New EP from collaborative folk-electronic project, “Folkatron”

Upcycled Sounds Records have announced the upcoming release of our ‘Folkatron’ 2017 EP - ‘Mais c’est quoi maman?’. 10 musicians, 6 days and 4 folktronica tracks from scratch.


Folkatron is a new project from Upcycled Sounds, an independent sound production team based between Oxford and Paris. It brings together young folk and electronic musicians together for a week to produce experimental arrangements of traditional folk music.


The music video for the EP single, ‘Eleno Kerko’ will be released this Friday June 1st, followed by the full EP on all major digital platforms on June 15th, 2018. This marks the first day of the 2018 Folkatron edition. Llisten to a pre-release of the EP through Soundcloud using the link here. The lead single ‘Eleno Kerko’ and accompanying music video will be released on Friday, June 1st, followed by the full EP release on the first day of Folkatron 2018 - June 15th.

Watch the video for a taste of the project



More about Folkatron:

The first edition was in Paris last December. 10 musicians from different countries, who’d never played together before, spent 6 days choosing, arranging, performing and recording the tracks. Each day would start with a musical warm up game and end with a late night jam, with many hours of intense arranging and production sessions in between. Folkatron is all about experimental production, so there was lots of time spent trying new production techniques and going on sample collecting expeditions in the outskirts of Paris. Samples on the lead single alone include shop tills, a coffee plunger, car doors, squeaky trolleys, cars going under a bridge, a chorus of Bodhrán beaters on a Parisian wall and a child asking her mother ‘mais c’est quoi maman? [but what is it mama?]’, which became the EP title. Recorded and mixed by Nicholas O’Brien, of Upcycled Sounds. Produced by Nicholas O’Brien and Hannah Jacobs, of Upcycled Sounds.

EP tracks

 Eleno Kerko
A melodic arrangement of a traditional Macedonian love song from parent to daughter. Dan learned the song while accompanying Croatian singer, Erik Balija, for a concert in beautiful Istria, on the coast of Croatia.

Arranged by:

- Dan Abrahams - guitar and double bass player from Sheffield now living in Edinburgh, Scotland.

- Lauren Spiceley - fiddle, piano and accordion player based in Oxford, England.

- Nils Peschanski - pianist and electronic musician, based in Paris, France.


Dansen Ungdom
Traditional polska song from Småland, Sweden about having a dance and making the most of your youth before it’s over. Learnt by Remi from Peter Rousu, a Swedish guitarist, during Ethno England 2017.

Arranged by:

- Rémi Allain. Double bassist and guitarist from Normandie, France.

- Martha Wiltshire. Cellist and pianist based in Oxford, England.

- Nils Peschanski - pianist and electronic musician, based in Paris, France.


Hares on a Mountain / Squealer
Hares on the Mountain is a traditional English folk song imagining how to people would flirt was turned into various plants and creatures. Joe’s version is a combination of half-remembered performances by Shirley Collins and Lucy Farrell. Squealer is a Irish jig, composed by Jack Ó hAonghusa. It was originally called ‘Scaoileadh’, but the non-Irish Gaelic speakers misheard it. Jack decided it was much easier to spell and related to the inescapable urge to scream during a good tune and so it stuck. The arrangement features Maloya rhythms from La Réunion.

Arranged by:

- Joe Woods. Guitarist from Suffolk, UK.

- Hannah Jacobs. Piano and accordion player from Suffolk, UK.


Martin Wynne's No. 2 / Teampall An Ghleanntáin
Arrangement of an Irish reel written by Martin Wynne, a celebrated County Sligo fiddler, and a traditional Irish tune, popular in the south of Ireland and named after a village in West County Limerick. The arrangement features Nigerian afrobeat rhythms.

Arranged by:

- Philippe Boudot, drummer and percussionist from Normandie, France.

- Nicholas O’Brien, Italian-Irish sound engineer and guitarist, based in Oxford.

- Jack Ó hAonghusa - whistle, flute and Bodhrán player from Ballymore, Ireland.



Folkatron 2018

The 2018 edition will take place from June 15th - 24th at Shaken Oak Studios, near Witney, Oxfordshire. Music sharing, recording and producing alongside Ethno England music camp, under expert guidance from sound engineer and electronic production leaders. Participants will record folk musicians from around the world, and then combine the recordings with sound collecting, sampling, electronic and studio techniques. The result – an album of awesome genre-bending folktronica tracks! Participants will experiment with new production techniques, recording locations and gear, as well as working with local studios. The project culminates with free entry to 3 day music festival, Tandem Festival, where participants will showcase their work. This new project is an amazing way for recordists and producers of all abilities to take their craft to the next level.

About Upcycled Sounds

 Upcycled Sounds is an independent sound production company and record label, based in Oxford. Upcycled Sounds have numerous albums, EPs, live sessions and soundtracks under their belt, as well as work at the BBC, Pinewood Studios and sponsorship from DPA, Sennheiser, RME and Bubblebee Industries.

 The current production team, Nicholas O’Brien (sound engineer, producer) and Hannah Jacobs (musician, producer) are happiest when recording music and specialise in electronic, experimental, jazz, folk, alt, reggae, pop, world and prog genres. They currently work from a recording studio in East Oxford, with a professionally kitted out live room and control room.

The record label was launched in May 2018. It is a collaborative community of our favourite artists, working with us to produce and release great new music. It currently features ten artists doing creative things across folk, alt-pop, jazz and experimental genres, mixed in with electronic and experimental production from Upcycled Sounds.

Upcyling is part of our ethos, both in our sound production and in a wider commitment to eco-friendly practice.

Our production makes use of reused sounds from our extensive field recording collection and explores new sonic used of objects and electronic tools which would otherwise be thrown away.

We operate on a reduce, reuse and recycle policy to minimise our consumption of resources while maintaining the highest quality output. For example, along state-of-the-art studio equipment, we also build kit from reclaimed materials, make use of solar power and can even fit a professional recording set up on a bicycle!

We are selective about our partners and prioritise organisations in line with our ethos. We are involved with a number of projects using the arts to to create social and environmental change, including co-founding Tandem Collective and Good Food Oxford.

We facilitate clients to make ethical choices, such as offering local food for sessions, upcycled album packaging options and links with local artists.