Eclectic Picks: Batch 422

(Photograph above courtesy of Paul Cook)

WHAT DO WE LOOK FOR?

Every week Signal Committee present an Eclectic Picks playlist. All tracks are selected from the full inbox of 200 tracks that are submitted each week to Fresh On The Net. This week all the hard work and credit goes to our special guest moderator, Minimums

Our playlists are orientated to the alternative music fan. Lyrics are not essential, abstract ideas are embraced and the fusing of different genres is encouraged. If you used to write band names on your pencil case at school, you’ll probably like our playlists.

INTRODUCING MINIMUMS

Like many of the special guest curators to date, Minimums is another artist that we first discovered on the BBC Feedback Friday thread back in the summer of 2020.

Minimums began life in April 2020 as an electronica project and the alias for a UK-based producer whose identity remains a closely guarded secret. We remain convinced that Minimums is a twisted side project experiment from Thom Yorke, deliberately launching his alias on an equal footing to the average unsigned artist in a grand design to expose the inevitable failure of the mainstream media to unearth this hidden gem. Time will tell.

Minimums’ work tends to blend electronic and orchestral elements and has been featured on BBC Introducing Live, Fresh Faves and previous Eclectic Picks. Inspirations include Jon Hopkins, Hybrid, Royksopp and soundtrack composers including Sam Hulick (Mass Effect), Clinton Shorter (The Expanse). Work is underway on a forthcoming EP which will feature several vocal tracks featuring London-based Pippa Sarratt as a special guest artist.

Pippa is a songwriter, producer and singer, making music from the ethereal-underground. Her next performance is live at Peckham’s Four Quarters on 1st December, a night of live music and DJs presented by emerging artist collective ‘Sugar House’. You can follow Pippa on Instagram @pippasarratt

OUR PICK OF THE WEEK

With Halloween approaching it was tempting to opt for miniBodZ’s track, Wolf Mechanica, a serene serenade from the howls of a wolf. But this week the nod goes to Trevas not just for the track itself, but for the diversity in his armoury. Listen to his latest track in the playlist below, and then listen to Sandstorm Rising (from Eclectic Picks batch 412) and you’ll see what we mean.

A FEW WORDS FROM MINIMUMS ON THIS WEEK’S PICKS

I was really excited to be asked by Signal Committee to curate this week’s selection of Eclectic Picks. Signal Committee’s Eclectic Picks quickly established itself as an exciting companion to the Fresh Faves with a really high level of quality and variety of music on offer. As both a fan of a fair few of the acts that I see pop up in the Eclectic Picks and featured artist myself, it’s been a really enjoyable challenge trying to put together this week’s playlist. I’ve also drafted in a bit of help from my recurring guest vocalist – and amazing solo artist in her own right – Pippa Sarratt. We had a rather uncanny amount of crossover in our choices and Pippa’s Picks make up the last 3 tracks in the playlist.

I am forever telling emerging and established artists to submit to Fresh on the Net to help reach new audiences and to connect with the amazing team of moderators, each of them championing fresh new music in truly exciting and laudable ways. So if you’re a creator of original music and reading this but yet to upload something to FOTN, set a reminder for next Monday morning and get it done!

And a few words on each track from this week’s playlist…

KAŚKA – Ocean Knows
I was immediately taken by the vibe of the intro and was drawn in by the introspection of the lyrics. Wonderful vocals and a cello solo halfway through the track – what’s not to like?

Krystal Brown – Where is Your Proof?
This track by Virginia-based artist Krystal Brown opens with the words “I wanna wipe that smug look right off of your face” as a prelude to a very thought provoking three and half minutes.

miniBodZ – Wolf Mechanica
Wolf Mechanica was the first tune I picked for the Eclectic Picks. Influences such as Nightmares on Wax and Coldcut can be heard, but this is no pastiche – it’s a tune and a half, finding a groove and not being afraid to stay there for a little while. Love it.

James Brady – Mirtazapine
Having recently purchased James’s really well-crafted In Search of Dopamine concept EP, it was nice to see this track appear in the inbox. I asked him about how he approached making the track: “For the EP I pared it right back – just two keyboards, two drum machines, two synth pads and a small collection of ambiences. It made me think more creatively about the writing and use of effects in particular”. It’s a fascinating approach and the resulting music speaks for itself.

Machina X – Silent Now (Radio Edit)
As haunting as it is superbly executed, Silent Now really stuck with me after I heard it for the first time. I dropped them a line to ask what influenced the track and they kindly opened up a bit and told me their new EP parallel the five stages of grief. Silent Now is themed around anger/defiance before acceptance. If the lyrics don’t strike a chord with you, you’ve been very fortunate indeed.

Sun, Moon & Talia – Healer
Perhaps a subconscious choice to put Healer straight after the previous track but Sun, Moon & Talia’s track is a beautifully produced and evocative piece of work. I’m already looking forward to seeing this Manchester-based alt-pop/electronic duo as soon as I get chance.

Hezen – So We Happen
Written seven months into a stay in Martinique, So We Happen is about experiencing a reconnection to Hezen’s Caribbean heritage. A wonderfully delicate vocal and meticulously arranged and produced accompaniment which put me in the mind of acts such as Hybrid and Moongai.

Dawn Coulshed – Dive
While the selections aren’t too much of a departure from the genres of music I produce myself, I just had to include this hypnotic blend of vocal, piano, cello and flugel (I think?). It’s a really sombre and tender piece, beautifully arranged and delivered with the utmost sincerity. I’ll be listening out for more of Dawn’s work very soon.

Trevas – Stretch
I’ve been following Trevas over on Soundcloud for a short while and Stretch was one of a few tracks that both Pippa and I picked out as candidates for this week’s Eclectic Picks. It seems like this one was popular with the moderators and audience too, making this week’s Fresh Faves! I mean it as high praise when I say it makes me want to dust off my old copy of Wipeout and give it a whirl with this on repeat!

PIPPA’S PICKS

Slow Drift – Oblivion
Warm fuzzy low end and ethereal top lines are my favourite combination. I could listen over and over to this!

BLU5HA – May-Flies
Love the vocal production on this track! Getting hyper-pop vibes from this and the energy is infectious.

James Beckwith – Muon
I felt like I was journeying above the clouds listening to this, 7:40mins of bliss. Loved the melodic lines and drum breaks.

LISTEN

You can listen to this weeks playlist using the player below, or click here to open the Soundcloud playlist in a new window. For the best listening experience… crank up the volume and immerse yourself in the music!

 

ARTISTS SELECTED THIS WEEK

  1. KAŚKA — ocean knows
  2. KRYSTAL BROWN — Where is Your Proof?
  3. MINIBODZ — Wolf Mechanica
  4. JAMES BRADY – Composer and Performer — Mirtazapine
  5. MACHINA X — Silent Now (Radio Edit)
  6. SUN, MOON & TALIA — Healer – Sun, Moon & Talia
  7. HEZEN — So We Happen
  8. DAWN COULSHED — Dive
  9. TREVAS — Stretch
  10. SLOW DRIFT – Oblivion
  11. BLU5HA – May Flies
  12. JAMES BECKWITH – Muon (Part 1)

RADIO OPPORTUNITIES

We all have ambitions to get on national radio, but in the meantime there are loads of great, independent radio stations that are always looking for new music of the alternative variety. They offer no promises, but the following hosts tell me they that, if you made this list, they’d like you to get in touch to be considered for their show:

  • Chris Watts, presenter of “In The Moog” online on NCCR (UK) (Twitter: @chriswatts1965.  Electronic/synth-based tracks (mp3 &/or WAV) to chrisinthemoog@gmail.com, together with artwork &/or band pic and your Twitter handle).
  • Lucas Gil, presenter of Supernova on Glitterbeam Radio (Twitter @lucasgil, apply by his website here)
  • Joe Figueira of North Manchester FM (Twitter @moretonguy, apply with MP3, short bio & twitter handle by e-mail to joefigueira@yahoo.co.uk)

POLITE REQUEST TO ALL ARTISTS

If you’re on Twitter, IG etc make sure you put a link to your social media pages on your soundcloud profile. It’ll save curators, moderators, radio folk etc lots of time letting you know you made the cut. On the other hand, maintaining anonymity might lead to a cult following in a remote location that you don’t find out about until someone from Svalbard FM hunts you down 20 years later to do a Searching For Sugar Man-esque documentary.

Signal Committee

Signal Committee are a four piece band from Bury, England. Their influences include the likes of New Order, Radiohead, Bowie, Jon Hopkins and Massive Attack.

5 Comments

  1. Great article and cool choices by Minimums & Pippa. Pleased to see the cover pic is ftrom my Tomorrow Calling Festival where they played a wonderful live set in September and delighted also to see Chris Watts and his In The Moog show on NCCR get a shout out. 🙂

  2. Thanks Neil! Such a great mix of music and really good insight into all of the hard work that goes into what you and the team do week in, week out!

    Our debut seems so long ago – must do it all again sometime!

  3. HW

    Minimums,
    Well selected and after seeing you play live
    even more interesting your selection.

  4. I’m worried now because that MACHINA X track didn’t “get” me when I heard it on the listening post.. but it is fantastic! I should have known better because I already listen to music from those guys. How could I have got it so wrong at the weekend? What else did I miss? Yikes!!

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