Jun 13, 2012

Listen to The Seperate: Orchestral Variations Vol. 1

Literally years in the making, The Seperate: Orchestral Variations Vol. 1 is an excellent new album put together by Keith Cullen - the man responsible for some of the more interesting UK indie releases of the last 20 or so years, especially during the Brit Pop-era, via his Setanta label. Think along the lines of Edwyn Collins, Divine Comedy, A House, The Frank & Walters, and Into Paradise...you get the picture.

Never one to sit still, Keith has been laying pretty low for the last few years when it comes to the music biz, and getting on with other things. But this project has never been far from his mind, and has finally come to fruition. Very basically a farewell of sorts to the music business, its a collection of fairly classic & well known songs, sung by contemporary artists over beautiful orchestral arrangements, all selected by Cullen.

Here's a statement from Cullen on his long absence from the biz, and his motivation for releasing this album: I've run a record label most of my working days and music has been (and continues to be) an enormous part of my life. However five years ago I stopped signing bands, making records with them and releasing music with the gusto that kept my record label afloat for the best part of fifteen years. I felt old and had no desire to keep going to the same gigs, going through the same rigmarole of spurting over-enthusiastic shite-talk about how some new artist was going to be huge. I didn't want to feel embittered about how old fart my taste had become, being the bald old bloke at the back of the venue trying to be enthusiastic about some hot new band who didn't quite have the attitude of the Ramones, the art house take of Talking Heads, the spunk of the Pixies, the youthful energy of early U2, or the kookiness of The Cure. So I stopped releasing records and started writing instead.

The record you hold in your hand (or have on your computer) is the only music related thing I've been involved with for a long time, and its taken a long time to finish because I've been focused on other non music things in life. Sometimes I think about how my record label's profile ceased to have any relevance when other like-minded labels, like Domino, Bella Union and Wichita kept going, and through their own perseverance and determination found great breakthrough acts and I feel happy to be out of the game.

I still listen to music as much as I always did, but now I'm a fan rather than an industry person. The tracks on this record are songs I have always loved, sung by singers I love. Making this record has been a selfish exercise, and all the more enjoyable for it after years of being the person whose spent most of my working life finding an audience for other peoples 'art'. Not that this record is 'my album' in any way, I didn't do anything, just paid the musicians, picked the singers and the songs and paid the recording costs. But it feels like a good 'final' record to put out on my label. I like it, I hope you do too.


01 Something to Believe In with Ed Harcourt
02 Video Killed the Radio Star with Anais
03 Once In A Lifetime with Paul Noonan
04 Close to Me with Mark Lanegan
05 This Night Has Opened My Eyes with Joan as Police Woman
06 Big Sky with Jaymay
07 Souvenir with Stephanie Dosen
08 Ghost Town with Scott Hutchinson
09 Stories for Boys with Martha Wainwright
10 Gigantic with Charlotte Hatherley
11 Old Town with Patrick Wolf
12 West End Girls with Brian Molko

Buy direct from Setanta here.
The Seperate official facebook page.
Buy on Amazon UK.
Available on iTunes from July 2.

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