Tag: Maps (Page 2 of 3)

MAPS Live at The Southbank Centre

MAPS gigs are as rare as hen’s teeth (especially in the capital) and tonight’s gig at The Southbank Centre attracted a bit of a Mute Records “who’s who” with DEPECHE MODE producer / engineer Gareth Jones and Polly Scattergood both in the audience.

The man behind MAPS, James Chapman recently released his fourth album ‘Colours. Reflect. Time. Loss’ which saw a massive direction change from the electronics-based ‘Vicissitude’; the new work seeing the synths and drum machines being mainly replaced by live drums, strings and brass.

There was an expectation that tonight’s sound would be dictated by the new MAPS aesthetic.

But from the off, it was apparent that this was going to be a ‘rock’ gig with the orchestral instrumentation being absent, Chapman’s live synth / Korg Electribe / guitar set-up was augmented by drums, bass and ably flanked by Cecilia Fage (vocals + percussion) and Rachel Kenedy (vocals + synth).

The Southbank set spanned three of MAPS’ four albums with ‘Turning the Mind’ being the only work to be overlooked.

Kicking off with ‘Surveil’ and ‘Both Sides’ from ‘Colours. Reflect. Time. Loss.’, Chapman created a carefully controlled wall of sound with the newer tracks arguably sounding even stronger than their recorded versions.

The show’s psychedelic visuals were worthy of a mention with microphone stand mounted mini-camera feeds being warped in real-time and projected onto the screen behind. MAPS debut Mercury Prize nominated album was well represented with ‘So Low, So High’ getting an early airing; listening to this track now, it still sounds like a Glastonbury anthem waiting to happen and it would be a criminal shame if Chapman doesn’t get some festival appearances as a result of his performance here.

Midway through the main set saw two tracks back-to-back from ‘Vicissitude’, ‘I Heard Them Say’ and ‘You Will Find a Way’.

Both tracks translated incredibly well to the live stage with Fage and Kenedy’s providing some quite beautiful harmonies to back up Chapman’s lead vocals which at times evoked those of THE STONE ROSES’ Ian Brown.

The looping shuffle of ‘It Will Find You’ climaxed what felt like an all-too short set and the band disappeared literally for a couple of minutes before returning for a two song encore.

‘Liquid Sugar’ and ‘In Chemistry’ drew the evening to a close and the Purcell Room crowd were left wanting more. Chapman appeared visibly moved by the reception and spent time after the show mingling with the audience and signing albums.

Even after thirteen years, MAPS still remain Mute Records best kept secret; criminally overlooked and deserving of a much wider audience.

Hopefully the success of this show will see Chapman and his band taking to the stage far more frequently as he now has a band that is tailor-made to interpret his tracks live.

If you get a chance to catch MAPS in future, don’t pass up the opportunity to catch this consistently innovative and brilliant musician / performer.

Special thanks to Sarah Pearson at Wasted Youth PR

‘Colours. Reflect. Time. Loss.’ is released by Mute Artists in CD, white vinyl LP and digital formats






Text and Photos by Paul Boddy
7th July 2019

A Short Conversation with MAPS

MAPS aka James Chapman releases his fourth album ‘Colours. Reflect. Time. Loss.’ through Mute in May.

Following the collaboration with Polly Scattergood as ON DEAD WAVES, ‘Colours. Reflect. Time. Loss.’ sees Chapman hooking up with the string / brass players of ECHO COLLECTIVE, who had previously worked on ERASURE’s ‘World Beyond’ album, for a far more organic-sounding work.

James Chapman kindly spoke about the new MAPS album and also his fruitful ongoing relationship with Mute…

For listeners of the last MAPS record ‘Vicissitude’, the new album is going to be a huge contrast, were you nervous to committing to making such a different sounding record?

The whole idea of this album was to try new things and I think “being bold” was one of the themes of the record, so I just went for it. I think it’s the same with every album, you tend to second guess yourself, you’re not quite sure sometimes. In the end, if I like it, I hope other people do as well! *laughs*

How important was the making of the ON DEAD WAVES album on ‘Colours. Reflect. Time. Loss.’, it’s a kind of a stepping stone between the two isn’t it?

I think it was in a lot of ways, that was obviously a collaboration. I think it took me out of my comfort zone in a way because I was so used to working on my own for so many years. Working with Polly Scattergood was a new experience and because it went so well, I guess it opened me up to the idea of working with other people. With the new album I took that a step further. It got me back into playing my guitar a lot more because I’d kind of sidelined that with some of the albums and plunged straight into electronic stuff.

What were the challenges of going from a one man band MAPS to the involvement of a multitude of live musicians on ‘Colours. Reflect. Time. Loss.’?

I still worked a lot on the songs before I got to that point, so I still managed to have a lot of control. I’m still a bit of control freak! *laughs*

I got the songs to a certain point and then I really just thought I could take it further and so that’s when I got ECHO COLLECTIVE involved. Because it was that way of doing it, there was less anxiety about involving other people, so it was another step really.

So you knew in your head what you wanted it to sound like?

The big challenge for me was doing the arrangements, I’d never really done that before. So when they all sat down and played the scores, there was a part of me that was very relieved that the notes they were playing were what I’d written!

That was great, the whole process was a big learning experience for me, I feel like I’ve progressed a bit with what I know I can do.

ELECTRICITYCLUB.CO.UK recently interviewed Mark White and Stephen Singleton from ABC and we were discussing the ‘Lexicon of Love’ album. Mark said that it was a “profoundly moving experience” hearing the strings recorded for his songs. How was the overall experience for you?

There was a sense of relief! You’re never totally sure that things are going to work out, so when things slot into place and things are going well, you get a feeling of “wow”, it’s actually worked. I can understand what they’re saying, it’s a whole different experience, a different way of doing music when the notes are on the page. It’s all there but you never quite know what the sound that comes out will be like, so it was an interesting way of working.

Did you commit wholeheartedly saying “oh right, we’re going to have strings on all of these tracks” or did you do a couple and see how it worked?

I committed a bit more because we did six tracks in the first session and originally that was what was planned. I hadn’t planned to do the whole album with arrangements. But it worked out so well that I decided to just go for it in the end, just do the whole album. So when I got home after the first session, I thought, ah, I should have done them all! There were two sessions in the end, we did six tracks in the first and four in the second one. It was never the complete plan to do them all in one go.

Is it true you blew the record company advance on involving live musicians for the projects?

Yeah it is true! *laughs*

Because I’d worked on the album on my own, there was not a lot of expense in the way I would do it and I wouldn’t involve other people until the end stage. But yes, I spent the advance on the first session and then I actually applied for PRS funding for the second session and I actually got that…

I didn’t realise they did that kind of thing?

I didn’t either! So that was amazing, because that meant I could go back and finish the album; it was just a lot of things nicely slotted into place in that process which was really nice.

At what point did you make the decision to ditch the electronic drums on the new album as ‘Vicissitude’ was 100% programmed percussion?

The idea with this album was to have more of a human sound, so the answer to that was get more humans involved in the making of it! *laughs*

All the drums were already there programmed, I asked Matt to do his thing on the tracks. There’s still a lot of programming weaved in as well, so it’s not entirely all live, there’s a lot of electronic elements that were left in. He played on all of the songs, again it just really worked for me because I think that it does add a human element when there’s live playing involved.

The promo video for ‘Just Reflecting’ (with its stop motion footage) is reminiscent of the Philip Glass soundtracked ‘Koyaanisqatsi’, was that film an influence?

It wasn’t consciously, I know the music to that rather than the film itself. The visuals worked out really well; I had a lot of visual ideas in my head and a lot of it was sweeping cityscapes and was drawn from memories from childhood. That sense of wonder when you’re seeing huge cityscapes for the first time. There were a lot of memories I was drawing on, Jonathan Irwin who did the visuals did a great job!

‘Both Sides’ has a real Krautrock motorik feel to it, are you a fan of the genre?

Yes, totally, it’s really cool that you said that! That song especially, it was a bit of a tribute to that sound. A lot of those songs are very rhythm based, the drums will just stay almost quite hypnotic…

Jaki Liebezeit, he pioneered that kind of consistent drum rhythm…

The music weaves around the drums and that was what I was going for with ‘Both Sides’.

I think you succeeded! You are very open about ‘Pet Sounds’ being an important landmark for you, are there any other albums that you hold in equally high esteem?

Oh yeah, totally, that was an obvious reference for me, ‘Pet Sounds’; but I was listening to a lot of Sixties and Seventies soundtracks as well, like Morricone. I love horror soundtracks as well like the Giallo stuff….

Like GOBLIN, the Dario Argento stuff?

Yes, I love the way the instrumentation is all played for real and sometimes things go slightly out of time. There’s a very human feel to those soundtracks.

Although ‘Colours. Reflect. Time. Loss.’ is a far more organic album than ‘Vicissitude’, there are still some electronics and sequencers on it, did you invest in any new synth tech for it?

Yes I did, I got a new crazy guitar FX pedal which I love, one of the Helix multi-FX things which is insane which I’ve used quite a bit. I used the Moog which Polly Scattergood left here…

That’s very kind of her!

I gave it back eventually! I think it was a Moog Little Phatty which I used quite a bit…..

Was there any vintage kit used on the project?

There is, some of the sequencers I don’t realise they’re vintage but they are! *laughs*

I still use my Yamaha RM1X, the Korg Electribe quite a bit and there’s a bit of Korg Volca Beats drum machine on there. Mainly just things which are around, I tend to just have a fiddle and see what happens. I’ve also got a little dulcimer which I used quite a bit which has a strange tuning. I played it on the opening to ‘You Exist In Everything’ and it sounds great drenched in reverb and stuff. So there was quite a bit of experimenting and the usual fiddling!

I was on Spotify recently and came across the MAPS remix playlist, I had no idea you’d done so many! There’s 35 on there… what do you enjoy most about remixing other artists?

I do enjoy it, firstly you are seeing “behind the curtain” a bit when you get the parts for the songs; I enjoy seeing how it was made and that it’s a different take. I think that I like the freedom of it the most, the way that you can do what you want.

You can take an outsider’s perspective, there’s less pressure in having to write because the song is there…

Yes, the recording’s done, but it’s what you add to that. But I have done a lot, I think I’ve done 64?! But they’re not all on Spotify, I’ve done fair few!

You’re signed to Mute and have remixed a lot of their roster including DEPECHE MODE, MOBY, ERASURE and GOLDFRAPP… do you have a favourite?

I’m not sure if I do, I suppose the DEPECHE MODE one was amazing, the honour of doing things like that is amazing to me and obviously like MOBY as well. There’s been a few when I’m blown away that I’ve been even asked! It’s great to have that link with Mute because you get things passed your way that would never happen.

Is there anyone on the Mute roster that you would still like to remix? NEW ORDER?

That would be amazing! When they signed to Mute I was hoping…their roster is so amazing, that anyone on Mute would be an honour…

You have some live dates coming up, what can people expect from those? Have you started rehearsing for them?

It’ll be a five piece band. I was really happy because a lot of the people that played on the album are the band now. We’ve got Cecilia who does a lot of those choral type vocals on the album, she’s singing in the band and Matt is going to play drums, plus Rachel who was also on the album is going to play keys and sing.

We’ve been rehearsing quite a bit, there’ll be a mixture of the new album with songs from the previous albums as well, it’ll be a bit of a MAPS celebration!

I guess it helps having people who have played on the album doing the live work as you don’t have to teach them the parts?

Yes and also the fact they’re into it. It’s great when people are enjoying the music and are up for being involved and that’s a big part of it, it should be good man!

With the earlier material, have you had to adapt that to suit the new line-up?

A little bit, I guess there were certain songs that suit the new sound better, but then there’s ones that I wanted to play that I’ve adapted slightly. But there’s still going to be electronic stuff as well, it’ll just be in a slightly different set-up to how it was formed, I’ll still have stuff to twiddle on stage!

Will the Southbank show be different to the previous two which are advertised as ‘Colours. Reflect. Time. Loss.’ album ones?

It’ll be a longer set probably, we’ve got the run of the venue that evening and have rehearsed a lot of songs, a lot of it’ll depend how long people will want us to play! *laughs*

Have you had any thoughts about the next MAPS project or is there any possibility of another ON DEAD WAVES album?

I haven’t thought too much to be honest, when you do an album, it becomes so much a part of your life that I’m still in the middle of it at the moment.

I feel like I’d like to try something different again and push a bit further. I think I’ve learned a lot from making this album, like doing arrangements and things like that, now that I know I can do it, that’s something I’d like to explore more. So maybe that could be involved in the next part of the journey.

The music industry is a now an extremely challenging one to try and make a living in, what drives you and keeps you going?

I still enjoy doing it, which I’ve always thought is a big part of what keeps people going. It sounds a bit of a cliché, but I still feel like I’d be doing this if I wasn’t signed and stuff like that. It’s like an outlet, I still enjoy making music. But it has got more challenging because of the internet and all that stuff. I sometimes feel for new bands that are starting out, because there’s so much out there, so much choice and it’s hard to get noticed. I guess that there are pros and cons to everything.

Your relationship with Mute seems fairly secure and it must be good to have that?

Totally, I’ve been really lucky. I’ve been doing it for a fair few years now, I never take it for granted that relationship. They’ve stood by me through thick and thin, so to have a relationship with such an amazing label like that is something that means the world to me.

It’s almost like an old school approach as to how it was back in the day where labels were prepared to take the rough with the smooth.

It might take two or three albums before an artist can develop to a point where they are successful. It’s really good to hear that there’s still a label around that is still doing that which is quite encouraging.

I do think that’s the way Mute has always worked, that they sign things that they truly like. I think that’s why I love the label so much, it’s very much about the music rather than the current trends or whatever.

ELECTRICITYCLUB.CO.UK gives its warmest thanks to James Chapman

Special thanks to Sarah Pearson at Wasted Youth PR

‘Colours. Reflect. Time. Loss.’ is released on 10th May 2019 by Mute Artists in CD, white vinyl LP and digital formats

MAPS play The Purcell Room at Southbank Centre in London on Wednesday 3rd July 2019







Text and Interview by Paul Boddy
1st May April 2019

A Short Conversation with POLLY SCATTERGOOD

While best known as a solo artist signed to Mute, Essex songstress POLLY SCATTERGOOD recently won acclaim for her hauntingly spacey vocal in a new epic arrangement of ‘Video Killed The Radio Star’.

Subtitled ‘Dark Star’, it was recorded with one of the song’s co-writers Bruce Woolley.

Never one for convention, for Record Store Day 2017, she not only released a physical edition ‘Video Killed The Radio Star’ exclusively in CD format, but it was also only available online.

Scattergood’s self-titled debut came out on Mute in 2009 on which revealed herself to be a promising talent unafraid to express emotion and vulnerability. One of the album’s highlights ‘Other Too Endless’ was remixed by Vince Clarke and showed how her music could work within a synthesized environment.

And it was on second album ‘Arrows’ in 2013 featuring the electro-COCTEAU TWINS twist of ‘Wanderlust’ that she was able to indulge in some of her more technological aspirations, while ‘Cocoon’ exposed her enticing vulnerability over an eerie soundscape.

But in 2015, Scattergood headed in the opposite direction in collaboration with Mute label mate James Chapman of MAPS; their ON DEAD WAVES project featured a more guitar oriented and retro-based aesthetic than any of their individual works. But in acknowledgement of their Mute roots, the pair recorded an Americana flavoured cover of YAZOO’s ‘Only You’.

With ‘Video Killed The Radio Star (Dark Star)’ riding high on the airwaves, POLLY SCATTERGOOD had a quick chat about her future plans…

How did your ‘Video Killed The Radio Star’ collaboration with Bruce Woolley come about?

Bruce contacted Mute a while ago asking if I would be interested in working with him on ‘Video Killed The Radio Star’. I am a fan of his work so we got together in his studio and played with some ideas.

You got to dress up like Barbarella in the video and handle a VCS3, where did that come from and have you had a go on a working one?

Bruce and I met for drinks in London and he pulled out all of these sketches of space scenes and other worldly beings that he had in his head and it just kind of flowed from there… we then discussed wires and electronics as we both love synths and couldn’t resist having the beautiful VCS3 in the video.

Bruce has some amazing instruments in his studio. My synth obsession began very early as my mum’s sister (Elizabeth Parker) worked at the Radiophonic Workshop for years. I watched her on some wild videos playing these incredible machines growing up, I always wanted to play them myself, but they aren’t the kind of thing you get your hands on easily!

When I signed to Mute, Daniel Miller showed me the Mute studio which had a pretty amazing collection of equipment which I was lucky enough to have access to. I think that’s partly why my first album took so many years to make, I had too many toys to play with!

You’re no stranger to cover versions with standards like ‘The Look Of Love’, ‘New York New York’, ‘Comfortably Numb’ and ‘Only You’ among the songs you have performed. Are there any others you’d like to try out?

Lots, but it’s a case of feeling inspired to add something new or different to a track, rather than regurgitating something for the sake of it.

The Vince Clarke remix of ‘Other Too Endless’ from your debut album will be appearing on a compilation out soon. What was the inspiration behind the song, both lyrically and musically?

Musically it was all about keeping the vibe quite linear and numb, but with these big swells and lot and lots of layers that build. The siren you hear was picked up on a mic as we recorded the vocal in the Mute studio on the Harrow Road. It was just all capturing a kind of bitter sweet bleakness and then processing it through the music. Lyrically, it’s a very long story… involving black zambuca…

The resultant remix from Vince Clarke was very different from your original. What were your thoughts when you first heard it? What did you particularly like about it?

Vince Clarke really went straight to the heart of this song with his remix. He kind of stripped away all the layers I had buried myself in and left my vocal naked in parts.

When I write and work on producing these songs, I often leave these little secrets in them, especially in the production. Like clues to where they came from. Sometimes people hear them and sometimes they don’t, but what Vince did was brave. He took away the safety net of layers and added a starkness and a strength to the song which I would never have been able to achieve on my own.

It didn’t stop there because you did ‘Ghostgirl Lovesick’ with Vince Clarke too, what was the collaboration process for that?

I was living in a tiny studio flat in an attic opposite the Forum in Kentish Town at the time and recording all my ideas onto mini disk. These ridiculously beautiful books, created by Tonya Hurley, arrived on my door step and they really inspired the song. I worked on the track closely with both Tonya and Vince, then I recorded some ideas onto mini disk… wow that makes me feel so old but it wasn’t that long ago, right?!

I sent them over to Vince who then worked his magic. You can hear bits of the room of the recording but I kind of love that, it all just made it much more intimate.

Has a full collaborative with Vince Clarke ever been discussed? What do you think it would sound like?

It’s never been discussed, and I never know what anything will sound like until it’s finished so I couldn’t hazard a guess at how a collaboration would sound…but Vince is awesome, I’m a big fan of his work, and always open to interesting collaborations, so never say never!

You’ve always been quite open to the remix process with THE GOLDEN FILTER, ANALOG SUICIDE, FORT ROMEAU and MAPS being among those who have given reinterpretations of your work. Do you have any favourites?

I only release remixes I really love so they are all quite special to me in different ways and for different reasons. The Vince remixes will always be very close to my heart. I also love the ANALOG SUICIDE (Tara Busch) remix of ‘Bunny Club’. I released it on limited edition cassette tape I loved it so much. Also MAPS (my label mate and ON DEAD WAVES collaborator) has a way of making everything sound epic and dreamy!

So how do you look back on your most recent album project ON DEAD WAVES with James Chapman of MAPS?

ON DEAD WAVES is a real joy to be part of. It’s a project I feel incredibly proud of. James is an incredible musician and has a very calm studio vibe. Our creative process was pure and there was no outside pressure or interference.

We both share the same manager, he was very supportive of the whole process and keen that we stay focused and don’t worry about anything other than the music, so that’s what we did.

It was just me and James in the studio where we would work late and get up strangely early. We were doing what we love so the studio bubble is a good place to be in.

When Mute heard the album, they really took it in the spirit it was intended and spent a long time working with us on the artwork and creative side of things, making it really reflect the empty expansiveness of the sound. We had a lot of fun, played some amazing gigs, from the beautiful Roundhouse in Camden to supporting M83. So yeah, ON DEAD WAVES is a project which I have a lot of love for and continue to do so!

‘Blackbird’ allowed you and James to pursue your Nancy and Lee fantasies?

We didn’t talk about musical references when writing, we shared a lot of art and film references though.

It’s almost time for solo album number three. What direction are you heading in for that following the first two, quite varied offerings and ON DEAD WAVES?

Yeah the first two had many different influences and styles. I was experimenting and learning as I went along… I don’t make albums fast…

I have hundreds of songs on my hard drive, but none of them are ready to be put into an album yet. I’m working on a little EP idea with Jim Sclavunos at the moment. Don’t want to give too much away though as it’s very early days but it’s all exciting.

People are still discovering your work. For anyone reading here about you for the first time, which five tracks would you suggest they check out to understand you as an artist in your various guises and collaborations?

Hmmm that’s hard I guess in order to go on the same journey I have, maybe listen in chronological order…

‘Nitrogen Pink’
‘Miss You’
‘Winter’s Child’


Special thanks to Roland Brown at RKB Management

‘Video Killed The Radio Star (Dark Star)’ is released as a download single by Gramophone Records




Text and Interview by Chi Ming Lai
6th June 2017


ON DEAD WAVESBoth Polly Scattergood and James Chapman aka MAPS, have established themselves as two of the brighter stars on the current Mute Records roster.

MAPS’ last album ‘Viscissitude’ was a superb work which presented a far subtler and more atmospheric take on synthpop, showing that a wall of sound approach can function in the context of melodic synthesized music.

Meanwhile, Polly Scattergood has released two albums of quirky indie / alt-rock and getting a Vince Clarke remix along the way for her track ‘Other Too Endless’.

Having previously worked together at the Mute Short Circuit Festival, the two have joined musical forces and this has resulted in the eponymous ‘On Dead Waves’ album, a collection of songs which have a far more retro-based aesthetic than their individual works.

Chapman’s guitar work has always been present in MAPS’ music, but normally buried in the background underneath a wall of synths and reverberant electronic drums. But here it takes centre stage in an album that vocally is directly influenced by the songs of LEE HAZELWOOD & NANCY SINATRA. Chapman’s voice throughout is pitched at a low baritone level (usually an octave below Scattergood’s) and provides textural support to her atmospheric musings.

There have already been three singles from ‘On Dead Waves’ and these are undoubtedly the main highlights here – ‘Blue Inside’ is a thing of beauty, full of melancholy and hinging around a chiming guitar / synth figure which lifts the track to another level in its chorus.

The confessional ‘Blackbird’ takes some of MAPS’ Shoegaze elements and combines it with nods to both country and the films of David Lynch. ‘California’ is short and sweet, incorporating a BYRDS-style twelve string electric guitar, and is the most upbeat and bass-driven track here with its percussive handclap / tambourine / shaker combo making the track fly by in an instant.

Also present is a cover of the classic ‘Autumn Leaves’ which has previously been recorded by artists such as BOB DYLAN, ERIC CLAPTON and EDITH PIAF. Here the song is held together by wide cinematic tremolo guitars and subtle underpinning electronics, with both Scattergood’s and Chapman’s vocals harmonising throughout until the songs ambient conclusion.

The closing ‘Winter’s Child’ initially recalls GOLDFRAPP’s ‘Lovely Head’ with its ethereal introduction and features some welcome electronic pad and synth bass textures. The tolling bells in the track and whistling take their cue from the soundtrack work of ENNIO MORRICONE and the concluding hypnotic ‘On Dead Waves’ mantra appears to accompany the end credits to an unseen movie.

ON DEAD WAVES-Polly-JamesThe fact that LANA DEL REY has already previously mined this kind of sound does steal a bit thunder from ON DEAD WAVES, but this doesn’t stop it from being judged on its own merits. ‘On Dead Waves’ is the kind of album to zone out to on a Sunday morning and perfect for re-imagining yourself on a desolate and dusty American highway somewhere.

Considering Chapman’s previous back catalogue, there is a noticeable lack of synths here, but in recreating a sound which is more retrograde sounding, the use of organ, guitar and lighter percussion are obviously the correct musical layers to use to evoke this period.

In a world where everything appears to be moving too fast, an album like ‘On Dead Waves’ is most welcome, it makes you pause… take a step back and appreciate that not all music needs to batter you incessantly for attention.

Probably the biggest compliment to give this would be that if a third series of the critically acclaimed ‘True Detective’ were to ever hit our screens, the songs here would be an absolute perfect fit to soundtrack it.

‘On Dead Waves’ is released by Mute Artists in CD, vinyl and download formats





Text by Paul Boddy
25th May 2016


BEYOND THE WIZZARD’S SLEEVE Diagram GirlIt’s only April, but could ‘Diagram Girl’ by BEYOND THE WIZARDS SLEEVE be one of the songs of 2016?

The psychedelically monikered sonic brotherhood of DJ Erol Alkan and Richard Norris, who is best known for his partnership with Dave Ball in THE GRID, BEYOND THE WIZARDS SLEEVE are set to release their debut album proper ‘The Soft Bounce’ on 1st July 2016, following establishing their reputation as remixers with their series of ‘Re-Animations’. ‘Diagram Girl’ is the gorgeously enticing lead track from the album and comes over as a blissfully sequenced electronic take on M83 or MAPS, but with the twist of unisex vocals by HANNAH PEEL.

Directed by BAFTA winner Kieran Evans, the wonderful monochromatic video for ‘Diagram Girl’ is a wonderful surreal homage to Nouvelle Vague cinema, capturing a forlorn woman surreally trapped in a derelict house stalked by a ghost and assorted crow-like beings; meanwhile the delightful Miss Peel also makes a cameo appearance.

Released as a single, the bundle also contains a Re-Animation which takes off the male lead vocal and leaves just Peel’s natural dreamily breathy tones over the extended electronic workout.

The Craigavon-born songstress and composer herself has been very busy of late. As well as  juggling projects such as THE MAGNETIC NORTH and MARY CASIO, there will also be the live debut of a collaborative work called ‘In The Shadows Of Steam’, celebrating the lost railways of Donegal at the Cathedral Quarter Arts Festival on Thursday 5th May 2016.

Hannah Peel - Diagram GirlAnd this is without Peel’s own upcoming second solo album ‘Awake But Always Dreaming’, contributing her vocals to a new JOHN FOXX & THE MATHS song ‘A Man & A Woman’ which will feature on a new compilation ‘21st Century: A Man, A Woman And A City’ and a South Coast tour of eight record shops in support of her ‘Rebox 2’ mini-album release on gold vinyl for RSD2016 on Saturday 16th April.

Meanwhile, promising an album of “pleasure and pain, doubt and transcendence” with other guest such as Blaine Harrison of indie rockers MYSTERY JETS, Euros Childs from GORKY’S ZYGOTIC MYNCI, Jane Weaver and Holly Miranda, BEYOND THE WIZARDS SLEEVE launch ‘The Soft Bounce’ with a 4 hour DJ set at The Moth Club in London on the evening of its release.

‘Diagram Girl’ is available now on 12 inch turquoise vinyl with a download key via https://shop.phantasysound.co.uk/




Text by Chi Ming Lai
10th April 2016

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