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 (pictured, right, with Galliano above).

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 – OMFO (Russia) Interview

A Fat Planet interview with Russian producer German Popov, aka OMFO (Our Man From Odessa), originally broadcast on FBI on 27th August 2006. German talks about his new album ‘We Are The Shepherds’ (due on Essay Recordings later this year), trading records as a kid in Russian ports, his love of spacemen and his new best friend, Kazakhstan’s number one export – Borat.

www.omfo.net

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’.

Fat Planet – Year Two Mixtape

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”.

DOWNLOAD: FAT PLANET YEAR TWO MIXTAPE

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.”

Fat Planet – Year One Mixtape

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

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

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

DOWNLOAD: FAT PLANET – YEAR ONE MIXTAPE

Tracklisting:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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