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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, 21st of February, 2010

Playlist 21.02.10 (10:07 pm)

So. Tonight’s interview with the lovely Mr James Blackshaw was a little delayed but did go ahead. We also had a number of tunes from the amazing BJ Nilsen, and ran the gamut from melodicism to drill’n’bass… Checkit.
LISTEN AGAIN link at the bottom as usual! You can also download the James Blackshaw interview on its own here (~19MB).

Starting tonight with a lovely bit of field recording-meets-drone courtesy of BJ Nilsen. It’s the title track to his new album and features the amplified sound of a chair being dragged across the floor. Yum.
Then we had the closing track from the ever-wondrous Pikelet’s new album – folky guitar and heavenly harmonies.

James Blackshaw was a bit of a focus for tonight. I had a bit of difficulty getting through due to a misunderstanding about area codes, but once I sorted that out we had a fantastic chat about his music. You can download it separately here.
The first track I played showcases his beautiful cyclical fingerpicking guitar style. Later we had works featuring strings and voice (from his latest album and first on the Young God label), more fingerstyle guitar, and lastly one piece featuring Blackshaw on piano.
You can catch James Blackshaw in two Sundays’ time, 7:30pm on the 7th of March at Raval in Surry Hills. Tix here.

We heard a track from Axxonn’s excellent new cassette release last week. Tonight, another piece of shuddering drone. Follow the link to buy the cassette with a free download, or purchase it digitally here.

As you may have heard, Michael Gira has announced that he is reforming his legendary gothic rock group Swans, with a new album in the works. Hugely exciting news. In the lead-up, he released a third album of home recordings, including a number of awesome new tunes he played last year on his Australian tour. Tonight’s was one of the highlights.

Ah, Keith Mason, another artist going by his first initial! This track is a trial run for his shambolic EP of last year. You can download it for free, whaddaya waiting for! Grungey keyboard bassline, electric guitar that sounds like a pirate coming to cut your throat.

Shearwater have another album out – third in the trilogy that started with the glorious Palo Santo and continued with Rook… unashamed romantic melodicism, owing much to late-period Talk Talk. Wonderful stuff.

These New Puritans, on the other hand, how to characterise this group? With classical arrangements for woodwinds and choir, plus a highly rhythmic core that points at dancehall and perhaps grime, along with a punkish attitude, and… heck, just check out the video for “We Want War”!
The album was produced by Mr Graham Sutton, giving me an excuse to play one of my favourite songs ever, Bark Psychosis’s Bloodrush.

Next up, Low’s Alan Sparhawk returns with a second album for his ROCK side-project Retribution Gospel Choir. It’s heavy and it’s got Sparhawk’s songs and vocals – what more could we want? That Low song I played could possibly be one of the greatest songs ever too.

Squat Club is one of many Sydney acts based around the crew called QWERTY whose drill’n’bass/idm tunes I used to play a lot when they dropped them into the station a few years back. Squat Club is fabulous epic prog stuff, and goes down a treat. Meanwhile Josh Head’s Calmon H Salmon continues the QWERTY tradition of crazed beats and synths. Yes please.

As well as another lovely soundscape from BJ Nilsen, we had something a little different, from the excellent 10×7” set Recovery from Fractured back in 2008. Nilsen covers Joy Division, although you probably wouldn’t notice :) Still, beats and stuff!

Meanwhile, first hint of the debut album from Sydney’s Actual Russian Brides, electronic pop experimentalism, followed by some more electronica from Sydney: Loopsnake’s dubsteppy debut EP and Monk Fly’s wonky swung beats (released on the Bay Area’s Daly City Records).

And finally, a couple of tunes in tribute to the wonderful Chris Knox. Next week, we’ll have more Knox, Tall Dwarfs, and covers from the fabulous Stroke comp that’s out to raise money to help him recover from last year’s, yes, stroke. Tonight, the lo-fi masterpiece “the slide” is followed by fellow NZ legends The Chills covering a very early Tall Dwarfs tune…

BJ Nilsen – The Invisible City [Touch]
Pikelet – Elbow Equals Bend [Chapter Music]
James Blackshaw – Spiralling Skeleton Memorial [Important Records]
Axxonn – Drone Study1 [Bedroom Suck]
James Blackshaw – Cross [Young God]
James Blackshaw – Sunshrine [Kning Disk]
M Gira – Promise of Water [Young God]
K Mason – Untitled Demo November 2004 [Download from K Mason]
…interview with James Blackshaw
James Blackshaw – The Cloud of Unknowing [Tompkins Square] {in background under interview!}
James Blackshaw – Gate of Horn [Tompkins Square]
Shearwater – Landscape at Speed [Matador]
These New Puritans – We Want War [Angular/Domino]
Bark Psychosis – Bloodrush [3rd Stone]
Retribution Gospel Choir – Electric Guitar [Sub Pop]
Low – Belarus [Sub Pop]
Retribution Gospel Choir – Destroyer [Sub Pop]
Squat Club – Corvus [self-released]
Calmon H Salmon – karnageminitinkles [self-released, available through addictech]
BJ Nilsen – Heart and Soul [Fractured] {Joy Division cover!}
BJ Nilsen – Finisterre [Touch]
Actual Russian Brides – Puppet [demo/unreleased]
Loopsnake – Is It The Devil In You? [self-released]
Monk Fly – Bumpin Joints [Daly City Records]
Tall Dwarfs – the slide [Flying Nun]
The Chills – Luck or Loveliness [Merge]

Listen again — ~ 179MB


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