Artists at a glance
Top tunes from PLASTIQUE, SOPHIE JAMIESON, FEMI JAYE, THE BIG SUN, AMONGST THE PIGEONS, TOM STANIFORD, SOPHIE L. & TOM LEADER, PICTUREBOX, NEON HIGHWIRE, SUGARDRUM, ANNETTE BERLIN, SUPERMAN REVENGE SQUAD BAND, THE AFRICALI GENRE, SHOWROOM DUMMIES, JAZZHANDS, THE HICS and LUCY CLAIRE.
The BBC Introducing Mixtape is a 60 minute radio show and podcast curated by me and broadcast on BBC Radio 6 Music from 2-3am every Sunday night/Monday morning. Each show available as a podcast for 30 days at the BBC 6 Music downloads page. The full tracklists and start times are published here at Fresh On The Net with biog information supplied by the artists. Previous tracklists can be found via the MIXTAPE tab above or on the BBC website.
All tracks on the mixtape come from the BBC Introducing Uploader: some are recommended by BBC friends and colleagues – the rest are tunes I’ve discovered here while listening to our Fresh On The Net inbox. For more about how the process works see this post.
These are the listings for the episode dated Monday, 30th September 2013:
PLASTIQUE – White Noise [Starts: 0.13]
Plastique describe themselves as “an alternative electro-rock trio, formed in 2010 by two Brazilian musicians, Anelise Kunz and Fabio Couto with British producer Gabriel Ralls. They released their self-titled album in 2011, followed by two acclaimed music videos. The band are now preparing for the release of their second album, ‘#SocialScar’ (note: title is deliberately hashtagged) from which White Noise is the first song and video taster. The album was mastered by Tom Baker and will be released on 28th October 2013 both digitally and as a limited edition CD. The launch party will be in London at Rattlesnake Of Angel on Friday 25th October – with free entry is before 8pm.
SOPHIE JAMIESON – Waterloo [Starts: 5:08]
Sophie Jamieson was first introduced to us at Fresh On The Net by Ruth Barnes in April 2012 when Sophie was just about to graduate in art history at Cambridge but already planning “to be running around London with a guitar for the foreseeable future!” Ruth herself was tipped off about Sophie’s music by the guitarist and songwriter Skopje who hosts the Silencio acoustic nights in Watford. The year’s highlights have included supporting Emily and the Woods, Keston Cobblers Club, Josh Record and a signing to boutique label Folkroom Records. Waterloo is the opening track on her debut EP Where – which was launched in June with a sold-out show at The Slaughtered Lamb. She continues to perform on the London music scene with her bandmates, Liam Hoflay and Alex Betancourt.
FEMI JAYE – Feel It [Starts: 08:44]
“My name is Jordan Femi-Famakinwa, though I perform under the stage name of Femi Jaye. I first got into music from hearing mainstream songs by the likes of Michael Jackson and Eminem at home as a child, but it was Big Sean who influenced me to start rapping – not specifially through his music but more by his background. I related to him – being a kid that just really liked rap music in general, plus the fact that he didn’t have a stereotypical rap voice, but achieved success simply through trying his hardest. So those were my values too when I began rapping – I’m still improving but feel like I’ve come a long way. A producer called Mike Badley helped me produce my first amateur mixtape entitled Words That Rhymes With Musher. After positive general feedback, I endeavoured to improve further which drove me to make my latest EP AnimeFan, from which this track Feel It is the first single, co-produced by Idris Miller and Daniel Ayo.”
THE BIG SUN – Stay [Starts: 12:05]
Of all the OMSFI (Our Music Speaks For Itself) acts we’ve encountered here at Fresh On The Net, perhaps the most frustratingly enigmatic outfit have been The Big Sun. Their longstanding reticence to put the smallest scrap of information about themselves online wouldn’t really have caused much concern if their musical output hadn’t been of such a consistently high standard – making a great many fans and commentators curious about who they are and what they’re up to. The good news is that with the release of “Stay” they’ve finally cracked – and shared the following with BBC Introducing and our team here at Fresh On The Net…
The Big Sun are an Oxford based indie outfit fronted by teenage vocalist Berry – a pottymouthed student whose musical ambition is to make enough money to get a tattoo and buy a small dog which she will call Rasputia. Guitars and Things are provided by ex Candyskins bassist Mini – known to his family as Richard Browns – whose day job as an eminent archaeologist involves overseeing excavations on Crossrail and at the Royal Households. Production duties are handled by former Ride keyboard player Nick Moorbath – sometime owner of the legendary Zodiac venue – and now proprietor of Evolution Studio, whose clients include TEED, Frank Turner and (bizarrely) Sir Ben Kingsley, CBE. The Big Sun’s lineup is completed by drummer Loz Colbert – also formerly of Rise – who’s currently on tour with Gaz Coombes. They’ve been inundated with requests this year for live performances (including BBC Introducing nights at Oxford’s O2 Academy) and will be going into rehearsals in November.
AMONGST THE PIGEONS – Then The Bell Rings [Starts: 16:14]
First founded in 2004, Amongst The Pigeons is the work of Brighton musician Charlie Anthony Thompson – whose initials thus spell C.A.T. – hence the project name. To date he’s released a number of EPs and one-off singles plus 2 full-length albums, the most recent of which – 2012’s Get Amongst It – achieved repeated airplay on BBC Radio 1, 6 Music, XFM and local stations across the country. Amongst The Pigeons has just released a new four-track EP called ATP vs XMR. As the name suggests, it features collaborations with artists signed to the Xtra Mile Recordings label: Chris T-T, Frank Turner, Beans On Toast and – on this track – Ben Marwood. ATP will be making a rare live appearance live at Southamptons Music In The City event on October 5th – followed by further studio adventures and collaborations over the coming months.
TOM STANIFORD – Elizabeth [Starts: 19:37]
Also based in Brighton is alt-folk artist Tom Staniford, whose previous selfreleased EPs have earned him a live session and interview on BBC Introducing: The South and airplay on loca station Juice FM. Along with this radio support he has recently received an endorsement with Freshman Guitars (Ben Howard), sponsorship from skate/surf brand Entirety and has also played the main stage at Beach Break Live alongside The Maccabees and Friendly Fires. He’s currently on tour with Mike Dignam with upcoming dates in London (Oct 3), Brighton (Oct 4), Norwich (Oct 5), Bristol (Oct 07) and Cardiff (Oct 08) – followed by a headline UK tour in November and December. Full list of dates: http://www.tomstaniford.com/live-show. Alongside his musical skills, Tom is also a gifted video maker and you can view his own carefully crafted promo clip for Elizabeth on YouTube.
SOPHIE L. & TOM LEADER – Aime Moi [Starts: 23:25]
You may remember that Cambridge-based pianist Sophie L was born in the South of France – where she sang lead vocals in a local in her teens. For the last 15 years she has lived in Britain which makes her “at least partially bred” in the UK where she works as a therapist, making when she can. But here’s a turn-up for the books. “Aime-moi” emails Sophie “is a family collaboration between mother and son. Tom Leader despite his young age (nearly 14) is already a cracking singer-songwriter who plays guitar and double bass. You can see him performing his own song Stick With Me on YouTube. For myself, I’m currently working on an album which will most likely be a self-release.”
PICTUREBOX – On My Horse [Starts: 25:38]
“Picturebox is based around Canterbury singer/songwriter Robert Halcrow (me). We held monthly nights of tea, biscuits and music in the Canterbury Salvation Army Annexe this summer. On 17th October we’re playing in London at the Gare Du Nord Records launch party at The Betsey Trotwood, Clerkenwell – alongside Rotifer, Ralegh Long and Ian Button’s Papernut Cambridge (who I’ll be playing bass with too). I woke up with On My Horse in my head one morning. It’s not exactly McCartney’s Yesterday, I admit, but it was good fun to record. It’s on the new “Home Taping” album which is available on our Bandcamp and has just been mastered by Dutch legend Wim Oudijk for release on iTunes along with 10 other lo-fi pop songs about US indie stars, bees, comic characters, New Testament stories and further education. Our Bandcamp page has all the links (Facebook, Twitter, Soundcloud…) to use if you want to stay in touch. Thanks.”
NEON HIGHWIRE – SRS BSNS [Starts: 28:28]
“They live in London, though none were born there. Self-taught producers whose blue collar backgrounds were never going to make things easy for them. Perfectionist control freaks, their debut album took four years to complete with recording, production & mixing done by the band with only the mastering trusted to Simon Davey at The Exchange. Unified by their lack of life direction elsewhere, they make music because it’s what they do, what they’ve always done, arguably all they do well. The debut album, Relate, was written following the dissolving of Steven Morgan’s ten year relationship. Steven sought to discover who he was, spiraling into depression with Neon Highwire as his sole positive outlet against the crushing weight of self-doubt. The album was entirely mixed, recorded and produced by the three-piece and mastered at The Exchange. The band are currently touring the release and plan to digitally release a followup EP titled Bookreader – consisting of tracks which didn’t make the album but were too good to ignore.”
SUGARDRUM – Postcard [Starts: 30:46]
Sugardrum is the musical name of songwriter, storyteller and multi-instrumentalist Nigel Bunner whose debut EP Where Once Were Roads was released last year and featured on the Introducing Mixtape this summer. This is the title track from his followup EP Three Penny Postcard – due out on Wupadupa music on Nov 11th – although digital copies areavailable now from the Sugardrum Bandcamp. The EP includes Nigel’s heartfelt song about dementia Choccy Rolls and will be promoted with a run of UK dates that include a pre-launch charity gig in Richmond, Surrey on October 11th and four London shows in November: The Harrison (10th), The Bedroom Bar (21st), The White Lion, Streatham (27th), and The Cavendish Arms (30th).
ANNETTE BERLIN – Just Like You [Starts: 33:15]
Annette Berlin is the name of both a woman and of a Berlin/Bristol/Girl/Boy/Guitar/Drum Duo currently stationed in Bristol. The lineup consists of the eponymous Annette Berlin (“with guitar lines so filthy you’ll want to wash, but with enough hooks for a fishing trip” we’re told; “her harmonious howl is like a mythical siren luring you to the rock”) and Keith Hall (“a drummer so exciting if he punched your face in you’d dance to the rhythm”). Their debut album The Playground was released earlier this year in June 2013 on Praise The Loud, and is available on their Bandcamp page. Annette herself, born Annette Becker, is another artist first introduced to us by Ruth Barnes – and first became known as the dustbin-battering vocalist from post-punk noise-squad Big Joan. Needless to say, her work has been steadfastly support over the years by Richard Pitt and our very own Sam Bonham on BBC Bristol Introducing and its successor BBC Introducing in the West. BBC Introducing in the West
SUPERMAN REVENGE SQUAD BAND – Angriest Dog In The World [Starts: 36:33]
The Superman Revenge Squad Band reunites brothers Ben and Adam Parker from noughties cult heroes Nosferatu D2 Nosferatu D2 with a host of Croydon musicians. the result is, we’re told, “a Lo-Fi Big Band featuring saxophone, accordion, cello, piano, rapid fire percussion, minimalistic guitar and Ben’s inimitable lyrical wit and sense of narrative”. Together they’ve recorded an album There Is Nothing More Frightening Than The Passing of Time which will be released in October by our old friends Audio Antihero Records, self-styled “Specialists in Commercial Suicide”.
THE AFRICALI GENRE – Music Man [Starts: 40:23]
The AfriCali Genre was born when hip hop artist Eyezon Soweto (born in South Africa, raised in California) had a sudden flash of insight at the Nacarubi Festival in Big Sur last summer. Somehow the music of Dick Dale, Fela Kuti, The Doors and Bob Marley all melted collectively together into his unconscious to bring the realisation that all musics are one. Without warning, inspired by the playing of funk/psych rock combo Sky Country, he jumped on stage and began singing and rapping with the band and a new Afro-Californian musical hybrid – that you can hear on this track Music Man – was born.
SHOWROOM DUMMIES – Let Me Go [Starts: 42:51]
Meet the members of London-based power trio Showroom Dummies… Frontman Gigi Piscitelli, whose first name is pronounced ‘gee-gee’ and who – he likes to stress – is not a girl. Splendidly named drummer Pharoah S. Russell “LOOOOVES tennis”, while bassist Kevin Allwhite – who speaks “Brezhoneg” – met the others at a warehouse party somewhere in East London. They were making some serious noise playing unconventional instruments (you know…those never-seen instruments you’d find in the neighbour’s rubbish bin) until some drunken pointy shoes dude from Dalston said: “hey guys, what’s your band called?”. Whether he was fooling around or not, they took it as a sign. Since that day, they got better even though Gigi had to learn how to play keyboards with his feet – a learning process that we’re told is still ongoing. All their music so far has been recorded and mixed in Gigi’s North London bedroom and they plan to professionally record a debut EP in December. Meanwhile they be caught live in London this Tuesday (October 1st) at The Water Rats in Grays Inn Road.
JAZZHANDS – Nigel [Starts: 47:06]
JazzHands are an experimental math-rock band from Liverpool, founded around a core lineup of three drummers, bass guitar and saxophone. The five friends – fronted by bassist Baron Von Yelding – are united by big phat riffs and a love of tea. Nigel is the opening track on their EP Smelly Envelope which you can buy on a pay-what-you-like basis from their Bandcamp. And to help us understand them better, JazzHands have helpfully written the following haiku:
JazzHands love the rock
Fast time changes and rhythm
Three drummer, bass, sax
Eccentric live show
With epic love for the tea
But are very loud.
THE HICS – Cold Air [Starts: 50:17]
The Hics are a diverse six-piece from South London, fronted by co-vocalists Sam Evans (18) and Roxane Barker (21). It all started with the beats: The Hics were founded by the band’s two drummers at school in 2012, and are now a six-strong, self-contained collective who write and produce everything alone. They aim to create a warm and subtle fusion of sounds and the group were runners-up for Best Breakthrough Act at Gilles Peterson’s Worldwide Awards without even releasing a single. Indeed this track Cold Air features on the new Grand Theft Auto 5 soundtrack, as part of Gilles Peterson’s in-game radio station Worldwide FM – how cool is that? It’s also track two on their debut EP Tangle which was released in August, and the band are featured as “Ones To Watch” in this month’s Clash magazine.
LUCY CLAIRE – Paelistin [Starts: 54:30]
Originally from the North East of England, composer Lucy Claire Thornton is a masters graduate of The Royal College of Music in London, where she’s now based. She’s combined her electroacoustic and experimental work with traditional orchestral scores for numerous films. Following the release of this single Paelistin, Lucy was invited to perform live on BBC London and has gone on to release an acclaimed EP called Suite – which The Quietus described as “one of the best things on our stereo this week”. She will be performing a lunchtime show between 12-2pm at London’s Union Chapel as part of their Daylight Music concert series on October 26th.
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 for services of any kind.