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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, 21st of January, 2018

Playlist 21.01.18 (8:24 pm)

Jam-packed show tonight, with quite a bit of doomy shit, and quite a bit of droney shit, and quite a bit of glitchy weird shit. All good shit.

LISTEN AGAIN via stream on demand at FBi’s website, or podcast over here.

Divide and Dissolve – Resistance [forthcoming]
Divide and Dissolve – BLACK POWER [DERO Culture]
Melbourne duo Divide and Dissolve have made a huge impact since their debut album last year – represented by the second selection tonight. Essentially an instrumental doom duo of guitar and drums, their guitarist Takiaya Reed also plays gorgeous, pure saxophone in a number of tracks, including the intro to both tracks tonight. Their focus is on dismantling the white supremacy and misogyny in so much of the metal scene (and of course wider in the music industry and western culture). They are appearing at the Playing in a War Zone event this Friday, January 26th, curated by Sass Hound as part of The NOW now 2018.

Alessio Santini – Ffar [Elli Records]
Alessio Santini – Sndaz Majorii [Elli Records]
Keeping the doomy theme, two tracks of doom-laden guitar riffs and crunching drums, fed through the granular machines by Alessio Santini, and Italian artist who once played in doom metal bands but also made idm through the ’90s and ’00s. These interests combine on this release, with imposing dark ambient structures accompanied by scattering, chopped percussion.

h.eund – Panic [self-released]
h.eund – Warning [self-released]
h.eund – Drowning [self-released]
Visceral portrayals of the experience of bipolar disorder from Sydney artist Bekkie Kay’s debut solo EP DSM, released under the name h.eund. It’s on Spotify, and you can at least also get it from Google Play, iTunes et al. This is fantastically produced electronic music as well as sonic storytelling.

Buttress O’Kneel – Triennial Hoof [Buttress O’Kneel Bandcamp]
Melbourne’s queen of creative mashups and glitchtronica here extends her “Drum and Waste” concept – originally her glitching, destroyed CDs in duo with live drummers – to virtual collaborations with solo drum stems found online. This track is an anagram of “Fool in the Rain”, suggesting the drum track (and studio chatter) is John Bonham – but what makes it stand out is the rather beautiful glitchy vocals and other sounds layered on top. The anonymous BO’K has always been super creative in super unexpected ways.

Martina Lussi – Citrin [Hallow Ground]
Beautiful electroacoustic sound-art from Swiss artist Martina Lussi on her Selected Ambient EP, with a mix of crackly and droney sounds, and a hint of a ravey acid bassline wobbling below in the second half of this track. There’s some lovely 4/4 techno in the second half of one of the other tracks, but on the whole it lives up to its title, and even to its Aphex Twin reference. Great stuff.

Dina Maccabee – The World is in the Work (Isaac Schankler remix) [MINUS ZERO]
Last year’s solo album The World is in the Work from violist & singer Dina Maccabee was one of my favourite releases of the year (it appeared in my first “Best of” show). She’s now released a remix album, delightfully inverting the title as The Work is in the World, with a musicians’ collective called Minus Zero that donates its entire proceeds to Planned Parenthood – so it’s worth dropping some money on this as well as the wonderful original album. There’s everything from ambient layering like this track to kind of electro-pop reinterpretations.

Aidan Baker & Gareth Davis – Signs [Karlrecords]
Released through the excellent Karlrecords is the debut collaboration between doom guitar & ambient hero Aidan Baker and ambient/postrock/experimental clarinettist Gareth Davis, who frequently works with the likes of Machinefabriek and plays with the excellent Belgian postrock/psych group Oiseaux-Tempête. Ruminative ambient soundscapes with field recordings and smooth clarinet, everything apparently happening just beneath the surface.

Michel Banabila – The Ripple Effect (feat. Gareth Davis) [Tapu Records]
Michel Banabila – B1 from Marilli [Séance Centre]
Michel Banabila – A2 + B1 + B2 (Bogumil Misala / IP remix) [Tapu Records]
Michel Banabila – In A Language I Can Understand [Séance Centre]
Michel Banabila – Spider, Spit and Broken Bells [Tapu Records]
Gareth Davis also appears on a new track from Dutch worldtronic/sound-art veteran Michel Banabila (another frequent Machinefabriek collaborator), who of late has been releasing some fascinating archival recordings of his music – our second selection is originally from 1983 – showing his long-standing interest in world music and tape manipulation, and his early forays into drone. The 1983 debut album Marilli was remixed by a whole bunch of experimental electronic artists, and has just been re-released on a double vinyl set with a collection of more recent archival & unreleased material called Trespassing, from which we take a 2009 track that’s part of another long-standing practice of Banabila, the sampling and manipulation of vocals from all around the world, producing alien languages and expressive, warped and glitched new phraseology. Michel really ought to be more famous too hey…
Séance Centre‘s Trespassing album, which comes with the Marilli reissue, is a nice way of getting acquainted with some of his back catalogue, and the new mini-album Just Above The Surface is a good indicator of what he’s up to nowadays.

Rutger Zuydervelt with Ilia Belorukov & René Aquarius – Painting [Sofa]
Rutger Zuydervelt with Ilia Belorukov & René Aquarius – Train [Sofa]
Rutger Zuydervelt with Ilia Belorukov & René Aquarius – Dacha [Sofa]
Rutger Zuydervelt – Gathering 6 [Machinefabriek Bandcamp]
Aaron Martin & Machinefabriek – Arms Turn Slowly [Dronarivm]
Aaron Martin & Machinefabriek – Leaves Are Swimming [Dronarivm] {fragment under talking}
And so we reach the work of Rutger Zuydervelt, aforementioned as Machinefabriek. Rutger has of late been producing quite a bit of soundtrack work. The second volume of his soundtracks to the computer game Astroneer (which within the game are generative, reactive to game-play) was released late last year, as was a gorgeous collaborative contemporary dance soundtrack with Aaron Martin called Seeker, and coming out shortly is a soundtrack to a Dutch documentary on the legacy of Stalin called The Red Soul, produced in collaboration with Russian saxophonist & sound-artist Ilia Belorukov, and Dutch experimental percussionist René Aquarius of incendiary free jazz/metal/noise duo Dead Neanderthals. I was really taken by these words in a review of the movie (which sounds fascinating) in The Hollywood Reporter:

At such moments, the film’s trump cards — Tom Bijnen’s sound design and the score chiefly composed by Rutger Zuydervelt — are played to particularly atmospheric effect. With so many current documentaries spoiled by excessively conventional and heavy-handed musical accompaniment, it’s a pleasure to encounter soundscapes as sparing and subtle as these. Indeed, so subliminally is Zuydervelt’s work incorporated that at first it may not even be recognized as music at all. The ear then picks up on the rhythms of quasi-choral soughing, which seems to emanate from the soil and trees themselves like a phantom voice from the icy breeze.

Aaron Martin – Fire Current [Preserved Sound]
Nice to have a new solo album also from Aaron Martin, using all his acoustic, folk & classical-redolent instruments including the central cello but also banjo, ukulele, guitar and field recordings (at least), most of which appear along with his voice on the beautiful Machinefabriek collaboration above. Out soon on English CDR label Preserved Sound (which is kinda nice since the first few of Aaron’s albums came out through Sydney’s Preservation), it’s contemplative, often sorrowful layers of these instruments – tonight’s track being rapturous but reserved multi-tracked strings.

Listen again — ~274MB


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