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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, 12th of June, 2016

Playlist 12.06.16 (9:26 pm)

Industrial hip-hop & industrial techno are the main features tonight… back after an unintended gap due to the east coast storms & flooding!

LISTEN AGAIN, listen anytime, listening is good. Podcast here, stream on demand at FBi.

It was a huge pleasure to discover that FBi have decided to make Marcus Whale‘s debut album (under his own name) Inland Sea album of the week this week. Not just because it’s nice when my taste overlaps with the station’s highest level of official endorsement, but also because Marcus has been an important part of this show for a long time, and indeed this show played a role in his own musical story, playing his experimental tracks as Scissor Lock back when he was still at school. His bands Collarbones and Black Vanilla draw from r’n’b/pop as well as post-dubstep, uk garage and experimental electronic forms, but he’s also got a background in postrock, noise & metal as well as training in classical performance & composition. And all of this emerges in some form or other on this new album, with avant-garde horn and string arrangements, skittering hi-hats, occasional glitchy edits, and massive, complex drums. Live they’re performed by dual drummers – usually Ivan Lisyak along with Russell Fitzgibbon of Fishing. Lyrically the album explores the dark undercurrents of Australia’s history, whether it’s a tribute to a gay bushranger or laments for our horrific treatment of indigenous Australians and particular Aboriginal women. It’s Australian album of the year for me.

Perth artist Kane Ikin (now based in Melbourne I believe?) was the subject of a feature on this show a few weeks ago, and is back with another new EP, Basalt Crush. It follows Modern Pressure with a similar style of gritty techno and post-industrial ambient electronics. Ikin’s turn to the outer reaches of the dancefloor, and the attention he’s receiving internationally of late, is extremely welcome.

Had I not been stranded outside of Sydney last Sunday, we would’ve had an even more substantial special on the amazing industrial hip-hop/noise/shoegaze/etc collective dälek. Fronted by MC Dälek aka Will Brooks, for most of its history alongside producer Alap Momin aka The Oktopus, dälek pioneered a noise-hop sound which was at once absolutely in touch with hip-hop history going back to Public Enemy and earlier, and absolutely iconoclastic in the way it drew from noise, shoegaze, psych rock, metal and more – indeed the band was generally released on metal-affiliated labels, and appeared on stage with metal-related bands. Brooks’ raps are politically charged, and gain depth from the moody, harsh and beautiful productions (for particular beauty see the 2 minute outro on the 10-minute title track to 2007’s Abandoned Language). We also heard one of their remixes (of Swiss indietronic band Velma, released under the umbrella of Deadverse, the collective revolving around the various members & collaborators of dälek). In 2009 or 2010 dälek quietly broke up, with Brooks completing a doctorate and Momin moving to Berlin to work on solo production. Brooks has released a substantial amount of solo material as iconAclass, with an impressive handle on beatmaking as well as his rapping; meanwhile, among other projects Momin was involved with a hip-hop supergroup called Numbers Not Names. Released & conceived by French label Ici d’ailleurs, it also features Chris Cole of Manyfingers and various incarnations of Third Eye Foundation on drums. Brooks reformed dälek last year as he felt he had more to say with its particular voice. Momin didn’t want to be involved but was happy for it to go ahead, and dälek alumni Destructo Swarmbots and DJ rEk, along with Brooks, have produced a bunch of tracks that easily live up to the name.

Lately in industrial hip-hop we’ve had Death Grips and even more excitingly to me, clipping. Serendipitously, just as I was putting together this dälek special together, clipping. (full stop included) released a stack of new stuff on their Bandcamp, including the full stems from their brilliant 2014 album CLPPNG, and a remix album full of weird & experimental artists. Producers William Hutson & Jonathan Snipes have connections to the noise, experimental electronic & breakcore scenes – Snipes was one half of Captain Ahab, which explains the presence of Aussie breakcore larrikin Toecutter, and also breakcore luminary Xanopticon. Also of note in the Bandcamp update is a 24hr “remix” of the album track “Dream”. Extreme timestretching and other techniques make for an insane piece of art, which one day I would love to attempt to experience in full (give or take some sleeping hours!)

Final artist for tonight is one of the true geniuses, Justin K Broadrick, grindcore and industrial metal pioneer, shoegaze metal pioneer, who’s also in his long history produced experimental ambient guitar music, minimalist electronics, drum’n’bass, breakcore, electronic shoegaze & idm… and no doubt more. As JK Flesh he’s explored various electronic genres – dubstep, instrumental hip-hop, drum’n’bass and now techno – with a heaviness inherited from metal. Distorted bass, distorted beats, occasional post-hardcore howls, make for a primal sound that’s high-tech but lo-fi and strangely timeless. This is made clear listening back to the Techno Animal cut I played from 1997 – he & The Bug‘s Kevin Martin have been in this game longer than most. Again, I wish I’d had a chance for a more comprehensive overview of JK Flesh & related music but I’m glad I slipped this Techno Animal reminder in at least :)

Marcus Whale – Is He That Man [Good Manners Music]
Marcus Whale – Arcadia [Good Manners Music]
Kane Ikin – Street Flare [Latency Recordings]
Kane Ikin – Grid [Latency Recordings]
dälek – Shattered [Profound Lore]
dälek – Spiritual Healing [Ipecac]
dälek – Abandoned Language [Ipecac]
Velma – Rouge (Deadverse Remix) [Hydra Head Records]
Numbers Not Names – Numbers Not Names [Ici d’ailleurs]
iconAclass – Crushed [Deadverse Recordings Bandcamp]
dälek – 6dB [Profound Lore]
clipping. – body & blood [Sub Pop]
clipping. – ends (xanopticon remix) [clipping. Bandcamp]
JK Flesh – trinity [Electic Deluxe]
Techno Animal – demonoid [City Slang]
JK Flesh – Hide & Seek [JK Flesh Bandcamp]

Listen again — ~199MB


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