BBC Mixtape: 21 July 2014

Mike Dignam

This week’s free downloadable BBC Introducing Mixtape features handpicked tunes from the BBC Introducing Uploader by

Download or subscribe to Tom's BBC Introducing Mixtape

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 then downloadable in podcast form at the BBC 6 Music downloads page for the next 30 days. Full tracklists and start times for each track are published here at Fresh On The Net together with biog information supplied by the artists. Previous tracklists can be found via the MIXTAPE tab above or on the BBC website.

All tracks are sourced from the BBC Introducing Uploader. Some are recommended by BBC friends and colleagues while the rest are tunes I’ve discovered here via our Fresh On The Net inbox. For more about how the process works see this post. These are the listings for the episode broadcast overnight on Sunday 20th July (technically 2am on Monday, 21st July 2014…)

MIKE DIGNAM – Hurt [starts 00:17]
Mike Dignam is a well-connected artist who seems well on his way to major success. Blessed not only with a distinctive voice and the ability to put a decent song together – but also hench good looks, 74,000 friends on Facebook and a dedicated management team – Mike looks set to make a mainstream breakthrough within the next year or two. None of this has come overnight; his official biography tells us his career began with selfrecording and selfreleasing a debut EP back in 2008 from his home in Preston – since when he seems to have worked pretty much nonstop: constantly co-writing, collaborating, performing and touring. Talent and good fortune aside, there’s no substitute for motivation, focus and hard work, and it’s no surprise that Mike is now reaping the benefits of six years’ solid slog. Hurt is the lead track on Mike’s forthcoming EP It Was Written, due out on August 10th. We wish him every success.

HEAVY PETTING ZOO – Crash [starts 04:34]
As a firm believer myself in the old rock’n’roll adage “three chords good, two chords better”, Crash is my kind of record. It’s far, far harder to write with this kind of harmonic simplicity than to spray clever-clever chord changes around the place every other bar. This single assembles tried and trusted components first built by vintage CBGB bands into a new and refreshing combination that’s guaranteed to gratify the ears of even a grizzled veteran like myself. Imagine the reverb-dranched guitar-twangling and arch boy-girl vocals of a lost Cramps or B52s classic that’s been zapped by some kind of 21st century bizzaro ray. Each is component comfortably familiar – and yet yet disconcertingly different enough to surprise and delight all these decades later.

HEIDRIK – Marias Donkey [starts 09:00]
Quality: you can’t fake it, can’t mistake it, and Maria’s Donkey – due out a week today – has it aplenty: sheer certifiable 24 carat quality songwriting, singing, playing and production. The amount of of time, care and talent lavished on this single by Faroese artist / producer Heiðrik and his orchestrator Rosabella Gregory is obvious to the most casual listener. Immersed as we are in the weekly deluge of new music vying for attention here at Fresh On The Net, I frequently find my attention span straying anytime a song wanders past the three and a half minute mark. Does that guitar solo really add anything to our listening enjoyment? Do we really need to hear that chorus repeated for a fourth and fifth time? (This is all written as a repented sinner, I hasten to add. Not much of my own back catalogue would stand up to this test…) This intelligent string-driven epic – with its twists and sonic surprises – sustains our interest and justifies every one of its 220 seconds’ length.

MORO & THE SILENT REVOLUTION – Blamelessness [starts 12:29]
Moro & the Silent Revolution have made three appearances on our Listening Post in recent weeks – and this time around their beautifully crafted alt-pop gem Blamelessness scored a bullseye with our readers. And no wonder: it takes enormous skill and careful attention to detail to write songs that sound as effortless as this. With this lightness of touch the band easily achieve their stated goal of creating “Anglo-American folk-pop with catchy refrains and unsettling lyrics.” It’s all the more remarkable when you consider that it’s being produced not in Shoreditch, Brooklyn or some Southern Californian hipster locale but in the commune and city of Forlì – close to the Adriatic coast of Italy. While clearly an anglophile of the first water, frontman Massimiliano Morini is – astonishingly – not a native English speaker. Most of us would seriously struggle to write songs as good as this in our own language, let alone in a foreign tongue. Blamelessness is track three on the band’s aptly-titled third album Home Pastorals – available on Gamma Pop via iTunes and Bandcamp.

MAT MOTTE – Summer Song [starts 15:20]
Mat Motte is a Singer / Songwriter / Performer living in London. Mat started out fronting Mower, a three-piece indie pop band, which was spotted by Blur’s Graham Coxon. After releasing a couple of albums on Coxon’s Transcopic Label, tours with Scissor Sisters, BSP and The Futureheads, accolades (including NME Single of the Week, Zane Lowe Singles of the week, Evening Session plus Marc and Lard) Mower eventually called it a day. Mat’s intense new sound is the result of being locked away for a couple of years in the Worcestershire marshes, with only his old funk and hip hop LPs for company. Having pissed off everyone who ever cared for him, he found that he had no choice but to resort to using enemies in his band. Mat is now wreaking havoc in venues across the land, and has just finished recording his debut LP with Oli Dreamtrak. Gigs in London this summer include The Buffalo Bar (Aug 1), Tooting Tram and Social (Aug 24), and The Pipeline (Sep 26).

EMPIRE OF THE ANTS – A Thousand Times A Day [starts 18:55]
Empire of the Ants is a collaboration between Tin Raven & Jody Fiteni on a sound which is refreshingly sincere and untethered by convention. From their respective (and distant) corners of the world – Jody from the Mediterranean island of Malta, Tin from sometimes sunny Shropshire. They are continuously recording, and sending ideas across the globe, and have many tracks in the pipeline. They look forward to the day when they eventually work in the same room!

JACOB WILLIAM – Caught Red Handed [starts 23:20]
Anyone who’s ever had to wade through several hundred demos in a morning will know the sinking feeling when the opening piano triads announce that yet another singer-songwriter about to punish the ivories of some luckless Steinway with their latest noodling magnum opus. But the independent and selfmanaged Jacob William is no mere piano botherer. Within four seconds has derailed our expectations with a surprise major 7th; within six, his spinetingling voice has kicked in, and by ten seconds in it’s clear that we’re in the presence of greatness. The track was recorded in jacob’s own attic studio and (as with Andrew Montgomery) it’s the vocal that seals the deal while his solo piano accompaniment leaves it plenty of room to shine. Beyond the smallest doubt, this is a song born of real-life experience. If Art can be defined as ‘the process by which we encode experience in order to share it with others’ then Jacob William is a very fine artist indeed – and Caught Red Handed is available now to download free at his website.

NYMS & KAYNE – Save Me [starts 26:47]
“Nyms & Kayne come from completely different backgrounds: Nyms’s roots going straight into India and Kayne’s into America. They blend their creative abilities together in such a way that their music and sound is unique.Their life’s experiences are what drive their lyrics, they talk about emotions and events they know and have lived through. Nyms & Kayne have worked together for under a year, but in that time they have created a new style of music they term ‘Urban Pop’, released through their own label Brown Bear Music. The strings in their songs give it an almost film score with beats that bring it back to the streets and lyrics that are about life, love and choices. Their first EP Catch Me If You Can has been featured on several radio shows including BBC Introducing and has been playlisted for play in Morrisons, Oasis, Ann Summers and H&M.”

FALLS – Something About Buffaloes [starts 30:28]
“Falls are a 4 piece rock/riff/hook/music band from Flintshire in North Wales, combining heavy set-yourself-on-fire riffs, catchy teach-your-teenage-daughter-the-dance-routine melodies and avant-garde stroke-your-muso-beard-to-this time signatures. Citing their influences as ‘all of the things’, Falls provide a dynamic and compelling sound which is compounded by their energetic and at times, confusing live show.”

Andrew MontgomeryANDREW MONTGOMERY – After The Storm [starts 33:23]
As Geneva’s frontman, Andrew Montgomery scored 4 UK Top 40 hits, a top 20 album and much critical adoration between 1996 and 2000, garnering comparisons to Harriet Wheeler, Liz Fraser and Smokey Robinson. After a decade of silence, he returns with Ruled By Dreams, his début solo album. Ruled By Dreams was produced by Sean McGhee (Robyn, Imogen Heap, Alison Moyet.) The album features Suede’s Richard Oakes on guitar, elegant vocals from Röyksopp & Schiller collaborator Kate Havnevik, plus contributions from Ben Ellis (Catherine Wheel) and Jody Gadsden & Simon Neilson from Autoheart. Ruled By Dreams is released worldwide on 5th October 2014. A limited CD will be available exclusively from Upcoming live dates include:17th August: The Old Queen’s Head, Islington, London, 6th October: Hoxton Bar & Kitchen, London.

ME AND DEBOE – Forward [starts 36:59]
“With their combination of intricate, percussive guitar and exquisitely compelling vocals, Me and Deboe have become an immediate hit with audiences both internationally and throughout the UK. Their distinct sound spans a wide range of genres, refusing to be confined or defined, much like the girls themselves.”

BARE HUNTER – Anybody Out There [starts 39:18]
“Bare Hunter are a trio who fuse muddy garage-rock and voodoo psychedelica to creat a dirty, heavy blues. Still very fresh, the band formed at the end of 2013 and have been locking themselves away in a small Portakabin, balanced on top of a shipping container with a Bermuda sticker on it. Playing shows in and around London, the band are building up a loyal fanbase and already attracting interest from record labels. You only have to see Bare Hunter perform live to realise that there really is something magical about the power of three.”

RobjnROBJN – Epitaph [starts 43:55]
A welcome recent addition to the ranks our moderation team here at Fresh On The Net has been the Cambridge-based artist and musician Robjn – whose work I already admired – and who recently submitted the haunting title track of his new album Epitaph to our inbox. Four separate moderators picked it for the Listening Post this week and, if anyone imagines this was mere cronyism, simply click “play” to hear why we and our readers liked it so much. Robjn’s yearning electro-tinged vocals slam in from the get-go, and then after 66 seconds – just when you think you have the measure of the song – in come the sudden driving percussion loops, lifting the energy to a whole new level. Clear, sparse and very much of the moment, Epitaph embodies a musical sound and approach you simply wouldn’t have heard ten or even five years ago. It’s made with little more than love, a laptop and a keep pair of ears – and easily one of the most engaging records I’ve heard this year.

BENIN CITY – Bus [starts 46:44]
“Named after a Nigerian state capital, Benin City consist of Theo Buckingham on drums, Tom Leaper on tenor sax, and Joshua Idehen on rhymes. Joshua met Theo at a squat party. They struck up a loud friendship and decided to make more organised noises together. They drafted in Tom, tenor sax player/arranger. Their vibrant and energetic performances have garnered them a loyal following, including John Kennedy (Xfm), Huey Morgan (6 Music), Mark Lamarr (Radio 2), and Scroobius Pip. Their debut album Fires In The Park was released under AD in 2013.”

ZYGMUNT DAY+ECHO PRESSURE – Wanderers [starts 51:03]
“Zygmunt Day & Echo Pressure have recently released their first record, On Streets That Know, a collection of songs about work, place, family and memory, which premiered on The Quietus in June 2014. The album was written and recorded over two years whilst Zygmunt worked in various dodgy pubs, and was mostly funded by a six-month contract in a Dutch shipyard and a short stint as a security guard at the Olympics. The band are now playing regularly around London, with shows planned for the rest of the year. Listings for each month will be on the band’s Facebook and Soundcloud pages. They will also be heading to Madrid to record some new songs this summer, and will all be taking suncream.”Zygmunt Day And Echo Pressure

ARTISTS: A Word Of Warning…
At least one PR company sends out an identical email to every single artist who appears on The BBC Introducing Mixtape. It says that the company heard your track on our show, they thought it “sounded fantastic”, and are wondering if you’re looking for promotion for your releases.

Before responding, please check out The Pros And Cons Of Pluggers. We strongly urge you to be wary of unsolicited email from anyone who claims to like your music and then suggests that YOU should pay THEM for services of any kind.

Tom Robinson

London-based broadcaster & songwriter, born 1950. His best known songs are 2-4-6-8 Motorway, Glad To Be Gay and War Baby; he has also co-written songs with Peter Gabriel, Elton John, Dan Hartman and Manu Katché. Read More...

Comments are closed.