Timothy van Sas
Timothy van Sas

Monday, 28 November 2011

Slow Your Breathing, You Haven’t Got a Pulse

Pulled Apart By Horses - V.E.N.O.M

It’s early Monday morning, and you need something to get you ready for another day at whatever institution you’re a part of. It’s cold and dark outside, so you try to find a way to either revel in or escape the bleakness. Out comes your mp3 player, fingers snaking onto it’s buttons, slithering across the album covers of old favourites or whatever is in vogue.
Suddenly you remind yourself, “Didn’t Pulled Apart by Horses have a new single out this week?” YES! They did, it’s called V.E.N.O.M, I’d better listen, otherwise it might seem that I’m slipping behind the taste curve. I need to have an opinion about it.

The snake masquerading as your fingers suddenly strikes as you press play.

Sinking it’s teeth into your eardrums, as the newest sounds from the Leeds based post-hardcore quartet, coil themselves around your cochlea and squeeze. Smothering your sleepiness with the sort of primal energy that was once only the domain of The Stooges. Where the raw power being offered up is better than any cup of liquid crack Starbucks could ever fucking serve. Blowing the cobwebs off your morning and a music industry that seems so eager to reward dullness.

I don’t know if it’s me that’s sick or the industry itself, but if this is the venom, then I’d rather die than be given the antidote.

V.E.N.O.M is the first track from the bands forthcoming album, Tough Love, which will be making it’s way into stores on 23rd January.

V.E.N.O.M. by editradio

Thursday, 17 November 2011

The Subtext is Dire and The Sex is not on Fire

Eugene McGuinness - Lion

The NME / Top Man sponsored marketing machine that beguiles so many teenagers, had lured enough talented singer-songwriters into its shady midst over the last few years that i'd started to despair. So when I heard ‘Lion’ for the first time, I could almost see Eugene Mcguinness telling a room of the soulless executives to ‘sell their own fucking t-shirts’.

The new single is a gloriously vibrant (with added emphasis on the rant) unmasking of that deceitfully shallow world. A world that would welcome Eugene with open arms, and one that he whole heartily rejects. It has a similar 60’s pop rock sound that has served Miles Kane so well these past few months, but in the skilled hands of McGuinness it’s far more pleasing to the ear. The composition and metaphor filled songwriting are satisfyingly complex, delivered with hate filled energy at breakneck speed. Managing to forgo the endlessly repeating choruses that make Kane such a chore to listen to.

When asked about the meaning of track McGuinness stated "I really don't know what to say about this one, It's just meant to be the biggest 'fuck off' my soul could muster." Halle-fucking-lujah! So for now my faith in musician’s is restored. At least their are a few out there that value their music more than the money.

His forthcoming album, ‘The Invitation to the Voyage’ is due out in early 2012. To keep up to date with details of the album launch, sign up to his mailing list at http://www.eugenemcguinness.net/

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Constellations Festival @ Leeds University Nov 12th

On the 12th November, an amazing all day festival of music, film and arts called Constellations is taking place at The University of Leeds Student Union. The line up includes Braids, Vessels, The Antlers, The Big Pink, Yuck and is headlined by local music heroes Wild Beasts. [edit] radio are going to be there taking in all the action and you should be too!

With such an array of talent on offer it's a wonder that the event isn't already sold out, but tickets can still be bought from the excellent Jumbo Records for £32, which is a bargain when you consider just how many great bands are on the line up.

The entire line up and running times can be download as a PDF here.

More information can be found at http://constellationsfestival.com/

To get you in the mood, here's a cut from Wild Beasts latest album:

Friday, 21 October 2011

The Horrors @ Leeds Metropolitan University

Striding back onto the stage for the Horrors 3 song encore, frontman Faris Badwan told a full house at Leeds Met “you gotta fucking wake up”. Bad workmen always look like fools. He’s the one who has spent the majority of the last 55 minutes hunched over the mic stand looking statuesque. Which I’m sure is a deliberate ploy to appear effortlessly cool but it does nothing but turn his audience into a hoard of nodding zombies. Maybe someone should remind him how the performer and audience relationship works.

Tonights crowd is young, enthusiastic and like me eager to see a band which should be riding on the crest of wave following the release of their critically acclaimed third album ‘Skying’. This enthusiasm isn't matched by the band as they emotionlessly trudge their way through the opening salvoes of their set. They’re not helped by the venues poor sound work, which has resulted in the vocals being barely audible, lost amongst a low fidelity fuzz that's nowhere near loud enough.

Renditions of ‘I Can See Through You’ and ‘Still Life’ are fairly well received by the audience who are obviously happy with the psychedelic pop sounds of their latest record. Whilst fan favorites such as ‘Sea Within A Sea’ and ‘Mirrors Image’ are greeted by cheers of approval but ultimately fizzle out. Only during an exemplary performance of “Endless Blue” did the band rise above the mediocrity of their pre-encore performance. Where their pure musicianship elevated the track to a height it doesn’t quite attain on record.

I’d like to reserve praise for lead guitarist, Joshua Hayward. Who at least made some effort to connect with the crowd, providing the performance with a level of passion and verve that wasn’t matched by his bandmates. All of whom could do with realising that if people wanted to listen to their music whilst watching motionless silhouettes they could use a torch, action figures and their stereos to create the same experience.

Throughout the set there is an almost tangible feeling that the room is just waiting for Faris to give them his nod of approval to go nuts. It’s only during the encore that the crowd finally get their permission to really join in. Ironically it’s Faris’s own show of frustration with the audience that fires him up enough to lose his cool and let some emotion show. Leading them in an anger filled fist pumping rendition of ‘Jack the Ripper’. Unsurprisingly the crowd respond, releasing all of their pent up energy with a huge call and response effort. Pints and bodies start flying across the air and the room is electrified. This is what we turned up to see. In turn the band feeds off of this and keeps the momentum going for the last two songs, leaving me wondering what the Horrors could achieve if they put the same amount of effort into their live performances as they do worrying about how they look.

Listen to Still Life Below

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Did she make your heart beat faster than I could?

Daughter - Love

‘Love’ is one of those rare pieces of music that reveals more and more of itself each time you dare to spend wallowing in it’s moody soundscape.

Written and performed by Elena Tonra, under her stage moniker of Daughter the track is sparse but purposeful. A slow methodical march where each sound is permeated with the sickly dull ache that hits the pit of your stomach when someone you love has been unfaithful.

The lyrics are a trail of introverted thought, where the word “love” is a disguise for the name of whoever it was that broke Tonra’s heart. It’s repeated often and becomes more ironic as her story of infidelity is played out across the tracks near 6 minutes runtime.

Throughout, the subtle shifts in tempo are used to add emotional affect. When Tonra sings “I still wonder” there’s a pronounced pause before and after the “Why?” which follows. Making the word stand aloft, like an overarching question she’s asking to herself as much as the perpetrator of her emotional torment. It’s a brief moment of self-doubt and pity which is over in a flash.

The remainder of the song builds steadily, allowing Tonra’s words to dwell on memories of former partner being with a new lover. Letting this rejection wash over her before angrily venting “Did she make your heart beat faster than I could?” and spitefully questioning “On nights of loveless love, I hope it made you feel good ?”. The release of tension is palpable, allowing the track and embers of Tonra’s pain to slowly fade into oblivion.

Daughter's new EP 'The Wild Youth' is released via Communion Records on the 21st November 2011 and available to download now.

Sunday, 9 October 2011

United - Pete and the Pirates @ The Cockpit - Leeds 23rd September

It’s been an age since I was last in 'The Cockpit' (the 400 mile round trip used to be a killer) but the venue has lost none of it’s magic. Hidden underneath a bridge in Leeds City centre, it festers at the heart of one of the best music scenes in the country. It’s floors are gloriously sticky (in the way all the best venues are) and with it’s ceilings covered with grey corrugated metal it looks like the inside of bomb shelter. If you’ve never been before, make it a priority to go.

The crowd that has amassed within it’s dark halls this evening have a surprisingly diverse demographic. I had turned up expecting a host of locally based twenty something hipsters, my expectations were just plain wrong. In between the adequate support acts (Just Handshakes We’re British and Glass) I met Peter a 44 year old who had made the trip down from Newcastle because “he fell in love with the band at The Other Rooms” in his home town. There was a brother and sister who where in their early teens who had dragged their 50 year old mum along to the middle of the mosh pit and someone of every age in between. I guess the most sophisticated brand of indie pop in the country has the pulling power to unite all ages.

The quartet from Reading opened with “Mr Understanding” and like puppet masters took control of their audiences limbs until the entire room was dancing and chanting along to the song’s infectious hook. From there the band played one of a tightest hour long sets I have seen for months. In which the vocal harmonising between lead singer Tom Sanders and guitarist Pete Hefferan was a particular highlight.

The biggest complement I can pay to the bands set, is just how seamlessly they worked in new material from the recently released second album “One Thousand Pictures.” Normally newer songs stick out during live performances like a sore thumb for quality or performance reasons. This wasn’t the case. Unlike most modern bands they took a relatively long time (3 years) to put out their second album. It was time well spent, as not only have they crafted a new album that betters the first but it’s also afforded the band time to settle into playing these new tracks so that not one song sounded under rehearsed or out of place.

The very best was saved for the sets finale, where they’d played an extended version of the excellent “Blood Gets Thin” during which Tom leapt from the stage and into the crowd, sending waves of excitement throughout the packed audience. It was a fitting way to end an inspiring performance by one of the countries best live bands, I can’t wait till they’re back in town.

Sunday, 25 September 2011

I'll Be Thinking Of You Fondly For Sure

Los Campesinos - By Your Hand

“By Your Hand” is the opening track from “Hello Sadness” the forthcoming album by Los Campesinos. Written after the recent break up of lead singer Gareth, the song recounts a familiar tale of falling out of love whilst trying to remain friends.

Recorded in small Spanish town just outside of Barcelona, in the same studio used by megastars Shakira and Mariah Carey the track is sonically their most downbeat to date and represents the biggest step they’ve made towards doing straight pop.

On their last album “Romance Is Boring” the Cardiff seven piece began to reign in their own tendency to burden a track with too many sounds at once, here finally they’ve mastered the art. Whereas before lyrics like “I’m not sure if it’s love anymore, but I’ve been thinking of you fondly for sure” would’ve been lost in a haze of sounds, on this recording they are brought into sharp focus.

This deliberately accessible composition means that every hand clap and vocal harmony now have real purpose. Allowing the listener to appreciate the articulate songwriting, which was always the quality that set this band apart from their peers.

“Hello Sadness” will be released 14th November on Wichita Recordings.

You can get this track for free at www.loscampesinos.com/blog

Friday, 16 September 2011

I’ve Flat Packed Myself For Your Ease

Wild Beasts - Plaything

Sleeping with someone for the first time is always a daunting proposition (unless your name is Ron Jeremy). You’ve both suffered through the excitement and pain of trying to decode each others flirtatious signals, passed the first kiss examination and reached a point where you’ve connected (or drunk) enough to want to rip each others clothes off.

It’s the lust and intimacy on that night together which is at the core of Wild Beasts “Plaything”. Taken from their latest (and best) album “Smother” it’s simple bass and drum lines radiate like the heartbeat of a lovers body. The vocals are delivered in whispers of pillow talk that are perfectly balanced against such a sparse production, however it’s the subtext of the lyrics that make the track truly great.

When lead singer Hayden Thorpe croons “I’m wondering, how cruel I’ve been?” your thoughts start asking questions. Why is it cruel? What is he hiding? So when he sings “I’ve ransacked myself, I’ve flat packed myself for your ease” your suspicions have already been aroused. Is he being vulnerable or emotionally disconnected? After all he’s comparing sex with Ikea’s greatest invention.

These questions are never resolved, allowing the listener to fill in the blanks with their own imagination. It makes the track something of a Rorschach test, where there’s no right answer other than the one you provide for yourself. Which could reveal more about your own sexual nature than you’d like to know.

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Open up a beer... and play a video game?

Lana Del Rey - Video Games

When I read that Lana Del Rey (AKA Lizzy Grant) described herself as the “Gangsta Nancy Sinatra” my face contorted like a child whose been served a plate full of greens for dinner. It’s the sort of hyperbole that pisses me off because more often than not the music won’t live up to its sales pitch. This is not one of those times.

In fact ‘Video Games’ is nothing short of a seductive delight. Where Del Rey’s voice is a powerfully complex instrument, sounding satisfyingly gravelly and oozing with sexuality. Capable of twisting lyrics like “Heaven is a place on earth with you” and making them sound romantic, depressing and sarcastic all at once.

When she sings “go play your video game” or “this is my idea of fun” you're forced to make your own mind up as to whether she’s expressing genuine affection towards her subject or delivering a scathing remark to an emotionally unavailable lover. It’s compelling stuff.

So despite my ongoing reservations about the sound bytes she uses to sell her music, I’m going to have to grudgingly accept that just this once, someone has actually managed to live up to their own hype.

Monday, 12 September 2011

Top noch stuff, you’ve really gone that extra mile

The Chap - Well Done You

For the last five years I’ve spent the majority of my time staring vacantly at computer screens whilst writing user guides for software systems. Spending my energies desperately trying to stay awake through conversations that are as recycled as the air in the offices which house them. I was exhausted. I needed a change.

So last year when I was approaching my thirtieth birthday I took stock of my life. What did I want? Did I really want to spend another half decade talking about business processes and instructing employees when to “Press Save”? Faced with that sort of question the decision was easy. Ten months later I’ve left my job, moved 200 miles north and am about to begin studying for a degree in Music Journalism. For the first time in a decade, I’m excited about what each day might hold. Not just waiting for the weekend.

Before I can really jump into my new life I felt it was necessary to address the one which I’m leaving behind and that’s where “Well Done You” by UK satirical act The Chap comes in. Taken from their 2010 album “Well Done Europe” it perfectly encapsulates what office life is like. At the core of the song is it’s methodical pacing mirroring the repetitive nature of life in office world, where days bleed into one long chore and are soundtracked by monotone voices full of back handed compliments and feigned enthusiasm.

I may have only moved 200 miles away, but it already feels like a world apart.

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Do you know what's best for me?

It's fair to say that the event's over the past few nights have left me stunned, the video footage of the nihilistic mob mindlessly looting London's boroughs has left me feeling uneasy and slightly sick. I'm not going to open a debate about what the causes of such event are, I'll only end up with insomnia.

Instead I'm going to share with you a song by Liars called Here Comes All The People, which I think perfectly encapsulates whats been happening over the last three nights.

I hope any of my readers / listeners in London are all safe this evening.


 Lyrics -

(We should start a fire)
Numbers falling into piles
Watching all the ones drip
Into the divide

All the even numbers falling into piles
Watching all the ones drip
Into the divide

What's the color? What's the time?
What's the number? What'd you find?
Every yellow object sorted into piles
Do you know what's best for me?
You do when we see
The moon eclipse the morning sun
You have a life to see
A way to be known

Fire, you should start a fire
We should start a fire
We should start a fire
You should start it first
Life possession could be fun
Counting victims one by one
Life possession could be fun
Counting victims one by one
We can count them one through eight
Skipping two, four, six and ten
Lose your conscience or your mind
Though we're not afraid to die
Make our fortune sailing seas
Be the breath blowing the breeze
Life possession could be fun
Counting victims one by one
Counting victims one by one

Friday, 29 July 2011

I wish that every time he touched me left a mark

EMA - Marked

In May this year South Dakota’s Erika M. Anderson (EMA) released her first LP Past Life Martyred Saints. A difficult record to listen to, its theme’s of abuse, alienation, obsession and sorrow will be too much for some to endure. However those that persevere will be richly rewarded as the record is both discomforting and achingly beautiful.

‘Marked’ is my favourite song from the album which apparently “came out fully formed in one take” Sonically the song is a fairly sparse affair, where no sound is superfluous or wasted and every layer has been added with the most deliberate purpose. The track opens with a plodding acoustic guitar that’s heavy on string shifting squeaks and where Anderson’s voice rasps amongst the notes. This simplicity forms a backdrop against which the lyrics paint a disturbing picture.

For when Anderson sing’s “Don’t you know that I would never hurt you? You are such a pretty thing” it sounds as if she’s recalling a promise made to her rather than by her. Something that becomes clearer when she starts to repeat “I wish that every time he touched me left a mark” Allowing her listeners a few moments to question. What do those two statements mean in context of each other? What happened to her? The answers your imagination come back with are universally abhorrent. So much so that when the warming organ washes in and disperses these dark thoughts it comes as a palpable relief.

The skill EMA displays in leading you along these paths of emotion is subtle and will take multiple listens to fully appreciate, but once you do the song becomes something truly extraordinary.

EMA’s Past Life Martyred Saints is available to buy now from 7 digital and all good record shops

Marked by editradio

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Waiting for a Car, Waiting for a ride in the dark

M83 - Midnight City

M83 are finally back! It's been three years since the French electro outfit led by Anthony Gonzalez their last album and from the sound of ‘Midnight City’ not one-second of that time has been wasted.

For those of you who’ve never heard anything by the band before, they’re music is hugely influenced by the popular culture of the 80’s. Indeed it’s very difficult to listen to any of the band’s records without the sounds evoking some part of that decade. Whether it’s John Hughes inspired sugar sweet pop sound of Saturdays = Youth or the colossal industrial soundscapes found on the Blade Runner inspired Before The Dawn Heals Us you’ll be left in no doubt as to the era that serves as inspiration for their music.

On 'Midnight City' we find M83 melding and refining the sounds of the two aforementioned albums with the carefully crafted haze found on Dead Cities, Red Seas & Lost Ghosts. Delivering a sweet hit of hazy warmth of synth driven dream pop delivered on a scale grander than you’ll find on most of their contemporaries recordings.

The new 2xLP called 'Hurry Up, We're Dreaming' (party inspired by the Smashing Pumpkins Melon Collie and the Infinite Sadness) is released on October 18th by Mute.

You can download the the track for free by heading over to M83's website and providing your email address.

Midnight City by M83

Friday, 1 July 2011

Acoustic Underground #1 - By Ben Adsett

Acoustic Underground #1

[edit] radio is proud to present the first Acoustic Underground mixtapes put together by Cheltenham's Ben Adsett. Presenter of Wolverhampton radio station KicFM's Hear No Musical Evil, Ben offers up 30 minutes of some of the best acoustic acts from around the UK.


Liam O'Kane - Run Away Boy (recorded live at Kic FM's trailer)
Mike Scott - Back To The Drawing Board (recorded live at Kic FM's trailer)
Mike Only - Happiness (taken from the Fly EP)
Jim Lockey and the Solemn Sun - Wishing Well (Free Download)
Ben Childs - Poisoned Paradise (recorded live at Kic FM's trailer)
Shankland - Train-wreck (taken from the Shankland EP free download)
Boat To Row - Autumn Glow (Free Download)
Midnight Mile - Men With No Hearts (Taken from Silence Brings The Morning EP)
Shoes and Socks Off - Vice Magazine Has A Lot To Answer For (Taken from 'From the muddy banks of Melitzer')
Lost On Campus feat Sam Little - I Need You (N*Dubz Cover) (Taken from Pandy Cane Singles Club)


Wednesday, 22 June 2011

The Hope Will Shine Through You - by Kevin Lawson

Balam Acab - Oh Why?

Last October I wrote an article about Balam Acab’s (aka Alec Koone) introverted track ‘Regret Making Mistakes’. The stand out track from his See Bird’s EP, it’s a mesmerizing tale of self recrimination that showed that this young producer is a rising talent. One capable of distilling such emotionally wrought material to its sonic essence.

‘Oh Why’ is the lead single from his follow up record and full length debut entitled WANDER/WONDER. It’s another shining example of his ability to transfer the subtle nature of introverted thought into song. The track opens in a haze of fuzz and simple pianos as the softly sung words  “Oh Why?” repeat over and again for just long enough for the listener to add their own context to the question before the delicate verse takes over.

The track builds steadily as a burdened beat kicks in over muffled voices and the addition of layer on layer promises a cathartic release. But instead the track cuts back to hazy repetition of its opening. Leaving the listener still searching for their own answers to that same question, one I'm sure we've all asked ourselves from time to time.

WANDER/WONDER will be available August 29 via Tri Angle Records.

Saturday, 4 June 2011

Don’t fuck with Me, Don’t fuck with Me

Jai Paul - BTSTU

It’s been a strange month on [edit] radio, for the first time in a while I’ve had numerous requests to record podcasts for the site. This has left me with many new tracks that I’d like to share with you but no podcast to share it on. So with all of my new found time and a move to university to study music journalism looming, I’ve decided to make an effort to share more of my thoughts through the blogsite.

First under the microscope is pop artist Jai Paul’s track ‘BTSTU’ The song was released to a fair bit of fanfare to the bloggosphere over a year ago and the subsequent buzz was enough to earn him a nomination on the BBC’s Sound of 2011. It’s easy to hear why the industry was so excited about this young lad from Rayners Lane in London as this three and half minute pop song shows more daring invention than most pop artists entire careers.

The production is lush and complex, layered with industrial synth’s, saxophone and various other sonic embellishments that recall a DJ playing around with all the effects tricks at his disposal. However it’s the interplay of vocal recordings that really’s sets the track apart from it’s contemporaries. His falsetto voice is ghostly and delivered so tenderly that’d it’d be easy to miss brooding menace at the core of the lyrics if the opening lines weren’t “Don’t fuck with me, don’t fuck with me” The track picks up pace as his tone lowers and layers making this more of an exceptional one man duet. It’s a starling debut track and one that’ll be hard for him match. We’ll find out if this Londoner is up to the task soon enough.

Jai Paul - BTSTU (Edit) by Jai Paul

Tuesday, 31 May 2011

FESTIVAL SEASON (Oh the horror!) by Laurence Piddock

Be afraid people, be very afraid! Especially if you’re a music fan, even more so if you’re a music fan of a nervous disposition. It’s pretty likely that if you haven’t already heard it, you’ll soon be hearing the following phrase...

“Going to any festivals this year?”

It would be both prudent and wise for me to say that going to a festival is probably one of those things you should do at least a couple of times. You’ll encounter all sorts of conditions; meet assorted numpties and decent folk of various creeds and tackle a multitude of obstacles which, as my Dad would put it “build character”. However, if you don’t want to end up like me, spending your impending old age blogging like a less wishy-washy Jon Gaunt whilst polishing your Zimmer frame, take heed and listen.

Thursday, 19 May 2011

I'd surely lie if I said that I was sure that it might work out

Panda Bear – Alsatian Darn

It normally takes me about ten listens before I start to really appreciate the depths of a new Panda Bear album, however on his newest effort ‘Tomboy’ the densely layered avant-garde chillwave tracks were an instant joy to my ears and for my money is easily his most accessible release to date.

My favourite song (but not necessarily the best) from the album is “Alsatian Darn”. Camouflaged against the tracks sonic haze the lyrics can be difficult to decipher, but when read closely are a testament to Panda Bear’s ability to vocalise the most complex emotions with deft skill and craft.

This time he tackles the personal doubt that comes when you want to make changes to your life, knowing deep down (despite your own self belief) the outcomes of the changes are uncertain. He poses the question of how this change will affect himself and the people he cares for, allowing the question to circle the song without resolution. Instead he encapsulates his dilemma perfectly by repeating:

“Can I make a bad mistake?
Say what it is I want to say to you
Say what?”

The actual resolution isn’t important; it differs depending on the situation and people involved. The question is what counts and knowing that I’m not the only one letting it keep me awake at night makes me feel less lonely.

Alsatian Darn by editradio

Monday, 16 May 2011

Whilst my wife softly sings to herself

Jim Lockey - Warriors (live)

Back in January during the show at Cheltenham's excellent Slak bar, the audience was treated to a vintage solo performance by Jim Lockey. That night he opened his set with a new song called "Warriors" which I was lucky enough to record on my H2 Zoom microphone. It catches the man at his melodic best passionately delivering another politically charged gem. It's been stuck in my head for months now so I thought it was about time I shared it with you.

Jim lockey Warriors Live by editradio

Thursday, 12 May 2011

Support Local Music #3

It's that time again. Where I  ask you to dip into your pockets to support the act's from or associated with the Reading area. As you can imagine music making isn't  cheap business so please all go out and buy one or two copies of the following releases:

Oxygen Thief - Destroy It Yourself (Broken Tail Records/Josaka)

It's the début Album from Bristolian OXYGEN THIEF who's sound is the literally the loudest thing that one man an acoustic guitar can produce. His sound is hard to pigeon hole, it's essentially a mix of Metal, folk with lots clever nods to popular culture. It's being released by local label Broken Tail Records and I cannot recommend it highly enough, so please get out there and buy it:

Physical Copy - Banquet Records £9.99
Digital Copy - iTunes £7.99

You can get the excellent Single 'Terry Nutkins Salute' free from the man's Bandcamp.

Here is a great video of Barry performing live at Kingston excellent Banquet Records

Friday, 15 April 2011

Spotify to limit free streaming accounts

There has been some HUGE news today about Spotify's music service. The company that have delighted consumers by offering ad supported, free music streaming over the past few years are changing the parameters of their this service.

Here’s an overview of  the changes:

  • New Spotify users will be able to enjoy our unrivalled free service as it is today for the first 6 months.
  • As of May 1st, any user who signed up to the free service on or before November 1st 2010 will be able to play each track for free up to a total of 5 times. Users who signed up after the beginning of November will see these changes applied 6 months after the time they set up their Spotify account.
  • Additionally, total listening time for free users will be limited to 10 hours per month after the first 6 months. That’s equivalent to around 200 tracks or 20 albums.

These changes don't come as a surprise to me. Recently I looked into the cost of creating my own online music store (it's expensive) and was told from all of my sources of information that Spotify had been running at a huge loss. That only it's angel investors (which include all the major record labels) had kept it afloat.

The harsh truth that consumers have to face is the music industry IS a business and it DOES need your money to stay afloat. So I'm sure the musician's/record labels around the globe will rejoice at this news. Your average consumer is likely to meet this news with a drastically different view and many have already called it "the death of Spotify".

But for everyone it's a question  of how much you value music. Is £9.99 a month too much to pay to have 10 million songs on tap? It's your decision.

Click here to see the blog post from Spotify

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

Discovering New Music on the Internet #1

In the summer of 2003, I received a tax rebate. The sum I received was enough to pay for a new pair of glasses, a holiday and a third generation iPod. So I excitedly ordered the Jonathon Ive designed wonder through Apple’s website, downloaded iTunes and set to work digitizing my entire CD collection. A few days later I would be able to jettison my portable discman and carry around my entire back catalogue with me. I became feverishly excited, it was going to be great! In the first few months my fervent enthusiasm meant I convinced myself I loved the iPod experience.

In hindsight I’m not so sure that my feelings of elation were justified as having my entire record collection ‘on tap’ meant that I had too much choice. Whenever I bought a new record that didn’t instantly gratify me I’d quickly revert to my old favourites out of habit. Looking back on it, I ended up ignoring some records that were initially challenging (The Rapture’s ‘Echoes’ comes to mind) but all the more rewarding when they finally clicked.

Fast forward to January 2009 when I started planning the launch of [edit] radio. It was then that I became acutely aware of my own listening habits. As I’d be committing myself to creating fortnightly podcasts I would need a large variety of great songs to share with my listeners. I felt confident that my musical taste was diverse and up to date enough to cope. I was wrong. I found that after planning the tracks for the first four episodes (they were an hour an a half each back then) I was beginning to repeat the bands/albums I wanted to play. It came as a shock. It was apparent to me that 6 years of having any music I wanted had made me less adventurous and even a little indifferent to some of the newer music out there. I decided that a change was required, as not only did I need to find more music that I’d want to share, I needed to find it fast. So what did I do next? I searched the web for answers.

This will be the first in an ongoing series of articles about the best ways to discover site’s featuring music you’ll love on the net (that aren’t [edit] radio). I hope you’ll find it useful.

Last FM

I’m sure most of you have heard of Last FM but I’m not sure how many of you have accounts that you make the most of. For the uninitiated, Last FM is a social network based around music recommendations that uses the music library imported from your computer (or added manually) and offers great suggestions about bands that are similar or related to your favourites that you may be interested in. Based on what you enter, it will create a radio station tailored to your existing tastes that can be accessed via the web or a smart-phone, and it’s suggestions are normally second to none. The service also provides a function called “Scrobbling” which records every track you play on your MP3 player, computer or various other services. This information is then collated into an RSS feed and statistics which can be viewed by your friends or added to personal blogs, or just offer some revealing information about how addicted to certain musicians or albums you are. My love affair with Bon Iver’s first album stretched a lot further than I had imagined!

Best For - Personalised radio stations accessible anywhere, finding new music related to or similar to your tastes, ‘scrobbling’ and seeing what music your friends are listening to.

Hype Machine

Every day, thousands of people around the world write about music they love. The Hype Machine keeps track of what music bloggers write about. They handpick a set of amazing music blogs (that we hope to be part of one day) and via a simple user interface allow you to play (and Scrobble) the tracks directly from the webpage. Once you create an account you can also subscribe to your favourite blogs and create a personalised feed of new music that you’ll enjoy. There’s also a selection of real time charts that show the most talked about songs/remixes/artists from the past few days. Another great aspect is that by navigating directly to the blog post, you often find tracks being given away free. For me its the best tool to find new music that’s best suited to your current tendencies.

Best For - Finding new music that suits your own personal tastes and keeping up to date with the latest music trends.

The Sixty One/Aweditorium

Named after Highway 61, the notorious U.S highway that runs along the Mississippi River and marks the origin of American music culture, The Sixty One is like a musical adventure game, setting it’s users quests to lead you out of your musical comfort zone. It’s interface can be daunting and would benefit from some refinement but it’s an extremely fun way to discover new music. The sites code also powers popular iPad app Aweditorium

Best For - Having some fun whilst discovering new music


Bandcamp is a net based music store that’s a great place to find unsigned musicians. It’s allowing artists to regain/retain their independence and recoup more of the money from their recordings. The site gives bands their own mini web-site where they can upload and sell all of their albums, EP’s and tracks directly to you. The best part is that you can stream all the music free before you decide to make a purchase. Bandcamp takes 10-15% of every sale to support the platform. As they grow I can see them offering a raft of services to bands and with a few tweaks can imagine it becoming a business model for record labels of the future.

Best For - Finding unsigned/emerging acts before they become famous


The Soundcloud platform is fast becoming the preferred way to share music/sound on the web. It works in a similar way to You Tube and has the potential to become as ubiquitous. It offers it’s users a virtual space to upload and share music with friends publicly or privately; to embed sound across websites, social networks, blogs and receive comments on the tracks. The service offers free accounts to amateur users with the option to upgrade to a premium account for advanced features like statistics, controlled distribution and custom branding. Lots of music blogs are using the service to reduce their server storage costs and the amount of music they give away for free. This is helping Soundcloud to create a huge library of songs that can be searched for and played from your computer or via a smart-phone application. It’s a service that’s on the rise and one to watch.

Best For - Sharing music with your friends via social networks or on websites

That’s it for now, there are more that I could mention but this article is already excessively long!

Happy listening.

Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Support Local Music #2 - By Kevin Lawson

The next couple of months will see a lot of releases from act's from or associated with the Reading area and they all NEED YOUR SUPPORT. So I demand that you all go out and buy one or two copies of the following releases:
Pete and the Pirates (Stolen recordings)

Reading's favourite son's are heading backing into your musical lives this May with both a single and album for you to give your generous backing to.

United (Single) - Released on the 16th of May Pre-Order it from the Bands Website - £1.58 and get 3 extra songs thrown in for free!

One Thousand Pictures (album) - Released on the 23rd of May Pre-Order it from iTunes - £9.99
United by Pete And The Pirates
Does it Offend You, Yeah? - Don't Say We Didn't Warn You (Cooking Vinyl)

It's the sophmore record from our local Dance-Punk, Elctro genre bending geniuses. It's been 3 year in the making and it's worth every second of that wait.

Physical Copy - Amazon - £8.93
Digital Copy - 7Digital - £7.99
Does It Offend You, Yeah? - Wrestler by editradio
Ben Marwood - Outside There's A Curse (Xtra Mile Recordings) - Available Now

Another bit of tub thumping for the excellent Mister Ben Marwood, to remind those of you new to [edit] radio to get out there are and buy this today.

Physical Copy - Buy From Amazon £6.99
Digital Copy - Buy From 7Digital £6.99

Thursday, 24 March 2011

Confessions of a former Headbanger... by Scott Painter

Now I used to be pretty into my Metal - long hair, scraggly beard (I am pleased to say that I have now rectified this) and the outfit to match. However as time passed the thrill of the pit began to wear off and I found myself wondering what else was out there to hear. So without a clue I stumbled into the musical abyss armed with Spotfiy and Wikipedia and have gradually unearthed myself a whole heap of amazing records. Luckily I was blessed with a willful disregard for my traitorous behaviour and the advice of a whole array of super smart geeky music types and I hope to pass this information onto you.

In the following column I will lay out a number of songs to help you take those shaky first steps
that will have some comforting sense of the metal you're used to whilst giving your ears some tasty new aural delights. So without further ado...

David Bowie – Andy Warhol (Hunky Dory)

With a riff that wouldn't sound out of place on any 80's thrash album, this number comes to you
straight from your parents’ record collection. If you love all that is spandex, check this out - it
showed signs of Bowie’s genre defining Ziggy Stardust era that inspired the Crue and all that

The Pixies – Gouge Away (Doolittle)

Closing out the album this song opens with a suffocating bass line and the hoarse semi-whispered sounds of Frank Black’s voice, before erupting into an abrasive power chord hook-laden chorus. The influence this band have had on all that have followed in their path is too great to ever totally comprehend, with even a certain Seattle-based outfit admitting ripping off their riffs for Nevermind.

The Mars Volta - Wax Simulacra (The Bedlam in Goliath)

Wax Simulacra by the Mars Volta is a manic 2 minutes 38 seconds of drum heroics filled prog
insanity. Featuring a number of former members of 'At the Drive in', this band have continually
pushed the envelope to create some of the most interesting and intense music you may ever hear.

So there you go: 3 tracks to start you off. Have a listen then do some exploring of your own and I'll come back soon with some albums that might float your boat.

Thursday, 17 March 2011

You could never kiss a Tory boy without wanting to cut off your tongue again!

Los Campesinos! 02/02/2011 – London, Shepherd’s Bush Empire – by Kevin Lawson

I arrived at the venue a good hour and a half later than planned, meaning I had missed most of the support act’s set and wasn’t in the best of moods. The delay was the result of a meeting which had overrun, a taxi strike in Coventry and a cancelled train. I could spew reams of vitriol about each of those things but this is neither the time nor the place. The fact is I did manage to reach the venue in time to watch a performance by Los Campesinos! that left me and everyone else in the audience quaking in a raw throated stupor.

For those of you unfamiliar with their music, they are an eight piece indie pop band formed in Cardiff who write colossal sounding yet intimately articulate songs that brim with youthful energy. There is a knowing self parody in their recordings but they never sound anything less than genuine. Lyrically the band are ultra confessional, each song sounds like it was crafted from the entries of a bleak diary or from a Peep show style inner monologue that you wouldn’t dare utter aloud.

Tonight’s crowd is young enough to make me feel old (I’m 30, does that make me old?) and they all seem to have a dewy eyed loyalty to the band. This connection is more like watching friends play on stage than gawping upon them with star struck reverence. As the band takes the stage the auditorium comes alive. Choruses are roared back at the band with increasing passion, from light hearted party songs like ‘You! Me! Dancing!’ to depression filled break up anthems like ‘We are beautiful, we are doomed’. Circle pits begin to emerge that nearly reach the sound desk and lead singer Gareth is both feeding and feeding off this energy. Eventually diving into the heart of the mob, microphone in hand, before coming back unscathed. With each song being so personal you can see that the performance takes an emotional toll on him, so much so that when he reached set highlight 'The Sea Is A Good Place To Think Of The Future’ he was visibly upset and overcome, something that was later confirmed on the bands Twitter feed:

“1,000 people shouting "you could never kiss a Tory Boy without wanting to cut off your tongue again" back at me. Brought to tears onstage.

It was an amazing moment of catharsis that was a rubber stamp of authenticity, confirming that the bands songs are not contrived notepad fables but are true tales of life, love, loss and misery. As songwriters, they could hold back on the details of their lives and deal in generalisations. But it’s their willingness to share so many intimate details and be vulnerable to the potential opinions of their audience that creates a bond that runs deeper than most bands are able to achieve. Another album is due to be released later this year and I can’t wait to hear the next installment of their lives.

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Fleet Foxes Robin Pecknold Gives away new music

Great Big Bushy Beard!!
Last October Kanye West's G.O.O.D friday Twitter posts saw the artist giving away free music. At the time it caused a lot of buzz and inspired other musicians to follow suit. This time it's the turn of Fleet Foxes lead singer Robin Pecknold to use the social networking platform to give us some free goodies. Yesterday via his Twitter feed he gave away three brand new songs stating "These aren't Fleet Foxes songs, but I didn't know where else to disseminate it."

All the songs are stripped-back acoustic solo numbers that aren't really Fleet Foxes tracks, but they are hauntingly beautiful nevertheless. The songs were recorded recently in Los Angeles and Pecknold as added that "One is a duet with my friend Ed Droste from the amazing band Grizzly Bear, one is just a new solo jam, and one is a cover."

It's certainly more than enough to tide over any Fleet Foxes fan until the release of their new album Helplessness Blues which will be in music stores on 3/05/11. Happy Pancake day everyone!


I'm Losing Myself (Feat. Ed Droste)
Derwentwater Stones
Where Is My Wild Rose

Thursday, 3 March 2011


Saturdays... to some they're a bunch of ladies who gamely cover Depeche Mode numbers for charity
(I'll stick my head over the parapet here and admit that I admire their pluck - I look forward to them
tackling "Blasphemous Rumours" or "Flies on the Windscreen"* at some point). It's also the day
when the nation's Dads drag their kids around Homebase and B&Q. It's also the day when many
nervous football managers are preparing for the worst and consider updating their CV.

In my case it's normally means sacrificing my lie-in in order to get to the washing machine before
everyone else, and while I wait a while for the washing to be done, it means listening to the wireless
for a bit.

Funnily enough, they were discussing small venues. A lot of people texted and tweeted about seeing
bands before they were famous in small clubs, pubs etc before they were famous. There was the
inevitable stories about someone's band supporting The Jam or The Police or The Smiths and the
bovine excrement especially the guy who claimed to have seen Oasis play in Portsmouth in 1992 (For
the record Pete in Southsea, if you're reading this, Noel was still a roadie for Inspiral Carpets at that
point! And they didn't play south of the M6 till 1994)

Anyhow, it got on to a discussion of the problems facing small venues at the moment. A lot of
familiar stories about places struggling to keep going. Being involved with the Rising Sun it's
something I know pretty well.

Saturday, 19 February 2011

[edit] radio's Songs of Praise #1

The problem with only doing a podcast once a month is that inevitably there are some songs that I like that don’t make it onto the playlist for one reason or another. Over the last year there have been many occasions where I would’ve liked to share a song or two with you all but didn’t have the time to write a full article to explain why. That lack of time still remains but it shouldn’t prohibit me from spreading the musical goodness around.

So to make sure that you don’t miss out on music that you could potentially like, I’ve started an ongoing Spotify playlist that i'll be updating every so often:

[edit] radio's Song's of Praise #1


K x

Friday, 18 February 2011

Radiohead - Lotus Flower by Kevin Lawson

This week Radiohead announced that they would be releasing their eighth studio album The King Of Limbs. Billed as the world's first "Newspaper Album," a lavishly packaged version of the record will be issued on May 9; however, the music itself will be issued on February 19 when digital downloads will be made available to those pre-order the record. You can get the album from their site http://thekingoflimbs.com/

In promotion of the album, Radiohead have also released the first cut from the record to You Tube, called Lotus Flower and sounding distinctly Radioheady (yes that is a musical term) it has me excited for the rest of the album.

Thursday, 17 February 2011

Support Local Music #1 - By Kevin Lawson

The music scene in Reading is really on the rise, with more and more of our local acts releasing records for you to buy. This is the first in an ongoing series of articles that aims to let you know whats been released, what's on the horizon and where you can buy it:

Ben Marwood - Outside There's A Curse (Xtra Mile Recordings) - Available Now

His debut album finally hit the shelves of music stores this January and it doesn't disappoint. Filled with self deprecating anti folk tales of life, heartbreak and loss it's a great record that deserves your attention.

Physical Copy - Buy From Amazon £6.99
Digital Copy - Buy From 7Digital £6.99

Ben Marwood - It's Harder Now To Break Your Stupid Heart by editradio

Mister Fogg - Moving Parts (Kicking Ink Records) - Available Now

Mr Fogg is one-man electronica phenomenon – artist, writer, producer, label boss of Kicking Ink Records. His Debut album is a dark gem of a pop record. It was released in April last year and was produced by Bjork collaborator Valgeir Sigurðsson. If you don't own it you should be ashamed.

Physical Copy - Buy From Amazon £7.99
Digital Copy - Buy From 7Digital £5.99

Stung by mrfogg

Amy's Ghost - Dance Of Defeat (First Circle Records) - Available Now

Amy's Ghost debut album Dance of Defeat picks up it’s listener and drops them into a misty musical world that brims with wizardly enchantment and excitement.

Physical Copy - Get yourself to one of their shows, they'll have plenty for sale
Digital Copy - Buy From Amazon £6.99
Listen here - http://soundcloud.com/first-circle-records

Attention Thieves - Let it All Out "single" (Velocity Recordings) - Available Now

I played this track on my February podcast and would be happy to recommend anyone that likes the Foo Fighters to take a good listen to this Reading quartet.

Physical Copy - Get yourself to one of their shows, they'll have plenty for sale
Toddlers - Split Single #1 (doubledotdash recordings) - Available Now

TODDLERS are reading's favourite psych garage ragga kraut bass n drum n drumstick guitar duo,  likened to "polite-ning bolt" or "the rhythm section from bleach". For me they sound a lot like US band Liars and might soon find themselves on an [edit] radio podcast

Physical Copy - http://files.doubledotdash.org/ddd029.html


Please remember to do all you can to support your local musicians. Remember music isn't an expense, it's an investment.

Friday, 11 February 2011

When I wanted you, how I haunted you

In 2008 the Dodos caught people’s attention with their amazing single Fools. A highlight from their uneven sophomore album Visitor; it’s a heart thumping avant-garde pop delight which pits lead singer and guitarist Meric Long against drummer Logan Kroeber in competition for the musical spotlight. Within this dynamic the talented duo created a raw, vibrant, thunderous yet tuneful sound that hinted at a bright future. Their next album ‘Time to Die’ polished their sound but at the expense of the competitive edge that made their music so compelling. They’d become too polite, allowing each other to take turns in the spotlight until that the energy that friction caused had all but gone. I hoped that it would be a transitional phase for the band, that they would take the lessons learned from those two records onto their next. As it turns out my hope came true.

On Black Night, the opening track from new album No Color (released March 15th) they’ve retained the polish without the loss of the spotlight grabbing friction that made song’s like Fools exciting. The track opens with a beat reminiscent of the Animal Collective’s ‘Purple Bottle’ but with heavier bass drum and a greater leaning towards sounding pop than avant-garde. It rolls along with duo in harmony until around 2 minutes into the track, where they start trying to out do one another in a playful manner that's a delight for the ears. It’s effortlessly brilliant and leaves me hankering for the rest of the album. Ace!

Thursday, 10 February 2011

We Took A Vow, We Never Sleep

The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart - Belong

'Belong' is the title track from The Pains of Being Pure at Heart's second album that's due for release March 29 on legendary record label Slumberland. The track finds the band heading into the sonic territory of the Smashing Pumpkins at their most pop (think Siamese Dream / Mellon Collie era). Rather than just ape that sound, they've infused it with their own brand of precise, hazy yet delicately violent songcraft that improves with every listen. It's an indie pop gem and better than anything Billy Corgan wrote in his prime, despite the inevitable protestation from your nostalgia fuelled memories.

The Pains of Being Pure At Heart - Belong by Slumberland Records

Thursday, 3 February 2011

Anglo Franko - [edit] radio mixtape #1

[edit] radio is proud to present the first in a series of monthly mixtapes made by Anglo Franko (AKA Chris Fellowes).

If you like what you hear then I suggest you take yourself and a friend over to the Bleep Test night at Reading's Oakford Social Club. Here you’ll find Chris and his brother entertaining the crowds playing the finest selection of new music. ACE!

If you fancy yourself as a budding mixtape maker then email your mix to:


Anglo Franko - [edit] radio mixtape #1

Phoenix - Listzomania (Shook Remix)
Yelle - La Musique (Tepr Remix)
Miami Horror - Holidays
Moullinex - Love it is then
Cassius - Les Enfants (Gessaffelstein Remix)
NERD - Hypnotise You (Alex Metric Remix)
Boys Noize - Sweet Light (Boris Duglosch Remix)
LCD Soundsystem - Drunk Girls (Holy Ghost Remix)
Mr Oizo & Gaspard - TV Slut
Martin Solveig ft Dragonette - Say Hello (Dada Life Remix)
Daft Punk - Derezzed (PinkIsPunk Remix)
Vandroid - Master & Slave (Van She Tech Remix)
Deadmau5 ft Wolfgang Gartner - Animal Rights
Kiss - I was made for loving you

Rage Against The X Factor Protests by Lawrence Piddock

January can be a very depressing month. Especially if like I, you're faced with the prospect of going to work in the dark and going home in the dark. But it's not all bad. Sure the weather's just as cold and there's the prospect of being snowed in just when you need to get somewhere, but there's always that sense of something new which is particularly handy if the previous year's been a bit rough. Another welcome aspect is that Simon Cowell is off the telly for a while, and that little spark of gold comes with an unexpected bonus.

What's that? I hear you cry! Well, it means that you can go onto Facebook for the next few months and not have to be pestered by some campaign to get some poxy record to Number One for Xmas as an X-Factor protest. (More after the jump)

Looking for talented and dedicated contributors

Do you have a passion for music and writing?

Are you a band/artist that wants to get your music played?

Are you a budding DJ that need an audience?

Are you interested in doing a guest podcast?

If the answer to any of these questions is a big fat YES, then [edit] radio wants to hear from YOU!

[edit] radio is currently accepting submissions for the following:

  • Tracks, EP's and Albums from talented local musicians
  • Press Releases
  • Local Promoter that is trying to spread the word about a gig or new release
  • Podcasters
  • Mixtapes from local DJ's (around 30 minutes long)
  • Single reviews (400 words limit)
  • Album reviews (800 words limit)
  • Music Columnists (1000 words limit)
  • Live Gigs reviews (400 words limit)

Please e-mail these and other suggestions an  idea's to Submissions@editradio.org and we will do our level best to respond.

Kev x 

Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Club Velocity presents - Ben Marwood Album launch party- Outside There's A Curse

Date - Friday January 28th 2011
Venue - Rising Sun Arts Centre 30 Silver Street Reading RG1 2ST
Doors - 8pm All Ages
Tax - Five pounds (door) Four pounds (advance) www.wegottickets.com
Acts - Ben Marwood/Quiet Quiet Band/Oxygen Thief
Sponsored by www.editradio.org

Local solo singer song writer Ben Marwood received some good news at the end of 2010, that the debut album that he had recorded was going to be released by London based record label Xtra Mile (home to Frank Turner and Chris TT) After many years of hard slog and dozens and dozens of gigs, Ben is a perfect example that hard work can finally pay off.

His début album Outside There's A Curse was recorded in Reading over a period of weeks during 2010 with the help of various friends. It is a great début offering, a collection of the his best songs of the last five years.

It is a must buy for any fan of a great song, a must buy for any fan of music, it is a must buy record.

Pre-order the album from Amazon here:

Reading finest band, made up of ex members of Heartwear Process and Mass Hysteria.They are currently on fire. They deal in a sassy form of UK flavoured folk country.Think Low, Sparklehorse and Modest Mouse. A mighty fine band and they deserve to be on this bill.

Quiet Quiet Band - Woke Up Dead by editradio

Oxygen Thief sings loud, plays an acoustic guitar, stamps on fx pedals, lives in Bristol, wears Doc Marten boots, drinks whisky, collects Be@rbricks, and wants to be your friend.

Oxygen Thief-There Can Only Be One by editradio

*Rising Sun Arts Centre is a charity please support it, it is run by unpaid volunteers and is Reading best kept secret.