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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, 9th of October, 2016

Playlist 09.10.16 (8:11 pm)

Hey there! So much great stuff this week, from windswept post-classical/electronic from Melbourne by way of Iceland, to experimental songwriting to shimmering electronic jazz improv to murky techno…
I’m off for the next 3 weeks, so listen in to Heli Newtown and Jordan Sexty as they experty shepherd the show until I’m back on Nov 6th!

LISTEN AGAIN to this show as you know you want to – stream on demand from FBi, or podcast from here.

Three new releases came out from Thrill Jockey in the same week, and the only reason I’m not playing all three is because of time constraints. When faced with the choice, it was a no brainer that doom cellist Helen Money would be the one who gets the first look-in. Alison Chesley (as her friends & family call her) has been doing the amplified cello thing for almost 10 years, collaborating with heaps of excellent people and touring with metal and postrock bands, where her performances with cello, looper and other pedals have impressed people the world over. Heavy riffs and beautiful melodies are the order of the day on all her albums, and once again Chesley is joined by Neurosis drummer Jason Roeder on a few tracks – as well as The Rachels’ pianist Rachel Grimes.

Justin Vernon aka Bon Iver is an interesting fellow. He became known for his pastoral, soulful folk music under the Bon Iver name, but (even though that’s a big part of his musical identity) he has a lot more to him than that. He contributed guest vocals on a recent Colin Stetson album, including some awesome gruff quasi-hardcore-metal barking… and now he’s come out with this piece of weird, glitchy, crunchy electronica. With his usual vocals of course. It’s a great piece of hybrid work which I’ve been enjoying a lot.

The latest album from Thomas Meluch aka Benoît Pioulard comes out of a period of grief and, as he describes it, self-medication. Sad times can beget great art, and in this case we now have the most song-oriented and catchy piece of work from Meluch in quite some time. There are some of his beautiful washed-out ambient tape creations on here as well, but mostly it’s jangly sing-song indie that you’ll be tapping your feet to and looking up the playlist to see what it is.

Melbourne composer Tilman Robinson spent some time a year or two ago at Valgeir Sigurðsson‘s studio in Iceland, where people like Ben Frost, Björk and others have worked… He returned there to record his second album – quite a switch from his first, which was jazz composition with a bit of an electronic bent. Here the electronics merge with post-classical and postrock sounds, whether Steve Reichian ostinati or stark Icelandic string lines, lonely piano or growling bass. It’s a stunner, and will be among my top Australian albums of the year easily. Out this Friday!

Norwegian post-jazz, electro-acoustic improv trio (originally a quartet) Supersilent have now been going for well over a decade, but from their earliest, noisier incarnation they already had an incredible instinct for group composition. By their 6th album, they were creating mindblowingly gorgeous musical structures with ease, and their new album (their 13th), while in some ways more challenging, is also full of beauty. I didn’t have time to play one of the over 12-minute tracks, but the one I selected is lovely and crunchy!

Sticking in Norway, there’s a new album out now from experimental guitarist Kim Myhr on the consistently excellent Hubro label. We recently heard Myhr in collaboration with the Trondheim Jazz Orchestra and none other than Jenny Hval. In fact 2010 was the first time Myhr collaborated with the Trondheim Jazzo Orchestra, in a recording of a live set with vocals from sometime member Sidsel Endresen. It’s equally beguiling stuff, but we’re hearing this tonight because of Myhr’s new album, on which his idiosyncratic, rippling guitar playing is augmented by various electronic & computer effects. If you’ve ever wondered what “scintillating” sounds like, look no further…

Council Estate Electronics is one of the many projects of the great Justin K Broadrick, along with fellow Jesu member Diarmuid Dalton. The first two albums are murky electronic music of a somewhat krautrock flavour, but on this new one for usually quite ambient label Glacial Movements, they’ve moved into more of an industrial techno realm – or perhaps Justin’s recent JK Flesh is really industrial and this waters it down with a bit of a Basic Channel stype minimal techno! This album is very good. Of course.

Kikimora Tapes is a relatively new Toronto label releasing beautiful limited-editions cassettes (and digital), who have just released their first compilation Knock Knock Who’s Dead? – featuring some well-known names in grainy electronic music including Beppu (aka Andrew Hargreaves of The Boats) and Toronto musician Mitchell Akiyama, who ran the trailblazing electronic/folktronic label intr_version and who I haven’t heard from for ages – and now I discover that recently they also released something from his beloved duo Désormais also released a new cassette recently! Mitchell’s track is great submerged techno. Meanwhile I have NO idea who “The North” are, but their crunchy techno track here is excellent.

For many years, Matt Christensen led the lo-fi indie/postrock band Zelienople, making mostly slowcore, hazy beautiful songs. The last album (I think their official last) actually featured a bit more “fire” in their bellies, so to speak… But Christensen’s new solo album on the mighty Miasmah sees him accompanying his songwriting with drum machines and some electronics on top of the shoegazey guitar sounds. It’s a new direction, but still very recognizably his jam, and a great success.

Helen Money – Leviathan [Thrill Jockey]
Helen Money & Jarboe – For My Father [Aurora Borealis]
Helen Money – Machine [Thrill Jockey]
Bon Iver – 10 d E A T h b R E a s T [Jagjaguwar]
Bon Iver – 29 #Strafford APTS [Jagjaguwar]
Benoît Pioulard – Narcologue [Kranky]
Benoît Pioulard – Defect [Kranky]
Benoît Pioulard – Ruth [Kranky]
Tilman Robinson – Pareidolia [Hobbledehoy Records]
Tilman Robinson – In the Always [Hobbledehoy Records]
Supersilent – 6.2 [Rune Grammofon]
Supersilent – 13.1 [Rune Grammofon]
Trondheim Jazz Orchestra & Kim Myhr – Aeolian Bloom (vocals by Sidsel Endresen) [MNJ Records]
Kim Myhr – Sort sol [Hubro]
Council Estate Electronics – 567 foot 33,500 ton [Glacial Movements]
The North – The Deliverance Ov Aismal (W.H.) [Kikimora Tapes]
Mitchell Akiyama – With Rift [Kikimora Tapes]
Matt Christensen – Someday I Won’t Matter [Under The Spire]
Zelienople – Show Us The Fire [Zelienople Bandcamp]
Matt Christensen – I’m See Through [Miasmah]

Listen again — ~110MB


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