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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, 24th of February, 2013

Playlist 24.02.13 (9:09 pm)

Good evening! Huge thanks to Scarlett Di Maio for filling in last week!

LISTEN AGAIN is back! – link at bottom, podcast to subscribe, or stream on demand at FBi for the full stereo experience.

Hot on the heels of the new Boduf Songs, Matthew Collings this week gives us another early album of the year candidate. Shoegaze textures, a wide array of acoustic and electric instruments, lots of dynamics, and the excellent production of Mr Ben Frost. Stunning widescreen stuff.

This week also marks the release of a new Matmos album, quite a few years in the making. Or perhaps it’s just that the last one left me totally cold. But I’ve been a fan for a very long time (since the first two albums), and I felt the need to play one of my favourite sections from their conceptual breakthrough release from 1999, The West, which pitted folky Americana against their cut & paste sampling to produce a new genre, years before “folktronica” was a thing.
The new album is based around the bizarre Ganzfeld experiments which used sensory isolation to explore ESP. I don’t think any positive signs of mind-reading were found, but their subjects’ theories about the subject matter of the new Matmos album certainly contribute fruitfully (and frequently very amusingly) to the new album itself. Musically it’s as wildly varied as ever but features acoustic instruments along with electronics collaged together in pleasing ways, including some hilarious death metal vocals on the last track… There’s a bit of everything, and it’s got all the charm of Matmos at their best.

Australian musician Tristan Coleman first came to my attention via a remix of the wonderful Inch-time, under the name Old Growth in Asia. Inch-time’s Stefan Panczak runs the Mystery Plays Records label and Coleman is the latest artist to be released via that label, with an EP influenced by jazz and classical music as well as electronica, with some lovely string and clarinet samples in there, and even some vocals. It’s a varied release showcasing a very promising talent, highly recommended.

We also heard from Adelaidian Tim Koch tonight, one of the pioneering electronica artists from Australia, and the track is in fact an old one, although Tim is working on new material for Ghostly International. This comes from one of a series of awesome free electronic compilations on French label Pavillon36 Recordings, and if you like classic idm, drill’n’bass, acid and the like, you should do yourself a favour and grab all three Circuits Imprimés comps from their Bandcamp.

Speaking of old unreleased idm tracks, µ-Ziq is one of the originals, hugely important and influential. Of course Mike Paradinas’ even bigger claim to fame now is running the Planet µ label, but he was at least as important to me as Aphex Twin or Squarepusher, and it’s great to hear 2 albums’ worth of sounds from the early-to-mid ’90s, even though the album absurdly only released on vinyl in an absurdly small run, with the second album as a digital download only available with said vinyl. Or, you know, less legally.

I have to admit I haven’t been floored by Thom Yorke’s quasi-sequal to The Eraser with Atoms For Peace, featuring the touring supergroup with Flea on bass and Nigel Godrich on, you know, stuff. It’s funky and jittery, with Yorke & Godrich’s singular take on electronic beats, and there’s nothing wrong with it at all. It just hasn’t really grabbed me. Still, some good sounds and melodies m’kay.

It’s probably been obvious how excited I was about the JK Flesh/Prurient split that came out at the beginning of the year, even though it’s very sad that it spells the end of the amazing Hydra Head label. Trusty Japanese label Daymare have released it on CD now, so I have my physical copy, and it contains some bonus tracks, including two incredible mashups (I guess) but Justin K Broadrick of his and Prurient’s tracks. With heavy beats, noise and even some amen breaks in there, this is one of my favourite JK Broadrick tracks in recent times, and his last few years have been particularly strong. Wow.

Keeping it noisy (noise-y?), we have a new album from Lexington, KY’s Hair Police, two of whom have been central members of C Spencer Yeh’s Burning Star Core in its psychedelic noise rock band incarnation. It’s great hearing them keep it real with free noise where Prurient, Yeh and many others veering into variants of ’80s electro-industrial-pop in the last year or two.

B/B/S/ is another supergroup of sorts, featuring Italian experimental percussionist Andrea Belfi, shoegaze/doom rock guitar maestro Aidan Baker and Miasmah boss, cellist and dronemeister Erik K Skodvin (one half of Deaf Center). It’s just the kind of longform immersive sound art you’d expect from the three of them, recalling the great Oren Ambarchi albums from last year among other things. Brilliant stuff.

And we finish with a new track from Kate Carr. After a number of fantastic compilations on her Flaming Pines label, the Sydney artist has finally released a new album of her own, Landing Lights, with guitar and electronics joining her field recording work. Beautiful.

Matthew Collings – Vasilia [Fluid Radio/Matthew Collings Bandcamp]
Matthew Collings – Paris Is Burning [Fluid Radio/Matthew Collings Bandcamp]
Matmos – You [Thrill Jockey]
Matmos – The West (2nd half) [Deluxe Records/Vague Terrain]
Tristan Coleman – Rituals (Part 3) [Mystery Plays Records]
Inch-time – Two Courtesans (Old Growth in Asia mix) [Mystery Plays Records]
Tim Koch – Mocean [Pavillon36 Recordings]
µ-Ziq – Jewel Tea [Planet µ]
µ-Ziq – Airto [Planet µ]
Atoms For Peace – Reverse Running [XL Recordings]
JK Flesh – JK Flesh Merges Prurient 1 [Hydra Head/Daymare]
Hair Police – Mercurial Rites [Type]
B/B/S/ – Brick / Mask [Miasmah]
Kate Carr – Not a cloud in sight [Flaming Pines]

Listen again — ~ 107MB


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Sunday, 10th of February, 2013

Playlist 10.02.13 (9:06 pm)

So much for you tonight! Surprise early digital release of the new Autechre (not that surprising, it’s what they’ve done the last few times), stunning new Boduf Songs album, sleepmakeswaves and Inch-time remixes, Aaron Spectre/Drumcorps on Bandcamp, the list goes on…

Our internal logging is down so no podcast this week, but you can still stream online at FBi!

We start tonight with my first premature album of the year nomination, Boduf SongsBurnt Up On Re-Entry, which takes further the more electric/electronic sound of the amazing This Alone Above All Else In Spite Of Everything, as well as his collaborative project Infinite Light Ltd.. Matthew Sweet’s whisper-soft vocals continue to be slightly sinister, but the bleeps and bloops, beats and grainy textures accompanying the guitars take it to a new level.

Sydney’s postrock keepers-of-the-faith sleepmakeswaves have just released a very fine remix album, and enlisted not just electronic producers but other postrock bands to lay waste to their tracks. Perth’s Tangled Thoughts of Leaving do a particularly fine job, and recent touring mates 65daysofstatic do exactly what you’d expect.

Excellent to have something new from Queenbeyan’s y0t0, continuing his fascination with space travel (and science fiction), and collaborating here with Perth electronic artist Catlips. We also heard the incredibly Downliners Sekt remix from a couple of years ago that actually introduced me to their work.

And yes, the new Autechre album was as usual released early digitally. Physical arrives at the start of March, but meanwhile we can listen to this epic 2CD (and 4LP!) set. It’s hard to avoid the feeling that it could easily have been edited down to a really strong single album, but it’s full of their highly recognizable electronic manipulations, buried melodies and a pleasing amount of head-nodding beats. As a huge fan, I had the choice of their entire back catalogue to slip in a bonus track, and while I’m usually drawn to the Envane/Chiastic Slide era, tonight I decided to go a bit further back, with a classic bit of electronica from just about where their beats were getting crunchier and their sounds more uncompromising. Dig the sliding synths!

I’ve been a fan of Aaron Spectre since way back when the show started, and was pretty excited to find most of his back catalogue up on his Bandcamp, under his Drumcorps moniker, which was originally founded to take his love of speedcore/metal/punk and apply it to the breakcore production mentality. He was part of the mid-’00s resurgence of ragga jungle (and one of the best), but also worked with ambient and shoegaze artists, and brought (the original) dubstep to the US before many others were playing it. So as well as catching up on some of his recent stuff, we went on a trip back to some of his earlier sounds.

Canberra/Sydney(?) band Golden Blonde used to be Kasha, but have moved to a kind of cut-and-paste indie thing that throws acoustic, electronic, live and studio-constructed all into the blender. It’s one of the most exciting local releases in ages. No idea how they manage it live.

Finally, the wonderful Inch-time (ex-Adelaide, now based in London) has a new remix EP out on his Mystery Plays Records label from his album of last year. The album was electronica with live performances from some excellent London jazz musicians, and so the electronic/improv crossover of Leverton Fox is a very appropriate choice for remixing, featuring Sam Britton from Icarus.

Boduf Songs – Fiery The Angels Fall [Southern Records]
Boduf Songs – lord of the flies [Kranky]
Boduf Songs – Song To Keep Me Still [Southern Records]
sleepmakeswaves – a gaze blank and pitiless as the sun (“keep my father” remix by Tangled Thoughts of Leaving) [Bird’s Robe Collective]
sleepmakeswaves – we like you when you’re awkward [Bird’s Robe Collective]
sleepmakeswaves – our time is short but your watch is slow [Bird’s Robe Collective] {under the talking}
sleepmakeswaves – our time is short but your watch is slow (65daysofstatic remix) [Bird’s Robe Collective]
y0t0 – Sunn Over Blue Mountains (with Catlips) [BLWBCK/y0t0 Bandcamp]
y0t0 – Uriarra Crossing Mirror Condensation (Downliners Sekt remix) [fac-ture]
y0t0 – Deckard [BLWBCK/y0t0 Bandcamp]
Autechre – YJY UX [Warp]
Autechre – eutow [Warp]
Autechre – recks on [Warp]
drumcorps – there are two moons [drumcorps Bandcamp]
Aaron Spectre – look out fi liar [Death$ucker Records/now available from drumcorps Bandcamp]
Aarktica – Ocean Remix by Aaron Spectre [Ad Noiseam]
drumcorps – headstrong and heartfoolish [drumcorps Bandcamp]
Golden Blonde – Joan [Golden Blonde]
Inch-time – Stapedius (Leverton Fox Remix) [Mystery Plays Records]


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Sunday, 3rd of February, 2013

Playlist 03.02.13 (9:07 pm)

So today was the amazing day we thought would never come, when My Bloody Valentine release their follow-up to 1991’s loveless.
We had some other awesome sounds tonight including ’70s composer/experimental artist Igor Wakhévitch and the glorious first half of fire! orchestra‘s exit!

LISTEN AGAIN as per usual – link at bottom, podcast to subscribe, or stream on demand at FBi for the full stereo experience.

Shock new release of the week is, of course, the new My Bloody Valentine – long time coming, short time between announcement and release. It’s pretty bloody good, following on directly from their previous effort, the little-known 1991 release Loveless. Of course that was a classic that nobody’s managed to top in over two decades, and MBV themselves don’t quite make it either, but this is well and truly a worthy successor, with some very interesting production (even for Kevin Bloody Shields) and some very lovely songs in there too.

Crab Smasher this week brought us some unreleased tracks circa their Impossible Monsters sessions (2007) and remind us why they were (and are?) one of the most exciting noise/free/electronic/punk bands to find their way out of the Central Coast (or anywhere else in Australia) in a long time.

The next track is an epic and garnered a pretty major response from the listeners. fire! orchestra is really the trio fire!, made up of Mats Gustafsson of The Thing, Johan Berthling of Tape and Andreas Werliin of Wildbirds & Peacedrums. It’s that kind of free jazz/postrock/drone/noise hybrid that Norway and Sweden tend to produce, and their previous two albums were collaborations with Jim O’Rourke and Oren Ambarchi. This one is a collaboration with a huge list of Norwegian musicians, and it’s an amazing feat that it doesn’t turn into a huge mess of free jazz squalling soloing. Instead, it’s two bass-driven grooves, with various vocalists singing lyrics by Arnold de Boer of The Ex. It’s and ecstatic, magical work that doesn’t scrimp on the wild free-jazz skronk when called for, but also isn’t afraid to drop everything back to a single bassline or vocal. Just amazing.

Amazing, also, was the discovery of Igor Wakhévitch, French composer from the early to late ’70s, psychedelic, electronic, and experimental. We have one track that could truly almost be a piece of acid techno lost in time, and some freaky bits of piano-and-drone. Some of his albums have been recently re-released on vinyl, but I’ve tracked down a CD box set from the late ’90s.

And speaking of unearthed old material, Kettel‘s Reimer Eising has put together a compilation of unreleased music from 2002-2012, and there are some lovely gems of melodic idm in there. Pay what you like!

Karoshi‘s Beres Jackson has created Vacant Lake as a venture for his solo stuff, as Karoshi is now a band with his brother. That band put out a cracker of an EP last year, and the Vacant Lake one is a bit of a cracker too – just pure, melodic electronica.

Eskmo is known for his varied but always perfectly poised beats, whether dubstep or wonky or techno. This track, however, from his latest self-released EP, is a lovely piece of droney ambience. Talented fellow.

And to finish up tonight, I happen to have been listening to a lot of ISIS, and to herald the start of a new show following mine, Close To The Edge with Bird’s Robe‘s Alex Tulett, I played a magnificent track from their magnificent 2002 album Oceanic. Post-metal FTW!

my bloody valentine – in another way [self-released]
my bloody valentine – to here knows when [Creation]
my bloody valentine – wonder 2 [self-released]
Crab Smasher – The Hollows [available from Bandcamp]
Crab Smasher – A Sad Day For Everybody [Monstera Deliciosa/available from Bandcamp]
fire! orchestra – exit! part one [rune grammofon]
Igor Wakhévitch – Rituel de Guerre des Esprits de la Terre [originally Atlantic, recently reissued (vinyl) by Fauni Gena]
Igor Wakhévitch – Spenta Aramati (Ritual Of The Zelator) [Pathé Marconi EMI]
Igor Wakhévitch – Taddy’s Dream: Ramallah’s Road [Pathé Marconi EMI]
Kettel – Slumbertime in Pittsburgh [Kettel Bandcamp]
Kettel – Tail in Coat [Kettel Bandcamp]
Vacant Lake – Residue [available from SoundCloud]
Karoshi – Blood In The Rain [available from Bandcamp]
Vacant Lake – Carry On [available from SoundCloud]
Eskmo – Deep Sea [Ancestor]
ISIS – the other [Ipecac]

Listen again — ~ 103MB


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