With the addition of two new UK-based labels to the FirstCom Music library, we have joined forces with a wealth of commercial talent, from Platinum selling artists to underground heroes.
Here our resident Brit, now based at the FirstCom Music office in Dallas, TX, gives us a fan’s perspective of some of these exceptional new artists and musicians to help you discover the stories behind the music from across the pond.
The Hallé Orchestra
Considered one of the world’s top symphony orchestras, the Hallé was founded in 1857 by Sir Charles Hallé and has award winning choirs and a youth orchestra under its umbrella. Currently led by Sir Mark Elder, the Hallé has its own record label and regularly plays a prominent part in the BBC Proms. A favorite for their performances of Edward Elgar, there are few British Classical music enthusiasts without recorded work by the Hallé in their collection. Oh, they’ve also played for the Queen.
Their collection of orchestral Christmas classics, available from our A Remarkable Idea label, is both traditional and stylish, with just a hint of Golden Age Hollywood nostalgia.
Kele Okereke is a founding member of the Indie band Bloc Party, who released their Platinum selling debut, ‘Silent Alarm’ in 2005. The band found themselves on the cover of the famed weekly music magazine NME, playing Glastonbury music festival, on constant radio rotation, and in the record collections of half the record buying public (including in mine).
Never a man to stick to one musical style or mine an idea for too long, the band crossed from crisp Rock through to a more electronic style, always leading their peers. Okereke then released a trio of solo albums, as well as continuing to be a sought-after collaborator, working with The Chemical Brothers, Hercules & Love Affair, and VV Brown.
Maxïmo Park, Bo Ningen, Pulled Apart By Horses
A trio of Indie Rock bands, each taking the amorphous genre in a slightly different direction. As the most successful of the trio, Maxïmo Park have had the greatest commercial success with a pair of Gold records and a prestigious Mercury Music Prize nomination to their name. Their Pop leaning, New Wave inspired sound has continued popularity and the band are a regular touring feature in the UK.
Pulled Apart By Horses are a rawer, more Fuzz Rock inspired band. Loud and ragged, their riffs should not be missed by anyone looking for music that makes you think earplugs may be a good idea. I can attest to the unbridled exhilaration of their raucous live shows.
Finally, Bo Ningen are a heavy Psych-Rock band formed in London, UK though all members originally hail from Japan. Creating a maelstrom of heavy riffing and yelping Punk vocals, the band sound like a combination of Hawkwind, CAN, and famed Japanese innovators Les Rallizes Dénudés.
A true maverick, Ulrich Schnauss is a producer and electronic musician known for his diverse repertoire of ambient and downtempo solo albums that often have a cinematic quality. Slipping easily between minimalist beat-orientated projects and shoegaze influenced atmospherics, Schnauss’ musical palette is broad yet often weightless. In 2015 Schnauss became a member of legendary and pioneering electronic band Tangerine Dream and continues as a member despite the sad loss of group founder Edgar Froese. A true innovator and leading light in minimalist and ambient music circles, Schnauss’s influence cannot be understated.
While his trademark smile filled with a golden grill has graced the silver screen in hit movies like ‘The World Is Not Enough’ and ‘Snatch’, Goldie actually picked up his name in his youth thanks to his dreadlocks, earning him the moniker ‘Goldilocks’.
As a former graffiti artist turned pioneer of Drum ‘n’ Bass in 1990s Britain, Goldie helped set the tone of a decade of dance, rave, and club culture with his label Metalheadz. His Gold record debut album and 12” singles residing on the shelves of DJs across the land help mark Goldie out as a musical icon who helped propel the Jungle, D&B, and Breakbeat genres into the limelight.