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I can still remember - with rare clarity - hearing Soft-Hearted Scientists for the first time. Back then, 90% of the demos that fell through my letterbox, burnt onto CD-Rs that had a tendency to skip more than prawn cocktail flavoured TV kangaroos, either sounded like the 'phonics or the 'prophets.
Hundreds upon hundreds of over earnest, MFI anthems that wouldn't have illuminated the inside of a matchbox, had the musical atoms that constituted them been split apart to release their energy.
Within the first few moments of that debut Soft-Hearted Scientists album, also on CD-R - resolutely unskippy and broodingly resplendent in a photocopied Robert Mitchum in Night of the Hunter sleeve - the entirety of my soul was sparkling like a chandelier refracting a supernova.
This band had a unique - for the time - vision: escapist, whimsical folk tales; mysterious travelogues with mild psychedelic undertones; jaw harps, bubbles, melancholic arpeggios, ancient synthesisers. It was overwhelming in its DIY brilliance, its need to be something other, something transporting.
And it wasn't 'just' whimsy: these songs had teeth and a dark, Grimm heart. Soft Hearted Scientists weren't Circulus, that's for sure.
Since that hissy, wonderful introduction, Soft-Hearted Scientists have released three full albums (Take Time To Wonder In A Whirling World, Wandermoon and False Lights), two excellent compilations (Uncanny Tales From The Everyday Undergrowth and Whatever Happened To The Soft Hearted Scientists) and innumerable singles and EPs. Their furrow has become wider and more fertile with each release, while still adhering to their original philosophy.
Nathan would write and record these songs regardless of whether we were listening or not. I think that they're his refuge from the evil, selfishness and soullessness of the world around him - and his songs continue to fulfil that role for me too.
I'm chuffed pink to be able to feature two brand new Soft-Hearted Scientists session tracks on this week's programme. They're more song cycles/suites than traditional songs. They're beautiful - a fragile reminder of the wonders we can achieve if we have the courage to pursue our own vision.
Elsewhere in the show, having dragged my daughter to see Cerys Matthews earlier in the week (she loved the experience!), I celebrate Cerys' joy for music and enthusiasm for us all to join in (see her new book Hook, Line And Singer for substantial and excellent evidence of this).
Alan Holmes dusts down a cassette copy of a Grug Eithin album. And I have debut radio plays for New Cowboy Builders, The Cherokees, Mirror Gorillas.
HIPPIES VS GHOSTS - 'Mountain Monster'
Cwm Y Glo
ISLET - 'Triangulation Station'
FALCON LAKE - 'Yugo'
GEORGIA RUTH - 'Etrai'
ESTRONS - 'My Turn'
DEEP CUT - 'Dead Inside Your Heart'
CATATONIA - 'Whale'
CERYS MATTHEWS - 'La Tarara'
EARTH, THE - 'Operator'
MR HUW - 'Cariad Afiach'
ELEPHANT & SOLDIER - 'Fight Like Them'
CATFISH AND THE BOTTLEMEN - 'Homesick'
HYPERMETRIX - 'My Favourite Riots Are Liquid'
LITTLE ARROW - 'Paddy Fields'
WICKET - 'Know Your Roots'
SOFT-HEARTED SCIENTISTS - 'Krakatoa Song'
SOUNDWIRE - 'Set In Steel'
FAG MACHINE, THE - 'Ivory Snow'
TOTEM TERRORS - 'Illuminati Toga Party'
ROSEVILLE BAND, THE - 'Temper'
LEVI JAMES - 'Foreign Object'
BRAXTON HICKS - 'Depression/Scream It Out'
NEW COWBOY BUILDERS - 'Galloping Puritans'
FUTURE OF THE LEFT - 'The Male Gaze'
MANSUN - 'I Can Only Disappoint U'
JOY FORMIDABLE, THE - 'Silent Treatment'
SOFT-HEARTED SCIENTISTS - 'Nash Point Suite'
PERFECT BLUE - 'A Bao A Qu'
CHEROKEES, THE - 'Going Away'
MIRROR GORILLAS - 'Say Goodbye, Cambridge (acoustic)'
QUEER'D SCIENCE - 'Offer Me'
ALAN HOLMES - 'Spoken Contribution'
GRUG EITHIN - 'Ferryside'
H. HAWKLINE - 'Ghouls'
PINKUNOIZU - 'I Chi ( Islet Remix )'
SHORT AND CURLIES - 'Serene Again And Again'
CAMERA - 'Shine On You'
MANK - 'Precession'
Menai Bridge, Anglesey