Category: New Music
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
‘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.
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.
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.
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.