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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, 3rd of April, 2016

Playlist 03.04.16 (9:09 pm)

A hip-hop focus, ‘Fog style, tonight. While there’s a lot of hip-hop and rap in the Utility Fog back catalogue playlists, including idm collaborations, experimental sound-art poetry, noise-hop and all sorts of other stuff, tonight we feature three very individual artists (well, one is band but they are still very individual!)

Listen back to the conscious poetry, worldsamplebeats, lo-fi genre mashings and more… podcast here, stream on demand there.

Starting with brilliant, eccentric Melbourne hip-hop crew Curse ov Dialect – multi-cultural, anti-racist, anti-homophic, surrealist… Their DJ/producer Paso Bionic (also known for his work with the more mainstream hip-hop crew TZU) sources samples from Middle Eastern, Eastern European, Indian, Asian and other musics of the world, as well as western classical music, as much as from pop music and the more traditional jazz/soul/funk fodder of hip-hop. This reflects the very varied backgrounds of the group themselves, which surfaces frequently in their lyrics (it’s right there in Volk Makedonski’s stage name, and Raceless, who is in fact of Maltese background). While they formed originally in 1994, their most stable lineup got together around 2000. They’re renowned for their unhinged live shows, featuring elaborate costumes and Dadaist antics. After appearing with various Anticon artists at This Is Not Art in Newcastle in 2001, they connected with US experimental hip-hop-connected label Mush, and stayed with them for a couple of albums, but subsequently found themselves internationally on the German experimental electronic/postrock label Staubgold, and now on another experimental European label MonotypeRecords. It’s interesting that this is the connection for them overseas, although they’ve stayed with indie labels in Oz. The new album is as wide-ranging and sharp as ever – welcome back!

Poet, actor, musician, rapper, iconoclast – Saul Williams is a one-of-a-kind. My earliest memories of him are on the one hand his rapping over beatboxing and violin, but then also ranting over tech-step drum’n’bass, and then on the other hand performing the ideal anti-war poem “Not In My Name” in the wake of the second Gulf War. Although Williams is highly connected to African American history and the civil rights movement, and although he is also totally connected to the history of hip-hop, he critiques and deconstructs that history and connection in his raps and in the production they’re married with – in his early works, particularly with drum’n’bass. Later, we hear amen breaks chopped into a hip-hop beat on his auto-biographical “Black Stacey”. From touring with Nine Inch Nails, his third album was co-produced with Trent Reznor, bringing an industrial rock influence but the creative direction is all Saul Williams. Originally this album was self-released and had a hybrid model where lower-quality mp3s were available for free, and higher-quality with extras cost a small amount (an approach Reznor was keen on at the time, but one that totally fits with Williams’ own attitudes too). Interestingly it’s a very “hip-hop” album as well as industrial & experimental – on “Tr(n)igger” we hear a classic Public Enemy sample cut up and then commented on in Williams’ own lyric. The following album was produced with French world/pop producer Renaud Létang, and had more of a rock feel, while the new album brings in Justin Warfield, known for his hallucinatory WS Burroughs-influenced vocals on Bomb The Bass‘s “Bug Powder Dust”, as well as the hip-hop/rock group One Inch Punch and so on. MartyrLoserKing is a great “return to form” for Saul Williams, heavy, erudite, hard-hitting, experimental.

I ran out of time to feature as much music from Andrew Broder & Fog as I wanted, but I tried to cover a range of stuff. His new album For Good is on the wonderfully-titled Totally Gross National Product label that he’s associated with, and it’s a brilliant mixture of his laid-back regretful indie rock/pop/jazz, experimental electronics and contemporary hip-hop production – including some juke hi-hats and trap snares in there… Fog has always been to me a hip-hop related project, if often inhabiting indie rock, or free jazz/noise/experimental musics in various guises. Broder has made beat tapes, noise collage pieces, and experimental electronic productions in collaboration with people including Adam Drucker aka doseone – and the Anticon connection also goes back to his beloved indie-hop collaboration with Yoni Wolf of Why?, Hymie’s Basement. 10th Avenue Freakout is a particular high point, combining the lo-fi indie feel with jazz arrangements & improvisations, bits of drone, noise & electronica – weirdly genre-crossing pieces but really well-controlled emotive songwriting. I didn’t get to play anything off the most indie rock album, 2007’s Ditherer, nor his collaborations with Coldcut, Dntel and others, but I did slip in a track from the incredible collaborative 7″ with Jesu from back in 2009.

Curse ov Dialect – Twisted Strangers (feat. Hemlock Ernst) [Valve/MonotypeRecords]
Curse ov Dialect – Red Candles [self-released, now available at Curse ov Dialect Bandcamp]
Curse ov Dialect – Baby How? [Valve/Mush]
Pasobionic – Black Ink Concerto [Elefant Traks]
Curse ov Dialect – Broken Feathers [Valve/Mush]
Curse ov Dialect – Media Moguls [Mistletone/Staubgold]
Curse ov Dialect – Legend of Leigh Bowery [Valve/MonotypeRecords]
Saul Williams – Think Like They Book Say [Fader Label]
Saul Williams – Twice The First Time [Big Dada/Ninja Tune]
Saul Williams – Penny For A Thought [American Recordings]
Saul Williams & DJ Krust – Coded Language (excerpt) [American Recordings]
Saul Williams – Pledge of Resistance [free download from 2003]
Saul Williams – Black Stacey [Fader Label]
Saul Williams – Tr(n)igger [self-released/Fader Label]
Saul Williams – Fall Up [Sony Music]
Saul Williams – Horn of the Clock-Bike [Fader Label]
Fog – King Kuna [Totally Gross National Product]
Fog – fuckedupfuckfuckup [Ninja Tune]
Hymie’s Basement – 21st Century Pop Song [Lex Records]
Fog – The Rabbit [Lex Records]
Jesu/Fog – Nowhere [Kissing Kin]
Fog – Cory [Totally Gross National Product]

Listen again — ~198MB


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