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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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Playlists are listed with artist name first, then track title and (remixer), then [record label]. Enjoy the links.

Sunday, 27th of January, 2013

Playlist 27.01.13 (9:16 pm)

A very electronic-focused show tonight, with some great Sydney sounds as well as tracks from all over.

LISTEN AGAIN as per usual.Link at bottom, podcast, stereo stream on demand at FBi.

So one of Lee Tran Lam’s last tracks was Perth producer Ta-ku‘s “Broke As“, which is his take on TLC’s “No Scrubs“, so I had to skip back to 2000 and 555 Records‘ stellar Chihuahuas and Chinese Noodles compilation which featured one of Kid606‘s earliest(?) forays into digitally-fucked-with r’n’b mashups…

Dalhous is the more beat-based project of Blackest Ever Black artists Young Hunting, a dark ambient/experimental duo. Post-dubstep beats, still a really dark sound. Reminding me of Raime, Blackest Ever Black’s darlings from last year. Looking forward to this album.

And then we’re in Sydney for a really fine selection of local electronica. We start with solo producer Camus, whose hip-hop beats fit nicely with current trends in electronic music (don’tcha know), as do those of, I guess by now, elder statesman Monk Fly. “One Blap” is really one of the best things in some time. Yes.

And a couple of years after his May Day Radio album came out, Westernsynthetics has released a remix album which runs the gamut from almost-anthemic drum’n’bass through Gentleforce‘s ambient techno to the twitchy stepper from dubstep legend Gravious.

Speaking of well-overdue remix albums, Comatone‘s debut album came out over 10 years ago. Tonight we heard a slightly cheeky preview of one “remix”, actually a fantastic cover by The Fantastic Terrific Munkle. Look out for the whole remix album coming soon, I hope!

And from here it’s time to head back to 2012 for some of the best drum’n’bass (well, drill’n’bass I guess) of the year. Starting with Ruby My Dear, and a newly-discovered track in fact from 2011, but then we hear from his excellent 2012 album, a track from drum’n’bass hero of the moment Fanu, one from Luke Vibert’s unearthed Plug recordings (released in 2012, albeit produced back in the mid-’90s), and the very Vibert-influenced Loops Haunt.

Back in 2013, we heard a couple of tracks from Macedonian producer Nina Georgieva. We need to hear from more female producers of electronic music, and indeed from more international artists; we also heard a remix by her of Bulgarian artist Mloski, and these were brought to us by the Australian-based electronic label Enig’matik Sounds.

Last week I played a track from the Philippe Petit-curated compilation put out by Portuguese publisher Antibothis. Tonight it’s a collaboration between Scanner and si-cut.db, both veteran electronic producers and associates of Petit, with an excellent piece of dark electronica.

And finally, Petit’s collaborator of last week, Michel Banabila, with another stunning piece of dark electronica also.

Kid606 – remix/mashup of TLC’s “No Scrubs” [555 Records of Leeds, UK]
Dalhous – Success is Her Sensuality [Blackest Ever Black]
Camus – Vertigo [Forest Northern]
Monk Fly – Qin’s Return [Frequency Lab]
Monk Fly – One Blap [Frequency Lab]
Westernsynthetics – Engine no 999 (Gravious rmx) [available from Bandcamp]
Camus – Sizzurp [available from Bandcamp]
Westernsynthetics – 101010 (Gentleforce rmx) [available from Bandcamp]
Comatone – Cut (acoustic version by The Fantastic Terrific Munkle) [Feral Media]
Comatone – Cut [Feral Media]
Ruby My Dear – Mashed Rope [Acroplane]
Ruby My Dear – uken [Ad Noiseam]
Fanu – Controversial [Fanu Bandcamp] {free release!}
Plug – Mind Bending [Ninja Tune]
Loops Haunt – Zenith [Black Acre]
Nina Georgieva – Makes Run [Enig’matik Records]
Mloski – An Introduction To Labyrinth (Nina Georgieva Remix) [Enig’matik Records]
Scanner/si-cut.db – My Lip Cam [Antibothis]
Michel Banabila – Eyes Of The Witness [Tapu Records]

Listen again — ~ 172MB


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Sunday, 20th of January, 2013

Playlist 20.01.13 (9:06 pm)

20th of January, 2013! That’s… a date.
Really, this should be the future. Welcome. We have some dark and evocative sounds from eclectic Dutch artist Michel Banabila, a wonderful compilation from Sydney’s Flaming Pines, new Ulrich Schnauss and much more!

LISTEN AGAIN etc etc. You know the drill. Link at bottom, podcast, stream on demand in stereo(!) at FBi.

Young Marcus Whale has been making Scissor Lock since he was, well, very young indeed. He was sending experimental sounds in to this very show at about 15 years of age. And now he’s an international superstar as one half of Collarbones, but it’s nice to hear 4 tracks in entirely solo mode. Processed vocals and subtle beats, much as you’d expect.

Dutch artist Michel Banabila has appeared on the ‘Fog before courtesy of some lovely post-jazz and electronics, including the amazing In Other Words (free Bandcamp download!) featuring disembodied voices, chopped up into new languages, and blissful electronic textures.
The new sounds I played are decidedly darker; The SumDark 12 album is highly recommended. He’s also recently collaborated with Machinefabriek.

And speaking of collaborations, we also heard some new work of Banabila with the legendary Philippe Petit, from Marseilles, who was visiting our shores only just recently. He brings the dark and cacophanous even more to Banabila’s sound. And we also hear him in collaboration with the venerable Simon Fisher Turner, on Canberra’s hellosQuare.

Connections, connections – next up it’s hellosQuare boss Shoeb Ahmad with a lovely ode to the Mount Stromlo Observatory, the first piece tonight from the latest excellent compilation on Sydney’s Flaming Pines. It’s all about places that are special to the artists, so we heard the “Forest Floor” in Broken Chip‘s back yard, while Michael Terren seems happy to call anywhere he can plug an Australia power point in home…

Sydney-based Sofie Loizou launched her new label Radical Nature Records late last year, and we heard a lovely piece of electronica from her 12″.

Something of a surprise release for the beginning of 2013 comes from electronic shoegaze king Ulrich Schnauss, from whom we haven’t had a solo album for a ridiculously long time (along there’ve been plenty of remixes and collaborations in the meantime). There’s nothing surprising here, except perhaps (cynically) for the general quality of the material. I’m vacillating between general enjoyment and general lack of enthusiasm, but it’s pretty good y’all. It’s Ulrich, heck.

Oh, and I guess you could draw dome distant connections with shoegaze and the music of Scissor Lock, aka Marcus Whale from Collarbones, here with his first solo release in quite a while. The vocals will be familiar to all Collarbones fans, with an emphasis on processing rather than beats, although there are some beats here, with some nice cross-chaining as is the style these days.

OMBRE is one of those acts I’m terribly embarrassed at having not gotten to last year. This pairing of Julianna Barwick and Roberto Carlos Lange produces some of the best work from either of them, with acoustic South American songs rubbing up against electronic production and shoegazey textures, and beautiful vocals from both of them.

Greg “Comatone” Seiler has been having fun in the studio recreating some of his favourite indie/rock/industrial songs from his youth, and I couldn’t help but put one on the radio. It’s a ridiculously pitch-perfect rendition of a classic by the Cure, complete with vocals! Yes, more please :)

And from Hydra Head‘s last release (RIP), we heard again from Justin K Broadrick’s heavy-as-fuck JK Flesh. Plus another track from the second album by his genre-crossing supergroup The Blood of Heroes. Highly recommended, both.

And we finished up with another piece of wonderful analogue synth work from Cédric Stevens‘ highly limited double LP from mid last year.

Scissor Lock – None [Available from Bandcamp]
Michel Banabila – Crowds [Tapu Records]
Banabila – Do Something About It! [Steamin’ Soundworks]
Michel Banabila – MltVz4 [Tapu Records]
Michel Banabila & Philippe Petit – Malpertuis [Antibothis]
Simon Fisher Turner & Philippe Petit – dou lidou [hellosQuare]
Shoeb Ahmad – Burnt in the Dead of the Night [Flaming Pines]
Broken Chip – Forest Floor [Flaming Pines]
Michael Terren – AS 3122 [Flaming Pines]
Sofie Loizou – Aphoria Horizonte [Radical Nature Records]
Ulrich Schnauss – Broken Homes [Scripted Realities]
Ulrich Schnauss – blumenwiese neben autobahn [City Centre Offices]
Scissor Lock – Churn [Available from Bandcamp]
OMBRE – Cara Falsa [Asthmatic Kitty]
OMBRE – Vistate [Asthmatic Kitty]
Comatone – The Drowning Man (Cure cover) [unreleased]
JK Flesh – Deceiver [Hydra Head]
The Blood of Heroes – Bronze and Brass [Ohm Resistance]
Cédric Stevens – The Siamese Level – Playground Emulation [Discrepant]

Listen again — ~ 105MB


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Sunday, 13th of January, 2013

Playlist 13.01.13 (9:07 pm)

Evening all! Here we are again! Unearthed from vinyl which I bought mid-last-year, we have some truly amazing sounds from Cédric Stevens. I need to play you more of this!

About the first half of this show is “new” music – including some genuinely released in 2013! The other half is overflow from our best of 2012 list, which is ongoing and will feature throughout January (at least!)

LISTEN – link at the bottom, subscribe to podcast, or better, stream on demand from FBi!

We started with Cédric Stevens, whose 2LP set The Syncopated Elevators Legacy collects music recorded between 1997 and 2005 as The Syncopated Elevators Legacy, along with a remarkable set of remixes from Fennesz, Sylvain Chauveau, My Cat Is An Alien, Burning Star Core, Motion Sickness of Time Travel and Leyland Kirby. The original music, while varied, centres around analogue synth explorations that fit perfectly into today’s noise-meets-ambient directions of Emeralds, Oneohtrix Point Never et al. I have to say I bought the album for the remixes, and they are uniformly brilliant, but the original material is no less fantastic.
It’s just a shame it’s released only on vinyl, and in a very limited edition at that. Not just because I essentially don’t buy vinyl, but because it limits its reach so much. And for a rare vinyl listener like me it’s taken half a year for me to wire up the stereo to my laptop in order to record it to my hard drive, where it’s now in a format where I’ll be giving it repeated listens for sure!

Awesome to have a second album out from crazy huge dub/breakcore/metal supergroup The Blood of Heroes. No Bill Laswell this time round, but still with end.user and Submerged on the beats, Dr Israel‘s vocals and the genius Justin K Broadrick on guitars. Not to mention the legendary Tony Maimone also on guitars, and many others… It’s heavy and truly, truly great.

Speaking of Broadrick, his JK Flesh project which was inaugurated last year takes him as close as he’s been for years to Godflesh. Sad to hear, Hydra Head Records are closing up shop, and JK Flesh has teamed up for a split 12″ with Prurient to send off the label. Wow, what a combo. Prurient’s tracks are noisier than his recent album, but without going total screamo. And the last track is a sort of noise-laden ambient piece, and really beautiful. The JK Flesh tracks are each better than the other (whichever order you play them in). Heavy, even when there’s no guitars, with industrial beats influenced by dubstep, hip-hop, drum’n’bass, whatever. Yes.

And so now we get in to more Best of 2012. I didn’t write up the other best-ofs, and I probably won’t with this either – the idea is to do a big post with my favourite music, but I’m not sure I’m un-lazy enough to get to it!

However, I do need to draw your attention to the Why? tracks. I didn’t listen to Mumps, etc properly during 2012. I heard it once but was waiting to get hold of the CD. WHICH IS HARD THESE DAYS, although I don’t know why it was so hard with this album. In any case, I had rudely underestimated this album. Turns out it’s awesome – not quite Alopecia levels of awesome, but really great. He’s still got the bizarre and thought-provoking turns of phrase, strange melodic sensibility, and the band’s arrangements are very fine, including some great string parts!

Cédric Stevens – The Siamese Level – Linear Enlightenment mix [Discrepant]
Cédric Stevens – Disguised Telescopes on Their Way to Planet Bottle (Burning Star Core remix) [Discrepant]
The Blood of Heroes – Piration [Ohm Resistance]
The Blood of Heroes – The Last Forest [Ohm Resistance]
JK Flesh – Obediant Automaton [Hydra Head]
Prurient – I Understand You [Hydra Head]
Jessica Bailiff – take me to the sun (so warm, so ready) [Kranky]
Boduf Songs – Temping [Morc Tapes]
Alexander Tucker – Window Sill [http://www.thrilljockey.com/]
Imbogodom – Slate Grey Light [http://www.thrilljockey.com/]
Grumbling Fur – Huthering Whites [Latitudes]
Why? – Distance [Anticon]
Why? – Bitter Thoughts [Anticon]
björk – dark matter (alva noto remodel) [One Little Indian]
Goth-Trad – Man in the Maze [Deep Medi]
Komonazmuk – So Crazy [Hench]
Cristian Vogel – Lucky Connor [Shitkatapult]
Icarus – Dumptruck Cannibals [Not Applicable]

Listen again — ~ 107MB


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