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Utility Fog

Your weekly fix of postfolkrocktronica, dronenoise, power ambient, post-everything improv... and more?
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, 15th of January, 2017

Playlist 15.01.17 (8:09 pm)

Tonight on the ‘Fog we have some nice crunchy techno & drum’n’bass, some nice crunchy drones & sound-art musickiness, and even some nice crunchy acoustic music…

LISTEN AGAIN because you love it. You do. You will. You do. Stream on demand at FBi, podcast here.

We start with two tracks released on French label Human Mistake Records by a Melbourne artist, Warm Stranger. It’s dark, crunchy and head-nodding, and almost as spooky as the album cover the label has given it. Well recommended.

Next, and incredibly quiet but really beautiful composition by Perth composer James Bradbury, rendered by Perth guitarist Jameson Feakes, who plays bowed guitar while a computer shadows and re-voices what it’s just heard.

Olivier Alary is a Montreal-based French artist who I’ve been a fan of since his first album of glitching electronics & vocals on the Rephlex label. He’s had a long association with Fat Cat, so it makes sense that his first album under his own name is coming out on their post-classical sub-label 130701. To introduce it, the label has released a two track EP on which he trades remixes with his wonderful labelmate Ian William Craig, who here contributes vocals and then winds Alary’s composition through his trademark tape recorders.

I first came across Canadian experimental artist Damian Valles through his 2011 album Skeleton Taxa, from which we heard the beautiful twangy guitar, percussion & organ drones of “Ascent Of The Past” tonight. I’ve sometimes pigeonholed him as “drone” or dark ambient, but it’s clear from the get go that there’s way more going on here… Even the two albums on French label VoxxoV, while based around dark, drawn-out textures, still have glitchy, stuttering guitar accents and quite a lot of movement. He’s begun 2017 with his best foot forward, releasing a collection of off-cuts and unreleased archival tracks on his own Bandcamp which hangs together as an impressively cohesive and strong album that starts to push his music into new territories.

English label Opal Tapes is one of the cassette labels at the absolute forefront of quality electronic music these days, ostensibly focusing on house & techno but with a distinctly left-of-centre, experimental bent, and plenty of dub & bass thrown in. Their latest compilation Contemporary Dance features a few well-known acts and plenty of new (to me!) artists. I discovered the brilliant Belgian-Italian duo Lumisokea through Opal Tapes and have followed them and their other projects obsessively since, while I discovered Leeds-based techno artist Happa remixing Four Tet (here he appears in collaboration with an old friend called Jacob, who is not really a character from Twin Peaks). Emra Grid is a mysterious artist only known for another release on Opal Tapes, contributing something deliciously dark.

Like Opal Tapes’, Project Mooncircle‘s 15th Anniversary Compilation already counts as a 2017 release. In a boxset handsomely designed by the legendary Dave McKean, it compiles a tonne of tracks that are as diverse as the label’s usual lineup, ranging from house to drum’n’bass, folktronica to hip-hop. Not played tonight are two great tracks from one half of Akkord, Synkro, channelling Burial with plaintive late-night ambient 2step… Tonight’s selections were the bouncing, pulsating techno of Erik Luebs segueing from Opal Tapes followed by the jazz-fusion hip-hop of CYNE and the footwork-jungle fusion of Deft.

Speaking of jungle, breakcore legend end.user has returned after a number of years’ absence, at least in terms of album releases. The new album is pretty much straight, if tricky, drum’n’bass, with jittery drum programming and expansive synth pads as is his wont. It’s not exactly shiny, happy music, but it’s a real pleasure to sink into.

And we finish with a surprising drum’n’bass/jungle segue into the music of Mark Van Hoen, aka Locust, idm/ambient/shoegaze legend who’s still making music today. His 1997 album The Last Flowers from the Darkness was originally released by Touch on CD, but now sees a 20th anniversary remaster & release on vinyl by Medical Records, including a number of never-before-heard bonus tracks. The first track we hear was one of his few true jungle-influenced tracks from back in the day, and the bonus track is some really nice crunchy bass-techno in the mid-’90s style.

Warm Stranger – Apron & Valium [Human Mistake Records]
Warm Stranger – Lightsbroken [Human Mistake Records]
Jameson Feakes – Traced Over (composed by James Bradbury) [Tone List]
Olivier Alary – Nollywood (IWC Remix) [130701]
Damian Valles – Poison Tooth [Damian Valles Bandcamp]
Damian Valles – Ascent Of The Past [Drifting Falling]
Damian Valles – Weathered 2 [VoxxoV Records]
Damian Valles – Cause of Motion [VoxxoV Records]
Damian Valles – Heavy Icebreaker [Damian Valles Bandcamp]
Happa & Pete Martell – NR Off [Opal Tapes]
Lumisokea – Jenseits (Dub) [Opal Tapes]
Emra Grid – Overhead Lume [Opal Tapes]
Erik Luebs – Frozen Eye [Project Mooncircle]
CYNE – On the Head of the Crimson King [Project Mooncircle]
Deft – No More [Project Mooncircle]
end.user – projection [Hands Productions]
end.user – emerge [Hands Productions]
Mark Van Hoen – Another Light Casts its Will [Touch/Medical Records]
Mark Van Hoen – Dispelling 84-94 [Touch/Medical Records]

Listen again — ~192MB

Sunday, 8th of January, 2017

Playlist 08.01.17 (8:00 pm)

2017 babeyyyyy. Well, today’s show is all pretty new music, but basically all still released last year – a lot of it December. Next week you can expect a surprising amount of 2017 music, courtesy of a few heavy-duty compilations already. But for now…

LISTEN AGAIN to the newest & best sounds around – stream on demand from FBi, podcast here.

In December, just as I was putting together my best of 2016 playlists, Adult Swim‘s music division released a big compilation entitled N O I S E. It features some definite big names in “noise” music, including Prurient who we hear tonight in less-abrasive form, Wolf Eyes, Noveller and others. But there are also artists from further afield, such as the industrial techno of Vessel and the astonishing throat singing (and straight singing) of Canadian-based Inuit singer Tanya Tagaq. And opening the compilation is the amazing clipping., who could well be the people most responsible for bringing the sounds of noise, industrial, power electronics to new ears, through their catchy (yet uncompromising) hip-hop. Here they team up with Boston noisemeister Sickness for a track about violence and guns…

It’s great having Jasmine Guffond around Sydney again at the moment. She will be playing at the NOW now festival in a few weeks along with a whole slew of interesting experimental artists (check the link for the program). A split CDR just released from Beartown Records gives us four live tracks of beautiful layered & processed sounds, along with along with a 22-minute drone track from UK duo Plurals.

Next up is another release, from the very reliable Indonesian cassette label Tandem Tapes. Run by an Aussie based in Jakarta, it often releases split cassettes with Australian and Indonesian artists, although it’s also teamed up artists from Europe and elsewhere. The latest release, featured tonight, has Melbourne duo FAD on one side, with percussion and electronics, and Jakarta-based experimental artist Mahesa Almeida with some fantastic crunchy electronics and also some scattered percussion.

Back in November last year I played a couple of tracks from a brilliant new discovery, Icelandic singer & producer Sigrún. She’s worked with Sigur Rós, and remixed a couple of tracks as well, and we can maybe hear that in the crunching heavy bass that’s appeared in their more recent work. Of course comparisons to Björk are easily found, not just in the vocals but also in her attraction to experimental electronic production. I particularly love the outbursts of amen breaks in “Haltu Fast”, settling into a full-on jungle/breakcore segment before being overwhelmed by thick synths and multi-layered vocals.

Also bringing in a jungle influence with chopped up amen breaks, but situating it more in a muted/mutant techno space is Portuguese artist MUTUAL. I really enjoyed his first EP on Hush Hush in 2015, but it looks like it never made it on to my playlists, so we heard a track in the middle tonight – but the new EP is really exciting with its melding of jungle, techno and later on some lovely orchestral samples.

On his new EP Chambers as WSR for Samuel Kerridge’s Contort label, Manchester producer Emanuele Porcinai brings the sounds of cello, double bass and custom-made string instruments into very dark & murky territory. Along with low-pitched, moaning string drones and scratches, there are plenty of clattering industrial beats. It’s like ’80s industrial and contemporary industrial techno mixed with the double bass drones of Mohammad… In the middle there’s track from his previous Contort EP Stainless.

I was very sad when Anthony Harrison abandoned his Konntinent project, which produced a large amount of amazing drone and detailed minimal folktronica. But he’s still making music, now with his electronic pop duo Paco Sala, who have just signed to Denovali and released a spooky new single. Expect more this coming year.

aYia are a slightly mysterious electronic/ambient pop act from Iceland, who have released a single track in digital format from the formidable Bedroom Community. It’s a beautiful piece which justifies its presence on a label known for combining classical composition and cutting-edge electronics. Hopefully there will be more than this one track available from them soon!

And finally, Sydney duo Disruptive Dumpling feature guitar/bass and synth/flute, with a jazzy, head-nodding piece of instrumental hip-hop and some kind of guru expounding upon some important matters of mind and philosophy. Nice.

clipping. feat. Sickness – Body for the Pile [Adult Swim]
Prurient – Everything You Know Is Wrong [Adult Swim]
Tanya Tagaq – Erie Changys [Adult Swim]
Jasmine Guffond – GPS Dreaming (live in Istanbul, 2015) [Beartown Records/Plurals Bandcamp
Jasmine Guffond – RR Variation (live in Berlin, 2015) [Beartown Records/Plurals Bandcamp]
FAD – DDDDD [Tandem Tapes]
Mahesa Almeida – 727.16 [Tandem Tapes]
Mahesa Almeida – krom [Tandem Tapes]
Sigrún – Teygir [Sigrún Bandcamp]
Sigrún – yyUyy [Sigrún Bandcamp]
Sigrún – Haltu Fast [Sigrún Bandcamp]
MUTUAL – Arché [Hush Hush]
MUTUAL – Surface Effects [Hush Hush]
MUTUAL – Contingency pt. II [Hush Hush]
WSR – Carved Out [Contort Records]
WSR – No Horizon [Contort Records]
WSR – Exclave (Unlearned) [Contort Records]
Paco Sala – Ko Yo [Denovali]
aYia – Water Plant [Bedroom Community]
Disruptive Dumpling – So on [Disruptive Dumpling Bandcamp]

Listen again — ~187MB

Sunday, 1st of January, 2017

Playlist 01.01.17 – Best of 2016 Part 2 (8:09 pm)

And so we’ve somehow made it to 2017. Here’s to a year in which at least the terrible things are terrible things we’re expecting, and the people who die are mostly… 2nd tier celebrities.

LISTEN AGAIN because the best… well, it’s the best. Stream on demand from FBi or podcast here.

Tonight is my second selection of the best music of 2016! And whatever else happened last year, it was a helluva year for great music.

World’s End Girlfriend – Angel Ache [Virgin Babylon Records]
Odd Nosdam – BOW THEY WILL !!! [Odd Nosdam Bandcamp]
Bracken – You’re Unstoppable feat. L. Sharkey [Home Assembly Music]
downpour – Trust me [downpour Bandcamp]
¬ b (fka Lee Bannon) – 3m6-disc1 [Lee Bannon Bandcamp]
Scatterbrain – I Need A… (feat. Kiri Cantle) [Milke Thistle Records]
radian – scary objects [Thrill Jockey]
Akkord – Scalar Wave [Houndstooth]
Lakker – Fierljeppen [R&S Records]
These Hidden Hands – These Moments Dismantled (feat. Lucrecia Dalt) [These Hidden Hands]
Demdike Stare – Curzon [Modern Love]
Andy Stott – New Romantic [Modern Love]
Sophia Loizou – Genesis 92: The Awakening [Kathexis]
KETEV – I Know No Weekend [Portals Editions]
Blessed Initiative – Borderline spamming [Subtext]
John Callaghan – Just Be [Touched]
Roly Porter – In Flight [Tri-Angle Records]
Kane Ikin – Tap Tap Collapse [Type]
Hence Therefore – North Pacific Gyre [3BS Records]
JK Flesh – trinity [Electic Deluxe]
We Will Fail – Didn’t Work Out [MonotypeRec]
Reuben Ingall – Tomorrow [Tandem Tapes]

Listen again — ~195MB

Sunday, 25th of December, 2016

Playlist 25.12.16 – Best of 2016 Part 1 (8:08 pm)

Oh WTF, it’s the last show of the year! There’s even been new music out this week but it’ll have to wait a little as we have some RAD selections from this absolutely fucking insane year…

LISTEN AGAIN because it’s the best of the best! (part 1…) – stream on demand from the FBi Radio website, podcast right here.

clipping. – Shooter [Sub Pop/clipping. Bandcamp]
clipping. – Long Way Away (Intro) [Deathbomb Arc/Sub Pop]
clipping. – Breach [Deathbomb Arc/Sub Pop]
clipping. – Long Way Away [Deathbomb Arc/Sub Pop]
clipping. – A Better Place [Deathbomb Arc/Sub Pop]
Aesop Rock – Blood Sandwich [Rhymesayers Entertainment]
Aesop Rock – Dorks [Rhymesayers Entertainment]
Kate Tempest – Europe Is Lost [Lex Records]
Curse ov Dialect – Legend of Leigh Bowery [Valve/MonotypeRecords]
Saul Williams – Horn of the Clock-Bike [Fader Label]
Massive Attack – Take It There (feat. Tricky & 3D) [Virgin EMI Records]
dälek – Shattered [Profound Lore]
the body – The Fall And The Guilt feat. Chrissy Wolpert [Thrill Jockey]
the body – Two Snakes [Thrill Jockey]
Beyoncé – Sorry [Parkwood Entertainment/Sony Music]
Katie Gately – Lift [Tri-Angle Records]
BV – Huh [BV Bandcamp]
Marcus Whale – Is He That Man [Good Manners/Marcus Whale Bandcamp]
Ben Frost – Inferno [Bedroom Community]
Tilman Robinson – Pareidolia [Hobbledehoy Records]
Yannis Kyriakides with Slagwerk Den Haag and Silbersee – gut thoughts [Unsounds] {incorporating slowed-down vinyl extracts of The Brothers Four‘s gorgeous song Green Fields}
Bon Iver – 10 d E A T h b R E a s T [Jagjaguwar]
Ian William Craig – A Single Hope [Fat Cat/130701]

Listen again — ~193MB

Sunday, 18th of December, 2016

Playlist 18.12.16 (8:11 pm)

Couple of big specials tonight, plus some really awesome local music.

LISTEN AGAIN! Stream on demand at FBi, podcast right here.

The return of Sydney experimental popsters Megastick Fanfare starts us up tonight with some very energetic drumming and indie-meets-hardcore songwriting. Sadly while it’s been 3 years since their last EP, it’s going to be a while before their next release too. Hopefully the sporadic joy & genius will still happen, eventually…

Next up, a fantastic new EP from Melbourne drummer and educator Maria Moles, whose solo work as Mondo Flockard is firmly based around drums and percussion, but also incorporates electronics and other instruments. The three tracks on her new EP are experimental in form but beautifully constructed and entirely engaging.

Tonight we have a pretty substantial interview with Haley Fohr aka Circuit des Yeux. I discovered Fohr as an artist when she supported black metal band (and Thrill Jockey bandmates) Liturgy at a little venue in Paris. Her massive baritone voice and beautiful guitar, performed with her hair over her face in a kind of ritual fashion, absolutely blew me away. So when I was invited to interview her to promote her performance at St Stephen’s church in Sydney for Sydney Festival, I jumped at the chance. Fohr is a remarkable artist, having graduated from messy, noisy early experiments to inspired songwriting, full string arrangements, and more controlled audio experimentation – including a strange little concept album that came out this year. The performance in January should be fantastic, and I recommend heading along.

And tonight’s other big special is on the early music of Keith Fullerton Whitman, beloved modular synth obsessive, early electronic music obsessive, purveyor of experimental music and more (he was also the infamous, encyclopedically-knowledeable record reviewer, week in, week out, for Forced Exposure in the early years)…
For some time, he was best known as Hrvatski, making absolutely insane, complex, fucked up jungle & breakcore mixed with samples of contemporary classical, electronics and jazz, and some of his own playing no doubt. A lot of that early stuff is now surfacing via his DAT ERA project on Bandcamp, in which a different DAT from 1996 to 2002 is digitized and made available each month, complete with scans of the original DAT cover. It’s the kind of insane self-documentation (and, it has to be said, a little of the self-mythologising) that Keith always liked to engage in. The first release on his Reckankreuzungsklankewerkzeuge was a “compilation” called Attention: Cats with a whole slew of ridiculously-named artists (some apparently punk bands, some solo artists or DJs), all of whom eventually turned out to be Keith – even DJ Hekla, who made some brilliant mixes of jungle/drum’n’bass/electronica and released one 7″ on Planet Mu before Hrvatski even did, I think. One of the only real other people to appear on RKK was Keith’s brother Brian, as Blitter. It’s so great having an excuse to hear all this stuff again – including alternate versions, tracks only previously available in 128k mp3s from the long-list mp3.com (one of the first music-uploading sites for musicians), and entirely unreleased material. I’ll be following along each month and occasionally dropping a few more tunes, I’m sure.

megastick fanfare – reprise [megastick fanfare bandcamp]
megastick fanfare – deathbomb of life [megastick fanfare bandcamp]
Mondo Flockard – dance if there are seven [Tone List]
Jackie Lynn – Bright Lights [Thrill Jockey]
Jackie Lynn – 0 [Thrill Jockey]
…interview with Haley Fohr aka Circuit des Yeux (and Jackie Lynn)…
Circuit des Yeux – Calling Song [De Stijl/Circuit des Yeux Bandcamp]
Circuit des Yeux – 3311 [De Stijl/Circuit des Yeux Bandcamp]
…interview with Haley Fohr aka Circuit des Yeux
Circuit des Yeux – Lithonia [Thrill Jockey]
Circuit des Yeux – Dream of TV [Thrill Jockey]
Hrvatski (as Sick) – Steaktippin’ [Reckankreuzungsklankewerkzeuge]
Blitter & Hrvatski – Nuclear Cats Get New Home [Lucky Kitchen/Keith Fullerton Whitman Bandcamp]
Hrvatski – Apostle (2) [Reckankreuzungsklankewerkzeuge, DAT version from Keith Fullerton Whitman Bandcamp]
Hrvatski – Routine Exercise [Reckankreuzungsklankewerkzeuge, DAT version from Keith Fullerton Whitman Bandcamp]
Hrvatski – Kochen Raum [Tonschacht, DAT version from Keith Fullerton Whitman Bandcamp]
Hrvatski – Insect Digestion Melancholy [Klangkrieg, extended DAT version from Keith Fullerton Whitman Bandcamp]
Hrvatski – la cathedral [Lucky Kitchen]
God Is My Co-Pilot – We Signify (Hrvatski Remix) [Dark Beloved Cloud, various DAT versions now available at Keith Fullerton Whitman Bandcamp]
Keith Fullerton Whitman – Variations For Oud & Synthesizer – Version abrégé (2) [no label, self-released 7″]

Listen again — ~189MB

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