro-grunge. We play regularly around the UK and can be booked through the social networks below or by email via our website, where a full list of current gigs is available on the Live page. We've released a number of EPs and singles which you can get for nowt from our website, and our entirely self-produced debut album will also be available today (August 27th) from this selfsame site. We're a friendly bunch so drop us a line on here if you want to talk." That, my friends, is the way to win fans, make friends and influence people. I first played this band on 6 Music back in 2008 and they've just got better and better. I particularly love the classic loping groove from bassist Adrian Huggins and the wonderful smack-on-the-money drumming of Craig Hutchinson.
JOHNNO CASSON - This Is Essex [Starts 45.08]
Anyone who's actually lived in Essex will tell you that the country has suffered from a skewed and extremely unfair media protrayal over the years. The wideboy culture embodied by Ian Dury and recent reality TV shows is so embedded in our national psyche that Johnno Casson's unashamed and gentle paen to his adopted home comes as something of a shock. Yes the man behind the mask of quirky leftfield pop maverick Snippet is stepping out into the spotlight armed with little more than an acoustic guitar to make an album of stripped down, laid-back songs of heartfelt intensity. Originally born and raised London Johnno settled happily and permanently in the coastlands of Colchester and this tribute to the region was originally a single last January. It now stands proudly as the iconic closing track to Window Shopping which is is released by Folkwit Records this Autumn on October 8th.
CARTESIAN JETSTREAM - Miniature Minotaurs [Starts 49.23]
Now here's a first. To the best of my recollection we've never featured a band from the Isle Of Man before either on the Mixtape or back in the old days of 6 Music Introducing: Fresh On The Net. Cartesian Jetstream are Phil Bell-Scott, Simon Kilgannon and Ben Scott who describe themselves as "rural misfits making ramshackle but groovy post-punk with psychedelic intentions - adhering to the rock cliche of interesting bands germinating in weird backwaters." They like to use drones and abstract loops in their sound and would ideally have liked to recruit an electric jug player just like the 13th Floor Elevators. However, deadpans drummer Ben, "they seem to be in short supply on the island". The band would also welcome advice from fellow musicians on how to score gigs far away from home "We want to start playing regularly on the mainland next year" they say "but wouldn't know where to start. Any tips would be welcomed."
FREE SWIM - Records in the Basement [Starts 56.29]
Free Swim not only have an interesting story to tell, but they've taken the trouble to share it in the entertaining and informative biog on their Facebook page. It's worth quoting here - if only so that a few of the other artists this week can look and learn. This, my friends, is an object lesson in how to write a proper band biography: funny, factual and fascinating.
"Free Swim is the music of 30 year-old Secondary School Lab Technician Paul Coltoféanu from Reigate. Having squandered the opportunity of a lifetime with another band in his early 20s, Paul ploughed headfirst into a six year wilderness of regret, woe and countless Friday evenings with nothing but a discontinued Casio keyboard, a growing collection of Frank Zappa records and a temperamental 8-track recorder for company. "
"After much time spent chilling at All Tomorrow's Parties, wandering the streets of Brooklyn or getting lost in Eastern Europe, in 2010 Paul created Free Swim - in which he plays and sings everything while flatmate David Knight contributes spoken word monologues. After three acclaimed "surreal concept" EPs, Free Swim became a live band last year featuring Paul and David augmented by Ryan, Steve and Joe (who performs in an animal suit as Yolanda The Panda)."
This track comes from Free Swim's latest EP She Dreams In Lights - which tones down the quirky humour in favour of a more substantial dreampop sound. It's resulted in the band being taken far more seriously at radio - with support from Huw Stephens, Steve Lamacq and Jon Hillcock as well as myself. It's currently available to download for free from the Free Swim Bancamp page.