Artists at a glance
BOO THE ELEPHANT
ICE SEA DEAD PEOPLE
JIMMY FLOYD HASSELBAIND
LOST IN THE FOG
PASSPORT TO STOCKHOLM
Top tunes from JIMMY FLOYD HASSELBAIND, NICK JACKSON, LYRA LOWOOD, PASSPORT TO STOCKHOLM, JILK, LOST IN THE FOG, LOOPHOLE PROJECT, ICE SEA DEAD PEOPLE, FRANK’S DAUGHTER, BOO THE ELEPHANT, UKE, A LOVELY WAR, MONO LIFE, LE JUKI and AKA HIGE.
Every Sunday night (technically Monday morning) from 2-3am on BBC Radio 6 Music you can hear a selection of exceptional new tunes from the BBC Introducing Uploader in an hour-long music mix with minimum speech. Some of the tunes this week were recommended by BBC friends and colleagues – the rest were handpicked by me from our inbox here at Fresh On The Net. For more about how that particular process works see this post. Out of nearly 200 new tracks I listened to last week, these are my 15 favourites.
Each of these radio shows is available in podcast form via the 6 Music Downloads Page, from 3am. You can also download episodes from the previous 4 weeks. The full tracklists and start times are published here at Fresh On The Net with a link to each artist’s website, plus biog information supplied by the artists. Below are the listings for Monday, 23rd September 2013 – previous tracklists can be found via the MIXTAPE tab above or on the BBC website.
JIMMY FLOYD HASSELBAIND – Monorchid [Starts: 0.13]
Another fine recommendation by Nick Roberts from BBC Newcastle Introducing in the North East. “We have been playing since 2011, carving out a sound of our own mostly around Newcastle” say Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaind. “We recorded and released a self titled record earlier this year which is available on a pay what you want, if you want basis. Our influences are obviously varied but we often draw comparisons to bands like Fugazi and Unwound. We have previously had the pleasure of supporting Maps & Atlases, HEALTH and Alarm Bells as well as sharing the stage with a host of amazing bands from Newcastle. We like to make a lot of noise when we play live. Our record is available on Bandcamp and Soundcloud.”
NICK JACKSON – Beauty’s In The Eye [Starts: 05:24]
“A native of Surrey, Nick Jackson has grown into a completely unique and vibrant singer-songwriter. Noted for his highly technical guitar playing, the quality of his vocals and his skill with loop pedals, he aims to “represent a new breed of folk music”. Nick has built a loyal fan base in Birmingham and London, and will be playing the following three London shows this autumn: Proud, Camden (Oct 22), O2 Academy, Islington (Nov 8), Notting Hill Arts Club (Dec 3). Beauty’s In The Eye is his first official single, out on November 4th.”
LYRA LOWOOD – Sunflower [Starts: 08:19]
Songwriter Lyra Lowood is based in East London and writes: “I’ve been writing and arranging songs for as long as I can remember… you could call it an obsession. I’m currently recording with producer Mike Cranny, working towards releasing a collection of songs next year based on Greek myths, specifically female goddesses and deities. My aim is to write alternative pop songs with a dark, leftfield edge. My other favoured lyrical themes include space travel, doomed love and apocalypse, while my sound is gradually becoming more electronic. At a guess, I’m not typical of many new artists because of having to squeeze recording in between childcare, work as a journalist and training as a psychotherapist… but music is very much my first love. Sunflower’ was inspired by a painting of the nymph Clytie by pre-Raphaelite artist Lord Frederic Leighton. In love with the sun god Apollo, Clytie obsessively watched his chariot move across the sky, and over 9 days gradually transformed into a sunflower…”
PASSPORT TO STOCKHOLM – Get What You Want [Starts: 11:57]
A likeable acoustic stomp that sells itself from bar one with a lovely heartfelt and unaffected vocal. While I usually prefer rather more grit in my oyster (and worry that these kinds of halftime mid-tempo jugband rhythms become tedious and leaden in the wrong hands) this song is a steady grower with a memorable chorus. There’s enough canny arrangement and subtle production detail in any case (especially from the cello) to keep the interests level high. Credit for this may be due not only to Passport To Stockholm themselves themselves but also to the impressive list of colloborators namechecked on their biog – Gordon Mills Jr, Amy Wadge and Athlete’s Carey Willets – with whom the band are currently working towards a debut EP called Behind The Lights.
JILK – I Put Your Tape On [Starts: 15:30]
I’m always a sucker for artists with a clear, concise mission statement/manifesto, and Bristol’s Jilk provides precisely what it promises: “glitch-and-paste electronic ambience with balls.” This is music composition as painting – as in a pre-digital age you might well have Put Your Tape On to achieve it. Sound becomes tangible, somewhow both “concrète” (in the musical sense) yet “plastic” (in the sense of “malleable”) – with the addition of gorgeous live strings from violinist Cags Diep. Having started out 10 years ago as a lone producer and his laptop, Jilk is now a collection of musicians whose memorable live shows have wowed audiences around the country. They’ve released three EPs to date, which will culminate in the release of their debut album Retreat To Sleep a week today: Monday September 30th. Each EP contains B-sides, demos, unfinished pieces and additional duets & collaborations – all of which illuminate different aspects of the forthcoming album. All three are available from bitphalanx.bandcamp.com
LOST IN THE FOG – Fenetorito [Starts: 21:00]
Five-piece band Lost In The Fog features the distinctive voice of lead vocalist Nene Solano. It’s the opening track on their six-track mini album released in March, The Grave Of Einzvach. I’d love to know the translation of Fenetorito – not only its title but the lyrics too. We can only hope their meaning matches the romantically epic tone of the music.
LOOPHOLE PROJECT – So Close [Starts: 24:35]
According to their Facebook page, Nottingham’s Loophole Project are Three People With Some Instruments Attached. We wrote and asked them for a little further information about themselves and their yearning, etheral epic So Close. They didn’t reply, clearly feeling Our Music Speaks For Itself (OMSFI).
ICE SEA DEAD PEOPLE – Accept The Mystery [Starts: 28:17]
“Yes! Two stupidly named Bedford bands unite to release a split 7″ single!” write my favourite boyband distortionists Ice, Sea, Dead People (pictured, top of page). “Our side contains a couple of tracks: Accept the Mystery plus a new song called I Made A Bomb (Coachwhips). For those who haven’t heard Council Tax Band before, they contain ex-Das Wanderlust members and rule with synth and spite. We invited them to play their first ever gig for our Bedford show on the last tour and we shall bring them kicking and screaming out of the womb, faces-full of placenta, guitar strings still thickly coated in blood, to release this split seven inch record with us. You can pre-order it now from our label, Lost Toys Records for a paltry £4. It’s out on October 14th.”
FRANK’S DAUGHTER – Best Glow [Starts: 31:16]
“Originally from Brighton – yet born as a band in Brooklyn over several bottles of red wine and many whiskies – Frank’s Daughter consist of Frank (vox, guit, keys) & Arthur (guit, bass, programming). They returned to London (which they now call home) with an idea that – two years later – became their debut album The Sound Of A Heart Unravelling – released in early 2013 to glowing reviews. Frank’s Daughter are already working on the follow up and their last single “Fall Fully Backwards” was Lauren Laverne’s headphone moment. They recently supported Anna Meredith at her sold out London show and are now writing and recording in London and Berlin, with more shows to follow.”
BOO THE ELEPHANT – The Greatest Brain Ever Made By Man [Starts: 33:44]
“I started writing music – ranging from electronic to classical to more jazzy/funky stuff – during my astrophysics PhD around 2008,” writes Southampton-based composer Tony Wilkinson. “I was a classically trained pianist back in the day, so my music features piano riffs/keyboards quite heavily. The name Boo The Elephant came from my daughter when she was three and made up a story about an called Boo who made a cake for all his friends. Actually, I recently deleted all recording software from my computer – having given up on ever having any success with music – so to feature on BBC Introducing came as something of a surprise. Thanks for featuring my track, it means a great deal that someone else thinks something I’ve written was good enough to play on national radio, albeit in the context of new up and coming bands at 2am. I’ll take what I can get. Who knows, I might even be inspired to re-install Fruity Loops on my computer and start writing new stuff.”
UKE – A Shadow Walking [Starts: 37:46]
A Shadow Walking is the latest engaging tune from Warrington musician Dave Cheetham whose previous release Klokwrk featured both on our Fresh Faves and a recent Introducing Mixtape. earlier in the summer. Dave began work on his Uke project last year with a view to trying his hand at “something different” from his previous background drumming in traditional bands and indulge his love of electronic music. “I would describe my music as the soundtrack of Flying Lotus challenging the Ninja Tune Label to a game of Crown Green Bowls” says Dave “I’m still working on developing my production but would ultimately love to partner up with a label such as Project Mooncircle in the future.” As mentioned previously, trying to google the name “Uke” lands you instantly in a form of George Formby hell – and with this less bizarrely titled song the job is near-impossible. But (as before) click on the Facebook link aboveand you’ll find Dave’s music readily enough.
A LOVELY WAR – Maxine, We’re Alive [Starts: 41:51]
Acoustic chiptune fun from A Lovely War – the Liverpool duo of Sean Keogh & Patrick Hughes – featuring (always the clincher) a standout vocal performance that absolutely sells the quality of the songwriting. A special mention for the highly original – yet nicely understated – production. The song just grows, twists and develops with little unexpected musical “events” washing in and out of focus. I particularly like the late Beatles-era George Harrison electric guitar lines that weave in and out along the way.
MONO LIFE – Coastal [Starts: 45:27]
Mono Life is the electronic alias of East Yorkshire based musician/producer/DJ Mark Osborne-Lawn. Using vintage synths, beats and loops he aims to create “soulful soothing sonic soundscapes”, taking inspiration from Orbital, Leftfield and DJ Shadow. The track Coastal featured on the Disco in Paris EP which was released in June to coincide with the start of festival season. Mono Life has moved out of the studio and played some live gigs over the summer, as well as a live session for BBC Introducing Humberside. A new EP is due in October and then it’s back into the studio to finish work on the debut album.
LE JUKI – Forest Of Stick Insects [Starts: 49:38]
To describe Le Juki as unusual would be – they stress – an understatement. Consisting of “a frankly mental vocal innovator, a virtuoso guitarist/composer and a synth-obsessed viola player… LeJuki are never usual. A harmony-heavy trio playing frayed melodies, twisted toybox beats, beautiful soaring strings and crashing skiffle-based percussion, they are Kassia Zermon (aka Bunty) an experimental vocal loop artist; Lee Westwood, Brighton’s virtuosic guitarist and composer; Jules Arthur, classically trained viola/piano player and synth obsessor. Referencing classical, prog, grime and psych-folk, they recently released their debut album Capillaries and toured with Dizraeli And The Small Gods.”
AKA HIGE – Strand [Starts: 53:56]
Aka hige is the project name of Paul Jones who writes progressive electronic music, filtering everything he’s heard through everything he loves. Polyrhythms from jazz fusion, space and form from modern classical music and field recordings, sound palate from synthesizer music, and melody from jazz and thought provoking pop. His debut album Opening launches with an installation in his current hometown of Manchester this Thursday September 26th at 7pm (with drop in sessions on the 27th and 28th). Free tickets and further details are available through his website.
Pronounciation guide: Aka hige is a Roma-ji transliteration of the Japanese phrase meaning Red Beard. Thus it’s not pronounced as “ay-kay-ay high-dge” but something closer to “ah-kah hee-gheh”
ARTISTS: A Word Of Warning…
After appearing on The BBC Introducing Mixtape you may well receive unsolicited email from at least one plugger saying they heard your track on the show, thought it “sounded fantastic”, and are wondering if you’re looking for promotion for your releases.
Please check out The Pros And Cons Of Pluggers before responding to any unsolicited emails from anyone suggesting that YOU should pay THEM money for services of any kind.