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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, 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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