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Plankton artists play August festivals

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As we hit sunny (yeah right!) August three Plankton artists are preparing for appearances at UK music/arts festivals. First festival of the month is the annual KINGSSTOCK Festival were both MATT JR HURLEY and ECHO perform on Saturday August 12th.

“It’s great news for both artists” reports Plankton’s Keith Dixon, “Matt has been wanting to play there for a couple of years now and he was one of the last artists book this year – so he’s very pleased. Then for ECHO this is the very first gig they will be playing with stock of (very) ‘hot off the press’ copies of their brand new CD “Soul Proprietor” available. The other great news for Echo is that they were invited back at the insistence of some of the festival organisers – always a good sign!”

Then on August bank holiday weekend MATT JR HURLEY plays RIVERCAMP FESTIVAL in Evesham. His hour long performance is the closing set of the event on August 27th at 10.00pm.

That same August bank holiday weekend, a number of the NINE BEATS COLLECTIVE artists come together from Britain, the USA and Denmark for a whole weekend of performances across the GREENBELT FESTIVAL at Boughton Castle.

Nine Beats spokesman STEVE BASSETT reports “We’ve got HEATHERLYN, REV VICE ANDERSON, ERIC LEROY WILSON, MARK SCANDRETTE and ROZELLA HAYDEE WHITE coming over from the USA and MIKAEL R ANDREASEN from Denmark. UK musician, singer, writer (and Nine Beats Collective member) MARTIN TROTTMAN has pulled together a great band and will be our MD for the weekend. We are all doing at least two performances/seminars/activities each day and our big showcase event on the Saturday evening. It’s going to be great. We’ll have loads of Nine Beats merchandise and resources with us along with the CD and the gorgeous double heavyweight vinyl edition of the album.Our aim is to get every festival goer leaving the site living their lives nine beats to the bar!”

For more details on the above check our events page on this website or go to the website of each festival:

KINGSSTOCK website (CLICK HERE) – for Facebook page (CLICK HERE) & Twitter (CLICK HERE)

RIVERCAMP website (CLICK HERE) – for Facebook page (CLICK HERE) & Twitter (CLICK HERE)

GREENBELT website (CLICK HERE) – for Facebook page (CLICK HERE) & Twitter (CLICK HERE)

Newsletter 1

Latest Echo news – New album recording completed

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This is taken directly from Echo’s latest emailed newsletter:

Echo have completed recording their latest album, ‘Soul Proprietor’. The full length album includes 14 more of their regular, well known (and some less well known gems) soul and Motown tracks which have been given the ECHO Eternal Edge treatment.

It’s been a labour of love since last October for the 9 piece band who have employed the genius of producer/musician/ arranger Richard Cottle to realise their own arrangements to the songs and use his expertise on the keys. Richard‘s vast experience comes from working with the best; from Eric Clapton, Mick Jagger, and David Bowie in the 70’s, to Seal and Wham in the 80’s/90’s to arrangements for the likes of the RPO and he is MD for many tv shows, most recently including ‘The Voice’.

ECHO have also been assisted by the supremely talented Andrew Linham who scored the brass arrangements and members of the Andrew Linham Big Band performed the parts for the album.

The ECHO Sisters have been adding their harmonies to the songs along with Marie’s dynamic lead vocals over their usual rhythm section of James on guitar, Greg on bass and the superb feel of Barney’s drumming. The drums have been recorded at Ralph Salmson’s famous studio, The Bunker, with Barney playing Ralph’s vintage Gretsch studio kit.

The original pressing of Echo’s first album, ‘Bought Not Souled’ has now sold out and the CD is now on its second pressing and the band are expecting copes of their latest album to move even faster when released towards the end of July!

Amidst the busy work preparing and recording in the studio the band have been maintaining their regular gigging schedule including concerts, outreach events and gigs in secular venues.

You can contact ECHO on info@echomusic.co.uk

Keep up with ECHO by ‘Liking’ their Facebook page – CLICK HERE

Nine Beats wedbsite news

Nine Beats album released & Greenbelt confirmed

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“At long last” reports Plankton Records’ Keith Dixon, “we can say that the wonderful NINE BEATS COLLECTIVE ‘Nine Beats to the Bar’ album is released and available. The digital and CD versions of the album that is. The spectacular double heavyweight vinyl version is still in production and is due to drop in August. Personally, being a passionate vinyl lover, I can wait for that”.

“It’s been a long but ultimately rewarding effort by the whole Nine Beats team. The core team had been working on the album for some time even before we (Plankton) got on board. We are honoured to be associated with a work of such artistic integrity and achievement.”

“The range and styles of the music included on the album is staggering – so much so that we decided to release a single a week (all featuring a different style/genre of music) on all digital formats Worldwide for the last four weeks up until the album release on Friday June 16th. I’m delighted to say that all of the singles have been enthusiastically received and the first wave of critical reviews and features on the whole album have been totally positive – across all sectors of the music press. We even made it into the Daily Mirror!”

The latest exciting news is that NINE BEATS COLLECTIVE are going to be at the UK Greenbelt Christian Arts Festival over the whole August bank holiday weekend with daily performances, showcases and seminars. So far confirmed are Heatherlyn, Rev Vince Anderson, Mikael R Andreasen, Martin Trotman, Eric Leroy Wilson, Mark Scandrette and Rozella Haydee White.

The Official NINE BEATS website www.9beats.org 

The CD version of the album can be ordered from the official Nine Beats website (click on the link above) and from this website (CLICK HERE) and for UK readers from Amazon (CLICK HERE)

The DIGITAL version of the album  is available now on all major download and streaming sites Worldwide

For more information on the Greenbelt Festival (CLICK HERE)

4 x NINE BEATS Singles 500x700 72dpi

Four Nine Beat Collective singles announced

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Ahead of the June release of the astounding NINE BEATS COLLECTIVE ‘Nine Beats to the Bar’ album in conjuction with the Nine Beats team we are pleased to announce the release of FOUR singles that will be available on all digital music download and streaming sites Worldwide. From iTunes to Spotify and everywhere in between.

This is such an exciting project for Plankton Records. NINE BEATS COLLECTIVE is a collaboration of world class musicians, artists and songwriters from three continents (Europe, North America and Africa) on the trail of exploring the ancient Bible sayings known as ‘the Beatitudes’. The ‘Nine Beats to the Bar’ album is a concept album of music, spoken word and soundscapes and textures that searches for the essence of these ‘nine beats’ via an eclectic soundscape of R&B, soul, rock/pop, acoustic threads, classical, jazz/funk, African vibes and a hint of Gospel.

To highlight the enormous musical scope and variety of the album we’ve decided to release four very different singles from the album – one a week leading up to the album’s release. Each of the singles will give a different flavour of what’s to come and will also help raise awareness of the album ahead of it’s release.

The first single (released Friday 19th May) is the title track from the album. It features the beautiful haunting atmospheric vocals of Denmark’s MIKAEL R. ANDREASEN. Genre wise it is very hard to describe the single with elements of ambient rock, jazz and reggae (to name but a few!). The song also features the guitar work of the legendary guitar virtuoso CALEB QUAYE, former member of the ELTON JOHN band and HALL & OATES to name but a few.

The second single, “What Can Love Create?” (released Friday 26th May) features the amazing American singer/song-artist HEATHERLYN. This beautiful song, co-written with UK songwriter and NINE BEATS COLLECTIVE linchpin Steve Bassett, showcases her soulful honest voice and it also features a great string arrangement by DEBORAH PRITCHARD – one of the UK’s rising classical stars.

Single number three “Kosi” (released Friday 2nd June) features AMBASSADA, one of the most prominent artists on the African music scene. This song, co-written with TONY BEAN, the MOBO award winning producer of the ‘Nine Beats to the Bar’ album (he also plays multiple instruments on the album too!), has an irresistible gentle African groove and heartfelt vocals that are passionately delivered.

And last but not least comes single number four “#blessed” (released Friday 9th June) features REV VINCE ANDERSON from the USA. This song is a withering take on the Twitter/social media culture and the idea of cheap blessings all underpinned by a pounding groove that Rev Vince likes to call ‘Dirty Gospel’ – a term the Rev uses to describe both his musical style and influences and his theological perspective.

So four very different  NINE BEAT COLLECTIVE singles are on their way. We will be posting news updates as their release dates get nearer and videos are posted etc and of course we’ll be reporting on the album as well which is currently due to be released on CD and digital on June 16th with a stunning double 180gsm heavyweight vinyl version being available in early August, ahead of the NINE BEAT COLLECTIVE daily performances at Greenbelt… but that’s a whole future news article!

Nine Beats both cards

Nine Beats coming into view

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For some time now we’ve been working as part of an international team to bring you a brilliant new music project based on the Beatitudes by THE NINE BEATS COLLECTIVE – a collection of very talented and diverse artists based in UK, Europe, USA and Africa that have come together to record an extraordinary album.

Said Plankton’s Keith Dixon: “We are very excited about this project and planning it’s release is now very close. The final proposed masters are being listened to with the aim of signing off and the artwork is in final approval stages. Discussions are still ongoing on PR and aware raising and a release date to be set.

From my point of view it’s fantastic that Plankton have been approached to release the album in the UK and Europe on both CD and double heavyweight vinyl – yes, vinyl. I’m totally thrilled to be able to do this – and we are also looking after the Worldwide digital release via our aggregation company Doxmedia.

So as of next week we are going to start rolling out some news and info on artists etc on this website and also on our Facebook and Twitter pages, starting with a great in-depth interview blog which will be split into 2 parts – so please watch these spaces!”

Coffee mini tour pic

Echo mini tour in middle of album recording

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Motown and classic soul band ECHO have announced a March coffee house mini-tour as recording of their new (second) album progresses.

Band leader and bass player Greg Nash told us: “As a band we’ve been concentrating our time and energy on the on-going arranging and recording of our second album – which is going really well – and as as consequence of this we’ve not been performing live as much as usual. We have, and are, doing gigs when they fit around everything else and the other time demands on the band members.

One thing we have always done is a sort of stripped back more acoustic soulful set in coffee houses, which we love doing and which have always gone down really well with the audiences. An opportunity arose to perform three coffee house gigs over 3 weekends in March around the areas where the various band members live which we really wanted to do as a way of thanking our friends, and  more importantly God, for the on-going support of the band and our music. We love performing and connecting with a live audience and our goal has always been to convey the joy of knowing and following Jesus and of God’s love for everyone – using some great songs that nearly everyone will know. In saying all this and the fact that these are coffee house gigs, then the tour title ‘Grounds for Gratitude’ seemed an obvious choice too! So please come along and we can raise a cup (or two) together in thanks”

For details of the mini tour, and for all other gigs/concerts/events involving Plankton Records artists then please go to our events page on the website

echo-update

Second album progress report

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Plankton Records partner Keith Dixon reports:
Just after New Year it was great to hear from Echo’s bass player (and band leader) Greg Nash. We’d not spoken or been in contact for some time and it soon became apparent why when I asked Greg how the work on the second album was progressing:
“We’ve got two video sessions booked in for a couple of weeks time. I’m about to meet with the guy to talk about the venues, style etc and it will be for two songs from the new album. They will be videoed by the same chap who did the last lot of photos and the idea is to keep the same style that will accompany the album, flyers, banner etc.
As you know we’ve been recording the album for a little while now and it’s all coming together brilliantly. We’re really heavily into the recording at this stage and therefore not doing a lot of live work. We recorded a guitar track earlier this week, and as I speak I’m going to the studio with Marie in about an hour! Next Friday is a bass guitar day for me and we’ve booked up another studio purely to get as much guitar on the album as poss. We have vox sessions with the girls booked at various times over the next three months to fit around their diaries/other commitments and the final drum session in Feb.  Just the strings and brass to organise but the final charts aren’t done for those yet!”
So watch this space folks for more information – what little I’ve heard so far sound great! The hope is to release a single (with video) ASAP ahead of the album but at the moment both we (Plankton) and the band are not putting any firm dates out so as not to put unneeded pressure on ourselves – there’s currently plenty of that to go round! It looks like the album will be a late spring/summer release by which time Greg will no doubt be lying down in a darkened room as he’s really done a fantastic job of organising and coordinating all of  the album’s recording sessions.
We are also looking to organise some album launch live gig dates and I know Greg is keen to have some live strings and brass for some of those if possible. So there is lots to organise and plan and as soon as we have any news we’ll be letting you know.
If you want to see more of the album’s progress, the band have been posting some great pics and films of the recording sessions etc on their Facebook page. To follow them now (CLICK HERE)
You can also check out their highly acclaimed debut album BOUGHT NOT SOULED if you (CLICK HERE). The album is available on CD from this website and also (in the UK only) on Amazon and the digital version is on all major music download and streaming sites Worldwide
darn-funk-revival-fm

Darn Funk Orchestra radio interview

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A telephone interview with Jimmy Darn, leader/drummer/vocalist/songwriter of THE DARN FUNK ORCHESTRA, was the main feature on UK radio station Revival FM’s “Gospel Blues Train” programme ,hosted by Lins Honeyman on Saturday December 17th.

Jimmy talked about how the band initially came together, how he wrote the songs (especially their take on the Psalms) and the various members of the band past and present amongst other things. Link also played lots of Darn Funk tracks.

Starting from approx 22 mins and 15 secs into the programme and continuing to the end of the show (1 hour) it certainly a great showcase for the band and their Plankton Records debut album “Soul Food”

To hear the programme (available until December 24th) – CLICK HERE

The “Soul Food” album is available on all major music download and streaming sites Worldwide, including iTunes and Amazon. The CD version of the album is available from the store on this website – CLICK HERE 

A big thank you to Lins and the Revival FM for their support!

premier-radio-breakfast

Echo interviewed and perform live on radio

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Plankton’s very own ECHO​ performed 2 songs and a specially arrange Christmas medley live in the studio on the Premier Christian Radio​ Breakfast show today (Monday 12th December).

It was an early start for the band as they were live on the air from Premier’s Central London studio just after 8.00am. At approx 1 hour and 6 mins hosts John Pantry and Rosie Wright play a track from Echo’s “Bought Not Souled” album (available on CD from our website store or from all major music download and streaming sites Worldwide) and then they introduce and interview the band and the girls perform a song from their up-coming second album to a work-in-progress backing track (more news on this in the new year!). Then at approx 1 hour 24 the band perform a Christmas Medley (count the songs!) and then a final live song at approx 1 hour and 35 minutes.

It’s the third year in a row that ECHO have appeared and performed on the breakfast show on the run up to Christmas! Perhaps it’s because the girls can sing so well together so early in the morning crammed together in a radio studio.Whatever the reason, Echo’s visit to Premier has  almost home a part of Plankton’s traditional build up to Christmas!

To listen to the programme on catch-up (CLICK HERE)

To order ECHO’s “Bought Not Souled” album on CD (CLICK HERE)

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Vivienne & Liz duet on new Christmas compilation

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A brand new Christmas compilation album featuring UK Gospel and CCM artists has just been released. It features the beautiful version of “Mary Did You Know” by Plankton Records artists Vivienne Neville and Liz Clarke
Compiled by UK CCM supporters A Step FWD the album is available via Rocket Fuel . Here’s what A Step FWD say in their press release:
“We make a personal appeal for you to support aStepFWD with just £10 today but purchasing the album. Of that £1 goes directly to help tackle the homelessness issue in London and the UK. With your help we aim to sell a minimum of 500 albums.
Please purchase your copy today: https://rocketfuelhq.com/astepfwd
Our Christmas LIVE 2016 event will take place on Sunday, 11th December from 6:30pm GMT. We will be broadcasting LIVE via facebook.com/astepfwdUK in true ‘Band-Aid’ and ‘BBC Live Lounge’ style so be sure to join us online for this fresh format and live performances.
Throughout the event will be a live ‘web-a-thon’ with our Christmas Collection 2016 album (a UK first for Christian & Gospel compilations) that is now available and includes 18 top UK artists from multiple genres including Noel Robinson, Ian Yates, Lurine Cato, LCGC, Guvna B and many more! Our desire is to sell 500 albums at least.
With YOUR help, we can make this happen. Please purchase an album online, gift one to a relative or friend and help us to hit that target. Every sale counts! And don’t forget, for every Christmas Collection album sold £1 will go towards awareness and tackling the growing Homelessness issue in London and the UK.
We would love if you could share, LIKE, RT and plug our social media posts, messages and updates as we have been doing for you via the UK Christian Chart and our website.”