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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, 5th of August, 2012

Playlist 05.08.12 (10:10 pm)

NEW TIMESLOT! 9pm-11pm! Wow!
It’s hard to fit everything I want to into 2hrs. I smell a bonus podcast coming – but not this week.
Tonight we had some lovely indietronica and postrock from France, indiefolk from the UK, new beats, and improv postrock from Melbourne.
LISTEN AGAIN via the link at the bottom, the podcast feed or stream on demand.

It’s a well-known fact that Hood are my favourite band ever — they share this honour with a few others, but still. And let’s be clear: I’m far from the only one to hold them in such high regard. French music site Autres Directions are longtime fans too, and have recently put together a Hood special featuring a free download covers EP.
Artists include (the highly Hood-influence) epic45‘s Ben Holton aka My Autumn Empire and Melbourne’s own Part Timer, late of northern English climes himself.
Both turn in lovely versions which acknowledge the twists and bends of the originals while not simply aping them. Meanwhile Arc Vel, who are new to me, do a lovely take on a Cold House classic, keeping the shape of the original but bringing out the lyricism and emphasising the beats.
Nice one.

There’s always been an interesting thread of low-key French experimentalism that taps a similar vein of glitchy indie, with strange song shapes and lots of post-production. In Paris a few weeks ago I stopped by the amazing (incredible) Souffle Continu and in amongst a big haul of stuff I discovered that My Jazzy Child had released a new album last year. I had his 2003 & 2004 releases, so this was an awesome discovery. His somewhat laissez-faire approach reminds me of Lucky Dragons‘ early stuff, and it’s nice to hear him still chopping up his vocals and strummed guitar, and switching from indie-acoustic jangles to distorted shoegazey drones and pretty glitchy pianos.
It’s crazy (yet hardly surprising) how much we miss by only speaking English, isn’t it? I’ve got some Spanish electronic & breakcore coming in the next few weeks, and some fantastic Japanese & maybe Chinese stuff from Hong Kong as well.

But back to France, at Souffle Continu I also picked up an Ultra Milkmaids album I’d been seeking out a while back, to no avail. Known now for their drone material, they’ve released some pretty punky guitar-based stuff as well, and this album pits indie guitar numbers with wandering basslines against glitchy production and drone sections. It’s fantastic.

Hopefully a harbinger of a new album in the works, Lali Puna released a new single a few weeks ago, and it’s very nice hearing a new Odd Nosdam remix. As usually, quite shoegazey and a bit noisy, but respectful to the original’s indietronic prettiness.

Next up, another highlight from my trip — I heard Orkney: A Symphony of The Magnetic North playing at Sister Ray in Berwick St, Soho, and knew it was something I had to have. English folk roots, majestic indie songwriting with percussive bass and experimental touches. No surprise it’s on Full Time Hobby, where Tunng went after their beginnings on Static Caravan — and indeed one of the trio, Hannah Peel, has releases on Static Caravan too.
With a strong sense of land around the far-north Scottish island it’s dedicated to, this is an absorbing listen.

Nice to hear some madcap new tunes from Planet µ‘s Rudi Zygadlo, again with his post-prog vocals, classical flourishes and post-dubstep/Bass beats. It’s both very cool and very naff at the same time, which probably makes it totes ultra-cool (and a bit embarrassing). Can’t wait for more.

The new Lorn came out while I was away, and having had time now to let it digest, I have to declare it a great achievement too. It takes the bright, bouncy melodicism of his first album, with a fine musical sense and perfect West Coast beats, and twisting it into a darker space, with some freaky vocals, growling strings and less of a dancefloor focus.

Since they first appeared a year and a bit ago, Old Apparatus have often garnered comparisons to Various aka Various Production — a semi-mysterious production collective, with interests in folk and dubstep. Their beats are more in the Burial/Clubroot vein, but can go off just about anywhere if you’re not paying attention. Their latest release is the debut on their new Sullen Tone label. We also heard the last segment of the first side of their Deep Medi release from last year.
Speaking of Various, EAN is apparently one of the main movers behind that group, and he branches out on his own here with some very fresh beats, combining jungle, footwork and dubstep among other things.

Another semi-unreleased beat from Comatone, “Lamplit Screenprint” is one of my favourites of his recent output. Needs a new release for the general public, that boy.
We also had another new track from Blue Mountains compatriot Broken Chip, the ambient project of Martyn Option Command Palmer.

And after Part Timer‘s entry into the Hood covers EP, we have one track from the new Battlesnake — Melbourne’s bass-driven postrock improv onslaught. Highly recommended; more next week.

hood – (the) weight [555 Records of Leeds, UK]
My Autumn Empire – The Weight [Autres Directions]
Arc Vel – You Show No Emotion At All [Autres Directions]
My Jazzy Child – A Secret [Clapping Music]
My Jazzy Child – Did You? [Clapping Music]
My Jazzy Child – Morfler [Clapping Music]
My Jazzy Child – Concertmate Plays [Clapping Music]
My Jazzy Child – << >> [Clapping Music]
ultra milkmaids – …guitars [ant-zen]
ultra milkmaids – my personal tv system [ant-zen]
Lali Puna – Safe Tomorrow (Odd Nosdam remix) [Morr Music]
The Magnetic North – Bay Of Skaill [Full Time Hobby]
The Magnetic North – Orphir [Full Time Hobby]
Rudi Zygadlo – Melpomene [Planet µ]
Lorn – Diamond [Ninja Tune]
Rudi Zygadlo – Arrows [Planet µ]
Lorn – The Well [Ninja Tune]
EAN – Darknet [Cosmic Bridge]
Old Apparatus – Bodah [Sullen Tone]
Old Apparatus – Old Apparatus Side A (excerpt) [Deep Medi]
Old Apparatus – Dealow [Sullen Tone]
EAN – Burnt [Cosmic Bridge]
Comatone – Lamplit Screenprint [unreleased, Soundcloud stream]
Broken Chip – lucid clock checking [Broken Chip Bandcamp]
Part Timer – Year’s First Storm [Autres Directions]
Battlesnake – Into The Swamp [available from Bandcamp]

Listen again — ~ 104MB


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