NWA Podcast #8. Clan Analogue & Actual Russian Brides, Live-to-air Performance & Interview

From 2009-2012, the New Weird Australia Podcast featured selected interviews and in-studio recordings from my FBi radio show, as well as live performances from events, video interviews and more.

Formed almost twenty years ago, CLAN ANALOGUE remains one of the most prolific and interesting collectives in Australian electronic music. In this podcast episode, I was joined by ANT BANNISTER and ADRIAN ELMER (Telafonica) to talk about the Clan’s new career-spanning retrospective album, and its launch party in June 2010 in Sydney. Performing two exclusive tracks live in the studio were Clan members ACTUAL RUSSIAN BRIDES (pictured).

New Weird Australia Podcast #7. Kate Carr – Live-to-air Performance & Interview

From 2009-2012, the New Weird Australia Podcast featured selected interviews and in-studio recordings from my FBi radio show, as well as live performances from events, video interviews and more.

Sydney artist KATE CARR has been making music since 2007, developing a pallate of drones, soundscape, glitch, opera and pop. In this podcast, recorded in May 2010, Kate talks about her work to date, including her 2009 album ‘First Day Back’ released via German label ‘Retinascan’, and plays two tracks live in the studio.

New Weird Australia Podcast #6. The Necks – Interview

From 2009-2012, the New Weird Australia Podcast featured selected interviews and in-studio recordings from my FBi radio show, as well as live performances from events, video interviews and more.

THE NECKS are one of Australia’s most innovative cult bands, channeling experimental, avant garde, jazz, ambient and minimal sounds via a back catalogue that runs to fifteen albums over twenty years. Each of THE NECKS also has an equally impressive solo and collaborative career – however they always find time to regroup and return to Sydney at least once a year for one of their renowned live shows.

Ahead of their Sydney show in February 2010, Chris Abrahams from THE NECKS joined Danny and I on the NEW WEIRD AUSTRALIA Radio Show for a chat about their ever-evolving career and, in particular, the new album ‘Silverwater’ – a single 67 minute piece, representing some of their best work to date.

New Weird Australia Podcast #5. Crab Smasher, Live-to-air Performance & Interview

From 2009-2012, the New Weird Australia Podcast featured selected interviews and in-studio recordings from my FBi radio show, as well as live performances from events, video interviews and more.

By their own admission, CRAB SMASHER are a NSW based group of “improvisational sound sharks crafting a frenzied hodgepodge of weirdo psychedelic noise rock and experimental pop delicious”. Having morphed through a variety of lineups and styles since their formation in 2002, their then current incarnation took out in January 2010 to visit the New Weird Australia radio show with guest presenter Brooke Olsen. The band delivered a rare live acoustic set and discuss what it means to be “the first carbon neutral noise band”, playing in a Newcastle scene big enough to fill a small living room.

New Weird Australia Podcast #4 – Tom Ellard (Severed Heads)

From 2009-2012, the New Weird Australia Podcast featured selected interviews and in-studio recordings from my FBi radio show, as well as live performances from events, video interviews and more.

SEVERED HEADS are regarded as being one of the most influential experimental and electronic bands in Australia, pioneering the use of tape loops and samples in the late 1970s and early 1980s, and forging an innovative career that has stretched across three decades.

Returning for a special ‘grand finale’ show at the 2010 Sydney Festival, Severed Heads’ mainman TOM ELLARD joined Danny Jumpertz and I for a look back at their career, playing highlights and rarities, and finding out what was in store for the Sydney Festival gig.

img: test render from ‘Sevs In Space’ (via tomellard.com)

New Weird Australia Podcast #3 – Scissor Lock

From 2009-2012, the New Weird Australia Podcast featured selected interviews and in-studio recordings from my FBi radio show, as well as live performances from events, video interviews and more.

SCISSOR LOCK is an experimental project of Sydney musician Marcus Whale, exploring the tension between organic and electronic elements in sound, utilising guitar, reeds, voice, piano, singing bowls and bells along with somewhat lo-fi digital processing. In this interview (originally broadcast 12th November 2009), Marcus discussed his remix project, ‘Now’, featuring contributions from Raven, Shoeb Ahmad and Pimmon. The podcast also includes an exclusive, in-studio performance of ‘Out By Holy Land (Scissor Lock vs Pimmon vs Scissor Lock Remix)’.

New Weird Australia Podcast #2 – Scattered Order

From 2009-2012, the New Weird Australia Podcast featured selected interviews and in-studio recordings from my FBi radio show, as well as live performances from events, video interviews and more.

In this episode, from November 2009, Mitch Jones joined Danny Jumpertz and I to talk about the past, present and future of SCATTERED ORDER.

Mitch stands as one of the key figures in the history of alternative music in Sydney. Together with Michael Tee, Jones founded M-SQUARED Records – home to a cluster of now seminal local post-punk artists such as SYSTEMATICS, THE MAKERS OF THE DEAD TRAVEL FAST, YA YA CHORAL, PROD and their own band, SCATTERED ORDER. Nearly 30 years after the fact, SCATTERED ORDER reformed their original line-up, both playing live and recording once again.

New Weird Australia Podcast #1 – Jeff Burch

From 2009-2012, the New Weird Australia Podcast featured selected interviews and in-studio recordings from my FBi radio show, as well as live performances from events, video interviews and more.

This episode, originally broadcast in November 2009, features JEFF BURCH – an American born New Zealander then based in Sydney. Besides his solo work he also runs independent Imprint/Record Label THE SPRING PRESS (Bruce Russell, Psychic Ills, Magik Markers, The Bats etc.), he co-founded the duo MADALA TRAP with PAUL GOUGH (Pimmon) and was formerly one quarter of SONGS.

Fat Planet – Booka Shade [Germany] Interview

An interview with Arno Kammermeier from electronic duo and founders of the Get Physical label, Booka Shade. Recorded in 2008, the interview focuses on the making of the then-newly released album ‘The Sun & The Neon Light’, and the ongoing balance between performing and travelling world as a recording artist and the complexities of managing a label.

First broadcast on FBi Radio, June 2008.

Interview: Plastique De Reve (Germany)

Originally published on Fat Planet.

Spare a thought for poor Gen-Xers like me – the generation Wikipedia describes as “apathetic, cynical, disaffected, streetwise loners and slackers”. A disgraceful slur – I’m sure most X-ers would agree, and one that would fail to find resonance amongst almost all hip hop heads, sample culture freaks, the rave generation, the grand electronica alumni, the soldiers at the forefront of the industrial (music) revolution and many more cultures and subcultures besides. For every stoner and Winona, there’s an equal and opposite reaction – one of DIY, heads-down, hands aloft, creativity.

If there’s one X-er who can claim to have been more than a bystander over the last two or three decades, it’s Chrisophe Dasen, aka Daze, aka Plastique De Reve. Over the last twenty years, Daze has been bringing life to electronic music across a vast range of genres, building a wild and unruly menagerie of sounds along the way. From early experiments in experimental and industrial forms, through EBM, acid house and so-called IDM, Daze arrived in the late 90s with enough live performances under his belt to put most rock bands to shame. In 1997, he finally stood behind a set of decks and thus began the transition that would launch ‘Plastique De Reve’ on an unsuspecting world. Since then, he’s produced original music and remixes for the likes of Tiga’s Turbo Recordings, International Deejay Gigolos, WMF, Inzest and many more. In 1998, he co-founded Switzerland;’s first internet radio station, basic.ch, and presented an international electronic music show for over seven years.

Born in Australia, and subsequently travelling with his family through Canada, Ivory Coast, Algeria and Kenya, Daze currently resides in Berlin, with a fresh pot of tracks for local label Kitty-Yo bubbling right off the boil. “I’ve been really lucky”, he says, via email from Berlin, “Travelling with my parents during all my childhood was fantastic. It has opened my mind in ways that are hard to describe in few words. I remember dancing to disco 7 inches with the kids in my Kenyan village, or to the royal drums in Masaï mudhouses with the lions roaring outside in the night, dancing to ‘soukouss’ in Ivory Coast, going up on stage with Myriam Makeba at age seven, fishing sharks, fighting giant spiders, decrypting hieroglyphs… something like The Swiss Family Robinson meets Indiana Jones and Margaret Mead…”

After playing his first live gig in front of schoolmates in Nairobi at the age of nine, Daze began to ingest the sounds eminating from his parents stereo – “They were listening to electronic ‘hippie’ music (Kraftwerk, Vangelis, Klaus Shulze, Tangerine Dream etc), but also a lot of psychedelic rock, all kinds of ‘jazz’, ethnic music, classical music… This early electronic stuff I loved so much, it infused in me some kind of never-ending quest for electronic, synthetic sounds.”

Whilst any mention of ‘sample-culture’ implies vinyl lifts for hip hop breaks, Daze came to this particular technique via a less obvious route. Having drifted into harder electronic sounds in the early 80s from the likes of DAF and Depeche Mode, there was an inevitable lurch towards industrial music, Front 242, Neubauten and Skinny Puppy. “I bought my first sampler in 1986 after seeing a Young Gods concert, and spent several years experimenting with sound / noise in different projects. There was a raw energy in EBM that was like electronic and punk mixed together.”

Given industrial music’s dramatic merger of metal, noise and symphonic crescendos, Daze’s drift into soundtracks, theatre, installation and performance art was a natural progression. Following a period with a Genevan ‘living theatre’ group, Daze formed an experimental music and performance collective titled MXP, “something like ‘the electronic Merry Pranksters meet Einstürzende Neubauten and Antonin Artaud’. Interventionist, situationist work followed, in tandem with “conventional” sound installations, all the while Daze’s marriage of art and music became ever more complex: “Musically it all relates to what I do now in the sense that every track, dj set or live show has to suggest something new or different, try to be an ‘intervention’ on its own.”

In 1998, Daze was establishing himself as a DJ, and shortly thereafter, as a broadcaster. He earned himself a small but important place in broadcasting history by co-founding the first internet radio station in Switerland, basic.ch. “It came along naturally with the development of technologies and cultural media, and access to that. It was natural for our little electronic music community in Geneva to embrace the internet as a new communication tool and a platform for mixes and productions of local deejays and artists. Of course internet radio is essential to the development of electronic music – like what I-F’s CBS.nu radio is doing, truly fantastic – but also all the online shops, the forums, blogs, profiles etc.”

By 2001, Daze was releasing music on a variety of labels, with some of his earliest material appearing on Hell’s International Deejay Gigolos label. Fuelled by a now-legendary series of Berlin club nights, and a frenetic release schedule, Gigolo found itself as the poster label for the Electroclash movement – and in the spirit of all great fashion movements, it was maligned almost as soon as it was established. Despite being swept along with the Electroclash tide, Daze survived the fallout.

“The term ‘electroclash’ was the media’s renaming of what for me was just ‘electro’. [Subgenres] help to define the music in words, but they can hinder when subject to narrow definitions in the media and the people’s minds. In my view there are no SUB genres, just general musical orientations, and inside that, plenty of new genres everyday – one for every track.

“At the time I didn’t care too much about the hype, we had lots of fun and there was good music. Later that electroclash ‘etiquette’ is a little difficult to shake off, if you think you have more to offer than a pre-established ‘genre’. I think there was a fallout for electro in general, and for Gigolo too, but no more than for other labels. I am grateful to Gigolo to have done a good job for interesting, risk-taking, non-mainstream, electronic music, and I’ll drink a Jaegermeister to that!”

For Daze’s recent Kitty-Yo release, he described his current sound as “multispeed varistyle”, a phrase coined by Oliver Mental Groove: “it just means ‘freestyle’, eclectic, not setting yourself any style boundaries. That’s also why I called this EP ‘Jeux Sans Frontières’. Every track is different, there are some obvious references to various ‘styles’, but I tried crossing boundaries, making my own mashup of ingredients.”

The influences on the EP are certainly broad, but one still can’t help but be surprised when the opening salvo, ‘Favela Norte’, spins Daze’s sound into baile funk territory. Alongside Man Recordings’ ‘Funk Mundial’ imprint, it stands as one of the few examples of Euro-Brasilian baile-fusion. “When I first heard it a few years ago, I thought it was the freshest thing I’d heard in a long time, it was like reviving miami bass and old-school electro hip hop, like some kind of ‘tribal ghetto tech’ with kids rapping on top. I like the way the samples are used in rhythm patterns, the rawness of edits, the anger, the pride, the fun it provides. I thought I’d give it a try with my own take on it. I’m making more tracks in that direction, with chicago house samples, touches of acid, and well… other secret components.”

Given his history to date, the nature of such ‘secret components’ remains impossible to guess. As long as Daze keeps making sounds ‘sans frontieres’, we’ll all still be tuning in.

Interview: E-Stonji (Germany)

Originally published on Fat Planet.

For as long as there has been scientific study and for as long as there has been art, the two disciplines have made for curious bedfellows. Over the centuries, they have been both repelled and attracted to one another – often at the same time – and in each instance, the results are inevitably fascinating. The legacy of crossovers between music and science is just as complex, particularly over the last few decades as electronic music has pushed its way to the cutting edge of sound. Much to the distaste of many die-hard analogue heads, music has evolved well beyond the simple use of one’s own brain and fingers, and has quickly adapted to include the use of the processor, of deep algorithms and of vast landscapes of programming code. Arguably, the appliance of science – whether we’re conscious of it or not – has become the defacto standard for music composition in the 21st century.

Enter Jens Doering – software engineer, audiobook director, sound designer and, yes, a musician of some renown; from his solo work as e.stonji, to collaborations with Hans Platzgumer (as hp.stonji and e.gum); and other work such as convertible, reejk lynur, jerry lusion and new productions with vocalist Berna Celik. On the eve of his latest full album release, ‘Particles’ (released on Kitty-Yo), Jens’ engineering and audio design background grants him a uniquely intense perspective on the synthesis between art and science.

“For me there is a deep beauty in structures that you can make visible through geometry, or that you can calculate in maths” he says, via email from his home in Elchingen, Germany. “I think that technology and the arts are more closely related now than in any other previous decade. There are already some specific programming languages that can help to find the bridge between art and maths, and if you want to go beyond what any application can do, you just need to program your own application. That’s where you need to be an engineer in order to be an artist.”

However, his life as an engineer germinated from an artistic seed, and a pure idea of music that only Jens could envisage. “When I started writing, I was just looking for a possibility to make music without having to look for band members who had exactly the same ideas as I did. In fact, I didn’t know anyone who would have liked to produce this kind of music that I had in mind. So I knew that a traditional way of making music (i.e. guitar, bass, drums, vocals) wouldn’t work for me. It was at that point that I started to experiment with a synthesizer, including a sequencer that could save up to ten songs. The disadvantage of this synth was to not being able to export your song. When I had finished ten songs, I had to delete one of them in order to start another one… Later however, the Atari and other synths came along and so on. and so on.. and so on… and so on….”

Traditionalists are quick to denounce an over-reliance on mathematics in music, often claiming that the net result of jettisoning ‘organic’ instrumentation leads to a lack of soul or warmth within the sound. Of course, as time marches on, this view is becoming increasingly marginalised, but it remains a bone of contention within music communities all around the world. You would be right in thinking that Jens has a great deal to say on this subject.

“I think it’s not difficult to retain soul in any way, as there are always human beings who operate the artificial environment. I think there are different ways to use technology for creating music. You can use technology to express yourself in an emotional way, and the result can be very soulful, but you can also use a more experimental – or let’s say scientific way – to explore things. For example, Mozart was one of the first composers who brought maths into composition (algorithmic composition). He wrote a piece, where you had to throw the dice to know how to play the piece. This was the beginning of computer music, in a way.

“I don’t think that electronic music has no soul. I think there is a lot of electronic music out there which isn’t very soulful, but it’s the same with music on organic instruments. You need to learn using the computer as a musical instrument in the same way as you need to learn playing a guitar…

“For me, soul is the most important thing to happen in music. I hope you can feel that while listening to ‘Particles’. It’s more about a reflection on emotions, and some of the tracks should work on a dancefloor. The name ‘Particles’ has been taken from the scientific context, because it’s so fascinating to zoom in to the smallest possible things and to get to limits – like the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle – or to zoom out into extremely large scales. So everything, myself included, consists of a large amount of particles. In the digital world, you find particles in form of bits, bytes, dots, milliseconds, 128th in the music measure (beats) and so on. Hence, the album name particles is a very suggestive title, open to all kinds of interpretations, and I just wanted it that way.”

As if to prove the point, Jens has often drafted the most challenging instrument of all – the voice – into a number of projects. Standouts include the tight electro-funk of last year’s e:gum project (on Klein) and new work with vocalist Berna Celik. “The voice is a beautiful instrument. In most of the cases, the voice is a stronger stylistically than the synthesizer. But the voice is not necessarily needed to bring about a sense of soul into electronic music – this can also be done with digital instruments. I work with Berna as she has a very strong and soulful voice. She is a good friend as well, and her lyrics and melodies are always a great inspiration for me.”

With so many parallel projects seeming on the go at the same time, it’s easy to get lost inside the e.stonji universe: the grunge pop of Jerry Lusion (“guitar and grunge music”), his work with Platzgumer across hp.stonji and e:gum (“a very rare and special friendship and collaboration”) and his work as an Audiobook producer. He knows that this schizophrenic genre hopping confuses most people, but he retains the important belief that we need to expose many dimensions of our own personalities at any one time. It’s the latter work, in the Audiobook realm, that undoubtedly leads Jens into a multiplicity of creative alleys.

“It’s a very interesting field. It’s like doing a remix, but you don’t have any song to remix – you just have speech, and there is much space for interpretation. This provides a lot of freedom, and is a good way to experiment. You can also put in real sounds like footsteps in a staircase, bees, water etc. which opens your mind in such a way that makes you see pictures, just by listening. This is a beautiful process. Most audiobooks you get in the shops are just readings – somebody with a deep strong voice reads the whole book. I don’t know what this means, but I don’t like that at all. So for me, an audiobook is much more fascinating when it has music and, even more though, if it is a melting pot of speech, music, field recordings and sound effects.”

After the release of ‘Particles’, we can expect a follow-up to e:gum’s 2006 debut and continuing work with Platzgumer on additional projects. “There are a lot of totally different aspects I would love to explore in music”, he says, “It’s just a matter of time”. And you can almost hear his brain building the blueprint for the e.stonji time machine right about now.

more: estonji.com

Interview: Modeselektor (Germany)

Originally published on Fat Planet.

with a guest list that includes ttc, maximo park, paul st hillaire and mr thom yorke, expectations were going to be sky-high for modeselektor‘s new album ‘happy birthday’. for the last two weeks, it’s been on high rotation on the fat planet stereo and i’m relieved to say that, much like m.i.a.‘s killer ‘kala’, the hype is more than justified. this sophomore release retains all of the punch, kick and bass we’ve come to love from the berlin duo, but with a remarkable upswing of confidence and energy that headbutts us from the first beat of ‘godspeed’ right through to the album’s conclusion. and thus, in the space of just two albums, modeselektor have rewarded our faith and pole-vaulted a legion of wannabes to join the major leagues of electronic music.

this week, the response to fat planet’s email interview with modeselektor’s sebastian szary landed in our in-box. contrary to any notion that building such a heavy guest roster was all pre-ordained in a blue electro sky, szary points out that the net result was simply another instance when the gods of chance dealt a damn good hand. “we didn’t really have a direction when we started”, he says, “but we had a feeling for what we wanted to do. we just listened to our guts, and then ‘happy birthday’ somehow became the continuation of ‘hello mum!’. only two songs existed as live tracks, the others evolved in the studio. many ideas had been ripe for a long time, whereas some emerged spontaneously.”.

‘happy birthday’ hits stores next month and yet the sleeve ink is barely dry on their previous release, the recent ‘boogy bytes vol.3’ mix cd. featuring an impressive roster of heavyweights such as spank rock, skream, burial, mr.oizo, james holden and ttc, the compilation was the perfect precursor to the ‘selektor heading back into the studio. “we really needed this mix cd”, reckons szary, “at the end of the last year, we were pretty tired from all the touring and needed some weeks off! during that time we decided to make the mix cd. it’s very comforting to listen to music other than ones own, we almost lost the ability to listen to music. if you’re playing 120 gigs a year, you don’t have the opportunity to sit at home and put on a record so often. and we don’t like ipods so much.”

the mix closed with the now seminal radiohead track ‘idioteque’, a sly tip of the hat to thom yorke’s guest appearance on ‘happy birthday’. yorke has repeatedly worn his modeselektor fan hat in public, the recent ‘eraser’ b-side ‘iluvya’ playing out as something of a tribute to the berlin duo. and it’s quite a trip for szary. “looking at our new cover now and reading his name on the track list feels quite unreal.” and as for thom in person? “he’s a congenial musician and the singer of a pretty congenial band…” and that’s as far as he’ll go for now.

the album was recorded in berlin and released through ellen allien‘s b-pitch control label, home to the likes of paul kalkbrenner, sacscha funke, feadz and many exquisite electronic releases from allien herself. “ellen’s very spontaneous, ambitious, headstrong and sometimes inconsiderate! that’s what we love about her! she never gave us any instructions and always gave us free hands… but actually, quite often she didn’t have much of a choice.”

but with so much being written about berlin, and so many absurd claims being made about its status as the home of european electronic music, we’re led to wonder what like must be like for modeselektor, living inside the giant hype bubble? “light and shade lie very close together” according to szary, “but to name a single city as a center for electronic music is quite dubious. berlin is like a collecting pond for artists from all over the world. it has the charm of an classy old lady who’s had one drink too many! we can’t imagine living anywhere else.”

the naming of ‘happy birthday’ is designed to celebrate the fact that both szary and his comrade, gernot bronsert, are about to become fathers for the first time (“i’m looking forward to welcoming the little new modeselektors!”). but if we imagine that modeselektor are going to mellow out and settle down, we can slap that thought down straight away – 2008 will see modeslektor back on tour and (for local readers) returning once again to australian shores: “we’re looking forward to this – we love australia! i think next year we’ll come over there for some rooburgers!”.

more: modeselektor.com

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 (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.


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)


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.