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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, 17th of July, 2011

Playlist 17.07.11 (11:13 pm)

Some great sounds for you tonight! Many highlights, see below!
LISTEN AGAIN via the link at the bottom, or the podcast of course.

The new 13&god album is seriously good — so much better than either the recent Notwist or Themselves efforts. But together these artists seem to inspire each other in interesting ways, the Notwist's melodicism and emotion tempering Themselves' abrasiveness, while Themselves' beats and noises keep the Notwist's recent MOR tendencies in check.

More from them later, but I needed to get right into a hugely exciting Utilty Fog exclusive (for now), as I've just been sent a promo of the forthcoming vieo abiungo remix album. It'll be up for preorder from Lost Tribe Sound in just over a week. First off, though, we heard a non-album track which will only be available through Lost Tribe Sound's mailing list. Its sparse beats and autotuned vocals see William Ryan Fritch channeling James Blake — a bizarre but strangely appropriate blend, still with Fritch's world music vibe.
A quick detour into James Blake himself, through an awesome bootleg remix created by Sun Hammer and available for download from his soundcloud — using just a sampled phrase from Blake and taking the sparse 2step beats into gradually noisier territory. I came across Sun Hammer through his remix of vieo abiungo, a lovely thing with acoustic guitar and growly dubstep bass. More radical is Benoît Pioulard’s, which essentially sounds like whatever Thomas Meluch does when he's being Pioulard — which is a wonderful thing, mind you.

Nick Zammuto from The Books continues to release tracks from his new solo project, one at a time, available from his Soundcloud for one day and then intended to be shared around by fans. Nice.

I played The Book of Knots last week, but intended to play a track featuring Carla Kihlstedt on vocals. That's what tonight's tune was, along with a freaky Allen Willner narration (sounding a lot like Tom Waits is has to be said) and some massive crunching guitars.

Loveliest release of the week comes from Esmerine, the cello and percussion postrock/post-classical Godspeed spin-off group. Much less angst than Godspeed or A Silver Mt. Zion, it's positively pretty througout, even when it does get more postrockin' or sad. Produced by fellow Montrealer Patrick Watson, it also features his piano and vocals on a few tracks.

In between Esmerine tracks we heard from Perth prog/jazz/postrock band Tangled Thoughts of Leaving, whose debut album revels in excess — there are frequent glitchy granular processing and hard disk edits around the jazzy piano, prog riffs and general postrock approaches in the mostly very long tracks. I haven't worked out yet whether it's ridiculous or awesome, but it's fun.

Next up, we heard some of my earliest encounters with some of the members of 13&god.
The Notwist’s Neon Golden is a stone-cold classic of indietronica, but in fact I first heard them on a standout compilation back when the Morr Music label was doing interesting stuff, called Putting the Morr Back in Morrissey.
The Boom Bip & Doseone album Circles was, in 1999, unlike any hip-hop I'd heard before — Boom Bip juxtaposing arcane samples and bizarre source materials with brilliant beat-juggling around Doseone's stream of consciousness beat poetry and his characteristic nasal twang. He was soon to become ubuquitous. It's still pretty awesome listening, but the track I played tonight has always been a standout.

And after some more 13&god it's time for Skeletons. Their new album has struck me upside with a... thing that you... anyway, not an idiom I'm up with, but it's really great, that's what you need to know. Quirky as all get out, with intriguing lyrics, unexpected harmonies and melodies, and some ultra-catchy songs.

We heard Sydney's Tim Fitz last week I think, but here's another excellent cut, driven by rhythmic piano, which I was reminded of at one point in the previous Skeletons song.

Great to finally have something new from the songwriting half of the original Tunng, Sam Genders. Diagrams’s debut has everything that the latest Tunng album unfortunately lacked. Great songs, that is. The production isn't quite as experimental as Tunng used to be, but it's still got electronic elements combined with folky pop songs.

Next up, something equally English but altogether more arcane, the latest from James "Leyland" Kirby. I've been following him since the first V/VM 12"s in the 1990s, and I have to admit the first releases under his grandfather Leyland's name left me cold, to say the least — the major key floaty piano just sounds like insipid new-age ambient music, and I don't see why it garnered so many accolades. The first two (of four) Intrigue & Stuff EPs, however, are dark, woozy pre-electronica, like Boards of Canada on methadone. Impeccably detuned synths recorded with a touch of distortion and sounding, like the best of early BoC, as if it was mastered to cassette and then left in the car on a hot day or two. Can't wait for the next two installments!

Motion Sickness of Time Travel is a suitable segue, with her lovely new album. I also got the opportunity to play another track from the wonderful 2009 release A Forest Aching Cold, which you should go and get from Bandcamp right now.

So good to have a new ambient album from Tom Hall, whose noise stuff as Axxonn has been ripping it up around the country lately. It sounds like he's learnt a bit from the Axxonn work, but there's plenty of thrills to be found on the forthcoming Muted Angels. Pulsating, beautiful, with occasional swells of noise.

We had to hear one more vieo abiungo, because where there's a remix album, you're likely to find at least one entry from Part Timer, here as upward arrows, his most ambient guise.

Speaking of arcane electronic folk, Finland's Paavoharju haven't had anything out for a while. Their new EP is partially reworked old material, but it's still a new release. We heard a mysterious track with some crunchy beats.

Finally, I managed to slip in one track from my dubstep album of the year, from Silkie. This track is so full of life and joy and melody, it's always a pleasure to hear. It reminds me of Luke Vibert when he's in that mood, although the track I rustled up had a slightly different bent to it.

13&god - its own sun [Alien Transistor/Anticon]
vieo abiungo - suffocating skin [Lost Tribe Sound] {forthcoming, to be released via the Lost Tribe Sound mailing list...}
James Blake - I Never Learnt To Share (Sun Hammer Remix) [unofficial, download from Soundcloud]
vieo abiungo - still and tepid pools (sun hammer remix) [Lost Tribe Sound] {forthcoming!}
vieo abiungo - drowsy salted morning (benoît pioulard remix) [Lost Tribe Sound] {forthcoming!}
Zammuto - Idiom Wind [originally Zammuto Soundcloud; now search the internets!]
The Book of Knots - Obituary for the Future (feat. Allen Willner) [Ipecac]
Esmerine - Trampolin [Constellation]
Tangled Thoughts of Leaving - ...And Sever Us From The Present [self-released]
Esmerine - Little Streams Make Big Rivers [Constellation]
The Notwist - Trashing Days [City Slang/Domino]
boom bip & doseone - the birdcatcher's return [Mush]
13&god - janu are [Alien Transistor/Anticon]
The Notwist - Scoop [Morr Music]
13&god - Superman On Ice [Alien Transistor/Anticon]
Skeletons - L'il Rich [Shinyoko/Crammed]
Skeletons and the Kings of All Cities - Hay W'Happens? [Shinyoko/Ghostly]
Skeletons - Barack Obama Blues [Shinyoko/Crammed]
Tim Fitz - Disposable Youth [available from Bandcamp]
Diagrams - Woking [Full Time Hobby]
Leyland Kirby - Eventually, It Eats Your Lungs [History Always Favours The Winners]
Leyland Kirby - Neon Lit Atoms [History Always Favours The Winners]
Motion Sickness of Time Travel - Luminaries [Digitalis]
Motion Sickness of Time Travel - I Saw [Hooker Vision/Reverb Worship] {available from Bandcamp}
Tom Hall - Chased By Demons Through Vacant Lands [Complicated Dance Steps]
vieo abiungo - insincerity peeked through cloudlessly (upward arrows remix) [Lost Tribe Sound] {forthcoming!}
Tom Hall - Before Being [Complicated Dance Steps]
Paavoharju - Mistä hän oli tullut [Fonal]
Silkie - Outlook [Deep Medi]
Luke Vibert - We Hear You [Planet µ]

Listen again — ~ 154MB

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