INTRODUCING MIXTAPE. MONDAY 11/02/2013
Flash Bang Band
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.
In addition, every Wednesday the mixtape is published on the BBC 6 Music Soundcloud page and added to this page midweek - along with more info about each of the artists. These are the listings for Monday, 11th February 2013
SLAVES - Nervous Energy [start 0:13]
Slaves describe themselves as a "2 piece Garage Punk duo from Kent, UK" and consist of Isaac Holman on vocals & percussion, and Laurie Vincent on guitar & vocals. This track is available as a free download from http://slavesuk.bandcamp.com. You can endless descriptions of their music by other people on their Facebook page, though the glowing paragraph that's (ahem) credited to me was actually written by Simon Jones, reviewing them at http://freshonthenet.co.uk/faves46
FELDSPAR - The Flat and Paper Sky [start 02:23]
Are band biographies going out of fashion or something. All I can tell you about this lot is that they're a London-based five piece who've been aredently supported by The 405, For Folk's sake and BBC Radio 2 - perhaps unsurprising given the outstanding quality of this track. What I can't offer you is any kind of context in which to listen to this music. Their blog tells us that they've released two Eps called The Flat and Paper Sky and The Flat and Paper Sky Vol. II. However they don't offer a tracklisting for either of them - so which of them contains the actual song called The Flat and Paper Sky ? Your guess is as good as mine.
FELIX HAGAN &THE FAMILY feat LOUIS BARABBAS - My Little Lusitania [start 04:14]
Felix Hagan & The Family are, we're told, "a seven-piece beast made of makeup, hairspray, lovely ladies and staggering musicianship - who play rock and roll infused with musical theatre." However the eponymous Felix writes, plays and produces on their records in his studio space in the attic of Ray Davies' Konk Studios in North London. They recently signed to Manchester label Debt Records which explains why label boss Louis Barabbas is making a guest appearance on this splendid single.
OMEGA66 - Whirlwind [start 08:37]
Omega66 is the brainchild of Krik, formerly of Dark Chunk, making music in his small Cardiff studio on guitar, vocals and something called a Stank Machine - which gave its name to the opening track on their last album. His credited collaborators include brilliant local vocalist Sally Thomas and percussionmeisters Adrian Wiggins and Dan Pressley. We played the title track of their second LP Nools And High Horses back in October 2011 and a followup album is expected this year. Whirlwind, newly released on Bandcamp at the end of January, bodes well for the upcoming longplayer.
FLASH BANG BAND - DananananaFreud [start 11:56]
Andy Halliday, Rob Carmier and Rodney Roodt (pictured above) describe themselves as three "hearty philosophical gutter rats from Brighton who met on the internet and then got together to make a band: fun time dudes playing for their lives songs about the skewed reality we find ourselves in. And stuff like that." We assume their singularly unpronouncable choice of track name is in homage to the late lamented Glasgow fight-pop sextet Dananananaykroyd. They list their interests as "Vibes. Chaos. Serendipity. Wanderlust. Tempting Fate. The 90s (who knew?), Making New Mistakes. There is more to life than music" and "Doing things the hard way so you don't have to." This, my friends, is a band destined to go far. Listen and marvel.
CROOKED HANDS – Under [start 14:58]
Beginning as a handful of acoustic tracks by singer-songwriter Christopher Brown, Newcastle's Crooked Hands has expanded and finally evolved into a five-piece band with the addition of gutarist Tom Booth. Their stated aim is to fuse dark acoustic guitars and hymnal reverb-soaked atmospherics with sprawling, heavy rhythms. Recommended to us by the excellent Nicky Roberts at BBC Introducing in Newcastle, this is their debut single, available from http://crookedhands.bandcamp.com and the play a hometown show opening for Jim Lockey and the Solemn Sun at The Cluny this Friday February 15th.
QTIER - Still [start 19:24]
The trio of Adam Pleass, Howard Whiddett and James Gordon formed recently in London and set up a studio "by the coast" to make this record. They play East London's Neu Gallery this Wednesday February 13th and they've been tipped for greatness by Fly Magazine who recently made this their Track of The Day. That's about it for the facts. The rest of their press release contains mostly adjectives. "Beautiful", "captivating", "breathtaking", "tender", "hushed", "lush", "swooning", "forward-thinking", "mesmerising", "serious", "extraordinary", "electric", "special" and "excited" since you ask...
MON MON - Fullers Slade [start 23:20]
Back in 1967 the Doors and Velvet Underground can scarcely have imagined they were founding an entire new global tradition of louche, leering, sneering, streetwise, tough-ass rock raconteurs. I was 17 at the time and over the ensuing four and a half decades I've lost count of the loud, lowlife, leatherjacketed poseurs we've seen strutting and declaiming from club stages across the western world in their wake. Most of them managed to imitate the form without ever coming close to the true spirit of those early US pioneers. Dead Fingers Talk managed it, as did Echo and The Bunnymen, and maybe even the early BRMC. But here in the 21st century, Leeds trio MonMon have no need of sunglasses or motorcycle jackets to stake their claim as true heirs of the genre - renewing and reinventing that classic sarcastic swagger with a gritty Northern spin that's all their own. Not to mention a band so tight you couldn't fit a Rizla paper between the beats. We all know there's not much justice in the world but - if there was - then 2013 would be MonMon's year.
EMPTY POOLS - Small Talk [start 26:18]
Empty Pools were first recommended to us by Sam and Rich from BBC Introducing in Bristol. They formed in the Summer of 2011 with a mission to "combine elements of noise rock with teen dream melodies, late ’70s CBGB’s angularity and the jazzy world-pop sophistication of the Thrill Jockey set." We enjoyed their single Vanderbilt Cup last year on the Mixtape and this track will be their second single for the Battle label on March 11th with a hometown launch gig at the Louisiana on Thursday March 14th.
YOUNG ASTRONAUT - Hey Little Ghost [start 31:30]
Young Astronaut originated in the suburbs of the New Forest as two members, brothers Chris and Pete Boakes, in 2007. For the next four years they remained a duo during which they worked to develop a "harmonious and considered" blend of music which laid the foundations for Young Astronaut. These musical explorations evolved into ten tracks that then formed the basis of an album which, with the addition of drummer Niko Battistini, they then recorded in a single month's work in the studio. The resulting full length debut Fawn is now available as a free download in exchange for your email address via their website. They play 229 in London on Saturday, March 16th.
HOMEWORK - The Edge Of Control Was Black [start 36:15]
With two successful EPs under their belt, Scottish synthmeisters Homework recently announced the forthcoming release of their debut album. 13 Towers was recorded over a handful of weekends in a former lighthouse and will be released on March 25 via Home From Home Records. Hailing from the exotic Scottish outposts of Inverness, Mull and Dumfries their various members gravitated towards Edinburgh, where the band was formed in 2009 with a lineup consisting of O. Kass (vocals, synths), R. Baird (vocals, guitar, synths), R. Kass (drums) and A. Dennis (bass). They've been supported at radio so far by Lauren Laverne, Vic Galloway and Ally McCrae as well as myself, and a series of live dates throughout the UK in April and May will be announced shortly.
TESSERA SKIES - Milieu [start 41:06]
Newcastle three-piece Tessera Skies consists of Mark Broughton, Matt Hardy and Ben Helm and is, they tell us, "the eventual result of four years intermittent writing and recording between university studies". Coming from collective backgrounds in speech, sound, science, classical and jazz, they share their "love of pop, ambience and the orchestral". The name was inspired by the meaning and interpretation, both artistically and scientifically, of the sky. Also, they cheerfully admit, "it sounded quite nice". Their 2012 single Soliloquy Of An Astronaut (featured on the mixtape last year) was overseen by local production legend Mick Ross, who also had a hand in the mixing of Milieu. Lyrically, the song is based upon the concept of faith throughout childhood and as a young adult - the lyrics can be found in full at
ROBB MURPHY - When Silence Comes [start 44:40]
Robb Murphy discovered his passion for composition while studying Music Technology at Queens University in his hometown of Belfast - and can frequently be found working as a Sound Engineer at local gigs, recording bands and also as a DJ. When Silence Comes was first recommended to us by Tim at Mill Valley Studios (also in Belfast) and comes from Robb's debut album Take A Stand which was released last April, and a recent live show with his eight piece live band garnered glowing praise from Ireland's prestigious Hot Press magazine, who described his album as "a must for fans of acoustic pop ballads."
THE SCHOLARS - Love The Thunder [start 48:39]
Since we first heard from Banbury's The Scholars in 2008, they've won BBC Oxford's Battle of the Bands, been featured in the independent film Turbulence, played countless gigs and festivals and slimmed down to a three piece lineup. Now consisting of Adrian Banks. Christian Gillett and Leigh Taylor they released "Love The Thunder" via http://thescholars.bandcamp.com where you can also find their back catalogue - including the stunning reworking of their BBC Introducing classic "This Heart's Built To Break". No gigs currently in the date sheet, but subscribe to them on Facebook to get notified as soon as more come in.
DEMAIN - Broad Strokes [start 51:53]
Dan de Maine AKA Demain is an electronic music producer and occasional student based in Southampton. His style is somewhat eclectic, reflecting his varied music taste and influences. Recently he has been collaborating with local guitarist and vocalist Alex Wolfe. 2013 is going to be an exciting year with an album coming out on Fent Plates and an EP being released on Sakoon records, as well as Demain getting his live act together
GEM DOS - Cuffs [start 54:55]
"I'm originally from south east London (though I'm half Irish) and grew up listening to Drum and Bass and Electronica" says the artist known as GEM DOS. "I've been living in Dublin for 5 years and have done music courses at The Sound Training Centre and The Academy of Sound. I’m always up for remixes, colabs and chatting so if you want you can get me via my Soundcloud page. I have no idea what you would call my music other than electronic. Some of it is just to the left - maybe you can have a listen for me and let me know what you would call it."