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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 January, 2019

Playlist 13.01.19 (8:14 pm)

Industrial techno, glistening drones, glitchy worldtronica, meandering experimental folk, re-tooled disco...

LISTEN AGAIN for all that... because it is all that. Podcast here, or stream on demand from FBi.

Pact Infernal - The Eternal Return [iDEAL Recordings]
Stephen O'Malley - LOUP [iDEAL Recordings]
After finishing last week's show with two tracks from iDEAL Recordings' compilation The Black Book, I'm continuing with two more at the start tonight. I missed this comp when it came out, absurdly because it's full of gems from industrial techno and drone. I intended to finish last week's show with the incredible, moody track from doom meister Stephen O'Malley but ran out of time. I'd love to hear a whole album of music like this - bass pulses and rich drones. And Pact Infernal do a great line in gothic, industrial techno. You can see why they've been released on Samurai Music's Horo side label - it's not drum'n'bass but it shares a certain aesthetic.

Craün - Uve [Hush Hush Records]
Craün - Uni [Hush Hush Records]
Sydney-based musician Aris Hatzidakis has three releases under his belt as Craün, and each has been an incredible progression from the last. This latest, III - released at the very end of last year on Seattle's Hush Hush - takes drone as its stepping-off point, but buries percussion and spooky violin in its cavernous depths. Quite masterful.

Banabila & Machinefabriek - Minimals [eilean]
Banabila & Machinefabriek - Spin 'n' Puke [Banabila Bandcamp/Machinefabriek Bandcamp]
Banabila & Machinefabriek - Entropia [eilean]
If you've been paying attention to this show for much time you'll know that Michel Banabila & Rutger Zuydervelt (aka Machinefabriek) are Dutch sound artists who make frequent appearances in these playlists, and have been collaborating together since 2012. Their latest album Entropia appears courtesy of French label eilean rec., and is a little more challenging than their last, the glittering fourth world productions of 2016's Macrocosms. Distorted, menacing sounds are juxtaposed with wistful grainy samples, perhaps reflecting a more chaotic world, and the illness which consumed much of Michel Banabila's last year. It's absolutely absorbing and rewarding listening as ever. Tonight I also played a cute folktronic number from 2013's Travelog.

Original Past Life - Wire Fatigue [Tone List]
Original Past Life - Times of Ceylon [hellosQuare]
Original Past Life - Omiyage [Tone List]
Original Past Life - Blessing the Barge [Tone List]
The second album from Perth band Original Past Life may surprise anyone who came across their first, which was a somewhat more conventional, melodic post rock affair (and absolutely lovely). The band features members of beloved postrock/indie troupe Radarmaker, and something of the toughter, punkier side of that long-lamented band takes over here at times, along with a looser approach to structure, and a general lean towards darker disturbing sound worlds. Altogether unmissable.

Richard Youngs - Memory Ain't No Decay (remixed by epic45) [Wayside & Woodland]
Richard Youngs - Not For My Eyes [Wayside & Woodland]
Richard Youngs - Memory Ain't No Decay (remixed by The Declining Winter) [Wayside & Woodland]
AMOR - Glimpses Across Thunder [Night School]
Thinking about it, Richard Youngs is a rather good fit for the aesthetic of the Wayside & Woodland label run by epic45. Youngs was asked by the label to create songs based on the label's interest in such topics as degradation of memory, decay, the beauty of abandoned builds and places... Youngs, with his idiosyncratic approach to songwriting, which so often recontextualises a kind of English folk with strange recording techniques, unique approaches to technology, and very drawn-out song structures, seems the perfect musical soul to approach these topics from an unusual angle. Alongside two long tracks and one shorter one on beautiful translucent red vinyl, there's a bonus CDR with the initial copies featuring remixes of the title track (which confoundingly didn't make it on to the release itself) from Wayside & Woodland-affiliated artists. From epic45 we get a mulched-up piece of burbling drone, while Richard Adams of The Declining Winter somehow reworks Youngs back into, well, Richard Youngs, with stretched out guitar samples and a clattering electronic beat behind his declamatory vocals.
Meanwhile Youngs has surprisingly appeared as a member of post-disco / disco revivalist quartet AMOR, a group that also features Michael Francis Duch (who we recently heard in experimental mode as part of ljerke) and artist Luke Fowler and drummer Paul Thomson of Franz Ferdinand. It's really lovely disco/proto-house of the sort Arthur Russell made, and suits Youngs' voice beautifully.

Stick In The Wheel - in the morning (feat. Anna Roberts-Gevalt) [From Here Records]
Eliza Carthy feat. Dizraeli - Aleppo in the Sun as it Was (EAN Remix) [Static Caravan/Stick In The Wheel Bandcamp]
Stick In The Wheel - As I Roved Out [From Here Records]
Stick In The Wheel - As I Roved Out (Om Unit remix) [From Here Records]
British folk act Stick In The Wheel manage to embody the rawness, anger and beauty of English folk perfectly - and they fit into all the folk festivals - while having unexpected roots in the UK electronic music scene, as members have long associations with dubstep iconoclasts Various Production. That connection is not in itself surprising, given the re-tooled folk sounds on even some of the earliest Various 7"s, but it is nice to hear the experimental and electronic elements creeping in around the edges of Stick In The Wheel's own music - whether it's in the auto-tuned vocals here and there, the acoustic drones present in some songs, or more explicit electronic production in particular on their recent mixtape This and the Memory of This, which features a stunning Om Unit remix of a track from their last album proper, Follow Them True. On one track Brookyln folk artist Anna Roberts-Gevalt contributes an evocative spoken word piece before the far-away song in the background becomes the foreground... Stick In The Wheel member Ian Carter, once of Various Production, makes dubstep/grime/drum'n'bass as EAN, and his remix 7" from 2017 includes a nice folktronic take on English folk singer Eliza Carthy's track with avant UK rapper Dizraeli. Great genre-agnostic stuff!

Listen again — ~202MB

Sunday, 6th of January, 2019

Playlist 06.01.19 (8:09 pm)

Nice mix of music, including totally NEW 2019 tunes already on the first Sunday of 2019!

LISTEN AGAIN to the new sounds of today! Stream on demand, FBi lets it be so! Podcast here.

Aphir - Mirror Garden (feat. Dear Laika) [Aphir Bandcamp]
Aphir - Nine Inch Spy (feat. Happy Axe) [Aphir Bandcamp]
It's a delight to have a new EP from Becki Whitton's Aphir to begin 2019 with. Like her previous Dyscircadian EP, each of these experimental pop tunes features a like-minded collaborator. Despite the EP's Magritte-punning title Ceci n'est pas une Pop, the tracks are definitely catchy. I'm looking forward to exploring Dear Laika soon, and of course Canberran violinist/singer/producer Happy Axe's album was one of my tops of 2018.

Nika Mo - Landscape longing [Nika Mo Bandcamp]
Nika Mo - My Mother's Scarf [Nika Mo Bandcamp]
Great Statue - Twenty-Fifth [Rathe Bandcamp]
Perth musician Annika Moses wears many hats. Under her own name she makes dense radiophonic works based around spoken word and field recordings, works which tend to be a bit too long for me to play here. But luckily she also makes some pretty amazing more-song-oriented music, under a couple of aliases (and that's not counting groups she's part of). Nika Mo finds Moses in "garage folk" land, with emotive folk songs wrapped up in some lovely experimental sound work (the rolling marbles at the end of "Landscape longing" are wonderful), while Great Statue is an outlet for more experimental, glitchy, electronic music while still working song in at times. Very much an artist to watch.
The Great Statue comes from a compilation called Impressions/Sequences put out by Perth collective Rathe last year that's highly recommended.

Alaska Orchestra - The Oloid (excerpt) [Alaska Orchestra Bandcamp]
The work of Megan Alice Clune and various collaborators, Alaska Orchestra is an ever-changing project which covers lots of musical ground. Here we heard the second half of a work from late 2017 called The Oloid - detailed live drone. Alaska Orchestra is playing next Saturday night (12th of January) at the first in a new eclectic, experimental night called Surfacing Series, at the "Down/Under Space" at Freda's in Chippendale - full disclosure, I'm playing too as raven, and check the link for the full, excellent lineup.

Elsen Price - Birth: The Spirit Begins [Elsen Price Bandcamp]
Sydney double bassist Elsen Price plays in various jazz & world ensembles, with indie musicians, and also as an accomplished solo musician - performing classical works, jazz, and his own solo improvisations & compositions, often with loop pedal. He has a new album in the works, with the wry title Death of the Spirit and the Rise of the Pointless, and this is the first single, available now and being launched at Johnston St Jazz on the 24th of January.

ljerke - Tsjilland [Eilean Records]
The Dutch-Norwegian audio-visual group ljerke is one of a few to centre around Kleefstra brothers Romke on guitar & effects and Jan, speaking his poetry in the Frisian language. For this project they're joined by a number of musicians including from Norway - the spellbinding trumpet & electronics of Hilde Marie Holsen, the live electronics of Alexander Rishaug and the double bass of Michael Francis Duch, by turns melodic and noisy.

Scandinavian Star - Candi [Posh Isolation]
Scandinavian Star - Regal V [Posh Isolation]
Malthe Fischer has been involved with Copenhagen label Posh Isolation for some time in the mastering/mixing front, and was a member of the semi-legendary Oh No Ono and more recently Lust For Youth. This solo project is a perfect expression of what Posh Isolation does - glitchy ambience, bassy beats, processed field recoridngs & acoustic instruments. Ostensibly based around the legend of the MS Scandinavian Star which tragically burned with 159 people on board (one apparently a convicted arsonist), it can be listened to without any knowledge of that connection as just a beautiful and varied piece of audio work.

Piet Dierickx - A brief history of everything [Consouling Sounds]
Piet Dierickx - Ambulance Du Ciel [Consouling Sounds]
Not a million miles from Scandinavian Star is the new solo work from Belgian musician Piet Dierickx. Dierickx has worked as dummer with Soulwax, and also drummer in some other Belgian groups, but really his background as a drummer doesn't stand out here, so much as his talent for electronics and sound design. There's beautiful glitchy, distorted piano, heavy synths and bass, and at times beats. A great solo debut, released right at the end of 2018 by Belgian heavy/experimental label Consouling Sounds.

Homemade Weapons and Red Army - Hellion Blue [Ohm Resistance]
This excellent heavy junglist drum'n'bass track from frequent US collaborators Homemade Weapons and Red Army comes from the current subscription series from venerable label Ohm Resistance, which has exclusive tracks on vinyl or just digital if you prefer from a big range of excellent artists. You can still subscribe, and get the previous releases as well as that which is still to come.

Hiro Kone - Truth That Silence Alone [DAIS Records/Hiro Kone Bandcamp]
Hiro Kone - Rukhsana (feat. Drew McDowall) [Geographic North]
Hiro Kone - Poortgebouw [Dais Records/Hiro Kone Bandcamp]
Electronic whiz and techno experimentalist Nicky Mao has made music under the pseudonym Hiro Kone for a while now, with releases going back to 2011, but in the last two years released two amazing albums as well as a collaboration with industrial/ambient legend Drew McDowall. Her latest, Pure Expenditure, was released on DAIS last year to some acclaim, and I came across it in some best of the year lists thankfully - focused techno and ambient, with a varied approach to rhythm and sonic evolution, which is also found on Love is the Capital, out through Geographic North in 2017. We heard a gorgeous techno track from that featuring Drew McDowall (unrelated to the collaboration from early in 2018). Very glad to be on board now with Hiro Kone! (cheers Norman Records)

JS Aurelius - All in Sync With All, and Me Cutting Through [iDEAL Recordings]
JH1.FS3 - At the Bottom of the Night [iDEAL Recordings]
Two tracks from an excellent compilation on iDEAL Recordings, run by Swedish experimental artist Joachim Nordwall. I'm ashamed to say I had this compilation on my radar for months last year but somehow never actually pressed the Purchase button until late in December - so here's the first couple of selections from what's actually a fantastic collection of drone, noise, glitches and techno. JS Aurelius is an excellent visual artist, musician and co-founder of Ascetic House, spot on label and anarchist political force. His track creeps up on you, starting with drones and growing into a sublime synthetic choir before tapering off with a field recording. Meanwhile, JH1.FS3 is the work of Frederikke Hoffmeier, best known as brilliant noise/industrial artist Puce Mary, alongside Jesse Sanes. Here it features comparatively un-harsh electronics and clean vocals from Hoffmeier - a beautiful piece.
I'll play some more from this compilation next week hopefully!

Listen again — ~193MB

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