In a strange twist of fate, not knowing which DJ and BreakThru Program I was going to feature on Setlist this week, I wrote my weekly editorial Liner Notes on America’s lacking relationship with Techno and Dance music. Tuning into DJ Annie’s The Anglo Files, I learn that “this week [she] want[s] to devote a chunk of the show to some great Electronic and some Dance music and remixes because it is such a big part of the music culture in the UK and we definitely don’t want to overlook that.“ It appears BTR is getting full use out of thematic motif as it prepares for its new site launch.
Foals – one of many artists that can be heard on The Anglo Files
The trans-Atlantic relationship between the UK and US music scene is nothing new. It is a history that host DJ Annie knows all too well, she tells me she has spent a life admiring Britain’s popular music scene: “I grew up listening to Britpop in the suburbs of New York and consider it to be my favorite genre. Bands like Blur, Pulp, and Elastica were (and still are) my lifeblood alongside other obvious favorites like the Smiths, the Clash, and many more. I was a Beatles fanatic from a young age and became obsessed with all things from the UK early on in life.”
One would be hard-pressed to successfully argue that Britpop does not have a sound unique unto itself. Being able to pinpoint exactly what it is about the music that makes it British is a more difficult task, but the distinction in sound and culture is definitely there. “I’m planning to explore the idea that British music and culture is perceived differently from abroad,” DJ Annie explains. “I draw from my experience of being an obsessive anglophile as a teenager and how my perception of their music scene changed once I spent several months living in London.” This is what makes Annie’s show worth listening to. It is not just exposure to both new and retro British bands; it is a musical discussion of how the UK and US distinguish themselves from the other, while remaining so similar in style and sound. The over-arching intention of The Anglo Files is to have a “show that is based around the idea of British music from a foreign perspective.” Annie provides her listeners with that perspective with a clear voice and an insider’s vision.
“I knew that there were many anglophiles out there inspired by British music and culture, so I really wanted to do a show combining my interest in American independent music and my Britpop past.” It’s a solid marriage—American Indie and Britpop. If you are a fan of one, you should really get to know the other. The music Annie features on her show is a great blend of fresh Britpop independent label artists and what she calls “old favorites from pioneers in the genre.”
I had recently suggested to the BTR staff that we should dedicate a whole week to a “UK versus US Music” theme. I hope that we soon do. And when it happens, there will be no doubt that DJ Annie will be one of our resident UK experts.
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– Kory French