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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, 17th of January, 2016

Playlist 17.01.16 (8:15 pm)

What a week. Obviously it’s sad when anyone dies, but two very special people who touched a lot of the world died this week.

LISTEN AGAIN and cry with me… not really, there’s happy music too! Podcast it here, stream it from FBi.

A few days ago I was going to bed when I got a notification on my phone that the wonderful English actor Alan Rickman had died. It took me an hour and a half longer to get to bed as I trawled through clips of all his films I remembered, and read people’s reminiscences. But my favourite is always going to be the sweet romantic comedy (because it is a comedy) about a cellist who comes back from the dead to be with his widow – Truly, Madly, Deeply. And I still remember when I first heard my favourite indie band of the early ’90s, The Clouds, playing their song “Ghost of Love Returned” – their most shoegazey song- and realised it’s a tribute to that movie. So farewell, Alan, you were one of the best.

Well, when I started last week’s show with David Bowie I knew that his new album was a remarkable event, but none of us had realised yet that it was his farewell to us all. I wasn’t planning to do my own tribute, but I did listen to an awful lot of Bowie this week and those instrumentals on side B of “Heroes” snuck up on me and tapped me on the shoulder… And the “drum’n’bass album” from 1997, Earthling is actually really great so let’s hear something off that too.
It wasn’t until later in the week that I remembered that Atom™ had done a cover of my favourite Bowie song way back in 1999 under his Lassigue Bendthaus alias. It’s glitch-pop in excelsis, and a great tribute to the original song’s experimental production.

Some years ago young New Zealand pianist Aron Ottignon was living in Sydney – his brother Matt still lives here but Aron’s been based in Europe for some time. His first album came out with his band Aronas while he was based here – weird electronic production rubbing up against funky melodic piano jazz. From the sounds of his latest couple of EPs, the sound hasn’t changed that much, and it’s still utterly joyful music.

In 2014 my favourite new artist was an Israeli contrabassist based in Germany called Yair Elazar Glotman, making extraordinary bass/techno music as KETEV and equally extraordinary sound art/ambient stuff under his own name. Last year under his own name came an enveloping album of double bass sonics, and it’s great to have KETEV back at the start of this year – back on Where To Now?, who released his second EP in 2014 after the self-titled KETEV EP on the legendary Opal Tapes label. Like so much Opal Tape stuff it’s a combination of the lo-fi scrapes and saturation of tape with high-tech contemporary sound design and perfectly-honed beats, while under his own name he concentrates more on ambient electro-acoustic sound design, spectacularly focusing on the highly-amplified sounds of his double bass last year.

I discovered composer Brian Harnetty a number of years ago when I heard about his first album of recontextualised archival recordings of Appalachian folk music. He embedded himself in the Brerea College Appalachian Sound Archives in Kentucky, where he was able to use amazing recordings from the early in the 20th century, weaving his own compositions around this music. A couple of years later, he visited some more of these recordings along with Bonnie “Prince” Billy, and he returned to them last year in a double CD that brings us the sound of schoolchildren telling some quite gruesome Appalachian folk tales.

The Clouds – Ghost of Love Returned [Red Eye Records]
David Bowie – Neuköln [Sony Music]
David Bowie – Little Wonder [Sony Music]
lb – Ashes to Ashes [Form & Function]
Aron Ottignon – Waves (à la Reunion) [Aron Ottignon Bandcamp]
Aronas – Happy Song [Vitamin Records]
Aron Ottignon – Waterfalls in Tanzania [Aron Ottignon Bandcamp & digital everywhere]
Aron Ottignon – Jungle [Aron Ottignon Bandcamp]
KETEV – Linger [Where To Now?]
KETEV – Uruk [Opal Tapes]
KETEV – Akko [Where To Now?]
Yair Elazar Glotman – Sunken Harbour [Glacial Movements]
Yair Elazar Glotman – Retenant [Subtext]
KETEV – Probabilities of a stranger’s eyes [Where To Now?]
Brian Harnetty – Merrywise [Dust to Digital]
Brian Harnetty – i’ll cross the briny ocean, i’ll cross the deep blue sea [Atavistic]
Brian Harnetty & Bonnie “Prince” Billy – The Night Is, And Lights Are [Atavistic]
Brian Harnetty – Jake and His Master (Instrumental) [Dust to Digital]

Listen again — ~187MB


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