Saturday, 27 August 2016

Advice for bands and artists

Hello world and welcome to post three of my weekly blog of Skerat’s Synthtronica news. Okay what do I have in store for you this week? I think this time I might give the bands out there some advice about what I think could help them to tweak some things to get more exposure. I think these tips will not only work for my show, but the shows of many others and your actual fans. I also hope some of the other readers, especially fellow DJ’s and promoters might add some additional tips to this week blogs. This way we can all help to further assist bands in getting themselves heard.

Okay I think might do this in point form, so each bit of advice is more clear: -

  • Re-check your links, do they work properly I often find links are all tied together as one link and therefore bound to fail. Other links often go to dead pages. It’s important even if you have a break from your music to maintain these links. DJ’s like myself are always keen to give your tracks airplay, so don’t miss an opportunity for airplay with a dead link.

  • If you’re on social media put some reasonable degree of information on your pages. While band names and handles are always a strong part of an acts persona, it’s also equally important for a DJ to know who you really are. It is not only handy to help give the DJ something more to say about you, but it also makes communication directly with you a lot easier for the DJ.  

  • Are you being played on a show? Yes, well please, please, make sure you promote the hell out of it. You are not only helping the show get more exposure, but you are in turn helping yourself get more exposure. To not promote a show that you are on, is just completely wasting a great opportunity.

  • With this tip it is very important to realize that I’m talking about an extremely small minority here. Most acts send show promo tracks freely and quite happily and for that I am extremely grateful. However, some acts do send tracks to indie internet shows and expect the DJ’s to pay for them. Please remember these shows are not commercial shows and therefore we are not making revenue. It’s not feasible for us to pay for every track. If you expect us to pay, it is literally like saying you must like my song and therefore you must pay for it. This is not to say DJ’s of these shows don’t buy tracks. Like me I’m certain we all buy what we can, when we can.

  • When you create digital files of tracks, please make sure you populate the tags with both the artist field and song field. This makes it a lot easier for DJ’s to keep track of who and what they are playing. Also please label tracks with their appropriate grammar, for example capitals where capitals should be. This makes creating playlists for shows a great deal easier and tidier.

  • Try not to send tracks to a show that does not suit your music style or genre. If you do something like sending a rap track to a Synth-pop show, you’re just making a total nuisance of yourself. There are plenty of shows on the internet, for you to find one that will suit your style of music.

  • I’m sure many shows like mine get a lot of tracks to play and sometimes I do slip up and forget to play a track or tracks that I have promised to play. This is not deliberate, it is very accidental, there is always a lot going on with a show and sometimes things get missed. If I or any DJ promises you some airplay and they forget, maybe you should follow up with them.

  • Check with DJ’s what audio formats they prefer. For me MP3’s are best for my streaming shows and having to not worry about conversions helps me greatly to concentrate on putting a show together more quickly.

Well I might finish with the list here for now, I hope some of this advice is useful and I really hope it creates a flow of more tips. I might re-post the list with the additions in the future. The most important thing to remember is that the DJ's of these independent shows, do this work voluntarily and put a lot of time into each show. Therefore anything you can do to help make that a little easier will make a big difference and be enormously appreciated.

OK this months show goes up tomorrow (28th August 2016) here, please have a listen and most importantly share it around to give all the brilliant acts as much exposure as possible. For another week this is Skerat over and out.

Saturday, 20 August 2016

A brief history of my shows

Hello world and welcome to post two of my weekly blog of Skerat’s Synthtronica news. Well last week I gave you all a little bit of an insight into myself and this week let’s move onto some information about the actual shows.

First up how did Synthopia come about and why did I move onto creating a new show called Skerat’s Eclectic Podcasts. Synthopia began its life as an internet radio show, on the UK’s 1 Radio. I was collaborating with one of the DJ’s on 1 Radio, who had a show called Club 80’s which was essentially Italo Disco and Hi Nrg music, but also at times Synth-pop. My role was to manage a weekly chart that I created for the music genres, which Will the DJ thought at the time would be a great to bring to life on his show. The chart became very popular with the listeners and I subsequently kept maintaining it for a couple of years. During this time Will got me to sit in for a few of his shows, whenever he was away. While I did initially start off very nervously, I soon started to come to terms with what was involved with doing a show and other DJ’s started to encourage me to bite the bullet and have a go at doing a show of my own.

Shows are always important to internet radio stations like 1 radio, as they need as many shows as possible to pad out their roster and this was when Synthopia was born in October 2012. I choose the name of Synthopia instead of Synthtopia to sound a little bit more unique, as the Synthtopia name was more common on the net. Synthopia kicked off with the simple principle of playing new synth-pop 80’s style tunes since the year 2000, because I loved the style of synth music from the early 80’s. I found the new music coming out not only complemented this well, it often has a very edgy and bold sound. After a year of doing the combination of a chart, a show and my job, I realized something had to give and I moved away from the Club 80’s show and its chart. I also knew that 1 Radio was soon to stop operating and the opportunity for me to operate independently appealed greatly to me, so I moved onto to do my shows. The decision was pretty simple I was loving what I was doing with Synthopia and wanted to put all my energies into the show. I loved the bands and the people that were involved in the show and the chatbox factor was a lot of fun. I continued on Mixlr for almost two years, with a couple of short breaks. The last break was to end the Synthopia show as a part live show and to head down the podcast pathway, as my real life job now demanded an on-call factor and that clearly was not going to allow for a live factor.

After my last break I returned with the new monthly show Skerat’s Eclectic Podcasts. I have used this name to have a truly unique show name, as Synthopia is also a brand of music software. Skerat’s Eclectic Podcasts is essentially carrying on the traditions of Synthopia and I now truly feel that I have also arrived at the genre range of the show. The collective genres are Synth-pop, New wave and Post punk, with that sense of that 80’s style, but with newer groups from around 2000 to the present day. The show also includes a one-hour blast of the past from previous Synthopia shows, which started off with the oldest shows and will continue that format in chronological order with each new podcast.

Okay now that you know the history of the shows, why don’t you check out all the past and present shows. Plus, next Saturday the 28th catch the next new uploaded show Skerat’s eclectic Podcasts show Nine.
Now as an added bonus this week I will re-post the playlist to show 7 of Skerat’s Eclectic Podcasts, as it includes all the links to the bands from that show. Last week I gave you show 8 and for now for the weeks that don’t include a new show I will continue to post the past shows.

Okay that’s it for week two, which means this is Skerat over and out

De Franco - Underside (SonarLab Remix)
RENU – Light
Brutalist Architecture in the Sun - People Watching
The Rain and the Sidewalk - Sappy Love Ballad (Romance of the Raptor and the Rodent)
The Rain and the Sidewalk - Hollow
I, Synthesist - Carried Away
I, Synthesist - Hello Virginia
Random... - Headspace (feat. Wayne Dyson)
Aeld - Våra farligaste fåglar
Aeld - The demon
Aeld - Underbara ord
UltraNeon - When The Day Is Done
UltraNeon - Don't Look Back
UltraNeon - Days Go By
DS73 - Take Control feat Ems
Symmetrix - Come Undone
Symmetrix - On-Screen Lies
Symmetrix - Mr Thought
New Neon - Captivate (Synergy Mix)
New Neon - I want to go back (Hissarlik Remix)
New Neon - Monument (Dark City Mix)
Strobegirl - Heaven Today (electro mix 2016)
TSTI – Forgive Me
TSTI - Pull The Animal's Teeth Out – Show 21
Andy Pickford - Miracle Mile – Show 21
Father Tiger - Walk A Mile – Show 22
Father Tiger – Done – Show 22
Father Tiger - Head Hung Low – Show 21
Tenek - Another Day – Show 21
Erotic Elk - Not a Tragedy (feat. Miss FD) – Show 23
Beaucrat - Blue Monday – Show 21
Divine Knights - Smalltown Boy – Show 23
Divine Knights - The Great Ascent – Show 24
Color Theory - We're Not Getting Any Younger – Show 24
Basically Vicious - As You Were Sun – Show 24
Eloquent - The Beginning of the End – Show 23
Synthetik FM - My Happiness – Show 23
Synthetik FM – Order
Jeff Appleton – Airborn
Jeff Appleton - AKG
Modovar - Love for The Sake of Love (Lloyd Price Remix)
Modovar - Stranger (Inertia Mix)
Analogue Electronic Whatever - European Home
The Truth Sounds Different  - Refugees Vs Exodus
The Analog Coalition - Making My Confession
Spectromatix - VideoBoy remix 2016
The Analog Coalition - You Been Cheating
This Human condition - Brother Blue
Helix Pulsar - Cuts Bare Mix
Helix Pulsar - Some Things Are Better
Helix Pulsar – Drive
The Lunchbox Surrender - Spaces (Leerer Raum)
The Lunchbox Surrender – Alive
Nius X - Stars Or the Sky
Vogon Poetry - Mourn (Apop We Love You)
Fragile Tom - Together In Here
Fragile Tom - Naked Bone

Fragile Tom – Time

Friday, 12 August 2016

Post One and lots to learn

Post One - Saturday the 13th of August 2016

Hello world and welcome to Post One of my weekly blog of Skerat's Synthtronica. Well where do I begin? Perhaps that's a good question. This blog thing will start off shaky and will certainly expose me as a bit of an amateur, but for now I begin with my fingers crossed and dive straight in.

First of all who I am? Well that is a bit of mystery for many and for the first blog lets clear that up a little bit. To many here I'm Skerat and in the real world people know me as Andrew Kennedy. I'm a born and breed, Australian living in the city of Melbourne and as a kid I have travelled to Europe and the States, including a year living in London at the height of the Punk scene. The Skerat name is a handle I have long gone by, since the very early days of the internet. I also come from the generation influenced by the 80's New Wave, Synth Pop and Post Punk scenes, so they massively influence my DNA. I  may be fast approaching the big five O, but I know many of you think my enthusiasm and personality to be that of someone much younger. Those of you who follow me on Facebook and Twitter, know there is an amazing new and exciting, synth-pop, new wave and post punk 80's influenced scene that has been planting some strong roots in the past ten plus years. Those years are now starting to pay dividends and the scene is starting to seriously pop up everywhere. For many like minded people, like myself, we know it's definitely a good time to push this scene once more into the forefront of the music world. The small part I have been playing in this, is to have a presence in social media and to enthusiastically promote these acts, which also includes my monthly Podcast Skerat's Eclectic Podcasts and previously my internet radio show Synthopia. Both of which can be found here:-

Skerat's past shows and Podcasts

Now Of course for those of you who already follow my Podcast, you will know that show 8 went up two weeks ago and what a massive show it was. Show 8 is three hours of Synthtronica magic and here is that massive playlist, with links to all of those brilliant acts:-