Category Archives: Eclectic Mainline

Matters relating to Albert Freeman’s Eclectic Mainline show.

Eclectic Mainline 2014 review

I was invited back for a one off show over Christmas after giving up my regular slot in April 2014. You can hear the full show, plus an extra 4 tracks I didn’t have time to fit in, here:

Here is the full track list:

Plaid – Hawkmoth (LP – Reachy Prints) (Warp)
Wildbirds & Peacedrums – The Offbeat (LP – Rhythm) (Leaf)
Panda Bear – Mr Noah (LP – Panda Bear Meet the Grim Reaper) (Domino)
The Twilight Sad – It Never Was The Same (LP – Everybody Wants To Be Here and Nobody Wants To Leave) (Fat Cat)
Grouper – Call Across Rooms (LP – Ruins) (Kranky)
Aphex Twin – CIRCLONT6A [141.98][syrobonkus mix] (LP – Syro) (Warp)
David Thomas Broughton & Juice Vocal Ensemble – Been A While (LP – Sliding the Same Way) (Song By Toad)
Mogwai – No Medicine For Regret (LP – Rave Tapes) (Rock Action)
A Winged Victory For The Sullen – Atoms X (LP – Atomos) (Erased Tapes)
Maynor – Dixie (EP – Trippin’ on Frenchcore) (GGM Digital)
Tim Hecker – Amps, Drugs, Mellotron (Adult Swim Singles Program 2014)
Bo Ningen – Dadada (single) (Stolen Recordings)
Kode9 and The Spaceape – Chasing a Beast (EP – Killing Season) (Hyperdub)
Sharon Van Etten – Afraid of Nothing (LP – Are We There) (Jagjaguwar)
Goat – Gathering Of Ancient Tribes (LP – Commune) (Rocket)
Ambassadors – Rain (single) (Ninja Tune)
Beck – Blue Moon (LP – Morning Phase) (Capitol)

I’ve written more about my favourite music of 2014 over on my personal blog.

Eclectic Mainline bonus programme – I’m not done!

If you listened to last week’s programme, the final ever episode of Eclectic Mainline, you may have heard me say there will be a bonus programme online.  You will be familiar with the rather tired idea of a bonus track at the end of an album. Well, I thought I would do a bonus radio programme at the end of my tenure on the airwaves.

Albert presenting Eclectic Mainlineropped

When I recently did a special programme celebrating my 10th anniversary on BCB, Phil Cope asked me if that programme tracked the evolution of Eclectic Mainline over the 10 years I had been doing the programme.  It didn’t really do that, but I liked the idea, and that is what I tried to go for with this extra programme.  You can listen to it at your leisure on my Mixcloud page, or simply clickety click below to listen now.

These are the tunes that featured in this extra edition of Eclectic Mainline:

Continue reading

Final ever Eclectic Mainline – 30th April 2014

After 10 years, and approximately (maybe even exactly) 500 shows, I presented the final Eclectic Mainline live on Wednesday evening this week. Thanks to everyone who tuned in to help make this last episode feel special.  Having so many people getting in touch during the show was wonderful.

Albert presenting final Eclectic Mainline

Choosing what I was going to play in this final show was by no means easy. I decided a few weeks ago what I was going to end with. That was easy. But, apart from that, I just wanted to play as much new music as I could, knowing that it was my final chance.  And I had at least 2 shows’ worth of music in my pile of CDs as I entered the studio. I’m kicking myself for forgetting something, however. Back in February the Tweet below alerted me to something amazing.  You can actually listen to Wikipedia edits in real time – the actual sound of the internet breathing!


I thought that was absolutely stunning, and so very now.  Well done to the people who developed that.  I’ve wanted to play an extract if it on the radio ever since, and planned to do so in my final show. But… like a muppet, I forgot. Hey ho, there’s always next wee… Oh no, there’s no next week, is there. Continue reading

Best of the #BCBsessions – Eclectic Mainline 23rd April 2014

During my 10 years presenting Eclectic Mainline on BCB I had the pleasure of recording live (largely) acoustic sessions with some wonderful artists.  As I am giving up the programme, I wanted to re-broadcast some of my favourite session tracks before leaving.

BCB sessions

So, this week I played some (but by no means all) of my favourite session tracks. You can hear the full programme (plus a bonus track taking the show past the hour mark) on my Mixcloud page:

My method of recording a live session evolved over time until I ended up with a process that got the best out of the available resources.  The microphones at BCB are only really suited for speech broadcasting, and the studios are not equipped for multitrack recording. But I managed to work round these restrictions.  The microphones issue was easy to overcome, as I would borrow some from Wilful Missing.

I was restriced to recording in stereo, but I would hard pan the inputs, recording the lead vocal in the left channel, and all other instruments in the right channel.  This effectively created a 2-track recording that I could later mix to ensure a good level on the lead vocal.  But I needed to get a good live mix of all the instruments, and this wasn’t always easy because I was in the same room as the musicians.  I couldn’t monitor what was being recorded without also hearing the ambient noise of the musicians in the room. Continue reading

Eclectic Mainline 16th April 2014

My favourite opening track on an album so far this year is Mask Maker by Liars, and ooh look, a record with string in it – I want!

It’s not just me celebrating a 10th anniversary this year.  Bleep has also been going 10 years and they are releasing a compilation featuring exclusive tracks, including this by Machinedrum:

I played both of the above in this week’s Eclectic Mainline.  You will find the full programme on the BCB Listen Again service.

I only have 2 weeks left of Eclectic Mainline now.  Next week’s programme will be a look back (listen back, I suppose) at some of the wonderful live sessions I’ve had during my 10 year tenure.

Here is this week’s track list:

Liars – Mask Maker (LP – Mess) (Mute) YouTube
Dum Dum Girls – Are You Okay? (LP – Too True) (Sub Pop) YouTube
Ben Jacov – Ipsää (Transalp EP) (Doumen) SoundCloud
Machinedrum – aeolia (Various Artists LP – Bleep:10) SoundCloud
I Break Horses – Disclosure (single and LP – Chiaroscura) (Bella Union)
Alice Bowman – What (single) (Happy Death)
Ambassadeurs – Make Me (free download) SoundCloud
Gruff Rhys – American Interior (single and LP – American Interior) (Turnstile) YouTube
Plaid – Hawkmoth (LP – Reachy Prints) (Warp) SoundCloud
Blank Realm – Bulldozer Love (single and LP – Grassed Inn) (Fire) SoundCloud
Lufth – Democracy Is Dead Like Printed Matter (LP – Distanz und Nähe) (Kompakt)
Archie Bronson Outfit – We Are Floating (single and LP – Wild Crush) (Domino) YouTube
Yann Tiersen – A Midsummer Evening (LP – ∞ (Infinity) (Mute) SoundCloud
Francois & the Atlas Mountains – La Fille Aux Cheveaux De Soie (LP – Piano Ombre) (Domino)

Eclectic Mainline 9th April 2014

Since I announced last week that I’m stopping Eclectic Mainline at the end of April, I’ve been touched by the responses I have had.  Thanks ever so much for all the comments and good wishes.  I was particularly moved by Phil’s blog post.  He’s right when he says new music “exposes [people] to things that are happening now and encourages them to look outside the norms to different possibilities and opportunities”.  Well said Phil.

So, speaking of new music, this week’s programme included Lorelle Meets The Obsolete:

… Mungo’s Hi-Fi:


… and Shonen Knife:

You will find the full programme on the BCB Listen Again service.  Here is the track list:

Daniel Avery – Drone Logic (single) (Phantasy/Because Music) SoundCloud
Lorelle Meets The Obsolete – Sealed Scene (single and LP – Chambers) (Sonic Cathedral) SoundCloud
The Phantom Band – The Wind That Cried the World (single) (Chemikal Underground) SoundCloud
Tiny Ruins – Me At The Museum, You In The Wintergardens (single and LP – Brightly Painted One) (Bella Union) SoundCloud
Mungo’s Hi-Fi – Under Arrest (Prince Fatty mix) (LP – Prince Fatty vs Mungo’s Hi-Fi) (Scotch Bonnet) SoundCloud
Slow Club – Complete Surrender (single and LP – Complete Surrender) (Caroline International) YouTube
Ambassadeurs – Rain (free download) SoundCloud
Scott & Charlene’s Wedding – Junk Shop (LP – Any Port In A Storm (Deluxe Version)) (Fire)
Teebs – Mondaze (LP – E s t a r a) (Brainfeeder)
Shonen Knife – Bad Luck Song (LP – Overdrive) (Damnably) YouTube
Ratking feat. King Krule – So Sick Stories (single) (XL / HXC) Vimeo
Liars – Pro Anti Anti (LP – Mess) (Mute) YouTube
tUnE-yArDs – Water Fountain (single) (4AD) YouTube
Cate Le Bon – Sisters (single and LP – Mug Museum) (Turnstile)
France Jobin – -1/2 (LP – The Illusion Of Infinitesimal) (Baskaru)

Last Stop On The Eclectic Mainline

Eclectic Mainline is finishing at the end of this month and Albert has written his own summary of his radio career on this blog in typically articulate style. So much so, that my adding anything to it is spurious in the extreme. That said, it’s a sad and momentous occasion and so I’ve jotted out a few thoughts which are on here for want of anywhere else to put them. It’s in me and it’s got to come out to misquote John Lee Hooker.

Albert Freeman is as my dad would say “a cracking lad” Most of the people reading this probably know him and therefore I need not elaborate on this point any further.

However, as he has recently taken the decision to retire from presenting “Eclectic Mainline” his impeccable radio programme, after ten years at the end of this month, it’s worth looking back on what his presence on t’wireless has meant.

He is, I should say , one of my favourite people on the planet so this will not be an especially objective appraisal but nevertheless such an event should not go uncommemorated.

Spurred on like all the best music broadcasters, by John Peel, the boy Freeman has presented a kaleidoscopic barrage of differing styles of music from Lonnie Donnegan to twenty minute swathes of experimental electronica connected only by the fact that he likes them and probably can’t pronounce their names. Doing this would be remarkable in itself in the cosy, “here’s one you’ll know” boring as fuck environment of UK music radio where self congratulatory “music experts” trot out tweedy platitudes in place of the genuine enthusiasm for anything new that deserted them round about the time that The Jam split up. The fact that he’s done this at 8pm on a Wednesday evening whilst all across Bradford the squares are settling down to watch “DIY SOS” is quietly revolutionary.

What Albert makes sound so easy is in fact bloody difficult (I know -I’ve tried) and his enthusiastic yet measured, naturalistic delivery made an hour pass by in what seemed like minutes and a ragbag of twangs bleeps and yells sound like a cohesive whole akin to being in the company of your cooler mate who would invite you back to theirs after the pub and smilingly say “you’ll like this” just before dropping the needle on some recent purchase that would rattle your senses and make your Elbow records sound shit.

Listener feedback is rare on BCB but I’d be willing to bet that more than one Bradfordian has stumbled gasping, from the suffocating industry led wank of Zane Lowe into the path of Eclectic Mainline to be rewarded by Deerhunter,Phosphorescent, Onetrix Point Never, Darren Hayman or Big Star. And having seen the light,who’s to say that they didn’t search further,buy records,go to gigs and meet people that they wouldn’t have done if they’d kept it locked to the grinding monotony of BBC Fab FM.
New music changes people’s lives in a way that chart music and “classics” doesn’t. It exposes them to things that are happening now and encourages them to look outside the norms to different possibilities and opportunities. If that’s not serving the community then what is?

Albert would of course never make any of these grand claims for himself,indeed should he see this piece he will modestly harrumph to himself and mutter “you are too kind” under his breath. But as he goes off into the metaphorical sunset to concoct inedible vegan delicacies out of twigs and grass, try to learn Carol Kaye’s bass parts and spend time with his delightful partner Sally, something will be lost from our airwaves that we will all have to up our games to replace. Thanks for everything Albert. You made a difference.

I still think The Verve were rubbish though.

10 years and out! Eclectic Mainline 2nd April 2014

I made it to the big one oh!Albert 10 Years on BCB
It is now 10 years since my first programme on BCB, and what a 10 years it has been.  While preparing for this week’s anniversary edition I looked back over what I have achieved, and thought to myself…

“S**t, did I really do all that?!”

Eclectic Mainline has evolved a fair bit over my decade at BCB.  From starting to get a healthy number of new releases coming my way through 2004, I then had a frequent flow of interviewees on the programme in 2005.  The December 2005 edition of The Big Issue In The North ran an article under the title of “The Spirit of John Peel lives“.  This cited my own programme as one of several on community radio stations that had a similar ethos to that of the late Peel. Discovering that article on Boxing Day was by far the best Christmas present I got that year.

2006 was a turning point for Eclectic Mainline, as I dipped my toes into the world of live sessions, and I had several session guests a year for the next 5 years.  I would say that those sessions made the years from 2006 to 2010 my purple patch on BCB.  In 2011, Laura Rawlings and myself were up against the big boys and girls of the radio world, as our live sessions won us a Radio Academy Awards nomination. Continue reading

Eclectic Mainline 25th March 2014

As with just about everyone on Twitter over the past couple of weeks, I’ve reminded myself what my first Tweet was. And it was a link to my MySpace blog with my latest BCB track lists. Ho ho:


That was just over 5 years ago, and it was only a few months later that we wrote the first post on this BCB Music Blog.  And what a good idea this blog has turned out to be.  While we’re talking about the past, next week I will be celebrating my 10th anniversary on BCB.   Anyway, enough of the history lesson.  New music in this week’s programme included this by Downliners Sekt:

and this from the new Polar Bear LP:

There’s a local gig next week you need to know about.  Golden Cabinet are bringing the “dark ambience” of Gnod back to Shipley on 5th April.

This week’s full programme will be available to hear online using the BCB Listen Again service for a few weeks. Here is the full track list:

Sum Of R – March Out Of Step When Crossing A Bridge (LP – Lights On Water) (Utech) Bandcamp
Downliners Sekt – Silent Ascent (single) (InFiné) SoundCloud
Family Fodder – Film Music (LP – Monkey Banana Kitchen) (Staubgold) YouTube
Black Hearted Brother – Got Your Love (single and LP – Stars Are Our Home) (Sonic Cathedral) SoundCloud
Arnold Dreyblatt – Harptones (LP – Choice) (Choose)
The Horrors – I See You (LP – Luminous) (XL) YouTube
Luminance Ratio – Before The Dawn (LP – Reverie) (Bocian) Vimeo
Real Estate – April’s Song (LP – Atlas) (Domino)
Mick Harvey – Bonnie & Clyde (2xCD – Intoxicated Man / Pink Elephants) (Mute)
Christina Vantzou – The Magic Of The Autodidact (LP – N°2) (Kranky)
Hauschka – Thames Town (LP – Abandoned City) (City Slang) SoundCloud
NameBrandSound – Name Brand Ah Murdah (EP – Nowadays Pressure) (Technicolour)
Polar Bear – Chotpot (LP – In Each And Every One) (Leaf) SoundCloud

Eclectic Mainline 19th March 2014

Hauschka - Abandoned City

Hauschka – Abandoned City

I can’t help but feel that I have let you down. I promised to play three tracks from the new Hauschka LP in this weeks programme. But I lost track of time and only ended up playing two. If you can find it within yourself to give me another chance, I’ll play the third next week. Here is one of the two that I did play:

You will find the full programme on the BCB Listen Again service. Here is the track list:

Keel Her – I’d Be Your Slave (R. Stevie Moore Remix) (single) (Critical Heights)
Wild Beasts – Palace (LP – Present Tense) (Domino)
Can Can Heads – The Hour of (Your) Annihilation (LP – Butter Life) (Bandcamp)
T’ien Lai – Serca miast zatrzymuja sie (LP – Da’at) (Monotype)
Hauschka – Craco (LP – Abandoned City) (City Slang)
Throwing Snow – Caedis (Pathfinder EP) (Houndstooth)
Darren Hayman and Emma Kupa – Boy, Look At What You Can’t Have Now (single) (Fortuna Pop!)
Hokei – Tap (LP – Don’t Go) (Monotype)
Beck – Blue Moon (LP – Morning Phase) (Capitol)
Big Star – Blue Moon (LP – Sister Lovers/Big Star’s Third) (PVC)
Mestre Cupijó e Seu Ritmo – Caboclincha Do Igapó (LP – Siriá) (Analog Africa)
Tycho – Awake (single) (Ghostly)
Dean Wareham – Love Is Not A Roof Against The Rain (LP – Dean Wareham) (Sonic Cathedral)
Peder Mannerfelt – Gulo Gulo Caesitas (LP – Lines Describing Circles) (Digitalis)
Hauschka – Barkerville (LP – Abandoned City) (City Slang)
Malachai – I Deserve To No (single and LP – Beyond Ugly) (Double Six)