Playlist – K.D.A.P. (Kevin Drew)

It is our great pleasure to bring you a playlist from Broken Social Scene’s Kevin Drew…or K.D.A.P. as he is currently known for his solo activities.

K.D.A.P. (Kevin Draws A Picture) has not long released his Influences album, a fascinating document of his experiences ‘locked down’ in the English countryside. In that time Drew made very creative use of the Endlesss app, and as you will read in an interview with Arcana coming soon, he captured his natural experiences and sights on a form of musical film.

In our interview we also asked Drew for a playlist of the music he has been listening to of late, and he obliged with this:

Have a listen – you will hear music from Daniel Avery & Alessandro Cortini’s collaboration, two impressive works from Gigi Masin and longer form treasures from Laurel Halo, Teebs and Emily A. Sprague. Drew raised himself on a diet of early Warp treasures and Brian Eno, but as you will hear from this selection his musical tastes are considerably broader than you might expect.

Listen, and enjoy – and come back in a few days for the interview!

K.D.A.P.’s new album Influences is out now on Arts & Crafts Productions – and it can be streamed and purchased via Bandcamp below:

Playlist – A Song of Summer

song-of-summer

Today has been the hottest day of 2021 so far in England…and it has presented the ideal opportunity to indulge in portraits of our sunniest season from British composers. Here is the music in an hour-long Spotify playlist:

During the First World War, Frank Bridge escaped to the country – where he wrote Two Poems for Orchestra and the tone poem Summer, completed in 1916. It is a lovely piece, typically compact but creating a heat haze immediately through the strings. The enchanted atmosphere continues until one of his very best melodies is revealed.

Four of the best-known pieces by Frederick Delius set the hottest season to music. In A Summer Garden is the least common but arguably the most appealing. Delius uses the orchestra with an expert brush to paint the laziness of a summer day, with sultry harmonies and hazy, impressionistic textures. The woodwind add their bird calls, and lazy melodies flit around the orchestra, rising to an apex but then subsiding back into shelter.

Summer Evening, one of the three small tone poems completed in 1890, captures the moment where a hot day starts to subside, its lazy melodies suggesting the lingering heat on the ground and brightness in the sky, in spite of some lengthening shadows.

Later still in the day, Summer Night On The River (1911) captures the lazy lapping of the water and the tricks played by the dappled light, before slumber finally calls.

Meanwhile John Ireland, a master miniaturist for the piano, excels himself in Summer Evening (1919). This dreamy, four-minute piece, written just after the end of the First World War, has longing and contentment in equal measure.

Then we hear a brief fragment of Elgar, the softly lilting part song As Torrents In Summer, a Henry Wadsworth Longfellow setting from his stage work King Olaf.

Britten’s folksong arrangement The Last Rose of Summer is one of his most meaningful and magical. The deep piano chords set the scene for a beautiful melody, and a sad text – for in the second verse it is almost impossible not to draw parallels with the war, ‘where thy mates of the garden lie senseless and dead’.

Arnold Bax offers another post-First World War piece, his Summer Music dating from 1920, but this is another celebration of the season, depicting ‘a hot, windless June midday in some woodland place of Southern England’. There are some typically long-breathed melodies to add to the attractive woodwind scoring, and a lovely, restful close.

Finally Delius’ A Song Of Summer itself, conducted by the composer’s long-time devotee Sir Thomas Beecham. This later piece (1931) has a particularly rich palette, with songful oboe, flute and horn above dappled strings, before some more explicit folk references. Delius’ writing for orchestra has acquired more depth in the time since his previous three summer evocations, and – to this ear at least – the influence of Wagner and Debussy feels stronger than before.

Playlist – Amongst The Pigeons: NOISE WILL BE TAKEN AS REJECTION

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It is our great pleasure to welcome Amongst The Pigeons to the Arcana playlist section for the second time, with a new playlist NOISE WILL BE TAKEN AS REJECTION, a companion to new album SILENCE WILL BE ASSUMED AS ACCEPTANCE, released on Friday 7 May.

Amongst The Pigeons is the avian moniker for South Coast producer and performer Daniel Parsons. The new album is a passionate response both to the Coronavirus pandemic and those overseeing the response, and the playlist captures its sentiments as well as celebrating the wonders of the natural world. Not to mention good music!

Daniel gave his thoughts on each track in the playlist, which can be accessed at the bottom of the page:

Beans On Toast Protest Song
In many ways my new album is a ‘protest album’ so we open with this track by Beans on Toast.

Hannah Peel Emergence in nature
This is taken off the new Hannah Peel album which I am sure this will be #1 in a lot of end of year charts and rightly so.

Amongst The PigeonsInflight Entertainment (Fast Trains remix)
Tom aka Fast Trains does not have his music on streaming services but he did make this awesome remix for one of the tracks off my last album so we open with this. His latest EP is amazing so do go and check it out on Bandcamp. He features on my track ‘Before The Storm Hits’.

Daniel Avery Lone Swordsman
I love this song so much. The best track of 2020. Flawless and I could listen to this on repeat forever.

Tiger MendozaHope Sick (2021 dub mix)
Ian aka Tiger Mendoza features on a track called Holding My Breath. Last year he released his latest album TMSK8: The Mixtape. This track is taken from it.

Sad Man Finny Foot
I started hearing about Sad Man about a year ago and have very much been enjoying his stuff. This is taken from his new album The Man from S.A.D.

Annika BrownThe Devil Has A Shovel
Charis Cooper also sings on ‘Holding My Breath’. Back in 2017 she released an album called The Devil’s Storybook under the name Annika Brown. She has lots of new stuff on her Instagram channel.

Lynks feat Charlie SteenThis Is The Hit
I love Lynks. They have everything. The music. The image. The mystery. Amazing stuff

Exactly ZeroInfinite Perception
Ollie and I were Exactly Zero. He features on my current single called Colour Blind. This track was one of my favourite on our album we made.

FableOrbiting
I had not heard of Fable before she followed me on Instagram. Her music is INCREDIBLE!

Richard WisemanCovert Goat Mission
I challenge you to find a stranger song than this! I recorded this track with Richard and it was actually the genesis of N.V.O.D on my new album which Richard also sings on.

Sofia KourtesisDakotas
I recently discovered this EP after hearing her track on the Lippy Kid electronica show.

Emma King Empty Nights & Empty Days
Emma sings on ‘Bring the stars closer’ on my new album. She has so many good songs this one really shows off her awesome vocals.

AK/DK Defragment To Survive
Ed from AK/DK mastered the new album. This track is taken off the latest AK/DK album which came out at the end of 2020. As always with these guys it is amazing.

Across The SeaBehind The Looking Glass
Hannah does the vocals on Beats & Slippers on the new album. This track is one from her band Across The Sea.

Julia-Sophie And You Know It
Again, another artist I only recently hear of but love this E.P. and can’t wait to hear more.

The Sad Song CoMy Saccharine
Nigel features on the penultimate song on my album called Spread Hope. He recently released his 5th album which is a joyous mix of indie, prog, rock and addictive tunes.

Mærcstapa Helicopters
This amazing song is by the mysterious Maercstapa. This artist has released two E.P.s so far. Both of which have been amazing.

MogwaiCeiling Granny
This song! Wow. It stuck out so much when I gave their new album a first listen and love it. It reminds me of early 90s grunge and I am all for that.

The ProdigyTheir Law
I grew up as the criminal justice act was being passed and to me ‘jilted generation’ and this track in particular is a great example of music as a form of protest.

Megan LinfordAll In Good Time
Megan provides the vocals on my track After the storm. This is one of her new tracks and it is lovely and seems like a great way to end the playlist.

You can hear clips from the new Amongst The Pigeons album SILENCE WILL BE ASSUMED AS ACCEPTRANCE on Bandcamp, where the full album will be available from Friday 7 May:

Playlist – Audio Obscura: Adventures In The Anthropocene

It is our great pleasure to welcome Audio Obscura to the Arcana playlist section, with a 28-minute ‘Live’ performance from Adventures In The Anthropocene, originally broadcast on YouTube in January 2021.

This is part of the follow-up to the Love In The Time Of The Anthropocene album from October 2020, the culmination of nearly three years’ work about the family unit, parenthood and climate change.

Audio Obscura: Live from Adventures

Our thanks to Audio Obscura for a rather special piece of music. Adventures In The Anthropocene can be streamed and purchased on the Bandcamp link below:

Playlist – The Rustle of Spring

Welcome to The Rustle of Spring.

This is a playlist designed to look at the positive, to anticipate our emergence from what has been an incredibly difficult winter for many.

Although we are not out of it yet nature is doing its best, with green shoots making themselves known, birds and animals starting to flex their muscles, the nights drawing out a bit and the weather – hopefully – improving.

This selection offers a range of responses to spring from classical composers. We have the outright optimism of Schumann’s Spring Symphony, his first, alongside more mysterious responses to the season from Lili Boulanger and John Foulds. Spring doesn’t have to mean orchestral music, either – there are intimate thoughts from the piano works of Grieg, Sinding and Tchaikovsky, while rarely heard choral pieces from Holst and Moeran lend an exotic air.

We finish with two very different portrayals of spring, in the form of one of Johann Strauss II’s best-known waltzes, Voices of Spring, and an all too rarely heard tone poem by Frank Bridge, Enter Spring. There isn’t even room for Vivaldi’s Four Seasons!

I hope you find something to enjoy.

Ben Hogwood