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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, 5th of February, 2017

Playlist 05.02.17 (8:09 pm)

Covering all bases tonight, we’ve got raucous rock, postrock, electronic beats, and various forms of post-classical and ambient.

LISTEN AGAIN, you’ll pick up more every time – stream on demand via FBi or podcast here.

I’ve been flipping out about The Peep Tempel since late last year when I discovered their new album. I’m embarrassed that I didn’t know then earlier (although like most people I’d heard “Carol” from their previous album). Their brilliant pub/nk rock storytelling as exciting as anything that’s happening in Oz music at the moment, and reminds me of the halcyon days of the early ’80s when the Hunters & Collectors and Midnight Oil were advancing rock music in resolutely experimental ways while remaining incredibly catchy and incisively political.

Inescapably, the abrasive music & sardonic storytelling of The Peep Tempel tends to draw comparisons to the Nottingham-based duo Sleaford Mods. Although musically they tend towards a minimalist bass & drums postpunk sound, the mostly-spoken vocals and laptop performances put them somewhere between grime/hip-hop and punk. Ultimately they’re in a class of their own. And they’ve been hugely tipped by Norman Records since their earliest releases, always a sign of quality!

On a somewhat different rock tip, Norway’s Monkey Plot play a lovely brand of improvised rock with guitar-bass-drums, recalling the early days of postrock when hardcore punk blended with jazz and electronica. There’s something quite comforting about the grooves, riffs and melodies here. It’s a classic sound and done really well.

Andi Otto has mostly released music in the past under the moniker Springintgut, combining acoustic & electronic sounds in a folktronic way that’s seen him played frequently on this show. He’s also the developer of the “Fello”, and electronically augmented cello that allows him to process the cello sound as he plays it. There are plenty of strings on the new album, and the electronics are tamped up into a house/techno vein with a 100bpm kick drum through most tracks. Also strongly felt is an Indian influence – the album was partially recorded in Bangalore, and singer MD Pallavi appears on a couple of tracks.

From the early ’00s, beloved German indietronic/postrock band The Notwist have worked on instrumental soundtrack work in parallel with their work as a rock band. It shouldn’t be surprising that they branched out in that direction, as instrumental works have appeared from them before, and members are variously involved in pure electronic outfits and experimental jazz groups. One of the central Acher brothers, Markus, has continued the soundtrack work under the Rayon moniker, and last year he released a new album of Rayon work which appears not to be attached to any visuals. A beat of silence, which appears on the brothers’ Alien Transistor label but teams up more explicitly with longtime Notwist associates Morr Music, is still instrumental, but with an expanded pallette of percussionists and other musicians, bringing to mind Javanese gamelan as well as electronic and classical influences. It’s all beautiful stuff, and I decided to delve back into the Notwist’s own soundtrack work, going back as far as 2003’s Lichter soundtrack, one of the earliest releases on Alien Transistor.

Swedish composer Marcus Fjellström makes music ranging from purely composed, orchestral scores to dark electronic works. He’s got a few releases through Erik Skodvin’s Miasmah label, which fit perfectly into label’s “acoustic doom” milieu. His latest is a particularly noirish creation, referencing early electronic horror soundtracks as much as it draws from his classical background.

As Son Lux, Ryan Lott is known for his indie songwriting and electronic production, first appearing on the Anticon label in 2008. He’s a very versatile musician who’s worked with Sufjan Stevens and My Brightest Diamond, and we’ve heard his compositional chops in works written for yMusic a few years ago, but now we get to hear some more as he’s just released a collection of older instrumental compositional work from 2009 called View Partially Obstructed on his Bandcamp. It’s a lovely combination of piano and strings along with electronics, originally commissioned for a dance work with live visuals. It’s just the kind of hybrid stuff that Utility Fog loves. Listening to it I was reminded of a very early, gorgeous Son Lux track from Asthmatic Kitty’s Habitat compilation.

Finishing still in the electronic-classical vein we join two Italian producers appearing on the Russian ambient label Dronarivm’s free 2017 compilation Illuminations. I’ve always had an affinity with Italian experimental artists, so it’s amusing that I’ve entirely accidentally chosen two Italians from this very international collection. Giulio Aldinucci used to be known as Obscil, so I’ve actually played him on the show before. His track is a luscious piece of almost choral classical-drone. Matteo Uggeri is an enthusiastic collaborator and I haven’t heard much of his solo stuff – this is a stunning piece of field recordings, cello or double bass and deep bass rhythms.

The Peep Tempel – Constable [Wing Sing]
The Peep Tempel – Kalgoorlie [Wing Sing]
Sleaford Mods – Silly Me [Harbinger Sound]
Monkey Plot – They suddenly Disappeared [Hubro]
Monkey Plot – Shyly upon everything [Hubro]
Andi Otto – Gianna Anna [Andi Otto Bandcamp]
Andi Otto – Zindagi Club High [Andi Otto Bandcamp]
Rayon – Dots [Alien Transistor/Morr Music]
The Notwist – Lichter 1 [Alien Transistor]
The Notwist – The Hague [Alien Transistor]
Rayon – Il Collo e la Collana 04 [Alien Transistor]
Rayon – Libanon 05 [Alien Transistor]
Rayon – Cuts [Alien Transistor/Morr Music]
Marcus Fjellström – Modulus [Miasmah]
Marcus Fjellström – Aunchron [Miasmah]
Ryan Lott – hope calculus [Ryan Lott Bandcamp]
Son Lux – Speak [Asthmatic Kitty]
Ryan Lott – shudder and whisper [Ryan Lott Bandcamp]
Giulio Aldinucci – Soffia [Dronarivm]
Matteo Uggeri – Radio Days [Dronarivm]

Listen again — ~190MB


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