Broadcaster & Curator.

Discontent

Discontent – I Don’t Buy Records In Your Shop Now I Tape Them All (A Mixtape By Telafonica)

Telafonica are a Sydney band that operate more like an evolving, fluid collective rather that a rigid formation of players. Their original line-up has filtered into the diaspora, with core Australian members morphing into a four-piece that explore a long terrain, bordered by melodic pop on one side and experimental electronica on the other. Although the palate is broad, the influences are not always evident – hence, when Adrian from Telafonica suggested dropping a mixtape of tracks ...
Vorad Fils

Video: Vorad Fils at Feral Media HQ

John Hassell aka Vorad Fils is a sydney-sider who has been making electronic music since 2006 in other outfits such as Seekae. With his style stretching between ambient and glitch-hop, Vorad Fils takes influence from a range of artists including Boards of Canada, Clark, Brian Eno, Stars of the Lid and Seven Ark. On the eve of the release of his debut album ‘The Warmest Static’ in April 2010, Vorad Fils played an intimate live set for friends at the Feral Media HQ in Sydney, ...

The KLF / K Foundation Radio Interview – Why They Burnt One Million Pounds

Back in the mid 90s, I edited a zine in Glasgow called Thee Data Base.  In 1996, my co-editor Alan and I managed to procure what was, at the time, a tabloid-bating exclusive: we published an exclusive interview with former-KLF creators, Bill Drummond and Jimmy Cauty – only a short while after they had flown by themselves to the Scottish island of Jura and, in an abandoned cottage, systematically burnt one million pounds, note by note. The interview was carried out by John Dower, transcribed ...

Discontent – We Are Experiencing Turbulence (A Mixtape by Filastine)

When presenting Fat Planet many moons ago, I was always keenly attuned to sounds that fused my two (then) primary concerns – broad internationalism and rugged experimental beats. Proponents of such a fusion were (and to a large extent still are) few and far between, but Mutamassik, dj/Rupture and Filastine stood out, stood proud and stood very loud. Often abrasive, and never compromising, they nonetheless married the promotion of global sounds throughout Western lands with an ...

Interactive Netball at the Now Now Festival

Created & “facilitated” by Jon Rose, this game of Interactive Netball take place at the Now Now Festival in Wentworth Falls in 25th January 2010. The yellow ball is connected wirelessly to Rose’s laptop and emits an ever-changing variety of sounds, related to its movement and velocity. In addition, four Now Now performers (two assigned to each team) play short stabs of improvised music when their team is in possession of the ball. Spontaneous! The Now Now: thenownow.net/ Jon ...

Discontent – In Teen Dreams (Mixtape)

Do you remember those teenage dreams?  For some it may be a recent memory, for others, it’s somewhat more distant.  To the latter, teen dreams exist simply as faint, fading memories –  idylls, fantasises, hopes and nightmares, never to be lived or experienced, destined only to be ravaged and degraded by time.  The nostalgia for lost teenage dreams is balanced by the fact that the actual shape and substance of those dreams can no longer be recalled – it’s simply a ...

Discontent – Americas Volume One (A Mixtape by Moses Iten)

Around three years ago (April 2007), Fat Planet featured its first look at the early shoots of a new crop of what became known, to some, as ‘digital cumbia’, or ‘nuevo cumbia’ with a post on Andres Schteingart, aka El Remolon.  Unbeknown to anyone reading it, least of all me, Schteingart would come to form part of the core nucleus of producers that took hold of a revitalised Central and South American sound, and took it all over the world.  You can now discover vast ...

Disorientation Session (Disorient’s Mixtape For FBi)

In June 2009, I gave away a free mixtape to new subscribers of FBi Radio during my ‘Disorient’ show. The mixtape, titled ‘Disorientation Session’, features a few tracks that you can find on the first two Discontent mixtapes (Mixtape One and Two), with additions from various artists that appeared regularly on the show’s playlists, or as earlier single posts on the Discontent blog. As an aggregator of the sounds found on the (somewhat short-lived) Disorient radio ...

Discontent – China (A Mixtape by Shaun from Tenzenmen)

One of my most long-serving curatorial projects was ‘Fat Planet’ – a radio show and blog that ran from 2003 to 2008. The mission was simple – uncover new, alternative music from around the globe. Ignore the ‘western paradigm’ and dig around for non-traditional, contemporary, innovative music. Uncover the hitherto uncovered. At first I thought Africa would pose the greatest challenge, but in truth the hardest location to crack was China. Most of my ...

Discontent – Paper Money (A Mixtape by Raphael Dixon)

Raphael Dixon is a broadcaster on Sydney’s FBi Radio. His show follows mine, which means that I always get the chance to listen to his selections when I’m hanging around the studio or I’m on the drive home. When I first heard that Raph was ostensibly presenting a hip hop show, my heart sank a little. There’s already an upfront hip hop show on the station (the perennial Stolen Records), and I remember thinking to myself, “do we really more of the same?”. ...

BACK CATALOGUE. Three Heads Meet Messmer And Koo Koo

Mitch Jones & Michael Tee stand as two of the key figures in the history of alternative music in Sydney. Together they founded M-SQUARED Records – home to a cluster of now seminal local post-punk artists such as SYSTEMATICS, THE MAKERS OF THE DEAD TRAVEL FAST, YA YA CHORAL, PROD and their own band, SCATTERED ORDER. Nearly 30 years after the fact, SCATTERED ORDER reformed their original line-up earlier this year, and started both playing live and recording once again. I was asked to DJ ...

Discontent – We Sleep In This Cave (A Mixtape by Pink Priest)

Discontent is regenerating – and the key shift is a significant one. Discontent will no longer be a home solely for my own curations, I’m opening it up to other minds, other voices, other sounds. I’m opening the door ajar to friends and colleagues thus far, but may well open further as the experiment progresses. First up, an artist who appeared on the recent ‘All That Glitters Is Gold‘ mixtape, Pink Priest. He emailed to thank me for including his track on the ...

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 ...

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 ...
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 ...