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"Presenting Surreal"

With quite possibly the busiest January for new music ever on Music Liberation in our 4 years of existence, we kick things off on a strong note with Brighton based duo, Surreal. Consisting of vocalist Laurence Allen and multi-instrumentalist Tim Rowkins, Surreal could well be the ones to take over from Mike Skinner when he hangs up his boots later this year.

Whilst Surreal's music can easily be compared with other singer/beat maker combo's such as Dan Les Sac Vs Scroobios Pip, that lazy comparison hides the true quality.

For me, that quality is Allen, with his ability to combine styles of rap, singing, and spoken word seem almost effortless, with the track 'Distance' being a prime example of this. His lyrics are cutting, switching from sweeping choruses to pin point reflections of modern day life in the UK. The beats get mixed up too, from standard hip hop-ish to piano, to dubstep and dance, sprinkling of guitars, and all back round again. It makes for a real listening pleasure, with the variation on offer making each return to Surreals music seem new, exciting, and fresh.

With remixes lined up for the likes of Jamie Woon, support from indie guru Steve Lamacq, numerous live shows in the pipe line, and a debut album set to drop later this Summer, Surreal could (and probably should) have a very busy and successful year ahead of them. - Music Liberation

"Playgroup Festival 2011"

Two thousand people makes for a very intimate festival experience, especially when 99 per cent of those are Brightonian and 100 per cent are magical woodland creatures. It all kicked off with the electrifying sound of The International Diamond Thieves who set the tone for what was to be an epic weekend. Three days of amazingly diverse music and crazy animals living it up in the beautiful countryside of Eridge Park in Tumbridge Wells. Non-stop friendliness and fun are what makes this place so wonderfully fabulous along with magicians, cabaret, eclectic boutiques and the dulcit tones of Grannys Café.

The Correspondents were on their usual top form and the energetic vibes carried through all five stages with an incdredible performance from new act Surreal. Mean Poppa Lean and Carnival Collective stormed the main stage and as the sun went down everyone moshed out to The Apples and their interesting rendition of ‘Killing In The Name Of’.

The 24-hour cinema was a great source of entertainment for those who just don’t want to sleep and the healing tent was a welcome tonic for when party animals were flagging.

A fantastic fiend of frivolity made this beast so hard to leave and we’re already excited for next year’s spectacular shenanigans.

Eridge Park, Tunbridge Wells,5-7 August - Latest 7

"Surreal, UK"

Now I don’t know if these guys -Surreal -are going in for the competition, but I do know they have already got the thumbs up from both Steve Lamacq and Tom Robinson. Surreal are Laurence Allen, who writes and performs all the vocals, and producer/multi-instrumentalist Tim Rowkins, who takes care of the music.

This was the first track of theirs that I played and it blew me away. Excellent use of samples, and nice to have a band who a) were not being sycophantic in their email and b)actually gave me something more than just a myspace address to follow (which is really quite irritating).

Poetry In Motion by surreal

This is another excellent song:

Idle Pop and Prancing Stars by surreal

Now go along to their soundcloud page and check out the rest of their stuff. This is extremely awesome stuff. - 17 seconds

"New Big-Hitters"

Splitting their time between Brighton and London are the new big hitters in the UK rap game - Surreal.

Consisting of producer and multi-instrumentalist Tim Rowkins and lyricist Laurence Allen, it's a collaboration that realy seems to bring out the best of their respective talents.

I'm completely sold, and apparently they are also being championed by Radio 1's 'indie' DJs Lamacq and Robinson, rightly so.

I'll let them explain a few reasons as to why alcohol is not for me.
- Illegal Tender

"Fiction - Prefix Premiere"

We shed some light on the gifted U.K. duo of Surreal in March 2011 when they released what was probably our favorite remix of Jamie Woon's "Lady Luck." Since then, they have been working on putting the focus on their own material, such as their brand-new single, "Fiction."

The track truly highlights both sides of Surreal. While rapper-singer Laurence Allen leads the tune with intricate rhymes and sharp lyrics, producer Tim Rowkins weaves woozy synthesizers and guitars between head-nodding percussion. I think it's more than safe to say we can expect to hear big things from these guys this year, so make sure to keep Surreal on your radar. They're most certainly on ours. Stream "Fiction" below. - Prefix Magazine


"Distance" (Single)



“Sexy, slick, with not an ounce of unwanted fat”

Tom Robinson, BBC 6music

Surreal are London-born writer/vocalist L.T. Allen and producer/multi-instrumentalist Tim Rowkins.

“Allen’s ability to combine styles of rap, singing, and spoken word seems almost effortless”

Music Liberation

Musically, the tracks are varied degrees of collision between classic and modern; pianos, guitars, dirty basslines and electronic drums.

“Makes for a real listening pleasure from hip hop-ish to piano, to dubstep and dance, sprinkling of guitars, and all back round again.”

John Sidwell (blogger)

Surreal have attracted significant radio attention, including Steve Lamacq’s Unsigned Artist of the Week and playlists on various FM stations in Berlin. 2011 ended with their inclusion in BBC Introducing’s Best of 2011 show, broadcast on New Year’s Eve.

Surreal’s first major show was supporting a Hot Chip set in front of a sell-out crowd. The live set sees Tim combine laptop elctronica with gui- tars, keyboards and drum pads and displays his true musical abilities. Frontman L.T. Allen en- gages the crowd throughout, moving between high energy rap and poetic spoken word.

During 2011 Surreal have played at venues in the UK including London’s Ginglik and Brixton Jamm, as well as various festival appearances. They have also done remixes for the likes of Jamie Woon.