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Utility Fog


postfolkrocktronica, from granular pop to orchestral breakcore and beyond...
Sunday nights from 9 to 11pm on FBi Radio, 94.5 FM in Sydney, Australia.
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Playlists are listed with artist name first, then track title and (remixer), then [record label]. Enjoy the links.

Sunday, 13th of April, 2014

Playlist 13.04.14 (9:05 pm)

Continuing the saga of "too much good shit", tonight we have highlights from Spartak, John Matthias and Carla Bozulich among others!

LISTEN AGAIN because life's too short for bad music, or missing Utility Fog.

iTAL tEK – Swamp Beat [Civil Music]
iTAL tEK – Jupiter Ascent [Planet µ]
Alix Perez – U [Exit Records]
Austin Buckett – Remix by DJ Earl ft. Heavee [Room40] {free download!}
Austin Buckett – Grain Loops 10, 12, 23, 30 [Room40]
Austin Buckett – Remix by Scissor Lock [Room40] {free download!}
Austin Benjamin Trio – Xenosphere (Andrew Pekler remix) [hellosQuare Recordings]
John Matthias – Pre-loved/Vintage [Village Green]
Coldcut – Man In A Garage (feat. John Matthias) [Ninja Tune]
John Matthias – I Will Disappear [Counter Records]
John Matthias & Nick RyanCortical Songs 1st Movement [Nonclassical]
John Matthias – Climbing Walls [Village Green]
John Matthias – Jackie Bouvier [Village Green]
Spartak – Nightshift [Feral Media]
Spartak – Sunstrokes [hellosQuare Recordings]
Spartak – Second-Half Clouded feat. Lucrecia Perez [Low Point]
Spartak – On Conditions [Feral Media]
Carla Bozulich – One Hard Man [Constellation]
Ethyl Meatplow – Queenie [Dali Records]
Carla Bozulich – Pissing [Constellation]
Evangelista – Truth Is Dark Like Outer Space [Constellation]
Evangelista – Crack Teeth [Constellation]
Evangelista – Artificial Lamb [Constellation]
Carla Bozulich – Deeper Than The Well [Constellation]

Listen again — ~106MB


Sunday, 6th of April, 2014

Playlist 06.04.14 (10:05 pm)

More than 3/4 Australian music this week! Pretty amazing week for new Aussie experimental music, and an epic month or so in general – I'll be catching up over the next few weeks to keep bringing you the best of the best!

We started with a mystery artist from Melbourne called Molten Wing. Their debut release (under this name at least!) is an incredibly accomplished mini-album of ambient electronics, cold soundscapes and crunchy beats. Highly recommended.

Sydney composer, viola player and producer Nick Wales has sent me a batch of unreleased music for dance, theatre and other projects, some with collaborators like Sarah Blasko and percussionist extraordinaire Bree van Reyk. It'd be crimilar if this remained unreleased, but for now here's where you get to hear it!

Speaking of collaborations, ex-Faux Pas man Tim Shiel follows his beautiful soundtrack to the highly successful iOS game Duet with a series of, well, duets loosely based on that music. We heard Melbourne pianist and composer Luke Howard, who also appeared on the original soundtrack, and Melbourne beatsmith Aoi.

Morgan McKellar first came to our attention as a member of Sydney postrock/indie genre-hoppers Underlapper. Now resident in Canberra, he plays in experimental duo Cold House, and after a stint as Morning Stalker, makes solo music as Gatherer. Skittery synth pattern madness rubs shoulders with drone and noise elements, lovely stuff.

Further south now, to Melbourne, with the contemporary jazz group Motion, who sadly broke up a year or two ago, but bring us an amazing posthumous album on Wood & Wire. I couldn't help but go back in time with them a little too, with a brilliant remix from Shoeb Ahmad (whose duo Spartak are due out with a new EP any minute now!)

And then finally we make it overseas for the last half hour or so!
We haven't heard much from US artist yyu aka Ben Straus, representing a genre called vaporware… apparently. Shifting easily between lo-fi indie (just a guitar and voice), folktronica of a sort, and juke-influenced lo-fi electronica, this music seems to be the perfect underground music for whatever generation we're up to now. It's smart and unassuming, and somehow mind-boggling even for those used to smeared genre boundaries. He's got a new 12" out on RAMP (Records Are My Pillow – yes!) and I'm hoping we hear much more from him this year.

And finally, some gorgeous dream-pop from Cloud Ensemble, which is a new internet-based collaboration between, well, a host of artists and I recommend you click the link there. Centred around Dutch producer Michel Banabila, featuring Rutger Zuydervelt aka Machinefabriek somewhere in there, along with vocalists, violin and other instruments, it's a bit shoegaze, a bit drone-influenced, and totally recommended. Available on 10" vinyl as well as digital.

LISTEN AGAIN IF YOU WANT TO LIVE! Stream at FBi, download link below.

Molten Wing – no unwinding this [Molten Wing Bandcamp]
Molten Wing – come to the surface this year [Molten Wing Bandcamp]
Nick Wales & Bree van Reyk – spaaace [unreleased]
Nick Wales – fling_epic_! [unreleased]
Nick Wales – Wren_Journey [unreleased]
Tim Shiel – Exchange (feat. Luke Howard) [Tim Shiel Bandcamp]
Tim Shiel and Luke Howard – Greater [Tim Shiel Bandcamp]
Tim Shiel and Aoi – Creator [Tim Shiel Bandcamp]
Gatherer – Speed Thievery [Wood & Wire]
Morning Stalker – When all is said and done we will forgive each other under the sun [hellosQuare Recordings]
Gatherer – Talkie Hole [Gatherer Bandcamp]
Gatherer – Bass Nebula [Gatherer Bandcamp]
Motion – Two [Wood & Wire]
Motion – Pendulum (Slow Rails Mix, reworked by Shoeb Ahmad) [Listen/Hear Collective]
Motion – liberty stole my shoes [Listen/Hear Collective]
Motion – One [Wood & Wire]
yyu – Kiss As We Walk [RAMP]
yyu – car keys [yyu Bandcamp]
yyu – SHOVELKITENOW [yyu Bandcamp]
yyu – u [yyu Bandcamp]
yyu – when you said that [Beer On The Rug]
yyu – When We're Young [RAMP]
Cloud Ensemble – Hide and Seek [Michel Banabila Bandcamp]

Listen again — ~104MB


Sunday, 30th of March, 2014

Playlist 30.03.14 (9:06 pm)

Pretty great few weeks in new music here – so much that I can't possibly fit it all into tonight's show!
We start with a bit of an anomaly from 65daysofstatic – a genuine drone piece, written from what seems like a minor epiphany – drones are terrible, drone is good! And they do a fantastic job of it.

Two young Sydney artists have a split vinyl release just out, and we heard one track each from Scissor Lock and Cassius Select. Both are strangely of a piece – not featuring either artist's vocals, but with lovely hazey textures and kind-of hazey beats too.
And across the other end of the country, Perth's Kane Ikin also brings some housey beats to bear on his ambient sounds, to very fine effect. I'd love to play the 10-minute title track "Warehouses" from this EP, but maybe another night.

Next up, a bit of a special on the pretty amazing sounds of Scottish duo Dalhous, who emerged a couple of years ago from the more post-industrial/gothic noise of their previous incarnation Young Hunting. With Dalhous they adapt their gothic, postpunk sound to the now-sound of techno & bass, with all its nods to '90s idm. It's pretty special to hear these melodic and rhythmic worlds colliding. Much recommended.

A couple of years ago Sufjan Stevens, Son Lux and Serengeti teamed up as "s / s / s" in a weird but weirdly successful melding of their seemingly disparate styles, bringing a few collaborators along for the ride. This year they've reincarnated as Sisyphus for an album that I was initially somewhat suspicious of, but which has totally won me over. As I ranted on the social medias earlier in the week, one track is a slight reworking of a gorgeous piece of electronica Sufjan put up on his tumblr last(?) year, and in general there's a nice mix of Sufjan and Ryan "Son Lux" Lott's talents in folk/indie/classical composition and David "Serengeti" Cohn's growling, down-to-earth raps. If you were suspicious, give it a go.

And then we have a big special (although not nearly as big as I wanted either) on Miles Whittaker of Demdike Stare & Pendle Coven & Andy Stott of, you know, Andy Stott, who teamed up a few years ago for an incredible series of jungle/breakbeat throwback 12"s as Millie & Andrea, and who now release an album under the same name. Their individual projects have tended more towards techno, dub and minimalism, but with Millie & Andrea (and Miles' initially-anonymous HATE project), they bring their love of ramshackle, harsh and chopped-up programming to the fore, for which we are eternally grateful.

LISTEN AGAIN and all that stuff though, gotta keep up haven't you!

65daysofstatic – Drone Not Drones [Superball]
Scissor Lock – Awatef [The Finer Things]
Cassius Select – Each Step [The Finer Things]
Kane Ikin – April [This Thing]
Dalhous – Active Discovering [Blackest Ever Black]
Young Hunting – Embers from the Pyre [Blackest Ever Black]
Dalhous – Success is Her Sensuality [Blackest Ever Black]
Dalhous – He Was Human And Belonged With Humans [Blackest Ever Black]
Dalhous – Sight Of Hirta [Blackest Ever Black]
Sufjan Stevens – Take Me (excerpt) [stream on SoundCloud]
Sisyphus – Take Me / Booty Call [Asthmatic Kitty/Joyful Noise]
s / s / s – If This Is Real (feat. My Brightest Diamond) [anticon.]
Sisyphus – Alcohol [Asthmatic Kitty/Joyful Noise]
Millie & Andrea – Corrosive [Modern Love]
Pendle Coven – dogger bank (excerpt) [The Boats/Pendle Coven self-released]
Hate / Unknown Artist – Pretty Boy (GFTUA Mix) [Hate]
Millie & Andrea – Black Hammer [Daphne]
Andy Stott – Up the box [Modern Love]
Miles – Lebensform [Modern Love]
Millie & Andrea – Drop The Vowels [Modern Love]

Listen again — ~109MB


Sunday, 23rd of March, 2014

Playlist 23.03.14 (9:05 pm)

OMG SO DARK.
A nice dark show for you oh yes oh yes.

LISTEN AGAIN and all that jazz! Linking is a bottom, streaming is fun!

A little young gods in our hands to start off, with a crazy funky evil song from Swans' forthcoming album I cannot hold in my excitement oh oh oh oh!
And new Nadja! Even though Aidan Baker is incredibly prolific, it's still exciting to have some heavy riffage from his doomy duo with Leah Buckareff. When it gets loud and compressed it's epic.

Also heavy and oppressive is the new Machinedrum remix by On-U Sound man Sherwood & Pinch. It's quite something, and then equally fucked-up is the abstract take from New Zealand d'n'b head Fis.

New from The Atlas Room is a three-part ambient techno composition from a split 10" with From Trees.

Sun Hammer's one of those recent dronemeisters who's branched out into beats – he's always had a nice sub-bass weight to his productions, and it's nice hearing these idm-style beats appear here.

And speaking of that, here we have Bolder, new on the legendary (Editions) Mego. This is a collaboration between Mego veteran Pure and hard techno/breakcore veteran Goner. That makes them sound like old-aged pensioners but they're anything but – it's just that they have a history in both glitchy laptop-scapes and the hardcore end of club music, and it's great hearing the post-industrial beats here in the context of sound-art. In there also is a lesser-known Fennesz remix of a breakcore tune by (DJ) Pure along with Christoph Fringeli of the noise/hardcore label http://praxis.c8.com/ and its breakcore offshoot Sub/Version.

Not so much hardcore but still techno of sorts is Ricardo Donoso, released on the magnificent Digitalis Recordings. We have two very dark remixes from ex-Sydney ex-dubstep artist Paul Jebanasam (now based in Bristol and heading up the amazing Subtext Recordings) and experimental electronic producer Yves De Mey

Finally, a shorter-than-intended special on ex-Melbourne postpunks HTRK, whose new album is their most electronic and perhaps least dark & distorted… It's lovely, but it's also nice to hear the grainy, heavier sounds of yore (the little that I could include), including a remix from Pan Sonic's Mika Vainio.

Swans – A Little God In My Hands [Young God]
Nadja – Dark Circles [Essence Music/Broken Spine]
Machinedrum – Eyesdontlie (Sherwood & Pinch Clash Machinedrum Dub Fi Dub, Downtown, Uptown and All Around Town Remix) [Ninja Tune]
Machinedrum – Eyesdontlie (Fis Remix) [Ninja Tune]
The Atlas Room – By Nature I: At a Glacial Pace; II: Coastal Drift; III: Horizons In Motion [The Atlas Room Bandcamp]
Sun Hammer – 18_trim-mix2-2 [Sun Hammer Bandcamp]
Sun Hammer – 22_SEQ7-3 [Sun Hammer Bandcamp]
Bolder – Sinking Cities [Editions Mego]
Christoph Fringeli & Pure – Darkstar (Fennesz remix) [Sub/Version]
Pure – (Goner's Morbid Rave Refix) [Crónica]
Bolder – Deep Cuts [Editions Mego]
Ricardo Donoso – Affirmation (Paul Jebanasam remix) [Digitalis Recordings]
Ricardo Donoso – The Sphynx (Yves De Mey remix) [Digitalis Recordings]
HTRK – Give It Up [Ghostly International]
HTRK – Hate Rock Trio [Fire Records]
HTRK – Poison (Mika Vainio Remix) [Ghostly International]
HTRK – Blue Sunshine [Ghostly International]

Listen again — ~105MB


Sunday, 16th of March, 2014

Playlist 16.03.14 (9:09 pm)

Really great to be able to feature some fantastic women on tonight's show.
First up, though, a wonderful & challenging new version of a recent Son Lux track from his new EP. The EP does also feature Lorde, who's been known to cover this song "Easy" at her gigs.

Then we had a whole lot of lovely from Annie Clark aka St. Vincent, whose new album is her most successful pop release yet, no doubt buoyed by her collaboration with David Byrne. I took the opportunity to also pull out her composition for contemporary classical ensemble yMusic.

Next, an equally substantial special on Neneh Cherry, albeit somewhat scattered – I would've loved to have played "Buffalo Stance", "Manchild", her Michael Stipe due "Trout"… but instead I opted for a couple of earlier tracks that are a bit special to me – a dub verison from a stellar Wim Wenders soundtrack from 1991, and a track from The The's extraordinary Infected album, prominently featuring Neneh Cherry a good two years before her first single even came out.
Cherry's collaboration with masters of free jazz/garage rock (and fellow Swedes) The Thing came out in 2012, after quite a gap in her discography, an incredible meeting of minds and genres – although The Thing are well known for their gregarious cover versions. I wanted to play the Neneh Cherry original "Cashback", but in the end opted for the amazing Martina Topley-Bird cover. We also revisited the remix album from late 2012: some of Norwegian idm bod (and amazing artist) Kim Hiorthøy's remix of the Ornette Coleman cover, and all of Jim O'Rourke's sinister remix of the mind-bending Madvillain cover!
As for the new album, Kieran Hebden's production is sensitive and practically invisible, but Rocketnumbernine's percussion-and-synth performances are what make or break the album. My first impression was that their sound palette was simply too narrow to support the songs (especially after the all-out madness of The Thing tracks), but a substantial amount has grown on me a lot. No doubt partly because Cherry's singing is so great, and her songwriting with husband Cameron McVey (aka Booga Bear) is so excellent.

Somehow the experimentalistm of the later Neneh Cherry works is enough to ease us into the noise/drone/electronics of beloved Newcastle trio Crab Smasher. It's so great to have something new from them – and I'm informed there are a couple of albums on the way! Their gigs are always completely improvised, yet there's a purposeful structure to the pieces when you hear them on record.

The more I listen to the new album from Marisa Allen aka Bremen Town Musician, the more impressed I am. These songs, centred around violin & voice, are by turns beguiling and harsh, and hard to pin down- but I can't help thinking if she was recording in Toronto or Portland or somewhere rather than Brisbane, all the music blogs would be talking about her.

Finally, a pair of tracks from a split tour CD on Gizeh from legendary ambient artist loscil and the less legendary but much favoured on this show fieldhead. It features three tracks from each artist, with beautiful floating pads and submerged beats from Loscil, and grainy drones, layered violin and clicky beats from Fieldhead.

LISTEN AGAIN, download, or stream on demand at FBi's website!

Son Lux – Build a Pyre (Begin Again) [Joyful Noise]
St. Vincent – Regret [Loma Vista/Republic]
St. Vincent – Paris Is Burning [Beggars Banquet]
St. Vincent – Bicycle [4AD]
yMusic – Proven Badlands (composed by Annie Clark) [New Amsterdam]
David Byrne & St. Vincent – Lightning [4AD]
St. Vincent – Prince Johnny [Loma Vista/Republic]
Neneh Cherry – Move With Me (Dub) [Warner Bros]
Neneh Cherry – Across The Water (excerpt) [Smalltown Supersound]
Neneh Cherry – Weightless [Smalltown Supersound]
The The – Slow Train To Dawn (feat. Neneh Cherry) [Epic Records]
Neneh Cherry & The Thing – Too Tough To Die [Smalltown Supersound]
Neneh Cherry & The Thing – What Reason Could I Give (Kim Hiorthøy remix) [Smalltown Supersound]
Neneh Cherry & The Thing – Accordion (Jim O'Rourke remix) [Smalltown Supersound]
Neneh Cherry – Cynical [Smalltown Supersound]
Crab Smasher – Vengeance [Monstera Deliciosa/Crab Smasher Bandcamp]
Crab Smasher – A Sad Day For Everybody [Monstera Deliciosa/Crab Smasher Bandcamp]
Crab Smasher – It Took A Drop Of Blood To Break The Witches Spell [Monstera Deliciosa/Crab Smasher Bandcamp]
Crab Smasher – The Ugly Butterflies [Monstera Deliciosa/Crab Smasher Bandcamp]
Bremen Town Musician – shed your skin [Duskdarter]
fieldhead – northumberland [Gizeh]
loscil – fury [Gizeh]

Listen again — ~59MB



 
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