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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 July, 2018

Playlist 15.07.18 (9:00 pm)

Grimey dancehall, drill’n’bass, kosmische droneglitch postrock, classic electronics, processed piano, looped violin and some indie to finish up tonight…

LISTEN AGAIN for the sounds you can’t find anywhere else… (and because I’m not here next week, soz!) Stream on demand from FBi, podcast here.

Miss Red – War [Pressure]
The Bug – Diss Mi Army (feat. Miss Red) [Ninja Tune]
The Bug – Mi Lost (feat. Miss Red) [Ninja Tune]
Miss Red – What Would You Like (prod. Andy Stott) [self-released/Bandcamp]
Miss Red – Dagga [Pressure]
Produced by The Bug, and released on his Pressure Records, here, finally, is the debut album proper from Tel Aviv gyal come good Miss Red. With a Polish and Moroccan background, Sharon Stern sings and toasts in English, with incredible energy and an immaculate sense of rhythm and phrasing. She’s a perfect foil for The Bug, although on her Murder mixtape she swipes some other great grooves, including tonight’s from Andy Stott‘s “Damage”. The new album is just as good as it was always going to be.

Laxenanchaos – Dog With Snow [Virgin Babylon Records]
VMO – Out Of Orbit(Vehement Mental Orgasm Mix)—Laxenanchaos [VMO/Vampillia self-released]
Laxenanchaos – Capture Everything [Virgin Babylon Records]
Last year I was in London for a week and saw a gig almost every day, including a few of my favourite artists… On one of the nights, Japan’s black metal/noise/post-rock/post-classical band Vampillia were playing, and although I’ve seen them a few times in Sydney, this time they were supported by their own alter-egos VMO aka Violent Magic Orchestra, an instrumental band that leans more towards hardcore and noise, and epic dynamics. It was awesome, of course. Out on the merch desk, there was the usual collection of tour-only releases, including an EP of remixes, and on that EP I discovered the breakcore/drill’n’bass wonders of Laxenanchaos – so it was rather nice to find a couple of months ago that World’s End Girlfriend‘s wonderful Virgin Babylon Records were putting out a full length album from him. It’s lovely ’90s style idm, melodic drill’n’bass with cut-up vocals and everything. Many applause emojis!

Witxes – Incantations [Consouling Sounds]
Witxes – With Stung Eyes [self-released]
Witxes – The Reason [Denovali]
Witxes – The Strands [Denovali]
Witxes – Disruptions [Consouling Sounds]
Pronounced “witches”, Witxes is the project of French artist Maxime Vavasseur, stretching back to 2010’s self-released early works compilation Scrawls #01 (I think my copy may be hand-painted?), exploring kosmische electronics and drone, glitch, and krautrock/postrock textures. I’ve always loved the unpredictable creativity of his releases, drawing a lot from drone and sound-art but easily moving into something really melodic or something with heavy drums just for the hell of it. It’s been a while, and it’s great to have him back!

Carl Stone – Banteay Srey [Unseen Worlds]
A pioneer of live electronic music, Carl Stone has been working with computers in electronic music since 1986 (his work goes back further than that), and he’s recently been the subject of two big back catalogue collections on multiple LPs from Unseen Worlds. From the second of these, Electronic Music from the Eighties and Nineties, this gorgeous epic of ambient music reminds me of an ambien-inflected tune from early µ-Ziq – and incidentally this is from 1993, so roughly contemporaneous. It’s a blissful mix of electric organ, some very subtle rhythmic elements, and a slow-down, stretched and looped sample of a Burundi child’s song.

Bart van Dongen & Richard van Kruysdijk – Three [Opa Loka Records]
Bart van Dongen & Richard van Kruysdijk – One [Opa Loka Records]
Described as “pianist Bart van Dongen and electronic conjuror Richard van Kruysdijk“, this duo take delight in subverting the sound of the piano, both through preparations and also through live processing. The piano playing is a bit avant-classical a bit jazz – at times prettily melodic, at other times abstract – while the electronics contribute some nice granular sampling, glitchy delays and occasional power electronics. It’s actually really listenable, and for those of us who love the collision of organic and digital, it’s a beauty and highly recommended.

XANI – CODE ORANGE [Xani Bandcamp]
Xani Kolac is an in-demand session violinist in Melbourne and also known for her drums-and-violin duo The Twoks among other things. Her new album 3 is out in a couple of weeks, her first on vinyl (and digital), and it’s also her first entirely instrumental release. It’s all performed live in the studio with amps and effects and lots of creative looping and delays.

Brian Campeau – mtl/montreal [self-released/Bandcamp]
Brian Campeau – Two Repeating [Art As Catharsis]
It’s been a while between albums for Brian Campeau, once of Montréal, then of Sydney, now based in Melbourne. That said, it was longer between the previous two albums. There’s a bit more of a proggy rock vibe on the new one – released in August – but I gave you a sneak preview of a lovely gentle number with long strings and diminished chords. And a classic from his first album, the “cd1” version of “Montreal” and its little drum machine intro.

Listen again — ~214MB

Sunday, 8th of July, 2018

Playlist 08.07.18 (9:11 pm)

Avant-garde sounds blend into experimental electronics and beats tonight…

LISTEN AGAIN – I know I would! Stream on demand from FBi, or podcast here…

Aaron Moore & Erik K Skodvin – Instead of rain I bring a hat [Hands in the Dark]
Aaron Moore & Erik K Skodvin – Furland [Hands in the Dark]
A few years ago the Miasmah label released a big retrospective box set of the Leicester avant-garde band Volcano The Bear. Miasmah’s Erik K Skodvin (aka Svarte Greiner, a wonderful experimental cellist & drone musician) became friends with Volcano The Bear’s Aaron Moore, and a few years later we are gifted with this extraordinary work – very much a meeting of their styles, with plenty of Skodvin’s spectral cello, along with often-arrhythmic percussion, electric piano, often-wordless vocals from both… It’s quite doomy, but sometimes breaks into quirky upbeat vibes, or the glorious multi-tracked vocals on top of Skodvin’s scratchy cello in the second half of “Furland”. And it’s gorgeously produced at all times.

hackedepicciotto – Let There By Joy [hackedepicciotto Bandcamp]
Danielle de Picciotto & Werkstatt – Desert Fruit [Monika Enterprise]
hackedepicciotto – The Long Way Home [hackedepicciotto Bandcamp]
The husband and wife duo of hackedepicciotto are both highly influential musicians in their own right. Alexander Hacke is a founding member of industrial pioneers Einstürzende Neubauten. Danielle de Picciotto is a musician and multimedia artist who co-founded the Love Parade after moving to Berlin in the mid ’80s. They’ve been married now for over a decade, and for some years now they have lived a nomadic existence, taking their art all around the world. Courtesy of the Goethe Institut they’re performing their live soundtrack to their own slient movie Crossroads this Saturday in Sydney. Their latest album Joy is their second album made for use in meditation and yoga, but for all that it’s surprisingly dark – but Menetekel, released late last year, is darker still, with a doomy sensibility drawn from heavy, slow rock and de Picciottos’s drawn-out violin. De Picciotto also took part in Monika Enterprise‘s Werkstatt last year, embedding her spoken vocals in glitchy beats and sounds.

Syntax Error – Under The Ice [self-released]
Featuring Ben Aylward of beloved Sydney indie/shoegaze band Swirl – and latterly of Fabels – and Matthew Syres of improv band Forenzics, Syntax Error sport a muscly rhythm section with Peter Yates and Ben Eadie, who underpin this epic debut single… Ben’s shoegazey guitar lines are offset by the soundscapey emanations from Matt, and the song builds and builds into a psych storm, while never losing the impetus of the bassline and steady beat.

Ben Chatwin – Helix [Village Green]
Ben Chatwin – Hound Point [Village Green]
When Ben Chatwin changed to his real name from Talvihorros, his music switched from dark drone & postrock to an airier kind of post-classical. For this new album Staccato Signals he started off with multiple analogue and modular synthesisers, but couldn’t resist bringing the strings and other acoustic instruments back – so we have a tension between the snarling bass and industrial influences of the electronics, along with some programmed lines and even muffled beats, alongside the emotional heft of the acoustic instruments. It’s some of his best work yet.

OZmotic – Elusive Balance [Touch]
OZmotic – Being [Touch]
On their new album Elusive Balance, the Italian duo of Riccardo Giovinetto & Simone Bosco (known for collaborations with Fennesz and Murcof) explore the dividing line between human and nature, with ambient sounds colliding with frenetic stuttery beats, high-pitched electronic interjections and melodic saxophone… Elusive indeed, but utterly compelling.

Nima Aghiani – Qamyn [Purple Tape Pedigree]
Nima Aghiani – Ibbothal [Purple Tape Pedigree]
Nima Aghiani – Kah-Gash [Purple Tape Pedigree]
Set in that elusive state of REM sleep when your eyes are flickering around and you’re really not quite sure if you’re dreaming, this new album from Persian producer & violinist Nima Aghiani extends the noise and experimental sound of his wonderful duo 9T Antiope into a take on industrial techno, with heavy crunching beats underscoring screeching power electronics at times, but also joined by layers of undulating violin. It’s incredible stuff that I’ve had on repeat this week, check it out!

RP Boo – No Body [Planet µ]
RP Boo – Bounty [Planet µ]
Chicago producer RP Boo is one of the earliest purveyors of footwork – a true pioneer. He’s been celebrated by Mike Paradinas’ Planet µ with a couple of albums of archival material, finally bringing his art to the wider world, but what’s interesting even on this new album is how incredibly utilitarian it still is. The tracks seem so simple, but they’re so sophisticated, with the sparse beats and small number of vocal samples perfectly cut (and his own semi-spoken raps appear here and there too!) It’s bizarrely avant-garde, yet totally there for the dancefloor.

Forest Drive West – Prism [RuptureLDN]
Joe Baker continues his upgrade of jungle sounds with Rupture London on his new Set Free EP. This stuff sits alongside his techno work released on labels like Livity Sound, but he’s impeccable at the jungle/drum’n’bass stuff (and occasionally works the two genres together too).

Synkro & Arovane – New Dawn [Apollo]
R&S Records‘ ambient subsiduary Apollo here releases the first duo offering from Synkro (one half of Akkord) with idm/ambient legend Arovane. It’s a varied take on ambient with beats – this opening track dabbles in jungle, the rest are more techno or house oriented. It’s super pretty stuff.

Andreas Brandal – Vanishing and Beginning Again [Tandem Tapes]
Returning to the excellent Tandem Tapes label with a recent split cassette, we finish up with Norwegian producer Andreas Brandal, with glitched guitar loops and soundscapes.

Listen again — ~198MB

Sunday, 1st of July, 2018

Playlist 01.07.18 (8:32 pm)

Halfway through the year! It’s been a great year for music, and it’s going as we’ll hear with tonight’s batch of mostly very-new music.

LISTEN AGAIN to remind yourself of what it is to feel true emotion. Stream on demand from FBi, podcast from here.

Shoeb Ahmad – “romance” (jasmine guffond version) [Art As Catharsis/Shoeb Ahmad Bandcamp]
Shoeb Ahmad – “washed air” (wives version) [Art As Catharsis/Shoeb Ahmad Bandcamp]
Shoeb Ahmad – “villagers son” (maria moles version) [Art As Catharsis/Shoeb Ahmad Bandcamp]
Canberra artist and longtime Utility Fog fave Shoeb Ahmad launches her new album quiver at 107 in Redfern this Friday (July 5th). It’s a wonderful album of indie songs, exploring the relationship between gender identity, religion, culture and the love of friends & family. But along with the usual digital versions, there’s a special 2CD zine edition (it’s gorgeous) which features remixes of each track on the album by Aussie fellow travellers (and full disclosure: I’ve got a raven remix on there). These remixes allow the still very active experimental aspect of Shoeb’s musicianship to be expressed, through other people’s interpretations. I’ve previously played the incredible sea of glitched vocals and spoken word from Canberran indiepunks Wives; tonight we also feature two of the tracks which are (currently) exclusive to the second CD – a very different approach to glitchy chopped vocals and atmospherics from Sydney’s Jasmine Guffond, and a beautiful textural reworking from Melbourne artist Maria Moles.

S. Carey & Taylor Deupree – The Iron Town [THESIS]
Angus MacRae & InsaDonjaKai – Himmelgeist [THESIS]
Andrew Hargreaves & Andrew Johnson – A New Kind of Air [THESIS]
Aaron Martin & Tilman Robinson – Breath Structures, Dispersed Being [THESIS]
We heard something from the Minnesota-based THESIS label a couple of weeks ago, when we featured the beautiful meeting of Sophie Hutchings & Julia Kent. The label have now released the second of their COLLECTED albums on CD & digital, which bring together most of the highly-limited vinyl editions pairing up artists who otherwise may not have come together. So tonight Bon Iver member S. Carey‘s pastoral songwriting joins Taylor Deupree‘s electro-acoustic ambient stylings from the first collection. From the second, we start with London composer & pianist Angus MacRae and German percussion/cello trio InsaDonjaKai creating something quite spine-tingling. Then we have a pair of Andrews who have so many collaborators in common that it’s basically just silly they’ve never worked together before: Andrew Hargreaves aka Tape Loop Orchestra is a member of the beloved Boats, where Andrew Johnson aka a new line (related) is one half of The Remote Viewer with the other core member of The Boats, Craig Tattersal… They’ve created something chilling out of washes of noise and a buried kick drum. Finally, US acoustic multi-instrumentalist Aaron Martin joins Melbourne-based ex-Perth composer/electronic musician Tilman Robinson for a deep, pulsating piece with strings, guitar, mandolin and electronics. It’s all gorgeous.

Aaron Martin – The Space Above Overflowing [IIKKI]
So here’s Aaron Martin again, here taking part in a very different collaboration. This track is taken from his new album Touch Dissolves, released on the French label IIKKI, which is also a book publisher, and each of their editions pairs a visual artist or writer with a musician. So Touch Dissolves is available as CD or vinyl or book, or combination of audio & visual editions, with artwork from Turkish photographer/artist Yusuf Sevinçli. Aaron’s music is consistently lovely, as it has been since his first releases on Sydney label Preservation – folky sounds on guitar, banjo, and cello, layered in dreamy patterns. He’s also a seasoned collaborator, as we heard earlier with Tilman Robinson, and our next artist is someone Aaron’s worked with for years too…

Machinefabriek – Walking [Machinefabriek Bandcamp]
Machinefabriek – Not Last [Machinefabriek Bandcamp]
In the 10 years+ I’ve been playing Rutger Zuydervelt’s music as Machinefabriek on this show, he’s released more music than fits in some people’s entire record collection… A lot of it’s collaborative (see Aaron Martin above) but he’s prolific as a solo artist too. He was (in)famous a decade ago for long, evolving drone works, but there’s always been more to him than drone – electro-acoustic works, processed sound of all sorts, and surprising melodies appearing from unexpected sources. Of late, he’s been in demand scoring documentaries and dance works. This is from a new work by Marta Alstadsæter and Kim-Jomi Fischer called Engel that literally premiered a few days ago – and it looks amazing. Along with the usual teased out, filigree sound is some of the most conventional electronic work Rutger’s done in years.

Vitor Joaquim – Stillness [Vitor Joaquim Bandcamp]
Vitor Joaquim – Suffering and Detachment [Vitor Joaquim Bandcamp]
It’s a pleasure to hear a new solo release from Portuguese artist Vitor Joaquim. He’s a grand master of sound-art in his home country, having started in the ’80s, and he really is a master of moody, sustained music processed from a multitude of sound sources. His new album impermanence deals with change on a personal and global scale – it’s a self-consuming work based around his observations that “everything decomposes, everything wears, everything loses force, everything is transformed and renewed, and nothing escapes the coming of time”. And yet it’s not as dour as that summation might suggest. It’s beautiful, in fact.

LWW – CTP [Leaf]
AU – Ida Walked Away [Aagoo/AU Bandcamp]
LWW – LSP [Leaf]
Multi-instrumentalist Luke Wyland is best known as the founder and singer in the freak folk/indie band AU. His new solo album as LWW, 3TP largely continues the approach to composition and arrangement found in AU’s work, but it’s instrumental (except when it’s not), and mostly based around improvisations (except when they extend or expand on them), and they’re a little more minimalist than AU’s songs (except when they’re not). They’re a great fit for The Leaf Label.

Nine Inch Nails – Im Not From This World [The Null Corporation]
Back in the early-to-mid-’90s I was as obsessed with the Nine Inch Nails as any other late teen or early 20s slightly depressed outsider kid, y’know? To be honest even then I found a lot of the lyrics slightly winceworthy (although I’d quote them anyway), but the relentless experimentalism of the music was inspiring, and the remixes universally amazing. The older he’s gotten, the more “slightly embarrassing” the snarling angsty lyrics have felt, but there’s no doubt Trent Reznor has good taste in musical influences and collaborators, and he’s got a pretty damn good ear for composing too. This new stuff, three EPs now, which is basically the blockbuster movie composing duo of Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross, has some decent catchy songs on there, but I was particularly taken with this instrumental piece of spooky industrial electronic music.

Anne-James Chaton + Andy Moor – Le songe de Ludwig [Unsounds]
Tout ce que je sais is the latest in a string of collaborations between the French poet/spoken word sound artist Anne-James Chaton and Scottish guitarist Andy Moor (longtime member of Dutch anarcho-punk/experimental band The Ex). Chaton also works with minimal electronic artist Alva Noto, and Moor’s work, while entirely produced on electric guitar, has a tendency to recall (if not mimic) the rhythmic, shifting sounds of experimental minimal electronica & techno, while at the same time being miles distant. His punkish jangly guitar tone produces chiming atonal chords which are looped into loping rhythms over which he lays further awkward expressionist splatters of sound. As a musician I find it inspiring but very challenging to reproduce; collaboratively it’s a technique which works well for Moor in various contexts while being clearly his own. It’s always sat perfectly with the dizzying patter of word association from Chaton, often slightly eluding sense even if you understand French, but for me always a comfortable aural experience.

Listen again — ~196MB

Sunday, 24th of June, 2018

Playlist 24.06.18 (9:00 pm)

Tonight we’re shuffling around ambient/shoegaze, sunken beats, post-jazz, experimental hip-hop, Tunisian beatmaking… and more.

LISTEN AGAIN, we’ll take you on a journey… Stream on demand from FBi, podcast here.

The Rothko Chapel – Phecda [The Rothko Chapel Bandcamp]
The Rothko Chapel – The Perpetual Cloister [The Rothko Chapel Bandcamp]
Not a new project, but the first album proper from this Australian shoegaze/drone/sound-art duo The Rothko Chapel, featuring UFog fave Charlie Sage aka Canberra’s y0t0, and Melbournian Peter Dowd aka singlecoil. As usual with Sage’s projects, there are various international collaborators, including his other half in Hessien, Maps and Diagrams. There are fluttery, glitchy drones (often with analogue rather than digital processing), lots of guitars, and also some beautiful piano. Nothing is fixed, but everything is well placed. Recommended if you’re into Tim Hecker eh!

Anders Brørby – Trauma [Forwind]
Anders Brørby – Depression Puzzle [Forwind]
The latest release on UK experimental/drone/sound-art label Forwind comes from Norwegian artist Anders Brørby. Surprisingly beat-oriented, it nevertheless doesn’t find easy categorisation – much like the label. With its mixture of analogue & digital sound sources, some elements could come from ’80s or ’90s ambient and electronic, some hint at more contemporary influences. It’s also rather emotional, and while I love the first track’s title “Hatred to all Living Things”, it’s not all darkness. Still, an album titled Traumas isn’t likely to be rosy. Definitely worth grabbing this one…

mouse on the keys – Shapeless Man feat. Jordan Dreyer of La Dispute [Topshelf Records]
mouse on the keys – Spectres de mouse [Machu Picchu Industrias]
mouse on the keys – le gibet [Mule Musiq]
mouse on the keys – The Prophecy (tres version) [Topshelf Records]
Japanese post-jazz/post-rock ensemble mouse on the keys have been plying their trade for over a decade, with jazz-trained piano or sometimes double-piano action, and masterful jazz/postrock drumming. It’s a unique sound, one which has turned ears all over the world, with those older Japanese releases seeing re-release on Denovali, and their new album out on San Diego label Topshelf Records. There’s less emphasis on piano as the lead instrument on this album, with other keyboard instruments and also a number of interesting vocal collaborations – such as the amazing spoken word from Jordan Dreyer of post-hardcore heroes La Dispute.

Szun Waves – Constellation [The Leaf Label]
Combining the trumpet work of Portico Quartet‘s Jack Wyllie, Luke Abbott‘s modular synths & electronics, and the always stellar drum work of Sydney’s own Laurence Pike, Szun Waves are a post-jazz/psychedelic supergroup. And the first track for their second album (first on Leaf) is transcendently psychedelic ambient jazz. Look out for this, peeps!

Busdriver – losing you again [Temporary Whatever]
Busdriver – exploding slowly feat. Daedelus [Temporary Whatever]
It’s been a few years since we heard from the maestro of experimental weird-hop, Busdriver. The new album Electricity is on our Side feels like a real statement – his manic side is still on display, but it’s tempered here and there (in fact on both tracks I chose tonight). There are definite nods to contemporary trends (“exploding slowly” has a kind of Kendrick feel in the delivery perhaps?) and the jazz-funk elements are inspired. It’s insane genius really.

AMMAR 808 – Sidi Kommi (feat. Mehdi Nassouli) [Glitterbeat]
AMMAR 808 – Degdegi (feat. Sofiane Saidi) [Glitterbeat]
Amazing futuristic take on deep traditional North African music from the Maghreb region. AMMAR 808‘s Sofyann Ben Youssef is a Tunisian producer & musician, and here he works not only with the driving bass of the Roland TR-808 drum machine, but also with singers from Tunisia, Morocco (Mehdi Nassouli), and Algeria (Sofiane Saidi). Each lends a different feel to these new-old tracks.

Squaring Circles – Anima [Squaring Circles Bandcamp]
Melbourne’s Brendan Anderson formed Squaring Circles to explore making music outside the structures of songwriting in now-defunct indie band Lurch & Chief. Lilibeth Hall’s vocals are sampled and delayed, used as an instrument among the postrock drums and layered keyboards. It’s a great debut.

Tatu Rönkkö – Tekoäly – feat. Islaja [Sonic Pieces]
Tatu Rönkkö – Now [Sonic Pieces]
Finnish drummer Tatu Rönkkö is part of Liima with the core members of Efterklang, but as a soloist isn’t well known outside of Berlin. That should change with this debut release on the excellent boutique label Sonic Pieces. His homemade percussion & electronic instruments create spaces which can draw from mid-’90s Photek as much as jazz or postrock. The centrepiece is the track featuring the incredible otherworldly vocals of fellow Finn Islaja.

Nicolas Wiese – The Revolution Will Have Been YouTubed #2 [Karlrecords]
Marc Weiser – Kapital [Karlrecords]
Two more pieces (we had two last week) from Karlrecords‘ 2CD celebration of Karl Marx’s 200th birthday, all profits of which go to support homeless charity Berliner Obdachlosenhilfe and immigration advocacy organisation ProAsyl. Tonight we have a great sound work from Nicolas Wiese sampling from YouTube videos on the topic of “revolution”, and a melancholy piece of glitch electronics & drone from Zeitkratzer guitarist Marc Weiser.

The Future Sound of London – Collapsed Structures [FSOLdigital/EBV]
The Future Sound of London – My Kingdom (Part 5) [Virgin/EBV]
The Future Sound of London – My Kingdom – Path 9 [FSOLdigital/EBV]
Back in the late ’80s and early ’90s it could feel like The Future Sound of London were as futuristic as it gets, with their sample-based, rave-derived psychedelic ambient techno. They owed a lot to the cyberpunk aesthetic, and so it’s no surprise that on their “last” album (before a long hiatus) they sampled the master, Vangelis, from his Blade Runner soundtrack – specifically the Mary Hopkin sung “Rachel’s Song”. For years now they’ve been releasing swatches of archival material, slowly introducing new electronic works (having also a psych rock/folk project Amorphous Androgynous) as well. So this year they’ve Re-imagined the beloved “My Kingdom” with that Vangelis sample, on a whole album that follows on from the original My Kingdom EP with extensions, remixes and new works. The familiar bassline weaves through many tracks, as well as the vocal sample and other elements. It’s still futuristic to me, albeit partially in a “future-nostalgia” way.

Listen again — ~205MB

Sunday, 17th of June, 2018

Playlist 17.06.18 (9:07 pm)

Tonight it’s an all-women Utility Fog. I was going to do a show like this soon anyway, and I don’t always draw attention to it (I think it ought to be totally natural to play 2 hours of music by women, given how easy it is to slip into hours of male-dominated works).
But, while it’s been a week of fantastic releases from women as you’ll hear… it’s also been a week of tragedy. The rape and murder of Eurydice Dixon by a 19-year-old man while walking home at night in Melbourne has lain heavily on the hearts of many Australians, a visceral tug on the constant fears most women carry with them whenever they’re out alone. And another young woman’s life was also taken within days of Dixon’s, again by a 19-year-old man – this time the flatmate of the murdered woman Qi Yu. These stories are all too common, and it’s hard to escape the realisation that a toxic (if ancient) masculinity is at the core of what’s wrong. It’s particularly alarming how young these perpetrators were, carrying out acts of ultimate possessive, sexual violence. This has to stop, and it has to start with men. We recoil from acts like these but we must look to our own behaviour too.
I’m not honestly all that good at resisting the pull of patriarchy, but I’m trying. In this context all I can do is play music, so this show’s a nudge in the right direction. As usual when I put together all-female playlists, people of all genders write in to say how great the music is (usually without noticing the gender thing), which is exactly as it should be.

LISTEN AGAIN, because this really is the best music… stream on demand from FBi, podcast from here.

Aphir – Generalisation (feat. Freya) [Aphir Bandcamp]
Aphir – Dyscircadian (feat. alphamale) [Aphir Bandcamp]
After a, well, shitty experience outside her studio in Melbourne, electronic musician and singer Becki Whitton aka Aphir decided to put together an EP of collaborative music in one week, and release it not long after. Artists contributed drones and weird noises, and Whitton created amazing pieces of experimental electronic pop out of them. So there’s the vocoded/autotuned vocals and beats over drones from Freya, and a stunning piece featuring coruscating viola and drones from Canberra’s Hannah de Feyer aka alphamale.

Ptwiggs – Eternal Chains [Ptwiggs SoundCloud – free download]
Sydney’s Phoebe Twiggs most recently has appeared as one half of Eternal, as duo/label/promoter of experimental electronic music in Sydney. Her new (new/old) EP showcases her industrial/rave sound, with heavy beats and samples hinting at gabba or drum’n’bass…

Sophia Loizou – Morphogenesis [Cosmo Rhythmatic]
Sophia Loizou – Baptisia [Astro:Dynamics]
Sophia Loizou – Genesis ’92: The Awakening [Kathexis]
Sophia Loizou – Shadows Of Futurity [Houndstooth]
Sophia Loizou – The Interior Life Of Another [Cosmo Rhythmatic]
Bristol-based composer / producer Sophia Loizou has swiftly become one of those buy-on-sight artists since her first releases in 2014. Her first album Chrysalis came out on London label Astro:Dynamics, with a mixture of minimalist drone and heavy “power ambient”, but on 2016’s Singulacra, out on Boston label Kathexis, she began her piercing look at ’90s rave music through a nostalgic, ambient, contemporary lens. Earlier this year Loizou contributed a track to Houndstooth‘s In Death’s Dream Kingdom, foregrounding the junglist beats even more than before, and messed up though they are, those beats are pretty prominent again on the new album Irregular Territories released on the noisy experimental label Cosmo Rhythmatic run by Shapednoise.

Eartheater – Switch [PAN]
Eartheater – Galactic Human [Eartheater Bandcamp] {no longer available?}
Meredith Monk – Double Fiesta [ECM]
Eartheater – Homonyms [Hausu Mountain]
Eartheater – Mask Therapy [Hausu Mountain]
Show Me The Body – In A Grace (feat. Denzel Curry, Moor Mother & Eartheater) [self-released]
Eartheater – MMXXX ft. Moor Mother [PAN]
Alexandra Drewchin aka Eartheater‘s debut solo album on PAN is out now, after two excellent albums on the eclectic noise-meets-IDM label Hausu Mountain and a number of releases as part of Greg Fox‘s Guardian Angel trio. Drewchin, a performance artist and extraordinary contortionist dancer, has a remarkable vocal range as well as being a multi-instrumentalist and producer. Drewchin’s love of Kate Bush is well known, but on listening to her early track “Galactic Human” I felt a strong sense of the genius composer & vocal iconoclast Meredith Monk in there – and we just don’t hear enough Meredith Monk these days, so there you go, and 31-year-old track on the ‘Fog. Meanwhile we re-join Drewchin with her debut album Metalepsis, and its follower RIP Chrysalis which, although released the same year, seems to these ears to be a significant progression (although both are great!) So there’s been an few years’ gap between albums, and PAN seems an appropriate place to end up, straddling noise, experimental electronic and occasional forays into song-based work. Last year Drewchin appeared as Eartheater on the massive Corpus I mixtape which I loved from NYC hardcore punks Show Me The Body – on a track which incidentally also featured a scathing contribution from the goddess Moor Mother, who is one of two collaborators on the new Eartheater album, and who just destroys (in the best way) anything she appears on.

SOPHIE – Faceshopping [MSMSMSM/future classic/Transgressive]
SOPHIE – Pretending [MSMSMSM/future classic/Transgressive]
I meant to play SOPHIE‘s single “Faceshopping” when I first heard it in all its bizarre glitched-up industrial pure pop glory. Somehow I missed the boat, but now the album OIL OF EVERY PEARL’S UN-INSIDES is out. In a lot of ways it’s a direct expression of SOPHIE’s “coming out” as transexual, a fact that perhaps was always obvious but also was presented in an arty way that could be interpreted or misinterpreted in many ways. In any case, ideas of self-presentation, identity and gender and explored on this album, and to me what’s interesting is the way it challenges ideas of what pop music can be. I love the cavernous stretched ambience of “Pretending”, and also the outro “Pretend World”, as much as I love the heavy beat-destruction.

Jasmine Guffond – Niche Service [Karlrecords]
Natalie Beridze – Mapping Debris Pattern [Karlrecords]
Nothing from Sydney artist Jasmine Guffond over the last few years (and longer) has been anything less than brilliant, and this little vignette tonight is no exception. Jasmine was based for some years in Berlin, and appears on Berlin label Karlrecords on a compilation celebrating the 200th birthday of that famous Karl, Marx. Her glitchy textures are accompanied tonight by some gorgeous textural work in a similar, even lusher vein, from Georgian producer Natalie Beridze. Proceeds from this compilation go to homeless charity Berliner Obdachlosenhilfe, and immigration advocacy organisation ProAsyl.

Ana Dall’Ara Majek – Bacillus Chorus [Empreintes Digitales]
From a larger work and album called Nano-Cosmos (detailed notes at that link!), Montréal-based French composer Ana Dall’Ara Majek conjures up the world of bacteria in this enveloping electro-acoustic work. It’s a surprisingly accessible (albeit challenging) work from the usually very high-concept art music label Empreintes Digitales.

Sophie Hutchings & Julia Kent – Earth Bound [Thesis Project]
Thesis Project is a label dedicated to bringing ambient/post-classical artists together for unexpected collaborations. They release hand-made vinyl & other editions, and have recently collected some of these works together on a double CD release called THESIS COLLECTED 01. Tonight we heard a rather exquisite melancholy piece coupling many layers of looped cello from Julia Kent with a plangent, fragmentary piano melody from Sydney’s own Sophie Hutchings.

Sophie Hutchings – My Love [flau]
Meanwhile Sophie also appears on a lovely, sweet compilation put together by Japanese label flau to celebrate their 10th birthday. It should in fact have come out last year, but they suffered a burglary at their offices which set all their plans back. Circles is a waltz album, a delightful idea, and one that suits Sophie Hutchings to a tee, with a gorgeous ballad, as usual as much redolent of Aussie indie music as it is of any idea of “post-classical” piano tinkling.

Listen again — ~202MB

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