This week’s BBC Introducing Mixtape features a selection from my favourite tunes from 2015 – by RRYRRY, THE EDGE PROJECT, TIJUANA & STUART ROBIN, GIRLBOY, LA SHARK, THIS IS DA, SHE MAKES WAR, BLOCH EYOT, BABEL, SHADES, GRACESARAH, DUNCAN ALEX, PANKHABILLI, ZACK BOONE, HOATZIN, MADDIE JONES, CaStLes and GREENCLOUD & EROS.
You can hear more of my mixtape favourites (by AFRO CLUSTER ft. GREG BLACKMAN, ANON AMOS, DEAD CEREMONY, ELERI ANGHARAD, HAWK, KITTEN PYRAMID, MEDIUM WAVE and THE POLLEN COUNT) by listening again to my Laurie Anderson Special on BBC 6 Music which was broadcast on Saturday 2nd January 2016.
The BBC Introducing Mixtape is a 60 minute radio show broadcast on BBC Radio 6 Music from 2-3am every Sunday night/Monday morning. Each programme is downloadable in podcast form at the BBC 6 Music downloads page for the next 30 days. Full tracklists and track start times are published here at Fresh On The Net – together with info about the music provided by the artists.
All tracks are sourced from the BBC Introducing Uploader – some recommended to me by BBC colleagues while the rest are chosen from submissions to our Fresh On The Net inbox. Click here for more info – artists please also see the request at the bottom of this page. These are the listings for the episode broadcast in the early morning of Monday, 4th January at 2am, which features a selection of mixtape favourites from the past 12 months.
RRYRRY – This is the Salon [starts 00:17]
“Harry Perry is a British composer/producer/performer based in London (UK) whose varied and eclectic output spans multiple genres. After performing with various bands at school, Harry sought to expand his creative horizons by studying Music at Bangor University (completing two dissertations, one on composition, one on David Bowie). It was a fun time, he spent most of it in the studio. At Bangor, Harry received composition workshops by BBC NOW, The Allegri String Quartet and Ensemble Cymru. After receiving the Parry-Williams prize for composition and returning south, he continued his studies at Goldsmiths College, London. In London he began to perform under the pseudonym rryrry (pronounced “ree ree”) and independently released three EPs: Alexander Lemming And Other Songs, Subtlepunk and I Want & The Me Culture. Rryrry is currently prepping a single release and seeking new collaborations.”
THE EDGE PROJECT – Black Box [starts 03:36]
“The Edge Project is a studio based musical project, led by Welsh trumpeter and composer Ben Thomas. The track Black Box can be found on Dead Horses And Divorces – the fourth and latest album from The Edge Project (released in July 2015). This album is full of expression and artistic exploration with each track being accompanied by painted artwork. All the latest updates on The Edge Project can be found at Ben’s website and the full album can be purchased from The Edge Project shop.”
TIJUANA & STUART ROBIN – Fear Of The Big Hit [starts 07:10]
“After writing three EPs together, Tijuana & Stuart Robin are currently working on different projects. Stuart is recording his first solo album and working on collaborations with other artists, including The Amateur, DJ Sonic and Mister Jones and His Guitar. Gareth/Tijuana has produced Neon, the first album of solo artist, Scott Dean.”
GIRLBOY – Jennifer Lawrence [starts 10:22]
“Girlboy is a tongue-in-cheek feminist collaboration of ideas perverting the concept of gender one indie rock / pop release at a time. Guitarist Michael Reeve takes responsibility for the much lauded instrumentals, while vocalist Abigail Tarttelin makes no apology for cheeky lyrics sung in a low moan that has had critics question whether she isn’t Chrissie Hynde’s fatherless love child. Their debut, Jennifer Lawrence, is a satirical, and powerfully catchy, floor-filler, while follow up Girls Won’t Mind is an angsty indie rock meditation on modern love and masculinity. The band releases tracks with music videos directed by Tarttelin, featuring so far: glitter, leather, gender bending, a cult, and a motorbike. The twosome are straight outta Lincoln, East Mids. Jennifer Lawrence was reviewed in full by Tom Robinson for Fresh Faves 133.”
LA SHARK – Fiji (I’m In Heaven) [starts 14:20]
Samuel Deschamps, Nicholas Buxton, Lou Maynard, Benjamin Markham and Sami El Enany – trading jointly as La Shark – have always had the ability to put a big silly grin all over my face right from bar one – and Fiji (I’m in Heaven) is no exception. There’s a looseness, a loucheness and a playfulness about their writing and performance that means there’s no script to rip up. The whole joy of a La Shark song is that from moment to moment you have no idea what’s going to happen next. Yet that sense that anything could happen is balanced by the reassuringly deft touch that tells us we’re in the hands of masters. It’d be ridiculous to rate this song out of ten – La Shark plough an extravagant left-field furrow that’s entirely their own. Long may their “imaginary music” flourish. (TR)
THISISDA – Cosmic [starts 17:50]
“ThisisDA is a 21 year-old Bristol based Hip-hop musician known for harbouring an intensely captivating range of lyrical content marked by hints of vulnerability. The rap singer has recently released his debut EP entitled ‘Based Off Black’. Upon release, the album was depicted by Complex Magazine as “an inward-looking masterpiece” and cemented ThisisDA as a forerunner within the burgeoning new rap scene in England. Following support and praise from BBC Introducing to the MOBO Awards Group and a recent performance at the Tate Britain gallery, it’s fair to say that the rapper has caught the attention of listeners and respected critics far and wide. Upcoming gigs: 21st Jan The Sunflower Lounge, Birmingham; 23rd Jan Old Malt House, Bristol; 30th Jan The Louisiana, Bristol.”
SHE MAKES WAR – Slow Puncture [starts 20:41]
“I’ve just finished off my gigging year with a gig at Kentish Town Forum supporting the mighty New Model Army last Friday, says Laura Kidd (aka She Makes War) and tomorrow I’m announcing my Bristol album launch gig for Direction Of Travel which will be at Thekla on March 26th. Album bundles and tickets can be bought from my website and videos will start coming out in the New Year. I’ve also got some dates supporting Duke Special in Ireland in January and will be supporting The Everlasting Yeah at The Lexington in London on 6th February.”
She Makes War by Laura Ward – click to zoom image in new window
BLOCH EYOT – Do It Again [starts 24:35]
“With Scandinavian roots, English heritage and the subculture of the rivers where he lives, Bloch Eyot is an adventure in Magic Folkgrass. 2015 has been a year of boat and house concerts from Scandinavia across Europe and the U.K. to the Middle East. Contact Bloch Eyot via his website if you would like him to play a concert in your living room.”
BABEL – Miracle In The Maze [starts 28:20]
“Babel is a Japanese music duo formed by Nene Akagawa (Vocalist / Art directer) and Yuni Minami (Composer) in 2014. We represent ‘A Wonder World’ by our music. Some musicians, such as My Bloody Valentine, Cocteau Twins, Deftones and Yoko Kanno especially affects our music strongly. In the process of our creation, Yuni Minami makes all the track,and arrange them. Nene Akagawa produces Babel’s art direction with her graphic arts and pictures,videos. Our goal is to provide people worldwide our music without the necessity of understanding each other’s culture and language.In addition, we are also a member of a Japanese band Lost in the Fo’. In August 2015, we published a free download album Gentouchu.”
SHADES – You Can Keep Your Immortality, Herpo [starts 30:02]
“Complexity is all we know,” jokes vocalist Ziggy Paul about the music created by Newcastle post-hardcore five-piece Shades. The group came to be when “a group of music students found themselves in a rehearsal room tending to a bubbling cauldron full of harmonising guitar parts and clever riffs. They mixed in some heavy distorted chords and slightly freelance rhythmic basslines, and saw fit to add a hearty helping of thoughtful wordplay and aggression. Upon stirring this eclectic brew in shifting time signatures and rhythms, Shades were born.” This was the opening track on their second EP Lose Your Chains, released in March 2015.
GRACE SARAH – Birdaha [starts 33:02]
“Aged 17 and with Burberry Acoustic and BBC Introducing as big fans already, Cambridge based Grace Sarah Shelley is developing her new sound in a “glitchy” electronic/chill direction by working with a variety of local and national producers including Mologon and Macious and with future projects being lined up with Cold Courage and EMBRZ (from Dublin). Soundcloud is proving to be a useful lens for Grace’s work, attracting tens of thousands of plays from fans across the world. With six months left to go on her A-Levels, Grace is looking forward to burning her books and getting out on the road. Thanks to her successful relationship with SofarSounds, a European City mini tour is being discussed and maybe even a quick jump to the US in the summer of 2016…”
DUNCAN ALEX – Up Off My Butt [starts 36:07]
“I write, sing, record and produce, and I enjoy collaborating as well” says Duncan Alex. “I play a little bit of keyboard and guitar (quite badly I’m told by a guitarist mate). I’ve written over 200 songs (plus more instrumentals) and am aiming to get as many of them down on record before I head for the sunset. I absolutely love the process of making records as good as I can make them, and I hope this shows in my music. I’ve self-produced and published 3 albums and a handful of EPs and singles. I’ve been played on various stations across the world and internet, won competitions for my compositions, and I have been commissioned for film soundtracks.”
PANKHABILLI – Edge Of The Coin [starts 37:57]
“North-Wales based duo Pankhabilli consist of Parisian singer-songwriter Claire Jacquemard & Owain Ginsberg (leader of Hippies Vs Ghosts and We Are Animal). They have put the finishing touch to a debut EP. The songs retain a flair for the epic and dramatic which has been recently rewarded by a record deal. The EP will be released next year on vinyl then the band will be touring Europe, more details will be revealed soon. For the moment the songs are downloadable from: https://pankhabilli.bandcamp.com. Our influences are a massive tornado of different style, from Queen to King Crimson, crossing by PJ Harvey, Fiona Apple via R. Stevie Moore to Radiohead. This leads us to a chameleon church with no god, where we commit everyday. Pankhabilli music turns into a kind of hybrid shoegazish-drama-pop with a special appeal for textures, structures and constructed rhythm section.”
ZACK BOONE – Is it True [starts 40:41]
“After decades of living in towns and cities, Zack Boone wrote and recorded eleven 4am songs to help preserve what was left of his sanity. Weary from sound overkill and too many hours in the studio, the Irish-born multi-instrumentalist stopped listening to mainstream radio, and threw his TV in the skip. As a result, his debut album ended up sounding like a warm bath in winter. His songs have featured in various international award-winning movies including Patrick’s Day & Charlie Casanova. Zack Boone is the antithesis of the “One Directions” of this world. In a fantasy fight between the bitty boys and the big man, the smart money would be on Zack. At 6’4″ and looking like an openside flanker, you probably wouldnt guess he was capable of producing the kind of music he does. It might not be an over-stretch of the imagination to consider that the music Zack Boone made to preserve his own sanity, might, in some small way, help you with yours.”
HOATZIN – Carriers [starts 44:00]
“Formed in 2013, Brixton-based alt-rock group Hoatzin (long-standing friends Jim Willis – vocals, guitar, strings, Colin Somervell – bass, Kit Jolliffe – drums, Simon Spreyer – keys) play brooding, twisting and melodious songs of confusion, disappointment, reason and hope. Influences range from Brian Wilson, Jim O’Rourke and Bill Frisell, to Radiohead, Morphine and Battles. After a period of fairly intense gigging, taking in venues from the The Vortex in Dalston to Cranbourne Earth House in Dorset, we are now beavering away with Jon Clayton at One Cat Studios in Brixton, working on our debut album – due early next year.”
MADDIE JONES – More Fool You [starts 46:22]
“Maddie Jones is an eclectic singer-songwriter originally from the South Wales Valleys. Influenced by many types of music from rock to jazz, her music has recently been described as “ploughing its own maverick furrow” and “a sonic palette of pristine rock’n’roll”. Working with producer Charlie Francis and mentored by Amy Wadge, she has just released an entirely crowdfunded EP Colour Me In’ (2015), a follow up to her Arts Council funded debut album of 2014 (Vita Brevis), and two previous EPs (Mr Walrus (2013) and Let it Out (2010). Maddie won Cardiff’s Big Gig in 2013, was recently BBC Radio Wales’ Artist of the Week, and has supported acts including Sweet Billy Pilgrim. She is also curating and presenting a TV show of Cardiff’s finest singer-songwriters on the Made network in January.
CaStLeS – PartDepart [starts 48:36]
“This is the title track of our debut EP which was released in October along with a music video”, say CaStLeS. “A follow-up single from the EP will be released in January 2016. We have just recently had news that we were successful in our attempt to receive a Horizons Launchpad Fund contribution towards funding our debut album release next summer. It’s a scheme by the BBC and Arts Council to help up and coming musicians and bands.”
GREENCLOUD & EROS – Abbrevihate [starts 51:54]
GreenCloud (Joe, 24) and Eros (Phil, 24) are two music lovers from Kent who have taken influence from their favourite funk, soul, and hip hop artists and used these forms to express their own feelings on life in modern British society. Their lyrics are social and political observations; a mix of the liberality of reggae, and the rawness of urban music and the brilliance of Mike Skinner. Disheartened by modern rap and chart music, they began to make their own songs with an emphasis on meaningful lyrics, while addressing current issues that their listeners can directly relate to. Their aim is to put across a message of looking at things from a different perspective, reinforced by their latest track.
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