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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, 27th of November, 2011

Playlist 27.11.11 (10:17 pm)

Post-Picnic sounds!
Usual LISTEN AGAIN options are available: On Demand streaming, download link below, podcast…

Tonight was a night of epic tunes, especially at the start. Sydney’s Telafonica have graced us with their new album, after a slew of excellent remix singles (with more to come), so finally we hear the original versions of these songs. And “Viceroy” is an incredible almost-quarter-hour of sound, essentially an extended crescendo, with a very long drone intro, tribal drumming, and layered vocals.
You should check this album out, as well as the remix EPs at Telafonica’s Bandcamp.

Well, as far as insanely long tracks go, Kate Bush has it down pat on her surprise new album. It’s been years, and it’s really been more than a decade since I’ve paid attention to a Kate Bush album – for shame! This new one has been garnering comparisons to Talk Talk, among other things, and for once the comparisons are apt. Repetitive piano figures, emphasis on silence and gaps between phrases, jazzy drums — and Bush’s quirkiness as well as her melodicness. The track I played reminds me equally of Joni Mitchell, Tori Amos (obviously hugely influenced herself by both Kate Bush and Joni Mitchell), and Talk Talk. I’m sure I’ll take another from the album next week!
Following, I had to play a favourite pair of tracks from the legendary Hounds of Love album, just to remind us that she’s always been an experimentalist. We segue from a song about making love to a snowman into “Under Ice”, but thing get even creepier with “Waking The Witch” — chopped up vocals, pitch shifting, drum machines, all pretty extreme for mid-’90s pop.

But who’s interested in charmingly insane English geniuses when we have so much great Sydney music? Let’s head back home, starting with the lovely Mr Oliver Tank. Just as I’d gotten a little sick of GetUp’s self-congratulation, they go and make a beautiful ad which everybody should take a look at. And not only that, it’s soundtracked by this very pretty piece of folktronica.

Two of the performers from Saturday’s Postfolkrocktronica Picnic team up next, with Option Command taking Underlapper‘s very postrockin’ “Choking Ibis” and turning it into a piece of quite floaty electronica.

And then to Brisbane. Holly from East to West was raving about this song by Outerwaves this week, and it’s pretty sweet. And it features the kid who learnt to ride a bike. We’ve all been there.

Back in 2006 I received an amazing disc of glitchy electronics from Brisbane artist David Loose aka Hydatid. In particular “Wave Function Analysis” from the Studies in Particle Motion album is a gorgeous work that’s stayed with me, and his collaborative project Orchid Beach from that year yielded some lovely pieces as well.
But give or take some bits & pieces, it’s not until now that we have a new album from Hydatid, and it’s very fine stuff — less granular processing, more subtle beats and textures. You’ll be hearing quite a bit from this in the next while (although we’re almost at year-summation time! Wow!)

Partially from Melbourne (as well as SF and NYC), Beaten By Them have two albums behind them of adventurous postrock including cello and electronics. Their new EP leans heavily on the electronic side of things, and it really suits them.

I’ve focused on Autistici in some past shows, and I do believe he’s doing some of the best work in electro-acoustic music at the moment. It’s understated stuff, but with incredible attention to detail. He’s not afraid to insert clicky beats or even veer more towards electronica, but equally he can create long drone pieces or build pieces around field recordings. His new album on Home Normal is as good as you’d expect, with the production values always associated with the label too. Highly recommended.

Another label associated with high quality is Sydney’s own Preservation. Finnish artist Ous Mal released an album of folk-influenced ambient hip-hop on the label, and is now abandoning the name in favour of Nuojuva for his next album. To herald the change, Preservation are releasing a very limited-run remix CDR with many of the leading lights of the label — including Aaron Martin, Pimmon, Sophie Hutchings, Seaworthy, and Motion Sickness of Time Travel, whose characteristically mysterious take we heard tonight.
The remix disc is available only direct from the label.

Embarrassingly, I’m only just coming round to Grouper. Her very lo-fi indie pop has tended to skate under my radar, and I didn’t find myself sympathetic to it in the past. But “She Loves Me That Way” is a stone cold gem of a tune, and I thank the denizens of my Twitter feed for convincing me I had to hear it this week.

But I did mention Aaron Martin, and to segue from Grouper, Liz Harris’ releases often come out on that most exclusive and lo-fi of media, the cassette (frequently on her own Yellowelectric label). Aaron’s latest remix album comes as a cassette too, with pretty special packaging, along with a download code), and features some luminaries doing their takes on his music (see the tracklisting!) Tonight we hear Tokyo Bloodworm turn in some of their best work.

We creep back into beats courtesy of Teebs, and the harp playing of Flying Lotus collaborator Rebekah Raff. Quite a beauty from a very satisfying downtempo release on FlyLo’s Brainfeeder label.

Further into the dancefloor, Radiohead discovered themselves with some overflow remixes after the double CD set came out, and we’re fortunate they were up for releasing them, because Jamie xx has taken his pretty ambient mix and fleshed it out into a dreamy house number. The vocal refrain and shoegazey chords are glorious.

I’ve always got time for Robag Wruhme, who was one half of one of my favourite German IDM groups, Beefcake. As Robag he’s tended to work in the (minimal) house world, not really my territory, but he has a deft touch and as we hear here, the Aphex Twin still looms large…
But also for some reason — perhaps just the tempo and the 4/4 beat — I couldn’t help but think of New Order‘s classic Technique album, which features many a classic, including tonight’s outing. Yes please.

Last week we were introduced to the work of Jesse Somfay as Borealis by Future Sequence and their enormous and superb free download comp SEQUENCE2. This week we get to hear another track under that name as well — both feature soaring vocal layers and driving beats. Shoegazy techno.

And we finish with another SEQUENCE2 track, the opener from electronica stalwart Maps and Diagrams. Really nice folktronic stuff.

Telafonica – Viceroy [4-4-2music/available from Bandcamp]
Kate Bush – Misty [Fish People]
Kate Bush – Under Ice / Waking The Witch [EMI]
Oliver Tank – Last Night I Heard Everything in Slow Motion [yes please]
Underlapper – Choking Ibis (Option Command Chip Stealing remix) [Feral Media] {download for a limited time at SoundCloud}
Outerwaves – Big Cats [via East to West blog]
Hydatid – That Breakthrough Moment [download through last.fm]
Hydatid – Wave Function Analysis [self-released?]
Orchid Beach – Dolphins Do What? [coincidentally the one track you can get for free from last.fm]
Hydatid – Prog-relution [download through last.fm]
Beaten By Them – Damp Sky 3 [self-released]
Autistici – Religion of Water and Air [Home Normal]
Autistici – Bed of Powdered Glass [Home Normal]
Ous Mal – Merilaulu (Motion Sickness of Time Travel‘s Mortem Obire mix) [Preservation]
Grouper – She Loves Me That Way [Yellowelectric]
Aaron MartinTokyo Bloodworm: Making Rope Out of Eyelashes [False]
Teebs – Verbena Tea with Rebekah Raff [Brainfeeder]
Radiohead – Bloom (Jamie xx Rework Part 3) [Ticker Tape]
Robag Wruhme – Donnerkuppel [Kompakt]
New Order – Vanishing point [Factory Records]
Borealis – Wandering Atrial [Origami Sound]
Borealis – Skyhall [Future Sequence] {from SEQUENCE2 – free on Bandcamp!}
Maps and Diagrams – Domane [Future Sequence] {from SEQUENCE2 – free on Bandcamp!}

Listen again — ~ 86MB (only 64bit m4a from stream tonight sorry!)


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