Eurovision 2020: Ranked From Worst To Best

In the final instalment about this year’s sadly doomed and cancelled Eurovision, and to give every artist equal antagonism, as the home nation song and the Big 5 avoided scrutiny as the only songs not in the two semi-finals (which you can read about here and here for a more in depth roasting), the 2020 trilogy will end with The Soundshark running through and ranking every Eurovision entry this year, in order from least favorable, to the crème de la crème. Let this serve as a statement on ultimately who I thought should’ve won this year.

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The Soundshark… Does Eurovision 2020 – Semi-Final 2

In continuation of a fantasy booking scenario, where the 65th edition of the Eurovision Song Contest survived the COVID-19 pandemic, and in the hope of providing some light entertainment in these troubling times, The Soundshark presents the second semi-final of the already pre-planned brackets (while also abiding by an improvised and hybrid set of drinking rules), to fulfil the scenario of a potential grand final. Remember, this is all purely personal opinions and light humour, so nothing is meant to offend. Just think of me as a less funny Graham Norton or Sir Terry Wogan. Or just less funny. With fun in mind, this is how the second semi-final played out, quickly going over the drinking rules again, in case you wish to play along or had forgotten them.

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The Soundshark… Does Eurovision 2020 – Semi-Final 1

On the 18th March, the world lost one of its landmark calendar moments of unity through music, when for the first time in its 64-year tenure, the Eurovision Song Contest was cancelled, because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Eurovision has now scheduled something in place of the original contest, honouring those who were originally supposed to be participating. But there is still part, well, of myself, that yearns for the original broadcast and format to play out in a fantasy scenario, that admittedly got out of hand. In the means of providing some light entertainment in these troubling times, The Soundshark sat through both semi-finals of the already pre-planned brackets (while also abiding by an improvised and hybrid set of drinking rules) and chose a set of 10 finalists from each, to fulfil the scenario of a potential grand final. This is all purely personal opinions and light humour, so nothing is meant to offend. This is all meant to be in the name of fun, so I always tend to go into this blind, with almost zero prior knowledge of what I’m about to hear. Just think of me as a less funny Graham Norton or Sir Terry Wogan. With fun in mind, here’s how Semi Final 1 played out, first explaining the drinking rules, in case you wish to play along and endure as well.

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The Secret Tsunami Club – S1E02

‘Music can’t make waves, if you don’t know it exists’ – The Soundshark.

Broadcast #2, from a realm in time and space that has intercepted two hours of the best in under the radar, underground, and unsigned music.

This is the Secret Tsunami Club.

Tracklist:

False Heads – Rabbit Hole
The Hypnophonics – Black Gloves
Pure Reason Revolution – Silent Genesis
Septa – New Motive Power
Elephant & Centipede – Parabole
Telepathy – Pariah
Azusa – Monument
The Callous Daoboys – Blackberry DeLorean
Igorrr – Very Noise
Drip Fed Empire – 3301
Across The Kingdom – My Colours
Lost In Lavender Town – Kermit The Hedgehog
Not My God – Fiction
Garçons – Hades
Raveyards – Pressing
N A T U R E – Awake
Meister Lampe – Goddess Rati
Mexico City Blondes – Road Noise
Julia Marcell – The Odds
Polypumpkins – Downtown Escape
Elay Arson – Switchblades (ft. The Encounter)
Dissident Noize Factory – Techno Firepit Skank
Beardyman – Every End Is A Beginning
Highlights Of A Modern World – Griefox
The Dept. Of Phantom Limbs – Slouching Towards Bethlehem

Please support the artists featured.

Want all the music, but with no interruptions?

Here’s a playlist of this show’s music:

Independently curated, recorded, produced, and edited by The Soundshark.

All episodes so far can be found here.

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The Secret Tsunami Club – S1E01

‘Music can’t make waves, if you don’t know it exists’ – The Soundshark.

Broadcast #1, from a realm in time and space that has intercepted two hours of the best in under the radar, underground, and unsigned music.

This is the Secret Tsunami Club.

Tracklist:

The Foreign Resort – Outnumbered
Slime City – You And Everybody That You Love Will One Day Die
Beachmasters Of The Universe – High Noon, High Tide
Steaksauce Mustache – Dance Cops
Sleep Token – The Offering
DOUX – Lousy
Zeistencroix – Wake Up
Johnny Deathshadow – Suicide Boys Club
Skullcave – Offend, Repeat
Damn Craters – Monomyth
Drip Fed Empire – Mk3
Nightlives – Ways Of Making You Talk
Fatal FE – Starshine
Capital X – In Us We Trust
Josie Pace & Sammi Doll – Perfect Replacement
Fee Lion – Blood Sisters
REIN – Closer To Reality
Sayton Spencer – Paralysis
Occams Laser – Return To The Arcade
Watch Out For Snakes – Scars (ft. Megan McDuffee)
VHS Head – Camera Eyes
Epsilonite – Lexicon
OaT – Fever
Silk Road Assassins – Familiars
Bone Cult – Feed On You

Please support the artists featured.

Want all the music, but with no interruptions?

Here’s a playlist of this show’s music:

Independently curated, recorded, produced, and edited by The Soundshark.

All episodes so far can be found here.

http://www.facebook.com/IAmTheSoundshark
http://www.twitter.com/The_Soundshark

Keith Flint And Me

Elton-John-pays-heartfelt-tribute-to-The-Prodigys-Keith-Flint

I will never ever forget the day I first encountered Keith Flint. It was a memory so vivid, so powerful at such a young age, that it will stay with me forever. I was around four, maybe five years old, when my mum had MTV on, and the music video for Breathe came on. She’d bought Fat of the Land around this time, and encouraged me to watch it, or at least listen. Being at that age where so much is impressionable on a young boy, that image of a demonic looking, and sounding Keith Flint, with the purple and green spikes adorned either side of his head, was absolutely terrifying. The video was played so regularly, it wouldn’t let me erase it from my mind. And like the best kind of hypnosis, after enough exposure, I started to like it. Instead of quivering in fear or leaving the room when it came on, I started to embrace it, and that state of alarm soon turned to joy every time it came back into rotation, the volume edging that bit louder every single time that beginning hook grumbled in.

God knows how many times I must’ve watched that music video, trying to analyse and break down all the imagery contained inside that dilapidated apartment. It’s truly a fascinating watch, not least because of Keith Flint’s flailing, and warped punk snarl, ensuring it became an everlasting memory, but it’s what became my gateway into The Prodigy.

Firestarter, of course, also left an impression on me too, that unmistakable nihilistic energy being translated by the innocence of a five year old child, who had no conceivable idea what anything Keith said meant, and the transformation of the chorus from arson into UFOs, sometimes flatulence, being one of my mum’s fondest memories of me as a child. Fat of The Land was always massively influential on me, even if I wasn’t really all that into music at the time. But for every new Prodigy song I discovered in that time, past and present, I always saw the music video for, and I’d always tried to copy how Keith danced, how they all danced for that matter, so if anything I’ll always owe him an indirect debt for any coherent ability I have for moving my body to a high-tempo rhythm. Out of Space and No Good especially. That was mostly in my infancy. A decade or so on, that connection got more personal.

Largely ignoring everything that happened with Always Outnumbered…, though not without its own merits, to date the only Prodigy album I actually own (although likely to change in the future) is Invaders Must Die. This album was on heavy rotation on my stereo after it came out, and came about a time when there was a lot of transitions in my life, namely finishing up high school and beginning to change things about my appearance, like hair colour, Keith being the very first person I ever saw with abnormal hair colour. Front to back this album was full of gems, and something always struck me about Run With The Wolves, not just because it’s solely Keith on vocal duty, and the drums recorded by Dave Grohl who may be my favourite human being ever, but there was this degree of authenticity amongst the anarchy. Keith’s sneer compliments the abrasive modular synths perfectly, the thunderous yet technical live drums propelling it far beyond album filler, and I fully believe this slice of electro-punk madness, no matter how iconic Firestarter and Breathe are, is his finest moment and the song he was meant to sing.

Going back to Breathe again for a moment, I was fortunate enough to see The Prodigy on two occasions. Their esteemed Warrior’s Dance Festival show at Milton Keynes Bowl in 2010, and at Sonisphere in 2014. For Warrior’s Dance Festival, my hair was dyed completely blue, in a bright UV yellow t-shirt, in a crowd of 65,000 people and I still managed to stand out. But in that moment of the opening notes of Breathe playing out into a sold-out ram packed amphitheatre, the rapture of being surrounded by tens of thousands bellowing out that chorus is unlike many experiences I’ve ever had before. It’s certainly the loudest I remember. I watched footage back of that moment recently and it gave me goosebumps. Hearing Keith’s snarls in the flesh resonates as strongly and vividly, as it did well over a decade ago on MTV. The Sonisphere performance is a lot more hazy in my recollection, but the MK Bowl show is without doubt one of my favourite live shows I have ever attended.

Since then, the new Prodigy releases always piqued my interest, and I lifted the songs I enjoyed from the two new albums since Invaders Must Die, some became songs I played in DJ sets, but I can’t deny I wasn’t as invested in them as heavily. I still haven’t worked out why to this day.

The day Keith Flint died, I was distraught. I cried a lot. I cried even more when his death was ruled a suicide. It didn’t make sense to me because I’ve always associated the music of The Prodigy to periods of elation in my life, and this year is already becoming one of my better years after the last 18 months of non-stop turbulence and uncertainties. The fact his irreplaceable voice, and larger than life stage persona no longer exists on this planet, nor will make any more appearances is a pill I’m struggling to swallow. Not to cast shadows on any other recent tragedies, but an illustration to give you an idea of how crushing an effect this has had on me; Chester Bennington’s death was like losing a best friend at one of the most difficult points of my life. The death of Keith Flint is like losing a close family member, someone whose presence has been felt consistently throughout my life, that their musical contributions have been so ingrained into who I was, and who I’ve become, from a very young age. This news hurt, it still hurts, and it feels like an important part of my soul was extinguished on that dreadful day.

Almost since day one, The Prodigy has had a profound impact on my life, and to be in the knowledge that its heart will never beat again, leaves me in perpetual sorrow.

Thank you Keith.

Rest in peace.

It’s OK to ask for help. If you want someone to talk to, or someone to listen, please call Samaritans, or seek your local mental health charity. There is always someone willing to hear you out. Never suffer in silence.

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20 Bands And Artists With New Music in 2019 You Should Keep An Eye On

By now, the hangover of 2018 should have long subsided, and 2019 should now begin to be as familiar to everyone as much as your work colleagues, classmates, or friends you go clubbing with, are. We’ve conversed, debated and voiced our collective opinions on what the best of the best of 2018 was, and ahead, we look into the eyes of 2019 longingly, yearning for continued musical excellence as this decade draws to a climax. So bearing that in mind, the site has put together 20 bands and artists bearing a variety of new musical fruit in 2019, that you should absolutely sample, and hopefully savour and find immense pleasure from.

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