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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 December, 2014

Playlist 07.12.14 (8:16 pm)

Tonight we’ve got Australian remix collaborations, dubby techno, strings + electronics, and a Aussie/New York sound-art collaboration.

LISTEN AGAIN because where else you gonna get this shit? Podcast here, stereo stream on demand over there

Every year for the last 4 years, labels/collectives Feral Media from Sydney and Lofly from Brisbane have pitted their artists against each other in bloody hand-to-fist remix chaos. This year the remit seems broader, with artists from Melbourne, Canberra and elsewhere featuring as well. The quality’s undeniably high. There’s a certain segment of the music critic population that loves to spurn remix collections. They’re cloth-eared nincompoops. I’ll happily buy a whole collection of remixes of an artist I don’t know if there are great people doing the reworks, and here there are plenty of artists I don’t know, or tracks I don’t know.
I started with a pair of awesome experimental electronic/indie crossover artists though. Pale Earth is Benjamin Thompson from The Rational Academy, and Shoeb Spartak is, well, Shoeb Ahmad from Spartak. There are fragments of Shoeb’s vocals (I presume) floating in a sea of noise here.
Then we have one of Australia’s premier glitch/noise/drone artists, Sydney’s beloved pimmon (who as music maven Paul Gough now presents The Inside Sleeve on ABC Radio National), whose grainy textures are here moulded into stop-start beats by Melbourne’s Naps.
And finally, a cheat in which the Blue Mountains’ 0point1‘s indie/postrock/drill’n’bass is remixed by one of Feral Media’s original artists, idm/drill’n’bass maverick Comatone.
The whole thing’s free to download now from http://feralmedia.bandcamp.com/

Now we move to Barcelona, where Cristian Vogel now resides. Born in Chile, brought up in Brighton, Vogel was very involved in the loopier end of the idm/electronic scene in the UK in the ’90s – No Future, maybe Spymania… But his music’s usually had more of a techno bent. He also has a secondary side more recently in more academic “art music” electronic music. But tonight we heard a couple of excellent dubby techno tracks from his last couple of albums on Shitkatapult, plus most of a really lovely processed piano track which closes his new album.

John Beltran‘s history goes way back to early Detroit techno, and he’s made lots of ambient, house and techno records in the interim. We find him now with a lovely melodic track released by Kieran Hebden‘s TEXT label. The original’s great, but Keiran contributes a Four Tet remix on the flip that’s pretty as.

And now to two European string players specialising in electronica. France’s Chapelier fou has visited Australia a couple of times, bringing his impressive live show that features not only his live violin looping, but also keyboards and lots of lovely crunchy, glitchy beats – basically everything that’s on the album, but triggered & controlled live. The new album is nothing different, but he’s onto a good thing. I particularly love the simple, emotive piano chords in the last part of “Pluisme”.

Then we’re off to Germany with cellist, drummer and electronic musician Andi Otto, whose new album is a collaboration with fellow German, guitarist & electronic artist F.S. Blumm. As well as the studio project Springintgut, Andi is a researcher in digital interfaces (to grossly oversimplify) and plays a fascinating crazy invention called the Fello – as far as I can tell, the cello itself is a normal cello with pickup, but the bow is setup with various sensors for movement, finger pressure, acceleration etc, which control computer effects. It’s hard, of course, to know how that sounds but listening to a track like the gorgeous “kamogawa cycling” from last year’s where we need no map, you can hear the gradual entry of smeared-out, glitchy re-samplings integrating beautifully with the cello sounds. But there are also traditional idm beats, fitting in nicely with Chapelier fou – and the earliest Springintgut from 10 years ago is more of a straight electronica affair.
I haven’t always warmed to the music of F.S. Blumm (he collaborated with Nils Frahm a few years back), but here his acoustic guitar meshes very sympathetically with the cello & effects. I’d strongly recommend both this album and Springintgut’s from last year, both on the adorably-named Pingipung label.

Finally, another collaboration, between Brisbane’s Lawrence English, king of Room40 and link between Australia and many interesting exploratory international artists, and New York’s Stephen Vitiello, who had a residency in Sydney a few years ago. Both albums are beautifully textured, with field recordings mixed up with organs and other musical instruments, and non-musical sounds, all with a subtle rhythmic bed. I can imagine it’s the sort of sound-art/drone stuff that could be accessible to newcomers, which is not to sell it short – it’s just really good!

Pale Earth vs Shoeb Spartak – Point of Attack [Feral Media/Lofly]
pimmon – Limited E Country (Naps remix) [Feral Media/Lofly]
0point1 – Radio Edit (Comatone remix) [Feral Media/Lofly]
Cristian Vogel – Lost in the Chase [Shitkatapult]
Cristian Vogel – Society of Hands (excerpt) [Shitkatapult]
Cristian Vogel – Deepwater [Shitkatapult]
John Beltran – Faux (Four Tet remix) [TEXT]
Chapelier fou – Tea Tea Tea [Ici D’Ailleurs]
Chapelier fou – Pluisme [Ici D’Ailleurs]
Springintgut & F.S. Blumm – Chitin [Pingipung]
Springintgut – Walden [Pingipung]
Springintgut – Precastor feat. Kazumi [City Centre Offices]
Springintgut – dizzy heights feat. Sasha Perera [Pingipung]
Springintgut – kamogawa cycling [Pingipung]
Springintgut & F.S. Blumm – Eskimono [Pingipung]
Lawrence English + Stephen Vitiello – Over Inland Play [Dragon’s Eye Recordings]
Lawrence English + Stephen Vitiello – Christening The Blackbird [Crónica]
Lawrence English + Stephen Vitiello – That Caress, Inverted [Dragon’s Eye Recordings]

Listen again — ~107MB


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