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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, 26th of April, 2015

Playlist 26.04.15 (9:05 pm)

Stringy, but not tough. Cello there. This is your Utility Fog for the week. Not the first time I’ve done a strings feature, but it’s always fun and this week we have an impressive range from experimental electronics, laptop folk through dubby ambient, doom and postrock…

LISTEN AGAIN, LISTEN EARLY, LISTEN OFTEN. Seriously, this is good stuff. Podcast it here, stream it there.

Starting in Sydney. Last year Nick Wales sent me some unreleased material which I was very excited to play on the show as it combined his classical composition skills and viola with excellent electronic production. Nick’s been making music for a couple of decades now, including with his once-string-quartet-now-postrock-band CODA, and he’s collaborated with many people in that time. He’s also spent a lot of time composing music for theatre & dance productions, and recently he & Sarah Blasko put together a work for Sydney Dance Company called Emergence which will be released in the month or so. Although both tracks tonight feature vocals, only one is really a “song”, but musically compelling they certainly are.

The Crooked Fiddle Band are a fascinating hybrid of stringy folk musics (gypsy, celtic, Australian) with postrock – and after commissioning some interesting remixes from other folks, they’ve also tried their hand at it themselves. Their SoundCloud features a couple of self-remixes, including tonight’s remix of album highlight “Puncture”, and a beat-centric almost drum’n’bassy take on “Vanishing Shapes” which I’ll play on another night for sure. Catch them Saturday May 2nd at Hermann’s Bar along with the very stringy Hinterlandt Ensemble and the Czech folktronica duo DVA.

Paul de Jong has long been one of my favourite cellists in the liminal world of folktronica/laptop experimentalism, and he may have been one of yours without your knowing, as he was the cellist in the beloved duo The Books. The many touching, disturbing and thought-provoking found sounds & found spoken samples in their music could as easily have come from him as Nick Zammuto too, and this wonderful new album demonstrates that the creative production techniques of his old band have well and truly rubbed off on him too. I can’t stress how great this new album is, and if you loved the folk-meets-electronic-meets-postrock side of The Books, you should rush to find it.

Cécile Schott aka Colleen definitely fits into our string theme, and indeed our cello theme, even though for the first few albums of her career she made acoustic-sounding music out of either pure samples or music boxes… But she has a background in cello, and eventually began introducing the viola da gamba (a member of an older string family, still played in some Baroque music, with a particualr breathy tone) along with acoustic guitar and woodwind into the sound – and on the last couple of albums, vocals have appeared. The new album on Thrill Jockey introduces some surprising dub elements into the mix, although her earliest releases show her interest in splicing samples in interesting ways.

Alison Chesley aka Helen Money featured on the show a few weeks back with a new EP/mini-album collaboration with the one & only Jarboe of Swans etc.
Helen Money is her “doom cello” alias, and it’s amazing that I hadn’t come across her before. So tonight we have tracks from all three solo albums as well as the Jarboe collaboration. Cello through every pedal a metal guitarist would have in their arsenal as well as played straight (albeit played hard). Chesley has collaborated with many heavy bands over the years including MONO, and her latest solo album features drumming by Jason Roeder of Neurosis and Sleep. So yeah, quite the pedigree.

Colin Stetson & Sarah Neufeld‘s duo album on Constellation brought with it high expectations, all well fulfilled here. Colin Stetson gets in here despite not being a string player because of Neufeld’s gorgeous violin playing. I first came across Stetson’s unique saxophonic vision when he jumped up on stage with My Brightest Diamond at the Laurie Anderson co-curated Vivid Festival in 2010. His circular breathing, multiphonic, percussive sax playing was like none other. Sarah Neufeld plays violin in The Arcade Fire and postrockers Bell Orchestre. Solo she, like Stetson, focuses almost solely on her instrument, using double stops and other techniques, sounding at times folky, at times ambient or referencing her rock background.
Their sound together has the heaviness and darkness of Stetson’s music with some of the folk elements of Neufeld’s, melodic elements from both including wordless vocals, violin noise solos… it’s pretty damn great!

Nick Wales & Sarah Blasko – Pain Is A Number [Create/Control]
Nick Wales & Sarah Blasko – Belongil [Create/Control]
The Crooked Fiddle Band – Puncture (Melancholy mix) [unreleased self-remix, stream on SoundCloud]
Paul de Jong – Debt Free [Temporary Residence]
the books – the lemon of pink [Tomlab/Temporary Residence]
The Books – Smack My Bishop [Temporary Residence]
The Books – Foreign Country and Western [Temporary Residence]
Paul de Jong – Number Man (feat. Mia Doi Todd) [Red Hot] {based on the well-known 1st Prelude in C from the Well-Tempered Clavier by JS Bach as adaped by Charles Gounod}
Paul de Jong – Baxter @73 [Temporary Residence]
Colleen – Captain Of None [Thrill Jockey]
Colleen – everyone alive wants answers [Leaf]
Colleen – blue sands [Leaf]
Colleen – The Weighing of the Heart [Second Language]
Colleen – Holding Horses [Thrill Jockey]
Helen Money – Radio Recorders [Profound Lore]
Helen Money – Jackson [Cellobird Records]
Helen Money – Waterwalk [Table of the Elements]
Helen Money & Jarboe – For My Father [Aurora Borealis]
Colin Stetson & Sarah Neufeld – With the Dark Hug of Time [Constellation]
Colin Stetson – Fear of the unknown and the blazing sun feat. Laurie Anderson & Shara Worden [Constellation]
Sarah Neufeld – You Are The Field [Constellation]
Colin Stetson & Sarah Neufeld – The Rest of Us [Constellation]

Listen again — ~105MB


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