To The Left Of The Mainstream – recommend some music!

You may or may not know that I have another twitter account To The Left Of The Mainstream – that is all about recommending new music by people you’re less likely to have heard of. The ‘left of the mainstream’ bit is not in terms of style, but exposure.

So this thread, which I hope will run and run, is for you to recommend some music, post links, embed videos from youtube… generally use it to pimp the lesser-known music that you think is AWESOME. Not just your mates music (though clearly if your friends are indeed awesome, please post!)

So, start by having a read through and listen to the bands I’ve already listed there, then post away!

(NB, TTLOTM also has a facebook page.)

Join the Conversation


  1. I’ve recently been playing my mandolin a bit more and spent some time looking round for music featuring that instrument. One of my favourite discoveries was The Jazz Mandolin Project. Lots of full tracks available for download on and one album on Spotify.

    The addition of mandolin to double bass and drums makes for a jazz album that provides a fresh twist on the sonic palette. Not dissimilar to some of the output from Bela Fleck and the Flecktones. What would you call that? Newgrass jazz fusion? 🙂

    1. OMG I checked this out earlier on Spotify and was blown away. I had to pull away from the laptop to find the cable to link to the hi-fi system so that i got a better sound and simply lost myself for ages!. Good call. I will have to go some to beat that!

  2. I’d heartily recommend Ed Alleyne Johnson’s ‘Purple Violin Concerto’. I found this CD by chance when i used to work for Our Price records years back and was amazed at the sounds you could get from an electric violin. Quite simply one of the most awe inspiring things i have ever heard!

    1. I bought the follow-up to that on tape in the early 90s – ultraviolet, I think it was called. Amazing stuff. Yup, Ed’s an amazing musician. Good call! 🙂

  3. I saw Lau play on Friday night ( Great music – not quite your average folk group, imagine “Prog-Folk” and you’re getting closer. Amazing playing from Martin Green on accordian, Kris Drever on guitar and Aidan O’Rourke on fiddle. Great stuff.

  4. Lost Robots are very left of mainstream, describing themselves as “… an avant-rock band from London, fusing compact rock structures with abstract sound and free improvisation”. As far as descriptions go, that’s not a bad one!

    I know them through their keyboard / squeezebox / musical toys man, Richard, who I met through the Lewisham bloggers network. They’ve got plenty of full tracks on, including some free downloads.

    FWIW, London-based folk who find it music to their ears can catch them at The Constitution in Camden tonight (details on their page).

  5. Ok folks, here’s an amazing artist you probably don’t, but should know about:

    David Lynn Grimes -he’s from Alaska, USA. His story is pretty intense he…well here it is in his words, from his website bio:

    “As near as I can tell I’m a bard, a singer and songwriter and storyteller, a mariner, an environmental activist, a wilderness guide by river and sea, a former commercial fisherman, and an ongoing wandering fool. And following the 1989 Good Friday Exxon Valdez oil spill (epicentered in my home waters of Prince William Sound), I have been one of the artist/activists working and playing to help protect and restore wild ecosystems such as the Sound and the Copper River–which seem to me to be beautiful earth organs that are fundamental to our health.”

    David is one of my favourites, and his debut album ‘Raven River’ is truly a masterpiece that should live among the greatest of all records. His second record ‘Raised On Rabbit’ (which I played a bit of bass on, and engineered some of the rhythm section stuff on) is equally awesome. No biases on my part, though, this guy will have you laughing, crying, singing along, (not unlike Mr. & Mrs Lawson) in no time-seriously!!

    1. ‘Raven River’ is on under ‘David L. Grimes’… I’m going to give it a quick listen now.

      1. yo man-hope you liked David Grimes-I loved the Lost Robots, they couldn’t scare me away even w/ 10 minutes straight of snare drum, that was bad ass stuff, it sent my player on an experimental/ambient voyage that was epic-nice recommendation Wulf!

  6. I’m curently enjoying Musica Nuda – lots of double bass / voice duets with a wide range of materials (including some fantastic covers of pop tracks).

    You can find some tracks to listen to on and also on spotify (search for both “Musica Nuda” and “Petra Magoni”, who is the singer).

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