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New single release from Ian Ventress

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Friday 14th October saw the WORLDWIDE DIGITAL release of our latest single. In conjunction with VJ Media, which is run by our friend Vivienne Neville (a Plankton artist herself) we are pleased to release the debut single from songwriter and performer IAN VENTRESS called “MAMA”, which is a truly joyous Gospel and African flavoured celebration of motherhood, with a slice of rap thrown in for good measure!

Ian’s journey to this point in his musical journey is not your standard story. Based in the north east of England he is a successful businessman but alongside his business activities Ian has always had an interest in writing poetry and this has most recently extended and led him to explore his creative talent in songwriting.

This unplanned and unexpected foray into songwriting brought him into contact with Vivienne Neville, who is of course an experienced songwriter and recording artist. Ian then went into the studio to record with Paul Worthington at Broadwater Studios in Gateshead. Feeling much more comfortable with songwriting than performing ‘out front’ on his own, for this first release from those sessions Ian has drafted in some talented artists and contacts to assist him with the vocal duties. “Mama” features the deep rich tones of the wonderful Lu Ndaka and the song also has a fabulous musical twist with a rap section performed by Consept.

“I’m now working on an album’s worth of material”, Ian informed us recently. “It will be a collection of songs of varying styles and different genres of music and as well as singing myself, as with the Mama single, we are going to be featuring some great talented guest vocalists on some of the tracks too. I’m very excited about the coming months and what they might bring!”

Not many people can describe their first release as ‘Gospel with a rap break and a big helping of African Vibe’. After this great song which so joyously captures what mothers mean to all of us we can’t wait to see what’s coming next from Ian Ventress

To watch the official MAMA video (Click here)

The single is available on all leading music download and streaming sites Worldwide. Here are the direct links to the single on the UK and USA site of iTunes and Amazon.

iTunes UK (Click here)     iTunes USA (Click here)

Amazon UK (Click here)    Amazon USA (Click here)

Follow Ian on his Facebook page: (Click here)

Print

Old recordings available again

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A few months ago we were digging around in places long since visited doing some recording research for our friend (radio presenter and Christian music aficionado) Mike Rimmer and we came across two long deleted releases from the rock band FRESH CLAIM (which is led by Plankton’s founder Simon Law).

One of them, the live album “No Claims Bonus”, a very raw and passionate recording that perfectly captures the atmosphere and emotion of early Fresh Claim gigs, has been the subject of requests for re-issue for a while now, so we decided to give them a dust down and make them available as digital releases on all major music download and streaming sites Worldwide, including iTunes and Amazon.

“It’s great to make these releases available again,” states Plankton partner Keith Dixon. “With these releases it means all of Fresh Claim’s albums (and EPs) are now available again – albeit on digital. The live album was always a favourite of Fresh Claim fans so it’s great news for them. These recording were not full studio recordings as ‘Soapbox’ was a ‘session’ recording – meaning recording the band performing live, but with no audience! We did it this way as we wanted to make a release available at a very cheap price so school kids could buy them after the band played lunch time gigs etc.”

“As the releases were originally only on cassette with quite basis artwork – printing artwork was a whole different world back then! – we’ve had to adapt the artwork too, to fit the digital square box style! And, we’ve made them available at a lower price than the other Fresh Claim releases already available too”

Watch this space for more historic releases being released into the world of digital in the future

If you want to know more about FRESH CLAIM (Click here)

 

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Darn Funk Orchestra awarded

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Plankton Records very own THE DARN FUNK ORCHESTRA recently picked up an award at the Praisetek Gospel Music Music Awards for their “services to Gospel Music” following years of live gigs in all types of venues and then earlier this year the long-awaited release of their debut album SOUL FOOD – on Plankton Records of course!

The band were obviously delighted to receive the award and we are delighted for them too!

Find out more about THE DARN FUNK ORCHESTRA on their Facebook page: (CLICK HERE) or visit their artist page on this website: (CLICK HERE)

The album SOUL FOOD is available on all major digital music download and streaming sites Worldwide, including iTunes and Amazon and on CD from this website (CLICK HERE) and, for UK customers only also from Amazon (CLICK HERE)

LLTM What a friend

Another Raising Questions review posted

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UK CCM website CrossRhythms has just posted a good review of MATT JR HURLEY’s “Raising Questions” EP.

The reviewer picked up on  Matt’s recent history and the writing of the songs and went on to note: “… Hurley skilfully balances the undeniably downbeat feel of the EP with the certainty and steadfastness of God’s love no matter the situation with tracks like “The Promise Of Redemption And Hope” and “My Soul Sings” being cases in point. Hurley’s intricate finger-picking and gentle vocal delivery fit the bill perfectly and, whilst he and producer Gareth Matthews keep things pretty basic in terms of instrumentation, the fuller band feel of the psalm-like “Shout To The Sky” and a synth wash on the previously released single “Pebbles” help add some variety to a promising debut.”

To read the full review (CLICK HERE)

You can buy the CD version of the EP from this very website (CLICK HERE)

The EP is also available on every major music download and streaming site Worldwide, including iTunes, Amazon etc.

 

Nine Beats

Plankton to work with the Nine Beats collective

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Plankton Records is pleased to announce that it will be working with the NINE BEATS Collective who are making a concept album exploring the ancient wisdom of ‘The Beatitudes’. Artists from UK, Uganda, Denmark & USA are collaborating on songs, instrumentals and spoken word to present ‘NINE BEATS’ as a counter-cultural narrative for our times. Amongst the musicians is the world renowned guitarist Caleb Quaye who has played and recorded with Elton John, Hall & Oates, Mick Jagger and many more. The project is being produced by Tony Bean, founder of MOBO winners 5AM.

“These words speak about another world being possible, another way of being human: in these turbulent times, could they actually offer us steps to a new reality?” asks the collective. “NINE BEATS explores these powerful notions – and presents them back to the culture around us through music and art.”

“The arts and theology and spiritual formation are really great conversation partners because… we’re invited to question the assumptions of the systems that we are part of… they point out that the emperor has no clothes on and then invoke the possibility of newness to come… there’s a longing inside of us for another world, something better than what’s here right now… the Beatitudes invite us in to that possibility and say there is a new way to be human, another world is possible”, said author and speaker Mark Scandrette.

To watch the current project video (CLICK HERE)

To visit the NINE BEATS collective Indiegogo website page (CLICK HERE)

Basic RGB

Raising Questions garners great review

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Our good friends at leading UK CCM site LOUDER THAN THE MUSIC have given our latest release, the ‘Raising Questions’ EP by Matt JR Hurley a great review, awarding it 4 out of 5 stars.

In summing up the EP the review stated: “These may not be stadium anthems, but this EP has a glorious reflective feel, perfect for those quieter moments in life when you just want music that will gently sooth you. Matt JR Hurley has put together a handful of songs which are musically well crafted, lyrically thoughtful, and overall, a pleasure to listen to.”

We think this sums up the EP brilliantly. If you want to know about the EP, hear some song excerpts etc (CLICK HERE)

To read the full review (CLICK HERE)

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Plankton taking part in upcoming conference

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Plankton’s Keith Dixon will be attending and doing a very short presentation about Plankton Records at this exciting 1 day conference event in the heart of London’s West End, which has been organised by aStepFWD/UK Christian Charts. If you are involved with music from any kind of Christian perspective then this may be a great event for you to attend.

Keith will also share briefly about his other ‘ventures’ – Doxmedia (music aggregation) and Dox Music Services (music industry advice and support for songwriters, artists and creatives)

For more information on what other organisation are attending (CLICK HERE)

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Matt announces EP launch gig

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Plankton Record’s newest artist, singer/songwriter MATT JR HURLEY has announced a special launch gig/event to mark the release of his brand new EP “Raising Questions” on Plankton Records.

The event will take place at 7.30pm on Wednesday June 29th 2016 at All Saints Church, 5 Radcliffe Road, Swanage, BH19 1LZ. Entry is free and Matt, complete with backing band, with perform the new EP in its entirity and many more songs too.

“It’s going to be a great event” shared Matt “and it will mark the end to the long journey in writing the songs and then getting them recorded and released. I just can’t wait for people to hear them and I’m busy sorting out various gigs and appearances on the back of the release – not that I’ve not been busy performing in the meantime!”

The digital version of the EP is released Worldwide tomorrow (Friday 24th) and it’s available on every major music download and streaming site Worldwide, including iTunes and Amazon.

The CD version is released the following Friday (1st July) and is available to PRE-ORDER now from this very website (CLICK HERE).

“We will have copies of the CD available for the first time at the launch event” confirmed Matt. “Please come along on the 29th, enjoy the music and say hello – I’d love to meet you”

For more details about Matt and his music take a look at his artist page (CLICK HERE)

Echo pre-prod CD

Second Echo album progressing

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The CDR pictured may not look much, but it is the result of a lot of work for Plankton band ECHO.

Bassist and band leader Greg Nash posted it on Facebook along with this comment: “Looks innocuous but this CD is the culmination of an enormous amount of work over the past months with the enormous help of our producer, the amazing Richard Cottle.
This is a CD of 15 pre-production tracks for the next ECHO album. Some of the final keyboard and bass tracks are already recorded on it, now to replace the electronic sounds with proper drums, guitar, bass, strings, brass, percussion etc and then … the girls!
We could not be more excited.”

We are very excited too and are looking forward to releasing the band’s follow up to their fantastic debut album “Bought Not Souled” which is available on all major music download and streaming sites Worldwide, including iTunes and Amazon and on CD from this very website (CLICK HERE) and also from Amazon (UK only) and CrossRhythms. Watch the website for more details as work on the album progresses

You can read more about ECHO (CLICK HERE)

Visit ECHO’s Facebook page (CLICK HERE)

 

Darn Funk jump

New Darn Funk Orchestra Interview posted

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As you can see from the photo, THE DARN FUNK ORCHESTRA are jumping for joy about a new extensive article that has been posted by top UK CCM website CrossRhythms.

It’s a great in depth interview with band founder and leader, James “Jimmy” Darn, who is also celebrating the recent birth of his new baby daughter!

To read the full article, (CLICK HERE)