On the Horizon: Abbey Road Debuts.

Combine an irrefutably legendary venue, BBC 6Music's Tom Ravenscroft, a Channel 4 camera crew or two and the likes of James Blake, Mount Kimbie, Crystal Fighters, Lower Dens, Dark Dark Dark and Treefight for Sunlight and you've more or less got Abbey Road Debuts, sure to provide fifteen bedazzling minutes amidst the monotony of the weekly TV listings. Commencing in April, the show will be filmed in Abbey Road's Studio One, a pebble's throw away from that zebra crossing, where each act will record a hattrick of tracks for a handful, including Ravenscroft. We quizzed the show's justifiably enthusiastic presenter on the pressures of entering said studio and his tips for ubiquity.

Dots: Taking over the legendary Abbey Road studios for Abbey Road Debuts, do you feel there's a substantial amount of pressure inherently placed upon the show?

Tom Ravenscroft: None whatsoever; I’d like to think that if anything the building represents a place where both bands and we as a program can go and try out new things. For me it’s more about that than it is about ending up with something very polished and expensive sounding.

Dashes: Given the decline of physical record sales over the past handful of years, does Abbey Road Debuts hope to return impetus to the recording process, or are there other motives behind the show's conception?

Tom: It's about been given the opportunity to see the bands playing live up and close personal. The way records are sold now tends to make people a little impatient in the way they listen to things, so we hope to be able to present new bands in a slightly less manic fashion. The fact that we're recording in Abbey Road means that the sound is awesome and that's certainly a rather lovely thing.

Dots: As Abbey Road Debuts' presenter, as well as hosting your own 6music show, who are you tipping for ubiquity this year, and who are you most excited about introducing during these forthcoming sessions?

Tom: In terms of ubiquity I’ll be surprised if by the end of the year anyone can remember anything but James Blake, who is entirely great. We aren’t completely sure of everyone who is coming on the show yet, which is kind of how I like it. If we stumble across something we like, we can just drag them in. I’ve been told Dark Dark Dark are coming in though, which will be extraordinary.

Dashes: Do you feel as though younger generations ought to be made more aware of establishments such as Abbey Road studios?

Tom: Not really; it’s about making sure that it is still relevant to today’s music rather than being overly nostalgic and treating it like a museum. It’s by doing this that younger generations will be made aware of the studios and consequently appreciate its history. I’m just as interested in what we are about to record as what’s already been done there.

Dots: Do you live in fear of airing artists that may not appeal to the general public, or do you feel as though that's precisely what your role as a radio DJ entails?

Tom: I’m quite used to playing things that don’t appeal to everyone and it would be quite weird if there was someone out there with identical tastes to mine. I just like to play people interesting things that I’ve found, I hope others will like the bands but it's obviously not the end of the world if there are a couple of acts they're not particularly into. I’d rather play you something you didn’t know and weren’t sure about than something you’d already had playing in your car for months.

Dashes: Finally, several renowned radio DJs are known not to personally scout and source the music they air on their shows. How vital do you think it is for people in your position to discover new music for themselves, or are the means irrelevant so long as the end is a positive one?

Tom: I suspect most radio DJs would like to have the time to be able to source more of the music they play, but for some it’s just not possible and what with playlist restrictions they often don’t have that option. The danger is that as most DJs are sent records by the same small group of distributors we all end up with the same record collections and therefore the same shows, and I think that the only way to avoid that is to go digging for yourself. I’m lucky in that I get to do that.

Abbey Road Debuts debuts on Channel 4 the week commencing April 4th.