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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 May, 2012

Playlist 27.05.12 (11:08 pm)

Mid-Vivid here in Sydney, lots going on! Lovely new stuff from Gravenhurst, Susanna, JK Flesh aka Justin K Broadrick and New Zealand’s Montano, plus a special on the wonderful tunes of Howard Hello.

Started with two amazing ladies who I saw at Vivid this weekend. Janelle Monáe‘s show was as incredible as expected – amazing musicianship, singing, dancing — although my thought during the show was that the sound could only have been done by someone with seriously damaged hearing (you can’t be that loud in the Sydney Opera House Concert Hall without serious EQ work, which was not done). But sound aside, the only other disappointment was not getting to hear Many Moons live. So I played it tonight, and if you haven’t seen the video, open this link in another tab right now!

The wonderful Shara Worden aka My Brightest Diamond was a delight tonight, with local classical musicians along with her drummer playing mainly tracks from her latest album — but she missed one of my absolute favourites. When the chorus comes around both times, it’s glorious.

Revisiting Richard Youngs, who I featured at the end of last week’s show, but I still had more I needed to play. Traditional English song meets noise and minimalism — he’s like noone else.

I’ve been loving the new Gravenhurst album. For some reason I can’t find my copy of his first album at home, but he’s always dealt in dark folk, with some ambient elements. On the new album, there’s folk and something like folk rock, along with shoegaze, ambient and even venturing into a sort of low-key electronic pop on the first track I played.

With Susanna we move further into the folk world, with her impossibly pure voice, and… wait, what are these wobbly noises, what’s this strange feedback? All the songs on her new album sound like classic folk songs a la early Joni Mitchell, but Deathprod‘s production ensures there’s enough weirdness around the edges for our needs.

Next up with the weirdness from Australia, Melbourne’s Children of the Wave finally have a second album on the way, and it looks set to be as unclassifiable and slippery as the last: songs floating in and out of the middle of tracks, ambient field recordings brushing shoulders with acoustic and electronic instruments. Nice.

Sydney’s post-r’n’b experimental vocalists Guerre & Scissor Lock have teamed up for a collaboration and they’re launching the new album at Serial Space on Thursday. Definitely the gig to be at.

And Sydney’s Mannheim Rocket has released a new EP on the eve of leaving the country. It’s another mix of classical samples and Bass beats, including some beautiful cello samples on the track I played. All downloadable for free at Bandcamp, so no excuses!

Still hugely excited about the forthcoming album from Canberra’s Shoeb Ahmad, and tonight I played a nice combo of jangly guitar, drum machine and vocals. Look out for the release on Mystery Plays on June 18th.

A few weeks ago I played some awesome folktronic tracks from the first mini-album by Howard Hello, project of Kenseth Thibideau of Tarentel. I tracked down their album and later EP, so tonight we had an HH-fest. I do still think the original CD is the best of the lot, but it’s lovely to hear an early appearance from Dirty Projectors‘ Amber Coffman on the EP.

Speaking of “folktronica”, such as it is, Third Eye Foundation collaborator Chris Cole’s debut album as Manyfingers on the Moteer label is a favourite of the genre (if it’s really of that genre). After a second album on a Spanish label, he’s now made his home with the brilliant French label Ici D’Ailleurs, along with Third Eye Foundation’s Matt Elliott, with whom he shared a recent split 12″ for Record Store Day. New track “You’re No Siren” features vocals from Chris Adams of Bracken & Hood and Liz Sharkey. There’s an excellent video for it at Vimeo.

And then we dive into another special: now it’s the turn of Justin K Broadrick, alumnus of Napalm Death, man of many aliases, from the industrial Godflesh to the heavy shoegaze riffage of Jesu, and the more minimal drone/riffs of FINAL, to the dreamy electronic shoegaze of Pale Sketcher. JK Flesh sees him combining witchy death metal vocals and the industrial attitude of Godflesh with heavy post-dubstep (but not dubstep) beats. Not to be ignored.
It was nice to play veteran Aussie testosterone rockers The Mark of Cain in there too, courtesy of a Broadrick remix.

We finish with a couple of excellent tracks from New Zealand by way of Melbourne. Montano are an NZ duo who originally met in Melbourne, and on their original album made mind-boggling electronica entirely out of field recordings. The new album relaxes the strictures somewhat, but still involves prominent field recordings and their manipulated sounds. Highly recommended.

Janelle Monáe – Many Moons [Bad Boy Records]
My Brightest Diamond – In The Beginning [Asthmatic Kitty]
Richard Youngs – Once It Was Autumn [Jagjaguwar]
Richard Youngs – Open Ray [Root Strata]
Richard Youngs – Oh Reality [Sonic Oyster Records/Jagjaguwar]
Gravenhurst – Islands [Warp]
…(under speaking:) Gravenhurst – Carousel [Warp]
Gravenhurst – Circadian [Warp]
Gravenhurst – The Prize [Warp]
Susanna – rolling on rolling stone [Rune Grammofon]
Susanna – wild horse wild dog [Rune Grammofon]
Children of the Wave – I Defy You [Sensory Projects]
Guerre & Scissor Lock – Turnt Out [Intercess]
Mannheim Rocket – Eora Part II & Epilogue [3BS]
Shoeb Ahmad – Coronation [Mystery Plays Records]
Howard Hello – Television [Temporary Residence]
Howard Hello – And as always, night turns into day [Temporary Residence]
Howard Hello – My friend / The parasite [Temporary Residence]
Howard Hello – interlude/follow [Temporary Residence]
Howard Hello – Revolution [Temporary Residence]
Manyfingers – You’re No Siren (feat. Chris Adams & Liz Sharkey) [Ici D’Ailleurs]
JK Flesh – Knuckledragger [3by3]
The Mark of Cain – You Let Me Down (Biomechanical Mix by Justin K Broadrick of Godflesh) [rooArt]
Jesu – Storm Comin’ On (feat. Jarboe) [Hydra Head Records]
The Blood of Heroes – Remain (Justin K Broadrick Remix) [Ohm Resistance]
Pale Sketcher – Tiny Universe (Interstellar) [Ghostly International]
JK Flesh – Posthuman [3by3]
Montano – Always Facing [available from Bandcamp]
Montano – Dollar Kilo [available from Bandcamp]

Listen again — ~ 161MB


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