Photo by Ellie Smith.
I first came across Chloe Frieda’s Alien Jams in mid-2016, after hearing ‘AJ004’, a split 12” from Beatrice Dillon and Karen Gwyer. On one side we were treated to a taut piece of computerized dub from Dillon - mindbending, yet raw and without unnecessary frills. On the other, Gwyer supplied an excursion in nitro-charged acid drawing on influences from ’70s psychedelia as much as contemporary electronics.
In many ways the release makes a fitting example of what the label is all about; Frieda has focused on presenting sounds from both past and present since Alien Jams first began as an NTS show in 2011. “My hope was to share strange and beautiful sounds” she begins when asked on the show’s original aims. “I wanted to play music from throughout history, but started to realise there was a strong focus on present day musicians. The radio content is very similar to the type of music released on the label and often musicians will be involved or featured in the shows before they release a record on the label.”
Frieda made the leap from radio to label in 2013, with a release from Edmund Davies’ oMMM project. From there, Alien Jams has moved from strength to strength, 2016 marking an undoubtedly important year for them. As well as Dillon and Gwyer’s joint 12”, Frieda released the ‘Cutoff’ EP from London based Robin Buckley, aka rkss. Speaking on the release, Frieda reflects on their first encounters. “I think we first met in person at a gig a few years ago. Robin played at an Alien Jams night and I think that was our first meeting, although we had been in touch online shortly after the rkss release came out on Reject and Fade. That was such a great release. The Alien Jams EP came together at the end of 2015- early 2016, with rkss material that had been recorded the previous year.”
Currently however, Frieda’s sights are set on the future. Alongside a number of gigs, upcoming NTS shows and the relaunch of an event series she runs with fellow NTS-er DEBONAIR, Alien Jams’ next outing is in the closing stages. “Next is a release by NOCHEXXX called Planet Bangs”, she explains when asked on future plans. “It’s due out next month. We have been working on the release for a while so I’m really excited to share it. We were also lucky to have Zeke Clough do the album artwork which looks amazing!”
Frieda’s mix for us covers 50 minutes of lo-fi rhythmic experiments and crunched-up 4/4, recorded with a little help from the NTS extended family. “I recorded this mix at my friend DEBONAIR’s house using her CDJs and turntables”, she tells me. “The mix is eclectic, every track is special in its own way. I find that radio podcasts and mixes are very different from playing in a club, the feedback you get from playing to people in a space is totally unique, but mixes are satisfying in a different way, they can be meditative and reflective.”
No tracklist available.