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SOUTH LONDON SOUNDS: Dan Carey, Max Dillon, Bainbridge & Co.

In this series we'll be sharing much more about some of those involved in and around music south of the river, along with their thoughts on this right now.


First up, I'm delighted to have the thoughts of Dan Carey of Speedy Wunderground, music photographer Max Dillon and South London band Bainbridge & Co.

Since 2013, Speedy Wunderground have worked with and had sell-out releases with Natasha Khan (aka Bat For Lashes), Warmduscher, Melt Yourself Down, Sinead O'Brien and Squid, to name just a few - all produced at the Streatham studio.


Dan Carey is founder and producer of the south london label, undoubtedly now one of the most highly regarded independents in the UK. Dan is a critically acclaimed producer, having received three Mercury Prize nominations for his work on albums by Kate Tempest, Nick Mulvey and Black Midi.

Why was Speedy Wunderground started and whats it's ethos?

Dan: A few years ago, I found myself very frustrated with labels, because there was such a long gap between finishing a record and its release. Also during that time there was a tendency to mess around with things that were, in my mind finished - recalling mixes etc.


I thought it'd be nice to start a label that released singles that were good snapshots of how we felt at that time, and also release them while we were still in that moment - not 6 months later.


What would you say are the most defining parts of music south of the river right now?

Dan: From my perspective it's the Windmill scene - there's a lot of talk about post-punk, but there's a lot more to it than that, clearly that's only one perspective!


Where do you see things going for you and the label?

Dan: We are starting to make albums. Using the same methodology that we use for the singles, we're doing albums. We've made one so far - by Tiña. Recorded in one week. It was very intense and we're really pleased with it.


Follow Speedy Wunderground and Dan on Instagram @speedy_wunder and @dancareydan

Please tell us a little about yourself and your involvement in south london music

Max Dillon: I’m a 19-year-old photographer, born and raised mostly in the South East of London. My main mode of shooting is black and white portraiture, of live music in the South London music scene, taking photos of acts like PVA, Lynks Afrikka and Black Country, New Road. However, I’ll always be at gigs, photographing or not, due to my love of the music!


What do you feel is the most defining element of music south of the river?

That’s a difficult one to pinpoint because of the sheer diversity and variety of sounds, but maybe the sonic diversity is the defining element.


There’s bands like black midi, who’s sound is complex to define without drawing banal comparisons to Slint, but on the other end of the spectrum there’s bands like HMLTD, who embrace a flamboyance that’s far removed from other acts in the scene.


I guess a lot of the bands that play the South London venues often share a fairly referential element to their lyricism too. The most obvious examples being Black Country, New Road and Jerskin Fendrix, with their lyrical nods to the likes of Kanye West and beyond.


Which venue / night / area are you most looking forward to heading to post lockdown? I’m sure you’ll hear quite a few saying this, but I’m definitely looking forward to heading back to the Windmill the most. There’s such a wealth of talent that passes through there, and it’s always an amazing vibe.


The last gig at the Windmill before lockdown was meant to be PVA’s fundraiser to get them to Texas, but after SXSW’s cancellation, the night was turned into a sad cowboy themed affair, and was the perfect last night before being condemned to a life indoors.


Check out Max's awesome photography on his Instragram - @maxdillon7

South London collective Bainbridge & Co. are a band full of hooks and horns; recalling two tone and ska and fusing these with an irrepressible energy and knack for a melody.


Please tell us a little about yourselves and your involvement in South London music

Martha: We all grew up in the Brixton/Herne Hill area and most of us met at secondary school in Tooting. We've been playing together for two years now - our first gig was at a comedy club at an event called South East Arts Festival run by another young South London band. We got a big crowd down to that gig and since then we've played at venues like the Windmill, Hootananny, Off the Cuff, New Cross Inn, Brixton Jamm - pretty much all in South London. Some of the best nights have been ones at Off the Cuff where we've booked the line up with a big mix of bands and DJs.


What do you feel is the most defining element of music south of the river?

Ben: It’s very progressive, always challenging and overstepping what’s come before. There’s people collaborating with all kinds of sounds, like figures in the jazz scene collaborating with more rock influenced musicians. There’s a lot of experimentation and there's a sense of community. Artists will pack out a major festival stage then come back home and play to a crowd at the Windmill. Then you have world famous musicians like Kamasi Washington or Thundercat appearing unannounced at intimate jam sessions in Brixton.

Which venue/night are you most looking forward to heading to or playing post lockdown?

Martha: I really hope to play at the Windmill again as soon as possible and pack it full - its such a special place and they always do great mixed line ups. I also really miss the proper big nights at Off the Cuff.


I'm going to make an effort to go and see a new band every week after lockdown - being trapped inside has really made me want to make the most of being allowed out!


Support your local independent venues if you can 'cos they're such an important part of South London - more info here: saveourvenues.co.uk


Be sure to check out Bainbridge & Co.'s latest single 'Rewind' and follow @bainbridgeandco on Instagram.

Keep an eye on the blog over the next couple of weeks for even more contributions from brilliant individuals and artists.


In the meantime, you can also hear the breadth and depth of the sounds of South London on our playlist.


//Happy Listening//

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