Most weeks I try and catch up with the hundreds of new songs that are sent our way from brand new musicians, via the BBC Introducing Uploader. The uploader has replaced the old system of sending your demo in to a radio station, and is a handy little tool for musicians and journos alike: we can mark and download songs we're interested in, and the musician will get an automated email to say we've listened. So hopefully it's win-win.
The only downside if I'm honest is the sheer volume and sometimes lack of quality control on the uploads. In order to find the gems you've got to trawl through a lot of painful music that either isn't ready to be in the world yet, or hasn't been recorded well, or suffers from really bad vocals, bad lyrics, bad guitar playing, drums out of time, and everything that could possibly be wrong with a track. Musicians - check yourselves before you send in your track, please!
But the gems are worth it all, and it's fantastic getting to know artists from all over Wales that probably would find it difficult to get in touch without this system. I'm also in the privileged position of sending the good ones on to my colleague Tom Robinson to play on the Introducing show on BBC 6 Music, and we recommend artists on to play festival stages. This year BBC Radio Wales saw Cuba Cuba go through to play at Reading and Leeds.
So here are some tracks and a little about some new musicians I thought were pretty good on the Introducing Uploader this week:
Ceri Frost - No Time Like the Past
Solo artist and producer from Cardiff, has played in many bands in Cardiff's indie scene over the years, but as a songwriter he's magic. With a new album coming out this winter, the songs he's shared with us on the Uplaoader sound so classic, full, confident and excellent.
Big Si - Going Nowhere
How about some mellow hip hop with strong, confident lyrics, mellow melodies and samples from the wilds of north Wales? A hat doffed also as he's already worked alongside LL Cool J's producer DJ Bobcat, released four EPs online, and gained respect with the UK hip hop community. There are tracks available on his YouTube channel (some explicit lyrics and themes).
Ookami - Sunsets (On The Mountain)
Ookami, although sounding exotic, are Rhodri and Theo from south Wales, who create all kinds of electronic house music. They produce really big and confident-sounding dance, which has a wonderful drive. It's dancefloor ready!
Conek4 - All City
Conek4, aka Juan Barr, is a producer and DJ from Cardiff who makes some fluid music. He's a multi instrumentalist, and has created a beautiful drum and bass track here that I found on the Uploader. If you like what you hear, you can find more tunes from him on SoundCloud too.
Daine - Stranded
Daine aka Daine Rusowich is a 22 year old musician, who mainly plays in hardcore, punk and thrash bands, but needed an outlet for his softer side. He had some songs up his sleeve that definitely didn't fit into the bands he was in. There's a wonderful melancholia here: a great taster for his solo work for the future. It reminds me a little of James Blake but voice and guitar have a wonderful quality. You can watch a video for Stranded on YouTube.
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