2009 retrospective: highlights from Radio One's Introducing In Wales

Tuesday 1 December 2009, 14:23

Bethan Elfyn Bethan Elfyn

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Studio sessions

Getting the artists up close and personal is always a really nice way to make live radio feel different. It's the intimacy, it's the old rustic BBC surroundings, and it's the sheer adrenalin and panic of 'going live'.

We saw Silver Gospel Runners, Golden Silvers, Micachu, Beatbox Fozzy, Cats and Cats and Cats, Sibrydion, The Drums, Johnny Foreinger, Dananananakroyd and many others fly through the studios this year, but one of the highlights was quiet, unasuming Ceri Frost, long time collaborator with Sweet Baboo and Little My, and familiar face on the Cardiff gig circuit. He took the rusty honky tonk piano in the corner of Studio 4 and made it sing.

We've had exclusive recordings from bands on Radio One's Introducing (and previously Beth and Huw) show for 10 years now, and give the artists a chance to work with new producers, a different surrounding or sometimes in a professional studio for the first time.

This year's stand out sessions include Bedroom beats producer Avan Rijs coming in from Carmarthen to the space and expanse of Machine Room studios, based in the historic HTV building on the outskirts of Cardiff, or Sweet Baboo with Fredrick Stanley Star as his backing band in Stir Studios produced by Richard Jackson.

One of my favourites, however, was the Mechnical Owl session, recorded by John Lawrence at Nant-Y-Benglog Studios, Capel Currig, Snowdonia. Despite the fact I wasn't there in person, the charm and remoteness of the landscape, and the warmth and camaraderie of the studio team have obviously collided to create haunting recordings, that are a snapshot in time and space. I really felt I was huddled by the open fire, listening in to the session as soon as I heard the songs. Truly magic!

Live gigs

From Future Of The Left at Music Box rehearsal rooms, with Pulled Apart By Horses, to Stornoway and Them Squirrels at our own stage at the annual Truck festival in Oxfordshire, live music is at the heart of what we do on the show.

As well as recording the still incredible line up at the Green Man festival, we hosted a stage at Swn Festival headlined by Wales' own Kate Bush, Marina And The Diamonds, and finished the year with two lively gigs at two of Wales' universities, Bangor and Aberystwyth. Both worth it for the train ride alone.

If I had to pick just one from all the year's events, I'd probably say that the Bangor show's welcome, the night run by Lostproperty DJs, and the performances from Y Promatics, Soft Toy Emergency, and Young Fathers will stick in my mind for a long time, and has set the bar very high indeed for any future Introducing gigs. Check the video here!

Mixes

Whether laptops, studio mixes, or live two /four deck action before our very eyes, the DJs who have constantly amazed and peppered the show with their tastemaking, dance induced creations in 2009 were Don Leisure, Chesus & Rodski, Mr Curtamouse, Chrome Kids, Plyci, Acid Casuals, and Jordan Suckley.

Most recently we had a Parisienne electro mix from Cyrion and one of my favourites a soundtrack influenced, soundeffect peppered, genre-hopping, soundclash from beafy beatmaker Zwolf.

And to hear all these tracks and more, check out our special Live Awards 2009, coming up on 16 December from Midnight on BBC Radio One, tune in and email your own suggestions to bethan.elfyn@bbc.co.uk.

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