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Utility Fog


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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 September, 2020

Playlist 13.09.20 (10:35 pm)

Tonight we've got radical new Persian electronic pop, Estonian dark folk & electronica, indie remixes, outer limits techno, idm and jungle.

LISTEN AGAIN and welcome to the jungle... Stream on demand at FBi, podcast here.

9T Antiope - Placebo Dose I (Danse Macabre) (excerpt) [Purple Tape Pedigree]
9T Antiope - Metaphase [eilean rec.]
9T Antiope - Nocebo (B) (excerpt) [Purple Tape Pedigree]
9T Antiope - Placebo Dose II (Memento Mori) (excerpt) [Purple Tape Pedigree]
Starting with the final album in a conceptual trilogy from the great Persian duo 9T Antiope. Released again on Purple Tape Pedigree, Placebo follows Nocebo and 2017's Isthmus (released on now-defunct French label eilean rec.) - and like Nocebo, it's delivered in two long tracks, conceived as "doses". Sara Bigdeli Shamloo's spoken poetry and gorgeous multitracked vocals weave around Nima Aghiani's violin and noise-making machines, varying between slabs of industrial noise, jittery electronic bleeps, nods at techno, and flittering strings. I've loved the relatively accessible electronic pop (sung in Farsi) of their new project Taraamoon this year, but it's great to have a big new work from 9T Antiope again.

Sevdaliza - Do You Feel Real [Butler Records/Bandcamp]
Sevdaliza - Wallflower [Butler Records/Bandcamp]
9t Antiope are based in France; Sevdaliza was born in Tehran but grew up in the Netherlands. Her glitchy trip-hop influenced music does draw from her Persian roots too. Her second album, Shabrang, continues where ISON & her subsequent EPs left off, with bending strings, chopped & spliced beats, vocals both clean and glitched. It's just great to have such a strong artist working in this space.

Maarja Nuut & Ruum - circles [Õunaviks/Bandcamp]
Maarja Nuut - Kuradipolka [Maarja Nuut Bandcamp]
Maarja Nuut & Ruum - käed-mäed [130701/Bandcamp]
Maarja Nuut & Ruum - world inverted [Õunaviks/Bandcamp]
Here's another duo with violin, vocals and electronics. Maarja Nuut & Ruum's debut album in 2018, Muunduja, was one of my favourites of the year - there's a palpable mystery to the music, derived partly from the ancient Estonian folk tales and melodies that Maarja Nuut is so familiar with, and from the techno & glitch-influenced electronics brought by Ruum and their collaborators. The duo have just released their follow-up World Inverted through Estonian label Õunaviks, and it's another beauty. The noisier aspects are toned down, with occasional vocals and fluttering violin embedded in lovely ambient techno epics. It's interesting to compare the hypnotic aspect to Maarja's solo album from 2016, Une Meeles, where the folk violin can be enveloped in a crescendoing bass drone like in "Kuradipolka".

Michael Ackroyd - The Architect [Lazy Thinking]
I'm told Sydney's Michael Ackroyd is releasing this song through Lazy Thinking right about now, but online evidence seems scant. It's quite a wonderful piece and so hopefully he is working on more to come - a throbbing synth is slowly joined by scattered drums, and a gentle vocal. It recalls late Talk Talk in the right ways, while retaining a character all its own.

Brutalist - Eve [Good Manners/Bandcamp]
Brutalist - Movements [Good Manners/Bandcamp]
John Hassell of much-loved Sydney electronic trio Seekae and Melbourne musician Lucianblomkamp formed Brutalist a few years ago, released a mixtape, and then seemingly put it all on hold. So hopefully we're now going to hear a lot more from them. This EP is out in the next week, mostly featuring bassy beats like "Movements", with an excellent guest vocal on one track, and opener "Eve" is a brilliant surprise, with Blomkamp showing off his classically-trained violin skills.

Neinzer - Rassalin [Where To Now? Records]
Neinzer - Horus [Timedance]
Neinzer - Cause Pan Tact Insoluble [Where To Now? Records]
Emil Lewandowski's previous EP as Neinzer, released by AD 93 earlier this year, made a big impression with two jazzy house grooves followed by three shimmering beatless works. But to be honest it's his new EP Shifting Values that's really grabbed me hard. Each of the tracks here has some standout feature - avant-garde harmonies on piano or flute, bass music with organic beats and perfectly placed breaths and field recordings... On "Rassalin" the percussion is secondary to a syncopated bassline and twittering synth pattern, while "Cause Pan Tact Insoluble" grows slowly with more beautiful discords, freakout flute and vocal harmonies over a dubstep-house hybrid beat. 2018's "Horus" is a breakbeat techno banger with bubbling hand percussion.

cypha - Cause 1 [.jpeg Artefacts]
cypha - Hyperobject [.jpeg Artefacts]
Melbourne's cypha lands with a pretty remarkable debut EP on .jpeg Artefacts. We've got melodic electronics and beats that draw from jungle, electro and techno - clearly influenced by '90s idm, and done really well. For some reason they're doing a CD edition, and if that wouldn't make me happy enough already, they're donating 100% of the proceeds of this release to Standing Our Ground, Traditional Owners fighting against Adani.

Cressida - Sambo [Voitax/Bandcamp]
Cressida - Move To The Witness [Voitax/Bandcamp]
The jungle influence only gets stronger from hereon in. Cressida is a UK-born producer now based in Berlin, and his techno beats are shot through with jungle breaks. I kind of love how the mangled amen breaks in title track "Sambo" keep promising to break free, but Cressida keeps tamping it back down into the bass-heavy 4/4 techno. "Move To The Witness" pushes the tempo up so that the syncopated drum machines can naturally give way to beautifully edited jungle breaks in the last third of the track. This is future music deeply aware of its heritage.

TMSV - Abyss Watcher [Sub Merchants]
Thugwidow - You See How It Spreads Out Like A Fungus [Sub Merchants]
Finally, two current masters of junglist mayhem contribute to the birth of new London label Sub Merchants. Utrecht-based TMSV switches easily between jungle, dubstep and techno, and his track here is one of his best jungle numbers, a kind of stop-start roller with endless variation to the beats, which strike the right balance between machine and funk, while single "oh"s stand in for divas, and ragga MC samples are heavily vocoded. Meanwhile Thugwidow is up to his usual tricks, with expansive ambient pads, beats floating in & out of reverb, delays and EQ mashing. Both artists represent contemporary takes on jungle that are dancefloor-ready if your dancefloor is up for it (socially distanced of course). In this cyberpunk dystopia we're living in, the endless jungle revival is just what we need.

Listen again — ~202MB


Sunday, 6th of September, 2020

Playlist 06.09.20 (7:41 pm)

Lots of sound-art tonight, but also other fusions of genres, such as Armenian folk with jazz, classical, prog and postrock, techno fused with field recordings & sound-art, indie fused with sound-art and experimental techniques.

LISTEN AGAIN to the connection between music & art. Stream on demand from FBi, podcast here.

Tigran Hamasyan - Levitation 21 [Nonesuch/Bandcamp]
Tigran Hamasyan - To Love [Nonesuch/Bandcamp]
Tigran Hamasyan - falling [Plus Loin Music]
Tigran Hamasyan - The Grid [Nonesuch/Bandcamp]
Tigran Hamasyan - At a Post-Historic Seashore [Nonesuch/Bandcamp]
Starting tonight with the Armenian jazz piano prodigy Tigran Hamasyan, still only 33 years old but with an extraordinary repertoire behind him. In the past he's melded his technical proficiency at jazz piano and complex Eastern European rhythms with prog rock - indeed he's even worked with fellow Armenian-American Serj Tankian of System Of A Down. And that technical aspect is still there in his last few albums (with a kind of live-drum'n'bass aspect to some of the drumming), but there's also a deep connection to the gorgeous modalities and melodic mellifluence of Armenian music. I couldn't help playing two contrasting tunes from his 2015 masterpiece Mockroot - the timeless beauty of "To Love" and the rhythmic insanity of "The Grid" - and also skipped back to 2009's Red Hail. We start & finish with new album The Call Within, which melds Armenian myths & legends with his interest in maps of all kinds.

Marianne Baudouin Lie - Loop 1_ Aapning (by Lene Grenager & Marianne Baudouin Lie) [Particular Recordings]
Marianne Baudouin Lie - Concertino per violoncello et voce, Take 6 (by Eirik Hegdal) [Particular Recordings]
New album Atlantis, Utopia og Ulvedrømmer from Norwegian cellist Marianne Baudouin Lie is unusual in that all the compositions (commissioned by Lie) use the musician's voice as well as cello. An educator and researcher as well as a cellist working across classical, improv and contemporary music, Lie covers a lot of ground in the commissions for this album. The "Ulvedrømmer" of the title are "Wolf dreams", depicted in a "one-woman musical" written with fellow cellist Lene Grenager; in saxophonist Eirik Hegdal's Concertino per violoncello et voce, each "Take" calls for the cellist to use her voice in a different way - the double-stopped cello chords here move exquisitely between dissonance and assonance with her vocal drone.

Félicia Atkinson - The Rain [Inpartmaint]
Takuma Watanabe - Particle [Inpartmaint]
Japanese film composer Takuma Watanabe has lately embarked upon a process of reimagining his original soundtracks. For new album Mada Kokoni Iru_ Original Soundtrack Recomposed, he takes the music from the short film I'm Still There by Shota Sometani, and as well as reworking two pieces himself, invited Akira Rabelais and Félicia Atkinson to do the same. Atkinson's piece fits well with her recent music - soft piano and electronic textures, with indistinct spoken word. I followed it with a short but brilliant piece from Watanabe which mixes strings and wind instruments with fluttery and clicky granular textures.

Mads Emil Nielsen - 2 [Arbitrary/Bandcamp]
Nicola Ratti - 2 (from a graphical score by Katja Gretzinger) [Arbitrary/Bandcamp]
Here's a strange & fascinating piece of concept art from Danish musician Mads Emil Nielsen on his Arbitrary label. It's a vinyl record of 3 pieces created by Nielsen from various electronic & percussive sound sources and a CD of 3 pieces by Italian sound-artist Nicola Ratti. Ratti's pieces are performances from a graphical score rendered by Katja Gretzinger from Nielsen's original works. So one assumes that by hearing "2" from each of the artists, we're hearing Ratti's interpretation of Gretzinger's interpretation of Nielsen's 2nd piece. Both pieces have similar tonalities, if nothing else because the two musicians have similar aesthetics. As for further connections, it's unclear - but it makes for a beautiful piece of art!

Bellows - Undercurrent 01 [Black Truffle]
Giuseppe Ielasi & Nicola Ratti - Bellows 03 [Kning Disk/Bandcamp]
Bellows - handcut 04 [senufo editions]
Bellows - Reelin' 06 (excerpt) [Entr'acte/Bandcamp]
Bellows - Sander 01 [Latency]
Bellows - Undercurrent 06 [Black Truffle]
For 13 years now, Nicola Ratti has occasionally created astonishing suites of minimalist, sparsely rhythmic sonic constructions with Giuseppe Ielasi. Their first album, Bellows, was released on Kning Disk in 2007, and since then the duo has been Bellows. Each subsequent album has a particular sonic space of some sort - from the scratchy, indistinct vinyl remnants of handcut to the bleepy electro-dub deconstructions of Reelin' and 2017's duo of Strand and Sander, each of which reference club music & hip-hop in diagonal fashions. New album Undercurrent, released on Oren Ambarchi's Black Truffle, steps back from the rhythmic music, with repeating textures here built from mournful sliding guitar, synth tones, and tape hiss among other things. It's very patient and rewarding music.

Kate Carr - It's a steep climb to the freeway underpass [Kate Carr Bandcamp]
Kate Carr - Pebble dash static [Kate Carr Bandcamp]
Kate Carr - Whinneys fading [Kate Carr Bandcamp]
London-based Australian musician Kate Carr continues to create some of the most exciting field recording-based music around, with a new release available on red vinyl called Splinters. It's a documentation of her relationship, over 18 months, with an artist-run space in South East London called TACO! - covering not only field recordings of the space and of Carr's journeys to and from the space, but also various performances in that space over the time period. So disembodied snippets of spoken word, electronic beats, or maybe even a distorted guitar chord contribute to the sound-world. Carr is brilliant at creating musically compelling works from non-musical elements (or musical elements used in unusual ways), and constructing a narrative as well. You don't have to know the space or have been part of the community to find this a thrilling listen.

Siavash Amini - Perpetually Inwards [Hallow Ground/Bandcamp]
Siavash Amini - A Collective Floundering [Hallow Ground/Bandcamp]
Art & music collide also on the latest album from Iranian musician Siavash Amini. A Mimesis of Nothingness was created in response to photographic works of Tehran by Noosin Shafiee which Amini describes as "eternal remnants of a violent scene, no matter how new or old they were. Never finished, never begotten, a stillborn." The music is accordingly dark, using processed field recordings, percussion and electronics to evoke horror and disquiet. It's quite something!

Iury Lech - Devastated Okeans [Amorfik Artifacts/Insolit]
Iury Lech - Stellium [Amorfik Artifacts/Insolit]
Two tracks from Spanish audiovisual artist Iury Lech, from his album Ontonanology, which is his most techno-oriented as far as I can see. A child of Ukrainian immigrants, his work first appeared in the late 1970s and early 1980s, combining video art with music that drew from ambient, world and classical minimalist influences, and later a solid base in industrial music. Those elements are here, but the sounds here evoke the deep of the oceans as well as the sub-molecular scale, with throbbing, pulsing music that could fit well on raster-media. I thought this album was going to be out now, but it seems like it's November, so you get one extra track preview. I really recommend this, it's enveloping and transporting stuff.

AVOLA - Rip It [SIGE]
AVOLA - Into The Fold [SIGE]
Faith Coloccia and Aaron Turner's SIGE Records has released a stack of music for each Bandcamp Friday this year, each time sending funds to a collection of bail funds, collectives, BLM-aligned organisations etc. This release from Veronica "Vern" Avola (previously known as EMS and Dirty Centaur) came out in July but the cassette will start shipping later this month. It's less psychedelic than some of her other work - primitive industrial electronic beats, basslines and noises that gurgle and sputter most excellently.

Shoeb Ahmad - eight [Shoeb Ahmad Bandcamp]
Here's one side of a new special limited 7" from Canberra's Shoeb Ahmad. Both tracks appear in different forms on her forthcoming album a body full of tears, but these stripped-down arrangements can only be found on this 7". It's a preview of her new industrial-primitivist leaning work which will be out in November!

On Diamond - Candle [Eastmint Records/On Diamond Bandcamp]
Showcasing the songs of Lisa Salvo with creative and experimental arrangements, Melbourne's On Diamond return with a wonderful new single this week. It's got a feel of that great '80s postpunk indie music - melodic, exotic, with unapologetically experimental sounds. The vocal harmonies between Salvo and Hannah Cameron are perfect, Jules Pascoe's bassline holds down the rhythm while Maria Moles' drums scatter and crash, and Scott McConnachie drops in an unhinged guitar solo. Can't wait for more.

Listen again — ~202MB


Sunday, 30th of August, 2020

Playlist 30.08.20 (7:42 pm)

From healing techno-pop through ambient contemporary classicism, folk with dubstep & electronic heritage, to international & Australian dancefloor mutations... your usual UFog for a Sunday night.

LISTEN AGAIN to take a trip around the world. Stream it on demand from FBi, podcast right here.

Kelly Lee Owens - Corner of My Sky (feat. John Cale) [Smalltown Supersound/Bandcamp]
Kelly Lee Owens - 8 [Smalltown Supersound/Bandcamp]
Kelly Lee Owens - Re-Wild [Smalltown Supersound/Bandcamp]
When her debut solo album landed in 2017, Kelly Lee Owens made a big impact with her combination of highly adept, melodic techno production and dream-pop vocals - the latter a holdover from her indie rock days and school choirs. There even feels like a direct connection between the pure, positive loveliness of her music and her training as a nurse - but on her new, second album, the healing is a lot more personal, coming after the death of her beloved grandmother and the end of a destructive relationship. While there are tracks referencing climate change and grief, Inner Song is again primarily an album of peace and joy, and it's an absolute pleasure, not least the gorgeous "Corner of My Sky", which features the magnificent John Cale singing in both English and Welsh, the language of Owens' roots as well. From her debut, I decided to play the entire blissful near-10 minutes of closer "8".

Maria Moles - Brother [Music Company/Bandcamp]
Phaser x Ensori - Painted Shadows Half Obscured By Light [Music Company/Bandcamp]
Rosalind Hall - Event Horizon [Music Company/Bandcamp]
Music Company is a new label from Melbourne with the motto "In the home, out of the home and on the internet". They have confoundingly little info about them or this compilation, but that's OK, the music can speak for itself - and there's some very fine music on their second release, Vector Fields Vol. 1, all proceeds of which go to Indigenous LGBTQI organisation Black Rainbow. The focus is on ambient and post-classical sounds, so drummer Maria Moles is here with a beautiful piece of delicate electronics and vocals, and then we have stunning soundscapes from composer & sound-artist Marlene Claudine Radice with Christopher Bainbridge's bowed & layered double bass. Finally, Rosalind Hall's floating ambience is gradually disturbed by atonal bass drops - a strange echo of the dubstep roots of our next artist...

Stick In The Wheel - Drive The Cold Winter Away [From Here Records/Stick In The Wheel Bandcamp]
Stick In The Wheel - As I Roved Out [From Here Records/Stick In The Wheel Bandcamp]
Stick In The Wheel - Nine Herbs Charm (Against The Lonesome Beyond version) [From Here Records/Stick In The Wheel Bandcamp]
Stick In The Wheel - Villon Song [From Here Records/Stick In The Wheel Bandcamp]
Various Production - Hater [XL Recordings]
Since their first album proper a few years ago, I've featured British folk act Stick In The Wheel quite a bit on this show. They represent both a very faithful British folk revivalism (particularly with a series of compilations with fellow travellers on their From Here Records label) and also a willingness to majorly diverge from their roots - and this is no surprise, since key members of Stick In The Wheel were involved with the brilliant, idiosyncratic early dubstep crew Various Production, who happily split 7"s between acoustic guitar folk tunes and dubstep bangers, and then went ahead and mashed them up for later tracks. The beloved "Hater", from a 7" and then their debut album, features vocals from Rachel Davies, part of the original lineup of Stick In The Wheel, and Ian Carter was long one of the main producers. Carter still makes dubstep/drum'n'bass/techno as EAN, and also lets the electronics seep into what Stick In The Wheel does. Core members are now Carter and singer Nicola Kearey, who was also around on the original Various stuff (all members were always uncredited, somewhat irritatingly!), and Stick In The Wheel's well-researched and appropriately unsentimental form of British folk takes in stomping rock, auto-tuned ballads, reworked Yiddish songs and more. It's brilliant music for turbulent times.

Hyph11E - Owl Whispers [Houndstooth/Bandcamp]
AYA - DaRE u to sour lips with me [Houndstooth/Bandcamp]
British label Houndstooth's latest compilation Alterity is border-crossing collection of music spanning the globe, with a good mix of genders across experimental club sounds. They've drawn particularly on artists associated with labels like Shanghai's SVBKVLT and Kampala's Hakuna Kulala, and it feels a little churlish to say that I wish it was just a little more thrilling in its particular tracklisting than it is. Nevertheless, there are plenty of great highlights, of which I could only bring you a couple tonight: the shape-changing speedy beats from Manchester's AYA, and the fantastically jungle-tinged multicultural techno of Shanghai's Hyph11E (and it's notable that her last release was a collaboration, co-released by the two labels I just mentioned, with Slikback, also on this compilation).

&nbsp - U [The Collection Artaud/Bandcamp]
From Berlin-based Yu Miyashita aka Yaporigami's label The Collection Artaud comes the third 12" from the mysterious Japanese producer &nbsp. All three feature half-speed beats with jungle/drill'n'bass breaks peppered through them, and I think this track I played tonight is the best so far in this idiosyncratic take on "slow/fast". Very cool.

Gooooose - Plasma Sunrise [SVBKVLT]
Gooooose & DJ Scotch Egg - JAC [SVBKVLT]
Gooooose & DJ Scotch Egg - Goose Egg Dub (feat. Swordman Kitala) [SVBKVLT]
Shanghai producer Gooooose appears on the Alterity comp featured earlier tonight, but I knew I was going to play this new collaboration with another Berlin-based Japanese artist, DJ Scotch Egg, and here we are. Gooooose's amazing track "Plasma Sunrise" comes from his Rusted Silicon, released by SVBKVLT last year, with those bouncing, mashed amen breaks skittering around as another way of reusing and discombobulating the roots of jungle. DJ Scotch Egg has roots in breakcore himself, but has worked at the outskirts of various club scenes for years, favouring dub & dancehall styles, especially with WaqWaq Kingdom, his project with Kiki Hitomi. The dub/dancehall and footwork/jungle sounds are particular notable on "Goose Egg Dub", which also filters vocal elements from Ugandan MC Swordman Kitala into the mix (who we heard with a Scotch Egg-produced track a couple of weeks ago); on title track "JAC", the frantic club sounds give way to bent plucked notes perhaps from a guzheng or koto.

Rebel Yell - Combat [Deep Scan]
SCRAM - General [Deep Scan]
reesepushkin - return to square one [Deep Scan]
Grace Stevenson aka Rebel Yell gives us the first selection from a new compilation Solid State Drive from new Sydney label Deep Scan (also a radio show). This compilation drops next Thursday and features a whole lot of great techno, idm, breakcore and more from mostly Sydney artists, with some Melbourne crew and representatives from Japan & the UK also in there. Rebel Yell's track is intense industrial-influenced techno, after which we heard some classic-sounding jazzy jungle from SCRAM (of Western Sydney collective GARJ), and we finished with the processed vocals and glitchy grooves of reesepushkin, who may be better to known to Sydneysiders as Jay Cooper.

Ben Frost - Ein Tropfen - Ein Ozean [Invada/Bandcamp]
Ben Frost - Der Letzte Zyklus [Invada/Bandcamp]
Finally, we have two orchestral pieces (with electronic underpinnings) from the long-Iceland-based Australian composer Ben Frost, who has scored all three "cycles" of the German sci-fi TV series Dark. Deeply moody, the tracks are pretty utilitarian soundtrack cues, but quality, dark stuff all the same, especially when there's a bit of movement and tension. The last track, "Der Letzte Zyklus" means "The Last Cycle", and indeed this is the end of the timey-wimey drama. Very keen to see what Ben gets up to next!

Listen again — ~199MB


Sunday, 23rd of August, 2020

Playlist 23.08.20 (9:19 pm)

There's more mutant jungle tonight, variegated types of electronica including some surprising remixes, and some gloriously detuned guitar...

LISTEN AGAIN to become a happy mutant. Stream on demand @ FBi, podcast here.

Matmos - nice men in stable relationships (feat. Clipping, Jennifer Walshe, Nate Boyce) [Thrill Jockey/Bandcamp]
Matmos - thyrsus (feat. C.K. Barlow, Nate Nelson, Colin Self) [Thrill Jockey/Bandcamp]
Matmos - blessed order of (feat. Judith Zissman, Marisa Anderson, Jeff Carey, Colin Dickey, Douglas Rushkoff) [Thrill Jockey/Bandcamp]
Matmos - unmastering (feat. Rabit, Erica Valencia) [Thrill Jockey/Bandcamp]
You'd think that Drew Daniel releasing one of the greatest albums of the year as The Soft Pink Truth AND then releasing a brilliant album of crust punk covers might be enough for 2020, but no, this week marks the release of a new album from his & MC Schmidt's ever-wondrous Matmos, and it's a massive 3CD, 3-hour set incorporating contributions from 99 fellow travellers (entirely at 99bpm). The Consuming Flame: Open Exercises in Group Form is a logical follow-up to what the pair have been doing with Matmos for the last 3½+ decades - a super-collaborative, highly-experimental project which is nevertheless always expressive of Daniel & Schmidt's creative vision, and due to their way with form, humour and communication skills, is always highly approachable. The list of contributors to the particular tracks this evening gives a little bit of a flavour of what's going on here - it's nice to hear a return at times to the twisted Americana of works like The West and The Civil War, and also bits of glitched pop and inscrutable spoken word snippets. By any standards 3 hours is too long, but it's hard to complain when it's such an embarrassment of riches.

Forest Drive West - Void Control [R&S Records/Bandcamp]
Forest Drive West - Prism [RuptureLDN]
If you knew Joe Baker's work primarily from releases on Livity Sound, Delsin or even AD 93 (previously Whities) you'd probably think of him as a masterful techno producer - and you'd be right, but you'd be missing an essential part of the picture, which is his pitch-perfect jungle output for Rupture LDN & others. There's a bass pressure and energy in his techno productions which draws from drum'n'bass, and he's combined things before (see the incredible 5/4 jungle techno of "Persistence of Memory #3") but this new 12" for legendary rave/ambient label R&S Records really takes things into new territory - four tracks of meticulously-programmed high-tempo beats which mostly ignore breaks, coming at jungle instead from a kind of minimal/maximal techno aesthetic. To segue into our next couple of tracks, I reprised one of the Rupture jungle tracks from a couple of years ago, where the breaks start & stop in a strange inversion of what's going on on the new Terminus EP.

Earl Grey - Infinite Loop [Western Lore]
Jim Ehlinger's been making beats for over a decade as Earl Grey, in the jungle/drum'n'bass space, often some kind of drumfunk. His latest EP is released on Dead Man's Chest's Western Lore, and like Forest Drive West represents a jungle music that's highly conscious of its early '90s beginnings but also listening to current-day sounds.

Thugwidow - Covert OP [Kudatah]
Dedicated junglist Thugwidow has also released on Western Lore recently, but for his gazillionth release for 2020 he returns to Kudatah, who released his debut album in 2017 (since when he's released at least 20 albums & EPs). This one doesn't have any nods to dubstep, garage or techno to speak of - just pure original junglism.

Violent Magic Orchestra - You are hate [Never Sleep]
Japan's noise/metal/postrock/post-classical ensemble Vampillia have long had an alter-ego called Violent Magic Orchestra, which appears to differ mainly in being instrumental music (except when it's not), and eschewing the post-classical aspects of Vampillia. Their new EP for Gabber Eleganza's Never Sleep is as varied as ever, and the opening track seems to be a realisation finally of the drill'n'bass/breakcore tendencies first manifested in a YouTube clip called "Blackest Ever Black Metal" back in 2014! Hence its appearance at this point in tonight's playlist...

Vladislav Delay, Sly Dunbar & Robbie Shakespeare - 519 [Sub Rosa]
Vladislav Delay, Sly Dunbar & Robbie Shakespeare - 516 [Sub Rosa]
Legendary reggae/dub rhythm section Sly & Robbie have never shied away from new inventions in the dub world - having started out in the mid-'70s, they incorporated electronic programming in the '80s, pushed dancehall front & centre in the '90s, and continue today. It's still somehow surprising hearing them work with Finnish experimental dub techno maestro Vladislav Delay though; even though Sasu Ripatti works a lot with live musicians (and is a drummer himself), his music is so electronically-derived, it was hard to imagine how it would fit together. It seems this new collaboration is a natural outcropping from Delay's mixing work on Norwegian trumpeter Nils Petter Molvær's album with Sly & Robbie, and so the clear dub roots of the rhythms gain that Scandinavian sheen (check the long droned outro on "519"). It's experimental enough to end up on Sub Rosa, but not nearly as glitchy or noisy as it might have been.

Richard Pike - Memory Circa (feat. Ital Tek) [Salmon Universe/Bandcamp]
Sydney's Richard Pike (now London-based), known for his band PVT with brother Laurence, has been making TV & film soundtracks for a while lately, and has released some ambient synth stuff as D E E P L E A R N I N G - but new EP Memory Circa is the first non-soundtrack work under his own name. Three synth-pattern-led techno tracks, which he's sat on for a while, one in collaboration with onetime dubstep don Ital Tek, whose bass weight can be heard on the title track. I don't know why I was surprised to hear vocals, as Richard's been a singer all along, and they work very nicely here.

Tim Shiel - Coliseum (feat. Genesis Owusu) [Spirit Level/Bandcamp]
Of late, Tim Shiel has been producing delightful classical & folk-tinged music for videogames, and running his Spirit Level label out of Melbourne (as well as presenting on Triple J/Double J of course), so it's nice hear some electronic music from him again - excellent breakbeats and acidy synth lines accompanying a top notch vocal from Ganaian (Canberra-based) star-in-the-making Genesis Owusu.

Crass - Do They? (Glasser Remix) [One Little Independent RecordsCrass Bandcamp]
Crass - You're Already Dead [Crass Records/One Little Independent Records/Crass Bandcamp]
Crass - Asylum (Mikado Koko Remix) [One Little Independent RecordsCrass Bandcamp]
The anarcho-punk of UK collective Crass couldn't be more relevant now, in these days where protest movements are simultaneously co-opted and treated as terrorists, and Covid lockdowns are being used as excuses to stamp down hard on the mosto downtrodden parts of our society. So it's nice to have an excuse to listen to them anew. Late last year they made from their debut album The Feeding of the 500 available on Google Drive for anyone to remix. Now a series of 7"s is coming out with well-known and lesser-known names remixing their tracks (none other than Steve Aoki does a drum'n'bass-ish take on "Banned from the Roxy" on the latest single!). It's been a while since Glasser has released any new music, and her take on "Do They Owe Us A Living?" preserves the energy and anger of the original while completely reconfiguring it. She also samples a snippet of Eve Libertine's incredible poem "Asylum" at the start, and on the 3rd single Japanese experimental electronic artist Mikado Koko takes the already abstract backing of the original and turns up the weirdness, processing the lyric but keeping the power of that poem. It's a project that could easily have been gratuitous, but has turned out quite inspiring - and all proceeds go to UK domestic violence organisation Refuge, which also couldn't be more important in these locked down times.

Wytchings - Decalcomania [Lazy Thinking/Bandcamp]
Wytchings - Patent Redux [Lazy Thinking/Bandcamp]
I played the single from the new EP by Sydney artist Jenny Trinh aka Wytchings a few weeks ago, and now the full EP Oculus is out. It follows her rather ambient, waterlogged debut release, with dark sound design and some heavy beats at times as the artist exorcises the trauma of having been racially assaulted as a teenager. Absolutely not to be missed.

Julia Reidy - Proximity [opalmine]
Julia Reidy - Clairvoyant [Editions Mego/Bandcamp]
Sydney guitarist Julia Reidy has been based in Berlin for some years, developing an absolutely idiosyncratic sound world. On early track "Proximity" tonight we hear her sparse, abstracted guitar style, but it perhaps predates the key characteristic of her work, in which the strings of her 12-string guitar are detuned just so, producing a shimmering, queasy but beautiful microtonal effect. On releases on Slip and Black Truffle new elements have appeared: electronic drones and autotuned vocals. These continue on her stunning debut for Editions Mego, Vanish. Reidy is making magical music unlike any other, and I strongly recommend losing yourself in it.

Aphir - Give You One (feat. Sandy Hsu) [Provenance/Bandcamp]
Finally tonight, the first single from Becki Whitton aka Aphir's new album recorded & produced entirely during lockdown (much of it streamed on Twitch & Instagram!). Whitton's hallmarks are all there - dark, experimental electronics underpin beautiful, catchy pop melodies. This lovely song is accompanied by an equally lovely stop-motion video by Goodie, of a dancing rose.

Listen again — ~207MB


Sunday, 16th of August, 2020

Playlist 16.08.20 (7:15 pm)

Tonight we move between Palestinian glitch-hop, East African grime/dancehall/ting, original junglism and contemporary jungle/drill'n'bass/bass, and various post-industrial emanations.

LISTEN AGAIN as we take you on a trip through 40 years of experimental & electronic genres, across many continents & cultures... Stream on demand from FBi, podcast here.

Muqata'a - Al Missfah المصفاة [Muqata'a Bandcamp]
Muqata'a - Al Watar Al Wiswas الوتر الوسواس [Muqata'a Bandcamp]
Muqata'a - Taqamus Muqawim [SOUK Records/Bandcamp]
Muqata'a - Al Maqtu'a المقطوعة [Muqata'a Bandcamp]
Two years ago I discovered the music of Palestinian beatmaker Muqata'a via a release on Discrepant Records' new sister label SOUK Records called Inkanakuntu. Muqata'a was a founder of the Ramallah Underground Collective, and as well as scoring films and dance performances, is a member of the audiovisual group Tashweesh. Courtesy of the latest Below the Radar compilation from The Wire I've now found his Bandcamp, with some fantastic glitchy beats going back quite a while - including a 2013 album featuring rapping in Arabic. There's more to discover - a 2017 album I've not had a chance to hear yet, and another album on the way this year. Meanwhile on the Bandcamp he's recently added an EP of Singles from a few years ago - it all sounds super fresh regardless.

Duma - Angels and Abysses [Nyege Nyege Tapes]
Duma - Pembe 666 [Nyege Nyege Tapes]
Kenyan duo Duma are described as grindcore, which is partially accurate, but the music from Sam Karugu and Martin Khanja (aka Lord Spike Heart) combines black metal's rapidfire blast beats and screams with sheets of synth pads and other electronics alongside spoken word at times. Their debut album for Uganda's Nyege Nyege Tapes is pretty extreme and has been turning lots of heads as it makes people aware of what's coming out of Kenya's underground metal scene. I've chosen a couple of the more electronic tracks, perhaps, which somehow fit well as we move from hip-hop towards the drum'n'bass part of the show...

Swordman Kitala (produced by DJ Scotch Rolex) - Batufitina [Hakuna Kulala]
Nyege Nyege's more club-oriented sublabel Hakuna Kulala also just released a beautiful-looking yellow 7" from two MCs, Swordman Kitala (featured here) and new MC Sekelembele. Both tracks are produced by proponents of Japanese beat destruction - for this track, breakcore/chiptune mainstay DJ Scotch Egg renames himself after the popular Ugandan egg roll called (get it?) the Rolex. It's intense jungle-influenced grime/dancehall, showing how comfortably African artists reincorporate the African ancestry of Jamaican musical forms.

Harmony - Dance With Me [Deep Jungle]
Harmony & Xtreme - Dance With Me [Deep Jungle]
Lee Bogush goes right back to the earliest days of jungle, as it was coming out of UK hardcore and before it morphed into drum'n'bass. As DJ Harmony he released a slew of incredible 12"s, many of the earliest alongside Suzanne Harris as Harmony & Xtreme. Some of those duo tracks appear on the massive compilation The Early Years 1993-1996 (a couple of others were reissued in 2018, with Xtreme credited). Bogush now runs the fantastic Deep Jungle label, which, in addition to reissuing long lost early classics, puts out remastered 12"s (and digital thankfully) of unreleased gems from artists' and labels' original DAT recordings. As well as the archival comp released this January, Harmony recently released an entire new album called Resurgence, full of wonderful junglist bliss - still available on standard black vinyl 2LP and (bless) CD.

Hextape - Toyota (Ahm Edit) [Anterograde]
Last week I played the brilliant new track from Narrm/Melbourne-based sound-artist Bridget Chappell aka Hextape. In the midst of the junglist tunes this evening it's impossible not to drop the equally rad remix of the tune by fellow Melbournite Ahm, which switches the focus from the field recordings (perhaps still present at times) to the insane beat juggling.

A.G. Cook - A-Z [PC Music Bandcamp]
A.G. Cook - Waldhammer [PC Music Bandcamp]
A.G. Cook - Could It Be [PC Music Bandcamp]
I've had a difficult relationship with the PC Music phenomenon - I acknowledge the way they incorporate experimentalism into pop music, but most of what they release has been too shiny and, well, "pop" for me to get into. So I'm quite pleased to discover that maximalist new album from PC Music head honcho A.G. Cook is mostly very much my thing, and probably yours too. Over 7 "discs" (I don't think there's a physical edition) of 7 tracks each, Cook covers a lot of ground, but there's an idm/drill'n'bass thread throughout, along with the usual glitched vocals etc. Various famous mates appear as guests (including Caroline Polachek & Hannah Diamond), there are some weird covers including Smashing Pumpkins' "Today" LOL, Blur's "Beetlebum", and a co-write with Oneohtrix Point Never. The drill'n'bass beats, the Nord melodies on disc 5 and even the chopped vocals on disc 6 all bear a strong influence from Aphex Twin and other idm originals from the early-to-mid '90s, but Cook's musical background (he studied at Goldsmith's in London) also comes out in Waldhammer's manic reworking of Beethoven's Waldstein Piano Sonata.

Danny Scrilla - World Below [Cosmic Bridge]
Versatile bass/beats producer Danny Scrilla's new EP is about as "Cosmic Bridge" as it can get without being made by label head Om Unit, with a variety of sunny tracks at different tempos emphasising bass, beats and melodies. Opener "Onyx" is a head-nodding, melodic favourite, but I've chosen the half-tempo "World Below", which pushes its double-time jungle beats out at times through the tune.

The Werm - Skincrawlin' (Deep Rhythm Remix by Blood Groove) [The Werm Bandcamp]
The Werm - Skincrawlin' [The Werm Bandcamp]
Melbourne musician Simon Maisch is more used to playing bass & electronics in industrial/goth and EBM bands, but has taken the downtime of Covid as an opportunity to put together new project The Werm, which melds the industrial influences to more of an acid/breakbeat vibe. New EP Skincrawlin' is out now, and also features (segueing nicely tonight) a drum'n'bass remix by sound designer & electronics builder Blood Groove.

Scattered Order - Chill Blaine Blues [Provenance/Bandcamp]
Scattered Order - National Adjustment Scheme [Provenance/Bandcamp]
It's astonishing to think that Scattered Order have been around for over 4 decades now. Original members Mitch Jones and Michael Tee are still there, joined by longtime co-traveller Shane Fahey. They started as a kind of postpunk operation, and were involved with Sydney's influential industrial scene in the early '80s, then the experimental industrial/punk end of the electronic/techno scene in the '90s. Since 2010 they've been steadily releasing new music again, in various lineups, as well as in individual side projects. Jones and his partner (and longtime Scattered Order associate/artist/member at times) Drusilla aka Skipism now live in the Blue Mountains, and Tee lives in Newcastle where he runs a wonderful bookshop/cafe, but they still manage to make music together. As usual on this album just released by Provenance on vinyl & digital, there's electronic beats, abrasive processed guitars, ominous vocals and warped prettiness. As creative as ever, may they never stop!

Little Annie Anxiety & Hiro Kone - Third Gear [Hiro Kone Bandcamp]
Annie Anxiety - Third Gear [Corpush Christi/Dais/Bandcamp]
Larsen (with Little Annie) - It Was A Very Good Year [Tin Angel Records]
Little Annie Anxiety & Hiro Kone - Burnt Offerings [Hiro Kone Bandcamp]
We finish with a very few tracks in tribute to the incredible Little Annie aka Ann Bandes aka Annie Anxiety Bandez, New York-born singer, songwriter and artist who started making music in 1977. When she moved to the UK in 1981 it was in association with Steve Ignorant & Penny Rimbaud of the influential creative powerhouse of anarcho-punk, Crass. Alongside Crass, she worked closely with Adrian Sherwood and his nascent On-U Sound Records, and all these characters (including Bonjo from African Head Charge) appeared on her album Soul Possession, released initially on Crass's Corpush Christi, and re-released a few years ago by Dais. It's mostly tracks from this album which were revisited in 2018 in a collaboration & live performance with the brilliant New York producer Nicky Mao aka Hiro Kone (Little Annie also appeared on Hiro Kone's astonishing 2018 album Pure Expenditure). The collaboration is now available on Bandcamp and as you'll hear tonight it is absolutely not to be missed. Deep grooves from Mao with nods to the original productions & Annie's longtime association with dub, industrial & experimental music underscore her reinterpretations of these old tunes. I played one of the massively creative originals, and while I wish I could've played her collaboration with Coil, or something from the On-U Sound era proper, I just had time for one more, so it had to be from her longstanding connection with Italian postrock/kraut/experimental band Larsen. Only Little Annie could so perfectly genderswap the Frank Sinatra-popularised "It Was A Very Good Year", in which the singer reminisces about the types of girls he romanced through his life - sickly-sweet misogynist nostalgia it may be, but it's a gorgeous song (check out the Kingston Trio's original recording while you're at it).

Listen again — ~199MB


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