I Heart ESS

The other day I had a chinwag with the lovely Simon Matthews of Eye See Sound, the company who are sponsoring Caged Bird Sings and seeing as they are more than just our sponsors and a company who I personally find very interesting, I thought I’d direct your attention to their own project.


Eye See Sound are an internet company who are trying something a little different, whereas sites such as Last.fm and NPR focus solely on music, and Youtube, VBS and Vimeo focus solely on video clips, Eye See Sound’s ethos brings all these together and more (bit of comedy, animation, interviews and art reviews) like the delicious melty cheddar in a cheese toasty, making it the one man band of the internets.

Eye See Sound - sexier than this sex on bread...

They also work as a tripartite record company, design agency and tv channel, and everything you see on the site is a product of their busy little hands (metaphorically speaking that is – Simon’s hands were of an average size).

Not a member of Eye See Sound

Being a small collective operation themselves, their emphasis is on a DIY perspective and an uncompromising stand on content. Sure they all say that and then you find the odd Black Eyed Peas video slipping in and before you know it the site is riddled with ad logos like a rash from an untreated STD, but NO, say Simon and his fellow Eye See Sounders, who wear their ‘taste Nazi’ badges with pride, and only put stuff on the site if they actually like it. This means a focus on grass roots projects, veering away from a corporate bent, which might otherwise slip under the radar. It’s this focus which led them to take a chance on a bunch of ragamuffins called Bare/not Projects as well as helping them to unearth a wealth of musical, comedic and artistic talent. To give these artists that little extra support, they split profits from products sold in their shop 50/50 with the bands. Bless their average-sized hearts.

Get a t-shirt and give your favourite new band beer money...bless ESS's cottons

With musical ‘genres’ which sound like a mad scientist has made sweet love to a rhyming dictionary such as ‘end of the world flamenco surf’ and ‘jazz rock poetry rap’ interspersed with irreverent home-spun humour and playlists with names such as ‘Coffee Cups and alleyways’, Eye See Sound has a refreshing amount of quirk without indulging in whimsical fuckery; and introduces you to a mind-boggling selection of cultural effluvia. Aside from giving me renewed hope that my ‘death calypso street madrigal’ project still has legs and the opportunity to use the word ‘effluvia’; I’ve discovered some new bands such as Black DanielTango in the Attic and Varney and Sons, who have piqued my notoriously hard-to-please self through listening to their ‘mix tapes’ section at work.

'End of the world flamenco surf' as realised in MS Paint

Much like ourselves, Eye See Sound are a hard-working, talented and enthusiastic bunch of people (well, kind of like ourselves) who are passionate about London’s cultural scene and informing the public about other talented, hard-working folk’s projects. So pay them a visit and you won’t be disappointed, cos there’s gold in them thar’ hills.


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