Tagged: loch awe

I Made You A Mixtape…Six

So far in this mixtape series, I have kind of steered clear of having any sort of theme on the mixtapes. This week however, is somewhat of an exception. The Scottish Album of the Year award was

launched this week and it immediately got me thinking of which Scottish album from 2011 would I want to win the award. I know people sometimes are quite quick to judge awards ceremonies and awards, particularly in Scotland, but this seems to be organised rather well and the prizes on offer are absolutely terrific. We have a huge amount of enthusiasm for the national music scene in Scotland and it’s great to see an award promising inclusion and most importantly, a celebration of Scottish music.

This weeks mixtape contains some tracks from a few of the albums which I really enjoyed in 2011. I say ‘enjoyed’ because I’m fully aware that some may not technically be the best albums but at the end of the day when I want something to listen to, I want it to be an enjoyable experience, and these albums gave me just that.

Also, I’m not 100% on criteria but there’s certainly a Scottish related element to all of the tracks included here. I’ve also tacked 3 or 4 songs on the end which do not fall into the category of Scottish Albums of 2011, but this is a mixtape, and I wanted them here!

Rob St.John – Your Phantom Limb from the album ‘Weald’

Kicking off controversially with one that I’m not sure is eligible, however, this album was released on an Edinburgh label (Song, By Toad) and Rob is a big part of the Edinburgh music scene, despite his roots being firmy south of the border. This album really knocked me for six. A really beautiful album and this track in particular was the first track I heard when released as a split 7″. It’s an album I rate very highly and this week in particular, when the snow fell, really set the scene perfectly.

Mike Nisbet – Not Long from the album ‘Vagrant’

Honestly, I should stop now. I’m pretty sure the percentage of posts we’ve written mentioning Mike Nisbet in the last year is topping the 70% mark. The truth is, a year ago when we got a sneak peak of the album, we were immediately smitten. It was one of the best and most heartfelt albums I’d heard in a long time and I was so pleased that late on in the year, people really started picking up on it. It’s not easy to self-release an album and this album really deserves some recognition. Beautiful is the only word…

Jonny – Waiting Around For You from the album ‘Jonny’

Another possibly contentious one. An album written by a Scotsman and a Welshman but really, it’s no ordinary Scotsman, it’s none other than Norman Blake from my favourite Scottish band of all time, Teenage Fanclub. This is a really good fun and upbeat album, well worth a listen if you’re looking for a smile.

The Hazey Janes – Paper Hearts from the album ‘The Winter That Was’

I just mentioned Teenage Fanclub and I put The Hazey Janes in a similar bracket in that if it’s sunny, and I’m looking for something to put a smile on my face, I’ll reach for The Hazey Janes, and they won’t disappoint. I was delighted to hear last year that they were releasing a record on Armellodie records and when released, it was a welcome return to form for a band who were out of the game for something of an enforced sabattical.

Bill Wells & Aidan Moffat – The Copper Top from the album ‘Everything’s Getting Older’
This it seemed was a ubiquitous choice amongst Scottish media last year. A beautiful an emotive album of which this, was my stand-out track from the album. The video is also excellent and worth a watch

FOUND – Machine Age Dancing from the album ‘Factorycraft’

This album was released on Chemikal Underground early last year and is an excellently experimental album. They also released a single on Chocolate vinyl, which is always a win.

Le Reno Amps- Cottonmouth Rock from the album ‘Appetite’

Another band that we absolutely adore. Live, they are fairly unbeatable when they are on top of their game and whilst on a ‘break’ at the moment, we have everything crossed that come August, they might make a re-appearance.

This album was described by many as being full of different styles, which it is, but that doesn’t make it less endearing. This track is LRA at their glam inspired, duelling guitar best. As it’s been noticed, they can be a bit like marmite, and yes, we love them.

Strike The Colours – Safety In Numbers

I’ve come to the end of my selection from 2011’s albums and this track is from a band who I believe are due to release new material this year, Strike The Colours. ‘Safety In Numbers’ is from the brilliant ‘The Face That Sunk A Thousand Ships’ EP.

Cancel The Astronauts – The Hardest Thing

CTA are an Edinburgh band who seem to specialise in a ‘really poppy hook’ although, you might not get that from this track. I raved about their ‘Funny For A Girl’ EP a few years ago and they sent me their new single a few years and despite this track being completely different to the first two tracks on the EP, I really love this one! The single is called Intervention and can be found over here.

RM Hubbert – Gus Am Bris An Latha (with John Ferguson)

RM Hubbert’s new album ‘Thirteen Lost & Found’ may be in quite a few album of the year polls come the end of 2012 and this track is one of my favourites from said album.

Loch Awe – How It Began

This song was one of my favourites from 2010 and I commented at the time how impressed I was with the EP which was recored in a matter of days. Loch Awe have come a long way since this song and EP, but it’s something I always revisit every now and again.

Time for a wee catch up I think…

Well, March is here already and it seems a bit like the year has flown by. It was maybe just me but I felt that the year started fairly quietly and that there was a distinct lack of good albums coming out but that seems to have perked up recently with releases from PJ Harvey, Smith Westerns and Ringo Deathstarr, the latter is an album that i am hugely enjoying at the moment. We are also looking forward here at Elba to upcoming releases from Aidan Moffat, Josh T. Pearson, FOUND and Le Reno Amps, once again, the latter is an absolute belter, which can be pre-ordered here. It’s shaping up to be a decent year!

The Glasgow Film Festival has finished for another year. Kim enjoyed a wall of noise at 65 Days of Static, Chris met legendary Spinal Tap bassist and voice of Mr Burns from The Simpsons, Harry Shearer whilst I now count Duglas T Stewart of the BMX Bandits in the highest regard after he nonchalantly tucked in to an apple onstage, midway through the opening song of the Mondo Morricone gig. There will be a bit more about those shenanigans on these pages in the coming days and weeks. We are already looking forward to 2012!

Next year is a long way away though so in the more immediate future here’s a few things you might want to check out. This weekend Trapped Mice launch their new EP which was recorded

in our big cousin Elba Studio’s recording space in January this year. Having heard some of the results, it’s a lovely wee EP and worth checking out. Anyhoo, the launch is in Edinburgh tomorrow (5th March) at the Wee Red Bar and support comes from Elba faves Loch Awe. Oh, and the EP is called Waving and Pointing!

Also, looking quite good this weekend in Glasgow is Croc v Croc at The Art School. There’s a huge list of people playing including Remember Remember, Ultimate Thrush, Divorce, Pro Life, North American War, BONG MONSTER, Holy Mountain, The Cosmic Dead, The John Knox Sex Club, Gropetown and Tangles. Check out their Facebook info page for a little more info!

Next weekend sees the return of Brain Burner to The Liquid Ship a mere two weeks after their last show. In short if you like things noisy and a little bit out there, Brain Burner do exactly what they say on the tin. The line up on Sunday 13th at The Liquid Ship includes Helhesten & Fritz Welch, Blue Sabbath, Buffalo buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo and Hivver.

On the subject of DIY gigs, we came across this tumblr called Tartanalia Underground this week which is pretty cool. It’s a nice wee collection of DIY posters, some really cool ones in there so far and I noticed theres an upload button so get adding!

Anyway, enough rambling for now! Have a great weekend, see y’all soon!

Elba Annual 2010 – Trapped Mice

Following up our chat with Stephen at Elba Studios and Matthew from Loch Awe we are brought in a perfect circle with the second band who will be heading to Elba Studios in January to record as part of Creative Scotland’s YMI Demo Fund, Trapped Mice.

Brian took some time out from touring with The Last Battle to answer a few questions before their show at the Garage in London tonight. I think a couple of us here at Elba are in agreement with the memory of the year!!!

Album of The Year – I’ve been finding it hard to choose between Admiral Fallow and Meursault for best album of the year but I think the Meursault album gets it. Both albums are excellent but All
Creatures Will Make Merry has the dynamics and atmosphere which Boots Met My Face slightly lacks.

Best Gig (Band) – Trapped Mice at The Scottish Enlightenment’s album launch at the Wee Red Bar, great sound and I think we played better than any previous gig. I’m currently on tour with The Last Battle and will be playing at the Garage in London tomorrow night which could be my biggest gig yet.

Best Gig (by someone else…) – Alexisonfire at the o2 ABC in November was my gig of the year. An excellent performance all round and very much a change of pace from the gigs I usually go to. The Twilight Sad at The Liquid Rooms comes a close second though.

Favourite New Band(s) – A few of these might not be technically new this year but some of the best bands I’ve been turned onto in the last year include Loch Awe, Yahweh, I Build Collapsible Mountains and Admiral Fallow.

Musical Memories of 2010 – The National at the O2 Academy when vocalist Matt Berninger jumped into the crowd and went all the way to the back of the venue during Mr November, barely missing a note on the way then making his way back to the stage and going seamlessly into Fake Empire was pretty memorable.

Hopes/Plans (music) for 2011 – I’ll be heading to Elba studios in January to record a new EP with Trapped Mice and I’m hoping to be able to release a full album and go for a short tour with them by the end of 2011. There’s been mention of a new Last Battle EP and being the new member I’m looking forward to getting some of my own ideas down on record. I’m hoping to continue what has been a successful first few months of Found In Sound on FreshAir.org.uk and get even more of my favourite bands in for sessions.

You can find Trapped Mice and get a few free downloads here

Elba Annual 2010 – Loch Awe

Today’s Elba Annual post comes in the form of a band from Edinburgh who we featured on these very pages back in August after their release of their brilliant EP ‘Artificial Life From A Digital Sea’. Also, as we mentioned in Thursday’s annual post, Loch Awe will be heading west to record some tracks at Elba Studios early next year.

Matthew, the quickest replying musician in Scotland, gave us these answers on his 2010…

Album of The Year – This is a super hard question to answer as there’s been so much good music out this year. I actually came down to a shortlist of four, but one of them really stood out, and it was Meursault – All Creatures Will Make Merry. It’s just truly original – I genuinely don’t think I’ve ever heard anything else quite like it. It also helps that it perfectly suits the blizzard-like weather we’re currently experiencing. (In case you were wondering, the other three are Gil Scott-Heron, The Phantom Band and Kanye West)

Best Gig (Loch Awe) – Well we only played one gig this year, back in September. It was our very first show, and it was excellent fun. Hopefully we’ll be a bit more active next year!

Best Gig (by someone else…) – Can I pick a festival? If so then Retreat! Festival in Edinburgh really stood out (far better than Glastonbury, if only because the chance of me getting a blood infection in a church hall is almost nil, whereas it turns our Worthy Farm is bloody deadly). If not then Withered Hand & The Second Hand Marching Band at Stereo in June (I think) was absolutely brilliant. It was my first experience of SHMB’s music, and it totally blew me away. And, of course, Withered Hand were, as ever, great!

Favourite New Band(s) – There have been loads, so I’ll just do a wee list: So Many Animal Calls, Evenings, Yusuf Azak, Woodenbox with a Fistful of Fivers, Ute, Tangled Hair, The Scottish Enlightenment and Reverie.

Musical Memories of 2010 – Screaming along to Karma Police at the Thom Yorke & Jonny Greenwood secret show at Glastonbury was exactly as epic as it should be, and is the sort of thing I’ll remember for years to come.

Hopes/Plans (music) for 2011 – Loch Awe are recording some new songs literally within the first five days of the new year. They’re a little bit louder, not quite as folky and feature almost 300% more trumpet. We’re very excited! Apart from that we want to play many more gigs (including our first Glasgow show, and a few possible English shows) and to get our second album recorded over the summer.
I should be recording a collaborative EP in January with Glasgow songwriter Andrew Lindsay. He’s brilliant, and I can’t wait to yell all over his lovely songs, and allow him to do the same thing to mine.

You can still get you mitts on the afore mentioned Loch Awe EP on their bandcamp page here. We’d really suggest that you do.

Elba Annual 2010 – Stephen Scott (Elba Studios)

A bit of an extended post today. As you may or may not know, Elba Sessions took it’s name from Elba Studios which is currently based down the Hidden Lane off Argyle Street in Glasgow. We like to keep in touch with what’s going on in the studio and likewise, the studio likes to keep up with what we do, we’re kind of like the cooler younger brother I suppose (just joking Stephen, really!). Anyway, there’s plenty of good stuff going on in the studio and as we approach the end of the studio’s busiest year, we thought it would be good if owner, producer, cleaner all round Elba Studios dogsbody, Stephen, got us up to speed with developments…

“as of next year we will be running sessions over two studios. I have just finished renovating the exisiting elba studio to have it specifically set up for recording or tracking. The idea is to have a separate space for recording and mixing and mastering, so clients can come down to the recording studio which has been set up to create a great creative and inspiring atmosphere to focus on the recording. Once the recording is done the session is sent up to the mixing studio (name of studio still unknown!!) where an engineer will have access to the most impressive studio kit list in Scotland (in our humble opinion).

as always we still outsource all our mastering to Eighth Nerve Mastrering, which is in my opinion the best mastering service in the country! We also now have friend of Elba, Dean Owens on board as a producer who can be hired in to work with clients from pre-production to working with them each day in the studio.

This year we are once again working with Creative Scotland on the YMI demo fund and have at this stage confirmed that we will be working with Loch Awe and Trapped Mice and still have another 3 artists to confirm. Recording will take place between Jan and March next year.”

So, there you have it! And just to keep us firmly ‘on-topic’, here’s Stephen’s answers for this year’s Elba Annual…

Album Of The YearBelle and Sebstian – Write About Love

Best Gig Of 2010best gig for me this year would have to be the first Music Box night we put on with antimatter records. The night was a great success having packed out the venue, there was a great vibe to the whole thing and the acts and photographers were brilliant!

Favourite New BandsThe Wellgreen, Lewis Wilson and The Beatmakers, The Recovery Club, The Scottish Enlightenment, Julia and the Doogans, Reptile House, Jonathan Sebstian Knight to name a few!

Musical Memories Of 2010too many to pin down I reckon from spending so much time in the studio!

Hopes and Plans For 2011 – getting the new double studio set up and hopefully busier than ever with projects! Also really looking forward to working in the new mixing studio we have merged with, getting my hands on all that outboard gear!

5, 4, 3, 2, 1…Launch!

I posted at the tail end of last week about the RE:Peater records launch night and i’ve got another couple of launches this week to fill your Friday night, should you be at a loose end. This appears to be as close to a regular Elba blog feature as you’re gonna get!

First up, here in Glasgow, the brilliantly named Zoobizaretta launch their forthcoming album, Foam & Leachate, with a show at the Captains Rest. They will be supported by White Heath and tickets are a measly £2, there really doesn’t seem like much reason not to go! They will also be in Edinburgh tomorrow at Sneaky Pete’s alongside the much loved, here at Elba, Loch Awe.

Over in the capital, The Scottish Enlightenment release another EP in what is becoming ‘a big tease of a run up’ to the album release late in the year. They release the Little Sleep EP on Monday 27th on Armellodie and will take to the floor at Sneaky Pete’s tonight along with support from Dan Lyth and Moon Junk. I believe, DHL permitting, there should be EP’s on sale this evening!

Loch Awe – Artificial Life From A Digital Sea

Loch Awe have surprised me. It isn’t that I doubted I would like a band that includes a ukulele in it’s ranks, it’s the fact that their debut album ‘Artificial Life From A Digital Sea‘ was written and recorded in a matter of weeks. If this wasn’t enough to impress me, they’ve only been together since the end of July. The Edinburgh outfit haven’t even played their first gig, yet the album sounds like it’s been a labour of love which has developed over time. I asked Matthew, Jack and Joy how it all came about…

Would you care to introduce yourself for readers who may not be familiar with Loch Awe

Hi, we’re Jack, Joy and Matthew. We met at Edinburgh University last year. We’ve all been making music for a few years – Matthew under the name ‘We, the Plural’ and Joy and Jack as solo artists – and thought we might make slightly better music together.

How would you describe Loch Awe?

Like root negative one being divided by zero. Or proto-post folk. Or just folky…

You released your first record Artificial Life From A Digital Sea on August 30th (that’s today!!). It only took a month to write and record. Did you set out to write and record it in such a tight time frame?

Yeah, we did. We got together at the end of July, and decided we wanted something to show for it by the end of August. That and we just enjoy working to deadlines. We actually had to cut a few songs from it, because they didn’t fit in well. We’re hoping to put them out within about six months.

Who are the band’s main influences?

We’re all influenced by different things. To be honest, there aren’t actually that many shared between all three of us, so we’ll answer separately:

Matthew: I’m really into Withered Hand, WHY?, Y’all Is Fantasy Island and Youthmovies. I’m not sure how much they inspire what I write. Maybe other people will see it more than I do.

Jack: Recently I’ve bee listening to The Temptations, The Impressions, Hank Williams Sr., Bonnie Prince Billy and The Band.

Joy: I’m keen on Hot Chip and Neon Neon at the moment, but Arcade Fire and Royksopp tend to be on constant rotation.

What comes next for Loch Awe?

As we said earlier, we’re hoping to have something else out within the next half-year featuring some of the tracks we cut from the album. We’re also looking to get a few live shows under our belt, hopefully with synchronised dance routines!

Finally, we always ask our guests at Elba if there is any band in your locale, apart from yourselves of course, that we should look out for?

Matthew’s been recording some lead guitar for Andrew Lindsay’s new EP, which is sounding absolutely great. It’s definitely worth checking out when it’s released.

‘Artificial Life From A Digital Sea’ is out now and you can get it from their bandcamp page here for free! What’s not to like????