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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, 31st of December, 2017

Playlist 31.12.17 – Best of 2017 Part 2 (8:02 pm)

For NYE we’ve got the second part of our best 2017 selections – a fairly upbeat selection to see us through ALMOST to 2018.
By no means do these two shows cover everything I thought was awesome in 2017 – the theming made that a little difficult, and anyway it’s ONLY 4 hours to fit it all in!

LISTEN AGAIN to some of the very best… stream on demand from FBi, podcast here.

Like last week, no in-depth write-up, just the music!

三回転とひとひねり (Sankai Hineri) – 仮設5号機 (EVA remix by KASHIWA Daisuke) [Virgin Babylon]
Lanark Artefax – Touch Absence [Whities]
Four Tet – Scientists [self-released]
Bola – Evensong [Skam]
Nmesh – White Lodge Simulation (Odd Nosdam Remix) [Orange Milk Records/Orange Milk Bandcamp]
Special Request – Stairfoot Lane Bunker (Minor Science Remix) [Houndstooth]
ptwiggs – Hypno Game [ptwiggs Bandcamp]
Om Unit – Twilight [Cosmic Bridge Records]
Sully – X Plus Y [Keysound]
Yally – Dread Risk [Diagonal Records]
JK Flesh – Bayley Tower (Remix) [JK Flesh Bandcamp]
Jesu & Sun Kil Moon – Needles Disney [Caldo Verde Records]
The Bug vs Earth – Don’t Walk These Streets [Ninja Tune]
Fret – Lifford Res [Karl Records]
phile – Marauder [Deep Seeded Records]
JASSS – To Eat With Dirty Hands [iDEAL Recordings]
Shit & Shine – Jreemteem [Gang of Ducks]
Tomaga – Greetings From The Bitter End [Tomaga Bandcamp]
the body & Full Of Hell – The King Laid Bare [Thrill Jockey]
the body – Holocaust [Sisters in Christ]
Svarte Greiner – floor [Miasmah]

Listen again — ~210MB


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Sunday, 24th of December, 2017

Playlist 24.12.17 – Best of 2017, Part 1 (8:05 pm)

It’s UtilityFogMas! We stop for noone, not even Santa.
Tonight it’s some of our favourite music from 2017 – leaving the beats and other upbeat stuff for next week, which is NYE.

LISTEN AGAIN to some of the very best! Stream on demand via FBi, podcast here.

I’m not going to do a bit write-up as it’s basically song-by-song. Just lots of awesome music.

Circuit des Yeux – Black Fly [Drag City]
Dina Maccabee – Even When the Stars Align [Dina Maccabee Bandcamp]
Dina Maccabee – Northern Lights [Dina Maccabee Bandcamp]
Carla dal Forno – Clusters [Blackest Ever Black]
Juana Molina – Paraguaya [Crammed Discs]
common holly – if after all [Solitaire Recordings]
Jesca Hoop – the lost sky [Sub Pop]
jaimie branch – theme nothing [International Anthem]
Sevdaliza – Do You Feel Real [Butler Records]
Arrom – Split Caress [Provenance]
9T Antiope – Prophase [Eilean Records]
Félicia Atkinson – Monstera Deliciosa [Shelter Press]
Jasmine Guffond – Post Human [Sonic Pieces]
Dead Light – Sleeper (Andrea Belfi Remix) [Village Green]
Shinya Sugimoto & Jeremy Young with Julia Kent – Fiction 3 [Phinery]
Leah Kardos – Contact Mic [bigo & twigetti]
Leah Kardos – Little Phase [bigo & twigetti]
Sophie Hutchings – We Move [1631 Recordings]
Simon Fisher Turner – colour fullness (feat. the Elysian Quartet) [Editions Mego]
Simon Fisher Turner – slight smile (feat. spoken word from Emma Smith of the Elysian Quartet) [Editions Mego]

Listen again — ~193MB


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Sunday, 17th of December, 2017

Playlist 17.12.17 (7:52 pm)

Last “new” show for the year! What a rollercoaster year it’s been… and I’ve still got a full complement of mostly very new music to play tonight!

LISTEN AGAIN and catch every detail via stream on demand at FBi, or podcast over here?

Erland Dahlen – Clocks [Hubro]
Erland Dahlen – Pyramid [Hubro]
Erland Dahlen – Hammer [Hubro]
Erland Dahlen – Glas [Hubro]
Starting off tonight catching up with a few releases which came out in the last few months. And, it’s fair to say I’m catching up altogether with the solo music of Norwegian drummer Erland Dahlen. Norway’s Hubro is a label I’ve come to trust for high quality whether it’s in post-rock, inventive jazz or folk/classical hybrids, and occasionally more pure electronic music. Dahlen has played with various bands in some of these genres, and his solo work is almost entirely the multi-tracked work of just him. Rhythmically driven, but with plenty of melody and rich synths and tuned percussion as well. Whistling, glissandoing melodies from the bowed saw often feature (although it could be mistaken for a theremin), and the end result is something absolutely cinematic and widescreen.
Bookended by tracks from his new album Clocks, we also heard a tune each from his previous solo albums, Rolling Bomber and Blossom Bells.

Erik Honoré – Surge [Hubro]
Second cab off the rank, also on Hubro, is the Norwegian writer, singer & producer Erik Honoré, who’s mostly known for his collaboration with ambient & experimental artists like David Sylvian, Jan Bang & Arve Henricksen, as well as his duo with singer Greta Aagre. Unrest is only his second album, and the rich, tremulous sound should not be surprising for those who know any of the other artists here. There is, however, a slightly darker, industrial edge to some of these sounds which elevates it above just being more (high quality) fourth world ambient stuff.

Daniel O’Sullivan – The Projector [O Genesis/DOS Bandcamp]
Daniel O’Sullivan – Apocryphonium [O Genesis/DOS Bandcamp]
Catching up, also, with the solo album from Daniel O’Sullivan, which came out a good few months ago. I was lucky to catch DOS playing at the Audioscope 2017 one-day festival in Oxford a few weeks ago, and he alternated between weird rickety tape loops along with hand-built sampler rhythms and vocal loops on the one hand, and more straightforward songs with electric piano. This solo album features a lot of his pop side, heard also in his duo Grumbling Fur with Alexander Tucker – and also pointed at from his previous solo act Mothlite. But O’Sullivan has also worked closely with Ulver & Sunn O))) among others – a versatile artist to say the least!

Arrom – Now Won [Provenance]
Aphir – Asymptote [Provenance]
KAIA – Praey [Provenance]
Stu Buchanan’s latest project, the Provenance, rounds out 2017 with a compilation featuring exclusive tracks from all its artists. I sadly didn’t have time to fit an over-10 minute track from Shoeb Ahmad, but here are three tracks from fantastic female Australian producers.
I loved Arrom‘s debut EP (mini-album?) a couple of months ago. Her layered choral-trained vocals are underpinned and undermined by industrial-tinged glitchy beats & bass, also on display in the head-nodding rhythm for this track. Technological collaboration came from Aphir, who appears here with a similarly lovely piece of electronic pop, as does KAIA, who like Aphir is Melbourne-based but originally hails from Canberra.

Parris – Hot-Blooded [The Trilogy Tapes]
Bristol producer Parris came from the outer wilds of dubstep but can be found producing tweaked house, weird grime or bewildering bass-centric ambient tunes at any particular time. I love how this track from his new EP just stops, bar some crackly ambience, in the middle, before pulling itself back into its bass-heavy house beat. It’s simple but not simplistic, perfectly judged.

DJ Sports – For Real For You [Firecracker Recordings]
Danish producer Milan Zaks has been becoming notable for his lovely throwback sounds to spacey ambient house, melodic jungle and the like as DJ Sports. He runs a few labels too, including Help, and in fact only recently toured Australia in October. I’m catching up tonight on the excellent Modern Species album from earlier this year with a lovely bit of lightweight junglism.

Artilect – Ashen [Samurai]
Ancestral Voices – Izula [Samurai]
Now Berlin-based, originally New Zealand label Samurai Music has now been pushing adventurous drum’n’bass both for the dancefloor and into further reaches for a decade. They formed HORO for more experimental sounds, along with various other sub-labels, but have decided now to merge it all back together, and their “Phase 1” compilation of the Samurai Music Decade mixes the dancefloor-honed sounds of Tokyo Prose, Nucleus & Paradox and the sadly missed Marcus Intalex with the experimentalism of AnD and others. Manchester’s Artilect provides a dark techy number with amen breaks intruding here and there, and there’s also a typically tribal and epic tune from Ancestral Voices, beloved as one half of Akkord.

9T Antiope – Lemniscate [eilean rec.]
Bill Seaman – (Re) Erasures And Displacements [eilean rec.]
We’ll be hearing from Nima Aghiani and Sara Bigdeli Shamloo’s 9T Antiope in our best of 2017 in coming weeks for sure, but it’s lovely to hear something new from the Paris-based Iranian duo as the French label eilean records is celebrating their year of releases with a compilation of exclusive music from the label’s artists. It’s a fantastic showcase of talent, centred around crackly, droney ambient, more or less post-classical, but with a lot of variety and deep listening to be found. Music academic & theorist Bill Seaman can be found in various ensembles, making absorbing electro-acoustic sound-worlds whether with tape loops or computers. The drones, shuffles, crackles and muted piano tones here are like dusty memories from a state of half-sleep.

Andy Nice – Atlantean [Front & Follow]
IX Tab – The Seams Of Goodwill (Original Quincux Version) [Front & Follow]
UK label Front & Follow are also celebrating 10 years of existence this year, and I’m just catching up with playing their 2CD compilation Lessons on the show. It’s impressively varied, from ambient to idm & glitchy house to folk and other acoustic sounds such as the beautiful melodic multi-tracked cello of Andy Nice on our first selection tonight. How could I not play this, cellist that I am? And on the other side, here’s the “original quincux version”(?) of a track from IX Tab‘s amazing debut album Spindle & The Bregnut Tree – arcane, glitchy, queasy electronic folk or folk electronic or…? In any case, it’s long and very strange and you should check out all of his stuff.

Listen again — ~109MB


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Sunday, 10th of December, 2017

Playlist 10.12.17 (8:13 pm)

A bit of a red herring start to the show, bright and pretty and joyous, because tonight we’re mostly in doomy, disturbing territories. You’ll love it.

LISTEN AGAIN for the power & the glory! The stream on the demand comes from FBi, the cast of the pod is here.

Setec – Loose Leaves [Feral Media]
Second single from Joshua Gibb’s forthcoming album, which is going to be a corker – as you can tell from this joyous, sparkling single with its layered acoustic instruments (including, yes, my cello in there somewhere) and vocals.

The Black Hundred & Craig M. – Burning The Yule Goat (Grandpa’s Killing Joke Remix) [The Black Hundred Bandcamp]
No, not a remix by Killing Joke, but a self-remix by ex-pat Melburnian James McGauran of this, er slow-burning festive collaboration with Manga Bros‘ Craig M, referencing some recent events to do with a pagan tradition in McGauran’s adopted home of Sweden.

Marcus Whale – Mariah Carey’s Butterfly (20th Anniversary Poltergeist Mix) [Download from Dropbox]
A true tribute the mangles the original so much that it’s both stunning and hellish – yet done from a place of utter love.

Fake – den [Fake Bandcamp]
Fake – blame! [Fake Bandcamp]
One of Marcus’ partners in the iconic BV, Lavurn Lee, released an EP under his slo-hop alias Fake a month or two ago and I managed to miss it. Making up with two tracks tonight, complete with alien vocals and sparse, fucked beats.

Tomaga – Memory in Vivo Exposure Part 1 [Hands in the Dark Records]
I raved about this duo last week, and hadn’t realised that the percussionist half, Valentina Magaletti, has worked a lot with Blackest Ever Black luminaries Raime, and is now in the psych rock supergroup UUUU released by Editions Mego, featuring members of Wire and Coil. In any case, Tomaga remains a wonderfully odd & beguiling prospect, highly recommended.

Prurient – Barefoot God [Profound Lore Records]
Prurient – Subject [No Fun]
Vatican Shadow – Luxor Necropolitics [Hospital Productions]
Rainforest Spiritual Enslavement – Jungle Is A Shapeshifter (with Silent Servant) [Hospital Productions]
Prurient – Buddha Strangled In Vines Part 1 [Profound Lore Records]
No question it’s a big end to 2017 for Dominick Fernow. On the massive 4xCD set from his noise project Prurient he’s joined by Matt Folden and Jim Mroz to bring some noisome spontaneity back to the freeform power electronics. It’s relatively free of his overdriven black metal-inspired vocals (cf the one older selection tonight, from the blistering And Still, Wanting CD+5″-vinyl release from 2008), going more for the subterranean hellscapes. Meanwhile his Rainforest Spiritual Enslavement alias explores a gentler side to this art, especially on this new album of ’90s-style ambient techno, complete with bubbling rainforest sounds and a lovely, slowly-repeating refrain and ebbs and flows.
Earlier this year Fernow also released a new EP from his Vatican Shadow alias, various dancefloor forms including the fairly ambient techno of the title track.
The new Prurient album certainly has its fair share of noisy goings-on, including on the latter selection tonight, and there’s some distorted vocals rising up out of the murk. The pretty, repetitive synth lines sometimes swamped by rising ugliness are pretty rad anyway.

JK Flesh Merges Prurient 1 [Hydra Head/Daymare]
Godflesh – Pre Self [Godflesh Bandcamp]
Godflesh – The Cyclic End (Dub) [Godflesh Bandcamp]
JK Flesh – Bullied By Love [Downwards Records]
When Aaron Turner et al’s beloved Hydra Head Records closed up shop semi-permanently in 2013, it was only fitting that their last release was a teaming up of Justin K Broadrick’s electronic, bass-heavy JK Flesh (as Justin’s Godflesh was such a huge influence on Turner’s band ISIS) and relative newcomer, metal-influenced extreme noise-maker Prurient. Turner turned in a remix under his House of Low Culture solo alias, and for the Japanese CD release on Daymare (and also digital at least on Bandcamp), there were two incredible reworkings of the Prurient tracks by JK Flesh.
One of my favourite things about Justin’s various releases are the reworkings which appear – sometimes under his various other aliases like Jesu, Pale Sketcher and JK Flesh, and sometimes as “dubs” and “versions” and suchlike. Although often we’ve had to wait for the special CD releases on Japanese label Daymare, they now tend to appear on his Bandcamp editions as well – hence the Dub of The Cyclic End from the new Godflesh album. These two tracks have clean vocals, which is perhaps a bonus for those who find the post-hardcore throat-rending a bit harder to take.
Two brilliant EPs from JK Flesh, originally released on tiny cassette editions by none other than Fernow’s Hospital Productions last year, appeared together as one of my favourite albums of this year. For the end of the year he’s now put out another set of 4 tracks for Regis’s Downwards Records. Joyfully chaotic breakbeat techno like none other.

Shit and Shine – I Like You Betty [Rocket Recordings]
Craig Clouse’s ex-noise act Shit and Shine have had a huge year, with 4 or 5 release, all brilliant, not least the latest mangled beats from the perhaps aptly titled That’s Enough – although there’s another vinyl-only release since this? In fact Shit & Shine were last heard only last week remixing our starters from tonight, Tomaga. Busy, busy! And always so great.

the body & Full Of Hell – Fleshworks [Neurot]
the body & Full Of Hell – The King Laid Bare [Thrill Jockey]
It’s some kind of undeserved blessing for the world to be gifted a second collaoration between the brilliant the body & Maryland/Pennsylvania-based grindcore band Full Of Hell. With the body’s regular female vocalist Chrissy Wolpert involved again, there’s still plenty of harsh noises and a lot of inventive and always surprising electronic production trickery going on in there too. If you have a stomach for the more extreme end of the spectrum, you’ll find this exciting and as usual also surprisingly beautiful and touching listening.

Listen again — ~205MB


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Sunday, 3rd of December, 2017

Playlist 03.12.17 (7:59 pm)

Here we are in the last month of the year. Quite a tumultuous year… but life has gone on. Life still goes on, and I’ll be playing new music right up to the end of the year I think!

LISTEN AGAIN for the weird & wonderful… stream on demand from FBi, podcast over here.

built from sticks – I Wish That I Could Help [built from sticks Bandcamp]
built from sticks – Without Stopping [built from sticks Bandcamp]
Best known as a member of Brisbane postrock/instrumental band Ghost Notes, Jamie Curran has been releasing lovely lo-fi postrock-influenced indie stuff as built from sticks since 2011. His new album is his first studio album, but it loses none of the homemade charm across its guitar and piano-based songs and occasional instrumentals. I love how the songs can start with simple guitar or piano & vocals and open into full band arrangements near the end.

Shoeb Ahmad – “rinse (noise)” [Shoeb Ahmad Bandcamp]
Experimental musician Shoeb Ahmad has been slowly working up to releasing her new solo album next year with a selection of singles and remixes. While the album itself moves deliberately away from the postrock/glitch/improv mode to thoughtful, heartfelt songwriting, but alternate versions abound. This one has been released in response to the urgent plight of the asylum seekers trapped by the Australian government on Manus Island, whose situation has been worsening as they are all but abandoned by our government, while simultaneously being denied safe harbour in New Zealand… All the money raised from this single will go to the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre.

The Seaport & the Airport – The Dream Punch [Perfect Hair Records]
The Seaport & the Airport – Sook [Perfect Hair Records]
Lovely, lovely stuff from Oscar Wuts, half-Dutch NZ native now based in Sydney, for his second album of drum’n’bass-influenced electronica as The Seaport & the Airport. Expertly chopped breakbeats at various tempos, head-nodding good stuff.

Palf – Drip Dry (JV‘s 130 Pressure VIP) [Palf]
One half of IljustWifmo, Max Palfrey releases his debut solo EP in a similar vein to Iljus: razor-sharp beats’n’bass for dancefloor and mental enjoyment. Here he’s remixed by fellow Sydney bass artist JV.

friendships – GUT ROT [Body Promise Bandcamp]
Marcus (Not Singing) – To Be Possessed [Body Promise Bandcamp]
Impart Amiss – Wait, Wait [Body Promise Bandcamp]
Fake – lo res [Body Promise Bandcamp]
Presented by FBi Music Manager Amelia Jenner along with Doug Wright every Tuesday evening, Body Promise is one of the best electronic shows on FBi. They’ve now put together two fantastic compilations of forward-thinking Australian electronic music. We’ve got the twisted bass emanations of Melbourne’s friendships, Marcus Whale making beats but (Not Singing) over them, and Sydney’s Impart Amiss chopping up vocals in gorgeous fashion. And finally, one third of BV alongside the aforementioned Marcus, and probably best known as Cassius Select, Lavurn Lee here appears under his Fake guise, bringing screwed bass/hip-hop/trap.

Telefon Tel Aviv – Sound In A Dark Room (feat. Lindsay Anderson) [Hefty Records]
Same Waves – my way [flau]
Slicker – Prader [Hefty Records]
I first came across Lindsay Anderson not through her beloved indie/postrock/electronic band L’Altra, but through her guest vocals with New Orleans electronic/folktronic duo Telefon Tel Aviv. TTA were released on Hefty Records, run by John Hughes III (yes, the son of beloved movie director John Hughes) aka Slicker. Fast-forward to 2017, and Japanese label flau are releasing a new single from Hughes & Anderson as Same Waves, with more music on the way. It’s lovely shoegazey electronic pop.

CoH feat. Anna Yamada – Sleepwalker [Editions Mego]
CoH – part I Sidereal As If Not i.ii andante facile [raster-noton]
CoH + Cosey Fanni Tutti – Lying [raster-noton]
CoH Plays Everall – State Calm [Hallow Ground]
Sweden-based Russian electronic artist Ivan Pavlov is CoH, pronounced as if written in Cyrillic, as “son”. Thus his new album on Editions Mego, CoHngs is a trans-lingual pun, pronounced half in Cyrillic and half in the Roman alphabet, as “songs”. This album collects various vocal collaborations Pavlov has worked on into a very cohesive LP. There’s a track from a 7″ with Little Annie, and Peter “Sleazy” Christopherson of Coil / Throbbing Gristle (big influences on Pavlov’s music, and frequent collaborators) among others. It’s nice to hear Pavlov’s glitchy production with the J-pop vocals of Anna Yamada. Not present is Throbbing Gristle’s Cosey Fanni Tutti, with whom CoH produced an entire album of extraordinary vocal sampling & reconstruction. From a similar time period, we heard some gorgeous flittery piano sampling from the Strings album. And finally, Hallow Ground have released Pavlov’s constructions of material in collaboration with the late John Everall, industrial/noise/ambient artist who passed away from cancer in 2014. Sequenced analogue synths meet digital processing in a range of styles – tonight’s track is a beautiful bit of ambient synth stuff.

Tomaga – Greetings From The Bitter End [Tomaga Bandcamp]
Tomaga – A Perspective With No End [Tomaga Bandcamp]
Tomaga – A Perspective With No End (Shit & Shine Version) [Tomaga Bandcamp]
So excited to have discovered the arcane, wyrd sounds of English duo Tomaga, a recent album of whose was playing at Flashback Records on Essex Rd in Islington when I recently visited London. It turns out they’re remixed by the one & only Shit & Shine on their latest EP (he of a billion released in 2017), but I was enchanted by their very strange sounds – surprising to hear in a record store, albeit a venerable & adventurous one. Tuned percussion and rhythmic elements of all sorts are played by Valentina Magaletti, with postpunk bass and electronics from Tom Relleen. It’s sometimes quite disturbing, often quite ecstatic. Highly recommended.

Listen again — ~202MB


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