Quickfix Subscribers Digital Singles Club
January Artist No.1: Tash Caesar ‘Human’
Hailing from Exotic South-East London, Vocalist-bassist Tash Caesar makes grungey funk music.However, tragically born with a rare phobia of boxes, for health reasons
her music cannot be put into a box. She believes that “music should be many shapes, not to be looked at but to be experienced and never as pretentious as this sentence”. Her
album ‘The 13th’ was one of our favourite releases of last year and her work with Half Decent and Lee Christian has been wonderful, so we are very excited to have her as the inaugural artist for this project.
Tash Caesar could never escape music. South-East London born of a StLucian/Grenadian background. Raised in a household with each room blaring out into her receptive eardrums the various genres from; Reggae, Gospel R&B to rock and funk. As a reflex action at the age of 13 began writing her own songs and recording them in her hi-tech studio (Cassette player and tape ) in the garden shed. All whilst dreaming that one day she would make it as a Vet. This was clearly not meant to be. The musical magnetic pull was upon her. Free is what she aims to be as an independent artist working with other like minded artists . Not based on their name-dropping potential or how many followers they have but for genuine love of how they express their art. Now, as well as being Vocalist/Bassist for the band The Giving Style she continues to work on her solo projects releasing the single 'Distance/ The Chosen Ones'. Still, in the shed in back garden which she calls 'The Afrotreehouse” she has finally given up on all her delusional dreams of a life not based on creativity. Music is her reality, she has no choice. “I am a writer (In practice) I am a musician (In Practice) I am a Human being (still in practice)"- Tash Caesar.
Credits for ‘Human’ by Tash Caesar
Written and produced by - Tash Caesar
Bass &Vox - Tash Caesar
Special FX- Benja Brozel
Guitar- Adam Gibbard
© & ℗ - Tash Caesar/Quickfix Recordings
Listen to the recipe inspiration for Human on Spotify here
February/Artist No.2: The Sexy Wild East ‘Banksy Moon’.
THE SEXY WILD EAST are a 2 Piece Electronic Punk band based in Budapest, Hungary. Neil Hanson, an exiled stalwart of the Leeds music scene and singer in political-punk-rock Tom Robinson favourites Kleine Schweine and mysterious Chester-born chimp-man Finlay McLauchlan, met in a scuzzy underground Budapest boozer, bonded over cheap, strong Pálinka and began to make music together towards the end of 2019. The duo also came from different musical places:
Neil, who has played with The Buzzcocks, Stiff Little Fingers, Bow Wow Wow, Goldblade and at countless UK festivals and gigs across Europe (Germany, Czech Republic, Hungary, Croatia, Romania, Greece, Turkey, Slovakia etc), loves The Pogues, Pixies, Gogol Bordello and a whole host of aggro-punk (plus of course the bands you hear praised in ‘Banksy Moon’). While Finlay loves Kanye West, Skrillex, Post Malone and Frank Ocean and quite potentially, bananas. This meeting of very different minds and styles has led to a unique concoction that, in keeping with their geographical story, lands in a totally different place entirely with unexpected & pleasing results! 2020’s self-recorded and self-released debut Ranting & Raving is a harsh but fair critique of the British and US leaders’ ineptitude and personality flaws. Its standout debut single Donald Trump is an Arsehole has won 'The Angry Pet Shop Boys' fans all over the world. Follow-up single 'A Statue of Paddington Bear', a jovial tongue-in-cheek rant about the statue lovers of Great Britain, was released at the end of 2020… Now, in a shocking about-turn, new single for Quickfix Recordings ’Digital Singles Club, Banksy Moon - they urge you to “Turn the news off and get your rocks of”… sounds like a plan!
Credits for ‘Banksy Moon’ by The Sexy Wild East
Written, performed and recorded by
Neil Hanson & Finlay McLauchlan
Mixed & Mastered by Oliver Mossop
Artwork - Jo Hanson
Listen to the recipe inspiration for Banksy Moon on Spotify here
March/Artist No.3: Saturn Saturn Saturn - ‘The State We’re In’.
March’s Quickfix Digital Single Of the Month is The State We’re In by Saturn Saturn Saturn, a.k.a singer/songwriter Ben Capper, formerly of psyche/punk/hardcore Lamacq faves The Mighty Saguaro (“The best band in Liverpool” according to Gigwise). The ‘band’ name Saturn Saturn Saturn was suggested by his 5 year old son Fox, who also contributes some atmospheric synths to the song. In actual fact, there isn’t even really a band. Just Ben (writing and performing everything), some guitars, some friends… plus Fox’s looming influence, of course. The song features stellar lead guitar by guest Craig Williams, also formerly of The Mighty Saguaro. This marks the first time Ben and Craig have collaborated since the break-up of the band in 2004, after playing with the cream of the Undergound like Cat On Form, 80’s Matchbox B-line Disaster, Part Chimp, Youthmovies, The Edmund Fitzgerald (half of Foals) and Dischord legends Lungfish. The final mix was provided by Lee Christian, chosen not for his recent remixes of Kellindo, MC Tunes,
Shed 7, Foals & more, but instead for his long-forgotten work with 00’s post-rock luminaries The Rock Of Travolta & Lapsus Linguae and Meanwhile, Back In Communist Russia…
Lee’s own band Smilex toured with The Mighty Saguaro, so Quickfix were quick to hook up with Ben soon after the lockdown inspired birth of the project and release of Saturn Saturn Saturn’s debut EP in November 2020.The stars that revolve in Saturn Saturn Saturn’s constellation include (appropriately) Big Star, Bob Mould, Teenage Fanclub, Fugazi, Hendrix, The Beatles, Springsteen and tons of other bands with loud guitars and good songs. That’s the plan really… Loud guitars and good songs. Songs about memory, despair, hope, optimism, pessimism, love, anger and empathy. Songs to make you dance, sing and pick up a guitar. Or songs to make Fox dance, sing and pick up a guitar… Until then, this is The State We’re In.
‘The State We’re In’
By Saturn Saturn Saturn
Words and music by Ben Capper
Ben Capper: Vocals, Guitar, Bass, Keyboards, Programming
Craig Williams: Guest Lead Guitar
Fox Capper: Additional Keyboards
© & ℗ - Saturn Saturn Saturn/Quickfix Recordings
Listen to the recipe inspiration for The State We're In on Spotify here
The Subtheory - ‘Fader’
Quickfix followers will by now hopefully be well accustomed with Andy Hill AKA The Subtheory. After a long history of collaboration with the label’s artists Lee Christian, Half Decent and The Prohibition Smokers’ Club culminated last ‘Summertime’ with his remix for Janelle Monae side-man Kellindo (which is bound to return to people’s playlists as the sun creeps out this year), The Subtheory was a perfect choice for the Quickfix Digital Singles Club.
His recent EPs Ventura Blvd and Impact were big favourites with the label, fans of our New Music on Monday playlists and in the synth-wave genre and community. With plenty of diverse projects on the horizon between scoring, a new concept album and various stand alone singles and EPs, the future is bright for The Subtheory.
He’s joined on this track by guitarist Sam Brox, who you might remember from awesome 90s Manchester cult band The Dust Junkys. On this track, Sam trades his signature Hendrixian vibes for some distinctly 80s power-rock, perhaps channelling one of his heroes, the recently deceased Eddie Van Halen (RIP). A unique collaboration bringing together the worlds of 80s electro and pyrotechnic rock. Go ahead and jump!
With a long career working with major record labels and two critically acclaimed albums behind him with his Death of Hi Fi project, Hill is exploring the deeper electronic side of his music and influences. The Subtheory sound speaks of Andy Hill’s experience splitting his time between the UK and Los Angeles but it isn’t straight up palm trees and Testarossas. The music draws from a darker, grittier version of a neo-retro dystopia: Bladerunner noir meets cyberpunk detective?
Andy Hill has always loved making music. Starting off with his parents’ mono record collection as he created on-the-fly remixes with pause buttons and the early days of MPC samplers, before moving into the fully digital age of software DAWs. Through the years, Hill has experimented and explored many genres but with a sustained ethos to create music that moves people - whether it be their feet, their hearts or their minds.
Andy Hill’s music has been featured on BBC primetime TV, in Working Title films and on TV sporting event coverage including the Olympics, Boxing, American Football, European Football Championships, and the legendary Match of the Day. His single “Swim Away” finished as a semi-finalist in the 2015 UK Song of the Year competition.
Away from his own music Hill also presents a fortnightly electronic music radio show, is an avid hiker and climber having summited Mount Kilimanjaro. He is also a committed supporter of human rights causes.
By The Subtheory
Featuring Sam Brox: Guest Lead Guitar
© & ℗ - The Subtheory/Quickfix Recordings
Listen to the recipe/inspiration behind Fader:here
May Artist No.5: ILZE ‘Monster’
Hailing from Moscow, ILZE is Russia’s undiscovered indie-popstress, with several enchanting releases in her motherland that enchanted Quickfix. Her tender 19 years so far have been spent living in Japan as a child, playing in the Vahtangov theatre and of course, singing. Now, studying at the National Theatre Institute, her undying dedication the theatrical arts has resulted in a creative process full of mystery, enigmatic storytelling and an angelic voice. With a wide of influences including The Weeknd, Lana del Rey, Zemfira, Tom Waits, May Wave$, Nicole Dollanganger, Tierra Whack and violin music. She also considers in her influences dance, literature, water and the sky. Her music is contemporary yet otherworldly, with this track including cutting edge production from Eastern Bloc rockin’ beat-maker Cheprox.
Lyrics and vocals by ILZE
Music and Production by CHEPRO
June/Artist No.6: Critter Cabal - Someday/Denim & Paisley
June’s single of the month bucks tradition in the finest fashion being the first double A-side to be released via the club (and on the label since Smilex’s 2003 single Mystique/Sex 4 Sale, but more on that later…) since the prospective B-side came out way too good to not give a little shine, too! Critter Cabal serve up a rootsy and alternative double helping of hearty and wholesome rocking with the yearningly strident ‘Someday’ - with sentiments many will be feeling as we ease out of lockdowns and reconvene with loved ones, followed up by the driving Detroit groove of ‘Denim & Paisley’ with distinctly New York lyrics that conjure chaotic and psychedelic nights in the city that never sleeps. This New York experience is no fantasy or put on - despite the band now being based in Cardiff, Wales. Singer-songwriter Alex Nagle is a journeyman of sound and screen, originally from Rhode Island, USA. Raised in a musical household as step-son of a professional trumpet player for Gold record awardees Blood, Sweat and Tears, Alex grew up in the Chelsea Hotel and the East Village in New York City, surrounded by colourful creatives. Alex then played around the L.A. music scene in the 90s in the Blackouts and Uncalled Four, both bands recording with Grammy nominated producer, Bruce Witkin. That’s also when Alex started exploring acting and voice over work and has never lost interest to this day. He appeared in Indie Films and infamously featured in 80s hairband, Cinderella’s “Coming Home” video. He isn’t allowed to forget it, not for one single day of his life.
Later, in New England, he played in award-winning bands, The Chasers and Plan 9. New York, as usual, is its own character in the Critter Cabal origin story as it was at a Sonic Youth show in Brooklyn that Alex and Bassist Jennifer H Acton realised a mutual interest in similar music and culture. Jen grew up in the sophisticated and competitive Oxford music scene in notorious bands Dolly (with Little Fish/Candy Says front woman Julia Walker) and “one band riot” Smilex who destroyed venues and eardrums up and down the UK toilet scene, supporting the likes of The Damned, The Datsuns and many more. They also earned Playmusic Magazine’s Best Unsigned Live Act 2010. Smilex recorded several EPs including a split EP with the Young Knives and two albums produced by Ace from Skunk Anansie. With a background in classical music, Jen brings micro-melody to her basslines. And it’s in Oxford that we find the final dissident in the Cabal, Drummer (and Producer of the tracks) Dan Goddard. Dan formed legendary underground band The Nubiles (who had keen fans in John Peel, Producer Marc Waterman and Justine Frischmann of Elastica/Then Queen of Britpop!) and The Four Storeys (mainstays of the archetypal Oxford indie label Truck Records), plus played in many more including Cult psyche-pop rock band The Mystics, blistering 50’s Throwbacks The Long Insiders and even Quickfix’s own collective of Oxford Musos The Prohibition Smokers’ Club. Dan produced these two songs for the band, mastered by Tim Turan (Supergrass, Ginger
Baker, Killing Joke, Refused, Swervedriver, TheArt Of Noise, Thin Lizzy, Status Quo). The compost that feeds their sonic parterre: ZZ Top, the Pixies, John Prine, Plan 9,
Leonard Cohen, John Frusciante, Minor Threat, Bad Brains, Steve Earle, Joni Mitchell, Roky Erichsen, Iggy Pop, Nick Solomon and many more.
℗ & © Critter Cabal/Quickfix Recordings
July/Artist No.7: Vego Asia - End It
July’s summer single of the month comes from Cameroonian dancehall/afrobeat singer Vego Asia with his processed song for peace in his native land - END IT.
Vego Asia started singing at a very tender age, growing up with his father after his mother left when he was just 2 years old. His Father, a Jehovah’s Witness, would take his young son to Kingdom Hall 3 times a week, where he discovered music…
“Before services my father will have us memorise the song that was to be sang at the meeting and that was how music became part of me. I remember my dad always got mad when I don't get the chorus right or miss some hymns. I developed a habit of always singing and memorising kingdom songs so I never missed it at the rehearsal day. This habit started expanding for I began singing and memorising any song I heard even the ones that the religion considered as worldly.” - Vego Asia
Added into the mix were a love of classics like Fela Kuti & Bob Marley, modern singers like Beyonce & Rihanna and Princesses of Dancehall Brick & Lace as Vego grew up a reserved kid and found music was the best way to express himself - entertaining people with songs sung into makeshift toys used as imaginary microphones. He started writing and singing his own music at the age 10 by using a radio tape cassette recorder, hoping to impress a girl in school… whilst the song impressed his peers, sadly he was punished by the school for making the tape. At 13 Vego recorded his first song in a professional studio, saving a feeding allowance to pay for the session and not long after left home to follow a career music, believing it to be the only thing that could reunite him with his estranged mother again and his father and congregation against him pursuing music. He met with producer Wiz B through a childhood friend and they started working on songs together. Out of school, Vego needed a trade for a living, so trained as a manicurist which he continues now at bar Nailmonsta. Then came the Anglophone crisis in Cameroon at the time Vego was in the region. Youths were the main target and Nigeria was the only place he could take refuge. After a few months in the country, he relocated to Lagos, where the music industry was based and met with artists & producers like Young John and Lord sky but found them outside his budget, eventually recording with KTunes and finding some management. Then Covid-19 struck and Vego relocated back to Cameroon, this time headed for the capital. One week later he reunited with WizB and recorded another song featuring guest Brown Popsy and soon they had enough material for an EP but no budget. After some encouraging youtube releases and a few false starts, Vego Asia hooked up with Quickfix to release his single, peace anthem ‘End It', it's lyrics a call to peace for his country...
“My people have been facing torture from both the government and the separeties and this conflict has lasted for 5 years. People are dying; villages have been burned down by the military. It's hell for most people in far distant villages and ghost towns have cost businesses to shut down. I really can't count how many have fled from their homes just because of the fear of brutality by both parties. Some Anglophones are refugees in their own country and a countless number out in the neighbouring countries (and even beyond Africa for those who have the means).The layman is the one suffering most in this situation and it is really sad for our nation that has known peace for over 40 years. I have tears in my heart as I write this note down. We need to bring back peace in our land, the government is not helping the situation neither does the so called fighting against.” - Vego Asia
August/Artist No.8: Blackout Orchestra
Who would have expected Toronto based Goth Indie-Rock duo Blackout Orchestra to deliver the pop-rock ear worm of the summer IT’S FINE?
Self help and reflection can be a wonderful thing. When Quickfix asked the Blackout Orchestra to be part of the monthly Quickfix Digital Singles Club, it was the beginning of the year and off the back of hearing their darkly fantastic concept debut album I WILL WANT YOU WHEN WE ARE GHOSTS. Calling to mind The Smashing Pumpkins, early Flaming Lips and Postal Service, Ben VanBuskirk’s song writing is immediate and distinctive with Morgan Thompson-Reid’s voice providing a cool tonic to the heady mix of propellent drums and chiming guitars. Little could the label have predicted that the song to be delivered would be a bright, affirmative mantra to wellness. Read more below
Blackout Orchestra’s ‘evil mastermind’ Ben VanBuskirk was going through a transitional period after years of ups and downs. He found himself at the end of a troubled relationship, two musical projects (the critic-approved death obsessed shoegaze-pop band The Dearly Bereft , and feminist grunge provocateurs Green Girl ), and at the end of his rope. Depression, anxiety and alcoholism had him in their collective grip and on one dark but brightly lit night, literally staring down the tracks at the lights of an oncoming train, he wasn't sure he wanted to get out of the way. Spoilers… He did. With the help of some close friends started to manage these issues that once seemed unsolvable. He got sober, he got counselling, and he got writing. And then, as things started to happen… everything stopped.
With Lockdown meaning the time and money no temptation of local dive bars and rock venues, he started recording his songs on the only tools available to a self-professed Luddite — a guitar, a cheap Yamaha keyboard, and his BlackBerry cell phone. Instead of learning to bake bread or crochet, he spent his quarantine learning music production and putting together an album documenting his own fall and rise over the last years and months, respectively.
Now, Ben is joined the luscious tones of Morgan Thompson-Reid, also of Toronto’s unorthodox rock band Starship Experience.
“What’s great about Morgan is that though there is some overlap, we generally have very different musical tastes. She’s a real “singer” – and also likes a lot of pop music, bluegrass, and folk. I’m more into sad bastard music, and loud rock and also hip hop and electronic music. So I’ll write with my own frame of references and then ask her to add to it – and it’s always something that I never would have thought of on my own."
© & ℗ Blackout Orchestra/Quickfix Recordings
September/Artist No.9: King Crash
A lot of musicians make bold claims about being ‘all about the music’ or ‘just wanting to play’ but how many actually take it to the extreme of setting up on a street corner or hopping over fences just to play their music to passing people?
King Crash do... in fact they spent all of lockdown all over NYC! In parks, on street corners - wherever they could set up and perform for people. This is how they first popped on Quickfix Recordings radar via some truly incendiary instagram posts. The band call to mind the 60’s festival heyday - in fact tracks from their new live album l would have you swear that you were listening to a classic Santana Woodstock live recording or something similar from those halcyon days!
Singer/Guitarist Ryan Shivdasani grew up in California listening to Led Zeppelin and Jimi Hendrix - which will be no surprise to anyone listening to the electric blues of Chicken Named Abdul - even it’s tongue-in-cheek lyric about a rooster in the henhouse calls to mind Jimi’s raunchy sense of humour before the fiery guitar solo even starts.
“That FUCKING solo. Who is that fucking guy???” - Fergus Mcvey (Windrush Radio)
Upon moving to New York with a stack of songs, he met Bassist Jack Redford, a Mancunian Jazz-Funker abroad playing sessions and Jonathan ‘Rubio’ Salas, a jazz scholar and Afro-Cuban percussion fan plus Berklee scholarship graduate, no less! They quickly bonded through a mutual love of James Brown, Mahavisnu Orchestra and a burning desire to play freeform music live by the seat of their pants! Wasting no time at all, they got out and played anywhere they could at the least likely of times and now have both a live album and a sibling record in the case of the new single and it’s accompanying B-side tracks - all capturing their skilful spontaneity for posterity. The band are currently assembling a studio debut too so show no signs of slowing down and now that lockdown is easing, they might be crashing into a venue near you soon...
© & ℗ King Crash/Quickfix Recordings