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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, 7th of October, 2012

Playlist 07.10.12 (9:11 pm)

Long and short, tonight’s tracks take us from Canadian punk genius through a post-dubstep lens, to something like anti-hop, to analogue synth ambience and dark ambience, to beautiful post-classical sound-art with a post-dubstep/r’n’b bent. HOWZAT!
LISTEN AGAIN via FBi’s on-demand streaming, or the podcast/link at the bottom of the playlist.

Starting with my favourite punk band, NoMeansNo – so awesome to be able to play them on the show without having to make excuses. Earlier this year they put out a tour 12″ with four remixes on it, including fellow Canadian and NoMeansNo fan Deadbeat. The standout for me is Shackleton, surprisingly since I usually find his music too oppressive. I do keep wanting this track to break out into some kind of mad drum’n’bass workout, but hey – it’s Shackleton. It’s a brilliant earlyish NoMeansNo tune brilliantly reimagined.

Last year Death Grips, er, exploded onto the scene with some psychedelic videos and the Exmilitary “mixtape” (really their debut album), all as free downloads. It’s the kind of intensely tough, heavy electronics that characterised early grime, with electronic bass & scribbly sounds plus Zach Hill‘s drums being practically the only thing underlying the relentless rap/spoken word of MC Ride. Epic Records signed them for what was going to be 2 albums this year, but after they finished NO LOVE DEEP WEB they discovered that it wasn’t going to come out till next year. Pissed off (not sure if this was the only reason), they decided to release it FOR FREE themselves, from their SoundCloud and direct from their website (WARNING: uncensored erect male member if you follow the link inside). It’s miles better than The Money Store, the album Epic did release earlier this year.

The electronic backing of these Death Grips tracks slides nicely into something a lot old-sounding, but also just released: Chris Madak aka Bee Mask is one of those young noise-affiliated artists doing awesome stuff with longform ambient sonic sculptures of analogue synths. There’s a huge debt to prog and krautrock, of course, in this music, and it’s kind of weird that after the most overblown of the prog sounds became demonized by punk as the great evil of the previous generation, it’s where the current noise set have gravitated. Politics(?) aside, it’s excellent music, so enjoy it.

Also on Brisbane’s ROOM40, ambient of a darker, more oppressive sort comes from pinkcourtesyphone aka Richard Chartier. An sound artist of some renown, Chartier also runs the Line label, and in a nice exchange, just put out a new release from ROOM40’s Lawrence English (which we’ll hear from in a couple of weeks…) Under his pinkcourtesyphone alias he’s able to expand into somewhat less minimal, abstruse zones, with spooky sampled vocals and cavernous reverb on the occasional beats. Very fine indeed.

When AXXONN started it was a duo of Tom Hall with Ian Rogers of No Anchor, and it was an outlet for awesome noise/drone. For the last album and this new one, though, it’s reverted to being Tom (mostly) solo, with the noise roots channeled through a electro-pop (albeit without vocals and pretty challenging for the mainstream) sensibility. It’s interesting to compare these sounds with Tom’s stellar solo (under his own name) album from last year: it’s a similar aesthetic, but the album’s more sparkly and definitely more ambient. The new AXXONN album Beyond Light is out in a couple of weeks.

And the rest of tonight’s show was taken up by the amazing sounds of UK’s William Yates aka Memotone. A multi-instrumentalist, he sits nicely in the post-dubstep/r’n’b axis of artists like James Blake, Downliners Sekt and compatriots on the Black Acre label, but mixed in with the beats and bass is scintillating sound-art and post-classical composition: piano, strings, clattering percussion and plenty of space.
We’ll see whether my obsession wanes, but I played a good cross-section of excellent stuff tonight, including a number of free downloads you can grab now (see his music page). The digital-only Hands EP and the new album I Sleep. At Waking are deep and varied and will surely be among the top releases of the year. Dig it.

NoMeansNo – Dark Ages (Shackleton‘s My Goal’s Beyond remix) [self-released]
Death Grips – No Love [self-released]
Death Grips – Guillotine [self-released]
Death Grips – Artificial death in the west [self-released]
Bee Mask – Vaporware [ROOM40]
pinkcourtesyphone – sans motif [ROOM40]
AXXONN – Sky’s One Kite [Sonoptik]
Tom Hall – Chased By Demons Through Vacant Lands [Complicated Dance Steps]
AXXONN – Outback Wonderland [Sonoptik]
Memotone – Onset / Stalker [Black Acre]
Memotone – Sleep it Off [A Future Without]
Memotone – Lost Hours [Black Acre]
Memotone – Sleeping With The Insects [Bad Panda] {free download!}
Memotone – Nightshift [Raised By Records]
Memotone – Dark Under The Eyes [Boiler Room SoundCloud] {free download!}
Memotone – Sad Sack [free from Memotone website]
Memotone – Don’t Come Looking [A Future Without]
Memotone – Down Illusion [Black Acre]

Listen again — ~ 106MB


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