Broadcaster & Curator.

Writing

Speakeasy Zine

Speakeasy Zine Interview

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 astonishing, and it’s clear that she does this quite sincerely ‘for the love of it’. Aside from her growing zine back cataglogue, she also presents the all-Australian music show ‘Local Fidelity‘ on Sunday ...

The Craters | Samba Party

A two-piece collaboration between Wes Kaplan and Jared Arnold, The Craters bring lo-fi sensibility to everything they touch – a Midas gift in reverse, abstracting loose change from a pure source of gold. They come hewn from the Amazing Wow label, a free download project that “rejects the concept of music piracy and the antiquated notion that every download is a lost sale”. (Note this recent report which finds that “pirates” are “10 times more likely to ...

Passions | Music Without Tears

I’m usually turned right off by any musical project that has the backing of a clothing manufacturer. It’s a little illogical, given that I enjoy consuming both music and clothes, but there’s a certain pall of overt commercialism that never seems to wash away, even if the connection is so innocuous and good intentioned as to be almost non-existent. The latter seems to be the case here, with this Passions mix for NYC design house, Mishka – blending a back catalouge of ...

Dimlite | Quiz Tears

You and I both know that 2+2 always equals 5, but can we also contend with the fact that 7×7 now equals 8? Once in a while, a label comes along and deftly captures an artist just as they clamber out of the trench of obscurity, and go ‘over the top’ into the battleground of the public arena. The 7×7 series from Dublin’s All City nailed that dictum seven times over, collecting productions from Snowman, Mike Slott, Fulgeance, Mweslee, Leneko, Hudson Mohawke and ...

Poirier | Mix For Sinden

The first thing I thought when I read Ghislain Poirier‘s latest email missive was ‘Oh, I see Ghis has a new haircut’. Yup, I’m that shallow. What I should have thought was ‘Nice! A tidy mix from Sinden’s Kiss show with cuts from Ghis, Major Lazer, Alison Hinds and Emvee thrown into the soup. Must post that.”  From end to end, the mix focuses almost exclusively on Poirier’s own soca productions, alongside Canadian affliates Bonjay and Skinny ...

Discontent – Mixtape Two

The Discontent Mixtape series is an irregular series of compilations, designed to give blog readers an extreme intro into the Discontent world – a collection of tracks that have appeared on the blog in recent times. For this, the second volume, I’ve included a few tracks that didn’t quite make their way from hard drive to blog, and so are included here for the first time (Mutamassik remix, Ras G, Psychic Ills, Xiao He and Entertainment For The Brain Dead). All the tracks ...

Kid606 | Samhain California (Remix)

Whilst Kid606‘s most recent masks have been designed with bass-licking raveheads in mind, it’s worth reflecting that the Kid has been on a long and winding road since his first release in 1998. Back then, particularly releases such as ‘Down With The Scene’ (2000), Miguel Manuel De Pedro was essentially a purveyor of extreme glitch and experimental breakcore, threading together disparate seams of 80s sample culture, industrial volume, musique concrete / sound art and ...

Vorad Fils | Android Creche

Vorad Fils is the solo guise of Sydney producer John Hassell, who also fills his days working with local electronic three-piece Seekae and their high-school precursor Songs For Surgery. Clearly professing his love of Boards Of Canada on his Myspace home, Hassell follows a time-honoured electronic tradition on a suite of three demo tracks (available to download on last.fm), marrying lush glitch, ambient tones and lower case minimalism. Sounds fall into a continuum, where we can point to ...

Tortoise | High Class Slim Came Floatin’ In

Next month, Tortoise drop their sixth album ‘Beacons Of Ancestorship’. 2004’s ‘It’s All Around You’ was a recurring feature on my playlist for that year, the sound of Tortoise amalgamating all that had gone before into one cohesive session. In opening the promo mail from Thrill Jockey today, it was with some trepidation – they couldn’t have been more ‘Tortoise-like’ on their last release, so where to from there? I certainly wasn’t ...

Databass Eclectic Audio (Mixtape)

Music played a large hand in the genesis of Thee Data Base, a zine that I co-edited with Alan Benzie back in the 1990s. And whilst music was well represented in the content of the zine itself, it was actually the electronic / experimental music scene around us in Glasgow and Edinburgh that galvanised us into some form of action in the first place. It was clear that this particular type of music at this particular time had brought disparate people together in search of something ...

Growing | Green Flag

I’ve been listening to the new I.U.D. album this week, led in by the hand of Lizzi Bougatsos of Gang Gang Dance. On ‘The Proper Sex’ she teams with Growing‘s Sadie Laska for a six tracker that scored a mighty 3.5 over at Pitchfork. Whilst I agree that it’s undoubtedly a difficult album to love, the cacophonous junkyard of sounds is also bloody hard to ignore. Although, the reviewer notes: “it doesn’t share a lot of common ground with either Gang ...

Telafonica | Laughing At Trees

As a collective of seven permanent members and an ecosystem of many more, the audio and visual output of Sydney’s Telafonica is hard to keep track of. That said, the seemingly endless sprawl of creativity is ensuring that roots are burrowed deep into the ground beneath the feet of Sydney, and have thus become embedded in the very cultural fabric of the city. The Telefonica catalogue dates as far back as 2001, with the release of ‘Dos’ – a split release covering one ...

Jonny Faith | Beat Research

Jonny Faith and I share the same pilgrim heritage – decamping from the horizontal rain, biting winds and dumb midgies of Scotland to Australia, to the city of Sydney (one of the most misunderstood cities in the world). Thus ensconced down under, Faith has been a regular frontrunner in promoting bass culture on Sydney’s streets, as club DJ, promoter (of Headroom) and radio presenter (‘For The Heads‘ on 2SER), the latter two with his regular cohort Monk Fly. This new ...

Ourself Beside Me | Medicine Girl

By way of a sequel to the recent White post, Ourself Beside Me are the second of the two tangents that emerged following the split of Beijing’s Hang On The Box. Whilst Shenggy drifted off to join White with Carsick Cars‘ Shou Wang, Box founder Yang Fang connected with two new collaborators, bassist and film student Xie Han and Japanese drummer, Emi Namihara. Plundering Pink Floyd’s back catalogue (whilst aimlessly fingering CDs from Siouxsie, Can and Talking Heads on the ...

White | Build A Link, Bai

Experience has taught me that new, weird music is being made literally everywhere, on every square millimetre of this globe, and thus – forging ahead with such a theory – China should be no different. Yet, despite wrangling bastard algorithms out of Google’s cortex, trawls for new Chinese sounds are usually unfulfilling. Thankfully, The Wire pointed me in the direction of White this month – duo Shou Wang and Shenggy (aka Shen Jing). Wang, founder of a local music ...

Randy Barracuda | Swkee Like A Pig

A new interview with Randy Barracuda over at skweee.com reminded me that I should get back into the skwee loop and post more of this Scandanavian blend of bleep-tronica, twitch hip hop, r&b and funk. By no means a new phenomena (earliest sightings fall back to 2005), Randy Barracuda dropped both of these tracks for the Flogsta Dancehall label in 2006, also featuring as standouts on the genre’s defining compilation in 2007, Museum Of Future Sound Vol.1. In this new interview, Randy ...

These Are Powers | Life Of Birds

The fact that 99.99% of the world’s population does not live in Brooklyn cuts both ways. Fortunately, we manage to avoid Dan Humphrey mumbling faux-etry on street corners whilst gazing longingly at the Upper East Side, but sadly we miss things like These Are Powers. Their new album ‘All Aboard Future’ (released on Dead Oceans) transcends any genre identification that I can call to mind. If bags of bones and flesh marked Liars, Gang Gang Dance, Comanechi, Black Dice, ...

Run Riot Records | Gouseion, Atermis Jackson, Mutamassik, YSLE

While scratching around the interweb, seeking out anything new from Egypt-via-NYC producer Miss Mutamassik, I was led by the ear to Run Riot Records – home of Mutamassik’s new ‘Commo’ EP. If you’re like me (in which case, may your God help you), there’s nothing we cherish more than not only finding a deep repository of new music, but discovering that it is all of an absolute, five star variety. I feel it now something of a crime that artists such as YSLE, ...

Lloop | Lei-Tzu

As one third of Argriculture Records notional ‘supergroup’ WeTM, Rich Panciera joined DJ Olive and Once 11 in not only crafting three fine albums in their own right, but also acting as top shelf suppliers of premium ‘illbient’. However, it was in his own one-man disguise, Lloop, that Panciera dropped the sampler-friendly ‘Bulbb’s’ in 1994, and thus chiselled a small hole for himself in the Story of Contemporary Music. The quasi-mixtape excursion was ...

Prefuse 73 | Preparation’s Kids Choir

And thus a new Prefuse album was born. From the mind of the prolific Guillermo Scott Herren comes another superior exercise in beat physics, once again pushing himself out of the cocoon of the last album sessions, gorging and filtering all that’s new and blending that into his own individual timeline. It’s for tracks like this that the Oxford English Dictionary will soon come to include ‘prefusian’ in their mighty tome. In this episode, Herren weaves an ...

Fol Chen | Cable TV (Liars Remix)

Let’s do ‘pop’ for five minutes: albeit right-angled, Liars remixed pop – no Gaga here. LA quintet Fol Chen draft Liars drummer Julian Gross for a reversioned take on their new cut, ‘Cable TV’. For all the promise Liars might bring, it’s a restrained beast (oddly close to the original as if the remix is merely an itchy-fingered refix); sounding all the while like Gross is trying to boot a robot Geisha into life, while an indie-chip kid fumbles with ...