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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 April, 2013

Playlist 07.04.13 (10:03 pm)

Great range of stuff tonight – shoegaze of various variants, post-classical electronica, an old electronica incarnation of The Haxan Cloak, dark drones’n’beats and more…

LISTEN (AGAIN?) via the link at the bottom or the podcast, or stream on demand from FBi.

I feel like I probably haven’t played enough Justin K Broadrick on this show, even though he’s one of my favourite music-makers. Look, I’ve probably played him a lot, but in proportion to how much I listen to him, and how many variegated acts he’s been involved with, it feels like not enough. Tonight we hear from his metal-shoegaze project Jesu, probably nowadays what he’s best known for, who put out a 7″ on the Matador Singles Club last year featuring a Stranglers cover (“Duchess”) and a new original, “Veiled”. That vinyl release is now available digitally from the Jesu Bandcamp along with alternate versions of both tracks. The trouble with being a JKB fan is all the alternate versions, self-remixes and re-releases that float around, all of which are essential because they’re often both radically different and brilliant – as is most definitely the case here. The outro, where it all changes, is fantastic in both versions.

Speaking of shoegaze, I was just handed the new album by Sydney duo Fabels this week, and had to play some tracks even though the album isn’t being launched until the start of May. It is in fact now available from their Bandcamp. Their shoegaze credentials are strong, as Ben Aylward was singer/guitarist in beloved Sydney shoegaze Swirl in the ’90s. His partner Hiske Weijers brings a psychedelic twist and shares the singing duties. The album features many tracks from their three excellent EPs along with a few new ones including the highlight “Everything”.

Aussie ex-pat Leah Kardos, now living in London, is a classically-trained composer and pianist as well as an electronic musician and songwriter, and she’s not afraid to combine all her influences on her albums – and indeed within tracks. Her debut album Feather Hammer was one of the highlights of 2011, and her new one is set to be the same for 2013. Featuring vocals on many tracks from Laura Wolk-Lewanowicz, who’s versatile enough herself to cover the range from operatic to pop, it starts off definitely seeming in the classical camp before the electronics drop halfway through the first track. There are glitchy layers of vocals, pop songs with deliciously bent lyrics, and gorgeous piano-backed ambient electronica. Both albums are highly recommended.

When Sydney’s Eugene Ward started making post-r’n’b/dubstep/techno as Dro Carey, he instantly seemed to attract the attention of the cool trend-setters in the music crit scene. And he is indeed uniquely talented and deserves his spot on the world stage. For his latest release he imagined what would happen if he took the house tendencies of his alter ego Tuff Sherm out of Dro Carey, leaving bouncing breakbeats and bass with perhaps more the hip-hop influences. Very fine stuff.

Aurora Borealis as The Haxan Cloak. A cellist and sound-artist, he’s at home with twisted techno, drone, and arcane acoustic doom, and his new album will come out on witch-house (etc) label Tri-Angle. Meanwhile, I was very interested do discover that under a little-mentioned earlier pseudonym he released a small amount of folktronica and more light-hearted electronica as Crillix. It’s quite different, and he probably considers it juvenilia, but I’ve been enjoying what I could find!

And speaking of rare and esoteric, Autechre are not the only Warp artist, or artist in general, to release special tracks for the Japanese market (a way of convincing the Japanese to buy from local labels & stores rather than going for cheaper imported stock), but the bonus track on Beat‘s version of their newie is one of the best Autechre tracks I’ve heard in ages. Absolutely stunning.

The Mount Fuji Doomjazz Corporation is the doomy drone version of The Kilimanjaro Darkjazz Ensemble, with trombone, cello, traditional rock instruments and electronics/beatmakers. They’ve released a number of excellent live albums, and Roadburn is the best yet, with some heavy beats dropping in halfway through a couple of the long tracks. I believe there’s a new TKDE album later this year, which is something to look forward to.

And keeping the “road” theme, as well as numbered tracks, Sydney’s beloved afxjim has released the R.O.A.D. EP at his Bandcamp to tide us over till a new album later this year. Similar in feel to his album, it’s a sort of gentle folktronica and postrock, with samples and tape loops, guitars and drums – very melodic and just a delight to listen to.

Keeping the Sydney connection, next up we had a long-awaited collaboration between Italian drone-meister Fabio Orsi & Sydney’s own pimmon. It’s definitely easy to hear both of their signatures in these long drone tracks. Beautiful stuff.

And finally, Greg from Underlapper alterted me to a new project for Matthew Mehlan from Skeletons, Uumans. It harkens back to the solo days of Skeletons, much more electronic, with his instantly-recognizable vocals and general weirdness. Available in cassette form and with various t-shirt alternatives if you’re thataway inclined!

Jesu – Veiled [Matador/Jesu Bandcamp]
Jesu – Veiled (alt version) [Jesu Bandcamp]
Fabels – Everything [Fabels] {forthcoming}
Fabels – Turquoise [Fabels]
Fabels – Semaphore [Fabels]
Leah Kardos – Incantation [Bigo & Twigetti]
Leah Kardos – Sexy Monday [Bigo & Twigetti]
Leah Kardos – Apology [Bigo & Twigetti]
Leah Kardos – Closed Circuit [Bigo & Twigetti]
Dro Carey – Nightworld [Dro Carey Bandcamp]
Dro Carey – Grill Mage [Dro Carey Bandcamp]
Crillix – Sketch [Abandon Building Records]
The Haxan Cloak – Burning Torches of Despair [Aurora Borealis]
Autechre – 18 (keyosc) [Warp/Beat]
The Mount Fuji Doomjazz Corporation – Roadburn II [Available from Bandcamp]
afxjim – R.O.A.D. Part IV [afxjim Bandcamp]
afxjim – R.O.A.D. Part V [afxjim Bandcamp]
Fabio Orsi & pimmon – Garnacha [Home Normal]
Uumans – When U Coming Out? [Uumans Bandcamp]

Listen again — ~ 102MB


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