Konono No.1, DJ Rupture, Magneta Lane, Pitch Black, Sitjn

monday morning (yawn) … up with the worm-catchers to bring you some mp3s from yesterday’s show. next sunday, if you’re a sydney-sider, then get close to yr li’l radio box as i’ll be ending the year with a special treat – fat planet meets IRMIN SCHMIDT, founding member of the legendary german krautrock pioneers CAN. tune in from 3pm on sunday 19th for this rare interview and tracks from newly re-issued CAN albums.

KONONO NO.1 [CONGO] (pictured)
ditshe tshiekutala mp3
on the fat planet radio show, i try to play as much contemporary african music that i can get my hands on, without straying too far down the path of traditional world music. hence the recent posts on senegalese hip hop. however, electronic music from africa is practically non-existent – understandable given the reliance of electronic music on PCs and suchlike. so, it’s great to see belgian label crammed discs giving us what they’re billed as ‘congotronics’. konono no.1 (who’ve been around for 25 years apparently) use an electro version of the thumb piano, wired to an almighty soundystem and marry it with all manner of pots’n’pans metallic percussion. as you can imagine, the results are breathtaking. you really have to see the photographs over at crammed to get an indication of how rare this project is. crammed have promised us not only a full studio album from konono no.1, but also a compilation entitled ‘buzz n rumble’ featuring five similar acts (due early 2005). when searching for the some konono no.1 files, the above mp3 duly turned up on the excellent mp3blog ‘the suburbs are killing us‘ and is taken from a live album entitled ‘lubuaku’. more info on this release can be found over at subterranean distribution.

DJ RUPTURE [SPAIN]
lonesome (feat.lily)
 mp3
i can’t seem to leave this guy alone, but when you’ve got an artist of such high quality around, what are you gonna do? today i played the track ‘little more oil’ from dj rupture‘s new album, ‘special gunpowde’r. the track is a collaboration with old skool dancehall artist sister nancy. there’s not a great deal of info on nancy around on the web, but you can find some introductory bio info here. the above mp3 is taken from rupture’s better propaganda page, where you’ll also find a 2nd mp3 from the new album. (i’m listing rupture as coming from spain, and although he’s a resident of barcelona, he’s actually from the u.s.. so now you know.)

MAGNETA LANE [CANADA]
the constant lover mp3
a three-piece girl band from canada who are probably sick to death of finding people refer to them in the same breath as the strokes. of course, i wouldn’t dare do such a thing. thanks to leila from paper bag records in toronto for getting in touch and pointing fat planet in the direction of lexi, french and nadia. this is a killer track, a great slice of alt.pop that has been ringing around inside my skull for the last few days – fast, to the point and smacking you in the nose with a fistful of attitude. all the great attributes of rock’n’roll, surely? check out paper bag records for a diverse roster rammed with quality tunes.

PITCH BLACK [NEW ZEALAND]
lost in translation mp3
this NZ duo have a new album out called ‘ape to angel’ and i played the track ‘freefall’ today. they’ve been playing together for nearly eight years and ‘ape to angel’ is their third full-length. i found a website that described them as ‘the hexstatic of new zealand’ – and the sounds definitely fall into the long embrace of the ninja tune style zone. it’s a smart blend of warm, dub-infused electronica – which would undoubtedly translate incredibly well to the live arena and festival circuit where pitch black spend a great deal of their time. check out the band’s web site for a further batch of free mp3 downloads.

SITJN [BELGIUM]
ochtendbericht mp3
stijn would appear to be the one-man powerhouse behind the mijn label – have a look at the site at mijnlabel.com. the track played today ‘wrong’ has stijn coming off like tiga in a three-in-the-bed romp with metro area. alas, there’s no such similar mp3s on the mijn site, merely some soundtrack mp3s from stijn’s work on a project called ‘nine to five’ – and the tunes are simple, looped minimal electronica, pleasant enough but i’m feeling the ground swell beneath my feet. you might have more joy over at this mini site for stijn ‘euphoria’ album, where you can stream all the tracks from the album (including ‘wrong’).

Shank, Singapore Sling, Miss Kittin & The Hacker, Cobra Killer

mp3s from artists (or their associates…) who featured on this week’s show >>

SHANK [GERMANY]
oust mp3
my guest today was germany’s burnt friedman (pictured) – an artist whose experiments in genres range from dub, jazz and latin to techno, ambient and more. two of his projects stand out – burnt friedman and the nu dub players and his collaboration with uwe schmidt (aka atom heart / senor coconut) on flanger, released through ninja tune. unfortunately for burnt and myself, and all the show’s listeners, we had a classic culture clash – neither of us seemed to really understand each other (glaswegian meets reticent german), so the interview wasn’t exactly full of fireworks. that aside, burnt’s selection of tracks was impressive and allowed the music to speak for itself (as there wasn’t any other choice…). my search for free’n’legal burn downloads wasn’t very fruitful, but i’ve included a track here from shank, a team of six imporvisers from berlin, which opens the compilation ‘difficult easy listening’ on burnt’s label nonplace.

SINGAPORE SLING
 [ICELAND]
life is killing my rock n roll mp3
a new album from this band, who featured earlier this year on fat planet. this time around, their trademark ‘fuzz rock’ sound has been more perfectly honed, coming up with dark, brittle guitar pop, the like of which has been rarely spotted since the jesus and mary chain. finland’s dead combo had a crack at it recently, but singapore sling play down any electronic influence and instead head for straight-up rock n roll purity! you can find a whole heap of influences in here, and – yes – singapore sling don’t win points for innovation, but you’re better off letting that slide and just getting off on the joy of it all.

MISS KITTIN & THE HACKER
 [FRANCE]
1982 mp3
the hacker has a new album out, distributed through play it again sam, and its his first solo album since the runaway success of his collaboration with miss kittin, ‘the first album’. the new release, ‘reves mechanique’ ditches the ‘pop’ and heads straight for ‘electro’, although his old collaborator pops up on the track ‘masterplan’ which i played on this week’s show. the above mp3 is a classic example of clean, lean electropop from their 2001 album on international deejay gigolos. hear samples from ‘reves mechanique’ here.

COBRA KILLER [GERMANY]
let’s have a problem mp3
a return visit for this mp3 – the female german duo are gracing sydney with their presence next weekend, so in honour of that smart decision, here’s another crack at their track (produced by mr t.raumschmiere) on monika if you missed it the first time.

Shithouse

this sunday, i’m DJing at the inaugral night of ‘shithouse’ – a new club / gathering curated by fbi’s jack shit. also in attendance will be a few other good folk from fbi – dj soup aka john blake, emily from roundabout, dubmeister tim ritchie and curly dan zilber in his dj debut. JJJ’s robbie buck will be along to give the radio theme a national sarong. from 5pm til late at spectrum, oxford street, darlinghurst, sydney.

Akira Rabelais, Harold Budd

a good opportunity to place catch up with two people that have stumbled through the fat planet dimension of late…

AKIRA RABELAIS [US: TEXAS] (pictured)
pleure de le voir gai comme un oiseau des bois mp3
+
HAROLD BUDD [US: CALIFORNIA]
pantomime [with zeitgeistmp3

a large thanks to david sylvian‘s samadhi sound for sending fat planet copies of their two new releases – akira rabelais‘ ‘spellewauerynsherde’ and harold budd‘s ‘avalon sutra’. i’ve been a huge fan of sylvian‘s work for over two decades, thanks to my sister’s early interest in his work under the japan guise. it’s therefore a treat to find sylvian putting together his own label to release such beautiful, eclectic music. both artists would loosely fall under a ‘contemporary classical’ banner, but i found that phrase inherently problematic – primarily because it is it’s own paradox. rabelais‘ religious, vocal work takes its source from field recordings from the 60s and 70s, treated and processed forty years later. in this treatment, rabelais has used his own bespoke audio filtering software, which gives you an indication of where rabelais sits in the pantheon of composers. unhappy with any ‘off the shelf’ or freeware titles, rabelais instead took the time to make his own. the above track is not from the album, rather from his 2003 release ‘…benediction, draw’ on orthlorng musork.

harold budd is a little more well known to me, as i used to own and reguarly enjoy his collaboration with the cocteau twins, the 1986 album ‘the moon and the melodies’. this new album, ‘avalon sutra’, took me back there and – with it’s combination of simple piano music and electronic ambience – is a beautiful reminder of a space that exists outside of popular, contemporary or classic music. there are far too few composers that can confidently both master the form and simultaneously cast off any outmoded cultural assumptions of what ‘classical music’ represents. budd acheives this with stunning results. characteristically for sylvian (who also appears on this album), the album is beautifully packaged and comes with a 2nd CD featuring an extended remix from akira rabelais. the above track, not from this release, is taken from the 2000 album ‘the room’. check out the epitonic page for an additional fila brazilia mix of the title track.

you can hear samples from both albums over at samadhi sound, and you can buy online here.

Hexes & Ohs, Styrofoam, Maher Shalal Hash Baz, Balun, White Hole, The MFA

here we are again, another week in international music-land. playlist for yesterday’s radio show can be found right here and what follows is a slew of likely contenders who muddled their way on-air during our 120 minute round-the-world excursion >>

HEXES AND OHS [CANADA] (pictured)
alive until saturday night mp3
thanks to mystery and misery for turning me onto these guys, a rare fusion that takes the all the most electrifying parts of the electro-rock-post-punk boom, and mixes it up with smart-ass electronica. truly a tasty treat. they are a couple (this fact seems to surface a great deal, yet only in the context of them trying to distance themselves from the concept – odd…), heidi donnelly and edmund lam and were formerly known as a vertical mosaic. influences cited include new orderthe velvet undergroundstereolabtortoise and simon and garfunkel (i wonder who plays who in that role playing game?). check them out, ahead of their 2005 debut, at hexesandohs.ca.

STYROFOAM [BELGIUM]
vs TRISTEZA casio (styrofoam mix) mp3
styrofoam‘s new album ‘nothing’s lost’ is a killer – certainly the album of the week over at fat planet, if ever we had such a thing. styrofoam is belgian producer arne can petegem and for this new album on morr, he’s pulled together an a-list supporting cast – markus from the notwist, valerie from lali puna, ben from death cab for cutie / postal service, andrew from american analog set and, lo and behold, the wonderful alias from the anticon collective. with that kind of assistance, you can expect some fine results. you hear samples from the album over at morrmusic.com. free’n’legal sytrofoam mp3s seem hard to come by, so i’ve posted this one from epitonic, taken from tristeza‘s 2002 release mixed signals. more on tristeza here.

MAHER SHALAL HASH BAZ [JAPAN]
sunrise mp3
the domino records site doesn’t reveal a great deal about duo tori and reiko kudo. this track is taken from an album entitled ‘blues du jour’ – a collection of 41 tracks recorded over two sessions in east kilbride in scotland. their previous album ‘return visti to rock mass’ featured a modest 83 songs. it took some google-digging, but i finally found some information on the band – a 2002 interview from the independent. on my searching the words ‘shambolic’, ‘syd barrett’ and ‘kitchen sink ‘surfaced a great deal, so hopefully you’re beginning to get a sense of where this odd japanese excursion might take you.

BALUN [PUERTO RICO]
senecio (revisited) mp3
seems that i owe quite a favour to mystery and misery this week – this is the second post that i’ve drawn music from today. well, now you know. mp3 blogging is one huge happy(ish) family, we all learn from each other, right? moving on… balun are a three-piece from puerto rico, with a sweet site and a quartet of tunes available to download from archive.org. i’m getting the feeling that central and south american electronica is growing in favour and it’s certainly finding some public attention beyond appaearing on the now-standard ‘neuvo latino’ compilations. i tried to have a crack at beatwave’s argentinian electronica comp, but apparently there’s itunes issues which prevents it from being sold in the US or UK. worth keeping an eye on for future developments.

WHITE HOLE [GERMANY]
peter builts mp3
i’ve been wanting to get a post together for this band for a while, following their very smart ‘pink album’ on kitty-yo. their track ‘charterflug’ on kitty-yo’s ‘futurism ain´t shit to me’ was the first pointer that this was going to be an interesting release. there’s so much great german electronic music out there that’s it very hard to keep track of what’s going on – there seems to be another great berlin artist every other week dropping into the fat planet sphere (what are gonna do?). white hole are however adopting more hip hop influences into their music, side-stepping the clean purity of most germanic electronica for something a little more organic. tasty.

THE MFA [WALES / LONDON]
the difference it makes (edit) mp3
i don’t like to post edits, but i’ve been loving the superpitcher mix of this track. eight minutes of glory that grabs the honour of being the first track in a long while to give me goosebumps on five consecutive listens. amazing. this is the original mix and is sadly curtailed, but hoepfully you’ll get an idea of what’s going on… the superpitcher mix is out through kompakt and the original can be found on border community.

Gonzales, Adam, Bang Gang, Kiiiiiii!, Mui

we’re going for a more pared back, less electronic post today. if you download one tune from this post, don’t look past the japanese. it’s a joy to behold.

GONZALES feat FEIST [CANADA]
lovertits mp3
i played a track today (‘mushaboom’) from leslie feist‘s album, ‘let it die’ – the album was co-produced by gonzales, which seems a little uncharacteristic. we’re talking alt.folk from the man who spent a great deal of the last few years hanging around with peaches… and strangely this mp3 (taken from gonzales’ ‘z’ album) is also one that was featured on peaches’ debut album, here rendered in a very different version by feist. [site]

ADEM [ENGLAND]
everything you need mp3
some acoustica for you (which makes a diverting change from the predominantly electro-focus of the blog…) – courtesy of the bass player from the group fridge. if you haven’t heard of fridge, then you’ll have certainly have heard of four tet aka keiren hebden, also a founding member of fridge. however, adem departs from the experimentation of fridge to go for a straight forward folk approach, with some beautiful results. the above mp3 is taken from adem‘s recent debut album ‘homesongs’. the track from today’s show ‘let me give you a reason’ is taken from the promo of the single ‘ringing in my ear’, which according to the domino web site is not included in the commercial release.

BANG GANG [ICELAND]
inside (acoustic demo version) 
mp3
a return visit to fat planet for these guys, originally featured back in june. played a more rockin’ track today than this acoustic track, and strangely from a promo album of ‘pop and rock made in france’ – so i can only assume they’re de-camped from the freezing cold to the land of fine wine and great pastries. smart move. [site]

KIIIIII! [JAPAN] (pictured)
brown girl in the ring mp3
got to make sure i’ve got the right amount of exclamation marks on there… and how do we pronounce the name of the band? no idea. all i can tell you is that appear to be two very mad girls from japan making that insane blend of experimental psychedlic pop-rock that japan does so well. this is a cover of a song that i also remember be covered by the glitter-tastic boney m back in the 70s and it clocks in at just under two minutes – and half of that is a drum solo. these girls are touched by genius.

MUI [ITALY]
t-10 mp3
finally today, i’ve got to give a huge vote of support to the outstanding ‘starving but happy’ site, chiefly for the amazing compilation from keplar records that’s free to download from their site. the album consists of top quality downtempo electronica and post-rock from germany, italy, hungary (of all places!) and more. i strongly recommend you take time out to own this free compilation, even if you’re not on broadband 🙂 for more info on all the artists on the compilaiton, check out the keplar site. the above track from the italians mui is a beautiful fresh cut of both post-rock and electronica – all in one bite. and by god it tastes good…

Sex In Dallas, Phonique, Apparat, Electric Eel Shock

after a little break in proceedings, the blog is back on the regular mp3 hunt. this week – a trio with a german electronic flavour, rounded off with great rock n roll, japanese style. all of these artists appeared on today’s fat planet radio show – click here for playlist.

SEX IN DALLAS [FRANCE]
berlin rocks (manix remix) mp3
sex in dallas are a three piece from france who, according to their bio, set out to make music that avoided the by-now over familiar french sound of bands like daft punkair and super discount‘s brand of french house. strangely, in the search for this sound, they’re sounding more german than many of their berlin-based counterparts. it’s a screwed up world, for sure… i’ve featured sex in dallas on the blog before, with the stomping track ‘everyone deserves to be fucked’. so with a title like that, it was something a revealation to find a little downtempo gem lurking inside their new album ‘around the war’. the track in question (played on today’s show) is called ‘five o’clock’ and you can listen to a stream of that and the rest of the album at their kitty yo page. this mp3 is a very different proposition again, a guitar-driven 4-4 electro journey – with random chunks of dialogue strewn throughout.

PHONIQUE [GERMANY]
work together mp3
berlin-based house producer phonique has just dropped his new debut album and it’s an interesting blend of electronic music from deep house to minimal electro with flashes of disco. it’s generally easy on the ear, which might usually be a curse – but there’s enough of an engagement with both classic detriot and berlin sounds to keep it interesting. man-about-town, erlend oye from the kings of convenience lends some vocals, as does paris the black fu from detriot grand pubahs. to stream the album tracks, go here.

APPARAT [GERMANY] (pictured)
live in barcelona mp3
i’m sensing a theme on today’s post and it seems to have something to do with germany and electronica …mmm … well, here’s the top dog for today anyway, a great discovery nestling away on berlin’s shitkatapult label. if you downloaded the recent giani nannini mp3, you’ll have some of idea of what to expect from apparat. this is a large file, a full 50-minute live dj set from ‘burn and consume’ in barcelona, recorded in december 2003. apparat seems to be generally falling into the lusher end of electronica, but it’s also married with some hard beats in places too. for ease of description, it’s boards of canada with balls. there’s heaps more to investigate – two albums for starters and what looks like an an amazing remix package too.

ELECTRIC EEL SHOCK [JAPAN]
rock’n’roll can rescue the world mp3
so let’s end with something very different from the above – straight ahead, legs apart, solid rock’n’roll from japan. as you might know already, i have a deep, deep love for japanese music. they produce some of the finest music in the world. and when they turn their attention to rock’n’roll, it’s generally incredible (guitar wolf being a great example). here, we have a japanese trio showing the west how to make great r’n’r, it’s like they’ve swallowed every possible rock notion and are filtering it back to us through eastern amps. top quality. and, if that’s not enough, they’re just about to do a japanese tour with the wonderful shonen knife. god bless ’em. [site]

MP3 Spring Cleaning – Part Two

and in the continuing spirit of ‘spring cleaning’ (see last post for the full rites of spring clearout…), here some other bits & pieces from emails received that i would have liked to editorialise, but didn’t find the time.

IT’S A TRAP VOL.1 top quality scandanavian indie compilation
STRANGELY FAMILIAR music production collective
PSYCHEDELIC AVENGERS german psych-pop artist site
THE HARVEY GIRLS new music from a band featured in a previous post
THE NAUGAHYDE LIFE eclectic mp3 blog from the team behind ‘the beathunters’
GIBBY HAYNES new mp3 from former butthole surfer
GAMEBOY ORCHESTRAS links to many mp3s
THE RONDO BROTHERS on better propaganda
DAVID SYLVIAN’S LABEL samadhisound.com

a great comment from Henk van Setten on my recent gianni nannini post, which highlights the hazards of promoting unfamiliar music:

Hi Stuart, on your blogpage you talk about a remixed Gianni Nannini song. Seems you take her for a man but actually it’s Giann*A* Nannini, she’s a grrrl and after her early Germany hitlist stuff so funnily remixed here she also made some less mainstream things in the mid-90s, not all of her eight CDs are that well known, and when she starts growling and grumbling it’s easy to take her voice for a man’s so you’re not to blame, still you might want to correct your text about “the guy”. If you’d ask me to compare her early popular songs from the late 80s with someone else’s hits I wouldn’t say Bruce Springsteen or Freddy Mercury, but more something like a very kitschy (and so sometimes delightful) Italian kind of Blondie pop.” 

check her out at giannanannini.com

MP3 Spring Cleaning

it’s spring cleaning time at fat planet HQ… which means that i’ve finally got to reconcile myself to the fact that i am never going to get through the huge list of bookmarks i have accumulated and turn them into worthwhile posts. as much as i’d like to, it’s just not going to happen. which means, it’s time to hammer your bandwidth. below is a long list of mp3s, artist pages, label

below is a long list of mp3s, artist pages, label sites and portals – all of which would have seen the light of day on fat planet, if i had a team of 6 writers and researchers. this is a solo flight, and these are the casualties.there’s a few i’ve marked as ‘recommended’, only because i’ve had a good look around and probably downloaded a few tracks. it doesn’t mean that the rest are any less interesting. if you find any real gems, let me know 🙂

MICHAEL JOHNSON mp3 download 
TIM HECKER artist mp3s + more here
DOT ALT zine
NEOMARXISME artist site
DJ MMS bhangra dj mp3s
FUNKY DO MORRO brazilian mp3s[recommended]
UNITED STATE OF ELECTRONICA artist site
REDNETIC label
CAMOMILLE label
APEGENINE label
CASBALAH MUSIC free daily mp3 
RYAN FRANCESCONI artist site
GEOFF WHITE aka AEROC artist site
FLAMECO WORLD flamenco portal
CHASM / 3RD EYE FOUNDATION artist mp3s
JWEL mp3 downloadTEXT ADVENTURE artist mp3s
J-POP.COM j-pop portal
BROTHOMSTATES artist mp3s [recommended]
CONTROLLER 7 artist mp3s
DANGERMOUSE vs ZERO 7 mp3 page
AGF artist mp3s
BLEEPIN JAY SQUAWKINS (aussie retro electro) artist mp3s 
WE RAGAZZI – chicago 3piece artist mp3s
DEPROGRAM artist mp3s
VALLEY FORGE artist mp3s
WHITE HOLE artist mp3
CARBON RECORDS label mp3s
TRADEMARK artist mp3s
EOSS / DJ C artist mp3s [recommended]
TIMEBLIND artist mp3s [recommended] + epitonic page
WAX POETIC artist site
MONIKA label site [recommended]
SUBTLE artist mp3
SYBARITE artist site
SOOT label site
THE AGRICULTURE label site [recommended]
EL HORTO ANG (hungarian dub) artist mp3s
ADAADAT label mp3s
MASHIT label mp3s [recommended]
YUICHIRO FUJIMOTO artist site
MUZLIMGAUZE TRIBUTE remix mp3s + epitonic page
NONAME NOFAME beuna vista fight club remixes
BLEEP (canadian band, not the warp site!) artist mp3s
OMNIUM (obscure world music) label site
BROKLYN BEATS label mp3s [recommended]
UGRESS artist site
FEVER artist mp3s
LOOPER artist mp3s
CUBIC MUSIC label
ROBOT SPEAKER artist mp3s
BEDROOM BRAIN label
SOUND INK label
RADIAN artist mp3s
VISIONARY UNDERGROUND artist mp3s[recommended]
FOURTH CITY label mp3s
THE UNICORNS artist mp3s
HINT HINT artist mp3
COCTEAU TWINS huge archive of mp3s[recommended]
DIVISION OF LAURA LEE artist mp3s
BLACK MOTH SUPER RAINBOW artist mp3s
MARIA SOLHEIM mp3 download
SPOON artist site
DUBLIN ELECTRONIC ARTS FESTIVAL mp3 archive
GUSTAV artist mp3s
FIASCO artist site
OMR mp3 download
DAEDELUS epitonic page

finally, i’m going weekly. the success of fat planet has taken me by surprise, i never thought it would be this popular (thanks to everyone who’s visited and contributed to the success – that means you). and i never thought the pressure of regular updates would be so intense! i’ve struggled to maintain 2-3 posts per week, but i feel like i’m slipping. therefore, i’m guaranteeing you a weekly post, usually sunday / monday (but don’t hold me to that one).

Kim Hiorthoy, Jens Lekman, Annie

first up, thanks to a couple of people who helped make this week’s show a cut above the norm – namely fbi’s emily farrell for her interview with sigmatropic (see last post for more info and mp3). catch’s emily’s show roundabout every monday at 10pm.

and double-thanks to another fbi trooper, jules thomas, for calling in with a live report from the icelandic airwaves festival in reykjavík. currently making her way round europe, she called at 5am her time, so i reckon you’ve got to give props for that… this week’s playlist is now live, and here’s a few tunes from some of today’s artists – co-incidentally, all three are from scandanavia. chilly… >>

KIM HIORTHOY [NORWAY]
det blev fel mp3
thanks to yet another fbi broadcasters, peter hollo from utility fog for picking up a copy of kim hiorthoy‘s ‘hopeness’ on his recent travels and dropping it into the fat planet pigeonhole. played the track ‘mandarinera’ today – the above mp3 is an old one (posted liberally throughout the blog community it seems), but i have a particular fondness for this track – it being my first experience of the norwegian electronic minimalist, taken from one of the excellent ‘wire tapper’ compilations. this mp3 is from the bubblecore web site – i recommend a long visit to track down some of the other mp3s on there, particularly mice paradeigloored snappernobukazu takemura and HiM‘s wonderful ‘slow slow slow dub’ (not to be confused with a scandanavian death metal dude of the same name…)

JENS LEKMAN [SWEDEN]
rocky dennis farewellsong to the blind girl mp3
jens lekman is one of those artists (like joanna newson) who divides people entirely, right down the middle. it’s straight-forward loving or loathing. the problem people seem to have with lekman is that his music is ostensibly comedy, albeit pitch black. take the track i played today ‘a higher power’ (from his new collection ‘when i said i wanted to be your dog’) which starts with a proposal to his girlfriend that they both shove plastic bags over their head and shuffle off this mortal coil. the above mp3 is similarly tounge in cheek, although it makes it perfectly clear why many folks love the guy – the music is consistently excellent. strip the comedy from this and lekman’s name would probably be sung from higher mountains. seems the old dilemma still exists – how can you write funny songs and be taken seriously?

ANNIE [NORWAY] (pictured)
chewing gum (fake ID’s juicy fruit bootleg) mp3
annie‘s ‘chewing gum’ hasn’t hit australia yet – however, when she hits, i’m sure it’ll smack like a tsunami. from what i’ve read, annie’s all over the uk and probably rightly so. this is 100% pure pop, it’s what the phrase ‘bubblegum pop’ was invented for. she’s an artist that royksoppthe streetsrichard X and mylo have all chosen to work with. so maybe pop is no longer the dirty word that it once was? ::: and here’s where i wrestle with my conscience – i’m not so much breaking the rule of this blog, more bending it… i don’t post commercially available mp3s, but if i can’t be bought… well, it might worm its way on here. the above mp3 is a bootleg from one of my favourite bastard pop mxrs, fakeID and glitches up annie into a harder territory. check out his site for loads more where that comes from.

Gutevolk, Sigmatropic, Nitin Sawney

GUTEVOLK [JAPAN] (pictured)
sora mp3
a beautfiul piece of scattered alt.folk-pop from japan, seemingly borrowing rythyms from jazz / electronica (in places reminiscent of norway’s jaga jazzist) but all played ‘organically’. gutevolk is a solo project from vocalist hirono nishiyama, one time collaborator with famed japanese electronic / experimental producer nobukazu takemuragutevolk hails from a japanese label called happy (introduced to me by swen’s weblog), who brand themselves as ‘unconventional japanese pop’. the site is worth a visit as it features more free music from similar artists on its roster such as pianatenniscoatscinq and eisi. the label releases hirono’s new e.p. ‘twinkle’ this month.

SIGMATROPIC [GREECE]
higway to china (roadtrip mix) mp3
alternative music from greece is seemingly difficult to come by. there’s a huge greek community in sydney, and my local record store services them well with an impressive selection that is bigger than that of the electronica section (which in itself is simultaneously broad + eclectic). yet nothing in the greek selection suggests ‘alternative’ (far from it), so it was a relief this week to finally find something very special from the south east corner of europe. sigmatropic is the brainchild of axis boyatzis, and comes after many years developing new wave / punk personas. this is a very different approach – coming from both post-rock and electronica, and creating a beautiful hybrid. his new album ‘sixteen haiku and other stories’ was based on the greek poetry of george seferisand features contributions from 18 vocalists including laetitia sadier from stereolabcat powerlee ronaldo from sonic youthrobert wyattmark eitzel and more. the above mp3 is a remix of a track from his previous album ‘random walk’. [site]

NITIN SAWHNEY [ENGLAND]
raag (remix) mp3
finally today, a man who manages to traverse many different markets – nitin sawhney‘s takes on asian electronica has secured him a place in the dreaded ‘chillout’ section of major commercial record stores, however such unfortunate pigeon-holing belies the diversity and experimentation of his work. much of the last album ‘human’ passed me by on initital inspection, however it was only after repeated plays that a few tracks rose above the pack as real gems (esepcially his collaboration with aqualung ‘falling’). he has a new remix project out now, featuring mixes from quanticfreeform fivelondon elektricityvisionary underground and more. it’s a little 4/4 for my tastes, and – if that’s not your flavour either – you might be better served with the original. the above mp3 is also a remix of a track from ‘human’, although not on the new album. it starts with the customary downtempo / ambient sensations, before moving into some smart drum’n’bass action halfway through. [site]

Meeting The Neighbours – Fat Planet Interview at The Tofu Hut

Huge thanks to New Jersey’s Tofu Hut for tracking me down for an interview for their blog. Check it out at tofuhut.blogspot.com and reposted below:


Fat Planet is another in the Radio Babylon school of linking to “artists’ sites, labels or other legitimate sources” but F.P. is a bit more aspirant: offering itself as a de facto aggregator/taste filter of all manner of international music and then indexing the tracks by country. Recent offerings include songs from !!!Ulrich SchnaussAir, and Mouse on Mars.

Who got the whole world in their hands? 
Fat Planet started as a way of logging playlists from Stuart Buchanan’s ‘new international music’ radio show in Sydney, Australia and has quickly grown into a mp3 blog in its own right. The blog, like the show, is designed to promote new, alternative from around the world – providing an alternative global music perspective that doesn’t fall into the traditional ‘world music’ category. For example, psych-rock from Japan, breakcore from Egypt, electronica from Argentina, drum’n’bass from India etc. Our first post was in January 2004.
I work at a radio station full-time (FBi 94.5FM), which is the same station from which I present my show. In my spare time (not that there’s much), I also work my wife on our own web design business. In recent years, we developed the site for Goldfrapp (which won the 2003 MTV Europe Web Award), for Groenland Records (nominated for 2004 Online Music Awards) and we’ve recently completed some work for Depeche Mode for their new remix collection. Which is all gut-bustingly exciting.

Where did the name of your blog originate from?
Derived from Leftfield’s ‘Phat Planet’, but preferred the chubby version.

What are the criteria you judge a song by to decide if it’s post-worthy?
Original, innovative, unlike anything we’ve heard before. Derivative rock bands need not apply.

What do you do for kicks when you’re not posting?
Time is a cherished commodity… I’m usually preparing for the FAT PLANET radio show and I’ve recently taken on a 2nd radio show project for Australia’s community radio satellite network – see theprototype.net

Five Desert Island Discs?
1. The Velvet Underground and Nico – “The Velvet Underground and Nico”
2. Nina Simone – “Verve Jazz Masters”
3. Bjork – Homogenic
4. Boards of Canada – “Music Has the Right to Children”
5. Bill Hicks – “Arizona Bay”

Do you consider yourself a “music journalist”?
No, if I don’t like something I won’t post it – so, therefore, I’m only promoting music I like, rather than criticising music I don’t.  ed. note: This is spot on and hardly ever noted in discussion of the field.

What was the last track you heard that really changed your life?
Not sure about the life change, but CloudDead and the Mush crew inspired me to start writing music again, so that was an influential period.

Is there any genre of music that you dismiss out of hand?
I’ve yet to get excited about metal, which I think is entirely to do with the testosterone levels. In saying that, I really got off on the new Metallica documentary, so maybe there’s a sleeping metalhead inside of me somewhere.

Which critical darling do you find most overrated? Who’s the most overlooked genius in the music industry?
Jet, allegedly Australia’s No.1 rock band. I read an interview where they went about how much they despised electronics, that ‘techno’ was the work of the devil etc. I just can’t deal with narrow-mindedness, especially when it comes to music and especially not at that scale – i.e. dismissing entire genres. It just so lazy and misguided – and sadly representative a large group of supposed ‘fans’ of music. i.e. those people who have never dared to pick up an electronic album for fear their heads might implode. Overlooked? Einsturzende Neubauten should be in the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame.

Recommend three other music blog sites.
1.  Swen’s Weblog: The one that started my interest and still continues to deliver. Ostensibly a guide to artists that feature in The Wire magazine, but it’s expanded to be much more comprehensive. As well as alternative and experimental music, it now includes alternative video, glitch art, and a whole heap more.
2.  Music For Robots: Consistently excellent. More electronica and dance as well as the odd post from somewhere very random in the world.
3.  dozerblog: I ought to give props to a new kid on the block, whose tastes are almost 100% spot on.

Do you really think that posting music effectively promotes sales of the album?
Absolutely, it can’t fail to. If only more artists and record companies would catch on to this fact. There are so many ways to read about artists, not so many to actually hear them. I’m not going to buy an album from an artist I haven’t heard, that’s too much of a risk. And having streaming real audio or windows media player files is way too time consuming and tedious – plus you can only listen to those when you’re sitting in front of your PC. Alternatively, if I can grab an mp3, then I can throw it on the iPod, burn it to CD as part of a compilation and listen to it a few times. Once it’s lodged in my brain and I’ve become a fan of the track, an album purchase surely follows.

Can you list a few bands that you enjoy listening to that might surprise your readers?
I used to really dig Madonna and still have a soft spot for her. Especially the “Like A Virgin” album. Oh, and Gary Numan.

Are you a proud member of the iPod Nation?
100% and very proud of it. iPod changed the way I listen to music and, by the genius invention of the ‘shuffle’ feature, I’ve found parts of my music collection that I never knew existed.

What’s the best live show you’ve ever seen?
So hard to decide between them all, but the most dramatic was probably at last year’s Yeah Yeah Yeahs gig in Sydney. After about 6 or 7 songs, Karen O took a tumble off the stage, fell head first into the mosh pit. Even though she was seriously injured, she opted to sits on the stage and sang an incredible version of Maps. At the end of the track, the paramedics grabbed her and whisked her off to the hospital. That song will remain burned in my head for a long time to come.

Do you have a message for youngsters who’d like to start their own music blog?
Be true to your own tastes and your sense of what’s good and bad and don’t worry if anyone disagrees.

The head of Sony/BMG is sitting across the table from you, asking how to improve the music industry for both the consumer and the company. What do you say?
There used to be an argument that the record companies’ % profit from an artist’s CD would go to fostering and developing new talent. Now that % seems to go to developing Pop Idol / American Idol rejects. Recently, a very famous and a very good Australian rock band was bumped from their record label – and at the same time, the label signed a whole crew of Idol wannabes. When the industry favours chancers signing cover versions (or insipid ballads) over original, exciting talent – then truly there is no hope.

Who’s your favorite producer?
I really dig Mark Bell’s work – formerly LFO (and not the American boy band, the Sheffield seminal techno duo). He recently produced Exciter for Depeche Mode and also does great work with Bjork.

Drop on by betterPropaganda and pick out a track to hype.

Boom Bip and the Boards of Canada – “Last Walk Around Mirror Lake” (Remix)

There’s so much good shit on there – recent posts like Milosh, Diplo, and Subtle all comes from superb albums. However, my money goes to “Last Walk”. As electronic music goes, this track has so much warmth and soul, it’s a beautiful collaboration. Boards Of Canada are one of the best things that have happened to electronic music in the last few years and Boom Bip too is taking the genre into interesting territory. I saw him live in Sydney recently and I’m now happy to say that I’m a convert. So it goes.

Fat Planet – Year One Mixtape

To celebrate the first anniversary of the Fat Planet radio show on FBi 94.5FM, I’ve pulled together some of my favourite free downloads from the last year and compiled them into this mixtape.

Underneath the track listing, there’s a quote taken from the blog. I still regularly return to the closer – the Sixtoo track featuring Damo Suzuki – a sensational piece of both respectful and revisionist kosmiche rock from hip hop boy Vaughn Squires.

Burn a little silver disc and file it under ‘f’ for fat.

DOWNLOAD: FAT PLANET – YEAR ONE MIXTAPE

Tracklisting:

1. NO NAME NO FAME buena vista fight club [CROATIA]
“some great downbeat latin breaks straight out of croatia … no.1 for ten weeks in croatian radio 101’s independent chart”

2. WAYNE & WAX a it dat (dj c it dat) [US: MASSACHUSETS]
“full of humour … a smart north american take on the contemporary jamaican sound”

3. CUT COPY going nowhere zipped [AUSTRALIA]
“straight-up new wave, direct from the 80s, with a side-swerve to take in some daft punk funk”

4. THINK TWICE under the bombs [FRANCE]
“awesome semi-spoken word vs punk funk track”

5. NEUTRINO syupaman [JAPAN]
“great downtempo hip-hop … released on mush – fast becoming the leader in such sounds”

6. THE ASTROGLIDES the man with the golden reverb [ISRAEL]
“damn fine surf tunes that hark back to a golden era”

7. MC VANESINHA dance de peteca [BRAZIL]
“brazilian hip-hop … sourced from independent sellers – it’s music from garages, apparently”

8. 2/5 BZ bugün eve içine kus geldi zipped [TURKEY]

9. LARS HORNTVETH ticks [NORWAY]
“defies regular description, although if my life depended on it i’d go for someone between free jazz, downbeat breaks and electronica”

10. ERIK LEVANDER bermond (bauri remix) [SWEDEN]
“echoing acoustic loops and a hint of far-off vocals are underlaid with a soft, crunchy rhythm track that is barely there”

11. JUANA MOLINA quien? [ARGENTINA]
“a more balanced approach between vocal, acoustic guitar and electro atmospherics … reconcile the music with the fact that juana is also a comedian with one of the most popular TV comedy’s show in the spanish speaking world”

12. OUMOU SANGARE nebife [MALI]
“without doubt my favourite african artist, simply because you’re unlikely to find a voice quite like this”

13. ROBERT LIPPOCK i can tell [GERMANY]
“always a freakin’ relief to find something that stands heads and shoulders above everything else … a stunning piece of folktronica”

14. COCOROSIE by your side [US: NEW YORK]
“traces of southern blues, jazz, downbeat hip-hop – and all the more remarkable considering this was recorded in paris”

15. JAB MICA OCH EL caca biohjelm [DENMARK]
“cut-up alt.folk string together with some distorted breaks – for lovers of four tet, look no further”

16. SIXTOO feat DAMO SUZUKI storm clouds & silver linings [CANADA]
“features damo suzuki on vocals, a founding member of krautrock legends, can … could have easily been taken from an early can recording session”

Machinedrum, Omzo, Slam Revolution, Cyne

MACHINEDRUM [U.S.]
$$legs mp3
mltply mp3
i’m new to these guys, but the ever-helpful (and wallet-loosening) bleep.com describes their last album (‘now you know’) as a release “that helped define the digital/cutup hip hop sound”. and there’s infinite shades of early funkstorung in there – i adore the germans’ ‘additional productions’ release from way back, it was a genuine eye-opener for me, in that i’d never heard anything quite like it. micro-editing matched with dust + scratches taken to the extreme, all the while retaining an all important sense of ryhtym and melody. their mixes for both wu tang clan and bjork still remain classics of their genre. but we’re talking about machinedrum here – and it would be unfair to wholly associate them with another artist. the two tracks above are taken from their forthcoming merck release ‘bizness’. ‘$$legs’ is all dirt and beats and absolutely delicious, whereas ‘mltply’ is built around a great flute loop and a head-nodding 4-4, with what sounds like spliced guitar dropping in halfway through. the last minute disintegrates the track completely, furious editing taking the song to the edge of destruction – ouch! now that funkstorung have moved onto much more accessible territory with their latest album, maybe it’s left to machinedrum to carry the torch for the glitch hip hop genre? [merck site] + check out an older free mp3 release from monotonik.

OMZO [SENEGAL]
missalu aduna mp3
+
SLAM REVOLUTION [SENEGAL]
wax degg mp3
more african hip-hop thanks to our friends at nomadic wax. both tracks are taken from their new release “african underground vol. 1 hip-hop senegal” which aims to provide a contemporary snap-shot from what is arguably africa’s home of hip hop. unlike many compilations claiming to be the ‘real deal’, this is actually the genuine article – recorded on location in dakar, calling on artists that you’re unlikely to hear anywhere else any time soon. omzo (pictured) takes a less agressive musical approach than many of his american counterparts, but his lyrics are (apparently) no less incisive. his 2000 release ‘kunu abal a beut’ (trans: ‘the hand that leads is the hand that rules’) is cited as having a direct effect on the elections of the time, when the standing government was ousted. slam revolution‘s ‘wax degg’ is my favourite of the two, mostly due to the production skills on display and i love listening to on-going rhymes in a seemingly impenetrable language – especially when the only english you’ll hear is the occasional “fucker!” dropped into the mix. slam revolution are one of the dakar’s original crews, founded by shaffai (see recent post) and who have since gone their separate ways. according to info from nomadic wax: “the crew recently suffered a devastating loss when fellow mc and longtime friend mohammed ba (aka tipse) was murdered while on a religious pilgrimage to touba (senegalís religious center) and is still an unsolved mystery”. purchase ‘african undergound volume one’ here.

CYNE [U.S.]
steady mp3
a miami-based hip hop crew who have been releasing tunes on must!delicious / rice and beans and are expected to drop a new album on the excellent city center offices label in 2005. i don’t know how many other hip hop artists appear on the cco label, but my knowledge of them extends mostly to deep, lush electronica – their 2000 compilation ‘cashier escape route’ (an essential purchase) featured artists such as skanformsolventto rococo rotpole and isan. which suggests interesting potential from cyne and possibly a critical release when the album drops. the above mp3 is taken from their early e.p. ‘movement’ and is a hard polemic built around a beautiful, wistful vocal sample. check out their full range of releases on forced exposure.

+ a quick thanks to woebot for their recent heads-up to fat planet. their critique of mp3 blogs is stop-on and it’s well worth checking out some of their other suggested destinations.

Slowly Minute, Eedl, Gotan Project

SLOWLY MINUTE [JAPAN]
a constellation and shooting stars mp3
produced by japanese electronic artist nobukazu takemuraslowly minute might seem like it drifts into territory once occupied by air and their ilk. thankfully, there’s no “lounge beats” here, this is much more wayward + haphazard and all the more interesting for it. often the beats, the ideas and the instrumentation don’t match – creating what should be a aural disaster, but instead blends together into some beautiful post-rock / folktronica. and it’s all the more surprising, as the artist (takahiro chiba from sapparo) is still only 24 years old and making music that susumu yakota ought to be chasing.

EEDL [SPAIN]
too few arguments mp3
i took a track today from a cd just arrived in the post, thanks to lackluster in finland – a collection of his superb glitch electronica mxs of other people’s work. you can hear some sound samples from the cd (and of course order the thing itself) here. the track played was originally by the barcelona-based electronica duo, eedl (pictured) and was called ‘too few arguments (no arguments at all lacklustermx)’. above is a lo-fi mp3 from the band that takes the blueprint laid down by fellas like autechre and boards of canada and adds even more warmth and melody. more band info here.

GOTAN PROJECT [FRANCE / ARGENTINA]
santa maria mp3
so the gotan project made it absolutely acceptable to play tango in your own living room, to prance around with your partner on your arm, imagining you were the belles of the dancefloor. maybe you went so far as to put a rose between your teeth … if nothing else, the gotan projectat least allowed the theory of contemporary international music to travel far and wide. whether or not you followed their musical stylings is another matter. judge for yourself with this cut from their hugely successful album ‘la revancha del tango’. their new mix cd (from which i played a track today) is notable for addition not only the excellent calexico remix of one of their tracks, but also a mix from the exceptional anti-pop consortium (the original crew from whence beans sprang). hearing gotan vs anti-pop’s blend of NY alt.hip hop is a must.

Juana Molina, Think Twice, Ulrich Schnauss

JUANA MOLINA [ARGENTINA]
tres cosas mp3
yet another tune from folktronica artist, juana molina – this is the title track from her album ‘tres cosas’. i’ve almost completly emptied the cupboard of juana’s free downloads here on this site and played probably more tracks of hers that many other artists on the show. perhaps this posting brings the juana fan club to a close for the time being. check out the new issue of the wire for an interview. [site]

THINK TWICE [FRANCE]
analyse me mp3
played the title track from their debut album ‘unemployed’ today – which is very different from the above mp3. ‘unemployed’ is basically a stripped back accosutic pean to being on the dole, listing all the wonderful reasons why mooching has far more benefits than slogging it out for cash – like daytime tv and hanging round on street corners. the early promise of think twice – the ‘under the bombs’ mp3 found on the f comm site – has not really been bourne out on the album. it’s a short, mis-shaped collection of tracks that ends with a cover version of cage’s 4’33” of silence. didn’t the guy from the wombles do that recently too?

ULRICH SCHNAUSS [GERMANY]
a lie for breakfast mp3
i’m loving the recent track i found from ulrich schnauss – ‘on my own’ – it has beautiful washes of sound, played back over a midtempo bpm. works well with either headphones and dancing shoes on. it’s electronica with a heart and soul and a very healthy pulse. ulrich has also remixed ‘little 15’ for the forthcoming depeche mode remix project. it’s a good mix – the first half retaining much of the original, before breaking down and taking off with more majestic sweeps into unexplored territory. the above mp3 is taken from ulrich’s site and is an unreleased track from 2001. there’s been a huge progression since then, but this is a lush slice of bleepin’ electronica nonetheless.

New Radio Show – The Prototype

fellow fbi comrade, dan zilber, and i kick off a new radio show tonight on australia’s comradsat at 7pm called the prototype. comradsat is a satellite network and digital delivery system which allows independent radio stations across the country to select and playback programs to broadcast in their own regions. programs can either be played live, or recorded for later playback. so now you know.

the premise of the show is essentially ‘new releases in dance, electronica and hip hop’ – so this week, we’ve got mouse on mars, beans, m.i.a., air, shystie, velcro lovers and a few more. there’s a li’l prototype web site now live at theprototype.net. ch’k it out for playlists, news et cet era.

Iuno, On Ensemble, Love Of Everything, R.E.M., Gianni Nannini

this could well be the most eclectic post of all time…

IUNO [NETHERLANDS]
fracture mp3
thanks to the folks from iuno (pictured) for getting in touch. check out their web site at iuno.nl for a fine selection of tunes to download. there’s a great degree of variation even in the few tracks that are there – i’m finding touches of molokokosheen, even portishead in there, and the above track is a storming fusion of dark drum’n’bass breaks, nasty keyboard riffs and great vocals courtesy of stella bergsma. the band are a collective – seemingly shepherded by steven de munnik – and, judging by some of the photography, also featuring a string section. a good discovery, well worth checking out further.

ON ENSEMBLE [US: LOS ANGELES]
fingertips mp3
if you’re one of those people who’s had a ‘taiko drumming’ experience, or similar, you’ll know it’s a joy to behold. it has all the strength, energy and hardcore intensity of your average megadeth gig, but we’re talking traditional oriental drumming here, so no mullets are involved. dumb banter aside, on ensemble fall into a more traditional category than usually featured on this blog, which is exactly why you need to download and have a listen. this los-angeles quartet allow for guilt-free exploration of non-contemporary sound, and on the above mp3 they genuinely bend genres like einstein bent time. more info from their web site here.

LOVE OF EVERYTHING [US: ILLINOIS]
proud brave nothing mp3
i’m feeling that it’s good to buck my electronic obsession now and then, and when i do so, i tend to revert to disjointed, fractured, fucked up lo-fi – so thank god for love of everything. if you enjoyed casiotone for the painfully alone, i think you’ll find this track will bring you a few more blessings. cheers to the good people from redder records for giving me the heads up. they tell me that love of everything is bobby burg of joan of arc and make believe fame – and they’ve also got heaps more mp3s from whence this little diamond came.

R.E.M. [ATHENS, GEORGIA surely?]
i’ve been high (matthew herbert mix) mp3
so what the freak are r.e.m. doing on here? have i gone absolutely out of my tiny mind? well, it’s kinda obvious – you don’t often hear r.e.m. being remixed by anyone, much less matthew ‘herbert’ herbert. i enjoyed herbert’s radioboy incarnation a long while back – live sampling of detritus, looped back into his performance, stuff like macdonalds cartons and coke cups. the big band project stretched the temprament a little, but their remix of oi va voi‘s ‘refugee’ was on form. basically, i’m trying to say i like the guy, but it seems like i’m heaping on a few caveats at the same time. christ, i’m getting picky.

GIANNI NANNINI [ITALY]
contaminata (apparat rmx) mp3
couldn’t leave you without a little hint of electronica, could i? now this would seem to be the italo-german equivalent of bruce springsteen getting the remix treatment from boom bip… gianni nannini, not well known for his leftfield experiemention, here gets the commercial crap kicked out of him by shitkatapult‘s apparat (shitkatapult, other then being the best named record label in the world, is run by the supremely talented and ass-kickingly awesome electro-rock-bass-whatever maestro, t.raumschmeire). it’s actually considerably less breakcore than you might think – gianni still goes off on a freddie mercury tip towards the end, and you get the feeling that apparat just couldn’t destroy the guy completely. in saying that, it’s unlike anything else you’ll hear this month. for more of the same, check out a wonderfully insane live set to download from barcelona 2003 on apparat’s site.

<<< new blogs >>> hello new fellow mp3 bloggers – been a while since i updated the blog list, so there’s a heap of killer sites i recommend you check out. go say a gutteral ‘guten tag’ to cowboytranceorchestra (recent posts include fautlineremzwan), the ugly elephant (ali khanutadableep), the new black (check out the excellent susan cadogan, also posts from the pixiesand new birth. also a mention of our friend, wanda dee…). props too to edit209 for a hilarious collection of bootlegs – cecile‘s electro-dancehall stormer ‘hot like we’ was one of my recent raves, so to hear that coupled with belle & sebastian is an experience not to be shirked. very belated ‘hellos’ and madder props to an idiot’s guide to dreamingsmart musicthe swish heraclitus sayzmoebius rex and the mighty mp3 blogs aggregator. top marks though to ‘best new blog on the block’ goes to dozerblog – check this list, nobukazu takemurab. fleischmannsubtleclouddead and mrs doctor who theme tune arrangement, delia derbyshire – solid!

[[[ other shit ]]] fat planet’s also now syndicating some of this on-going ramble to the good folks over at usounds.com – flip over and say hi, and tell ’em we sent ya! also, check out brad weslake‘s smart radio schedule for “interesting broadcast sound available either online, or via radio waves in sydney, australia”. and lo and behold if those damn fine folks at better propagandahave only gone and posted not one, but two, tracks from fat planet’s current ‘artiste am pedestal’ dj rupture. check it here.

Visionary Underground, Air, Limited Express (Has Gone), Girl With A Monkey, Former Selv

VISIONARY UNDERGROUND [ENGLAND]
100 vibes (feat. aref durvesh & matthew barley) mp3
i played a track from dj feelfree today, one of the main forces behind the uk asian drum’n’breaks crew visionary underground. i use the term drum’n’breaks intentionally, as it’s also the title of the album from which the track ‘sonic solution’ came from – ‘nasha – eastern drum’n’breaks’. it’s a top flight compilation of some of the finest dark, alternative asian music being made in the uk right now. to generalise (which you know i love to do…) it’s much like asian dub foundation when they roll out the drum’n’bass welcome mat. there’s heaps more mp3 downloads on the visionary underground site – i’ll check them all out and report back one day soon…

AIR [FRANCE]
planet vega mp3
played a great remix today of the new air single ‘alpha beta gaga’. the mix is by mark ronson and features rhymefest dropping his mc skills all over it. sadly, no free mp3 of that one, but check out this li’l rarity from the grand royal compilation ‘at home with the groovebox’ (courtesy of the old faithful, epitonic)

LIMITED EXPRESS (HAS GONE) [JAPAN] (pictured)
downtoborn (edit) mp3
sadly this is not a full-length mp3, rather a short edit designed to act as a teaser for their 2002 album ‘feeds you!’, released on john zorn’s tzadik label. i played their version of the la’s ‘there she goes’ today – now that’s what i call a cover version, pretyy much nothing like original. if the boredoms had a younger punk sibling, then limited express (has gone) could probably play them in the bio-pic. stuterring, off-kilter, psychadelic pop-punk. everything you could wish for in a band, really.

GIRL WITH A MONKEY [SWEDEN]
mark my words 
mp3
a great example of someone who found this blog, emailed me some of their music and it finally found its way on air on today’s show 🙂 how curiously the world works… although apparently not quite so strange – although the band are ostensibly a swedish six-piece, apparently the singer (monika kovacs) was brought up in western australia. which, from where i’m sitting, might as well be as a far away as sweden…

FORMER SELV [US: MICHIGAN]
nichiyobi mp3
thanks to smart music for turning me on to this one. former selv is another name for detroit-born jerry abstract, now resident in seattle. apparently, he’s a techno boy at heart (wit a 12″ on t.raumschmiere‘s shitkatapult), but as former selv it’s broken beat electronica that’s to the fore. check out their brief interview for more info.

Shiffai, Issa Bagayogo, Mann Friday

free’n’legal african mp3s are hard to come by, yet it seems like the old analogy with public transport applies here. you wait an age and nothing appears – then three come along at once…

SHIFFAI [SENEGAL]
savages mp3
senegal is shaping up to be home of african hip hop with some solid releases so far from positive black souldaara j and pee froiss. there’s a site decicated to senegalese hip hop called senerap – i’ve yet to have a full exploration, but it seems to be the perfect place to start our education. through the site, i discovered nomadic wax, a label who’ve just released a compilation entitled ‘african underground vol. 1: hip-hop senegal’ (available to buy online from november). they’ve also released an album from senegalese hip hop artist shiffai entitled ‘the chosen one’ which was produced by NY’s nomadshiffai mixes english and his native wolof language, and there’s undoubtedly some patois thrown in for good measure. any hip hop head will get their kicks from this great mix of traditional and contemporary – the sound of hip hop coming gloriously back to its roots.

update 260904: nomadic wax are in the process of removing mp3s from their site, and have asked us to link to streams instead – head on over the site to listen to streams from both shiffai and from the forthcoming compilation.

ISSA BAGAYOGO [MALI]
bana direct download mp3
much like senegal, mali also has a strong output of contemporary artists – oumou sangaretinariwen and rokia traore to name a few. issa bagayogo is part of the roster belonging to san francisco’s six degrees label. six degress have also been responsible for bringing india’s karsh kaleand midival punditz to the fore, along with algeria’s excellent dj cheb i sabbahissa is their first african signing and the above mp3, ‘bana’, has at it’s base a midtempo, dubhouse, four-four shuffle, that fortunately avoids the trappings of afro-house (i’ll confess straight up that ive never been an afro-house fan). this is apparently due to the fact that issa still records in mali, rather than with western producers, thus avoiding the temptation to beef it up for the dancefloor. got to applaud that decision! the track is an out-take from his third album ‘tassoumakan’ and does not appear on any commerical release. thanks to six degrees for the link – buy the album online here.

MANN FRIDAY [ZIMBABWE]
counting down (sea point mix) mp3
i came across these guys on the queep site (well worth a look for unsigned artists, plus a good mix section featuring q-burns abstract message). they’re made up of musicians from zimbabwe, south africa and the u.k. they’ve been touring a show called ‘zimbabwe ruins’ – an audio / visual theatre piece that paints a direct picture of this history of their troubled land. according to queep, most of their music wanders into the acoustic ballad territory and – that not being my bag here @ fat planet – i’ve posted a downtempo semi-electronic mix of one of their songs. not sure who’s on production duties, but it’s a solid, laid-back piece that serves the band well.

Jukes, Bela Butono, Avril

JUKES [ENGLAND]
wandering star mp3
jukes (pictured) is the solo project for bristol-based vocalist tammy payne. i played a track on today’s show called ‘i wasn’t even looking’ which favourably recalls one summer ten years ago, hearing portishead’s ‘sour times’ for the first time. one of those instance where you stay in the car with the engine off, just so you can make sure you catch the title and the artist’s name. it’s no surprise that jukes sounds similar, for the project is co-produced by portishead bassist jim barr and tammy also recently laid down some vocals for p’head mainman geoff barrow’s new project, mackay. the above mp3 is a cover of the classic standard, not to be confused with a track of the same name from ‘dummy’…

BELA BUTONO [AUSTRIA]
platanja mp3
came across a great album recently ‘ body movement’, chock full of new music from the austrian label ‘soundlab‘. one of the stand-out tracks is ‘last summer’ from this four-piece, who gather around the band’s creative core, alexander reitterer aka uez. i’m tempted to say that it reminds me of the austrian production team, kruder & dorfmeister, which is more of a compliment than anything else. this mp3 is from a 2001 release entitled ‘dagena’. three more downloads from this release available here.

AVRIL [FRANCE]
french kiss mp3
avril is fred magnon, responsible for the excellent 2002 album ‘that horse must be starving’ (from which the above mp3 is taken – a cover of the li’l louis classic) and this year’s follow-up ‘members only’. more of the same excellent french electronica – some of the key players of the current electronica boom seem to be originating from western europe – see also portugal’s thisco label. there’s a version of this track on a compilation called ‘paris lounge 3’ which is a 4-4 acoustic stomp that’s not to be missed.