Label Focus: Noods Radio

As far back as the sixties when stations like Radio Caroline broadcast from ships anchored in international waters, to the more recent memory of stations based out of London towerblocks pushing the new sounds of UKG, grime and dubstep, the UK underground has consistently been a thriving hotbed for new and exciting radio.

The past few years has seen most major cities in the UK gaining their own independent, community run local stations and Bristol has (naturally) become home to one of the best around.

Founded back in 2015 in the front room of there shared house on hungover Sundays, Noods Radio is the brainchild of friends Leon Pattrick and Jack Machin. From humble beginnings using a laptop and a webcam pointed through a fish tank, to their current studio in Stokes Croft broadcasting on FM throughout Bristol, Noods has been a labour of love kept alive by the duo’s passion and a wealth of dedicated volunteers and hosts.

Now in their fifth year of broadcasting and several mixtapes deep, the much loved station has just released there first compilation album. Titled Hypha (each of the branching filaments that make up the mycelium of a fungus) the collection features eleven tracks from some of the stations many residents, including Kinlaw & Franco Franco, elephant_jams and Tara Clerkin Trio.

With such a host of talent on board, we asked the artists behind the music to give us some insight into their connection with the station and contributions to the tape.

1. Sunun – ‘4DEM’.

Sunun began her monthly Noods show, Everything is a Drum, back at the stations very first home of the Surrey Vaults. Researching music from global revolutions as a starting point for the show, “4DEM” encompasses this fascination in the rhythms and the sampling. The vocals, squashed through Siri’s harsh tones, are taken from a time working with Asylum Seekers in Serbia, aiming to shed some light on a new perspective, a statement of gratitude in an uncertain climate, and a nod of respect to those withstanding a lot worse. The snare pattern, however, offers you to enjoy the track at whatever level you please; thought provoking or not, there’s room to dance.

2. Mars89 – ‘Heretical Riddims’.

Bokeh Version’s Miles introduced me to Noods. I miss studio in the upstairs of the pub. Looking forward to go to new studio.

This is my old tune that I made few years ago. I think this sound fits to tape sound.

3. B.Rupp – ‘homecoming dub’.

In 2018 I started working with Noods as a volunteer after meeting them via friends I had in the studio next door. Initially I worked as a producer in the studio however last year I started working in the office where I currently manage the pre-records, do some scheduling and booking, and all other heaps of admin. The radio has been a corner point in my life ever since facilitating meeting countless amazing people; producers, label owners and like-minded passionate gems operating in the city (and further). The track on the compilation was the first track I wrote after coming home following a long break last year. It’s basically just a drum machine, lots of delays and some feedback but I reckon its quite fun and captured a bit of the liberation I felt being on the road to recovery.

4. glas gesture – ‘surround’.

glas gesture is a minimal synth duo with links to Noods residents and tape label Lust Pattern. Lust Pattern have been active on the station from early 2017, and play a mix of experimental ambience, minimal electronics and subdued rhythms every other Monday night. ‘surround’ is the first track to be released from this project, and showcases a melancholic, tape-saturated ambience in keeping with the mood and aesthetics of the Lust Pattern show on Noods.

5. Nosebag – ‘Drunken Lung’.

We’ve known the Noods cru for quite a while now and consider ourselves a piece of the pie even though we don’t do a show anymore. The track is a cut from a live jam we had in our cupboard with a drum machine, broken delay pedal, microkorg, mic and mixer.

6. Kinlaw & Franco Franco – ‘Militante Del Niente’.

Militant for nothing is when you realise you are lame when it comes to take responsibility. Fake identities, fake birthdays, fake beliefs, or at least not real enough to be fully embraced. Another message from another member of a weak flock of sheep, loud enough only cos mediated by the mic.

7. Narro Farley – ‘Untitled (Love Story)’.

Noods radio has slowly become a greatly respected force in establishing a relevant platform to showcase emerging music and sounds from Bristol and beyond. Which is funny really as it started from the humble beginnings of necking cans on the sofa on hungover Sundays. But what keeps Noods special for me and many others is the total lack of pretension, whilst remaining dedicated to broadcasting a hugely rich spectrum of music and talent. I feel very at home with this crew and look forward to many more years of laffs and gaffs.

8. elephant_jams – ‘revitalise’.

Leon and Jack are long time brothers from other mothers. My presence around the station has been since day one of the fish tank streams, before my Elephant Jams show and moniker was created. This track was made in my first week of moving from Bristol to Canada, in the basement of an airbnb in Vancouver.

9. Harrga – ‘Á Vif (ft. Moor Mother)’.

Our music is quite dark, but this track brings some kind of hope in middle of despair. It’s also a story of an encounter with a particular individual, a powerful woman, a great artist and poet: Moor Mother! Our guest vocalist on this track. We wanted to share this track on this compilation as we also consider Noods Radio a precious network of Bristol encounters! This is so special, so rare, that gives us all strength to think about the magic hidden in our fragile human condition. Good feelings for kids to keep in mind tho… life can always bring good surprises too.

10. FOQL – ‘No Need To Be Mean’.

My name is Justyna and I am based in Warsaw, Poland. I always wanted to present our local scene abroad and thats how I became Noods resident in 2018. If music scene can make world better I think creating charity compilaltion is great idea to put important ideas in the spotlight.

11. Tara Clerkin Trio – ‘Hellenica’.

We first met (half of) Noods outside of a party/gig at an artspace/studio/eventspace which is now luxury flats. We met the other half of the Noods founding duo in a tiny attic studio above a pub/music venue/scene hub which was ousted because of noise complaints (by adjoining luxury flats). Since then we’ve broadcast with them and their band of volunteers above bars (rents too high), in abandoned office space above an (ex) squat (soon becoming luxury flats) and most recently in the tiny basement of said building (likely to become luxury flat). While the city changes, Noods remains the same, good people in it for the right reasons (music & community).

Hypha is out now.

Buy it here.

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