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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, 5th of November, 2017

Playlist 05.11.17 (8:01 pm)

Tonight we’ve got a special interview with amazing Sydney pianist Adrian Lim-Klumpes, and lots of other awesome new music.

LISTEN AGAIN for musical insights and beauty. FBi will stream on demand for you because they love you. You can podcast here.

Aesop Rock – Hot Dogs [Rhymesayers]
So great to have a new song from Aesop Rock, lyrical genius. Love the slow riff over which he almost languidly rhymes. It comes with a rad video, as does so much of his work, and the skating theme is connected to the song’s release, for which all profits raised are going to cancer charity Grind For Life, setup by pro skater and cancer sufferer Mike Rogers. Good cause, good music.

Bing & Ruth – Weightout [4ad]
Gorgeous piano / ambient postrock stuff from pianist David Moore’s group. This is deceptive music – you could imagine it’s simple, pretty, floaty music, and it is – but it’s got a lot of detail wrapped up in these sounds. It’s quite rapturous.

Adrian Lim-Klumpes – Watch [Off]
Triosk – Not To Hurt You [Leaf]
Adrian Klumpes – weave in and out, weave in and out [Leaf]
3ofmillions – the hand of god [Space Dairy Records]
Klumpes Ahmad – Prologue [hellosQuare]
…interview with Adrian Lim-Klumpes
Adrian Lim-Klumpes – Chase (under interview) [Off]
Adrian Lim-Klumpes – Control [Off]
It was a pleasure to interview Sydney pianist, jazz & experimental musician Adrian Lim-Klumpes on the show tonight. I’ve been a fan of his since his early days in Pivot (pre-PVT) and Triosk, and I’ve had him in on the show numerous times, but it’s been a while – indeed recently I’ve seen a lot more of him because we play together in Tangents. We heard a nice array of Adrian’s older music – starting in Triosk days with one of his compositions with their characteristic electronics, and jazz drums’bass, through his much earlier solo album from 2006, which showcased his first thrills at working with piano & electronics all on his own; then we heard from his other band from the interim, the explosive 3ofmillions, featuring Abel Cross of Pure Evil Trio on bass, and Finn Ryan on drums. And well before both were in Tangents together, Adrian collaborated with Shoeb Ahmad on a stunning album of poise & murk.
The new solo album from Adrian Lim-Klumpes, Yield, is based around the quite monumental idea of producing a new set of Preludes & Fugues for the piano, following in the footsteps of JS Bach. With the advent of the “well-tempered klavier”, tuned so that it could play “in tune” in any key, Bach wrote a prelude & fugue for each key in the chromatic scale – major & minor for C, C#/Db, D, D#/Eb and so on. This means 12 keys in major and minor, and two pieces for each – a massive undertaking. Of course Bach was the master of the musical fugue, a canon in which a musical phrase circles round to repeat itself under ever more complex extensions and self-references. For these works (read the liner notes here) the fugues are interpreted from the original Spanish “fugare”, meaning to chase, and so each even-numbered track involves electronic or compositional self-reflexion or layering of some sort. It’s amazing hearing that only one of these was composed ahead of the studio session that produced the 10 tracks of this album.
Adrian launches this album at Foundry 616 on Wednesday the 29th of November, along with two other great Sydney jazz pianists, Mike Nock and Alister Spence.

Kcin – New England [Hospital Hill/Kcin Bandcamp]
Another album launch coming up even sooner – Nicholas Meredith is launching his excellent Onset album at 107 Projects this coming Wednesday the 8th of November. I’ve seen him performing this stuff live, and it’s something to be witnessed – dense, heavy electronics triggered and sculpted live, along with percussion. Check out his Instagram for some pretty cool live videos.

Ptwiggs – Exuviae [Deep Seeded Records]
Ptwiggs & WA?STE – Anathema [CVLT]
Ptwiggs – Day of Wrath [Deep Seeded Records]
Sydney artist Phoebe Twiggs has just released her debut EP as Ptwiggs on local label Deep Seeded Records (their second release after the amazing Phile debut. It’s heavy and dense, informed by bass music and techno and industrial, with a kind of classicist leaning to it with its track titling and some of the sampling. Similarly inclined is a track from this year collaborating with like-minded local WA?STE aka Felix Idle, released on international net label CVLT.

Circuit des Yeux – Paper Bag [Drag City]
Circuit des Yeux – Geyser [Drag City]
Circuit des Yeux – Acarina [Ba Da Bing/Circuit des Yeux Bandcamp]
Circuit des Yeux – Do The Dishes [Thrill Jockey]
Circuit des Yeux – Black Fly [Drag City]
I was lucky enough to interview the extraordinary Haley Fohr at the beginning of the year, ahead of her performance at 2017’s Sydney Festival. Last year she released an album under the name Jackie Lynn, a kind of country pop concept album that was a bit of a departure from the more freeform, experimental songwriting of Circuit des Yeux. This year, now on Drag City, she returns to Circuit des Yeux after a somewhat bizarre neurological event, and she draws on that more straightforward songwriting without abandoning her longterm interests in sonic exploration, free musical structures and deep arrangements. Ever-present is her powerful baritone voice, and to me it’s exciting seeing her development as a creator of moving, revelatory songs precisely without compromising her musical vision. Reaching For Indigo is everything we could’ve expected from her and more.

Chelsea Wolfe – Vex (feat. Aaron Turner) [Sargent House]
Chelsea Wolfe – After The Fall [Sargent House]
Chelsea Wolfe – Offering [Sargent House]
And finally, another powerful female voice in avant-garde songwriting. Chelsea Wolfe has long been associated with the metal world, guesting with predominantly instrumental post-metallers Russian Circles and more recently appearing with melodic hardcore/metal supergroup (of a sort) Mutoid Man. So it’s not that surprising to hear the fierce roar of the legendary Aaron Turner (ISIS, Sumac, Old Man Gloom) on of the tracks on her new album. It’s no more or less metal than her last couple of albums though – some heavy riffage, but also plenty of gothic folk. I would’ve liked to hear more of the electronic treatments from the last two albums, but it’s a small complaint with such strong material.

Listen again — ~194MB


Sunday, 29th of October, 2017

Playlist 29.08.17 (8:09 pm)

Electronic & experimental sounds from around the globe tonight…

LISTEN AGAIN for sustenance for your heart & your mind. FBi’s got da stream on demands, you can find a podcast here.

Arrom – Split Caress [Provenance]
Arrom – See How [Provenance]
New Melbourne artist Melissa Valence has a background in choral singing, which really shows in these lovely experimental pop songs – as does her love of “dirty industrial beats”. Her vocals are layered and sometimes turned alien through auto-tune, always forming the basis of these unusual songs – but by the end of many of the tracks, everything is often taken over by glitchy, bassy beats & processing. Excellent stuff.

Sevdaliza – Libertine [Butler Records]
Sevdaliza – Human [Butler Records]
Sevdaliza – Do You Feel Real [Butler Records]
Unlike a lot of the music from tonight, which was released this very weekend, the debut album from Iranian-Dutch singer Sevdaliza came out in April this year. I only just discovered her though, and it couldn’t be more tailored to me – a glitchy, politically-conscious update on ’90s trip-hop. Unsurprisingly Björk is an obvious touch point, as are Portishead and the sadly-now-forgotten “other” MONO. Glitchy stuttering vocals, weird pitch-bends & stumbling beats (with regular collaborator Mucky) accompany her very strong vocals.

Chafik Chennouf – Hanneton [Opal Tapes]
Chafik Chennouf – Ferroequinologie [Opal Tapes]
More Dutch electronic music: Amsterdam-based producer Chafik Chennouf runs the Leyla Records label, releasing contemporary techno, but on his debut solo EP, coming out via the ever-reliable Opal Tapes, he’s breaking down the elements of rave & techno on three restrained tracks – although joined by the likes of Lucy on remix duties.

Lee Gamble – A tergo Real [Hyperdub]
Lee Gamble – Pandemonium Institute [PAN]
Lee Gamble – Razor [PAN]
Lee Gamble – Ghost [Hyperdub]
Lee Gamble – Déjà Mode [Hyperdub]
For his first album on Hyperdub, Lee Gamble has taken a left-hand turn with his music, turning in the most straightforwardly comprehensible sounds of his career – to great effect. I’ve loved his earlier releases, for the likes of PAN, which took a look at dance music forms as if from a plane that intersects ours at some weird angle. His debut Diversions 1994-1996 is built from samples of jungle mixtapes, recontextualized into minimal techno and ambient (on the whole) – whereas on this new album there’s a piece of actual melodic drum’n’bass (albeit more of the µ-Ziq/Squarepusher variety). The title Mnestic Pressure would suggest that the weight of 2 decades of dance music still drives this music, but equally his amazing work curating the UIQ label must have fed into these sounds. Brilliant work.

Om Unit – Twilight [Cosmic Bridge Records]
On the whole, the new album from Om Unit harkens back to his previous “album proper”, Threads, with slightly jazzy bass music & ambient segues – but there are also nods to the fantastic corpus of footwork-flavoured drum’n’bass he’s released in the interim (including an album for Metalheadz).

Andrew Broder – Get This Off My Body [Andrew Broder Bandcamp]
Fog – The Rabbit [Lex Records]
Fog – Kid Kuma [Totally Gross National Product]
Andrew Broder – N.Joise (feat. GABI) [Lex Records]
Andrew Broder – Smoke Bandaids [Andrew Broder Bandcamp]
It’s been a long journey from the very weird hip-hop Andrew Broder initially released on Ninja Tune & other labels as Fog, along with various Anticon collaborations such as the beloved indie-hop duo Hymie’s Basement, and the various evolutions of Fog as free jazz-influenced indie and then more direct indie rock, to the wonderful fucked-up idm & bass musics he’s put out on a few EPs lately, including “Wertheimer” (alias and then EP title) for Lex Records, and now on his own Bandcamp. Last year’s return to Fog employed a lot of top-notch electronic production skills to underline the quirky, catchy songwriting, and now that production gets to shine on some terrific instrumentals.

Battling The Atom With Spades – Scrying Dish [Floating Limb Bandcamp]
Cellist, singer, producer, noise musician & visual artist Oliver Barrett has long been revered by this show, earning favourite album of the year for his debut as Bleeding Heart Narrative back in 2008. He has a talent for making off-kilter sounds in any medium (his solo cello records under his own name are not for the faint-hearted!) and he’s now collected all his music outside of his main band Petrels on a new Bandcamp – including this debut of a new project focused on beats of various sorts.

Invisible Church & Marie Davidson – Never Release the Tension [Yerevan Tapes]
Invisible Church & Marie Davidson – Collage [Yerevan Tapes]
Significant collaboration here between Berlin-resident dark ambient artist Invisible Church and Montréal-based singer/producer Marie Davidson. Spooky processed vocals from Davidson hover around electronic soundscapes and minimal beats. It’s an example of the kind of experimental, industrial-influenced sounds which seem to be breaking into some kind of more mainstream recognition (if not exactly pop music). It’s pretty extraordinary anyway.

Isnaj Dui – Diffraction Gratings [Rural Colours]
Isnaj Dui – Blind Spot [Rural Colours]
Lovely to have a new album from English experimental flautist & cellist Katie English aka Isnaj Dui. It’s very much in the vein of her other music under this name – complex yet primitive-sounding loops on flute and percussive sounds, creating spooky, undulating ambient sound-worlds, akin to the queasiest parts of Aphex Twin’s Selected Ambient Works Vol II. It’s almost all clearly loop-based, but I never fail to marvel at how she creates this beautifully odd aesthetic. Highly recommended.

Listen again — ~202MB


Sunday, 22nd of October, 2017

Playlist 22.10.17 (8:11 pm)

Some doomy sounds in a postrock/indie vein and in a more acoustic nature tonight, moving into some other post-classical & experimental music.

LISTEN AGAIN to float along the river Styx, your boat creaking and moaning, the water splashing disconsolately… Oh, and also, please sign up to SUPPORT FBi, because our listeners’ support is what keeps the station on-air, and it really doesn’t cost that much m’kay? FBi does awesome things like, you know, you can stream this show on demand for a good while after it airs. Podcast also here.

Big ‡ Brave – Tussle [Build A Fort]
Big ‡ Brave – Oh The By-And-By And Thereon [Southern Lord]
Big ‡ Brave – Borer [Southern Lord]
Montréal trio Big ‡ Brave have released their last two albums on Southern Lord, the label run stuff Sunn O))) dude Greg Anderson. Frontwoman Robin Wattie has a declamatory style that’s at once piercing and hypnotic, along with the band’s frequently simple 2-chord structures which give them some musical association with doom metal, despite not really being metal at all. The Montréal connection is audible in their music too – meditative but heavy, and indeed the last 2 albums were recorded at Constellation-affiliated studio Hotel2Tango. I’m in love with this intense, epic, uncompromising music.

Svarte Greiner – floor [Miasmah]
Svarte Greiner – Easy on the bones [Type/Miasmah]
Svarte Greiner – passage [Miasmah]
Erik K Skodvin coined & initiated the mysterious genre of “acoustic doom” in 2006 with his first album Knive as Svarte Greiner – moving away from his early electronic productions into spooky sounds from his cello, guitar and field recordings (his duo Deaf Center had a similar progression). Beautifully close-mic’d sounds travel around the stereo field, echoing and rumbling. It’s like an abstract European horror movie. That first album has been reissued in a luxurious vinyl edition for those into that, and there’s a new LP mini-album out now too, featuring sumptuous, slightly terrifying cello pieces recorded in an abandoned building in Switzerland. The amount of detail in these new recordings is insane – I can’t believe they’re entirely solo – there must be a small amount of overdubbing or at least processing, particularly in “passage”, with those hanging, fluttering drones. Something to fall into, but careful – you might never find your way back out!

Dead Light – Broods and Waits [Village Green]
Dead Light – Falling In (Luke Abbott Remix) [Village Green]
Dead Light – Sleeper [Village Green]
While their music is much more expansive and bright, Dead Light are nevertheless exploring the world of deeply-recorded acoustic music, and indeed on the first track tonight the guest cello of Carys Davies and violin of Alicia Jane Turner screetch pleasingly in a more polite take on . The piano, tape machines & electronics of Anna Rose Carter and Ed Hamilton have an immersive quality that utterly transcends the mute-pedal piano post-classical ambient genre. Wonderful.

Shoeb Ahmad – “status anxiety”, Tilman Robinson version [Shoeb Ahmad Bandcamp]
Canberran experimental artist Shoeb Ahmad, much beloved of this show, continues her interrogation of gender & identity on the second single from the forthcoming album quiver, “romance”, which we didn’t hear today (it’s a great piece of indiepop!) – also continuing is the approach of releasing remixes with these singles of tracks we have not otherwise heard yet. So “status anxiety” is going to sit well within the framework of the album’s songwriting & politics, but tonight we heard a gorgeous piece of ambient classical based on that song by Melbourne composer/producer Tilman Robinson.

Giulio Aldinucci – Exodus Mandala [Karlrecords]
Giulio Aldinucci – Division [Karlrecords]
Italian producer Giulio Aldinucci works in experimental electronic soundscapes and field recordings. For some time he’s been incorporating spectral, layered sounds sampled from choral recordings, and these surface gorgeously through his new album, exploring Borders And Ruins for Karlrecords. But as captivating as the drones are, some of the highlights are where the immense wall of sound drops out and strange disquieting noises appear.

Memory Drawings – A Shining Path of No Return [Memory Drawings Bandcamp]
Memory Drawings – Sunstruck [Second Language]
Memory Drawings – The Island Of The Day Before [Hibernate Recordings]
Memory Drawings with Yvonne Bruner – Subtle Transformation [Memory Drawings Bandcamp]
Memory Drawings – The Light You Cannot See (Edward Ka-Spel Remix) [Memory Drawings Bandcamp]
I came to the dreamy, semi-acoustic, post-classical-meets-indie sounds of Memory Drawings via their guitarist Richard Adams, of Hood and The Declining Winter. They’re led by hammered dulcimer player Joel Hanson, which gives them a unique sound – exotic, yet familiar. Because it appears mainly in folk music, but doesn’t sound unlike a harp or harpsichord, it imbues their music with a kind of classical flavour, but it also somehow reminds us of Asian instruments like the kora. Their first album was released in 2012, and there tends to be a tradition of including a second disc of reworkings and remixes – here including The Declining Winter and also Manyfingers, beloved solo project of new member Chris Cole as well. Not for the first time, the bonus disc also includes a vocal reworking featuring Yvonne Bruner, and this time round they’ve also managed to snare Edward Ka-Spel for a really sensitive snoozy remix!

Listen again — ~190MB


Sunday, 15th of October, 2017

Playlist 15.10.17 (7:53 pm)

Some postpunk tonight, and plenty of electronic sounds, bass-heavy, with plenty of drum’n’bass influence, as well as some acid & more experimental sounds.

LISTEN AGAIN for hints about the afterlife… or failing that, great music. Stream on demand from FBi, podcast here.

Carla dal Forno – Clusters [Blackest Ever Black]
Carla dal Forno – The Garden [Blackest Ever Black]
From Melbourne, now based in London after a time in Berlin, Carla dal Forno has been making a huge impression with her deadpan vocal delivery and subtly explorative music since both her first solo album and her work with trio F ingers came out on Blackest Ever Black a few years back. She’s back with a four track EP (quite an arcane format these days in songwriterly music), which oddly places its title track at the end of the release. It’s austere, beautiful songwriting with a kind of postpunk aesthetic – bare electric bass, some keys, vocals. “The Garden” seems to be a sidelong reference to the Einstürzende Neubauten song of the same name, although it’s not a cover at all.

S O L I L O Q U A – Impatient Of The Present [The Black Hundred Bandcamp]
A second EP from James McGauran’s S O L I L O Q U A project, side project of his industrial postrock(?) band The Black Hundred. I love the direction he’s taking with these releases – unsettling ambient, sometimes with beats and sampled vocals, sometimes barely there. There’s some socio-political commentary scattered through the quality music. Check it out.

Fret – The Waiting Room [Karl Records]
Scorn – Deliverance [Earache]
Scorn – Dreamspace (Coil ‘Shadow Vs Executioner’ Remix) [Earache]
Quoit – Set Up [Possible]
Fret – Lifford Res [Karl Records]
Mick Harris is an almost incalculably important force in heavy music of all sorts, going back to the ’80s. His compatriots from early incarnations of Napalm Death, Kevin Martin of The Bug and JK Broadrick of Jesu, Godflesh et al, have along with him had a substantial influence on the shape of not only metal (grindcore through to industrial metal, shoegaze metal etc), but dubwise sounds, breakbeat techno, grime, dubstep and more – and if not influencing, they have incorporated those sounds into their music in innovative new ways to produce new forms. Mick Harris formed Scorn in the end of the ’80s with another ex-Napalm Death member Nicholas Bullen, and the two moved quickly away from punk/metal into spooky, fucked-up dub, discarding vocals altogether within a few releases. Eventually Bullen left and it became Harris’s minimal dub project. He’s also put out a number of drum’n’bass-centric releases as Quoit, and now has revived the Fret moniker, hitherto used on only one 12″, for an incredible album of faster-tempo, bass-heavy, distorted breakbeat techno. It’s perfect for these times – dark as fuck.

Special Request – Light In The Darkest Hour [Houndstooth]
Lana del Rey – Rise (Special Request remix) [Houndstooth]
Special Request – Scrambled In LS1 [Houndstooth]
Special Request – In Loving Memory [Houndstooth]
When house/techno DJ Paul Woolford first revealed his Special Request project, it was a revelation. Pitch-perfect early ’90s style jungle and pre-jungle hardcore sounds, but with lush contemporary production. Tight bass, precision-tooled breaks chopped to perfection, tempos ranging from the often quite relaxed pace of early jungle through to the breakneck. And there were some very classy remixes as well, from the start. After another set of 12″s released as an album, we had 2 EPs this year, one showcasing the more experimental end of things (drill’n’bass and weird electronics), and one taking the project into acid techno territories. Those are featured on this new double album (“Scrambled In LS1” is a nice bit of funky melodic/not-melodic Aphex acid), along with a decent amount of jungle and more ’97-era No-U-Turn style techstep – and the second disc features mostly ambient & non-dancefloor sounds, of a more contemporary disposition – tremolo strings, bass surges etc. If anything that stuff is more interesting, although it’s all fun and brilliantly done.

volker böhm – heissenberg [clang]
volker böhm – klicker [clang]
An electronic music academic from Basel, Switzerland, Volker Böhm has undertaken on this new album to combine the sound-art of Bernard Parmegiani with beat-based electronic music, and whatever his success in that particular regard, he’s created something engrossing and impressive. The beats are complex & abstract, the tonal material a mixture of repetitive basslines and discordantly beautiful synthesised harmonies, avant-garde piano & more, glitching inside a three-dimensional sonic space. It’s pretty fantastic really.

pinkcourtesyphone – romantic threat [Room40]
pinkcourtesyphone – problematic interior (den) [Room40]
Graphic designer & sound artist Richard Chartier uses his pinkcourtesyphone moniker to differentiate certain output from his more cerebral, abstract, minimal sound-art. As pinkcourtesyphone, he can comment on issues to do with gender & sexuality, turning out elongated soft ambient numbers and sometimes pulsating techno/house beats, mixing his more melodic electronic sounds with gently kitsch sources. It’s a fascinating project.

kj – dawyn [Lost Tribe Sound]
kj – lozo [Lost Tribe Sound]
A new signing for Lost Tribe Sound in a slightly more droney way than the label’s usual focus, kj is a young New York-based working in the familiar world of stretched out ambient drones – often classical sounds in slow-surging loops. Despite treading a well-worn path, kj manages to pull something arrestingly beautiful out of it, by virtue of careful sample selection and a good ear for sonic degradation. Even if you’re not normally a drone fan, you may find this music grabs you.

Listen again — ~109MB


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Sunday, 8th of October, 2017

Playlist 08.10.17 (8:05 pm)

Tonight we have a whole slew of music influenced by… well, sampling, mostly… the original Blade Runner and its incredible soundtrack by Vangelis. Later, drum’n’bass & weirdtronica abounds.

LISTEN AGAIN, before these moments are lost in time… futuristic stream on demand from FBi & podcast right here…

Pop Will Eat Itself – Wake Up! Time To Die… [RCA/Cherry Red Records]
Pop Will Eat Itself – Live In Splendour: Died In Chaos (under talking) [RCA/Cherry Red Records]
The Poppies were one of those bands that just inevitably would be influenced by Blade Runner. If nothing else, they were influenced by vast amounts of pop culture, comics to sci-fi to sport. But also, they were such a cyborg band, combining their love of scraggly punk riffage with hip-hop and techno. They slathered everything in samples, and thus we have the eponymous words from the replicant Leon in the first track tonight. The second offering uses the gorgeous high-pitched statement of one of Vangelis‘ main themes (I think it actually appears near the very beginning of the movie) to bookend the track.

Vangelis – Tears In Rain [EastWest]
As well as featuring one of the most iconic bits of dialogue from the movie, in which the brutal lead replicant Roy Batty asserts his unique personhood in the last few minutes of his artificially-short life, this is a lovely example of the restrained beauty of Vangelis’ work on this soundtrack. He makes a lot of use of pitch bends and glissandi, apart from simply creating rich & varied sounds.

Vangelis – Rachel’s Song [EastWest]
This track, featuring the bewitching wordless vocals of Mary Hopkin, has been sampled countless times since its release. I recently heard a trance tune which I couldn’t track down which used the same segment as the following track:

The Future Sound of London – My Kingdom (Part 4) [Virgin]
Like PWEI, it’s no surprise that The Future Sound of London would draw from Blade Runner. Their psychedelic aesthetic oozes cyberpunk, and while the originating works of cyberpunk fiction probably came out a couple of years earlier, it was really the rain-swept, Tokyo-inflected Los Angeles of Blade Runner, with its ubiquitous advertising, hard-nosed film noir attitude and lived-in, aged futuristic technology, that defined cyberpunk forevermore. FSOL were so excited by where technology could take them that they fancied themselves archaeologists of the future, and they couldn’t help but be informed by works like Blade Runner. They integrated the Mary Hopkin/Vangelis sample beautifully into the various versions of this track, and I selected this one in particular because not only is the vocal very prominent, but it’s about as close as FSOL got to drum’n’bass…

Dillinja – The Angels Fell [Metalheadz]
A hybrid genre descended equally from the hardcore techno of rave, the syncopations of dancehall and breaks of hip-hop: jungle and its descendant drum’n’bass were strongly dependent on sampling technology, and its producers were keen from the beginning to draw out the cyborg aspects of making music this way. Both Terminator and Blade Runner figured strongly in this music, and here we find jungle original Dillinja sampling both a snippet of Roy Batty’s dialogue (“Fiery the angels fell…”) and basing his entire melody on a progressively pitch-shifted sample from the next little bit from the soundtrack…

Vangelis – Blade Runner Blues [EastWest]
Here’s Vangelis emoting his heart out with some synth sax and plenty of use of that mod wheel. Dillinja samples a two note phrase from earlyish in this track, and shifts it up and down a third to create the melody repeating under his chopped-up breaks.

Trace & Nico – Replicant [Idiosyncratic Records]
This track – played off YouTube – is highly sought after and highly limited, only released on a white label a few years after its creation, likely because of its hefty sampling from Blade Runner. Throughout are fragments of dialogue, primarily Deckard instructing his computer(?) to zoom in on a photograph – you know the bit.

Vangelis – Main Titles [EastWest]
That sample from the movie appears right here in the “Main Titles” that open the original official soundtrack (released on CD in 1994 – this is the source of all the Vangelis music I’m playing tonight). It then moves on to some of the important musical themes from the movie, including some lovely pitch slides, and those rising and falling chords…

Company Flow – Info Kill II [Rawkus Records]
I can’t find the specific section of soundtrack sampled here, but those falling chords are definitely there. It’s iconic – you couldn’t mistake them for anything else. Company Flow is of course the hip-hop crew from the mid-’90s where El-P grew up, and again it’s no big surprise that Blade Runner figures in his influences and turns up in one of his earliest mature productions. It’s very substantially used throughout, and augmented nicely with a funky bassline and beats.

Zomby – Tears in the Rain [WERKDISCS]
When infamous dubstep/uk garage producer Zomby put together his first full-length album he called it Where Were U in ’92 – a direct tribute to early ’90s rave, hardcore and jungle. He knows his shit, so of course he’s going to end up sampling from Blade Runner (even if he misquotes it in the title here). It’s a nice completion of the circle to end our Blade Runner tribute for tonight.

So Blade Runner 2049, you ask? Well, without spoiling anything, it’s very beautiful, the soundtrack is a workable tribute to Vangelis by Hans Zimmer, the plot, what there is of it, is an interesting and pretty satisfying extension of the original… and it has some nice appearances from original cast members. In keeping with the original, it’s indulgently slow-paced – even I felt it could have shaved off 15-25 minutes pretty easily – but I didn’t actually feel impatient. Equally in keeping with the Hollywood of 3 decades ago (and now), it has some fairly icky sexual politics, and restricts its POC characters to hackneyed small-time-crim roles (and a couple of other minor characters), which is a huge shame. It’s sumptuously beautiful in any case.

Forest Drive West – Persistence of Memory, Pt. 3 [Hidden Hawaii]
Sticking with drum’n’bass for a bit though, here’s a young artist with little info available on him. Forest Drive West may be based in Bristol, given he’s got a couple of releases on Livity Sound, giving him instant bass-techno cred. But last year he also dropped a great bit of jungle revivialism on Rupture, the Jungle Crack EP, and thus on the flipside of two fantastic dub-techno tracks, we have this piece of 5/4 drum’n’bass, really just switching up the tempo from from the dubby sounds on the A side, and adding some amen breaks.

Ziúr – Cipher [Objects Ltd/Planet µ]
Ziúr – Human Life Is Not A Commodity [Objects Ltd/Planet µ]
Ziúr – Bud Dallas [Objects Ltd]
Ziúr – Fractals [Objects Ltd/Planet µ]
Lara Rix-Martin, part of Planet µ boss Mike Paradinas, recently formed the Objects Ltd label to promote the work of female & non-gender-binary electronic producers, and has wasted no time in bringing some brilliant artists to greater prominence. Based in Berlin, Ziúr has released a number of pretty club-ready EPs, as well as running the Boo-Hoo club night that again focuses on non-cis-male artists. Her prior work is excellent (including a more straighforward dance-oriented EP on Deeform on Objects Ltd last year), but it’s wonderful to hear artists branch out in album form, and here were have glitchy-freaky ambient tracks like opener “Human Life Is Not A Commodity”, and many tracks in which the beats are so broken down that no dancefloor would tolerate them. There are also sampled riffs, intense hardstyle & footwork-influenced excursions, and even some emotive r’n’b slipping through. Top notch all the way.

Brainwaltzera – yamaha Hills [edit] [Film]
Brainwaltzera – 10_muddy_puddle Trot [Film]
Brainwaltzera – 0Swald trace [-/+2] [Analogical Force]
Brainwaltzera – Δlate Hither [ma8ema8mati7s a∫✂ nap version] [Film]
Here’s a mysterious European producer making pitch-perfect mid-’90s idm & “braindance”… Brainwaltzera was tipped by Aphex Twin on SoundCloud at some point last year and since then rumours have abounded about his identity, but if there’s one thing I’m sure of from listening to his stuff, it’s that it’s not Aphex. There are some lovely wobbly synth melodies redolent of Boards of Canada, and definitely some high class beat fuckery of the sort that Aphex, Squarepusher and µ-Ziq were wont to do back in the day, both high-speed drill’n’bass and head-noddy hip-hop beats. It’s melodic, electronic, and heaps of fun, although the production and/or mastering leaves things a little hollow sounding. In any case, for lovers of idm this is absolutely unmissable.

Herva – Smania [Planet µ]
Herva – Slam The Laptop [Delsin]
Herva – Bien [Planet µ]
I’ve been meaning to play this for a while, and this very electronic show is the perfect slot for it. African-Italian producer Herve Atsè Corti (I mis-spoke this as African-Spanish on the show, confused I think by the Spanish label releasing one of Brainwaltzera’s EPs above) brings an utterly bent take to dance music, whether house or broken beat genres, glitching up the sounds in ever-inventive ways. As well as two tracks from a new(ish) Planet µ EP, I played a fantastic bit of glitch-house with an infectious bassline from the 2014 album Instant Broadcast on Dutch label Delsin.

VVV x Holly – 09H1L7 [Hush Hush]
And finally, another EP I should’ve played months ago, out on Seattle label Hush Hush. Iranian-American producer VVV aka Shawhin Izaddost is often ambient in a vaporwavey fashion, often influenced by 2step & other genres; Miguel Oliveira aka Holly is a Portuguese trap producer. This collaboration is a stellar mix of slightly burnished rave influences, old and new. Highly recommended.

Listen again — ~198MB


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