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Friday, 3 May, 2002, 16:19 GMT 17:19 UK
Radio 3 show launches label
Verity Sharp
Sharp: "Wanted to open the idea of how people listen to music"
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By Alex Webb
BBC News Online entertainment staff
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The surprise BBC Radio 3 hit show Late Junction is launching its own record label.

Late Junction, which has regaled late-night listeners with a mixture of world, experimental and classical music since September 1999, is releasing four CDs in May - including a compilation prepared by presenter Verity Sharp.

The programme, which regularly pulls audiences of 300,000, is one of the most popular strands on Radio 3.

Goldlfrapp
The compilation includes Goldlfrapp's Paper Bag
Verity Sharp told BBC News Online: "The new label has taken the concept of Late Junction and broadened it.

"There will be 12 releases a year, including people who are unsigned."

Sharp has compiled her own CD of Late Junction favourites, reflecting the eclectic nature of the radio programme.

It includes tracks by Plastikman, Goldfrapp and Mercury Rev alongside the sounds of Indian singer Asha Bosle - and the sound of frogs in the Amazon rainforest.

Appeal

"There was always talk about doing compilations, because people were immediately asking if they could get compilations of the programme.

"I've put the compilation together in the same way I'd put the programme together, lumping all these things together - but by ear, there's something on each track that leads naturally to the next one," said Sharp.

She said the musical approach of Late Junction had always appealed to her.

"We wanted to open the idea of how people listen to music - nobody goes home and listens to one type of music, and there are so many CD collections with progressive rock and Shostakovich, and all the rest of it.

Mix

"Roger Wright, the Radio 3 boss, didn't only say 'Let's do it', he said 'Let's do it every night for two hours'."

"We set out to make it a mix - it has everything, world, classical, pop, new music, electronic music, there's always this mix of things," she added.

The Barbican
The John Adams work was recorded at the Barbican
"I wasn't completely surprised by the reaction - I thought it was a natural way for people to listen to music - I was more surprised by the range of people.

"I was getting letters from 16-year olds to 80-year olds saying it was great."

Now the programme hopes it can capitalise on its success.

The first four releases on Late Junction include a new album by US composer John Adams, recorded by the BBC Symphony Orchestra at London's Barbican Centre during a critically-acclaimed concert series earlier this year.

The other initial releases on Late Junction are debut albums by Max Richter - a past collaborator with Roni Size and Future Sound Of London - and the David Rees-Williams Trio, who offer a jazz take on classical music pieces.

The four CDs are being released by Late Junction in association with BBC Music, part of BBC Worldwide's global marketing and brand development division.

Late Junction is on BBC Radio 3 at 2215 Monday to Thursday

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