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New Demo - Starwheel

Posted on Thursday, 23rd March

We have just posted a new demo by Derby 4-Piece Starwheel. Click here to listen to the song entitled Drip Feed.

Starwheel is the project of Jamie Sterland, Amelia Cripps, Matthew Willis & Luke Charlston from Derby, United Kingdom.

The band was formed in late 2015 and released their first singles Drip Feed & Broken Glass in April 2016.

They currently have further plans to release new singles Slow Down & Through My Window (Part I & II) in 2017.

Alex Knight Vinyl Mix & 50arc Interview

Posted on Tuesday, 21st March

Click here to listen to a live vinyl mix from FatCat co-founder Alex Knight at the excellent 50arc club night. 

Alex interviewed the people behind 50arc, click Read More to see! 

1. 50 Arc is an unusual name for a club / label, where does it originate. What is the idea behind It?

ha, yes it is pretty unusual. Its a measurement in astronomy. Cosmic imagery has been used for decades by artists who push boundaries to convey new forms of musical expression, going back to the space jazz of Sun Ra and his Arkestra, to Daphne Orams experimental electronics, to the pioneering electronic artists from Detroit, this link between space, the cosmos and musical expression continues today. So the 50arc name tunes us into a very rich heritage of ideas without constraint or boundaries, and hopefully matches our intent for the night, which is musical open mindedness and a feeling of complete freedom, which we hope everyone experiences when they come. Technically, 50 arc seconds is the amount the earths orientation moves on its rotational axis every year, which is how the precession of the equinoxes happens. Something worth reading up on if you are interested in that subject.

2. Who is involved in the organisation and set-up of the club? What is your background? Where did you meet?

50arc is a big team effort and we try to make it musically as much of a family feel as we can, but the night is organised by Charlie Tear and Helen Copnall and our main resident DJ is Leah Floyeurs. We have a collective of friends helping us with everything from the visuals and decoration to running the bar and cloakroom and it is not possible without this crew of friends helping and contributing to make it what it is. We have all been involved in electronic dance music since the start of the 1990s. Charlie and Helen met in 1997 at the Outer Limits in Bournemouth, where Charlie was resident DJ. A couple of years later we began running parties in London called Uridium with an old friend of ours, Nick Watson. In the summer months we ran a free party sound system on the South coast called Blink with another close friend, Jim Hayward, in out of the way secret locations in the New Forest and in the coastal valleys of the Purbecks. After starting a family in 2006, we had a spell of low musical activity which did not really pick up again till our children were a bit older. During that time though, we met our dear friend Leah Floyeurs who had been DJing around Europe and Australia in the 1990s and after a break from the decks, was starting to focus heavily on music again. We first heard Leah play in May 2012 on the excellent Timeline Music internet radio station, and she completely blew us away and inspired us to start parties again. Around the same time we stumbled across a gig with Aubrey, one of our favourite producers from the 1990’s, who again after an extended break away from the scene, was starting up again, played a brilliant set and was another source of inspiration to start running parties again. We looked long and hard for the right venue and had checked out our friends ADJs party, The Dodo Club at Battersea Barge, which was the perfect location for us. So we had the right combination of musical talent and a venue for our first 50arc back in October 2012. Since then we have run nights at Fortress Studios in Old Street (now sadly luxury apartments), the Whirled Cinema in Brixton and our latest venue, which is a recording studio space in West London.

3. The nights are organised through a mailing list and the venues are kept secret until the last minute, is this a deliberate throwback to the days of illegal rave and illicit parties?

Our origins are in the electronic music culture of the early 1990s and the ethic of the early days of the scene is something we have always aimed to maintain throughout all the years of running different parties. No attitude or exclusions, a simple and complete focus on gathering people together for an intense musical experience. The atmosphere and energy of under-the-radar parties from years gone by was a huge influence for many people, us definitely included. That is the reason 50arc isnt held in regular clubs. We try to find interesting and individual venues that feel more intimate and specific to the purpose of the night. We are running these events as private parties which allows us to have complete control over every aspect of our night, from design to the entire sound and lighting set up, which is a huge amount of effort but works for us. We have been lucky enough to develop trust with some decent venue owners who allow us to do our thing and enables this to happen. We have gradually built up a crowd through word of mouth and friends bringing friends along and we will always do it this way. Everyone who comes to 50arc is connected to each other in some way and this makes a very special atmosphere, where no-one is guarded, it is an open and happy place, people have made an effort to get to our out of the way spot because they want to hear and dance to good music. It is much more important to us to have people at the party who are there for the music than to pack it out with people who do not actually care what they are hearing or why. Lastly and very importantly there has to be room to dance properly.

4. Clubs are closing and venues disappearing yet there seems to be a healthy and vibrant scene operating around your night and other likeminded promoters. Are you part of a wider network or scene, which other parties do you attend / rate?

You cannot beat the intimacy of a small crowd and brilliant sound system, with top music, and there are some excellent smaller parties and festivals happening in the UK at the moment. Our favourite parties and spaces currently are Freerotation festival in Wales and closer to home, Night Moves, Kerfuffle, Transition, The Dodo Club and most recently Pink Elaphant. These are all quality and again are just based around people getting together for a party, with no pretension or fashion. It is tragic how many small venues are closing down, though. The Pickle Factory are doing things right with quality line-ups and a great venue and we used to love the Dance Tunnel. Another event that was brilliant, but short and sweet, was The Breakfast Club, which would take place all day on a Sunday. It is getting harder to find anywhere to run nights, but with persistence you can find them still. We really believe though, that there will always be a need for the underground to exist outside of licensing laws and venue restrictions, to help keep things fresh and moving forwards.

5. I noticed a complete lack of CDJs in the venue, all DJs on the night performed vinyl only sets. Why has your love affair with vinyl endured?

Our love affair with vinyl is because we have all been collecting vinyl since the 1980s. Its not really a question of sound quality, but playing with vinyl creates a raw and very live feel in a mix that does not always happen in the same way with CDJs. That said, vinyl is expensive and so much great music is released digitally now, we more often than not have CDJs as well as turntables. Ourselves and Leah play vinyl predominantly, but at the end of the day, the music is most important, so we will go with whatever format people want to use.

6. It was very evident that particular attention to detail was paid to the quality of the sound-system and venue lighting. Have you been influenced by other clubs / interiors / spaces?

High quality sound and lighting is an aesthetic that we always want to maintain and that we always aspire to create. For us there is no point in running a party unless the sound and the lighting are as high a quality as we can possibly achieve. We want people to be able to hear and feel every frequency to the depth that is possible by putting a lot of effort into the set up and tuning of the sound system. Lighting is also critical in creating an atmosphere where people can really lose themselves in the music. Ideally the lighting would completely follow the music and energy in the room, which is still something we are trying to get right. We have been influenced by many clubs and events, and there are a few over the years that really have got it right; The End, Turnmills, Lost, Plastic People, again Freerotation. All these places and spaces either have stunning sound or something unique about their visual presentation and some of them have both.

7. This set was recorded at the back-end of 2016, what plans do you have for 2017? When can we expect to hear of plans for the next party?

Our next party is on Friday June 2nd 2017. The line-up for June is the 50arc Residents: Leah Floyeurs, Charlie Tear and Helen Copnall and special guest RNDM from Dial Recordings and hopefully another live set which we cannot announce yet. After June we will do another 50arc in October and then confirm a winter date ASAP. 8. You have been given a high tech space for a weekend.

8. Who would be your ideal guest DJs and how would you program it?

We would love to have a high tech space for a weekend. Where that space is located would be important to us, as well as the size. We will always want to maintain the 50arc party feeling wherever we are. A smaller crowd of people should allow artists to experiment a lot more with what they play and not be restricted by the pressure to rock a massive crowd of people, which requires a different approach. It would be really interesting to have unlimited budget to be able to book some well-established names and see what they would do with a freer format like that, but equally we would rather hear an exceptionally well put together set from a lesser known. Something that is missing from most clubs and events now is a chill out space. These were historically spaces where things could take a totally different direction and it would be great to explore combining the amazing sound provided by this hypothetical space with a musical program that offered a complete mix of music for both dancefloor and brain activity. There are so many artists out there, discovering them is both a pleasure and a challenge, particularly seeking out unknown talent. In fact, it is frequently the quiet guys who have just been plugging away for years that excel and this would definitely factor into our programming. On that note, we are always looking for new and interesting artists for 50arc and we are open to recommendations! We are also very happy to meet new heads to join the family on the 50arc dancefloor, so feel free to reach out to us if you fancy being added to the mailing list. 

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C Duncan Interview at Resident Records - Brighton

Posted on Monday, 20th March

Don't miss out C Duncan interview at Resident Records on Bmusic's YouTube Channel, click here for the full interview. C Duncan has been answering questions on various topics such as describing 'his bedroom set up' to 'what he can't do without on tour' (Apparently Belgium beers).

Olivier Alary 'Fiction / Non-Fiction' LP - OUT TODAY

Posted on Friday, 17th March

Having previously released 2 albums on FatCat and one on Aphex Twin's Rephlex label under the Ensemble alias, former Bjork collaborator Olivier Alary's debut album for our esteemed 130701 imprint is released today. The album, available on CD, vinyl and digital formats, is a wonderful collection of orchestral pieces compiled from a number of Olivier's recent film scores. Find out more and purchase the album here. 

Having previously released 2 albums on FatCat and one on Aphex Twin's Rephlex label under the Ensemble alias, former Bjork collaborator Olivier Alary's debut album for our esteemed 130701 imprint is released today. The album, available on CD, vinyl and digital formats, is a wonderful collection of orchestral pieces compiled from a number of Olivier's recent film scores. Find out more and purchase the album here.

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Tiny Mix Tapes stream Olivier Alary album in full

Posted on Friday, 17th March

Olivier Alary's debut album is released TODAY and blogsite Tiny Mix Tapes have streamed the album in full. The album - available on vinyl, CD and digital formats - is a collection of material the Montreal-based Frenchman has composed for a number of different film soundtracks over the past few years. You can read more about the album here.

Olivier Alary's debut album is released TODAY and blogsite Tiny Mix Tapes have streamed the album in full. Having previously released on both FatCat and Aphex Twin's Rephlex label under the Ensemble alias as well as having collaborated with Bjork, 'Fiction / Non-Fiction' is Olivier's first release under his own name. The album - available on vinyl, CD and digital formats - is a collection of material the Montreal-based Frenchman has composed for a number of different film soundtracks over the past few years. You can read more about the album here.

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Olivier Alary in Ransom Note's '8 tracks' feature

Posted on Thursday, 16th March

Ahead of his album release tomorrow, Montreal-based French composer Olivier Alary picks out 8 inspirational tracks exploring the margins in a feature for The Ransom Note. Guiding us trough his choices, Olivier selects tracks from John Adams, Sun Ra, Brigitte Fontaine, White Noise, David Lang, Kraftwerk, Ennio Morricone & Chico Buarque, and François Bayle.

Tour Dates
Mar
23

PAWS
The Songbyrd
Washington, DC, US

Mar
27

PAWS
Great Scott
Allston, MA, US
 Tickets

Mar
28

PAWS
Bar Le Ritz P.D.B.
Montreal, QC, CA
 Tickets

Mar
29

PAWS
Smiling Buddha Bar
Toronto, ON, CA
 Tickets

Mar
30

PAWS
Underground @ DIME
Detroit, MI, US