Thea HD: The ‘Wednesday Alternative’ Mix

5 Minute Read

A record collector with impeccable taste – as often best showcased on a regular NTS show.

It’s always interesting to learn about the musical insight and influences of a radio host or dj who doesn’t travel the road most followed. Thea HD, has for many years, worked behind the scenes, drawing inspiration from music in the widest sense. A regular radio show on NTS has offered Thea an opportunity to showcase a variety of interests and perspectives on sound – fusing the likes of Soul, Folk, Ambient, Jazz and everything in between into a listening experience which somehow makes sense, cementing a musical identity and a story.

This year also marked the launch of a new label – a side project designed to offer a new outlet for musical expression. Thea emailed us earlier this summer to tell us about Odda Recordings – an imprint described as being focussed on “design, landscape and unearthing new sounds”.


With this in mind we weren’t sure what to expect from this mixtape. However, what has arrived is pleasantly delightful and perhaps represents the very best of a music collection and a personal journey which feels well rounded and whole. There are delicate Ambient textures, percussive grooves and deep, whimsical sounds which make for a perfect atmospheric midweek listen.

Listen and read the interview below:

Please introduce yourself…

Hello! My name is Thea, but I’ve added my surname in short form for formalities, so Thea HD.

Who are you, where are you and what are you?

I am DJ, NTS host and A&R for The Leaf Label, which is based in Leeds (as am I). I also recently started up my own label called Odda Recordings to really fluff up my ‘to do’ list.

What does your music sound like? Can you draw what you think it sounds like for us (an image from the old internet is acceptable)? 

I think my music taste is classically varied. I love all sorts, apart from Electro Swing, that can do one.

Where was the mix recorded?

Upstairs in my attic. I record all my shows for NTS in there, so it’s somewhat of a record chaos den.

What would be the ideal setting to listen to the mix?

Well, usually I would say my shows are best listened to whilst relaxing, in the bath, on the sofa etc. But this one is all over the shop, so, wherever really. Just be prepared to not understand what the hells going on..

What should we be wearing?

Hard hat and slippers.

What would be your dream setting to record a mix: Location/system/format?

Top of a mountain (with oxygen obvs), with a couple of goats and my 1210s.

Which track in the mix is your current favourite?

The Caretaker

What’s your favourite recorded mix of all time?

Good lord, erm… I accidentally once had Melvyn Bragg on radio 4 playing over Jack Rollo’s NTS Early Bird show, extremely pleasurable. I mean there’s loads, I honestly don’t think I could pick one. But I’d suggest trying out the former.

If you could go back to back with any DJ from throughout history, who would it be and why?

Larry Levan.

What was your first DJ set up at home and what is it now?

I used to just have a couple of knackered 1210s and my laptop. That was a risky game, now I have the full shebang, makes live radio a lot easier. Shebang being 1210s, XDJs and the faithful laptop for fun spoken word interludes.

What’s more important, the track you start on or the track you end on?

Start on for me, I always start on something that’s really moved me. Ending is always the fun one, something to make people smile.

What were the first and last records you bought?

First one… I thihk it was a Nina Simone comp. But the first physical music I bought was Pink on cassette.

Last one.. Francoise Hardy – Tous les garcons et les filles

If this mix was an edible thing, what would it taste like?

Wagon wheel.

If it was an animal what would it be?

Jelly fish (a big one).

One record in your collection that is impossible to mix into anything?

Fucking hell all of them in this mix, rhythms were all over the place.

Upcoming in the world of… 

I’ve just launched my new label called Odda Recordings, it’s a big leap for a pretty terrible time to sell music, but I am so glad to have done it – it was a big fat life goal. I’ve signed a few artists already called Flaer (whose debut album is out on 4th August) and Kirk Barley. Do go check them out if you’re reading.

I am also playing at We Out Here next month so do pop in and say hi if you’re there. I think it’s the only festival I am going to alas.

Anything else we need to discuss?

Thanks for having me, and apologies for the genre weaving.