One of those rewarding moments just now where myspace works just as you’d hope. You dip in, find something good and then jump on from page to page, finding good stuff on the way.
It started with an email about Homegrown, a podcast from Nic Treadwell featuring an eclectic mix of spoken word and music. Nic’s started putting a bit more info about each artist in his emails, and my eye was caught by Tom Middleton‘s bio which drops names like Debussy in with Eno, Satie, Steve Reich and Vaughan Williams, so thats gotta be worth a click!
Sure enough Tom who hails from Cornwall mixes his classical piano training and family folk and jazz influences into some fine downtempo electronica that has made him a regular on the Big Chill scene for over ten years.
From there I clicked on Brian Eno, who’s influence on the modern music scene it seems its impossible to underestimate. The tunes on his page are from a 1983 album “Apollo: Atmospheres and Soundtrack” and ambient album inspired by a film about the space missions, and each of them is eerily beautiful.
Back on Tom Middleton’s page I spotted the name of Jon Hopkins and recalled a recent conversation with Mark Smallman, promoter of the superb local night “Custom Made” in which he was telling me that he was booking Jon soon, and I think even offered me the support slot (tho I’ll be in Australia at the time).
And Hopkins is I think the find of the night – recording for the rather fine “Just Music” label (recommended to me not long ago by Mixmaster Morris) he produces intelligent and beautiful eletctronica (in between playing with Eno, Coldplay and others on keyboards). All the tunes on Jon’s page are rather fine – but its when Second Sense began with a slow version of the opening of Thomas Tallis’ 40 part motet Spem in Alium” that I really felt something special. Do the check out the original but the way, this two disc set from the Tallis Scholars is mind blowing.
Hopkins also produces King Cresote who’s gentle folk is indeed very well produced and sung – the pretty much ambient track “And the racket they make” was the clear highlight for me.
And from there – partly cos Im always on the look out for suitable record labels that possibly want to work with me in the future, to “Names Records” a london based recording and management label on who’s page the easy standout is the magnificently odd, psychedelic and poppy The Earlies. A trip to their own page shows these guys sound like some kind of mix up of Smile era Beach Boys, with Beta Band, George Harrison and an electronic music inspired feel for slow relentless builds plus a touch of chaos to tremendous effect – and I bet they’re brilliant live too. Plus they reminded Lyndall of Misty’s Big Adventure, so everyone’s a winner.
All of which left me on a bit of high, renewing my enthusiasm for the modern music scene and thanking Myspace for providing all this fine music for free.