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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, 24th of October, 2010

Playlist 24.10.10 (10:13 pm)

Good evening! It’s that time of year again, when we ask you to give a little back, and become a supporter of our wonderful radio station, FBi.
And LISTEN AGAIN to this show via the link at the bottom of the playlist!

Tonight, an interview with the lovely Sophie Hutchings, whose piano-based solo album Becalmed was released on Preservation recently to rave reviews worldwide. Full disclosure: while I had nothing to do with the album, I am playing cello with Sophie at her album launches this week: Thursday and Friday at Ravál in Surry Hills.
We heard a number of lovely tracks from her lovely album, and a bit of a free-ranging chat as well.

One of the big highlights for this week is David Sylvian’s new release, an album of collaborations from the last decade or so. First track we heard was the title track, “Sleepwalkers”, featuring the music of German improv/postrock/glitch hero Martin Brandlmayr. And also in the early stages of the show, a favourite from his Nine Horses group, stop-start samples and Sylvian’s vocals offset by the shimmering Stina Nordenstam.

I only managed to fit in one track tonight from the new Hauschka album, but you’ll hear more if you tune in in coming weeks. It’s up to his usual excellent standards, with prepared piano joined by immaculately-arranged strings. Someone give him a movie to score!

After Sophie’s piano, it seemed right to move on to James Blake’s latest EP, telling titled Klavierwerke. Released on the rejuvenated Belgian label R&S Records, it features Blake on piano along with the sound he’s become famous for in the last year or two — incredibly poised production, perfectly chopped micro-samples of soul tracks (I guess), pieced together with plenty of gaps that only serve to emphasise the emotional impact, not to mention the head-nodding goodness. His remix of Mount Kimbie’s “Maybes” is also worth mentioning, for the gradual coming-together of pads and bass over a simple 2step beat. Magnificent.

Danish trio System, previously known as Future 3, have their own line in clicky minimal dub-influenced electronica. All fine musicians in their own right, it’s great that they’re still continuing as a trio too, and their latest album bears a bit of a dubstep influence on a few tracks, as we heard here.

Back with Sylvian, and a track from way back in 2001, made for French electronic artist Readymade. Nice skittery 2step-like beats which seem to work very well with Sylvian’s vocal tones.
I thought it was worth hearing where Sylvian came from, so we journeyed back another two decades to Japan’s most celebrated song (I think), the spectral new romanticism of “Ghosts”. Then, back in 2004, my introduction to the wonderful Sweet Billy Pilgrim was via their stunning remake of Sylvian’s song “The Heart Knows Better”.
One of his most prominent appearances in the UFog world in the last while was on Fennesz’s Venice album. As mentioned on-air, I found Sylvian’s voice (that vibrato-laden baritone) jarring on the album, but it sits perfectly among his own pieces here. And to finish up, a solo piece in which our narrator is silenced; and it’s a wonderful piece of guitar and noise that I’d love to hear more of in the future.

Next up, the special on David Newman’s Autistici that was promised a few weeks back. (Sorry folks — in turn, a number of tracks & artists I had planned for tonight will have to wait for next week!)
Newman’s Audiobulb label has been going for about 7 years now, but his own solo albums didn’t really appear until the last couple of years. Two archival albums have been released to catch up some of his older material, and along with his albums proper, they show what a creative voice he represents in the electro-acoustic world. I love music that’s puzzling and confounding.

A convenient link from the label that released Autistici’s Volume Objects in 2008, 12k, takes us to the new album from Seaworthy & Matt Rösner, who are launching this album in a double album launch with Sophie Hutchings on Thursday. Unfortunately all I’ve been provided with (so far) is a very brief two-track sampler, but by the sounds of it it’s gorgeous stuff. I’ll make sure I get a copy!

Finally tonight (and again, I’m sorry there’s so much I didn’t get to!), we preview a new 3” from The Declining Winter on the scarily-titled secret furry hole label. The track we heard is a new direction for Richard Adams’ band (in this case I’m guessing it’s a solo work). It sounds like queasy vari-speed tape experimentation, with vocals submerged somewhere in the mix. From earlier in the year, the track “Red Kite” showcases bandmate Sarah Kemp aka brave timbers’ multi-tracked violins, and demonstrates Richard’s growing songwriting skills.
His old band Hood (which I still hope is only on hiatus) wrote a lot of my favourite music, but little of it is what you’d call catchy songs. That said, “I’ve forgotten how to live” is one of the most touching indie songs ever. “Over the land, over the sea” on the other hand is not a pop song at all, but is an utterly perfect piece of music, with a jazzy postrock breakbeat, chiming guitars, violin, sub-bass injections and samples of prior collaborator doseone. One of my favourite tracks by one of my very favourite bands.

Sophie Hutchings – Sunlight Zone [Preservation]
David Sylvian & Martin Brandlmayr – Sleepwalkers [Samadhi Sound]
Nine Horses feat. Stina Nordenstam – Wonderful World [Samadhi Sound]
Hauschka – mount hood [130701]
Sophie Hutchings – It Remains [Preservation]
…interview with Sophie Hutchings
Sophie Hutchings – Portrait of Haller [Preservation]
James Blake – I Only Know (What I Know Now) [R&S Records]
James Blake – Air & Lack Thereof [Hemlock Recordings]
Mount Kimbie – Maybes (James Blake remix) [Hotflush]
System – Well Blank [Rump Recordings]
System – Stanley [Rump Recordings]
Readymade feat. David Sylvian – Sugarfuel [Samadhi Sound]
Japan – Ghosts [Virgin]
David Sylvian – The Heart Knows Better (Remixed by Sweet Billy Pilgrim) [Samadhi Sound]
Fennesz feat. David Sylvian – Transit [Samadhi Sound]
David Sylvian – Trauma [Samadhi Sound]
Autistici – colonic people [Audiobulb]
Autistici – cutlery [Audiobulb]
Autistici – Heated Dust on a Sunlit Window [12k]
Autistici – Meticule [kesh]
Autistici – Remix by Jimmy Behan [Audiobulb]
Seaworthy & Matt Rösner – Termeil Lake [12k]
The Declining Winter – Leave [secret furry hole]
The Declining Winter – Red Kite [Home Assembly Music]
Hood – I’ve forgotten how to live [Misplaced Music]
Hood – Over the land, over the sea. [Domino]

Listen again — ~ 166MB


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