Welcome to the London Ear online archive (or, indeed, Earchive). 
This site offers free MP3 downloads of 60 minute radio shows originally broadcast on Resonance 104.4FM  (“The greatest radio station in the world” - The Village Voice) between 2006 and 2011. 
Although the first consignment has been scheduled as a single calendar day-long listening experience - 24 Hours of Ears - there is no obligation to listen to it that way. In fact, such an act of lunatic bravado would be actively discouraged. 
Additional material of more diverse provenance will be added sooner rather than later, but for the moment, please enjoy these ad-free encounters in the assurance that the number of times these guests are referred to as “special” is probably going to seem a bit ridiculous now all the shows are gathered together in one place. They are special, though - from top comedians Harry Hill, Vic Reeves, Stewart Lee and Russell Brand, through elite musical entities (a number of whom also perform live in the studio) including Dizzee Rascal, Shirley Collins, Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy, Pierre Bastien, Pet Shop Boys, Leila Arab, Baby Dee, Ariel Pink, Green Gartside, Philip Jeck, John Renbourn, Death, Ghostpoet and last but not least the drummer from Led Bib, to eminent critics including David Toop, Jon Savage, Paul Morley, Richard Williams and The New Yorker’s Alex Ross, with unclassifiable maverick Bill Drummond to make up the numbers.
Within each photo lurks a portal direct to the enchanted realm of the individual or group concerned. This is probably also the right moment to mention that all interviews were produced, presented and (on the occasions that such a measure of forethought seemed requisite) written by the journalist and author Ben Thompson.

 

Welcome to the London Ear online archive (or, indeed, Earchive). 

This site offers free MP3 downloads of 60 minute radio shows originally broadcast on Resonance 104.4FM  (“The greatest radio station in the world” - The Village Voice) between 2006 and 2011. 

Although the first consignment has been scheduled as a single calendar day-long listening experience - 24 Hours of Ears - there is no obligation to listen to it that way. In fact, such an act of lunatic bravado would be actively discouraged. 

Additional material of more diverse provenance will be added sooner rather than later, but for the moment, please enjoy these ad-free encounters in the assurance that the number of times these guests are referred to as “special” is probably going to seem a bit ridiculous now all the shows are gathered together in one place. They are special, though - from top comedians Harry Hill, Vic Reeves, Stewart Lee and Russell Brand, through elite musical entities (a number of whom also perform live in the studio) including Dizzee Rascal, Shirley Collins, Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy, Pierre Bastien, Pet Shop Boys, Leila Arab, Baby Dee, Ariel Pink, Green Gartside, Philip Jeck, John Renbourn, Death, Ghostpoet and last but not least the drummer from Led Bib, to eminent critics including David Toop, Jon Savage, Paul Morley, Richard Williams and The New Yorker’s Alex Ross, with unclassifiable maverick Bill Drummond to make up the numbers.

Within each photo lurks a portal direct to the enchanted realm of the individual or group concerned. This is probably also the right moment to mention that all interviews were produced, presented and (on the occasions that such a measure of forethought seemed requisite) written by the journalist and author Ben Thompson.

The New Yorker’s Alex Ross is our co-host for a “Hooked on Classics”special, with highlights ranging from Arnold Schoenberg (pictured above on a more respectable day) proclaiming “I never had syphilis” to Thomas Mann in the aisle of a Californian supermarket, to Stravinsky spilling his whisky with delight as Charlie Parker drops a motif from Firebird into his ‘Koko’. The extent to which Hitler’s love of Wagner can be equated with Gordon Brown’s fondness for the Arctic Monkeys is just one of the important issues which arises. Bartok, Debussy, John Cage and Duke Ellington help out with the soundtrack.  

Alex by The London Ear

The New Yorker’s Alex Ross is our co-host for a “Hooked on Classics”special, with highlights ranging from Arnold Schoenberg (pictured above on a more respectable day) proclaiming “I never had syphilis” to Thomas Mann in the aisle of a Californian supermarket, to Stravinsky spilling his whisky with delight as Charlie Parker drops a motif from Firebird into his ‘Koko’. The extent to which Hitler’s love of Wagner can be equated with Gordon Brown’s fondness for the Arctic Monkeys is just one of the important issues which arises. Bartok, Debussy, John Cage and Duke Ellington help out with the soundtrack.

Alex by The London Ear

After a brief birthday knees-up involving Casiotone for the Painfully Alone, the drone mix of John Cale’s “Hanky Panky Nohow” and Madvillain, this 2006 interview finds Ariel Pink talking listeners through the creative process involved in three unreleased tracks - 2000’s “Beverley Kills” (“The Cure through a filter of The Shaggs”), “Hold Your Breath and Wait”, from the post Worn Copy era and - perhaps most excitingly - the “Amon Duul influenced” “Ghost Town” from as long ago as 1997. Recently anointed by no less an authority than Simon Reynolds as “one of the most important musicians of the [past] decade”, Mr Pink (“Ariel Marcus Rosenberg” on his gym membership card) discusses the advisability or otherwise of embarking upon a collaboration with Rush drummer Neil Peart, and reassures anyone concerned about his music’s burgeoning popularity “As long as I’m at the helm of the recording, it’s always going to be something flawed and wrong.
 


London Ear 13th June 06 with Ariel Pink by The London Ear

After a brief birthday knees-up involving Casiotone for the Painfully Alone, the drone mix of John Cale’s “Hanky Panky Nohow” and Madvillain, this 2006 interview finds Ariel Pink talking listeners through the creative process involved in three unreleased tracks - 2000’s “Beverley Kills” (“The Cure through a filter of The Shaggs”), “Hold Your Breath and Wait”, from the post Worn Copy era and - perhaps most excitingly - the “Amon Duul influenced” “Ghost Town” from as long ago as 1997. Recently anointed by no less an authority than Simon Reynolds as “one of the most important musicians of the [past] decade”, Mr Pink (“Ariel Marcus Rosenberg” on his gym membership card) discusses the advisability or otherwise of embarking upon a collaboration with Rush drummer Neil Peart, and reassures anyone concerned about his music’s burgeoning popularity “As long as I’m at the helm of the recording, it’s always going to be something flawed and wrong.

London Ear 13th June 06 with Ariel Pink by The London Ear

Baby Dee is a trans-gender former tree surgeon and erstwhile harp-playing unicyclist from Cleveland Ohio. The extraordinary songwriting and bravura performances of her 2008 album Safe Inside The Day map out the never-previously-explored middle ground between Tom Waits and Judy Garland. Those who are not familiar with her work are in for a treat. As is everybody else.
 


Baby Dee by The London Ear

Baby Dee is a trans-gender former tree surgeon and erstwhile harp-playing unicyclist from Cleveland Ohio. The extraordinary songwriting and bravura performances of her 2008 album Safe Inside The Day map out the never-previously-explored middle ground between Tom Waits and Judy Garland. Those who are not familiar with her work are in for a treat. As is everybody else.

Baby Dee by The London Ear

In this sound-rich but music-free interview recorded on No Music Day 2007, KLF mainstay, art luddite and erstwhile manager of Echo and the Bunnymen Bill Drummond - who didn’t look quite as much like England cricketer Kevin Pietersen on the day in question as he does in this photo - starts out by bad-mouthing Douglas Bader and develops his iconoclastic theme from there.  


Bill D by The London Ear

In this sound-rich but music-free interview recorded on No Music Day 2007, KLF mainstay, art luddite and erstwhile manager of Echo and the Bunnymen Bill Drummond - who didn’t look quite as much like England cricketer Kevin Pietersen on the day in question as he does in this photo - starts out by bad-mouthing Douglas Bader and develops his iconoclastic theme from there. Bill D by The London Ear

Whether you know him as the most talented singer-songwriter of the 21st century, the owner of the most lustrous beard in pop, or the man who played the father of the little girl who fell down the well in The Jessica McClure Story, there is a good chance that Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy will have touched your life in some significant way. As well as performing a three track acoustic session, this energetic hike through the sun-baked plateaux and grassy lowlands of his twenty year career also finds the man whose library card says ‘Will Oldham’ facing up for the first time to the possibility that his trademark elusive scansion might once have been satirised by Bjork.  


Bonnie by The London Ear

Whether you know him as the most talented singer-songwriter of the 21st century, the owner of the most lustrous beard in pop, or the man who played the father of the little girl who fell down the well in The Jessica McClure Story, there is a good chance that Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy will have touched your life in some significant way. As well as performing a three track acoustic session, this energetic hike through the sun-baked plateaux and grassy lowlands of his twenty year career also finds the man whose library card says ‘Will Oldham’ facing up for the first time to the possibility that his trademark elusive scansion might once have been satirised by Bjork. Bonnie by The London Ear

Hip-hop archaeologist, laptop adventurer and compiler of visionary tracts David Toop makes a cogent case for his latest book, Sinister Resonance, not in fact being a murder-mystery set in the control-room at 144 Borough High St, citing supporting musical evidence from Henry Cowell, Jimmy Durante, Brenda Lee and Federico Mompou.  


David by The London Ear

Hip-hop archaeologist, laptop adventurer and compiler of visionary tracts David Toop makes a cogent case for his latest book, Sinister Resonance, not in fact being a murder-mystery set in the control-room at 144 Borough High St, citing supporting musical evidence from Henry Cowell, Jimmy Durante, Brenda Lee and Federico Mompou. David by The London Ear

 
A direct line to Death, in the form of an hour-long transatlantic phone conversation (featuring occasional musical interludes from the band’s second superb Drag City album release Spiritual, Mental, Physical) with Bobby and Dannis Hackney - the two surviving members of the visionary Detroit sibling proto-punk power-trio of that name, now living in the leafier environs of Vermont. No-one expected them to be as fond of The Beatles as they ultimately turn out to be. But if the Soundcloud ever threatened to evaporate, this would be the first of these files that would have to be saved.  


Death by The London Ear

 

A direct line to Death, in the form of an hour-long transatlantic phone conversation (featuring occasional musical interludes from the band’s second superb Drag City album release Spiritual, Mental, Physical) with Bobby and Dannis Hackney - the two surviving members of the visionary Detroit sibling proto-punk power-trio of that name, now living in the leafier environs of Vermont. No-one expected them to be as fond of The Beatles as they ultimately turn out to be. But if the Soundcloud ever threatened to evaporate, this would be the first of these files that would have to be saved. Death by The London Ear

From the African origins of grime slang, to childhood memories of borrowing Iron Maiden albums from Swainton Road library, to “that myth about doing the whole first album on Playstation”, this wide-ranging early 2008 conversation finds Dizzee Rascal to be every bit as forthcoming as viewers of his subsequent appearance on Newsnight might hope. Fela Kuti, Lionel Bart’s “Meatface” and Nirvana’s “Milk It” take their rightful places among the musical topics for discussion. 


Dizzee by The London Ear

From the African origins of grime slang, to childhood memories of borrowing Iron Maiden albums from Swainton Road library, to “that myth about doing the whole first album on Playstation”, this wide-ranging early 2008 conversation finds Dizzee Rascal to be every bit as forthcoming as viewers of his subsequent appearance on Newsnight might hope. Fela Kuti, Lionel Bart’s “Meatface” and Nirvana’s “Milk It” take their rightful places among the musical topics for discussion. Dizzee by The London Ear

This is a picture of Erik Satie. He was not so much “the Brian Eno of his era” as the man without whom the very concept of Brian Eno would not have been viable. After a twenty minute introductory overture incorporating Richard James (not Aphex Twin, the other one) and Maher Shalal Hash Baz, this riotous celebration of Satie’s subliminal influence reaches a terrifying climax when Paul Morley - hot-foot from a Turkish eclipse - threatens to ‘get his flute out’. 


Erik by The London Ear

This is a picture of Erik Satie. He was not so much “the Brian Eno of his era” as the man without whom the very concept of Brian Eno would not have been viable. After a twenty minute introductory overture incorporating Richard James (not Aphex Twin, the other one) and Maher Shalal Hash Baz, this riotous celebration of Satie’s subliminal influence reaches a terrifying climax when Paul Morley - hot-foot from a Turkish eclipse - threatens to ‘get his flute out’. Erik by The London Ear

 
An independently witnessed physical manifestation by Obaro Ejimiwe, the UK’s most incorporeal new rapper. Ghostpoet’s 2 (count them, two!) live session versions of tracks from his fine debut album Peanut Butter Blues and Melancholy Jam are complemented by a sympathetic selection of supporting attractions including Mochilla Presents Timeless, MF Doom, Micachu and (just to prove not everyone on this particular show has to begin with an M) William Grant Still.  


Ghostpoet by The London Ear

 

An independently witnessed physical manifestation by Obaro Ejimiwe, the UK’s most incorporeal new rapper. Ghostpoet’s 2 (count them, two!) live session versions of tracks from his fine debut album Peanut Butter Blues and Melancholy Jam are complemented by a sympathetic selection of supporting attractions including Mochilla Presents Timeless, MF Doom, Micachu and (just to prove not everyone on this particular show has to begin with an M) William Grant Still. Ghostpoet by The London Ear

 
In an interview recorded a few weeks before his excellent 2006 album White Bread Black Beer didn’t quite win the Mercury Prize - in a room in Resonance FM’s old Prague ’68-style Denmark St studio which looked uncannily like the one in the photo - Scritti Politti mainstay Green Gartside talks about hanging around outside Jane Asher’s house, having dinner with Jacques Derrrida, how best to field late night phone calls from Miles Davis, and why his experience of music has been “unencumbered by associative reminiscence”. Musical selections include Dr Alimantado and Hatfield and the North. Sorry the sound quality is not the best, but on the upside, the words “tranche” and “frisson” are clearly audible. 


Green by The London Ear

 

In an interview recorded a few weeks before his excellent 2006 album White Bread Black Beer didn’t quite win the Mercury Prize - in a room in Resonance FM’s old Prague ’68-style Denmark St studio which looked uncannily like the one in the photo - Scritti Politti mainstay Green Gartside talks about hanging around outside Jane Asher’s house, having dinner with Jacques Derrrida, how best to field late night phone calls from Miles Davis, and why his experience of music has been “unencumbered by associative reminiscence”. Musical selections include Dr Alimantado and Hatfield and the North. Sorry the sound quality is not the best, but on the upside, the words “tranche” and “frisson” are clearly audible. Green by The London Ear