Recent News

Nine Beats Collective to play USA festival

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The brilliant and acclaimed NINE BEATS COLLECTIVE are to play at the renowned Wild Goose Festival in the USA in July.

Quoting the festival website: “The Wild Goose is a transformational community grounded in faith-inspired social justice. When we come together for the nationwide festival we learn and grow by co-creating art, music, story, theatre, and spectacle, engaging in a wide variety of robust, respectful conversations with each other and with thought leaders and artists from other communities. We refuse to be enemies with anyone. We are hospitable to all and welcome people of all faiths, and no faith, to seek the common good together.”

Nine Beats Collective are currently due to play the MainStage at 8pm on Friday 12th July and on Saturday 13th they are playing both, the River venue at 3pm and the Cafe venue at 11pm.

“We are so pleased and thank Wild Goose for the invitation and we are looking forward to playing at the festival” said Nine Beats Collective creator and co-ordinator Steve Bassett. “The USA contingent will be out in force with (at least) Heatherlyn, Rev Vince Anderson, Eric Leroy Wilson and also Ben Grace taking part. As with all things Nine Beats there is a lot of on-going planning and organising! We’ll be posting news and update on our Facebook, Instagram and Twitter sites as we progress and I’m sure Plankton will too!”

The critically acclaimed ‘Nine Beats to the Bar’ album is available on CD from this website (Click here) as is the wonderful double vinyl edition (Click here) and it is also available digitally on all major music download and streaming sites Worldwide

For the Wild Goose Festival website (Click here)

Wild Goose Festival tickets available via Eventbrite.com (Click here)

Nine Beats official website (Click here)


Matt JR Hurley new release & festival gig

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Singer songwriter MATT JR HURLEY, who released his ‘Raising Questions’ EP on Plankton in 2016 has teamed up with fellow singer songwriter April Shipton and under the duo name of ‘Beyond The Mountain’ are releasing the single ‘One More Mountain’ on Friday 24th May. The single will be available on all leading digital music sites/platforms. (This is not a Plankton Records release)

“The response to the song and the whole Beyond The Mountain project idea has been brilliant” shared Matt. “We have and are doing several radio interviews and appearances, including Premier and UCB and just this week we’ve been able to confirm our appearance at Creation Fest 2019 in Cornwall”

Matt and April met at on a Christian songwriting retreat, where a common passion to share hope to those struggling soon emerged. With inspirational music and powerful testimonies, the pair of friends are a poignant reminder that whatever mountain we face; we are never alone, and there is always hope.

Matt’s Plankton EP “RAISING QUESTIONS” is still available on all digital music sites/platforms Worldwide and on CD from this website (click here)

For more BEYOND THE MOUNTAIN news/info check out their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/BeyondTheMountainTour/


New Books with Nine Beat Collective connections

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Here at Plankton Records we’ve always counted it a great honour and privilege to be working with, and a part of, the whole NINE BEATS COLLECTIVE project. There are lots of reasons for this and one of them is because “the collective” goes way beyond just creating, performing and releasing some great music together. As well as songwriters and composers its fantastic to be working with poets and writers. Two of those writers have recently had new books published.

AARON NIEQUIST (who is also a brilliant songwriter and musician – check out ‘Lament’ on the ‘Nine beats to the Bar’ album) has published THE ETERNAL CURRENT. Quoting a press release:

“The Eternal Current is a call for Christians to move past the shallows of idealized beliefs and into a deeper, more vibrant, beatitude-like faith rooted in sacred practices and intimate experiences with God.

When the limits of his own faith experience left him feeling spiritually empty, Niequist determined God must have a wider vision for worship and community. In his search, Aaron discovered that there was historical Christian precedent for enacting faith in a different way, an ancient and now future way of believing. He calls this third way “practice-based faith.”

This book is about loving one’s faith tradition and, at the same time, following the call to something deeper and richer. By adopting some new spiritual practices, it is possible to learn to swim again with a renewed sense of vigor and divine purpose.”

Available from Amazon Worldwide. Direct links to book on UK or USA

ROZELLA (Roz) HAYDEE WHITE (who we had the pleasure of meeting and working with at the Greenbelt Festival in August 2017) has just published LOVE BIG. Again, quoting a press release:

“Love has the power to transform us – In the words of Mother Teresa, “We have forgotten that we belong to each other.” This lapse in memory has caused deep fractures and allowed fear, hatred, and division to infect our lives together. We’ve become disconnected from each other and from our very selves.

In Love Big, leadership coach Rozella Haydée White introduces readers to the power of revolutionary relationships. Modeled after the image of God as a lover, these relationships can heal the brokenness of our lives by crossing over the dividing lines of race, gender, religion, orientation, ability, identity, and class to provide relief and inspiration.

Revolutionary relationships will usher us into a reality marked by love, connection, and a belief in abundance. Revolutionary relationships lead us to love big – to love despite hardships and fear; to love in the face of despair; to love ourselves and others deeply and passionately; to love in ways that change us all.”

Available from Amazon Worldwide. Direct links to book on UK or USA

Both of these books are thought provoking and challenging brilliant and well worth checking out – as are their authors!

And while focussing on books we just wanted to remind you that the brilliant THE NINEFOLD PATH Notebook by Mark Scandrette & Danielle Walsh is available as a single book or in money saving packs (for group/church use) from the official Nine Beats Collective website, along with the LEARNING LAB GROUP GUIDE (the leadership handbook to go with THE NINEFOLD PATH notebook). To go to the official website (CLICK HERE)

Happy reading!!!

Pete Ward announces new gig details

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Our long time friend, Mr PETE WARD, has just announced details of a new gig.

With a group of his friends, Pete (now a Theology Professor at Durham University) will be performing a set at the May event hosted by the Twice Brewed Brew House. Pete Ward 7 Friends will be performing a folk tinged and influenced set during the evening.

It is fantastic to see Pete performing again. His association with Plankton Records goes way back to the early 1980s when he met Plankton’s founder Simon Law on a mission in Hull. Their friendship grew from there and Pete went on to release a number of EPs/mini albums through Plankton right up until the acoustic folk tinged rock/pop mini-album “To Eric” by the duo TREVOR SPEAKS which consisted of Pete and percussionist/vocalist Dan Johnston. Pete remains a good friend of both Simon and Plankton’s other partner Keith Dixon

Most of Pete’s Plankton releases are available on all major digital music download and streaming sites Worldwide (just type his name into your preferred sites search engine) and some of Pete’s classic tracks appear on both the Plankton compilation albums “The First 20 Years” (PCDN 153) and “The Second 20 Years” (PCDN 174) and the slipcase set “Forty Years 1978-2018” (PCDN 175) – CDs available from the shop section of this website and also available on digital

Vince Anderson of Nine Beats Collective recording new live album

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Our good friend and NINE BEATS COLLECTIVE member Vince Anderson is RECORDING A LIVE ALBUM & video documentary TONIGHT with his fantastic band “Rev. Vince Anderson and his Love Choir” at his regular Monday night residency at Union Pool , 484 Union Drive, New York, New York 11211.
If you can, please go down and be part of a great ‘happening’. For those of us who have seen Vince live we know that when performing he truly is a force of nature!!!
The band will be performing their usual 2 sets at 10pm and 12.30 and there is no entry/cover charge but they suggest a donation of $20 when the hat is passed round.
The venue website is www.union-pool.com

New Plankton Playlists on Spotify

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Plankton Records partner Keith Dixon has just created and added the first three new playlists to SPOTIFY that feature the music of Plankton Records artists.

“I’ve been looking to do this for some time now” stated Keith, “with the aim of hopefully spreading the word on some of our artists and raising their profiles and having more people encounter and enjoy their music. It’s been great for me too as I’ve been listening to their music again!”

“Even though these releases are on my label and I actively helped create and release a lot of them you can easily forget how good this music is, because you are so busy work on everything involved in running a small independent label that you don’t have the time to just sit and fully enjoy previous releases unless you make the time to do so!”

The first three artists to feature on these playlists are PETE WARD, BEN OKAFOR & FRESH CLAIM

“There will be more Plankton Records Spotify compilation playlists coming” advised Keith “both artists based as well as other themed playlists”

Here are the links to the three playlists:

PETE WARD (Click here)

BEN OKAFOR (Click here)

FRESH CLAIM (Click here)

40th Anniversary 1 Hour Radio Special

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Flame Community Radio are broadcasting a 1 Hour Plankton Records 40th Anniversary Special programme across this week. The team at Flame asked Plankton partner Keith Dixon to choose 12 tracks that outlined the journey and different musical styles released by Plankton over the years.

Keith reports, “It was not a case of choosing what I think are the 12 best/favourite songs that we’ve released – which would be a nearly impossible task for me anyway! – but finding the 12 songs by 12 artists that I thought best painted a sketch or outline of our long history and I decided to base this around our recent ‘FORTY YEARS 1978 – 2018’ double album release. I did an interview with John Cheek from Flame in October and after the interview he got me to record links/intros to each of  the 12 tracks. I’m looking forward to hearing it myself via the RadioPlayer app!”

Here are the broadcast dates and times:

Monday January 7th @ 4.00pm

Wednesday January 9th @ 7.00pm

Thursday January 10th @ 8.00pm

Saturday January 12th @ 12.30pm (lunchtime) & 8.30pm

Flame Radio broadcasts in the merseyside are of England on 1521 MW/AM. You can also listen to them via their website (CLICK HERE) or via the RADIO PLAYER or XIIALIVE apps ir on Internet Radio and on-line via TUNEIN or PURE.

To find out more about the 41 track ‘FORTY YEARS 1978 – 2018’ double album set (CLICK HERE)

New NINE BEATS COLLECTIVE Remix single released

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A new year is here and we please to start the new year with a new release – a new NINE BEATS COLLECTIVE remix single released Worldwide on every major digital music download and streaming site/platform!

‘Wild World’, Barry’s self-penned and sung contribution to the critically acclaimed and much lauded NINE BEATS TO THE BAR album (available on CD, digital & double deluxe vinyl), is built on an old-school R&B vibe that grabs your attention and refuses to let go. On an album packed full of truly great songs, ‘Wild World’ was one of those that lept out and caught the attention of reviewers and radio programme planners alike. It was felt by us all that revisiting the track and remixing it would help with the up-coming promotional work in mainland Europe and the orginal album producer, and noted remixer, Tony Bean went back into the studio and created this brilliant ‘Euro’ remix which is now released Worldwide right at the start of what is hoped to be an exciting landmark year for the whole NINE BEATS COLLECTIVE project

Barry is a theologian, professor, writer, cultural commentator, artist, musician, composer and famously had a faith epiphany when on the tech crew of AC/DC’s “Highway to Hell” uber-rock ‘n’ roll tour. As well as being a talented songwriter, he has composed movie soundtracks and produced his own albums.

He travels globally, speaking on issues related to the intersections of theology and contemporary culture. He co-authored A Matrix of Meanings: Finding God in Pop Culture and A Heretic’s Guide to Eternity and Entertainment Theology: New Edge Spirituality in a Digital Democracy.

NINE BEATS COLLECTIVE is a collaboration of world class musicians, artists, and songwriters who have come together from different continents, different cities, and different experiences, all on the trail of exploring the ancient wisdom of the Bible sayings known as ‘the beatitudes’. Their album NINE BEATS TO THE BAR is an eclectic soundscape of R&B, soul, rock/pop, acoustic threads, classical, jazz/funk, African vibes, and a hint of gospel. It’s a haunting, a cry, a new beat. It’s soul, adventure, lament, and rage. It’s a love song… and most of all it’s a movement.

Visit the official NINE BEATS COLLECTIVE website (CLICK HERE)

Visit the NINE BEATS COLLECTIVE artist page on the website (CLICK HERE)

Find out more about the NINE BEATS TO THE BAR album CD and digital versions (CLICK HERE) and deluxe double heavyweight VINYL (CLICK HERE)

Another extensive Plankton radio interview to be broadcast

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We’ve been really blessed by the amount of radio interest and support there has been for us regarding our 40th Anniversary and our music history and legacy.
Plankton Records partner Keith Dixon recorded an extensive in-depth radio interview in late October with John Cheek of FLAME Christian & Community Radio and it will be broadcast on different occasions on different days in the coming week. There will be several broadcasts but the main times when the programme can be heard are:
Monday, 31st December, between 1.30-2.30pm
Tuesday, 1st January, from 8-9.00pm
John also informed us that the Monday broadcast may be followed immediately by another hour-long show, featuring selected Plankton tracks where Keith recorded the links for at the interview. As we write this it’s not been 100% confirmed but we’ll see.
You can find FLAME RADIO on 1521 medium-wave/AM (Merseyside), Radio Player and Xiialive apps, internet radios and on-line at Tunein, PURE and www.flameradio.org – Christian and Community Radio serving Liverpool, Wirral, Runcorn, Chester and north Wales

Plankton Partners live radio interview

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As the interest and celebrations of Plankton’s 40th anniversary continues, Plankton Records partners Simon Law and Keith Dixon were the special guests of Patrick Sherring and his ‘Friday Night Extra’ show on Phoenix 98FM on November 23rd.

Simon and Keith were interviewed live about the history and music of Plankton. Simon also performed 3 songs live in the studio – including his new single ‘The Haven’ (which has been played by the radio station) and 3 tracks were played from the FORTY YEARS 1978 – 2018 2CD slipcase set.

It was a fun in-depth interview with both Simon and Keith sharing about their memories, thoughts and experiences of running the UK’s oldest surviving independent Christian record label.

You can listen to the programme via the Phoenix 98FM website. Just click on the link and scroll down the page to the player. Simon and Keith are on from approx 5 mins 40 sec to 1 hour (CLICK HERE)