News from the conning tower – Kickstarter

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We’re delighted to announce that the Kickstarter campaign for our Klang krautrock extravaganza will launch on Tuesday 27th February. We’ll be making a bit of a song and dance about it at the time, so it’s unlikely you’ll miss it, but we thought you’d appreciate the advance notice, just in case you were thinking of getting your hair done.

You can read all about Klang here.

Out Today: t.r. hand ‘Folke Meditation’

We are really excited to present the debut album from t.r. hand, ‘Folke Meditation’.

Relatively little is known about t.r. hand; we received a somewhat cryptic press release from his (?) intermediaries at Glove of Bones, which had the (presumably intentional) effect of leaving us knowing less about t.r. than before we’d read it. Frowning emoji.

However, the album is a cracker, even if we do say so ourselves. Elsewhere we described it as a melange of of cut-ups and ambient and experimental beats and sound collages. It’s pretty much the kind of music that resists any sensible attempt at categorisation and has to be heard to be understood. It is also entirely possible that the ‘Folke Meditation’ title is a little misleading.

We’re making it available on Bandcamp and the other major digital platforms. Also, the tame art elves at Glove of Bones have made a strictly limited set of deluxe hardback CD packs, with a full colour booklet. These are beautiful tactile items and the photo doesn’t do it justice:

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Hear ‘Folke Meditation’ here:

Of krautrock and Klang

So, krautrock.

I suspect most of us have a mental image of what krautrock should sound like, but it’s odd because as Stuart Maconie succinctly pointed out “in truth, no two Krautrock acts sound remotely alike“. The very term krautrock itself sticks in my craw, but for whatever reason, the alternative – less offensive – names like kosmische musik just haven’t really gained the same widespread acceptance. Some people argue that the term has transcended its racist origins; I’m not convinced, but for the sake of ease of common understanding, we’ll stick with ‘krautrock’ for now.

I expect my journey into krautrock was not unusual; I listened to Kraftwerk as a young teen, graduating to Faust and Tangerine Dream when I should have just been graduating. Then as an adult with an ever-expanding musical taste, an inquisitive disposition and a little more disposable income I found bands like Neu! and Can, and started to understand how significant they have been in the development of rock music. Then you get into the hard stuff – Amon Düül II, Cluster, Popol Vuh, Harmonia and so on. Before long you start meeting people in car parks who might be able to source a rare La Düsseldorf demo.

The Submarine Broadcasting Company is just over a year old now, and we’re immensely proud of the releases we’ve achieved in our first year. But now we want to broaden our horizons and turn our attention to the krautrock that we’re so passionate about. So with that in mind we set out to find today’s krautrock-influenced bands and present a showcase of their music. This is our new project. This is Klang.

We’ve got eight great bands and the tracks demonstrate a heady mix of motorik, kosmische and elektronische influences, along with a healthy dose of psych and garage rock. Our line-up includes the legendary Six By Seven, from Italy we have Unimother 27, from Finland the Oulu Space Jam Collective, Peri Esvultras from Belgium, Shice Squad from Germany, from the UK we have Dynamo Snackbar and Beltism, and from no fixed address we have t.r. hand. We have some rare tracks, some exclusive mixes and some  tracks exclusive to Klang.

So far, so good. But if you are going to make a krautrock compilation, we felt it really needs to be on vinyl. We all know nothing compares with the look, the feel – even the smell – of a great vinyl LP. And we want to do it properly – heavyweight vinyl, gatefold sleeve, optimum length for best sound quality, the whole nine yards.

The initial costs for a vinyl project are huge compared to our previous CD projects, so we’re going to be asking for your help to raise the money to press what is going to be a very special album. Towards the end of February, maybe start of March, we’ll be running a Kickstarter campaign to help us meet the manufacturing costs.

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Artist’s impression. Not to scale. Contents may vary from packaging. Serving suggestion only.

I really hope you’ll support us in this venture. It’s a big deal for us, in every respect. So even if krautrock isn’t your first choice of listening pleasure, or vinyl isn’t your prefered medium, I hope you’ll think about putting a couple of quid in to get us across the line. Keep an eye open for the Kickstarter, although I expect we might just mention it again.

Rob x

Rocking Magpie – Review of Crayon Angels’ Postcards

What a lovely review from Rocking Magpie. Now, you heard the man, buy the CD (so I can get back in the dining room).

CRAYON ANGELS X

Crayon Angels
POSTCARDS
Submarine Broadcasting

Well Crafted and Quintessential English Pop/Folk Crossover At It’s Finest.

I have to hold my hands up here because Crayon Angels not just appealed to my vanity when they got in touch asking if I would review this, their second EP (saying really nice things about RMHQ) but also resorting to ‘payolla’ by including a cool badge with the CD …..and I do like a badge!
In fairness that only goes so far with me; as my time is far too precious to waste on music I don’t like; so it was a lovely surprise to hear opening track The Last Leaf sounding uncannily like mid-period Beautiful South; with singer Natalia Castiglioni’s warmly absorbing voice winning my heart in an instant on a quirky love song.
As they say themselves this trio from the Essex Hinterlands are very difficult to pin down; as they are…

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Out today: Crayon Angels ‘Postcards’ EP

We’re thrilled to announce the release of Crayon Angels brand new EP, ‘Postcards’, four slices of highly musical grown-up pop. The release of this EP is a big deal for the Submarine Broadcasting Company and we’re delighted to be presenting such top quality songs.

You can buy the EP on Bandcamp here:

You can also download Postcards from the following digital stores:

News from the Conning Tower: t.r. hand

More news than we can shake a stick at this week, and we’ve shaken sticks with the best of them.

Main news – as alluded to in previous posts – is the arrival of a new artist on our roster, t.r. hand, whose new album ‘Folke Meditation’ will be released in February.

Due to withdrawal of his right to see any visitors, we have been unable to speak directly to t.r. hand himself, but we have been handed a press release from his agent and some-time minder. The press release reads as follows:

Q: What is t. r. hand?
A: t. r. hand is:

An errant Spirit Animal

An ongoing distraction

A New Age Guru looking for a philosophy

A chattering noise just outside your peripheral vision

An absent friend and surprise guest

A savage heart & a spirit of vengeance

A slave of middle management aching for revolution

A recovering public menace

A brother and digital journeyman

So, there you go. More details about ‘Folke Meditation’ will emerge in February.

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In other news, Crayon Angels have some radio spots coming up to mark the launch of their new EP. Hear them on the radio with your ears like so:

  • Chris Arscott’s Folk & Acoustic Music Show, Triangle Radio: 30 Jan (8-10pm) (repeated 1 Feb 6-8pm)
  •  Eden Folk, Eden FM, Liz Franklin: 31 Jan (8-10pm)
  •  Alternative Roots, Brum Radio, Mike Davies:  4 Feb (from noon)

You can hear a track from the EP, again using your ears, right here:


Lastly, we have been contacted by a further three artists intending to release work on SBC. Lots of details to thrash out at this stage, but each of them is bringing something unique to the table so stay tuned for more details.

News from the Conning Tower: Crayon Angels

As previously mentioned on here and other social media, we are very excited to welcome Crayon Angels to our small-but-adequately-formed operation at SBC.

Crayon Angels will be releasing their next EP, ‘Postcards’ on Submarine Broadcasting Co. on the 5th February, available on CD and digital download from Bandcamp, Amazon and iTunes.

The Angels’ blend of melody-driven jangly semi-acoustic guitar pop may seem a radical departure from our normal output of experimental and ambient genres but we’re really excited about this new direction. The Angels’ pervasive musicality, embracing elements of folk and jazz, and fiercely intelligent lyrics in a quintessential English style make for a unique musical offering; we describe it as guitar pop for grown-ups, but Crayon Angels themselves are typically modest: “pleasant humans playing some nice songs”.

News from the conning tower: British Library

I have been approached by the British Library to lodge copies of Post:Soc and One String Inspiration with them for posterity.

Speaking entirely personally, while this is not strictly a badge of merit like being inducted into the Rock’n’roll Hall of Fame or anything, I am quite proud that something a group of worldwide independent musicians and and I have jointly made will be preserved for future generations to puzzle over, and it’s nice to think of One String Inspiration nestling comfortably between Never Mind the Bollocks and Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.

I’ll try to post an update when the recordings have been accessioned (that’s the term, apparently) and we can all converge on the British Library and demand to hear them.

Rob

News from the conning tower

We have, finally, managed to consolidate all the Submarine Broadcasting Company onto one Bandcamp page; due to the way we started out, everything was very organic with a band here and a compilation there, but with a busy year ahead we felt it was worth trying to create one single storefront so nothing falls down the gap.

So, from now on, your one stop shop for all things SBC is…
https://submarinebroadcastingco.bandcamp.com

(The other pages will stay around for the foreseeable future, but this is where the action will be)

Review: Ian Haygreen/The Tides Erase All Things

‘The Tides Erase All Things’ is the latest release from Ian Haygreen, self styled “Classically trained pianist who buggers around with electronic music in several genres as the mood fits”. The mood in this instance is revealed in a footnote that indicates this release is ‘Droneseries #1’; it’s a long-form piece comprising a single track weighing in at a stately 43 minutes.

The world of drones is a broad church and I don’t feel we really have the vocabulary yet to properly describe and differentiate the various styles and approaches… but if you think that’s going to stop me then we clearly haven’t met. So as far as ‘Tides’ is concerned, this is very much at the ambient and accessible end of the spectrum, so if you are of a nervous disposition and not sure whether drones are for you, don’t worry, there are no road drills or bursts of radio static here.

The piece starts with swirling overtones, synth filters rising and falling, and this motif continues throughout. The piece changes over time, but very gradually, almost glacially slowly.

‘The Tides Erase All Things’ is a thing of fragile beauty; Ian Haygreen’s tides suggest an arctic sea, desolate and remote and cold. The music is largely in a minor key, with several ominous touches; nonetheless the mood is contemplative – danger is there, but alluded to, not signposted. For all the bleakness of the soundscape, the listener’s journey is not downbeat or depressive,  but thoughtful and reflective.

The best way to enjoy ‘Tides’ is to succumb to it, to wallow in it, inhale it. This is music that rewards your investment and your patience; as with much drone/ambient music, it is as much about the texture and the detail as it is about the broad strokes and to fully appreciate the music you should immerse yourself as far as possible.

Put some time aside and listen to this beautiful, moody piece. You can thank me later.