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Utility Fog

Your weekly fix of postfolkrocktronica, dronenoise, power ambient, post-everything improv... and more?
Sunday nights from 9 to 11pm on FBi Radio, 94.5 FM in Sydney, Australia.

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Sunday, 27th of June, 2010

Playlist 27.06.10 (11:08 pm)

So much musics tonight! And this is what happens when I leave it a day to write the show up - it's an essay!
Read if you have the time, for potted reviews and raves about the transporting aural delights on offer.
As usual, LISTEN AGAIN - see that link at the bottom of the playlist? Yeah, that one!

So, the hero of the psychedelic synth-nostalgia set, Oneohtrix Point Never, has released his first album on the legendary home of glitch & experimental mayhem, Editions Mego. And in tribute to this, the first track on the new album Returnal is a pot-pourri of chopped-up noise, samples, even breakbeats. Quite exhilirating, and it's rather lovely how it all subsides into track 2, which is more in line with his usual synth-based excursions.
I'm sad I didn't get on to at least one more track from this album tonight; I'll definitely play more next week. This album is highly, highly recommended!

Somehow nostalgia beckoned, and I couldn't resist playing an old favourite by Boards of Canada. Nostalgia^2, perhaps, because by now a BoC track from 1998 brings with it its own nostalgia; but their sound has always harkened back to the 1970s (at least), mixed with 1980s hip-hop mixtapes, especially on a track like this, with a simple underlying beat, and a gorgeous phase-change in the middle.

More IDMsters in the hip-hop world with a Shadow Huntaz intstrumental. The production team behind Shadow Huntaz is the brothers Funckarma, whose revamped website has a large and ever-increasing digital archive of their work on sale. The instrumental verison of the last Shadow Huntaz has only just appeared, and while on the album itself it seemed a little tamer than the previous two (which it probably is), the productions, stripped of the vocals, on the whole stack up well as great Funckarma jams.
And Sydney producer Know-U has made a world-class entry into the wonky canon with his "Triptych", released by another FBi chappie, the one and only Monk Fly.

And now we arrive at the first artist mini-special of the evening (something I've been doing more on UFog - I think it's nice to get a perspective on an artist's history when something new comes out). Ital Tek, or iTAL tEK as he was when his first tracks were coming out, is a Brighton-based producer who started off making breakcore-influenced IDM productions, but settled comfortably into the dubstep/wonky world. He had a couple of 12"s on other label, but has been part of the Planet µ stable for two albums now.
I'm not as sold on the new album as I was with the first, but there are undoubtedly some great tracks there. From his first album we had Radiohead-like piano chords and deep dubstep beats...

And from that Sydney/Adelaide duo Collarbones, their second-most-recent wonky-influenced glitch-pop song. (Go hyphens!)

...Which leads us into something pretty weird, and pretty cool. anbb is a pairing you'd never have predicted: an = alva noto, aka Carsten Nicolai, boss of the raster noton label; and bb = Blixa Bargeld, ex-Bad Seed, and veteran of the Berlin industrial/noise scene via Einstürzende Neubauten. It's an inspired collaboration, although to my ears their cover of Harry Nilsson's "One" doesn't really work.

The fizzing static & beats take us onwards to Finland's legendary Pan Sonic, who after many years seem to be calling it a day. Crunching beats and and a surging, crescendoing backdrop.
From one half of Pan Sonic, Mika Vainio as Ø, we have something a little dubbier perhaps, but still with the same aesthetic of pure tones, simplicity and noise (and industrial clanging in there too).

Bristol's emptyset (another Ø of sorts) use a similar sonic aesthetic with a more dancefloor-oriented approach. I love the dynamics of this track - simple addition and subtraction producing something spectacular.

And now, finally, Keith Fullerton Whitman has some new releases out (and more on their way - follow the link to his site!) I've been a fan since the Hrvåtski days, and a short search of these playlists will see I've dug his efforts in the drone & out-rock arenas.
We heard from two very recent releases today. Both sides of a new 7", recorded a couple of years ago at the Harvard University Studio for Electroacoustic Composition, and featuring not only oud and various synthesizers, but electric guitar, various pedals and an amp, all catalogued on the sleeve. One side emphasizes the synths and noises more, and the other the acoustic elements from the oud line.

The other release is a wickedly limited CDR collaboration with dronester Geoff Mullen, who is the sole employee of Keith's monumental Mimaroglu Music Sales, first stop for all experimental sounds and of course anything likely to be available of Keith's own music. But seriously, check out the incredible list of stuff available! This CDR is fairly droney, but there's heaps of action all the way through. The last track is a beautiful extended analog synth work which will have to appear some other night - remind me :) I keep thinking of this as a cassette release; it has that lo-fi archaic feel to it.

Somehow Keith's oud playing leads us into the next artist feature of the night: the post-classical beauty of Clogs. Led by Aussie ex-pat Padma Newsome on violin, viola and various other instruments, along with fellow National member Bryce Dessner on guitar (etc), the other core members are Thomas Kozumplik on percussion and Rachael Elliott on bassoon. Take note of that last instrument - it's surely the most unlikely instrument to find in a rock/folk band, and Henry Cow as a prior example only proves the point.
On this album they are joined by a number of other musicians to make a folky, post-classical ensemble (as they have in the past), at home in the world of The Rachels, Penguin Cafe Orchestra and Balmorhea. The bassoon-led "Voisins" from their previous album is a real highlight, with the very unusual timbre adding something special to the driving rhythms. On the new album the most striking thing is the preponderance of vocals, the main collaborators are pretty awesome: The classical leanings are brought out by the incredible Shara Worden of My Brightest Diamond, while the unmistakeable voice of Matt Berninger from The National fills his song with emotion and emotiveness. A surprising highlight, though, is the voice of Padma himself on "Red Seas", edging into falsetto in this folky piece which seems to bear a little influence from another collaborator, Sufjan Stevens - and while initially performed only by the core members, it builds to a very Sufjan-like orchestration midway through.
If you've enjoyed the sort of music that Bryce and his brother Aaron put together for the Dark Was The Night compilation last year, you owe it to yourself to check out The Creatures in the Garden of Lady Walton.

Perhaps from the sublime to the ridiculous is where we go next. This sounds awfully rude to The Chap, but frankly ridiculous never sounded so awesome. Having been around for most of the last decade, this band has a quintessentially English oddness to them, which I can't help finding charming. They can go from pure electronica to pure BBC Radiophonic-style electronics, and then switch to insufferably catchy jangly indie, all the while sporting amazing disco string arrangements and absurdist lyrics. It's pop music approached from some really weird tangential direction, yet it makes perfect sense.
Two tracks from their latest album (which is still sinking in), and a quick tour through a couple of alternate-universe mega hits (if only).

It's been a few years (2006!) since Cibelle put her last album out, so you may not remember her wonderful Brazilian folktronica. Collaborating with Mike Lindsay from Tunng among others, she brought glitches and hints at club beats and basslines to her singular approach to folk and pop. Her new album is a very strange concept album about a cabaret bar on another planet, and is absolutely in earnest while simultaneously embracing its silliness. It's even more wide-ranging stylistically than before, and has some great collaborations, as seen tonight. We also heard one track from her previous album, and the excellent "Noite de Carnaval", which I think only appeared as a single, produced by Mike Lindsay and sporting two very fine Herbert remixes.

The folkiness continues for one more track, a cut from Martin Dosh’s new album featuring vocals from his frequent collaborator Andrew Bird. I haven't totally warmed to this album, but it's very Dosh, and the Andrew Bird tracks are great. I think we'll hear more next week.

Sydney's Pivot are, as you may have heard, now PVT, and their new album on Warp has snuck out into at least one Sydney record store a little early. It's even more stadium-rock than before (yeah, bizarre), with more vox from Richard Pike and big drums from Laurenz. Dave Miller (probably all) brings the analog synths and the kids are gonna love it. Next week I'll play one of the bonus download tracks which I think only Aussies get to enjoy.

And finally, one of Gail Priest’s gorgeous tracks from her new mini-album thing on Bandcamp, via which you get to directly support the artist.
Gail has guest curated this coming Saturday's Heavy Ecstasy gig as part of Superdeluxe @ Artspace, which will be awesome: Gail Priest is performing herself, along with two experimental/noise duos: Pimmon and Jeff Burch of Songs are Mandala Trap. And Machine Death is Ivan Lisyak and Ben Byrne.

Oneohtrix Point Never - Nil Admirari [Editions Mego]
Oneohtrix Point Never - Describing Bodies [Editions Mego]
Boards of Canada - Happy Cycling [Warp]
Shadow Huntaz - Goodnite (Instrumental) [Funckarma]
Know-U - Triptych [Frequency Lab]
Ital Tek - Moment In Blue [Planet µ]
Ital Tek - Moment In Blue (FaltyDL Remix) [Planet µ]
Ital Tek - Deep Pools [Planet µ]
Ital Tek - Babel [Planet µ]
Collarbones - kill off the vowels [download from Bandcamp] {it's free!}
anbb - electricity is fiction [raster noton]
Pan Sonic - Pan Finale [Blast First (petite)]
Ø - Ikuinen (Version) [Sähkö Recordings]
emptyset - Completely Gone [Caravan]
Keith Fullerton Whitman - Variations for Oud & Synthesizer. Version abrégé (1) [No]
Geoff Mullen & Keith Fullerton Whitman - #01.3 [Upstairs]
Keith Fullerton Whitman - Variations for Oud & Synthesizer. Version abrégé (2) [No]
Clogs - Last Song (feat. Matt Berninger of The National) [Brassland]
Clogs - Red Seas [Brassland]
Clogs - Voisins [Brassland]
Clogs - On the Edge (feat. Shara Worden) [Brassland]
The Chap - Nevertheless, The Chap [Lo Recordings]
The Chap - Carlos Walter Wendy Stanley [Lo Recordings]
The Chap - (Hats Off To) Dror Frangi [Lo Recordings]
The Chap - I Am Oozing Emotion [Lo Recordings]
The Chap - We Work In Bars [Lo Recordings]
Cibelle - Frankenstein feat. Kristian Craig Robinson) [Crammed Discs]
Cibelle - Noite de Carnaval [Crammed Discs]
Cibelle - Instante de Dois [Crammed Discs]
Cibelle - Sad Piano (feat. Mocky) [Crammed Discs]
Dosh - number 41 (feat. Andrew Bird) [Anticon]
PVT - The Quick Mile [Warp]
Gail Priest - Phantoms [get via Bandcamp!]

Listen again — ~ 194MB

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