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experimental electronica
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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.

Sunday, 30th of January, 2011

Playlist 30.01.11 (10:06 pm)

Tonight featured live music and a pretty big range of tunes from indie pop to various electronic genres, drone and all sorts of remixy business.
LISTEN AGAIN via the link at the bottom.

Last week I played a couple of tracks that I didn't hear live from a couple of Sydney Festival artists. Tonight I thought I'd do the same. Sufjan Stevens put on an incredible show at the Sydney Opera House on Friday night (and by all accounts Thursday too), featuring masterful playing by all, great sound, dancing and much theatrics. And hundreds of balloons falling from the ceiling. A delight.
But while he played many tracks from both last year's album and EP, he didn't play one of the highlights, "I Want To Be Well", so I thought it an appropriate opening track for tonight.

Next up, a track from one of the best drum'n'bass albums I've heard in the last few years, Sabre’s A Wandering Journal. The reason? The MC on the track, Maxwell Golden, was participating in a fantastic cross-cultural collaborative hip-hop theatre piece at Carriageworks for SydFest, called East London West Sydney. An ambitious project, it brought spoken word and hip-hop into a narrative format of sorts, and succeeded to no small extent because all the artists were fantastically talented.

I know nothing of Objekt, except that he's a German dubstep/techno artist, and also a record label. It's fantastic stuff anyway, and a slightly different approach to this particular stylistic crossover than some other Berlin artists are taking.

Tidy Kid is a Brisbane artist who's been around for yonks, and thus it's embarrassing that I hadn't heard of him. The EP he dropped in to us is fantastic electronic stuff, and I'll be seeking out more of his sounds right away. Doubly embarrassing, I already had a track of his on Ian Hawgood aka koen park’s remix album from 2009, a great track too.

Miracle is a surprisingly pop electronic duo featuring Steve Moore from Zombi, and I probably wouldn't have even paid them any mind except that luckily Fennesz did a remix for them. The second half is more Fennesz, and you can grab it for yourself via the Pitchfork link below.

All three of the the fun years’ last albums are still high in my playlists right now, and I'm still obsessed with them. This track is particularly awesome, building a couple of times with an almost krautrockin' motorik guitar ostinato.

And here's a little gem from Spartak’s recent remix cassette (and download): Adrian Lim-Klumpes adding his piano and beautifully de/reconstructing them.

Next up it was finally time to hear from Melbourne duo Constant Light, performing live in the studio on synthesiser, e-bow guitar and various effects pedals plus laptop. This was a kosmische ambient trip, a real beauty, and you can download it separately here.

We followed Constant Light with a couple of artists involved in Iceage Productions, run by Peter of Wolf 359, who put out a very fine Melbournian compilation called The Shape of Sound - Volume 1 (which we can only hope means there'll be more down the track). Wolf 359 themselves/himself turns in a brief but tasty synth piece, and Zac Kieller brings effected guitar to the table.

Then we move to Perth, where Craig McElhinney has just released his latest album of guitar processing, and it seems like his best yet — everything from eastern-tinged straight guitar picking to long drones and sparkling layered effects. Often moving quickly from idea to idea, the album features a lot of shorter tracks along with a few longer ones, so we had a bunch in a row to give an idea of this.

On the other hand, the latest album from The Mount Fuji Doomjazz Corporation, an improv/drone incarnation of The Kilimanjaro Darkjazz Ensemble, is one hour-long improvised live performance, split into four 15-minute tracks. It's immense and quite amazing, with melodic cello and trumpet, and crescendos and decrescendos of noise. Beautiful.

Folk/ambient/post-classical/thingy website Fluid Radio is branching out and releasing a beautiful album, er, soon, by German multi-instrumentalist Christopher Berg aka Field Rotation. A stunning concoction of mostly violin, piano and electronics, it makes for deep listening. We heard two "Acoustic Tales" tonight.

I'll be chatting with Area C in a coming 'Fog, probably next week. Meanwhile, another of his hypnotic electronic pieces courtesy of Sydney's Preservation.

I've only just gotten hold of Brisbane noise-pop act AXXONN’s album from late last year, so I won't be able to play it till next week. Meanwhile, a couple of remixes which you can download free from here. Until I hear the originals, I can't tell how much Monster Monster & Saint Surly and (later) The Sea Shall Not Have Them have tampered with them, but they seemed like highlights to me.

I was glad to also include a number more Congotronics remixes/reworkings from Crammed Discs’ excellent double CD Tradi-Mods vs Rockers. Two rather radical approaches to Konono N°1: Sylvain Chaveau’s characteristically wistful track swiftly abandons samples of the original for minimalist and mournful piano chords. And Parenthetical GirlsJherek Bischoff arranges them for string orchestra, managing to keep something of the original's energy and verve while sounding authentically classical.
Londoner Bass Clef, on the other hand, works his dubstep/techno/electronica/drum'n'bass styles into the rhythms and harmonies of Kasai Allstars. It's more what you'd expect of a remix, but no less successful for that.

Geoff Mullen’s on a roll. The only co-worker with Keith Fullerton Whitman at Keith's Mimaroglu Music Sales, Mullen has been creating weird electronic emanations on various cassette and CDR editions for a while, and his latest is on the legendary Digitalis Ltd. Extra-lo-fi and fascinating.

I've loved the music of Dunk Murphy since before he was Sunken Foal, as he made some exquisite crunchy idm as half of Ambulance. His new mini-album on Acroplane again features his voice and guitar along with the electronics, and is as lush and off-kilter as ever.

And after reprises from Tidy Kid and AXXONN again, we have time for one track from last week's incredible discovery, Motion Sickness of Time Travel — more shyly blurting rustic synthesiser lines and her mystic vocals; such beguiling stuff.

Sufjan Stevens - I Want To Be Well [Asthmatic Kitty]
sabre - leveling out pt. 1 (feat. Maxwell Golden) [Critical Music]
Objekt - Tinderbox [Objekt]
Tidy Kid - Gidget Controller 75 [demo]
Tidy Kid - fragments 1 (koen park remix) [i, absentee]
Miracle - The Visitor (Fennesz remix) [House Anxiety Records] {download from Pitchfork}
the fun years - the surge is working [barge recordings]
Spartak - Station Seven (Lim-Klumpes remix) [hellosQuare]
...live performance from Constant Light...
Wolf 359 - Urban Decay [Iceage Productions]
Zac Kieller - By Darkness & By The Moon [Iceage Productions]
Craig McElhinney - Burning Out [Grave New World]
Craig McElhinney - Green Flame [Grave New World]
Craig McElhinney - Everyday Slow Learner [Grave New World]
Craig McElhinney - Temple Pathworkings [Grave New World]
The Mount Fuji Doomjazz Corporation - Form [Denovali]
Field Rotation - Acoustic Tale 5 [Fluid Radio]
Area C - Radio Basis [Preservation]
AXXONN - Let's Get It Straight (Monster Monster/Saint Surly remix) [Sonoptik Bandcamp]
Field Rotation - Acoustic Tale 3 [Fluid Radio]
Sylvain Chaveau vs Konono N°1 - Makembe [Crammed]
Jherek Bischoff vs Konono N°1 - Kule Kule (Orchestral Version) [Crammed]
Bass Clef vs Kasai Allstars - The Incident At Mbuji-Mayi [Crammed]
Geoff Mullen - A Dust Futures Side 1: ADF 4 [Digitalis]
Sunken Foal - Gift Knee Pads [Acroplane]
Tidy Kid - Reject Fly Bot [demo]
AXXONN - Perfect For Acid (The Sea Shall Not Have Them remix) [Sonoptik Bandcamp]
Motion Sickness of Time Travel - The Alchemical Dream [Digitalis]

Listen again — ~ 168MB

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Sunday, 23rd of January, 2011

Playlist 23.01.11 (9:59 pm)

Evening all! Lots of great music for you on this second-last Sunday of the first month of the year!
LISTEN AGAIN via the link at the bottom.

I've started with two artists who did stellar shows at the Spiegeltent at Sydney Festival this week, with a favourite track of each which they failed to play at their gigs. Such is life, of course. Owen Pallett, back when he was Final Fantasy, put in an entry to Tomlab's Alphabet Series of 7"s, with two of my favourite tracks of his. "Hey, Dad!" used to be a staple of his live sets, and you can see plenty of amazing versions of it on YouTube.
Back in 2007, a friend alerted me to an amazing song by an Icelandic artist called Ólöf Arnalds. It's an absolutely gorgeous piece of music, and it's just lucky that she has lots of other beautiful tracks too, since I still haven't seen her play it live!

We'll be hearing quite a bit from Rachel Evans' amazing psychedelic folk/drone/ambient project Motion Sickness of Time Travel tonight. Her debut release on cult label Digitalis came out on cassette last year, and has now been re-released on vinyl. Meanwhile later on we'll hear some older stuff that she's now put up on her Bandcamp.

But first, let us hear of the genius of Fabio Orsi. Italy's produced so much great experimental music, and Fabio's firmly in the camp of drone meets post-rock and electronic... His new album on Preservation, Stand Up Before Me, Oh My Soul, is gobsmackingly good, featuring drums from Richard Baker (collaborator with (brother of?) Aidan Baker/Nadja), lots of noise and guitars and other sounds... I also featured some tunes from his excellent 3CD set random shades of day from last year.

Also (as with the Orsi release) part of Preservation's CIRCA 2011 series is Area C’s Map of Circular Thought, an album of deep hypnotic minimal electronica. These two make a pretty triumphant start to 2011 for the label.

Keeping it electronic and synth-laden is Cex, with a beatless track from his Evargreaz EP.
And back with the Digitalis label, Sweden's Roll The Dice give us an absolute epic of growing synth motion.

Sydney's Ghoul are finally getting their first "real" releases out, after having a free download EP self-released back in 2008 (which seems to have disappeared now). We heard the title track from that EP, a nice experimental, instrumental track, and then one of the hits from their new EP.

People have been talking about the dubstep-influenced beat to Ghoul's "3 Mark", and it sortof seems far-fetched to me - except that it is at the right tempo and mixed in perfectly with the Tunnidge track that followed it. Full points for proving myself wrong I guess! Very deep and dark track courtesy of the very reliable Deep Medi label.

Not so much dubstep as some kind of deep techno, next up we hear Caribou’s Bowls remixed by one of my favourite bands, Icarus. It's dark, dark, dark, and you can download it right now for free from Caribou's SoundCloud!

We then head over to Icarus' own SoundCloud, where they've put up some old and some (I'm guessing) new tracks for free download. Harking back to their drum'n'bass origins with a 45-second amen break rinseout, we then have something in their more recent sound — electro-acoustic sound art, with deeply-buried and obfuscated beat patterns...

Cheeky Sydney/Adelaide duo Collarbones have been ripping up the experimental dancefloors live of late, and in anticipation of their debut album's release on Two Bright Lakes, they've put out a free download comp of covers (including their infamous Justin Bieber cover) called Tiger Beats. Here they remix their friends and label-mates Psuche.

Yet another free download from Bandcamp (because it is a useful artist- and punter-friendly service) comes from LA collective Friends of Friends, who at the end of 2010 put out a compilation of affiliated artists doing tasty pop mashups. First off we heard Brainfeeder artist Strangeloop chopping up the Beach Boys' "Wouldn't It Be Nice".

Back with Collarbones, their remix of Underlapper’s "Kandos" keeps the lovely female vocal, and manages to simultaneously make it more experimental and more pop than the original.
And another LA artist, Shlohmo, takes Soulja Boy's "Pretty Boy Swag" and mashes it up with... Dead Can Dance? The Bulgarian Women's Choir? Awesome anyway.

While we're on the "pop" tip, back with Ghoul we have a more spaced-out jam, which should be a big hit this year. C'mon, make it so!
And two more tracks from Fabio Orsi, a heavily distorted track from the new album (oh so good!) and a beautiful glitchy ambient thing from last year's 3CD set.

Then finally we're back with Rachel Evans' Motion Sickness of Time Travel, exploring a few older releases via her Bandcamp. You can see the original releases via the links in the playlist — there's a cornucopia of music from her to explore, and while the Digitalis album possibly tops it all, there are many wonders to be found in there.

Two Aussie releases round out the show. Brisbane's The Rational Academy keep it rather arcane with a live version of "Satan" recorded in Japan, debut release for new label Bon Voyage.
And doomsters Michael Crafter’s new EP has two 20+-minute tracks on it which are perfect for zoning out on crunching guitars, but for the purposes of radio this track was the only one I could play (and it rocks too). Even more than last year, this will be the year of Bandcamp I think, so of course this is also available over there.

Final Fantasy - Hey, Dad! [Tomlab]
Ólöf Arnalds - Í Nýju Húsi [12 Tonar/One Little Indian]
Motion Sickness of Time Travel - Mental Projection [Digitalis]
Fabio Orsi - Naked Trance [Preservation]
Fabio Orsi - I'm Happy Here Part III [Privileged To Fail Records]
Fabio Orsi - Papa Show Me Your Blues LPs [Preservation]
Area C - Map of Circular Thought [Preservation]
Cex - Day of 1000 Radiant Suicides [Automation Records/Bandcamp]
Roll The Dice - Swing [Digitalis]
Ghoul - A Mouthful of Gold [self-released]
Ghoul - 3 Mark [Speak n Spell]
Tunnidge - Dark Skies [Deep Medi]
Caribou - Bowls (Icarus remix) [free download from SoundCloud!]
Icarus - junglebells [available from Icarus' SoundCloud]
Icarus - Elliogy [available from Icarus' SoundCloud]
Collarbones - I See A Wolf (cover of Psuche) [no label/Bandcamp]
Strangeloop - Wouldn't It Be Nice (Beach Boys) [Friends of Friends] {free download comp from Bandcamp}
Collarbones - Kandos (remix of Underlapper) [no label/Bandcamp]
Shlohmo - Pretty Boy Swag (Soulja Boy) [Friends of Friends] {free download comp from Bandcamp}
Ghoul - Dreambeat [Speak n Spell]
Fabio Orsi - Full Metal Flat [Preservation]
Fabio Orsi - Radio Passing [Privileged To Fail Records]
Motion Sickness of Time Travel - Memeplexes [Hooker Vision] {download from Bandcamp}
Motion Sickness of Time Travel - I Saw [Hooker Vision] {download from Bandcamp}
Motion Sickness of Time Travel - Telepathy [Digitalis]
Motion Sickness of Time Travel - A Forest Aching Cold [Hooker Vision] {download from Bandcamp}
The Rational Academy - Satan [Bon Voyage]
Michael Crafter - Slurry Pills [Vacant Valley] {yes, you can download it from Bandcamp}

Listen again — ~ 167MB

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Monday, 17th of January, 2011

Playlist 16.01.11 (6:00 pm)

As I was away this Sunday, Shannon O'Neill kindly stepped in and played some awesome tunes. Here's the playlist:

Diego Garro - Inner Cities
Nate Adderley - Aries
Sweet Trip - Dedicated
Broadcast - Corporeal
Sarah Hopkins - Double Whirly Duo
Axxo - No Idlers
Shackleton - Deadman / New Dawn
Kotchy - Sing What You Want (Mrk 1 Remix)
Strange Parcels - Badman Land
Kurt Volentine - Vortex St
DJ Smallcock - 1990 - 1990
Pernicious Sovereign - Television Part III
Ian Hartley - Train Je Taime
Broadcast - Black Cat
The Legends - Seconds Away
Utom Alla - Rok Forst
The Young Gods - Aux Anges
Caboladies - Atomic Weekender (B)
Antediluvian Rocking Horse - The Premier Needs Protection
Clark - Matthew Unburdened
Flying Lotus - GNG BNG
Meat Beat Manifesto - Let Me Set
The Kleptones - Mad Groove
Ebola - Necrophiliac Dance Party
Ken Nordine - Ecru
Perrey & Kingsley - Baroque Hoedown
Nate Adderley - Libra
Scientist - Cloning Process
High Tone & Wang Lei - Tchen
O'Rang - Mind on Pleasure
Underground Lovers - On and On and On and On
Francis Dhomont - Novars
Wake Up and Listen - Thoughts Flash
Broadcast - Lights Out

Sunday, 9th of January, 2011

Playlist 09.01.11 (10:05 pm)

2nd show of the year and heaps of wonderful stuff to play you!
LISTEN AGAIN via the link at the bottom.

Oh folks - next week I'm down at Mona Foma in TAS I'm afraid, so that kind gentleman Shannon O'Neill will be entertaining you instead.

Started with more gorgeous crackly ambience from the fun years. Check them out, really do.
We followed it with something subtle and beautiful from multi-instrumentalist William Ryan Fritch. He seems to play every instrument that exists. He's also a member of the SkyRider Band, who've been awesomly backing Sole over the last few albums. There's a world music vibe to this music which I felt led quite nicely into the next track, off an album I featured a little bit tonight...

A few years ago, Belgian label Crammed introduced the world to the distorted likembe (thumb piano) sound of Konono N°1, under the banner of "Congotronics". They and a few other bands have now been given a remix/cover/tribute double disc by the label, with surprisingly awesome results all-round. The distinctive thumb piano scales and cross-rhythms have been making an appearance in Andrew Bird’s music of late, so it's not a huge surprise to find him here — his is one of the few pure covers on the disc, and the distorted violin loops fit in nicely with the surrounding works.

I've already played this Bleeding Heart Narrative single; looking forward to the album! He's gone a lot more song-oriented over the last while, and does them well.

Borful Tang brings us the first of a few tracks from the latest Below The Radar compilation from The Wire. A nice mix of list instruments, spoken recordings and noise.

Following this, a surprisingly sedate piece from the math-rock-enamoured Mr. Maps, whose album is only about a week away now. Cello-led, this track ends with some nice computer manipulation from Chris Perren.

Next up from Wire Mag is Expressway Yo-Yo Dieting, aka Pat Maherr, chopping and screwing slowed-down gangsta rap samples and turning them into something not entirely like hip-hop.

While Clubroot lives somewhere on the outskirts of dubstep, on this remix Portland producer SPL takes him into very heavy dubstep territory.

And then we hit our next little special, the music of Rjyan Kidwell aka Cex. There's a new Cex album coming from his old alma mater Tigerbeat6 this year, but he also put out an EP in the last month, so we heard a track from that (at approximately dubstep tempo, but not really dubstep), and then found our way back to his first (real) album in 2000, with some crunchy idm. Not wanting to go for a whole artist bio right now, we skipped back to 2007 with his wonderful Steely Dan mashup (as in (s)mashed to smithereens) Dannibal, and then a remix from a shortly-forthcoming EP Megamuse, which precedes the album on Tigerbeat. He's a very versatile artist, for all that he's always liked to hide behind various devil-may-care personae.

Zoon Van Snook has snook up on us from Bristol via LA - specifically the venerable LA label Mush. The album's a little bit strange in that it gave me the expectation of being folktronica, but ended up not quite like that; it's a little too pretty and easily-listenable, sliding off one's consciousness at first, but on re-listening, it's very catchy and has a lot more substance than "all that". I'll be playing more.

Paneye's album is another that sneaks up on you from behind. He does a good line in Boards of Canada-style watercolour washes, with nice idm beats. Sydney music recorded in Japan!

Back to Justin Broadrick and the The Blood of Heroes project, with some very nice beats from end.user. A longtime favourite track of mine is next, the first Jesu collaboration with Jarboe. I didn't much like the album they made later, but this song hits hard with Jarboe's snarling vocals and Broadrick's riffage. Even heavier are the riffs on the recently-unearthed and completed "dethroned".

Back to Congotronics, and Japanese musical legend EY∃ is another perfect foil for the overdriven thumb pianos, and he layers and recombines their sound and his deliciously. Oneida, too, bring the African compositions effortlessly into their own musical mayhem.
Next week (er, that's in two weeks) I'll play a few more quite different takes on this sound. The compilation is highly recommended. I won't rant here about Type Records’s irritating conceit of giving away a free bonus CD only with limited vinyl versions of their releases... oh wait, I did.

Final take from The Wire's digital compilation is from John Mueller, remixed here by Olivia Block — guitar drone with shards of aural glass.

Shoeb of hellosQuare introduced me to Italian band 3/4HadBeenEliminated on a Sydney visit last year, so when I heard they had a new release on Die Schachtel I got hold of it. Italy has produced some very fine sound-art, and this is no exception, with elements of postrock, field recordings and even vocals in the mix. It turns out I know the work of a couple of members separately from the band as well — in particular Valerio Tricoli, who has worked with Dean Roberts.

Vocals are the central magic in the Kleefstra/Bakker/Kleefstra, from a Japanese tour compilation named after this track (That It Stays Winter Forever). With Machinefabriek also on the disc, you know what to expect - perfectly-recorded slow-moving drone, with the original instruments gleaming through here and there, and on this track, a beautifully-read poem in Dutch.
I'll be playing another long piece from this next time, I hope.

Finally, another long(ish) track, from Perth artist Adam Trainer. This was released on a tour EP in 2010, but dates back a few years earlier. It bears the influence of late Talk Talk, but in the hands of this member of now-defunct postrock geniuses Radarmaker it's more than just a photocopy. I'm reminded a little also of Dean Roberts' Autistic Daughters... I've been wanting to play this for a few weeks too, so I'm glad I fitted it in tonight!

the fun years - auto show day of the dead [barge recordings]
William Ryan Fritch - rattle these bags of bones [Asthmatic Kitty]
Andrew Bird vs Konono N°1 & Sobanza Mimanisa - Ohnono/Kiwembo [Crammed]
Bleeding Heart Narrative - Perun [Tartaruga] {free download single from the label!}
Borful Tang - Sanctuary [Gigante Sound] {courtesy The Wire}
Mr. Maps - Nostalgia is Crippling [lofly]
Expressway Yo-Yo Dieting - Untitled {courtesy The Wire}
Clubroot - Sempiternal (SPL Remix) [Lo Dubs]
Cex - November Reign [via Bandcamp]
Cex - a mansion as the body she resides in [Tigerbeat6]
Cex - His Crimes [Wildfire Wildfire Records]
Cex - Trumpetflower (Scrubber Fox remix)( [Tigerbeat6] {forthcoming - listen at SoundCloud}
Zoon Van Snook - Half Term (8:08) [Mush]
Paneye - She Swallowed My Days [New Weird Australia] {free download from Bandcamp}
Paneye - Dead Rainbow Rastas [New Weird Australia] {free download from Bandcamp}
The Blood of Heroes - Remain [Ohm Resistance]
Jesu - storm comin' on (feat. Jarboe) [Hydra Head Industries]
Jesu - dethroned [Hydra Head Industries]
EY∃ vs Konono N°1 - Konono Wa Wa Wa [Crammed]
Oneida vs Konono N°1 - Nombre 1! [Crammed]
John Mueller - The Whole (Olivia Block mix) (edit) [Type Records] {courtesy The Wire}
3/4HadBeenEliminated - oblivion parts II & III [Die Schachtel]
Kleefstra/Bakker/Kleefstra - Dat It Altyd Winter Bliuwt [White Box]
Adam Trainer - Animal Heart (You've Got An) [hellosQuare]

Listen again — ~ 182MB

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Sunday, 2nd of January, 2011

Playlist 02.01.11 (10:11 pm)

First Utility Fog of 2011 and it's MY BIRTHDAY! So I'll play whatever the heck I want! Er - just like always.
LISTEN AGAIN, as always, via the link at the bottom. You won't regret it. It may change your life.

Starting with a track I played last week and forgot, but it's so awesome that you actually do need to hear it again. *phew* #closecall
Oh dear. Hashtags in playlist posts. Bad form.
Uh, anyway, Spartak are awesome y'all. I think I've been hammering this point home for a while now. Cleptoclectics' remix comes from a cassette/download release that just made it into 2010, called Version Room.

Tonight ended up being mostly recent tracks, but I was listening to this particular Bracken remix earlier in the week and knew I had to play it. Absolutely beautiful reconfiguration of the French indie band Immune, imbuing the vocal snippets with pastel-hued nostalgia.

And nobody can complain about a bit of Jon Hopkins being slipped in there. Piano, crunching beats and bass... and then string duo Geese do a stunning remix.

Continuing the string theme, we have a new Fingerlings EP from Andrew Bird! Lots of live instrumental material on this one, although the track I played does (eventually) have vocals.

Another violinist and vocalist follows. Peter Broderick is also an accomplished photographer, and I only recently discovered that he has been combining the two on his Flickr page, where he has a set called "free music", pairing images with exclusive mp3s. Some wonderful sounds there.

"In California" is Joanna Newsom at her most Kate Bush-sounding, even though the song to me also bears the obvious influence of Joni Mitchell. It's a wonderful epic from an epic (3CD!) album that is really worth exploring.

Owen Pallett had an epic concept album out last year too, and neither of the tracks I played came directly from it. The track "Tryst With Mephistopheles" does appear on Heartland, but I played an instrumental version from Owen's new Export EP, which you can download (in demo form at least) from SoundCloud. I believe he'll be selling these at his Sydney Festival gigs this year.
We also heard him with some nicely contemporary beats courtesy of CFCF.

Latter-day Massive Attack seems to sometimes garner a "meh" reaction from the fans, but I've actually loved them, just as much as I did back in the '90s with Blue Lines and all the rest. Particularly nice hearing Tunde Adebimpe with the dark and dubby beats on this track.

Dark and dubsteppy is the track from Mr Lager, released as part of the latest series of releases from Various. You'd only know it's Mr Lager because the mp3s are tagged as such. Very suited to the Various (Production) canon though!

Listeners will know that James Blake is one of the artists I've been obsessing over a bit lately. I know that his forthcoming album isn't going to do it for me, but the EPs/12"s from this year were stellar.

Equally obsession-worthy was the anbb album, which I feel is among the very top releases of 2010. It always garners a reaction when I play it (especially this long, crazy, and ultimately beautiful opening track), and needs more attention from the rest of the world!

Speaking of obsessions, Justin K Broadrick, in his various guises, has popped up a lot in 2010. The two tracks I played tonight came from two late-coming releases of 2010, both digital only EPs which you can buy via the links below. Both feature his wonderful full-throttle guitar sounds and riffage.

From out of the Digital Hardcore era comes Christoph de Babalon, with some dark breakcore action. He released a seminal album of the nascent genre in 1997, and didn't do much between the late '90s and the last couple of years, but apparently as well as a few recent 12"s, there's an album on the way. I'll be all over it.

65daysofstatic bring the drum'n'bass beats too, on a track from their late entry into 2010 (also their fourth release for the year!), the Heavy Sky EP. It segues into the lovely "Guitar Cascades" that close the EP.

From out of 65dos' guitar glitchery come the fun years, who over three albums have created a shuddering, crackling sonic landscape, where the guitar and turntable sources are often hard to discern. They're one of the most exciting discoveries of 2010, even though I'd heard (and loved) a couple of remixes they did in 2009...

From his wonderful real to reel album that came out right at the end of 2010, part timer gives us a lovely wonky tune featuring the harp and vocals of heidi elva.

And lastly, we have a preview of the new album from Brisbane math-/post-rockers Mr. Maps. Leaning less on the electronic glitchery and studio edits (which is a small shame, but reflects their live presence better), the album features cello and piano among the angular rock riffs and rhythms. It's definitely going to get plenty more airplay here and I suspect on FBi in general.

Spartak - Second-Half Clouded (feat. Lucrecia Perez) [Low Point]
Spartak - Sunstrokes (Cleptoclectics remix) [hellosQuare]
Immune - Recorded home (Bracken remix) [Eglantine Records] {free(!) download here.}
Jon Hopkins - Vessel [Domino]
Jon Hopkins - The Low Places (Geese Remix) [Domino]
Andrew Bird - you woke me up! [self-released]
Peter Broderick - when_i_blank_i_blank [free download via Flickr!] {read the awesome story behind this track here, where you can download it too...}
Joanna Newsom - In California [Drag City/Spunk]
Owen Pallett - Export 5 (Tryst With Mephistopheles) [free download from SoundCloud!]
Owen Pallett - Lewis Takes Off His Shirt (CFCF Remix) [Domino]
Massive Attack - Pray For Rain (feat. Tunde Adebimpe) [EMI]
Mr Lager - Kailis [Various]
James Blake - CMYK [R&S Records]
anbb - fall [raster noton]
Jesu - Christmas (Pale Sketcher remix) [digital release from Avalanche Inc store]
Final - Gravity [digital release from Avalanche Inc store]
Christoph de Babalon - Golden Halo [RestRoomRecords]
65daysofstatic - Beats Like A Helix [Hassle Records]
65daysofstatic - Guitar Cascades [Hassle Records]
the fun years - d > > 2 / softly as stilts [barge recordings]
the fun years - the surge is working [barge recordings]
the fun years - precious persecution complex [barge recordings]
part timer - never meant to be (feat. heidi elva) [Lost Tribe Sound]
Mr. Maps - Cover Your Heads [lofly]

Listen again — ~ 176MB

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