Skunkadelic

The signature baritone and lyrical dexterity of Cardiff’s premier emcee Skunkadelic is instantly recognisable amidst the ever fertile soundscape of UK Hip-Hop. Bearing a musical heritage shaped by the golden era of hip hop and rooted in his family domain of Nigeria, he channels raw passion, experience and ingenuity into every rhyme.

Following his debut album release ‘Musically Drifting’ Skunkadelic has racked up an impressive number of accolades including live shows alongside Talib Kweli, Chali 2na, The Pharcyde, Jehst, Rag n Bone Man, Blackalicious, Ugly Duckling, Jungle Brothers, Ocean Wisdom…. As well as collaborations with the likes of The Allergies, Mr Woodnote, Dr Syntax, TY, Sparkz, Truthos Mufasa, Abstract Soundz, Twogood, Unchained XL, Band Pres Llaregubb amongst a host of others. The hunger to create and share is the driving force that influences every move he makes. 2020 has seen is music really gain traction with heavy rotation from Lauren Lauverne (BBC6 music), Adam Walton (BBC Radio Wales), Jo Wiley (BBC Radio 2) & Tom Robinson (BBC6 music)

Aside from solo work, Skunkadelic has a resident post at the helm of 9-piece monster funk collective Afro Cluster and has written, recorded and toured extensively with the group over the last decade. They’ve appeared at numerous high profile festivals and events including Glastonbury, Womad, Greenman, Boomtown & Festival Of Voice and toured alongside the likes of Ibibio Sound Machine, Craig Charles, Gilles Peterson and Hot 8 Brass Band.

Consistently sharing his creative journey, he honed his networking skills as a booking agent at both Cardiff’s ‘Starving Artists’ promo team and Liverpool’s ‘Fiesta Bombarda’ agency. He is also emerging as an educator, running a series of music/art workshops in schools and within his local community, demonstrating a dedication not only to artistic output but to the burgeoning industry and training that underpins it.

With a new EP in the works and a full album from Afro Cluster out February, 2021 has been yet another productive year.

Gallops DJ set

Mark (Gallops) treats us to a DJ set to keep the party going at Central on Saturday night!

Laura Leigh DJ set

Laura Leigh (Too Many JDs & All the best house house parties!) will keep the party going on Friday night at Central!

Hippie Hourrah (QC, Canada)

In many ways, it’s the music you sometimes hear after banging your head. A mandala of vaporous sounds. As with the words we try to read in a dream, something escapes us: one letter less, too much, upside down, unknown, incongruous. Here, certainties are shattered into shards of doubt: guitar or zither; modern or ancient; fruit of goldsmithery or of chance?

“Hippie Hourrah” was the song that Jacques Dutronc had written to make fun of the infatuated who swarmed in his flowerbeds. Caustic bit of vertigo to send yourself at 45 rpm or on a sugar cube. Escaped from the latter’s mouth – a Havana smoker never closes it – the word took on flesh, took shape, rolling from one mire to another in the alcoholic swamp of the evenings, a little happiness hidden under light rags and a few beards. He was promised worlds and wonders. Then the walls swallowed the sun. Everything went very quickly then. They were three, four, five or more, Marinel Abas, Miles Dupire and Gabriel Lambert .There were flowers and smoke, also basses and synths. There was this singer in tree posture, once seen in Adam’s costume (from the Fall) within the Marinellis. There were those Jesuses of Bermuda, found at Anemone and Elephant Stone, and their Golgotha ​​of reverberations. And nothing on stage actually sounded like what you saw there. It was as if this word that we struggled to read in dreams had offered itself a chamber orchestra to sing its praises in a buzz of psychedelic choirs, repeating a mantra backwards. And in the celestial vault, an echo resounded: Hippie Hooray, Hippie Hooray…

BAHR (Germany)

Creating and sharing soundscapes. Visualizing thoughts and emotions. Reaching out, connecting. Journeyman. Traces of modal soul.

My beats and NFTs are like diary entries. A digital native in this analogue world in transition.

Genre: Hip-Hop-Rave, Bass, Electronic

Bookhouse

A four piece bedroom band hailing from rural North Wales, Bookhouse is a band shaped by the forests and mountains that surround them. Combining influences of krautrock, space rock and shoegaze, Bookhouse’s music washes over the listener with a barrage of hypnotic rhythms, noisy synth glitches and ethereal soundscapes.

“This UK experimental krauty psychedelic band that remind me of why music is exciting. These songs are free of giving a f*** about being accessible to anyone. Traces of Amon Dual II, Neu, Ash Ra Temple but with a blender turning off and on, going in different direction. Feel it.”
Tone Bursting

“Impressively whacked-out psychedelic rock. Eferwad y Tonnau Gwyn features four tracks, including ones of 14 and 21 minutes in length, and has a nice line in both guitar-centred Krautrock ravers and abstract FX gloop. Mint!” Buzz Magazine

The Crab Apples (Catalonia)

The Crab Apples is an indie pop band from Barcelona formed by Carla Gimeno (vocals), Laia Alsina (electric guitar) and Laia Martí (bass).

In 2014 they released their debut album, Right Here (Discmedi), which was followed by the EP Hello Stranger (Discmedi, 2016) and a tour that led them to play alongside great bands such as The Beach Boys, Nada Surf, Sidone and L.A. In 2018 they released their second album, A Drastic Mistake (Hidden Track, 2018). Following this, in 2019 they published the EP More Mistakes, accompanied by an extensive tour throughout Spain, which led them to take the stage at big national festivals such as Primavera Sound, Sonorama, VIDA…. In 2020, in the midst of the pandemic, they released most of the singles of their third and most powerful album, CRAP, which is now available thanks to Spanish independent music label DSK Pop.

CRAP is definitely a step forward for the band, as they have collaborated with producer and musician Victor Valiente for the first time. He has given his particular understanding of electronic music to the band’s sound, sampling and filtering their own instruments (bass, guitars and voices) to come up with new, unique and original sounds that work as sintetizers.

This past 2021 The Crab Apples have appeared among the best national albums of the year lists of renowned media outlets and are considered one of the most promising emerging Spanish bands.

Cara Hammond

Cara Hammond is a singer-songwriter from Wrexham, North Wales. Influenced by female artists such as Amy Winehouse, Lianne La Havas and Lana Del Rey, Cara’s music is an eclectic mix of indie pop, neo soul and folk. Cara began writing songs when she was 11, going on to self-release 3 EP’s, and a string of successful singles. Her music has been featured in Spotify’s New Music Friday playlists, gained support from BBC Radio Wales, BBC Radio Scotland and was featured in the national BBC Introducing Hotlist.

During the pandemic Cara learnt how to produce, leading to her first self produced EP ‘twenty four hours’. The leading track ‘Losing Balance’ has nearly 1 million streams on Spotify, has been performed nationwide on BBC Radio and Gwyl 2021.

Cara has performed at Boomtown Fair and Love Supreme, supported Mahalia, Charlotte Church, performed for BBC Introducing Showcases and played at iconic London venues such as The Roundhouse, The Troubadour and The Water Rats. Cara completed her debut Welsh tour in October 2021, finishing with 2 performances at Focus Wales festival. Returning from her debut international showcase at SXSW, Cara has recently finished recording new music that she is so excited to perform at this years FOCUS Wales festival.

Ava In The Dark

Ava in the Dark are a Leeds based indie pop band, with Welsh roots, where angelic vocals meet experimental guitar, punchy drums, shimmering synths and fuzzy basslines.

Pint + Blister

No-nonsense rock and roll from Chester, UK. Inspired by the spirit of 1976 and the dissatisfaction of modern music and life in general.

Jack Found

Jack Found

Manilla Times

Manilla Times are a 4 piece indie rock & roll band formed in Manchester in 2021. Composed of 3 Welsh lads originally from Mold in North Wales, and an Irish lead singer from County Fermanagh. Their main inspiration comes from a mix of The Strokes, Arctic Monkeys and Foals. 2022 is set to be a big year for Manilla Times, with multiple singles set to be released and UK gigs in the pipeline, they play a hometown North Wales performance at FOCUS Wales in Wrexham this May.

The Zangwills

Jake Vickers, Ed Dowling and Sam Davies met at sixth form college in Northwich, Cheshire and The Zangwills line-up was completed by drummer Adam Spence from Chester in May 2017. They released their debut single New Heights in December 2017 and have released music steadily since including 2 EP’s It’s Really Up to You and In Amongst the Glitter. Each of them bring very different influences to the band and this, along with Jake’s unique voice, is reflected in their distinctive sound which is instantly recognisable. Tricky to pin down for comparison, the band cite David Bowie, Arctic Monkeys, The Cure & The Strokes among their influences.

‘The Zangwills took the stage by storm’ Gigsandtours
‘The UK does not stop producing bands that immediately make us fall in love, for example, The Zangwills.’ Festnoise (Germany)
‘These are dead, dead, DEAD good! Keep an eye/ear out’ @Huw Stephens
Adam Walton, BBC Introducing

Murder Club

Formed in December 2020, the all-female indie pop-rock band have since been hard at work, trying to make a breakthrough under the pressures that the COVID-19 pandemic has put on developing artists and grassroots venues alike. They released their debut EP Sour Candy in Feb and recorded it in their hometown venue Le Public Space, Newport.

Alice Low

Just a ladydaddy building her empire.

Eitha Da

“Sonic storytelling coloured with splurges of fuzzy garage rock, all bubbled up in North Wales.” Bido Lito

Eitha Da is Ben Dempsey Sawin, a multi-instrumentalist and North Wales native concocting viscous globules of garage-fuzz since 2016. Propelled by a live band featuring former and current members of Mowbird, Gintis and Baby Brave, Eitha Da have brought to life a unique strain of lo-fi sci-fi fuzzy punk with performances at Green Man Festival and Focus Wales, as well a sharing a stage with the likes of Gwenno, Adwaith and The Beths.

KEYS

There you will find them, tucked away in between The Stooges ‘Fun House’ and John Lennon / Plastic Ono Band – KEYS, the band you never knew you needed until they changed your life. Over five Albums, Eps and countless singles during this millennium the KEYS have become a mythical presence on the Welsh musical landscape. The timeless quality of the band’s music touches on the wide-eyed wonder and boundless possibilities of the sixties pop song, West Coast harmonies, Motown backbeat and the aggression of post 1968 proto punk, sets them apart as true believers in the communion of Rock and Roll. KEYS are very much a band for the here and now, shaping music from the moon dust of the past into a re-imagined future that is all theirs for the taking.

CHROMA

CHROMA is a bi-lingual, alt-rock band from Pontypridd. The three-piece are hotly tipped by Under The Radar Mag as ones to watch in 2022. In addition they’ve received radio support from BBC Radio 1, BBC 6 Music, Kerrang! Radio, Radio Wales and BBC Radio Cymru and ongoing support from BBC Introducing. They’ve played prestigious festivals such as Reading & Leeds Festival, BBC Radio 1’s Biggest Weekend, FOCUS Wales and Festival Number 6 along with some European festival appearances in Barcelona and Brittany. The band closed a successful (pre-pandemic) 2019, with a notable appearance at Maida Vale Studios, recording a live session for BBC Radio Wales which later got picked up by Radio 1 and played on air. With support from Festival Republic and PRSF, CHROMA were set to record their Debut Album in 2020 which was inevitably ground to a halt due to the covid-19 pandemic. Their debut album “Ask For Angela” has now been recorded and is set for release in 2022, with 10 never-heard-before tracks that establishes the band’s rock roots and future direction. They’ve played sold-out shows all over the UK with the likes of IDLES, Peace, Astroid Boys, VANT and Tigercub.

Chico Jorge (Spain)

Chico Jorge is the solo project of Barcelona-born Jordi Bastida, known for being the guitarist of artists and bands such as Carlos Sadness, Els Pets, TRAU, and Ramón Mirabet. He debuted last summer with his first EP, Chico Jorge i, which tells a personal story about fall and rise, plain and modest, which, in the key of indie pop with a taste for noise, has been inspired by stylistic references such as Deerhunter and Wilco. Side A of the EP describes the fall with ‘Las flores que arden,’ and ‘amalgama de miedo y furia.’, which have served as singles; while side B deals focuses on the rise with ‘Pájaros,’ and ‘grieta en sol Mayor.’. Because that’s what life is like for the vast majority of human beings: a vertical zigzagging route, the queen stage of the Tour, running between mountain pass up and mountain pass down; and the human heroic lies not in invincibility, but rather in our infinite ability to pick ourselves up again when we’ve hit rock bottom.

In October he released the single ‘Revolución en 32 versos’, inspired by The Strokes or the first Angel Olsen. A musical formula that allows Jordi to express his message more clearly and accurately, since by mixing courage and humility, Chico Jorge is beginning to accustom us to his way of articulating great reflections on common life, confronting himself in emotional rings from which most of us flee without looking back.

Language Arts (Nova Scotia)

Art-pop synth-wave real-goodery!!! Language Arts (2005-present) is the brainchild of Nova Scotia, Canada, native, Kristen Cudmore, and Grammy-winning Neil MacIntosh (Snarky Puppy); with their performing contributors Chris Pruden and Patrick O’Reilly.

The outfit has been praised for unforgettable live performances and bombastic sound.

Language Arts’ latest 2021 release, Lemon Lime was produced by David Bottrill (Peter Gabriel, Tool, and Smashing Pumpkins), and Joel Stouffer (Serena Ryder, Drgaonette). The result is a dizzying array of catchy songs that detail Cudmore’s recovery from a brain injury after being hit by a drunk driver.

The songs were written in hospital and recorded and released over five years as healing took place. Language Arts have been compared to Stereolab, Lykke Li, and Chairlift.

Sunhill (Sweden)

Taking their name from a cheap wine brand, SUNHILL have never taken themselves too seriously. Starting out in the small town of Borgholm, Öland, the 4-piece consisting of Simon, Jack, Oscar and Henric developed a simple and straight to the core sound with influences from punk bands like FIDLAR and Metz. Soon after releasing their first EP “What a Drag” they felt like the music scene in Borgholm didn’t give them as much as they wanted, so they moved to Gothenburg to expand their name. Playing various underground clubs in the city, they gained a reputation for their chaotic live performances while continuing releasing more EP’s and singles. In the autumn of 2020, SUNHILL signed with BlackValley Records. Through them, they released their EP ’’Spot in the Shade’’ in January 2021. This time having a more focused sound on the melodies, but still keeping the dirt and distortion from previous releases. With no tour or live gigs in the winter of 2020-2021, except for participating in the digital editions of both Festival Marvin and The Great Escape Festival, the main focus was to write and record new material. This resulted in the new, highly acclaimed 5-track EP ’’Golden Days’’ which, along the music video for title track, was released by the end of 2021.

Super Duty Tough Work (MB, Canada)

Golden-era taste, current-era based. Inspired by the dirty jazz loop sound of 90s east coast hip hop, Super Duty Tough Work is the live incarnation of hip hop culture’s quintessential era. Revered for their methodically curated set, SDTW mixes laid-back with high-energy, for a satisfaction-guaranteed journey through culture, touching on everything from life as a struggling musician to police violence and racism in Canada and abroad. SDTW excels on stage and on record, bringing a fresh take on tradition in a movement where loops are and jewels are the tools of the trade. Following the release of their debut album Studies In Grey, SDTW received a WCMA nomination for Hip Hop Act of the Year and received a Polaris Prize nod making them the first Manitoba-based hip hop act to be considered.

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