Broadcaster & Curator.

From Pulpit To Pew – Mess & Noise on New Weird Australia at Sound Summit

Mess and Noise today published an in-depth review of the New Weird Australia live show at Sound Summit by Kate Hennessey, reprinted below. A picture of the Pope is propped on a ledge behind the stage at Newcastle‘s Renew Church. People drift in from the rain outside and sidle quietly into chairs. Trapped within the cheap frame, bathed in mellow red stage lights, the Pope watches on, fading even further into weary benevolence. It’s Sunday afternoon and the church is home to the second ...

Mess & Noise Interview

New Weird Australia was featured in Mess & Noise, ahead of the inaugural Sound Summit Showcase in October 2009, in a Q&A article by Kate Hennessy.  Interview reprinted below. New Weird Australia (NWA) slipped onto the scene in July 2009, releasing Volume One in a compilation series featuring new, eclectic and experimental Australian-only music. Available for free from the NWAwebsite, it has so far racked up 3000 downloads, withVolume Two released this month. There’s no specific ...

Discontent – All That Glitters Is Gold (Mixtape)

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, they also reflect a linear narrative of sorts. Buried in between the idiosyncratic choices that I’ve made, are signals that indicate a broader passage. Some genres bleed in slowly over months or over a sequence of multiple tapes, others crash in without much ...

Discontent | Burnt By The Sun (Mixtape)

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 swelling legion of producers (new and old) finding inspiration through the low end. There were two net results: one, the overall quality of the music being produced naturally become diluted and duplicated and it was all the worse for it; two, producers at the top of ...

Discontent – Hypnogogic Pop (Mixtape)

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 into which many of the genre players were born, and which is now being factored into underground music as a spectral influence“. I was drawn to this partly due to my admiration of Pocahaunted (featured briefly in ...

Discontent – Music For Merce

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 approach to movement was matched directly with his work within sound. His life partner, John Cage, was the inaugural musical advisor for the Merce Cunningham Dance Company and, between them, the duo forged an unparalleled relationship between ...

Discontent Phase Two | ‘Free Music’ Mixtapes

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, titled ‘Aural Subculture’ (a vague reference to New Order) is dated February 1988 and includes tracks from The Sugarcubes, Cocteau Twins, Joy Division, The Fall and the Jesus & Mary Chain, amongst many other less notables. For me, mixtapes serve ...

Jahcoozi | Watching You (Plastic Little Remix)

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 or fate, never hitching their wagon to any particular label for more than one release, and – with each consecutive appearance – always delivering a side order of unexpected mystery meat on ...

Clubroot | Mary Anne Hobbs Mix

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 fear that every other review or mention is now destined to mention the ‘B’ word, and here I stand with a can of my own gasoline, adding fuel to the pyre. Thankfully, Clubroot is no mere copyist. He may well be following the growing ...

Introducing New Weird Australia

For a while, I’ve been looking for an outlet to best explore, promote and galvanise the weird / experimental music scene in my current home of Australia. This country has a long and vital history of experimental music, however until the birth of the internet age, this rich seam of avant-garde audio remained largely confined to its geographic borders. Over the last ten years, emerging Australian artists have found new avenues and new audiences thanks to international digital ...
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 ...