Design by Fuel
As a producer working across many facets of digital culture, my expertise encompasses strategy, ideation, product development and audience engagement. I’ve worked with organisations such as Sydney Opera House, SBS, FBi Radio, Sydney Festival, TEDxSydney, MONA, EMI and Vivid Sydney, pushing an agenda of creativity, innovation and digital transformation.
As a curator, I work predominately in the fields of digital media and alternative music. I have curated a wide range of innovative projects, ranging from the internationally renowned New Weird Australia initiative, to guest curator roles at a number of events and festivals. My work has been celebrated in The Guardian, Time Out and The Brag who dubbed me as “one of Australia’s most important champions of innovative music”.
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In 2015, I worked as Strategist and Executive Producer on the brand development and inaugural campaign for MTNS MADE.
MTNS MADE was created to position the Blue Mountains region as an internationally competitive creative hub. Along with producer Robyn Buchanan, designer Heath Killen and writer Chloe Killen, we developed the MTNS MADE strategy, identity and design; and developed the launch campaign featuring portraits and stories of local creatives.
MTNS MADE represents designers, artists, film-makers, sculptors, actors, musicians, writers and more; all of whom have made the Blue Mountains their home, and have made the space, the sound and the colour of the Mountains intrinsic to their work.
While some of the MTNS MADE creatives were born in the region, many sought refuge from the noise, stress and constraints of urban life – which often had a restrictive effect on their practice.
In the Blue Mountains, with so much room to move – physically and mentally – there are no such limits. Community and networks are in abundance, allowing creatives to all feel connected, not remote. Collaboration is welcomed and encouraged, not forced or contracted.
The Mountains may not witness the same level of architectural change that is so prevalent in the city, but it is transforming all the same. The Blue Mountains region has twice as many people employed in the creative industries compared to the state and national averages. It’s clear that the creative community no longer feels that a regional location need be a barrier to their work. Indeed, MTNS MADE sets out to prove that it has an extraordinarily positive influence. The result is some of the most original and vibrant work that you’re likely to find in Australia, and even further beyond.
Read their stories at mtnsmade.com.au
Photography by Ona Janzen and Camille Walsh
In August 2003, I started broadcasting the Fat Planet show on the (then) newly-birthed FBi Radio in Sydney. FBi was set up to take a unique view of Australian music, to reposition both the city of Sydney and the country as a place for new, original and innovative sounds – and to tarmac over the notion that we were good for nothing more than Kylie Minogue, INXS and Men At Work. When I was approached to do a ‘world music show’, I opted to toe the line on exactly the same philosophy – to reposition the notion of ‘world music’, and promote innovation and experimentation from unlikely locations.
Of course, the whole concept of ‘world music’ is in itself a paradox – it is a marketing and sales term, designed for ingestion by Western audiences. ‘World music’ means nothing to consumers in South America or Africa. Not only that, but it is quite insulting to apply such a broad and meaningless term to well-developed and flourishing local music industries. The term also generally implies indigenous and traditional sounds, and as I was quick to discover, most countries falling in the ‘world music’ category consider indigenous music in much the same way that Westerners treat their folk heritage – as something to be acknowledged, but mostly unrepresentative of the current musical climate.
Over a five-year period, Fat Planet site featured thousands of artists, exposing new sounds and styles often for the first time in an English-speaking environment. Fat Planet was also one of the first to expose emerging genres and feature tracks from scenes such as baile funk, kuduro, congotronics, balkan hot step, baltimore, cosmic disco and Boston bounce. Artists who received some of their early blog-love on Fat Planet included M.I.A., Ghislian Poirier, Juana Molina, The Knife, Filastine, Konono No.1, Frikstailers, K’naan, Mutamassilk, Edu-K, Esau Mwamwaya, Para One, Villa Diamante, Jahcoozi, Cardopusher, Sibot, Stacs Of Stamina, Tetine, Bostich, DJ C, Ramallah Underground, Sweat X, Peter Bjorn & John, Mochipet, Datarock, Annie and many more.
As so much of the show’s pre-planning was spent trawling the web, I inevitably started to blog a few links on a dedicated Fat Planet website. Although this was something of an organic and common sense process, it was also partly inspired by the early pioneers of the mp3 blog who had started shortly prior – Fluxblog, Said The Gramaphone, Music For Robots and, primarily, Swen’s Weblog, a curation of mp3 links from artists that had appeared in The Wire magazine.
In January 2008, the Fat Planet blog was featured in the UK’s ‘Guardian‘ newspaper in Chris Salmon’s column ‘Click To Download’. In referencing a number of mp3 blogs from all over the world, Fat Planet was dubbed “Best Blog for world music“. The Guardian called the blog: “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”. (read the column here). Time Out also reviewed Fat Planet in 2008, calling it “a stunningly diverse range of music from all corners of the globe”.
Flash forward to 2017, and Fat Planet returned with the same curatorial mission – to uncover vital sounds from music cultures around the globe. This time around, Fat Planet finds it home with the genius minds at Double J on ABC Radio. “Your ticket to a big world of music” – broadcasting nationally on mobile, online, digital radio & tv.
In 2016, I launched Provenance – an Australian-based record label with a roster of leftfield, experimental and outsider artists.
The debut label releases, I And Thou by Medicine Voice (pictured) and Desertism by Paneye were released in May 2016, and were followed later in the year by releases from Spartak, Lortica, Lovely Head, Aphir and Kris Keogh . Releases from KAIA and Arrom are scheduled for the coming months.
Follow Provenance on Facebook, Instagram and Tumblr.
Out From Under was a weekly hour-long radio program and podcast featuring eclectic and experimental Australian music, weaving documentary stories and interviews with new music specials and live performances.
Out From Under was broadcast in the UK in 2016 by Resonance Extra, a 24/7 broadcast platform from Resonance FM (home to Little Atoms and The Wire’s Adventures In Music & Sound) and podcast by FBi Radio in Sydney.
Download episodes via links below:
#1 Interview: Gail Priest, Astrid Zeman, Daniel Whiting, Happy Axe
#2 Interview: The Necks
#3 New Music: Various Asses, HVISKE, Ela Stiles +
#4 Interview: Sounds Are Sounds, Nadir
#5 Interview: Via Tania, Ghostgirl
#6 Interview: 3BS Records
#7 New Music: Waterhouse, Marcus Whale, Pillow Pro +
#8 Interview: Lawrence English
#9 Interview: Andrew Tuttle
#10 New Music: Carla dal Forno, Collector, Purple Pilgrims +
#11 Interview: Jannah Quill
#12 Interview: Brainbeau
#13 Interview: Marcus Whale
#14 Interview: Host
#15 New Music: Tangents, Reuben Ingall, Lisa Lerkenfeldt +
#16 Archival: The 1970s (Part I)
#17 Archival: The 1970s (Part II)
#18 Interview: Martyn Palmer (Broken Chip, Hidden)
#19 New Music: Scraps, Lortica, Half High, M.O.B. +
#20 Interview: Andy Rantzen & Jochen Gutsch (Hinterlandt)
#21 New Music: Fia Fiell, Ju Ca, Wives, Bright Sea +
#22 Interview: Rand & Holland
#23 Interview: Scattered Order (Part I)
#24 Interview: Scattered Order (Part II)
#25 New Music: My Disco, Garry Bradbury, John Chantler +
Repercussions ran for 22 episodes during 2014 and was part of the launch schedule for FBi Radio’s second channel, FBi Click. The season thematically investigated “the infinite connections in electronic music, past present and future”. Each 60-minute show followed an artist, genre, producer, subject, location or label and explored the influential tracks that existed in their orbit.
Repercussions covered genres such as instrumental grime and experimental R&B, took an in-depth look at classic albums such as Underworld’s Dubnobasswithmyheadman and DJ Shadow’s Entroducing, dove into the back catalogue of seminal NY post-punk label such as 99 Records, and talked exclusively with Mercury Award winning artists Young Fathers, Seekae and Krautrock guru Irmin Schmidt from Can.
Download all episodes via links below:
#1 – In The Beginning
#2 – Selector: Gareth Psaltis
#3 – Prop, The Proto Presets
#4 – The Future Sound Of Scotland
#5 – Shangaan Electro
#6 – Rewind: 2004
#7 – Pioneers: Can
#8 – Experimental R&B
#9 – Selectors: Seekae
#10 – Portishead ‘Dummy’
#11 – Labels: 99 Records
#12 – Instrumental Grime
#13 – Aphex Twin ‘Selected Ambient Works Volume II’
#14 – Selectors: Young Fathers
#15 – The Electronic Music Of Thom Yorke
#16 – A Salute To Those People Who Say ‘Fuck You’
#17 – Underworld ‘Dubnobasswithmyheadman’
#18 – Feed Your Brain – The World Of Flying Lotus
#19 – Early Electronics: The 1960s
#20 – DJ Shadow ‘Entroducing’
#21 – Rewind: 1989
#22 – In The End
The Repercussions image was created by Dave Fernandes at Stranger Things.
The official Australian National Heritage list contains just over 100 locations such as Uluru, the Great Barrier Reef, Sydney Opera House and, as of 2015, Australia’s first Heritage City – Broken Hill.
Once dubbed “Hollywood of the Outback”, Broken Hill has etched its way into the Australian psyche as the backdrop to countless iconic films including The Adventures of Priscilla Queen of the Desert and Mad Max II – The Road Warrior.
During 2014 and 2015, I worked as Executive Producer on a series of three content campaigns that aimed to celebrate both the heritage and cultural aspects of the town. Our aim was to reposition the town as an important tourism destination, bringing the story of the town to life through portraits and stories told across video, photography and long-form articles.
The campaign included seven films, each taking its own unique angle on the town, such as ‘The Sheds Of Broken Hill’ featuring a few of Broken Hill’s proudest shed owners, and the fruits of lifelong obsessions – tools, historical relics, vinyl records (33s and 78s), exquisite vehicles.
I also worked with renowned portrait photographer and Broken Hill resident Robin Sellick on a new commission, featuring ten portraits of unique Broken Hill townsfolk, which was coupled with a series of long-form interviews.
The campaign brought Broken Hill to an online audience of more than 5 million and won Silver Medal in the Destination Marketing category of the 2015 NSW Tourism Awards.
In 2009, I founded New Weird Australia – an initiative designed to promote and support new eclectic and experimental Australian music through a variety of unique projects. Neither one genre nor another, New Weird Australia put the spotlight on a new breed of innovative Australian artists and challenges our understanding of what music should be.
Since its inception in 2009, New Weird Australia established a number of projects in support of Australian experimental music, clocking up over 400,000 downloads in five years, distributed through its own online channels and via its long-standing association with WFMU’s Free Music Archive. New Weird Australia projects included its 23-volume compilation series, the acclaimed netlabel Wood & Wire, the ‘New Editions’ series of individual artist releases, a long-running radio show on Sydney’s FBi Radio and a nationwide series of live shows.
New Weird Australia concluded its operations in 2015. The full New Weird Australia project archive remains online, acting as a record of a unique and vibrant period in the outer limits of Australian music.