5 moments when Eurovision was nearly cool

Originally published on doublej.net.au
Photo: Telex at Eurovision in 1980. Photo from Nationaal Archief


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.

Here is a selection of well-known artists that put their career on the line in hope of a Eurovision win.


France Gall – ‘Poupée de cire, poupée de son’

Serge Gainsbourg; to some, he was the epitome of cool French pop, to others the master of double entendre and lowbrow sleaze.

Those worlds collided in his collaboration with France Gall, ‘Poupée de cire, poupée de son’ (trans: ‘Doll of wax, Doll of sawdust’) – a song which overtly implied that Gall was nothing more than Gainsbourg’s singing puppet.

This 1965 entry from Luxembourg caused a ruckus at the time, taking home the Eurovision crown and ending a long run of turgid ballads, essentially kick-starting modern Eurovision as we know it today.


Sandie Shaw – ‘Puppet On A String’

There’s more than a hint of Gainsbourg’s winning composition in Sandie Shaw’s ‘Puppet On A String’, which followed in 1967. Not least in the title.

Shaw already had a string of hits in the UK pre-Eurovision, including an excellent cover of Bacharach & David’s ‘(There’s) Always Something There to Remind Me’. But it was her Eurovision victory that launched her as a British fashion icon, imbuing all that was chic about the ‘Swinging Sixties’.

In 1983, the then-unknown Morrissey invited her to sing on The Smiths’ debut single ‘Hand In Glove’, instantly delivering her a new generation of fans, who – much like the previous generation – fell deeply in love with her effortless cool.


Ofra Haza – ‘Hi’

Ofra Haza’s 1983 entry for Israel might not be much to get excited about, but her appearance preceded an unexpected trajectory that found her thrust into the midst of the nascent British hip hop community.

Her 1984 recording ‘Im Nin’alu’ was sampled by Coldcut in 1987 for their remix of Eric B & Rakim’s ‘Paid In Full’. The remix eclipsed the chart success of the original source track, and has since made its way to near-legendary status as of one of the greatest remixes of all time.

‘Im Nin’alu’ was subsequently re-released as a single, selling three million copies worldwide.


Telex – ‘Euro-Vision’

Founded in the late-’70s, Belgium’s Telex are a curio in the Eurovision catalogue. They’re a band who have carved a credible trajectory through the history of electronic music – collaborating with Depeche Mode, Sparks and Pet Shop Boys – but who nonetheless took a brief sidestep into Eurovision with their dry, nonchalant self-titled modular-synth driven ‘Euro-vision’.

They stepped onto the Eurovision stage, swathed in matching white scarves for a steely, DGAF performance. They were reportedly disappointed that they didn’t achieve their goal – to come last, with nil points.


Tatu – ‘Ne’ver, ne boisia’

Everyone’s favourite Russian lesbians represented Russia in 2003, 12 months after their global hit ‘All The Things She Said’ split audiences into lovers and haters.

They entered the Eurovision arena to rapturous applause, but sadly their schtick came unstuck as the audience was treated to off-key, shrill vocals, more high pitched than a dog whistle.

They nevertheless came in a respectable third, allowing their juggernaut to roll on a little further.

A journalist famously asked Morrissey what he thought of TaTu’s cover of The Smiths’ ‘How Soon Is Now’, helpfully explaining that TatTu were “those teenage Russian lesbians”.  To which Moz replied, “Well, aren’t we all?”


BONUS MOMENT: Hawkins & Brown – ‘They Don’t Make ‘Em Like They Used To’

That moment when Justin Hawkins from The Darkness teamed up with soul singer Beverlei Brown to enter a BBC talent show, designed to choose the official UK entry for Eurovision in 2007.

They were pitched against (deep breath) a former member of Atomic Kitten, and one-time East 17 buffoon Brian Harvey. Yet they still lost out in the public vote, to the execrable Scooch with their hi-energy disco take on Pan Am’s comedy career.

Hawkins does look characteristically awesome and hams it up like Boss Hog, making for a bizarre ‘what if’ footnote in Eurovision history.

Fat Planet Returns – on Double J

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 wrote a recap about the original Fat Planet program back in 2008 – get familiar here.

Out From Under – new radio program

I’m back on the radio this week with the launch of my new weekly radio program Out From Under – focusing on eclectic and experimental Australian music, weaving documentary stories and interviews with new music specials and live performances. I’m excited to also announce that Out From Under will be broadcast on Resonance Extra, a new channel from Resonance 104.4fm (home to Little Atoms and @The Wire’s Adventures In Music & Sound); and will be co-produced with FBi Radio in Sydney.

The program aims Thursdays 11pm GMT / Friday 10am AEST. Listen online at http://extra.resonance.fm, DAB in Brighton & Hove (UK) or via Radioplayer and TuneIn.

More info.

Repercussions launches on FBi Click – listen to first two episodes

My new radio show, Repercussions, has launched on FBi’s new station, FBi Click. Every week on Repercussions I investigate the infinite connections in electronic music, past present and future. Each 60-minute show follows an artist, genre, producer, subject, location or label and explores the influential tracks that exist in their orbit – before, during and after.

The first episode is titled “In The Beginning” and is a collection of important touchstones in electronic music from the early 70s through to the mid 90s, including artists such as Kraftwerk, Donna Summer, Afrika Bambaataa, Severed Heads, The Art Of Noise, Aphex Twin and many more.

Download Repercussions #1 – In The Beginning

Repercussions #2 features our first Guest Selector – Sydney electronic music producer and DJ Gareth Psaltis, discusses the artists and tracks that influenced his work, including music from Autechre, Kanding Ray, Surgeon, Voices From The Lake and more.

Download Repercussions #2 – Selector: Gareth Psaltis

FBi Click Launch Party Flyer

FBi Click Launch Party at Goodgod

I’m DJing along with all the new FBi Click crew at Goodgod Small Club tonight (June 27th). Here’s the blurb:

FBi Radio is launching a brand new digital station dedicated to dance and electronic music: FBi Click!  We’re bringing together the best crews in the country to keep you dancing 24/7. Of course nothing’s official until there’s a party – so we’re taking over both rooms at Goodgod to kick this off with a bang. DJ sets from all the shows on FBi Click – aka:

ASTRAL PEOPLE
Sweat It Out Music!
Purple Sneakers
Motorik
Halfway Crooks
THUMP
Picnic Touring & Events
Body Promise (Mealo & Amelia Jenner)
Repercussions (Stuart Buchanan)
Lazy Radio (Tony Chill)
Bare Necessities (Klue)
Goodgod Small Club DJs
+ FBi Radio DJs

Free entry before 10pm
$15 on the door ($10 for FBi supporters)
With special FBi Clicktails by Goodgod + FBi Clickdawgs by The Dip!

FACEBOOK EVENT PAGE

New radio show to launch on FBi Click

Today, June 25th 2014, the insanely talented bods at FBi Radio launch a new station, FBi Click, exclusive to digital radio + simulcast online. After a short time in the wilderness, after the close of the New Weird Australia radio show, I’m heading back to the swivel chair to present a new show on FBi Click titled Repercussions. Navigating electronic music past, present & future, the show is available on FBi Click, on demand any time at fbiradio.com/click and will also be available via podcast.

Here’s the official blurb from the FBi Click site:

Repercussions investigates the infinite connections in electronic music, past, present and future. Each 60 minute show follows an artist, genre, producer, subject, location or label and explores the influential tracks that exist in their orbit – before, during and after. Neither retro nor futurist, Repercussions celebrates the timelessness of electronic music, in all its forms. Repercussions is presented by Stuart Buchanan, founder of the experimental record labels, New Weird Australia and Wood And Wire.

Buchanan was one of the first broadcasters on FBi in 2003, presenting Fat Planet for five years, and the New Weird Australia radio show for three years. Prior to arriving in Australia in the early 2000s, Buchanan worked as a DJ and producer in the UK, influenced and inspired by pioneering artists such as Cabaret Voltaire, Einstürzende Neubauten, Aphex Twin and Throbbing Gristle. Stuart’s depth of knowledge and passion for electronic music will make Repercussions a surprising and intriguing experience each week.

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.

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

 

Fat Planet – Rewind

Fat Planet is coming to the end of its journey (for now…). Here’s the story:

In August 2003, I started broadcasting the Fat Planet show on the (then) newly-birthed FBi Radio in Sydney.  FBi was set up to take a unique view of Australian music, to reposition both the city of Sydney and the country as a place for new, original and innovative sounds – and to tarmac over the notion that we were good for nothing more than Kylie Minogue, INXS and Men At Work.  When I was approached to do a ‘world music show’, I opted to toe the line on exactly the same philosophy – to reposition the notion of ‘world music’, and promote innovation and experimentation from unlikely locations.

Of course, the whole concept of ‘world music’ is in itself a paradox – it is a marketing and sales term, designed for ingestion by Western audiences.  ‘World music’ means nothing to consumers in South America or Africa.  Not only that, but it is quite insulting to apply such a broad and meaningless term to well-developed and flourishing local music industries.  The term also generally implies indigenous and traditional sounds, and as I was quick to discover, most countries falling in the ‘world music’ category consider indigenous music in much the same way that Westerners treat their folk heritage – as something to be acknowledged, but mostly unrepresentative of the current musical climate.

Back in 2003, music was only starting to be distributed online.  Most labels and artists had a general mistrust about duplication and piracy, and had yet to wake up to the web’s full potential. Luckily, there were a few vanguards around the globe taking advantage of the medium – often from the most unlikely of places.  Those vanguards naturally became staples on the Fat Planet radio show – music that was unreleased in Australia, often only released in its country of origin, but nonetheless music that was refreshing, challenging and utterly compelling.

As so much of the show’s pre-planning was spent trawling the web, I inevitably started to post a few links on my personal blog, zero-G.  The first tracks went online in January 2004 (Finland’s LacklustreWang Inc from Italy and South African Portable taking early honours) and, a couple of months later, the content shifted to its own URL at fatplanet.com.au. Although this was something of an organic and common sense process, it was also partly inspired by the early pioneers of the mp3 blog who had started shortly prior – FluxblogSaid The GramaphoneMusic For Robots and, primarily, Swen’s Weblog, a curation of mp3 links from artists that had appeared in The Wire magazine.

Over a five year period, the Fat Planet site went on to feature many hundreds of artists, exposing new sounds and styles often for the first time in an English-speaking environment.  Fat Planet was also one of the first to expose emerging genres and feature tracks from scenes such as baile funkkudurocongotronics, balkan hot step, baltimorecosmic disco and Boston bounce.  Artists who received some of their early blog-love on Fat Planet included M.I.A., Ghislian Poirier, Juana Molina, The Knife, Filastine, Konono No.1, Frikstailers, K’naan, Mutamassilk, Edu-K, Esau Mwamwaya, Para One, Villa Diamante, Jahcoozi, Cardopusher, Sibot, Stacs Of Stamina, Tetine, Bostich, DJ C, Ramallah Underground, Sweat X, Peter Bjorn & John, Mochipet, Datarock, Annie and many more.

In January 2008, the Fat Planet blog was featured in the UK’s ‘Guardian‘ newspaper in Chris Salmon’s column ‘Click To Download’.  In referencing a number of mp3 blogs from all over the world, Fat Planet was dubbed “Best Blog for world music“.  The Guardian called the blog: “a fantastic melting point of cutting-edge international sounds; be it Danish rap-techno, Argentinean cumbia, Israeli dub or Chinese hip-hop. The range and quality of the music Buchanan tracks down is astonishing”. (read the column here).  Time Out also reviewed Fat Planet earlier this year, calling it “a stunningly diverse range of music from all corners of the globe”.

Writing now in mid-2008, Fat Planet is drawing to a close (for now…) as it’s time to map some new terrain. Thanks to everyone who tuned in to the show or the blog, and I look forward to bringing you along on the next part of the ride.

Here’s some of the chunkier content from the radio show, all yours to digest in perpetuity:

INTERVIEW PODCAST ARCHIVE:

Lindstrom (July 2007)
Amon Tobin (February 2007)
Miho Hatori (January 2007)
El Perro Del Mar (January 2007)
Frederic Galliano, Kuduro Sound System (December 2006)
Annie (October 2006)
Filastine (October 2006)
Peter, Bjorn & John (September 2006)
OMFO (August 2006)
CSS / Cansei De Ser Sexy (July 2006)

PLUS:

Fat Planet Arabesque Mixtape (2006)
Fat Planet Year Two Mixtape (2005)
Fat Planet Year One Mixtape (2004)

FAT PLANET BLOG ARCHIVE (All 300 posts, give or take …)

Fat Planet – Arabesque Mix

‘Fat Planet Arabesque’ is inspired by artists such as Mutamassik, Filastine, 2/5 BZ and dj/Rupture who take a distinctly skewed and sonically distorted approach to working with sounds from the Middle East.  This mix was intended to, once again, prove the case that innovative, unique and challenging music can be found in all parts of the globe; and that attempts to blend territorial sensibilities and thus disable borders can be achieved without resorting – as is so often the case – to commercial lounge ‘remixes’ of indigenous work from Western DJs.

The mix was recorded in November 2006, was first broadcast on a ‘Fat Planet’ Special on the Australian Community Radio Network in June 2007, and re-broadcast on Dialectic, November 2007 (Edge Radio Hobart and nationwide on CRN).

Continue reading “Fat Planet – Arabesque Mix”

Fat Planet – Lindstrom (Norway) Interview

August 2007 saw the release of Norwegian producer Lindstrom‘s contribution to the ‘Late Night Tales‘ series, pulling together a selection of some of his favourite tunes that document the wee small hours. Previous contributors include Four Tet, Air and The Flaming Lips, so he’s amongst extremely fine company. The album came off the back of a couple of hugely successful years for Lindstrom – from the out-of-control breakthrough track ‘I Feel Space’, to the growth of his label ‘Feedelity‘ and the recent media buzz around his alleged position of the head of the ‘cosmic disco‘ genre. Hear what Hans-Peter had to say on some of these topics by listening to the Fat Planet interview, originally broadcast on FBi Radio on 18th July.

Fat Planet – Amon Tobin (Brazil) Interview

2007 saw the Australian release of Brazilian Amon Tobin’s studio album ‘The Foley Room’. as the title suggests, Tobin had worked to evolve from using vinyl sample sources to ‘found’ or ‘constructed’ sounds. It’s a huge testament to Tobin that the results remained defiantly accessible, and – unlike Herbert’s similar ‘Plate de Jour’ project – never fall into the realms of abstract sound art. The album, released through Ninja Tune, came with a documentary that documented the painstaking processes Tobin undertook in the construction of this record.

Tobin was in Sydney for a DJ show in January 2007, and I he joined me on the Fat Planet radio show to discuss ‘The Foley Room’ alongside his then recent soundtrack work on the Splinter Cell 3 video game.

Fat Planet – Miho Hatori (Cibo Matto) Interview

In January 2007, I had the great pleasure of interviewing Miho Hatori, formerly one half of the legendary Japanese band Cibo Matto, on the release of her debut solo album ‘Ecdysis’. Cibo Matto found success in the U.S. initially off the back of heavy rotation of their ‘Sugar Water’ clip, directed by Michel Gondry, which they backed up with two outstanding albums ‘Viva! La Woman’ and ‘Stereo Type A’ (the latter featuring an expanded Cibo Matto line-up with Sean Lennon on bass). My personal favourite Cibo Matto is seeing them on stage at ‘The Bronze’ in the season two opener of Buffy – a rare trans-pacific cultural crossover.

In the intervening years, Miho released a beautiful Brazilian collaboration with Smokey Hormel (‘Smokey and Miho’), dropped some vocals for the likes of Beastie Boys, Handsome Boy Modelling School and Blackalicious and also gave us the voice of Noodle in Gorillaz (re-listen to ’19-2000′ for some “shoe-shine” Miho goodness). There’s also a little curio that crops up on Ninja Tune’s ‘Urban Renewal Program’ compilation, a track titled ‘Night Light’ that sits alongside contributions from Tortoise, Prefuse 73, Mos Def and more.

The new album is, as expected, a thing of outstanding beauty – a more considered and organic version of Bjork‘s mid-career output, replete with a vast library of musical influences from around the world. The video clip (by Ishiura Masaru) is a dazzling accompaniment – an animated adventure, that could well be titled “Miho in the Underworld”; with a design style that calls to mind a cross between the twisted Charles Burns school of horror illustration and a psyched-out episode of Scooby Doo. Well worth 3:22 of your time.

Fat Planet – El Perro Del Mar (Sweden) Interview

Inspiration can strike at the most unlikely of moments. Sarah Assbring, aka El Perro Del Mar, broke years of “cold” and “empty” writers’ block, sitting on a beach in Spain, watching an “old salty sea dog” trot by. Somehow, in that moment of sunny, seaside bliss, the dog leant its name to a project that’s an inspired channelling of 1950s pop aesthetics, refracted through a dark, melancholic lens.

To label El Perro Del Mar a gloom-ridden project is to miss much of the point – underneath the dark and seemingly disparaging tones are rich undercurrents of humour and irony. No doubt inspired in part by her comrade and collaborator Jens Lekman, the ‘El Perro Del Mar’ album is replete with classic pop melodies and inspired lyricism – guaranteed to leave a twisted smile hanging on your lips all day long.

Listen below to the unedited Fat Planet interview with Sarah in which she goes into detail about her “quest” for the El Perro Del Mar sound, her qualms about facing a live audience, the vision for album number two and working with on Jens Lekman’s DVD project.

Fat Planet – Frederic Galliano (Kuduro Sound System) Interview

in october last year, i posted some music from a genre emerging out of angola known as kuduro – a fusion of local african sounds with ragga, techno, hip hop and caribbean influences. shortly thereafter, i interviewed french producer frederic galliano for fbi radio, discussing the first kuduro album to be released outside of angola – entitled ‘frederic galliano presents kuduro sound system’. galliano wrote the album with a local dj, kito da machina, and a group of “kudoristas” (anagolan mcs) – dog murras, pinta tirru, gata agressiva, zoca zoca, pai diesel and the original creator of kuduro, tony amado.

you can listen to the podcast of the interview above (featuring some short excerpts from the album), but if you’re too ‘time poor’ to check the podcast in its entirety, here’s a transcript. read it with a strong french accent.

fat planet: to the uninitiated, can you give us a brief background to kuduro?

frederic galliano: kuduoro is music typically from angola, created by tony amado ten years ago. when amado created kuduro, he was thinking about dance music at that time such as crystal waters and reel to reel. he mixed the kick of that kind of house music with programming inspired by traditional carnival music from angola. it was a strange idea and the result is of course this really fast mixture between techno and zouk. now kuduro is completely national, listened to by people from cape verde, mozambique – and also from portugal too. i’m now trying to bring this music to the world because i believe it is the first original electronic music from africa – and it really is a miracle.

how does this kind of electronic music sit with the congotronics series that was released by crammed discs last year?

congrotronics is not electronic music, it’s acoustic music with electronic amplification – but the realisation is not electronic. kuduro is electronic – the dj makes the music, just like i do. they have a computer, and that’s all. computer, vocals – that’s all. kuduro is like techno, it’s like hip hop, you know? that’s the real difference.

and what about the lyrical content?

it’s like hip hop in that it’s a social movement, originally created by poor people – so the lyrics contain critiques about society, critiques about politics – they explain the social situation of poor people. politicians don’t really like this music, because it it critical of them, but in fact it’s an obligation in angola to know about kuduro – because this is the only contemporary music that genuinely represents angolan people.

how did you first come in contact with kuduro?

it was two years ago when i was touring in angola with my project, the african divas. when i first heard kuduro, i felt it was completely new, completely fresh, yet typically african. and at the same time, the dj was working just like me. it was amazing.

and then how did the ‘kuduro sound system’ album come about?

i went back to angola and recorded the album in angola in two weeks. i worked with a dj called kito da machina and some of the best kudoristas around.

were you the first producer from outside angola to work with local kudoristas?

dog murras, he’s the big star of kuduro, he introduced me at a live show recently and said “galliano is the first white guy to do kuduro”. this is true, because i’m the only white guy that’s travelled in angola and work with the kudoristas. you know you have some kuduro in portugal, but the angolan people say this is “kuduro de blanco”, “kuduro of the white people” because it is really cheap. some people think kuduro is really easy to do, but it’s not – it’s really complex music. the programming is based on traditional music from angola and the creation is hard, because it is so strict. that’s why i’ve travelled so many times to angola, to learn exactly how to do it. now, i’m not the best kuduro programmer, but today some kudoristas say “galliano can do it”, because my feeling is like their feeling. i will be there again in january to learn to new propositions, new feelings.

do you think it’ll be easy for kuduro to break out and translate across the world?

i’m sure it’ll be successful all over the world, because this music is completely new and completely fresh – and i haven’t heard new music like that for over ten years. also, you can mix this with house, with techno, with drum and bass – that’s what is so crazy about kuduro, its a mix between dance, ragga, techno, zouk, traditional african music and brazilian. it’s strong, it’s funny and it’s easy to listen to.

the artists and writers who are now championing kuduro are the ones who championed funk carioca not that long ago. do you see any relationship between the two genres?

there is no formal similarity between funk cariaca and kuduro. funk cariaca, baile funk, is a sort of hip hop, the beats are not original. the originality of baile funk is the social situation behind it, but the beats are really easy to produce. it’s an old school style with a west coast sound. kuduro is completely different. the feeling is the same because of the portuguese language, but the realisation is totally different. it’s easy to produce a beat of baile funk, but kuduro? no, no – it’s not easy, it’s really complex.

kuduro-sound-system.blogspot.com.au

Fat Planet – Annie (Norway) Interview

this fat planet podcast is taken from earlier this year when annie‘s anniemal album finally received an australian release. on the phone from norway, annie and i talked about finding inspiration in rave parties, metal, madonna and jap-pop; about how the album was nearly derailed following the death of collaborator tore andreas kroknes; and how pitchfork’s ‘single of the year’ award led to annie clocking up a guest list of over 7000 people in new york city.

to puff up the album release, 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.

DOWNLOAD: annie ‘chewing gum (fakeID remix)’

the above mp3 dropped onto the web this week – a bootleg re-rub of ‘chewing gum’ from bastard pop aficionado, fakeID. 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.

Fat Planet – Filastine (U.S.) Interview

A ‘Fat Planet’ interview with Grey Filastine, originally broadcast on FBI Radio on 8th October 2006. Grey discusses his previous work with Tchkung! and his misadventures with the Infernal Noise Brigade, then bringing us up to speed with the genesis of Filastine and his audio travels around the world.

DOWNLOAD: FILASTINE judas goat (terror mix)

DOWNLOAD: FILASTINE figuig

regular readers will know i’m a fan of dj rupture (aka jace clayton) – undoubtedly at the forefront of marrying global sounds with radical contemporary production. think ‘afro house’ and then think of its exact polar opposite – and that’s where you’ll find rupture.

rupture‘s label soot has previously brought us egypt’s incomparable mutamassik as well as releases from japan’s ove naxxand jace’s own nettle project; and their next release comes from seattle-based solo producer filastine. having studied rhythms and worked with percussionists worldwide, filastine filters all those experiences into his new album ‘burn it’ (available now through boomkat).

short album samples on filastine’s site suggest that ‘burn it’ will deliver a diverse mix of hip hop, broken beat, ragga and deep electronic dub, all fused together with vocal samples and field recordings that represent an incredible diversity of music from around the world. note, once more, the term ‘world music’ does not apply.

the above remix of ‘judas goat’ kicks off with a feeling that you’re falling into a deep mantra, reflecting on bush’s ‘war on terror’ – and as you’re drifting through that elongated moment of discovery, filastine’s drops a mix of heavy dub (double-)basslines and eastern percussion and pipes. the original version of the track can be found on a recently released soot 7″, b/w a dubhop excursion with sweet french vocals (clip).

the second mp3 comes via comfort stand, described as a “community-driven label where all releases are free … striving to bring you recordings that we find interesting, compelling and downright enjoyable. everybody needs free music.” well said. the mp3 album is called ‘people doing strange things with electricity too‘ and is 25 tracks of artists that i’ve never heard of. i sense of morning-worth of downloading approaching.

more filastine: check out parts one and two of his mix as part of sonar calibrado (with maga bo), and this field recording entitled ‘mob destroys bank in argentina’.

Fat Planet – Cansei De Ser Sexy (Brazil) Interview

Sao Paulo’s Cansei De Ser Sexy (aka CSS) have had a flogging on various blogs over the last few months, but I make no apologies for throwing my own two cents into the ring. Truth is, I’m in love with this band – their debut Sub-Pop album is one of the most refreshing and liberating releases this year. Devoid of pretension and rammed with attitude, the self-titled ‘Cansei De Ser Sexy’ is a pop album like no other.

Cansei De Ser Sexy (“tired of being sexy”) epitomise smart party music – their heads are just as likely to be found inside Pitchfork as The National Enquirer. They seem to be both simultaneously repulsed by and deeply attracted to trash celebrity, all the while thrashing out tunes that recall the communal party spirit of Blondie, Chicks On Speed, The Sugarcubes, LCD Soundsystem, Peaches – they’re all in there somewhere.

Backstory: Brazil’s Trama Virtual is similar to Myspace, with 35,000 bands vying for your download attention. Five girls, a vocalist named Lovefoxxx, punk pop songs, short shorts, lyrics about J-Lo and Paris Hilton – is it any wonder CSS left 34,999 other bands in their wake? Fotologs apparently played a large part in this story; each member of the band has their own individual photo blog, and there’s a sixth communal photo blog for the band. Then there’s the Myspace pages, the band blog, the web site, the label site…

I had the good fortune to interview bassist Ira Trevison this week, who told me that they were not a Brazilian band, and not a Sao Paulo band – rather the internet is their geographic terrain, and without such citizenship, their career would have gone nowhere; the resultant signing to the legendary Sub-Pop would have been nothing but a wet dream.

CSS’ self-titled album is out now on Sub-Pop, the ‘Let’s Make Love And Listen Death From Above’ single features remixes from Spank Rock and another from the ubiquitous Diplo. Also worth a hunt is a 2005 Brazilian release which features their cover of Madonna‘s ‘Hollywood’, plus their own original bastard pop tracks featuring heads-to-heads such as Blondie vs The Undertones, Missy versus Yeah Yeah Yeahs and the hilarious track ‘i Want to be your J-Lo’.