a wholly owned subsiduary of
Frogworth Corp
Stumblings in the dark
Peter's weblog
Raven
experimental electronica
FourPlay
electric string quartet

Utility Fog


postfolkrocktronica, from granular pop to orchestral breakcore and beyond...
Sunday nights from 9 to 11pm on FBi Radio, 94.5 FM in Sydney, Australia.

{Hey! Sign up to Utilityfoglet and get playlists emailed to you after each show!}
Please Like us on Facebook! Here it is: Utility Fog on Facebook

Your search results. Playlists are listed with artist name first, then track title and (remixer), then [record label]. Enjoy the links.

Sunday, 9th of March, 2014

Playlist 09.03.14 (9:07 pm)

Tonight we revisited the Filthy Children collection from last week and also the wonderful Gilded from Perth. Then we hopped over to Rotterdam for a collection of some of Machinefabriek's hard-to-find shorter releases from the last few years.
We then had a special on a very special duo – the folktronic marvels of Origamibiro. The new album's out on Denovali, who have also collected their earlier stuff if you missed out. We heard a bit of Tom Hill's previous group too, the short-lived idm duo Wauvenfold, but mostly focused on the glitchy organic samples and beats of Origamibiro, rich with strings along with acoustic guitar and piano and the like.
And we finished up with another special on Addison Groove (and his previous incarnation as dubstepper Headhunter). Having explored the nexus of juke/footwork with dubstep and house, his more recent collaborations with drum'n'bass futurist Sam Binga have led him to up the tempo into junglist territory for a good part of the new album, to my great pleasure.

LISTEN AGAIN to the strums and clicks, hums and whirs. Link at bottom, stream in stereo from FBi.

Kaukana – Follow The Fool (Made In Japan Remix) [Wood and Wire]
cyber.akb – Lawson [Wood and Wire]
Gilded – Cluttered Room [Hidden Shoal]
Gilded – 38 Degrees (Live at The Bird) [Hidden Shoal]
Machinefabriek – Danse Des Loops [Zoharum/Machinefabriek]
Machinefabriek – Ontrafelde Tonen 2 [Zoharum/Machinefabriek]
Machinefabriek & Gareth Davis – Oh Doctor Jesus [Zoharum/Machinefabriek]
Machinefabriek – Ax [Zoharum/Machinefabriek]
Origamibiro – Ada Deane [Denovali]
Origamibiro – Pulmonary Piano [Denovali]
Ruby – Beefheart (Wauvenfold remix) [Wichita Recordings]
Wauvenfold – Clip (clopt) [Wichita Recordings]
Origamibiro – dissect ephemeral [Expanding Records]
Origamibiro – the last of its leaves [Expanding Records]
Origamibiro – gathers in puddles (Part Timer's samba in puddles remix) [unreleased]
Origamibiro – Dismantle Piece [Denizen/Abandon Building Recordings]
Origamibiro – Ballerina Platform Shoes (Plaid remix) [Denizen/Abandon Building Recordings]
Origamibiro – Armistice Cenotaph [Denovali]
Sam Binga – Freezy [Critical Presents: Modulations]
Addison Groove & Sam Binga – Rzor feat. MC DRS [50 Weapons]
Headhunter & Ekelon – Timewarp [Planet µ]
Addison Groove – Phantom [Tectonic]
Addison Groove – Malus [50 Weapons]
Addison Groove – 167 Blast feat. DJ Die [50 Weapons]

Listen again — ~106MB

Sunday, 12th of May, 2013

Playlist 12.05.13 (10:07 pm)

A very doomy show tonight, just as we love it! Acoustic doom, explosive reverb-drenched doom rock, post-dubstep liturgical doom drone, and maybe I'll stop inventing the genres now. Plus glitched-up ukulele and musically-twisted field recordings…

LISTEN (again?) via the link at the bottom, the podcast or stream on demand in stereo at FBi! (Try out the excellent mobile streaming!)

First artist tonight I've been obsessed with for a couple of weeks, and I was very glad to get the Japanese 2CD edition of Ensemble Pearl's self-titled album in the mail this week. A collective formed from Stephen O'Malley of Sunn o))), Atsuo and Michio Kurihara from Boris and William Herzog of Jesse Sykes & the Sweet Hereafter, also featuring the extreme violin talents of Eyvind Kang and Secret Chiefs 3's Timb(a) Harris… So, just a little low-key project then. And as this in-depth Quietus review states, it's not going to get the recognition it deserves, so please check it out. American-influenced doom rock and drone, with massive dub reverb on the drums, and heaps of detail. Awesome.

Next up, not just a Sydney connection, but an FBi Radio connection. Paul Jebanasam is perhaps better known round here not just as dubstep producer Moving Ninja but as Farj from FBi's dubstep show Garage Pressure. He relocated to Bristol a few years ago, having already been released on DJ Pinch's Tectonic label, but he's ended up forming his own highly regarded Subtext Recordings, releasing bass-heavy post-dubstep from Emptyset, Roly Porter of Vex'd, and now himself.
Check out this excellent Quietus interview for some background on how he came to make the sounds on Rites – influenced by liturgical music, classical composition, and of course bass pressure… There's no dubstep head-nodding here, but there is percussion along with string arrangements and growling drones. It's interesting to hear his Moving Ninja productions in the context of this music.

We continue the strings and dark drones in our next selection, and incredible 20 minute track from Norwegian cellist & producer Svarte Greiner, head of the Miasmah and one half of Deaf Center. His works as Svarte Greiner and under his own name, Erik K Skodvin, can be classed as acoustic doom (which I love), although he uses electronics and electric instruments as well. But I particularly love the carefully-recorded acoustic sounds on the first Svarte Greiner album Knive and the Erik K Skodvin Flare album – and Black Tie delivers, based for the large part around plucked and scraped cello, with some intense distortion in the middle giving way to the original ostinati. Engrossing.

The Haxan Cloak is another cellist working in dark sound-art, albeit with lots more electronics. I tried to select a track from his new album featuring cello, and it's in there, if processed to not sound a lot like a cello!

Noise stalwarts Wolf Eyes have a new album out with electronics at the forefront – along with Nate Young's unique vocal stylings. More from this next week I hope!

Three huge forces in music meet once a year in Japan for a live concert which they then release on record. Keiji Haino, Jim O'Rourke & Oren Ambarchi's first release was true beauty, with Haino's angelic vocals, piano, drones and percussion; the second was ferocious psych rock noise. The new one combines these elements to some extent, moving even into some krautrock-ish grooves at points.

umin's ukulele folktronica came to my attention via Abandom Building Records a year or two ago. He's now got a new EP out on Bad Panda, although they've neglected to collect the tracks into a set. But you can still grab them all for free, including a remix from Italy's k-conjog, another Abandon Building artist. There's more structure to these new tracks, including clattering beats on one or two tracks. It's excellent glitchy acoustic music you should get.

Glitchy acoustics of a different nature appear on Michel Banabila's new release, Gardening, available now in an extended editiong with remixes (or new works) from Machinefabriek and others. Field recordings of gardening tools combine with subtle instrumentation and lots of processing/editing, and it's surprisingly coherent and musical. Should be no surprise from an artist of the calibre of Banabila, and his collaborators.

And finally, out any minute is the new record on Editions Mego from Gordon Sharp (now Cindy/Cinder)'s cindytalk, who's been making music since the early '80s and can be found on one of the legendary This Mortal Coil records. Abandoning vocals, his Mego releases focus on the quite esoteric climes of processed glitchscapes. The new album continues on this path, although in amongst the noise and fog are some industrial beats here and there.

ensemble pearl – painting on a corpse [Drag City/Daymare]
ensemble pearl – wray [Drag City/Daymare]
Paul Jebanasam – Rites II [Subtext Recordings]
Moving Ninja – Blackout [Tectonic]
Pinch & Moving Ninja – False Flag [Tectonic]
Paul Jebanasam – Rites V [Subtext Recordings]
Svarte Greiner – Black Tie [Miasmah]
The Haxan Cloak – Dieu [Tri-Angle]
Wolf Eyes – Choking Flies [De Stijl]
keiji haino / jim o'rourke / oren ambarchi – only the winding "why" expresses anything clearly [Black Truffle]
umin – tesil [Bad Panda]
umin – hmn [Abandom Building Records]
umin – concentr (k-conjog remix) [Bad Panda]
Michel Banabila – Changing Weather [Tapu Records]
Machinefabriek – Tuiner Met Plezier [Tapu Records]
cindytalk – as if we had once been [Editions Mego]

Listen again — ~ 104MB

Sunday, 7th of April, 2013

Playlist 07.04.13 (10:03 pm)

Great range of stuff tonight – shoegaze of various variants, post-classical electronica, an old electronica incarnation of The Haxan Cloak, dark drones'n'beats and more…

LISTEN (AGAIN?) via the link at the bottom or the podcast, or stream on demand from FBi.

I feel like I probably haven't played enough Justin K Broadrick on this show, even though he's one of my favourite music-makers. Look, I've probably played him a lot, but in proportion to how much I listen to him, and how many variegated acts he's been involved with, it feels like not enough. Tonight we hear from his metal-shoegaze project Jesu, probably nowadays what he's best known for, who put out a 7" on the Matador Singles Club last year featuring a Stranglers cover ("Duchess") and a new original, "Veiled". That vinyl release is now available digitally from the Jesu Bandcamp along with alternate versions of both tracks. The trouble with being a JKB fan is all the alternate versions, self-remixes and re-releases that float around, all of which are essential because they're often both radically different and brilliant – as is most definitely the case here. The outro, where it all changes, is fantastic in both versions.

Speaking of shoegaze, I was just handed the new album by Sydney duo Fabels this week, and had to play some tracks even though the album isn't being launched until the start of May. It is in fact now available from their Bandcamp. Their shoegaze credentials are strong, as Ben Aylward was singer/guitarist in beloved Sydney shoegaze Swirl in the '90s. His partner Hiske Weijers brings a psychedelic twist and shares the singing duties. The album features many tracks from their three excellent EPs along with a few new ones including the highlight "Everything".

Aussie ex-pat Leah Kardos, now living in London, is a classically-trained composer and pianist as well as an electronic musician and songwriter, and she's not afraid to combine all her influences on her albums – and indeed within tracks. Her debut album Feather Hammer was one of the highlights of 2011, and her new one is set to be the same for 2013. Featuring vocals on many tracks from Laura Wolk-Lewanowicz, who's versatile enough herself to cover the range from operatic to pop, it starts off definitely seeming in the classical camp before the electronics drop halfway through the first track. There are glitchy layers of vocals, pop songs with deliciously bent lyrics, and gorgeous piano-backed ambient electronica. Both albums are highly recommended.

When Sydney's Eugene Ward started making post-r'n'b/dubstep/techno as Dro Carey, he instantly seemed to attract the attention of the cool trend-setters in the music crit scene. And he is indeed uniquely talented and deserves his spot on the world stage. For his latest release he imagined what would happen if he took the house tendencies of his alter ego Tuff Sherm out of Dro Carey, leaving bouncing breakbeats and bass with perhaps more the hip-hop influences. Very fine stuff.

Aurora Borealis as The Haxan Cloak. A cellist and sound-artist, he's at home with twisted techno, drone, and arcane acoustic doom, and his new album will come out on witch-house (etc) label Tri-Angle. Meanwhile, I was very interested do discover that under a little-mentioned earlier pseudonym he released a small amount of folktronica and more light-hearted electronica as Crillix. It's quite different, and he probably considers it juvenilia, but I've been enjoying what I could find!

And speaking of rare and esoteric, Autechre are not the only Warp artist, or artist in general, to release special tracks for the Japanese market (a way of convincing the Japanese to buy from local labels & stores rather than going for cheaper imported stock), but the bonus track on Beat's version of their newie is one of the best Autechre tracks I've heard in ages. Absolutely stunning.

The Mount Fuji Doomjazz Corporation is the doomy drone version of The Kilimanjaro Darkjazz Ensemble, with trombone, cello, traditional rock instruments and electronics/beatmakers. They've released a number of excellent live albums, and Roadburn is the best yet, with some heavy beats dropping in halfway through a couple of the long tracks. I believe there's a new TKDE album later this year, which is something to look forward to.

And keeping the "road" theme, as well as numbered tracks, Sydney's beloved afxjim has released the R.O.A.D. EP at his Bandcamp to tide us over till a new album later this year. Similar in feel to his album, it's a sort of gentle folktronica and postrock, with samples and tape loops, guitars and drums – very melodic and just a delight to listen to.

Keeping the Sydney connection, next up we had a long-awaited collaboration between Italian drone-meister Fabio Orsi & Sydney's own pimmon. It's definitely easy to hear both of their signatures in these long drone tracks. Beautiful stuff.

And finally, Greg from Underlapper alterted me to a new project for Matthew Mehlan from Skeletons, Uumans. It harkens back to the solo days of Skeletons, much more electronic, with his instantly-recognizable vocals and general weirdness. Available in cassette form and with various t-shirt alternatives if you're thataway inclined!

Jesu – Veiled [Matador/Jesu Bandcamp]
Jesu – Veiled (alt version) [Jesu Bandcamp]
Fabels – Everything [Fabels] {forthcoming}
Fabels – Turquoise [Fabels]
Fabels – Semaphore [Fabels]
Leah Kardos – Incantation [Bigo & Twigetti]
Leah Kardos – Sexy Monday [Bigo & Twigetti]
Leah Kardos – Apology [Bigo & Twigetti]
Leah Kardos – Closed Circuit [Bigo & Twigetti]
Dro Carey – Nightworld [Dro Carey Bandcamp]
Dro Carey – Grill Mage [Dro Carey Bandcamp]
Crillix – Sketch [Abandon Building Records]
The Haxan Cloak – Burning Torches of Despair [Aurora Borealis]
Autechre – 18 (keyosc) [Warp/Beat]
The Mount Fuji Doomjazz Corporation – Roadburn II [Available from Bandcamp]
afxjim – R.O.A.D. Part IV [afxjim Bandcamp]
afxjim – R.O.A.D. Part V [afxjim Bandcamp]
Fabio Orsi & pimmon – Garnacha [Home Normal]
Uumans – When U Coming Out? [Uumans Bandcamp]

Listen again — ~ 102MB

Sunday, 29th of July, 2012

Playlist 29.07.12 (11:19 pm)

HE'S BAAAAAACK! After a month in Europe and Hong Kong, I've got a suitcaseful of loot to play you over the coming weeks. Only got back early on Saturday morning and haven't had a chance to listen to a lot yet, but here we go…
Scroll down to previous post for the big news… Last 10pm-1am show this week, so tune in at 9pm next Sunday night for 2 hours of the best postfolkrocktronica I can find.

So LISTEN AGAIN, and rest assured On demand streaming, the podcast and download (see bottom of post) aren't going anywhere!

Started with a huge special on a very special band: Sweet Billy Pilgrim. Tim Elsenburg & co have been making folk- & electronic-tinged indie pop for some years, and I first heard of them via their exquisite remix of a David Sylvian track. It was great to discover that their own music is no less beautiful, and for all that it's centred around lyrical melodicism, it never loses its experimental edge — even on the latest, probably most accessible album.
We had a nice range of stuff, including their entry in Lo Recordings' Explorers Club series of online EPs from 2010.

We follow them with a heap of tunes from Ninja Tune duo Grasscut, who are reminiscent to me of early Tunng's evocation of a dark, arcane English folk through a glitchy electronic lens. The last track on their second album features Robert Wyatt prominently, an appropriate guest. And along with their own vocals, we have sampled singing from crackly old 78 records. Both albums are strongly recommended.

Next, we find ourselves back in Australia. Melbourne's Peter Knight, jazz musician, composer, electronic musician, has written music for a theatre piece called Pin Drop which is on at the Performance Space from the 1st to the 4th of August – this Wednesday to Saturday. Check out the link!

Also on Saturday the 4th, the fantastic Fabels are launching their second EP at a possibly secret venue in Marrickville – check out their Facebook for details. With folk, electronic production and shoegaze in the mix, Hiske Weijers and Ben Aylward (the latter of legendary Sydney indie/shoegaze band Swirl) play with a drum machine in place of a drummer, and should put on a great show.

Moving west into the Blue Mountains we join Broken Chip, this alias now firmly hosting the ambient/drone side of Martyn Palmer's output, with Option Command for his beats. His new album Into The Diamond is available now from his Bandcamp and will bring a bit of glittery, bubbly calm into your day. You need it!

Also from the same region, Comatone has recently sent around some rare and unreleased tracks to Special People™, so tonight we heard a heavy bit of beat-trickery originally released on a breakcore compilation a few years ago.

Keeping with the heavy, we're off with emptyset next, from a 12" (and download release) of remixes of tracks from their Demiurge album. Already their Bass/techno sound has focused further on the noise aspect rather than the beats. Roly Porter (late of industrial dubstep legends Vex'd) has taken a similar journey, and here brings both droning noise and jackhammering beats. Very, very fine.

Cristian Vogel has also journeyed around ultra-technical beats and synth soundtracks for years, and it's great to have a new album of beats from him. They're somewhat Bass-influenced, both head-nodding and mind-massaging.

Berlin's Carsten Nicolai aka alva noto (somehow his moniker suits the lower case) has featured plenty on these pages, and it's great hearing his minimalist take on Björk from one of the recent Biophilia remix EPs. The fabulous Matthew Herbert has remixed her Icelandic majesty a number of times before, and turns in no less than three remixes on his EP. All great, too.

I came across Memotone via The Wire's latest Wire Tapper cover CD, and was intrigued enough to go and find his EP on Bandcamp. Thoroughly contemporary electro-acoustic/folktronic sounds with a bit of a Bass influence in there too. Looking forward to checking out his other stuff now I'm back from overseas…

Also with the folktronica, the wonderful Origamibiro have finally released their Shakkei Remixes album, which is most excellent. There are some great names on the list, including Plaid and the Upward Arrows incarnation of UFog regular Part Timer. And Bad Panda have a few of the remixes plus an exclusive track as free downloads!

Sweet Billy Pilgrim – Joyful Reunion [Luxor Purchase through EMI]
David Sylvian – The Heart Knows Better (Sweet Billy Pilgrim remix) [Samadhi Sound]
Sweet Billy Pilgrim – Here It Begins [Samadhi Sound]
Sweet Billy Pilgrim – Truth Only Smiles [Samadhi Sound]
Sweet Billy Pilgrim – Amina [Lo Recordings]
Sweet Billy Pilgrim – Stars Spill Out Of Cups [Wonderland Avenue]
Sweet Billy Pilgrim – Archaeology [Luxor Purchase through EMI]
Grasscut – From Towns & Fields [Ninja Tune]
Grasscut – Richardson Road (feat. Robert Wyatt) [Ninja Tune]
Grasscut – High Down [Ninja Tune]
Coldcut – Sound Mirrors (Grasscut Dub) [Ninja Tune]
Grasscut – The Tin Man [Ninja Tune]
Grasscut – Reservoir [Ninja Tune]
Peter Knight – Libby (from Pin Drop) [unreleased]
Fabels – Turquoise [Rabbit Releases]
Fabels – Nek [Rabbit Releases]
Broken Chip – full moon [Broken Chip Bandcamp]
Broken Chip – there's always tomorrow [Broken Chip Bandcamp]
Broken Chip – into the diamond [Broken Chip Bandcamp]
Comatone – Time Stretching Sickness [Proboscus Records]
emptyset – Function: Vulgar Display of Power (Roly Porter Variation) [Subtext]
Cristian Vogel – Deepwater [Shitkatapult]
Cristian Vogel – Lucky Connor [Shitkatapult]
björk – dark matter (alva noto remodel) [One Little Indian]
björk – virus (matthew herbert's fever remix) [One Little Indian]
Memotone – My Stranger [A Future Without]
Origamibiro – Flicker [via Bad Panda] {free download!}
Memotone – Ghost [A Future Without]
Origamibiro – Ballerina Platform Shoes (Plaid remix) [Denizen/Abandon Building Recordings]
Origamibiro – Dusk & Umber (Upward Arrows remix) [Denizen/Abandon Building Recordings]

Listen again — ~ 159MB

Sunday, 22nd of April, 2012

Playlist 22.04.12 (11:10 pm)

Tonight, folktronica, drone, postpunk, dubstep and breakcore all rub shoulders… so, just a normal show then.
LISTEN AGAIN via FBi on demand, podcast or direct download at the bottom of this post.

Our first track was inspired by seeing the clip for "Freedom '90" on Rage's 25th birthday special on Saturday night. I'm not (too) embarrassed to say I love the song, but I love Robert Lippok & Caroline Thorpe's cover even more so, from the amazing Recovery compilation, released a few years ago on a boxset of ten 7" records…

Last week's highlight, the new psych-folk album by Mike Wexler, featured again tonight. We also heard again the folktronic sounds of Italy's K-Conjog and France's Chapelier Fou.

The first new release this week is a corker from Sydney's Karoshi, streaming on Bandcamp at the moment. They've been doing lovely folktronic stuff for a few years now, and have perfected their sound for this latest release – punchy drums, glitchy effects and lovely melodies.

I'm sometimes a bit cynical about 14tracks, the weekly digital mixtape of tracks from Boomkat, which is after all an exercise in selling us something. But then, that's what the music business is aobut, and they do have pretty good taste, as we hear in this week's selection of footwork-influenced electronica. Russian-American Slava Balsanov's track samples what sounds like a kora, and then dives into blissful textures and shuffling beats — a great find for the Software label. And Throwing Snow takes things in a more ravey direction in that not-really-jungle way of juke.
Meanwhile in a more UK-style Bass way is the excellent new EP from Commodo on the ever-reliable Deep Medi. This track in particular recalls the melodic, jazzy sounds of labelmate Silkie.

Sydney kids MAKING have all the signs of being the next big thing in instrumental dance-rock, and their new single (free from Bandcamp) rocks that signature guitar sound. The two remixes are nicely contrasting, and local sax/computer experimentalist Ben Carey pulls their track apart, to make a glitching, building crescendo of drone.

Just in this week is the 2nd Hidden Landscapes compilation from the (mostly) netlabel Audio Gourmet. Featuring a well-selected bunch of drone/post-classical/thingy artists, as often is the case, the highlights come from artists who are unknown to me. Norway's Pjusk have a new album coming out soon on 12k, and here contribute a delicate ambient piece along the lines of the classic em:t releases of the '90s. Rudi Arapahoe is more in a post-classical vein, with wispy female vocals in the mix.

Fabio Orsi gives us one of his amazing long drones with pounding drums in the amusingly-titled "the new year is over (nope)" (there's a matching "the new year is over (yep)" track on the album).

Also from last week, we have another track from laptop power trio Fenn O'Berg's stunning latest album, and the wondrous 12-minute finale to Machinefabriek's brilliant Colour Tones, plus both sides of his Ontrafelde tonen 7" — choral samples (creating a similar effect to the voices in Jurgen Knieper's "Cathedral of Books" on the Wings of Desire soundtrack, for the trainspotters!) and then more abstract sounds on the b-side: scary creaking, submerged vocals, scraping… And also another track from his very fine collaboration with Steve Roden.

To almost finish, we jump to two new releases on the Ad Noiseam label. The fourth album from Larvae sees him moving further away from the heavy dubby beats, using guitar and electronics for a not-quite-shoegazey sound. But there are still some pretty great glitchy beats and occasional dubstep influence surfacing. It's really great stuff.
New band Underhill features Tim Eliot of Current Value, Ivan Shopov aka Cooh/Balkansky, and various others, into a fusion of dubstep, drum'n'bass/breakcore, and trip-hop. It's the heavier end of those beats, and so the nice songwriting elements may be lost on people who can't handle the massive bass and sometimes nasty beats, but for those of us who enjoy that stuff it's very good indeed. Current Value's recent (current) Björk remixes should point people in the right direction too!

And finally, keeping the beats in the drum'n'bass direction, we have something from the new Squarepusher. To be honest I'm finding it hard to get really enthused about this. Sure, he's come back to the electronic side of things, and the beats are a slightly nastier (dubstep-influenced) side of drill'n'bass, but it lacks much of the melodic and fun aspect of his earlier stuff. Maybe he's trying too hard to be darker here. The jury's still out on this (although compared to the crazy prog-jazz-kitchen-sink of the last few albums, it's a welcome return…)

Robert Lippok & Caroline Thorpe – Freedom! [Fractured Recordings] {Yup, George Michael cover!}
Mike Wexler – The Trace [Mexican Summer]
Mike Wexler – Liminal [Mexican Summer]
Karoshi – ELK [stream on Bandcamp] {hint: Like them on Facebook and request a free download of the EP!}
Karoshi – Blood In The Rain [stream on Bandcamp]
K-Conjog – Qwerty [Abandon Building Records]
Chapelier Fou – Shunde's Bronx [Ici D'Ailleurs]
Slava – The Swan [Software]
Commodo – So Clear [Deep Medi]
Throwing Snow – Too Polite (feat. Louis Vines) [Local Action]
MAKING – Barcelona [free from their Bandcamp]
MAKING – Barcelona (Ben Carey remix) [free from their Bandcamp]
Pjusk – Vannspeil [Audio Gourmet]
Rudi Arapahoe – Double Bind [Audio Gourmet]
Fabio Orsi – the new year is over (nope) [Silentes]
Fresh Snow – BMX Based Tactics [Sonic Boom] {download from their Soundcloud}
Fenn O'Berg – Concrete Onions (24 Nov 2010, Kyoto, Club Metro) [Editions Mego]
Machinefabriek – Mosaic [Fang Bomb]
Machinefabriek – Ontrafelde tonen 2 [Vintermusik]
Steve Roden & Machinefabriek – ice bow [Eat, Sleep, Repeat]
Machinefabriek – Ontrafelde tonen 3 [Vintermusik]
Larvae – Locked From The Inside [Ad Noiseam]
Underhill – Blind [Ad Noiseam]
Larvae – Vows & Promises [Ad Noiseam]
Larvae – N-1 [Ad Noiseam]
Underhill – Solace [Ad Noiseam]
Squarepusher – Drax 2 [Warp]

Listen again — ~ 158MB

Sunday, 15th of April, 2012

Playlist 15.04.12 (11:14 pm)

Psych-folk! Folktronica! An interview with Brett from Margins! Go see them this Saturday (21st) at Hellen Rose Lab, 17 Waterloo St Surry Hills — a cool gallery space. Should be a mighty fine gig.
LISTEN AGAIN as per usual – see below, podcast, or stream on demand.

I'm new to Mike Wexler, and his new album has left me gobsmacked all week. It's understated psych folk, songs in odd scales, harmonies changing direction halfway through melodies, unusual time signatures — but none of it screaming out at you. It features members of the free improv scene like Nate Wooley, but isn't really challenging listening. Just great.

Also on the folky, or more country, end of the spectrum is Sydney's The Singing Skies aka Kell from Moonmilk. He enlists Seaworthy here to do a remix, and it's truly spellbinding, with scratchy violin over guitar and vocals…

And from last week, Tasmania's Spheres bring a doomier, heavier track.

And then it's into an interview with Brett from Melbourne instrumental rock band Margins. They're touring to release their new album Divide — see top of post. The track from their first album has some wicked guitar tapping.

After some more from Mr Wexler, it's into the somewhat folktronic sounds of Dictaphone. Clarinet and violin drive the sound, with tuned percussion in the mix along with, I'm guessing, subtle electronics and beats — and a wonderful vocal on the last track. This is amazing stuff, beautifully packaged on Sonic Pieces.

Another amazing find this week is Sweden's Esbjörn Svensson Trio (e.s.t). Recalling The Bad Plus a tiny bit (they're a melodic jazz piano trio), and folks like 3ofmillions and Triosk (not to mention Alister Spence) in their combining of piano jazz with electronics, they make some beautiful sounds. I'll have to play more next week.

Also popping up from last week is Perth's Kynan Tan, whose album rætina is highly recommended. The minimalist glitch beats and processed Fender Rhodes are joined on one track here by vocals as well.

Next we travel to France, with an artist who only recently graced our shores (and I missed him, more's the pity) — Chapelier Fou is released on the awesome French label Ici D'Ailleurs and mixes looped and/or fully arranged violin with crunchy beats. I'd love to see how he does it live. As well as some added cello (at least) on some tracks, the album features labelmate Matt Elliott aka Mr Third Eye Foundation on the last track, sounding particularly mellifluous.

Italy's K-Conjog also mixes violin in with his folktronic beats and cut-ups. This is folktronica just how I enjoy it, and you should check it out too, on Abandon Building Records, who released the latest Origamibiro in the US, among some other great releases (see what else I've played of theirs).

It's been a great year for Machinefabriek, who's concentrating on perfectly-formed sound art/installation pieces more than longform drones. His disc with another installation artist, Steve Roden, rewards close listening, with what I think of as "foley" recordings (perhaps field recordings, perhaps meticulously-prepared sound pieces) rubbing up against musical passages on various instruments. Similarly with the new solo Machinefabriek , one of his best works I feel.

On the same label that brought us the Steve Roden collaboration come Minus Pilots. It's electric bass through various delay pedals and four-track tape recorder, and they aptly describe it thus: "all our recordings are designed for listening through headphones while gazing at the stars…" Indeed.

And finally, the mighty laptop improv trio Fenn O'Berg are back with a new live album on Editions Mego, In Hell. It feels like their best yet, or at least since the first batch, and reminds me bizarrely of a slightly more experimental Future Sound of London. Anything goes, with orchestral loops, crackly synths and even some live (I think) electric guitar. Highly, highly recommended.

Mike Wexler – Pariah [Mexican Summer]
The Singing Skies – A Message From The Cliffs (Seaworthy remix) [Preservation] {free download from SoundCloud}
Spheres – Salvation for the Wretched [Sonoptik]
Margins – Men Vs Nature [Casadeldisco Records]
…interview with Brett from Margins
Margins – Closes In [Low Transit Industries]
Margins – Rabbit Head [Casadeldisco Records]
Mike Wexler – Lens [Mexican Summer]
Mike Wexler – Spectrum [Mexican Summer]
Dictaphone – The Conversation [Sonic Pieces]
Dictaphone – Rattle [Sonic Pieces]
Esbjörn Svensson Trio (e.s.t) – Inner City, City Lights [ACT]
Kynan Tan – skeletal (frame+axis) [Listen/Hear Collective]
Kynan Tan – woken / under streams [Listen/Hear Collective]
Chapelier Fou – L'eau qui dort [Ici D'Ailleurs] {see the lovely video here}
Chapelier Fou – Protest [Ici D'Ailleurs]
K-Conjog – Nobody Knows [Abandon Building Records]
Chapelier Fou – Moth, Flame (feat. Matt Elliott) [Ici D'Ailleurs] {see the lovely video here}
K-Conjog – Jabberwock [Abandon Building Records]
Steve Roden & Machinefabriek – Leaves [Eat, Sleep, Repeat]
Machinefabriek – Brown [Fang Bomb]
Steve Roden & Machinefabriek – Some Things Within [Eat, Sleep, Repeat]
Machinefabriek – Grey [Fang Bomb]
Minus Pilots – Into The Void [Eat, Sleep, Repeat]
Minus Pilots – Heaven Spots [Eat, Sleep, Repeat]
Fenn O'Berg – Christian Rocks (20 Nov 2010, Oita, Oitaweb.tv Beppu Tower Hall) [Editions Mego]

Listen again — ~ 156MB

Sunday, 8th of January, 2012

Playlist 08.01.12 – Best of 2011 Part 3 (10:15 pm)

Bringing you more of the best music from 2011 tonight…
From ambient to indietronica to drum'n'bass, with dark ambient post-classical, jazz crossed with Vietnamese folk, and outsider pop in the mix.
LISTEN AGAIN via link at bottom, podcast, or On Demand Streaming..

Tom Hall – Before Being [Complicated Dance Steps]
Telafonica – I Can Hear There's A Peace In The Dark [4-4-2music/available from Bandcamp]
Telafonica – Heartbeatings For Those With Heartbeats (Joe Hardy Version) [available from Bandcamp]
I'lls' – Take Higher Ground [available from Bandcamp]
Bleeding Heart Narrative – Shoals [Brainlove Records]
Petrels – Canute [Tartaruga]
Bracken – The Fifty [flau]
Hood – guess my age [Domino]
Hood – hymn to the hill [Domino]
Karsten Pflum – Dansk notebook center [Hymen]
Enduser & Karsten Pflum – A Little While [Ad Noiseam]
Enduser – Retribution [Ad Noiseam]
Fanu – Jupiter 2011 (featuring Mineral) [Lightless]
Jarboe & Sweet Meat and Love Cult – Ode to V (Enduser version) [Ad Noiseam]
Deaf Center – New Beginning (Tidal Darkness) [Type]
The Haxan Cloak – Raven's Lament [Aurora Borealis]
Jasper TX – White Birds [Fang Bomb]
Gareth Davis & Machinefabriek – My Funny Valentine [Brian Records] {also available from Machinefabriek Bandcamp}
Machinefabriek – Brokstuk 7 [Machinefabriek]
Machinefabriek – Sol Sketch 4 [Machinefabriek]
Leah Kardos – Remnant 2 [available from her Bandcamp]
Leah Kardos – Apology [available from her Bandcamp]
Peter Knight & Dung Nguyen – Autumn Music [Parenthèses Records]
Broken Chip – Path to the sea [Flaming Pines]
Option Command – Ellie Can Dance [King Deluxe]
James Brewster – Landfall / Crumbling Spires [Make Mine Music]
Chris Weisman – Music In The Line [autumn records]
Chris Weisman – Contact High [autumn records]
Origamibiro – Dismantle Piece [Denizen/Abandon Building Recordings]
Origamibiro – Quad Time (Juxta Phona Remix) [Denizen/Abandon Building Recordings] {free download remix EP}

Listen again — ~ 161MB

Sunday, 11th of December, 2011

Playlist 11.12.11 (10:12 pm)

Good evening! Still with the new music and we're well into December… It's been a pretty good year!
Many highlights tonight, including Hinterlandt Presents: Through The Motions… LISTEN AGAIN, of course you wanna. Link at bottom, podcast, or stream On Demand.

We've heard Jay Bodley's music on this show a fair bit as Sun Hammer — poised, thoughtful drone with lots of bass. He's suggested (I'm paraphrasing) that it's like dubstep without the beats (or at least mostly without beats). As A Setting Sun he's got a similar aesthetic at play, but it's more into the ambient territory. Don't worry though, there's still plenty of Bass in there, and some generous helpings of growling noise.

We've also heard Valence Drakes quite a lot on this show under the name MusSck, but he seems to have reverted to the easier-to-pronounce Valence Drakes lately. Impeccably-produced atmospheric glitch-hop, whatever he calls himself.

Finally I can play you the new Necks record. It's been out overseas for a month or two now, and I've been sitting on it as I didn't want to play it till it was available here. It's that rarer breed of Necks album, with more than one track! In fact, with two tracks weighing in at just over 21 minutes each, it's surprisingly short for a Necks album, but it's quality vs quantity — the first track dives in almost right away with a driving rhythm that never lets up, but this one starts with gorgeous piano patterns and gradually grows with breakbeats, bowed double bass and layers, while Tim Whitten's production keeps the scribbly piano shining through above it all.

It's also exciting to have the new alog record, which I had to order from Rune Grammofon in Norway as nobody else has got it in yet. Turns out it didn't take that long or cost that much to get it direct. Alog are a fascinating duo who take everyday sounds and naïve musical elements and piece everything together digitally. They can sound very electronic or strangely acoustic, and they suit Utility Fog down to a tee. We heard a couple of quite rhythmic tracks, one in fact basically consisting of awkwardly cut-up drums.

Speaking of rhythmic, it's not an adjective we generally associate with Machinefabriek nowadays, but for a free download (see below) that appeared this week, he's taken his keen ear for sound design and wrapped it around some gently pulsating, mysterious sounds. I had it on repeat for some time after downloading it.

And thence we get to German postrock and minimal electronic figure Robert Lippok, whose latest sounds fit snugly into raster-noton. All electronic sounds, lots of movement, and strangely funky.

Puzahki brings us the first of many tonight from the Hinterlandt-curated compilation Through The Motions (click the link as it's a free download!). Jochen Hinterlandt presented the artists with short snippets of sounds from his track "Motion", from which they created an impressively diverse and high-quality collection of tunes. From Brisbane, Puzahki tones down his frenetic breakbeat of yore, but pumps up the bass for a fantastic track. Later we have awesome ambient waves from Broken Chip, motorik techno from Telafonica and strange, grainy hip-hop from AFXJIM.

From Finland, Fanu is a new producer to me, but has in fact been making drum'n'bass for a good 5 years or more. His new album follows the Paradox model of mixing drum'n'bass with breakbeat at other tempos, including some dubstep, but it's the complex drum'n'bass programming that's particularly irresistible. Very impressive.

Further excitement tonight as we have a rare new tune from Adelaide's Tim Koch, doyen of Australian idm, thanks to Japanese label Mizukage Records — and it's on one of their regular free download compilations! Very pretty electronica as we've come to expect from him. From the same comp we also heard the beats of UK's Arctic Sunrise.

Ensemble Economique is the solo project of Brian Pyle of psychedelic improv group Starving Weirdos, in which he creates arcane sound journeys. His latest offering on Dekorder takes a fairly percussive direction, and indeed on the first cut tonight we have almost jazzy drums, whereas elsewhere they tend towards the more tribal. This record's a grower — it may well end up very high in the best-of list this year…

Sydney stalwart Kevin Purdy has been threatening to put out an ambient album for some years, and it's finally finished, and coming out on vinyl next year. We had a sneak preview tonight, with something edging towards the Aphex Twin Selected Ambient Works direction with its gentle beats, whereas much of this album is even more "ambient", if that makes sense.

Michał Jacaszek is a Polish composer/producer who's been creating his electronic-yet-classical works for some years, and now finds himself on the influential Ghostly International label. It's not simply classical pastiche; in fact it's something else — as much electronic drone, with some contemporary sounding distorted noise here and there, strongly informed by 20th century classical and indeed baroque music. A heady mix.

I've only just discovered Julia Holter, as the blogs start spruiking her forthcoming second album. Chalk that up to her first release being vinyl only, in the physical world, but luckily there's a digital version for me. Classically trained, seemingly with a love of bizarre juxtapositions and indirect song structures, Holter creates a fascinating amalgam of field recordings, experimental sound art, '80s nostalgia and songwriting. I'm not sure it's quite album of the year material, but it's very good, and I'll certainly be snapping up her next one as soon as I can.

Along with the new sounds, we did have a few re-appearances tonight. The wonderful Cokiyu remix album was represented by both Tokyo Bloodworm (sounding more electronic than they have recently) and Vieo Abiungo (sounding as lush and world-music-y as ever).
Meanwhile, another take from Origamibiro's amazing Shakkei album features more violin, cut-up folktronic sounds and loping beats.
And to close, another piece of wonky beats from the lovely Mr Monk Fly.

A Setting Sun – Cosmic Trigger Pt. 2 [available from Bandcamp]
Valence Drakes – Sky Open To Those Who Have Wings [Bedroom Research] {get it from Bandcamp}
Valence Drakes – One Winged Angel [Bedroom Research] {get it from Bandcamp}
Sun Hammer – Underscore [available from Bandcamp]
The Necks – Daylights [Fish of Milk/ReR]
alog – the mountaineer [Rune Grammofon]
Machinefabriek – Danse des Loops [Viral Radio] {free download from SoundCloud!}
Robert Lippok – sugarcubes [raster-noton]
Puzahki – Motion Sickness [Feral Media] {free download from Bandcamp!}
Fanu – Pilvien Päällä [Lightless]
Tim Koch – parallarap [Mizukage Records]
Ensemble Economique – To Feel The Night As It Really Is [Dekorder]
Arctic Sunrise – Chi-Ee-I-Su (The Chase) [Mizukage Records]
Fanu – Jupiter 2011 (featuring Mineral) [Lightless]
Telafonica – Kosmische Bewegung [Feral Media] {free download from Bandcamp!}
Purdy – Mountains Dreaming [Soft Records]
Broken Chip – Particle Motion [Feral Media] {free download from Bandcamp!}
Jacaszek – Evening Strains To Be Time's Vast [Ghostly International]
Julia Holter – Tragedy Finale [Leaving Records]
Cokiyu – Little Waves (Tokyo Bloodworm remix) [flau]
Cokiyu – Gloomy (Vieo Abiungo remix) [flau]
Robert Lippok – nycycle [raster-noton]
alog – the weatherman [Rune Grammofon]
Origamibiro – Ballerina Platform Shoes [Denizen/Abandon Building Recordings]
AFXJIM – Mouth In Motion [Feral Media] {free download from Bandcamp!}
Monk Fly – Happier Times To Come My Love [Frequency Lab]

Listen again — ~ 153MB

Sunday, 4th of December, 2011

Playlist 04.12.11 (10:19 pm)

Gosh, the year's almost over! I've been going through some 2011 releases, and it's been pretty awesome…
Much goodness tonight, including the perfect folktronica of Origamibiro… LISTEN AGAIN, see below, see podcast, see FBi On Demand

We'll get to Origamibiro later, but it's a marvellous album. After an introductory piece from him/them, we had the 21-minute journey that is the opening track from the new He Can Jog release (mini-album? EP?) on the Home Normal-affiliated Nomadic Kids Republic. A fair bit of his recent work has been more drone-based, but the drones here meld into more rhythmic sections, then subtle beats and folktronic effects, and vocals here and there. Very lovely.

Second Language have just released the follow-up to last year's Music & Migration comp, once again raising money for BirdLife International. The list of contributors is fantastic, as was the last one, and includes Sydney's own Sophie Hutchings. But before we heard her contribution (featuring some wordless vocals in the mix), we started off with Dollboy's contribution, sounding susprisingly like Robert Wyatt, with piano and gradually more lush instrumentation, plus birdsong.

We find our way to Sophie Hutchings via her "remix" (or cover really) of Finnish artist Ous Mal, of tracks from his first album on Preservation. The Preservation posse have been asked to remix his tracks for a special compilation called Ous Mal is dead, commemorating the fact that he is discarding that moniker in favour of Nuojuva for his album next year. There are some very special interpretations here, and it's only available direct from the label.

Back to Music & Migration, we hear from UFog favourite of days of yore, James Brewster, whose recent album this year was perhaps just far enough into esoteric to not make the splash it should have — but to these ears an amazing amalgam of classical, folk and experimental electronic. His track on this comp manages to mix all of that into a little over 3 minutes…

It's been a turbulent year for Monk Fly, with successes for his Frequency Lab label, losses of relatives and the birth of his first child. This all comes out in his Odes EP, excellent emotion-laden wonky beats.

Remixing Maps and Diagrams, Part Timer gets his post-dubstep on with the first official release under his Dark Mahoney moniker. And he's also remixing Cokiyu as Scissors and Sellotape on her wonderful Your Thorn Remixes release, coming very soon from flau.

We jump straight in with two more tracks from there, killer remixes both from flau boss aus and idm/folktronica legend Opiate. So many more to play you next week too!

And then it's time to get back to Origamibiro. Although he's joined by Andrew Tytherleigh on a few tracks, Origamibiro is mostly the folktronic project of Tom Hill, who used to be half of celebrated idm duo Wauvenfold. As we heard, Wauvenfold could chop up beats with the best of them. Many years later came the first Origamibiro album, surprising us all with wonderful glitchy acoustic guitars, reminiscent of the heyday of folktronica. The new album is another step forward, both in compositional construction and production, incorporating layered violin with the electronics. It's pretty marvellous. I think I used that word before.

I played a gorgeous track from (still) the last Alister Spence Trio album because they're playing at 505 this Wednesday. First class contemporary jazz atmospherics.

On a totally different tip, making make hard-hitting punky rock, with a focus on rhythm and dynamics, and very little vocals. Haven't heard rock this good since Ohana.

Another change of gear brings us to cellist Theresa Wong, teaming up with Carla Kihlstedt to bring us a suite of cello, violin and vocal songs based around Goya's etchings on "The Disasters of War". The Unlearning features so many tracks it can be hard to get one's head around, but it sits in a similar genre to Kihlstedt's own songwriting work — adventurous and experimental but melodic music using strings for rhythm, harmony, texture and melody. In the declamatory, often political bent of the lyrics I hear a little of Dagmar Krause and Art Bears.

From here we segue via cello back into Ous Mal with a lugubrious inerpretation from Aaron Martin, and then a typical droning, chittering remix from Pimmon. Recommended.

Telafonica's new album is certainly a stayer, and happily jumps around many genres, from drone to indietronica to guitar based songs. I also took the opportunity to reprise a favourite indietronic song of theirs from a few years back.

Sydney's got a bit of a post-r'n'b beats scene springing up, to no small amount nurtured by a couple of blogs: Life Aquatic and East To West. The former is apparently releasing a 7" from Albatross shortly, from which we took a very pretty number and then finished with the remix by the internationally-celebrated (by Boomkat at least) Dro Carey.
In between, the floating vocal samples and frenetic sped-up 2step beats of Sepalcure, dancefloor creation of Machinedrum and Praveen.

Origamibiro – Dismantle Piece [Denizen/Abandon Building Recordings]
He Can Jog – Gather / Burn/ Echo [Nomadic Kids Republic]
Dollboy – Birds in my Mouth [Second Language]
Ous Mal – Marraskuu (Marraskewered by Sophie Hutchings) [Preservation]
Sophie Hutchings – Between Two Hills [Second Language]
James Brewster – Dissent en route [Second Language]
Monk Fly – Watching You Watch Him Pass Away [Frequency Lab]
Maps and Diagrams – Jupiter Incidental (Dark Mahoney Remix) [Sutemos]
Cokiyu – Textured Clouds (Scissors and Sellotape Remix) [flau]
Cokiyu – Gloomy Monday (aus remix) [flau]
Cokiyu – Round In Fog (Opiate Rework) [flau]
Origamibiro – Quad Time and the Genius of the Crowd [Denizen/Abandon Building Recordings]
Wauvenfold – Clip (clopt) [Wichita Recordings]
Origamibiro – noshi [Expanding Records]
Origamibiro – Impressions of Footfall [Denizen/Abandon Building Recordings]
Alister Spence Trio – neon and rain [Rufus Records]
making – Partial / AB [available from Bandcamp]
Theresa Wong with Carla Kihlstedt – Candlehat [Tzadik]
Theresa Wong with Carla Kihlstedt – What Courage! [Tzadik]
Theresa Wong with Carla Kihlstedt – We Shall See [Tzadik]
Ous Mal – Tuulensuoja (at breath's end) by Aaron Martin [Preservation]
Ous Mal – Marraskuu (Pimmon's Shallow Grave mix) [Preservation]
Telafonica – I Can Hear There's A Peace In The Dark [4-4-2music/available from Bandcamp]
Telafonica – Nothing Ventured [4-4-2music/available from Bandcamp]
Albatross – Casper's Theme [Life Aquatic]
Sepalcure – Eternally Yrs [Hotflush]
Albatross – Casper's Theme (Dro Carey remix) [Life Aquatic]

Listen again — ~ 152MB

Sunday, 20th of November, 2011

Playlist 20.11.11 (10:08 pm)

Evening kids! Lovely sounds for you tonight… Don't forget next Saturday's Postfolkrocktronica Picnic on Cockatoo Island!
LISTEN AGAIN via FBi On Demand, or you can download a version below — or podcast as always.

We started tonight with a beautiful folk song from Meg Baird, from whom we'll hear more later. She is (or was?) a member of Philadelphia folk-rock band Espers. Solo her music is stripped down, pure acoustic folk, carried by her pure voice and poised songwriting.

I'm continuing to discover remixes by the fabulous string duo Geese. Tonight we have another Fence Collective member, Found, transformed in Geese's inimitable way.
Equally inimitable is Andrew Bird, who's used his violin and occasional vocals and whistling to create a soundtrack for the indie film Norman. I don't know much about the movie, but the soundtrack's lovely. The tracks are short, as they're really just movie cues, but it's still new Andrew Bird material!

This Friday night at Hibernian House on Elizabeth St, Surry Hills, Canberra's Pollen Trio are bringing their post-jazz to Sydney to launch their new album roll Roll Slow. They've developed a sound world that's all their own, and should be excellent live.

Next up, we're on to a bit of a trip to next Saturday's Postfolkrocktronica Picnic. We start with an exclusive: Ollie Bown's remix of Infinite Decimals, coming out soon fromt he Melbourne duo. We can hear the drum'n'bass pulse from his duo Icarus in amongst the distorting drones.

Then a couple of tunes from Pimmon. First is an old favourite, from his Tigerbeat6 album snaps * crackles * pops, which infamously features "beats", of a Pimmon persuasion. Apparently there may be some more rhythmic stuff from Paul on Saturday — not to be missed! We also heard a stunning, epic track from his new album The Oansome Orbit — acid bubbles and majestic, grainy drones form a slow harmonic progression.

Earlier in the day, we'll get some glitchy hip-hop beats from Thomas William (formerly known as Cleptoclectics) and Option Command. Option Command is a wizard at glitched-out but danceable beats live (very live!), while Thomas William tends to treat any samples as fodder for nano-edited rhythms. And Thomas William's new album is a free download from This Thing — check it out!

Beloved Sydney postrock band Underlapper are starting off the day a little after 1pm, in quartet format. In this lineup they'll be focusing on the more electronic parts of their repertoire, such as the piece I played tonight.

And finally, on in the afternoon after Underlapper is afxjim, with lush postrock/indie sounds.

We come out of our Cockatoo gig special with the new album from Oneohtrix Point Never. Continuing the trend from his 2nd album on Editions Mego, there are glitchy samples and edits, along with piano, added to the nostalgic synths he first became famous for. There's some deep recollection of Boards of Canada here and there, but also '80s electro-pop through a very contemporary lens, and when the piano's in the mix it's uncommonly beautiful.

A real electronic highlight of the year is the return of Phoenecia. We heard their album a couple of months ago when they released it digitally on their own long-lived Schematic label, but now it's available on Detroit Underground (with a slightly incorrect tracklisting on the back cover). Their sound is characterised by limitlessly detailed digital processing, and it's a thrill to hear them do their thing to the eponymous bodhran on the first track. There's a surprising amount of actual melody, and plenty of rhythm as well.

I only discovered this week a compilation from 2008 on Asthmatic Kitty called Habitat, 2CDs of experimental electronic music. It's pretty awesome, so in a couple of weeks I'll feature it a bit more. Meanwhile we heard this piece by Son Lux, in which an voice singing "Speak" is extended over the entire track, while layers of piano build to a noisy climax and then die away. Pretty awesome.
Son Lux, aka Ryan Lott, has worked a fair bit with the lovely My Brightest Diamond, and we also heard an alternate version of one of her new album tracks, featuring Son Lux's production. In a few weeks we'll also be able to sample his compositions performed by yMusic, a new classical ensemble who form the backing band on the new My Brightest Diamond album.

Next we heard one track from Future Sequence's SEQUENCE2, a compilation I wanted to feature more than I managed tonight — so tune in next weekend for more! Borealis gives us a heavy piece of shogaze and beats. I've been coming back to this a lot this week.

But now it's time to head back to Meg Baird and Espers. I don't think it's fair to object to the obviously derivative nature of this music. They're tapping into a timeless folk aesthetic which is as true and authentic now as it was (or wasn't) in the '60s or '70s. Meg Bairs solo in particular is just making incredible songs with perfect, simple arrangements. The album's all good, but about half is breathtaking.

Another exciting discovery this week is DoF, coming to us courtesy of Abandon Building Records, home also to the ukulele mangling of umin. DoF has a deft hand at folktronica — always nice hearing banjo in an electronic setting. Very nicely done.

And finally two more tracks from Future Sequence. From the first SEQUENCE comp, Sun Hammer's "Tonningsen Bus Stop II" has his typical mix of acoustic and electronic drones with Bass music, but here it's Bass stripped of its beats. It's just one enormous distorted Bass drone through the centre of the track. Very very tasty.
Beautiful Bells bring a distinctly paranoid tone to the beats in their "Panic Attack 2", featured on SEQUENCE2. I definitely appreciate the range of sounds on these comps, not just drone and post-classical. Highly recommended.

Meg Baird – Even Rain [Drag City/Wichita]
Found – Let Fidelity Break (Geese remix) [Fence Records?]
Andrew Bird – 3:36 [Mom and Pop Music]
Pollen Trio – Erupt_OFF [hellosQuare Recordings]
Infinite Decimals – 2.54421781 (Ollie Bown remix) [forthcoming]
Pimmon – the sacred dance of Mimi Lush [Tigerbeat6]
Pimmon – düülbludgers [Room40]
Thomas William – The Pearl [This Thing] {free download release!}
Option Command – Polybell Strategy [King Deluxe]
Thomas William – By Proxy / History Shock [This Thing] {free download release!}
Underlapper – Elephant Shoe [Feral Media/hellosQuare]
afxjim – Love For Juan [Feral Media]
Oneohtrix Point Never – Andro [Software Label]
Phoenecia – Frendano [Schematic/Detroit Underground]
Oneohtrix Point Never – Power of Persuasion [Software Label]
Phoenecia – Two-Part Invention for Bodhran & Computer [Schematic/Detroit Underground]
Son Lux – Speak [Asthmatic Kitty]
My Brightest Diamond – Be Brave (Alternate version with Son Lux) [Asthmatic Kitty]
Borealis – Skyhall [Future Sequence] {from SEQUENCE2 – free on Bandcamp!}
Meg Baird – Song For Next Summer [Drag City/Wichita]
Espers – Sightings [Drag City]
Espers – Mansfield and Cyclops [Drag City]
Meg Baird – The Land Turned Over [Drag City/Wichita]
DoF – another shower fall [Abandon Building Records]
umin – mail [Abandom Building Records]
DoF – so much of it water [Abandon Building Records]
Sun Hammer – Tonningsen Bus Stop II [Future Sequence] {from SEQUENCE 1, also free on Bandcamp}
Beautiful Bells – Panic Attack 2 [Future Sequence] {from SEQUENCE2 – free on Bandcamp!}

Listen again — ~ 86MB (only 64bit m4a from stream tonight sorry!)


 
Check the sidebar for archive links!

36 queries. 11.108 seconds. Powered by WordPress |