Rad Releases 20 – Ghostlawns
It’s that time once again, as the countdown to the end of 2020 rapidly approaches and we quickly want to move away from this year- we take a personal look back on familiar names, labels, promoters, and musicians’ best releases of the past 12 months. In what has been a challenging year for all, the one constant has been how artists and their labels have adapted and produced some of the best records of our time and it’s those releases that have the audience has depended on to get them through the year.
This year the Rad Releases special celebrates 10 years, to mark the decade-long feature we let our favorites take over the site to tell us the records that have kept them going throughout this trying year. Telling us how they’ve adapted, if they’ve returned to a loved record and what we can look forward to from them next year.
Our next takeover comes from Cardiff based musical collective Ghostlawns. This year the band released their groundbreaking debut album “Motorik” via Sub Records. The album came at the end of October, but to be able to hear the release in advance and find another record that genuinely bought excitement, was such a positive to be able to pass the time with. Seriously you need to hear their record! We handover to the band to find out more about their year in music…
Run The Jewels – RTJ4
One of the most relevant and best hip hop albums of a generation. If you haven’t seen our mate Jimmy’s review – you should give it a watch!!
· Derrero – Time lapse
Great to have a band so close to our hearts back with a great album. Andy Fung’s other release Botch Sconnet – Back to yours also deserves a mention.
· Idles – Ultra Mono
wall to wall bangers in the village…
· Maserati – Enter the Mirror
We’re fans of Maserati and listened to them a lot during the writing and recording of Motorik.
· SAULT – Untitled
So many good tracks, just fierce!
Others we’ve really enjoyed:
· Daniel Avery – Love and Light
· The Fear Ratio – They can’t be saved
· Marlowe – Marlowe 2
· Carw – Marke
· Meilir – In Tune
· Ani Glass – Mirores
The best show you have played this year / gig attended (if you had the opportunity at the start of the year)
Bern – The only ones I went to this year I was working! I was teched for Los Campesinos for 2 nights at the Islington Assembly Hall and Mclusky at The Exchange in Bristol and The Parish in Huddersfield. They were all banging gigs to be fair!
Dewi – It was a real shame this year, as we were buked to play at Diverse Vinyl in Newport and Focus Wales. We also had plans for a launch gig and more live dates over the summer. I had also started playing with Cotton Wolf to promote their Ofni album, and played Welsh Music Day in the Swansea Music Hub back in feb (seems very far away now!)
Gid – I didn’t even make it to a gig before the lockdown! However, I have enjoyed the online gigs over the last few months. A highlight for me was Cosmic Dog Fog live at at Ty Pawb, Wrexham, which was online. Ellen Alien’s lockdown DJ set streams over the last few months have been ace too, introducing some well needed Berlin Techno to our Friday nights!
Has there been any record that’s got you through this year?
Gid – Blizzards by Nathan Fake & Inner Song by Kelly Lee Owens
Bern – Run The Jewels – RTJ4. Full stop!!
Jonny – Keni Sakuda – Botanical Tapes EP
Dewi – Marlowe 2 and anything by MF Doom in any of his forms!!
How have you adapted with releasing/recording/promoting during this year?
Bern – During lockdown 1, I managed to finally get a bit of time to record some ideas to send remotely with band mates. This isn’t the long-term solution, but it keeps things ticking over. We really looking forward to record our second album, and I’m looking forward to the fourth Right Hand Left Hand album.
Jonny – Last year, I went to Brazil and met several musicians, and recorded an album with them. That album was released this year, and I’ve been writing and recording music remotely with them to write a second album.
Dewi – It’s been really tough not being able to get together with the band this year, especially with releasing the album. We pushed it back from May to October, hoping we might be able to play, but it didn’t happen. We’ve been exclusively promoting online this year, and it’s been great to see that DJs and stations have been playing it, bloggers have been reviewing it, and people have been listening to it around the world.
Gid – The lockdown was really hard, not being able to practice and write as we normally would. However, I finally built a studio at home! I’ve thought about it for a while, and finally got it together. I’m really pleased with it, and like Bern said, it’s made it easier to share ideas and work on ideas from the others.
Best discovery this year?
Gid – Klein & Keni Sakuda
Jonny – Keni Sakuda
Bern – I discovered a bit more time to read books!
Dewi – Our son Gruffydd made an appearance this year, he’s pretty cool!
As this is our 10th year of Rad Releases, we want to look back on your 10 years- has there been on standout moment/standout record of the past 10 years for you?
Gid – Four Tet & Jon Hopkins definitely.
Dewi – 10 years ago, Flying Lotus had released Los Angeles and Cosmogramma, and he’s released another 3 albums since, and set up Brainfeeder! I just think he’s an amazing producer, and I love his music. I’ve had the chance to play with a lot of bands and some great musicians over the last 10 years, which has definitely been a highlight. Releasing Motorik after such a long run up was also a highlight.
Bern – Releasing 3 Right Hand Left Hand albums and the Ghostlawns album were highlights for me, along with touring (remember that?!). Standout records would be anything by Run The Jewels and the Nevermen album.
Artist/Band to watch for 2021
We’ll narrow it down to 2!
Ritual Cloak have just signed to Bubblewrap Records, and we are looking forward to their album, definitely.
If you’re into your psychedelic doom, Mammoth Weed Wizard Bastard from Wrexham will return with their fourth album in 2021, and it’s going to melt your third eye!
Plans for the New Year
Dewi – I’m really looking forward to gigging with Ghostlawns, we love to play, and you realise how much you miss it when you can’t do it. I’m also looking forward to writing the second album, we’ll look at early in 2021.
Gid – Same for me, gigging, writing and just going out and seeing people!
Jonny – All that, and some more Brazilian madness!
Bern – Same again, gigging to promote RHLH 3 and Ghostlawns Motorik, and also writing the second Ghostlawns album and RHLH 4!
Thank you so much Ghostlawns!