As a long-time fan of Oneohtrix Point Never, I was disheartened that his last album Garden Of Delete was so difficult to love. It was a bloody-minded record, daring us to enjoy a dense, arhythmical odyssey, all the while knowing that it was essentially impenetrable. Thankfully, the follow-up is almost a complete U-turn, rippling with beautiful broken vocoder pop, lush electronics and a starring role for the harpsichord. It’s as bold as it is unorthodox, a breath-taking revision of electronic music and modern composition. It proves that true originality and innovation need not repel, but can instead deliver a warm embrace, and reassure us that this Age Of… whatever is going to work out just fine.
Marks Of Provenance II is the second annual compilation from my label, Provenance, and features nine exclusive, unreleased tracks from Aphir, KAIAR, Medicine Voice, Arrom, Lortica, Kris Keogh, Shoeb Ahmad and Brute Canon.
It was originally released on Bandcamp at the tail end of 2017; but this week finds itself newly nestled in every other music service; the Spotifys and Apples of the world. Stream or download this cherry of a pie:
VARIOUS Marks Of Provenance II (PR014)
1 – Arrom ‘Now Won’
2 – Medicine Voice ‘January’
3 – Kris Keogh ‘Stolen’
4 – Brute Canon ‘Help Me Remember You’
5 – KAIAR ‘Mind Full’
6 – Aphir ‘Asymptote’
7 – Shoeb Ahmad ’Skating On The Way’
8 – Lortica ‘Home Blue’
9 – KAIAR ‘Praey’
This music recommendation is from close to home – the latest release from my Provenance label. It comes from Melbourne producer Arrom, and is a collection of reworks from her debut album Take My Lymphs. Each new variation draws on the experimental pop, ethereal choral vocals and dark, organic electronics of the original album, and moves it, with a great fluidity, into new spaces. It’s a miscellany of avant electronics – dark pop, abstract, minimal and even a momentary slice of breakcore.
Take My Lymphs Remixes also acts a love letter both to and from five contributors who were involved in the creation and release of the original album. Artist include Provenance label mates Aphir and KAIAR, along with co-writer Ahm, experimental house producer Hypersleep, and Yet Variant, who plays synth and percussion in Arrom’s live band. In addition, Arrom delivers her own re-work of the album’s opening track, Stardust.
To celebrate the release of her new EP, she has also curated the Provenance Spotify playlist this month, which features music from Bjork, Kiasmos, Andy Stott, Mazzy Star, Burial and more. It is a thing of great beauty, one that persists. Listen here.
I was at WOMADelaide last weekend, interviewing a few artists for upcoming episodes of Fat Planet. Over 500 different acts – featuring musicians from 30 countries – were represented at the festival, delivering sounds from disparate places such as Ghana, Syria, Cameroon, Iceland and China.
Photo: Jojo Abot at WOMADelaide
As one of the artists anointed by David Lynch to provide music for the recent #TwinPeaks series, Johnny Jewel wrote a number of works for the score and played with his band Chromatics in two episodes. He also runs the Italians Do It Better label, home to similar strains of cinematic electronics, slow-mo disco and records full of aching electro love songs. I think you can tell I’m a fan. Just as Twin Peaks S3 was described as ‘mainlining pure Lynch’, this record is 100% pure Johnny Jewel, bringing his full bag of tricks to bear on a pulsing electronic soundtrack to an imaginary film. Continue reading “NEW MUSIC. Johnny Jewel ‘Digital Rain’”
Fat Planet is finishing 2017 in fine style this week, running through our Albums Of The Year. Getting them to fit in one program has been a herculean task, and the final contenders represent some of most innovative and original tracks being made around the world this year. Listen to tracks from each of these outstanding international albums on this week’s program and via the Spotify playlist below. See you in 2018!
FAT PLANET ALBUMS OF THE YEAR
(in alphabetical order…) Continue reading “NEW MUSIC. From Japan to Jamaica, India to Iceland – The Fat Planet Albums Of 2017”
With a bevy of great festival announcements in the past week from Woodford, MOFO and Womadelaide, it can be hard to wade through all the names to find the hidden gems – but I’ve got you covered.
From a Japanese loop pedal ninja to the Tunisian Björk, there’s a wealth of global music talent on this summer’s festival lineups. Continue reading “NEW MUSIC. Fat Planet’s guide to the summer festival announcements”
Earlier this month, it was reported that there were no Australian artists in the local top 20 singles chart. In the same week, 70 percent of the US Billboard Chart was populated by American artists.
Now, compare that to Japan, the second biggest music market in the world, where 98 percent of all singles, and 76 percent of all albums, are sold are by Japanese artists. In an environment where physical sales are dwindling, Japan still has more record stores than any other country in the world, three times as many as the US.
Don’t be fooled into thinking it’s all about J-Pop, you only need to look listen to those in easy reach to understand there’s something special going on. We’re lucky that Cornelius, Shonen Knife and DJ Krush all managed to extend their reach across the waters, along with their predecessors like Acid Mothers Temple, Boredoms and Yellow Magic Orchestra. Continue reading “NEW MUSIC. Japan is the second biggest music market in the world, it’s time we took notice”
This week on the Double J website, I spin through a few recent standouts from the Fat Planet program, from punk junk out of the Congo to retro sci-fi from Mumbai. Discover music from Kokoko (Democratic Republic of Congo), Combo Chimbita (Colombia / U.S.), Sid Vashi (India), The Heliocentrics (England / Slovakia) and Diron Animal (Angola).
Whilst Fat Planet without the Scottish banter is arguably a poor substitute, you can nonetheless now fire up a revolving & evolving playlist of program highlights on Spotify. Follow via link below.
Often our knowledge of music from other countries is limited to what we might call ‘novelty’ acts – or those that seem so absurd to our Western ears, that they scream for attention. For example, can you name any Korean artist or song other than Psi and ‘Gangnam Style’?
Even Russia is not immune to the curse of the novelty. Perhaps their best known export is Pussy Riot, who rode to international attention on a wave of anti-Putin sentiment clad in balaclavas, smashing the oligarchy, patriarchy or any other kind of hierarchy they could stomp their boots on. Continue reading “NEW MUSIC. Russia’s finest shoegaze, coldwave and stoner metal”
This week, Fat Planet returns to the radio after a multi-year hiatus – now broadcasting nationally on Double J on ABC Radio.
Every week, I’ll be introducing you to some of the great music from around the world – but it’s not a ‘world music’ show. If you’re unsure what that means, I’ve prepared some notes on a few new tracks that will kick off your Fat Planet journey just nicely.
Head to the Double J website to listen to music from Goat (Sweden), Yama Warashi (Japan), Wareika Hill Sounds (Jamaica), Aristophanes (Taiwan, pictured) and António Sanches (Cabo Verde).
Whilst contemplating some of my favourite music from 2016, I realised that a bullet list holds many secrets; that choices shared in public are often born of intimate moments. And so here a few such moments, tales that needed to be told, to cast much-needed light on the year gone by.
1. Listening to Xiu Xiu playing The Music Of Twin Peaks, whilst in Twin Peaks
When I decided to take a short trip through the U.S. northwest, I knew that I could cross something special off the bucket list – to make a pilgrimage, 25 years in the making, to Twin Peaks. The town itself doesn’t exist, but rather it’s an amalgam of filming locations around North Bend and Snoqualmie, forty minutes east of Seattle. I visited Salish Lodge, aka The Great Northern Hotel, atop Snoqualmie Falls (which provided the waterfall sequence in the opening credits); along with the location of the ‘Welcome To Twin Peaks’ sign, Twede’s Cafe (which doubled as The Double R), the Twin Peaks Sherrif’s Dept amongst others. Continue reading “NEW MUSIC. From Xiu Xiu and Twin Peaks, to freak-folk and makeshift shrines – My 2016 Moments In Music”
‘The Roman / Crossing The Fourth Threshold’ is the new single from Medicine Voice, the second track to be singled-out from the album ‘I And Thou‘ (out now on Provenance). To mark the moment, Medicine Voice has collaborated with artists Louisa Clayton and Kevina-Jo Smith on a beautiful new film clip, shot on location in the Blue Mountains. Sar also had some words to say about the film, about hope, about Standing Rock, which you can read on the Provenance web site.
New on Provenance: The result of many long conversations and a mutual appreciation of the wisdom of Dale Cooper – the new single from Becki Whitton aka Aphir aka an artist who was once dubbed “equal parts Kate Bush and Bjork”. What’s not to love? This is the first taste of Becki’s upcoming album ‘Twin Earth’, due on Provenance in early 2017, and follows a series of self-released singles and her 2015 debut album ‘Holodreem’.
Super-excited to finally release the excellent ‘Always’ EP from Lovely Head through Provenance – a six-track experimental pop EP from Sydney producer, ex-No Art guitarist & writer Vivian Huynh. Exploring themes of tension, distance and lust, ‘Always’ is a combination of desert guitar, misshapen beats and quiet longing. Available on digital and super-limited lathe cut 10” vinyl, shipped with full-colour sleeve print.
The video for the lead track ‘Show Up’ is described by Vivian as a “love letter to Cabramatta”. She says: “I’ve been going there since I was a bleary-eyed infant. We’d go on weekends, and have lunch first. Mum or dad would order the pho. You get given a little bowl and a pair of scissors that your parents use to slop a bit of their noodle into and cut up for you to eat. Then I’d trail my parents as they did the grocery shopping for the week, pick up the ‘ Chieu Duong’ paper, and flick through pirated Hong Kong movies to take home. Shooting this brought back the most bittersweet memories.”
Get the record at provenancerecords.com.
Last year, when I started to think about the artists that I was keen to have in the Provenance family, Vivian Huynh was an early addition to the list. I loved No Art and was a superfan of her solo work as Lovely Head. I’m stoked that Viv agreed to come on board, and doubly stoked to be releasing her new Lovely Head EP ‘Always’ on 21st October. The EP follows her collaborative release EP with Pendant earlier this year – stream the lead track ‘Show Up’ below and pre-order now at Bandcamp and iTunes.
I am the type of Aphir fan who will think nothing of assembling a cheer squad to turn up at her gigs wearing matching t-shirts and furiously waving pom poms. I am thus immensely excited that she is joining the Provenance family for her upcoming album, due later this year. I have already sneakily teased her involvement – she contributed vocals to Spartak‘s EP ‘I Fought The Style’; she dropped the track ‘Cold Space’ on the label sampler ‘Marks Of Provenance I’ (free with any purchase from the Provenance store!); and she also writes and produces for KAIA, who’ll be releasing her record on Provenance in 2017.
Watch Aphir perform ‘Cold Space’ above, accompanied by Anej Kocevar, rehearsing for their performance at this year’s Music Tech Fest in Berlin.