In this article we have a preview and review of the Beat:Cancer 2019 album (Scroll down), the history of Beat:Cancer, an interview with the founder of B:C Mark Haigh (DJ Kark), and much more!
What is Beat:Cancer?
Beat:Cancer is a charity formed to help fight cancer through funding research, treatment, screening and care using electronic music: We release music, run club nights, host gigs and organise festivals to raise money, which we then grant to worthy institutions such as hospices, research centres and treatment wards.
We are a registered UK Charity (number 1169212) run entirely by unpaid volunteers who are passionate about using great music to save lives.
Since forming in 2012 with the humble beginnings of a small Halloween fundraiser in Peterborough and 100 copies of Beat:Cancer v1 we have produced CD, cassette and digital compilations, totalling 11 CDs of cancer kicking music: all donated by fantastic artists around the world. Our releases are the perfect take home companion to the festivals, club-nights and gigs we run across the UK. Beat:Cancer has found a home in the hearts of fans, allowing us to host artists such as Memmaker, The Gothsicles, ESA, Freakangel, iVardensphere and Sirus.
Next month heralds our biggest event yet: B:C Fest v2.0 – 9 bands from around the world, top class DJs throughout and till dawn - and of course a stonking raffle! It’s on Saturday 9th November from 6pm at our spiritual home: Slimelight, London. Limited numbers of tickets are still available at beatcancer.info/live, along with the new CD, featuring 17 exclusive and unreleased tracks from across the alt electronic spectrum!
What’s it all for?
The profits from all our work goes to carefully selected not for profit benefactors:
Research centres that fit with our ethical beliefs and are pushing science to it’s limits to improve screening, treatment and hopefully create cures.
Care and treatment centres that really deserve and need every penny they can get, to give patients the best quality of life and chance of survival possible.
Who are we?
We are all in this because this cause matters to us personally, as it sadly does to so many people around the world; cancer is a disease that touches far too many families.
Kark started the first compilation as a reaction to a loss of a friend after a long struggle with cancer. Since then we’ve grown and pushed harder and further each year in reaction to the fantastic response from Industrial/Electronic music fans across the UK.
This balances with our love and passion for the music we use in our fight against cancer: various members of our team are in bands, are DJs and promote other events across the UK (BeinE, D.E.P & Karkasaurus to name a few). Most importantly we all give our time for free, effectively running second jobs to do the best we can for the fans, and for the worthy benefactors we support.
We are lucky enough to be partnered with AnalogueTrash Records, and this year are again working closely with Digital World Audio and the acclaimed Infest Festival; we consider ourselves a part of the industrial and alt electronic community and strive to keep that at the core of our fundraising.
From the end of this year we will be on a hiatus: after 7 years it’s time for a break, to take stock, give bands and DJs a rest from being badgered by Kark for exclusive tracks and shows. We’ll still be around, in our own projects and working with promoters around the UK to put on “In Aid Of Beat:Cancer” events, much like those Khronology and Cosmic have held previously. And you’ll be able to get all our releases on bandcamp and across digital media in time for Christmas, and going onwards from then! Artwork credits: All gig photos Oh Shi Photography. All CD artwork Vlad McNeally. All posters Kohl/Kark
Interview with B:C founder Mark (Kark):
Q. What has been your favourite moment with B:C over the last seven years?
A. That is the most difficult question I can imagine! I mean getting to perform live with Memmaker at B:C Fest 1 was amazing, but then so was filling a DIY backroom to a pizza bar in Liverpool with 4 awesome UK acts makes my heart swell. It’s been a constant and evolving joy for me.
Q. How difficult is it to secure bands, venues, and generally organise each show?
A. The biggest deal was taking the leap from booking bands I knew personally to contacting people like Memmaker and Freakangel - artists not on our partner labels or stupid enough to have been drinking near me when I was booking bands. That took Mark at AnalogueTrash “politely” telling me that they could only say no! Securing bands has thankfully been fairly easy; mainly due to both the generosity of the artists we’ve approached, and the pro-active nature of the UK scene in particular. There’s a real community feel amongst the bands and promoters we work with, at times I feel more like I’m just steering a show into play with nudges. There’s logistics in the run up that are sometimes daunting; hotels, flights, transfers mainly… and lately finding enough drums for iVardensphere! I’ve learnt a huge amount over the years, much of it from the artists we’ve worked with.
Q. You’ve become possibly the most respected and well loved member of the alternative scene in the UK how has life changed for you once you started B:C up until now with this closing festival and moving on to new projects such as Karkasaurus?
A. Now however I answer that my ego will be showing! It’s hard to tell, so many aspects of my life changing brought me here - from the friends and my partner who have joined with me as trustees, to people like AnalogueTrash, Armalyte, DWA and Infest not just recognising us but become a huge part of what we do. I think it has given me personally more confidence in putting my own projects out there separate to B:C along with providing me with the contacts to do so, not to mention all the skills I’ve had to learn along the way: I’m a cheapskate so will always try and teach myself how to do a job for B:C so more of the money goes straight to the facilities we fund!
Q. What life lessons have you learnt through B:C and working with everyone in the industry?
A. Always communicate. Often, clearly and honestly. Everyone we still work with has the same ethic and it is the basis of everything we do: talk to your fans, talk to your bands, talk to other promoters.
Q. Although the hiatus is perfectly understandable, do you think you will return to doing B:C in future, possibly with more help to lessen the work load for you?
A. I don’t know when we’ll come back and what we’ll do, but I doubt we’ll be away forever. There is too much of a personal stake in the cause for one thing. We are going to use the time we take away to re-evaluate how we work so that if and when B:C returns it can be better than ever, but as you say spreading the load between the amazing crew we’ve built up now.
Q. Have any of the places B:C has donated to and funded ever got back to you with how you’ve helped them and how was that for you?
A. The best experience regarding that was the Sue Ryder Thorpe Hall Hospice in Peterborough. We were invited to come along and present our donation, then taken around the facilities to meet the staff and residents. It’s a truly amazing centre with compassion and care at the forefront of everything from the design to the day to day management. It brought me to tears, but left me feeling so proud of what we’d raised, thanks to our long suffering comrades, the team at Club Recall at the Brewery Tap in Peterborough.
Q. Is there anything you would have done differently?
A. We overstretched last year, and while we had an amazing year we pushed ourselves too far. That was the point that we took stock, cut down 2019 to three events (from the 8 of 2018!) and decided to work with only UK acts for the first two. We live and learn, and have so far pulled off two!
Q. Do you have anything you’d like to say to everyone that has made B:C possible?
A. Thank you. There are so many people involved now that I’m terrified I’ll miss someone, but to everyone that has ever come to a gig, played a gig, DJed, done artwork, photography, sound engineering, mastering, video editing, flyering, airport pickups, merch selling, run doors, raffle ticket flogging… and the hundred jobs big and small that make every event special… thank you from the depth of my heart. This is the best thing I’ve ever done and it’s honestly all you that have made that true.
A huge thank you to Mark for all the effort he has put in to Beat:Cancer; Not just for his inspiring fundrasing but keeping the UK industrial scene alive with all of the B:C shows and the subsequent connections, collaborations, and friendships that were possible through him and his work! Truly a wonderful man who we all owe a beer or three to. Next time you see him make sure to show your appreciation!
We wish him all the best of luck in future and look forward to seeing Beat:Cancer's name again in future.
Listen to the album:
Here we have it, you can listen to some of the upcoming album below. Sadly, due to technical difficuties we were unable to provide an exclusive preview of the full album before release.
17 tracks make up this rather intriguing collaboration album. That's not just 17 artists but 23 if you include the remix artists! So overall a real collection of talent and styles that has something for everyone. Beat:Cancer has always drawn in many diffrerent artists and in doing so, influences between bands have spread and flourished. Bitman returns with the opening track 'Kill Humanz' and it's a lot more industrial than his usual works whilst still remaining true to his retro style; Followed by Promenade Cinema with 'Cassette conversations remixed by Cyferdyne in an entrancingly melodic twist. Other bands such as Nature of Wires and Still forever bring the more traditional style of dance floor tracks both upbeat synth and traditional goth sway respectivley.
Top 5 tracks: 1. Witch of the vale - Your voice remix (Track 4) Holy absolute hell, how have I only just got round to listening to this band?! This song is hauntingly entrhalling and Erin's voice is beyond enchanting. It's not something I expected to hear at all on this album but I am so glad I did! This track alone is worth buying the album for. 2. Matt Hart - Infinite March (DNA remix) Matt's approach to industrial music is always pure, yet aggresive. The power in this track and the combat filled lyrics make this another piece of sheer musical terror in the best way. Industrial is very much alive and thrashing in this track.
Q. Matt can you tell us about this track?
A. Well the original track is from my new album Terra 3808 out on the 2nd November. The track is set in the year 3808 but draws parallels from the days of the trenches of WW1 where humanity was expendable; infinitely marching over the top to certain death, as it will be against the mechanical threat in 3808. The track is remixed by my close collaborator Adi Calef (who has also mixed and mastered my album) under the pseudonym DNA.
3. C-Lekktor - Animals (Prehistoric remix by Karkasaurus) The vocals are aggrotech heavy and pure delicious filth to the ears, I love it, the boots are stompy, yet in contrast the backing music is almost... silly, but it works.. Must be those bloody dinosaur boys fault (DJ PeeWee and DJ Kark (Mark himsef)) 4. Harmjoy - Heart shaped shadow A great addition to the album which covers a more early 2000's industrial and gothic sounds that always goes down well. 5. DKAG -Indicators of compromise The rave and heavy beats are evident as with any DKAG track, which is why they are well known and loved wherever they play. A perfect addition to their catalogue of pure rhythm.
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