While this volume was being recorded hurricane Ian was barreling down toward where I live near downtown Tampa, on Florida’s west coast. This location has not been directly hit by a hurricane in over 100 years. All the experts say we are overdue for a massively destructive and life-threatening storm. The winds howled and raged at over 70 mph as the rain appeared to come down sideways. We hunkered down, terrified. Then, Ian made an abrupt turn south where he exerted his full force with winds over 150 mph. For whatever reason, we were fortunate to partially escape the worst hurricane ever recorded for Florida. Folks not that many miles south suffered immeasurable damage and destruction. The news reports coming out show homes and businesses completely flattened. A devastating situation. If you are able, please go to The Red Cross to help people affected by Hurricane Ian.
At around noon on Wednesday, September 28th we had no clue if and when the power would go out. Without wasting a moment we decided to get Vol 301 finished and out to all of our affiliates and Podcast platforms as quickly as possible. With a limited amount of verbal info, here then is a nonstop mix of truly marvelous music. To begin, London-based DJ, producer, engineer, and the founder of Unit 137 sound system, Hylu gives us Earl from the EP, Latent Variables Vol. 2. Here we have field recordings, vocal samples, guitar licks, and synth lines permeating this track. Hylu credits a wide range of influences – reggae, dub, jungle, hip-hop, dubstep, electronic, and jazz. Keifer Nyron Taylor, a London-based filmmaker, and photographer from Birmingham created the two excellent videos to accompany both tracks on the EP. | Next we head on over to Dublin to hear Spaced (Viktor Vektor RMDL) by Tiny Magnetic Pets. This gorgeous intricate cut from Paula Gilmer, Seán Quinn, Eugene Somers, and Seamus Quinn is on their album, Re-Mix/Re-Model. Yes, Tiny Magnetic Pets offer us a possible familiar sound, but they manage to do it with obvious self-confidence. Top marks! | Standby, Trigger Moral will make you question if you are listening correctly with You Sold Your Soul from the LP, Endtroducing…(Helen Island). The fascinatingly scary sleeve photo and the deliberate misspelling are all part of the intrigue going on here. After using my limited schoolboy French to translate the minimal information available, I gather Helen Island hails from Paris and you should investigate for yourself. | It cannot be said often enough, Mammal Sounds out of Sydney have a smart knack for selecting artists who produce quality pop music like Fonteray with Sunshine. Drew McCarty creates toe-tapping, competently produced music as Fonteray. Delightful. | You’ve got to agree, using the moniker Wetcatsmell is a bit brave. After all, if you have, unfortunately, been around that stink, it hardly conjures up a pleasant pong. All the same, Wetcatsmell has made a damn good album with Blessed Be. The two halves of Wetcatsmell are May :3 and Salamander they should be congratulated on creating a work that defies categories, which is a big plus for us. This is an LP we’ve had on repeat play while bastard Hurricane Ian rattles the windows. For this volume, we selected, You Make Me Smile (ft. Eulalie), ‘cause it’s strangely wonderful. Lovely cover art and this one is on the Dream Catalogue imprint out of London, make sure you check them out. | If you are ever in Brighton on England’s south coast and you see steam rising up from one of the neighborhoods, fear not, that is the headquarters of Shoredive Records where Nicolas Pierre Wardell is hard at work putting out masterful releases, not least of all, his side-project, Xeresa. Here on the LP, IV recorded between 2019 and 2022, Nico says, “Each song was been recorded instrumentally then sent to various singers to put their vocals on them”. The ominous start to Untouched (ft. Dorethia Tachler) quickly slips into an unrequited love song. As with all of Nico’s output his Xeresa project is beautifully arranged and produced. | Earlier this year Sarah Williams White’s Unfathomable caught our attention. Now comes a 4-track EP with all new versions of tracks from the project, on Unfathomable Remixed. The South London-based singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and producer, says her sound is a unique blend of psych-soul, folktronica, and experimental pop. Cardiff’s Don Leisure shares a downbeat rework of Sarah’s Greetings. Impressive. | Due for release in late autumn is Eulogy to Christa: A Tribute to the Music & Mystique of Nico from Chris Connelly. The work spans the life of one of the most unique, tragic, and misunderstood female artists in the history of music. Already, critics are heralding this 24-track collection as some of Connelly’s finest vocal performances. For this volume we present, Eulogy to Lenny Bruce, but you can be assured we will bring you more and definitely another conversation with our good friend and revered artist. | What you need to know about Infected Mushroom with Zazim Beyhad (We Move Together) (ft. MaySfadia) is, it’s brilliant. From the LP, IM25 on Monstercat out of Vancouver. A label that proudly announces they are, Electronic music’s leading independent record label. If you’ve got it, shout it out, we say. | Fairy Tales In Yoghurt is the solo project of songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and self-confessed ‘control freak’ Benoît Guchet out of Nantes, France. The title cut from his album, Shape Mistakes made us stop and take notice on first listen. Not so sure why we should have been so surprised. The lyrics perhaps? What’s that about monkeys? The conclusion is surprisingly good. | There can be no doubt the Irish independent music scene is thriving right now. This Way Vol. 1, a 13-track compilation features emerging talents, inspired by their fellow artists and musicians, who continually set the bar higher each time. Dublin’s All City Records are responsible for this exceptional collection of Irish neo-soul, jazz, fusion, and rap all in one place, artists doing it for themselves, their way. Take a listen to Lockdown Syndrome from Negro Impacto, a superb taster to search out the LP. | Poirier is a prolific, creative, and eclectic Canadian producer/musician/DJ, here he teams up with Angee Wings for Leader. Ghislain Poirier’s Momentum EP dives deep into Afro-House, Afrobeats and Konpa, featuring strong songwriting skills alongside a dance-floor sensibility. | Brooklyn’s Miss Grit shows a deceptive minimalist approach with Like You. Are the acoustic and electric guitar sounds really via Garage Band? Not that it matters. Well done production and top marks for the peculiarly disturbing cover photo. | There is so much I want to say about Olivia Barton’s LP, This Is A Good Sign. First, I want you to listen carefully to Erotic, and perhaps you can share your opinion with me? If there was enough time, I promise you, I would include more cuts from this collection. Everything is perfect here, from Olivia’s voice to the unassuming instrumentation. That is a compliment. Forget everything you already think you know about singer-songwriters, Ms. Barton confidently lays down a unique scheme. I wonder how much she cried recording these songs? I did. It’s not often I compliment the cover art for describing what an album is about. This photo does exactly that – is she in ecstasy? Pain? Both? Beautiful photo. Nashville is very fortunate to have Olivia Barton. | Heading toward the closing credits, Toronto-based producer, record-slinger, and long-time DIY scene mainstay, Ficilio gives us Frame (Amber Mix) from his Dangerous Goods EP on the Parallel Minds imprint. Here is another cut that crosses the genre boundaries with a seemingly simple strategy, yet the end result is so satisfying. Enjoy and stay safe!
- Hylu – Earl
- Tiny Magnetic Pets – Spaced (Viktor Vektor RMDL)
- Trigger Moral – You Sold Your Soul
- Fonteray – Sunshine
- Wetcatsmell – You Make Me Smile (ft. Eulalie)
- Xeresa – Untouched (ft. Dorethia Tachler)
- Sarah Williams White – Greetings (Don Leisure re-work)
- Chris Connelly – Eulogy To Lenny Bruce
- Infected Mushroom – Zazim Beyhad (We Move Together) (ft. MaySfadia)
- Fairy Tales In Yoghurt – Shape Mistakes
- Negro Impacto – Lockdown Syndrome
- Poirier, Angee Wings – Leader
- Miss Grit – Like You
- Olivia Barton – Erotic
- Ficilio – Frame (Amber Mix)
Artwork – iPhone shot of downtown Tampa as Hurricane Ian was threatening to cause untold havoc and destruction before heading slightly southeast.