INTRODUCING MIXTAPE. MONDAY 02/07/2012
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 BBC colleagues across the Introducing network, and some discovered via Twitter and my own Fresh On The Net blog.
From 3am each Monday the latest mixtape is then 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. Below are the listings for Monday, July 2nd.
DEATH AT SEA - Drag [starts 0:04]
Hotly tipped on Fresh On The Net by blogger Chris Chadwick. The three founding musicians originally met at college on a classical music course in Liverpool. Ralph Kinsella and Sam Peterson began writing together earlier this year and were swiftly re-joined by Ruaidhri Owens who gave up a music studio job in Glasgow to come and form Death At Sea as soon as he heard the first two songs. The lineup was completed by Carl and Neale Davies, and the band's carefully nutured mystique enhanced by Kinsella's skilfully obtuse music videos. The A&R pack began hounding after only three gigs, they have an album’s worth of material ready to go, and they made their London debut at The Lexington only last week.
CLEFT - External Complications [starts 4:07]
Cleft are, they tell us, "a two-piece band that makes massive, dirty noises. We bring instruments. You bring ears. Together we enjoy the noises." They consist of Dan Beesley (guitar, pedals and pouts) John Simm (drums, cymbals and gurning) and you can enjoy their noises in person at The Roadhouse in Manchester this Friday (July 6th) or in the comfort of your own home by downloading the free 4-track EP Utter from their website.
MISHAPED PEARLS - Fledgeling [starts 7:31]
Mishaped Pearls is the multilingual, muliticultural European-Renaissance pop project of former folk musician Ged Flood and Manuela Schütte a genuine dyed in the wool classically trained soprano. Plus an ambitiously large cast of supporting musicians playing an improbable array of instruments.
"Mis-shapen pearl" is, they explain, a literal translation of the word "Baroque". It's not often a band can truthfully claim to have a sound unlike anyone else in the country, but Mishaped Pearls can certainly make that proud boast. Long may they flourish.
SNORKEL - Dead Skin [Crewdson remix] [starts 11:07]
Snorkel is a five piece experimental unit from London featuring Frank Byng, Ben Cowen, Ralph Cumbers, Tom Marriott and Roberto Sassi who revel, they tell us, "in the joy of psychedelic repetition throwing in elastic interruptions on guitar, analogue and digital synthesisers, trombone, live samples and vocals." Their second album Stop Machine was released recently on Slowfoot Records and this track from it has been remixed by Crewdson - aka New Cross producer and electronic beat maker Hugh Jones (also of One Pig, Hello Skinny and Saltwater Samurai).
THE PRISON LIBRARY - Liars [starts 15:09]
This is the new single from The Prison Library and in my view their best work to date. It's currently getting love from Xfm and Amazing Radio as well as BBC Introducing in their native Newcastle - and is produced by their friend and longtime collaborator Mick Ross. As if the legendary Tyneside guitarist and producer didn't already have enough on his hands, working with the likes of Minotaurs, Ajimal, Frankie & the Heartstrings, Soundtracks for a B Movie and Let’s Buy Happiness. The single launch gig this Wednesday (July 4th) at Cluny 2 offers stellar support from the mighty Mammal Club and the wonderful Weird Shapes. If you live within fifty miles, take a listen to this mixtape then drop everything on Wednesday and catch the show.
NATASHA ROBERTSON - Blush [starts 18:32]
Tasha is a songwriter and acoustic guitarist from Colchester, and sent this lovely little song to the BBC Introducing Uploader just over two weeks ago with no information whatever. She also uploaded it to a page on Souncloud, again with no information. To be honest an artist biog doesn't have to be a big deal - and certainly doesn't need any flowery nonsense about how great your music is - we can hear that for ourselves. It's just helpful to be given a few facts about who you are, where you are and what you're up to. Take Palace, for instance...
PALACE - St. Albans (Things We Used To Do) [starts 21:58]
"We are" say Palace "an alternative/punk/pop band from Hartlepool. We've been together for a year and released our debut EP 'Apology in Demand' in January 2012. We recorded the entire EP ourselves in drummer Tom's garage and guitarist Luke's bedroom. We love to do everything ourselves, from producing our music to creating our artwork. Since bringing out the EP we've supported some great bands such as Mystery Jets, Pigeon Detectives and Hyde & Beast. We are due to play along side the Pogues and We are Scientists in August. Our music is free: musicfrompalace.bandcamp.com!" That's the way to do it. As for all the thought, care, love, musicianship and sheer emotional intelligence that's gone into the making of this track - well, download the mixtape and hear for yourself. Nice drumming, too...
SOUTHERN - Where the Wild Are [starts 26:42]
Oh I love this. Wonderful fresh unaffected songwriting from Belfast - where siblings Thom and Lucy Southern have given their surname to the band itself. Thom produced their debut EP World Don’t Shine in his bedroom last year but for this single he headed across the water to make the record at Parr Street studios in Liverpool, with Rich Turvey taking care of the engineering. Even seasoned pros can struggle to make their productions sound as transparent and effortless as this. Southern are grounded on a bedrock of solid musical talent which I'd love to hear them develop into something odder and more daring. Still, even on their current tragectory they'll be giving messrs Morrison, Mraz and Nuttini sleepless nights within 18 months. You mark my words...
KICK UP THE FIRE - Spiders [starts 29:50]
All credit to LA blogger Boaz from Cougar Microbes for discovering this splendidly splenetic London quartet. He recommended them to me at the start of the year on NowPlaying@6Music as an "angular East London outfit whose debut EP was a real joy - celebrating and lamenting life in the capital. More hooks than a fishing boat." Formed in 2009, they were my guests on BBC Introducing: Fresh On The Net back in February (see picture above). This track is from their forthcoming 2nd EP Money Men - due out on July 30th. Londoners, if you can't wait till then, can catch them live at The Wheelbarrow in Camden this coming Sunday July 8th.
RUSSELL SWALLOW AND THE WOLF - Paper Aeroplanes [starts 33:20]
Russell Swallow and the Wolf are a trio powered by picked guitar, dynamic piano, soaring violin and layered vocal harmonies. They aim to play vivid, raw and lyrical songs about love, drinking, betrayal and acquittal, in a rich mix of folk, indie and pop. This year the band have already toured Germany and supported Britpop veterans Dodgy and rising stars Will and the People. They have just released their debut record Sunrise Mountain and play a series of UK dates through the summer, culminating in two nights at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Their next show is in London this Wednesday (July 4th) at The King's Head in Islington.
ANDY BURROWS - Keep On Moving On [starts 37:16]
I don't really know why we're introducing the estimable Andrew William Burrows to you, given that he's already widely known as a drummer - first with Razorlight and, since 2009, with We Are Scientists. Neither of whom are exactly unknown. What you may not know is that Andy began his musical career as a percussionist in the Hampshire County Youth Band and also enjoys a burgeoning solo caree under his own name. And if he's unassuming enough to send us his latest tune via the BBC Introducing Uploader, then the least we can do is include it in our mixtape for your listening enjoyment.
DEAD SURF COUNTRY - Are You With Me [starts 39:49]
Swansea's Dead Surf Country have been through both name and lineup changes since they first formed five years ago as Meg And Mark. The current lineup is now Lizzie Clarke (vocals/acoustic guitar) Glen Hawksworth (guitars) and Mark Matthews (rhythm guitar). Their most recent recording sessions were in Amsterdam's Studio 150 last autumn, and their most recent single Weeds was released earlier in the year. They've recenty been looking for a drummer or pecussionist. That's it for the facts - as to why we included Are You With Me on the mixtape - take a listen and hear for yourself.
VINYL JACKET - Moment [starts 43:14]
New single from these longstanding friends of BBC Introducing on 6 Music. The tightness of their playing and stage show, the freshness of their arrangements and their extraordinary work ethic means this outfit are just one killer single - an "OMG what was that???" record - away from a breakthrough. They need a song that will make people who've never heard of either Wylam or Vinyl Jacket sit up and reach for the replay button - and I don't doubt this band has both the ability and the dedication to write it. Could "Moment" be that single? Watch the video the video or download this week's Introducing Mixtape and see what you think. Their next live show is at Kendal Caling in Sunday July 28th.
ARTMAGIC - I Keep On Walking [starts 46:46]
Artmagic have a new single out called "Forever In Negative" which you can hear on their Bandcamp. But much as I liked it, while browsing through the BBC Introducing uploader I stumbled across this song - the lead track from their previous EP - and fell in love. They consist of Richard Oakes and Sean McGhee. Richard is best known for his out-of-nowhere arrival as a fully formed guitar prodigy at the age of 17 when he stood in for Bernard Butler in Suede - and stayed with them for the album "Coming Up" and a run of Top 10 singles. Vocalist Sean has recorded and mixed number one singles for Britney Spears, sung backing vocals for Alanis Morissette and worked with both Robyn and Imogen Heap. For a new band, that's quite some CV.
PATRICK J PEARSON BAND - I Am A Racer [starts 50:31]
Originally from Launceston the PJP Band are now based in Plymouth, and at the time of their first single American Lover last year we played the bejasus out of ot on BBC Introducing: Fresh On The Net. PJP fronts his group from behind the keyboards and - in contrast to the global army of drippy piano-botherering singer-songwriters - does so with genuine power and energy. Do we miss the absence of a guitar player? Not a bit of it. This single is the first track to be taken from the band's debut album And So It Goes - set for selfrelease in the autumn release. It also has one of the most peculiar videos you'll see this year.
SOUND ASSEMBLY - Freak Me [starts 54:12]
"Sound Assembly presents a sideshow synthetic sensation... Roll up, roll up and gaze in awe at the magical mystery a sight to behold A sideshow synthetic sensation, step back, watch the madness unfold. After 150+ releases as Koma & Bones (TCR/Lot49/Skint), Jude Sebastian teamed up with Techno DJ & singer/songwriter Miss Bloomer. Taking booming big band badness and twisting it into a dancefloor wreckin’ sideshow they call ‘Nu Skool Swing’, on stage the duo are joined by machine gun drummer Mr Sharkey, rockin’ clubs from Paris, London, Liverpool, Leeds and beyond. Get ready for banging rhythms, fat ass bass and the downright sleazy swagger of Miss Bloomer." Sorry, I love this track, but lost the will to even begin trying to turn the above into English. Make of it what you will.