Tag Archives: New Music

Life Elsewhere Music Vol 209

Hi there, first up, you’ll notice a change to the graphic for this volume of Life Elsewhere Music. Instead of a black and white photograph, the image is a color reproduction of artwork in my collection. I’ve changed the typography too – and omitted the isolation mix number.  Quite simply, after 34 isolation mixes, who needs to be reminded how long we have been subjected to a pandemic that has caused far too much suffering. The other change for Vol 209 is this is a non-stop mix. No commentaries, no details about each cut. They are all here: 

To begin, Cabaret VoltaireThe Power (Of Their Knowledge) from the album, Shadow Of Fear. Richard H. Kirk is the sole remaining member, this is Cabaret Voltaire’s first studio album in 26 years. Kirk has released many acclaimed solo albums and is credited with creating bleep techno. He formed this new album from a series of pulverizing live shows. There is something timely about this release even if I do get a little nostalgic about playing Nag Nag Nag in a dance club, all those years ago. The influence of Cabaret Voltaire cannot be underestimated, I‘m sure Loraine James out of London would agree. Last year (2019) I played a cut or two from her notable For You & I album, she is back with the EP, Nothing another first-class recording. The track I’ve selected, Don’t You See It features  Jonnine Standish and in my opinion, this one should be on your playlist – right now! Tunnels by Zha is next on the fab White Peach Records label, who continue to release important music. I played the Snails EP in my car today, my opinionated 18-year-old son, said “That is sick dad! You have good taste!” From the first few bars of Dead As Disco by Hearts and Rockets you know Kalindy Williams on guitar, synth, vocals and Kurt Eckardt on synth, drum programming, back up vocals are not messing around. The Melbourne-based duo says they are a feminist bratwave punk band. No reason to argue with that. Or this, Kalindy and Kurt write the following, “Hearts and Records write, record, perform and live on the stolen land of the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin nation. Sovereignty of this land was never ceded, and a treaty has never been signed. We stand in solidarity with the true custodians of this land and pay our respects to their elders both past and present. Always was, always will be Aboriginal land.” So impressed am I with Hearts and Rockets, I added the flip-side, Workout. Magnificent, tell your mother you heard ‘em first on Life Elsewhere Music. Call me sentimental, but certain locations come to mind when I recall good times and lovely people, Toronto is a standout for me. I don’t know Ada Rook but it’s truly fitting she should hail from that vibrant Canadian city. The cut, Total Memory Failure from the EP, Separated From Her Twin, A Dying Android Arrives On A Mysterious Island caught my attention on the first listen. And, I love that Ada says, “I’ve always been obsessed with places that feel unfamiliar, or maybe more specifically, places that explicitly lack signifiers of what I’m used to. I love everything that doesn’t remind me of anything. I feel like I’ve spent most of my life chasing that and running from everything else.” We stay in Toronto to hear from Mira Martin-Gray and Robin Jennings who have collaborated as Calicoes. Their 3-track self-titled EP is startlingly good. My tip, play all the cuts in one sitting. I’ve selected, Open Letter To The Coke-head In North Park. I have no idea if Robin and Mira appreciate how much I want to hear this on every alternative playlist. Robin Jennings is on vocals and harmonica, plus she is a fine water-color artist. Mira Martin-Gray provides vocals, guitar, and bass and also goes by the moniker of Tendencyitis. From Toronto, we head on over to Amsterdam to hear from Fridolijn with If Your Heart Were A City from her EP, Chapter Two. She writes, “This is the follow up of Chapter One, which came out in the summer of this year. The airiness heard in the first chapter is being traded for a darker sound. Synths will play the lead part and hope is making way for irony and disillusion.” Lovely voice and superb production and I do like a nice bit of piano work. Then, a seamless segue into Wonk by Teevee Nicks from her debut EP, Light Blue. Yes, she is having fun with her name and yes, it does look like she is floating naked in a pool, but I’m pleased to report that Ms. Nicks is making music that certainly deserving of your attention. Ah, and yes, Wonk does end abruptly. That works though, ‘cause I segue right into Slow by Kiddus. This is a cut from Future Bubblers 4.0, a compilation on Brownswood Music out of London. This is the 4th in the series and highly recommended. A jaunt over to Istanbul, Turkey is next to hear from acclaimed producer, Gantz with the curiously-titled, Hinges Creak on his Krokodil EP. Make sure your sub-woofers are primed for this one. Love that bass. Next up, the surface noise in the intro to Kerala Dust’s Lilac Dune is essential to the ambiance, which is why I left it in. I have little information about this one except to let you know you should investigate the LP, Light, West on Denature Records out of Paris, an independent record label that has been releasing electronic music since 2016. Over in London, the heart of dance music has always been drawn from soul, and producer DJ Q is certainly on form with All That I Could. He’s been releasing music regularly since 2004, cited as being a revered Garage & Bass producer. All That I Could does not disappoint. Because I like this one so much I created my own extended mix. Talking about soul, the marvelously talented and suitably-named Cleo Sol is next. We played the title cut from her, Rose In The Dark LP earlier this year. In case you have not searched out her music, here is another prompt with, Why Don’t You. I’d like to hear anyone argue that Cleo has an amazing voice and this production is top-notch. OK, we have arrived at the last cut for Life Elsewhere music Vol 209, and this where really rave on. October And The Eyes hails from New Zealand, she is currently based in London and she is making music I think is absolutely incredible. Her EP, Dog and Gods is up there with King Hannah’s Tell Me Your Mind And I’ll Tell You Minemodern rock ’n’ roll-sex-music! I selected her latest single, Dark Dogs, but I advise you to check all of her work out, especially the video for Playing God. Perhaps the best rock video I have ever seen. October struts and pouts and works the camera as only Bowie could. That she has modeled is hardly surprising. Yeah, I know videos are not the music, but in this case, October And The Eyes would have me conjuring up cinematic images anyway. This gets my serious approval. 

LEM Vol 209 Playlist
  1. Cabaret Voltaire – The Power (Of Their Knowledge)
  2. Loraine James – Don’t You See It (ft. Jonnine Standish)
  3. Zha – Tunnels
  4. Hearts and Rockets – Dead As Disco
  5. Hearts and Rockets – Workout
  6. Ada Rook – Total Memory Failure
  7. Calicoes – Open Letter To The Coke-Head In North Park
  8. Fridolijn – If Your Heart Were A City
  9. Teevee Nicks – Wonk
  10. Kiddus – Slow
  11. Gantz – Hinges Creak
  12. Kerala Dust – Lilac Dune
  13. DJ Q – All That I Could
  14. Cleo Sol – Why Don’t You
  15. October And The Eyes – Dark Dog

Make sure you let me know what you think of the cuts I curated for Life Elsewhere Music Vol 209. Write to normanb at lifeelsewhere dot co

The artwork for this volume is by Claudio Zamara “I speak this from my heart” 2005 3′ x 4’6″ (detail) acrylic, gold-flake paint & mixed media on canvas. Courtesy of Norman B’s collection

LEM Vol 209

Black Says

In a recent edition of Life Elsewhere Music we invited Josh Idehen and Tom Leaper of Benin City to talk about their new, timely single, Hold Them Close. A song, written over a year ago, that urges us all to remember to care about each other, even in these trying times of Covid-19. Josh Idehen wasted little time in expressing his displeasure of our so-called leaders in the UK and the US on how they have handled the pandemic and ongoing racial problems. Josh, along with being a talented musician, is also an acclaimed poet and spoken word artist was motivated to speak at an event in London, after the tragic murder of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer. We have included the audio from the video of Josh Idehen reciting Black Says in the latest volume of Life Elsewhere Music. The powerful words of Josh Idehen’s Black Says can be heard at the end of this volume. Please listen carefully.

We begin with Know Like Dat by East Man. The cut is from Prole Art Threat the new LP by producer Anthony Hart, aka East Man. On this long-player, Anthony brings together talented MC’s from all over London. And, the title, Prole Art Threat is a big nod of respect to the late, Mark E Smith of The Fall. Next up I Left You a track from the debut EP y? by Julia Sophie from Oxford who says, I Left You” is a song about struggling with love and life, being torn in all kinds of directions, choosing how to live and who to live for”. We admit to being fascinated by covers, so the EP Reestablishing Connection from Sega Bodega demanded our attention. Teardrop originally by Massive Attack was selected as reworked by Sega Bodega & Lafewndah. Salvador Navarrete is Glaswegian producer, singer, songwriter, and label head aka Sega Bodega. He shares that all profits will be donated to the AIM COVID-19 Crisis Fund, providing vital support to contractors and freelance workers in the independent music industry. Next, it’s off to Reykjavic, Iceland the home of Katrín Helga Andrésdóttir – also known as Special K with Dinner For 1 from her EP, Lunatic Thirst. Followed by Alpha Steppa out of London featuring Eva Keyes with Fever and Fever Dub, from a superb compilation, Raise The Ark on Steppas Records. We stay in London to hear from Joel Baker with, London She’s Just Not You a cut from Bran Flakes Vol 1.5. Originally from Nottingham, Joel has made an LP you need to check out. Su Lee has a fascinating charm which she happily demonstrates in what appear to be her home-made videos. She also makes enjoyable “indie pop on speed” she insists. The delightful, Go My Way is from her EP The Rough. Barry Snaith is a big fan of this show as we are of him. In his guise as TIJ (The Inconsistent Jukebox), Mr. Snaith has produced a new LP. Gig Economy demonstrating his excellent taste and talent, you’ll hear Left Me In A Dream. Mark Gardener & 2 Square are next with Chained. Gardener is best known as a songwriter, lead vocalist, and guitarist with Ride and 2 Square is Stephan Haeri of Telepopmusik out of France. From rural England comes Archie Stagers with Beneath The Surface, who sent a sound file to us with this message: “I’ve really been enjoying your isolation mixes so far and wanted to submit a song of my own”. We discovered Archie Stagers runs a small indie label, Crafting Room Records – a not for profit label for passionate musicians, based in Wiltshire. From rural UK go over to Nashville to hear from Sophia Boro with And He Said To Me from her debut EP due out later this year. We close the show with the eloquent Josh Idehen and Black Says.

Thank you for listening

Life Elsewhere Music Vol 178 Isolation Mix 4

This self-distancing business continues, so we have to compromise in putting together the Life Elsewhere Music shows.  Which means the quality of the voice-overs, (Mr. B’s erudite comments) are not to our usual high standards, using fabulous mics and a cool hi-tech mixing consul. As interesting as he may think his wordy-words are, we’ve reduced the jibber-jabber to the opening and closing messages. Instead, you can read everything you would hear Mr. B say, here:

We begin LEM Vol 178 with a relaxed instrumental courtesy of Nick Manasseh & Praise from their new album, Manasseh Meets Praise on the Roots Garden label out of Brighton, UK. Produced and mixed by Nick at his Yard Studio in West London with virtuoso violin-viola player Praise. Not your typical reggae player, yet along with being a long-time fan of the music, Praise’s musical experiences have been diverse from playing on Ravi Shankar and George Harrison’s last album ‘Chants Of India’ to gigs with Gorillaz and many more star credits. Next up, we stay in a techno vibe with LA-based musician, Aryan Ashtiani, aka Mareux with Roses from his fine EP, Predestiny. From the US west coast, we head down under to Australia’s south coast, Melbourne where we hear from self-named “experimental group” Squaring Circles with Circumambulate. Brendan Anderson and Lilibeth Hall are the couple behind this project and we suggest you check more of their work out. The curiously-named Wished Bone & Spencer Radcliffe out of Athens, Ohio give us Help My Brother from the equally curiously-named EP, A Bug Crawled In The Piano. (Special note, listen to this one again on a headset – wonderful). English musician, Stephen James Howard lives and works in Amsterdam and performs under the moniker of Ten Katestraat. We’ve played his music on the air before and were impressed enough to invite on for a chat. His latest release is titled, Dust and we approve. Paris, France is next where Sydney Valette says, Here are the musings of a soul somewhere in-between silver lights”. From his LP Brothers, we selected, Ambiance Survivaliste. Sing along and practice your French at the same time. A little knowledge of French may impress Nico of Shore Dive records. On the other hand, this entrepreneurial Frenchman speaks English so fluently and is so busy putting out terrific releases he probably won’t have time to notice. His busy label out of Brighton (again!) gives us Velveteen with Fall Under from the Bluest Sunshine EP. The close of this cut is quite simply a magnificent noise. Norman B is insistent that the next song and artist are referring to a past love affair of his. We have no idea if this is his fanciful imagination, but we do know this is one brilliant song and production. Out of London, Felixity gets straight to the point with, Twisted Love a banger that needs to be on repeat play. Big thumbs up on this one. Next, Trappist Afterland & Grey Malkin say, An Error This Time. We disagree, this track is from a superb album, The Trappist & The Hare from Adam Geoffrey Cole & Grey Malkin out of Scotland. Only Diamonds was written and recorded by Diana Rivera, also known as Lotusotus and Camille-Paulette Odell, on Hjördis-Britt Åström out of Moscow. The EP, Only Diamonds is worth investigating as is the label. The unassuming James Smith of Fox Food Records sent a nice message along with his latest release as Good Good Blood. His music always reminds us of the old saying of “less is more” and how true that is. James should be discovered by a much wider audience. Listen up all those indie shows out there. From, There Are Wolves Here we selected, The Pieces Of My Heart You Hold. Listen carefully, then listen again. To close LEM Vol 178 you’ll hear, Lord Of The Isles ft. Ellen Renton with, Passing. Scottish poet Ellen Renton joins forces with Lord Of The Isles for a reflective record that touches on themes related to climate change, both in the present and future. Available on Whities, a London label you need to know about.

Thank you for listening to LEM Vol 178 Isolation Mis 4. Be safe.

Life Elsewhere Music Vol 175 – Isolation Mix #1

Producing a weekly sixty-minute mix of new releases just became a little more difficult than usual because of the stay-in-place order. We cannot get into our studio to record, mix, and produce. Instead, our shows will be produced at home and that means the commentary may not sound so polished but the music will definitely sound as good as always. Until things change you’ll hear an open and close message and in between a non-stop music mix. The usual ad-libbed info about the cuts will be posted here, every week.

We begin with an artist out of Brooklyn, Margaret Glaspy with Killing What Keeps Us Alive from her album, Devotion. Don’t let the vocoder effect at the start of the song bother you, Ms. Glaspy has an excellent voice and on this outing, she proves she is a good songwriter. Next, we head to Halifax, Nova Scotia to hear So Tired from Nap Eyes, a cut from their fine Snapshot Of A Beginner album. The new single, Circles by Francis Of Delirium remind us that their earlier single this year, Quit Fucking Around is worth your opinion. So we have included both cuts. The band says this about themselves, “A sometimes rock band based in Luxembourg. Homemade indie rock from our hearts to yours.” Songwriter/Producer Mazlyn hails from Suffolk in the UK, his tune is Confessed. We have played Biig Piig on the before and gave a large thumbs up to the London-based Irish singer. We are continuing o rave with her latest, Switch. Clair Adams, Bobby Glew, and Kathy Grey are Nape Neck. Leeds is their hometown and they, unfortunately, list all the places they would have been playing along with a message saying there are more Euro dates coming. On a happier note, the sleeve artwork for their self-titled album is wonderful. You Stand, You Sit displays a band you need to check out. From the excellent LP, Less Of Everything we selected, Hidden Track by Es is next up. We hear Maria Cecillia Tedemalm, Katy Cotterel, Tamsin M Leach, and Flora Watters were putting on amazing live shows before being ensconced in their homes. All Or Nothing the title track from the LP of the same name by Shopping shows off their skills. From London originally, now the band are spread across the globe with Billy in LA and Andrew and Rachel in Glasgow. A change of genre for the next cut by San Francisco’s Monophonics. Day By Day from their LP, It’s Only Us, led by Kelly Finnigan the band has drawn on their colorful history, both their experiences as veteran touring performers and as individuals growing up in the Bay Area. Witch Prophet takes us in another direction with Makda from the album DNA Activation. Out of Toronto, produced by Sun Sun and Witch Prophet, named after Witch Prophet’s family members, and inspired by biblical stories, myths, and her Ethiopian, Eritrean roots. Seb Taylor is Kaya Project and says, “I present to you a song full of hope, love & devotion – another uplifting & optimistic track to counteract the uncertain times we are currently living through.” There are five different versions of Souls Entwined Featuring the beautiful vocals of Pooja Tiwari, together with two Classical Indian Violinists (Deepak Pandit & Kartik Raghunathan) & Hungarian Flute Virtuosa Fatima Gozlan making a cameo appearance in the middle of the track. We selected the bass-forward Digitalis Remix. The kora is an ancient African, 21-string harp-lute hand made from natural materials. “Our aim is to expose the beauty of this instrument to a more diverse audience,” said John Haycock & Alan Keary. Mostly recorded in an afternoon at Alan’s place to sell at a busking festival in Switzerland. You’ll hear Abode from the LP, John & Alan. Next, we bring you dubstep in fine style from Manchester’s Biome with Found You from Unreleased Dubs Part 2. Qiii Snacks Records are out of Guangzhou, China. We are not sure where Your Boyfriend Sucks are from but their EP Episode 2 is really cool and Mathias is a perfect example. Dub Invasion Records are out of Italy and Wellette Seyon’s Spiritual Thing is a worthy addition to this mix. The other side is a nice dub version. Staying on a Dub Reggae tip. The closing cut is Isaac Chambers featuring Dub Princess with Back To My Roots (Deep Fried Dub’s Refried Remix), from Melbourne, Australia. 

Make sure you let us know what you think of LEM Vol 175 – Isolation Mix #1

Be well, be safe and be nice. 

LEM Vol 175 


A Conversation With Ten Katestraat

He makes excellent music under the name Ten Katestraat, he lives in Amsterdam, has a day job in The Hague and hails from the UK. Stephen James Howard comes across as an amiable chap who is slightly bemused that his recordings have been getting attention recently, not least of all on our shows. He writes the songs, plays the instruments and produces in his “spare-room” studio. His wife, Brigitte takes care of the artwork while Stephen handles the promotion, which is how we first came to hear about him. A short, but charming email arrived accompanied by a sound-file for download. “I hope you might be interested?” Wrote Mr. Howard, adding, “I’ll be listening.” We were interested and he didn’t have to wait too long to listen, we added, The Commander Told You to our next Life Elsewhere Music playlist. We were intrigued by his (thankfully) hard to categorize music and his notation that he “was a Brexit refugee”. Stephen quickly followed up with another single and we obliged by promptly giving Leaving Everything Behind airplay. Then, after a rapid flurry of emails, we decided it would be a grand idea to have a chat with Stephen. Coming up on Life Elsewhere Music Vol 159 our conversation with Stephen James Howard, where he talks about music, creativity and explains his take on Brexit and UK politics. And yes, you will learn the meaning of Ten Katestraat.

Also in the show, new releases include The Ghost Wolfes, a duo from Austin, Texas, husband and wife, Carley and Jonny Wolf. We love what Carley and Jonny are doing, so you’ll hear two cuts, Crooked Cop, and Fist from their Crooked Cop EP, available on Third Man Records. This is a band we hope to see live soon. Jon Jones of Roots Garden Records, the adventurous reggae label based out of Brighton on England’s South Coast kindly sent us a powerful-lyric heavy single, Run This Nation by Manasseh & Skari. Jacksonville, Florida-based Brenna Erickson gets airplay with Making Memories Alone, a love song with references to London. And you’ll hear 19-year-old West Londoner, Matilda Mann with The Loch Ness Monster. We predict you’ll be hearing more from this up and coming singer-songwriter.

LEM Vol 159

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