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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, 16th of June, 2019

Playlist 16.06.19 (9:13 pm)

All Australian music tonight, as there's been quite a bit that's come my way of late! Classical composition, post-industrial electronica, experimental indie songwriting, club music bent out of shape...

LISTEN AGAIN for the local talent! Stream on demand from FBi, podcast here.

Erik Griswold & Camerata - Queensland's Chamber Orchestra - Humid hours [Harrigans Lane Collective]
Erik Griswold & Camerata - Queensland's Chamber Orchestra - Água do tempo [Harrigans Lane Collective]
Erik Griswold & Camerata - Queensland's Chamber Orchestra - Rock pools [Harrigans Lane Collective]
US-born musician Erik Griswold has been a resident of Brisbane for many years now. He's known for his wonderful prepared piano works, a number of which have been released on the Room40 label, but his newest release is a set of compositions which accompany his prepared piano with a string quartet, sourced from Queensland's Camerata chamber orchestra. Griswold's sometimes playful, sometimes contemplative prepared piano music is perfectly suited to the swooping gestures, harmonised legato chords and melodies of the strings.

Sebastian Field - To Your Arms [Provenance/Sebastian Field Bandcamp]
Sebastian Field - Chrysanthemum Stone [Provenance/Sebastian Field Bandcamp]
Canberran artist Sebastian Field used to play in a postrocky indie band called Cracked Actor, but has been putting together this solo work for some time now. He gained some renown for his falsetto solo cover of Björk's song "Unravel", and his new album Picture Stone - coming out later this month - is also primarily based around his shoegazey solo guitar and soft vocals. Each song was re-played into a characteristic (or unusual) space around Canberra - including Mt Stromlo Observatory, and also The Polish Club Men's Bathroom(!) - giving the album quite a hazy quality. The track I started with is one of the more upbeat ones, but I also love the somewhat more abstract loops and sounds of the instrumental I followed it with.
I've just discovered that this is being released on cassette as well as digital via Stuart Buchanan's recently-resurrected Provenance Records. Excellent!

skipism - Leon Meringue [Psychic Hysteria/Bandcamp]
skipism - Under a lurgie [Psychic Hysteria/Bandcamp]
the little hand of the faithful - Dark Digestive [Psychic Hysteria/Bandcamp]
the little hand of the faithful - As new as a new thing [Psychic Hysteria/Bandcamp]
Drusilla Jones (née Johnson) and Mitch Jones have been working together artistically for nearly 40 years now, with Dru involved around the traps when post-industrial group Scattered Order emerged in Sydney in the early '80s. Both have been members on and off through its entire history and reformation, but they've also worked on experimental, weird sounds in other configurations - including quite recently together as a duo under the name Lint! We recently heard Dru's collaboration with another Sydney experimental veteran Shane Fahey as whisker floater, and Mitch last year launched his solo project the little hand of the faithful with an album on Melbourne label Psychic Hysteria - digitally processed sampled beats, electronic textures, and sometimes guitars. The same label has just released this double cassette album Quiet // Disquiet, which finds Dru's Quiet / side (as skipism) a little quieter but certainly also disquieting, while Mitch's / Disquiet certainly edges into quieter territory now and then. And befitting a couple who've been working, living together and supporting each other for yonks, you can hear their creative processes bleeding into each other at times - glitchy beats, sampled double bass, spoken word samples and so on. It's lovely.

Joan Banoit - Pastoral Care [Lazy Thinking Records/Bandcamp]
Joan Banoit - Instigate [Lazy Thinking Records/Bandcamp]
Sydney artist Julian Bright aka Joan Banoit appeared a couple of years ago with some early releases, but has come into his own with this new album on Sydney label Lazy Thinking Records. Bright wrote, sang and played much of it, but worked closely with Lazy Thinking's Jim Flanagan aka Artefact, resulting in some pretty freewheeling sounds, drawing from James Blakeian glitchy vocals, footwork's fidgety beats, leftfield club music's bass and almost-orchestral brass (in the vein of These New Puritans) courtesy of Sydney stalwart James Greening.

Chokepoint - Break Our Teeth [Chokepoint Bandcamp]
Chokepoint - Heat Spy [Chokepoint Bandcamp]
Chokepoint - Scavengers [Chokepoint Bandcamp]
Nice to hear some very strange industrial/left-field electronics from Sydney. Chokepoint is the solo work of Joram Toth, who created this music from a software instruments & samples being randomly arpeggiated until he found configurations that sounded good to him. That said, it's still very thoughtfully constructed, and fits quite nicely with the deconstructed club music and vaporwavey sampling that's the go at the moment...

Air Max '97 - Xhrinicibles ft. LOFT [Decisions/Bandcamp]
Air Max '97 - Turgor [Decisions/Bandcamp]
The new EP from London-based Aussie artist Air Max '97 is released on the Decisions label that he co-runs with Jikuroux and SCAM. Deconstructed club music is the theme, but with Air Max '97 it's definitely aimed at getting the feet moving, with strange, twisted, skittery grooves that are somewhere between drum'n'bass, footwork, bass music and techno.
We only just heard from Mancunian artist LOFT with her new EP on Tri-Angle, and she's here inserting mashed breaks into the corners of "Xhrinicibles". Excellent stuff as always.

Daniel Arena - the museum [Daniel Arena Bandcamp]
Daniel Arena - we figured it out [Daniel Arena Bandcamp]
Sydney artist Daniel Arena recently released this album, which has the beautiful Borgesian title a map the size of the kingdom, began with productions inspired by an idm techno classic from LFO. It's got its fair share of maximalist techno tracks, but I've chosen a couple that are a little more downtempo/contemplative, including the lovely album closer "we figured it out". Daniel is launching this album at The Dock in Redfern next Sunday night, the 23rd of June.

Trovato - FM [self-released]
Sydney artist Antonio Trovato is influenced by drum'n'bass and sci-fi soundtracks, and his debut track is a little more dreamy than '90s jungle. A promising start, looking forward to more.

Tegan Northwood - Venus Conjunct Sun [to be self-released]
Tegan Northwood - Klu [to be self-released]
Sydney's Tegan Northwood has a couple of earlier albums under her belt that combine jangly guitar indiepop with electronics. Her newer stuff leans more on the electronic side - processed beats, electronic textures and her singing, producing something dreamy but propulsive, with one foot in '90s jangly indie and one in current day glitchy electronics. These tracks appear on the first of two EPs to come out from her this year, this one to be released in July. Tegan also convenes EMOM Sydney, which are Electronic Music Open Mic nights that usually happen at Hideaway Bar in Enmore - a fun thing to get down to if you're producing sounds yourself.

haddocks' eyes - thirty five feet [haddocks' eyes Bandcamp]
The mysterious project of Sydney/Adelaide/Aussie musician Benjow, haddocks' eyes can be almost anything - from electronically processed vocals singing beautiful songs with keyboard to fingerpicked folk guitars, outsider weirdness, and psychedelic freakouts like this one. The other most recent track, "your horrible little body", is over 22 minutes of catharsis, drum machines and distorted drone guitar.

Listen again — ~196MB

Sunday, 9th of June, 2019

Playlist 09.06.19 (9:10 pm)

Some dark and light electronica of various forms tonight, from ravey stabs to shoegazey pop, shuddering noise, industrial techno, and idm...

LISTEN AGAIN because you know it's best. Stream on demand from FBi or podcast from here.

Penelope Trappes - Connector (Aasthma Rework) [Houndstooth/Bandcamp]
Penelope Trappes - Maeve [Houndstooth/Bandcamp]
Penelope Trappes - Carry Me (Cosey Fanni Tutti Rework) [Houndstooth/Bandcamp]
Originally from the Northern Rivers of NSW, Penelope Trappes has lived in New York and then London over the last decade and a bit. She put out a notable album on Optimo Music a few years ago, and followed it up with a second on Houndstooth last year, full of mysterious textures, shoegazey tendencies and occasional echoey beats. The second album has now been remixed on Penelope Redeux by an array of interesting types, including Mogwai, Throwing Snow, Nik Colk Void and others. Aasthma is the duo of Peder Mannerfelt and Pär Grindvik, two house/techno legends from Sweden, who turn in a ravey, almost drum'n'bassy take on a highlight from the album. Another highlight is reworked in glitchy, cavernous fashion by industrial/electronic legend Cosey Fanni Tutti.

9T Antiope & Siavash Amini - Blue As In Bleeding [Hallow Ground/Bandcamp]
This affecting and disturbing work, entitled Harmistice, finds two Persian artists collaborating over the internet. Duo 9T Antiope, made up of violinist/producer Nima Aghiani and vocalist/producer Sara Bigdeli Shamloo are based Paris, while Siavash Amini lives in Tehran. Amini makes dense drone and noise, both as a solo artist and in various collaborations, notably with spoken word artist Matt Finney. This grouping seems almost inevitable - Amini's windswept surges of noise & drone interacting with Aghiani's crashing sounds and violin, over which Shamloo sings and speaks her nightmare of war and chaos. Shamloo's rich, melodic singing acts - as with 9T Antiope - as a contrast and grounding for the power electronics going on around her, but the album is intentionally challenging, its subject matter very real. As elements within the White House posture for sanctions or even war on Iran, the situation for the general population, predictably, becomes distressing. Amini expressed this viscerally recently in a Twitter thread.

Franck Vigroux - Baron [Aesthetical]
Franck Vigroux - non prénom [D'Autres Cordes]
Franck Vigroux - Capaupire [Aesthetical]
I first became aware of French artist Franck Vigroux through a collaborative album he made with the late Mika Vainio. Like Vainio and his celebrated duo Pan Sonic, Vigroux often works with heavy, distorted electronic sounds, although his earlier work camera police mixes in classical samples and processed vocals. In fact I hear some electric violin in the last track - also from new album Totem - alongside late-night bleepy techno.

JK Flesh - In Your Pit [Pressure/JK Flesh Bandcamp]
JK Flesh - In Your Pit (The Bug Remix) [Pressure/JK Flesh Bandcamp]
Just massively heavy, lugubriously slow industrial techno from JK Flesh, aka the genius Justin K Broadrick. He's a very longtime collaborator with Kevin Martin aka The Bug, so it's nice to have this new EP released on Martin's Pressure label, replete with a swaggering post-dubstep take from the man himself.

Miss Red - Don't Text Back [Pressure]
Miss Red - Loco [Pressure]
Also out now on Pressure, and produced as usual by The Bug, is new EP The Four Bodies from ex-pat Israeli MC Sharon Stern aka Miss Red. The four elements are taken as inspiration for these tracks - the submerged dub of "Don't Text Back" is water, and the dancehall stomper "Loco" is fire (as you can clearly hear from the lyrics!).

Plaid - Los [Warp]
Plaid - Angry Dolphin (excerpt) [Clear]
Plaid - shackbu [Warp]
Plaid - Manyme (feat. Mara Carlyle) [Warp]
Plaid - sömnl [Warp]
Plaid - Ropen [Warp]
Plaid - Ops [Warp]
In the early '90s Andy Turner and Ed Handley teamed up with Ken Downie for 5 years as part of pioneering British techno & idm group The Black Dog. Back in '91 they'd already released a duo album as Plaid, and in 1995 they split from Downie to do Plaid fulltime. The drill'n'bass track "Angry Dolphin" that I excerpted here comes from that time, but shortly afterwards they signed to Warp (who'd released a number of Black Dog albums too) and there they've remained for decades hence. They're multi-talented masters of production, from electro and techno numbers to jazzy beat juggling and tricksy harmonic progressions, with an endless talent for melody - but they'll also draw on acoustic instrumentation when needed, especially since their successful forays into soundtrack work since the early 2000s - not to mention their work with the extraordinary singer Mara Carlyle, culminating in her gorgeous first solo album The Lovely. After a period of concentrated soundtrack work, they released scintilli in 2011, and have put out an album every 2-3 years since, each full of classic Plaid sounds.

ISSHU - Demons Are Real [Seagrave/Bandcamp]
ISSHU - Smok [Tandem Tapes]
ISSHU - Heart Skipped [Seagrave/Bandcamp]
UK artist ISSHU has three cassettes now on the Seagrave label, each with fairly different focus, from murky techno or electro to the new one's '90s idm and in particular drill'n'bass and junglist contortions. It's got that melodic acid feel along with the beats, quite expertly done. I've been listening to this a lot and will no doubt be returning to it. And back in 2017, a track from ISSHU appeared on Jakarta-based ex-pat Aussie label Tandem Tapes, as part of the massive compilation For Headspace.

Dreadcore - Tripwire (feat. Theta) [Acroplane]
Keeping it drum'n'bass with a dark number from the new mini-album from Oslo's Dreadcore, released on veteran UK netlabel Acroplane. The album veers between drum'n'bass and dubstep/techno, cut up beats and heavy electronics and textures.

Wa?ste - f.4.i.t.h [Quantum Natives]
Wa?ste - ecstatic passage [Quantum Natives]
When I first came across Wa?ste on some compilations in the last year or two, I thought it was cool to find a new Australian artist working in the vapourwavey post-rave arena, but then I realised it's Felix Idle, who has previously released music as shisd - more ambient, indie, glitchy stuff. It's very nice to find this on the hyped Quantum Natives label, a world-spanning online collective doing future-focused electronic productions of various sorts.

Listen again — ~193MB

Sunday, 2nd of June, 2019

Playlist 02.06.19 (9:19 pm)

Selections ranging from impeccably arranged free jazz hybrids, Indian drum'n'bass, underground hip-hop, post-classical, and free noise...

LISTEN AGAIN for your weekly ear-massage. Stream on demand at FBi, podcast here.

Fire! Orchestra - (Beneath) The Edge of Life [Rune Grammofon]
Fire! Orchestra - Dressed In Smoke. Blown Away [Rune Grammofon]
Sweden's Fire! are a remarkable trio of jazz musicians who have worked across post-rock, noise and myriad other genres. They're comprised of Mats Gustafsson on saxophone (known for his massive sound and also his work with The Thing, who've notably collaborated with Neneh Cherry), bassist Johan Berthling (of many ensembles including post-rock/folk pioneers Tape, and his legendary Häpna label) and drummer Andreas Werliin. The latter is perhaps best known for his duo Wildbirds & Peacedrums with his partner Mariam Wallentin, whose extraordinary vocal interpretations and arrangements are so central to the expanded ensemble's work as Fire! Orchestra. In the past they've been a kind of free jazz big band, with massed horns alongside the driving, grooving bass (and often sax) riffage and ecstatic vocals. Here there are scraped and swooped strings, keys and of course the bassline riffs and wonderful vocals – with Wallentin joined by another luminary of the Swedish experimental / jazz scene, Sofia Jernberg. This is compulsive, compulsory listening, as we've learned to expect from this ensemble.

Danielle de Picciotto - Dark Butterfly [Louder Than War]
Danielle de Picciotto - Hail [Louder Than War]
For the last 9 years, Danielle de Picciotto has been an itinerant musician alongside her husband, Alexander Hacke from Einstürzende Neubauten. She moved to Berlin from NYC in 1987 and started the Love Parade, and also started the Ocean Club with Gudrun Gut – her influence runs deep. But the most recent albums from her have been collaborative "hackedepicciotto" releases, so it's wonderful to have this solo work, which combines electronic experimentation, her electric violin and her now very German-influenced American vocals. I heard some solo work of hers as part of Gudrun Gut's Monika Werkstatt program, and it's great to hear the promise of those works come to fruition here.

The Brazilian Gentleman - Soda [Lazy Thinking/Bandcamp]
dälek - Swollen Tongue Burns [Gern Blandsten]
End Xian - Beseech (Young Aundee's Reach For Blood) [Halfpear Records]
End Christian - Great Escapes [Corpse Flower Records]
The Brazilian Gentleman - Janky [Lazy Thinking/Bandcamp]
Forthcoming on Sydney label Lazy Thinking in a week or so (a bit of a coup for a local label) is Philadelphia group The Brazilian Gentleman's debut album. This very-hard-to-pin-down band is made up of Christian McKenna (aka Christian Alexander, of psych/post-metal band Hex Inverter and before that post-hardcore band Empty Flowers), and beat-maker Alap Momin, best known as Oktopus from noise-hop pioneers dälek (more recently resurrected without him), along with Evan Schneider. All are members of End Christian, itself a nearly uncategorizable mix of metal, industrial, r'n'b, electronic pop and glitch elements. This seems to be a subset and even looser than the parent band, and I'm not complaining! I thought we should hear some of the earliest work of Momin with dälek (already weird and drawing from noise and shoegaze as much as hip-hop's boom bap), and McKenna's earlier work as End Xian as well as the fantastic Bach Part One album of the full End Christian band from last year. I strongly recommend checking out the strange world of The Brazilian Gentleman when it drops next week (maybe hit "Follow" on that Bandcamp?).

Billy Woods / Kenny Segal - houthi [Backwoodz Studioz/Bandcamp]
Billy Woods / Kenny Segal - steak knives [Backwoodz Studioz/Bandcamp]
Billy Woods / Kenny Segal - checkpoints [Backwoodz Studioz/Bandcamp]
This emphatically odd underground hip-hop gear comes from two really important players in the hip-hop scenes on the two sides of the US. Billy Woods grew up in Africa & the West Indies but has now become part of the New York hip-hop scene, with his duo Armand Hammer with Elucid and his solo work, released on his own Backwoodz Studioz. Kenny Segal started out as a drum'n'bass DJ and has been an oft-sighted producer in the LA leftfield hip-hop scene for many years. Their styles fit perfectly together, with Woods' speed-of-thought commentary on the fucked-up state of America & the world knocked about by Segal's warped samples and beats that recall early Anticon from a contemporary perspective.

Sarathy Korwar feat. MC Malawi - Mumbay (Bandish Projekt remix) [The Leaf Label/Bandcamp]
Bridging hip-hop, jazz, electronica and Indian music is the new single from Sarathy Korwar, who was joined by MC Malawi of Mumbay collective Swadesi for the recent single "Mumbay", which is now remixed into techy, flittering bass/drum'n'bass by Indian electronic crew Bandish Projekt.

Resina - In In (Ben Frost remix) [130701/Bandcamp]
Resina - In (Ian William Craig remix) [130701/Bandcamp]
Polish cellist Karolina Rec aka Resina has released two beautiful albums of cello and sometimes vocal looping on 130701, the post-classical sub-label of Fat Cat Records. Last year those of us who made it to Unsound Adelaide were lucky to see her perform live tracks from her Traces album of last year. Now she's released an EP with four remixes from that album, including a typically surging, bass-heavy version from Adelaide ex-pat Ben Frost (who was also at Unsound), and some exquisite tape manipulation and additional vocals from Ian William Craig.

The Phonometrician - We're Burning [Lost Tribe Sound/Bandcamp]
The Phonometrician - Here Comes the Storm [Lost Tribe Sound/Bandcamp]
Originally from Mexico City, now LA-based Carlos Morales creates sound design and soundtracks and releases music as The Phonometrician. His latest album Mnemosyne (Greek goddess of memory) has just been released in a lush CD edition and digital from Lost Tribe Sound. It features fingerpicked guitar in amongst acoustic samples, field recordings and rhythmic beds. It's engrossing and beautifully constructed.

Petrels - Elyas Anais [Denovali/Bandcamp]
Petrels - Telos [Denovali/Bandcamp]
Oliver Barrett has featured regularly on this show for over a decade, since his first extraordinary release as Bleeding Heart Narrative. BHN became a band and then broke up, making way for Petrels again as a solo project, then band, then solo project again. It's psychedelic, it's freak folk of sorts, it's krautrock and noise and who knows what else - Barrett has also released a series of EPs under his own name of extended technique experiments on his cello, and he's an accomplished artist & illustrator. It's excellent to have a new album of intoxicating song from him.

Wolfpanther - Varg Gnister [Wolfpanther Bandcamp]
Adelaide-based experimental/outsider musician Stu Johnson aka Wolfpanther has self-released myriad configurations of very strange music over the years, as Wolfpanther and before that Marxist Real Estate - music unfettered by any assumptions about production technique or instrumentation, and all the better for it. The new Wolfpanther EP is available for free on his Bandcamp, and features three tracks discovered on his hard drive. The piece here was apparently reconstructed from sounds by Adelaide postrock/electronic group Sparkspitter.

Listen again — ~188MB

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