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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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Sunday, 12th of September, 2010

Playlist 12.09.10 (11:10 pm)

There is nothing that grows in your Arctic World... Good evening!
LISTEN AGAIN to this wondrous musical stew via the link at the bottom!

Tonight, I decided to start with a bit of a classic of Oz Rock, from the band of the man who was ultra-political until, um, he became a politician. The Oils’ three albums of the mid-'80s, 10,9,8,7,6,5,4,3,2,1, Red Sails in the Sunset and Diesel and Dust are all brilliant, and if the latter cut down somewhat on the studio experimentalism, there's still a lot of sonic goodness there, as we hear in the simple sampled backbeat and great string arrangement here.
I managed to call Ozi Batla Sean rather than Shannon on-air, but anyway thanks to Shannon for mentioning Diesel and Dust in his Cyclic Selects for the latest issue of Cyclic Defrost...

And... James Blackshaw has a new album out! His 12-string classical guitar has been replaced with a 12-string electric, but he's still playing piano more (including on the gorgeous “Part 1”), and includes more strings. I love the floor-tom and spoken numbers that arrive when “Part 6” hits. Highly recommended.

More Nils Frahm tonight, including more from his collaboration with cellist Anne Müller. Read back to my last couple of playlists for my raves about these artists.
Nils has been working with Peter Broderick producing a big new album for him recently, but then Peter went and injured his knee, meaning he wouldn't be able to tour the album. So that's been set back till 2011, and meanwhile Peter has released a stop-gap mini-album of mainly vocal, piano and guitar pieces. The lovely piano-based number I played is not only the highlight, but has an awesome title to boot.

Piano? Ah yes, piano. On Tuesday I was very fortunate to finally be able to see the amazing musicianship of The Bad Plus live at the Basement. They didn't play my favourite piece ("Prehensile Dream") but they did play their exquisite cover of Aphex Twin's "Flim" as an encore. Their new album is all originals, and it's one of their best yet. I love the way their chord changes are almost classical (or baroque) through the jazz syncopations on the title track "Never Stop", and "People Like You", like my aforementioned favourite, is a ballad with a long and patient melody, a real beauty.

From there we skip to the melody-drenched pop sounds of Brad Laner, who once made shoegaze as Medicine, then minimal and maximal glitchtronica as Electric Company, and earlier this year put out a similarly electronically-twisted pop album on Planet µ as one half of The Internal Tulips. It's probably true that none of the melodies here are memorable enough to storm up the charts, but it's always enjoyable to hear sonic experimentation along with unabashed pop.

Kurt Weisman’ brother Chris has featured on this show before. I found this album in Melbourne last week. Utterly insane psychedelia, with songs merging into long expanses of electronic burbles and general madness. Gotta love it.

Genre-crossing doesn't come any more extreme or accomplished as Nico Muhly, but his new album is almost a pure classical work. Except for the bits that sounds like adapted folk songs, and the bits of programming by label-mates Valgeir Sigurðsson and Ben Frost... I recommend ordering it from Bandcamp (see below) so you can get the two bonus tracks. I particularly like the textures in "Twitchy Organs".

In between the two Nico tracks, however, we had the rather gorgeous sounds of a new improv/sound trio who I can only hope work together more in the future. This first album from FenneszDaniellBuck is a recording of a gig in Knoxville, TN, and the three consummate musicians create a swirling sound with a big range.

Nico Muhly's twitchy organs (*ahem*) segue into a little featurette on the wonderful glitchy laptop folk of Espen Sommer-Eide, aka Phonophani, and his work with Dag-Are Haugan as Alog. They have a very distinctive sound, using little snippets of audio and (usually acoustic) instruments played in a sortof faux-naïve style, and it's beautifully immersive listening. "Violence and magical danger" is one way of putting it... The vocals on "son of king" seem to be Chinese speakers, and whether they're actually saying those words in the end or being chopped up to sound like it is probably irrelevant. On the other hand, on Espen's new album there are some more literal vocals, sung lyrics to a typical Phonophani/Alog backing.

And then, finally, we make it to the heavy beats part of the night, and coming up shortly, the heaviest of them all! Surprising that SALEM’s slo-mo hip-hop/dubstep style, which they're calling witch house or drag, isn't the heaviest, but then I chose something a bit different for tonight, something almost trip-hoppy that closes their debut album.
Following that, Amon Tobin’s new track is heavier. It's more in the vein of his Two Fingers material, really, and comes tonight courtesy of the Ninja Tune XX series, in which the Ninjas are sending out free tracks (and other stuff - a brilliant video for Amon Tobin this week too!) weekly in the lead-up to celebrating their 20th anniversary!

And then... well, here it is. It probably shouldn't be a surprise that Shit&Shine’s repetitive dirge-noise templates fits dubstep so snugly, but there you go. The two long tracks on this 12” (with handy free download thrown in) are the heaviest, dirtiest, and skankiest thing you'll probably hear all year, and you'll be laughing even while you can't help nodding your head. Next week we'll hear the (if anything heavier) flipside, so stay tuned.

Back to something resembling normality, the insane chuckles of Terror Danjah’s gremlin seem strangely tame. When the beat kicks in, with the bassline on all four beats and grime's typical off-beat hits, it's got a great skank to it.

And back to witch house, Balam Acab are one of the other big names in this genre, and their debut(?) 12" should be heard by anyone who's a fan of Mount Kimbie and their ilk. Well OK, it's a whole lot queasier, but the opening track's very dubsteppy/wonky.

48/4 is one of the representative's of Sydney's wonky oneofour collective, who trade beat-making tips and have developed a sound that loves arpeggios and triplets. This track is nicely bass-driven, in keeping with the previous tracks.

And to finish? Well, this week I was listening through my old Pop Will Eat Itself archives. I was a massive fan from the start of the '90s of their samples and riffs, and the endless permutations of remixes and versions they issued with Designers Republic artwork. Recently they reformed for a few shows, but Clint Mansell is too busy being a swanky film composer these days, so Graham Crabb is continuing the reformed Poppies without him. Probably quite dated-sounding but fun. Meanwhile, I dug out this awesomely oppressive and dubby "Kill Your Terrorvision" (spot the related pop culture reference?) remix they did of Terrorvision back in about 1994 for your enjoyment.

Midnight Oil - Arctic World [Sony BMG]
James Blackshaw - All Is Falling Parts 5 & 6 [Young God Records]
James Blackshaw - All Is Falling Part 1 [Young God Records]
nils frahm & anne müller - reminds to teeth [hush records]
Nils Frahm - Corn [L-O-A-F Explorers' Club]
Peter Broderick - Human Eyeballs On Toast [Bella Union/Cooperative Music]
The Bad Plus - Never Stop [Emarcy/Universal]
The Bad Plus - People Like You [Emarcy/Universal]
Brad Laner - Eyes Close [Home Tapes]
The Internal Tulips - Bee Calmed [Planet µ]
Brad Laner - Dirty Bugs [Home Tapes]
Kurt Weisman - The Great Flood / The Young Pioneers Discover Magic / Closeup of Reflection in Insect's Shell [Important Records]
Nico Muhly - Fire Down Below [Bedroom Community/Decca Classics] {available from Bandcamp with 2 extra download tracks}
FenneszDaniellBuck - Antonia / Diamond Mind [Thrill Jockey]
Nico Muhly - Twitchy Organs [Bedroom Community/Decca Classics] {and this is one of the bonus tracks you get by ordering it from Bandcamp!}
phonophani - kreken [Rune Grammofon]
alog - violence and magical danger [Rune Grammofon]
phonophani - the boiling fjords orchestra [Rune Grammofon]
alog - Catch that Totem! [Melektronikk]
alog - son of king [Rune Grammofon]
phonophani - gubijinso [Rune Grammofon]
SALEM - Traxx [Merok Records]
Amon Tobin - Shut Down [Ninja Tune]
Shit&Shine - Bass Puppy [Badmaster]
Terror Danjah - Horror Story [Planet µ]
Balam Acab - See Birds (Moon) [Tri Angle]
48/4 - Cake$ [The Frequency Lab]
Terrorvision - Alice What's The Matter? (Kill Your Terrorvision remix by Pop Will Eat Itself) [EMI]

Listen again — ~ 172MB

3 Responses to “Playlist 12.09.10”

  1. andrew lorien Says:

    "back when peter gabriel had a political edge" - that's funny!

  2. andrew lorien Says:

    oh, did i type gabriel when i meant garrett?

  3. Peter Says:

    You did! Haha :)
    *phew* I was worried I had. Glad you appreciate it anyway :P

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