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Tom Robinson Tom Robinson | 02:00 UK time, Monday, 25 June 2012

Calling All Astronauts

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, June 25th.

CALLING ALL ASTRONAUTS - Winter Of Discontent [Starts 0:04]
Consist of ex Caffeine guitarist JJ Browning, Kristi Bury on bass and her husband David Bury on vocals and everything else. Photo above shows David and Kristi with myself when they last came in for an interview. This is their newly released followup to the debut single "Someone Like You" which has had over 40,000 Youtube views. Live dates are planned for the Autumn.

HELMHOLZ RESONATORS - Scars [Starts 3:53]
Five 5 musicians who've been playing and writing music together since meeting at university in London around the turn of the century. Described by Artrocker "possibly the maddest band you’ll ever hear" this is their latest single. Visit their website for an extensive & entertaining biography featuring - among others - Messrs Garland Vanderbilt, Vandamme Laudenkleer & Manrose Finesteride. Possibly not their given names.

KOTKI DWA - Poison [Starts 7:38]
Last December we were introduced to this lot by Gareth Lloyd at BBC Introducing in Beds, Herts & Bucks. Their name is the title of a Polish lullaby sung to send children to sleep, a technique band members Alex and Tristan Ostrowski experienced as young brothers. They've curated Polish paper cutting workshops on London's Southbank and dabbled in culinary theatre for the launch of their 'Lunch EP' last November. This is one of my favourite records of 2012 so far and comes from their debut album Staycations - which is released this summer in association with The National Trust.

BON ARROW - One by One [Starts 10:08]
It's the one woman project of Kirsten Alexandra Taylor - who records by letting go with a mic, a laptop, an eighties keyboard and random other instuments in the back room. Somewhere in the North West of England. That's all I can tell you because that's all she's saying.

S.MOUSE - Slap My Elbow (ISLA PHISHER Remix) [Starts 14:20]
In his younger years Mike Walters played drums in various bands near Manchester. Since his early twenties he's been making electronic music - using a Program called Fruityloops - under various names such as Acidburp, Rat Faced Boy and (in this case) "Isla Phisher From Summer Bay, Australia." Go figure. Now in his early thirties he'd like to do more gigs, particularly festivals: if you'd like to offer him a slot  send Mike a message via https://acidburp.bandcamp.com

THE CREAKING CHAIR - Spun [Starts 17:06]
The Creaking Chair is a Brighton-based musical project led by Andrew AC Cooper aided and abetted by one Ryan Bollard. Together with other local musicians they are also members of the Bouffant Collective which "represents a yearning to present art, music and performance in new spaces". Accordingly Andrew and Ryan performed at the first of six "Laundry" sessions hosted by the collective around Brighton and Hove - in this case at The Laundromat in Powis Road.

SILVER ARM - A Tethered Jacket [Starts 19:57]
"If you don't want to listen," proclaim Silver Arm on  Twitter "then imagine a horse with a machine gun ripping your face off" though the metaphor makes you wonder how it could pull the trigger.  The group was born, they say, "out of post punk, noise, beats and psychedelia" from ex-members of Maps, Red Tiger Riot and Tulip. "We are informed as much by the dead tread of the digital future as we are by the frigid air that drifts across the copses, lanes and hedgerows of the rural places from which we come. We're planning on doing one live show and then never playing live ever again." Here at the Introducing Mixtape we hope they'll reconsider.

BOY JUMPS SHIP - Black Hearts Dont Beat [Starts 23:24]
Newcastle four-piece who formed in 2009 and released their self-titled debut EP early the following year, playing a series of shows across England, Belgium and France to promote it. The followup EP Engines came out in early 2011 and this is the opening track on their third and most assured release to date - the 4-track EP Be Good, Be Gracious. The band's growing fanbase - myself among them - can only hope a similarly comprehensive tour will follow this time.

AMONGST THE PIGEONS - Jaffa Clown Dog [Starts 27:41]
The project of Brighton producer and songwriter Charlie A Thompson aka CAT. See what he did there? Frank Turner and Beans On Toast where among the special guests featured on his 2009 debut album Music To Brush Your Teeth To. Jaffa Clown Dog is the second single from his followup album Get Amongst It which came out in April and features special guest Chris T-T  and several bizarre lofi pigeon-themed promo clips that would easily pass muster as a video installation at Tate Modern.

EMILY BROTHERS - French Riviera [Starts 30:47]
Another Gareth Lloyd protégée - who was his guest on BBC Introducing in Beds, Herts & Bucks in May. "I am a singer, songwriter, musician, producer and recording studio owner/manager" says Emily. "I sing, play, write, record, edit, produce and mix everything myself and have recently collaborated with Mikee Goodman from SikTh and Primal Rock Rebellion. Music has got too serious - let's put some fun back into it with some empop". Hence the slightly unexpected URL of her website...

THE YOUNG VANISH - Amsterdam [Starts 33:40]
After busking his way around the world, Stu Vanish - aka Stuart Hudson - hosts the Acoustic Wednesdays (https://www.facebook.com/acoustic.wednesdays?sk=wall) open mic night at Manchester’s Tiger Lounge https://www.tiger-lounge.com/index.php/tiger-lounge-nights. "I wish I lived in Primrose Hill in 1967 - can you help?" he asks. Take it from one who was there at the time - you wouldn't have liked it, Stu. There's a wonderful poise and conviction to his performance on this song that simply can't be faked. Within ten seconds of the vocal starting I knew this was a must for our Mixtape.

THE RAILWAY CLUB - Broken Strings [Starts 36:57]
Originally a sideproject for Martin Trollope and Grant Lagan from The Union Choir, the Railway Club's steady rise through the Sunderland music scene continues apace. They followed up a strong set at Spllt Transmission last September with a performance at the main festival itself, before signing to Gateshead's Tiny Lights Recordings - home to The Lake Poets and O'Messy Life. Taken from their debut album this single is due out on July 9th - while a launch party for the album takes place at Newcastle's Cluny 2 this coming Friday (July 6th).

SHARLIZA JELITA - Strange Things [Starts 40:16]
What can we tell you about Sharliza Jelita ? "She bursts", we're told, "like brightly coloured confetti onto the music scene with her energetic live performance and eclectic music. Her quirky-pop debut album Strange Things is a snapshot of the musical eccentricity, originality and downright unique attitude and ability of Singapore-born Sharliza Jelita." It can be found to hear and purchase - together with the fascinating and sometimes harrowing back story of her life to date - via her website.

THOMAS McCONNELL - So Long, Souvenirs [Starts 43:57]
19 year old Liverpool songwriter Thomas McConnell is, he tells us, the driving force behind his own songs, ideas and head. Johnno Casson at Fresh On The Net described this as a "madcap song with 60's psychedelic overtures that grows on you bigtime: a real cracking tune showing tremendous pop sensibilities." If he has any further biographical information - or even upcoming gigs - Thomas keeps darned quiet about them on his Facebook page.

COP ON THE EDGE - Runaway [Starts 47:38]
Cop on the Edge are from "South Eats London" and consist of Jim (lead vocals and vitriol), Steve (guitar and Greek chorus), Anna (boards and technology) and James (drums and cricket). They met at Jim’s birthday party some years ago where Steve made Anna cry by re-enacting a Morrissey gig. Where a biography should be on their Facebook page you can read loads of descriptions of their music by other people (whatever artists imagine to the contrary - reviews and biography are not remotely the same thing). Their collective interests are "running, jumping, standing still". Great music though...

RAGNHILD NORDSET - You Started It All [Starts 51:36]
"Norse songwriter Ragnhild Nordset possesses a sweet, soaring voice, known to captivate and move her audience. She weaves intricate melodies with her emotive vocals to create a unique sound: unconventional songs of beauty, laced with dark undertones. She has cemented herself into the musical folklore of her new home of Liverpool and developed her craft on stages across the UK. The time has come for her career to set a new course upon the release of these songs to love to, cry to and most importantly - live to." So now you know.

MARK WYNN - Eyes Closed [Starts 57:00]
Poet Mark Wynn is "a mumbling/tumbling songwriter man boy from York" and although this track is the most rough-and-ready on this week's mixtape, it's also far and away the most interesting. Also check out Can't Complain on his website, where where life, ideas and his unstoppable acerbic flow fall over each other, competing to be heard. Mark's mini-book VACANT STUPIDS AND THE EVERYTHING BREAKS harks back to a pre-internet age of the handmade punk fanzine. It's well worth a mere quid online or you can get it with a physical CD for five. Like the early John Cooper Clarke or Mark E Smith, Mark Wynn has the potential for national treasure status twenty years down the line. And that's not something you'll hear me say often or lightly.

Mark Wynn - portrait by John Illingworth - with thanks to https://oneandother.com


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