Simon Raymond

Simon Raymonde on… Midlake Return

The Bella Union boss recounts the story of how the back-in-the-studio Texans, Midlake, became a valued and best-selling member of his label’s family… Releasing four albums in 16 years might seem a little… well leisurely, compared to say the Ramones, who released (wait for it…) six albums in their first THREE years, or even Talking Heads, who put out four of the greatest albums of … Continue reading Simon Raymonde on… Midlake Return

Simon Says

Simon Raymonde on… Returning To The Road

The Bella Union founder ponders the wisdom of a return to the road, as his band, Lost Horizons, prepare to release album number two… So I started recording a new Lost Horizons album last March with my partner-in-grime Richie Thomas. For those of you who don’t know the story, Richie was the drummer of Dif Juz, one of the most underrated of 4AD bands; like … Continue reading Simon Raymonde on… Returning To The Road

Simon Says

Simon Raymonde on… Vaughan Oliver

Vaughan Oliver created a number of memorable sleeves for Cocteau Twins. Simon shares his memories of 4AD’s celebrated designer, who died in December… The arrival of Apple Macintosh and PCs in the analogue recording studios of the 1990s was initially embraced a bit like VAR has been in the football world. In other words, with suspicion and dislike. But like all things new and unknown, … Continue reading Simon Raymonde on… Vaughan Oliver

Pete Pahides on… Dial-a-Disc

Before the age of instant gratification, our columnist remembers squeezing into a phone box to hear the chart hits of the time. Dial-a-Disc will always have a place in his heart…  We’ve all seen those clickbait articles that sit at the bottom of the internet, offering you a shot of brutal perspective on the passing of time. “Want to feel old? Look at these child … Continue reading Pete Pahides on… Dial-a-Disc

Pete Paphides on… Mixtapes

As every self-effacing male instinctively knows, the quickest route to a woman’s heart is through a mixtape. Music transferred from vinyl to audio cassette is truly the food of love… Assuming my wife doesn’t come to her senses between the completion of this column and its publication, this Valentine’s Day will also mark 25 years since we decided to go steady as a couple. I’d … Continue reading Pete Paphides on… Mixtapes

Simon Raymonde on… Indonesian Adventures

After showing his fancy linen in public, our columnist expands his horizons searching for new musical talent for Bella Union, leading to some enlightening cultural exchanges… Running Bella Union for 21 years, I’ve been fortunate to have travelled far and wide in search of exciting new music. Following our successes globally with Jambinai from Seoul in South Korea, we have tried to expand our horizons … Continue reading Simon Raymonde on… Indonesian Adventures

Simon Raymonde on… Blue Bell Knoll

This month, our columnist looks back at his experiences creating and recording Cocteau Twins’ classic 1988 album, Blue Bell Knoll. It’s exactly 30 years since Cocteau Twins wrote, recorded and released the album Blue Bell Knoll, which came out on 4AD on 19 September 1988. 4AD also licensed the album to major label Capitol Records in North America. What I know now about record deals … Continue reading Simon Raymonde on… Blue Bell Knoll

Simon Raymonde on… hearing loss

For most musicians and music lovers, permanent hearing loss is a mortifying prospect – but our columnist’s experience shows it doesn’t have to affect your career, or your life… In 2003, while producing The Duke Spirit’s debut mini-album Roll, Spirit, Roll, I noticed my ear was getting blocked, as if I was coming down with a cold. A week or two later, it was still … Continue reading Simon Raymonde on… hearing loss

Simon Raymonde

Simon Raymonde on… The return of Spiritualized

Jason Pierce is back with a new Spiritualized album on Bella Union, and our columnist is impressed to say the least. Ladies and gentlemen, we are emoting in spades…  The Spaceman himself, Jason Pierce, is back, with not just a new Spiritualized album – but to my humble mind, the best record Jason has made in 21 years. And I love everything this man has … Continue reading Simon Raymonde on… The return of Spiritualized