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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, 18th of March, 2018

Playlist 18.03.18 (7:51 pm)

Tonight we’ve got some pretty cool glitchy sounds and crunchy beats, and we’re also having a chat with renowned Sydney drummer Laurence Pike, who’s got an album out soon and a launch this coming Saturday!

Unfortunately technical difficulties mean that right now the stream on demand seems to cut off very early, and the podcast is AWOL. I’ll try to rectify this soon.

Reuben Ingall – Floriade [hellosQuare]
Reuben Ingall – Free Field [hellosQuare]
It’s always a pleasure to receive new music from Canberran audio wizard Reuben Ingall here at Utility Fog Towers. Reuben is one of those producers whose sounds I love to puzzle out – how is he doing that? Especially live, you can see the way his talents as a guitarist interact with his smarts at programming his Max/MSP patches – and whatever else he uses to process his sounds. We’ve heard him create drone epics from the sound of a pie being microwaved, and we’ve heard him chop up his voice, piano, ukulele, other instruments and found sounds – but this new album Threads sees him focusing mainly on his guitar. As usual, he’s able to draw out a hefty amount of emotive force from the instrument and the soundscapes he weaves around it. It’s wonderful stuff.

Laurence Pike – Distant Early Warning [Leaf]
…interview with Laurence Pike
Szun Waves – At Sacred Walls [Szun Waves Bandcamp]
Laurence Pike – Clouds And Wires [Leaf]
Really nice to talk to Laurence Pike, one of Sydney’s top drummers in many different genres and contexts, on the release of his (surprisingly!) first solo album Distant Early Warning, coming out on Friday the 31st of March through The Leaf Label. You may know Laurence as the drummer in fabled Sydney bands PVT and Triosk, or many other collaborations & appearances including an album by Flanger, and albums from Sarah Blasko and Jack Ladder. So it’s really nice hearing this stuff, recorded live in the studio in one single session – all glitchy & murky samples & loops trigger live along with the drum kit performance. He’s launching the album this Saturday, March 24th, at the lovely Golden Age Cinema in Surry Hills.

Arad – Slua Washed [Bedouin Records]
Arad – Inti [Bedouin Records]
We’ve heard a lot from Ian McDonnell aka Eomac on this show lately, but as a fan of his duo Lakker for years now I’ve been interested in what’s happening with the other half, Dara Smith. So here we have the long-awaited new EP from Arad, The Glimpse. It’s stunning, really – ghostly autotuned vocals accompanied by various takes on bass techno, or crunching, sparse percussion and synth pads. Beautiful but also by and large dancefloor-tuned. So highly recommended.

Mark Van Hoen – Thru [Mark Van Hoen Bandcamp]
Seefeel – time to find me (come inside) [Astralwerks]
Locust – Penetration [R&S Records]
Scala – Naked [Touch]
Mark Van Hoen – Another Light Casts its Will [Touch]
Mark Van Hoen – Closer Than We All Thought [Apollo]
Mark Van Hoen – Don’t Look Back [Editions Mego]
Locust – Do Not Fear [Editions Mego]
Mark Van Hoen – Only [Mark Van Hoen Bandcamp]
A new album from Mark Van Hoen dropped with very little fanfare on his Bandcamp earlier this week. Its title, Voices, encapsulates something that’s been very important throughout his work with many different bands through his career – that is, vocals. He’d been making electronic music at home since his very young years in the early ’80s, but began releasing music in the early ’90s, as an early member & producer of shoegaze-meets-IDM band Seefeel, and with solo work as Locust. Sarah Peacock, singer with Seefeel, turned up on many of the classic Locust tracks – including the crunching, overdriven hip-hop of “Penetration” here, from the amazing Truth Is Born Of Arguments album. Peacock was also a member of Scala, the electronic-meets-shoegaze-meets-indie band that put out a few albums in a concentrated period of time in the mid-’90s. Throughout his solo work as well as collaborations with people like Neil Halstead of Slowdive, vocals or chopped vocal samples have been very prominent alongside the weeping synth pads and expertly programmed beats. When he returned to his roots of granulated electronics & beats with a couple of albums on Editions Mego in 2012-2013, the vocal snippets were again very much to the fore – so to the fans, this new album’s title immediately rings true, and its contents are just what we expect and crave. A truly important artist of the last 2 1/2 decades.

Sunday, 11th of March, 2018

Playlist 11.03.18 (8:12 pm)

Post-classical to fluttery drone to vocal gymnastics, industrial techno of various types and some fun, crazy junglisms tonight.

LISTEN AGAIN for the low highs and high lows… stream on demand at FBi, podcast here.

Jim Perkins – Swimmer Among The Stars [bigo & twigetti]
British composer & producer Jim Perkins runs the excellent post-classical label bigo & twigetti, who releases peeps like Leah Kardos. His own approach has been a mixture of composed music for strings and piano with glitchy electronics edits & beats. This new track is the first from a new album he’s preparing this year, and is a beautifully-recorded piece for string ensemble, with cavernous reverb and plenty of bass in the mix, moving from dynamic crescendoing long notes into chugging quaver rhythms for the whole small orchestra.

GreyWing Ensemble – Hostage (by Catherine Ashley) [Tone List]
Perth ensemble GreyWing are releasing TWO albums on excellent local label Tone List, both consisting of interpretations of graphical scores (and both come in limited physical editions of the scores themselves – see Bandcamp). Some of the pieces – from WA composers such as Sam Gillies, Lindsay Vickery, Cat Hope and others also feature field recordings, but on the whole it’s small chamber ensembles interpreting graphical scores. Tonight’s piece is from GreyWing’s own harpist Catherine Ashley, and it’s a particularly lovely piece of near-static fluttery textures.

Hannah Silva – Talking To Silence – Part 1 [Human Kind, courtesy of Wire Magazine]
Sunna – Amma [self-released, courtesy of Wire Magazine]
Ammar 808 feat. Cheb Hassen Tej – Esoug Rsam [Glitterbeat, courtesy of Wire Magazine]
A new edition of cover CD The Wire Tapper from Wire Magazine always comes with interesting new music to discover. We start with two women doing very different interesting stuff with voice. UK playwright and poet Hannah Silva contributes some amazing vocal percussion along with percussion and electronic production, and Icelandic singer Sunna gives us a track made up of soft overlapping vocal samples and a quite accessible song. I’m really looking forward to discovering more from both these women. Finally we hear from Tunisian Ammar 808, with some wonderfully distorted 808 beats & bass along with various vocal collaborators – here fellow Tunisian Cheb Hassen Tej. German internationalist label Glitterbeat is putting this out later in the year – can’t wait!

TeChSlo – Mountain Side [Gos Music Studio]
TeChSlo – Fire in the Cave [Gos Music Studio]
Sydney producer Chris Hancock of The Frequency Lab is perhaps best known as Monk Fly, one-time Elefant Traks member and producer of hip-hop, wonky electronica and other electronic forms (and recording engineer for all genres under the sun). For his new project making deep, enveloping minimal dub techno, he’s chosen a new moniker, TeChSlo, and his second EP is released by southern Italian label Gos Music Studio. It’s a cute name pointing to the fact that it’s really slowed-down techno, and the dub is strong here – “Fire in the Cave” in particular is impossibly slow if you think of it as a 4/4 beat, but there’s plenty going on in the delays, crackling percussive hits and high-pitched squeals…

Eomac – Resist All Dogma [Eotrax]
Eomac – Resist All Dogma (Shaddah Tuum Remix) [Eotrax]
Shaddah Tuum – Merkabah [Portals Editions]
Berlin-resident Irish producer Eomac, one half of Lakker, releases here the first single from an album out in April. With frenetic footwork-influence percussion in a kind of industrial techno context, and his own screamed, wordless vocals interjecting here and there, it’s an impassioned howl against the modern world. Backed with a slowed-down remix by Shaddah Tuum, Berlin-resident duo of Niko LFO (Shaddah) and Brandon Rosenbluth, who were responsible for the debut release on the excellent Portals Editions label they co-founded in 2014 with Yair Elazar Glotman (and others?).

We will fail. – Night (Ziúr Remix) [Refined Productions]
Polish prdocuer Aleksandra Grünholz is pushing her We will fail. project forward with a new label, Refined Productions, that she’s running along with Monotype Records, the Polish experimental label that put out her first releases. There’s actually an Eomac remix on this EP, but I chose to play female Berlin producer Ziúr‘s digitally corroded take. A second EP is out soon with another new track alongside further exciting names on the remixes.

The Fear Ratio – GBA Live [Skam]
It’s always a surprise that Manchester IDM label Skam still exists, but of course they put out the brilliant Bola album last year… The Fear Ratio are the duo of James Ruskin & Mark Broom, both veterans of the UK branch of Detroit techno, doing IDM-infused breakbeat techno which has always been super fun. The Live EP showcases material mostly from their last album (now a few years old) repurposed for the live setting, generally twisted in different ways from their original forms. Precision-tooled for weirdass dancefloors everywhere.

Bicep – Opal (Four Tet Remix) [Ninja Tune]
Kieran Hebden’s been the go-to remix guy for at least a decade and a half now, and in some ways this is a perfectly by-numbers contemporary Four Tet remix, but it’s also super pretty, happy breakbeat house, remix late-period Ninja Tune act Bicep.

Etch – When The Soul Departs The Body [Altered Roads Vol. 1]
Etch – Send For Everyone People That Know Anyone Of Everyone [Jungle Warz on SoundCloud]
Third Person Lurkin – Prismatic (Etch Revision) [Sneaker Social Club]
Etch – The Scientists (Breaknology) [Soundman Chronicles]
LL Cool J – Mama Said Knock You Out (Etch Said UK Hardcore Refix) [BTG/Etch]
Etch – Lore Of Samurai [Altered Roads Vol. 1]
Brighton producer Zach Brashill aka Etch has been a force in drum’n’bass/jungle, as well as dubstep/UK garage/downtempo for the last 5 years or so. With appearances on Keysound, DJ ParrisSoundman Chronicles and Sneaker Social Club and others, he’s made quite a name for himself – along with many remixes, both legitimate and not so much. With new label Altered Roads setup as a side label of Soundman Chronicles, he’s taking a genre-ambivalent approach, bringing out unusual influences. We heard quite a bit of this across the selections tonight – jungle & breakbeat are very prevalent but there’s also the fun East Coast Jungleworx taking east coast US hip-hop classics and basically just mixing up the (often very recognizable) instrumentals into jungle/UK hardcore/footwork concoctions.

Listen again — ~198MB

Sunday, 4th of March, 2018

Playlist 04.03.18 (8:08 pm)

Everything from gorgeous Stereolab style postrock-pop to blast-furnace doom, stunning Korean ambient to Middle Eastern techno beats…

LISTEN AGAIN so you can keep up… Stream on demand from FBi, podcast here.

Grand Veymont – Bois barbu [Objet Disque]
Grand Veymont – Valse tango [Objet Disque]
Based in the Vercors Mountains in France, the tallest peak of which is the eponymous Grand Veymont, Béatrice Morel Journel and Josselin Varengo have made music together for many years, and this duo has existed since 2016. With interlocking sequenced synthesiser lines and interlocking melodic vocals creating lovely polyrhythms, they’ve got more than a little of the Stereolabs about them – emphasising very much the French harmonic progressions – you could hear these songs transposed to accordion and double bass easily. Lovely.

Park Jiha – Accumulation Of Time [Glitterbeat]
Park Jiha – Sounds Heard From The Moon [Glitterbeat]
Although Korean musician Park Jiha‘s main instrument is the oboe-like double reed instrument the piri, on many tracks on her stunning new album Communion we hear her playing the yanggeum, a kind of hammered dulcimer. Combined with field recordings and subtle sounds from wind instruments, Jiha creates a music that’s deeply rooted in Korean traditional music, but draws from post-rock, Western minimalist classical music, and even doom metal. A couple of tracks also feature some wailing saxophone, and I’m willing to admit that it somehow works…

Insect Ark – Daath [Profound Lore]
Insect Ark – The Collector [Insect Ark Bandcamp/Autumnsongs Records]
Insect Ark – Slow Ray [Profound Lore]
Bassist Dana Schechter was best known to me as a member of Michael Gira’s Angels of Light for some years, and I was very excited when she released her first solo album as Insect Ark – heavy, instrumental blackened doom and drone metal all created by the one woman. Shortly after the first album was released, Schechter was joined by Ashley Spungin on drums and synths, but there’s a clear continuity in the sound. If anything, a few tracks are more upbeat, albeit still dark and dank; but there’s some terrifically sludgily slow doom in there too.

Dedekind Cut – Tahoe [Kranky]
Dedekind Cut – De-Civilization [Kranky]
From making beats for the likes of Joey Bada$$ to releasing albums on Ninja Tune as Lee Bannon, drawing from jungle and idm, to noise collaborations and work with NON Worldwide and now releasing his most fully-realised ambient work Tahoe for the venerable Kranky, Fred Warmsley likes to mix shit up. He’s threatened in the past to abandon the beats, but I have little doubt we’ll get some fucked-up industrial techno and bass sometime soon. Nevertheless, this album fits beautifully into the Kranky canon, sometimes veering into Aphex Twin or early Autechre-style ambient beauty (to my ears on the title track for instance). Always worth checking out his work.

Zoë Mc Pherson – vii. Transmission (so it shall never be lost) [SVS Records]
Zoë Mc Pherson – iv. Komusar (moving) [SVS Records]
Sound artist Zoë Mc Pherson has a background in jazz drumming and is a vocalist, but she comes to the String Figures project with field recordings she’s made or sourced from all over the world, along with a percussionist collaborator. So on our first track tonight there’s processed Hardanger fiddle (a Norwegian folk violin), and on the second track there are bees from the south of France, and a wonderful vocal credited as “Muralag folk tale in 4 sung by Made Paul, collected by W. Laade in Western Torres Straits, South Pacific”. It’s all put together with glitchy beats and electronics, making for a fascinating and rewarding project that’s also fun to listen to.

Mahdyar – Tommy Might Bury Y’All [Kowloon]
Mahdyar – Khakis [Kowloon]
Iranian artist Mahdyar Aghajani has just released his debut album Seized on Kowloon Records, having been blacklisted by the Iranian Ministry of Culture in 2009, and made his way from Tehran to Europe to continue making music. Classically trained, Aghajani draws on Persian music among his glitches and bass/hip-hop influenced beats to create something that sounds politically charged even without understanding the nuance. There’s humour too – the title of “Tommy Might Bury Y’All” is a sardonic quasi-English transcription of the Iranian voice at the end of the track.

DJ Plead – DVE [Decisions]
DJ Plead – M11 [Decisions]
Jared Beeler is one third of BV and beloved beatmaker and member of Sydney’s dance music scene, but has relocated fairly recently to Melbourne. His debut release as DJ Plead Get In Circle sees him drawing on his Lebanese heritage, referencing dance circles at weddings, and melding that percussive music with house and footwork.

Yen Towers – M4P [Posh Isolation]
Yen Towers – BID I (Bug) [Posh Isolation]
Age Coin – Raptor [Posh Isolation]
Yen Towers – Rattle Me [Posh Isolation]
The prolific Danish musician Simon Formann is a mainstay in Copenhagen’s Posh Isolation scene and member of various groups including Age Coin. His new EP as Yen Towers veers a little away from the idm-tinged bass techno of the earlier Yen Towers and Age Coin material (represented by the 2nd & 3rd tracks here) into slightly more abstract chill-out realms, albeit still with glitchy beats appearing.

Listen again — ~197MB

Sunday, 25th of February, 2018

Playlist 25.02.18 (7:54 pm)

Some rad beats and glitches for you tonight!

LISTEN AGAIN to the best sounds around. Stream on demand is yours to demand from FBi, or there’s a podcast here.

Machinefabriek – As Much As It Is Worth (Single Edit) [Machinefabriek Bandcamp]
New music from Rutger Zuydervelt aka Machinefabriek is not exactly a rare occurrence, but it’s always celebrated here at Utility Fog Towers. Rutger has found a nice line in works for dance as well as documentaries and other film works of late. This is a “single edit” of a work for dance, and you can see why he decided to do it as a single – it’s surprisingly melodic and positive sounding. It’s a free download, if you like! Or a decently-priced 7″ single.

Alon Ilsar, Tim Motzer, Jane Sheldon – glacier [1K Recordings]
Gauche – CCTV [Art As Catharsis Bandcamp (reissue)]
Gauche – Snowflake [Art As Catharsis Bandcamp (reissue)]
Alon Ilsar, Tim Motzer, Jane Sheldon – vacuum [1K Recordings]
Sydney drummer Alon Ilsar and singer Jane Sheldon used to be 2/5 of the beloved pan-genre band Gauche, who played a big part in the early years of this show’s existence. A band featuring members of Hermitude, The Tango Saloon and others, they had a pretty big impact on a small number of people for their way of crossing electronic production with live breakbeats, jazz & classical-influenced chord progressions, explosions of metal riffing, and a pop core to their songwriting. Jane is a highly accomplished classical soprano now, and Alon plays drums with countless musicians as well as being known for his incredible gestural percussion/synthesis device the AirSticks.
For this new release, the two Sydney musicians have teamed up with Philadelphia guitarist Tim Motzer, who plays with such luminaries as Ursula Rucker, David Sylvian and many others. The drums and vocals were recorded as quietly as possible with sensitive microphones, and along with the guitar textures it’s a beautiful album of restraint.

Koenraad Ecker – Black blocks and red zones [In Aulis/Koenraad Ecker Bandcamp]
Koenraad Ecker – Between the desire and the spasm (falls the shadow) (feat. Alex „Bogues“ Rendall) [In Aulis/Koenraad Ecker Bandcamp]
I’ve been a fan of the work of Koenraad Ecker for some years, since discovering his duo Lumisokea on the Opal Tapes label, and shortly afterwards a separate, equally awesome duo Stray Dogs. A cellist by training, Ecker is also a formidable sound designer and works at times also with bass-heavy beats. There is not a lot of recognisable cello on the new album and only a few beats, but plenty of bass and sonic brilliance. There are a number of collaborators as well, including Alex Rendall on a couple of tracks, who will segue us rather conveniently into our Young Echo special, as he’s part of the wonderful subtle r’n’b/dubstep/ambient trio Jabu.

Young Echo – Sedate Private [Young Echo]
Baba Yaga / Jabu – Voices On The Water [Ramp Recordings]
Om Unit – Patients (feat. MC Jabu) [Civil Music]
Vessel – Red Sex [Tri-Angle]
Killing Sound – $ixxx Harmonie$ Version [Blackest Ever Black]
Commodo, Gantz & Kahn – So Familia [Deep Medi]
asda – spud-u-like [FuckPunk]
Young Echo – Nothing [Young Echo]
Young Echo – Psychology Of Destructive Cult Leaders [Young Echo]
Incredibly exciting to have the second album from the entire Young Echo collective released this last week. Bristol’s not-quite-so-young anymore collective features a pretty sizeable roll-call of brilliant producers & vocalists, themselves forming various groups: Jabu might sometimes represent just Alex Rendall (see above), but is also an r’n’b/ambient dubstep trio with Amos Childs and Jasmine Butt. Sebastian Gainsborough is Vessel, but is also part of Killing Sound (with Amos Childs and Sam Kidel aka El Kid), Baba Yaga with Joseph McGann aka Kahn, and asda with chester giles. Kahn works with Sam Barrett (aka Neek) as Gorgon Sound (and, it has to be said, frequently as Kahn & Neek) and these two are probably the most straight-down dubstep of any of the acts. Other producers include Ishan Sound and Ossia; other vocalists include Rider Shafique and more recently ManonMars, who I’m guessing appears on the fantastic first track I took from the new Young Echo collective album.
Although dubstep, techno, hip-hop and r’n’b are all subtantial parts of their make-up, the various Young Echo members and sub-groups are notably not shy of treading into ambient/beatless waters quite frequently, or equally into industrial-influenced sounds (particularly from Seb Gainsborough’s productions). The new album does not credit individual artists, but the vocalists and often the producers as well are pretty identifiable. There’s some useful info in the press release found on their website anyway.

Hanz – A Breathing House [Tri-Angle Records]
Hanz – Advice Ad [Tri-Angle Records]
Hanz – Page [Tri-Angle Records]
Brandon Juhans’ productions as Hanz didn’t use to be quite as manic & fucked up as this latest stuff. He’s a maker of very warped instrumental hip-hop, but his new EP on the Tri-Angle label (also home of Young Echo’s Vessel as featured above), goes into manic realms with swift-chopped samples and stuttering beats, glitch-hop pushed into drum’n’bass tempos. It’s pretty awesome.

Kaltès & Nene H. – Persist [Eotrax]
Eomac – Observe The Vessel Beneath You [Bastakiya Tapes]
Two female producers out of Berlin’s rich techno scene, here released on Eomac‘s new Eotrax label. These young artists have produced a couple of banging 4/4 tunes with that industrial undercurrent that runs through so much music now, especially coming out of Berlin.
Eomac is one half of Lakker, the now-Berlin-based techno duo who started off making idm in Dublin. Eomac released a 12″ on the Bedouin Records-related Bastakiya Tapes last year – techno with more than a nod to dubstep & 2step.

Listen again — ~197MB

Sunday, 18th of February, 2018

Playlist 18.02.18 (8:08 pm)

Post-classical, avant-garde, krautrock, noise, techno… we’ve got a bit of everything tonight…

LISTEN AGAIN, you’ll get it eventually… stream on demand from FBi, podcast from here.

Madeleine Cocolas – II [Self Center Records]
Madeleine Cocolas – I Can See You Whisper [Futuresequence]
Madeleine Cocolas – Stalactite [bigo & twigetti]
Madeleine Cocolas – Umbra [Self Center Records]
Madeleine Cocolas – III [Self Center Records]
Although she’s been based in North America for many years now – first in Seattle and now in New York – Madeleine Cocolas is originally from Australia, where she worked as music supervisor on many TV programs. A classically-trained composer, she combines her piano, many synths and skills at arrangement with, now and then, skittery electronic beats and shoegazey effected vocals. I’ve been a fan for a few years now and it’s great to have something new in the form of the works for dance appearing on her new album SOS.

Evelyn Ida Morris and Aviva Endean – Details Make Diffo [Pikelet Bandcamp]
While we wait for the amazing solo piano & vocal album coming from Evelyn Ida Morris (of Pikelet fame) in the next few months, here’s a single track they’ve recorded with Aussie clarinettist Aviva Endean. Both were undertaking residencies at the time – Morris at the Kunstlerhaus Boswil in Switzerland and Endean in upstate New York. The processed piano and expressive clarinet begin the song in beautiful manner, and everything switches out into twitchy electronics and fractured instrumental interjections once Evelyn’s almost-atonal, pitch-shifted vocals come in. It’s wonderfully strange.

Didier Petit – La Marche de l’Ombre [RogueArt]
Didier Petit – Sons de la Lune [RogueArt]
Couple of tracks from the new album by French cellist Didier Petit, who’s been active since the 1980s, and is quite important in the French avant-garde/improv scene. Although there are plenty of connections with avant-garde & experimental techniques on this album, I was surprised to discover that he frequently sings over his cello, sometimes with similar extended techniques, but often beautifully melodically. It seems there’s always another brilliant cellist out there doing innovative stuff for me to discover.

Nighports w/ Matthew Bourne – Exit [The Leaf Label]
Nighports w/ Matthew Bourne – Fragile Years [The Leaf Label]
Adam Martin and Mark Slater’s Nighports project is based on one rule: all sounds on each release must only come from the featured musicians. For their new album they’re collaborating with the jazz-trained English pianist Matthew Bourne, who they’ve recorded on an array of pianos, each with its own distinct aural characteristics. There are rhythmic, cut-up pieces here, and contemplative ones. It’s sumptuous and rewarding listening.

Divide and Dissolve – Assimilation [DERO Arcade]
Divide and Dissolve – Reversal feat. Minori Sanchiz-Fung [DERO Arcade]
The new album from Melbourne duo Divide and Dissolve has just landed. Essentially an instrumental doom duo of guitar and drums, their guitarist Takiaya Reed also plays gorgeous, pure saxophone in a number of tracks, and it’s all through the first track tonight. Their focus is on dismantling the white supremacy, and once again on this album they’ve teamed up with poet Minori Sanchiz-Fung on one track. Her work “Immigrant Mind” interrogates the English language as host to colonialism, both externally and internally…

Tandaapushi – Introduction [Jvtlandt]
Tandaapushi – Part 1 [Jvtlandt]
Featuring Léo Dupleix, Laurens Smet and Louis Evrard, Tandaapushi create an idiosyncratic version of krautrock, noise rock, free improv and so on – with keyboards & electronics taking the part of the “lead” alongside rhythm section. The rather abstract “Introduction” is a bit of a red herring on their new album Boromean Rings – most of it pursues repetitive structures with a rhythmic drive which is catchy no matter how noisy or atonal everything going on around them seems to be.

The Mermaids – Gypsy Guru [Pulled Out Records]
The Mermaids – Pulled Out [Pulled Out Records]
Newcastle duo of Nicholas French (Polyfox and the Union of the Most Ghosts, Crab Smasher) and Michael Liestins (Cock Safari, Grog Pappy), The Mermaids make sample-based noise music using circuit-bent toys, 8-track tape, turntables, and just about anything else. It’s joyful chaos, and the LP from Pulled Out Records comes with incredible artwork from French’s Crab Smasher cohort Grant Hunter.

Miracle – The Seventeen Nineties [Relapse Records]
Miracle – The Parsifal Gate [Relapse Records]
Daniel O’Sullivan and Steve Moore both get around – playing in doom & black metal bands, or with indiepop artists, or dark ambient… As Miracle they’re doing some kind of odd krautrock/spacerock-tinged ’80s electro-pop, and weirdly after one album on Planet µ they now find themselves on heavy metal stalwarts Relapse Records. There are no heavy riffs to be seen though – just heavily sequenced synths and drum machines, along with O’Sullivan’s usual emotive vocals.

JK Flesh – PI04.03 [Pi Electronics/JK Flesh Bandcamp]
The brilliant Justin K Broadrick, fresh from a big last year releasing a second new album from the revived Godflesh, a compiled album from JK Flesh and a new JK Flesh EP, has now dropped another new EP of industrial techno as JK Flesh. The latest iteration of JK Flesh is motorik, bass-heavy, acid-tinged techno and happily it seems to have struck a chord. I was lucky enough to see him to it live in Oxford last year, and it solidified what a brilliant musician he is to me – as comfortable and competent at crafting a journey for the dancefloor in beats and effects as he is with riffs and vocals. As long as he’s churning out music I’ll be there…

Fahmi Mursyid – Hareup [Tandem Tapes]
Although the excellent Tandem Tapes label is based in Jakarta, they’re run by an ex-pat Aussie and have a decidedly international outlook. Nevertheless they do showcase plenty of great experimental Indonesian artists, and we finish tonight with Bandung-based “sound sculptor” Fahmi Mursyid, who uses granular synthesis to transform found sounds, guitar and traditional Indonesian instruments into surging drone and glitch works. I love the snatches of choral harmonies floating in and out of this particular track.

Listen again — ~195MB

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