Welcome to the end. Of the year. Sort of. Not really.
What do you do when faced with consumerist armageddon in a godless society? You make a list of what you've done in the previous twelve months and proclaim it to be somehow important.
And that's what I've done. I've collected, examined and analysed the great works created and inspired by the cohorts of Desert Mine Music over the past year and constructed this list so that you can understand what's important. And what's not.
1. The Sorry Kisses Vs Marc Riley
Our desks were shaking with shock when we received the phone call from BBC6's Marc Riley asking if The Sorry Kisses were available for a live session on his radio show. Making true radiophonic history, The Sorry Kisses accepted the challenge, recruited The Longcut as a backing band, and then proceeded to splatter the airwaves with their glory.
2. Hayley Hutchinson 'Hawks To The Wind'
Desert Mine Music's studio, The Factory Of Unprofessional Sound, has seen some pretty strange sights over the years but none stranger than the procession of musicians going in to apply their craft to Hayley Hutchinson's latest album. Banjo players, double bassists, violinists, accordion players, pianists, jazz guitarists and percussionists all jumped at the chance to help make Hayley's fourth album, a fine work of rustic panoramic psychedelia.
3. Dany Slak 'Rods'
2011 saw Desert Mine becoming a truly international company by signing the enigmatic Canadian songwriter Dany Slak. 'Rods' was the fruition of Slak's nomadic years and is a defining statement of intent that truly captures the melody, the harmony, the rhythm and the lyric into something that possibly is too good for the general public.
4. The rise of Benjamin Francis Leftwich
Who knew that the risotto-manufacturing musician that we knew as 'Ben' would turn out to become the new UK god of singer/songwritermanship. A frequent visitor to our studio, Benjamin Francis Leftwich's debut album 'Last Smoke Before The Snowstorm' featured our very own Hayley Hutchinson on backing vocals and marked a new era in radio DJs being unable to pronounce somebody's name correctly.
5. The Sorry Kisses UK tour
Following the release of their album 'Keep Smiling', The Sorry Kisses packed up their car with crisps and guitars and travelled the country on a tour that will surely go down in history. Bringing their legacy to cultural wastelands such as Leeds, the Sorry Kisses proved that they are the UK's finest ambassadors of rock.
6. L7 Hrafnar, Soleyjar og Myrra
What??? It's Icelandic. And it's the name of an Icelandic film that featured the music from Sam Forrest's 'Born Again EP'. We've no idea what the film's title means or what it's about but the event clearly signals Desert Mine's all conquering power as a global brand.
7. The Protector
Again, what? 'The Protector' is a high to mid quality American TV show that has something to do with a female cop struggling to balance her career and her family. And it featured the ball-crushing Sorry Kisses song 'Drifting In The Dark' in it's opening five minutes that showed a car driving up to a house. Not sure what happened after that because we turned it off.
8. Mark Wynn
Every month or two, a debonair young gentleman called Mark Wynn appears at our door and demands access to our high-budget studio The Factory Of Unprofessional Sound. And we let him in. Because he's good. Damn good. 2011 saw Wynn making multiple records here at our studio and also saw him developing his art with increased sloppiness, swearing and recently abandoning all forms of language.
9. Chris Helme
In February, Desert Mine Music packed up our stuff and went off to the Yorkshire Dales for two weeks. Why? Because Sam Forrest and Hayley Hutchinson were summoned by the massively uncategorisable Chris Helme to help record his forthcoming album. And it's still forthcoming. But it's finished at least. Watch this space.
10. The Desert Mine Music blog
That's right. You thought that blogs were merely digital extensions of somebody's ego? Obnoxiously parading sporadic thought as art? Desperately seeking the validation of one's peers? Thankfully the Desert Mine Music blog has managed to surmount these obstacles and instead forms the nexus of culture, art, politics and literature that ultimately informs, entertains and uplifts the global populace. Apart from the months between March and November where I didn't bother writing anything.