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, Party On Machine Planet Zero.
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 PARTY ON MACHINE PLANET ZERO
What does it take be invited to be a guest curator for the Eclectic Picks? Well, if you submit a track as good as Set Condition Red, you’ll probably get our attention. And not just our attention, because Set Condition Red found its way not just on to the Eclectic Picks that week, but also the Listening Post where our singer/synth player commented: “Got an audio crush on Party On Machine Planet Zero. To complete a historic treble, Party On Machine Planet Zero also received the people’s vote, propelling them to the Fresh Faves.
We figured that made Party On Machine Planet Zero a suitable candidate to curate this week’s Eclectic Picks, and needless to say, they’ve picked out some belters…
A FEW WORDS FROM PARTY ON MACHINE PLANET ZERO
Eminzada – Beautiful Long Hair
I knew I’d like this track from the intro – synthesizers, arabesque melodies, and quite a sci-fi flavour. And as soon as it hit vocals, I immediately got strong Infected Mushroom vibes
Lemon Lake – You Need to Go Now.
I’ve been humming this tune to myself the last few days – it’s a catchy, really well constructed piece of synth pop. I am a sucker for good drum production, and the kick and snare combo on this are fantastic – a good funky track needs a strong underpinning.
Olivia Micelli – Tragic Hero
A short and sweet intro with layered choral singing, dropping quickly into the track: this caught my attention. The juxtaposition of dry – near – vocals, almost floating over the watery background is a great piece of sonic design. And the vocals move through several styles in the track – it all sounds coherent, yet they were some structural surprises that kept me guessing.
Mike Gale – Manana Man
I love a track that is heavy on lots of layers of live percussion, and this doesn’t disappoint. At just under 2 and half minutes, this track is short, sweet, and even squeezes in something like a drum solo. The use of the stereo field here is really good.
Larkhall – Time of Flight
I didn’t know while listening where this track was going, or what surprises might be in store, and that’s a lovely place to be when you are enjoying music. The intro used a plucky synth sound – will it be guitar based, or trance? Then it breaks into piano chords, and a subdued electronic kick drum. There are changes to tempo, and shifts in rythms (even phrase length) – half the way through the track I was still wondering if it was going to break into a big house beat. Its a testament to the craft of track that it sounds coherent.
Cando – Sting in the Tail
Minimal, rythmic percussive techno – there’s a fine art to making something stripped back feel lively and exciting, and this track pulls it off really well. A lot of subtle, fine detail has gone into this track, especially in the low end, where several different layers of bass like sounds come and go in the rythms. I imagine it sounds great on a big system!
Pimlican – Scratch
“Is that Rast Sounds Middle Eastern vocals 1?” I thought at the start. And then the track kicked in, and it reminded me of 90s era Way out West, which is a great place to be. The vocals really carry this track through, and give it a structure that works well. And I like Pimlican’s gravelly voice: it sounds like the cigarette and who-knows-what fuelled voice of someone who has served their time partying. I once had a heated argument online: my opponent’s thesis was that psytrance should never have scratching. They were wrong, and frankly more dance music still needs it.
Blair Coron – Calum Ruadh Nicolson, Bard Of Skye
A change of tempo now, because I felt the playlist needed one. Nothing says “sunday morning with 6 music on” like a mixture of piano, violin, and spoken word. This might sound quiet, compared to the tracks that came before, but turn it up to the point where the spoken word sounds correct, and the instrumental section builds into something *loud*. Lifts – Unconsidered A dark, droning swell of morbid sound and rythms, where the vocals merge with the soundscape. But it has a tempo that makes you want to dance, which is a great juxtaposition. It’s very well recorded and produced too. This band’s soundcloud page is something of a mystery!!
For Breakfast – Nervous Boundaries
Intriguing rhythms and psychedelic, distorted lofi production – and it even changes into something else later on. I count 7 members in For Breakfasts soundcloud cover photo – from the music I imagine they are a big band on stage, as there is a real wall of sound approach here (I hear drums, rythm guitar, distorted lead guitar, bass, flutes, saxophone, vocals, some twinkly synths, and probably more!). I really liked the reverb drenched vocals too.
Madame Claude – Threw It Away
If I was making a playlist more of acoustic dance music, this would be the first track. It’s so simple, but so effective, and that wobbly, unstable rythmic guitar lead is a neat bit of sound design, lending the track a quirky and fun that really stands out (I love the bit where it shifts up an octave too). The vocals are as stripped back as the rest of it. The breakdown, ending in a short tuned percussive sound before dropping the beat back in – that’s great dancefloor craft!
Gabriele Pribetti – Rain Project
I love the overall vibe of this: it switches between sections where there’s a steady beat, to fairly free-roaming. The mix and production are great: those drums and that high tuned snare really punch through the track. The saxophones dance across the stereo field, often moving between near to me, and some far off psychedelic space.
Christophersen – Zero
I liked this track for its unusual vibe – it’s almost upbeat, but with no discernible bassline, which leaves a lot of room for that duet of percussion and vocals. And there’s some really interesting use of that space – big echos and reverbs on the vocals, some funky delays and pitch warbling on the percussion. And a few nice, loud moments too!
Wyldest – The Best is Yet to Come
The drums got me on this. It starts off as a really pleasant, ambient song – when that massive electronic kick drum and snare kick in – it went somewhere I wasn’t expecting. You only get the “chorus” twice – once in mellow form in the intro, once in loud form when the rythms are present – and its a such a strong melodic turn, that using it sparingly works really well. You just have to play the track over and over if you want to hear it more!
Sky Coloured – In the Small Hours
My favourite track of this lot. I love everything about this – the vocals, the dreamy vibe, the swelling synth parts, the build into the powerful chord sequences: the finale especially, builds in intensity and volume. Well done!
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
- EMINZADA- Beautiful Long Hair
- LEMON LAKE – You Need to Go Now.
- OLIVIA MICELLI Tragic Hero
- MIKE GALE – Manana Man
- LARKHALL – Time of Flight
- CANDO- Sting in the Tail
- PIMLICAN- Scratch
- BLAIR CORON – Calum Ruadh Nicolson, Bard Of Skye
- LIFTS – Unconsidered
- FOR BREAKFAST- Nervous Boundaries
- MADAME CLAUDE – Threw It Away
- GABRIELE PRIBRETTI – Rain Project
- CHRISTOPHERSEN – Zero
- WYLDEST – The Best is Yet to Come
- SKY COLOURED – In the Small Hours
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 firstname.lastname@example.org, 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 email@example.com)
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.