… BGK02 …

Ballagroove Black Label no.2 cover artwork

Click the above image for a larger 500px version (iTunes-friendly album artwork).

UPDATE! – the complete compilation is now available for download: Downloads Page

Ahh, the second coming… of Ballagroove’s Black Label compilation CD series. It’s taken a while to get it out the door, much like the neighbour’s cat that’s sneaked in and discovered your pet’s catnip stash, but we’ve managed it without too many scratches and what a beauty it is.

A mix of fifteen of our friends’ wildly varying textures and musical styles, Gypo’s track arrangement skills make it a really enjoyable journey through this beautiful winding stream of local music. It’s a bit more polished than the first, with the artists all supplying real gems; we’ve throughly enjoyed getting this one together, even if it did take us ages. There’s some more unique packaging enclosing the familiar black disk, with lovely bespoke artwork from Dave and an exquisite tracklist from Smeg — you even get a pin badge!

As with all our releases we encourage you to post comments below, you can also contact the artists through us via our contact page, so please let them & us know what you think 🙂

BGK02 is available on Monday (26th September) for GBP£5 from Black & Blue, Castle Street, Douglas, Isle of Man – tel: +44 (0)7624 472889; the Bay Hotel, Port Erin; or directly from our online shop.

… BGK02 …

1) John Sansom – Rosemary’s Waiting

John – more familiar to most as the bass player for local legends Stinging with Bigness – was experimenting with some new recording equipment in a darkened recess of his 2-mile deep underground sound mine when a rotary chord extractor slipped a cog – resulting in an explosion that could be heard the other side of the Isle of Man. When the Emergency services arrived, this song was all that could be found… dripping slowly and luxuriously onto the shagpile…

2) Safetyword – Pour Your Features Through the Mirror

Still causing some eyebrow elevation in Bristol – Safetyword have recently released their 3rd EP/Mini Album, Foreskin o’ the Heart from which this tune has been extricated using a Braun automatic apple-corer. They are often to be found practicing atop the southernmost main supporting tower of the Clifton Suspension Bridge, wind conditions permitting.

3) The Scope – Everybody’s Talkin’

Ahhh, the Scope… it’s true, everybody does talk about them: they’ve been around in various guises for a few years now, they featured on BGK01 and have been responsible for some of the best and most innovative music we’ve heard coming out of these parts. Just a handful of gigs during the earlier part of this year for which they adopted a more traditional three guitars and a drumkit format saw them instantly become one of the must-sees around here, unfortunately no one could see them coz the venues were too packed… (Check out the a-capella at the end – sweet!)

4) Rhysical Pheck – Upstairs Downstairs

Ballagroove brothers Rhysical Pheck are too busy with their work with other Ballagroove bands and external alcohol-based liquid estimation projects to get their follow up to the fantastic The Little People Album finished, but they’ve squeezed this out of their iridescent music tubules just to remind us that a) they are still there, and b) they are actually very, very good…

5) Cocahiba – A Little Medicine

Kin and Nicky have been working on new album material following on from “Runaway”, an award-winning (serious) tune released as the Cocahiba EP on Ballagroove last year(ish). Having heard this a few times, fell in love with it but thought this was a part of that material, it turns out this is actually the first song they wrote together, many years ago…

6) O.T.T.Y. – The Lonan Equitable Society

OTTY (real name Oswald Timothy Tennyson-Yorke), was working as a stationmaster on the Isle of Man Steam Railway when a bead of his perspiration fell into the water intake valve of a narrow guage, Baird & Co. built steam engine. After a year in dry dock, the engine was, thankfully, repaired, but during the refurbishment of the steam chamber, this song was found etched around the outside of a blown gasket. Of course, if you prefer something nearer the truth, you could try his website at RottenPlanet.net for more of his tunes…

7) Mike Seed – Madame Blavatsky

We asked the man what he had to say on the matter – he offers this by way of explanation…

“It’s 1888 and a middle aged woman in formal attire emerges from the path that cuts through an unkempt estate wood. In her hand is a card-backed volume, printed in India. There is a cross wreathed by a snake on the front cover. She is quite transported by what she read in the shade of the rhododendron, and as she walks up the path to her home, she shouts out with little concern for who may hear, “Away with the false doctrines! I will the return to the fount of mystic truth! If only I could meet you, Madame…I await the next volume with baited breath…..” – www.blavatsky.net

Mike has a new album entitled Songs For The Wintering Troupe being released on the newly formed SVC Records label, and also features along with other artists, including one from Ballagroove, on the Phantom Carriage album.

8) Cartesian Jetstream – The TV Repairman Is On The Blink

Having featured on BGK01 with a mashed up demo of their laid-back intensity, it’s very funky to have CJ back with this number, recorded on a cold winter’s day in the loft, through sheer boredom after all of the band had just been made redundant from work a few days before Christmas! They even had to pool their money together for a bag of chips for lunch. Currently in the process of recording their debut EP and writing new material, all they need now is a bass player…  The band are Simon “The K” Kilgannon (Guitars, Bass Station, Effects), Jon-Paul “Greaser” Fisher (Guitars, Percussion), Ben “Spaghetti Arms” Scott (Drums, Percussion)

9) Stinging With Bigness – I Can’t Believe (Demo)

In an act of group consciousness driven by Buddhist philosophy and spearheaded by a belief in the eternal presence of spirit, SWB still make music together. After they split up. How weird is that? Sorry it’s only a demo but it’s an ace tune – more of their stuff is available on Falling Down, their (insert complimentary superlative here) album of 2004. One of the tracks from the album is remixed as track 14 of this compilation.

10) The Journeyman – Wednesday Rain

The lovely Journeyman – currently to be found in Cornwall – suggested we us this song from his 2004 album Gifts Are Warnings. As he currently resides in a yurt there’s every possibility he may develop a delusional fixation with Genghis Khan and come and maraud us in our beds. Again. So we won’t argue with him.

11) Wire Is Not Wool – Electronic Brains

Wire is not wool is the solo project from Simon Kilgannon from Cartesian Jetstream, recorded at home some years ago, [Ed: a bit more of description here please Smeg!]

12) Audio-Wok – Fry2Stir

Christian “Dreamfish” Clague and Leif Lamont, both legendary local DJs in their own right, have joined forces and are producing some caviar quality cacophonies, of which they offered us this track for the sampler. Recorded in Port St. Mary in the south of the Isle of Man (home to 50% of the Ballagroove), this metropolis-busting, crowd-scattering, brake-screeching, hard-driving tune is an accurate portrayal of the hectic pace of life of our small village… Oh Yes…

13)‘ingie – If It Wasn’t You Would Be

We have heard it said that “‘ingie bounces along merrily through the world of insanity and confusion like a space-hopper in a coliseum full of raging lions”,
which sums it up nicely really 🙂 This track is a taster for ‘ingie’s debut album, soon to be realeased on Ballagroove Records, and it’s a blinder, bridging
all kinds of (musical) worlds as he is so akin to do!

14) SWB – Hanging Around (Bugg’ingie Mix)

Buggane (AKA Ballagroove’s own Gypo) tickled this remix of Stinging With Bignesses tune of the same name till it rose and firmed up nicely, then ‘ingie polished it off and made it sound proper like. Mostly using the traditional buttons and knobs technique, occasionally a globe artichoke would come into play – and they would don cool wigs for effect. The remix also contains a rather glancing homage to New Order and Howie B, oddly enough…

15) Jimmy Tinkler – Peace Be With You

We had to use this as the final track – not coz we ran out of space but because it’s a beautiful song and sentiment to part company on… Jimmy won the solo section of the Manx Battle of the Bands in 2004, and deservedly so as this song amply illustrates. Jimmy’s hair is naturally curly and his favourite colour is blue.

Thank you for listening, partaking and supporting – peace be with you all…