mc dj dropped me a line last week. of all the bloggers in the blogosphere, s/he must be one of the most hardworking. s/he doesn’t just pick a track, write some shit and post an mp3 – s/he remixes the track themselves, then posts it. how’s that? here’s their bouncing take on feist‘s ‘mushaboom’. the downtempo hip hop mix of sufjan stevens on their blog is also worth a download.
down here in australia, we’re only just getting a local release of annie’s ‘anniemal’ album, despite it being nearly two years old. (being an aussie resident does have its downside). to puff it up, annie rolled into sydney last week for a dj-set. sadly, i couldn’t make the dj gig, but by all accounts, annie should have left the decks well alone. ‘a series of train wrecks’ was one phrase being thrown around the morning after. there’s a downbeat review here. but i’m no hater, i love ‘anniemal’ – i just wish australia would get off the block quicker with such things.
for reasons unknown, the above mp3 dropped onto the web this week – a re-recording of ‘chewing gum’ featuring san francisco’s hey willpower. i’m always up for a new mix or a re-rub, although this one seems a little unnecessary, especially as the original richard x production was spot-on and needed no tweaking. still, it’s a curio nonetheless. (for aussies, ‘chewing gum’ gets a single release thru ministry of sound on feb 25th, ‘anniemal’ follows on march 11th).
further web hunting reveals a couple of extra annie mp3 freebies. register at K7 and you’ll get the new track ‘the wedding’ from her dj kicks compilation (delve deeper into K7 to purchase a rare digital e.p. featuring a remix of this track from lindstrom). register again with 7 digital and you’ll cop the best of the three – the y$s productions remix of ‘always too late’, from the team who recently dropped mixes for m.i.a. and lady sovereign – ch-ching!
for your dollar, i advise a hunt for the patrick wolf remix of ‘always too late’ – of the many annie remixes around, this one bags the top spot.
from ‘bounce le remix’: busta rhymes “light your ass on fire (ghislain poirier remix)”
from ‘breakupdown’: cold as hell (feat. beans)
ghislain poirer‘s 2005 album ‘breakupdown’ (chocolate industries) was an outstanding release. having previously collaborated with the likes of dj rupture and lotek hifi, it’s no surprise that the album weighed in with heavy beats, bass-heavy distorted electronica, ragga and hip hop. such mad dirty fun from start to finish – proving that ghis deserves far wider recognition. hot off the back of his recent lady sovereign remix (‘fiddle with the volume’) comes ‘bounce le remix’; a collection of 13 new mixes, all featuring original beats by ghislain, over MCs such as roots manuva, dizzee rascal, ying yang twins and (above) busta rhymes. you can order the cd online through two montreal stores: atom heart and cheap thrills.
for more ghis productions, check out his mix for the lemon-red blog, entitled ‘dirtier than clean’ – rap, grime, dancehall & ragga, all tightly packed in a sweet mix. also, head over to better propaganda for an mp3 download from the previous album ‘beat as politics’.
french duo justice are not exactly breaking news to avid music fans and critics, mainly due to a long series of remixes that began back in 2004 with their version of simian‘s ‘never be alone again’, and followed by re-rubs for soulwax, death from above 1979, NERD, scenario rock, fatboy slim and (bizarrely) britney vs madonna‘s ‘me against the music’. their debut e.p. ‘waters of nazareth’ delivers exactly what those remixes led us to expect – justice are the dark, evil twin of daft punk, hiding under their big brother’s bed, eating spiders and furballs and tinkering away with their home-made woofer. dirty, distorted bass is to the fore, delivering tunes that undoubtedly have thomas bangalter cursing as his head hits the pillow each night.
with justice so pervasive on the blogsphere, it’s hard not to post something that’s already out there. so how about this above mp3, dubbed the ‘justice medley’. and as an additional treat, here’s the full-length video to accompany ‘jjuussttiiccee’ with photos and film of justice‘s ‘life on the road’.
formed in 1999, cobra killer are germany’s gina v. d’orio and annika trost. both originally signed to alec empire’s brutal electro label, digital hardcore recordings (in EC8OR and shizuo respecetively), the duo have previously released three albums under the cobra killer name – the self-titled debut, ‘the third armpit’ and last year’s ’76/77′, assisted in part by shitkatapult‘s t.raumschmiere and released through monika. their sound marries an obvious love of retro psych-rock with contemporary berlin electro-pop, a healthy dose of the former lifts them above the stock-standard sound you might expect from the latter. and just when you thought your preconceptions were serving you well, they release their fourth album ‘das mandolinenorchester’ – wherein they re-record their seven year back catalogue sans-electronica, instead favouring mandolin, double bass, piano and percussion. according to textura.org, this side-swerve comes from logical roots: “apparently trost’s great-grandfather was a conductor and violin teacher of helmut zacharias, who started his career in d’orios’s grandfather’s orchestra, the lubo d’orio orchestra”.
this eastern folk take on hitherto electro-based compositions is far more successful that it might sound on paper – it’s original, compelling and short enough to keep you hooked without getting tired. stand outs for me included the opening re-working of my personal favourite from the back catalogue ‘heavy rotation’, plus ‘l.a. shaker’ and the above mp3, ‘lambretta does it better’. far more than just a gap-filler, ‘das mandolinenorchester’ stands tall on its own merits and leaves you wondering where the cobras are going to strike next.
extra: watch the video for ‘mouth open eyes closed’ from ’76/77′ here
To celebrate the second anniversary of the Fat Planet radio show on FBi 94.5FM, this mixtape – published in December 2005 – ripped together a number of downloads that featured on fatplanet.com.au during the preceding twelve months. From baile funk to euro-crunk (ahh, remember that?), from Japanese post-punk to Bollywood breakcore, this CD-length compilation celebrates “all that was great about international music in 2005”.
Tracklisting & Liner Notes:
Notes taken from posts during in 2005 on fatplanet.com.au
1. MC VANESSINHA [BRAZIL] danca de peteca
“an interview with dj marlboro on hyperdub:”In a famous quote, Chuck D refers to rap as the black CNN. In many respects Rio or baile funk could be referred to as favela CNN. That is, it’s used as a medium to convey how the people who live in the Brazilian favelas really feel using their own language, idioms and slang. baile funk is basically a strain of Miami Bass breakbeat, but much cruder and ruffer in it’s production. There is a healthy anything-goes and fuck-fashion attitude to using samples… It’s prole-like unpretentiousness and complete lack of “cool” makes it a scene apart from the rave and club scene dominated by São Paulo and the fashion conscious Paulistas. But ironically, baile Funk is the original Brazilian electronic dance music stemming from the incredibly popular Rio sound-systems of the 70’s.”
2. STACS OF STAMINA [SWEDEN] donne moi un poisson (ft. ttc)
“let me just clear one thing up right now – stacs of stamina’s album ‘tivoli’ is one of the best albums of 2005. easy. and with it comes a hilarious new genre classification – ‘euro-crunk’… it proves just how dramatic crunk can be when we take some of the less agile MCs out of the equation – at once both deliciously deft and deleriously blunt, ‘tivoli’ sets an impossible standard against which future challengers will be judged.”
3. ENDUSER [US:OHIO] not so distant drums
“never before has bollywood sounded so mind-altering than in this breakcore / broken beat widescreen presentation courtesy of ohio’s enduser, aka solo producer lynn standafer. both bhangra and breakcore can be found filed away in my cd library, i just never assumed i would ever find them together in the same temple. and now that i have, their marriage seems absolutely right and absolutely essential.”
4. NETTLE [SPAIN] myanmar (timeblind remix)
“a one time classical saxophonist, timeblind has made his way through a multiplicity of genres to get to where he is today – from free jazz, industrial, acid house, techno to broken beat, breakcore and dub… this was originally released on nettle’s ‘firecamp stories remixed’ series – nettle being another psuedonym for the talented dj and producer dj rupture.”
5. DJ BC vs M.I.A. [U.S. / SRI LANKA] quem vai encontrar a festa da maconha?
“a sweet bootleg from dj bc, mixing m.i.a.’s ‘galang’, a 1962 bossa track called ‘quem quiser encontar o amor’, plus gloria gaynor, dj paris and some dialogue from an anti-drug movie.”
6. SLAM REVOLUTION [SENEGAL] wax degg
“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.”
7. VISIONARY UNDERGROUND [ENGLAND] 100 vibes
“a four piece from london, their remarkable fusion of contemporary breaks with a clear asian influence takes asian dub foundation’s template and moves it further towards the dancefloor.”
8. SHUKAR COLLECTIVE [ROMANIA] blooz gypsy
” the core trio play what is known as ‘ursari’, a style of music traditionally created by men in order to encourage their (tamed) pet bears to dance for their amusement… it’s traditionally played using spoons, barrels and other wooden percussion and, in this album, there’s also a tom waits-esque gutteral vocal that gives the music a rich, rough hue. add to this tradition a succession of breaks, a few rounds of turntablism and some avant-garde electronica and you’re served with a genuinely unique and original sound.”
9. KONONO NO.1 [CONGO] ditshe tshiekutala
“konono no.1 are one of the most original groups operating in africa today, mainly due to their use of the electrified / amplified traditional instruments – a style known in congo as ‘tradi-modern’. boiled down, it’s old school analogue electronic music – thumb pianos, megaphones, pots & pans, old car parts etc, all amplified to the point of almost absurd distortion. if any modern euro-electro pioneer was making this, we’d be hailing them a genius – yet, konono no.1 have being doing their own DIY thing for nearly 25 years.”
10. MUGISON [ICELAND] sad as a truck
“iceland’s mugison is a wonderful contradiction of styles – from his abstract soundtrack album’ niceland’, to the downtempo folktronica of his excellent debut ‘lonely mountain’ and finally to the beat-heavy, fuzzrock mp3 ‘sad as a truck’ from his second album ‘mugimama is this onkey music?’ (sounds like something beck should be making if you drew a more leftfield graph from ‘loser’).”
11. WE ACEDIASTS [JAPAN] ibasho
“the four piece (three from japan, one from new jersey) recorded two tracks with dfa, both of which can be found on their release ‘pre acediasts’, along with six other tracks recorded in tokyo. this mp3 is a rare opportunity to hear the producers stripped right back, a minimal marriage of trademark post-punk 4-4, krautrock, psych and post-rock. ”
12. BALUN [PUERTO RICO] the glass bicycle
“balun are a three-piece from puerto rico… 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.”
13. THE TINY [SWEDEN] closer
“a three piece from stockholm, the tiny digest all that is bold and beautiful about smoky, torch-song jazz and refract it through a lens that’s been sitting in the pockets of bjork or kate bush. vocalist / pianist and writer, ellekari, onces more takes a seemingly familiar skewed vocal technique into new territories, and essentially proves what we always suspected – incredible though such vocals are, they are best displayed to their advantage in the jazz field.”
14. HUUN HUR TU [TUVA] kongurei
“this band from tuva, the country that holds the distinction of being the most ‘land-locked’ in the world, i.e. furthest away from any ocean. their combination of throat-singing and traditional local instruments makes for a rare and unique slice of music.”
as a regular subscriber to the boomkat newsletter (being one of the finest distributors of electronic / postrock / grime etc), i’m always intrigued to discover their ‘album of the week’ – due to the fact that invariably it’s from someone i’ve never heard of. this week is no exception. from fonal, the label that gave you yesterday’s paavohharju, comes islaja and her second album ‘palaa aurinkoon’. as far as the so-called ‘new folk’ movement goes, there’s a great deal that i can leave behind, however islaja marries common sensibilities with abstract production techniques and an avant-garde approach to instrumentation. at times, this raw, blunt, lo-fi experimental approach can you leave you baffled, however when it all comes together (particularly on the tracks ‘laviat saapuu’ and ‘vaeltajan laulu’) it’s a genuine joy. there’s three mp3s for your consumption at everythingisfire.
islaja (aka merja kokkonen) is extremely prolific – she’s a member of the psych-folk ten-piece collective, avarus (who run their own label, lal lal lal) and kemialliset yst√ßv√ßt. she’s also part of the trio hertta lussu assa, along with kuupuu & lau nau. download an mp3 below, and grab some more live recordings at mixoftheweek.com
HERTTA LUSSU ASSA meri on maailman veri
i realise i’m merely scraping the surface of what is fast being recognised as a ‘movement’ coming out of the finnish underground – branded by the wire as ‘new weird finland’. volcanic tongue is a good starting point to delve further into these icy waters.
valo tihkuu kaiken lapi (click once for direct download)
if you were to suddenly undergo a profound religious awakening, what would the soundtrack be? hard to tell until you’re in the moment, perhaps – or maybe it’ll sound something like paavoharju. for that is their tale, on the cusp of a born-again christian experience, the group took to the hills to document the time musically, the soundtrack to the opening of a third eye. being finnish, few of us will understand the meaning of their words, although the intent may not wholly be lost.
i know you’re asking the same question as me: “isn’t all christian rock really just the work of the devil sent here to taunt us and confuse us?” according to paavoharju, “music is god’s gift to us, jesus is so very rock!”. the wire magazine put it thus: “far from recalling a shiny-faced sentimentality that smacks of irony, these christian expressionists are a rare breed in this day and age. paavoharju stand sincere in their belief that god gave them a gift in their ability to craft these psychedelic hymns that articulate complex and unusual revelations about God, themselves and the world.”
so to the above tracks: ‘han teki minut autioksi’ and ‘muukalaisen kotiel√ßm√ß√ß’ are drifting slices of what was once called “isolationist” ambience, however ‘valo tihkuu kaiken lapi’ is the track that i’ve been listening to for a while; much like sigur ros with the suspicion of pretentiousness removed – a lilting, almost bollywood vocal, over minimalist keyboards & acoustic distortion. consider me a convert.
lost in edit
magnetophone‘s ‘the man who ate the man’ slipped by me for a while, i only caught up with the cd many months after it was released. they’re a duo from birmingham in the uk, and ‘the man…’ is the 2nd album, following ‘i guess sometimes i need to be reminded of how much you love me’. it’s a fractured mix of intricate, often dense, guitars married with precision electronica – a fusion that can be tired and hackneyed in some hands, here however they pull it off. collaborators include breeders‘ sisters kim and kelley deal, as well as hms ginafore, fence collective and p.g. six. the above mp3 is a curio – j.m. lapham of the earlies creating a 15-minute re-edit of the album, including not only album tracks, but how own additional original material, studio out-takes and field recordings.
DEPARTMENT OF EAGLES [U.S.]
noam chomsky spring break 2002
department of eagles claim to have been started as a joke – literally pissing around in their shared college bedroom with samples and shoddy instruments, making self-described ‘beat pastiches’. fortunately, someone was of sound mind enough to give daniel and fred some encouragement, and many years later ‘the whitey on the moon uk lp’ arrives (‘whitey on the moon’ being their originally joke name, already owned by a uk band). with press claiming it to be a “less florid radiohead, low-tech underworld or even an upbeat robert wyatt” (london telegraph), it looks as if the project has surpassed DoE’s own expectations. much like magnetophone, it’s another successful marriage of electronics and traditional instrumentation, albeit a little more raw (and all the better for it).
props to nova scotia blog radiofreepolygon for posting this recently, it’s certainly worthy of a repost here. jonas dunkel describes himself an ‘unsigned techno / house producer’, resident in gothenburg, sweden. aside from this dark, pumping (and sublimely edited) piece of deep electro, dunkel also plays out in fibre optic friends, who pull from a list of influences that include kraftwerk, the mode and – yup – break machine. bodyrockin’. ‘revenge of the broken bongo’ crops up on the netlabel, bevlar, which also plays host to a never-ending archive of similar tech delights.
SUNDAY 22nd I’ll be DJing at the BECKS FESTIVAL BAR as part of the SYDNEY FESTIVAL, supporting Sydney artists CODA & INGA LILJESTROM with fellow DJs Groovescooter. Tickets are $16+bf from sydneyfestival.org.au.
Here’s some more info from the promoters:
Çƒ?Bring no expectations, as CODA can present anything from impassioned strings, exotic backdrops and subtle electronics to rainbow-clad expression dancers threatening to knock the speaker over.Çƒ? [Sydney Morning Herald]
CODAÇƒÙs performing history since their formation in 1994, is extensive. They are no strangers to the festival circuit, having played at the Woodford, Big Day Out, Belingen Global Carnival, Blue Mountains Folk Festival, Peats Ridge, Sydney Festival, Queenscliff, Glenworth Valley Festivals, Newtown Festival, the Sydney Opera House Studio and recently in Easter 2005, at the Sydney Cockatoo Island Festival.
CODA joins forces with the Bj√∂rk-like INGA LILJESTROM and her septet Elk in a night of audio-visual utopianism. Her voice has graced recordings from Gerling (hit single Dust Me Selecta), Friendly and d.i.g. (directions in groove – Curveystrasse) whereas her own compositions beautifully merge an amazingly individual voice with evocative lyrics, string arrangements, plus an unexplainable otherworldly quality.
Along with guest vocalist ABBY DOBSON (LeonardoÇƒÙs Bride/Paul Mac) and combined string sections, the groups unite in a musical melange of exotic rhythms, haunting electronics and rockinÇƒÙ grooves.
let’s talk baltimore. rather than trying to reinvent the wheel, here’s what wikipedia says about ‘baltimore club’:
“Baltimore Club, also called Baltimore Breaks, Baltimore house, and Dew Doo Beat, is a genre of House and Dance music. A blend of Hip-Hop and Electronica, it was created in Baltimore, Maryland in the early 1990s by Scottie B., Frankski, Miss Tony and DJ Spen and has since been performed by artists such as Rod Lee and D.J.Technics.
“Baltimore Club is exemplified by its 8/4 beat structure and tempos at or near 130 beats per minute. It combines repetetive looped vocal snippets similar to ghetto house with humorous vocal samples … Much like the rave-era sub-genre of Techno music known as Breakbeat Hardcore, Baltimore Club sounds as if the music was purposefully produced in a hurried manner as the each song is made with a limited pallette of sounds and is based on a similar templates. Some say Baltimore Breaks grew out of Miami Bass, largely due to Frankski working with Luke Skyywalker Records in the early 1990s, remixing songs such as Disco Rick‘s Wiggle Wiggle in 1992. … Despite its roots nearer to Miami Bass, the sound of the music itself more closely resembles Ghetto House.
“Baltimore Club has long been popular in Baltimore, largely in African-American venues where DJs spin exclusively Baltimore Club, but has recently spread beyond the city’s borders to Philadelphia and New York City and inspired offshoots in New Jersey (D.J.Tamiel) and Alabama (Bamabounce). This expansion is due largely to the success and influence of the DJ duo Hollertronix, who present Baltimore Club in conjunction with hip-hop, rock, and other dance music.”
so there you go – if you disagree with any of the above, i recommend editing the article (such is the joy of wikipedia). as it says, things have started to move recently in the baltimore club scene. there is, as one of the main protagonists spankrock describes it, “a second generation” of baltimore club producers coming through. with many of his recent mixes, diplo is proving to be a key figure, alongside those working under the collective title of baltimore bass connection – the aforementioned spankrock, chipset, c.rockswell, xxx-change and more. i could add low-budget and dj ayres in there too, both of whom have recently dropped b-more productions. i’ve also been getting into 19-y-o curtis vodka‘s mixes as found on the hollertronix forum (one of the main homes for discussion / file sharing of b-more, baile funk and other such great music).
after releasing his ‘viola’ mix cd and his ‘put the pussy on me’ 12″ double set on money studies, spankrock was recently signed to big dada. his debut release backyard betty’ is an incredible calling card for this scene – dark, deep, sparse, smart and more bass than your ass can handle. another great tune that i’ve been dropping this season is diplo‘s remix of ray charles‘ ‘i got a woman’ – destined to be a party favourite for a long time to come. and – lucky you – it also kicks off our mp3 treats for this week:
changing time (movie)
another late contender for one of the most original releases of the year, also this week’s featured album on the fat planet radio show. jahcoozi first cropped up in my record bag on an old compilation from the wire magazine back in 2003, with the track ‘fish’ (mp3 above). on repeated hearings, the pared-down glitched elctronica made me think this was another member of the ever-growing and ever-fascinating berlin-based female electronic artist set. jahcoozi’s album proves just how wrong i was. great through this track is, the rest of the album is far more bounce-driven affair – from twostep to ragga to crunk to dancehall to deep electro-tech, jahcoozi take on some of the year’s emerging styles and appropriate them for their own ends – an album of dark polemics that just so happens to make your ass shiver at the same time. jahcoozi are vocalist sasha perera, robot kock on beats and oren gerlitz on bass. the fact that sasha perera has roots in sri lanka has opened the comparative can of worms marked m.i.a., which cuts both ways – a useful way into the band for fans of m.i.a. hungry for more in the same vein, but with jahcoozi’s roots so deep in electronica, it’s off the mark in terms of focus and direction. for more on jahcoozi, check out their label page at kitty-yo.
get with the program
pull the trigger once
on a not too dissimilar tip to the above, some long-overdue props to monkeytribe and mc soom t. if the latter name seems familiar, she cropped up as co-conspirator on the berlin-based bus album ‘middle of the road’ (released on ~scape), and also in 2003 on t. raumschmiere’s album ‘radio blackout’ album with the track ‘a million brothers’. since then she’s been working with the likes of the bug, the orb and warp’s dj maxximus, but her core project remains the glasgow-based collective, monkeytribe. originally born from a love of techno and house, years later monkeytribe’s latest releases have taken on a tough ragga-dub-r’n’b-electro style, the perfect foil for soom t’s flow. with an asian dub foundation remix in the bag for future release, and a new e.p. ‘dark side of the baboon’ due soon, here’s hoping that monkeytribe strike out wider and ensure that my home town is known for more than franz ferdinand and deep-fried pizzas. more info at monkeytribe.net.
black tambourine (south rakkas crew remix)
completing the dancehall-ish flavour of this post is this little nugget, courtesy of the fader. when reviewing this track, stylus magazine quipped “a remix of this caliber begs the question: does beck deserve it?”. of course there have always been, and will always be, those of us who frown on major artists appropriating new talent to rejuvenate their career or extend their tentacles into new fan bases. yet this case in point differs, as the remix can’t be found on beck’s remix album, ‘guerolito’ – it’s seemingly ‘mp3 only’. why beck chose not to include this track, remixed by the canadian / jamacian trio south rakkas crew, remains a mystery; as it is head and shoulders above some of the other mixes on there. south rakkas crew are well respected for their recent rhythms, ‘red alert’ and ‘bionic ras’, and with this bump up into the pop canon, we can expect to see the crew popping up all over the joint for remix duties in the near future.
it was a ‘scandanavian special’ on this week’s FAT PLANET radio show (probably the first of many geo-specific specials), so it seems only fitting to follow suit in the blog this week with a trio of artists from sweden. the show also featured an interview with karin from the knife (who feature heavily – by default – in the following post…) which i hope to podcasting for y’all in the near future. in the meantime, view the knife’s stunning collection of video work at radidrecords.com.
STACS OF STAMINA [SWEDEN]
donne moi poisson (feat. ttc)
stay beautiful (feat one-two)
let me just clear one thing up right now – stacs of stamina’s new album ‘tivoli’ is one of the best albums of 2005. easy. and with it comes a hilarious new genre classification – ‘euro-crunk’. crunk was born from southern usa, so it seems truly fucked up to find that seemingly unique sensibility transplanted to northern europe… yet here it is – proving once more that music knows no borders. it also proves just how dramatic crunk can be when we take some of the less agile MCs out of the equation. in ‘tivoli’, we hear not only from stacs themselves (johan, marcus and gesan), but also from mike ladd, the never-less-than-inspiring french crew ttc (mp3 above) and grime MC ears. after a softer start, the album kicks into high gear halfway through and propels this release into the ‘must-own’ category – at once both deliciously deft and deleriously blunt, ‘tivoli’ sets an impossible standard against which future challengers will be judged. there’s some props for the release over at gabba.cc and music for robots, however ‘tivoli’ has received little in the way of press attention – which is a glaring ommission on the part of the ‘official’ media. that aside, do the decent thing and do what i was compelled to do; round up your hard-earned pennies and buy this album. [buy at boomkat / forced exposure]. for an additional ‘stacs’ fix, check out this earlier (and far less crunk-ified) mp3 ‘lemon pepper’ from the 2002 compilation ‘offbeats vol.1’. also, johan from stacs teams up with french artist dj tron to form the remix / production duo radioclit. check out an mp3 entitled damn here.
JENNY WILSON [SWEDEN]
a brief story
jenny wilson first popped into my consciousness as guest vocalist on one of the most catchy and goddam-hummable pop releases of the year – ‘you take my breath away’ by the knife. it’s by no means pop by numbers – at times it seems out of kilter (even out of key) and the introduction of the steel drum into the electro pop genre remains one of the msot baffling audio marriages to date. in the background to that release, jenny wilson released her debut album – the first signing to the knife’s radid records. ‘love and youth’ furthers the cracked pop sound and vision of the knife, but strips away that duo’s flouro flavours and offers instead a more simple, personal approach. originally a vocalist for swedish indie band first floor power, ‘love and youth’ is by means instantly digestible, and therein lies its power. the above mp3 is the b-side to jenny’s debut single ‘summertime – the roughest time’. the subsequent single ‘let my shoes lead me forward’ features mxs from joachim and the knife. more at jennywilson.net
JOSE GONZALES [SWEDEN]
stay in the shade
this week at the radio station, we had a ‘moment’. that rare glitch in time where an artist plays a track live in the studio and the whole place stops, transifxed and mesmerised. this week jose gonzales – in australia for a short tour – brought us all to our knees with his beautiful accoustic rendition of the knife’s ‘heartbeats’. of argentinian descent, the swedish singer songwriter has been raking in the cash for himself and the knife by allowing sony to use the track in their tvc for a new hi-def tv screen – you know the one, where 250,000 coloured balls are released into the streets. whether jose will forever be remembered for this one moment remains to be seen, but i sincerely hope not – even a cursory listen to his australian tour e.p. proved to me that there’s a great deal more to offer than simply being a karaoke troubador (even if his version of kylie’s ‘put your hand on your heart’ is outstanding). perhaps his latest project, as part of the swedish band junip, will break him into new territories. you can find mp3s and a video clip at junip.net
finally – on an unrelated tip, i recommend a new blog from fellow fbi collaborator, lyndon pike, entitled ‘chewy chewy‘. recent posts feature downloads from australia’s most excellent clue to kalo, plus maximillian hecker, maurice fulton and the free design.
ALBERT KUVEZIN and YAT-KHA [TUVA]
love will tear us apart
over recent months, i seem to have drifted into playing at least one cover version each week on the radio show – from germany’s beige gt rendering dj rolando‘s ‘jaguar’ as a symphony for guitar, to belgium’s ranco saint de baker covering qotsa‘s ‘no one knows’ whilst seemingly gurgling a glass of water. the reason why i find international cover versions appealing is that it creates a bridge between the familiar (i.e. the song we already know) and the unfamiliar (a new artist from somewhere other than the anglo-american axis). it makes the transition into the unknown that little bit easier, and naturally it can be a great thrill to hear a well-known track reflected back at you from cultures other than your own. it’s gone through a double-translation – from english to the native language and back again. check out japan’s towa tei & buffalo daughter‘s recent ‘my sharona’ cover (originally by the knack) where, of course, ‘sharona’ becomes ‘shalona’. comedy pronunciations aside, nowhere is this cultural ping-pong better exemplified that with albert kuvezin and yat-kha, hailing from the tuva republic in southern siberia. their latest collection ‘re-covers’ takes us through a familiar songbook, performed in the ‘throat singing’ vocal style that tuva is renowned for – covers of joy division, kraftwerk, motorhead, hank williams, led zepplin and captain beefheart performed as we’ve literally never heard them before. on his take on ‘love will tear us apart’, albert says: “this band wasn’t well known in russia but some band made big name and good career during USSR time copying and imitating the likes of joy division. i like the mood and guess our manager jim likes them very much.” many of these songs are particularly precious to albert and the band – for a long time, rock’n’roll was essentially outlawed under the former soviet regime, it could be neither performed nor listened to. ‘re-covers’ therefore is albert’s life journey – the songs that he grew up with, but with was rarely allowed to sing. for more info on this self-proclaimed ‘throat singing punk band’, head to yat-kha.com.
JACKSON AND HIS COMPUTER BAND [FRANCE]
when someone describes you as ‘the future of electronic music’, you’re in trouble. jackson naturally doesn’t pull off that particular coup (who could?), but the album is a treat for anyone who likes dance music for the mind. at times reminiscent of the ideology that daft punk once attempted to convey, with the album ‘smash’ jackson calls to the table every contemporary production trick at his disposal, and appropriates them all for himself. an unholy mix of punk, funk, glitch, techno, electronica, even r’n’b, jackson‘s ‘computer band’ might be in danger of seemingly like a flashy parlour trick were it not for the fact that it is so much fun – a hugely enjoyable romp from start to finish. more at warprecords.com
morning city stirs (blastcorp’s pop mix)
staying in the home town for this one – sydney’s luke collison, aka dsico. after forging a successful path as a bootlegger & mashup artist, luke wisely saw the writing was on the wall for that particular genre excursion and began releasing his own original material. the e.p. ‘you fight like a girl’ was a blend of electro, post punk, new wave etc and the killer touch of luke’s own vocals. the new e.p. is called ‘fool’ and features five new tracks, plus twelve (count ’em) remixes from a fantastic assortment of predominently australian bands & producers: the emergency, bleepin j squawkins, ollo and blastcorp, as well as a turn from scottish dj & producer keith mcivor, aka twitch from optimo. an unmissable package – check out five preview mp3 at spasticated records, and then do the decent thing and buy it here. on a separate tangent, check out dsico‘s cover version of ‘personal jesus‘ that crops on the freshly minted – and long, long time coming – ‘depeche mode violated‘ project. similar to recent takes on the clash and the prodigy, ‘dmv’ presents a reworking of the original ‘violator’ album, sequenced identically, featuring new remixes and reversions (and cover art for yr old school jewel case). as a huge fan of the original (mode’s best after ‘black celebration’), i thought this was a fascinating journey; low on sacrilege, high on originality.
hellomusic (ochre remix)
melodium‘s recent album ‘la t√ôte qui flotte’ is a hugely impressive affair. recorded outdoors with an MD recorder, laurence girard took to the country with an assortment of acoustic instruments, then later edited and resequenced the parts in his home studio. the results are breath-taking – an acoustic folk-pop album, infused with sharp electronic programming, a hybrid often sought after by many in the ‘folktronica’ genre, but rarely acheived – and certainly not to this standard. his new e.p. ÇƒÙhum hum & bla blaÇƒÙ features five new tracks and three remixes from ‘la t√ôte qui flotte’ from marsen jules, audioroom and ochre (above). this latter remix from the uk-based toytronics artist is an electronic gem, the lush strings throughout complimented by a deep leftfield rhythm, a flash of acoustic guitar and, somewhere in the middle, a dying keyboard heaves its last breath. download the e.p. for free at archive.org. more info on melodium at autres directions in music and further mp3 goodies from ochre at ochremusic.com.
VON SPAR [GERMANY]
a little bit of agit-rock post punk from out of germany. led by mahmoud von spar (from the oliver twist band), von spar crop up on the new compilation from trevor jackson’s output label, ‘channel four’ with a great track called ‘dog machine’. (the album also features colder, mu, circlesquare – a great patrick wolf remix of one of their tracks, dk7, kreeps and scotland’s george demure amongst many others and comes hightly recommended). the above mp3 is conventionally a little more straightforward than ‘dog machine’, but serves as a good indicator of how germans marry their own unique contemporary rock sound with a movement born in early 80s. the trio are from cologne and their album ‘the unrestrcited liberty of the private initiative’ is available now on lado records.
THIS WEEK’S RADIO SHOW: the feature album was the self-titled release from israeli duo balkan beat box, an inventive mix of traditional balkan, gypsy, north african and southern meditteranean music, all brought delightfully up to date with contemporary electronic production and dancefloor sensibilities. more info at balkanbeatbox.com and at jdub records.
i played at the season finale of uber lingua at candy’s apartment on sunday. thanks to brendan, shereen and mashy p for a great night. the uber lingua circus will be rolling back into town soon, keep an eye on uberlingua.com. here’s sunday’s set, shifting from arabic to baile funk to bounce to breakcore to whatever:
2/5 BZ petrol four
BADAWI final warning
NETTLE gutted (mehmet irdel rmx)
MUTAMASSIK raqs sharqi scratch
MUSLIMGUAZE gold sutra
FOUR TET sun drums and gamelan
MAI & WASHEED laish liash ya jara
KARMINSKY EXPERIENCE INC belly disco
SULTANA cerkez kizi
M.I.A. vs KOPA hombre (hollertronix bootleg)
DJ FLACK kanye gp bouce
DIPLO way more (jorghino’s carioca funk remix)
MC VANESSINHA dance de peteca
ENDUSER not so distant drums
MODESELEKTOR feat TTC dancing box
LIQUID LIQUID cavern
DJ C crazy baldheads (mashit mix)
DJ RUPTURE feat SISTER NANCY a little more oil
img: DJ Flack and DJ C (via Beat Research)
Originally posted on Fat Planet
When we think of bounce, do we think of the New Orleans variety of the 80s & 90s? Perhaps Miami Bass? Or Southern Bounce / Dirty South? (bring out 2 Live Crew if you please…), which begat Crunk etc. Or update it to 2005 and suddenly we’re in the north, in Boston to be precise, for ‘Boston Bounce’, the creation of a group of local Ds & J producers, based around DJ C (owner of the Mashit label) and DJ Flack. Ths time around though, bounce seems less about ‘pussy’ infused lyrics and more about the quality of the music underneath; unsuprising as C and Flack are generally instrumentalists at heart. You might be familiar with C already (Mashit was John Peel’s ‘Label Of The Month’ shortly before his untimely death): aka Jake Trussell, he’s a purveyor of top-quality ‘junglist ragga’, perhaps best personified by his outstanding reworking of Michael Jackson‘s ‘Billy Jean’.
In describing the sound of Boston Bounce, Trussel was quoted in a recent Boston Phoenix article as saying: “My version of Boston bounce is sort of a combination of Baltimore club, German shuffle techno, and one drop reggae. It’s around 135 bpm, has a kick-drum pattern that’s half four-on-the-floor and half broken, has a shuffle or swing hi-hat feel (we also call it Boston swing sometimes), usually has some breakbeats in there, and has a snare or rim shot on the three. DJ Flack‘s stuff is around the same tempo but has a different feel. His rule is to throw in a waltz feel somewhere.”
Indeed – Trussel quotes Flack’s formula in their communal blog, already the spiritual home of Boston Bounce – Riddim Method: “The way I see the whole Boston Bounce (or whatever you want to call it) thing is a series of self imposed guidelines that are strictly for fun- I choose to see it as a list of 5 or more things and if it has 3 of them (and it sounds good) then tada- you got your self some Boston Bounce… (1). It has to be around 135bpm … (2) It has to have a bass line- (3) It has to have either a swing to it, a triplet feel, [a shuffle], or a straight up waltz in there somewhere … (4) It has to have break beats- it’s always cool to flip em, chop em and rearrange em-(5) It has to have some element that’s just plain different- a strange sound, an oddball sample or an influence of something outside of the world of traditional dance music. But really like so many art movements it’s born of a small group of friends who inspire each other, and who are inspired by other genres that are new and exciting and worth putting our own homegrown spin on.”
The best starting point for checking out this scene is DJ C’s new Boston mix, a 38-minute, 10 track primer that features tracks from DJ C himself, plus Flack, Wayne & Wax, DuoTone, Local Fields and one of the first ‘official’ releases, C’s Boston Bounce version of M.I.A.‘s ‘URAQT’, released earlier this month on XL Recordings. Also below check out links to Flack’s mashup of the Ray Charles track (made famous by Kanye West‘s ‘Gold Digger’) with a Ghislain Poirer production; a new release from Mashit – C’s version of Debaser‘s ‘Crazy Baldheads’; an early Wayne & Wax dub, originally from his ‘Boston Jerk’ album; a bounce mix of Juelz Santana, from those mighty fine people at Certified Bananas; and finally DuoTone – Flack & C’s combined project where the sexual references of Bounce’s southern compadres fall back into place.
Keep an eye on Riddim Method for more news & mp3s. For more on a Boston tip, see also Wayne & Wax’s perverse 17-minute ‘Boston Mashacre‘ mixing The Cars, Tracy Chapman, Aerosmith and J Geils Band to name but a few.
ARTURO EN EL BARCO [PUERTO RICO]
you may recall an earlier post on fat planet re: puerto rican trio balun, responsible for some beautiful downbeat compositions, mixing the organic and the electronic in a simple, yet stylistically emotive way. as a tangent to that project, balun member ang√©lica negr√≥n gives us arturo en el barco, stepping away from regular vocal duties and concentrating more on her role as a composer. at the age of 24, she’s currently working her way through a degree in composition at the conservatory of music of puerto rico (harp, cello, accordian and violin are her forte). if arturo en el barco is the equivalent to her dissertation, then she’ll start her post-college life with an incredible body of music to her credit. i adore the above track for the audacious opening use of a classic christian hymn, that morphs into a hypnotic piano repitition married with dust & scratches and a faint trace of broken beat – all combined, an original and stunning piece of music. her debut album is entitled ‘music for students and their friends’ and is described as “sound explorations inside and outside the piano”. download more tracks at the carte postal site and for more information on angelica, go to arturoenelbarco.tk.
cocorosie appeared on fat planet’s first compilation cd back in 2004, and it’s therefore with some degree of anticipation that i cracked open the case on their second album ‘noah’s ark’. a great deal has been written about cocorosie since the release of their debut ‘la maison de mon reve’, a set recorded on lo-fi recording equipment in an apartment in paris. much like the above arturo en el barco mp3, the album had a misty, child-like quality; it could well have been recorded in a castle ballroom somewhere inside a nursery rhyme. for ‘noah’s ark’, sisters bianca and sierra casady have retained their trademark style, yet they’ve wisely opted to record in the studio this time around. gone is the lo-fi ambience, yet what now shines through is their inspired songwriting and love of leftfield production. one of the album highlights is the guest appearance of antony (he of the johnsons) for the track ‘beautiful boyz’ (a song that will remain in your heads for many days), and other guest appearances include a turn from devendra banhart. more info at touchandgorecords.com
SOME WATER AND SUN [JAPAN/U.S.]
all my friends have to go mp3 at download.com
the feature album on this week’s radio show was ‘all my friends have to go’ from some water and sun, a collaboration between hefty label boss, john hughes (aka slicker) and japan’s shin tasaki (spanova). described as “art bionic lover’s rock, part R&B braided microhouse, part quiet storm soul classicism”, the album drags the now-aging guitar / electronica relationship into the 22nd century, drawing on a far wider pool of styles and genres for a daring and original collection.
bring da fire / caffeine rich kola nut (zipped)
here’s where ragga and breakcore meet, and who’d have thought it would come from somewhere in venezuela? a perfect soundtrack for mad summer days, giving the jolt of energy required to get off your ass and enjoy the sunshine (okay, so we’re heading into summer in australia and you guys might be heading into monsoon season – so it goes). luis ricardo garb√?n is cardopusher, 24-years old and hailing from caracas. this release cropped up on the ren-ga site, which also features similar releases from artists from france, netherlands, san francisco, serbia and elsewhere. cardopusher has also contributed to a recent remix cd from fellow breakcore specialist jason forrest (the artist formerly known as donna summer), with his ‘vendettacore mix’ of the track ‘let’s break’. you can find that particular treat here. if that wasn’t enough, get a 21 min mix from cardopusher on the sur america electronica site, along with mixes from many other central & south american producers. also, expect a 12″ release soon on peace off, entitled “hippie killers don’t mind jah conversations”.
some slovakian electronica to add some shine to the morning, from an artist i discovered through the recent compilation from laurent garnier‘s label f-communications, entitled ‘megasoft office 2005’ (stream that and other tracks from the comp here). mindmap are a four piece who have appeared on various slovak electronica compilations prior to the recent release of their debut album ‘plochy’, released on the italian label afe records. of the four mp3s available on their site, i selected the above track mainly for the vocal, although i also recommend checking out what happens when their soft ambient textures meet the subtle remix skills of their fellow countrymen eardrumkrew on retrospective [ear drum kru mapmind remix].
THIS WEEK’S RADIO SHOW: the feature album was from egyptian artist mutamassik, her debut solo album on soundink entitled ‘masri mokassar: definitive works’. mutamassik describes her work as “sa’aidi hardcore” – mixing traditional egyptian music with broken beats, ragga, d’n’b, breakcore etc. it’s a perfect fusion that destroys all twee misconceptions of ‘world music’ and serves as a raw reminder of how narrow our western musical ideologies truly are. more info from mutamassik‘s rough americana site.
subvert (feat. jah)
a huge thanks to esa ruoho, otherwise known as lackluster, for giving fat planet an mp3 taster of his new release, ‘slice’. esa’s being making electronica under the name lackluster since 1997 (via releases on defocus, merck, rikos, monotonik and more), mixing the kind of lush melodies that characterise some of the great IDM pioneers, and splicing that with some unorthodox and idiosyncratic beat production – a fine marriage, at once both familiar and altogether new. if there’s one thing that has characterised lackluster‘s output it’s the staggering volume of work that he’s distributed freely around the net – you can fill hours, if not days, of your precious listening time tuning into mp3s found on monotonik, archive.org and lackluster‘s own site at lacklustre.org. it’s little surprise then that this new release is thus far only available to buy online through lackluster’s web shop. the above track, ‘subvert’, closes the 13-track album with a looping assortment of audio debris, with a vocal from jah strewn, distorted, across the landscape – an instant indicator of lackluster’s complexity and variety and a simple enough reason to click here and get the album.