Eclectic Picks: Batch 436

Long haired man playing cello

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, however, all the credit goes to our guest curator, LUKE MOORE.

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 LUKE MOORE

Luke has been submitting instrumental compositions of the highest calibre to Freshonthenet for some time. Modern technology has enabled an army of bedroom musicians to spawn all over the world, but a quick look at Luke’s profile quickly reveals that this guy isn’t just another producer, he’s a proper musician. Cello, bass, guitar, double bass, keys… you name it, he can probably play it.

Luke’s solo work is often rich in atmospheric layers and presents a cinematic quality perfect for the big screen, leading to collaborations on projects themed in astrophysics, Viking history and climate change. Beyond his solo work, Luke is often scoring and recording parts for other artists – whilst dabbling in side project collaborations such as Operation Lightfoot and Skylon. Put simply, it is fair to say that Luke is a man in demand. Including this week, as he has kindly plucked out his favourites for the Eclectic Picks playlist…

A FEW WORDS FROM LUKE MOORE

FLORIE NAMIR – Far, Far Away
Kicking off my Eclectic Picks with this truly gorgeous piece by London based Florie Namir! Far, Far Away is rich with character – a sublimely orchestrated gem of a track. On my first listen I felt it was one part Cinematic Orchestra, another Jason Robert Brown (this could easily be Kathy’s epilogue from The Last Five Years) but with a chorus that will live in your head rent-free for days after you hear it. Really magical.

NINA KOHOUT – Moonlight
This lush, eerie track from Nina Kahout is a haunting piece recorded in her native Slovakia. There’s vibes of Goldfrapp and Portishead in the arrangement, which make an excellent backdrop for Nina’s haunting vocal. I immediately felt compelled to check out her other work and found an amazing video of her performing another song on an airfield control tower with a cellist and bass clarinettist! As I write, she’s preparing for her first headline gig in London tonight, and if I didn’t already have plans I’d have been tempted to make the 3 hour trip from here to see how her material translates live. Delicate, special and at just 18 years of age, Nina has surely a bright and successful future ahead.

RACHEL BURNETT – Apocalips
Rachel Burnett is a singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist based near Liverpool. I came across her work when she entered the Liverpool Acoustic Songwriting Challenge – an annual event I’m on the judging panel of where songwriters pick a piece of art from Merseyside and write a new song inspired by it. Apocalips was her entry for the most recent challenge and showcases her writing, accomplished vocal and an adept use of harmony and musicality to shift emotional tone and energy in her music.  Check out her other work when you can!

AARON Graham– Bergamo
This electronic track from Faversham based composer and producer, Aaron Graham, instantly drew me in. There’s an understated sense of cool here and when I listened to it (for the fourth time – yes, quite keen on this one!) I felt like I’d just stepped outside on the first day of summer. Bergamo is accompanied by Jürgen on what appears to be a double A-side release.

HERBARIUM – Fluorescent
Herbarium’s ghostly melancholia-laden track Fluorescent is delicate and evocative. The piano, voice and other sounds blend together and the piece conjures thoughts of fleeting moments when a distant memory is suddenly brought into focus in the mind’s eye before disappearing again. There’s a lot of depth packed into less than 2 minutes here. I hope we get to hear more from Herbarium soon.    

FOX EVADES – Bira
Fox Evades’ music is written, recorded and produced by DIY music maker Jordan Mae. Bira’s introspective reverb-soaked vocal alongside an upbeat bass part and occasional wash of guitars all drew me in. A really emotionally resonant and well produced track.    

MICHAEL DONOGHUE – Cosmic Whisper (Trevas Remix)
Here are a couple of names that will be familiar to anyone that’s frequented Fresh on the Net recently. Rather excitingly, this week’s submission is an exciting combination of both of their talents, taking the form of a remix of Cosmic Whisper. The track’s ominous intro opens up into a smorgasbord of slickly placed sounds that link perfectly with the themes hinted at in the title. It’s one of a series of remixes by other electronic artists that Michael has approached directly (another by last week’s Fresh on the Net guest moderator Helefonix had an airing on BBC Introducing at the weekend) and I know there are plenty of people excited to hear the results when he releases them. Nice work, both!    

CHRISTOPHERSEN – Wrong With You
Hairs stood on end getting drawn into the relentless piano and distant vocal. It’s a beast of a track, unsettling yet fragile, but once your ears are trapped in orbit there’s no escape. Impressed, I had a listen to Anna Christophersen’s other work and came away keen to see her live, sometime. Check out her Soundcloud for the equally dark and captivating track You Killed the Best of Me.

SYREL – The New Chief Technology Officer
Blimey! This cinematic piece from Syrel was right up my street! The eerie opening of sul tasto violins (bowed higher than usual to produce a lighter sound) asks the question that is answered with intent by relentless low strings, brass, frantic woodwind and a synth later on. As a huge film music enthusiast myself, I got dashes of – or perhaps nods to – Don Davis (The Matrix), Brad Fiedel (True Lies), Alan Silvestri (Predator), but with John Williams’ horn writing and… and…

Yes, I could go on, but this piece is superb so give it a whirl!

ECLECTISCH – Cicadas
With an artist name like Eclectisch and a track inspired by an insect with a 17 year life cycle, this piece was ripe for consideration in the Eclectic Picks before I’d even pressed play! Drums, synths and piano blended with the sound of cicada wings as the track pushes and pulls, evoking the mystery of the bug’s underground life and the energy of swarms of cicadas taking to the skies.

POLYMORTH – Rainmaking
“Very intense rain falls, in a particular place and land can’t take it way”.  That opening spoken word of Polymorth’s Rainmaking could almost have been written to order for this week, perhaps dedicated to Dudley and Eunice! That calm gives way to stormy math rock guitar and drum patterns that evolve over the course of the track. It’s all expertly done so strap yourself in for this 5 minute rollercoaster of a tune! A fitting end and I hope it energises the rest of your day the same way it did mine.

HODOLOGY – Nannie Dee
Named after the witch in Robert Burns’ Tam O’Shanter tale, Nannie Dee is the third track on Hodology’s Spindrift EP released at the end of January. A brooding and expertly crafted slice of synthy goodness!

MAGNETIC SKIES – Outside (Single Edit)
Ok, ok, maybe not quite the end… Magnetic Skies’ track Outside finishes off the list. I’ve a bit of a soft spot for this kind of sound, though it rarely links in with any of the music making I’m involved in. My first proper gig after the last lockdown was seeing Duran Duran live at the O2 Institute in Birmingham and Outside is a lovingly crafted track with more than a little dash of that flavour, with the influence of Simple Minds, Tears for Fears all seemingly in the mix too. So, I’m adding this one in for pure, glorious, gratuitous 80s-inspired feel good factor! Thank me later…

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. FLORIE NAMIR – Far, Far Away
  2. NINA KOHOUT – Moonlight
  3. RACHEL BURNETT – Apocalips
  4. FABYL – Bergamo
  5. HERBARIUM – Fluorescent
  6. FOX EVADES – Bira
  7. MICHAEL DONOGHUE – Cosmic Whisper (Trevas Remix)
  8. CHRISTOPHERSON – Wrong With You
  9. HODOLOGY – Nannie Dee
  10. SYREL – The New Chief Technology Officer (CTO)
  11. ECLECTISCH – Cicadas
  12. POLYMORTH – Rainmaking
  13. MAGNETIC SKIES – Outside

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.

8 Comments

  1. Such a thorough, well-researched and eloquently written article Luke. A joy to read. I’m not surprised that you like Syrel. There is a realy mystery artist who doesn’t appear anywhere online other than Soundcloud. I have blogged about him a number of times but he probably has no idea about this because I can’t tag him or message him. I wonder who he is. Anyway, really enjoyed these reviews. 🙂

  2. Thanks so much Neil – much appreciated! Thanks to Signal Committee for sending everything I needed too.

    And yes I couldn’t find anything about Syrel either apart from him seeming to be based in Canada and possibly retired, based on his bio info on soundcloud? Enjoyed that track a lot, but truly spoilt for choice!

    Kudos to you and the team for doing this week in week out!

  3. Nina Kohout

    Thank you so much Luke for including me and my song Moonlight in such an extraordinary playlist. Your words are really appreciated.

  4. You’re most welcome Nina!
    Thanks for sharing your music and I hope Sunday’s show went well!

  5. An interesting selection this week and a fine, erudite commentary Luke. Thanks for highlighting the talents of Florie Namir – a personal favourite of mine.

  6. Cool reviews, Luke. Enjoyed your selection. 🙂

  7. John blackburn

    Enjoyed it, ta

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