FBi Turns 10 – Fat Planet Special

This day, ten years ago, I was so very lucky enough to be part of a bunch of smart & beautiful people who got together to kickstart a little thing called FBi Radio.  Happy 10th Birthday little Miss FBi, here’s to 100 more … It was also the week of the first Fat Planet radio show on FBi, and I’ll be on air again this Sunday at 5-7pm, replaying some of my favourite tracks from seven years of the show. Boom!

Here’s the blurb from FBi:

FAT PLANET started on FBi in its first week on air back in 2003. Running for five years, FAT PLANET showcased new music from around the world, such as Scandinavian folk, Japanese dubstep and Chilean post-punk and flash-in-the-pan micro-genres like Euro-crunk and Digital Cumbia. To help celebrate FBi’s tenth birthday, Stuart Buchanan returns for a one-off FAT PLANET this Sunday from 5pm, playing some of the tracks that defined the sound of the show.

Textile Audio presents ‘Seeds’ at Underbelly

This weekend (Saturday 3rd and Sunday 4th August), Underbelly Arts Festival takes place on Cockatoo Island in Sydney Harbour, featuring over 100 Australian artists, working on 30 projects, all converging for two days to present a packed program of immersive and engaging new work, talks, music and other events.

Within the program you’ll find the premiere of Seeds – woven from an electronic soundtrack created live from water, environmental textures and fragmented orchestration, Seeds is an opera in miniature tracing the ghosts of women whose lives have been touched by violence. A vignette of Textile Audio’s acclaimed Wood & Wire album, The Pomegranate Cycle, Seeds plunders the wreck of traditional opera to reveal intimate, contemporary song, all set alongside site-specific projections.

There are eleven performances of the 30-minute piece over the course of the weekend – more information on the Underbelly site, with times noted in the Festival Program.

You can download the full Pomegranate Cycle album free from Wood & Wire, or from the Free Music Archive, where it has recently topped over 30,000 downloads since its release earlier this year.

Wood & Wire ‘Best Of’ compilation for The Lifted Brow

Wood & Wire is one of four labels selected to contribute a compilation mixtape for The Lifted Brow, a bimonthly Australian magazine publishing fiction, art, comics and commentary. Since 2007, they have been home to everyone from Christos Tsiolkas to Helen Garner, David Foster Wallace to Neil Gaiman, as well as writers like Rick Moody, Douglas Coupland, Heidi Julavits, Tom Bissell, Tao Lin, Blake Butler and Benjamin Kunkel.

The May 2013 issue is dubbed ‘The Music Issue’, and along with a significant range of essays and articles connected to the theme, there is also a four-label download bundle, featuring compilations from Bedroom Suck Records, Fallopian Tunes, Special Award Records and Wood & Wire.

The Wood & Wire compilation acts as a retrospective ‘best of’ featuring tracks from all of our releases to date, and also looks ahead with four upfront exclusives from upcoming releases due on the label in 2013. Across 19 tracks, ‘Made Of Wood & Wire – A Compilation For The Lifted Brow’ features fm, Emily Grantham, Regional Curse, h+, Kučka, Drill Folly, Hollow Press, Textile Audio, The Vainglories, Automating, Shisd, K Wilson, Machine Death and BOK Darklord – plus cuts from new releases from Stress Waves, Setec, David Evans, Fatti Frances and Cycle 440.

Get the compilation as a free download via the Wood & Wire Bandcamp:

New releases from Drill Folly and Hollow Press

This month on Wood & Wire, we’re delivering new, experimental Australian music from two exceptional solo artists, Melbourne’s Drill Folly and Hollow Press from Adelaide.

No Love Lost (WW15) is the debut release from electronic producer Sarah Phelan, under the name Drill Folly. Sarah has been making music for a number of years as a founding member of Melbourne’s Tantrums, whose debut EP Anomie was released on New Weird Australia in 2010, featuring remixes from Collarbones & Worng. As part of Tantrums, Sarah has played live supporting Unkle, Mount Kimbie, Caribou, Four Tet, PVT, Xiu Xiu, My Disco, Jason Forrest and more.

This debut release is designed to be listened to on your own, in headphones. Sarah notes: “This is about expressing human emotion through machines. This is about therapy … immersion … escape … about words being insufficient … about trying to remember and remembering to forget. This is about not letting things sit on your hard drive until you die.”

Beginning in early 2012, Adelaide’s Hollow Press has been using drone, glitches, field recordings, voices and industrial sounds to create his work. His first two albums, Fleeting Joy and Between Us were released digitally and on CD by US label Drug Arts. A remix album of his work was released in early 2013 with reworks from The Atlas Room, Shisd, Delphine Coma, Amanda Schoepflin and more.

The third Hollow Press album in the span of a year, Heads in Dust (WW16) is a collection of blissful and at times unsettling songs – an abstract soundtrack to someone’s innermost, darkest thoughts, as it drifts seamlessly though sonic atmospheres. Clearly Hollow Press loves the darker shades of experimentalism, exploring ambience, mingling sounds, wave-like-synths, bells, and distorted voices, resulting in a captivating and significant Australian experimental album.

Download both releases for free on our Release page.

A Brief History of Textile Audio

This week sees the release of The Pomegranate Cycle by Textile Audio on Wood & Wire. Woven from song, sound textures and fragmented orchestration, The Pomegranate Cycle is the creation of composer, mezzo soprano and sound engineer Eve Klein.

Since 2002, Eve has been working as a professional operatic mezzo soprano, electronic musician and academic. The Textile Audio project finds her working with scores, field recordings, and operatic-pop composite vocals to weave rich melodic soundscapes and textures that she describes as “unashamedly romantic”.  With a PhD in Music and Sound from Queensland University of Technology, and over 300 shows for Opera Australia under her belt, The Pomegranate Cycle marks the culmination of many years of explorations into the marriage of opera and classical forms with contemporary audio production.

An early work, Some Kind Of Mininova opened New Weird Australia’s free compilation, Volume Four, and introduced Textile Audio to an audience who were among the first to experience Eve’s unique contemporary Australian experimental opera. This was shortly followed by The Pomegranate EP on Feral Media, which featured early versions of tracks from The Pomegranate Cycle as well as a wonderfully sensitive rework of The Pomegranate Cycle‘s Demeter’s Lament by electronic producer, Gentleforce.

In an interview with Eve in Cyclic Defrost, Melonie Bayl-Smith commented on the (then) work-in-progress Pomegranate Cycle : “In a way, whilst there is a provocative electronic subversion inherent in the disruptive industrial clicks, blips and tears that punctuate the work, it is the sheer beauty of Klein’s voice, heard against itself, against the samples and lines, against the disembodied choruses, that is the glue by which The Pomegranate Cycle is most potently held together. Here, at the point of Klein’s voice and its placement in the structure of the music, are operatic traditions celebrated, challenged and reframed. This is contemporary music at its most relevant – it is simultaneously inward and outward focused in addressing the challenge of its existence and its capacity to produce something great”.

The Pomegranate Cycle is now available as a Free Download and Limited Edition CD – housed in a four-panel digipak sleeve with original design by Heath Killen and photography by Ravi Glasser-Vora

Preview: New Hollow Press album on Wood & Wire

March will see the release of a brand new album from Adelaide producer Hollow Press on Wood & Wire.

In an interview with Hollow Press on Crawlspace in September 2012, writer Luke Telford noted: “Much of his music is devoted to a kind of gloriously devolved beatscape that shares certain things with witch house or minimal techno, but dispenses with the sensuousness and forward motion of those tags. The music’s other approach eschews rhythm entirely in favour of dense digital texture and seething ambient spaces. A prevailing sense of resignation and quiet hope bridges the two settings. It’s potent, and occasionally challenging, but richly rewards the time you spend with it.”

Here’s an early preview from the release – a track titled Memory Lapse and a new video featuring footage from L’Etoile de Mer / Poison / Emak Bakia by Man Ray.

Machine Death in Free Music Archive / WFMU ‘Best Of 2012’

The Free Music Archive is an long-standing initiative, directed by WFMU, the most renowned freeform radio station in America.  The archive is an interactive library of high-quality, legal audio downloads, and features some of the most interesting and innovative music from around the world.

Every year, Free Music Archive curators pick their favourites from the library, and our Machine Death self-titled release landed a placing in their ‘Best of 2012’ list.  They note: “[Wood & Wire have] been releasing excellent sounds from new and old artists alike with startling regularity, but this one from Ben Byrne and Ivan Lisyak’s Machine Death project really takes the cake. Soul-crushing and sublime, there is a subtlety to their method that has me listening again and again.”

Read the full list at freemusicarchive.org.

Emily Grantham and Shisd on free New Weird Australia compilation

New Weird Australia’s latest free compilation is titled Broadcast Four.  Culled from live-to-air recordings from the New Weird Australia radio show on Sydney’s FBi Radio, the compilation features exclusive tracks from Wood & Wire artists Emily Grantham and Shisd – along with fourteen other tracks from artists like Oscar Key Sung, Scissor Lock, Thomas William, Secret Birds and many more.

Preview Emily Grantham and Shisd tracks below, and download the 16-track compilation for free at newweirdaustralia.com.

BOK Darklord in Unwashed Territoires ‘Albums Of The Year’

Our BOK Darklord release ‘Lulu’ has landed in Unwashed Territories‘ ‘Albums Of The Year’ list, coming in at #3 in a list that also includes Sun Araw and Godspeed You! Black Emperor.

Blog author Mark Whitby championed the release on his UK-based Dandelion Radio show on its release, and the record clearly made an impression as he was pulling together his end-of-year list.  He notes:

“BOK Darklord – a merging of the considerable creative juices of Lucas Darklord and Buttress O’Kneel – took on such a task and from it created one of the best, and most original, albums of 2012.   Via the simple but effective recource of simply taking a load of Metallica tracks, a load of Lou Reed tracks, and coarsely ramming them together, they recreated Lulu, transforming it from a derided piece of crap into a visionary masterpiece. The recording, in all its harsh glory, can be downloaded for nothing from Australia’s Wood & Wire label, a strong contender for label of the year.”

Read the full review at unwashedterritories.blogspot.co.uk, and while your there, check out Mark’s new three-volume compilation Into The Light – a benefit record for the Free Pussy Riot campaign.

Sonic Masala reviews first ten Wood & Wire releases

We’re quite humbled by the commitment of Sonic Masala who’ve taken it upon themselves to review the first TEN releases on Wood & Wire – from Emily Grantham, Machine Death, BOK Darklord, Shisd, Regional Curse (Stacey Wilson / Rites Wild), Setec, Kučka, automating and Fm. An amazing effort, and a great way to catch up on what you might have missed.

They note:

New Weird Australia is an Australian institution that champions this continent’s more left of field experimental artists, branching out from a mere radio program on Sydney’s FBi station to become a beacon of ambition and exploration. This year they have opened up into a record label too, albeit a digital one, called Wood & Wire. They have close to ten releases out already, and with another due out this month I thought it best to do a small feature on these albums – because there are some amazing gems here.”

Read all ten reviews at sonicmasala.blogspot.com.au.

Tiny Mix Tapes on Automating’s ‘Somnambulist’

Tiny Mix Tapes has reviewed Automating’s ‘Somnambulist’ – referring to the experience as “like getting your brain picked by the most expert of audiophiles”.

Here’s the full text of the review, online at tinymixtapes.com

“Amazing Australian artist Automating (how’s that for alliteration) makes screechy industrial-tinged experimental music, mixed with murky strings and plenty of drone. They also release free albums. Somnambulist consists of 18 bits of avant-garde goodness specifically designed to tickle your primary auditory cortex. With track titles like “Alpha Wave” (there’s also Beta, Gamma, and Theta), “EEG Test,” and “Lucid Dreaming,” and appropriately mind-bending tunes to match, listening to this album is like getting your brain picked by the most expert of audiophiles — and it’s a blast.”

Download Automating’s ‘Somnambulist’

Reviews for Regional Curse – Natural Living

Our Regional Curse release ‘Natural Living’ has recently been reviewed in a number of titles – you can download the record for free on the ‘Natural Living’ release page.

Crawlspace is a new site dedicated to “strange / weird / beautiful / repugnant Australian music”. Editor Shaun Prescott notes that “the mix here is very clean and deep: there’s none of the crisp snare hiss of Rites Wild because this is very much a bass driven operation … There’s an almost liberating darkness here. It’s not oppressive, but rather spacious and thoughtful. The name “regional curse” is fitting because this doesn’t feel particularly urban. It never gets this dark in the city.” Read the full review at crawlspacemagazine.com, along with their interview with Regional Curse aka Stacey Wilson.

We’re impressed when a writer takes the time to get under the skin of a release and truly lives and breathes the work. This review of Regional Curse from James Catchpole at A Closer Listen is one such review – “Natural Living, to an extent, reminisces over the remains of early synth music, with perhaps a longing for their return, but it is also its own futuristic temple, and the bones of the era are left to adorn the walls.” Read it in full at at acloserlisten.com.

Beer On My Boat Shoes discuss witches at some length, before noting “this is genuinely unsettling music to be kept from impressionable children at all costs, that is if we’d like to maintain their disneyfied childhoods.”

Thanks also to Who The Hell? & Skydreams for picking up the record on their sites.

Wood And Wire – Sydney & Melbourne shows for Kučka, Emily Grantham & Shisd

Two Wood & Wire artists, Kučka and Emily Grantham team up for a Sydney show this weekend, also featuring renowned Sydney solo artist, Rainbow Chan and producer FM.  The show takes place at The Annandale Hotel on Sunday 12th August, doors are from 8pm, tickets $10.  Kučka will be launching her new video clip for ‘Rewind‘, taken from her Wood & Wire release ‘Kučka EP.  This is also the first live show for Emily Grantham following the release of her debut record on Wood & Wire, ‘Chocolate SyrupMore info on the Facebook event page.

Kučka will also be playing a free show in Sydney on Friday 10th August 2012, at Oxford Art Factory, with Grey & Patrice, FM and Senyo.  Info at OAF site.

Wood & Wire artist, Shisd, will be launching his Wood & Wire EP ‘しsd – EPin Melbourne at The Gasometer Hotel on Sunday 19th August featuring a Sydney / Melbourne combo line-up including Major Napier, Naps and Juota.  Shisd tells us to “expect “soulful” laptop music, tasteful drones and narcotic beats”.  Full details on Facebook.

Oscar Key Sung closes the final New Weird Australia Radio Show

When the last New Weird Australia radio show aired on FBi Radio a few weeks back, Oscar Key Sung closed proceedings with the first live performance of a new song, “It’s Gone”. A fitting way to end the chapter.

From Oscar: “This was the first live performance of this song. Done to a stripped back instrumental. For the last New Weird Australia radio show on Fbi 26th July 2012 at about 11pm presented by Stu Buchanan. Thank you to Stu Buchanan for having me, Jon Watts for mixing the effects, and Elliott Lauren for Filming.”

New Weird Australia – The Last FBi Broadcast

After a three-year run, this week sees the final FBi broadcast for New Weird Australia, which is moving to a weekly Podcast format as of next month. To celebrate the last live show, I will be joined in the studio by Melbourne artist OSCAR SLORACH-THORN (from OSCAR & MARTIN); HENSEN (from SEEKAE and CLIQUES); improvisor, musician and sound artist JONATHAN WATTS and Canberra-based producer SHISD.

Expect a mixture of live performances, mini-mixes and random debate, as well as the customary smashing of a few champagnes bottles as New Weird Australia sets sail for new waters. Tune in on Thursday 26th July at 9pm – live in Sydney on 94.5FM or stream online at www.fbiradio.com

nwa-last-fbi-broadcast

 

New Weird Australia – Real Time Arts Interview

In this new video from Real Time Arts, I talk to Gail Priest about the past, present and future of New Weird Australia.

RealTime is Australia’s critical guide to international contemporary arts. Our focus is on innovation in performance (live art, experimental theatre, dance, music, sound), photomedia, film, video, interactive media and hybrid arts.

The realtimearts.net website offers a comprehensive view of Australian contemporary art with an international perspective, combining the current print edition of RealTime, online exclusives and updates; the RealTime archive; new works on show in our studio; featured events (forums, festivals) and arts issues; and a portal that will guide you to the best sites in innovative contemporary art.

New Weird Australia – VAGRANT dates & line-ups announced

(cross posted from newweirdaustralia.com)

VAGRANT is New Weird Australia’s travelling gig series – a pop-up club-night with no fixed abode and an open-source platform for eclectic and experimental Australian music.  Following its Sydney launch with GUERRE, SCISSOR LOCK and MAJOR NAPIER, VAGRANT travels the country during July 2012, calling at Melbourne, Brisbane, Newcastle, Perth & Adelaide.

MELBOURNE – SUNDAY 8TH JULY (TODAY!) VAGRANT #2 NAPS, WOOSHIE, KANE IKIN, BABA X (dj), ZANZIBAR CHANEL @ The Workers Club, Fitzroy – presented with This Thing

BRISBANE – THURSDAY 12TH & SATURDAY 14TH JULY (TWO NIGHTS!): VAGRANT #3 + #4 TALKSHOW BOY, SCRAPS, FEET TEETH + NO ANCHOR, THE RATIONAL ACADEMY, ANONYMEYE VS AMBROSE CHAPEL @ The Waiting Room, West End, Brisbane – presented with Micronations

NEWCASTLE – SUNDAY 15TH JULY: VAGRANT #5 SCATTERED ORDER, DRACOPEDE, THE MERMAIDS @ Terrace Bar, Newcastle

PERTH – FRIDAY 27TH & SATURDAY 28TH JULY (TWO NIGHTS!) Friday VAGRANT #6 PER PURPOSE, RITES WILD, CRAIG MCELHINNEY, DOCTOPUS @ Galleria, Perth | Saturday VAGRANT #7 TERRIBLE TRUTHS, PER PURPOSE, GUNS @ Dada, Perth – presented with Good Company

ADELAIDE – SATURDAY 28TH JULY VAGRANT #8 HOLY BALM, ASPS, MAJOR CRIMES, BEIGE ABRASION @ Format, Adelaide – presented with Celeste Juliet

Also this month, the Fallopian Tunes label, in association with New Weird Australia, assembles a hefty lineup of Melbourne based electronic acts on SATURDAY 28TH JULY to officially launch our recent free compilation, Gloss & MossSPEED PAINTERS, DOCUMENT SWELL, MATTHEW BROWN, JACOB SILVER and CALL ME PROFESSOR will play The Mercat Basement, 456 Queen St, Melbourne (Opp Vic Market) from 10pm.

Our next Sydney event will be held in September, as part of the Sydney Fringe – more info soon.

Emily Grantham review from Life Is Noise

Life Is Noise has reviewed Emily Grantham‘s release ‘Chocolate Syrup’ on Wood & Wire.

They noted its “trippy and unnerving blend of synth, vocal samples and discordance“, ultimately finding it “brilliant and damn creepy“.

In their own words: “Life is noise exists to bring interesting, independent, unique, challenging and just plain fucked-up music to Australia and the world”. Get more at lifeisnoise.com.