Category: Discontent Music Blog
If you’re still regularly checking back on the Discontent blog, then I commend you – it’s been quiet around these parts for some time, and it’s certainly showing some signs of neglect. This is not without good cause however – my focus has been almost entirely on developing the ‘New Weird Australia’ project, with the blog, netlabel, event series, radio show and podcasts all projecting a wide array of eclectic and experimental Australian music.
Telafonica are a Sydney band that operate more like an evolving, fluid collective rather that a rigid formation of players. Their original line-up has filtered into the diaspora, with core Australian members morphing into a four-piece that explore a long terrain, bordered by melodic pop on one side and experimental electronica on the other. Although the palate is broad, the influences are not always evident – hence, when Adrian from Telafonica suggested dropping a mixtape of tracks that acted as touch-points for the creation of their most recent album “Love On the Second Stair”, it was impossible to resist.
John Hassell aka Vorad Fils is a sydney-sider who has been making electronic music since 2006 in other outfits such as Seekae. With his style stretching between ambient and glitch-hop, Vorad Fils takes influence from a range of artists including Boards of Canada, Clark, Brian Eno, Stars of the Lid and Seven Ark.
On the eve of the release of his debut album ‘The Warmest Static’ in April 2010, Vorad Fils played an intimate live set for friends at the Feral Media HQ in Sydney, marking the last performance in the space before Feral’s move to the U.S.
Shaky-cam footage courtesy of me.
Back in the mid 90s, I edited a zine in Glasgow called Thee Data Base. In 1996, my co-editor Alan and I managed to procure what was, at the time, a tabloid-bating exclusive: we published an exclusive interview with former-KLF creators, Bill Drummond and Jimmy Cauty – only a short while after they had flown by themselves to the Scottish island of Jura and, in an abandoned cottage, systematically burnt one million pounds, note by note. The interview was carried out by John Dower, transcribed from a live radio interview he conducted on Glasgow’s Sub City Radio.
When presenting Fat Planet many moons ago, I was always keenly attuned to sounds that fused my two (then) primary concerns – broad internationalism and rugged experimental beats. Proponents of such a fusion were (and to a large extent still are) few and far between, but Mutamassik, dj/Rupture and Filastine stood out, stood proud and stood very loud. Often abrasive, and never compromising, they nonetheless married the promotion of global sounds throughout Western lands with an unfailing respect, collaborative diligence and due payback for the local artists involved. To herald the release of his ‘Extra Dirty Bomb’ EP (reworks and live tracks that “shits on geography & genre”, with mixes from Jahcoozi, Cardopusher, Phowa, Deep Throat X, Maga Bo and Electromeca), I’m delighted to post Grey Filastine’s new mixtape of insurrectionary bass music, and as an accompaniment, asked him for a few words on its genesis.
Created & “facilitated” by Jon Rose, this game of Interactive Netball take place at the Now Now Festival in Wentworth Falls in 25th January 2010.
The yellow ball is connected wirelessly to Rose’s laptop and emits an ever-changing variety of sounds, related to its movement and velocity. In addition, four Now Now performers (two assigned to each team) play short stabs of improvised music when their team is in possession of the ball. Spontaneous!
Do you remember those teenage dreams? For some it may be a recent memory, for others, it’s somewhat more distant. To the latter, teen dreams exist simply as faint, fading memories – idylls, fantasises, hopes and nightmares, never to be lived or experienced, destined only to be ravaged and degraded by time. The nostalgia for lost teenage dreams is balanced by the fact that the actual shape and substance of those dreams can no longer be recalled – it’s simply a sense-memory, an instinctual belief that something has been lost, but with no recollection of what the ‘something’ actually is. This mixtape somewhat boldy tries to capture that sense memory – a hankering for a past, refracted through the eyes of the future.
Around three years ago (April 2007), Fat Planet featured its first look at the early shoots of a new crop of what became known, to some, as ‘digital cumbia’, or ‘nuevo cumbia’ with a post on Andres Schteingart, aka El Remolon. Unbeknown to anyone reading it, least of all me, Schteingart would come to form part of the core nucleus of producers that took hold of a revitalised Central and South American sound, and took it all over the world. You can now discover vast quantities of similar material via collectives such as Argentina’s prolific ZZK crew, or releases on labels such as Bersa Discos or Dutty Artz. An incidental result of this sprawling genre development has been the way in which cumbia has been celebrated and adopted outside of the Americas – and here in Australia, one of the pivtoal players in the ongoing internationalisation of the sound is Moses Iten (a.k.a. saca la mois DJ!!).
In June 2009, I gave away a free mixtape to new subscribers of FBi Radio during my ‘Disorient’ show. The mixtape, titled ‘Disorientation Session’, features a few tracks that you can find on the first two Discontent mixtapes (Mixtape One and Two), with additions from various artists that appeared regularly on the show’s playlists, or as earlier single posts on the Discontent blog. As an aggregator of the sounds found on the (somewhat short-lived) Disorient radio show, this will more than likely remain the only existing audio document.
One of my most long-serving curatorial projects was ‘Fat Planet’ – a radio show and blog that ran from 2003 to 2008. The mission was simple – uncover new, alternative music from around the globe. Ignore the ‘western paradigm’ and
Raphael Dixon is a broadcaster on Sydney’s FBi Radio. His show follows mine, which means that I always get the chance to listen to his selections when I’m hanging around the studio or I’m on the drive home. When I
Mitch Jones & Michael Tee stand as two of the key figures in the history of alternative music in Sydney. Together they founded M-SQUARED Records – home to a cluster of now seminal local post-punk artists such as SYSTEMATICS, THE
Discontent is regenerating – and the key shift is a significant one. Discontent will no longer be a home solely for my own curations, I’m opening it up to other minds, other voices, other sounds. I’m opening the door ajar
Looking back at the collection of mixtapes that adorn the elongated top shelf of my CD stack, it’s fascinating to watch genres, trends and styles come and ago. As much as the mixtapes pin down flashpoints in time and space,
For a brief moment at the back half of last year, it felt as if dubstep was everywhere – that more common forms of what we might simply term ‘electronic music’ had been effectively backed into a corner by a
This mixtape is inspired by David Keenan’s ‘Hypnogogic Pop’ article in August 2009 issue of The Wire. Keenan asserts that the phrase refers to “pop music refracted through the memory of a memory“, drawing its power from “1980s pop culture
Earlier this week, I read that Merce Cunningham had passed away. Whilst regularly lauded as one of the finest choreographers and dancers not only in America, but also worldwide, Merce’s contribution to music is no less profound. His avant garde
For over 20 years, I’ve been making mixtapes. Originally on cassette, briefly flirting with MiniDisc before landing now on the ubiquitous CD-R, there are just under 200 of my own mixtapes clogging up shelf space in the house. The first,
Jahcoozi. What to make of them? They squirreled into our psyche many earth-moon revolutions ago with their ‘fish fish fish’ inspired track, neatly titled ‘Fish’. Since then, they’ve chosen to run circles around their own narrative – whether through choice
I’ve been cultivating a love of Clubroot‘s debut self-titled album this week, and dealing with my own response to the inevitable Burial comparisons. Ultimately, I feel sorry for Clubroot, but I tend to agree with them. And that said, I
Sydney writer and broadcaster Lee Tran Lam recently interviewed me for the tenth issue of her beautiful Speak-easy zine. Without wishing to descend into a mutual ‘love-in’, Lee Tran commitment and dedication to the local music and culture scene is