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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, 26th of January, 2014

Playlist 26.01.14 (9:07 pm)

Plethora of great music again, from a few sources, and a couple of little specials as well…
Yet another selection from Lost Tribe Sound‘s Benoît Pioulard remixes, available now on 2CD and digital. This very listener-friendly one came from the duo Graveyard Tapes, made up of Matthew Collings and Euan McMeeken.
And then one more minimal techno cut from last week’s very popular a new line (related), out in the next month or so from Home Assembly Music.

Scottish arts collective Transgressive North have just released an excellent download compilation called BOATS in conjunction with the charity Scottish Love in Action, who give support of all sorts to destitute children on southern India. Their beautiful voices feature on all the tracks on this compilation and bring a remarkable coherence (and joy) to the whole thing, across indie songs and glitchy experimental electronics… Highly, highly recommended.

Then we heard a number of selections from London’s post-jazz (for want of a better term) ensemble Piano Interrupted, who followed a re-release of their first album on Denovali last year with a new album augmenting the piano & laptop with their live musicians on cello, double bass and percussion. They were first introduced to me via a remix of ex-pat Adelaidian now resident in London, Inch-time.
And then also on the Denovali label, a bit of evil percussive drone from Canadian master Thisquietarmy.

A few other releases from this week, including a remix by the inimitable Icarus of a Russian/Ukrainian drum’n’bass pairing, and then some exquisite vocal processing and sub-bass from Holly Herndon.
Plus some similar amazing electronics & processing from Sydney composer Nick Wales (of Coda) and Sarah Blasko, written for Sydney Dance Company and otherwise exclusive to Utility Fog!

And the last half hour was dedicated to Mr Stephen James Wilkinson aka Bibio, out with a new EP this very week. As it harkens back to his earliest gauzy guitar folk-through-sun-stretched cassette outings, we travelled back to his first releases, through the introduction of vocals, electronics and beats, including his blissful first Clark remix and a very Bibio take on DM Stith.

LISTEN AGAIN to these glorious aurals. Link at bottom, stream in stereo from FBi.

Benoît Pioulard – Foxtail (Graveyard Tapes Remix) [Lost Tribe Sound/Kranky]
a new line (related) – a european medium [Home Assembly Music]
Matthewdavid – Music Will Change The World [Transgressive North Bandcamp]
Son Lux – My Father’s Children [Transgressive North Bandcamp]
Lucky Dragons – Between Suns [Transgressive North Bandcamp]
Piano Interrupted – Emoticon [Denovali]
Piano Interrupted – Son of Foug [Denovali]
Piano Interrupted – Son of Pi [Denovali]
Inch-time – The Sun Myth (Piano Interrupted mix) [Mystery Plays Records]
Piano Interrupted – Cross Hands [Denovali]
Thisquietarmy – Spirits Into Oblivion [Denovali]
Liquid Break and Hidden Element – Outsider Blues (Icarus remix) [Pinecone Moonshine]
Holly Herndon – Chorus [RNVG Intl.]
Nick Wales and Sarah Blasko – Belongil [unreleased, written for Sydney Dance Company]
Bibio – Down To The Sound [Warp]
Bibio – Looking Through The Facets of a Plastic Jewel [Mush]
Bibio – Aberriw [Mush]
Clark – Ted (Bibio Remix) [Warp]
Bibio – ambivalence avenue [Warp]
Bibio – steal the lamp [Warp]
DM Stith – Abraham’s Song (Bibio remix) [Asthmatic Kitty]
Bibio – The Spinney View of Hinkley Point. [Warp]

Listen again — ~104MB


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Sunday, 19th of January, 2014

Playlist 19.01.14 (9:08 pm)

Tonight, we started with two tracks from the up-and-coming album from Javanese experimental punk/folk group Senyawa, being funded by pre-ordered in this support the Pozible.
Then, two seminal postrock bands in their own worlds have new albums out: Thee Silver Mt. Zion Memorial Orchestra and Mogwai, both essentially just “more of the same” but really not bad at all. I dropped in a Hood remix of Mogwai there and we have lots more Hood-related later on.
In the meantime, Seattle area duo Cock & Swan have a second batch of remixes coming out soon on Hush Hush, and we heard a few of those along with two of their originals and their magnificent remix of Benoît Pioulard, forthcoming on the one & only Lost Tribe Sound.
Hood-related, we heard Richard Adams’ The Declining Winter, and then a big batch of The Remote Viewer, including one short piece by their earlier incarnation The Famous Boyfriend. Both members were part of Hood in the early days, and they ran the always amazing and much-lamented Moteer for some years. Now one half, Andrew Johnson, is releasing his first(!) solo effort as a new line (related), and it’s as mystery-filled and beautiful as ever.
I also dropped in one track from On Fell, the short-lived (for now) collaboration between Andrew and Chris Adams, aka Hood vocalist/producer/genius aka Bracken etc.

LISTEN AGAIN, because This! Was! Awesome! Link at bottom, stream in stereo from FBi.

Senyawa – Jaranan [Dual Plover] {support the Pozible to get this amazing music!}
Senyawa – Tadulako [Dual Plover] {support the Pozible to get this amazing music!}
Thee Silver Mt. Zion Memorial Orchestra – Rains Thru The Roof At The Grande Ballroom (For Capital Steez) [Constellation]
A Silver Mt. Zion – sit in the middle of three galloping dogs. [Constellation]
Mogwai – Heard About You Last Night [Rock Action Records]
Mogwai – Like Herod (Hood remix) [Eye Q/Chemikal Underground]
Mogwai – Remurdered [Rock Action Records]
Cock & Swan – Secret Angle (Cex Remix) [Hush Hush]
Cock & Swan – Stash [Lost Tribe Sound]
Cock & Swan – Following [Hush Hush]
Benoît Pioulard – Homily (Cock & Swan Remix) [Lost Tribe Sound/Kranky]
Cock & Swan – Looking Out (Hetrik Remix) [Hush Hush]
Cock & Swan – Following (Tokyo Bloodworm Remix) [Hush Hush]
The Declining Winter – The Chills [Sanity Muffin/The Declining Winter Bandcamp]
Hood – (the) weight [555 Records of Leeds, UK]
a new line (related) – claude’s up. drum lp. do music. [Home Assembly Music]
The Remote Viewer – untitled 04 (excerpt) / untitled 01 from s/t album [555 Records of Leeds, UK]
The Famous Boyfriend – the bridge that takes me home [555 Records of Leeds, UK]
The Remote Viewer – all of the wckwk want to be abstract (remixed by third eye foundation) [555 Records of Leeds, UK]
The Remote Viewer – Untitled 01 from i can’t believe it’s not better [Moteer]
On Fell – Untitled A from EP 1 [Moteer]
a new line (related) – great palaces [Home Assembly Music]

Listen again — ~108MB


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Sunday, 12th of January, 2014

Playlist 12.01.14 (9:05 pm)

Tonight we had a big musical celebration of the work of Greg “J” Walker, aka Australian musical treasure Machine Translations, who put out a new album last year that somehow completely slipped under my radar until right at the end of December.
We also heard from Canadian indiefolk-cum-ambient artist Benoît Pioulard, because UFog faves Lost Tribe Sound are just about to release an amazing 2CD set of remixes, the discs loosely reflecting the more song-focused and more ambient sides of his art.
We followed with Andy Stott doing his usual minimal bass-heavy electronic reworking of New York doom rock band Batillus, Moon Zero from Futuresequence‘s SEQUENCE7 compilation which I didn’t get to spin anything from last year, and Rival Consoles doing a bit of techno with lovely folky vocals from Peter Broderick.
And finally, Colin Stetson from another 2013 highlight, tying in nicely with January as he’s shortly to appear at Sydney Festival – how excitement!

LISTEN AGAIN, all the highs and lows (there are no lows)! Link at bottom, stream in stereo from FBi.

Machine Translations – Anne [Spunk]
Machine Translations – Broken Century [Way Over There]
Machine Translations – Falling Sun [Way Over There]
Machine Translations – Alien Dance (excerpt) [Way Over There]
Machine Translations – Out To Sea [Way Over There]
FourPlay String Quartet – August (ambient ping-pong mix by Machine Translations) [Smart Pussy]
Machine Translations – Rule Bound [Spunk]
Machine Translations – Happy [Spunk]
Machine Translations / Valgeir Sigurðsson – Baby Architect [Spunk]
Machine Translations – Extress [Spunk]
Machine Translations – The First Stone [Spunk]
Machine Translations – Broken Arrows [Spunk]
Benoît Pioulard – Reliquary [Kranky]
Benoît Pioulard – Homily [Kranky]
Benoît Pioulard – Homily (Cock & Swan Remix) [Lost Tribe Sound/Kranky]
Benoît Pioulard – Margin (William Ryan Fritch Remix) [Lost Tribe Sound/Kranky]
Benoît Pioulard – Hawkeye (The Remote Viewer Remix) [Lost Tribe Sound/Kranky]
Benoît Pioulard – Censer (Field Rotation Remix) [Lost Tribe Sound/Kranky]
Batillus – Concrete (Andy Stott remix) [Modern Love]
Moon Zero – Erinnerungen [Futuresequence]
Rival Consoles – Daddy (feat. Peter Broderick) [Erased Tapes]
Colin Stetson – Brute (feat. Justin Vernon) [Constellation Records]

Listen again — ~174MB


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Monday, 6th of January, 2014

Utility Fog’s ridiculously big best of 2013 list (8:09 pm)

OK, so I did this list for Cyclic Defrost, where I complained that I couldn’t possibly whittle down my best-of shortlist to anything resembling 5 selections.
That said, I also couldn’t fit everything I wanted into the 4 hours of my two best-of shows (previous to posts), so I’m presenting this here – without any links and with tiny little parenthetical summaries only. Enjoy!

ÄÄNIPÄÄ – Mirror Of Mirror Dreams
(collaboration between Stephen O’Malley and Mika Vainio is just what you’d hope for!)

Aidan Baker – Already Drowning
(amazing song cycle with a collection of brilliant women on the vocals)

Atom™ – HD
(his best in ages, trademark (pun intended) electronic manipulations & pranksterish covers)

AUN – Alpha Heaven
(dark techno without the beats, widescreen drone)

Autechre – Exai
(at 2CDs it’s overlong, but particularly the 2nd disc is crammed with goodies)

Banabila & Machinefabriek – Travelog
(glitchdroneworldbeat collaboration to die for)

Boduf Songs – Burnt Up On Re-Entry
(mysterious whispered indiefolk songs, now with electronic backbone – amazing)

Boards of Canada – Tomorrow’s Harvest
(just a wonderful return, everything you could’ve wanted)

C. Spencer Yeh / Okkyung Lee / Lasse Marhaug – Wake Up Awesome!
(collaboration of the year, beauty from noise)

Colin Stetson – New History Warfare Vol. 3: To See More Light
(possibly his best yet, including a barking (mad) vocal from Justin Vernon)

Crooked Fiddle Band – Moving Pieces of the Sea
(Sydney band get Steve Albini to produce their epic folk/postrock hybrid with awesome results!)

Demdike Stare – Testpressing series
(reinvention of rave/d’n’b aesthetics with dark atmos, better than their ambient hauntology)

Ensemble Pearl – s/t
(drone noise/black metal supergroup with dubbed out production, spineshattering)

Faint Wild Light – s/t
(Emptyset’s James Ginzburg doing shoegazey indie folk? Should’ve been a mega-hit)

fire! orchestra – exit
(Swedish free jazz orchestra with driving bass & scintillating vocals – a masterpiece)

Foetus – Soak
JG Thirlwell – The Blue Eyes OST

(look, I haven’t even listened to these yet but how can they not rule?)

Four Tet – Beautiful Rewind
(a return to form after an unnecessary 4/4 house detour, with a couple of corkers for sure)

Fresh Snow – I
(postrock/krautrock/noise from Toronto, led by a Melburnian ex-pat)

Golden Blonde – Gwen
(best Aus album by a mile, freaked-out chopped-up math-rock by way of Grizzly Bear!?)

Grumbling Fur – Glynnaestra
(everyone’s favourite, not as great as their first two but still great warped pop music)

The Haxan Cloak – Excavation
(cellist and consummate sound sculptor, and dark as fuck)

Horseback – A Plague Of Knowing
(3CDs, black metal Americana thru hardcore punk to processed loop-based indie songs?)

Holden – The Inheritors
(the most organic electronic music ever – endlessly fascinating)

Ill Professor – Wire & Air
(Zelienople member’s cassette of drones & half-expressed guitar & piano thoughts)

James Plotkin & Paal Nilssen-Love – Death Rattle
(Plotkin’s array of guitar-processing in full attack mode & Nilssen-Love’s garage rock/free jazz drums)

Janelle Monáe – The Electric Lady
(a supremely talented artist; if not quite The Archandroid then at least as catchy)

Jenny Hval – Innocence Is Kinky
(and not quite as brilliant as Viscera, but equally slippery and engrossing)

Jesu – Everyday I Get Closer The Light From Which I Came
Pale Sketcher – Just Won’t Sing
JK Flesh / Prurient – Worship Is The Cleansing Of The Imagination

(Lord JK Broadrick in fine form: epic shoegaze metal, perfect poptronica, raging industrial beats)

Juana Molina – Wed 2
(the return of Argentina’s finest purveyor of deliciously weird electronic folksongs!)

Kaboom Karavan – Hokus Fokus
(dark yet playful, acoustic yet sample-based, very odd)

Leah Kardos – Machines
(stunning second album from London-based Aussie; piano & electronics & songs based on spam)

Littlebow – Pi Magpie
(second album offering further proof that the flute can lead krautrock or psych-folk songs)

Locrian – Return to Annihilation
(the most approachable album from these experimental metal/drone masters)

Locust – You’ll Be Safe Forever
(as good as anything Mark Van Hoen produced in the ’80s, blissful glitchy shoegaze-tronica)

Lonnie Holley – Keeping a Record of It
(unbridled folk unlike anything you’ve heard)

Lucrecia Dalt – Syzygy
(her third and most experimental album, a unique vision of guitar songs and sound art)

Machinedrum – Vapor City
(the album I came back to most this year – stunning cyberpunk vision rendered through juke & drum’n’bass)

Mammifer & Circle – Enharmonic Intervals (For Paschen Organ)
(two restlessly creative post-metal scenes meet and create something melding classical & noise influences)

Matmos – The Marriage of True Minds
(sweet & acerbic humour and sonic invention as always from this duo)

Matt Elliott – Only Myocardial Infarction Can Break Your Heart
(far removed from Third Eye Foundation, but epic and featuring his best songwriting yet)

Matthew Collings – Splintered Instruments
(another I had on repeat, production by Ben Frost, post-Talk Talk songwriting & arrangements, amazing)

M.I.A. – Matangi
(return to form? Compulsively danceable, glitchy production, in-your-face vocals, I loved it)

Miles – Faint Hearted / Unsecured
(Demdike Stare member with post-Autechre techno that blew me away)

Misty Conditions – D’Zzzz
(impeccable trap/dubstep/juke beats from breakcore mashup producer & cohort)

The Mistys – Stalking/Drawers / Redemption Forest / Recombinant Archaeology
(UK’s The Boats producer and a female vocalist make a weird distorted sideways tribute to ’80s electro-pop)

Moon Zero – Tombs / Tombs Remixed
(just some great analogue electronics with some equally great drone artists on the mixes)

My Bloody Valentine – m b v
(the return, everything we expected but ultimately even better)

The Necks – Open
(one of their finest in later years, ultra-restrained minimalism and great grooves)

Nils Frahm – Spaces
(piano & keyboards supplemented with delay pedals for some equisite live creations)

How To Destroy Angels – Welcome Oblivion
(while the new NIN seemed ultra-boring, Trent’s project with his wife was great, including pop gem Ice Age)

Oceania – Coil Up EP / Eyes Of Glass EP / Five Stones EP
(three post-dubstep EPs from a Moscow artist, delicate songwriting & contemporary production)

Okkyung Lee – Ghil
(terrifying cello mayhem – the most effective noise release of the year, produced entirely acoustically)

Oliver Mann – Slow Bark
(opera singer brother of Grand Salvo makes wonderful experimental folk album)

Om Unit – Sleepwalkers EP
(I thought the Threads album was OK, but this is drum’n’bass as it needs to be in 2013)

Oneohtrix Point Never – R Plus Seven
(I’m not as rapturous about this as some, but yeah, it’s almost spitefully brilliant)

Paul Jebanasam – Rites
(Aussie dubstep pioneer now based in Bristol making bass-heavy almost-classical works of great depth)

Piano Interrupted – Two By Four / The Unified Field
(jazzy piano & laptop works, just lovely & fun)

The Rational Academy – Winter Haunts
(unpigeonholeable indie-noise from Brisbane)

Roly Porter – Life Cycle of a Massive Star
(ex-Vex’d member brings dubstep bass pressure to his outer-space electronic epic)

Saltland – I Thought It Was Us But It Was All Of Us
(A Silver Mt Zion/Esmerine cellist Becky Foon’s surprising solo album)

Sarah Neufeld – Hero Brother
(virtuoso solo debut from the violinist with The Arcade Fire and Bell Orchestre)

Sole – No Wising Up No Settling Down / Crimes Against Totality
(2nd & 3rd in his series of anarchiest protest-rap albums)

Son Lux – Lanterns
(as masterful as ever, connecting indie with classical with electronica)

Spartak – Catch/Control / Conscience
(lone pair of singles from Canberra’s finest, reinvented as indietronica band)

Special Request – Soul Music
(house & techno DJ Paul Woolford’s tribute to early jungle)

Sunken Foal – Friday Syndrome Vol. 2
(more magnificent folktronica, idm, techno from the brilliant, underappreciated Dunk Murphy)

Svarte Greiner – Black Tie
(Deaf Center cellist & Miasmah label boss with two dark & minimalist masterpieces)

Swans – Not Here / Not Now
(possibly still the loudest band in the world, fundraising their next album, unmissable)

Talvihorros – Eaten Alive
(gorgeously-packaged album of drones, strums & noises from an artist to watch)

Teho Teardo – Music For Wilder Mann
Teho Teardo & Blixa Bargeld – Still Smiling

(veteran Italian composer & post-industrial electronic musician, on his own & in charming collaboration with Blixa)

Telafonica – Sister Zephyr
(late entry to 2013, they can do no wrong. The kids singing in the punkiest track is gold)

These Hidden Hands – s/t
(engrossing breakbeat techno, retro in a way that could only be made right now)

These New Puritans – Fields of Reeds
(post-Talk Talk quiet-pop, continuing their love of 20th century classical music, one for the ages)

Tim Hecker – Virgins
(his best album by a long shot, helped in no small measure by the presence of Ben Frost)

Various Artists (Flaming Pines) – Tiny Portraits
(no label has greater vision than Kate Carr’s right now)
Various Artists – yellow loveless -JAPAN-
(MBV covers, some over-faithful, some totally un-)
Various Artists (Fanu) – The Breakbeat Sound of Finland
(it seems Fanu’s the tip of the iceberg for exciting Finnish d’n’b)
Various Artists (New Weird Australia) – Sixes And Twelves
(just about the perfect selection of Australian experimental guitar music)
Various Artists (Second Language) – Music and Migration III
(perfect conclusion to this bird-themed indiefolk & post-classical series)
Various Artists (EXIT Records) – Mosaic Vol. 2
(the most exciting aspects of drum’n’bass today)
Various Artists – The Outer Church
(hauntology at its best)
Various Artists (Feral Media/Lofly) – Strain of Origin III
(exciting collection of forward-thinking Aussie artists remixing each other)
Various Artists (Feral Media) – Winter EP / Spring EP
(wonderfully diverse first two entries in the Ferals’ seasons series)

Violetshaped – The Remixes Part 2
(mysterious post-industrial techno duo enlist both Keith Fullerton Whitman and the aforementioned JK Flesh for remixes!)

The Stranger – Watching Dead Empires In Decay
(best work in ages from Mr V/VM)

witxes – a fabric of belief
(mixture of postrock, drone, electronics & even folk – just what I wanted)

Wouter Van Veldhoven – Faroe Islands
(ear-turningly exquisite sound manipulations, sparing strings, three short but utterly perfect tracks)

Young Echo – Nexus
(the post-dubstep sound of Bristol today)


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Sunday, 5th of January, 2014

Playlist 05.01.14 – Best of 2013 Part Two! (9:06 pm)

Best of 2013 Part Two – and barely enough time to fit in my drastically curtailed shortlist. I just about managed, but so much more was left on the cutting-room floor (metaphorically).

LISTEN AGAIN, relive it! Link at bottom, stream in stereo from FBi.

C. Spencer Yeh / Okkyung Lee / Lasse Marhaug – Ophelia Gimme Shelter [Software]
C. Spencer Yeh / Okkyung Lee / Lasse Marhaug – Throw Down The Fishcake [Software]
ensemble pearl – painting on a corpse [Drag City/Daymare]
Mamiffer & Circle – Vaso Luna [SIGE/Ektro]
Witxes – The Strands [Denovali]
Talvihorros – In the Belly of the Beast [Facture]
Matthew Collings – Vasilia [Fluid Audio/Matthew Collings Bandcamp]
Graveyard Tapes – Insomniac Dawn [Lost Tribe Sound]
Grumbling Fur – Galacticon [Thrill Jockey]
Horseback – Recite [Relapse]
Crooked Fiddle Band – Puncture [Bird’s Robe Collective]
Golden Blonde – You Lead Me [Tenzenmen]
Spartak – Catch/Control [hellosQuare Recordings]
Leah Kardos – Radiate Heat Into Space (excerpt) [Bigo & Twigetti]
Leah Kardos – Sexy Monday [Bigo & Twigetti]
Son Lux – Ransom [Joyful Noise Recordings]
These Hidden Hands – When Told [Hidden Hundred]
Autechre – YJY UX [Warp]
Boards of Canada – Cold Earth [Warp]
Sunken Foal – Your First On Both Sides [Countersunk]
Sunken Foal – Felt Up [Countersunk]
Holden – Sky Burial [Border Community]
Banabila & Machinefabriek – Spin ‘n Puke [Tapu/Lumberton Trading Company]
Locrian – Eternal Return [Relapse]

Listen again — ~105MB


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