Latest news

Real World 25 release confirmed


We are very pleased to officially announce the release of Real World 25 on 29 September 2014, a celebratory 3CD set boasting big names, hidden gems and tracks chosen by listeners. 

To represent a record label that blazed trails, opened doors and introduced a whole new world of music was never going to be easy, or definitive. But we’re giving it a go.

“We’ve always been vibrant, alive and kicking,” says Peter Gabriel of Real World Records, the label he launched in 1989, a few years after establishing the WOMAD (World of Music Arts and Dance) Festival. “We worked hard to create an environment where the artists felt respected and supported, so that they were able to deliver extraordinary performances.”

The magic was there from the off: an old mill building, transformed into state-of-the-art studios, on the edge of a pond fringed with bulrushes, in landscaped gardens bordered by a river, in the village of Box in the southwest of England.

Armed with a philosophy that variously involved openness, interconnectedness and the right to fail, Real World Records was born. There was no agenda: perhaps the closest it came to a template was the maverick aesthetic of BBC DJ John Peel, who would follow a track by The Fall with a song by a Siberian throat singer – along with that of its unconventional elder sibling, the WOMAD Festival.

Condensing 25 years of history onto three CDs was always going to be an impossible task; we knew we would only ever skim the surface of the extensive range of wonderful music we have been so lucky to encounter.

CD1 brings together tracks that have been significant highlights or ‘classic’ points in the label’s history.

CD2 delves deeper into the catalogue, shining a light on some tracks that beg rediscovery; the buried treasures.

CD3 is the listeners’ choice – we asked people to choose their favourite Real World track.

To find out more about Real World 25 go to:

In addition, if you are lucky enough to be at WOMAD Charlton Park this weekend, why not visit the Society of Sound Stage on Saturday (26th) morning at 11:30am. Peter Gabriel will be in discussion with Mark Coles (BBC Radio 4, The Shed) about two long-running projects he’s been involved with: Real World Records and Bowers & Wilkins Society of Sound.  

The discussion on Real World Records, which Peter founded in 1989, aims to delve into his initial motivations for starting the label, offer some first-hand insight into the history of the label and it’s diverse roster of artists as well as explore the affect that his involvement in the label has had on him personally as a song-writer.

Society of Sound is the Bowers & Wilkins online community, a meeting place for people who are passionate about sound. It includes a member’s album subscription featuring two studio-quality downloads each month picked by Peter Gabriel & Real World. Peter will discuss his thoughts on the collaboration with Society of Sound and their shared passion for supporting and nurturing new music. 

Published 23rd Jul 2014, 5:28pm 1 notes on Tumblr »

Be part of 'One Album Per Hour', with Beardyman


Real World and Bowers & Wilkins are presenting the Society of Sound stage at WOMAD 2014. Over the weekend the stage will feature an eclectic array of sound pioneers and musical adventurers celebrating the art of listening through live performances, DJ sets and interactive events.

One such pioneer is world famous beatboxer/musician Beardyman; described by BBC1 as the ‘King of Sound and Ruler of Beats’, he has taken what’s possible with the human voice to unchartered territories. Pushing the boundaries of his art ever further, Beardyman has also developed the world’s most advanced live music production system, aptly named the BEARDYTRON_5000mkII - which debuted at the global TED conference last year - to allow him to improvise cutting edge, studio quality music in real-time. 

Beardyman will now be premiering the BEARDYTRON_5000mkIII - the full BEARDYTRON experience! - at the Society of Sound stage on Saturday 26 July and he needs your help!  For his main performance, Beardyman will be putting himself and the BEARDYTRON to the test by making a brand-new album live, based entirely on your song title suggestions. Very special WOMAD guests will help select and curate an album’s worth of song titles from audience suggestions that will be given to Beardyman at the start of his set. 

We’d love you to be part of it by suggesting song titles in advance - please make up your own and get creative!

Suggest your song titles for Beardyman

It promises to be incredible, interactive fun and you could be part of a little bit of sound history in the making… so get entering those song title suggestions!

Published 10th Jul 2014, 12:43pm 2 notes on Tumblr »

Society of Sound and Sound System go to WOMAD 2014

Bowers & Wilkins sound system

The Radiophonic Workshop live

Since 2008 Real World has been working with Bowers & Wilkins to curate a series of releases for their Society of Sound online community.  This year for the first time we are coming together to present a Society of Sound stage at WOMAD Charlton Park (July 24 -27).  This is also an opportunity to celebrate 25 years of Real World Records.

This is not your usual festival event. This will be an incredible sonic experience that brilliantly captures the intensity, beauty, and joy of both sound and music with a specially-designed B&W sound system. The Society of Sound stage will feature an eclectic array of sound pioneers and musical adventurers, celebrating the art of listening through live performances, DJ sets and interactive happenings.  The line up will include Real World artists 9Bach, Adrian Sherwood alongside a rare DJ set from the legendary David Holmes, some fabulous sonic strangeness from The Radiophonic Workshop, and an album being created live on stage by world-famous beatboxer and artist Beardyman.  More artists to be announced.

More details via the Society of Sound website

Published 3rd Jul 2014, 3:48pm »

Winner of RW 25 competition

Congratulations to Jaakko Jakobsson - winner of our Real World 25th Anniversary sweepstakes to win a pair of Bower & Wilkins P5 headphones. 

The winner selected the track “Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan & Michael Brook - Sweet Pain” as their favourite from our catalogue - listen via Spotify below.

Listen to “Sweet Pain” on Spotify

Published 26th Jun 2014, 6:06pm »

Iarla Ó Lionáird - The Day That You Were Born

To celebrate the 50th birthday today of long time Real World Records artist Iarla Ó Lionáird we’re delighted to be able to offer you a free download of a previously unreleased version of the track The Day That You Were Born. The original version of the song, featuring Caroline Dale on cello, is on Iarla's Invisible Fields album, but this extended mix has never been available before now. Enjoy and happy birthday Iarla!

Download the track now

Published 18th Jun 2014, 1:59pm 1 notes on Tumblr »

Rave reviews for GRIT production

GRIT ‘The Martyn Bennett Story’ has premiered at the Tramway in Glasgow to rave reviews. The production conceived and directed by Cora Bissett and written by Kieran Hurley mixes Martyn’s music with drama, dance and aerial choreography to tell the life story of one of Scotland’s most innovative, pioneering and influential musicians. 

Reviews for the show have been universally good, reflecting the emotional, uplifting and powerful nature of the show. A selection are below here:

The Daily Telegraph - "humorous, moving and thrilling“ [read more]

Folk Radio - ”thrilling and incredibly emotional“ [read more

The Herald Scotland - ”As with the show’s inspiration, Bissett mixes and matches forms with abandon" and “the emotional power of Bennett’s story can’t be over-stated[read more]

If you are able to make one of the remaining performances we thoroughly recommend it. There is also a small exhibition of photographs of Martyn, by Bj Stewart, in the Tramway foyer, including some images that have never been seen before.

GRIT 'The Martyn Bennett Story’ is at Tramway, Glasgow until Saturday 7 June, before it moves to Mull for a short run at Comar 19-22 June

The re-released album GRIT is available now and includes two bonus tracks, not on the original release. 

Book tickets: Tramway, Glasgow / Comar, Mull

Buy Grit the album

Published 5th Jun 2014, 5:57pm 2 notes on Tumblr »

9Bach "Tincian" tour in full swing

9Bach’s UK tour arrived at the Louisiana in Bristol last night where they played a beautiful set showcasing songs from their latest, critically acclaimed, album Tincian.

If you are yet to see 9Bach they are playing in Cardiff tonight and also have forthcoming shows next week in London and Brighton.  The band will also be playing at WOMAD, The Green Man Festival and End of The Road festival this summer.

Largely new compositions, set in a minutely detailed sonic world… an evening of spectacular reinvention✮✮✮✮ David Honigmann / FT (full review).

View a full list of live dates

Discover more about Tincian

Published 23rd May 2014, 1:51pm »

Congratulations to Nick Mulvey

Everyone at Real World would like to say a massive well done to ex-Portico Quartet member Nick Mulvey on the success of his debut album First Mind.

You can hear where it all started on the wonderful Mercury nominated Portico Quartet album Knee-Deep In The North Sea and its follow-up Isla.

Meanwhile you can catch Portico Quartet live at the Roundhouse on May 31st as part of the Mr Scruff take over festival (buy tickets now).

Published 21st May 2014, 2:35pm »

Martyn Bennett's "Grit" out in the UK today


outstanding photograph by BJ Stewart’

The reissue of Martyn Bennett’s “Grit” is released in the UK today!

Grit featured on the front page of the Arts section in The Herald (Scotland) over the weekend -  read the feature over on their website now.

Grit is available via:

Amazon / Real World

Published 19th May 2014, 3:39pm »

9Bach "Tincian" released in the UK today

The new album from 9Bach is out in the UK today (US tomorrow).

Tincian is 9Bach’s second album. It’s an atmospheric, emotional record that reflects their home environment of Gerlan, North Wales. 

9Bach’s appeal is centered on singer Lisa Jen, whose cool exquisite vocals dominate the album.
The Guardian

Anyone who has gently come down to the strains of Massive Attack, Air or Portishead will engage with the vibe on offer here” 
Essential New Releases - Sunday Times Culture 

 “Tincian is a captiviating original.“
Uncut Magazine

 “Lisa Jen has a voice of mountain-brook purity.”

 “An ambiguous mood piece from fragments of traditional Welsh music & contemporary tension.“
Drowned in Sound

Tincian is available via:  iTunes / Amazon / Real World

Published 12th May 2014, 10:17am 2 notes on Tumblr »

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