The city of Brighton is a great hub for the culture of music in the UK. Not only is it the home of The Recommender, but in an urban space where everything and everyone is within walking distance, we find ourselves surrounded by promoters, labels, writers, venues, musicians and of course other music bloggers. One of those music blogs is closely associated with us here at Recommender Towers, the excellent Blah Blah Blah. They’ve been delivering top-drawer dance and electronic music from the edges of those genres for many years now. We recently met up with its co-founder, Jonny, to discuss a new string to his already packed bow – Blah Blah Blah Records.
There are many natural steps that a music blogger can take into the music industry, be it as a PR agent, a booking agent, a band’s manager, a promoter, a paid DJ, or even the risky business of starting a label. All of these require good taste and a magic ability to judge artists and their potential. Brighton’s ‘going out bible’, The Source Magazine, recently commented on Blah Blah Blah’s “four-year rise to the top of Brighton’s clubland” during a piece in which they adorned the magazine’s cover. Jonny and his team are already well known in the music industry, as resident DJs in both of Brighton’s best established clubs, as well as promoting shows that included the likes of Major Lazer, Caribou and Joy Orbison on their bill. Looking at it, a record label was the obvious next step.
First to be signed up on this exciting new label is the excellent Eoghan Reid, a 22 year old electronic music producer from Cork, Ireland. It’s a smart choice for Blah Blah Blah as they’ve selected someone who is carving out dance music that’s tidy, mature and well-crafted. Reid doesn’t write straight up bangers with tacky hooks and mass-market gloss, rather he is a designer, an architect, a sculptor of the synthetic - this is electronic music made for grown ups. That’s not to say his creations are without an obvious style as all the tunes we’ve had the privilege to hear to date have a distinctive sound. You can tell a ‘Reid’ before you know it’s him. Now that’s a trick not just anybody can pull off, especially in electronic music that’s without vocals.
Jonny remarked at the depth of the songs Reid has on offer, “He can do noise, but he can do delicate too“, which is absolutely right, when you hear the range on show with the four or five tunes available. He has a wide variety of tricks he can play, that either aim for your feet, or get into your head. It will be interesting to see how he translates it all into a live set, which is something you may have caught during a handful of recent Autumn dates in Ireland, supporting the likes of Com Truise and Solar Bears. Performing live shouldn’t phase him either, as Reid is also in a relatively new band, called Zombie Computer. They jam out a form of electro rock that’s heavy on hooks and fizz, proving he has a broad set of skills and the canny knack of penning diverse, captivating songs. Something’s telling us that Reid is one of those people who just has music pouring out of him.
The debut single is Genesis and is due for release on November 28th. It’s a beautiful and halcyonic piece of work, which begins with that most thoughtful of sounds, the sample of rain falling and the onset of turbulent weather, akin to The Doors Riders On The Storm. Weather seems like the obvious theme as the layers of the song arrive in raindrop synths and splashed cymbals, in a patient, sedimentary collection of tiers. It’s as smooth as silt, but by the end of it’s five minutes your left affected and drenched in it’s atmosphere. It’s as mesmeric as watching a storm arrive, but just as foreboding. You can hear it and the b-side, Forrest, below. Further releases are due next February, including the second single, Diptera, which is as uneasy as a John Carpenter soundtrack, pulsing in and out like the beam from a distant lighthouse. The shift in focus from suffocating riff to spacious synths shows just how masterful the designer is. These first few tracks are the perfect introduction to the new label, and as if Blah Blah Blah weren’t already brilliantly successful in a multitude of areas, it now seems as if they’re pretty damn great as talent spotters too. (MB)
REID – GENESIS
REID – FORREST
TWIN SISTER – KIMMI IN A RICE FIELD (REID REMIX)