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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.

Tuesday, 21st of June, 2022

Playlist 19.06.22 (12:59 am)

Dark dubby techno / dubstep / grime / drill tonight, but also jittery idm and classical electronic fusion.

LISTEN AGAIN with FBi on the stream-on-demands, or podcast here, for pure pleasure.

Blackhaine - Prayer (ft. Iceboy Violet & Blood Orange) [Fixed Abode/Bandcamp]
Blackhaine - Armour Freestyle [Fixed Abode/Bandcamp]
So here's the new EP from Lancashire's Blackhaine, the rapper, choreographer & dancer who named himself in part after the incendiary French movie La Haine (Hate). With cohort Rainy Miller and also Croww on this EP underlining and entwining his anguished howls and poetry with industrial menace, Blackhaine (aka Tom Heyes) gives visceral voice to the depressing realities of working class life in post-Brexit England. Armour II careens between intense industrial throbs and no-less intense quietude, with guests Iceboy Violet & Blood Orange adding additional points of view on "Prayer".

Azu Tiwaline - Deep Theko [I.O.T/Bandcamp]
Azu Tiwaline x Cinna Peyghamy - Lowww [I.O.T/Bandcamp]
Azu Tiwaline & Al Wootton - Light Transmission [Livity Sound/Bandcamp]
French DJ & producer Azu Tiwaline is expert at dub-techno and uk bass storytelling, with sounds from her Saharan Tunisian roots combining to create something unique. On her solo EP for Livity Sound in 2020, she collaborated also with French-Iranian percussionist Cinna Peyghamy, who appears here also on Vesta, her new EP on her own I.O.T Records. Deep dub textures and beats. Earlier this year Azu Tiwaline collaborated with Al Wootton for a follow-up on Livity Sound, dub/bass beats both syncopated and 4/4...

Holy Tongue - River Cannot Wash it Away [Amidah Records/Valentina Magaletti Bandcamp]
Holy Tongue - Spirit Mask [Amidah Records/Valentina Magaletti Bandcamp]
Meanwhile, there's a third EP from Holy Tongue, Al Wootton's continuing duo with Valentina Magaletti. As with their previous two releases, this is stripped-down live dub, with Magaletti's muscular drum kit and Wootton's electric basslines and plenty of dub delays throughout.

Low End Activist ft. Emz - Get Get [Sneaker Social Club]
Low End Activist - Parity [Sneaker Social Club]
Jamie Russell is a very busy man of many aliases. Not only does he run co-run Hypercolour Records, he also helms the incredible Sneaker Social Club, and although it's difficult to unravel it all, he is also the man behind Low End Activist, sometimes also aka Patrick Conway, one half of Trinity Carbon, and somewhere in there he runs a bunch of other labels too. Across all of this, Russell covers just about every electronic genre, and Low End Activist is there for everything on the 'ardcore continuum, from jungle through to grimey dubstep and all that wotnot. There are a bunch of great grime MCs on his new album Hostile Utopia, including a heavy hitter from Killa P, but it seems to me that "Get Get", featuring Emz, is a real hit.

Slikback - GEOMETRY [Slikback Bandcamp]
Nairobi's Slikback won't stop either. Every month at least, there's a few new tracks on his Bandcamp, very internet dance music, rhythmic stuff of all sorts and also hi-tech ambient biz. Always rad.

JK Flesh - Human/Nature [KR3 Records/Bandcamp]
The don Justin K Broadrick, of Godflesh, Jesu and a billion other incarnations, has been churning out acerbic, bracing techno under his JK Flesh for some years now. The latest is Veneer of Tolerance for Italy's KR3 Records, with the usual 4/4 beats of at various tempos dark textures and dark outlook.

tsx - squidge feat. Sue Tompkins [generate and test/Bandcamp]
tsx - know you don't [generate and test/Bandcamp]
Oswald Berthold is a member of the legendary Farmers Manual, who started their glitching, generative techno/idm/breakbeat work in the mid-'90s, pioneered net labels and webcasts before they were a thing, and are now releasing idiosyncratic idm & related music on their generate and test label through Bandcamp. Solo, Berthold has been releasing glitchy beats under the name tsx (it stands for different things depending where you look), at times with collaborators like English performance artists Sue Tompkins and the mysterious psygod. It's all good and worth checking out.

Bienoise - FFF THIS MEANING TODAY [Mille Plateaux]
Bienoise - LAC - Silence Half Speed [Mille Plateaux]
Piedmontese musician Alberto Ricca is Bienoise. He's studied electronic music, and now teaches it too, and his album THIS MEANING TODAY has a typically elusive philosophical concept as per Mille Plateaux' usual tendencies. As well as intense stuttery barrages, there's a rather beautiful Autechrian ambient piece.

Luis & Lis Dalton - timmy chalamet [AD 93/Bandcamp]
Luis - or anyone said it [AD 93/Bandcamp]
New York house master DJ Python revives little-used alias Luis for an EP of delightful Boards of Canada-style idm for AD 93 titled 053 (Schwyn). The most BoC-like is named for the equally pretty Timmy Chalamet, and is a collaboration with UK's Lis Dalton.

Florent Ghys - Quatre Fromages [Cantaloupe/Bandcamp]
Florent Ghys - Météos [Cantaloupe/Bandcamp]
Florent Ghys - Véranda [Cantaloupe/Bandcamp]
French musician Florent Ghys is a composer, double bassist, electronic musician and video artist. He's a longtime Bang on a Can collaborator, so it's no surprise to find his latest album released on the New York collective's Cantaloupe label. It's two albums, Ritournelles released on CD and the accompanying digital Mosaïques (tracks from both will appear on a special vinyl edition later in the year). The former album focuses on double bass and other instruments, but they're often sampled and edited into complex tapestries, while the latter is more electronic, with Ghys' penchant for sampled speech coming to the fore, but there's also plenty of double bass on that album too. They're cut from the same cloth, and are well taken together. Fans of The Books will love what they find here - a wonderful revelation.

Flora Wong - Heroes (Movements I II) [Corella Recordings/Bandcamp]
Fans of The Books will also appreciate the work of Brisbane's MJ O'Neill, performed by Brisvegan violinist Flora Wong on her solo album of recent Australian compositions, Geburtstag, released on new label Corella Recordings run out of the University of Queensland School of Music. All the works are very creative and somewhat transgressive, performed with gusto by Wong, and "Heroes" juxtaposes Wong's looped violin with samples from school climate strikers arguing passionately for a future they're being denied.

Frances Shelley - For Now We See Darkly (Drexler Rework) [Drexler Bandcamp]
Finishing with a lovely piece of neo-classical piano meeting with electronics when London-based ex-Sydney composer Drexler reworks a track by UK composer & pianist Frances Shelley. It's a nice follow-up to Drexler's debut album and accompanying remixes from 2020.

Listen again — ~206MB


Saturday, 18th of June, 2022

Playlist 12.06.22 (12:56 am)

From idm to sound-art, classical-referencing electronica to experimental classical...

It's never too late to LISTEN AGAIN! Stream on demand on the FBi website, podcast here.

µ-Ziq - Turquoise Hyperfizz [Planet µ/Bandcamp]
µ-Ziq - Uncle Daddy [Planet µ/Bandcamp]
So here it is, the album we've been waiting for... While in a scant few weeks Mike Paradinas' own Planet µ will be re-releasing his classic µ-Ziq album Lunatic Harness for its 25th anniversary, Paradinas was inspired while collating & remastering the album & bonus EP tracks to create a whole slew of new tracks inspired by jungle & hardcore and Paradinas' penchant for melding melody with harshness. So now we get Magic Pony Ride, whose saccharin title partially describes the contents: his trademark melodies, sampled female vocals (as stand-ins for jungle divas?), lots of prettiness and lots of chaotic breakbeats in the style of the idm & drill'n'bass that µ-Ziq was a beloved pioneer of alongside Squarepusher, Aphex Twin, Luke Vibert et al. It's an absolute delight. I'll no doubt revisit it when we get the remaster of one of my favourite idm albums of all time, coming very soon...

Osheyack - Usually Never [SVBKVLT]
Osheyack - Piecemeal [SVBKVLT]
It's hard to imagine that the US-born, Shanghai-based Eli Osheyack isn't influenced in some way by the post-club experiments of µ-Ziq and co, a couple of decades down the line. The second album from Osheyack comes courtesy of Shanghai-based SVBKVLT, and concerns itself with Intimate Publics, a concept from American scholar Lauren Berlant which describes the social spaces inhabited by people with shared interests - and the contradictions and challenges inherent therein. Osheyack's music emodies the contradictions of "deconstructed club music", built from body-moving bass and beats, but wrong-footing the listener with stylistic mashups and glitches. It's a lot of fun, and as the album progresses I enjoyed the synth strings which reminded me a lot of µ-Ziq's faux-classical pieces.

Gabriel Prokofiev - HOWL! III – Swarm [Oscillations/Bandcamp]
Gabriel Prokofiev - HOWL! – Afterlude [Oscillations/Bandcamp]
British composer Gabriel Prokofiev is a founder of the Nonclassical, and came to my notice with the label's earliest releases, with composed works for string quartet, piano etc accompanied by remixes from artists in the dubstep, club and idm spectrum. Despite this long-running interest in electronic music, his new EP HOWL!, named for the Allen Ginsberg poem, seems like the most pure expression of electronic music I've heard from him - previously he's mutated samples of his own compositions and remixed his own and other's work, but the pieces here are primarily produced on an ARP Odyssey Synthesiser, processed on computer into an energetic set of abstract rhythmic tracks.

Ben Peers - Lupoca [Ben Peers Bandcamp]
A number of Ben Peers's works have described in their titles or release notes the generative concepts behind the music - iterative versions of pieces for modular synths and drum machines etc. But the three tracks on Cold Slad are just... music. Generative pieces almost definitely, with the characteristic sound Peers has developed, coming together very musically here.

T. Gowdy - Déneigeuse [Constellation/Bandcamp]
T. Gowdy - Transcend I [Constellation/Bandcamp]
Montréal producer T. Gowdy follows up his previous album on Constellation with another work of flickering synths and rhythms. It's a shimmery, often beatless, kind of techno, inspired by visuals as much as music, and although the music on Miracles is connected to an installation work concerned with surveillance technology, it's not too far from the sound of his previous work - not a bad thing at all, mind you!

Nightswimmer & Scanner - The Machinist [Shifting Sounds/Scanner Bandcamp]
Nightswimmer & Scanner - Subaqueous [Shifting Sounds/Scanner Bandcamp]
Here are some unearthed recordings that Robin Rimbaud aka Scanner made around 2001-2002 with Melbourne-based musician Andrew Day aka Nightswimmer. Red Sails, now available on Scanner's Bandcamp with a bonus track, is the kind of dubby ambient/techno/breaks that is essentially timeless. No deconstructed dancefloors or growling industrial subs here, perhaps, but nothing particularly dated either.

Maral & Lara Sarkissian - entropy & kindness [Maral Bandcamp]
New track "entropy & kindness" is the first collaboration between Iranian-American Maral & Armenian-American Lara Sarkissian. It's a strange slow-moving piece of chunky beats and mutated melodies drawn from the two women's homelands. We can only hope there's more coming from this partnership.

Nobuka - Miniatüre 03 [Difficult Art And Music]
Nobuka - Miniatüre 04 [Difficult Art And Music]
Nobuka - Miniatüre 08 [Difficult Art And Music]
Nobuka - Miniatüre 17 [Difficult Art And Music]
Nobuka - The people (w/ Machinefabriek) [Esc.rec./Bandcamp]
Last year I was introduced to the music of Dutch sound-artist Nobuka aka Michel van Collenburg via his beautiful concept album Reiko released by Esc.rec.. Now UK label Difficult Art And Music brings us a suite of compositions entitled Miniatüre. Each miniatüre is under 3 minutes - some a lot shorter - and tends to be based around one instrument, whether it's strings or stretched out electric guitar or percussion, but then sometimes surprises occur, like the free jazz breakbeats that shatter the end of one track. Whether it's contemporary composition, sound-art, drone or lo-fi, it's considered and compelling, not nearly as "difficult" as the label's name might imply.

Timothy Fairless - Wavemaking (excerpt) [Flaming Pines/Bandcamp]
Brisbane artist Timothy Fairless graced us with the remarkable album Common Electric Glare last year, combining industrial drone with acoustic instruments in unusual ways. New album Rising Water is in some ways even more adventurous, however. In the wake of the horrific flooding across Queensland and northern NSW last summer, Fairless composed this suite of three long tracks entirely using the sounds of glasses filled with water. And while there are lots of gorgeous wobbling, warping submerged drones, there is also the clatter & crash that reminds us of the implacable destructive power of water. A powerful & engrossing work.

Claudia Molitor - Change [Nonclassical/Bandcamp]
Claudia Molitor - I am chilled [Nonclassical/Bandcamp]
Utterly idiosyncratic is the work of English-German composer & sound-artist Claudia Molitor. Well-versed in composing for orchestra, chamber groups or solo instruments as well as creating installation works and other sound-art, here Molitor is working at song length, often indeed writing songs - but with field recordings or abstract drones at their base, contemporary poetry sometimes forming the lyrics, and avant-garde composition rubbing up against songwriting. A must for connoisseurs of strange music.

Patrick Shiroishi - Waiting for Friends at Tokyo Station [American Dreams/Bandcamp]
Devin Shaffer - Cryotherapy [American Dreams/Bandcamp]
The American Dreams label is home to experimental music of all stripes, and here presents a compilation of mostly ambient music from mostly artists associated with the label. In The Deep Drift You Will Find The Most Serene Of Lullabies allows artists to create music outside of their usual comfort zone too, thus Los Angeles saxophonist Patrick Shiroishi combines a field recording with gorgeous layers of reeds on "Waiting for Friends at Tokyo Station". Meanwhile Chicago experimental songwriter Devin Shaffer allows a song to emerge from ambient layers of guitar.

Silvia Tarozzi & Deborah Walker - Il bersagliere ha cento penne [Unseen Worlds/Bandcamp]
Silvia Tarozzi & Deborah Walker - Tita [Unseen Worlds/Bandcamp]
In 2020, US label Unseen Worlds released a remarkable album from Italian violinist, singer & composer Silvia Tarozzi somewhere between folk, jazz & modern composition. On Canti di guerra, di lavoro e d'amore ("Songs of war, work and love") Tarozzi joins with cellist Deborah Walker to present a collection of music inspired by folk songs from rural Emilia which came from working class women involved with the partisan resistance in World War II, including songs sung by choirs of female rice field workers. Tarozzi and Walker grew up with this music, but are now both highly experienced within contemporary composition and improvisation, working regularly with the likes of Eliane Radigue, and thus these traditional, political, working songs are couched in extended instrumental and vocal techniques - but the songs are also allowed to shine.

Matthew Bourne - Dušan [The Leaf Label/Bandcamp]
Matthew Bourne - Jane [The Leaf Label/Bandcamp]
Here's a small collection of recordings by British contemporary pianist Matthew Bourne for prepared piano, recorded in one improvisatory session after creating a substantial film soundtrack with the same piano setup. The pieces range from challenging to touching, with the usual percussive and pitch-altering effects of piano preparation. A studio afterthought it may be, but it's proof that Bourne is a consummate musician.

Gregory Paul Mineeff - Orientation [Cosmic Leaf/Bandcamp]
Gregory Paul Mineeff - Walking Away [Cosmic Leaf/Bandcamp]
Finishing tonight with a local pianist and synth player, Wollongong's Gregory Paul Mineeff, whose latest album Incidental finds him continuing his talent for post-classical (or is it "neo-classical" now?) piano works and dreamy synth pieces with analogue effects - but here "Incidental" indicates that the music is intended as incidental music for films or documentaries. It's a space which Mineeff would excel in, so hopefully someone will take this album as a kind of calling card. In any case, it's very emotive listening on its own.

Listen again — ~193MB


Thursday, 9th of June, 2022

Playlist 05.06.22 (12:47 am)

Lots of shimmery, shuddery, clattery electronic music tonight, with side quests into indie and postrock and even post-classical...

LISTEN AGAIN if you dare! Podcast here, or stream on demand at the FBi website.

Saajtak - Mightier Mountains Have Crumbled [American Dreams/Bandcamp]
Saajtak - Theres a Leak in the Shielding [American Dreams/Bandcamp]
From improvising and experimental roots, and a series of self-released EPs, the Detroit/Brooklyn quartet Saajtak now release their debut album For the Makers on the experimental label American Dreams. These are elastic songs, sometimes almost conventional, then ducking off into escapades of incendiary live-drum'n'bass drumming from Jonathan Barahal Taylor or electronics or chamber jazz. Alex Koi's vocals can recall the melodic invention of My Brightest Diamond's Shara Nova (with whom she has worked), so that even the most unconventional tracks have a catchiness to them that makes the experimental approachable. Hopefully this album helps the band take off.

Aquarian - pPPRISM [Dekmantel/Bandcamp]
Aquarian - If U Wanna [Dekmantel/Bandcamp]
The first Mutations EP from Berlin-based, Canadian-born Aquarian was a joyful amalgam of jungle, idm, techno and electro - and Mutations II: Delicious Intent follows swiftly on its footsteps. Complex beats and skitter and bounce, phat basslines snarl and pounce. High recommendation for both these EPs.

Subjects - Alone [Deep Jungle]
Lee Bogush aka DJ Harmony's Deep Jungle label has specialised in releasing quality vinyl (and digital) of rare and unreleased jungle tracks from the '90s, remastered off artists' original DATs. But they also release new jungle from old and new artists, and Subjects have been one of the most consistent purveyors of well-produced dancefloor fillers. No exception with this latest, killer beats on both sides.

Kode9 - Torus [Hyperdub/Bandcamp]
Hyperdub boss-man, influential writer and DJ Kode9 only sneaks his own music out every few years, but despite his wide-ranging interests, there's something about the sound that's quite distinctive: computer game bleeps and a kind of highly strung jitteriness, and a strange (and effective) focus on the high end considering the bass-heavy genres he tends to work in. "Torus" is the first single from new album Escapology, which apparently is club-oriented reworks of a soundtrack to a piece of audio-fiction coming out on a Hyperdub sub-label soon, so we'll see what that's all about - but this track is a nice mix of footwork influences in a dubstep framework, thereabouts.

Dome Zero - Gut Rot [All Centre]
Oskar Jeff is a music writer based in the UK, and as Dome Zero, Chewing the Scenery is his first solo release, an EP out through the excellent London label All Centre. Each track is at a different tempo, but it all draws from the jungle/dubstep/techno continuum, with nicely technical beats and a body-moving momentum.

NORA DRUM - Rek [early reflex]
diessa - Day After the Last Day [early reflex]
Turin-based label early reflex, run by Alec Pace, has a similar focus to All Centre on experimental UK club/bass styles, and their Flex003 is an opportunity to feature a bunch of young artists across genres from techno to dubstep to jungle. And there's a distinct Australian connection there, so we get a rad jungle/techno crossover from Brisbane's NORA DRUM, and then something like dubstep with jungle breaks from Sheffield-based diessa.

V.I.V.E.K - COLOURS [System Music/Bandcamp]
Speaking of dubstep, V.I.V.E.K has been in the game since back when dubstep broke, and reliably drops core dubstep on the reg, but for his new EP COLOURS, while it's not exactly not dubstep, he's freed himself up for syncopated jazzy influences a la Silkie, and broken beats a la uk garage as well. Vibrant and emotional.

Kenji Araki - Nabelschnurtanz [Affine Records/Bandcamp]
Kenji Araki - Matter ft. Thomas Mertlseder [Affine Records/Bandcamp]
Leidenzwang, the debut album from the Austria-based artist Kenji Araki, shares a little of Araki's Japanese heritage in its refusal to settle into any genre expectations. Although post-club experimental electronics are at the fore, there are tracks with an almost pop aesthetic, distorted guitars and double bass, glitchy piano and more.

Orson Hentschel - Antenna Window [Denovali/Bandcamp]
Orson Hentschel - Heavy Light [Denovali/Bandcamp]
Four albums in on the Denovali label, German composer Orson Hentschel continues to be fascinated by flickering light and flickering audio, albeit this time inspired by the emptiness of Berlin during Covid lockdown. His shuddering synths and skittering beats are all present and correct here, but the release is also accompanied by a short film by Hentschel in which dancer Michelle Cheung moves around the empty streets and tunnels of Berlin.

Glass House Mountain - Perspective I [self-released]
Speaking of visuals with music, the debut by Melbourne duo Glass House Mountain is a great piece of motorik synth-postrock, but it's enhanced further by the excellent video, recorded in Covid lockdown by the two members separately and outside. The video's conceit is clever and beautifully executed - go watch!

Pheno - Shadow in the Water (Nick Wales remix) [self-released]
Canberra-based musician Jess Green is jazz-trained and has played guitar with many diverse groups & musicians like The catholics, Deborah Conway, Renee Geyer and many others, as well as recording music for TV and dance productions. Her alter-ego Pheno is an outlet for alt-pop singer-songwriting, and here she's remixed by Sydney composer/violist/producer Nick Wales of CODA, into a nice slab of acid-house indiepop. These acts are taking part in a multi-day VIVID Sydney-affiliated event called Happenings this Friday to Sunday 10-12 June, featuring queer artists in classical/electronic crossover.

Alessandro Baris - Nival (feat. Lisa Papineau) [Otono/Bandcamp]
Alessandro Baris - Last Letter to Jayne (feat. Lee Ranaldo) [Otono/Bandcamp]
Italian-American musician Alessandro Baris' new album Sintesi starts with a slight misidrection: the muted piano & gentle electronics of "Unheard" might suggest a polite post-classical opus. But it's followed by the touching collaboration with Sonic Youth's Lee Ranaldo, speaking and singing over drawn-out electronic pads, then low-key synths underscoring the emotive vocals of Emma Nolde. Things get even more upbeat & hectic on the following track, and then Lisa Papineau's doubled vocals are accompanied Jon Hopkins-style with gentle electronics - and Baris closes the album with big live drums and his own rhythmic vocals.

Jim Perkins & Leah Kardos - The Menagerie - Rework [bigo & twigetti/Bandcamp]
UK post-classical label bigo & twigetti's founder Jim Perkins released his solo opus Immersed in Clouds last year - a collection of solo violin works performed by Anna de Bruin. Following it is a selection of four remixes, Immersed in Clouds Reworks, and the highlight for me is from ex-pat Aussie Leah Kardos, which builds out of an almost imperceptible drone into a kind of illusory orchestra and fluttery glitches.

Kris Keogh - Inimitate [Muzan Editions/Bandcamp]
Kris Keogh - Envolve [Muzan Editions/Bandcamp]
Northern Territory-based Kris Keogh used to make fun breakcore & IDM stuff under the name Blastcorp, but for some time now his primary output, under his own name, has been Processed Harp Works. It's literally what it says it is, and has tended towards the impressionist, with sparkling harp pieces sent through granular processes to produce glitchy clouds of sound. Processed Harp Works, Volume 3 is released through boutique Japanese label Muzan Editions, and seems to me his best work yet - genuinely touching compositions and judicious use of processing. Well worth immersing yourself.

Listen again — ~207MB


Friday, 3rd of June, 2022

Playlist 29.05.22 (1:04 am)

Experimental sounds from hip-hop to folk.

LISTEN AGAIN to the sounds of now. Podcast here, stream on demand @ FBi's website.

700 Bliss - Nothing To Declare [Hyperdub/Bandcamp]
700 Bliss - Bless Grips [Hyperdub/Bandcamp]
Finally, Moor Mother & DJ Haram's debut album as 700 Bliss, Nothing To Declare, has arrived from Hyperdub. The Philadelphia musicians are a great pairing. Moor Mother is comfortable in her usually gruff raps with hip-hop, punk, free jazz, metal and no doubt more; DJ Haram merges her Middle Eastern roots into club sounds, lo-fi hip-hop, noise and whatever else takes her fancy, and raps as well at times - e.g. on "Bless Grips", which turns the macho aggression of Death Grips on its head. I've played a couple of the collaborations earlier this year - guests adding r'n'b tinges, angelic autotuned melodies and glitched breakbeats - but the talents of the duo are such that there's hardly any repetition here, and no slackening of pace or interest, even in the tongue-in-cheek skits.

Eks - Swerve on It (feat. Sensational) [A Flooded Need/Bandcamp]
Ex-Kamotàa - Untitled [A Flooded Need/Bandcamp]
Italian label A Flooded Need was co-founded by two friends in Naples (one of whom is experimental electronic producer Nocturnerror) a few years ago, releasing a mix of skittery IDM beats, industrial sounds and uneasy ambient. That's very much the go on their new compilation Tedium, curated by the label along with fellow Neapolitan Eks. The album's spread is neatly summed up in Eks's track with experimental rapper Sensational, which goes from crunchy IDM-hop to industrial noise to crackly soundscaping. Meanwhile I have no info on Ex-Kamotàa, but their lovely Untitled track closes the comp with classical vocals, sub-bass thrums and grainy tones.

Stick In The Wheel - Jon1st x SITW - Let No Man Steal Your Thyme [Stick In The Wheel Bandcamp]
Stick In The Wheel - Nabihah Iqbal x SITW - The Milkmaid [Stick In The Wheel Bandcamp]
Currently described on their Bandcamp as "Medieval Kraftwerk", Stick In The Wheel are equally able to recreate English folk with raw acoustic authenticity, or turn that rawness in directions of punk, or members' roots in dubstep and club/IDM music. In between albums proper, if they can be divided up that way, are mixtapes where they are free to reach further afield, and the collaborative aspect of those is at the fore for their latest, Perspectives on Tradition. The tracks here come from a creative/research project in the folk music library/audio archive at Cecil Sharp House in London, with three artists chosen to guarantee leftfield approaches: DMC scratch DJ Jon1st, versatile producer/musician/broadcaster Nabihah Iqbal and Metronomy member Olugbenga Adelekan. Iqbal's treatment of the traditional tune "The Milkmaid" features her sensitive piano with the touching, straightforward vocals of SITW's Nicola Kearey, while Jon1st turns "Let No Man Steal Your Thyme" (famously covered by '60s folk-revivalists Pentangle) into glitchy frenetic techno.

Tullis Rennie - A Response [Accidental Records/Bandcamp]
Tullis Rennie - Gnapback [Accidental Records/Bandcamp]
Matthew Herbert's Accidental Records is already home for like-minded musicians making experimental sounds with glitchy samples and leftfield pop sensibilities. For Accidental Jr they focus on techno, house and dance gear of an off-beat nature, but now comes "Room 2", which takes the Jr aesthetic away from the dancefloor. Tullis Rennie is a trombonist and electronic producer, but also a writer, academic, field recordist and composer. His Fixed Freedoms mini-album uses slice-of-life field recordings in amongst emotive electric piano/synth works and crunchy beats.

General Magic - I was no [generate and test/Bandcamp]
Ramon Bauer and Andi Pieper were really pioneers of the European glitch music, the experimental electronic music centred around the Mego label they founded with the late Peter Rehberg. Together with Rehberg as General Magic and Pita, they created Fridge Trax, and nothing was ever quite the same. I'm deeply fond of their debut album Frantz, recently reissued on vinyl, but it's a nice surprise to find Farmers Manual's generate and test releasing some genuinely new music from them in the form of Softbop, a little EP of very glitchy beats. Please let there be more.

Lakker - PLUR [Lakker Bandcamp]
The monthly rave-influenced EPs from Dublin duo Lakker continue with LKRTRX005. I particularly enjoyed the breakbeat techno of "PLUR" this time round.

Mako - Raisuma [Samurai Music/Bandcamp]
Mako - Flip It [Metalheadz/Bandcamp]
Mako - We Can Love All [Samurai Music/Bandcamp]
Bristol's Stephen Redmore aka Mako runs drum'n'bass label Utopia and is at home on Metalheadz, with album Oeuvre released in 2020, and another for that label on the way. Meanwhile he's just also released an album on the Berlin-based Samurai Music, and it's very much tailored to the Samurai sound - stripped back, with focus on tribal, syncopated beats, at most slivers of melody, and occasional storms of breaks. It's a dark trip.

Brandon Juhans - Gradually [Embalming Lately]
The last album from Brandon Juhans (fka HANZ) was in 2020, but this track from NYC tape label Embalming Lately's backward el.egy compilation shows he's still up to his usual tricks: dizzying fragments of beats and samples compete rhythmically/arrythmically in the soundstage. Sincerely strange.

Match Fixer - smiling ii [Match Fixer Bandcamp]
Melbourne's Andrew Cowie used to be Angel Eyes but he's been making esoteric electronica as Match Fixer for a little while name. New EP smile ii follows on from the dub techno of smile, balanced between more ambient textured work and beats that jitter around the edges.

Various Asses - Kotse [Nice Music/Bandcamp]
Various Asses - Sa(Da)Klub [Nice Music/Bandcamp]
Since their debut in 2016, Raquel Solier has built a lot of love and admiration for their heavy-hitting productions as Various Asses, as well as working with various other prominent names in dance and rap-adjacent genres. Their new album continues the "-ón" series with La Adoración and there's still a lot of club signifiers in there, with heavy beats and bass, lots of swagger and swing, all without compromising the experimental edge.

The Diish - Scaffold [MFZ Records]
The Diish - A Good Soul and a Mad World [MFZ Records]
Italian producer Giancarlo Trimarchi is The Diish. His album Slaps Combo on Italian label MFZ Records takes its cues from various forms of techno, from head-nodding breakbeats through to minimal, twitchy 4/4 patterns. It's machine music with just enough funk.

Valentina Magaletti - A Queer Anthology of Drums [Cafe OTO Takuroku/bié Records/Bandcamp]
Valentina Magaletti - Rumours of Bread [Cafe OTO Takuroku/bié Records/Bandcamp]
There can hardly be a more bewilderingly busy, brilliantly broad-spectrum drummer and percussionist than Valentina Magaletti. I first became aware of her as one half of the duo Tomaga, although I'd previously heard her drumming with Raime (who she later joined in off-shoot Moin). Magaletti also plays in various other combos, including postpunk/postrock/krautrock supergroup UUUU, psych-pop band Vanishing Twin, psych-dub duo Holy Tongue with Al Wootton and more (see below). It has, however, been more unusual to find Magaletti letting loose solo, so the album A Queer Anthology of Drums, originally released as part of London venue Cafe OTO's home recorded download series Takuroku last year, is particular welcome. It's now receiving a vinyl release through Bejing label bié Records, bringing it also to Bandcamp. It's actually rather reminiscent of Magaletti's work with the late Tom Relleen as Tomaga, each track an étude on a limited set of percussion, with occasional obtuse samples and drones, and retro recording techniques. It's very evocative in its self-contained way.

Better Corners - Cosmic Debt [The state51 Conspiracy]
Better Corners - Ease of Brain [The state51 Conspiracy]
Magaletti is joined by her UUUU bandmade Matthew Simms and mastering engineer/musician Sarah Register in new band Better Corners. Their debut album Modern Dance Gold, Vol. 1 is as uncategorizable as the rest of Magaletti's work, with a kind of arcane out-of-time feel drawing from the more experimental corners of postpunk, postrock, krautrock and psych. Here droning riffage piles into free improv ambience and back again - but that makes it sound more forbidding than it actually is. If only state51 deigned to have anything like a Bandcamp, but you can find the release in various digital retailers with good taste, as well as on vinyl.

Lucrecia Dalt - Her Throat [Invada/Bandcamp]
Lucrecia Dalt - Scattered Mysteries [Invada/Bandcamp]
Lucrecia Dalt - How Many Lydias [Invada/Bandcamp]
It feels inevitable that Lucrecia Dalt has ended up writing scores for horror TV shows. Her career started with solo indie songwriting (under the name Lucrecia or The Sound of Lucrecia) but those songs quickly mutated into more experimental forms - benefiting from various collaborations undertaken while she was still in her native Colombia. Over a number of albums now, Dalt has worked an elusive, elided magic with her idiosyncratic take on modular synth composition, generally short experimental pieces often sliding into each other, and an eerie beauty. Last year she collaborated with Aaron Dilloway on an extraordinary album of free weirdness, and this year Invada have released two albums (so far?) of soundtrack work. The Seed is relatively familiar soundtrack cue work; for the HBO horror-comedy The Baby, which has some pretty high-profile up-and-coming names attached, Dalt has managed to sneak in a collection of very characteristic experimental sound, with weird quasi-percussive loops, electronic sounds and processing, and a surprising amount of her own vocals.

Gordon Li - Be Gentle Be Warm [Music Company/Bandcamp]
Gordon Li - Egg Pt.2 [Music Company/Bandcamp]
Naarm/Melbourne-based jazz bassist, composer and educator Gordon Li has crafted something very special for his new album A View from the Bungalow released by Music Company. They're a label known for challenging ambient music ranging across many genres, and on this album Li manages to cover granular ambient soundscapes, field recordings, and multi-instrumental jazzy postrock, mostly played by himself, with Tim Cox on extra percussion and sax from Flora Carbo. It's an album rooted in the landscapes around Melbourne, an exudes a rare peacefulness.

Linus + Økland/Van Heertum/Zach - conway [Aspen Edities/Bandcamp]
Speaking of peaceful (and challenging), this fifth album from Belgian duo Linus is the second to find guitarist Ruben Machtelinckx and sax/clarinet/synth player Thomas Jillings joined by fellow Belgian trumpet/euphonium player Niels Van Heertum and two brilliant Norwegian musicians: hardanger fiddle player Nils Økland and percussionist Ingar Zach. There's a pastoral openness to the proceedings, evoked through an improvised approach to folk music, mixing in jazz and minimalist composition, with electronic ostinati pulsing and vibrating behind glorious fiddle runs and mournful euphonium melodies. Like a lot of Swedish and Norwegian acoustic music, there's a Scandinavian take on Bill Frisell's Americana and chamber jazz here, but by and large it's sui generis in the best way.

Listen again — ~207MB


Monday, 23rd of May, 2022

Playlist 22.05.22 (11:54 pm)

Experimental music for a new government! Things are looking better for the climate, the arts, a Federal ICAC and much more today in Australia.

LISTEN AGAIN because who's gonna stop you? Podcast here, stream on demand there.

Joe Rainey - jr. flip [37d03d/Bandcamp]
Joe Rainey - ch 1222 [37d03d/Bandcamp]
I've been looking forward to this album since I first heard "No Chants" back in February. Ojibwe singer Joe Rainey has collected and made recordings of Pow Wows from his Native American culture for many years, and on this album his powerfully moving vocals are combined with heavily distorted percussion and spoken word from his archives, filtered through the incredible production of Andrew Broder, whose Fog project started as lo-fi hip-hop and migrated through free jazz indietronica to post-IDM bass music. These stunning songs are probably unlike anything you're going to hear anytime soon, both due to the tradition Rainey's preserving here, and through his inspired collaboration with Broder.

Marina Herlop - abans abans [PAN/Bandcamp]
Marina Herlop - lyssof [PAN/Bandcamp]
Barcelona-based singer and pianist Marina Herlop is classically trained, and lists Claude Debussy, Maurice Ravel, Béla Bartok and Aram Khachaturian among her influences. But then you notice Holly Herndon, Venetian Snares and Plaid in there too and you start to see how her latest album is released by PAN. Aided by James Ginzburg on the mix, the songs here shift and scatter with technological interventions, while retaining the classically-trained vocal precision and pianistic technique. Piano lines are glitched and stuttered while experimental beats drop in & out, and Herlop's vocal style draws from Southern Indian Carnatic traditions, Jewish cantorial singing, Eastern European folk choirs and of course r'n'b and pop as well as classical. There's a lot of joy in this work, a lot of emotion and a lot of that acoustic/digital slipperiness that Utility Fog loves so much.

Cult of Luna - Beyond I feat. Mariam Wallentin [Metal Blade/Bandcamp]
Cult of Luna - Into the Night [Metal Blade/Bandcamp]
It might seem strange to move now to Sweden's post-metal legends Cult of Luna, but their "post-" status and influences from industrial and experimental music are a good fit for UFog, even without the excellent guests on their new record The Long Road North. On a few tracks, Colin Stetson's multiphonic circular-breathing saxophone features, and one particularly calm piece is adorned with the vocals of fellow Swede Mariam Wallentin, aka Mariam The Believer, of Fire! Orchestra and Wildbirds & Peacedrums. There's a deep emotiveness to this music, with guests or not - as found in Kristian Karlsson's vocals on "Into the Night", with its chromatic harmonies and gradual postrock crescendo.

Aidan Baker - Dramatic Illumination I [Cruel Nature Recordings]
Aidan Baker - Done [Improved Sequence]
Another versatile metal legend, Aidan Baker of Nadja, kept himself busy during lockdowns creating album after album of solo music. While Baker collaborates far and wide, he's also prolific on his own, whether it's drone guitar, krautrock grooves with free jazz drums or drum machines, undistorted minimalist songs or epic shoegaze metal. So just this year, along with a solo bonus with Nadja's Nalepa album on Midira Records, and a host of compilation appearances, there was the great experimental book soundtrack The Sheep Look Up (which I've already featured), ambient/drone on Cloud Chamber, drone also on Slow Tone Collages, and tonight's entries: Tenebrist on Cruel Nature Recordings is a selection of free rock pieces with jazz-influenced drums that morph into krautrock jams or psych noise freakouts. Meanwhile Songs of Undoing on Improved Sequence collects slowcore and deconstructed grunge songs, although tonight's slow piece is an instrumental.

Zeno van den Broek & Otto Kokke - Cloud Chamber [Moving Furniture Records/Bandcamp]
Gemma Bass & Coen Oscar Polack - Happenstance [Moving Furniture Records/Bandcamp]
Kay Stephen & Production Unit - I Played With Everyone [Moving Furniture Records/Bandcamp]
This is release MFR100 is the self-referential title of - you guessed it - the 100th release from Dutch experimental label Moving Furniture Records. And, as well as raising money for Dutch suicide prevention organisation 113, it's a powerful overview of the kind of experimental music the label presents, through 25 duo collaborations, all clocking in at 4 minutes precisely. There's an emphasis on Dutch artists, but contributions are found from Canada, Scotland, Turkey, Norway, Greece, Italy, and no doubt other places I couldn't identify. Tonight's selections give an idea of what's to be found: Dutch sound-artist Zeno van den Broek & saxophonist Otto Kokke of Dutch noise duo Dead Neanderthals present a beautiful, disturbing soundscape of smeared sax and field recordings; British violinist Gemma Bass plays expressive violin fragments over percussive found sounds (maybe glass?) from Dutch musician Coen Oscar Polack. And the viola of Scottish musician Kay Stephen competes with lurching spoken words glitched beyond recognition from fellow Scot Production Unit.

nightports w/ tom herbert - lumin [Leaf/Bandcamp]
nightports w/ tom herbert - hydrodynamica [Leaf/Bandcamp]
The latest album from UK duo Nightports' series on The Leaf Label, each based purely on the sounds of their collaborator's instrument, has as its subject the double bass of Polar Bear's Tom Herbert. At times Herbert's playing is seemingly untouched, with long bowed melodies and drones, sawing tremolo and rhythmic bowed ostinati, pizzicato basslines, but all these and percussive sounds from the instrument's resonant wooden body contribute to tracks which echo IDM and minimal techno. It's a worth addition to Nightports' previous work with pianist Matthew Bourne and percussionist Maxwell Hallett.

YOUTH - Nuclear Winter [YOUTH]
Manchester label YOUTH specialise often in an overdriven, ultra-compressed form of dubstep & UK bass music, and that's well represented on this uncredited 12". "Nuclear Winter" is so compressed that its waveform hardly varies, held down by an almost droning bassline while a broken post-garage/dubstep beat drops in and out.

Walton - Rush [Sneaker Social Club]
Walton - Detach [Sneaker Social Club]
Also from Manchester, Walton also resides in a post-dubstep/grime/uk garage/uk funky club-adjacent world generally, and his short album on Sneaker Social Club highlights these uk bass forms, with the title track "Rush" a particular hard-hitting highlight. But interludes like "Detach" let the ambient synths do the talking, until a simple kick and bass hit underline dancing synth lines.

Jurango - Concrete Blossom [[re]sources]
Meanwhile, over in Bristol, Livity Sound-affiliated Jurango returns to Paris label [re]sources with an EP that blends his dancehall influences with uk bass and techno... leading us into...

Deena Abdelwahed & Basile3 - Alpha GPC [InFiné Music/Bandcamp]
Toulouse-based Tunisian producer Deena Abdelwahed here teams up with French producer Basile3 for three tracks of bass-inflected techno on InFiné Music. It's infectious stuff.

COH - Gear Chill Spell [Noton]
COH - Fear into Dust [Noton]
Russian musician Ivan Pavlov's CoH (or sometimes COH) reads as "SON" in Cyrillic script, and is convenient in its ambiguity - it means "dream" or "sleep" in Russian, and he's punningly titled an album CoHgs (combine the two scripts to read "SoNgs"). Many of his albums are themed, around his love of postpunk or doom metal or '80s electro-pop or industrial pioneers, around voice (including a whole album with Throbbing Gristle's Cosey Fanni Tutti), or indeed around Strings (specifically piano strings, guitar strings, and those of the oud and saz). So to his latest album, from Alva Noto's Noton, which is entitled WYFF (While Your Guitar Gently) and it is indeed all guitar, from soft walking basslines and pulsating glitched fragments to IDM & shattered techno and estranged riffage. Whatever the influences and whatever the source material, CoH's minimal glitch core is retained, producing in total an impressively wide-ranging yet consistent ouevre.

Matmos - Cobra Wages Shuffle / Off! Schable w gurę! [Thrill Jockey/Bandcamp]
Matmos - Flight to Sodom / Lot do Salo [Thrill Jockey/Bandcamp]
Baltimore duo & couple Matmos are also consistent in their techniques of sonic estrangement and collage, exploring a vague terrain of IDM, glitch, folktronica, contemporary classical and avant-garde over 3 decades now. Regards/Ukłony dla Bogusław Schaeffer finds them in Poland, where they were given access to the entire catalogue of Polish avant-garde composer (and musicologist and graphic artist) Bogusław Schaeffer. As always with Matmos, this is no literal interpretation or remix of Schaeffer's work. Fragments from many compositions are sampled, edited and rearranged by M.C. Schmidt and Drew Daniel, interpolated with additional performances from Schmidt and various other collaborators. Few people outside of Poland are familiar with Schaeffer's work, so this is quite a cryptic tribute. Nevertheless, Matmos never fail to entertain, and the source material was provided much grist for their technological mill, whether in more abstract form or with glitchy, crunchy IDMish beatforms.

Carl Stone - Wat Dong Moon Lek [Unseen Worlds/Bandcamp]
LA/Japan-based computer music pioneer Carl Stone has seen a renaissance since the Unseen Worlds label released two archival albums of his a few years ago. Active since the mid-1908s, Stone developed a technique to time-slice through existing recordings using granular synthesis to produce garbled yet musical live remixes & mashups. On his last couple of albums this has resulted in strangely rhythmic stuff that's like dance music as interpreted by 19th century robots(?) - and on the title track of his latest, Wat Dong Moon Lek (all his titles come from the names of Asian restaurants), a Thai lounge jazz track is the source, smeared and sliced for 5 minutes, while the intro and coda are charmingly left untouched.

Listen again — ~210MB


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