Home

Recent News

Coffee mini tour pic

Echo mini tour in middle of album recording

No Comments

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

No Comments

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

No Comments

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

No Comments

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)

unnamed-3

Vivienne & Liz duet on new Christmas compilation

No Comments

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.”

2 FC digital releases

New single release from Ian Ventress

No Comments

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

No Comments

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)

 

darn-funk-receive-award

Darn Funk Orchestra awarded

No Comments

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

No Comments

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

No Comments

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)