By Ben Gelblum
There’s always a buzz about Touched compilations. Some of the finest talents in electronica from Boards of Canada to Plaid, Orbital and 808 State have made them pretty, pretty special…
This Christmas, Touched has put out another fundraising compilation for Macmillan Cancer Support charity. – Only this time the acts behind the sizzling electronica are top secret.
– TLE Music have spent the past few days trying to needle, badger and uncover who the artists behind the new Covert compilation are, but despite our best endeavour and intense speculation online, we have nothing but our suspicions so far…
But Martin Boulton – the producer behind the compilation has done the next best thing – he’s given TLE Music a Touched goody bag including the Covert compilation to give away to the first person to guess ALL the artists on the album in the comments section BELOW or on OUR Facebook post about it. (- Failing that, whoever gets closest by midnight, January 7, 2016.)
We caught up with Martin and he told us the amazing story behind the album. There may or may not be some clues in this interview…
It all started when the Welsh producer discovered that his mother had breast cancer in 2013. Martin was bowled over by the helpful, selfless Macmillan nurses.
“They were there for her, had any answers that needed answering and showed such caring for every individual they work with,” said Boulton. “Without them it would have definitely been a lot harder.”
“I really wanted to do something for them, to raise funds. But I’m definitely not a runner,” added Boulton. So Boulton, who records Intelligent Dance Music under the moniker Min-y-Llan, as well as ambient as Abereiddy Astronomical Society, decided to curate a fund-raising compilation and started asking around.
“I asked people Andy Turner of Plaid if they would like to take part and he was very enthusiastic. They remixed one of my tracks. I asked other artists I knew. Brian Dougan of Future Sounds Of London agreed to add a song. With people like that on board, it was easier to get 808 State and others too.
Before long there were 123 songs on the first Touched compilation , from big names to up-and-coming artists.
The album was a great success for Boulton and Macmillan. And his mother’s treatment was successful too.
“She’s been two years in the clear” confirmed Boulton.
Touched 2 , the second compilation had a whopping 255 tracks – with acts from Autechre, Bibio, Plaid and Orbital to unknown artists that approached Boulton, and Touched became a label that has now raised over £40,000 for Macmillan.
“I met Macmillan for an interview just before Touched 2 came out,” said Boulton, “and they worked out that the £25,000 the first compilation had raised then helped 96 families which was brilliant. I have been touched by all the artists that have contributed. Warp have been a great help too. They have put a Best of Touched album out on Bleep.”
This year, Boulton decided to do something a bit different… “We had lesser known people on the Touched compilations with great tracks, but many people were going straight for the big names and just downloading those tracks – so I thought wouldn’t it be great if the music was doing the talking? – With no names you’d have to listen to every track. So I asked people if they would donate tracks anonymously, and surprisingly they were pretty enthusiastic.”
Bolton stubbornly refuses to give us any more clues, but confirmed that all 16 artists on the new anonymous Covert album are actually well known on the electronica scene.
Some of the acts have been tweeting about Covert, and there has been a lot of speculation on forums about who is behind which track.
“Lots of people have threatened to ply me with booze and get the names out of me at festivals next year,” teased Boulton. “And of the pressure gets too great there might have to be a reveal at some point before another Covert album we plan to release next year…”
Unless, that is one of our talented TLE Music readers guesses the artists on Covert first.
To enter our competition, have a listen to the compilation –
You can also hear and download from here . (Great Christmas present for an electronic music fan!)
Comment in the comments section below, or on our Facebook post about this article with the artists you think are on this compilation.
Whoever guesses first or comes closest by January 7, 2016 wins this great Touched goody bag, containing a Covert CD, The Collectors Trainer EP vinyl on Concrete Plastic, donated by the label. exm new album llmnt, out on Touched, stickers:Touched Covert album competition