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Utility Fog

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Sunday, 4th of July, 2010

Playlist 04.07.10 (11:14 pm)

Read about it, and LISTEN AGAIN via the link at the bottom. Good innit.

String arrangements, gotta love 'em. Started tonight with one of my favourite pop song string arrangements, from country singer Bobbie Gentry, who also happens to be a brilliant story-teller on this song.
Story-telling is also central to Nina Nastasia’s craft, and she tells her very personal stories through beautiful vocals and amazing songs, but on her new album she's got a string quartet and a wind quartet doing absolutely wondrous songs. It's transcendent stuff, and when the strings let fly on a track like "This Familiar Way"... oh yes.

Meanwhile, Martin Dosh is exploring Americana from a rather different perspective, and this piano-led piece is just beautiful. The whole album (perhaps cheekily titled Tommy) has really grown on me. Lots of motion, great sounds, and some very nice glitchy changes scattered throughout.

Following Nina Nastasia's second song we have the highlight track from the excellent Mount Wittenberg Orca EP from the unlikely-on-paper (but instantly-perfect-when-you-hear-it) pairing of Dirty Projectors + Björk. To me it sounds like another branch of Americana, and so delightfully positive too.

The chirping vocals drew my mind to the sampled vox on the adorable Machine Translations song "Happy", which can't help but put you in a Happy mood. Well, if you're me. You are, aren't you?

And thence we arrive once more at Oneohtrix Point Never. Daniel Lopatin sings on a couple of tracks on this album, although his vocals are obscured by a harmonising pedal and other effects. It's quite a beautiful effect over his analogue synths. I strong recommend checking this album out.

Another regular on this show, the boats drop another incrrrredibly limited EP on their boutique label through Boomkat. If you hurry they might still have some copies! Very minimal and in this case quite sensual electronica.

The other track from Oneohtrix also has submerged vocals, and like the opening track on the album is a much more chaotic, computer-edited affair. But we're headed into analogue-synth territory again courtesy of an ultra-limited, ultra-amazing cassette release from the legendary (yeah, why not) Keith Fullerton Whitman. Here he brings his not inconsiderable skills to the process of auto-generated analogue synthesis. It's mesmerising stuff.
Mesmerising, perhaps too, is his older work as Hrvatski: proto-breakcore that I was obsessed by in the 1997-200x period. Heck, I wouldn't say no if he went back to making some of these crazy beats, but tonight what we heard was from the really early period. I still remember receiving the translucent green vinyl of the Attention: Cats "compilation", which I held some suspicions about as regards to the multiple artists therein. But the one definitely real independent personality was his brother Brian Whitman, who released a few excellent delicacies as Blitter, and with whom Keith collaborated for an imaginary computer game soundtrack which I caned back in '98/'99. So fine.

Nothing like a bit of a drum'n'bass rinse-out, and over the next few tracks we discover that there's still some great beat-fuckery going on in the crevices of the drum'n'bass world, along with some really nice minimal stuff, the likes of which we've heard over the last few weeks.
Macc and dgoHn were both new to me until I was alerted to their recent release on the Rephlex label. They have a full-length album coming out soon, but they also have plenty of back-catalogue independently. Their stuff, separately and together, has the best qualities of your Squarepusher, Vibert or µ-Ziq tweaked breaks, but production-wise is as dancefloor as you might want. No surprise, then, that they've had releases on Paradox’s label among other things. Really great stuff, can't wait to hear more. You can get their duo EP from the revamped Rephlex site right now.

In there we also heard one of the best beats from the incredible sabre album a wandering journal, a double CD set. The first disc is one long mix, and features a few tracks not separated out on disc 2; it also has “pt. 1” of the fantastic half-speed track "leveling out", featuring full vocals from Maxwell Golden, and leading us nicely into our wonky hip-hop segment.

First up, Funckarma have their fourth Dubstoned EP out now (vinyl and digital) and it's the best yet - crunchy and bassy with a good dubsteppy feel. This is one of their acid-meets-dubstep kind of things, very tasty.

Lorn’s debut album Nothing Else, for Flying Lotus’s Brainfeeder label, is one of the most musical and rhythmically satisfying albums coming out of a really exciting west-coast USA scene. Great listening music, great head-nodding music. Take’s Only Mountain also has great tune after great tune, and doesn't stick to one tempo or one style either; there are some more traditional instrumental hip-hoppy things and all sorts of sounds. And Nosaj Thing, well I hope we know Nosaj by now. Absolutely blissful synth lines floating and marching along to a shuffling hip-hop beat.

It was slightly hilarious and slightly disturbing to discover Autechre swinging the beat in this rather abstract take from their new album (or EP? It's a WAP catalogue number) Move of Ten. You couldn't really claim it has any connection with wonky or dubstep, but it's got a great movement to it, if you focus in the right way. This release is seriously still sinking in, but the CD version should be arriving soon, so it'll get some more outings then.

Part Timer is putting together a raft of remixes for an upcoming album, and his mate Jazzy Jones Is Nano has handed in an absolute corker. The folky acoustic guitar and the breathy vox of Heidi Elva drift in and out, along with perfect sampled strings and idm beats. Again I say, somebody release this guy's music!
And we have, for now, and exclusive track from Sydney's own Gentleforce. It's a lovely epic thing with tribal beats and his trademark evocative chords.

I had wanted to play more than one track from this compilation Herfsttonen, so you'll be hearing more next week. Three musicians were asked to make a musical rendering of the Dutch town of Okkenbroek, for a festival occurring there. Paul de Jong, cellist in everyone's favourite laptop folk duo The Books, created a gorgeous piece with sampled conversations and field recordings, and multiple cello lines (presumably live and pre-recorded). Amazingly, the other two tracks on this CD are equally magnificent.

Finally we have the final track from Dosh’s new album, which travels from postrock through electronic interventions and into heavy guitar riffage. It's an album with hidden depths, for sure.

Bobbie Gentry - Ode To Billy Joe [EMI International]
Nina Nastasia - You Can Take Your Time [Fat Cat]
Dosh - loud [Anticon]
Nina Nastasia - This Familiar Way [Fat Cat]
Dirty Projectors + Björk - On and Ever Onward [self-released - download for donation to protect precious marine life!]
Machine Translations - Happy [Spunk]
Oneohtrix Point Never - Returnal [Editions Mego]
the boats - The book is red [Our Small Ideas]
Oneohtrix Point Never - Preyouandi [Editions Mego]
Keith Fullerton Whitman - Generator 5 [Root Strata]
Hrvatski - Patience [from Okapi Tracks, long-disappeared collection of long-disappeared tracks from the first incarnation of mp3.com. We're talking 1997 or 8 I think]
Mouly / Hubley / Leroux - Scrub [Reckankreuzungsklankewerkzeuge]
Sick - Steaktippin' [Reckankreuzungsklankewerkzeuge]
Blitter & Hrvatski - Nuclear Cats Get New Home [Lucky Kitchen]
Macc and dgoHn - Things go Brown [Rephlex]
sabre - peril (club mix) [Critical Music]
Macc - Nuñez [Transmute]
dgoHn - Headspace Sampling Apparatai [Subtle Audio Digital]
Macc and dgoHn - July 39th [Rephlex]
sabre - leveling out pt. 1 (feat. Maxwell Golden) [Critical Music]
Funckarma - Kopf [Eat Concrete]
Lorn - None An Island [Brainfeeder]
Take - Before You Think [Alpha Pup]
Nosaj Thing - Fog [Alpha Pup]
Autechre - Cep puiqMX [Warp]
Part Timer - The Runner (Jazzy Jones Is Nano remix) [forthcoming on...?]
Gentleforce - New Ground [exclusive!]
Paul de Jong - Okeenblues [esc.rec.]
Dosh - gare de lyon [Anticon]

Listen again — ~ 181MB

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