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Clarty Cat Records

Status: active

Less of a label and more of a moniker for a group of friends that want to share their music online, Clarty Cat Records was founded by Ally Morton and Matt O'Brien (Massa Confusa) for digital releases, and limited DIY CD, cassette and t-shirts runs. It was formerly based in Newcastle, UK, but  is now based across Donostia, Spain and Durham, UK.

Visit the shop and view all releases here: clartycat.bandcamp.com

 

Contact: clartycatrecords @ gmail.com

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Massa Confusa

Status: active

Post-punk / electronic / rock / alternative

Contact: massaconfusa @ live.co.uk

For all releases go to: massaconfusa.bandcamp.com

Ally Morton - vocals, guitar and production

Matt O'Brien - bass

Massa Confusa is currently a DIY alternative rock / electronic / post-punk project founded by Ally Morton based in Donostia-San Sebastián, Basque Country, Spain; but between 2012 – 2017 was based in Durham / Newcastle, UK and featured bassist and artist Matt O’Brien. They write, record and produce their music, which is available on all major platforms.

 

Their extensive back catalogue features a self-titled debut mini album, 2 albums, 6 EPs, various covers, and numerous singles.

 

Between 2013 – 2017 Massa Confusa showcased ‘Massa Confusa Presents’, a monthly organised concert and annual compilation series, which supported an eclectic range of local, DIY and independent artists. The compilations are available to steam or download on their Bandcamp and Spotify profiles.

 

In January 2016 they launched their own (primarily digital) record label ‘Clarty Cat’, which is also home to Nerd punk trio Skull Puppies, Miss Danby & The What, Ally’s collaborative solo project Five Pence Game, and Jack Fallows from Skull Puppies' side project Sleepwalk.

 

In July 2017 Ally moved from Newcastle to Donostia. As a duo they released ‘Guiri EP’ in 2019, but aside from a couple of reunion shows in Newcastle, Ally began to focus on performing solo with sets of samples, live loops, guitar and vocals. Matt continues to perform as Sewer Cops, who released their debut EP Greasy Glistening in 2019.

 

Extending from Ally’s interest in community and collaboration, he makes an annual playlist of independent Basque music, has helped with experimental collective ‘Distopía Mutante’, and has begun showcasing bands as ‘Día Guay’. 

 

On August 4th 2020 Massa Confusa released ‘Validation’ and on December 11th 2020 their latest EP ‘Evolve’.

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Five Pence Game

Status: active

Rock / pop / electronic / collaborative

Contact: fivepencegame @ live.co.uk

For all releases go to: fivepencegame.bandcamp.com

Five Pence Game is the collaborative DIY side project of Ally Morton (Massa Confusa) from Durham, UK (formerly based in Newcastle, UK but now based in Donostia-San Sebastián, Spain).

Taking influence from the likes of UNKLE, Your Code Name Is: Milo's ‘Print Is Dead’ project, and Massive Attack; Ally invites artists to co-write tracks in his studio. The songs themselves are recorded in the moment, usually in 1-3 sessions, with little or no preparation. Musicians and vocalists sometimes bring lyrics, a riff, or nothing at all. Ally composes tracks around what is recorded in the session, chopping, looping, manipulating, and often altering the contributors’ original idea. He also does Internet collaborations.

Ally primarily performs FPG material as a solo musician with live bass looping, mixing and samples, but has also performed three full band shows.

On the 20th July 2019 FPG released the latest album 'Formoterol', which features 3 video singles: 'Motionless feat. FYB', 'Red Sun Smiles feat. Jackie Purver' (Pit Pony / ex-Retriever) and 'Struggle 98288 feat. Miss Danby & The What'.

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Skull Puppies

Status: not active

Pop punk / acoustic punk

Contact: skullpuppies @ gmail.com

Jack Fallows - guitar, vocals

Chris Holland - guitar

Ryan Hill - drums

Skull Puppies are a trio of socially inept losers just barely able to clutch their instruments in their sweaty palms long enough to make it through their own songs. Formed in the summer of 2014 in an attempt to fit in and make friends, these slobbering mutts have been hell bent on alienating their audience with bellowing, fuzzy pop punk about asexuality, depression, heart break and how Dungeons & Dragons is an acceptable substitute for real human interaction. Undeserved comparisons to Against Me! and playing alongside the likes of Jeffrey Lewis and Andrew Jackson Jihad have inflated their fragile egos enough to have them record three EPs and play far too many shows per week in and around the north east. They released their third EP 'Endless Dungeon Crawl' with equal parts excitement, trepidation and self-loathing. Up the puppunx!

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Sleepwalk

Status: not active

Pop punk / acoustic punk

Contact: jack @ jackfallows.com

Sleepwalk is the recording project of Jack Fallows, an illustrator, comic book artist, educator and musician from Newcastle Upon Tyne, currently living in Leeds. He has been publishing comics and playing in bands since 2001 (he formed Sleepwalk in 2007), and is probably best known in the music scene for his band Skull Puppies who have released three studio EPs (their 3rd, ‘Endless Dungeon Crawl,’ was released on Clarty Cat on the 16th April 2016) and toured the North of the UK since their formation in 2014. Jack is also known for his work in setting up Nerd Hutch, a collective who ran DIY events in the basement of Newcastle’s Travelling Man comic book shop, for his collaborations with Five Pence Game, and for his Leeds based band FOMO which features members of Jesus And His Judgemental Father and Joyless Fucking.
 

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MIss Danby & The What

Status: not active

Rock / alternative

Contact: clartycatrecords @ gmail.com

 

Miss Danby & The What are a four-piece band hailing from Newcastle upon Tyne assembled by local musician and singer/songwriter Miss Danby. The line-up is completed by Stu Coles on lead guitar, Fran Knowles on drums and Alex James on bass/vocal harmonies. With an alternative indie sound; shades of shoegaze, punk rock and a riot grrl edge, MD&TW have already recruited admirers and won plaudits with their darkly charming, honest and nuanced take on post-punk - played with “all the panache of Siouxsie Sioux on a long weekend break with X-Ray Spex." (The Crack Magazine). Their latest release on Clarty Cat Records, ‘Like Greta Garbo’, bursts, fizzes and sparks to life with ‘Who Needs Enemies’, a searing and breathlessly brutal appraisal of human relationships whilst ‘Stop Giving Me Butterflies’ flutters sweetly and gently between the feelings of love, longing and loss. ‘Like Greta Garbo’ is a six-track punch to your face, at once both sweet and harsh, with soft kisses to soothe the bruises.

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