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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, 13th of October, 2019

Playlist 13.10.19 (8:04 pm)

Your Utility Fog tonight takes in jazz, postpunk, industrial metal, industrial dub/hip-hop, industrial techno, with classical references and lots of strangeness.

LISTEN AGAIN to the best sounds around... Stream on demand from FBi or podcast here.

Tomeka Reid Quartet - RN [Cuneiform/Bandcamp]
Tomeka Reid - Jizz and Jazz (Ray Yoshida) [Pentimenti Produdctions]
Tomeka Reid Quartet - Glass Light [Thirsty Ear]
Makaya McCraven - Tall Tales (feat. Tomeka Reid) [International Anthem]
Tomeka Reid Quartet - Old New [Cuneiform/Bandcamp]
We start tonight with the brilliant cellist Tomeka Reid, whose second quartet album has just come out. Reid played with Jaimie Branch (featured next tonight) when both were in Chicago, but Reid doesn't appear on Branch's new album, now that they've both moved to New York and become much in demand. Reid's quartet is a remarkable collection of musicians, with the recent MacArthur Genius Mary Halvorson on guitar, Jason Roebke on double bass and Tomas Fujiwara on drums. Halvorson's guitar playing is incredibly expressive, and along with Roebke's warm bass melds and contrasts with Reid's versatile cello. I went back to 2014 and a solo album from Reid adapted from her soundtrack to a documentary about Hairy Who & The Chicago Imagists - and actually the earlier quartet piece "Glass Light" is a version of a track composed for that soundtrack too. Reid appears on the "New York Side" of Makaya McCraven's wonderful Universal Beings album from last year, bringing free jazz into the beat tape world. Although there have been some cellists in the jazz world before (Erik Friedlander and Hank Roberts among others), Tomeka Reid is really pioneering the idea of cellist as jazz leader, and it's a delight to behold.

jaimie branch – theme 001 [International Anthem/Bandcamp]
Anteloper - Ohoneotree [International Anthem via The Wire/Bandcamp]
jaimie branch – prayer for amerikkka pt. 1 & 2 [International Anthem/Bandcamp]
I first discovered Tomeka Reid through her playing on the first album from Chicago (now New York) trumpeter Jaimie Branch, and we hear her inventive playing on the first track here, from 2017's Fly or Die. Branch shot to fame after this album, and deservedly as it's amazing, with infectious rhythms (possibly partly derived from her half-Colombian heritage), strange but brilliant arrangements (and experimental ambient interludes) and great playing. The experimentalism comes out further in her Anteloper duo with drummer Jason Nazary from last year, featuring dubbed out rhythms and electronic processing - all tracks are very long, but luckily there's a Wire Magazine edit! Branch's new album has all the virtues of her first, and also vocals on two tracks, including the stretched-out dirgey blues number here that (just about) starts the album, calling out "a bunch of wild-eyed racists" (and also paying homage to various other songs throughout) with singing that's as passionate and distinctive as her trumpet playing. As previously mentioned, Tomeka Reid's own burgeoning career means she had to step out of playing with Branch's ensemble, but she has been replaced by another amazing cellist, Lester St. Louis, an improv specialist whose contributions are absolutely central to this music too.

Carla dal Forno - Heart of Hearts [Carla dal Forno Bandcamp]
Carla dal Forno - Don't Follow Me [Carla dal Forno Bandcamp]
Melbourne-via-Berlin artist Carla dal Forno's second album proper is released by herself (as Blackest Ever Black seems to have pretty much shut down?) and follows the subdued-but-incisive tone of her earlier work. While dal Forno has a beautiful voice and writes catchy songs, she has little interest in pandering to pop or even indie expectations, imbuing her work with a melancholy-but-detached sensibility. There are some lovely instrumentals on there too, with some cello (or possibly pitched down viola?) to call back to the start of our show. There's a distinct postpunk feel as usual, with some fairly explicit references to The Cure among others. Recommended.

Kim Gordon - Earthquake [Matador]
Kim Gordon - Sketch Artist [Matador]
It's amazing that this is the first solo record from Kim Gordon, one of the most inventive and influential musicians of the last few decades. It comes a few years after the breakup of Sonic Youth, and after a number of other band projects from Gordon, but this album definitely screams "solo record". "Earthquake" here is pure Gordon - guitar either wobbling with whammy bar or varispeed tape, creating a lovely bed for her raw vocals; meanwhile Justin Raisen produces some intense almost industrial hip-hop beats for a few tracks, which is just chef's kiss brilliant.

the body - Hallow Hollow (remixed by Lingua Ignota) [Thrill Jockey/Bandcamp]
the body - Off Script (remixed by Moor Mother) [Thrill Jockey/Bandcamp]
US duo the body are nothing if not adventurous - ostensibly a black metal band, they work with samples and heavy electronics, but the aggression always hides a sensitivity (although Chip King's ultra-high-pitched screaming is never intelligible) and most albums also feature vocals from women - some regular collaborators, and some guests; Kristin Hayter featured on a recent album, and on their new Remixed album appears reworking a track as Lingua Ignota. Here the noise is mostly kept in check, replaced by plangent piano and Hayter's classically-trained vocals. The remix album also takes in the sound-art of Peter Rehberg (featured in last week's playlist), the intense techno of Container and more, including a superb take by Moor Mother of "Off Script" which is both very faithful to the original and completely different.

Zonal - Catalyst ft. Moor Mother [Relapse/Bandcamp]
Zonal - S.O.S. [Relapse/Bandcamp]
Moor Mother let us segue into the next segment, with her menacing and beautiful collaborations with Zonal, the reconstituted duo of Justin K Broadrick (JK Flesh, Godflesh, Jesu etc) and Kevin Martin (The Bug). The duo released a slew of groundbreaking music as Techno Animal throughout the '90s - not actually techno (although Broadrick's JK Flesh inhabits that space nowadays) but sludgy dub and hip-hop informed by their backgrounds in metal and sonic experimentation. Zonal's new incarnation started with a performance at Unsound Festival in Poland at which they were joined by Moor Mother, whose delivery is perfectly suited to these dark dubbed out industrial hip-hop beats. The Zonal material marries Broadrick's recent slo-mo industrial dub techno tendencies with Martin's grainy, heavy-as-fuck head-nodding beats and the mournful tendencies of both artists. It's the soundtrack for the world as it is now.

PYUR - Cheperer [Subtext Recordings/Bandcamp]
PYUR - Jumping Trails [Subtext Recordings/Bandcamp]
PYUR - Manta Ride [Subtext Recordings/Bandcamp]
The second album from German artist Sophie Schnell aka PYUR, after a debut on Hotflush Recordings, is a dazzling, ambitious work fitting for Subtext Recordings, combining idm, bass and industrial techno with classical composition, new age, and even pop among other elements. It's a kind of wordless storytelling (the vocals, when present, are still often wordless), as implied by calling it an "oratorio", invoking myths and legends of the past and possibly the future. Ever-changing beats swoop in and out of synthetic and live orchestrations (including cello from Teresa Alvarez and violin from Juan Zalba Fuentes), and vocals range from classical layering (with more than a little Enya to them) to almost-pop to textural. It's all hugely impressive.

Listen again — ~274MB

Sunday, 6th of October, 2019

Playlist 06.10.19 (8:20 pm)

Tonight we have expansive, dark electronic music for you in various forms, including a feature on the great postrock/electronic/glitch champions 65daysofstatic, and Editions Mego head honcho Pita.

LISTEN AGAIN for the unrepeatable wonders... podcast here, stream on demand @ FBi.

65daysofstatic - bad age [Superball Music]
65daysofstatic - I'm Dreaming Of A White Noise Christmas (excerpt) [unreleased - see the ridiculously fun video here]
65daysofstatic - play.nice.kids [Dustpunk Records/65daysofstatic Bandcamp]
65daysofstatic - default this: [Dustpunk Records] {from vol1: 65's.late.night.double-a-side.college.cut-up.trailers.for.the.looped.future}
65daysofstatic - await rescue [Monotreme Records]
65daysofstatic - taperec_1 [65daysofstatic Bandcamp]
65daysofstatic - Ptolyweird [65daysofstatic Bandcamp]
65daysofstatic - sister [Superball Music]
On the occasion of the release of their new studio album replicr, 2019, a long-overdue special on 65daysofstatic. They’ve been releasing an EP or mini-album a month since May this year, not just as a lead-up to this album but as a whole project in itself, and they’ve been fantastic – really re-energised my interest in this band. And this band has been a Utility Fog mainstay since the show started – literally, their first "real" EP stumble.stop.repeat came out in 2003. I saw it described by Norman Records (the great Leeds-based online record store) as something like postrock crossed with Squarepusher, and jumped on that shit of course. They recognized my support by thanking me in the liner notes of their second album – and when they finally toured Australia with sleepmakeswaves, I was told my Mike from Bird's Robe that it was my championing of these guys that made them aware of them. Good feeling!
They were putting together ridiculous and awesome glitchy drill'n'bass mashups before they even put out that first EP, and many of these (including legit remixes) came out on a series of CDRs called unreleased/unreleasable. Their EP series – which involves a Bandcamp subscription for which each EP is released a month ahead – is a continuation of this, with oddities, experiments and offcuts (not actually illegal admittedly). Before this, after a bunch of albums and international touring (including a support slot with The Cure), they created a live project based around generative programming, and then extended this further with their groundbreaking soundtrack to the computer game No Man's Sky, which was composed in such a way that it would be generated along with the generative planetary landscapes (and flora & fauna) the players encounter.
The new album is their response to the endtimes feeling of the current age – the slow collapse of the biosphere, the rise of fascism and the horrors of Brexit Britain. There’s an air of melancholy that comes along with the electronic rhythms, and there’s not much in the way of riffing. It's surprisingly touching, and still absolutely in tune with that I'm trying to do with Utility Fog. Cheers guys!

Heith & Weightausend - The Wheel [Haunter Records]
Ghost Lemurs of Madagascar - Fauno [Haunter Records]
Ausschuss - Loose Unit [Haunter Records]
Milan-based label Haunter Records are one of those outlets for what feels like the 2010s' version of "idm". Music that sits uncomfortably on the dancefloor, feels a bit industrial, is experimental but not actually power electronics or noise. Their new compilation has a plethora of exciting sounds, including some well-known artists like Helm, ZULI, Ossia, S S S S and ssaliva, various people known from the Haunter label, and more obscure types. There's hints at drum'n'bass from both the Heith & Weightausend collaboration and the Ausschuss track, and some kind of post-dubstep or bass techno, as well as some dark ambient and lighter elements (the William S Burroughs-referencing Ghost Lemurs of Madagascar being a somewhat twisted case in point), but mostly it’s dark as. Well worth your time.

Hanz - The Fly [Hanz Bandcamp]
Brandon Juhans' Hanz continues with his practice of slipping out a track here and there, after a couple of superb little releases on Tri-Angle Records last year. It's fidgety electronic music that won't stay in one place and can't really be pinned down to a specific genre or dance style - especially when the beats loop in a strangely uneven way. Cool.

haddocks' eyes - triton [haddocks' eyes Bandcamp]
Sydney's Benjow continues to be bemusingly unpredictable with his haddocks' eyes project, here with some kosmische ambient sounds that could be a transmission from another star (although it seems to be named after a type of Mitsubishi ute lol...)

Pita - AMFM [Editions Mego/Bandcamp]
General Magic & Pita - Cool Fridge [Source Records/Editions Mego Bandcamp]
Pita - Untitled 3 [Mego/Editions Mego Bandcamp]
Pita - Two Top Five [Editions Mego/Bandcamp]
Back in the mid-'90s, a number of artists in Europe started creating music that began to be described as "glitch" - music that gleefully took advantage of the sounds of malfunctioning machinery, or misused technology for aesthetic effect. A lot of such music, particularly from Austria, was gathered by the Mego label, originally run by the two guys from General Magic and a man called Peter Meininger, but he left quite early and Peter Rehberg joined in his place. Already by then he and General Magic had collaborated on the EP Fridge Trax (with Rehberg as Pita), and then a follow-up album, both based on samples of a very noisy fridge in their apartment. Mego disbanded some years later, but Rehberg now runs Editions Mego as a way of re-releasing Mego classics and releasing whole swathes of incredible new experimental music - including his own. The new Pita album Get On is more rhythmic than he's been for a while (although this is no club music), and is the latest in a series of "Get" albums that goes back 20 years to the classic Get Out (available on his Bandcamp), from which we heard a beloved piece of blissful/blistering shoegaze-noise.

Soft Thoughts - 5 [Arachnidiscs]
Soft Thoughts - Perils [Arachnidiscs]
From Toronto, Soft Thoughts is the trio of Australian ex-pat Tim Condon, best known for psych-postrock group Fresh Snow but also celebrated round these parts for his freeform Mirrored Silver Sea project some years back, along with modular synth techno manufacturer Matt Nish-Lapidus aka New Tendencies, and experimental cellist/composer Michael Peter Olsen. Together they have created a mysterious collection of fizzling electronics out of emerge strange melodies and rhythms, sometimes on recognizable instruments such as piano or Olsen's electric cello, often transformed beyond recognition. These soft thoughts are sometimes troubled thoughts, but thoroughly engrossing.

envelopemusic - VEIL [envelopemusic Bandcamp]
envelopemusic - HAMMER [envelopemusic Bandcamp]
envelopemusic - HOURS [envelopemusic Bandcamp]
Based in Perth, Western Australia, composer/producers Ned Beckley and Josh Hogan have a studio/business called Envelope Audio where they do sound design, audio post production and film composition. The music they've released on their first album together is extremely filmic, mixing classical with deep electronics and beats, evoking twinkly bliss and shuddering unease. It's excellent work, whether as a calling card for their soundtrack work or as a self-contained headphone listening album.

Listen again — ~201MB

Sunday, 29th of September, 2019

Playlist 29.09.19 (9:06 pm)

Big Telefon Tel Aviv special tonight on the occasion of their new album... Elsewhere, industrial and ambient influences, and some leanings towards the club.

LISTEN AGAIN and relive the memories, on podcast here or streaming on demand via FBi.

Telefon Tel Aviv - a younger version of myself, [Ghostly/Bandcamp]
Telefon Tel Aviv - fahrenheit fair enough [Hefty/Bandcamp]
nine inch nails - where is everybody? (verison) (danny lohner featuring telefon tel aviv) [Nothing Records]
Telefon Tel Aviv - My Week Beats Your Year (feat. Lindsay Anderson) [Hefty/Bandcamp]
Sons of Magdalene - Lux Aeterna [flau]
Second Woman - 1 E/P [Spectrum Spools]
Telefon Tel Aviv - standing at the bottom of the ocean; [Ghostly/Bandcamp]
New Orleans band Telefon Tel Aviv have always been prime Utility Fog material - they were doing what basically might as well be "postfolkrocktronica", a few years before the show started. They stood out with their combination of idm's glitchy stuttery beats with beautiful electric piano, acoustic instruments, and a soulful approach to melody and songwriting, which continued from their first album through the incredible Immediate Action EP (part of a series from the Chicago label Hefty, and the first time they collaborated with vocalist Lindsay Anderson) and the glorious second album Map of What Is Effortless. And then, just when their third album was to be released, Charlie Cooper tragically passed away. Joshua Eustis had been involved with various other bands along the way already - including Nine Inch Nails, who Telefon remixed before their first release even came out, and Puscifer, one of Maynard James Keenan's non-Tool bands. He also released some solo material as Sons of Magdalene, and more recently formed the duo Second Woman with longtime collaborator Turk Dietrich, to release a kind of glitchy minimal dub techno.
It was a very pleasant surprise to see that Eustis has "reformed" Telefon Tel Aviv as a solo act, and he's created an update to the band's feel - it's emotive, dark, glitchy, with just a little more restraint to the beats and some hints at the minimal techno of Second Woman. It's gorgeous.

Air Max '97 - Ice Bridge [TIMEDANCE]
I like to call Air Max '97 an Australian artist, but he's based in London now, and is originally from New Zealand. Still, his breakout releases came out when he was in Melbourne, so that's good enough hey? He makes fidgety bass music that's perfect for clubs used to techno and house crossing over with drum'n'bass and dubstep, and just enough deconstruction to keep the bedroom listeners happy.

Uniform & The Body - Day of Atonement [Sacred Bones/Bandcamp]
Uniform & The Body - The Curse of Eternal Life [Sacred Bones/Bandcamp]
Uniform & The Body - Patron Saint of Regret (feat. SRSQ) [Sacred Bones/Bandcamp]
Very electronic sounds from two kind-of-metal bands. Maybe we should call Uniform industrial though, and inveterate collaborators and longtime Utility Fog favourites The Body have always tempered their black metal screams and riffs with foreign elements such as choirs, beautiful female vocals, and increasingly lots of electronics. The second track I played today comes from last year's Mental Wounds Not Healing, and is a bizarre concoction of Alec Empire-style drum'n'bass with doom riffs, hardcore yelling and Chip Kidd's distinctive black metal yawling. On either side were tracks from this year's Everything That Dies Comes Back - the screwed hip-hop beat of "Day of Atonement" and the hardcore of "Patron Saint of Regret", the latter of which builds gothically until the eerie vocals of SRSQ enter along with a bass-driven beat. Remarkable.

Dialectic - Rough Ridin' [Milk Thistle Records]
The solo project Dialectic of Patrick Sharples from Newcastle, just up the road from Sydney, has its second release coming out this week I believe from Milk Thistle Records. A continuation of his live practice, playing drum kit while triggering electronic samples, this album is about the "rough ridin'" experience of being a father.

Sweet Hart - † [Eternal]
Sweet Hart - Redshift [Eternal]
Intense music from Sydney experimental musician Tyler James Burrows as Sweet Hart here, who first appeared on Ptwiggs & Grasps_'s Eternal label's second compilation earlier this year. There's actual precious little sounds from the club here, and a surprising amount of manic guitar soloing, and other live instruments I can identify like saxophone, violin and piano. It's a very impressive release exploring the anxieties of the current pre-apocalyptic world.

Ross Alexander - Night Pass [Discrepant/Bandcamp]
Ross Alexander - Homage To The Cause (One Night In Marrakesh) [Discrepant/Bandcamp]
Berlin-based artist Ross Alexander Payne releases his second New Age/world-music themed album for UK label Discrepant, featuring post-industrial dub reconfigurations of recordings from a trip he made to the High Atlas mountains in the Sahara Desert near the Algerian border. Field recordings and music from nomadic African musicians collide with bass and dub effects. There's always a concern that musical approaches like this are leaning too much on orientalist romanticisation of otherness, not to mention being exploitative of their sampled materials. Hopefully what Alexander has done here is original and respectful. It's certainly very evocative and reminds me of the stuff Bill Laswell was doing in the '90s, and Coil in the '80s and '90s.

Mára - Sangre de Cristo - 2 [SIGE Records]
Mára - Healing for the Wounded [SIGE Records]
Mára - A New Young Birth - 8 [SIGE Records]
Faith Coloccia first appeared solo as Mára with the extraordinary Surfacing cassette in 2015. She now returns with Here Behold Your Own, a cassette and very limited CD release on the SIGE label she runs with husband Aaron Turner of ISIS, SUMAC etc. These are cassette experiments and vignettes, from the noisy field recordings of the first track to delicate piano and vocals.

Aidan Baker - Night Drive (Forever Version) (excerpt) [Aidan Baker Bandcamp]
Aidan Baker - Night Drive [Aidan Baker Bandcamp]
Aidan Baker - Becoming Impulse (Ambient Version) [Aidan Baker Bandcamp]
Canadian guitarist Aidan Baker, when not playing in doom legends Nadja, releases bewildering amounts of music solo and in endless other collaborations. Earlier this year he released an album with the aforementioned Faith Coloccia and brilliant percussionist Jon Mueller. This new collection of cassette releases isn't even his first solo release of the year, but it's a tour de force, starting with The Forever Tapes, an album of propulsive krautrock grooves with fizzling guitars and glitched electronic textures. It's accompanied by an album of Ambient Versions, which are almost more like ambient dubs of yore - some beats, some beatless, focusing on small elements of the original songs. And then there are The Forever Versions, in which the original songs are stretched out to 30-60 minutes, each on their own cassette (digital seems easier but less artistic!) - and these grooves and murmury musics seem well suited to this. I relish the chance to take these on some long journeys, or zone out to them, wafting back as a beat kicks back in or a texture reverses.

Listen again — ~205MB

Sunday, 22nd of September, 2019

Playlist 22.09.19 (9:13 pm)

Experimental sounds from Australia and all over the world tonight. The world is a wonderful place and there are some pretty good humans in it, even though as a whole we're a scourge.

LISTEN AGAIN to the sounds of now... stream on demand @ FBi, podcast here.

9T Antiope - Down The Rabbit Hole [eilean rec./9T Antiope Bandcamp]
9T Antiope - An End On Itself [eilean rec./9T Antiope Bandcamp]
Iranian duo 9T Antiope (based in Paris) are frequent visitors to Utility Fog playlists, with the irresistible combination of Nima Aghiani's instrumentation and Sara Shamloo's silken vocals. Although the experimental sounds are still present on the new album Grimace, released by French label eilean, the album is resplendent in gorgeous string arrangements from Aghiani. It's something to really sink into. The label has run out of the limited CD edition, but there are still a few available from 9T Antiope's own Bandcamp.

xin - Myopia [Subtext Recordings/Bandcamp]
xin - Sucker [Subtext Recordings/Bandcamp]
xin - Declared Denied [Subtext Recordings/Bandcamp]
The debut album from the Berlin-based xin just came out this week from Subtext Recordings, following on from an excellent EP last year (see middle track). Their music partially takes its cue from the musical language of club musics like drum'n'bass (and its intense subgenre neurofunk), dubstep and so on, but twists it into different forms, layering influences from classical, industrial and who knows what else. We hear a lot about "deconstructed club music" these days (and tbh I dig most of it), but this is doing that in a really assured and gripping way. Also, taking a leaf from Fis's recent Saplings project, the artist & label have arranged that all profits will go to Eden Reforestation Projects, ensuring that at least 40 trees will be planted for every album purchased. This excellent initiative is an attempt to divorce the business of the music business from the rot of corporatism, which I applaud wholeheartedly.

Loraine James - So Scared [Hyperdub/Bandcamp]
Loraine James - Vowel Consonant [Hyperdub/Bandcamp]
Another incredible debut album (well, label debu) this week comes from London artist Loraine James, whose album on Hyperdub is a mélange of influences from UK club music and idm to jazz, grime and drill - and a bit of Chicago juke in there too it has to be said - but it's also a testament to being in a queer relationship in London, and everything that goes with that. So it has lovely tender pieces and frenetic elements and some danceable tracks. At a time when everyone's mashing everything up, there's still somehow nothing quite like this out there at the moment, and you should get into it.

Loraine James - +44-Thinking-Of-You (Hence Therefore's Outta My Element Version) [Loraine James Bandcamp]
Hence Therefore - Census Map Museum [3BS Records]
James has a few releases under her belt from the last few years, and I was lucky to be introduced to her last year because Sydney's Hence Therefore, based in London for a few years, sent me a remix he'd done of her track "+44-Thinking-Of-You", based around a Mariah Carey sample and a fidgety house beat. Simon has a new single out on 3BS Records in October, and he's sent me the tracks, so we heard a sneak peek tonight of the b-side - broken beats for the dancefloor. One of the most exciting Aussie producers at the moment, who doesn't get nearly enough hype.

Kcin - Always Never Enough [Spirit Level/Bandcamp]
Kcin - New England [Hospital Hill/Bandcamp]
Nick Meredith is a drummer by trade, but with first name reversed he becomes an industrial/techno cyborg as Kcin, combining bass growls, electronic rhythms and live percussion into something mammoth and primal. For this new release, which he claims is the first half of an EP, he's teamed up with Tim Shiel's Melbourne-based Spirit Level. Honestly I hope there's a lot more than the other half of this EP on its way, but it's good to know that this will be continued. I thought we should have a reminder of the great debut EP he released on Hospital Hill a couple of years ago while we're here.

Ale Hop - Augury [Buh Records]
These Hidden Hands - Lima 3AM (feat. Ale Hop) [These Hidden Hands]
Ale Hop - Puñales [Buh Records]
Not to be confused with the chain of I'm-not-sure-quite-what-stuff from Portugal & Spain, Ale Hop is Peruvian sound-artist & musician Alejandra Cardenas, now based in Berlin. On Apophenia she deftly conjures up Peruvian landscapes through field recordings, electronics and instruments, and only occasionally vocals. She also covers a famous tune by Ulpiano Benítez, but this one musical nod aside, the album mostly lives up to its title, which refers to the tendency to find meaning and patterns in randomness - not that it's random music, but rather it's a powerful abstraction which manages to represent its subject matter in unexpected ways. I discovered Ale Hop via an appearance on the last album by Berlin-based post-club duo These Hidden Hands a few years back.

Propan - Always the same [Sofa]
Propan - The Warmest Kiss [Sofa]
Propan - A Beauty [Sofa]
Norwegian duo Propan released their second album Trending on Sofa Music earlier this month. Both Natali Garner and Ina Sagstuen work with vocals and a big array of effects, whispering, singing, beatboxing, pitch-shifting, looping, delaying, creating strange versions of club music, r'n'b, folk music, and more. It's unexpected (I promise, even after this description), delightful and disturbing.

Bonniesongs - Barbara [Art As Catharsis/Bonniesongs Bandcamp]
I played some tracks from the stunning album Energetic Mind by Irish multi-instrumentalist Bonnie Stewart a few weeks ago, but I didn't play "Barbara", and that needs to be remedied. Bonnie's been based in Sydney for a few years now, but she's currently touring Ireland to launch this album. This song has been a staple of her live sets for ages - a deliciously creepy ode to a character from Night of the Living Dead. Freya Schack-Arnott's extended cello techniques add to the atmosphere, as does Bonnie's very restrained performance.

Megan Alice Clune - Pooling Liquid [Megan Alice Clune Bandcamp]
Sydney musician Megan Alice Clune is known for her changeable ensemble Alaska Orchestra, but also creates glacial works solo, under her own name. This piece comes from a score created for choreographer Rhiannon Newton called We Make Each Other Up, released earlier this year. Megan Clune is performing at the second Surfacing Series put on by Luke De Zilva at Freda's Down / Under Space in Chippendale this Saturday the 28th of September. It's a great lineup featuring sound artist Alexandra Spence, Jonathan Wilson teaming up with Hospital Hill's Matthew McGuigan, Ben Carey and Lucy Phelan.

Listen again — ~287MB

Sunday, 15th of September, 2019

Playlist 15.09.19 (9:16 pm)

It's FBi's supporter drive all this week, so head along to fbiradio.com and sign up for a small monthly fee to help run this station! I have a selection of tunes running from jungle breaks and experimental electronics through granular and additive synthesis to folk and experimental classical of a sort...

LISTEN AGAIN because that's what FBi's about. Stream it on demand or podcast it over mailhere.

Djrum - Tournesol [R&S Records/Bandcamp]
Insane gear in pure Djrum style, techno with drips of amen breaks until the last third of the track where it just effortlessly slips into junglist breakage and rolling bassline - plus acid freakout synths. Bit of everything, all working perfectly.

Laptop Destroyer - Tell Dem [ZZAAPP]
Kris Keogh has recently been putting out delightful processed harp recordings under his own name, and has also released weird mixed-up indie/indietronica, but for years he was producing very odd idm and electronica as Blastcorp. He's now doing electronic music under Laptop Destroyer, and created this fun ragga jungle track on a Pocket Operator PO-33 toy sampler. It's super cool and also available on a lathe-cut 7" made in Newcastle, with an equally cool track on the flipside.

GOOOOOSE - Plasma Sunrise [SVBKVLT]
I was lucky enough to get to see Shanghai electronic artist GOOOOOSE at Soft Centre yesterday, and I'm kicking myself that I hadn't already gotten hold of this excellent album on Chinese electronic label SVBKVLT. He and his partner 33, who played a great techno set later in the day, are alumni of the Chinese electro-rock band Duck Fight Goose. The mashed jungle breaks, reconfigured in new ways on a few tracks here are really exciting, but the gentle jazzy piano chords and the more ambient passages are great too. As a bonus the album finishes with a few remixes, including the one & only Iranian electronic master Sote (interviewed last week on the show), who did a superb hardcore set at Soft Centre too.

Hyde - Nine Ways To Imitate A Monsoon [Nice Music]
Yunzero - Orchard 1 [.jpeg Artefacts]
Recently I featured some of Jim Sellars' music as Yunzero, released by the great little Melbourne label .jpeg Artefacts. Very warped electronica, with deep basslines, fidgety beats, and woozy ambient passages, it's music for our time.

Proc Fiskal - Pico [Hyperdub/Bandcamp]
Edinburgh's Joe Powers has been releasing grime/bass/drum'n'bass/idm-influenced productions for a little while now, always coming at a strange tangent from what you'd expect of any specific genre. His new EP is a genre-defying collection of tunes made for the club he ran for a little while called Shleekit Doss, and contains this bouncy number which juggles jungle beats in a lovely melodic fashion.

Carl Stone - Han Yan [Unseen Worlds]
Nice thing about ordering physical music online is that sometimes labels send it early - so despite coming from the US, I've got both the new Carl Stone album and the preceding EP on CD already! Nevertheless the track I'm playing is already available if you order it from Bandcamp... Strangely starting as if it's a bit of jungle, with sped up drums, but it's really Stone's longstanding technique of granular synthesis, chopping up a sample or set of related samples into small fragments and shuffling through them, often rhythmically, allowing strange beats and rearranged melodies to surface. He's been at this for decades - performing with a "home computer" on stage in the 1980s. He's an absolute master, and these two releases are superb.

Isomov - Origin, Emergence and The One [DECISIONS]
Isomov - Ensemble [DECISIONS]
New York musician and mathematician Isomov names themself after science fiction author Isaac Asimov, with an EP here on Aussie electronic label DECISIONS. It's a kind of futuristic epic of highly evolved artificial intelligences, with sampled vocals from Kathryn LeBlanc on a couple of tracks adding a kind of soundtrack-like classical aspect to the proceedings. In truly science-fictional form, the album is also available as a one-of-a-kind WiFi-enabled holographic sculpture...

Floating Spectrum - The early green outburst [Temporary Residence/Bandcamp]
Floating Spectrum - Inner island [Temporary Residence/Bandcamp]
Taiwan-born artist Mei-Fang Liau, now based in Berlin, is Floating Spectrum. Her debut album comes out on the legendary Temporary Residence label this coming week, and explores the cycles of nature through a suite of homemade music software alongside samples of household objects. You can actually download the fractal-inspired synthesiser Polyphylla for yourself. It's beautiful and sometimes unsettling ambient music, a really great achievement for a debut release.

Sebastian Field - Unravel (Shoeb Ahmad Remix) [Provenance/Bandcamp]
Following his lovely ambient-indie album Picture Stone, Canberra's Sebastian Field now releases a short album of remixes from some great Australian artists - many of them with roots in Canberra. Shoeb Ahmad (who also appeared at Soft Centre this weekend) is a central player in Canberra's experimental music scene, and has previously released Field on her hellosQuare label. Here she takes Field's Björk cover and chops it into tiny pieces, elongating some syllables while creating pulsating rhythms from others. Other contributions from Kris Keogh (featured earlier), Tilman Robinson, Reuben Ingall, Aphir and Arrom are all well worth checking out.

The Crooked Fiddle Band - Twilight to Darkness (excerpt) [Crooked Fiddle Bandcamp]
Sydney act The Crooked Fiddle Band are an acoustic steamroller of a group... A folk band with a great love of gypsy and klezmer styles, but frequently letting fly with riffage befitting of a metal band, with epic prog-metal-like tracks (we heard about half of one tonight), also capable of writing incredibly catchy songs. Their new album Another Subtle Atom Bomb is a howl of anger and fear and hope at the climate catastrophe we find ourselves in. It's been a long wait but it's a hugely worthy successor to their last epic, Moving Pieces of the Sea.

Listen again — ~202MB

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