INTERVIEW. Sarah Hopkins – the Aussie who scored a spot on Björk’s Utopia

Björk’s latest album Utopia is a collaboration between the Icelandic artist and Venezuelan producer Alejandro Ghersi, also known as Arca. All of the 14 album tracks are credited solely to Björk and Ghersi, with one exception: the track ‘Features Creatures’ has a writing credit for Australian artist Sarah Hopkins.

Hopkins is a Queensland-based composer-performer, most well known for her work Past Life Melodies. 

Continue reading “INTERVIEW. Sarah Hopkins – the Aussie who scored a spot on Björk’s Utopia”

BACK CATALOGUE. A trip through the flipside of Björk’s career

Björk’s voluminous catalogue contains thousands of curios for playlist fanatics. I am one those fanatics, an obsessive Bjork collector, endlessly shuffling my thirty-year compendium of Bjork-related tracks into various combinations, or stacking my complete collection of physical releases into increasingly idiosyncratic order.

In doing so, I know only too well that her discography can be sequenced in such a way to make any argument whatsoever about her work as a composer and producer. Bjork as studio genius, classical composer, dancefloor junkie, folk singer, remix devotee.

To celebrate the release of Utopia, I’ve created a unique Björk playlist, one that takes an intentionally subjective slice though her career.

Continue reading “BACK CATALOGUE. A trip through the flipside of Björk’s career”

INTERVIEW. On the phone with Björk: talking Utopia, Tinder and slapstick comedy

When the good people at Double J asked me if I was interested in interviewing Björk, I thought they were having a laugh. The dismissive flick I gave them soon turned into a week of abject anxiety when it turned out they were for real. Last Friday, I got on the phone to Björk in Reykjavik and spoke to her for 30 minutes about Utopia, love and slapstick comedy. And you can hear that interview this Wednesday, 29 November, on Double J from 8pm AEST. Continue reading “INTERVIEW. On the phone with Björk: talking Utopia, Tinder and slapstick comedy”

Repercussions #22 “In The End”

This week marks the end of the first season of Repercussions, and we return to the theme of the first episode with another selection of touchstone moments in electronic and dance music history. From an opening salvo by New York producer Joey Beltram, through to a closer from Bjork, I select tracks from artists such as The Orb, LFO, Daft Punk, Autechre, Altern-8, Chemical Brothers and Aphex Twin, and revisit an important moment in Australian dance music, from Itch-E & Scratch-E.

DOWNLOAD Repercussions #22 “In The End”

Featured in this episode:
JOEY BELTRAM Energy Flash
ALTERN-8 Infiltrate 202
LFO We Are Back
THE ORB Little Fluffy Clouds
APHEX TWIN Analogue Bubblebath 1
AUTECHRE Basscadet
ITCH-E & SCTRATCH-E Sweetness and Light
DAFT PUNK Da Funk
THE CHEMICAL BROTHERS Leave Home
BJORK Cover Me (Plaid Mix)

First broadcast on FBi Click, 15th December 2014

Repercussions #16 “A Salute To Those People Who Say Fuck You (For Mark Bell)”

On October 13th 2014, the electronic music world lost one of its pioneers – at the age of only 43, producer Mark Bell, co-founder of Warp Records’ duo LFO, passed away.  Bell was also a prolific producer and remixer outside of the LFO camp, most notably contributing production for seven Bjork‘s albums over the last fourteen years.  To celebrate Warp Records’ 100th release, the label released the compilation ‘We Are Reasonable People’, featuring a track from Mark Bell titled “A Salute To Those People Who Say Fuck You”.

By way of our own salute to Bell, on this week’s Repercussions we feature a selection of artists that operated within Bell’s orbit and who, most importantly, were people who took great delight in saying ‘Fuck You’.

DOWNLOAD: Repercussions #16 “A Salute To Those People Who Say Fuck You (For Mark Bell)”

Featured in this episode:
MARK BELL A Salute To Those People Who Say Fuck You
BJORK Declare Independence
APHEX TWIN Come To Daddy (Pappy Mix)
SQUAREPUSHER Dimotane Co
KID 606 It’ll Take Millions In Plastic Surgery To Make Me Black
LAURIE ANDERSON O Superman
WENDY CARLOS Title Music From A Clockwork Orange (From Purcell’s Music For The Funeral Of Queen Mary)
THROBBING GRISTLE Hot On The Heels Of Love
RHYTHIM IS RHYTHIM Nude Photo
CYBOTRON Clear
LFO LFO (Leeds Warehouse Mix)

First broadcast on FBi Click, 27th October 2014.

Bi(f)tek, Bjork, Cornershop, Bebel Gilberto, The Go! Team, Polysics

BI(F)TEK [AUSTRALIA]
unisex mp3
played a track today from the experts, a collaboration between australian artists byron scullin and nicole skeltys from female duo bi(f)tek. the album ‘electro city breaks’ seems to be a tie-in with the ‘lonely planet’ tv series, but there’s very little info online about the album (with the exception of this page). you can get an idea of what to expect by downloading this track from bi(f)tek‘s 2003 album ‘frequencies will move together’ – australian electro pop at its finest. [site]

BJORK [ICELAND]
verandi mp3
get on google and try and find the track i played today – a preview remix (premix?) of ‘triumph of a heart’ from bjork‘s new album ‘medulla’. to whet your appetite, this mp3 is an out-take from the ‘vespertine’ recording sessions, written with with the help of bollywood composer jolly mukherjee.

CORNERSHOP [ENGLAND]
lessons learned from rocky I to rocky III mp3
so maybe cornershop are back, maybe they’re not. the new single (from which i played both tracks today) is titled as ‘cornershop presents bubbley kaur’ and is two slices of wonderfully lo-fi pop layered with a gorgeous hindi vocal. track it down if you can. the above track is completely different in flavour, pop rock from their 2002 album ‘handcream for a generation’.

BEBEL GILBERTO [BRAZIL]
simplesmente mp3
as the daughter of ‘the man who invented bossa’, the weight of expectation lay heavy on bebel gilberto‘s shoulder for many years. her album ‘tanto tempo’ surpassed most of those expectation, fusing traditional bossa groove with contemporary electronic production. a remix collection featuring the likes of king britt and rae and christian didn’t do any harm to her reputation either. her new self-titled album strips away most of the electronica in favour of more acoustic sound, and whilst that might disappoint some die-hards, it allows her voice to come shining through in a collection that’ll no doubt have wide appeal. tune into FAT PLANET on FBi on sunday 15th august for my interview with bebel (and hopefully if i find the time, i’ll post a transcript too). [site]

THE GO! TEAM [ENGLAND]
junior kickstart mp3
played the track ‘the power is on’ from this uk group, released through memphis industries. there’s a quote on the label site which says the go! team sound like “the yeah yeah yeahs doing double dutch”. there’s a lot of seemingly contradictary info about the band online, but as far as i can see it’s centered around the brighton musician ian parton, who – in a scandanavian interview – namechecks mantronix and le tigre as influences, so now you get the gist, right?

POLYSICS [JAPAN]
married to a frenchman mp3
i first came across polysics on the sony compilation ‘japan for sale volume one’ a couple of years ago (the same album that introduced me to the glorious puffy amiyumi). polysics are that wonderful blend of psych-out rock with sharp pop sensibilities, something japan does very well and very often. asianmanrecords.com describes polysics as “a less poppy devo, mixed in with the aggressive sounds of the bordeoms, trickle in the energy of the dead kennedys, and topped off with the moods of man or astroman“. which is quite something to live up to, but i think they’ve nailed it.