#208 – Modeselektor feat. Flohio, HHY & The Macumbas, Machinefabriek, Meitei / 冥丁, Gum Takes Tooth

The last podcast before we move into reviewing another amazing year of independent music sees another phenomenal batch of new releases.

Starting with some experimental music from the New York underground we move swiftly through new music from Lebanese duo Praed, Japanese illbient, the latest single from the amazing HHY & The Macumbas LP, stunning violin electronics from Machinefabriek and Anne Bakker, through to excellent releases from 2019 with the new Gum Takes Tooth and Man From Uranus releases.

Hontos – 1 (BANK Records NYC, USA)
Praed – Doomsday Survival Kit (Akuphone Records, France)
Meitei / 冥丁 – Jizo / 地蔵 (Evening Chants, Singapore)
HHY & The Macumbas – Swisid Mekanize Rejiman (House of Mythology, UK)
Machinefabriek with Anne Bakker – Scene 2 (Zoharum, Poland)
Lia Mice – Overwrite the Past (Optimo Music, UK)
Modeselektor feat. Flohio – Wealth (MonkeyTown Records, Germany)
Gum Takes Tooth – Borrowed Lies (Rocket Recordings, UK)
Andrea – Future Atmo (Ilian Tape, Germany)
Man From Uranus – Marooned on Mercury (Freaksville Records, Belgium)

#207 – Randall Dunn, Derya Yildirim & Grup Şimşek, Italia 90, Deft, Bad@Maths

As we close in on the year end, the exceptional new independent music just isn’t drying up. This week we take in the sounds of Somalia, Turkey, Indonesia, and more on our usual traipse around new interesting, independent sounds.

Sofheso – 0102 (First Terrace Records, UK)
Deft – Bellyboy (feat. BUCHANAN) (20/20 LDN Recordings, UK)
Italia 90 – New Factory (Box Records, UK)
Derya Yıldırım & Grup Şimşek – Oy Oy Emine (Les Disques Bongo Joe, Switzerland)
Andrew DR Abbott – Daisy Hill (Bloxham Tapes, UK)
Bad@Maths – Levin B w/Dodgelodge – Gravey Milks Toi Truth (Slip, UK)
Randall Dunn – A True Home (feat. Zola Jesus) (Figureight Records, USA)
OCnotes – Somebody Loves You (self-release, USA)
Dur-Dur Band – Yabaal (Analog Africa, Germany)
Jonathan Kusuma – Edit 003 (Dekadenz Records, Indonesia)

#206 – Throwing Snow, Káryyn, Free Love, Ecko Bazz, Makaya McCraven

It may feel like we’re playing everything from Uganda’s Hakuna Kulala label, but we’re cherry picking the best music from the uber prolific label. This week it’s the exceptional face off of Kampalans Ecko Bazz and Bigga Yut trading verses over the production of Nihiloxica’s pq.

Elsewhere there’s new music from Throwing Snow’s third LP, two batches of Polish experimentation, synth pop from Free Love’s luxury hits, Finnish pop rock and lots more.

Ecko Bazz feat Bigga Yut – Tuli Banyo (prod. by pq) (Hakuna Kulala, Uganda)
Káryyn – Segment and the Line (Mute Records, UK)
Rättö ja Lehtisalo – Valonnopeus (Ektro Records, Finland)
Makaya McCraven – Young Genius (feat. Joel Ross) (International Anthem, USA)
Throwing Snow – Simmer (Houndstooth, UK)
WIDT x Christoph de Babalon – Awlatan (Bocian Records, Poland)
Jérôme Noetinger / Robert Piotrowicz / Anna Zaradny – The One Who Searches for Cracks (Musica Genera, Poland)
Jibóia – Diatessaron (Discrepant, UK)
Free Love – Tomorrow Could Be Heaven (Full Ashram, UK)
India Jordan – Rest (Lo Recordings, UK)

#205 – Cosey Fanni Tutti, Flohio, Senyawa, Audiobooks, Pessimist

Bookended by pioneers, this week’s episode of the Independent Music Podcast is a really special one. To open we have the first taste of Throbbing Gristle legend Cosey Fanni Tutti’s new solo LP due next year. To close we have throat singing Indonesian experimentalists Senyawa, whose new LP is out through US label Sublime Frequencies.

Elsewhere there’s Lewisham grime from the exciting Flohio, some South American tinged German cold electronics from Japan, a awesome back of the tour van slice of techno and some David Lynch jazz…

Cosey Fanni Tutti – Tutti (edit) (Conspiracy International, UK)
Flohio – Wild Yout (Alpha, UK)
Acid Cannibals – Life’s Alright (Hominid Sounds, UK)
Pessimist – SPRTLZM (Pessimist Productions, UK)
Thought Gang – Logic and Common Sense (Sacred Bones, USA)
Sueño Sueño – Nao (MIND Records, Japan)
Audiobooks – Dealing With Hoarders (Heavenly Recordings, UK)
Debmaster – Space Tribe (Hakuna Kulala, Uganda)
Drumm Chimp – Moominal (self-release, UK)
Senyawa – Tanggalkan Di Dunia (Undo The World) (Sublime Frequencies, USA)

#204 – Colin Stetson, Parly B, Lafidki, Workin’ Man Noise Unit, Onom Agemo & The Disco Jumpers

This week our selection of new exciting music starts us off in Germany, where Berlin quintet Onom Agemo & The Disco Jumpers have a new afrobeat-flavoured record to get us going. Elsewhere we have more danceable music from the Capo Verde, Cambodian techno, South Yorkshire dancehall, Danish acid and lots more.

Onom Agemo & The Disco Jumpers – Super Cannes (Agogo Records, Germany)
Claiana – Bizness (Favela Discos, Portugal)
E-Talking – Telephone Rose (Whities, UK)
Colin Stetson – Relapse (Anacapamusic, USA)
Parly B – You Mi a Look (ft Mungo’s Hi Fi & Charlie P) (Scotch Bonnet, UK)
Workin’ Man Noise Unit – Sloucher (Riot Season Records, UK)
Lafidki – The Ceremony of the Drowned (Bezirk / Chinabot, UK)
Anchorsong – Testimony (Tru Thoughts, UK)
Karsten Pflum – Red Roof (Moniker Eggplant, Germany)
Caterina Barbieri – We Access Only a Fraction (Important Records, USA)

#203 – Meridian Brothers, Nazar, Marie Davidson, Lokier, Donny McCaslin

You don’t get many better hip wigglers than Colombia’s finest Meridian Brothers, whose latest slice of cumbian delightfulness gets us going this week. Elsewhere, Gareth has a lot of electronics on the heavier side of the spectrum, not least the Japanese collaboration of Shun Konno and Blind Beast bringing the abrasive. Anthony has amazing, amusing techno from Marie Davidson, afro acid Congolese music, Russian punk and a whole lot more.

Meridian Brothers y Grupo Renacimiento – La Policia (Names You Can Trust, USA)
Nazar – Enclave (Hyperdub Records, UK)
Marie Davidson – Work It (Ninja Tune, UK)
Make’Em – Trava (Silo Rumor, Portugal)
Mirrored Lips – Мать (Cruel Nature Recordings, UK)
Lokier – Screws in Paradise (Pinkman, Netherlands)
Donny McCaslin – Beast (Motéma Music, USA)
Shun Konno and Blind Beast – 竈馬 (Luau Records, UK)
Zazou Bikaye – Na Kenda (Afro-acid mix) (Crammed Discs, Belgium)
Lueke – Champion (Version) (Editions Gravats, France)

Contemporary Indonesian Music Special

A special one hour show from Gareth playing some of his favourite discoveries from his time in Indonesia. Having spent time exploring music scenes in both Jakarta and Bandung, he’s picked out ten stunners that range from breakcore madness, to surf, house, jazz, grindcore, psych, and a whole lot more.

Tesla Manaf – Opaque ft. Rio Abror (Mabes Music, Indonesia)
Noxa – Dimusnahkan Diabadikan (self-release, Indonesia)
The Southern Beach Terror – Tsunami Bomb (Elevation Records, Indonesia / Sonic Funeral Records, Indonesia)
Sunmantra – When You Bite My Lips (Roam Recordings, USA)
Superfine – Rabbit Hole (Bhang Records, Indonesia)
Bottlesmoker – Bonet Circle (Yes No Wave Music, Indonesia)
Sigmun – Behelit (Orange Cliff Records, Indonesia)
Rafi Muhammad – Break the Rules (Berita Angkasa Records, Indonesia)
Godplant – Radikal (Lawless Jakarta Records, Indonesia)
Duo Kribo – Uang (Keepkeep Musik, Indonesia)

With thanks to the British Council for funding the trip

#202 – Maarja Nuut, Sarathy Korwar, Part Chimp, Alma Negra, Dreadsquad

This week we’re keeping it local to where we record the podcast, with eight of our ten tracks being released on UK-based record labels. That doesn’t stop the international flavour of the artists though, and Estonia’s Maarja Nuut has just released a record that is amongst the best we’ve heard all year.

We also have Polish sci-fi dubs from Dreadsquad released via Glasgow’s Scotch Bonnet Records, we have London-based Indian jazz musician Sarathy Korwar, noisy new tracks from Part Chimp and Blóm and a whole lot more.

Baïkonour – Runner I (Embassy Recordings, UK)
Maarja Nuut & Ruum – Haned Kadunud (130701 Records, UK)
Dreadsquad – Space (Scotch Bonnet Records, UK)
UUUU – Electric Blanket (Editions Mego, Austria)
Alma Negra – Sedowa (Lumberjacks in Hell, Netherlands)
Part Chimp – Doctor Horse (self-release, UK)
Sarathy Korwar – Earth (Gearbox Records, UK)
Los Bitchos – The Link is About to Die (self-release, UK)
Map71 – Primary Radioaction (Foolproof Projects/Fourth Dimension Records, UK)
Blóm – Toxic Dependancy (Hominid Sounds, UK)

#201 – DUDS, Sharron Kraus, Swindle, Sealionwoman, Rabit

The morning after the night before! We’re super grateful to all our amazing listeners, and we got a huge amount more for podcast 200. Hopefully those of you who came in on #200 are ready for #201, because we’ve got a whole new batch of amazing new sounds for your ears.

First up there’s the fantastic percussion of João Pais Filipe, who’s a member of Porto’s ace HHY & The Macumbas (featured on #197). In keeping with percussive experiments we also have the Domadana Kadodi Performers from Uganda released (of course) on the excellent Nyege Nyege Tapes.

Elsewhere we’ve got super experimental sounds from Emerging Industries of Wuppertal via Singapore’s ShanGORIL La Records, we have something closer to home in the UK’s nasty, noisy Blood Claat Orange.

To wash that down with got sublime jazz from Swindle, stunning folk from Sharron Kraus and a whole lot more…

João Pais Filipe – Kavusan (Lovers & Lollypops, Portugal)
Rabit – The Quickening (Halcyon Veil, USA)
Sharron Kraus -Something Out of Nothing (Ghost Box Records, UK)
Domadana Kadodi Performers – Recording Two (Nyege Nyege Tapes, Uganda)
Sealionwoman – Remain (Antigen Records, UK)
DUDS – Not At All (Opal Tapes, UK)
Mésange – The Return (God Unknown Records, UK)
Emerging Industries of Wuppertal – Feathers (ShanGORIL La Records, Singapore)
Blood Claat Orange – Rainforest Wigglies (Sunk Records, UK)
Swindle – Reach the Stars (Feat. Andrew Ashong) (Brownswood Recordings, UK)

Five things we’ve learnt from producing 200 podcasts

As the Independent Music Podcast reaches episode 200, I’ve been thinking a lot about what we’ve learnt along the way, and whether we have any lessons to help podcasters who are just starting out.

A creative name might be detrimental

I stressed for ages at the start to come up with a creative, witty name for our podcast that played independent music. ‘Independent Music Podcast’ was essentially a holding name whilst we came up with something more intelligent. However, over the years when we’ve asked people how they found the podcast, many have said that they just searched for ‘Independent Music Podcast’ in order to find a podcast that plays independent music. If you can call your podcast exactly what it is, you might end up reaching a lot more people than that whacky name you might be sick of in a few years’ time.

Feedback is hard to get

The one true measure of your podcast’s success is listener figures, and I’m a keen subscriber to the mantra ‘if the listener numbers are going up, you’re doing it right’. Having said that, the best moments of running the podcast come when someone gets in touch, leaves a review, or becomes a Patron. That’s because it’s the only time somebody is actively taking an action to give you positive re-enforcement other than listening to your show.

Word of mouth is your best benchmark of quality

If you can’t really afford to promote the podcast and your listener figures are going up, the only explanation is that you’ve got word-of-mouth. The chart below shows our listener growth day-by-day over the past four years (up to 30 September 2018 where the chart flattens out because we have no data yet).

What you see is an increased rate of growth every year. 2016 (red line) grows quicker than 2015 (blue line), and 2017 (yellow line) grows faster than 2016. That shows that every year we’re adding more listeners at a quicker rate. That shows that we’re doing the right things that ensure our listeners are recommending the show to others.

Marketing is important

The question then is, ‘but what about 2018?’ The green line is growing at roughly the same rate as the yellow line. That shows that – whilst we’re not losing listeners – we’re not really gaining any new ones either. It was at this point that we thought about marketing.

The ‘Field of Dreams mantra of ‘build it and they will come’ is a fallacy. The chart above proves that you can grow organically for a few years, but eventually you’ll hit a ceiling. What you can see from the angle of the lines is that, for the second half of the year, the 2017 line is growing at roughly the same rate as the 2016 line.

Our marketing has been fairly modest – we’re a podcast that barely covers its hosting costs – but since late July 2018 we’ve put around £100 into Facebook and Google advertising. This has been to get the podcast in front of more people – people who might be searching for ‘independent music podcasts’ and not have found us yet, or people who like other podcasts and experimental music. As you can see from the surge in the 2018 (green) line, this has had an exceptional impact. Most of those listeners are staying with us too – and we will have surpassed our total 2017 listens in just three weeks’ time.

Your instincts are probably right…

When we started the show, it was to fill a need. We wanted to hear some new experimental music every single Monday and there was no real outlet for that. We bet on the fact that other people would want that too, and the fact that we found an audience of hundreds – then thousands every week is testament to that.

… and Just do it

Which leads me to the last point: ultimately, if you have a podcast idea – just do it. We knew a bit about music and little about broadcasting (although we do now have solo radio projects), it was the content that we thought was important and – if your instincts are right – you’ve got nothing stopping you from starting.

There are lots of guides on starting podcasts so I won’t go into too much detail (although feel free to contact us on Facebook if you have questions). One piece of advice I will give is this: don’t worry too much about getting the quality perfect from the start, or dropping loads of money on a good host (we use Libsyn, but used Acast for a long time – they’re both great) you’ll make loads of mistakes and learn as you go. Our first podcast is embarrassing to listen to. When Freakonomics did their first podcast, it also sounds like a car crash compared to what they have now. It’ll sound bad at first, but it’ll get a lot better very quickly.

Hopefully that helps you out. We’d love to hear your thoughts on podcasting. If you’re doing it yourself, what have you learnt along the way? If you’re thinking of doing a podcast, what’s holding you back? Get in touch in the comments.