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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, 8th of May, 2011

Playlist 08.05.11 (11:11 pm)

Tonight was another one of those shows where there’s so much to play that scads of it are left by the wayside, to be picked up next week. So, tune in again for more awesomeness!
And you can LISTEN AGAIN as usual via the link at the bottom of the playlist.

Started tonight with the brilliant Jeffrey Witscher, whose Rene Hell project takes him from the noise scene into analogue synth heaven. His new album explores similar territory to the previous one on Type Records, with synth melodies and textures sometimes joined by glitchy vocal samples and treatments, and noisier passages here and there. The conceit of the new album is that it’s a homage to classical music forms. The track names warp familiar terms from the classical tradition, but it’s not that easy to discern an influence on the music itself. No matter – there’s beauty and strangeness there regardless.

The beautiful minimalism of the fun years has been around a lot longer than I’ve known about them. I recently picked up their 2005 album why we’re all below average, which is just as lovely as their more recent work — detailed, soft and earthy drones from turntable and guitar.

After beginning the year fabulously with his release for Sydney label Preservation’s Circa 2011 series, Fabio Orsi has another album out now on Italian label Boring Machines. It’s a little more subdued than the rather anomalous balls-out noise/spacerock of the Preservation release, but there are some nice crescendos and even drum machine on one track. Both albums are absolutely beautiful.

But let’s amplify the noise a bit (along with the beauty) with some drum’n’bass from Death$ucker Records head Parasite along with Anakissed. This is the first entry tonight from a Japan benefit compilation from Brighton’s Wrong Music collective – and it’s actually a free download (asking you to donate to the Japan Red Cross) from Soundcloud. There are 19 tracks and heaps of highlights, one of which we’ll hear about it in a second.
But also this week I picked up a breakcore/dubstep compilation on Meganeural Records, via Ad Noiseam‘s online store. the Babyshaker track that opens the compilation is a nice slab of heavy dubstep with sampled choral vocals.

Back to Wrong Music, and I came upon this compilation via Bleeding Heart Narrative, who have an excellent track on it. Longterm listeners may remember than in 2008 the debut album from BHN was one of my very highest recommnedations of the year. A stunning debut, it was pretty much a solo project featuring Oli Barrett’s drone noise, cello, and various other instruments. Bleeding Heart Narrative are now a full band, including vocals and drums and all the rest along with strings and electronic treatments, and meanwhile Oli has created the Petrels project for his solo work, and London’s lovely Tartaruga Records are once again releasing the album.
It’s everything we’d want it to be: strings, drones, big crescendos with glitchy textures, hidden vocals… An absolute gem.

And the new Bleeding Heart Narrative tracks sound superb as well. Tonight we also heard their contribution to Only Light To Clear Away, another Japan fundraiser, released by Distance Recordings. This compilation is a revelation – the BHN track is stunning, but there are stacks of artists here I’d never heard of (or only vaguely), putting in fantastic efforts in the drone/post-classical world. Two highlights were the classical arrangements and electronic treatments of Bryan Teoh, and the big drone (with some classical sounds) of Hope Hampton aka Aless.

Back to Preservation’s Circa 2011 series, the latest release comes from Quiet Evenings, which is the duo of Rachel Evans of Motion Sickness of Time Travel and her husband Grant aka Nova Scotian Arms. It follows the same path – spacey synth dreams, with floaty vocals and a sortof arcane dark folk feel despite the instrumentation.

Dark folk is just what we get from Alexander Tucker, whose latest album may well be his best yet. It’s his first on Thrill Jockey after a trio of releases on ATP Recordings, and continues with yearning cello/strings, folky guitar and vocals. It’s not all acoustic though by any means, and continues to have weird experimental passages throughout. Very interesting listening, coupled with a talent for great songwriting.

Speaking of strings, Western Vinyl are to release a new album from double bassist/songwriter Nat Baldwin shortly, and the first promo track features his usual bowed bass and Dirty Projectors-style vocals. I predict this will be a first class album, from a label that’s swiftly becoming compulsory listening.

Having just received a parcel from Ad Noiseam (whose awesome mail-order store is well worth perusing for dubstep, breakcore and dark ambient sounds), I have some older albums by Ukrainian sound artist Andrey Kiritchenko to play you. There’s detailed minimal electronica, but more recently acoustic instruments enter into this sound world, and we heard one track that’s essentially just acoustic guitar and piano.

Next up we’re into the weird-hop phase of the show, although Hype Williams seem to fit into the hypnagogic pop/hauntological end of the spectrum. I’m not enthused by either of these terms nor most of the music that comes under their banner, but this new Hype Williams has a huge charm to the no-fi production, echoing Boards of Canada (albeit not quite as transcendent as they can be), and the sketchy-sounding sampling and beats make them sound as now as you can get.
Clams Casino is a bedroom producer extraordinaire, but he’s found success in the underground hip-hop scene, with his beats being used by artists like Lil B and Soulja Boy. The instrumental album he’s offered up as a free download (albeit at 160kbps) showcases Björk samples, squished beats and simple, subtle grooves that make the current scene so exciting.
And the venerable Chuck D has collaborated with London based trio Eclectic Method — but he probably didn’t expect the chaos of Icarus’ chopped-up remix, which as usual manages to find a groove amongst the apparent randomness. For extra bewilderment, checkout Weirdcore’s video.

Into the home strait: Sole famously split with the anticon. label recentl, but already with his latest single with The SkyRider Band (album coming soon), he’s got a remix from anticon’s Alias featuring a vocal loop from Yoni Wolf of Why?. Couldn’t be anything but excellent, and the SkyRider remix is equally dope.

Amon Tobin’s new album accompanies a video work, and it sounds it: loads of somewhat aimless tracks showcase high-end audio processing and heavy beats which almost immediately get distracted or become listless. It’s strange listening – fairly compelling while it’s on, but it slides right over you.
Unfortunately I’ve also been disappointed with Eskmo’s output on whole since he joined Ninja Tune, after a run of amazing singles in 2009. Amon Tobin does a nice job remixing one of the recent tracks though.

And finally, Jamie xx gets to show off his very on-the-money, up-to-the-minute production skills on the work of, of all people, Gil Scott-Heron. The poetry and singing of Scott-Heron work strangely well with the street-smart push-pull production of Jamie xx, embedded in South/East London styles. Ultra catchy stuff.

Rene Hell – juliard op. 66 [Type Records]
Rene Hell – Razor. P+ [Type Records]
Rene Hell – baroque ensemble coda [Type Records]
the fun years – soothe out the milch bender [self-released]
Fabio Orsi – loipe2 [Boring Machines]
Fabio Orsi – Full Metal Flat [Preservation]
Fabio Orsi – loipe5 [Boring Machines]
Parasite feat. Anakissed – Babe I’m Gonna Leave You [Wrong Music] {from Wrong Music Japan Compilation 2011}
Babyshaker – Snudge Dub [Meganeural Records]
Bleeding Heart Narrative – Paper Lantern Leaves [Wrong Music] {from Wrong Music Japan Compilation 2011}
Petrels – After Francis Danby [Tartaruga]
Petrels – Canute [Tartaruga]
Bleeding Heart Narrative – Ghost Cats Disappear Into The Night [Distance Recordings] {From Only Light To Clear Away, another Bandcamp-based Japan relief compilation!}
Bryan Teoh – Let The Kingdom Crumble My Liege, The Crown Must Be Protected (excerpt) [Distance Recordings] {From Only Light To Clear Away}
Aless – Cocoon [Distance Recordings] {From Only Light To Clear Away}
Quiet Evenings – Transcending Spheres [Preservation]
Alexander Tucker – Dark Rift / Black Road [Thrill Jockey]
Alexander Tucker – Old Fog [ATP Recordings]
Alexander Tucker – His Arm Has Grown Long [Thrill Jockey]
Nat Baldwin – Weights [Western Vinyl] {this track is a free promotional download from the label}
Andrey Kiritchenko – parable [Ad Noiseam]
Andrey Kiritchenko – kingdom of blessed dream [Ad Noiseam]
Andrey Kiritchenko – unexpected raylets [spekk]
Andrey Kiritchenko – cheers, my_fairy [Ad Noiseam]
Hype Williams – warlord [Hippos In Tanks]
Clams Casino – All I Need [from his self-released instrumental mixtape] {free download}
Chuck D / Eclectic Method – Outta Sight (Icarus remix) [Eclectic Method] {check out the insane video here}
Sole & The SkyRider Band – Hello Cruel World (Alias Remix w/ Yoni Wolf of Why?) [Circle Into Square]
Amon Tobin – Piece of Paper [Ninja Tune]
Eskmo – Moving Glowstream (Amon Tobin remix) [Ninja Tune]
Gil Scott-Heron & Jamie xx – NY is Killing Me [Young Turks/XL Recordings]

Listen again — ~ 229MB {NB: I’ve changed my default encoding to a higher bitrate. Let me know if the filesize is too high and I’ll try to make future ones smaller again}


2 Responses to “Playlist 08.05.11”

  1. eezynow Says:

    hot taste. and… LOVE that your playlists are updated on the fly… while on air. i was able to (quasi-legally) download tracks AS they were playing.

    shanks!!!

  2. Peter Says:

    Hot taste is how we fly here at Utility Fog towers.

    Glad you appreciate the playlists :) Try and grab the music from legit places when possible. I do realise there’s a lot of stuff out there but I’m sure you understand that artists need support.


 
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