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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, 29th of January, 2017

Playlist 29.01.17 (8:12 pm)

Another turbulent week of monstrosities being signed into being, and of inspiring actions by people on the ground…

LISTEN AGAIN for the weekly immersion, by streaming on demand via FBi or podcasting here.

So it’s lovely to be lulled into our show with a glorious 21-minute piece from The Necks, Sydney’s beloved minimalist jazz ensemble. Their latest album is an oddity for them, commissioned by Stephen O’Malley‘s Ideologic Organ and therefore released on vinyl (oh well). It’s four sides, each track limited to 22 minutes max, and three are pretty lovely but nothing to write home to Mum about. On the whole the Necks perform at their peak (which places them among the best music creators in the world) at their usual length of about an hour. But the 21 minutes of “Blue Mountain” shimmer into glory almost immediately, sustaining and building on this grandiose beauty over the entire length.

One of the more challenging recent releases on Perth’s Tone List came from the solo clarinet of Shoshana Rosenberg. Following last week’s remixes of guitarist Jameson Feakes, Rosenberg’s works are the subject of a second remix EP this week from the label, with Melbourne’s Papaphilia creating something abstract but still deliciously clarinetty out of her sounds.

It’s been a little while since I’ve played Sydney’s haddocks’ eyes on the show, although he pumps out the new tracks at quite a rate, so it’s probably only been a few weeks! The latest batch of tracks see repetitive programmed drums slowly swamped by looped guitar noise and then yet more jagged guitar. At their extended length the tracks become quite hypnotic and weirdly ritualistic.

Richard Youngs weirdly straddles the line between outsider art and, well, “insider”. He’s certainly acclaimed among those in the know, and is both a brilliant experimental musician and accomplished creator of song in folk, electronic and punk contexts. Buy his musical outlook is such that everything he creates is strangely sideways to the norm – in a really good way. the rest is scenery seems to me his best album in at least a couple of years, a set of rootsy folk songs done as only Youngs can, one-note basslines with acoustic guitar strums, piano ostinati, juddering guitar noise, chanted singing… and an incredible performance by Youngs’ young son Sorley on one track, sounding somewhere in between a world-weary Nico and a sinister English pixie.

This week along with everything else, we had to farewell the extraordinary drummer Jaki Liebezeit, human breakbeat behind the seminal krautrock band Can. It’s impossible overestimate the band’s influence in terms of musical sound design, long, focused jams and of course, driving rhythm. But unlike the motorik drums of Neu!‘s Klaus Dinger, Liebezeit brought a propulsive syncopated rhythm that seemed to pre-empt the sampled funk breakbeats of hip-hop and drum’n’bass by decades. I played a track each from Tago Mago and Ege Bamyasi tonight, both of which are completely centred around Jaki’s beats.

Keith Fullerton Whitman continues to digitize and release one archival DAT tape a month on his Bandcamp, with February coming a little early as he’s on tour next month. This time round there’s a long noise set from his early band El-Ron, and then three short & sweet early drum’n’bass experiments, two of which came out on the first proto-Hrvatski 12″ Attention Cats, which I caned in the late ’90s… but one is unheard as of now, so I gave it a spin tonight… It’s exactly what the title describes, a bit of an attempt at µ-Ziq or Plug-style drill’n’bass I feel.

Gareth Clarke released one album on the late lamented Sublight label in 2007, pretty much out of nowehere, and then disappeared again. It was great, melodic drill’n’bassy idm. He returned a couple of years ago with some archival work and some new stuff, some of which is more acid techno and some of which is the good ol’ frenetic breakbeat juggling. Fun stuff tonight from a new mini-album.

Japan’s Quarta303, long known for his 8-bit dub and techno, finds his drum’n’bass groove on his new EP for Hyperdub, combining computer game bleeps with superfast breakbeats and a bit of a footwork impulse here and there.

In 2014, German-based Japanese singer Kiki Hitomi (of King Midas Sound etc) got together with German/Japanese/English producers Dead Fader, DJ Hotel and DJ Die Soon to produce some shuddering, out-of-focus, massively bass-heavy jams. These became the blueprint for Hitomi’s fantastic solo album of Japanese digidub from last year, but these are much more primal, heavy and twisted.

Myra Davies is a Canadian spoken word artist who’s been associated with the German industrial & electronic music scene since the early ’80s, along with her producers on this new album, Gudrun Gut and Beate Bartel, both of whom were associated with early Einstürzende Neubauten. On this album three of Davies’ biting spoken word works comprise a modernised, punkish take on Gustav Mahler’s Götterdämmerung, last opera of the Ring Cycle, while others are commentaries on life & art as personal and political. Despite not being traditional songs, the words & music fit together in a deeply pleasing manner. It’s thought-provoking and very listenable.

His newest release in over a year sees Helm documenting a live performance at a theatre in Cairo in the middle of a cross-continental tour. There are variations on tracks from his Olympic Mess album and new pieces, and there’s a great energy to the performance, whether it’s more abrasive noise/drone or swooping sub-bass.

The Necks – Blue Mountain [Ideologic Organ/Bandcamp]
Shoshana Rosenberg – Deliaisons with Supremacy within Future Impossible by Papaphilia [Tone List]
haddocks’ eyes – the weight of lies [haddocks’ eyes Bandcamp]
Richard Youngs – hey! hey! hey! utopia [Glass Redux]
Richard Youngs – where are you going to get your luck from (feat. Sorley Youngs) [Glass Redux]
Can – Oh Yeah [Spoon Records]
Can – Vitamin C [Spoon Records]
Keith Fullerton Whitman – Fuzz Bass D+B Seq [KFW’s DAT ERA Bandcamp]
Gareth Clarke – Caviar (…And English To My Dog) [Love Love Records]
Gareth Clarke – Hearseback Riding [Love Love Records]
Quarta303 – The Faeries’ Homecoming [Hyperdub]
Quarta303 – Digital Lotus Flower [Hyperdub]
NoinoNoinoNoino (Kiki Hitomi, Dead Fader, DJ Hotel, DJ Die Soon) – Marriage of synaps Kyozon [Caoutchou]
NoinoNoinoNoino (Kiki Hitomi, Dead Fader, DJ Hotel, DJ Die Soon) – Wash me away [Caoutchou]
Myra Davies – Get Down Boy (Götterdämmerung 2) [Moabit Musik]
Myra Davies – Mobilis in Mobili [Moabit Musik]
Helm – Fog Variations II [Alter Bandcamp]

Listen again — ~191MB


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