Medicine Voice – ‘The Roman / Crossing The Fourth Threshold’

‘The Roman / Crossing The Fourth Threshold’ is the new single from Medicine Voice, the second track to be singled-out from the album ‘I And Thou‘ (out now on Provenance). To mark the moment, Medicine Voice has collaborated with artists Louisa Clayton and Kevina-Jo Smith on a beautiful new film clip, shot on location in the Blue Mountains. Sar also had some words to say about the film, about hope, about Standing Rock, which you can read on the Provenance web site.

Preview: New Hollow Press album on Wood & Wire

March will see the release of a brand new album from Adelaide producer Hollow Press on Wood & Wire.

In an interview with Hollow Press on Crawlspace in September 2012, writer Luke Telford noted: “Much of his music is devoted to a kind of gloriously devolved beatscape that shares certain things with witch house or minimal techno, but dispenses with the sensuousness and forward motion of those tags. The music’s other approach eschews rhythm entirely in favour of dense digital texture and seething ambient spaces. A prevailing sense of resignation and quiet hope bridges the two settings. It’s potent, and occasionally challenging, but richly rewards the time you spend with it.”

Here’s an early preview from the release – a track titled Memory Lapse and a new video featuring footage from L’Etoile de Mer / Poison / Emak Bakia by Man Ray.

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, marking the last performance in the space before Feral’s move to the U.S.

Shaky-cam footage courtesy of me.

Buraka Som Sistema | XLR8R TV

Buraka Som Sistema drop a rare video interview on XLR8R TV, articulating their own take on the origins of the Kuduro genre and the false start for the sound in Portugal as far back as 1996.  BSS make note that they are ‘representing the Lisbon scene’ rather than Kuduro’s original Angolan roots, although production on their new ‘Black Diamond’ album took them back to the source.

XLR8R – From Lisbon with Love: Buraka Som Sistema| link | mp4 download

Buraka Som Sistema at 2009 Sydney Festival | link

Kuduro on ‘Fat Planet’ (October 2006) | link

Lykke Li (Sweden) – ‘Little Bit’

lykkeVideo: Lykke Li ‘Little Bit‘ 

I’m certainly not the first to write about Lykke Li and I’m sure I won’t be the last. And while there’s a tendency for blogs to swarm around hyped artists in an effort to stay painfully relevant, I’m jumping on this bandwagon for good reason – the reason being that ‘Youth Novels’ is a remarkable album, worthy of the attention it has already received; an album that has been on repeat rotation in the Fat Planet house since its Swedish release earlier this year.

A swift comparison places 22-Year Old Li Lykke Timotej Zachrisson in a continuum that joins the dark, moody sweep of El Perro Del Mar and the skewed electro pop of Robyn, levitating above ground between both. With production from Bjorn from Peter, Bjorn and John, the album fails to fully adhere to the Swedish indie-pop blueprint and chooses instead to veer into less obvious laneways. Case in point: while ‘Dance Dance Dance’ might be something you could hear falling from the lips of the glorious Victoria Bergsman, ‘Complaint Department’ – with its dirty, looping piano stabs – is in a forest of its own.

Even more remarkable is the seemingly carefree ability for Li to continuously channel that rarest of commodities – the perfect pop song – and do so many times over in one extended collection. Lasse Mårtén worked as engineer on the album and a glimpse at his resume might explain why this brand of alt.pop works so well – he’s chalked up fader duties for Pink, Peter Bjorn and John, Marit Bergman, Shout Out Louds, Kelly Clarkson (for ‘Since U Been Gone) and … (bless ’em) The Veronicas. Put simply, ‘Youth Novels’ is as good as indie-pop gets.

Lykke Li is touring throughout the UK and US this month & next, and the ‘Little Bit’ EP lands in North America on May 6th. Download her SXSW set at lullabye.net.

Tetine (Brazil) – ‘Entertainment N249’

After wearing out the shine on my copy of their ‘Lick My Favela’ CD, it’s good to have Tetine back with a new release. The Brazilian duo are dropping a full length for choice UK label Soul Jazz Records on April 29th, preceded right at this moment by the Deize Tigrona voiced-single ‘I Go To The Doctor’ (featuring a tidy electro remix from local neighbours CSS).

Unless my thick fingers are deceiving me, ‘Let Your Xs Be Ys’ is Tetine’s eighth album, rollercoasting on a journey that began with 1996’s ‘Alexander’s Grave’, a release which drew musical comparisons with Philip Glass and theatrical similarities to Antonin Artaud – quite a combination. Yet this experimental hyrbid of music and performance has come to define Bruno Verner and Eliete Mejorado over the last 12 years – taking them from their Brazilian home to a long-standing residence in the UK and creative partnerships with Robin Rimbaud (Scanner), Sophie Calle and Igloo, and appearances at Sao Paulo’s Sonar, Whitechapel Art Gallery, Barbican Centre, Miami Music Conference and London’s South Bank.

Trying to pin down Tetine’s sound is almost an artform in itself – veering from the Clash’n’Kraftwerk beds that make up their largely funk-focussed aforementioned Favela EP, to the electronic rumble of last year’s single ‘A Historia Da Garca’, to the mix of electro, baile funk, minimal, new wave and sparse post punk on this latest release.

It’s perhaps no surprise that Tetine played curatorial duties on two important Brazilian compilations a few years back – ‘Slam Dunk Presents Funk Carioca’ (the first funk compilation released outside of Brazil) and ‘The Sexual Life Of Savages’ (also on Soul Jazz) – a near-defintive history of early 80s Brazilian post punk.

Ingested with their history in mind, ‘Let Your Xs Be Ys’ feels as playful as it is relaxed – soundtracking an artistic project that wears its authenticity, confidence and continuing need for experimentation proudly on its sleeve. Less ‘we do not give a fuck’, more ‘we do not need to give a fuck’ – a crucial difference in a music market riddled with attitude, desperately seeking substance.

More: tetine.net

Telepathique (Brazil) – ‘Eu Gusto’

Back in 2003, before funk carioca made a large noise outside of Brazil, record store exposure to new brazilian music tended to be limited towards remixes of old school bossa or frenetic drum’n’bass workouts on a DJ Marky tip. One name that sticks out from that period is Sao Paulo’s DJ Periferico, aka Érico Theobaldo – mainly due to his remix of ‘Dadinho’ from the ‘City Of God’ Soundtrack which cropped up repeatedly on Fat Planet playlists (aside from that appearance, Periferico also lent his production skills to Brazilian artists such as Otto and BiD).

Fast forward five years and Theobaldo is entwined with vocalist Mylene Pires for a project titled ‘Telepathique‘ – neither fish nor flesh, neither electro nor rave nor funk nor punk, but a cluster-fuck of all. Their 2006 debut ‘Last Time On Earth’ earned much respect in Portugal and Spain which led to a tour through the region, playing many festival gigs and sharing stages with Diplo, Hot Chip and Massive Attack. The new EP ‘Love & Lust’ (The Control Group) finally allows the rest of the world to play catch up and precedes a reissue of ‘Last Time On Earth’ later this year.

Outside of her work on ‘Telepathique’, Mylene also has a distinguished solo career which delves deep into Brazilian and African music traditions – garnering accolades and awards for her self-titled debut, which she recently followed with ‘Nao Muito Distante’, an album of ‘reinterpretations’ of Portuguese band Madredeus. Info & sounds: myspace.com/mylenepires

The Diaphanoids (Italy) – ‘What The F**k Do You Want With Us, Earthlings?’

The Diaphanoids are Italians Andrea Bellentani and Simon Maccari and their latest EP – ‘Mermaids Of Lunaris’ is released through Bear Entertainment (Lindstrom, Idjut Boys, Chicken Lips). Everything else there is to know about the Diaphanoids is seemingly culled from the pages of a Kurt Vonnegut novel.

“Here on planet diaphanoid time travelling is a fun way to spend the weekend … but these two took it too far! They always wanted more and to see if the grass was greener on other planets! They left us in 5079 and have never been seen since, legend has it they travelled to your earth and visited 1977-1980, Berlin-Munich-London-Paris-New York”.

They have the date and location spot on – the Diaphanoids’ witches brew involves one part 70s disco, another part 00’s Cosmic variety. There’s an eye of a Krautrock newt and a toe of Prog, and probably a nipple or two from John Carpenter. Whilst it might seem like this particular style is being reinvented time and time again, there’s still space for these boys and their infectious, astral-electro. Especially with EP titles such as “What The F**k Do You Want With Us, Earthlings?” and “Escape From Martius 42”.

Turn on, tune in, space out.

Buy at EMusic / Juno.

God’s Own Country (Nigeria) – Movie Trailer

We’ve read many comments on both Radiohead and Trent Reznor’s attempts to subvert the music industry distribution paradigm , and there’s no doubt that their actions (and those of countless others) have got the major labels scratching their heads in bewilderment. And it’s not just the music industry that’s dancing around a bevvy of possible futures – all media is in a profound state of change.

And if that all seems very grand, check God’s Own Country – a project that rewrites the movie distribution rules with a ‘pay what you can’ download model, attached with a free audio mixtape featuring a genuinely African American playlist: Lil Wayne, Dead Prez, Green Lantern, Akon and Dipset mix it with X-Plastaz (Tanzania), Lopango Ya Banka (Congo), Krukid (Uganda), Amkoullel (Mali), Eldee The Don (Nigeria) and more.

God’s Own Country is the movie debut of Nigerian director Femi Agbayewa and tells the tale of a Nigerian immigrant finding that the bright lights of the U.S. of A. are not what they were cracked up to be. It’s been described as a slice of “Nollywood” film-making – a reference to a Nigerian film industry that’s been pushing out movies for around 40 years. God’s Own Country stands as a somewhat leftfield arrival from a fledgling player – a move that signals a bright and diverse future for the international film industry.

You can find both the movie and mixtape download at gocmovie.com, alongside a nascent community forum that hopes to encourage the dissemination of acapellas and beats for collaboration. Register to download both, or stream the mixtape direct from the home page.

Morganics (Australia) – ‘Hip Hop Is My Passport’

If the name ‘Morganics‘ feels oddly familiar to you, yet you can’t quite put your finger on it, hit ‘Mango Pickle Down River’ on M.I.A.‘s ‘Kala’. A few seconds into the track and you’ll hear the Australian producer and MC giving himself a well-deserved namecheck. In fact, he deserves more than just a background call – kudos to Maya for promoting Aboriginal hip hop, however lest we forget – the track itself is actually a Morganics and Wilcannia Mob production from 2002, with a new verse dropped in for the ‘Kala’ release. The track is just a public high point in a long history of Morganics’ projects, most of which involve working with indigenous and under-privileged musicians around the South Pacific region.

In a 2004 interview, Morganics (aka Morgan Lewis) stated “We are here to create our own Australian language of hip hop and a big part of that, a unique part of any Australian identity, has got to be Indigenous people” – a statement that has essentially has been his guiding vision to date, in a story that now spans nearly three decades. He started breaking back in 1984 and was an integral part of the seminal Australian crew ‘Meta Bass’n’Breath‘ during the latter half of the 90s. Morgan has also made a solid name for himself locally as a theatre producer, staging shows at the Sydney Opera House, the Perth International Festival and overseas in the U.S. and UK.

Following last year’s production on the debut release for Tanzania’s Wayahudi Family, Morganics returns with his own signature release ‘Hip Hop Is My Passport’. If the blend of indigenous and contemporary hip hop production on ‘Down River’ enticed you, you’ll find a great deal more of the same Australian flavours on the album, alongside a broader geographical sweep that takes in Brazil, Berlin, Tokyo, Spain, The Bronx, Bali and more. It’s an exhilarating ride through the true colours of global hip hop, fiercely uncompromising yet erupting with positivity throughout. If you’re not already reaching the Visa card, bear in mind there’s a free DVD documentary bundled with the album. Get it all at vitamin.net.au.

Morganics plays out this Saturday (29th March) as part of ‘Uber Lingua – Charged!’ at the Abercrombie in Ultimo, Sydney. I’ll also be playing a set along with: “Cuban reggaeton performer Pochoman, Chinese-Malaysian dancer and vocalist WeiZen, Brasilian batucada percussion troop Timbalada, Local Gypsy-Jazz maestro Trevor Brown, Ghanaian Hip Hop producer MC Gee, Argentinian Cumbia performer MC Hernan – plus DJs Bruno LT (Rio de Janeiro), Mashy P, Jack Shit, Luke Snarl (Sub Bass Snarl), Bentley (Drop), Sven Simulacrum and from the Melbourne crew – sakamoiz and bP“. Quite a list – tickets 10 bucks from 7pm (Earth Hour) until late. Info at uberlingua.com/syd

Maga Bo & Xuman (Senegal) – ‘Fire’

Maga Bo‘s exploration of underground global sounds continues with the forthcoming release ‘Archipelagoes’ on dj/Rupture’s Soot Records. As a taster, Bo presented this clip on his Kolleidosonic blog – ‘Fire’ featuring Senegalese MC Xuman. Originally tucked in at the end of the 2007 mixtape ‘Confusion Of Tongues’ (one of Fat Planet’s Albums of 2007), ‘Fire’ is the first track to receive the video treatment with two more promised soon: ‘Saye Mbott’ featuring Alif, filmed in Dakar, and ‘Nqayi’ feat. Teba which was shot in Cape Town.

‘Shook’ magazine recently published an article from Maga Bo detailing his experiences of the Ethiopian music industry – you can read a short extract, titled ‘Electronics Merkato’ at their blog. Catch Maga Bo on a selection of dates throughout U.S. and Canada in April.

Birk Storm (Denmark) – ‘I Don’t Care’

Birk Storm is by his own admission both “new name” and “new music”, but his clarion call is one that we can all relate to: “electro/funk as it allways was ment to be” (sic). While not curating funk for the masses in his Copenhagen studio, ‘The Birk’ (as he likes to be known) acts as drummer-gun for hire for a clutch of Danish bands such as Band Ane and Outlandish – and beyond that, there’s little to be told and much to discover.

Signing with Danish label VUF (whose label compilations come highly recommended), 24-year old Birk launches himself into the ether with two singles: ‘I Dont Care’ and ‘Side By Side’ and a somewhat abstract video clip that allegedly documents the moment when Birk signed on the dotted label line. The debut full length drops on VUF in August.

More @ thebirk.dk.

Buraka Som Sistema (Portugal) – ‘The Sound Of Kuduro’

After an initital burst of excitement, it’s been a quiet year for Kuduro in terms of its exposure outside of Angola (Guillaume at Masala eloquently drew this into context last October). Of course, I’m sure that there remains a ferocious supply and demand culture within Angola, but – sitting so far outside of the source – we’ve been largely starved of new material. Portugal’s Buraka Som Sistema offer a glimmer of hope for a ‘second coming’ with their new track ‘The Sound Of Kuduro’.

I fully acknowledge that this clip has been through the blog rounds on various sites over the last few days, but I feel the need to represent and archive here on Fat Planet – particularly due to the quality of the guest talent involved: Znobia (who received the royal remix treatment from Diplo in July last year), Puto Prata (find a ‘megamix’ of some of his material at Likembe), Miss World Town – M.I.A and Subarosa.

It’s also good to see the Portuguese crew reconnect with the roots of Kuduro – Frederic Galliano was a little dismissive of non-Angolan Kuduro in our 2007 interview: “The kuduro in Portugal … Angolan people say this is ‘kuduro de blanco’, ‘kuduro of the white people’, because it is really cheap”. It feels like this track – particularly the definitive nature of the title – is the start of a mission to put such criticisms to rest. Stereogum notes that the forthcoming album is titled Black Diamond is due mid-year.

Mochipet (Taiwan) – ‘Get Your Whistle Wet’

Taiwan’s David Wang (last featured on Fat Planet back in 2006) has steadily and quietly amassed a bewildering repertoire of breakcore, glitch and semi-spontaneous noise under the Mochipet alias; the calibre of which has attracted a long queue of collabs with fellow machine wreckers such as Kid 606, Ellen Allien, Daedelus and Aaron Spectre.

Burning off the heels of the recent “Girls Love Breakcore” album comes “Microphonepet”, a rude best-of collection culled from recordings made over the last five years and released through Wang’s own Bay Area-based label Daly City Records. Wang grabs Jahcoozi, Dopestyle (Kutmaster Kurt), RQM (Al Haca) and more buddies along for the ride – a ride which has been blessed with a PR-sting which promises “Glitch, Dubstep, Jazz, Funk, Afrobeat, and Computer Rock”. ‘Get Your Whistle Wet’ tones down the random absurdity for a tight slab of electro-funk, a Euro-esque Baltimore jam that points to the fact that the Mochipet pony has more than a just a singular Breakcore kick in its repertoire.

Elsewhere in the Mochiverse, his “Dessert Search for Techno Baklava” (featured on the last FP post) has been recontextualised and represented for the string-set; currently performed by the 20-strong Alarm Will Sound orchestra at various locations around the world. Tonight (28 Feb) they hit NY’s Carnegie Hall in a performance that also ushers forth versions of tracks from Richard Aphex James, The Shaggs and that ‘righteous dude’ Ligeti.

More: dalycityrecords.com

DJ Amazing Clay (Brazil) – ‘Montagem Pela Ultima Vez’

If you’ve been following the Man Recordings story recently, you’ll be well aware of German baile funk MC Gringo and his recent release ‘Gringao’. The album was produced to a large degree by one of Rio’s longest standing funk DJs, Amazing Clay. By way of context, Man Rec’s latest release in ‘Baile Funk Masters’ series slots eight unique Clay productions back to back (including today’s download ‘Montagem Pela Ultima Vez’), and features contributions from MC Gus and Lady MC Betta. The 12′ represents long overdue international promotion for Clay whose DJ career stretches back some 27 years (circa ‘Planet Rock’, an early staple of Clay’s sets), founding ‘Equipe Curtisom Rio’ ‘ one of Rio’s earliest funk sound systems ‘ and production work for Mr Catra, Deize Tigrona and MC Dido. Given the endless recycling of key themes in funk carioca (‘Rocky’ being most notable), Clay is also given props for introducing ‘Bonanza’ into the mix. Whether or not we should be thankful remains to be seen ‘ download his cut from 2004 to judge for yourself.

For more in the funk vein, Man Rec boss Daniel Haaksman drops a ‘Funk Berlinioca’ mix for XLR8R, including Edu K, Switch, Marina (ex Bonde Do Role), Princess Superstar, new Stereotyp project Ku Bo and a ‘funk mashup’ of our favourite hopeless star, Amy Winehouse. There’s also a new mix from Clay available to download on the Mac Rec blog.

More: manrecordings.com
Buy: forced exposure

Clay’s one-handed funk production technique –

Ólöf Arnalds (Iceland) – ‘Í Nýju Húsi’

On last night’s Fat Planet radio show, we had guest selector Stuart Rogers in the studio. Since 2005, Stuart has been producing audio and video podcasts for the Iceland Airwaves festival and has become – in his own words – something of a “specialist generalist” in the field of Icelandic music. Many of the vodcasts be found at icelandairwaves.com/podcast, or check the archive at youtube. I’ve posted a beautiful clip featuring Ólöf Arnalds above, performing Í Nýju Húsi from her debut album, Við og Við. As Stuart notes “Turns out that the guitar she pulled out of the case that day wasn’t hers and had trouble keeping tune, but she trucked on regardless.”

During the session, we played a track from the new Benni Hemm Hemm album ‘Ein I Leyni’ which is currently only distributed in Iceland, but you can buy online at Grapewire.net. Grapewire also stock releases from some of our other session artists, Hellvar, Mr Silla & Mongoose and Olaf Arnulds.

Telmary (Cuba) – ‘Ves (feat. Kumar)’

At the start of January, i kicked off a new segment on the radio show: The 2008 Fat Planet World Tour. The concept behind this somewhat absurd and ambitious project is to travel around the world in 50 weeks, focussing on one country each week. Obviously, a fair few are going to fall by the wayside in the process, but that’s what 2009’s for…

After hitting on Canada and Mexico, this week we’re in Cuba for a slice of ‘Buena Vista’-free tunes. If your view of international music was coloured by your local retail store, chances are you’d think Cuban music begins and end with the Social Club. As much as Wim Wenders did the world a favour by exposing the Club to the masses, it also forced a greater shadow over everything else and gave most retailers a ‘get out’ clause. Gripes aside, two compilations crop up time and time again on the shelves around Sydney which explore, in part, new Cuban sounds – ‘Reggaeton: Cuban Revolucion’ (Petrol Records) offers an exemplary list of newcomers and the unfortunately-titled ‘Urban Latino’ (Nascente) give us local contributions from Clan 537, Flaco Pro and Instincto.

Into this mix, I’d like to also offer up Telmary and her 2006 release ‘A Diario’. Starting out as part of Free Hole Negro and later joining Interactive, Telmary’s debut is described as, above all else, “distancing itself far from the ghosts that undermine Hip Hop of hispanic origin”. This is accompanied by references to positivity and unity in the lyricism, and turning ones back on “ill-advised confrontation and facile commercialism”. The project is grand in scale, with over fifty contributors, and the above mp3 – with its irresistible tabla-reggaeton vibe – is a precursor to another three tracks that are available on Telmary’s Myspace.

For deeper exploration, you might try the book and documentary ‘East Of Havana’ (though no oddly no album?) at eastofhavana.com. Other names that have pricked our attention include Annimo Consejo, Free Hole Negro, Cubanito 20.20, Gente De Zona, Wichy de Vedado and Los Aldeanos. As ever on Fat Planet, further finds are welcomed and encouraged…

Champeta Trance (Colombia)

Champeta has recently lurched from Fat Planet’s peripheral vision into a near-front-and-centre position. Colombiafrica‘s album ‘Voodoo Love Inna Champeta Land’ was first out of the traps at the tail end of 2007, and this week one of our favourite blogs, Ghetto Bassquake, brings us ‘Champeta Trance’. Champeta is a bastard hybrid of a dictionary of genres: highlife, afrobeat, zouk, cumbia, soca, calypso – and undoubtedly dozens more – and can be found throughout Colombia’s Caribbean coast. For its trance rebirth, ‘El Pulpo‘ fires up decades-old Casio keyboards and drum machines and a liberal sherbert dib dab of old rave samples. Sadly no mp3 audio to speak of as yet – if you’re hoarding, fire it over.