Monday, 27 February 2012

Introducing East Van Soul Club Radio

Someone - obviously not an animal lover said "there are many ways to skin a cat". This may or may not be true, yet in this time and age where multimedia manipulates the most mindless of activities, we are often asking the question, "how do I deliver my music to the masses" ? In this case there are so many "cats to skin" one may need a degree in something or other just to wade through the mire.

For over a year now I have produced and broadcast a live radio show from from my own living room. Originally, I had DJ'd in that cess-pool of 3-D degeneration known as "Second-Life"; indeed I had spun my disks at reputable venues such as "The Twisted Wheel" and even a Second Life version of "Wigan Casino".  As I weaned myself away from SL I realised I could continue my radio show simply by using Facebook as the contact medium - lo and behold it worked.

East Van Soul Club Radio broadcasts every Monday 10-1pm. I get to play the tunes and chat and generally enjoy myself. My listeners have tuned in from as far away as Greece, India, Barbados. However for the most part they are in Greater Vancouver and my native Wigan. My listeners are personal friends, x-school pals, relatives and total strangers; you too can listen in, all you need is streaming capabilities on whatever music player you have ITunes, Realplayer and Windows Media Player seem to work well enough. A surprising number of people don't know streaming audio exists, its always a bit of work getting  it to work if any of the three pieces of software are not installed, but it is worth the wait.

One of my fave aspects of the show is playing locally grown soul "related" tunes. Let's face it Vancouver is not a source of great soul music, so the net is cast wide and I expend the genre to anything funk/blues/rock related. Some of the great local artists I have played include Baby Harry, Khari and The Hastings, Ani Kyd's Blues Experience, Return of the Stern, High Society, Jackie Treehorn, Colleen Rennison, Devon Martin, Tonye Aganaba, Adrian Essiet, Katelyn Molgard and Jimmy Zee and of course my own band Mr. M & The All Nighters.

I also love to feature the nu-soul performers such as Alice Russell, Duffy, Paloma Faith, Mayer Hawthorne, Sharon Jones, The Budos Band and Charles Bradley, Quantic, SixToys, James Taylor Quartet and many others.

I also like to rock out with a hard edge with Ocean Colour Scene, Buckethead, The Jam, Nine Below Zero, Dr Feelgood, Joe Bonamassa, Gary Moore, The Smiths, Queen, Deep Purple and so many others. So the music kinda jumps around - however we always begin and end with awesome Northern Soul tunes.

You can check out the East Van Soul Club Radio page on Facebook and join the Facebook group.

Hope to have you listening sometime soon, say hello and I'll give you a shout on the radio.

Friday, 3 February 2012

Three NEW Tracks from East Van Soul Club

Coming up with original music is difficult when you love that old soul vibe so much. For the last few years I've worked hard to find the right balance between authenticity and creating my own thing.

Almost every piece of contemporary music today has some element of "computer" creativity. Whether it be in the backing track over-layed with an awesome vocal or a sampling of an unknown classic added to a new groove - the balance is most important.

I've spent the last twelve years working with Macs and music.  In the early days it was painfully frustrating, I simply did not know how to "assemble" a song in order to make it palatable to the human ear. Two wives later I'm still at it and I believe I have come to a point where the music is starting to pull together that might attract attention.

Music is such an individual pursuit these days; endless hours spent in front of the computer, its a lot like writing a book thirty years ago on a lonely typewriter. Whereas music production of the same era could only be a group effort, music production today is endless hours in front of the screen tethered to the speakers - surely this has some bearing on the end result ?

So I present three tracks that have blossomed from the inspiration of others and in doing so I present the original tracks via YouTube, so you can get a feel.

Let me know if you think I have captured the vibe or not.
TRACK 1 -  Original - Cold Grits cover of the Isley Brothers "It's Your Thing"

Here's my version U r thing

TRACK 2 - Original - Dana Valery "Interest Lies" classic Wigan Casino floorfiller

Here's my version Interest Lies

TRACK 3 - Original - The Quik "Bert's Apple Crumble" probably the best thing to ever come out of Southampton musically speaking

Here's my version Quik to the Stick

Check out East Van Soul Club on Soundcloud