Eclectic Picks: Batch 442

Man playing guitar, lady singing, dark background

Every week Signal Committee present an Eclectic Picks playlist. All tracks are selected from the full inbox of up to 200 tracks that are submitted each week to Fresh On The Net. This week, however, all the credit goes to our special guest curator, John Blackburn (from Formula Two)

WHAT DO WE LOOK FOR?

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 JOHN BLACKBURN

Until recently, all of our special guest curators have been artists that have featured on the Eclectic Picks. Last week we broke the mould with Deb Grant, and this week we have another twist. And now for something completely different, a FOTN Missionary….

John Blackburn may not have submitted any tracks to FOTN for some time, but he has remained a loyal follower of FOTN for many years. You will find John popping up, almost without fail, every week to cast his votes and comment on the Listening Post and Eclectic Picks. No agenda, just in it for the love of music. And it doesn’t stop there! Like a missionary for the FOTN cause, John travels around Greater Manchester and beyond to share the great music he has discovered from FOTN at bars, pubs and other venues when touring with his band, Formula Two. There you will find tracks from FOTN blasting out over the PA during the intervals and before & after sets… inspiring the public by stealth.

If anyone else would like to become a FOTN missionary, please get in touch for your free starter pack, Tom Robinson himself will bless the holy water for you to throw at people indiscriminately. In the meantime, make sure you check out what John Blackburn has picked out of the hat for us all this week…..

A FEW WORDS FROM JOHN BLACKBURN

Kirby Howarth – Yesterday Once More – 80’s.
Kirby presents a few different versions of this 1979 penned song, available on Soundcloud. They are quite different from this 80’s electronic version and well worth a listen.

Sottondrive – Edler.
Loved the way the reverse audio fits in, also the major/minor chord changes, the fluid guitar and vocals from Astrid Walker. Yup, I love this.

Frank Joshua – Five Minutes.
A sequenced ear worm builds up into a tight groove with Franks calming vocals intoning about, well, 5 minutes. Intriguing throughout.

Ross K and Noé Solange – Time.
Silky keyboards artfully arranged and growing in intensity with sequences and FX, along with the warm vocals of Noé Solange. Brilliant.

Andy Oliveri – Silent Country
I don’t listen to this type of music much, but the smooth pedal steel guitar, if that’s what it is, completely hooked me on this one.

We are Aerials – Robbing Peter
Already a fan of “Love is” from 2020 and also now this wonderfully laid back track. Reminder: I need to investigate this band more.

Oliver Marson – Manipulator
Guitar infused track that sounds like it is from a different era.

Zoom Unit – Mars Express
Available as a free download from Bandcamp, this is from their new album ZU3. I can hear the Krautrock influences in there.

Samh – Keeping Waves.
A busy drum riff is countered by some lovely harmonic vocal chords, joined by an equally busy bass line and some swirling guitar. Contrasting sounds brought together really well.

Eat Your Own Head – The Concrete Of Moulded men
Wonderfully named Norwich band who want to play “extremely loud music” so I’d need my earplugs if I attend a gig, which I’d love to based on this track.

KingYanz – Lethal Legacy.
Not my usual genre, but this has great groove and complementary/atmospheric backing to the vocals. On the video he gets stood up by a girl after buying her flowers. Aw!

Touché Ensimismado – Be Mindful.
Unlike many artists Touché includes a personal and rather amusing biography on Soundcloud. I particularly like the concept of Oasis meets Des O’Connor. Anyway, this track has a repetitive electronic groove to it which gets into your system so much I need to keep playing it a second time.

Murdo Mitchell – Ghosts.
Murdo’s reverb laden guitar and sonorous voice kicks off this song which builds intently into a multi instrumental crescendo. Really impressive. He has two gigs arranged for September in Glasgow and London… but not Manchester (ahem).

Leva Dubova – Ethereal Dream.
The Latvian Pianist and composer with an enigmatic track from her new Scriabin inspired album, Piano Preludes. There’s an album launch on 7 April for you lucky London clan.

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. KIRBY HOWARTH – Yesterday Once More – 80’s – RD
  2. SCOTTONDRIVE – Elder
  3. FRANK JOSHUA – Five Minutes
  4. NOÉ SOLANGE – Time (Ross K x Noé Solange)
  5. ANDY OLIVERI – Silent Country
  6. WE ARE AERIALS – Robbing Peter
  7. OLIVER MARSON – Manipulator
  8. ZOOM UNIT – Mars Express
  9. SAMH – Keeping Waves
  10. EAT YOUR OWN HEAD – The Concrete Of Moulded Men
  11. KINGYANZ – Lethal Legacy
  12. WE ARE PERFECT POP CO-OP – Anxities Faction Structure
  13. TOUCHÉ ENSIMISMADO – Be Mindful
  14. MURDO MITCHELL – Ghosts
  15. IEVA DUBOVA – Ethereal Dream

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.

3 Comments

  1. Great list John and succinct comments on each. Enjoyable read and listen. 🙂

  2. Absolutely sensational list John. Made my rainy Wednesday morning. Discovered so many great artists. Well done to all!

  3. thanks guys… it was fun!

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