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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, 13th of February, 2011

Playlist 13.02.11 (10:02 pm)

Good evening! Postrock central at the start of tonight’s show!
As usual, LISTEN AGAIN via the link at the bottom.

Mogwai are a band I’ve neglected for most of their career. They’ve always felt too much along the lines of the quietLOUDquiet by-numbers postrock which they’ve inspired, bands like MONO who I really can’t stand… Nevertheless, they’re a bit more creative than that, and I probably ought to have given them more credit than I have — in any case, their new album has a number of genuinely melodic and powerful tunes on it, so colour me impressed.
We had two of them in the early parts of the show, along with two extremely excellent remixes from the extremely excellent remix EP and album that they put out in 1998. You’ll see that I chose two of my favourite bands there, but there were plenty of other great acts taking the digital scissors to the earliest works of the Scottish band. Hood keep the essence of the original but add some of their own instruments, and the dub and cut-up techniques they were into at the time. And µ-Ziq takes it into typical chopped-up drill’n’bass territory.

Also in there was one track from the lovely new album from Melbourne/San Francisco/New York postrock(ish) band Beaten By Them, from whom we must hear more next week.

But having played And µ-Ziq’s Mogwai remix, I was reminded of another of his indie band remixes from that period, taking on Yo La Tengo for a top-notch EP which also featured Tortoise and Kevin Shields remixes (Shields also turned up as My Bloody Valentine remixing Mogwai on the Fear Satan EP).

And this brought us to the terrifying talents of Himuro Yoshiteru, whose melody-filled beat mangling I first encountered on a turntable in Berwick St London’s greatest record store, Ambient Soho (RIP!). Released by Ambient Soho’s label (which lasted somewhat longer than the store), Worm Interface, the split 12″ featured Himuro’s “Tonoma Shock”, which has never been available elsewhere in that form, and which I played tonight with some nostalgia. But Himuro, under his full name, is still releasing music, and a few of the more recent releases are available from his Bandcamp. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
When I visit Japan in a couple of weeks (I’m missing the 27th of Feb and 6th of March shows for this trip), I’ll be on the lookout for more of his music.

On our way out of electronica-land to somewhere else, we hitch a ride with Leafcutter John, who once upon a time was signed to Mike “µ-Ziq” Paradinas’ Planet µ label. It’s still exhilirating hearing beats in amongst his acoustic audio processing, but they were always a rare occurrence. In the meantime he released a fantastic album on Staubgold, with arcane English folk rubbing up against sophisticated instrumental arrangements and electro-acoustic techiques.
He is also an accomplished live performer, and his new album Tunis is sourced from a live performance at a festival there (well before the extraordinary recent revolutionary events). It’s lovely hearing his lute’s strings emerging from digital detritus, and on other tracks he adds his voice to the mix, as well as field recordings from the area.

Speaking of processed acoustic instruments, Darwin’s own Kris Keogh (aka Blastcorp, etc) gave us a sneak preview of an album of processed harp which New Weird Australia will be releasing soon. Beautiful stuff.

On Friday night I’m playing a gig with the lovely Sophie Hutchings. I’ll be playing cello in her band, and also playing a solo set under my Raven guise. I played my favourite track from her album — solo piano with a little violin and some cymbals. Also supporting on the night is clarinettist Tony Gorman — a highly respected member of the Sydney jazz scene who, some years ago, woke up one morning with Multiple Sclerosis. You can read him tell the story of the enormous impact this had on his life in this excellent interview with Andrew Ford on the Music Show, but his response was to create a slowed-down beautiful music under the banner of Songs of Hope, from which we took a dark but calm number.

Speaking of ambient and drone, a number of the following tracks came from a compilation on the UK label Audio Gourmet called Hidden Landscapes. Available for a small price from the label’s Bandcamp and in very limited physical format here, it comes highly recommended, with an impressive array of sound art pieces in the Machinefabriek vein — and the procedes go simply back into allowing Audio Gourmet to release (most of) their music for free online.
As well as the aforementioned Machinefabriek, whose piece is a quiet rumination on a few (as always) exquisitely-recorded elements, there’s the burbly pastoral ambient of Maps & Diagrams, and later M Ostermeier’s minimalist electronics with piano, and Nicola Ratti’s lopsided rhythms and sub-bass pounces (a highlight on a consistently excellent disc).

In between these tracks, a couple of other items from Hibernate. Danny Saul runs the White Box label, and is something of a revelation. His 2009 album features voice and guitar, with elements from the drone and noise spectrum and very long tracks with loose structures — this ain’t pop music, even industrial or black metal or something.
Saul’s duo with cellist Greg Haines, Liondialer, explores similar territory, with fairly abstract, minimalist cello (mostly playing harmonics and sul pont when audible) and more electronics in the mix. Their Liondialer LIVE! album from 2009 rather gleefully incorporates uninterested audience chatter into the mix, and it’s surprisingly effective (rather than distracting).

Also recorded live (but sans audience noise) is the latest pair of releases (two short LPs which really should have been one album — extortionate much, Mego?) from glitch-laptop supergroup Fenn O’Berg. Christian Fennesz, Jim O’Rourke and Peter Rehberg have by now been doing the live laptop thing together for long enough that they instinctively fit together, or so it seems, and the first Kyoto piece is beguiling and fascinating.

And… argh. Akron/Family’s newie has been long awaited, what with a new label and some delay, and it seems that somebody close to them (probably) thought they’d have some fun and leak some very very odd versions in the 2-3 months before it came out. I only came upon them recently, but the “1/6” and “2/6” versions (see below for full titles) take the real album and send it through some extreme digital filters to create some mega-freaked-out dubs. Most people seem to think they’re not just the product of some internet wags, since nobody had the real thing yet when they came out; it’s possible their mate Greg Davis is involved in some way, although the effects on the whole seem a bit too off-the-shelf for Greg’s style. Still, there’s a lot of fun to be found in the free-noise versions of the new Akron album, complete with witch house-style versions of the track titles.
The album itself is mostly on the rock’n’roll end of their freak folk sound, and I could do with less guitar solos — but then I could also do with a bit less of the full-throated wailing they get into. I still love the guys, and I sincerely love the track I played tonight, which I remember from their ear-splitting live show at the Annandale when they were last in Sydney.

And finally, we join back with Olivier Alary’s Ensemble, on whom we focused last week. From way back in the ancient past comes a remix he did for Piano Magic, in his shimmery, skittery glitch-idm style. And then from the new album, it’s absolutely gorgeous French pop, with a little side of postrock and electronica hiding in the edges.

Mogwai – White Noise [Rock Action/Spunk]
Beaten By Them – Lost [Logicpole]
Mogwai – like herod (hood remix) [Eye Q (UK)]
Mogwai – Death Rays [Rock Action/Spunk]
Mogwai – fear satan (µ-Ziq remix) [Eye Q (UK)]
Yo La Tengo – Autumn Sweater (µ-Ziq remix) [Matador]
Himuro Yoshiteru – unwind and rewind [Murder Channel/Himuro Bandcamp]
Himuro Yoshiteru – start it [Murder Channel/Himuro Bandcamp]
Himuro – Tonoma Shock [Worm Interface]
Himuro Yoshiteru – I wanna show you what I’m seeing [Murder Channel/Himuro Bandcamp]
Leafcutter John – Khom?s [Planet µ]
Leafcutter John – Introduction in the Wrong Place [Tsuku Boshi]
Leafcutter John – let it begin [Staubgold]
Leafcutter John – Melimëlon [Tsuku Boshi]
Kris Keogh – Secretly Knowing We’d Never Be The Same [forthcoming through New Weird Australia]
Sophie Hutchings – Following Sea [Preservation]
Tony Gorman – Rivers of the Night [self-released]
Maps & Diagrams – Everybody’s Got Something to Hide [Audio Gourmet]
Machinefabriek – Toendra [Audio Gourmet]
Danny Saul – Clockwork [White Box]
Liondialer – Bay Horse [White Box]
M Ostermeier – Central [Audio Gourmet]
Nicola Ratti – Nordich [Audio Gourmet]
Fenn O’Berg – Kyoto 1 [Editions Mego]
Akron/Family – AAA <<<< O>>>>> A //////WAY\\\\\\ BMB [from the S/T II: The Cosmic Birth and Journey of <sbmb>Shinju TnT (2/6) bootleg]
Akron/Family – ++++ /\ Fuji 1 /\ ++++ [from the S/T II: The Cosmic Birth adn Journey of <gdbmb> Shinju TNT (1/6) bootleg] {the “gd” in “gdbmb” could possibly mean Greg Davis, but I haven’t confirmed this}
Akron/Family – A AAA O A WAY [Dead Oceans]
Piano Magic – There’s No Need For Us To Be Alone (Decomposed by Ensemble) [Morr Music]
ensemble – Excerpts [FatCat]

Listen again — ~ 175MB


One Response to “Playlist 13.02.11”

  1. Greg Says:

    Mogwai!! Well I’ll be…..


 
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