Under the radar

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WE FIRST met Carrie Mac at Born To Be Wide, where she contributed almost as much to the seminar discussion as the invited guests.

In 2008 she won Radio Forth's One To Watch award (without even knowing somebody at the station!) and went on to support the Proclaimers. And a few weeks ago the Edinburgh launch of her self-penned and self-released album, Believe, had the Electric Circus filled to capacity. While Carrie Mac is an unashamed pop artist with songs that have the potential to be picked up by mainstream acts with full instrumentation, the acoustic recordings give the compositions a slightly raw edge. Falling At My Feet, one of the album's several ballads, has the ingredients of a hit.

Che Camille has been a dynamo for emerging fashion designers since it was launched in 2006, and now the Glasgow-based boutique is also set to become a destination for checking out cutting-edge music. The top-floor loft space in Buchanan Street now houses a vinyl-only record shop amid the clothes rails and is soon to become the HQ for Halleluwah Hits, a label pledging to release edgy pop by local artists. Check out www.halleluwahhits.com for news on live showcase events in the New Year, as well as a label launch.

Meanwhile, on the other side of Glasgow a popular destination for music lovers remains uncertain, as a developer seeks to build an apartment complex at Otago Lane. The charming cul-de-sac near Kelvinbridge is home to the excellent shop Mixed Up Records, as well as the tea house Tchai Ovna, a haunt of local musicians and poets which hosts a variety of low-key gigs during the week. For more information regarding the campaign to save the lane visit www.saveotagolane.co.uk.

The weird and wonderful activities of the Edinburgh band Found have long been a source of interest to us, not least because we had the pleasure of introducing the members to their current label, Fence Records.

In the summer we reported on the band's side project Cybraphon, a sort of musical wardrobe which was programmed to read its own reviews online and produce music according to how good or bad they were. A few weeks ago the creation won a Bafta Scotland award, coinciding with the band signing a deal with Domino Publishing, home to numerous Scottish acts, ranging from Josef K and Hipsway, to Frightened Rabbit and King Creosote.

Meanwhile, former track-of-the-month providers Hip Parade ( www.myspace.com/hipparade) have signed to BMG Rights Management in a deal which will see the music publisher fund the release of an EP on the band's own label. They end the year, which saw them twice sell out King Tut's, with a headlining over-14s gig at the Arches tonight.

Also due to end the year on a high are hip-hop act Stanley Odd, who are fronted by Airdrie bard and university lecturer Dave Hook. The band are due to be on Waverley stage at midnight as part of the capital's Hogmanay Street Party.

Their inevitably high spirited performance should see them win over some new fans in the build-up to the March release of the single, Think Of A Number on Circular Records.

Also on the bill are We Were Promised Jetpacks, who along with Broken Records, will be heading off to Holland in mid-January to showcase at Groningen's Eurosonic extravaganza ( www.eurosonic-noorderslag.nl). The annual event is where Europe's festival bookers converge to pick their acts for the summer. If all goes well, both bands should be appearing on bills from Serbia to Sweden.

Starting at the same time as Eurosonic, albeit in Glasgow, will be Celtic Connections ( www.celticconnections.com), Scotland's largest music event in terms of tickets sold. Among the rising stars from Scotland will be Alex Cornish ( www.alexcornish.com), who combines a career as a singer– songwriter with composing music used in television programmes, including Coast, Wainwright Walks and The National Lottery Draw.

&#149 Olaf Furniss and Derick Mackinnon run the music scene social night Born To Be Wide, which next takes place in Edinburgh's Voodoo Rooms on 4 February, this time with a focus on Germany. Details are on www.borntobewide.co.uk.

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