‘The Dead Albatross Music Prize’ – A New Alternative To The Mercury Music Prize

From the man behind the Radio Olympics – over twelve hours of music from all competing countries – we now have The Dead Albatross Music Prize. Paul Ackroyd aka Kamikaze has polled our most respected music heads and created the twenty album list for the inaugural event, which can be followed here: http://www.deadalbatross.com/

An alternative to once quality but now increasingly pointless Mercury Music Prize, The Dead Albatross seeks to take up the torch where it failed, rewarding the best released in the UK and Ireland for the year.

It’s probably important to point out that this isn’t any form of event hatred, nor are is there any suggestion that some great albums don’t appear on the Mercury nominated lists. The Dead Albatross award is simply another (and far superior) way to celebrate the best in British and Irish music.

via Dead Albatross
The Mercurys play it so safe with their nominations that you could pick any one of this year’s choices off the shelves at your local supermarket. And they’ve become more and more commercial over the years – they’re even sponsored by the bank these days. And their inclusion/exclusion criteria is, quite frankly, terrifying. For starters you have to pay a whopping fee to even be considered for the prize, but scarily you need to have had your album distributed by amazon or bloody itunes to even qualify for their shortlist, which immediately eliminates a heap of the most interesting British albums to have been released over the past year. Total disregard for independent distribution, or for artists that choose solely to release their work in physical form.

The nominations are in, and a pretty stunning list it is to. Trus’Me, Hacker Farm, My Bloody Valentine, Andy Stott, The Heliocentrics, Broadcast and Lee Gamble are among those in there that we played or wrote about throughout 2012, with most of the rest being albums we’re yet to discover.

Andy Stott – ‘Luxury Problems’ [Modern Love]
Broadcast – ‘Berberian Sound Studio’ [Warp]
Chris Watson – In St Cuthbert’s Time [Touch]
Divorce – ‘Divorce’ [Night School]
Ela Orleans – ‘Tumult in Clouds’ [Clan Destine]
Factory Floor – ‘Factory Floor’ [DFA]
Fairhorns – ‘Doki Doki Run’ [Invada]
Hacker Farm – ‘UHF’ [Exotic Pylon]
Hookworms – ‘Pearl Mystic’ [Gringo]
Lee Gamble – Dutch Tvashar Plumes [PAN]
My Bloody Valentine – ‘m b v’ [self-released]
Owiny Sigoma Band – ‘Power Punch’ [Brownswood Recordings]
Poppy Ackroyd – ‘Escapement’ [Denovali]
Rhodri Davies – ‘Wound Response’ [Alt. Vinyl]
Serafina Steer – ‘The Moths Are Real’ [Stolen Records]
The Cyclist – ‘Bones In Motion’ [Leaving Records]
The Focus Group – ‘Elektrik Karousel’ [Ghost Box]
The Heliocentrics – ’13 Degrees Of Reality’ [Now-Again Records]
Trus’me – ‘Treat Me Right’ [Prime Numbers]
Walton – ‘Beyond’ [Hyperdub]

The panel of twenty-odd judges consists of journalists, radio hosts, listeners, bloggers, record stores and general music fiends, who will be living with the albums and weighing in on them throughout the month, submitting a Top 5 to Paul to tally on a points based system.

The whole thing comes to a head on Wednesday the 30th October (same day as Mercury’s) with a three-hour show broadcast on Reel Rebels Radio from 8 – 11pm.

Stay tuned for updates, we’re well looking forward to this one, get involved.