you resource for all things shoegaze & dream pop.

30 September 2011

Free Download: The Shoegaze Collective Sounds: A World Wide Sound Explosion (2011).

NEW RELEASE: The Shoegaze Collective Sounds: A World Wide Sound Explosion (V/A).

Just released and seriously bad ass - this double disc compilation features some of our ABSOLUTE favorite bands releasing music right now. Free to download and compiled by the illustrious Al Schenkel, this compilation will rattle your window panes! Check out the track listings below (and prepare to be wowed) and DOWNLOAD THE COMP HERE.

Disc 1

01 "Red Dog" Morpheme
02 "You Kids Should Know Better" Airiel
03 "Humming" Medialunas
04 "Written" Drowner
05 "Dead Man's Hands" The Crushing Low
06 "Taking The Pass" Fjord Rowboat
07 "Frozen (In Time) Waterballoon" This Lonely Crowd
08 "Runaway" Badhoneys
09 "Downtown" Autumn Thieves
10 "Empty Streets of L.A." Moloko Velocet
11"To Dream That You Are Floating Drunk Among The Storm" Starfire Connective Sound
12 "On & On" Free Electric State"
13 "Night" The Foreign Resort
14 "Near" Transmission
15 "Gone" Chatham Rise
16 "Quando os Muros Se Tornam Estradas" Bela Infanta
17 "Bernadette" Brief Candles
18 "Prelude For Antecipation" Herod Layne
19 "Redemption" Clarence Mayhew
20 "Song Of The Moon" Plasticstatic
21 "Oh So Clear" Stellarscope
22 "Wildfires" The Solar System
23 "Thank You" Data Unit
24 "When We Talk' New Speedway
25 "Alpina" Acaena Eterna

Disc 2

01 "Silence" Spell 336
02 "Cathode Ray" Screen Vinyl Image
03 "Below" Asalto al Parque Zoológico
04 "Don't You Put Your Hands There" Scarlet Chives
05 "Rocket Fuzz" Loomer
06 "Road Meets The Sky" The Fauns
07 "Dogma" S.O.M.A.
08 "Sirens" Her Vanished Grace
09 "White Christmas" 93MillionMilesFromTheSun
10 "Come Together" The Tamborines
11 "Ich Bin Zang" Music for Headphones
12 "Bury My Heart In Warsaw" Lautmusik
13 "Sacrificial Anode" Folieu Adieu
14 "Great Times" Panophonic
15 "Swamp" Hangin Freud
16 "The Waiting Song" ixtlan.noisetrack
17 "Forever Shaken" This Ascention
18 "About Kings And Queens II" The Sorry Shop
19 "How It Is" Lightfoils
20 "Send City Down" Ursula Minor
21 "The Ballad Of Billie Pearl
22 "Catch Your Fall" Presents For Sally
23 "Breathless" Wood Owls
24 "Black Pearls" Death Valley Sleepers
25 "Drawn To The Sea" Andy Durutti

New Track: Spell 336. Silver Suit.

We've all been swooning over Spell 336's track "Silence" for many moons, and now they've shared a new track, "Silver Suit". Check it out!

News: Her Vanished Grace Joins XD Records.

Shoegaze's former best kept secret is certainly no longer a secret: Her Vanished Grace is getting exposure all over the place, and it is SO VERY DESERVED. Great band, and this just in: they've recently joined one of our favorite labels: XD Records! Check out their video of "Passenger" and get onboard!

26 September 2011

Space Capsule Radio Show, Feat. Amber of WTSH. Friday, September 30, 11pm-midnight.

Space Capsule, a weekly radio program hosted and produced by Jason M. Miller & Matthew Myers, will this week feature Amber Crain of When The Sun Hits Blog and DJ for Strangeways Radio. This edition of Space Capsule will feature an interview with Amber about shoegaze music and a 30 minute block of music curated by Amber.

Tune in at 11pm CST this Friday!

For More Info:

Space Capsule radio program airs Friday nights from 11pm-Midnight on 91.3 KVLU in Beaumont, Texas. Space Capsule also streams live at


5 Band Submissions by Rob Turner.

Welcome back, to my now bi-weekly, bands keep sending submissions and I will keep posting them for you!!
By: Rob Turner.


1)Dot Dash - There And Back Again Lane.

Dot Dash's Label The Beautiful Music.
Dot Dash Facebook.


2) Holy Stain - Mark E. Moon.


3)And The Giraffe - Underground Love.


4) Color Radio - Quite House


5) Dovie Beams Love Child - Pasimula

22 September 2011

New Music and Free Download: Starfire Connective Sound. The Sound Also Rises EP.

21 September 2011

When The Sun Hits on Strangeways Radio. Tonight. Hosted by Amber Crain.

Airing tonight is edition #6 of When The Sun Hits, the newest program to hit Strangeways Radio, and will be hosted by DJ Amber Crain, co-creator of this blog. If you haven't checked out Strangeways Radio before, now is the time! It boasts awesome weekly shows such as Beneath The Surface, hosted by Simon Raymonde of the Cocteau Twins & Bella Union, Halcyon Waves with DJ Mikey, Sound and Vision with DJ Zumby, and a lot more.

Tonight expect to hear new tracks from Bloody Knives, Kizilok, David J, and SPC ECO/Crying Vessel - and a lot more!

When The Sun Hits
will air every Wednesday night, 10pm-11pm EST, and can be streamed live by going to the Strangeways Radio website. There is also a portal to the Strangeways chat room there, where Amber will be hanging out during the airing of the show, and where you are welcome to also hang out! See you there!

20 September 2011

New Music Alert: Beijing Tangs. Faster EP. Remixes by

A cool little EP - only 2 tracks long - but they pack a punch...and a free download, to boot! Featuring remixes by, as well as bliss and Morpheme vocalist Kim Welsh. A must check out!

Brand New Track: 2060 Chiron. Liftoff.

Having already dazzled any ears tuned in to listen with their first track, "Sonar", Jonathan Allen and Darling Nikki of 2060 Chiron endear themselves to everyone again with their second single, "Liftoff". Their debut album, In Search of a Home, is nearly ready for release!

14 September 2011

Video: Drowner. Written.

When The Sun Hits on Strangeways Radio. Tonight. Hosted by Amber Crain.

Airing tonight is edition #5 of When The Sun Hits, the newest program to hit Strangeways Radio, and will be hosted by DJ Amber Crain, co-creator of this blog. If you haven't checked out Strangeways Radio before, now is the time! It boasts awesome weekly shows such as Beneath The Surface, hosted by Simon Raymonde of the Cocteau Twins & Bella Union, Halcyon Waves with DJ Mikey, Sound and Vision with DJ Zumby, and a lot more.

Tonight expect to hear new tracks from Whirr, Tuesday Glass and Honey - and a lot more!

When The Sun Hits
will air every Wednesday night, 10pm-11pm EST, and can be streamed live by going to the Strangeways Radio website. There is also a portal to the Strangeways chat room there, where Amber will be hanging out during the airing of the show, and where you are welcome to also hang out! See you there!

Artist Spotlight: Cory Osborne.

Cory is based out of Chicago, Illinois. He has been in some pretty incredible bands over the years, playing Bass and doing vocals in the following: Tom Spacey - 1999 Mars is Eden LP, Airiel - 2007 - The Battle of Sealand LP.

He now is in a new band called Lightfoils playing bass - this is a band that we at WTSH really like and wanted to introduce you to. By: Rob Turner.

Tom Spacey - Brick-A.

Airiel - Peoria.

Album Release: Purple Bloom - ST.

Purple Bloom is a Japanese shoegaze band formed by Linden (vocal) and Tsuyoshi (guitar and others) in Tokyo. Their sounds blended high-pitched whispered female vocal with noisy guitar are straight-ahead dreamy shoegaze. This is the first album of 'Purple Bloom' produced by themselves. All tunes was recorded at their tatami room, and remastered for this album. The artworks also are designed by themselves. Lyrics translated into English are included for only CD.

Track List
1. Hyades
2. El Dorado
3. Kisses Bloomed
4. Leanan Sidhe
5. Lucid Dream
6. Star Is Mine
7. Butterfly's Sorrow

Where to buy it
Darla Records - Purple Bloom.

13 September 2011

News: How About You Join M83 on Tour for a Year?

This takes the cake, as far as random/awesome news bits for the day go. Please let us know if any of you happen to join M83. That would be rad. Can blogs apply? Probably not...

Taken directly from the M83 website:

Musician required for M83 Tour

An opportunity has arisen for a suitable musician to join the forthcoming M83 World Tour which commences in Mexico in October. We are looking for a multi-instrumentalist based in the Los Angeles area who can play Guitar, Bass and Keyboards. They should also be able to sing and ideally have previous knowledge of working with Ableton.

The tour is scheduled to last up to 12 months and the successful musician would need to be available to work throughout that period of time. You must be a US citizen or already have an existing US work visa.

If you are interested in applying for this role then you will need to make a short video recording of yourself showing your proficiency across the instruments listed above. Upload the video to YouTube, set as 'unlisted' and paste the URL in the form below.

12 September 2011

Interview: Michael Foster of Strangeways Radio and DJ of Halcyon Waves.

Strangeways Radio has been on our radar nearly since its inception; as a creature of the internet (like us) that strongly represents the genres of shoegaze and dream pop (like us), we naturally gravitated toward them. There are plenty of amazing podcasts out there, and there are always things like Pandora (which is a bit stale, don't you think?), but a free, 24 hour a day streaming internet radio station that consistently airs top notch music? Rare. In our never-ending search to mine shoegaze and dream pop gold from the internet, Strangeways quickly became a touch point for us to find new artists. We could trust them to deliver the goods. Little did we know (though we found out later), Strangeways held us in the same regard!

We watched them grow; we listened to DJ Mikey (Michael Foster) and DJ Zumby (Scott Zumberg) do their weekly shows (Halcyon Waves and Sound and Vision, respectively), we saw them add new and talented DJs to their roster - including one of our idols, Simon Raymonde of Bella Union and Cocteau Twins fame; Strangeways is now a force to be reckoned with. Getting to know Michael Foster, owner and program director of Strangeways Radio, has been a sheer pleasure. Encyclopedic in his musical knowledge and passionate about great tunes, Michael is truly one of those special few out there with the power and initiative to get new musicians heard and appreciated while educating listeners at the same time.

When The Sun Hits Interviews Michael Foster of Strangeways Radio and DJ of Halcyon Waves

by: Amber Crain

How did Strangeways Radio get its start, and what role did it's predecessor, Auralgasms, play in it's creation (if any)?

got started in about June of 2010. After the demise of Auralgasms, I found myself using a lot of other means for listening to music. I had my own music library, and I spent time getting that organized and using technology so I could listen to my music at any time, wherever I am. That was nice, but that didn’t provide an avenue for learning new music. So I turned to Pandora and and those did help bring new music into my life. But after a while, I got bored with that because I found them to be a little repetitive.

At the same time, a few alternative dance nights (Happy Endings and the now defunct WOW Wednesdays) popped up in my hometown and I started going to those venues. The local DJs did a great job of mixing new and old music. When I went to these new venues, I noticed a different vibe than I was used to seeing. The DJs were very supportive of each other. They cross promoted and attended each other’s events and I very much liked what I was seeing. That really got my creative juices flowing.

Auralgasms shut down for a number of reasons, but one of them was that it just sort of got stale. Auralgasms was just myself and Scott (Zumby) and there weren’t a lot of outside influences. Strangeways was created with a new vision. I wanted to tap in to the talent base of local djs (and even international djs) and build a site/station that had a broader range of influences. My goal was to build a station that wasn’t about any one individual, but was about bringing everyone together. This music that we listen to…it’s not exactly common. And the scene isn’t strong enough to have several competing ventures all going after the same market. So with Strangeways, the goal was to create a community where all of the talent could come together and create a product that is severely lacking in the music industry.

Can you tell us a little bit about what's currently going on with Strangeways Radio and bit about how it functions, for those out there who are hearing of you for the first time?

Lots of exciting things are going on at Strangeways. We are VERY excited to have brought When The Sun Hits into our community with the new weekly show focusing on Shoegaze/Dreampop. Danny and Amber are first class and their mission seems to be in line with what Strangeways is all about.

We also just recently launched an iPhone and an Android app which people can use to listen to Strangeways Radio in the car, or wherever they are. This has been really well received by our listeners.

We are ramping up our online content with some new blogs where we hope to offer daily interesting content to our listeners about whats going on at Strangeways and with the artists that we play.

And, I should mention, that we are actively trying to get a Brit Pop focused show on our airwaves. We are in the middle of searching for the right DJ/Personality to take on that effort!

In terms of how Strangeways functions, we have a website which hosts our blogs, message boards and chat rooms. The website also has a catalog of all of the songs that are on the station, and shows what song is currently playing as well as what has played in the last hour. Every day on the station we have a different specialty show with a hosted DJ. Each show has it’s own vibe and offers something unique to the listener. When a DJ isn’t on the air, the station plays a rotation of music which cycles between all of the genres that we support and focuses on playing a lot of new releases. People who listen to Strangeways should have a notepad handy, because they will learn a lot of new bands, and reconnect with a lot of forgotten favorites.

Would you consider Strangeways Radio to be focused on any certain musical genre(s) or to cater to a certain demographic?

We do cater to certain genres. However, we think our list of genres provides a lot of variety while at the same time proving some consistency. The genres we play at the core are Dreampop, Britpop, Triphop, Shoegaze, Electronica, Indie Pop, Indie Rock and Alternative Classics. If you want to take it a step further, we play a good variety of Dark Wave, Chillwave, EBM, Post Punk, Post Rock…I think you get the point.

How do you choose the music that is put into the Strangeways library? Is there a specific sound you are looking for?

We get a lot of submissions for the station and we are very choosy with what we add to the rotation. We tend to spend most of our time looking for newer bands, but if something from the past comes our way that we have missed out on, we will gladly add it. When choosing songs to add to the station, I usually use the criteria of what I would think if I heard the song on the radio. Would I like it? Would I look up who the artists is? We don’t add new music just because it’s new. It has to be something that we think people really will enjoy. To be honest, choosing what to add to the station is one of the hardest jobs. Everyone has their own opinion and their own tastes. So we try to make decisions that we think will sit well with the vibe of the station. Sadly, we have to say no to some things but I think in the end, that’s why people like listening to the station. They trust what they are hearing.

Who are the 5 most recent shoegaze/dream pop acts to have their music added to the Strangeways Radio library?

Lanterns On The Lake, Morpheme, I Break Horses, Her Vanished Grace, and Active Child are our most recent new additions. But, we add music all the time. Every time we update the station we post on our message boards listing all of the songs that got added. So people should look out for that to keep in touch with what’s new.

What do you think of the modern shoegaze/dream pop scene in general? Do you feel it's positive and relevant today?

I do think it is modern and relevant. Every day I seem to find another great band in these genres. Sadly, I feel the Trip-hop genre, which I love very much, is falling behind. There doesn’t seem to be a lot of new Trip-hop bands these days.

Are there any other radio stations out there, similar in structure to that of Strangeways, that you admire? Are there any traditional radio stations you still enjoy?

I’ll answer the second question first. NO. I have yet to find a commercial radio station that I can stand to listen to. I feel that they play what the big shot executives tell them to. It is very repetitive and doesn’t offer nearly enough exposure to new bands. Additionally, they have way too many commercials. That is one of the other benefits of Strangeways…it is completely commercial free. Not many stations can say that!

In terms of other stations, there are several out there that I admire. Really, I admire anyone who puts their hard earned time into providing an alternative to the norm and who can provide their listeners with non-repetitive variety. My hats off to anyone who pulls that off, regardless of the music they are playing.

Do you feel that internet radio has perhaps rendered traditional radio obsolete, or do you expect it to do so in the future?

I think it’s rendered it near-obsolete and it will completely replace it in the future. It won’t be long until you can get an internet radio player in your car in which you can program your favorite shoutcast stations to play at the click of the button. Actually, I’m sure that must exist now…it’s just not that common. People have so many choices…so why listen to commercials and repetitive music when you can listen to something tailored to your liking.

How do you feel about the ever-changing music scene currently? What do you think about free downloading?

I think it is changing quickly. Everyone is competing for the “Music In The Cloud” space. Amazon, Google, iTunes, Spotify. They are all trying to allow you to listen to music where ever you are, and to integrate music with social networking. It’ll be interesting to see how this all plays out. Sometimes too many choices isn’t always good because people can’t share if they all use different technology. One of my current favorite “Cloud” services is Audiogalaxy.

Free downloading…people have to do what they feel is right. Sometimes it serves a band well…someone will download a song (illegally) from a band they didn’t know, but then they may in turn go purchase a cd or go see the band live and buy a concert t-shirt, something they would have never done if they didn’t get that first copy of the song. I can see where huge bands have a problem with it, but sometimes for the smaller bands, it’s how they get discovered. At the same time, I completely understand how it makes some bands unhappy. I think the bandcamp concept is great, where some bands post their songs and let you pay “what you feel is right” for the song. I’m interested to hear how that has worked out for bands. I hope it has.

How do you feel about the state of the music industry today? There is no doubt a massive change underway; how do you see it and do you feel it’s positive at all?

I don’t want to be that old guy that relishes in the way it used to be. Every day I discover another new band that I love, so for me that’s positive. If the state of the industry today (with the illegal downloads and all) makes it so that bands can’t afford to put out a new record, then that would be sad

When it comes to label releases versus DIY/bandcamp and the like, what is your stance, if any? Essentially, what are your thoughts on record labels, indie and not?

I love it. I think people should put out the record that they WANT to make, not what they are told to make. Bandcamp has been fantastic and I have noticed a lot of bands, both big and small, have been using donations to fund the process of recording a new record. I think that’s a tremendous idea and I’m glad to see that it has worked out for many of the bands that have tried that approach.

Do you prefer vinyl, CD, cassette tape or mp3 format when listening to music? Do you have any strong feelings toward any of them?

I’m an mp3 guy, mostly for the convenience. I can’t say I’m a vinyl geek, although I know that it’s actually something that’s growing. I understand why people like vinyl from a collector’s point of view. Those are the same people who wouldn’t like Kindle for reading books. They would rather have a physical book that they can store in a bookshelf than a digital file. I totally get that. But at the same time, having my books digitally offers me so much convenience over a hard copy, and I feel the same way about digital music. There are those that like Vinyl for the audio quality. Some people are blessed with a really good ear, and can audibly tell the difference between the sound of vinyl and something digitally compressed. My hats off to those people. I think the majority of people don’t notice the difference (myself included) and thus opt for the convenience.

What is your goal for Strangeways Radio?

I’m hoping to grow. My goal is to rid the world of crappy music. Seriously though, there are so many people that I think would love what we are doing, and don’t even know about us yet. We are working on spreading the word and growing our listener base, and building up the community. One of the great things we do is offer a chat room during the shows where like minded listeners can meet each other, and talk about the music and whatever else is on their mind. The chat room has resulted in several romances and long distance friendships. Doesn’t it suck when a great indie concert comes to your town and you have no one to see it with? Strangeways has helped people meet others with similar taste in music from all over the world.

What is your philosophy (on life), if any, that you live by?

Hmmm…I’m not very deep. I have pretty simple philosophies, I don’t sweat the small stuff, and I just try to keep in perspective the things that matter.

I’d like to add that we have a very impressive list of DJs on the station with an incredible amount of music knowledge and experience. Representing Detroit we have myself and DJ Zumby, my partner in our original venture – Auralgasms. We also have DJ Pinknoise who has years of experience with retro and industrial club nights. DJ Dave DeRoches has on-air radio experience and is a guru at finding the lastest and greatest bands. From the Blogosphere, we have Amber from When The Sun Hits and Matt Sebastian who runs the Slicing Up Eyeballs blog. And finally, internationally we have Nathanial Cramp who runs the very popular shoegaze record label and club night, Sonic Cathedral. And of course, Simon Raymonde who runs the Bella Union record label and is a pioneer in the music industry as a member of the Cocteau Twins. We have even hosted many guest DJs including Mark Burgess (Chameleons), Moev, Claude (Anything Box), Daniel Victor (Neverending White Lights), Anna Lynn Williams, Ryan & Rebecca Coosebook (Halou/Stripmall Architecture), Julia Beyer (Chandeen), and lots more. We are very proud of the talent and personalities that we have been able to get to play music for you, and we hope to have even more to come…so stay tuned in!

Top 5 Albums of September.

Once upon a time, When The Sun Hits posted Amber and Danny's weekly Top 5 most listened-to records: whatever we were obsessing over that week, new or old, we posted. Weekly. Hence being called Top 5 Records of the Week. OK, you get that.

We did this for close to a year, but When The Sun Hits grew...and grew...and Amber and Danny got buried...and more buried...and the days of making weekly lists and geeking out about them passed away. Alas.

But we are list-making music nerds. We can't stop making lists! How boring! So in order to fuel our list-making sickness, we enlisted Rob Turner, our newest family member, into helping us do a MONTHLY list. Whatever we happen to be obsessing over each month, OLD OR NEW, we shall now henceforth provide in the form of a list. 5 records each.

We hope to one day go back to making weekly lists, but until then, welcome to our Top 5 Albums of the Month: September 2011 Edition.

Danny's Top 5 Albums of September

A.R. Kane. Clear New Child. (1995)

Hood. Compilation 1995-2000. (2003)

Windy And Carl. Volume 2- Antarctica. (1997)

Numeralia. Deep Breath. (1998)

Chimera. Earth Loop. (1996)

Amber's Top 5 Albums of September

Brief Candles. Fractured Days. (2011)

Black Swan Lane. Things You Know and Love. (2010)

The Bilinda Butchers. Regret, Love, Guilt Dreams. (2011)

Electric Company. A Pert Cyclic Omen. (1995)

Various Artists. Shadow Factory [Sarah Records]. (1988)

Rob's Top 5 Albums of September

Be Forest. Cold. (2011)

Honey. Taste It and See EP. (2011)

Black Swan Lane. Staring Down The Path Of Sound. (2011)

Crash City Saints. I'm Only Looking EP. (2011)

Dive [JPN]. White Shore, White Sky. (2010)

09 September 2011

Interview: Mark Bandola of The Lucy Show.

Mark has been someone, for a very long time, whom I have had a lot of respect for as a musician and a lyric writer. He has such a special and magical way of making a person feel through his songs. My first exposure was The Lucy Show album Undone (1985) and I have followed his music career until this day. I think of Mark as a pioneer, never really falling into a huge genre trap and always living through and expanding in his art.

When The Sun Hits Interviews Mark Bandola of The Lucy Show.

How and when was The Lucy Show band formed?

I moved from Canada to the UK in 1978 & worked with other bands & musicians...Robert Vandeven left his native Calgary & joined me in the South London music scene about a year later. We started playing music together pretty soon afterwards - with me, in my primitive way, clueing him into how to play bass guitar for my tunes. We gigged around trendy (& untrendy) small local clubs for a couple of years. In about 1983 Robert was the group's main songwriter, and had the idea to go under The Lucy Show moniker, which I still think is wonderful to this day, although I was timid at first and resisted, like a fool!

Typewriter was an idea to fulfill an ambition I had harbored, for longer than I can remember, to be free to write and record in any musical vein of my choice. I worked on the debut album, Skeleton Key, from mid 2002 until early 2003, and released it in late spring that same year. Birdsnest was released in 2006, and the third album Pictures From The Antique Skip came out in 2010. Somewhere in between all this Typewriter also contributed a version of 'Outdoor Miner' to a Wire tribute CD.

The Lucy Show - Ephemeral (This Is No Heaven)

I have always been in awe of Mitch Easter's talent, as well. What was it like working with him on your solo release?

It was a pleasure working with Mitch, and I knew it would be - even before we had gone into his Drive-In studio, because we had a mutual respect for each others' songs, singing, guitar playing and recordings. When we got going, he really saw the songs, arrangements, overdubs, etc, the same way as me, and virtually all his suggestions and contributions worked like magic. We are still in touch, although it's been a while now, but I know he's a fan of the Typewriter albums, and he sent me a copy of his last terrific album Dynamico. He's a bit of a musical wizard and a true star.

Bandola - Til Tuesday (1992)

Can you tell us what the (Typewriter or solo?) band has been working on and what you've got forthcoming in the near future (new releases, tour, etc)?

Later this year US label Words-On-Music are releasing a collection of rare Lucy Show recordings called Remembrances.

For Typewriter in 2011 - a new UK company (Mono Records) is releasing 'Impossible Beauty' as a 7" single in September with accompanying video DVD - after that just more recording, all varying styles, some softer than others, some verging on "industrial" sounds - I got a new wah pedal - so that has come into the noise a bit.....but I also got a banjo, so we are off to otherworldly mixtures for the 4th album.

Typewriter is also a working with your wife, Margot, correct?

Margot is a talented multimedia artist & a lot of her work has inspired my music. As well, she has contributed to Typewriter's album covers, with paintings and photographs.

See more:

She also filmed the videos (currently on Youtube) to promote the last LP Pictures From The Antique Skip. She is currently making her own animated/live action film - Typewriter will provide the sounds and music to accompany.

Typewriter - Impossible Beauty

Do you consider (The Lucy Show's or solo or Typewriter) music to be part of the current shoegaze/dream pop scene, or any scene? Defining one's sound by genre can be tiresome, but do you feel that the band identifies closely with any genre? How do you feel about genres in music, in a general sense?

Looking back, I can get an idea of what Jack Rabid quoted in his magazine The Big Take Over: that we bridged some kind of gap between post punk groups like Magazine, Comsat Angels (a group I have never heard) and Echo & the Bunnymen, and up and coming bands like Stone Roses and House of Love (a group I have never heard), but really our sound was some kind of splash/ripple & reflection of the groups Robert Vandeven and I heard in our teenage years.
Typewriter cannot possibly belong to any specific genre, simply 'cause the medium is eclecticism & eclecticism is the message. This does not work in my favor but so it is.

I think - as the good old music industry has grown to its mammoth proportions & the download era rises - there is even more pressure (and label encouragement) on bands, of any genre, to be quickly recognized by their guitars, keyboards, overall style, etc. Way back in the steam age, in the record shop's racks, you would always find James Brown alongside the Beatles, Abba just a few doors along from Amon Duul & the Doors down the road from Dylan. You get the picture. The genres were much more blurred - it was simply a case of contempory music & file under popular. You didn't necessarily distinguish or have to take sides.

What do you think of modern shoegaze/dream pop/psychedelia artists, any favorites?

Guilty of being not so aware of the modern artists aside from what I have heard from the good folks at Words-On-Music, if what they release is dreampop. A few years ago I was keen on Game Theory/The Loud Family and Guided by Voices, maybe that would be called post-modern psychedelia? Also, old Spaceman 3 music, Spiritualized1st LP, Kid A stuff from Radiohead and a bit of The Cardiacs as well.

What is the most important piece of gear for your sound? Any particular guitars/pedals/amps that you prefer?

For years now I have leaned pretty heavy on the Roland Juno 60 synth, and, I reckon, made it a trademark sound of both The Lucy Show and Typewriter. The other weapon in my arsenal is an antique bit of equipment - a guitar pedal called a Roland JET PHASER AP.7. A truly sizzling overdrive phasing device used pretty heavily by both Ernie Isley (the Isley Brothers) and the late/great Randy California of Spirit.


How do you feel about the state of the music industry today? There is no doubt a massive change underway; how do you see it and do you feel it’s positive at all?

I remember near the release of The Lucy Show's debut LP, a member of our record label/publishing/management team actually saying we were being antagonistic and unreasonable ("who said you guys ever played by the rules?!!") for wanting to include 1 extra song, on our vinyl long player, that would mean 6 songs on side 1 and only 5 songs on side 2!! Something THAT minute!! I think that speaks volumes about the way they CAN think and behave - and probably still do.....although I could be mistaken. I appreciate that they are all terribly overworked & underpaid.

Typewriter - Arctic Circle.

When it comes to label releases versus DIY/bandcamp and the like, what is your stance, if any?

I don't think I got very good breaks with actual record companies. Looking back, I can see that The Lucy Show had a loyal team working for us in America, but we were just scuppered by the UK people. As a lone artist, I would like to have the clout of a label for advertising, and/or distribution but, for now I just have to do the best I can with what I got.

Do you prefer vinyl, CD, cassette tape or mp3 format when listening to music? Do you have any strong feelings toward any of them?

I happily listen to good music in any format available - but I think in era's gone by, the sense of event - physically buying a vinyl record - could bring more excitement just because you would associate the music you were listening to, with the artwork and liner notes from the "record jacket" cover, or whatever was included on the sleeve. Sometimes not very much, sometimes a wealth of info & pictures (even black-light/day-glow posters). The vinyl format allowed such diversity. A bit of a shame that all that sort of lessened with CDs & cassettes, and, of course, has little meaning if you only download music files.

What artists (musicians or otherwise) have most influenced your work?

All the usual culprits, starting with The Beatles - particularly Paul - Motown, the whole 60's scene, then The Who, Joni Mitchell, David Bowie & Todd Rundgren, not to forget George Clinton and Funkadelic & The Grateful Dead. I have always liked Miles Davis, Dizzy Gillespie, Louis Armstrong.

The drummer from The Lucy Show first played me Can and I've sort of been a Krautrock devotee ever since. Punk rock was a cool thing, but for me, mainly as a liberation from what was happening in the recent times before it happened. I also love some avant garde stuff like Captain Beefheart, Coltrane's 'Ascension', Steve Reich, even Stockhausen, but, I mean this list could go on and on....

Can you tell us a little about what you are currently into (books, films, art, bands, etc)?

I have been enjoying watching episodes from a box set of the 60's program 'The Outer Limits'. The special effects can be super primitive, but the storylines really shine in some of them. Also, late nights watching Werner Herzog films like 'The Enigma of Kaspar Hauser' and 'Aguirre, Wrath of God'.

If you had to choose one (The Lucy Show's Or solo or Typewriter) track that was the ultimate definition of your sound, which would it be and why?

This is pretty strange to imagine....In Another World from the last Typewriter album could probably sum up the Bandola style that kicked off in the early 1980's and has just hung around until now. My way of shoving chords and tunes together is all in there, I guess. Other folks might think that's not true.

Typewriter - In Another World.

Can you tell us a little about the band’s song writing process?

I wish there was some kind of usual process, then I'd write a load more songs. I just have to hope as I play piano or guitar that some idea entertains me enough. It can be a riff, a piano line, a guitar sound effect, a bass line and a beat, anything. Sometimes it might happen easily and straight away. Other times the inspiration can elude you completely. Oh woe is me.

What is the band’s goal for 2011?

To finish all the audio bits to Margot Bandola's film. Get another Typewriter album out there. It's currently in progress.

What is your philosophy (on life), if any, that you live by?

Well, I dunno....don't put all your eggs in one island. No man is an omelette.

Really - never take the joy of music for granted (one's own, or the musics from other talented artists), right?

07 September 2011

When The Sun Hits on Strangeways Radio. Tonight. Hosted by Amber Crain.

Airing tonight is edition #4 of When The Sun Hits, the newest program to hit Strangeways Radio, and will be hosted by DJ Amber Crain, co-creator of this blog. If you haven't checked out Strangeways Radio before, now is the time! It boasts awesome weekly shows such as Beneath The Surface, hosted by Simon Raymonde of the Cocteau Twins & Bella Union, Halcyon Waves with DJ Mikey, Sound and Vision with DJ Zumby, and a lot more. When The Sun Hits will air every Wednesday night, 10pm-11pm EST, and can be streamed live by going to the Strangeways Radio website. There is also a portal to the Strangeways chat room there, where Amber will be hanging out during the airing of the show, and where you are welcome to also hang out! See you there!

Record Label Spotlight: Club AC30.

Take a look at Club AC30's artist roster and prepare to be impressed.

Duly impressed, then? Me too! AC30 Records has it's finger on the pulse of shoegaze and dream pop, the best of the best. And Club AC30 (which consists of Robin Allport, Nick Allport and Duncan Jones) isn't just a record label - they also organize regular live music nights in London, featuring bands doing noisy guitar, dreampop, post-rock and electronica, as well as regular dedicated djs. When The Sun Hits is clearly honored to feature them in our 6th Record Label Spotlight feature.

Just as a recap, the Record Label Spotlight series will focus on the dedicated people at work behind the scenes of our favorite records and bands - the ones out there discovering new music and finding a way to bring that music to us - the record labels. Believe it or not, there are some labels that are still honest, passionate, and fair to their artists. The Force is strong with them. These are the labels When The Sun Hits want you to know about.

Record Label Spotlights include an interview with the label, tons of information about the bands on the label (including in depth spotlights on 5 bands on the label), videos, links, photos, resources, and a FREE mini sampler put together exclusively for When The Sun Hits readers by the record label. In short: It's a win.

And so without further ado, we present to you The Awesome.

Interview: Robin Allport of Club AC30 Records.

1. How did AC30 Records get its start?

Due to boredom mainly, we started the live nights at the same time and they both were a reaction to the yawn-worthy London scene. I'd had experience of running shows before, and my brother Nick had run record labels - so it was an easy thing for us to do.

2. Would you consider AC30 Records to be a shoegaze and/or dream pop oriented record label?

Not by design, no. It just so happens that most of the music we're into sounds like that. I think we all have an internal barometer telling us what sounds amazing, and we just put out records by bands that do this for us.

3. How do you choose the bands that are to be represented by your label? Is there a specific sound you are looking for?

It happens in various ways. We might read about a band that sounds interesting, or hear from lots of people about a new act. We might get sent a demo by a band, a soundcloud link, or an MP3. We might happen to catch someone at a gig that blows us away.

There's no specific sound, if it happens to hit the spot, and if we have time and money to do it, we will.

4. Who are the 5 most recent shoegaze/dream pop acts to be represented by AC30 Records?

Working backwards from releases on the label, that would be Deep Cut, Ringo Deathstarr, The Megaphonic Thrift, Spotlight Kid and Exit Calm.

Ringo Deathstarr. Imagine Hearts.

5. What do you think of the modern shoegaze/dream pop scene?

Quite interesting! It's funny because there's two scenes in my view. You've got the "real" shoegaze scene, at the roots level - which gets almost no attention from the mainstream media. So there's bands all over the world who are really excellent, many of whom have been doing this for years. Then you've got the media's perception of the modern shoegaze scene which is bands like The Horrors - who to my mind are nothing to do with it (although their new album is really rather great - but not even remotely shoegaze, imho).

It's just great though to see such a global scene with many great bands in each country coming through all the time.

6. Are there any other shoegaze/dream pop record labels (old or new) that you admire?

The original ones from my youth. Creation, Dedicated, Che / Cheree, etc. But also the iconic ones that weren't necessarily part of that scene, like Rough Trade and Factory.

7. Can you tell us a little bit about what's currently going on with AC30 Records (new releases, new bands signed, tours, etc)?

There's loads going on. We've got the new Deep Cut single and album coming out, then a single by Ringo Deathstarr in October. After that, there'll be new albums from The Megaphonic Thrift, Ringo Deathstarr, Daniel Land & The Modern Painters, Exit Calm, and also the new project from the ashes of Air Formation called You Walk Through Walls.

8. What is your goal for AC30 Records?

To keep putting out records that people want to listen to.

9. What is your philosophy (on life), if any, that you live by?

What goes around, comes around.

5 Club AC30 Acts You Need To Know

Deep Cut

Deep Cut is Emma Bailey - vocals, Mat Flint - guitar, Simon Flint - bass, Ian Button - drums, Pad Bailey - guitar.

Mat Flint was a founder member of early 90’s Virgin/Hut band Revolver, and played bass guitar in Death In Vegas for ten years. He also had a lengthy spell doing the warm-up slot at the Heavenly Social/Jukebox at Turnmills for four years, playing hip-hop records. The band’s first single “Commodity”, released on Club AC30 in May 2007, was produced by Tim Holmes from DiV.

The band are obsessive music fans and cite influences ranging from New Order, Arthur Lee & Love, Primal Scream, 60s girl groups, Phil Spector, MBV, The Byrds, Dinosaur Jr, The Jesus & Mary Chain, 60s psych/garage, early B-52’s, Tamla Motown, Oasis, through to northern soul and the Smiths.

With this kind of history, vision, and range of influences, Deep Cut are clearly a must check out.

Ringo Deathstarr

Ringo Deathstarr is a shoegaze band from Austin, TX. I've delighted in saying their awesome band name (and playing their music, obviously) on the radio for years, and it's so good to see this band starting to get real recognition for the excellent tunes they've consistently released. Channelling diverse influences such as MBV, Fugazi, The Cure, The Smiths and The Velvet Underground into a uniquely sonic fingerprint of their own, the band released their first EP in 2007. This was followed by a string of singles and a series of international tours hitting both coasts and the streets of the UK and Japan.

We honestly couldn't recommend this band highly enough. This is certainly not the first, nor the last time we've lauded this band's wealth of talent.

You Walk Through Walls

Remember Air Formation? They were a shoegaze/dream pop/space rock formed in Sussex, England in 2000. They were fucking awesome, and when the band called it quits in April 2011, I was baffled and heartbroken. Just last year they released their fourth (and final album), Nothing to Wish For (Nothing to Lose), which was one of the blog's top albums of the whole YEAR, and a damn fine record.

But in June 2011, it was announced that Matt Bartram (whose solo stuff had always been a pleasure to listen to, as well) & James Harrison (of Air Formation), together with Harry Irving, formed a new band named “You Walk Through Walls”, and it's been announced that there will be official debut material due in 2012.

As you can imagine, I was BEYOND STOKED. This is a band name you should catalogue away in your mind in anticipation of a future release, as it is certain to be incredible. Until any official releases hit the world, follow the band's Facebook page - it is updated often and demos are often shared there. Check out an early track by the band below!

Exit Calm

Exit Calm is Nicky Smith (vocals), Rob Marshall (guitars), Simon Lindley (bass) and Scott Pemberton (drums). Two years of committed touring has built up a dedicated and adoring following, mesmerised by the monumental, rousing sound of the South Yorkshire four piece. Coming from the Northern school of integrity and determination, their hard work ethic means they’re now reaping dues through their debut self titled album, which was produced by Paddy Byrne (Unkle, The Hours) and renowned mixer and remixer, Ulrich Schnauss (whom WTSH has adored since our inception).

With each member owning an equal part in writing, there is no doubting that this is a group, in the very real sense of the word, who are fervently in control of their sound, vision and future. Their live shows carry the same sense of tenure. In fact their first test came with their first proper gig – in Tokyo. They spent every minute of every day in the run-up to their show, scrutinizing every aspect of each song to make sure they did themselves justice.

The band travelled the UK last year supporting the likes of Echo and The Bunnymen, The Charlatans, Modest Mouse and Soulsavers; and have overcome any setbacks with their gritty self-belief and northern optimism - including their tour van blowing up on the M1. With the momentum the band now has, and a debut album of such magnitude it’s impossible to see anything stopping them.

Exit Calm - four young men who have dedicated their lives to their music and the results are what people have been waiting for, This is the start of something truly beautiful, and at last we have a band to believe in.

The Megaphonic Thrift

The Megaphonic Thrift, is the new project of Richard Myklebust formerly of Stereo 21, Linn Frøkedal and Njal Clementsen of Low Frequency In Stereo and Fredrik Vogsborg of Casiokids and Syme.

Built To Spill, Sonic Youth, Swervedriver and Guided By Voices are the most common references, as their tunes span from fragile moments to huge walls of guitar noise. The band have have labeled their music noise-pop with elements from shoegaze.

They released their first 7-inch, “Acid Blues/Mad Mary” in November of 2008. 2009 saw the band tour exstensively, playing Roskilde, CMJ, Iceland Airwaves, Øya and Ragnarock among others. They signed an international deal for their first EP with Deadly People Records, the new company of ex-Modular-executive Phil Hutcheon. A Thousand Years Of Deconstruction was released December 2009.

2010 saw the band them touring relentlessly, and all of their hard work has paid off. With several releases and a following that is gathering momentum all the time, you would do well to get on board and have a listen to this excellent band!

Club AC30 Mini Sampler,0,28,0