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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, 20th of May, 2018

Playlist 20.05.18 (9:07 pm)

Emotional intensity, electronic withdrawal, we’re running the gamut tonight…

LISTEN AGAIN for the fruits of emotional labour. Stream on demand from FBi, podcast over here.

Carla Bozulich – Written In Smoke (feat. Sarah Lipstate) [Constellation]
Carla Bozulich – Let It Roll (feat. John Eichenseer & Andrea Belfi) [Constellation]
The extraordinary Carla Bozulich never fails to create amazing sounds, both sonically creative and emotionally dense. Her background in the industrial scene from the ’90s – albeit the insane, cabaret-influenced Ethyl Meatplow – contributes to the way Bozulich is always stretching the boundaries of what songforms can be, and is always playing with production techniques… but equally she’s a huge country music fan, and is famous also for her alt-country/punk band The Geraldine Fibbers. Anything new from Bozulich is hotly anticipated round these parts, and this album delivers in spades.

the body – the last form of loving (feat. Chrissy Wolpert) [Thrill Jockey]
the body – the west has failed (feat. sample of Eek-A-Mouse) [Thrill Jockey]
the body – nothing stirs (feat. Kristin Hayter) [Thrill Jockey]
Taking their latest album’s title from the suicide note of Virginia Woolf is fairly audacious, even for a band long obsessed with that final act. I have fought against it, But I can’t any longer. takes the body into their most electronic realms yet, and in many ways the furthest away from their sludge/black metal origins. Everything’s sampled, including the guitar riffs when they appear, mostly from their own work (a notable exception being the brilliantly-deployed Eek-A-Mouse sample on “the west has failed”, worthy of a Massive Attack album). As usual Chip King’s horrific screech is offset by beautiful female vocals from regular contributor Chrissy Wolpert (surely an honorary member) and also this time from Kristin Hayter, who gets pretty metal – as well as some stirring orchestral arrangements. Beats switch from full drumkit to drum machine, to glitchily chopped breaks. Everything’s in there, and by some kind of magic it all works.

TOMAGA – The Dancer in the Lake [Emotional Response]
I discovered the music of TOMAGA playing in a second-hand record store in London last year, but no doubt I would have encountered them soon enough anyway. A psych rock rhythm section turned into a band in their own right, they meld postpunk guitar and drums with synths and all sorts of percussion to create a freeform kraut/psych/instrumental rock experience like no other. Percussionist Valentina Magaletti can also be found with postpunk/breakbeat duo Raime and various other outfits.

Jasmine Guffond – Kin Hue [listenagain]
It’s always a pleasure to have new music from Jasmine Guffond, even if it’s not the newerest of newness. This is from a split release originally intended to come out in 2014, but delayed for the usual obscure reasons. Impeccably produced electronics, with granular processing often of acoustic or live sound sources – all sounds exquisitely immediate but deeply immersive. I was also excited to discover Turkish artist biblo, and I’m planning to feature some of her music in an upcoming show.

Ben Marston & Hugh Barrett – Sleepyhead [Art As Catharsis]
Ben Marston & Hugh Barrett – The Crisp Breath of Dawn [Art As Catharsis]
Canberran duo Ben Marston & Hugh Barrett present an impressive array of approaches to the trumpet and keys duo here – from acoustic piano and trumpet to spooky Jon Hassell/Jan Bang harmonised trumpet to In A Silent Way-era Davis with Hancock/Corea and more. Even in the more unusual modalities, there’s an attractive Australianness to the ambient/minimalist jazz sensibility. I love the way sampled & looped piano weaves its way through the live jazz jamming on a number of tracks. This is really textural music. Released mid-June, get your pre-orders in!

Splashgirl – Carrier [Hubro]
The ever-reliable Hubro deliver the goods once again – Splashgirl are a trio made up of pianist Andreas Stensland Løwe, double bassist Jo Berger Myhre (whose rich tones we’ve encountered before on this show) and drummer Andreas Lønmo Knudsrød. Being on Hubro, this isn’t your standard jazz piano trio though, with synths and expansive, cinematic production lending a unique tone to the operation. The album was produced by the legendary Randall Dunn, giving everything that warm glow.

part timer – Sunday Sketch Blurred [part timer Bandcamp]
A welcome return for Melbourne-resident pom part timer, who used to be an almost weekly regular on this show with his impeccable folktronica, until children and jobs got in the way. He’s quite possibly literally dusting off hard drives on a new release of warm acoustic sounds and electronics – leaning back to the glitchy folktronic roots but with the cavernousness of his later drone-influenced outings. More soon please!

Meyers – Self Portrait [Shelter Press]
Meyers – Expectations 1 [Shelter Press]
The last album from composer/producer Justin C Meyers dealt with a debilitating chronic illness and near-death experience that necessitated changes in the artist’s practices. This new one of course has that state of affairs hanging over it, dealing (in its instrumental electronic way) with the experience of trying to be an artist while suffering an illness that found him laid off from his job and spending a lot of time in hospitals. Piecemeal, glitchy, fractured, it’s quite a visceral work, deserving of a close listen.

Comatone & Foley – Laptop Microphone [Art As Catharsis]
Comatone & Foley – String Thing [Art As Catharsis]
Comatone & Foley – One Five Nine [Art As Catharsis]
Blue Mountains producer Comatone was a stalwart on Utility Fog in the pretty early days, with his intricate idm productions released by Feral Media. And drummer Alon Ilsar has long been a regular on this show too, as part of Gauche, or more recently playing AirSticks with his band The Sticks. The first Comatone & Foley album Trigger Happy was originally released 10 years ago, and is now made available by Art As Catharsis, along with the long-awaited sequel. Intricate VSnares-style beat processing and idm-style electronic melodies, from a duo equal in their inventiveness.

Appleblim – NCI [Sneaker Social Club]
A few years after dubstep’s ascendency, the Skull Disco emerged out of Bristol, merging the weight of dubstep with the trancelike states of Basic Channel style dub techno, founded by Sam Shackleton alonside Appleblim. ‘Blim moved on to other realms in the UK hardcore continuum, and on his debut(!) album released just now on Sneaker Social Club he presents an homage to all things rave, with breakbeats wending their way around techno & house beats. It’s friendly stuff with a dancefloor sheen.

Listen again — ~196MB

Sunday, 13th of May, 2018

Playlist 13.05.18 (9:09 pm)

Eclectic sounds on the show tonight, mostly pretty electronic/experimental, but with some postpunk sounds from everyone’s favourite rude-word band.

LISTEN AGAIN for the requisite mind-expansion. Stream on demand from FBi and podcast here.

Tropical Fuck Storm – Rubber Bullies [Tropical Fuck Storm Records/Mistletone]
Tropical Fuck Storm – Shellfish Toxin [Tropical Fuck Storm Records/Mistletone]
The last Drones album was quite a departure, incorporating a lot more electronics and a female vocal chorus behind Gareth Liddiard’s gruff vocals. Tropical Fuck Storm basically continues further in that direction, with Liddiard and Fiona Kitschin from the Drones joined by Lauren Hammel of High Tension and Erica Dunn from Harmony. Liddiard sings obliquely of the woes of the world with his characteristic snarl, and behind the punk attitude and DIY electronics there’s the usual incredibly sophisticated melodies, harmonisation, chord progressions… The second track I chose is mostly instrumental, but the brilliantly-arranged (and performed) female chorus subtly interject nonetheless.

Hannah Silva – Puffer Jacket & Sushi [Human Kind Records]
Hannah Silva – Writing to someone else’s music [Human Kind Records]
Hannah Silva – Pain [Human Kind Records]
Not quite performance poetry or spoken word, not actually rap, the vocal acrobatics and storytelling of Hannah Silva are sui generis. Utterly confident and incredibly accomplished, her vocals on her album Talk in a bit are joined by various modular synths, live drums/percussion, and five-string electric cello, for a raw & visceral sound. Amazing debut.

Revisiting the excellent compilation from Ptwiggs & Grasps_ETERNAL project that came out a month & a bit ago, with Australian & international artists – one of each tonight. I believe now Melbourne-based is CORIN Ileto, with some bass-heavy atmospherics. And a very idiosyncratic take on vaporwave/mashup from German(?) artist IN MY TALONS.

PanchSM (feat. NNOA) – Articulo [NON WORLDWIDE]
A few weeks ago, NON WORLDWIDE put out a trilogy of compilations featuring a plethora of artists of colour from all around the world – broader than the African Diaspora artists already championed by the label & collective founded by London-based Nkisi, South Africa’s Angel-Ho and US-based Chino Amobi. There’s heaps of crazy stuff across the three comps, from r’n’b to techno to bass & hip-hop, most of it solidly leftfield & experimental. Nkisi’s track is a a mini-epic of blissfully noisy techno, with Detroit/idm flavours buried under the harsh percussion. PanchSM and NNOA are Mexican artists, contributing some glitchy beats with strange Blade Runner overtones.

Ash Koosha – End The End [REALMS]
Ash Koosha – Harbour [Olde English Spelling Bee]
Ash Koosha – Needs [Ninja Tune]
Jack Colwell – Far From View (Ash Koosha Remake) [self-released]
Ash Koosha – Neural Lace [REALMS]
Ashkan Kooshanejad fled Iran after releasing a film about the country’s underground music scene, seeking asylum in the UK. He’s been making music as Ash Koosha for a few years, incredibly intricate glitchy bass music, in tune with the times but always with his very personal character. On his new album Kooshanejad introduces his own vocals on a few tracks, albeit electronically treated.

ZULI – Ladies and gents [Haunter Records]
ZULI – Robotic Jabs in 4D [UIQ]
ZULI – Trigger Finger [Haunter Records]
Cairo producer ZULI is known in the scene for his beats for Egyptian rappers, but now has a few international releases under his belt – for Lee Gamble‘s UIQ and now Milan-based Haunter Records. Glitchy stop-start beats and textures and heavy bass abound. On the title track to the new EP there are even slowed-down amen breaks, referencing the drum’n’bass & jungle that we’re about to head into…

Sully – Vacancy [Uncertain Hour]
Sully – Soundboy Don’t Push Your Luck [Rua]
Initially producing totally on-point grime productions, Sully surprised everyone with a double-12″ of absolutely pitch-perfect jungle back in 2014 on Keysound Recordings. Since then he’s bounced between grime & jungle, but he’s just started a label, Uncertain Hour, dedicated to releasing his junglist productions. Nice! And only a month and a bit ago he put out another pair of jungle tracks on Rua Sound.

Via Maris – Shelleys [Mistry]
Via Maris – Toys [Mistry]
Bristol producer Via Maris has one 12″ out on Livity Sound, and has just now dropped three very different tracks for Beneath‘s Mistry label. The title track is buzzy, psychedelic syncopated techno, while “Toys” is a more melodic affair harkening back to Detroit techno and ’90s idm.

Böhm – Snodrone [Tandem Tapes]
Newie from the ever-reliable Tandem Tapes, run currently out of Jakarta, Indonesia by Aussie Morgan McKellar. This is Texan artist Böhm with some awesome tape manipulation and guitar drone.

Drew Daniel/John Wiese – Abhorred Shears [Helicopter]
First duo recordings from MatmosDrew Daniel (aka The Soft Pink Truth) and noise legend John Wiese. The harsh noise characteristic of Wiese’s productions is there in force, but often filtered through Daniel’s rhythmic sensibilities, making it juuuuust a little bit more accessible.

Listen again — ~213MB

Sunday, 6th of May, 2018

Playlist 06.05.18 (9:01 pm)

Lots of avant-garde, experimental and ambient stuff tonight. Also interviewing Sydney jazz/electronic trio Moving Paths.

LISTEN AGAIN to tease out the layers of meaning… stream on demand from FBi, podcast here.

Seabuckthorn – Sent In By The Cold [Bookmaker Records/La Cordillière]
Seabuckthorn – It Was Aglow [Bookmaker Records/La Cordillière]
The last couple of albums from Andy Cartwright aka Seabuckthorn came out through Lost Tribe Sound. His new one, courtesy of French music agency La Cordillière and label Bookmaker Records, sees him further refining his extraordinary adeptness at all things guitar – from fingerstyle circular picking to slide, strumming, washed out chords, or even a hefty amount of gorgeous violin-style bowing. Big endorsement from round these parts.

Moving Paths – Wake [hellosQuare]
…interview with Moving Paths
Moving Paths – live recording at Soundscapes at Smith’s Alternative, 1st of March 2018 [unreleased]
Sydney trio Moving Paths started life as jazz students playing together at the Conservatorium of Sydney, and their first release was as an acoustic jazz trio – piano, upright bass and drums. The last year or so has seen their practice move into more experimental territory – their sets are mostly improvised, with drummer Luke incorporating live sampling & processing on laptop, pianist Linus bringing synths and weird Ableton-produced virtual instruments, and guitarist Max picking up electric bass alongside the upright. As we heard tonight, this makes for some great music in between acoustic & electronic, just the fodder for Utility Fog!
Their new single is being launched next Sunday night, 13th of May, at the Splinter Orchestra’s space at Tempe Jets.

Chris Abrahams & Jon Rose – Peggy 2 [ReR Megacorp]
Two giants of Australian avant-garde music getting together here, dedicating their record to Australian composer Peggy Glanville-Hicks, whose house in Paddington, Sydney is used for residencies/sabbaticals for Australian musicians. Here Chris Abrahams brings his piano into the most challenging territory, free of traditional melody or rhythmic glue, to match the adventurous extended techniques of Jon Rose on violin.
This duo album is being launched at Foundry616 on Harris St in Ultimo on Monday the 7th of May (day after we go to air) if you happen to be reading this soon enough!

John Encarnacao / Espadrille – Flight [Tinderbox]
Guitarist / producer / composer John Encarnacao has been around the traps in Sydney since the ’90s. He’s played in indie bands, jazz groups, and avant-garde ensembles, written about music, and is now an academic. His group Espadrille is a long-lived outlet for more experimental works, right now featuring Joshua Isaac on drums/percussion and longtime indie stalwart Brendan Smyly on saxophone & electronics. We hear Smyly’s mournful sax in a bed of crunching, crumbling, crackling percussive noises from Isaac on this track, from an “aleatoric score” written for the play Tinderbox premiered at Darlinghurst Theatre a few years ago.

Xo Xinh – Conversation [Flaming Pines]
Sound Awakener – Duskiness [Flaming Pines]
A couple of years ago, Sydney(ish) label Flaming Pines released a remarkable album of experimental music from Iran called Absence. Now we have an album of experimental music from Vietnam, Emergence, compiled by Nhung Nguyen aka Sound Awakener, who speaks of how experimental music doesn’t really have official support or recognition, so it operates in between the cracks. It’s a small scene, but clearly quite fertile, especially including some internationally-based artists such as Vietnamese-American sound artist Xo Xinh, whose processed cymbals and piano and stunningly constructed in his “Conversation”, everything placed just right in the mix. Meanwhile Nguyen herself contributes a track in which her piano is blurred and granulated into a lovely “Duskiness”.

arovane + porya hatami – Creature_333 [Karl Records]
arovane + porya hatami – Corm [Karl Records]
arovane + porya hatami – Cytoplasm [Karl Records]
Uwe Zahn came to note in the late ’90s with a string of exceptional idm releases as Arovane. He’s moved more and more into ambient territory in the intervening years, and has now found a very fruitful collaboration with Iranian sound artist Porya Hatami. They’ve just released the follow-up to last year’s organism with organism_evolution, the two of which have been released in a 2CD set. It’s very much music for micro-organisms – electronic impressions of insects, amoebae, floating in their watery homes… Really engrossing stuff.

Lucrecia Dalt – Atmospheres Touch [RVNG Intl.]
Lucrecia Dalt – Concentric Nothings [RVNG Intl.]
Lucrecia Dalt – Liminalidad [RVNG Intl.]
Lucrecia Dalt – Eclipsed Subject [RVNG Intl.]
Since relocating first to Barcelona and now Berlin, Lucrecia Dalt has moved steadily away from her songwriterly beginnings, emphasising more and more than experimental sound art aspects of her work. Her new album Anticlines features her voice only in spoken, often chopped-up form, along with wobbling modular synths and other instruments which only occasionally coalesce into rhythmic structures. It’s nevertheless utterly compelling listening.

CECILIA – Gros Animal [Halcyon Veil]
CECILIA – Griselidis [Halcyon Veil]
Quebecois performance artist & musician Mélissa Gagné has released a few records as Babi Audi (and in bands such as Institutional Prostitution), but through a “dissociative metamorphosis” created CECILIA, initially as a guest on a track from Rabit and now with her debut album on Rabit’s Halcyon Veil label. A strange mix of abstract sample deconstruction, grime/bass beats and occasional singing, it’s hard to pin down, but totally on-point. Music like this and Dalt’s warrants many return visits precisely because it’s got so much mystery to it that you never quite remember what to expect next. Highly recommended.

Venetian Snares x Daniel Lanois – Night MXCMPV1 P74 [Planet µ]
Venetian Snares x Daniel Lanois – Joe P11LC2P146 [Planet µ]
Here’s the most unexpected collaboration of the year – two Canadian artists, 7/8 breakcore hero & misanthrope Venetian Snares, and U2 producer, Eno et al collaborator Daniel Lanois, he of ambient slide guitar… It’s bonkers, and really shouldn’t work, but contrary to some assessments it’s not just Lanois’ sunny textures mashed up against Aaron Funk’s madcap beats. There’s interaction between the two halves, Lanois’ instruments constantly feeding into Funk’s modular synths, and it encourages Funk to space things out a bit at times, with half-time basslines and respites here and there from his usual onslaught. I pre-ordered the CD and got an entire bonus album as a second CD, with some more excellent material including the second piece featured here.

Listen again — ~193MB

Sunday, 29th of April, 2018

Playlist 29.04.18 (8:51 pm)

An electronic Utility Fog for you this week…

LISTEN AGAIN for all the details you missed! Stream on demand from FBi, podcast here.

Autechre – column thirteen [Warp/AE_STORE]
And so with April almost over, Autechre‘s NTS Radio comes to a close with the last 2 hours of new music, and I honestly think NTS Session 4 is the best of them all. I was strongly tempted to play all 25 minutes of “shimripl casual” (but not all 58 minutes of “all end”, gorgeous though it is) – but in the end, this is wonderful too, and gives me a leetle more space for other stuff. Tracks like all of these blur the line beautifully between generative audio and human input – I’m sure the tonal & harmonic space is created by Sean & Rob, but some elements are allowed to bleep and bloop of their own accord.

Eomac – Language Has Failed Us [Eotrax]
Eomac – Transmutation, Redemption, Forgiveness [Eotrax]
Drawing as much from old-school jungle and Autechre as the industrial techno of his work with Lakker, and from Haitian voodoo drumming and Irish traditional dance, Eomac’s new album presents a frenzy of percussion and cathartic vocal emanations, to Reconnect with our wild nature. A ritual ecstatic dance pushing back against late-stage capitalism, it’s quite an experience.

Shadows – Cuthands [Opal Tapes]
AnD – Resisting Authority [Electric Deluxe]
Andrew Bowen & Dimitri Poumplidis (see? A’n’D) make an ultra-heavy kind of techno that draws a lot from noise but generally remains just on the right side of the dancefloor. Last year’s album took them into drum’n’bass and dubstep territories of a sort, and we’ll segue into some more d’n’b from there – but just now they’ve released an album under their Shadows moniker, somewhat less noise & “heavy” focused, for the awesome Opal Tapes.

Artilect – Concussion [Samurai Music Group]
Berlin’s Samurai Music Group have championed adventurous artists in the drum’n’bass space for over a decade now, and that includes techno & dubstep-influenced excursions, more ambient outings, and the reintegration of old-school junglist tendencies into drum’n’bass – see the mid-’90s techstep meets jungle of Artilect‘s latest EP.

Ahmad & Akinsa – Delusion [Rupture London]
London’s Rupture label is right at the forefront of the jungle revival, and they showcase the latest darkstyle sounds on their recent compilation The Fifth Column. Ahmad & Akinsa‘s track has a half-speed dancehall push from the bass, and junglist hi-hats and breaks shattering over the top. Awesome.

Ruby My Dear – jit thin [Kaometry]
Fresh from his new album Brame, French producer Ruby My Dear has dropped an exclusive track of pretty melodic drill’n’bassy idm for Kaometry‘s Nerves of Time Vol. 4 compilation. It’s the kind of stuff he does best.

Arrom – See How (Ahm Remix) [Provenance]
Arrom – See How (KAIAR Remix) [Provenance]
Melbourne’s Arrom put out a fantastic album of experimental electronic pop songs on Provenance last year, and now she’s handed her tunes over to various friends & collaborators. Ahm, who co-wrote some of the material with her, has done two remixes, one glitching up her vocals, and this one, adding super-fun high-speed breaks to take it into some kind of drill’n’bass territory. Meanwhile labelmate KAIAR tries to keep a lid on the frenetic glitchy beats…

Match Fixer – Rubble 4 [Match Fixer Bandcamp]
Melbourne’s Andrew Cowie is probably better known as Angel Eyes, under which moniker he’s had releases internationally – but the experimental sounds of Match Fixer are a little more focused on freaky programmed beats & electronic. All the tracks on the Rubble EP have splattered beats and a bass grounding, and then tend to detour into quieter, more ambient passages – Autechre is again quite an influence. Cool stuff.

Hence Therefore – Skin Pixels [Little Beat Different]
Sydney’s Hence Therefore has been a little quiet since relocating to London, but we’ve got TWO new tunes coming soon on London-based Little Beat Different label’s very international Evidence Found no.1 compilation. Rolling beats which are not at all drum’n’bass but have that lovely forward impetus to them…

Okzharp & Manthe Ribane – Dun [Hyperdub]
First cut from this Anglo-South African duo’s album coming from Hyperdub in July, this brings us bass-influenced beats from London-based Okzharp, and vocals from Manthe Ribane, famous in South Africa’s fashion & dance scenes. It’s a cool combination of South African & English dance forms, and I’m excited to hear what else they’ve been making.

Lybes Dimem – Auto Alternative [SVS Records]
Lukas Rehm is Lybes Dimem, visual artist and musician, making bass-heavy electronics somewhere between abstract/ambient and beats. It’s kind of like Autechre if they’d grown up in the post-dubstep Bass world.

Luton – Elk Talk [Lost Tribe Sound]
Luton – Södermalm Phantom Cab [Lost Tribe Sound]
Luton – Black Concrete [Lost Tribe Sound]
I’ve read about Luton, the duo of Roberto P. Siguera and Attilio Novellino, as being Italian, but their Bandcamp places them in Stockholm, Sweden, and Siguera’s Twitter says he’s based in Manchester. Citizens of the world! Their music is captivating, some of the best stuff Lost Tribe Sound has put out in a while, and they’re a label with high standards. Acoustic instruments including piano, violin, hammered dulcimer and percussion are artfully combined with field recordings and electronics. It’s spacious and evocative stuff worthy of multiple listens.

From The Mouth of the Sun – Reaching When Nothing Is There [Lost Tribe Sound]
Also on Lost Tribe Sound, the now well-established duo of Dag Rosenqvist and Aaron Martin as From The Mouth of the Sun has a lovely new album out in a few weeks, called Sleep Stations – blissful layers of cello, other acoustic & electronic instruments and field recordings.

Listen again — ~274MB

Sunday, 22nd of April, 2018

Playlist 22.04.18 (9:09 pm)

Big show tonight, with classical influences on a piano slant later on, and electronic & beats up front.

LISTEN AGAIN and thrill and cry… stream on demand from FBi or podcast here.

Mouse on Mars – Dimensional People Parts I-III feat. Justin Vernon et al [Thrill Jockey]
Mouse on Mars – Foul Mouth (feat. Amanda Blank, Zach Condon et al) [Thrill Jockey]
Now 25 years old, German electronic duo Mouse on Mars have explored many continents of sound in their existence, from techno to ambient to idm, and I somewhat lost track of them in the last decade or so, but Dimensional People sees them in some ways revisiting the terrain of late ’90s & early ’00s albums where their electronics & processing was weaved into and around acoustic instruments and live musicians. With guests such as Justin Vernon (Bon Iver), Zach Condon (Beirut), Aaron Dessner & Bryce Dessner and Sam Amidon, they’re definitely getting their indie-folk on here, but they’ve also got rapping from Amanda Blank, Spank Rock and Swamp Dogg… So, it’s mixed up and genre-agnostic, which is just how we love it.

AQXDM – Aegis [Bedouin Records]
Cross-Atlantic collaboration between US artist Aquarian & French producer Deapmash, who share a love of UK Bass music, including jungle & drum’n’bass, and also industrial, so they fit right in with the industrial techno leanings of various labels I’m enjoying right now such as the excellent Bedouin Records.

Second Woman – Apart II [Tresor]
The duo of Joshua Eustis & Turk Dietrich have worked together since before Eustis formed Telefon Tel Aviv, and now have a number of releases from the Spectrum Spools label exploring glitchy, ultra-synthesised worlds that often seem like a combination of Autechre and the Raster-Noton aesthetic. Their new EP appears on legendary Berlin club label Tresor, where they’re wading in the strong currents of minimal dub techno, although the Ae influence is still very much there.

Autechre – g 1 e 1 [Warp/AE_STORE]
And thus, this weeks’ new Ae track – as mentioned last week Autechre have a 4-week residency on NTS Radio this month, each week releasing 2 hours of new music into the wild, which will then be released as an 8 hour album called NTS Sessions on a ridiculous number of LPs or CDs. They have the luxury of creating 20+-minute tracks on each release, with most clocking in at 10 minutes or more, and there’s the gamut of their contemporary styles, with some heavy beats, some repetitive midrange sounds, and some eerie beauty such as tonight’s offering.

Evelyn Ida Morris – Forecast [Milk Records]
Evelyn Ida Morris – The Body Appears [Milk Records]
True Radical Miracle – Roaches Part 1 [Sabbatical]
Pikelet – A Bunch [Chapter Music/Pikelet Bandcamp]
Pikelet – Take Off The Face Paint [self-released Dictation CDR]
Pikelet – Toby Light [Chapter Music/Pikelet Bandcamp]
Pikelet – dear unimaginables [Pikelet Bandcamp]
Evelyn Ida Morris – Stop Driving [Milk Records]
This piano album of Evelyn Ida Morris‘s has been a long time coming, and it was worth every minute of the wait. I saw them performing tracks off this, complex classical-inspired piano compositions with vocals, late last year. As we hear tonight, piano has appeared in Evelyn’s work as far back as this weird drone/noise CDR from their early hardcore/doom metal band True Radical Miracle, and many of the characteristics of these compositions are present there already. However, as Pikelet the focus early on was on wonderful compositions created with looping pedal, with percussion of all sorts, guitar, melodica, and later electric keyboard. Pikelet eventually became a full band, and then became a solo act again. And even then there were piano pieces in between (like the early version of “Face Paint” we heard tonight from a rare CDR). When Stem, the first full band album came out, it was quite weird hearing songs I’d been obsessed with for ages rendered in full band mode (e.g. “Toby Light”, quite honestly one of my favourite songs of the last decade).
A few years ago, after some very thought-provoking Facebook posts, Evelyn formed the influential & inspiring LISTEN project to promote change within the Australian music world from a feminist perspective. Evelyn has expressed in the last few years a growing discomfort with the traditional binary constraints of gender, and even more than on 2016’s tronc this is expressed (not always verbally) in these songs. Musically, Debussy and Ravel are very evident, but Evelyn’s songwriting voice is very strong. It’s also really cool hearing the occasional non-piano elements – drums on a couple of tracks, the wonderful swooping bass and fluttering flute on “Stop Driving”. I’m in awe of this music.

Erik Friedlander – Sweet Fennel [Erik Friedlander Bandcamp]
The new album from Downtown New York cellist Erik Friedlander (known for his work with John Zorn and others from that scene), Artemisia, is mostly focused on jazz, but Friedlander’s influences are broad, and somehow at the end (I have it from the Kickstarter edition, but perhaps it’s a digital bonus?) there’s this piece in which the piano of Uri Caine is reversed and re-layered into something lovely & abstract.

Joana Gama | Luís Fernandes – Lucid Stillness [Room40]
Joana Gama | Luís Fernandes – Through The Vibrant Air [Room40]
Two tracks from the Portuguese duo of pianist Joana Gama and producer/sound-artist Luís Fernandes, released on Brisbane’s own Room40 label, and produced by label boss Lawrence English, featuring contemporary composition for piano & orchestra at times underlined or overcome by electronic sounds. It’s full of both shuddering intensity and quivering calm.

Jóhann Jóhannsson – Englabörn (Viktor Orri Árnason Rework) [Deutsche Grammophon]
Jóhann Jóhannsson – Odi Et Amo [Deutsche Grammophon]
Philip Glass – Protest (Remix by Jóhann Jóhannsson) [Orange Mountain Music]
Jóhann Jóhannsson – Sálfræðingur Deyr (Hildur Guðnadóttir Rework) [Deutsche Grammophon]
In 2002, the debut album from Icelandic composer Jóhann Jóhannsson first came to light via Touch Music. Englabörn‘s reissue was already planned for this year – a 2CD set with some top-notch remixes & reworkings – but it now serves as a mournful eulogy following the composer’s tragically premature death, from as-yet unknown causes. A now-accomplished film composer, Jóhannsson was at one point slated to make the music for Blade Runner 2049, and wrote the wonderful soundtrack to Dennis Villeneuve’s previous sci-fi blockbuster The Arrival. Everyone who knew him descried him as a humble, gentle, generous soul. He always had an interest in combining his beautiful classical orchestrations with electronics – just listen to the robot voice singing Catullus’s poem “Odi Et Amo” (“I hate and I love”), the very first track on that debut album, to hear his intent from the beginning. The longing in this computerised voice is extraordinary. Fortunately the reworkings are sensitive and often equally bewitching, including contributions from A Winged Victory For The Sullen, Ryuichi Sakamoto and others. Tonight I played a rather exquisite version of the title track from fellow Icelander Viktor Orri Árnason, and didn’t quite have time for another Icelander, cellist Hildur Guðnadóttir‘s track (although (shh!) you can hear it in the podcast version…) Meanwhile, I also played Jólhannsson’s own remix of Philip Glass from a few years back, complete with choir and beats… Rest In Peace.

Listen again — ~197MB

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