Artists at a glance
CORONER FOR THE POLICE
JOE LA POP
MUSIC & SPIES
NEW KILLER SHOES
SIÔN RUSSELL JONES
TALK IN COLOUR
THIN WHITE DUDE
Top tunes from KILL CHAOS, TALK IN COLOUR, CLEAR, SWAMI BARACUS, SHADRACK TYE, THIN WHITE DUDE, SIÔN RUSSELL JONES, A BAND CALLED QUINN, NEW KILLER SHOES, PETITE MELLER, MUSIC & SPIES, THE GANG, K-RODD, CORONER FOR THE POLICE, MOONRACER and JOE LA POP.
Every Sunday night/Monday morning on BBC Radio 6 Music from 2-3am you can hear a selection of my favourite new tunes from the BBC Introducing Uploader in an hour-long music mixtape. Some of the tunes are recommended by BBC friends and colleagues, others are handpicked by me from our inbox here at Fresh On The Net.
Each of these mixtapes is available free when the radio show ends at 3am via the 6 Music Downloads Page. You’ll also find archived episodes there from the previous 4 weeks. As of this week, the full tracklists and start times are now published here at Fresh On The Net with a link to each artist’s website. These are the listings for Monday, 5th August 2013 – recent mixtape tracklistings can be found via the MIXTAPE tab above – earlier listings are on the BBC website.
KILL CHAOS – Boy Done Good [Starts 0:13]
I’m a sucker for well-crafted shouty noisy discordant rock from bands like We Are Knuckle Dragger, Hold Your Horse Is and Kill Chaos – a band who we first played on 6 Music Introducing back in April 2009 after they sent us a great track called Perfect Puzzle. A month ago they tweeted me a link to the video for this new brand song from their forthcoming album; it quickly had me looking for it on the BBC Introducing Uploader as an opener for this week’s Mixtape. “Hello!” they say “We’re a 3 piece band spread in equal parts across Mansfield, Sheffield and Nottingham. We reckon we’ve written the only song in existence about posh Midlands town Leamington Spa. One of us used to be a professional kitesurfer. The other two didn’t. We’ve been busy like little beavers in Yellow Bean Studios, Leicester finishing up our album which is going to be called PromisesPromises. We’re so excited about getting the tracks out there for people to hear, but it’s in the hands of father time, labels and cash.” Come on labels – make with the cash and help Darren, Tom and Gavgav unleash this stonking new material on the Big Wide World.
TALK IN COLOUR – Rolling [Starts 04:12]
The sum total of my expertise in the fields of electronica and dance music could be written on the back of a postage stamp, but I know what I like. As mentioned the other week, this doesn’t sound to me like the product of jams on stage or in the rehearsal room, but of many hours and days of careful arrangement in a studio – the sonic equivalent of creating an oil painting – layering colours on every inch of the canvas in painstaking detail. I love the groove of Rolling – and the way the sounds grow, shift and develop through the course of the song. I also relish the feeling that we can relax and allow ourselves to be taken on a journey – a sense that we’re in the hands of experts who know exactly what they’re doing. But as always, the clincher is the vocal performance. Talk In Colour‘s Mary Erksine could sing words from a phone directory over the cheesiest Casiotone backing in the world and still win me over in a heartbeat.
CLEAR – Sunlight [Starts 09:12]
Clear is a collective of singer/songwriters from Sheffield featuring Chris Damms, Jools Buffey, Bryan Day, Andy Cook and Hugh Ruiz. Sunlight is a piece of classic pop songwriting – in that it could have appealed to audiences anytime in the last 40 years – yet there’s enough 21st Century sensibility in the writing, recording and performance for Sunlight to sound fresh-wrought rather than some kind of retread. The piano’s rhythmic subtely and unexpected middle eight in particular are a real treat and Sunlight won the hearts of our readers here on the blog who duly rated it as one of our Fresh Faves. It’s also won the heart of Gary Crowley who’s played it on his Amazing Radio show five weeks running. Since uploading this version of Sunlight to BBC Introducing, they have since made a much improved radio edit which you can enjoy here.
SWAMI BARACUS – Believe In Me (Featuring RKZ) [Starts 12:48]
Believe In Me is the fine new single taken from the newly released mixtape by Swami Baracus, The Recipe – which in turn takes its title from one of my favourite songs of last year. Not just mine, either. After we’d played The Recipe on 6 Music it was added to the BBC Radio 1 daytime playlist, featuring on shows such as Fearne Cotton, Scott Mills, Huw Stephens, Greg James and more. It also led to live appearances at T In The Park and the Freeze Festival in Battersea. That breakthrough track was the result of a collaboration with another friend of 6 Music, Milton Keynes producer Zaheer, whose subsequent single Assemble also featured… SB among others. These two artists continue their fruitful patrnership with a joint interview on my 6 Music show this coming Saturday (June 10th) and a combined appearance with their specially-assembled(!) live band at Reading & Leeds festivals later this month. And returning to the matter in hand of SB’s new mixtape and this track in particular, the beautifully shot video for Believe In Me is further enhance by guest cameo appearances from Orlando Seale and, erm, me.
SHADRACK TYE – The Saucy Sailor Boy [Starts 16:52]
Shadrack Tye are all members of the same South London family. Individually, they have busy, varied musical lives and a wealth of experience: Tina and Paul playing for top chamber ensembles and orchestras, while Sam regularly graces the airwaves both with the rock band St Spirit and jazz harmony group Vive. Obviously they know each other fairly well but their epiphanal moment of deciding to make music together happened only a couple of years ago. Alongside songwriter Tina’s original work they also perform traditional music and contemporary covers – and their debut EP The Lovers Tale appeared last year. They’re currently working on an album due for release later this year. Upcoming shows include The Broadstairs Folk Festival on August 10th and 11th.
THIN WHITE DUDE – Remember [Starts 20:39]
As mentioned the other week, in my opinion Remember is the strongest track we’ve heard to date from Thin White Dude (aka Team Freshnet’s Jason Davis). No favouritism involved – this track earns its place in the Mixtape on the same basis as every other tune every single week: 100% on the basis of what comes out of the speakers. Jason has a way with marrying irresistible grooves with striking “found” vocal samples – and I was very taken by “Anger (has a place in all of this)” which we played a few times last year. But even that is topped by the dark epic atmosphere and metallic beats of Remember. I don’t recognise the source audio for the spoken word samples, but love the juxtapositions. What we need now is for some talented video maker to go and add some visual images to this electro epic and have a major viral hit on YouTube.
SIÔN RUSSELL JONES – Sleeping Giant [Starts 25:22]
A single hanging opening chord, and within five seconds its clear that here is an acoustic guitarist of unfakeable power and authority. So far, so traditional, but forty three seconds in, the chord sequence suddenly leaps the points and we’re headed off down a whole fresh line of musical enquiry. Acoustic guitars being relativey cheap and easy to play (and messrs Mumford, Blunt and Howard having achieved such spectacular commercial success) it’s no wonder BBC Introducing is inundated with singer-songwriters from every corner of the country. Master craftsmen with the light effortless touch of Siôn Russell Jones on the other hand are few and far between. His engaging vocal leads us through expertly constructed verses, then upwards through the chorus to deliver its his hookline smack on the dot of 90 seconds into the song: “I will wake the sleeping giant.” Quality.
A BAND CALLED QUINN – Forget About It [Starts 28:39]
A Band Called Quinn are a selfproclaimed Artpop four piece based in Glasgow. And this track Forget About It – rodelent of a musical era long before any of ABCQ’s members were born – carries a strong flavour of early pioneering titans like T.Rex – and of Roxy Music before they irrevocably lost the plot. But Louise Quinn is too canny an operator to descend into mere pastiche for its own sake: this tune is from the soundtrack to a new immersive multimedia show which the band are launching at this year’s Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Biding Time (remix) can be seen at Summerhall on the 4th, 11th & 12th of August at 9pm. It tells the story of an aspiring songwriter through song, film & performance and features – I was gratified to hear – a Giant White Rabbit.
NEW KILLER SHOES – Love Rocket (Acoustic) [Starts 31:37]
Scifi bleeps, tortured electric guitar moans, and a needy croaky vocal dripping with pent-up desire. An irresistible rolling, midetmpo groove propelled by spangly acoustic guitar lines and a motoring bass. Oh and an arrangement that grows, swerves, develops and keeps the sonic surprises coming – while conforming to the old punk rock adage: three chords good, two chords better, one chord best of all. This is a swaggering beast of a track that worms its way between your ears and refuses to come back out again. I played it three times on the trot then went looking for it on YouTube – and what a shock: the original version is a completely different song in every imaginable way. I has to doublecheck to even make sure it was the same New Killer Shoes. But yes, it is indeed that same Redditch indie four-piece Roll n Roll band so beloved of BBC Introducing shows in the region. “We love music in all forms” they tell us “and hence always put together acoustic & remix versions of our tracks.” Which means that the followup to their debut album I Ain’t Even Lyin’ will be the splendidly titled I Ain’t Even Plugged In. The latter is due out a fortnight today (August 19th) and if this new acoustic version of Love Rocket is a taste of its musical direction then I say bring it on. In the meantime, you can catch them on the main stage at Leicestershire’s Strawberry Fields Festival this coming Saturday August 10th.
PETITE MELLER – NYC Time [Starts 35:20]
I’d never heard of French chanteuse Petite Meller (pictured above) but her press release assures us that her music is “moving through the Indie music scene creating a storm that has brought her worldwide recognition among those with an appetite for poetic sounds and originality”. Well, to borrow a phrase from Ted The Gamekeeper in the Fast Show sketches, “Oi wouldn’t know about that, Sir”. What I do know is that this tune – with its squeaky little-girl vocals, light summery instrumentation and chaotic sonic landscape is quite unlike anything else in the pile. To me it sounds like the product of a unique, and pleasingly off-kilter musical mind in the tradition of Soko, Camille and Britain’s own Woodpecker Wooliams. It’s hard to give it much higher praise than that.
MUSIC & SPIES – Good Things Happen (In The Rain) [Starts 38:35]
We played their track In My Hands earlier this year on the Mixtape and in just three short months both their writing and performance chops have taken a giant leap. Forget the obvious Mumford/Mraz comparisons – the Bedforshire duo of Dan Bond and Nathan Jackson have creative gifts that far exceed the sum of their stylistic influences. It’s clear on the basis of Good Things Happen (In The Rain) that these two artists have the happy knack of turning a memorable hook and tight vocal gymnastics that would have sounded at home in that golden age of close harmony singing, the 1960s. Music & Spies embody not only talent – but also the kind of drive and energy that can’t be faked – a combination that makes this new track crackle with life and sunshine.
THE GANG – Every Only Way [Starts 41:46]
I’ve been following the progress of Canterbury trio The Gang ever since we played their early classic All Spoon, No Fork back in December 2011. This March this Mixtape featured Mania – the opening track from their EP Blvdevard. So far, so promisingly rocktastic. But this new track has dropped out of a clear blue sky and at a stroke taken The Gang onto an entirely different level. The writing, harmonic content, playing, pacing, vocals, lyrics, delivery, production – the vast open spaces in the arrangement – everything is suddenly IMMENSE. Joe Hunt’s mile-wide bassline, Jimi Tormey’s demolition derby drums, and brother Eric Tormey’s wall-of-sound guitar – with a vocal howl that sounds like it was dragged up from the bottom of his soul. The band produced this track themselves at Barnroom Studios in Sittingbourne – set up by none other than rock legend Bernie Tormé. I remember Bernie for having not only fronted his own punk-era band but served as lead guitarist for both Ozzy Osbourne and Ian Gillan over the years. And suddenly, the penny dropped. If Bernie not only passed on his musical DNA to his sons but named them after the two most celebrated guitarists of the age – what chance did Eric and Jimi have of growing up to anything other than sharp, gifted musicians? None whatsoever. Click here for lo-fi cameraphone footage of The Gang performing this song live at The Monarch in London only last week: even recorded on a tinny little microphone beside the stage it still sounds IMMENSE. The boys done good.
K-RODD – Dance To The Revolution [Starts 44:43]
K-Rodd, you may remember, is the American/Welsh producer duo of Kris Davis and Rod Evans who love to experiment with sounds: “rock, indie, electro, pop, nothing is sacred” was their proud boast “All shall be used and abused.” However Kris and Rodd have given their whole project a major jolt by recruiting two new collaborators (Lem and Holly) whose vocals have provided a major inspiration and new social focus on this track. So much so that more recordings and a possible re-brand are now on the cards, along with a slew of live gigs with the new four-piece lineup. It certainly put this project in a whole new league in terms of production, songwriting and lyrical content. Watch this space.
CORONER FOR THE POLICE – Shot Benny [Starts 48:38]
I love the swagger and attitude of Manchester’s Coroner For The Police – with crisp tight vocals that are as every bit as integral to their sound as the Big Drums and Crunchy Guitars. They also have something not all great live rock bands share – a clear and engaging proposition to their audience: “Gentlemen, Ladies… We are Coroner for the Police. We’re a 1920s mobster rock-punk band with a penchant for a good suit. The fact that we appear to have another made-up genre shouldn’t deter you from having a listen. Our third EP The Deer and the Bulldozer was released last month and is available on Spotify, iTunes, Amazon, 7Digital and pretty much everywhere else. It’s cheapest on our Bandcamp page though, where you can listen to it all, then shell out a small sum for the whole release if you feel inclined. This single Shot Benny is actually free to download there as well – and Dave & Nath have made a new video for it.”
MOONRACER – Into the Horizon [Starts 51:25]
Lowkey and atmospheric, this fine ambient instrumental builds slowly and beautifully. Perfect music for a Mixtape designed for the small hours of a Monday morning. MoonRacer consists of two cousins, Thomas Tellefsen from Norway and Lewis West from England. “Both of us have a passion for creating music” they say “and decided it was a good idea to join forces. We tend to land in the downtempo/chill/soundtrack genres. Our tracks have a world music feel mixed with electronic synths and various percussion intruments. At some point in the near future we will start work on our first EP!”
JOE LA POP – Waiting [Starts 54:43]
And to close with this week, a lovely uplifting slice of electro that puts a huge silly grin on my face everytime I hear it. It’s an immaculately produced jewel that grooves like a b*stard, interlaced with lovely little liquid lines of achoing acoustic guitar. “Intergalactic Music Producer and Sandwich Enthusiast” Joe La Pop is the alter ego of 24 year old Producer Joel Harrison. Originally from Blackpool and now based in York, he finds himself “travelling through time and space – cherrypicking all the most hypnotic sounds The Universe has to offer”. From the sound of it, he’s loving every minute of the journey.