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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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Sunday, 4th of October, 2009

Playlist 04.10.09 (10:14 pm)

So tonight was a bit of schlemozzel from my end, as I’d been at TINA since Friday night and hadn’t prepared to my usual level of insane meticulousness. Seemed to go alright though, but forgive the excess babble.
As usual, LISTEN AGAIN via link below playlist.

Started with a replay from last week, one of the tracks of the year without a doubt!
I only managed one of Terror Danjah’s Gremlinz this week, but next week I’m sure I’ll play the excellent junglist track that finishes his album. It’s high-quality instrumental grime, even if his trademark cackle and fairly similar beats get a bit much over a whole album – there’s some true gems there.
I’ve played Paul Elam, aka fieldhead, a fair bit on the show and he always garners a reaction. His debut album is finally coming out soon, and I have a preview copy that I’ll be pushing at you for the next few weeks – a wonderful amalgam of drone/noise, 2step-inspired beats and folktronic bits, appropriate for his other life as a member of the declining winter. As with all releases on the fabulous home assembly music, initial copies of the album come with a bonus remix CD, and Paul’s lined up some excellent names (see the label’s site for a rundown – and pre-order the album while you’re there!). Machinefabriek does a splendid job on tonight’s sampling.
I love pretty much everything Lucky Dragons do. They’re not quite as jagged and cut-up as their stunning early works any more, opting for a more organic and tribal sound, but it’s still very processed and bizarre. Their new CD on Japanese label Moamoo collects tracks from their last three vinyl releases, plus a few bonuses. I took the opportunity to play the blissed-out “honeycomb house parts 1-3”, which I’d happily have on repeat for hours. Dig it.
My first purchase from Newcastle came next. The Spanish Magic folks (aka Castings) have setup a shopfront called Vox Cyclops as part of Marcus Westbury’s fantastic Renew Necastle project – taking the empty shopfronts and warehouses that litter Newcastle and filling them with creative ventures of all sorts. I grabbed a number of weird & wonderful (mostly) Aussie releases there.
I’ve been reading about Perth artist Craig McElhinney but hadn’t heard any of his work. It’s lovely guitar-loopy stuff on the whole. Thumbs up.
Taswegian Keith Mason (whose CD is stocked by Vox Cyclops if you’re looking for it) does some pretty grotesque things to a guitar, synth and some vocal chords. I’m not sure why Craig reminded me of Keith but anyway, one led to the other.
90 degree handbrake turn takes us next to Why?, from his/their latest album, with the song with that great refrain (see below). More cascading piano lines from Doug McDiarmid.
Gareth Skinner’s wonderful chugging rock celli come next. I’m very much looking forward to chatting with Gareth next week, and hopefully y’all will be inspired to grab his album Looking For Vertical afterwards.
New this week is a compilation called Crayon Angel, which features covers of the folk singer Judee Sill. I have to be upfront that Sill’s songwriting doesn’t really do it for me – and the religious undercurrent is a bit of a turnoff. Nevertheless there are a few great pieces here, particularly the two I played tonight: Daniel Rossen cannot do a thing wrong, and he’s been known to turn utter dreck into pure gold before (see here). Similarly, Owen Pallett is famous for his live cover versions, and his track is a thing of beauty.
Dan Rossen takes us to Grizzly Bear, and thence we find ourselves with our other “feature album” this week, the Warp20 (Recreated) comp, celebrating Warp Records’ 20th birthday in style, with Warp artists covering other Warp artists. Sydney’s Pivot bring us their take on the Grizzlies’ “Colorado”, with Richie Pike on vocal duties, recorded by Cornel Qua at his new studio Electric Dreams. They’ve done a lovely job.
We also heard Clark’s manic drill’n’bass take on the Milanese classic “So Malleable”, and Milanese’s own “cold mix”, still an astounding piece – starkly minimal, but referencing jungle and hardcore as well as dubstep and techno.
One of the best tracks by far on this comp comes from Mira Calix, teaming up with cellist Oliver Coates to remake a Boards of Canada tune. I couldn’t help but play the BoC classic “Hi Scores”, which is one of my favourite pieces of music, I dare say – and at least a couple of correspondents agreed :)
Another fieldhead cut kept us in the zone, after which we were blindsided (I hope) by Christoph Heemann’s gorgeous contribution to the Melvins remix album – which only bursts into hardcore punk for the last 30 seconds. This album, Chicken Switch, makes for interesting listening – and fuck anybody who says remix albums are gratuitous! There’s some great creativity flowing from the artists assembled here, from noise maestros to glitch pioneers, the latter being of course none other than Farmers Manual, from whose iconic Explorers We I excerpted about 10 minutes of controlled chaos.
Who better to follow that than our own pimmon, who not only played some fine sets at his shows with Ensemble Offspring this week, but also dazzled those of us lucky enough to witness his set at the Renew Newcastle Church on Saturday evening at TINA. I picked up his very limited self-released CDR the sounds of Perth at that gig, from which we heard Gosnells (postcode 6110).
And another sparkling take from sparklehorse + fenneszIn The Fishtank collaboration.
Perth’s Stina Thomas has put out only a few tracks over the last few years, but it’s of such high quality that anything new should be highly sought after. I grabbed her new split 7″ with The Tigers (whose delightfully-named track was heard directly afterwards) direct from the Love Is My Velocity folks at the TINA zine fair, where I also picked up a bunch of excellent comics (hi Ben! Hi Pat!) and some crazy breakcore shit (hi Guy!)
The Tigers were followed with some more top-quality postrock type stuff from afxjim, an all-too-unassuming bloke whose album Blackout Music needs to be trumpeted to the world, so marvellous it is. Come on people, go listen on the MySpazz and you’ll be grabbing that shit right away.
Strangely, Ramona Falls segued perfectly from the previous track (nah, it’s just my programming genius). I had an early promo of this and missed that it had already come out in the USA. OH MAN this is great! It’s got everything that makes Menomena (of whom he is a member) so fine – catchy melodies, glowing piano lines, big drums… Essential.
And yes, that Final Fantasy Judee Sill cover is something else, isn’t it?

Tranqill – Payroll (Paul White’s Clean Dub) [Planet µ]
Terror Danjah – Splash [Planet µ]
fieldhead – this train is a rainbow [home assembly music]
fieldhead – songs well known (Machinefabriek remix) [home assembly music] {unmastered – the album with bonus remix cd can still be pre-ordered from home assembly music and comes out on the 2nd of November!}
the declining winterfieldhead remix [home assembly]
Lucky Dragons – honeycomb house parts 1-3 [Moamoo]
Craig McElhinney – The Kavorka (or how I learned to stop worrying and love the beast) [Meupe]
K Mason – VTR [K Mason]
Why? – Even The Good Wood Gone [Anticon] {NO FLASH PHOTOGRAPHY!}
Gareth Skinner – Amateur Hour [Rubber Records]
Daniel Rossen – Waterfall [American Dust]
Pivot – Colorado [Warp]
Clark – So Malleable [Warp]
Milanese – So Malleable (cold mix) [Planet µ]
Mira Calix with Oliver Coates – In A Beautiful Place Out In The Country [Warp]
Boards of Canada – Hi Scores [SKAM]
fieldhead – of october [home assembly music]
Melvins – Emperor Twaddle Remix by Christoph Heemann [Ipecac]
Melvins – disp_tx_skel_mach_murx by Farmers Manual [Ipecac]
Farmers Manual – extract from Explorers_We [OR]
pimmon – Gosnells [self-released album the sounds of Perth]
sparklehorse + fennesz – Music Box Of Snakes [Konkurrent]
Stina – Only two [Love Is My Velocity]
The Tigers – Now that I am old whatever shall I do with my whimsical hardcore tattoos? [Love Is My Velocity]
afxjim – Love For Juan [Feral Media]
Ramona Falls – Melectric [Barsuk]
Final Fantasy – The Donor [American Dust]

New! Listen again — ~264MB.


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