UK General Election 2015: The share of votes versus the share of seats

Following the UK’s General Election, there has been a lot of talk from minor parties (most notably UKIP and the Green party) that the First Past the Post voting system does not represent the people who vote for them.

Now that all the votes have been counted, we can start to answer the question ‘would proportional representation have made a difference?’ There are a number of interesting graphs to look at. The first is where the seats went Continue reading UK General Election 2015: The share of votes versus the share of seats

Louder than War piece: where to find new music

Last week, the excellent Louder than War website asked me to pen a piece about podcasts to follow-up the relaunch of the Independent Music Podcast. I tried to make it an interesting piece that combines some of my dayjob theory about choice and habit to satisfactorily say that podcasts are the best way to find new music, and that ours is just one of a number of options.

Not only does cheap recording and easy distribution mean we have more music available than ever before, but human and cultural evolution means that it is more varied and innovative too. On top of that, we have more radio stations, music TV channels, online channels, blogs, websites, fanzines, magazines (yes, still) than ever before. For discovering new music this is a problem, and the explanation for this lies in jam.

The jam experiment is one of the most famous tests in studying human psychology when it comes to choice. In her book ‘The Art of Choosing’, the creator of the experiment Sheena Iyengar explains it in fascinating detail but the crux of it is simple: when a person is presented with many options, they face choice paralysis and the chances of them making any choice whatsoever diminish significantly.

Go and read this piece over on their site, and download the Independent Music Podcast from iTunes.

Q&A: Steven McInerney (Psyché Tropes / Hackney Film Festival)

One of our favourite releases of the past year was HFF Vol.1 – the debut release on London label Psyché Tropes), we produced a gallery of images and a review of the record. During that time we sent some questions to label and Hackney Film Festival founder Steven McInerney. Here’s what he sent back: Continue reading Q&A: Steven McInerney (Psyché Tropes / Hackney Film Festival)

Review: v/a – HFF Vol.1 (Psyché Tropes)

Since its birth in 2010, the Hackney Film Festival has prided itself on showcasing both Hackney filmmakers and audio-visual artists. Now four years on, they have pulled together a mammoth three LPs worth of contributions for the debut release through co-founder Steven McInerney’s Psyché Tropes label.

Continue reading Review: v/a – HFF Vol.1 (Psyché Tropes)

The Dead Albatross Music Prize 2014

The thinking man’s alternative to the Mercury – the Dead Albatross Music Prize – has announced its winner.

Chosen by a panel of forward-thinking music lovers from inside and outside the industry (full disclosure, FFP is one of them), the Dead Albatross Music Prize has no entry process, no entries fees and no big bash. No fanfare, just great independent music from British artists.

Paul Ackroyd – the man behind the award – put together a fantastic announcement show to run through the shortlist and announce the winner. You can listen to it below. Continue reading The Dead Albatross Music Prize 2014

Unwrapping HFF Vol. 1 (Psyché Tropes)

The debut release on London label Psyché Tropes is a gorgeous three LP sound project that takes some of the finest works from audio-visual artists working in Hackney, East London and presses them to 180gm vinyl. It includes some truly exceptional pieces, with contributions from Sally Golding, Tom White, and Mark Peter Wright amongst others.

We’ll be reviewing the record in more detail over the week, but to whet your appetite, in this post you can listen to excerpts of the record as well as images of the record packaging.

You can buy the record direct from Psyché Tropes for £25.99.

Continue reading Unwrapping HFF Vol. 1 (Psyché Tropes)

Independent Vinyl Podcast #1 – September 2014

Hosted by Gareth Main, the Independent Vinyl Podcast kicks off with an inevitably eclectic mix of the latest independent vinyl records exciting us this month. Kicking off with the debut release from Brooklyn’s Alien Whale, we take in phenomenal new records from The Bug and Lurka as well as reissues of the legendary Bernard Szajner Visions of Dune LP and library compilation The Big Beat Vol.1.

Below is the tracklisting of the podcast, as well as links to buy records from across the web.

Continue reading Independent Vinyl Podcast #1 – September 2014