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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, 9th of May, 2010

Playlist 09.05.10 (11:08 pm)

Many wonderful sounds for you tonight, including an interview with Michael Muller from the wonderful Texan band Balmorhea
LISTEN AGAIN link at the bottom, as ever.

But to start off, an album that I really shouldn’t have neglected for the last month or two. Second album proper from High Places, whose music I first heard in the excellent Tokyo record store Warszawa, the perfect setting for something of a spin-out. They haven’t exactly gone mainstream since then, and the effects-laden tribal percussion and other freaky sounds are still present; but there might be a bit less tampering with the vocals, which leads to a fantastic weird pop album.

This week I also finally got hold of Clint Mansell’s beautiful soundtrack to Duncan Jones’ extraordinary movie of last year, Moon. A highly effective two-note piano refrain, and an excellent post-rock in this piece. Of course if I’m playing Clint I have no choice but to play something from the Poppies, who were for more than half a decade my favourite band in the whole world. I decided to play it safe(ish) and not jump back to their grebo origins or even their intergalactic punk-rock hip-hop, but instead we had the epic remix of “Everything’s Cool” by the ubiquitous (at the time) Youth.

Andrew Khedoori’s Preservation label is a decidedly internationalist Sydney label, and while you may not have heard of most of their artists when they first arrive on the label, the quality is guaranteed. The latest offering is from Finnish artist Ous Mal, previously released on the equally reliable UK label Under The Spire. It’s got that strangely Finnish sensibility – out of focus, unfamiliar influences clashing in pleasing ways. Plus cello, which always helps :)

Speaking of cello, a goodly portion of the new album from the boats (which compiles hard-to-find tracks from the last few years with a bunch of unreleased stuff, and is well and truly their best work in yonks) features the brilliant cellist Danny Norbury. The best results combine his multi-tracked cello with the minimal electronics the boats do so well. And as for minimal electronics, we had a memory brush past us of Craig Tattersal’s other band the remote viewer’s timeless classic first album from 1999. This desparately needs re-releasing, or at least needs to be made available digitally.

Which brings us to Balmorhea. Michael Muller is a lovely fellow and had some very interesting things to say. I’m afraid I forgot to offer the interview as a separate download as well, but if you’re keen to have it on its own, let me know and I can probably arrange it. I think the selection of their tunes shows their impressive range – almost postrock, folky Americana, post-classical (if you will), drone and field recordings…

Balmorhea’s closing piano extravaganza somehow put me in mind of the harp runs from one of the albums of the week, Flying Lotus’s incredible Cosmogramma. FlyLo is the nephew of jazz great Alice Coltrane, who is referenced in the first of a few tracks I played tonight. There’s also some cute scatting, some Ninja Tune-style hip hop and some off-kilter wonky goodness too.

Another American playing in the outskirts of dubstep & hip-hop is Starkey. The new album ramps up the dancefloor sheen and adds vocalists to about half the tracks, and so it doesn’t all suit Utility Fog (although very fine stuff). “Marsh”, from his debut album, is as wonderfully twisted as ever.

Japanese electronic artist Geskia also likes play with the hip-hop beats. Tonight we didn’t hear one his own productions as such, but sampled instead the heavy dubby sound of perennial UFog favourite Bracken.
Bracken then gets the remix treatment himself, from Buddy Peace, in a cut from his excellent remix album from a couple of years ago, which I played because Buddy Peace just did a nicely scratchy remix of a new Caribou tune, which you can download from the link below.

Also wonkying up the beats is Vorad Fils, aka John Hassell, from Seekae. After the familiar delight of those kidz’ “Void”, we had a lovely long ambient piece from John.

Speaking of ambient and long, ex-pat Aussie Robert Curgenven is in town for one more week before heading overseas again. He’s playing this coming Sunday at the Cad Factory, for Harmonic Territories #8, also featuring improv trio Espadrille, sound artist Kraig Grady and experimental songwriter Anna Chase. Should be fantastic.

Finished tonight with a short piece from Edwin Montgomery’s quiet guitar album – gorgeous guitar fx – and some scary goodness from Monstera Deliciosa and Crab Smasher Grant Hunter.

High Places – On a Hill In a Bed On a Road In a House [Thrill Jockey]
Clint Mansell – Welcome To Lunar Industries (Three Year Stretch) [Black Records]
Pop Will Eat Itself – Everything’s Cool (Youth‘s Safe As Milk Mix) [Infectious Records]
High Places – Drift Slayer [Thrill Jockey]
Ous Mal – Tuulensuoja [Preservation]
Ous Mal – Kotlin (feat. Iiris Tötterström, cello) [Preservation]
the boats – veleta two step (feat. Danny Norbury, cello) [flaü/Home Normal]
the remote viewer – untitled tk 4 from self-titled first album [555 Records of Leeds, UK]
the boats – the arrow home (feat. Danny Norbury, cello; Chris Stewart, vox) [flaü/Home Normal]
Balmorhea – Night in the Draw (Jacaszek remix) [Western Vinyl]
Balmorhea – Process [Western Vinyl]
…interview with Michael Muller from Balmorhea, feat. “Harm and Boon”, “Baleen Morning”, “Bowsprit”…
Balmorhea – November 1, 1832 (Peter Broderick remix) [Western Vinyl]
Balmorhea – Steerage and the Lamp [Western Vinyl]
Flying Lotus – Drips / Auntie’s Harp [Warp]
Flying Lotus – MmmHmm (feat. Thundercat) [Warp]
Flying Lotus – Do the Astral Plane [Warp]
Starkey – Spacecraft [Planet µ]
Starkey – Marsh [Planet µ]
Geskia – Second Coming (Bracken Remix) [flaü]
Bracken – We Cut The Tapes and Scatter (Steinbeck Ultramagnetic remix by Buddy Peace) [no label/Anticon]
Caribou – Sun (Buddy Peace “Plasmic Meatball” Remix) [Domino, available as free download from Buddy Peace’s SoundCloud]
Vorad Fils – Temple Leak [Feral Media]
Seekae – Void [Rice is Nice]
Vorad Fils – The Warmest Static [Feral Media]
Robert Curgenven – Gran Coda Andante [LINE]
Edwin Montgomery – The Last Night [Monstera Deliciosa]
Grant Hunter – When a new baby arrives [Monstera Deliciosa, edition of ONE *hehe*]

Listen again — ~ 208MB


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