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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, 18th of September, 2011

Playlist 18.09.11 (11:10 pm)

Hey hey! Many interestings for you tonight, and a real pleasure to have the new Mara Carlyle album in hand…
Yup, LISTEN AGAIN as usual, link at bottom of playlist, podcast subscribable, FBi’s beta On Demand service working just fine-oh. Go on, do it.

I was totally surprised to mostly like the new Mogwai album this year. They continue the trend with their new Earth Division EP, which has songs (not exclusively), piano, and strings cutting in and out of the bombastic post-rock guitar stuff. It’s different! And good.

Very interesting hearing Matthew Cooper aka Eluvium collaborating with Peter Broderick on a new 5″ (yes!) vinyl single from Brian Records. It’s more Broderick than Cooper from these two brief tracks. I hope we get to hear more…

Finally Heidi Elva’s new EP is available from her Bandcamp. It’s true to its name, lo-fi musings, and she takes advantage of the lo-fi nature to bring her right inside the performances, layering field recordings, micing up odd parts of her harp and singing into pickups, etc. These songs have been part of her live sets since before she moved to Melbourne, and it’s lovely to finally have recordings of them.

Canberra’s Austin Buckett is the pianist in post-jazz Pollen Trio and also plays keyboards with postrockers Kasha. The Andrew Pekler remix I played is one of those tracks I could just put on repeat endlessly. Austin’s new album is something different again – contemporary composition for piano and string quartet, with some electronic studio interventions going on.

Washington DC’s BLK w/ BEAR are a collective made up of turntable, cello and bass, along with effects and electronics from all. I hadn’t realised when I picked this up that it was remixes of another artist, and it’s quite murky, mysterious stuff that doesn’t very clearly reference its origins anyway. A quite fascinating short release.

And so we reach The Lovely Mara Carlyle. I don’t want to harp on about her (ex-)relationship with Andy from Plaid, but so much of her much-delayed new album is clearly about him that it’s worth a mention. Somewhere along the line they broke up, but it’s not really an angry break-up album. However, a few songs including the gorgeous highlight “King” are even addressed to him, and it’s absolutely touching. Mara’s luminous vocals appear on a many of the early Plaid albums (including the hidden track on Rest Proof Clockwork), but she didn’t release a solo album until Matthew Herbert released The Lovely on his Accidental Records in 2004. Although she had a background in punk bands (apparently), her pure voice is perfect for classical music, or folky ukulele as much as electronic arrangements. We heard her on a beloved Plaid track from 2001 and also on Herbert’s first Big Band album. Her new album took a few listens to grow on me, but I now think it’s an absolutely worthy follow-up, lyrically and musically moving.

It’s only reasonable that we follow up with a couple of new Plaid tracks. What a great effort, 2+ decades on.
The first of these tracks has a slow-moving bassline, a subsection of which reminds me every time of the two-note bassline from Autechre’s “Nuane”, which closes their seminal, never-matched Chiastic Slide album. I played a good chunk of this 13-minute track, because I can.

Hopeless Local Marching Band are a Japanese math rock band who, unfortunately, do not transcend the genre’s rather leaden musicality. In fact, to be totally honest they take an already-un-thrilling genre and make it worse, with bizarre vaudevillian touches, a melodic approach borrowed from the worst of postrock, and a ham-fisted understanding of harmony. Sorry for the invective, but what’s interesting is that nevertheless they’ve inspired a rather excellent remix disk — proof, if it was needed, that remix albums are great compilations, regardless of who the original artist is.
I did play one original track from them: the only one that wasn’t given a remix, and coincidentally the best track on the album. Then we have, from Greece, Melorman doing a lovely breezy IDM mix, while Japan’s own Geskia! take it into fun drill’n’bass territory, and Vic Mars turns in a delight — a bit of jangly instrumental indie.

It’s so great to have something new from Buttress O’Kneel. She’s dropped another “Compop” album, typical digital mashup stuff with breakcore beats and lots of fun involved.
From the even deeper past, Scattered Order return (I know, they reformed a year or two ago) with a brilliant EP of samples, sawtooth guitar and buried vocals. It’s not a million miles from the older Scattered Order, although the early track I played is far more stripped back. So exciting though — I missed the album they recently put out, so I’ll get hold of that for next week!

Discovering the post-dubstep minimal tech lurch of Berlin’s Objekt earlier this year was pretty exciting, so it was a nice surprise to see Radiohead commission a remix from him so early in his career! The weird glitches early in this track are very disturbing, but the bass and kick here are immense — this is definitely a contender for one of the top mixes (although I think Caribou’s is probably still untouchable).

Also a great pleasure to have Luke Killen back making tracks, or at least releasing them in an easy-to-find way. He co-ran the Couchblip! label, bringing awesome idm into the country and releasing his own music as Disjunction Reunion. There’s some atmospheric Bass music up on his SoundCloud for free, highly recommended.

And finally we hit the new New Weird Australia compilation Vox, co-curated with Gail Priest, an inspiring inventory of experimental vocal music from Australia.
We start with a recent discovery for me, Paul Heslin.

Before we continue with NWA Tracks, a quick detour: part timer‘s undead EP is now available as a beautiful postcard 3″ from UK’s Hibernate or direct from the Part Timer Bandcamp. And I’lls’ EP is still getting plenty of spins on my virtual turntable. What a beauty of shoegazey indietronica.

Back with NWA, we have from Adelaide the indietronica of Mosaic Mosaic, and one of Scissor Lock‘s droney layered vocal pieces, perfect for this comp.

Penultimately, we need a selection from Animals on Wheelseighth and final release in his 8 EPs in 8 Weeks. It’s mostly pretty stuff on this one. In a week or two I’ll do a bit of a summation of them all – it’s been a fun ride!

And finally, lucky dragons have released a surprise new track via the Mistletone SoundCloud, in preparation for their October Aus tour. Woo-hoo!

Mogwai – Drunk and Crazy [Rock Action/Spunk]
Matthew Cooper/Peter Broderick – I Am Light, I Am Darkness [Brian Records]
Heidi Elva – Gardenia [available from her Bandcamp]
Austin Benjamin Trio – Xenosphere (Andrew Pekler remix) [hellosQuare]
Austin Buckett – Stuttershine [hellosQuare]
BLK w/ BEAR – Sumimasen (remix of Yonokiero) [front & follow]
Mara Carlyle – But Now I Do… [Ancient and Modern]
Mara Carlyle – Dido’s Lament (Remember Me) [Accidental Records]
Plaid – Manyme (feat. Mara Carlyle) [Warp]
The Matthew Herbert Big Band – The Three W’s (feat. Mara Carlyle) [Accidental Records]
Mara Carlyle – Lost To Sea [Accidental Records]
Mara Carlyle – King [Ancient and Modern]
plaid – tender hooks [Warp]
plaid – 35 summers [Warp]
Autechre – Nuane (excerpt) [Warp]
hopeless local marching band – the aspiring novelist doesn’t have a dream (melorman remix) [Symbolic Interaction]
hopeless local marching band – a man with a shabby suit is in a weekend crowd (vic mars remix) [Symbolic Interaction]
hopeless local marching band – the liar eventually finds himself deceived [Symbolic Interaction]
hopeless local marching band – the old man chokes up with tears, thinking he will be saved soon (geskia! remix) [Symbolic Interaction]
Buttress O’Kneel – Take You Away [Alias Frequencies]
Scattered Order – Babble Fridge [Rather By Vinyl]
Scattered Order – Personal Safety [M Squared]
Radiohead – Bloom (Objekt rmx) [Ticker Tape]
Objekt – Tinderbox [Objekt]
Luke Killen – lonely water [available from SoundCloud]
Paul Heslin – Young Girls and Cigarettes [New Weird Australia]
part timer – undead part four [Hibernate/Part Timer Bandcamp]
I’lls’ – To Not Second Guess Oneself [available from Bandcamp]
Mosaic Mosaic – Brand New [New Weird Australia]
Scissor Lock – Room Tape [New Weird Australia]
Animals on Wheels – Better Bitter [Animals on Wheels weblog]
lucky dragons – music for no reason [download from Mistletone SoundCloud]

Listen again — ~ 154MB


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