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When our writer Richard Collins isn’t smashing out reviews for us, he spends some of his time putting on gigs with his mate Lins at a night called Cosmic Carnage. When he’s not doing that he can often be found talking complete bollocks, we have decided to capture some of this bollocks and call it the ‘Cosmic Roundup of 2015′. He’s caught up with shit loads of our favourite people from across the scene and we’ll be publishing one every day until we run out… like some sort of super freaky advent calendar!
Richard concludes his Cosmic Roundup of the year by talking to our very own Editor Dan Salter about the site and what the fuck happened in music in 2015.
CC: Hi Dan, how are you?
DS: Very good thanks. It’s been another incredible year for new music and I always enjoy this time of year when we get to take a pause and reflect on it all. I’m also about to head off to Thailand for 3 weeks, so there’s that!
CC: What exactly is Echoes and Dust? Does it have a mission? What role do you feel it plays in terms of underground music?
DS: All good questions and ones that I don’t really have good answers too and after 8 years I really should have! Basically it’s a place for people who’s music taste is not normal in any sense of the word! I started it it to write about the music I loved that I felt wasn’t getting much coverage elsewhere and over the years it has grown in to this insane community of people who are incredibly passionate about the music they are in to, whatever that may be.
If we had a mission it’d be something like “To fumble forwards gradually, ranting and raving about insanely obscure music”.
CC: A majority of reviews are positive, do you think there’s a reason for that?
DS: It’s a time thing mostly. All of our writers are contributing their very limited spare time for free so when the choice comes up between writing about something they like and something they don’t more often than not they’ll go for the one they like. Over the last few years though we have posted our fair share of critical reviews too. Feedback we’ve had from a lot of bands and labels is that we’ve become quite a hard site to please, but I don’t think that’s a bad thing.
CC: How has the musical landscape changed since you launched the site?
DS: I think the starkest reflection of how things have changed is the fact that when we started we got 90% of our submissions as actual CDs through the post and now we get about 99% of our submissions digitally.
The growth of the internet and digital distribution in the last decade has changed the musical landscape beyond recognition. We now have easy access to all of the music we could possibly want and bands can reach their fans directly but this also means there’s a lot more noise out there for bands to cut through. They now have to think creatively not just about the music but about how it is presented and communicated.
CC: How can someone apply if they fancy doing a bit of writing for Echoes and Dust?
DS: That’s an easy one! Just mail me on firstname.lastname@example.org
CC: What albums have you enjoyed that came out in 2015?
DS: The absolute standout album for me this year is The Fall by Israeli band Tiny Fingers. It’s not often I come across a record that I genuinely struggle to describe what it sounds like so when I do it always excites me. There’s a small corner of what I’d notionally call psych music where influences from dance music are bleeding through and I am all over that, Tiny Fingers take that and add elements of post rock and math rock to produce something really special.
There’s been so much good psych in all types of flavours this year too; Luminous Bodies, The Oscillation, The Naturals, Gnoomes, both Hey colossus albums, Bantoriak, Blown Out, Yuri Gagarin, the list just goes on and on.
CC: What’s the best gig you attended in 2015?
DS: Best single gig? Blimey, that’s a tricky one. I’d probably have to say Marriages at the Hoxton Bar & Kitchen, such an intense and emotive show. So many other great ones though. Helping drive the Rumour Cubes tour was a fantastic fun experience, putting on Cleft, obe & Fashoda Crisis to raise money for Macmillan, the Cosmic Carnage all dayer (natch) was superb, seeing our metal editor Sander put on his first show with Sonic Mass in Edinburgh was class. So, so many.
CC: Best festival?
DS: Arctangent. Hand down. Over the last 3 years it’s become something of a gathering of all of the weird music clans and has really given focus to the post/math/noise rock scene in this country.
Strangeforms in Leeds needs an honourable mention too. If Arctangent has become a gathering of the clans then Strangeforms is becoming the AGM for Post Rock Inc. and it’s always lovely to catch up with everybody.
CC: What are your plans for the site next year?
DS: More. More incredible music. More of everything! We should hopefully have a new design of the site going live at some point next year too and have some exciting ideas for that, so that’ll be very cool.