Eddy Says

Eddy Says: It’s OK, we’re all on the same side here

By | Published on Thursday 29 November 2012

Eddy Temple-Morris

The end of 2012 is nigh, this time next week it’ll be December. And that means one thing. Well, two. It means we’ll soon know if the Mayans were right about that whole end of the world thing, but also that it’s time to start looking back at music just gone and music to come. For his latest column, Eddy Temple-Morris has pulled together a selection of his favourite new artists, all of whom make us really hope the Mayans were wrong. But first, he has a little story about another tips list.

“You want me to do what?”

I was floored by the request. OK, not so much the request as whom it came from.

“The BBC want you to contribute to their Sound Of 2013 poll”.
“After all that kerfuffle that time?”
“We didn’t even know about the kerfuffle…”

So now I had to explain the kerfuffle.

Years ago, when my last compilation album came out, a few of the more friendly Radio 1 DJs whom I’d had on my Xfm show when they had something to promote wanted to reciprocate, and I was pencilled in to do some mixes on their shows, live or otherwise, as they had done for me.

I’ve always called a ‘radio amnesty’ in these situations. Most specialist radio DJs are artists in their own right, and I think it’s hideously unfair to hobble them for the fact they have an outlet on a ‘competitor’ station. I’m always bigging up Radio 1 DJs on Xfm, and sometimes I get mentioned on other stations, and that’s the way it should be.

These people were all artists before they were on Radio 1 and they’ll continue to be artists long after they’ve left Radio 1. It’s the same for me and almost all of us, we are hired by our respective radio stations BECAUSE of who were are, not IN SPITE of it.

Unfortunately my colleagues’ BBC producers didn’t see it that way at the time. In an astonishingly mean spirited way, they laid down corporate law and said, “No, you can’t have Eddy on the show, he’s an Xfm DJ”.

So the reciprocal mixes never happened, I had embarrassed calls and emails from friends and colleagues, and messages via the increasingly frustrated radio plugger working the album and banging his head against a brick wall.

The lovely Loose Cannons had me on their Kiss FM show, but my dear Auntie Beeb, for whom I’d worked for years, whom I’d held so close to my heart, went all frosty on me, closed her once welcoming bingo wings and refused to give me a long overdue hug.

That was ‘The Kerfuffle’. And you can probably see why I was so surprised to now be asked into the ‘Sound Of’ panel.

The thing is, I don’t see other specialist presenters as the enemy. I don’t see them as competitors. I see them as allies. We’re all on the same side, we’re fighting the good fight to keep new music on the airwaves, to feed the mainstream from the outer channels, to find, help develop and encourage new bands, artists, producers, tweak-heads and fader pushers.

New Music, as a concept, sounds sexy to you and I, but to a shareholder of an independent local radio station, or a BBC exec looking for ratings, to the accountants upstairs, or the new boss looking for more bums on seats, it’s the enemy… the unfamiliar. It’s a challenge to the status quo.

Jesus, even the BBC was prepared, for a time, to throw their charter out of the window and axe 6music. I was one of the most outspoken and vigorous opponents of that insane move. We – those presenting specialist shows on commercial radio, and those working for BBC services like 6 – really are on the same side, and it really is a battle. It’s a constant battle against the accountant who’ll maintain that by simply having a computer segue songs by Snow Patrol into songs by Coldplay, “research shows we will save money and rate higher than [insert name of specialist here]”.

So, united by a common enemy, and an innate sense of fair play, I let bygones be bygones and took the recent request to select the new artists I’m currently most excited about in the spirit with which it was offered, and feel utterly delighted to be part of such a high profile promotion of that golden thing, music that is so fresh it’s still not connected with its audience.

Heartfelt thanks to the Kate Holder and the BBC Sound Of 2013 team therefore, I applaud your new sense of togetherness, we are clearly cut from the same cloth and my hat goes off to you.

I, along with 212 other new music lovers from within and outside the BBC, was asked to pick three artists and one under-rated album. The terms and conditions I agreed to prevent me from sharing these choices with you now, but as our thoughts, at the end of the year, turn towards the next and what’s on the horizon, I’d like to share with you a wider selection of artists I’m really looking forward to hearing more from in 2013. My three choices may or may not be in here. This is just something I do at this time of year anyway.

I don’t have time to give you the full list that’s in my head, but allow me to cherry pick a few people that will, hopefully, ignite in the coming months, or at the very least, give us a reason to wash our hands with invisible soap as we look ahead towards the next year in music.

Eighteen reasons to be cheerful*:

Monsta – Quite simply the finest musicians I’ve ever seen in dance music, I asked them to appear at the Remix takeover of Camden Crawl after their demo blew me away. Months later, Skrillex heard them and they are now on his OWSLA Records label, one of the most forward thinking and interesting labels out there.

The Other Tribe – They are utter perfection. One of the best live shows I saw in 2012 and the only band I’ve booked for The Secret Garden Party 2013 before actual booking begins.

Kase Prince – I’ve been tipping him for a while, yes, but I think he’s just taking his time finding the right team. He’s perfectly placed, if he plays his cards right, to unite the worlds of grime and rock.

Mikill Pane – There’s an irresistible London cheekiness about Mikill that I really like. He’s got that catchiness that you’d find in a Blur song, but without the buttock tightening pretentiousness.

Clean Bandit – Their sound is so unique, and their approach so assured and professional. Their videos all look like they were directed by Ridley Scott. A stratospheric rise is inevitable I feel, now Black Butter has signed them.

Dream McLean – Sometimes it just takes a remix to see how great a band are. The Chase & Status gangsta-trap mix of ‘Network’ is right up there with the best of them.

Maxsta – A ferocious, precocious talent, only 21 the other day and already picked up by Sony/RCA. His energy when he plays is infectious and he and I share similar rubber legs – mine are just a lot older.

Jenn D – The artist formerly known as Vela. She’s included here just on the strength of that incredible Loadstar remix. That’s one of the tunes of the year for me so of course I want to hear more. She was hampered a bit this year by a forced name-change, but it’ll be hard to ignore a face as disarmingly gorgeous as hers in 2013.

Koan Sound – They may have been on my ones to watch list last year, but they seem to have subsequently metamorphosed into the UK’s sonic equivalent of Daft Punk, but in bass music. Phenomenal.

Jacksun Fear – This is MC Gaika, from Manchester’s Murkage Kartel. He’s now making the most blissful stripped down techno-housey-post-something with his trademark baritone vocals soaking everything in the most warm and inviting way.

Shock One – Yes, Karl’s been around for a while but he’s only just hitting his stride, his debut album will be one off the biggest surprises and pleasures of 2013. A ‘concept’ album of breathtaking scope. You just wait.

Gemini – An obvious cross genre bass music poster-boy, speaking of which…

Zomboy – SkisM protégé and Never Say Die wunderkind is third in a line of phenomenally talented Joshes: Shadow, Fluxy, now him. This young man will end up, like Stuart Price, producing the future equivalent of Madonna, mark my words.

San Zhi – On a more chilled tip, this girl fronted international duo will charm the very air from your lungs.

Big Beat Bronson – There’s something about this North Eastern crew that’s caught my ear, a really natural flair and a combination of tongue in cheek and genuine coolness that’s hard to pull off.

Bipolar Sunshine – Ex-Kid British, this youngster is writing really poignant, moving lyrics, and I think he’s found a sound that suits this seriousness. And anyone who has the balls to call themselves Bipolar Sunshine gets my vote.

Stenchman – I just have a feeling Stenchy’s going to pull some kind of rabbit out of a hat in 2013. I’ve played almost everything he’s ever sent me and he has a breadth of vision I love. Dubstep, house, techno, trap, all produced with enviable ease and a high quality threshold.

Xilent – Everything I get from this Polish producer is top notch. He’s one of the big beat dubstep producers and has a real crowd pleasing style. You can hear him going from strength to strength with every mix and his original stuff sounds massive too.

*But like any good DJ set, there’s always one more…

Angel Haze – Her mixtape version of Eminem’s ‘Cleaning Out My Closet’ put even the brilliant Marshall Mathers in the shade. This is the most raw, brutal, visceral, honest, harrowing, heart-breaking piece of music I have ever heard in all my life. Angel, whatever you do from here, you have my undying love and respect. I cannot wait to hear more.

The fact there are nineteen acts in total here is no accident – Xfm is going to publish a list of nineteen new acts, one announced each weekday in January from 7th, so I thought it’d be nice to reflect that, with a Remix Nifty Nineteen.

My first Xfm show of 2013 will be called ‘Dig The Nu Breed’ and I’ll be showcasing all these, plus the ones I didn’t have time to list, plus a few I’ve forgotten and one or two I haven’t yet found.

Eddy x

Eddy’s upcoming DJ sets:
17 Dec: London, The Lexington
22 Dec: Barcelona, Razzmatazz

Losers’ upcoming gigs:
30 Nov: Reading, Sub 89 (supporting Jack Beats)