Whilst Fat Planet without the Scottish banter is arguably a poor substitute, you can nonetheless now fire up a revolving & evolving playlist of program highlights on Spotify. Follow via link below.
More 90s recall this week as Double J continues its month-long retrospective, asking the question ‘Was the 90s the greatest decade in music?’. This week’s list is my favourite of the three thus far, ‘The 50 most important female artists of the 90s‘;
I was asked to write about a few legends, and I even managed to stop hyperventilating to write something vaguely intelligible about the woman at #1.
Double J’s all-month-long 90s retrospective continues this week with another ‘Best Of’ list, sure to have a few of you wailing at both the inclusions and exclusions. ‘The 50 most overlooked songs of the 90s‘ includes a few contributions from me, including tunes from 808 State, Cibo Matto (pictured), Transglobal Underground, The Justified Ancients of Mu Mu and GusGus.
Was the 90s the greatest decade in music?
That’s the question Double J is asking all throughout June, as they go deep on the decade that shaped so many of us musically. There are charts galore as part of the 90s celebration, starting with ‘The 50 best Australian songs of the 90s’. Despite growing up in Scotland during the 90s, I wasn’t entirely oblivious to the Australian music scene. There were a few choice acts that made their way up and over the crest of the globe, but only one of my favourites has made its way into this particular ‘Best Of…’ list.
In an interview originally broadcast on Fat Planet, I talk with politically charged Tel Aviv artist Noga Erez about the release of her phenomenal debut album Off The Radar – one of the best releases of 2017 thus far, channeling equal parts M.I.A., FKA Twigs, Flying Lotus and more. Continue reading “INTERVIEW. Israel’s Noga Erez brings the fire on her debut ‘Off The Radar’”
The annual Eurovision Song Contest has nearly always scored nil points when it comes to credible artists belting out top-notch songs. Yet, there have been a few moments across the decades where it seemed like cool might prevail against the onslaught of kitsch.
I’ve selected a few well-known artists that put their career on the line in hope of a Eurovision win, and you can watch performances from all of those on the Double J website. Continue reading “BACK CATALOGUE. 5 moments when Eurovision was nearly cool”
Often our knowledge of music from other countries is limited to what we might call ‘novelty’ acts – or those that seem so absurd to our Western ears, that they scream for attention. For example, can you name any Korean artist or song other than Psi and ‘Gangnam Style’?
Even Russia is not immune to the curse of the novelty. Perhaps their best known export is Pussy Riot, who rode to international attention on a wave of anti-Putin sentiment clad in balaclavas, smashing the oligarchy, patriarchy or any other kind of hierarchy they could stomp their boots on. Continue reading “NEW MUSIC. Russia’s finest shoegaze, coldwave and stoner metal”
This week, Fat Planet returns to the radio after a multi-year hiatus – now broadcasting nationally on Double J on ABC Radio.
Every week, I’ll be introducing you to some of the great music from around the world – but it’s not a ‘world music’ show. If you’re unsure what that means, I’ve prepared some notes on a few new tracks that will kick off your Fat Planet journey just nicely.
Head to the Double J website to listen to music from Goat (Sweden), Yama Warashi (Japan), Wareika Hill Sounds (Jamaica), Aristophanes (Taiwan, pictured) and António Sanches (Cabo Verde).
E2-E4 by Manuel Göttsching (Ash Ra Tempel); 60 minutes of freeform electronics and guitar, completely improvised & recorded (almost by accident) over the course of one evening in 1981 – and now regarded as one of the most important records of all time. A kick in the eye for the overthinkers.
Continue reading “BACK CATALOGUE. Manuel Göttsching ‘E2-E4’”
Many moons ago, my radio program Fat Planet boomed out of the FBi Radio transmission tower, spreading a heady diet of brand new music from all around the world, and together we laughed and danced and cried and made merry for many years. Flash forward to 2017, and I’m super-stoked to tell you that Fat Planet is returning, with the same curatorial mission – to uncover vital sounds from music cultures around the globe. This time around, Fat Planet finds it home with the genius minds at Double J, and it all kicks off next Wednesday (18th January) 8pm. “Your ticket to a big world of music” – on mobile, online, digital radio & tv.
I’ve written a primer for Fat Planet, now published on the Double J website – read it here: Fat Planet is your ticket to a big world of music – featuring bonus video clip from the 80s – Nena’s ’99 Luftballons’ …
I also wrote a recap about the original Fat Planet program back in 2008 – get familiar here.
Whilst contemplating some of my favourite music from 2016, I realised that a bullet list holds many secrets; that choices shared in public are often born of intimate moments. And so here a few such moments, tales that needed to be told, to cast much-needed light on the year gone by.
1. Listening to Xiu Xiu playing The Music Of Twin Peaks, whilst in Twin Peaks
When I decided to take a short trip through the U.S. northwest, I knew that I could cross something special off the bucket list – to make a pilgrimage, 25 years in the making, to Twin Peaks. The town itself doesn’t exist, but rather it’s an amalgam of filming locations around North Bend and Snoqualmie, forty minutes east of Seattle. I visited Salish Lodge, aka The Great Northern Hotel, atop Snoqualmie Falls (which provided the waterfall sequence in the opening credits); along with the location of the ‘Welcome To Twin Peaks’ sign, Twede’s Cafe (which doubled as The Double R), the Twin Peaks Sherrif’s Dept amongst others. Continue reading “NEW MUSIC. From Xiu Xiu and Twin Peaks, to freak-folk and makeshift shrines – My 2016 Moments In Music”
“[It’s] frustrating and validating in equal measure … a process of recalibrating my own expectations. It’s a weird fucking time to be releasing music.”
I was interviewed by whothehell.net about Provenance and apparently I decided that it was cool to swear heaps. That said, this is a generous overview of my work to date and the genesis / early days of Provenance. It also reaffirms once again that I have a masterful knack of making a rod for my own back.
Read the full interview at whothehell.net
Image: from Who The Hell Facebook, not of an actual Provenance party. We’d be far less happy.
Pretty Gritty #17 / Provenance
Sunday Dec 4, 2016
The final Pretty Gritty for 2016 teams up with the most excellent record label Provenance, the latest most excellent venture by the tireless Stuart Buchanan, to offer a small sampling of the most excellent stable of innovative altpopelectronicaambientdroneexotica.
In a split set (like a split album — it’s a new thing as of now) Lortica will morph himself into When We Never offering his hypertextured, super-psych drone dreamscapes. Hiking up the Hume from the ACT, Shoeb Ahmad will bliss us away with his shimmering guitar and spacey pop deconstructions. Finally Medicine Voice’s transcendent vibrations will send us into the sublime as she launches her hypnotic new single.
5.30pm-9pm, $12 full / $10 Concession
107 Projects, 107 Redfern St, Redfern
More info at pretty-gritty.net
Photos by Sam James and Gail Priest.
‘The Roman / Crossing The Fourth Threshold’ is the new single from Medicine Voice, the second track to be singled-out from the album ‘I And Thou‘ (out now on Provenance). To mark the moment, Medicine Voice has collaborated with artists Louisa Clayton and Kevina-Jo Smith on a beautiful new film clip, shot on location in the Blue Mountains. Sar also had some words to say about the film, about hope, about Standing Rock, which you can read on the Provenance web site.
Saturday 26 November I’ll be rolling out my Beau Kannon alias for a DJ set at Neon Fern a night of “dark techno, leftist pop and electronica”, and of course ferns. Taking place at Baroque in Katoomba, there are also sets from Melty, Ghostgirl (whose new album A.I. Ambient Intimacy was released earlier this week), Mannheim Rocket (3BS Records) and Broken Chip. Plus digital installations from Mark Sabb of U.S. online mag Felt Zine. Tickets and info on Facebook.
New on Provenance: The result of many long conversations and a mutual appreciation of the wisdom of Dale Cooper – the new single from Becki Whitton aka Aphir aka an artist who was once dubbed “equal parts Kate Bush and Bjork”. What’s not to love? This is the first taste of Becki’s upcoming album ‘Twin Earth’, due on Provenance in early 2017, and follows a series of self-released singles and her 2015 debut album ‘Holodreem’.
Super-excited to finally release the excellent ‘Always’ EP from Lovely Head through Provenance – a six-track experimental pop EP from Sydney producer, ex-No Art guitarist & writer Vivian Huynh. Exploring themes of tension, distance and lust, ‘Always’ is a combination of desert guitar, misshapen beats and quiet longing. Available on digital and super-limited lathe cut 10” vinyl, shipped with full-colour sleeve print.
The video for the lead track ‘Show Up’ is described by Vivian as a “love letter to Cabramatta”. She says: “I’ve been going there since I was a bleary-eyed infant. We’d go on weekends, and have lunch first. Mum or dad would order the pho. You get given a little bowl and a pair of scissors that your parents use to slop a bit of their noodle into and cut up for you to eat. Then I’d trail my parents as they did the grocery shopping for the week, pick up the ‘ Chieu Duong’ paper, and flick through pirated Hong Kong movies to take home. Shooting this brought back the most bittersweet memories.”
Get the record at provenancerecords.com.
Last year, when I started to think about the artists that I was keen to have in the Provenance family, Vivian Huynh was an early addition to the list. I loved No Art and was a superfan of her solo work as Lovely Head. I’m stoked that Viv agreed to come on board, and doubly stoked to be releasing her new Lovely Head EP ‘Always’ on 21st October. The EP follows her collaborative release EP with Pendant earlier this year – stream the lead track ‘Show Up’ below and pre-order now at Bandcamp and iTunes.
Out From Under #25 is a mix of new music released in September 2016 featuring work from Severed Heads alumni Garry Bradbury and Room40 mainstay John Chantler; Regis takes on MY DISCO (pictured) in a remix for the Downwards label; Blake Freele & Sam Price drop a new collaboration; we tackle brute noise from Blut; and also hear new work from Panoptique Electrical, Pale Earth, Cooper Bowman, Harrow, H∃✖†⏄P∄, FATE ÆFFECT and Catfingers.
Originally broadcast on Resonance Extra, 22 September 2016.
In the second episode of a two-part Out From Under special, I talk to Mitchell Jones; founding member of both seminal Australian experimental band Scattered Order and the early 80s record label M-Squared which balanced the prevailing sounds of post-punk with lo-fi punk electronics and experimental explorations from a close knit community of artists.
We hear from M-Squared artists Makers Of The Dead Travel Fast, Systematics and Ya Ya Choral, along with Prod, A Cloakroom Assembly and Solipsik, the offshoot of renowned Australian industrial group SPK. We also pick up the Scattered Order story following the demise of M-Squared in 1984, and hear about their journey through the 80s and 90s, heading to an unexpected reformation seven years ago.
Originally broadcast on Resonance Extra, 8 September 2016.
Whilst the legacies of post-punk, DIY electronics and proto industrial are widely known and documented in the UK and US scenes, their impact in an Australian context is less widely recognised. Bonding over the discovery of Cabaret Voltaire imports in Sydney record stores, Scattered Order formed in 1979 and gorged on a wide range of inputs to create a sound and visual aesthetic that was unique in Australia at the time. Together they also formed the label M Squared and fostered an impressive roster of bands such as Makers Of The Dead Travel Fast, Systematics and Ya Ya Choral.
In Part I of a two-part interview, I talk to Scattered Order’s Mitchell Jones about the early years of the band and the formation and impact of the M-Squared label throughout the late Seventies and early Eighties.
Originally broadcast on Resonance Extra, 1 September 2016.