Browsing Tag


I saw him in the Mirror: James Harker modifies our view on Spinning Plates

One half of the fantastic duo Vast & Harker, James Harker shows us how love can turn our moods around and sings with pulsating passion on his catchy new release, Spinning Plates.

James Harker is a classically trained London, UK-based indie pianist, history teacher and alternative songwriter who has returned from a long break and shows us his evolution from indie folk.

Taken from the brand new 10-track album Limerence, James Harker is on fire with a soul-healing melody to be proud of for its magnetic appeal. This is soaring stuff and delights our senses with a family-friendly soundtrack.

Spinning Plates from the experienced UK-based indie pianist James Harker is a cloud-floating single to get enthusiastic about and might change perspectives. There is so much to sink our teeth into as we are reminded about the special sauce needed, to be truly happy in this ever-changing world.

Turn this up on Spotify.

Listen up on IG.

Reviewed by Llewelyn Screen

One More Time: Beat Bakery and MILENA parties on that sensational future island on Feel Alive

With fun energy brewing like a tasty iced tea in the summertime after a long walk, Beat Bakery and MILENA have dropped a sunshine-filled daydream-like single to get those legs feeling ready for a good night on Feel Alive.

Beat Bakery is a London-based dance-pop band who are joined by fellow Londoner and A&R Factory favourite MILENA, the lovable Montenegro-born indie pop singer-songwriter/pianist who kindly took us into the Secret Garden for a picnic in May.

Getting us all flustered and ready for a night to remember, Beat Bakery and MILENA change all moods with a sit-back-and-listen-on-full volume song to remember.

Feel Alive from Beat Bakery and MILENA is a tiger-biting single to tear up the dance floor with. There is a sizzling array of punchy beats and ear-splitting vocals to get enthused about here. Exactly what the doctor ordered some would say.

Soaked with fresh energy that feels like a beach party waiting to happen, we are thrilled to the core by a happy song made for all the right reasons.

Listen up on Spotify.

Feel the energy on Beat Bakery’s IG and MILENA’s IG.

Reviewed by Llewelyn Screen

UK-based house/techno legend Hugo Ryder helps us get back into the zone with In To Focus

Hitting the right notes and sliding on that awaiting dancefloor like an OG who knows what the crowd wants, Hugo Ryder is in no mood to mess around and has dropped something to party with all night long on In To Focus.

Hugo Ryder is a UK-based founding member of the famous Professional Misconduct sound system and an absolute legend in the techno and house scene.

Thundering in with something rather intensely vein-popping, Hugo Ryder is on absolute fire and shall summon the best vibes within and slice away all bad juices that serve no purpose.

In To Focus from the UK-based house music producer and DJ Hugo Ryder is a rather scintillating entry into our hearts when needed most. There is a thrilling energy to filter through into our awaiting souls, by a skilled pro who knows how to push our buttons rather sweetly.

If you like powerful music with a buzzsaw-like aura to cut through the nonsense outside, this is the winner you have been looking for.

Listen up on SoundCloud.

Reviewed by Llewelyn Screen

Pull Me Closer: Jimmy Theo wonders why we lose ourselves sometimes on Pray for Us (feat. Matthew Clark)

Taken from his brand new 10-track album Next Step, Jimmy Theo wants to talk closer to his love on the body-swaying single about keeping things calm romantically despite the chaos amongst the windy trees of life with Pray for Us (feat. Matthew Clark).

Jimmy Theo is a UK/Australian indie singer-songwriter and music producer who makes meaningfully substantial music to make everything okay again.

After previously featuring on our platform via the memorable The End Of Time in 2020, Jimmy Theo is in top form here. Goodness me. This has real quality in droves.

Pray for Us from the multi-creative and artist-collaborating Jimmy Theo is a gem of a track made for all indie fans all over the world. Helping us forget our fears and find ourselves again after past romantic blunders, this is a stress-evaporating soundtrack to ease the anxiousness away into the wind.

Well done Jimmy. This is a special track for everyone who loves the solo singer-songwriter vibe. Turn it up okay?

Hear this single come to life on Spotify.

See more on the IG page.

Reviewed by Llewelyn Screen

It’s The Last Time: Domi Contre brings us natural feeling on the beautiful Lips Go Dry

Feeling so reflective and imagining that kiss-filled romance which will end rather soon, Domi Contre tries to resist an urge which will bring back many memories to many who miss those sweetly textured moments on Lips Go Dry.

Domi Contre is a London, UK-based indie pop singer-songwriter who grew up with classical jazz in her veins and elegantly uses her experience of travelling the world to bring us a self-enlightened love letter to hold hands with.

Fused with the skilled efforts of producer Adam Hoos and Adrianos Pandis on songwriting, Domi Contre is the kind of genuinely soulful musician who will soothe all sad hearts and calm those nerves in an instant. She’s doing this for the right reasons you see. Everything is natural and never forced, just like music should be.

Lips Go Dry from London, UK-based indie pop singer-songwriter Domi Contre is a delightfully graceful single which might invoke feelings which might have been hidden for ages. Sung so purely and with honest intentions, this is the kind of track which will calm many souls and bring back a spark-packed romance from the past.

If you love your music classy, you’ve just found your new favourite underground UK musician.

Turn this up louder on Spotify.

See the vision further on IG.

Reviewed by Llewelyn Screen

Interview: Nottingham alternative electronic producer RICKY leads us through those era-defining Dark Places

Opening up a whole new brightly coloured tunnel and delving us deeper into a mysteriously illuminating venture to bury all demons inside forever, UK-based EDM producer RICKY slams the door shut rather brilliantly and tells us all about it with an interview all about his 7th of July scheduled 8-track release, Dark Places.

Llewelyn: Welcome to A&R Factory and thank you for taking the time to chat with us today RICKY. Let’s start off with this. You were known previously for your work with the 2 piece electro-punk indie rave band called Battlecat! What’s the progression been like in your life to now being an alternative EDM producer?

RICKY: Thanks for having me! I’ve always been passionate about music having previously grown up living in an independent family-run music venue and watching and prompting hundreds of bands every year and then came Battlecat! Who was made up of me plus the sound man from our venue (we were very close friends and had been talking about trying to write some test icicles-inspired tunes for a while.

Battlecat’s sound mixed elements of techno, EDM and drum and bass with punk guitars and distorted vocals and was heavily influenced by the ‘Nu rave scene’ of the early 00s. Working on that particular project gave me an opportunity to explore a different side of music production (as I only really played guitar prior) and is where I cut my teeth using Daw’s and Vst’s and hardware units. I kept exploring and learning more about arrangement and production and it became my passion and so transitioning to alternative Electronic production felt like a natural progression.

Llewelyn: You rep Nottingham in the UK. What’s the scene like there (good and bad things) and where are the best spots to watch underground music in your area?

RICKY: The scene in the early 00s consisted of a lot of indie, punk and metal but it seems to have broadened over the years and it’s literally a melting pot of unique artists of every genre you can think of. Nottingham is home to many great venues but JT SOAR, The Chameleon and Bodega are great venues to catch upcoming artists.

Llewelyn: Dark Places. Goodness me. This will wake up anyone who has been sleeping. We love the high-tempo energy. What was the main motivation behind the project and are there any tracks in particular you’re most proud of? Also, was there anyone else involved in the creation?

RICKY: Dark Places is a follow-up to my ‘bedroom-produced Ep’ Pushing Buttons. I was fairly proud of Pushing Buttons but it was definitely a genre-hopping piece of work where as this next record feels a bit more coherent and uniform in terms of tone. I’m particularly proud of the debut single ‘Don’t say anything’ (which is released on 23rd June) and ‘Wreck’ which I suppose is my answer to Hudson Mohawke’s distorted brass, fidgety loveliness. The whole record was written, mixed and mastered by myself and the only contribution being that of ‘PLAEDO’ who is an activist, rapper and altogether great guy from Portland Oregon that pit some great lyrics to ‘I’m talking to you’

Llewelyn: 2020 was mad. Did you feel super refreshed after your hiatus and do you sense your creative process or sound changed at all?

RICKY: 2020 was definitely mad and full of negatives the only plus for me personally was the free time it gave me due to being furloughed and getting the last ep finished. When you have a family and full-time job it can be very difficult to find the time to work on your passion project because let’s face it family comes first.

Llewelyn: Do you have any funny stories about the music business you’re allowed to share? Perhaps an interaction with a fan, or a wild moment at a party/festival or a realisation which made you laugh?

RICKY: I can remember when the Eighties Matchbox B line disaster played our venue and after they played we had a lock-in with around 50 folks where we drank the bar dry to lots of The Cramps and QOTSA blasting out the PA and then around 3 am we took the party to their tour bus (they came it a massive double-decker tour bus complete with leather sofas and flat screens tvs) and invited a few of us on to indulge in some mushrooms and various other ‘vegetables’ that was a very epic and hilarious night. It wasn’t hilarious when I woke up with my head in a pizza box covered in filth and vomit though.

Llewelyn: Who are the OG’s of your local scene and who do you look up to the most?

RICKY: There’s always been Lots of great Nottingham bands but back in the day for me, it was probably ‘Late of the pier’ ‘I was a Cub Scout’ and Swound! There’s obviously been a good few Notts acts break in the last decade such as Sleaford mods and Jake Bugg.

Llewelyn: Lastly, where can we catch you live over the summer?

RICKY: I’m looking at getting the live show up and running for late August and I’m hoping to gig as much as physically possible (in between work and family commitments) through the back end of this year through next year onwards so hit me up if you’re a promoter and have any slots going free. I’ll sweat and make noise for beers and fuel.

Listen up to Don’t Say Anything on Spotify.

Find out more on IG.

Interviewed by Llewelyn Screen

We Will Fight for What is Right: Bitchin’ Hour roar us all into life on the battlefield with Tooth and Nail

After piercing our ears with no need to go to a shop to get them done via their scintillating Cargo Sessions live experience to play on full volume, the fearless Bitchin’ Hour are the courageous leaders we all needed to witness in this time of uncertainty with Tooth and Nail.

Bitchin’ Hour is a 4-piece Guildford, Surrey, UK-based Grunge-punk/rock band who have a bite in their step which will wake up the nosy neighbours next door.

You haven’t heard of Bitchin’ Hour? You have now. Turn this up and put the mobile down for a few minutes. This is better than your average kinda track. It’s been made with proper intensity you see, which will get the blood flow rocketing into a much better place.

Tooth and Nail from Guildford, Surrey, UK-based Grunge-punk/rock band Bitchin’ Hour is the kind of song which could inspire the youth to take up music. There is a fire in droves here which the fire department might need to extinguish..after the show of course. This is raw to the core.

Strong and dominant and never letting go for a second, we are thrilled by an underground band who knows how to shake the cobwebs off the kitchen floor.

Listen up on Spotify.

Find out more on their website.

Reviewed by Llewelyn Screen

UK EDM duo Issi Noho rattle the windows of the drowsy with the hauntingly memorable pick-me-up, Back to The Abyss

Following the dynamics of a film that is still to be made, the massively experienced and much-loved Issi Noho drops track 8 from We erA (A Tale for Dreamers and Scientists) and this is called, Back to The Abyss.

Issi Noho is a UK-based EDM Psychedelic Beats lover who enjoys drenching all tired hearts into a bath of mass contentment and shall cause bodies to be reinvigorated again.

Formed by Nick Smith & Neil Riley who are known best for their electric track on the legendary and original FIFA game, Issi Noho scores a hattrick on their latest release which would trouble even the best keepers. This is riveting to the core of empty abdomens and shall fill up the hungriest, who are voracious for something proper. Eat up then. It’s snack time.

Back to The Abyss from UK-based EDM act Issi Noho is a fast-paced and pulsating track to turn the lights off with. With glowsticks in abundance and masses ripping off their shirts, we have found an anthem to stomp all toes off with.

Sizzling through the lights and never letting go, we hope you’re ready to pump up the volume.

Check out the video on YouTube.

Soak into the socials on Twitter.

Reviewed by Llewelyn Screen

Old and Grey: Charlie Plews takes her by the hand on his 3rd single Music to my Ears

Taking a deep breath and loving each moment as he treasures the company of someone so exceptional, Charlie Plews shall make all doubts evaporate into the night eternally on the satisfying new release, Music to my Ears.

Charlie Plews is a Leicestershire, UK-based indie pop singer-songwriter who performs the kind of sunny skied songs which puts smiles on the faces of those who really need it.

With a cinematic vibe and laced with enlightened energy, Charlie Plews has brought back positive vibrations in 2023. This is a jewel of a track made with pure intentions which deserves to be on all of our playlists.

Music to my Ears from Leicestershire, UK-based indie pop singer-songwriter Charlie Plews is a real kickstart to the stomach which will ease all worries into the washing machine of life forever. This is a stunner to heal all scars. It’s beautifully created and the vocals are so calming and clearly made with a graceful vitality to embrace.

If you need to believe in love, this is the song to turn up loud.

Turn this up on Spotify.

Check out the IG music page for more.

Reviewed by Llewelyn Screen

Stubbed my toe on a Rock: Moose Wrench man-flu’s their way through the midlife existential crisis on Not Dead Yet

Provoking us off our cosy crisp-laded crunchy couches and informing us to hastily brush off all those lazy mentalities which don’t help at all, Moose Wrench is at its roaring best and might shatter fragile glass windows that haven’t been triple-glazed with a speaker-breaking single to sit up with, Not Dead Yet.

Moose Wrench is a Leeds UK-based alternative act that loves to be known as the finest dad-bod alt-core trio in the world with their ultimate confidence and groovy vibes to entertain all ages who are brave enough.

Angry and snarling. Brisk and brooding. Moose Wrench is the name. Leeds is in their blood through and through. Turn them up okay? Before they break something. Anything. They make loud music which is right up in your nostrils.

Not Dead Yet from Leeds UK-based alternative act Moose Wrench is a thunderous release that you will either love to pieces or find compelled to shout at. Either way, that’s the point. They don’t care about our feelings at all. Making music they love is the mission, that loyal fans will bounce off walls to hear.

This is underground music with a piercing sound, that will slice through earlobes like a spikey pin in the night.

Turn this up on Spotify.

See more on the IG page.

Reviewed by Llewelyn Screen