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Brightonsfinest Compilation Volume 1.

Brightonsfinest Compilation Volume 1

Here at Brightonsfinest HQ we are proud to announce the first in a series of vinyl compilation records we will be releasing through our newly established label wing Brightonsfinest Presents, showcasing all of the wonderful talent we come across on the site. Volume 1 is going to be a high quality (180gram) double-vinyl release with 21 tracks, exclusively for this year's Record Store Day (April 16th 2016) – an annual celebration of our fantastic independent record shops. As it is our first compilation we thought we’d be doing our name a disservice if we didn’t try to make this a Brighton-centric collection, and to that end we’ve worked our little socks off over the last few months and brought together a fantastic collection of tracks we couldn’t be prouder of releasing.

The tracks include top selling artists such as Royal Blood, Bat For Lashes, Gaz Coombes, Passenger, British Sea Power, The Levellers and Blood Red Shoes, to name a few, representing some of the greats who’ve launched their careers in our fine city (or at least spent some quality years living here), most of whom have been interviewed or reviewed in our magazine. Alongside these fantastic names we’ve peppered the four sides with plenty of exciting emerging talent, artists we predict will be Brighton’s proud stars of the future – Ocean Wisdom, Demob Happy, The Magic Gang, The Fiction Aisle and, signed to our label, Fragile Creatures. These artists are only just bringing out their first releases but the quality they display leads us to believe they’ll be entertaining us for years to come. Let me take you through the compilation track by track to give you a little background on the acts and songs we’ve chosen, just in case you needed any more convincing to get yourself down to your local Record Store on April 16th and snap up a copy before they all fly off the shelves!

SIDE 1

   
Royal Blood

Royal Blood

Little Monster

In little more than a year Royal Blood went from absolutely nowhere to kings-in-waiting with their eponymous chart topping debut album. With the killer combination of great playing, fine songs and a distinctive look and sound the band have been a breath of fresh air, no – an air raid siren amidst the over-saturated landscape of singer-songwriters and electro pop acts. 'Little Monster' was a real breakthrough hit for them and also one of the first releases we reviewed on Brightonsfinest.com so it seems a fitting opening to our first compilation.

Demob Happy

Demob Happy

Succubus

Demob Happy are one of those bands who will appear, to the casual observer, to have come from nowhere – but that's not really the case. Press play on their debut album and while it may seem to have just appeared, perfectly formed and effortless this belies the fact that these guys have poured seven years of passion into this project to reach this point. Moving to Brighton to seek fame and fortune is a big part of their story, it was this environment that helped them shape and realise their impressive debut album Dream Soda, which blew us away last year. 'Succubus' was probably the first track that got us excited about this band and their boundless potential.

Blood Red Shoes

Blood Red Shoes

An Animal

Blood Red Shoes are the original Brighton two-piece and have been around for a fair while, putting us on the map with their stripped-to-basics powerful melodic rock. Their last, eponymous album though was a bit of a sea-change for us at Brightonsfinest, on this album Laura-Mary Carter and Steve Ansell seem to have taken to totally controlling every aspect of their music production like fish to water: "no producer, no engineer, no A&R people, just us two in a big concrete room in Kreuzberg, jamming and recording our songs whenever we wanted, how we wanted with nobody to answer to except ourselves.” 'An Animal' is a powerhouse example of their new fully independent approach and it's a real banger!

Birdskulls

Birdskulls

Good Enough

Bird skulls are small, brittle things that you could crush under your foot. Birdskulls music in contrast, is anything but fragile. The three-piece emit a sound, both live and on record, that is absolutely huge and has some serious weight to it. A rhino’s skull might be more appropriate, or at the very least a large dog’s. These Exeter boys upped sticks, like many do these days, to study music here in Brighton, leading inexorably to their impressive debut album Trickle, with 'Good Enough' taken as the lead single.
 

Black Peaks

Black Peaks

Saviour

Mixing aggressive hardcore, post-rock and math rock, Black Peaks create an engrossing whirlwind of energy. But it’s not all noise and scream, even though there is a fair bit of that, their interesting song structures and catchy riffs will win over any sceptic. A promising Brighton export whose innovative style has enticed the likes of Easy Life/Sony Red to release their debut album Statues, which drops on April 8th, supported by a massive UK tour. 'Saviour' is an early single release and a great encapsulation of the bands sound.

 

SIDE 2

   
Bat For Lashes

Bat For Lashes

What’s A Girl To Do

Natasha Khan, better known by her stage name Bat For Lashes, is an English singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist with Brighton roots – she studied music and visual arts at Brighton University, long before BIMM dominated the landscape. She has released three studio albums of dreamy pop and folktronica, Fur and Gold, Two Suns and The Haunted Man, and received Mercury Prize nominations for two of them. Khan is also the vocalist for Sexwitch, a recent collaboration with the rock band Toy and producer Dan Carey, and she has just announced a fourth studio album, The Bride, which will arrive later this summer. 'What's a Girl To Do' is a choice cut from her first album.

Gaz Coombes

Gaz Coombes

The Girl Who Fell To Earth

Ah, Supergrass, that great and often-overlooked (or at least underrated) treasure of the Britpop years. From that jaunty garage rock of their debut to the ever-increasing sophistication of the albums that followed, Gaz Coombes, a one-time Brighton resident, became something of a household name, despite the band's resistance to being turned into a cartoon of themselves in an ill-conceived early attempt to make them mega-stars in a modern day version of the Monkees TV Show. In January 2015 Coombes unveiled his second solo album, Matador, and wowed us all. It’s a work that effortlessly showcases his superb skill as a songwriter and got everyone listening anew. Far removed from the heightened pop tones of the mid 90s, there is a great maturity at work, befitting a man in his late 30s. He has developed as an artist, but always with a love of melody and cohesion at the heart. 'The Girl Who Fell To Earth' is a beautiful plaintive number that makes a lovely edition to our compilation.

Fragile Creatures

Fragile Creatures

Fragile Creatures

“We are all Fragile Creatures,” this could be the rallying call for a band that has been flirting on the edges of the Brighton scene for a while now. Thanks to word-of-mouth and the social media explosion of their song 'Stowaways', they look set to take things much further with their debut ...And Other Wild Things, an album that showcases their love of eclectic, melodic and sophisticated pop and rock, story-telling lyrics, and tight harmonies. 'Fragile Creatures' was the first song that drew our attention to the band, leading to their album being the first release on the label and making it a fitting choice to include here.

Moulettes

Moulettes

Lady Vengeance

Fronted by the vocals, cello and wonderfully vivid storytelling of Hannah Miller, Moulettes combine a unique amalgamation of instruments and voices, featuring the rather rare bassoon amongst its ranks, the fluid and inventive double bass of Jim Mortimore and the dual guitar and drumming of Oliver Austin. Their sound incorporates jazz, pop, folk and progressive rock, as well as classical music and even hints of dub-step and modern dance. The band have their roots in the Brighton and Lewes music scenes, and currently live in the area, 'Lady Vengeance' is a strong track from their fantastic third album Constellations and we've just heard tell of a fourth record Preternatural coming in the spring.

British Sea Power

British Sea Power

Machineries Of Joy

For those who have been living in the Brighton area this last decade you'll probably have come across British Sea Power, a quintessential indie band in the old fashioned sense of the word, purveyors of non-mainstream guitar based music that generally paddles its own canoe, never quite following the diktats of current fashion or flavours. 'Machineries Of Joy' is the title track from their seminal 6th album released in 2013. This prolific lot have already got nine albums under their belts in just over a decade and show no signs of slowing down, they recently celebrated the 10th anniversary of The Decline of British Sea Power a title that becomes more ironic with every success the band achieve.

 

SIDE 3

   
The Levellers

The Levellers

Cholera Well

What more can you say about The Levellers? Still ignored by large swathes of the media and uber-indie trendies, it's a remarkable fact that they are the most successful Brighton band of all time: they've had eight top 20 singles, 15 top 40s and eight of their studio albums have made the Top 40, achievements they recently celebrated with a Greatest Hits album. The stats speak volumes about the group's cult popularity but more than that these guys seem to sum up the rebel spirit of our town so well; with their non-conformity both musically and politically, named after a political movement seeking greater equality toward the end of the First English Civil War these firebrands have been waving flags and sticking up fingers to the establishment since the late 80s. 'The Cholera Well' opens up their ninth studio album with propulsive force, showing the band have lost none of their edge in nearly three decades of relentless activity.

Passenger

Passenger

Catch In The Dark

Looking for a heartening success story in the fickle world of rock and pop? Thinking it's all about instant impressions and catering for nano-second attention spans in this era of reality, instant success TV? Then look no further than Mike Rosenberg, aka Passenger, who after years of patiently chipping away suddenly saw all that perseverance, talent and passion pay off. He's travelled far from the busking circuit where he cut his teeth, all the way to his song 'Let Her Go' being featured in a prominent ad campaign in the American Superbowl. Despite this propulsion towards American styled mega-fame Mike's lost none of his homespun folksy familiarity, as evidenced by his excellent follow up album Whispers, and he still comes home to Brighton whenever he can.
 

The Magic Gang

The Magic Gang

She Won’t Ghost

There are a few groups around town that people keep mentioning and one of them has to be The Magic Gang. Having formed in Brighton after moving here to study (a familiar tale!) they’ve been building an ever rising local fan base and, after a very successful mini tour around the UK, they are now on everyone’s lips as “the ones to watch”. There is no doubt that there are big things are on the horizon for them, 'She Won't Ghost' is a cracking early release that shows off the band's classic melodic song-writing with an unmistakably grungy edge.

Theo Verney

Theo Verney

Mountain Rose

Theo Verney has managed the impossible task of sounding just like a tight, well drilled live band playing together at the top of their game with the Brain Disease EP. It's remarkable that he performed everything you hear, apart from the drums, and produced the lot too. There isn’t a song over four minutes in length, so there's a pop sensibility under-pinning all that distortion, energy and psychedelia. This prodigious talent is surely at the beginning of a long, fruitful musical journey and it's all starting hear in Brighton. 'Mountain Rose' is a favourite from the EP and we cannot wait to hear what he comes up with next.

The Wedding Present

The Wedding Present

Broken Bow

David Gedge's The Wedding Present are an archetypal indie band with one of the cultiest of cult followings. We've really enjoyed their annual August At The Edge Of The Sea Festival at Brighton's Concorde 2 for the last year and have become fond followers of the band ourselves. Influenced by the likes of The Birthday Party, Gang of Four, Orange Juice and The Fall, they soon developed a distinctive sound; super fast rhythmic guitar combined with a wall of aggressive noise or some jangly moments, along with almost invariably witty and colourful lyrical narratives. 'Broken Bow' is a brand new track first heard live last October, so we're proud to say it is getting its first official release on our compilation.

The Fiction Aisle

The Fiction Aisle

Blue

The Electric Soft Parade were a big Brightonian breakthrough in the early noughties, their debut album gained rave reviews and a Mercury Music Prize nomination. Front-man and main song-writer Thomas White has never rested on his laurels though, with four ESP studio albums, four albums with garage rockers Brakes and three solo albums just the tip of the iceberg of all he's been involved in over the last 15 years. The Fiction Aisle is his latest, and possibly, most ambitious project, bringing together a fine assortment of Brighton’s best musicians to create a truly glorious body of sound, a cross between a jazz band of the 30s and a psych-rock group of the 70s, it is bold and far away from anything you would have heard recently. 'Blue' opens their debut album Heart Map Rubric and makes a fine addition to our compilation.

SIDE 4

   
Ocean Wisdom

Ocean Wisdom

Walkin

Born in Camden and now residing in Brighton, 21-year-old MC Ocean Wisdom is the new kid everyone is talking about. His underground smash 'Walkin', featured here, propelled him from being one of the many up and coming MC’s, to being one of the most exciting prospects at the forefront of a booming UK hip hop scene. His album Chaos-93 featured the likes of Foreign Beggars, Lunar C, Kalashnikoff, The Four Al's and many more, as well as production from the almighty Dirty Dike, released on the UK's top Independent hip hop label, Brighton's own High Focus. Not bad for your debut album and we can't wait to see where he goes from here!

Paul Hartnoll

Paul Hartnoll

Please

House and dance music has been bedevilled by an extraordinary amount of blandness, mediocrity and un-musicality since it reared its otherworldly head in the machine-obsessed 80s. Only a handful of acts have stood the test of time, mainly those who could combine a purposeful musicality with a higher grasp of production, and via words and/or imagery, propel the music beyond the bland 'raise your hands in the air' or the four-to-the-floor brain sapping monotony of your average meat and two veg dance. Orbital were one of those who took dance music to a higher realm from the ground-breaking 'Chime' to the poignant story-based 'Halcyon', the Hartnoll's music was always much more than just about losing yourself on the dancefloor. Paul Hartnoll, now a Brighton resident, has parted ways with his brother and Orbital bandmate but continues to make compelling music under his own moniker and the 8:58 alias and he has prepared an exclusive mix of 'Please' for our compilation that also features a guest appearance from another Brighton resident and legend of UK music – The Cure's Robert Smith.

Ambassadeurs

Ambassadeurs

Forever

In the early days Ambassadeurs, aka Mark Dobson, was known as a Brighton producer who had made a name for himself sharing material on his Soundcloud profile. This soon ballooned as more and more people starting following him and his tracks started finding their way onto prominent new music blogs. Dobson began learning music software on Octamed, a notoriously clunky piece of software for those old 8-bit Amiga consoles, he also spent some time playing in teenage rock bands, a background which really rounds out his writing. As Ambassadeurs he creates meticulously crafted tracks that span intimate ambient elements as well as shuddering techno and electro vibes, 'Forever' is the lead track from a 2015 EP.

Fujiya & Miyagi

Fujiya & Miyagi

Caucasian Sweat

Hailing from Brighton Fujiya & Miyagi have over a decade's experience of taking their electro and indie rock to a worldwide audience. They've always displayed a penchant for Krautrock-style electro-dance grooves, heavily influenced by the likes of Georgio Moroder and LCD Sound system coupled with a clear love for many highlights of the alternative 80s (it was an early cover of Talking Head's 'Psycho Killer' that first drew my attention). Take a pulsing synth foundation and overlay it with post-punk guitar, 80s style machine beats and their typically deadpan, Kraftwerkian whispered vocals and you're starting to get a sense of the Fujiya & Miyagi vibe, one that is an excellent antidote to the stresses and anxieties of modern life. 'Caucasian Sweat' is taken from the bonus CD that came with the initial run of their Artificial Sweeteners album and has not been available on vinyl before now.

The Go! Team

The Go! Team

Reason Left To Destroy

The Go! Team are another of Brighton's great success stories, combining indie rock and garage rock with a heavy use of samples, their career has spanned over 15 years, dropping four influential albums and wowing crowds in the four corners of the globe. It’s the live arena where The Go! Team really earned their reputation for high-energy, incendiary performances, fitting then that their last album The Scene Between featured more live instrumentation than ever before, without breaking their sample-laden traditions completely. ‘Reason Left To Destroy’ is the last track on that record and a fine tune to bring Volume 1 to a close.

 

 

 

Website: brightonsfinestpresents.com





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