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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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Playlists are listed with artist name first, then track title and (remixer), then [record label]. Enjoy the links.

Sunday, 13th of August, 2017

Playlist 13.08.17 (9:00 pm)

Well hey… at least we’ve got music.

LISTEN AGAIN to the music because it’s everything – stream on demand from FBi, or podcast here.

Nmesh – White Lodge Simulation [Orange Milk Records/Orange Milk Bandcamp]
Nmesh – White Lodge Simulation (Odd Nosdam Remix) [Orange Milk Records/Orange Milk Bandcamp]
Alex Koenig has made music much longer than the “vaporwave” wave has been around, but as Nmesh he’s come to both represent and transcend that genre. His new cassette on vaporwaver & visual artist Giant Claw‘s Orange Milk Records covers bewildering ground, including a lot of grainy YouTube samples layered into ambient fauxstalgia, and also this insane Deadelus-style sample-laden drum’n’bass track… This very track is also blessed with a lip-smackingly good remix from Anticon don Odd Nosdam, with massive head-nodding beat, perfect Twin Peaks references, and, of course, that flute breakdown.

FOREVR – On A Wire [Tym Records/FOREVR Bandcamp]
FOREVR – Petrichor [Tym Records/FOREVR Bandcamp]
FOREVR – Stellar [Tym Records/FOREVR Bandcamp]
Brisbane shoegazers FOREVR have this week released not one but TWO full albums, digitally and also on vinyl. The vinyl editions come via Brisbane label Tym Records, which is run out of a guitar shop interestingly enough – because these albums do feature whammy-bar-lovin’ shoegazer guitar, but they’re actually extremely heavy on both synths and studio cut-ups and production tricks, which is super great. Also super great are their lead singer’s vocals, and indeed the actual songwriting. It’s the full package, folks. And I’ve only played you tracks from one of the two albums! Check ’em both.

Scattered Order – SO Mufflings [Scattered Order Bandcamp]
Scattered Order – Before (the art of…) [Scattered Order Bandcamp]
Scattered Order – How I hated that man [Scattered Order Bandcamp]
It’s been a long journey for Scattered Order, stretching back to proto or postpunk noisemaking in 1979, through their work with various acts under the banner of their Surry Hills studio M-Squared, running perhaps in parallel to the ’80s industrial scene, and incorporating sampling from the mid-’80s probably. Now in their second incarnation since around 2010, they’re pumping out the music, with their new delightfully-titled album A suitcase full of snow globes coming out as a double CD and digital release on their now long-running *ahem* Rather Be Vinyl label. This is 100% electronic, sample-based beat-based music, but it’s still plenty freaky and charmingly chaotic at times.

Pan Daijing – Act of The Empress 皇后之作 [PAN]
Pan Daijing – Phenomenon 现象之间 [PAN]
Berlin-based Chinese musician Pan Daijing‘s music is situated somewhere between noise and techno, classical and concrète, and all of this somehow surfaces in her new album Lack 惊蛰, released coincidentally enough on the PAN label. It’s her take on opera, whether Chinese or Western, and there are operatic soprano vocals in amongst clanging & scraping, avant-garde composition, insides of pianos and so on. Amazing stuff.

Sam Amidon – Ghosts [Nonesuch]
Nico Muhly – The Only Tune III (feat. Sam Amidon) [Bedroom Community]
Sam Amidon – How Come That Blood [Bedroom Community]
Sam Amidon – Warren [Nonesuch]
Earlier this year I was fortunate enough to see Sam Amidon appearing in a strange & lovely performance by the Australian Chamber Orchestra incorporating his folk song adaptations of “Murder and Redemption” alongside various classical works on a similar theme. It was strange for me to see Amidon featured but treated as really just part of the program, because for a decade or so now he’s been an ever-rising star. His renderings of American folk tunes are simultaneously exquisitely authentic, and utterly modernised, recontextualised and restructured through his adaptations along with Nico Muhly‘s orchestral arrangements, Shahzad Ismaily‘s multiple instruments and processing, etc. His albums for Nonesuch have at times brought him into more radio-friendly folk waters, but also see him bringing in aspects of free jazz, like on the 11-minute closing track to his new album (which I wish I’d had time to play tonight!)

Blood Language – Springshots [SoundCloud]
From an album still, I believe, looking for a home, this is a great new piece of postrocky indie music from a pair of Scottish artists, Euan Millar-McMeeken aka Glacis, and Ben Chatwin, maker of postrocky drone and psych stuff who used to be known as Talvihorros.

William Ryan Fritch & Matt Finney – All That Lives Will Sour [Lost Tribe Sound]
William Ryan Fritch – We Fear Change [Lost Tribe Sound]
Two new pieces from the still prolific William Ryan Fritch, from the latest batch of releases from Lost Tribe Sound. One album finds him working with spoken word artist Matt Finney, whose laconic mumblings I find about as hard to get through as Mark Kozelek’s it has to be said, so the track I chose only has some hummed melodic vocals. The other album is an extended re-release of the ravishing soundtrack The Old Believers. You know what you’re going to get with William Ryan Fritch – reverberant world-music-inspired quasi-orchestral stuff, and sometimes gentler folky numbers. This stuff is particularly pretty.

Enrico Coniglio & Matteo Uggeri – Open To The Sea feat. Francesca Amato / Comaneci, Lau Nau & Andrea Serrapiglio [Dronarivm]
Enrico Coniglio & Matteo Uggeri – Allarme feat. Francesca Stella Riva – trombone [Dronarivm]
Italian sound artists Enrico Coniglio & Matteo Uggeri pair up here on a stunning album for Dronarivm that takes unidentifiable field recordings, acoustic samples and many guest performances to create a kind of ambient, droney form of folktronica. It’s truly lovely stuff that’s seemingly formless yet well-constructed.

Crewdson – Waterflow [Slowfoot]
Crewdson – Saxbell [Slowfoot]
UK artist Crewdson mostly inhabits something of a more familiar variant on “folktronica” – influenced by the glitchy self-sampling of Matthew Herbert (with whom he’s worked extensively), as much as by the pioneering folk-meets-electronic-production of Tunng, Minotaur Shock et al. His second album Toys sees him working with homemade hybrid acoustic/electronic instruments as well as with detailed sampling and studio choppery. Check out some of his weird audio tech – wearable music controllers etc – at his website. There’s a lot of folk-influenced songwriting to back up the processed acoustic instrumentation, but then in the middle this rather beautiful ambient piece appears, with layered sax lines. It’s quite a hard album to pin down, and all the better for it.

Listen again — ~1108MB

Sunday, 6th of August, 2017

Playlist 06.08.17 (9:11 pm)

Quite a lot of electronic sounds coming your way on this show…

LISTEN AGAIN get it in your face… stream on demand is a good way to do it, or podcasting could work.

phile – Deadzone [Deep Seeded Records]
phile – Found in Blood [Deep Seeded Records]
Starting with the Sydney duo of phile, producers Hannah Lockwood and Gareth Psaltis, who’ve just released their debut EP on their label Deep Seeded Records. Elsewhere on the release there are some hardcore punk vocals from High Tension‘s Karina Utomo, but on most tracks the energy and darkness comes through the industrial techno production and some bass guitar. It’s a scarily strong first release.

Somali Extract – Locked [Ascetic House]
Somali Extract – Cradle Song [Ascetic House]
Orgonon Pit – Mukoid Flex [Ascetic House]
Ascetic House have their entire aesthetic and marketing worked out perfectly. Their twitter is home to totally on-point politics – kudos for that – as well as words on music & art. Their new vinyl editions are housed in stunning artwork from the House’s own JS Aurelius, and are mastered by Telefon Tel Aviv/Second Woman‘s Joshua Eustis. Some of the music is more straight-ahead house stuff in terms of beats – although nothing they release is “straight-ahead” by any means – but there’s also gaseous ambient, grime/trap-influenced experimental bass, like Somali Extract tonight, and dense, complex percussive idm from Orgonon Pit.

Philippe Hallais – Angela (Square) [Modern Love]
Low Jack – Six In The Morning [Modern Love]
Philippe Hallais – Fantasy (4U) [Modern Love]
Parisian producer Philippe Hallais is perhaps best known as Low Jack, under which name he’s released various more club-oriented releases as well as some pretty experimental sounds on labels like Trilogy Tapes, and, last year, on Modern Love. In keeping with Modern Love’s aesthetic of recent times, that was bass-influenced grime/techno, highly saturated to the point of distortion. Now he’s released an album for the same label under his own name, and the change in moniker indicates something a lot further from the club. There are still slowed down samples in a choppped-and-screwed fashion, and some dizzying repetitive glitches, but it’s more vapory and nebulous.

Eazykill – transgression [UNM.1rtj] [Tandem Tapes]
Eazykill – gygeros.2316] [Tandem Tapes]
Ugliest Man – Sour Clocks [Tandem Tapes]
Indonesia-based cassette label Tandem Tapes, run by expat Aussie Morgan McKellar, continue on their roll of superb noise & experimental split releases with two ’90s idm/breakcore-influenced artists. Philadelphia, USA-based Eazykill is very clearly on an Aphex Twin tip here, from the bouncy melodic stuff through to the child’s voice-sampling drill’n’bass. German producer Ugliest Man also goes into all-out early ’00s-style breakcore or drill’n’bass on tonight’s selection. Reminds me of the early years of Utility Fog :)

Agency x Designer – transmogrify i [Agency Bandcamp]
Released on Friday in support of Bandcamp‘s highly laudable day of action, giving their entire revenue share of sales to the Transgender Law Centre, this little single sees Canberra punks Agency handing their sounds over to feted ex-Chicago producer/masterer Casey Rice in his rarely-seen Designer guise for some glitchy dub-techno reworkings.

Reuben Ingall – You Must Chill (Bonus Coffee) [Chemical Imbalance]
Reuben Ingall – money [Reuben Ingall Bandcamp]
Reuben Ingall – Wrong! Wrong! Wrong! [Eden Again Bandcamp]
Reuben Ingall – fog [Reuben Ingall Bandcamp]
Spartak – Catch/Control (Reuben Ingall remix) [hellosQuare Recordings]
Reuben Ingall – Eyelids [Feral Media]
Reuben Ingall & David Finnigan – Australia 2050 [Clan Analogue]
Reuben Ingall – Falconer St Daymare [Chemical Imbalance]
Reuben Ingall – Open The Windows [Chemical Imbalance]
We’re hearing a bunch of music tonight from Canberran producer/singer/songwriter/broadcaster Reuben Ingall tonight because I think he’s rad and needs more recognition. His new Fibre EP is out now from the great Sydney label Chemical Imbalance, and it sees Reuben taking on minimal techno and some kind of folktronica as well as his high-tech lo-fi songwriting. A lot of his past work found him casually slamming beautiful lo-fi songwriting into glitchy, random-seeming micro-sampling and field recordings. Random-seeming, but somehow everything is just so. It’s no surprise, then, that his remixes tend to be creative and sensitive too, as we heard in his dark, glitchy cabaret punk take on fellow Canberrans Spartak‘s indietronic gem “Catch/Control”. He’s also produced a fair bit of what you’d call conceptual work, whether his Eden Again project with Paul Heslin remixing a videotape of Christian evangelical rock, his performance pieces of drone music generated from microwaving a pie, or his mostly club-based soundtrack to David Finnigan‘s play Kill Climate Deniers, whose rather Orwellian finale we heard tonight…

9T Antiope – Seagulls Feast [9T Antiope Bandcamp]
Iranian duo 9T Antiope have featured a few times on this show, with Sara Bigdeli Shamloo’s beautiful melodic vocals juxtaposed against Nima Agiani’s violin and their often heavy and absrasive electronics. This single track was released on their Bandcamp on Friday and takes a somewhat more laid-back approach, with field recordings and some rasping violin.

Ekin Fil – Like a Child [Helen Scarsdale Agency]
Ekin Fil – With the Birds [Helen Scarsdale Agency]
Turkish dreamgaze artist Ekin Fil has releases on some of the best shoegaze/experimental labels around, and has now released her second album through the Helen Scarsdale Agency. Working predominantly with piano, keyboard and vocals, she covers her sounds with reverb and other effects, creating beautiful blurred, emotive sound art.

Listen again — ~1958MB

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