Community and local radio has traditionally been invaluable in helping local artists and labels get their first air plays. Enthusiastic, passionate DJ’s can host shows on almost any musical style and, since the Internet and smart phones, community radio shows have gone global.
An artist making Industrial Drone soundscapes in their spare room in Sydney can find airplay in Wiltshire, on a show like Kate Bosworth’s excellent and influential “Dark Train,” – an electronic music based show that goes out on Monday evenings on Warminster Community Radio. They could listen live, anywhere in the world, through Wi-Fi or listen when they won’t, on apps like Mixcloud.
Community Radio is more relevant now, than its ever been. Unfortunately running a Community Radio network is an expensive affair and Warminster Community Radio needs to update its near obsolete computer system.
The Edinburgh based Werra Foxma Records has joined up with “Mrs Dark Train,” Kate Bosworth, and gathered together a mouth-watering array of electronic composers to create the compilation album “Blue Scream.” Released as a limited edition CD or download, with all proceeds from the sale going directly to Warminster Community Radio.
Blue Scream is a cleverly sequenced snap shot of Kate’s weekly WCR show. It captures a broad range of current electronic music styles from 17 very different artists.
Opening with an almost Kosmische Musik sounding beat “Eonlake – Windows And Walls” finds the London based Howard Fox, elbow deep in cables and twinkling lights, whilst surrounding himself with warm layers of synth rhythms. Alex Cargill balances his Radiophonic influences with down beat ambience to create a wonderful slice of hauntronica as “The Central Office Of Information – Windows Over Warminster.“ The Japanese artist Rei Nakatani contributes “Body Movements And Vibrations” which forces the compilation forward with an insistent, minimalist, toe-tapping, industrial sounding rhythm.
The pace drops but the minimalism continues with Kieran Mahon’s “Bombing Around Lost Pond And Not Giving A Shit.” Mahon creates a woozy drone soundscape, under which a half hidden synth hook festers, whilst teasing out rippling rhythmic waves, like a pebble dropped in a well. Simon Klee contributes “Arthur Shuttlewood Meets The Thing” lifting the compilations pace again. Klee is the head honcho of Anticipating Nowhere Records and host of Anticipating Nowhere Mixcast, and he delivers an upbeat, drum driven song with plenty of looped hooks with and an eye on the dance floor.
“Warrington-Runcorn New Town Development Plan – The Flaming Badischer” transforms Blue Scream into a wyrd, haunted, 1970s infused, ambient soundscape. A delightfully distorted hauntology soundtrack from the unique composer Gordon Chapman-Fox.
Bendu gives up “Something Larger Than Oneself” which finds the Los Angeles based Ben Vance delivering an affable electronic folk track. Lee Pylon of Kites And Pylons Radio fame (Sine FM and Mixcloud) takes the compilation into another otherworldly place as Dogs Versus Shadows with “Reader Of Dust” – a sparsely crafted, eerie soundscape revolving around a vocal reflection. “Autumna – Crash Dog Whimpers” continues the hauntronica vibe. Ghostly, drifting, vocals and ethereal floating synths pads are pinned by a wonderful lo-fi drum pattern.
The Leeds based Steve Hadfield (Co founder of the independent label Disintegration State) raises the tempo with “Breakbeak.” A squelchy, bubble bass drives a fun, Big Beat sounding bounce of a tune. “Breakbeak” flows beautifully into the lovely, whimsical modular synth soundscape from Letters From Mouse, “Chain Of Flowers.” LFM is Steven Anderson, the host of “The Magic Window.” A highly regarded and strongly recommended electronic music based show found on Mad Wasp Radio and Mixcloud.
Soul Flask, “The Natural Scientist” lifts the compilations pace again with an electronica, shuffling beat. Thomas Herdman (AKA Soul Flask) cleverly uses an old sample (sounding very much like a public information film) about the joys of electricity. With another change of gear we are transported to the thoughtful musical daydreams from the Californian based Fran Dominguez, aka Forest Robots. “Meditation VII (Waterfall Mist)” is a gentle, contemplative and immersive soundscape.
Tayus contribute “1 (Mike K Smith Remix)“ a multi-layered synth number of blissful synth strings and lo-fi drums. “The Train” by the New Wave influenced electronica composer Amanda Jay, aka Star Madman, finds Jay in a more plaintive, yearning mood. Panning vocals compete with dramatic drums and volatile synths all soaked in dry ice. On the penultimate song, “Strings and Rings,” the Manchester based Apta creates a positive soundtrack mixing guitar picks and licks with synth pads.
Blue Scream ends with another Community Radio DJ, Darren Giddings, aka Darg, who hosts the excellent “Space Folk Horror Lounge” on Fromme FM. “Inster (part 1)” plays on a drum loop and catchy distorted keys before drifting into a disorientating mix of layers of vocals repeating “Warminster” It’s not difficult to image the chanting is a field recording of Kate Bosworth, Darren Giddings and friends as they are planning there next Crop Circle. A very fitting finally to a wonderful compilation.
In truth it’s hard to find any fault here and all the proceeds go to help a community radio station and also to give similar hobbyists, like these, some much deserved radio play.
On a Different Note:
- Review: VA – Strange Selectors
- Review: Simon Klee – The Reciprocal Second
- Review: Dogs Versus Shadows – A Billionth Of A Second
- Video Premiere: Petridisch – Newton Highlands
- Blog Archives // Indie Label Roundtable – Vol. 1-4