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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, 16th of March, 2014

Playlist 16.03.14 (9:09 pm)

Really great to be able to feature some fantastic women on tonight’s show.
First up, though, a wonderful & challenging new version of a recent Son Lux track from his new EP. The EP does also feature Lorde, who’s been known to cover this song “Easy” at her gigs.

Then we had a whole lot of lovely from Annie Clark aka St. Vincent, whose new album is her most successful pop release yet, no doubt buoyed by her collaboration with David Byrne. I took the opportunity to also pull out her composition for contemporary classical ensemble yMusic.

Next, an equally substantial special on Neneh Cherry, albeit somewhat scattered – I would’ve loved to have played “Buffalo Stance”, “Manchild”, her Michael Stipe due “Trout”… but instead I opted for a couple of earlier tracks that are a bit special to me – a dub verison from a stellar Wim Wenders soundtrack from 1991, and a track from The The‘s extraordinary Infected album, prominently featuring Neneh Cherry a good two years before her first single even came out.
Cherry’s collaboration with masters of free jazz/garage rock (and fellow Swedes) The Thing came out in 2012, after quite a gap in her discography, an incredible meeting of minds and genres – although The Thing are well known for their gregarious cover versions. I wanted to play the Neneh Cherry original “Cashback”, but in the end opted for the amazing Martina Topley-Bird cover. We also revisited the remix album from late 2012: some of Norwegian idm bod (and amazing artist) Kim Hiorthøy‘s remix of the Ornette Coleman cover, and all of Jim O’Rourke‘s sinister remix of the mind-bending Madvillain cover!
As for the new album, Kieran Hebden‘s production is sensitive and practically invisible, but Rocketnumbernine‘s percussion-and-synth performances are what make or break the album. My first impression was that their sound palette was simply too narrow to support the songs (especially after the all-out madness of The Thing tracks), but a substantial amount has grown on me a lot. No doubt partly because Cherry’s singing is so great, and her songwriting with husband Cameron McVey (aka Booga Bear) is so excellent.

Somehow the experimentalistm of the later Neneh Cherry works is enough to ease us into the noise/drone/electronics of beloved Newcastle trio Crab Smasher. It’s so great to have something new from them – and I’m informed there are a couple of albums on the way! Their gigs are always completely improvised, yet there’s a purposeful structure to the pieces when you hear them on record.

The more I listen to the new album from Marisa Allen aka Bremen Town Musician, the more impressed I am. These songs, centred around violin & voice, are by turns beguiling and harsh, and hard to pin down- but I can’t help thinking if she was recording in Toronto or Portland or somewhere rather than Brisbane, all the music blogs would be talking about her.

Finally, a pair of tracks from a split tour CD on Gizeh from legendary ambient artist loscil and the less legendary but much favoured on this show fieldhead. It features three tracks from each artist, with beautiful floating pads and submerged beats from Loscil, and grainy drones, layered violin and clicky beats from Fieldhead.

LISTEN AGAIN, download, or stream on demand at FBi’s website!

Son Lux – Build a Pyre (Begin Again) [Joyful Noise]
St. Vincent – Regret [Loma Vista/Republic]
St. Vincent – Paris Is Burning [Beggars Banquet]
St. Vincent – Bicycle [4AD]
yMusic – Proven Badlands (composed by Annie Clark) [New Amsterdam]
David Byrne & St. Vincent – Lightning [4AD]
St. Vincent – Prince Johnny [Loma Vista/Republic]
Neneh Cherry – Move With Me (Dub) [Warner Bros]
Neneh Cherry – Across The Water (excerpt) [Smalltown Supersound]
Neneh Cherry – Weightless [Smalltown Supersound]
The The – Slow Train To Dawn (feat. Neneh Cherry) [Epic Records]
Neneh Cherry & The Thing – Too Tough To Die [Smalltown Supersound]
Neneh Cherry & The Thing – What Reason Could I Give (Kim Hiorthøy remix) [Smalltown Supersound]
Neneh Cherry & The Thing – Accordion (Jim O’Rourke remix) [Smalltown Supersound]
Neneh Cherry – Cynical [Smalltown Supersound]
Crab Smasher – Vengeance [Monstera Deliciosa/Crab Smasher Bandcamp]
Crab Smasher – A Sad Day For Everybody [Monstera Deliciosa/Crab Smasher Bandcamp]
Crab Smasher – It Took A Drop Of Blood To Break The Witches Spell [Monstera Deliciosa/Crab Smasher Bandcamp]
Crab Smasher – The Ugly Butterflies [Monstera Deliciosa/Crab Smasher Bandcamp]
Bremen Town Musician – shed your skin [Duskdarter]
fieldhead – northumberland [Gizeh]
loscil – fury [Gizeh]

Listen again — ~59MB


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