After a 405 Focus piece, and his incredible 'Fill Me In' feature, we thought it would be good to lock in Benjamin Shaw for an 'Under The Influence' piece too.

So that just leaves a guest mix, artist picks and disposable 405 article, before this site becomes the unofficial second home for Mr Shaw.


In the Fishtank – Sparklehorse & Fennesz

I have long been a devotee of both Sparklehorse & Fennesz, so to find out they had worked together on this was a delightful surprise. Almost all instrumental, it combines the electronic guitar glitches of Fennesz and Mark Linkous' creepy atmospherics wonderfully – all of which, coincidentally, I have been trying to replicate for years. [link]


Manilow – Smudge

I don't think I've ever made up a Smudge-like song, but I know each time I listen to them I want to. Tom Morgan's writing is clever, funny, sloppy and catchy and he has single-handedly saved Evan Dando's career on many occasions. A blessing or a curse, I'm not too sure. [link]


Level Live Wires – Odd Nosdam

Odd Nosdam is a man whose name I do not know, but he is good. He is good at production and samples and fat beats and thin beats and making a big electronic din sound rather dreamy. This is isn't my favourite album of his, but it is the most coherent, with reoccurring themes and lush strings throughout. Goes well with dark ale and headphones. [link]


Broken Shoulderrr – Broken Shoulder

Absolutely one of my favourite albums of the last year. I am obviously biased, as I had a hand in mastering it, but it is a gem. As soon as I heard the rough mixes of this album I knew I wanted to rip it off completely. I don't know how he does it, but he seems to carve wonderful melodies out of massively unlistenable white noise. This, in my book, is high praise indeed. [link]

Week – Joseph McNulty

You don't know Joe, but you should. He's from that trendy New York town, and he seems to spew out annoyingly inventive albums at a ridiculous rate. I love albums where the songs flow and segue into each other like this one, and his clever and subtle use of odd samples here makes me want to track him down and beat him. Hi Joe. [link]