BBC Mixtape: 30 May 2016

Afro Cluster

This week’s radio broadcast of the BBC Introducing Mixtape on 6 Music finally does features the following artists:  AFRO CLUSTER, ALEV LENZ, THOM DREAMSS, POTENT WHISPER + MARIA-CHRISTINA & THE 7 PEDALS , GIRL FRIEND, TYNESIDE RAIN, VINNY PECULIAR, WILLIAM GRAY, SACRIFICE & BLISS, JOY ATLAS, JEREMY TUPLIN, COGS, HELEN SHERRARD, GLASS, JACK FLASH, SALLY ROBIN and BARONIAL HALL, handpicked by Tom Robinson from the BBC Introducing Uploader.

The 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 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, 23rd May at 2am: the start times refer to the downloadable podcast version of the programme, first made available last week from this URL

AFRO CLUSTER – We Don Land (radio edit) [starts 00:17]
Afro Cluster are a Cardiff-based band citing Fela Kuti, Snarky Puppy, Ozomatli, The Roots & Talking Heads amongst their influences. Together with front man MC Skunkadelic, they meld authentic sounds and rhythms of afro-funk and hip-hop with impassioned, politically conscious lyrics atop bold melodies, afro-beat aural acrobatics, rich harmonies and complex rhythms.

Afro Cluster have been announced as one of the Horizons 12 acts for 2016/2017 (a collaboration between BBC Wales & the Arts Council of Wales).”

ALEV LENZ – Eggshell [starts 03:47]
Alev Lenz is back with a fresh single titled Eggshell, off her forthcoming album Two-Headed Girl. She is a remarkable songwriter, composer and singer, whose music fuses filmic, world and classical influences. Her bittersweet voice and utterly personal lyrics, loaded with melodic flavours and inspiring hooks that take you by surprise, off kilter harmonics and deep and compelling song structures, have often been compared to songstresses like Fiona Apple and Regina Spektor. Alev Lenz may not be a household name just yet, but since the release of her debut album back in 2009 in her home country of Germany, now London-based Alev has kept herself busy with gigs in London (including The Vortex, the hub of the capital’s Avant jazz and electronic scene), New York and across Germany, as well as composing soundtracks for several high profile German films, and collaborating with established artists such as Anoushka Shankar and Lucy Claire.”

THOM DREAMSS – Come On Over [starts 07:54]
THOM DREAMSS is a 23 year old singer/songwriter from Berlin. Thom is deeply in love with minimalism and no overdubs whatsoever. 2015 saw the release of his debut EP Midnight Sessions, written and recorded whilst staying In the US, only during sessions available being late into the night. He is back in Berlin and has just finished working on his new EP (Don’t) Give It Up, available everywhere. Thom has recently begun touring across Germany.”

“Q. What happens when you mix politically driven Rap… with an Electric Harp… and a loop pedal?
A. Potent Whisper and Maria-Christina & The 7 Pedals.
This duo deliver a unique fusion of high-energy lyricism with the experimental – non romantic – sounds of the Electric Harp.
MC & The 7 Pedals is an avant-garde harpist. After studying at the Royal Academy of Music, MC drilled her harp and started playing electric; using bows, guitar sliders, live loops, wah & distortion pedals. Since winning first place at the Wales International Harp Competition, MC has gone on to tour Europe and has given performances at prestigious venues in the UK, recently featuring on Later With Jools Holland on BBC2.
Potent Whisper, a graduate of the BRIT School, made the papers in 2015 with his anti-gentrification single Brixton First, featuring Lara Lee (star of BBC’s The Voice). In addition to having collaborated with UK music legends like Congo Natty, the rapper and activist is fast becoming a highly regarded Spoken Word artist and has received fairly consistent coverage in national press, including TV performances on various national news channels.
This fresh duo are now working on their first body of work, a four track EP being recorded at the Brixton Jamm.”

GIRL FRIEND – Tragic On The Dance Floor [starts 13:42]
Girl Friend are a Manchester electro-pop band headed up by lead singer Amory with his sister Eleanor on backing vocals. The songs are often dark tales of nights out and the desires that drive them. Amory describes Tragic on the Dancefloor as being ‘about feeling self-conscious in an environment where you’re expected to be having fun. Someone takes a liking to the timid narrator and tries to get them to loosen up; albeit in a slightly mocking way. I’m sure we’ve all been there before…?’
Tragic on the Dancefloor is now out on Spoftiy and Itunes, and Girl Friend are heading on tour on various summer festivals including The Great Escape, Dot 2 Dot, The Secret Garden Party, Rockaway Beach and British Summertime in Hyde Park.”

TYNESIDE RAIN – A Gun and a Girl [starts 17:22]
Tyneside Rain is a rock opera written by Roger Wicks and Syd Collumbine. It’s the story of two brothers growing up in a changing world. The tale spans six years from the Summer of Love, 1967, a colourful, optimistic time to the harsh winter of 1973, by which time the brothers’ hopes and aspirations had become, in different ways, broken dreams. As an opera it is a massive undertaking, in 2012 Roger approached Gateshead College, where he could find musicians, actors, studios and stages under one roof. On June 7th, college students will perform songs from Tyneside Rain at Sage Gateshead. The stripped back A Gun and a Girl features Jodie Nicholson with Syd Collumbine on guitar.”

VINNY PECULIAR – The Back Wards [starts 20:51]
“Musician and poet Vinny Peculiar (aka Alan Wilkes) has been variously described as ‘an under sung national treasure’ (UNCUT Magazine 2014) ‘a warm hearted Morrissey’ (Q Magazine 2014) and ‘the missing link between Jarvis Cocker and Roger McGough’ (Irish Times 2014). He’s released eleven albums of outsider pop music to great critical acclaim. A new concept album, Silver Meadows (Fables from the Institution), was released on 16 May and is currently in development as a musical stage play. Peculiar has collaborated with Bill Drummond (KLF, Soup Art), and his various bands have included ex members of The Smiths, Oasis, Aztec Camera and The Fall. Live shows have garnered comparisons to Eels, John Cooper Clarke and the more pastoral elements of The Kinks. He’s opened for British Sea Power, Edwyn Collins and Luke Haines amongst others and is a former compere on the Glastonbury Acoustic Stage.”

WILLIAM GRAY – Riddle Me Thistle [starts 25:07]
“A prolific songwriter whose wide-ranging releases are difficult to pigeonhole, William Gray has drawn favourable comparisons with respected and renowned songwriters from Elliott Smith to Damon Albarn, whilst material from latest album Flounce has been filed next to acts such as Beck, Super Furry Animals, The Flaming Lips, The Beta Band, and Grandaddy.
Born in South Wales but learning his craft as part of a diverse and burgeoning Leeds music scene, Gray, rather fittingly for an artist always exploring new territory, is currently based in Hangzhou, China, where, curiously, the same kind of Leeds DIY spirit seems very much alive. 2015 saw Gray join the roster of artists at Medic Independent Records with the Hangzhou label organizing well-received shows in different provinces of China. This period also included the release of EP Tish, the year culminating in a Hangzhou show supporting internationally lauded acoustic guitar virtuoso Jon Gomm. 2016 is proving another busy year with the aforementioned release of album Flounce on March 17th and EP Seine currently scheduled for an autumn release.”

SACRIFICE & BLISS – Hit Me [starts 27:58]
Sacrifice and Bliss are a London-based experimental rock band with roots spread throughout the musical world. John and Roger formed Sacrifice and Bliss through a shared interest in foreign cultures and the work of Joseph Campbell whose documentary on mythology gives them their name. Drawing on diverse genres from classical and middle eastern to electronic and noise music, they play music inspired by mythology and ritual often accompanied by dancers. They have played at masquerade balls, exhibitions, at Manchester Museum, composing and playing music for contemporary dance and at venues around London.
Upcoming dates include 27th May at 93 Feet East and 25th June at The Cellar in the Finborough Arms, Kensington.”

JOY ATLAS – Drop Your Sword [starts 31:24]
“Just twelve months after Joy Atlas burst onto the UK music scene with their acclaimed debut single Dismount, the band release Drop Your Sword, their 3rd single. This near three-minute delight displays a smart and evolving sound that is brimming with imagination, angular, intricate bass lines, skeletal beats and beaming synths that all swoop and loop into a dense, harmonic crescendo. Drop Your Sword further demonstrates Joy Atlas as a textured, enigmatic band who have been compared in the press to Bjork, Field Music and Goldfrapp. Drop Your Sword is released digitally on 10th June 2016.

Upcoming Live dates include:
Newcastle, Evolution Emerging, 28/05/16; Leeds, Underneath The Stars Festival, 23/07/16; London, The Underbelly, Hoxton, 27/07/16”

JEREMY TUPLIN – Changes In The Sea [starts 34:12]
“Jeremy Tuplin a singer-songwriter from the West Country where he cut his musical teeth at intimate venues and folk clubs around Somerset. Now based in London but gigging all around the UK, his songs explore themes of romance, humour and adventure and more with soul-baring honesty. An insightful lyricist whose truly original story songs are infused with folk, indie and Americana influences to name a few, combining to create a unique sound defined by a distinctive, deep vocal.”

COGS – Bubbles [starts 37:43]
“Cogs is a music project put together by me and my 4 year old son. It is a way for us to be creative together and have fun. The name Cogs was chosen by my son, and was inspired by the “Robot Music” of Kraftwerk, which we both love. We are just finishing the follow up to Bubbles, which is called Chattering Teeth and will be with you soon.”

HELEN SHERRARD – I Am The Wolf [starts 40:05]
“Singer/Songwriter/Composer from the West Midlands.”

GLASS – Be Careful [starts 43:41]
Jessica Winter and Scott Rimington

JACK FLASH – Control [starts 46:57]
“I’m just thinking aloud in a world where they don’t want thinking allowed
MC & Songwriter from Huddersfield, WY, UK.”

SALLY ROBIN – Cooper [starts 52:13]
Sally Robin’s voice has a captivating purity, bringing a vulnerability that she shatters with her confident delivery of original material. She takes influences from indie, folk and jazz to create a relaxed, happy and chilled sound. Her lyrics remain gritty, engaged and honest in a poetic structure that belies her 17 years. Sally Robin is currently working on her debut EP, which she plans to bring out very soon.”

BARONIAL HALL – Compartment D [starts 55:16]
Baronial Hall is a new project founded by Steve Kidd who says he has played bass and guitar in various bands since the 1990s. When I quizzed him further about this he said; ‘oh, you know, lots of them you have probably heard of before and plenty of them you wished you hadn’t’. Today, he works mostly on his own, as a film and television composer and has released two albums of library music as well as working on short films for NOWNESS. Mr Kidd is working on a debut solo album, Baronial Hall, in his studio in Somerset, due for release later in 2016 on his own record label, and …..he also farms rare breed British Lop pigs.
If I’ve featured you on the BBC Introducing Mixtape recently, can you do me a favour and wait 12 weeks before sending in another track via Fresh On The Net? That will give us room to help a few other deserving artists in the meantime and we’d love to hear another great new tune from you in three months’ time.

You may also get a flattering email from PR companies offering you their paid services after appearing on The BBC Introducing Mixtape. If so please forward it to Fresh On The Net via our contact page and always treat unsolicted offers with extreme caution… Be sure to check out The Pros And Cons Of Pluggers.

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...


  1. Titus

    Cool stuff. What’s happening with the 200 batch stuff? Will that ever see the light of the mixtape? I realise it isn’t guaranteed airtime anyway but just wondering.

    Thanks FOTN

  2. Steve Casburn

    Will this podcast episode ever appear in the iTunes Store?

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