NRKOTB & Impostra (Brazil) – Brazilian New Wave New Rave

mp3: NEW RAVE KIDS ON THE BLOCK N-R-K-O-T-B

mp3: IMPOSTRA I Can’t Handle The New Generation

Having devoured enough ‘old rave’ to last a number of lifetimes, I’ve always been skeptical about the ‘new rave’ tag – although a shallow tag for a seemingly shallow genre if perhaps quite fitting. The name has been tagged to a fair few bands over the last couple of years, predominantly (although not exclusively) from England, and thus it’s interesting to see it crop up far across the Atlantic, in Sao Paulo. The three-piece, New Rave Kids On The Block (NRKOTB), have a list of influences that has been finely crafted to include both old and new schools (B-52s and Go!Team), the tragically hip and the gloriously unhip (Hadouken! Vs George Michael) – yet no Rave as such, save for a quick mention of Technotronic (cue strange rave-pop nostalgia). The sound of NRKOTB is exactly as you would expect – taking the Klaxons blueprint and pumping up the 4/4 electro component to offer greater access to the dancefloor. Fun thought this is, it feels just like a bite of fast food – a short, sharp hit of enjoyment followed by the hollow feeling that you’ve just been had.

Until recently, Impostra (pictured) were Bonde Das Impostra – whom I’ve been long grateful to for their funk carioca rubs of Britney and Kraftwerk, both of which found their way into my party sets. The Curitiba duo have been reborn for 2008 with their slimmed down title, and a change in style. More new wave than new rave, their new crop of tracks is led by the wonderfully titled ‘I Can’t Handle The New Generation’ – which might be exactly what you’re thinking just after you’ve listed to it. Much like NRKOTB, the comedown is as hard as hell, but for those one or two moments of wide-eyed, pupil-dilated joy, it all seems strangely worthwhile.

VJ Pixie & El Remolon (Argentina) – ‘Cumbia Mash’

mp3: VJ PIXIE El Bombon En El Club

mp3: EL REMOLON Modeselektor vs Calle 13

Last year, Fat Planet featured a series of Argentinean artists, many of which were developing a sound that I have referred to – on more than one occasion – as ‘neuvo cumbia’ . Whilst on one hand, I should offer apologies for what is a somewhat cack-handed classification, the fact remains that many Argentinean electronic producers are incorporating a variety of cumbian rhythms into their productions, the combined weight of which is building into a notable sub-genre.

Many producers use blends as their primary platform – taking pre-existing tracks and rubbing cumbia rhythms into the mix. Villa Diamante has gained most attention on these pages, likewise VJ Pixie (pictured) with her Mash Piola series and El Remolon. Most of the mash-ups incorporate southern or gangsta hip hop acapellas – a trick that allows the cumbian sound to migrate further, at greater speed. The combination of gangsta bravado and lyricism with cumbia is not unique to this recent development – Argentinean ‘cumbia villera’ has been around since at least the 1990s, and offers similar lyrical themes to its U.S. sibling (check the Oro11-space for a recent remix of cumbia villera crew, Los Pibes Chorros). With this in mind, its no surprise to find VJPixie offering a cumbian re-rub of 50 Cent. (For more, see Texan team Lucky Kumbias)

But what to make of El Remolon‘s cumbian refix of Modeselektor? Whilst at first this might seem like an entirely redundant exercise, there’s perhaps more to this than meets the ear. For my money, Modeselektor have always managed to pull off a difficult feat – to maintain the precise and seemingly impervious architecture of European electronic music, whilst simultaneously offering the kind of agitation and swagger more commonly aligned with booty, ragga or dancehall. Whilst the latter never overcomes the former, Modeselektor always force your hand – passive appreciation is not an option. Therefore, adding cumbia into the mix – a style that’s long been associated with passion, heat and intensity – is perhaps not as absurd as it sounds. And I suspect that the end result is something of a floor-filler. Whether this type of trans-Atlantic cumbian mash is just a simple curio, or the rallying cry for a thousand fingers hitting their cracked copies of Acid Pro, remains to be seen.

Champeta Trance (Colombia)

Champeta has recently lurched from Fat Planet’s peripheral vision into a near-front-and-centre position. Colombiafrica‘s album ‘Voodoo Love Inna Champeta Land’ was first out of the traps at the tail end of 2007, and this week one of our favourite blogs, Ghetto Bassquake, brings us ‘Champeta Trance’. Champeta is a bastard hybrid of a dictionary of genres: highlife, afrobeat, zouk, cumbia, soca, calypso – and undoubtedly dozens more – and can be found throughout Colombia’s Caribbean coast. For its trance rebirth, ‘El Pulpo‘ fires up decades-old Casio keyboards and drum machines and a liberal sherbert dib dab of old rave samples. Sadly no mp3 audio to speak of as yet – if you’re hoarding, fire it over.

Sinden Interview at ‘Rio Baile Funk’

Timo (aka Dj Rideon) once again pulls a giant, sequin-adorned rabbit from the hat with an exclusive interview with Sinden at his Rio Baile Funk blog. Sinden talks about his journey from record-collector obsesssive to his team-up with Switch, through to his visits to Rio and his recent baile funk production work.

He says: “I like baile funk because it sounds like raw street music, something people are doing in their bedrooms; like grime here. The baile funk producers were also using breaks in a new creative way, and weren’t afraid or ashamed of sampling anything. You hear so many pop samples in baile funk songs. And that attitude definitely influenced also my own production.”

Read the full interview at riobailefunk.blogspot.com

Shantel (Germany) & Dunkelbunt (Austria) – Balkan Hot Step

Back in 2003, N.O.H.A. released a crucial 12″ in the development of contemporary Balkan music – crucial in that it finally gave a name to a growing movement, ‘Balkan Hot Step’. As an ardent fan of absurd sub-genre tags, I warmly welcomed this new linguistic offspring – it commands a greater allure than the standard ‘Balkan Beats’ catch-all. Of course, it all means the same thing – a reinterpretation of traditional Eastern European music, aimed at winning new hearts and new minds, as well as clinging to a sufficient amount of the original spirit to appeal to the die-hards.

This new wave of Balkan music has been voraciously consumed with great intensity over the last few years – more so that almost every other emerging global genre founded on the same paradigm. The reason for this appears simple – the source material is already the most outlandish and most immediately gratifying ‘party music’ on the planet. Every time a traditional Balkan or klezmer tune is dropped, an infectious wave of movement seems to sweep the room – it remains a physical impossibility to stand static and unmoved in the face of the rasping urgency of Balkan brass and wild accordions.

Former Berlin techno-phile Shantel remains the poster boy for ‘Balkan Hot Step’, still surfing an ongoing wave of popularity generated in wake of his 2003 single, “Bucovina”, and the subsequent “Bucovina Club” album and club nights. Shantel followed those with a series of remixes in the ‘”Bucovina” vein (often called “Bucovina Club Mixes”) for the likes of Romania’s Taraf De Haidouks and Mehala Rai Banda (on the superb ‘Electric Gypsyland’ albums on Crammed Discs), Netherlands group Amsterdam Klezmer Band or London’s Oi Va Voi. Shantel’s productions were instantly accessible, radiating swathes of warmth and joy, yet still they represented something quite audacious and profoundly genre-warping. While the hearts danced, the mind attempted (usually unsuccessfully) to unravel the myriad of styles at play in the production.

His latest release ‘Disko Partizani’ not only perpetuates this sprawling and indiscriminate assimilation of influences, it also strives to confound our expectations even further. With a long contributor list stretching its way around the map of Europe (including Filip Simeonov from Taraf de Haidouks, musicians from Israel’s Boom Pam and Berlin MC Mantiz), and vocals in English, Romanian and Serbian, the album is deliciously unique in its scope and scale.

‘Disko Partizani’ is released on Shantel’s Essay Recordings, co-founded originally in 1995 with Man Recordings honcho, Daniel Haaksman (who has also been active in the Balkan remix front with reworks for Shantel’s “Disko” single, OMFO, Boban Markovic Orkestra and more).

Whilst we’re talking Balkan two-step, the name also found its way to Austrian DJ Dunkelbunt, who used the phrase to christen his long-running Viennese club night. His 2007 album, ‘Morgenlandfahrt’, follows collaborations and mixes for Balkan Beat Box, Eastenders, and !Deladap amongst others, and fuses the same spirit of defiance that infuses Shantel’s work with a further rubdown of dub, ragga and hip hop. Dunkelbunt is currently in Australia for a number of dates in both Sydney and Melbourne – check his MySpace for details.

Fat Planet voted ‘Best Blog For World Music’ by The Guardian

The Fat Planet blog was featured on Friday in the UK’s ‘Guardian‘ newspaper in Chris Salmon’s column ‘Click To Download’. You can also read the column online, reprinted below.

Best for world music: Fat Planet
Stuart Buchanan is a Scotsman living in Australia with a radio show about contemporary world music. In 2003, he set up a blog to accompany his programme, “as an early experiment in fusing broadcasting with an online component, linking to free downloads of music heard on the show”. Bloggers across the globe soon discovered the site and began to write about it. Before long, Buchanan’s readers outnumbered his radio listeners. Almost five years on, the blog still offers a fantastic melting point of cutting-edge international sounds; be it Danish rap-techno, Argentinean cumbia, Israeli dub or Chinese hip-hop. The range and quality of the music Buchanan tracks down is astonishing. “Most of it is sourced from the web,” he says. “You just need to know where to look and spend many hours a week hunched over your laptop.” In other words, Buchanan does the hard work, so you don’t have to.

Sydney Festival First Night – Uber Lingua at Angel Place

This Saturday, Sydney kills it: the Sydney Festival has been getting better and more relevant each year, and in 2008 they might well have nailed it. It kicks off with a free, multi-location street party this weekend with performances from none other than the original bee-atch boy Brian Wilson, plus Spank Rock, Lost Valentinos, Chromeo, Ajax, Plump DJs and much more.

And then there’s the Uber Lingua crew, sweet talked by Sydney Festival into throwing up a two-stage laneway bash in Angel Place (‘tween Pitt & Geroge) – twenty-one of us (count ’em), live performances, MCs, VJs and DJs including Morganics (Wilcannia Mob / M.I.A. re-production etc), Charlie McMahon, Gypsy Dub Sound System, Wire MC and more. Check the full line-up and set-times at the Sydney Festival web site – I’ll be dropping two sets at around 8 and 10pm. Viva la Festivale!

UPDATE: Check out the great photo set from the night via Uber Lingua on Flickr.

Transglobal Underground (England) – ‘Awal’

If there’s one thing that defines Transglobal Underground it’s their persistence. For a band whose public visibility is largely defined by their 1991 debut ‘Temple Head’, they have continued to mine a rich seam of east-westericism for the past seventeen years, and though their visibility might have dipped, the quality remains consistent. 2004’s ‘Impossible Broadcasting’ re-affirmed Transglobal’s mission statement, and their recent follow-up ‘Moonshout’ seeks to consolidate their continuing relevance.

TU’s palate is broad: from bhangra and desi, through dancehall and ragga, to a growing inclusion of Balkan and arabesque influences. This global genre-hopping could be frustrating in the wrong hands, as such attempts often arrive in a ‘world-lite’ territory of bland commercialism. To their considerable credit, TU have once again kept it real: check the dhol-infused ragga crossover ‘Dancehall Operator’, the Arabic two-step of ‘Awal’ or the drum ‘n’ bass sitar workout ‘Emotional Yoyo’.

Next up, TU feature in a project for Real World, ‘The Imagined Village‘ – cited as “a new look at English folk music fusing fiddles and squeezebox with dub beats and sitars”, featuring players such as Tunng, Billy Bragg, Paul Weller and Benjamin Zephaniah.

More: www.t-g-u.com

MC Gringo (Germany) – ‘Alemao’

Like any geo-located movement, usurpers from outside of town are often mocked, scoffed or stoned for blasphemy. Music has a long history of turning on such infedels, most notably the ping-pong, to / fro battle between so-called black and white genres (as documented to great extent in Simon Reynolds’ latest book ‘Bring The Noise‘.). Baile Funk seems to be no exception – it’s a Rio thing, and there are long blog column inches devoted to outing the infiltrators. Diplo comes in for significant abuse in some circles, even the recently split Bonde Do Role found the occasional knife in the back for daring to channel baile funk through their Curitiba roots.

So what then should we make of Bernhard Hendrik Hermann Weber Ramos De Lacerda, the Stuggart-born player who has clawed his way to the top of Rio’s funk carioca scene as ‘MC Gringo’? Starting his music career as vocalist & guitar player in a German punk band with Basti Schwarz (who later founded Tiefschwarz), Gringo followed his Brazilian girlfriend back to her homeland, and fell in love with the burgeoning funk scene. Three years later, Man Recordings presents ‘Gringao’ – Gringo’s debut release, produced primarily by Amazing Clay and DJ Sandrinho, and featuring contributions from DJ Rafael with MCs Binho and Dandao (also featured on the Crookers’ Funk Mundial release).

With Gringo rapping in Portuguese, German and English, the release is absolutely on-point and, with high calibre productions under-pinning track after track, there’s no doubting his professionalism and dedication to the scene. With a dearth of artist albums making their way out of Brazil, ‘Gringao’ is a good opportunity to stock up on a solid collection of party jams.

Gringo’s tale is an interesting step in the ongoing story of baile funk, and one that hints at a broader acceptance of international influences and artists. Looks like the next chapter is just waiting to be written – anyone want to take the bait?

More: manrecordings.com
Buy: eMusic, iTunes

Fat Planet – Albums Of 2007

december is the blogosphere’s favourite month in the calendar, as it rolls itself out as a welcome mat for the never ending parade of year-end lists. on the fat planet radio show on wednesday 19th december (9pm australian est on fbi radio), i’ll be spinning the ‘fat planet oh-seven mixtape’ – my selection of this year’s international tunes that ought to be remembered long after the stroke of midnight on january 1st.

i’ve pre-empted the mixtape show in this list, my pitch for the best full-length international releases of the year, in no particular order. as is the case on fat planet, anglo-american-indie-electro joints not represented…

  • MEXICAN INSTITUTE OF SOUND – Pinata (Nacional Records) [MEXICO]
  • RAZ MESINAI VS BADAWI – Unit Of Resistance (RIOR) [ISRAEL]
  • DEADBEAT – Journeyman’s Annual (~Scape) [CANADA]
  • APPARAT – Walls (Shitkatapult) [GERMANY]
  • BJORK – Volta (One Little Indian) [ICELAND]
  • PEKOS / YORO DIALLO – Pekos/Yoro Diallo (Yalla Yalla) [MALI]
  • PORTABLE – Powers Of Ten (S√?d Electronic) [SOUTH AFRICA]
  • ULRICH SCHNAUSS – Goodbye (Independiente) [GERMANY]
  • TAKEN BY TREES – Open Field (Rough Trade) [SWEDEN]
  • M.I.A. – Kala (XL Recordings) [SRI LANKA]
  • MISHA – Teardrop Sweetheart (Tomlab) [CHINA]
  • MODESELEKTOR – Happy Birthday (BPitch Control) [GERMANY]
  • VALGEIR SIGURDSSON – Ekvilibrium (Bedroom Community) [ICELAND]
  • BONDE DO ROLE – Bonde Do Role With Lasers (Domino) [BRAZIL]
  • TENNISCOATS – Totemo Aimasho (Room40) [JAPAN]
  • MAGA BO – Confusion of Tongues (Soot) [U.S.]
  • RADIO ZUMBIDO – Pequeno Transistor De Feria (Quatermass) [GUATEMALA]
  • SIBOT – In With The Old (African Dope) [SOUTH AFRICA]
  • SOUTH RAKKAS CREW – The Mix Up (Mad Decent) [JAMAICA]
  • MADLIB – Beat Konducta In India (Stones Throw) [U.S.]
  • COMPILATIONS:
  • African Underground: Depths Of Dakkar (Nomadic Wax) [SENEGAL]
  • Rumble In The Jungle (SoulJazz Records)
  • El Mash Piola Volume 2 (Pirate Pixie) [ARGENTINA]
  • Doublemoon Remixed (Doublemoon) [TURKEY]
  • Urban Africa Club (Out There)

Charlie McMahon & Tjupurru (Australia) – On The ‘Didjeribone’

It’s hard to cite many examples where the didjeridu has crossed both Australian and ‘traditionalist’ borders and boomed out into the diaspora of contemporary music. Back in 1992, Richard James produced a memorable riff on the didj’s capabilities with the Aphex Twin classic ‘Digeridoo’, and of late, M.I.A.‘s resurrection of the Morganics-produced Wilcannia Mob track, ‘Downriver’, has been filtering through the woofers across the globe.

Here in Aus, the didjeridu has more of a widespread, if somewhere eclectic, life, but its story gained a whole new chapter when Sydney musician Charlie McMahon picked up the oversized baton, and took everything to the next level. Over 25 years ago, Charlie invented an entirely new derivation of the instrument, and christened it the didjeribone. Made entirely of plastic, McMahon crafted the instrument to gain more control of the potential range of tones he could extract from what is, essentially, little more than a hollow tube. Taking inspiration from the trombone, the didjeribone uses two separate lengths of tubing that slide between one another, creating an entirely unique sound.

Above, Charlie shows exactly how the didjeribone works, in tandem with the ‘Face Bass’ and ‘Seismic Sensor’.

McMahon’s tale is a long and richly psychedelic experience (the enormous success of the Gondwanaland project, working with Midnight Oil and Timothy Leary, playing on the Mad Max soundtrack, winning an ARIA Award, playing a $3m Sydney Harbour live show), and he’s still just as active today as he ever has been. Charlie will be playing at the inaugural Sydney “Uber System” club night on December 15th, with myself, Gemma, Atone, Ollo, Mashy P, SPS Crew and bP amongst many others (more info soon – save the date).

tjupurru

A descendant of the Djabera Djabera tribe of the West Australia Kimberleys, Tjupurru (pictured above) is taking McMahon’s vision further still – refracting the concept back within the Indigenous Australian culture, and blending the didgeribone with live samples and loops into what he describes as “21st century Didjetronica”. His debut EP, “Stomin’ Ground” has been produced by Sydney knobs-man Tony Buchan, aka Buchman, and features five tracks of bass-heavy, didji-dub and distorted vocals. He’ll be performing at this year’s Woodford Folk Festival, and precedes those dates with a few appearances on the Australian East Coast throughout December.

Pirate Pixie (Argentina) – El Mash Piola

ZSHARE: VARIOUS ARTISTS El Mash Piola Vol.2

The nevuo-cumbia juggernaut rolls on with this next entry in the bastard pop / cumbia mash genre, titled ‘Mash Piola 2’ – a new mixtape compiled by Pirate Pixie. Taking source material from the likes of Method Man, The Game, Damian Marley, Lil Wayne and more, a host of Argentinean producers (including Villa Diamante, Oro 11 and Daleduro) blend them together with local material from Pibes Chorros, So√±ador Group, Sparkles, the Palms, Chancha Via Circuit and others. Much like the ongoing Lucky Kumbias series, the results are a spot-on hybrid of Dirty South and ‘South Of The Border’ and guaranteed to fill a floor on a hot summer evening. Luckily for us Australians, that’s exactly where we’re heading…

TRACK LISTING:
DJ Stuart – Dante vs Calle 13 – En la Cumbia
Cesar Cumbieiro – The Game vs La Rama – One Osito
Villa Diamante vs Sonido Martines – Skeelo vs Destellos
Zurita – Method Man vs Grupo So¨?ador – El Gigante del Style
Oro11 – Pibes Chorros vs DJ Unh – Que Calor
Vintage – Fantasma vs Damian Marley – Welcome Fantasma
Luisao – Puro Movimiento vs Princess Gold – Bam Bam
Zurita – Jambo vs Das Efx – Real Hip Hop
Oro11 – Chancha Via Circuito vs Mimsyhrreid – This Is Why We’re Hot
DJ Stuart – Lil Wayne vs Los Palmeras
Los Palmeras – Bombon Asesino (Daleduro Version)

Image: rhythmpassport.com

Fat Planet at Uber Lingua Melbourne

This Thursday (22nd Nov) I’ll be in Melbourne, DJ-ing at Uber Lingua @ Jeromes (Caledonia Lane) – playing alongside bP, sakamoiz, Dubwise and Gonzo. bP and sakamoiz are part of the hardcore Uber massive and consistently play an eclectic top-shelf variety of global beats; Dubwise founded two of Adelaide’s sound systems, Babylon Taxi and Dubwise and Gonzo specialises in Reggae, Roots, Latin and Gypsy tunes. Having bagged some new baile funk and cumbia of late, I expect I’ll be dropping some of those flavours as well as the usual excursions into random tangents. Entry, as always at Uber Lingua, is zero dollars.

MORE: uberlingua.com

Jahcoozi (Germany) – Hi-Tech (Rustie’s Silver Shadow Remix)

MP3: JAHCOOZI feat M.SAYYID Hi-Tech (Rustie’s Silver Shadow Remix)

Following last month’s feature on Jahcoozi‘s latest release, ‘Blitz ‘n’ Ass’, here’s an exclusive official remix from the German / Sri Lankan / Israeli trio that will “remain unreleased” via any other format. Remixed by Glaswegian electronic / dubstep producer, Rustie (whose ‘Jagz The Smack‘ EP is one of the finest low-end productions of the year), the remix features former Anti-Pop Consortium MC, M.Sayyid, on vocal duties. All up – a killer package.

Alongside the album release, the ‘BLN’ single is out now with rmxs from Chris de Luca vs. Phon.o and Chris Duckenfield, and the band will join with the wonderful Lexie Lee for an EP release on Tigerbeat before the end of the year.

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.

Heaps Decent Fundraiser

This Friday (9th November), Heaps Decent are throwing a Sydney fundraiser for their ongoing workshop projects, seeking out and promoting new music from young indigenous and underprivileged artists. Their debut release ‘Smash A Kangaroo’ is soon to be followed by a new production; featuring young, female inmates from a Sydney ‘juvenile justice centre’, working on an exclusive production with M.I.A., Yelle and Tepr, recorded while the trio were in town for the recent Parklife festival.

The Sydney party features DJ sets from Bag Raiders, Soft Tigers, teenagersintokyo, Heaps Decent honchos Sleater Brockman and NinaLasVegas, plus Catcall, Spod and heaps more. Like most of the participants, I’ll be dropping a short, sharp 20 minute set at some point during the evening. It all happens at Oxford Art Factory in Darlinghurst and door tax is only five bucks. Get familiar!

Albertslund Terror Korps (Denmark) – ‘Hustla Hele Dagen’

I’d love to tell you some fine tales about the lifes and loves of Albertslund Terror Korps, but for once I’ve been out-googled, and have come up essentially empty handed on this Danish collective. Based on some of the video documentary coming off their label site, I think it’s best that we don’t dig too deeply. All I can tell you is that they’re from “2620 AlbertsLund” and their above version of Rick Ross’ ‘Hustlin” is one of the most deranged, chopped’n’screwed remakes that you’re ever likely to hear. As for ‘Folk Snakker’, it’s essentially TTC vs Einsturzende Neubauten remixed by Kid606. And it’s all so far off the universal maps as to be existing simultaneously in a whole mess of dark dimensions. They call it “Ghetto Hardcore + chopped’n’screwed Danish Rap Techno + Bhangra Gabber + Somali Grime”, I call it ‘absolutely fucking mental’.

Badawi (Israel) – ‘Knife The Etherics (feat. Filastine)’

Israeli Raz Mesinai has been a major player in the outernational music scene since the early 90s – blending traditional Middle Eastern influences with dub, bass-heavy electronica and distorted beats. From his early experiments under the influential Sub Dub project, to releases as Ladyman and Badawi, and latterly through his film scores, Mesinai has long established himself as a creator of innovative, politically charged beats and soundscapes.

His latest release, Unit Of Resistance, is the first time the combination of aliases Raz Mesinai and Badawi have come together on record; gathering together recordings made in 2004 and subsequently reworked by a team of producers over the intervening years. The original source material was recorded as a “conscious act of political protest”, laid down at a Madison Square Garden studio, directly adjacent to the Republican Party convention being held nearby.

Drawing from audio elements pushed back and forth over the web, the roll call of producers is impressive – DJ Spooky, DJ Olive, Kode 9, DJ/rupture, Filastine and more. Whilst Diplo and friends scour the planet for uptempo global club and party beats, it’s producers such as Mesinai that take the darker route; pulling the international colours of sound into a deep, black pool of sounds that disrupt, agitate and disarm – a perfect brew for an unholy voice of dissent.