Category: New Music
Freak Wave is my brand new podcast which features underground and experimental music from around the world, venturing into marginal music scenes from outside of the Anglo-American axis. Episode 1 kicks off with music from Portugal, Malaysia, Colombia, Italy, Angola, Spain and France.
A few months ago, I revisited Rabbit Island’s brilliant debut album, 2011’s ‘O God Come Quick’. With no sign of a follow-up, I idly filed it away as a ‘one and done’ moment of genius. In a joyful burst of synchronicity, I received an email about her follow-up the very next day. I can’t say that I willed this album into existence, but something about that timeline makes the dream seem very real. Perth’s Rabbit Island finds a new approach with ‘Deep In The Big’, her near-ASMR vocals and unvarnished story-telling now come layered under luscious reverb and elliptical, delayed piano.
Selections from the Fat Planet Albums Of The Year are now on Spotify – over two hours of the best albums released around the world in 2018. The playlist includes Farai and her dramatic update on post-punk and new wave; Angelique Kidjo’s brilliant rework of Talking Heads ‘Remain In Light’; Congolese poet, musician, and film director Baloji; Turkish psych pop star Gaye Su Akyol and more.
It’s noteworthy when an artist is invisible on the internet, which is probably the point of the exercise, but it’s a risky gamble. Israel’s Fortuna Records up the ante with Moontribe by adding a spurious back story. The album was allegedly submitted on an unmarked two-inch tape – no names, no dates – accompanied only by the cryptic note, that it was “a snake-charming voodoo ritual, in which Moontribe is the Shaman”.
Freak Wave is my new Spotify playlist featuring underground and experimental music from around the world. It’s the flip side to the Fat Planet radio show on Double J – Fat Planet broadcast from the Upside Down – venturing into marginal music scenes from outside of the Anglo-American axis. The first wash of tracks come from Nazar (Angola), Senyawa (Indonesia), Muqata’a (Palestine), SAICOBAB (Japan), Moslem Priest (Malaysia), Deena Abdelwahed (Tunisia), Exploded View (Mexico/Germany), Scattered Purgatory and Forests 森林 (both from Taiwan) and more.
Fat Planet breaks new world records every week on the Double J show and then plays the highlight reel on its Spotify playlist. New adds this week from Yama Warashi, Onipa, Ziminio, Baba Commandant, Nova Materia, Farao, Cyril Cyril, Sunna and more. New program episodes Weds 8pm AEST. Stream at abc.net.au/doublej.
Did I tell you that I spoke to Björk on the telephone? No? Surprising, as I tell EVERYONE that I meet, EVERY DAY 🙂 I’m still pinching myself, one year later … To tie in with my 2017 Björk interview on Double J, I created a Spotify playlist that takes a trip through the flip side of her career – early work, B-sides, remixes, album cuts and rare collaborations. If you think you know Björk, this might help you to think again.
My Double J show Fat Planet started on FBi Radio back in August 2003, showcasing 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. The tracks that defined the show in its early incarnation can be found on the ‘Fat Planet – The 00s’ Spotify playlist, including M.I.A., Cansei De Ser Sexy, Konono No.1, Cornelius, Bonde Do Role, Shantel, Peter Bjorn & John, M83, Rachid Taha and more.
Before we get to the pointy end of 2018, here’s a Spotify recap of some of the best international sounds from last year – innovative global music culled from Fat Planet‘s 2017 playlist on Double J. Include Noga Erez, Waq Waq Kingdom, Farai, JFDR, Kedr Livanskiy, Sudan Archives, Juana Molina and more.
‘Degrees of Provenance’ is a Spotify playlist originally made for my label, Provenance, featuring curios from the last four decades – music that has inspired me in one form or another whilst building the label. Including: Einsturzende Neubauten, Suicide, Steve Reich, Laurie Anderson, Rhythm & Sound, PiL, Oneohtrix Point Never, Damo Suzuki and more.
In response to the endless war with the algorithm, I am deploying an old-school newsletter – and the first edition dropped today. It’s called ‘accents’ and it includes new discoveries, would-be modern classics and old school raves, culled from research for my Double J radio show, Fat Planet, and scouting for my record label, Provenance. Test drive ‘accents’ here + subscribe to future editions here.
Led by renowned jazz musician, clarinetist, saxophonist and composer Shabaka Hutchings, this is one of my favourite records of the year thus far. Your Queen Is A Reptile digs into the African roots of jazz, and meshes it with afrobeat heat, UK club culture and relentless Afro-Caribbean rhythms. Featuring players who have worked withMulatu Astatke and The Heliocentrics, this Mercury-shortlisted album is a must for fans of Kamasi Washington or Fela Kuti.
What do you think music is going to sound like in 50 or 60 years time? ‘Black Noise 2084’ is Italian producer Khalab‘s postcard from a world yet to come – a mercurial, afro-futurist journey, imagining music from a liberated, future state. It strides along with ingenious beat production, rife with future bass and jazz. Highly recommended, out now on On The Corner Records, artwork by Victoria Topping.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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…)
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.