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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 April, 2017

Playlist 09.04.17 (8:54 pm)

Got some cool electronic goodies for you tonight, including some nice industrial beats and ambience, and later some more of that ol’ post-classical prettiness.

LISTEN AGAIN for the full effect… stream on demand at the FBi website or podcast here.

Second Woman, the duo of Telefon Tel Aviv‘s Joshua Eustis and longtime collaborator Turk Dietrich (aka Belong) debuted last year with an album of pure electronica that balanced itself uneasily between the chaotic and focused, with barlines frequently obscured by the tendency of every sound to bounce around according to some kind of stochastic algorithms. The influence of Autechre is strong here, but it’s there just as much in the way they’re drawn to beautiful buried melodies too. On their new album, out in a couple of weeks, they seem to have found their sense of balance, and while the same tendencies are there, they’re less likely to bump the listener out of the zone. It’s engrossing and very satisfying listening.

A new project from the amazing Kiki Hitomi, WaqWaq Kingdom sees her back on the German digidub label Jahtari, working with the infamous DJ Scotch Egg and brilliant Italian percussionist & experimental musician Andrea Belfi. Quite the team-up, it’s still the usual langourous electronic dub Hitomi is known for, but it’s a focused selection of songs with some righteous beats and basslines.

House producer Paul Woolford has been slipping out his stunning jungle/drum’n’bass productions under the Special Request moniker for a few years now, and it’s always a joy to have new tunes or remixes appear. Fresh off the release of his epic FABRICLIVE DJ mix, we’ve now got the exclusive new cuts from that mix along with a couple of others. There’s a bit of techno and ambient rounding out the jungle on this EP, including a remix from Berlin producer Minor Science drawing the links between jungle and techno with his very technical bass reimagining.

After last year’s quasi-classical soundtrack album, Clark returns to techno on his new Death Peak album, although as usual the sounds are all organically mushy around the edges, and there’s some nice choral stuff floating around the last few tracks.

I play quite a bit of stuff on this show that I term “industrial” – industrial techno at least, or industrial ambient or metal here and there. Lucerne’s S S S S is one of the true industrial faithful, in terms of iconography and approach. Some of his stuff can easily be called industrial techno, although it’s in a different vein from that bass-heavy Berlin style techno of Lakker, These Hidden Hands et al. But his new release is a vinyl version of a cassette from 2015 called just dead stars for dead eyes. Originally released on Haunter Records, you can find the cassette version on Bandcamp here. The vinyl edition is expertly mastered by none other than Lawrence English, but it’s not just a remaster: the arrangements are subtly changed as well, with differing emphasis on piano & ambient pads vs noise. Regardless, the two ~14 minute tracks are masterful dark sonic narratives.

With distorted ambient textures, LK10 is a new and experimental project for its creator Brendan Wixted, who is best known as leader of the lo-fi indie band The Model School. There’s still guitar in there among the other sounds. It sounds like it’s a fruitful avenue, so hopefully we’ll hear more soon!

Since the early 2000s, Kris Keogh has been making audacious experimental music out of the Northern Territory. He used to send out crazily-packaged CDRs of his breakcore & idm stuff as Blastcorp, but he’s gone through a bunch of other projects in the meantime – indietronica, dancefloor pop, and under his own name these lovely processed harp works. Volume 1 came out in 2011 on Stu Buchanan‘s New Weird Australia, and now the second volume has been released on Buchanan’s new label, Provenance Records. It can at times be a bit too pretty, with the corruscating harp phrases bouncing around digital delays, but frequently Keogh finds the right amount of, well, processing to carry the listener on blissful puffy clouds.

Last week I showcased a few tracks from the lovely Piano Day comp from Spirit Level, the label that Tim Shiel founded with his mate Wally de Backer. I could easily play another three tracks, but with limited time I still wanted to find a place for Tim’s own track, which is utterly pretty. Check out the whole comp though, as it’s rad.

Named after the last Jacques Brel album, Les Marquises is the project of Jean-Sébastien Nouveau, which takes Brel’s modernised French chanson into the 21st century with influences from the minimalist, trip-hoppy “darkjazz” and occasional hints at industrial music, but is founded in a world of mostly acoustic, world of classical/jazz arrangements. It’s a wonderful update of chanson with some great musicians, including Matt Elliott lending some English language vocals on a number of tracks.

Speaking of chanson, we segue into the recent documentary soundtrack work of Olivier Alary via the gorgeous last album of his Ensemble project, Excerpts, which featured a brilliant band of strings, keyboards and female vocalists. Previously, Alary’s Ensemble had been built from shimmering glitchscapes and samples, although he always worked with female singers. His new album moves him from FatCat Records to their post-classical subsiduary 130701, and says au revoir to the vocals – perhaps temporarily. It shows us what he’s been up to since 2011, creating soundtracks, and at least on this album it’s almost all acousic arrangements. And it’s rather beautiful.

We’re kind of keeping the French connection with the last track tonight, the seemingly unlikely collaboration between Jarvis Cocker & Chilly Gonzales. Gonzales is in his fin-de-siècle French impressionist piano mode here, a la his beloved Solo Piano albums. Set in Room 29 of the Chateau Marmont hotel on Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood, the album is a song cycle speak-sung by Cocker ostensibly from the point of view of the baby grand piano that lived in that room and saw many decadent activities from the famous and infamous celebrities that stayed there.

Second Woman – 06 ////\\ [Spectrum Spools]
Second Woman – 900438an4 [Spectrum Spools]
Second Woman – 05 ////\ [Spectrum Spools]
WaqWaq Kingdom – Koko Says [Jahtari]
WaqWaq Kingdom – Step Into The World [Jahtari]
Special Request – Stairfoot Lane Bunker [Houndstooth]
Special Request – Stairfoot Lane Bunker (Minor Science Remix) [Houndstooth]
Clark – Hoova [Warp]
S S S S – Hegemonie Negative [Haunter Records]
S S S S – just dead stars for dead eyes, part II [Hallow Ground]
LK10 – Nuclear Codes [SoundCloud]
Kris Keogh – I held on so tight as our whole world disintegrated [New Weird Australia]
Tim Shiel – For Your Health [Spirit Level]
Les Marquises – Vallées Closes [Ici d’ailleurs]
Les Marquises – Following Strangers feat. Matt Elliott [Ici d’ailleurs]
Ensemble – Things I Forgot [FatCat Records]
Olivier Alary – Nollywood [130701]
Olivier Alary – Pulses [130701]
Jarvis Cocker & Chilly Gonzales – Room 29 [Deutsche Grammophon]

Listen again — ~111MB


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