Whilst Fat Planet without the Scottish banter is arguably a poor substitute, you can nonetheless now fire up a revolving & evolving playlist of program highlights on Spotify. Follow via link below.
More 90s recall this week as Double J continues its month-long retrospective, asking the question ‘Was the 90s the greatest decade in music?’. This week’s list is my favourite of the three thus far, ‘The 50 most important female artists of the 90s‘;
I was asked to write about a few legends, and I even managed to stop hyperventilating to write something vaguely intelligible about the woman at #1.
Double J’s all-month-long 90s retrospective continues this week with another ‘Best Of’ list, sure to have a few of you wailing at both the inclusions and exclusions. ‘The 50 most overlooked songs of the 90s‘ includes a few contributions from me, including tunes from 808 State, Cibo Matto (pictured), Transglobal Underground, The Justified Ancients of Mu Mu and GusGus.
Was the 90s the greatest decade in music?
That’s the question Double J is asking all throughout June, as they go deep on the decade that shaped so many of us musically. There are charts galore as part of the 90s celebration, starting with ‘The 50 best Australian songs of the 90s’. Despite growing up in Scotland during the 90s, I wasn’t entirely oblivious to the Australian music scene. There were a few choice acts that made their way up and over the crest of the globe, but only one of my favourites has made its way into this particular ‘Best Of…’ list.
In an interview originally broadcast on Fat Planet, I talk with politically charged Tel Aviv artist Noga Erez about the release of her phenomenal debut album Off The Radar – one of the best releases of 2017 thus far, channeling equal parts M.I.A., FKA Twigs, Flying Lotus and more. Continue reading “INTERVIEW. Israel’s Noga Erez brings the fire on her debut ‘Off The Radar’”
The annual Eurovision Song Contest has nearly always scored nil points when it comes to credible artists belting out top-notch songs. Yet, there have been a few moments across the decades where it seemed like cool might prevail against the onslaught of kitsch.
I’ve selected a few well-known artists that put their career on the line in hope of a Eurovision win, and you can watch performances from all of those on the Double J website. Continue reading “BACK CATALOGUE. 5 moments when Eurovision was nearly cool”
Often our knowledge of music from other countries is limited to what we might call ‘novelty’ acts – or those that seem so absurd to our Western ears, that they scream for attention. For example, can you name any Korean artist or song other than Psi and ‘Gangnam Style’?
Even Russia is not immune to the curse of the novelty. Perhaps their best known export is Pussy Riot, who rode to international attention on a wave of anti-Putin sentiment clad in balaclavas, smashing the oligarchy, patriarchy or any other kind of hierarchy they could stomp their boots on. Continue reading “NEW MUSIC. Russia’s finest shoegaze, coldwave and stoner metal”
This week, Fat Planet returns to the radio after a multi-year hiatus – now broadcasting nationally on Double J on ABC Radio.
Every week, I’ll be introducing you to some of the great music from around the world – but it’s not a ‘world music’ show. If you’re unsure what that means, I’ve prepared some notes on a few new tracks that will kick off your Fat Planet journey just nicely.
Head to the Double J website to listen to music from Goat (Sweden), Yama Warashi (Japan), Wareika Hill Sounds (Jamaica), Aristophanes (Taiwan, pictured) and António Sanches (Cabo Verde).
E2-E4 by Manuel Göttsching (Ash Ra Tempel); 60 minutes of freeform electronics and guitar, completely improvised & recorded (almost by accident) over the course of one evening in 1981 – and now regarded as one of the most important records of all time. A kick in the eye for the overthinkers.
Continue reading “BACK CATALOGUE. Manuel Göttsching ‘E2-E4’”
Many moons ago, my radio program Fat Planet boomed out of the FBi Radio transmission tower, spreading a heady diet of brand new music from all around the world, and together we laughed and danced and cried and made merry for many years. Flash forward to 2017, and I’m super-stoked to tell you that Fat Planet is returning, with the same curatorial mission – to uncover vital sounds from music cultures around the globe. This time around, Fat Planet finds it home with the genius minds at Double J, and it all kicks off next Wednesday (18th January) 8pm. “Your ticket to a big world of music” – on mobile, online, digital radio & tv.
I’ve written a primer for Fat Planet, now published on the Double J website – read it here: Fat Planet is your ticket to a big world of music – featuring bonus video clip from the 80s – Nena’s ’99 Luftballons’ …
I also wrote a recap about the original Fat Planet program back in 2008 – get familiar here.
Whilst contemplating some of my favourite music from 2016, I realised that a bullet list holds many secrets; that choices shared in public are often born of intimate moments. And so here a few such moments, tales that needed to be told, to cast much-needed light on the year gone by.
1. Listening to Xiu Xiu playing The Music Of Twin Peaks, whilst in Twin Peaks
When I decided to take a short trip through the U.S. northwest, I knew that I could cross something special off the bucket list – to make a pilgrimage, 25 years in the making, to Twin Peaks. The town itself doesn’t exist, but rather it’s an amalgam of filming locations around North Bend and Snoqualmie, forty minutes east of Seattle. I visited Salish Lodge, aka The Great Northern Hotel, atop Snoqualmie Falls (which provided the waterfall sequence in the opening credits); along with the location of the ‘Welcome To Twin Peaks’ sign, Twede’s Cafe (which doubled as The Double R), the Twin Peaks Sherrif’s Dept amongst others. Continue reading “NEW MUSIC. From Xiu Xiu and Twin Peaks, to freak-folk and makeshift shrines – My 2016 Moments In Music”
“[It’s] frustrating and validating in equal measure … a process of recalibrating my own expectations. It’s a weird fucking time to be releasing music.”
I was interviewed by whothehell.net about Provenance and apparently I decided that it was cool to swear heaps. That said, this is a generous overview of my work to date and the genesis / early days of Provenance. It also reaffirms once again that I have a masterful knack of making a rod for my own back.
Read the full interview at whothehell.net
Image: from Who The Hell Facebook, not of an actual Provenance party. We’d be far less happy.
‘The Roman / Crossing The Fourth Threshold’ is the new single from Medicine Voice, the second track to be singled-out from the album ‘I And Thou‘ (out now on Provenance). To mark the moment, Medicine Voice has collaborated with artists Louisa Clayton and Kevina-Jo Smith on a beautiful new film clip, shot on location in the Blue Mountains. Sar also had some words to say about the film, about hope, about Standing Rock, which you can read on the Provenance web site.
Saturday 26 November I’ll be rolling out my Beau Kannon alias for a DJ set at Neon Fern a night of “dark techno, leftist pop and electronica”, and of course ferns. Taking place at Baroque in Katoomba, there are also sets from Melty, Ghostgirl (whose new album A.I. Ambient Intimacy was released earlier this week), Mannheim Rocket (3BS Records) and Broken Chip. Plus digital installations from Mark Sabb of U.S. online mag Felt Zine. Tickets and info on Facebook.
New on Provenance: The result of many long conversations and a mutual appreciation of the wisdom of Dale Cooper – the new single from Becki Whitton aka Aphir aka an artist who was once dubbed “equal parts Kate Bush and Bjork”. What’s not to love? This is the first taste of Becki’s upcoming album ‘Twin Earth’, due on Provenance in early 2017, and follows a series of self-released singles and her 2015 debut album ‘Holodreem’.
Super-excited to finally release the excellent ‘Always’ EP from Lovely Head through Provenance – a six-track experimental pop EP from Sydney producer, ex-No Art guitarist & writer Vivian Huynh. Exploring themes of tension, distance and lust, ‘Always’ is a combination of desert guitar, misshapen beats and quiet longing. Available on digital and super-limited lathe cut 10” vinyl, shipped with full-colour sleeve print.
The video for the lead track ‘Show Up’ is described by Vivian as a “love letter to Cabramatta”. She says: “I’ve been going there since I was a bleary-eyed infant. We’d go on weekends, and have lunch first. Mum or dad would order the pho. You get given a little bowl and a pair of scissors that your parents use to slop a bit of their noodle into and cut up for you to eat. Then I’d trail my parents as they did the grocery shopping for the week, pick up the ‘ Chieu Duong’ paper, and flick through pirated Hong Kong movies to take home. Shooting this brought back the most bittersweet memories.”
Get the record at provenancerecords.com.
Last year, when I started to think about the artists that I was keen to have in the Provenance family, Vivian Huynh was an early addition to the list. I loved No Art and was a superfan of her solo work as Lovely Head. I’m stoked that Viv agreed to come on board, and doubly stoked to be releasing her new Lovely Head EP ‘Always’ on 21st October. The EP follows her collaborative release EP with Pendant earlier this year – stream the lead track ‘Show Up’ below and pre-order now at Bandcamp and iTunes.
I am the type of Aphir fan who will think nothing of assembling a cheer squad to turn up at her gigs wearing matching t-shirts and furiously waving pom poms. I am thus immensely excited that she is joining the Provenance family for her upcoming album, due later this year. I have already sneakily teased her involvement – she contributed vocals to Spartak‘s EP ‘I Fought The Style’; she dropped the track ‘Cold Space’ on the label sampler ‘Marks Of Provenance I’ (free with any purchase from the Provenance store!); and she also writes and produces for KAIA, who’ll be releasing her record on Provenance in 2017.
Watch Aphir perform ‘Cold Space’ above, accompanied by Anej Kocevar, rehearsing for their performance at this year’s Music Tech Fest in Berlin.
Lortica writes tracks using an omnichord, piano, synthesizer, samples and fabricated trombones, before wrestling the source material into a punishing ordeal of pitching, stretching and heavy effects treatments. I adored his debut album ‘Mialle Tapes’ released on Phinery and Feral Media in 2014, and I’m likewise smitten with the follow-up ‘Phellemens‘, which I will be releasing on Provenance on 26 August 2016.
Watch the video for ‘FL II’ from ‘Phellemens’ above. Prior to the release, Lortica has the great honour of supporting the perfect storm of Severed Heads and phile at Freda’s in Sydney on Saturday 13 August 2016.
Two years ago, Sar Friedman sent me her album ‘I And Thou‘ and asked if I wanted to release it. I adored it, to me it sounded like Bat For Lashes backed by Sunn O))) – a beautiful combination. But I didn’t have a record label, so I declined Sar’s offer. Another year went by, and Sar asked me again. I thought “if no one else is going to release this, I’ll just need to start a label and release it myself.” And here we are. Provenance is a real thing, thanks to Sar.
This Friday she plays the record in its entirety from beginning to end with Kell Derrig-Hall (The Singing Skies), Ben Morgan (Service Bells) and Ben James (Terza Madre), supported by Melodie Nelson and Lovely Head. It will be magic, and I would love for you to join us. Doors 8pm, show starts 8:30, I’ll be hocking the vinyl on the merch table.
It has been a mental marathon getting here, but the day has arrived. The first three records from my Provenance label are all now available from wherever you buy your music. iTunes, Google Play, Bandcamp, Amazon and so on and so it goes. Vinyl & Cassette editions also available through the online store, or can be ordered via your local record emporium (Repressed in Newtown already has a few vinyls). You’ll find them in all these places, waiting to be loved, yelping to be taken home. Treat yourself.
+ Medicine Voice ‘I And Thou’ (PR001) – Vinyl & Digital
+ Paneye ‘Desertism’ (PR002) – Cassette & Digital
+ Spartak ‘I Fought The Style’ (PR004) – Digital
Every day, once a day, give yourself a present. Don’t plan it. Don’t wait for it. Just let it happen.