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experimental electronica
electric string quartet

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, 20th of November, 2011

Playlist 20.11.11 (10:08 pm)

Evening kids! Lovely sounds for you tonight... Don't forget next Saturday's Postfolkrocktronica Picnic on Cockatoo Island!
LISTEN AGAIN via FBi On Demand, or you can download a version below — or podcast as always.

We started tonight with a beautiful folk song from Meg Baird, from whom we'll hear more later. She is (or was?) a member of Philadelphia folk-rock band Espers. Solo her music is stripped down, pure acoustic folk, carried by her pure voice and poised songwriting.

I'm continuing to discover remixes by the fabulous string duo Geese. Tonight we have another Fence Collective member, Found, transformed in Geese's inimitable way.
Equally inimitable is Andrew Bird, who's used his violin and occasional vocals and whistling to create a soundtrack for the indie film Norman. I don't know much about the movie, but the soundtrack's lovely. The tracks are short, as they're really just movie cues, but it's still new Andrew Bird material!

This Friday night at Hibernian House on Elizabeth St, Surry Hills, Canberra's Pollen Trio are bringing their post-jazz to Sydney to launch their new album roll Roll Slow. They've developed a sound world that's all their own, and should be excellent live.

Next up, we're on to a bit of a trip to next Saturday's Postfolkrocktronica Picnic. We start with an exclusive: Ollie Bown's remix of Infinite Decimals, coming out soon fromt he Melbourne duo. We can hear the drum'n'bass pulse from his duo Icarus in amongst the distorting drones.

Then a couple of tunes from Pimmon. First is an old favourite, from his Tigerbeat6 album snaps * crackles * pops, which infamously features "beats", of a Pimmon persuasion. Apparently there may be some more rhythmic stuff from Paul on Saturday — not to be missed! We also heard a stunning, epic track from his new album The Oansome Orbit — acid bubbles and majestic, grainy drones form a slow harmonic progression.

Earlier in the day, we'll get some glitchy hip-hop beats from Thomas William (formerly known as Cleptoclectics) and Option Command. Option Command is a wizard at glitched-out but danceable beats live (very live!), while Thomas William tends to treat any samples as fodder for nano-edited rhythms. And Thomas William's new album is a free download from This Thing — check it out!

Beloved Sydney postrock band Underlapper are starting off the day a little after 1pm, in quartet format. In this lineup they'll be focusing on the more electronic parts of their repertoire, such as the piece I played tonight.

And finally, on in the afternoon after Underlapper is afxjim, with lush postrock/indie sounds.

We come out of our Cockatoo gig special with the new album from Oneohtrix Point Never. Continuing the trend from his 2nd album on Editions Mego, there are glitchy samples and edits, along with piano, added to the nostalgic synths he first became famous for. There's some deep recollection of Boards of Canada here and there, but also '80s electro-pop through a very contemporary lens, and when the piano's in the mix it's uncommonly beautiful.

A real electronic highlight of the year is the return of Phoenecia. We heard their album a couple of months ago when they released it digitally on their own long-lived Schematic label, but now it's available on Detroit Underground (with a slightly incorrect tracklisting on the back cover). Their sound is characterised by limitlessly detailed digital processing, and it's a thrill to hear them do their thing to the eponymous bodhran on the first track. There's a surprising amount of actual melody, and plenty of rhythm as well.

I only discovered this week a compilation from 2008 on Asthmatic Kitty called Habitat, 2CDs of experimental electronic music. It's pretty awesome, so in a couple of weeks I'll feature it a bit more. Meanwhile we heard this piece by Son Lux, in which an voice singing "Speak" is extended over the entire track, while layers of piano build to a noisy climax and then die away. Pretty awesome.
Son Lux, aka Ryan Lott, has worked a fair bit with the lovely My Brightest Diamond, and we also heard an alternate version of one of her new album tracks, featuring Son Lux's production. In a few weeks we'll also be able to sample his compositions performed by yMusic, a new classical ensemble who form the backing band on the new My Brightest Diamond album.

Next we heard one track from Future Sequence's SEQUENCE2, a compilation I wanted to feature more than I managed tonight — so tune in next weekend for more! Borealis gives us a heavy piece of shogaze and beats. I've been coming back to this a lot this week.

But now it's time to head back to Meg Baird and Espers. I don't think it's fair to object to the obviously derivative nature of this music. They're tapping into a timeless folk aesthetic which is as true and authentic now as it was (or wasn't) in the '60s or '70s. Meg Bairs solo in particular is just making incredible songs with perfect, simple arrangements. The album's all good, but about half is breathtaking.

Another exciting discovery this week is DoF, coming to us courtesy of Abandon Building Records, home also to the ukulele mangling of umin. DoF has a deft hand at folktronica — always nice hearing banjo in an electronic setting. Very nicely done.

And finally two more tracks from Future Sequence. From the first SEQUENCE comp, Sun Hammer's "Tonningsen Bus Stop II" has his typical mix of acoustic and electronic drones with Bass music, but here it's Bass stripped of its beats. It's just one enormous distorted Bass drone through the centre of the track. Very very tasty.
Beautiful Bells bring a distinctly paranoid tone to the beats in their "Panic Attack 2", featured on SEQUENCE2. I definitely appreciate the range of sounds on these comps, not just drone and post-classical. Highly recommended.

Meg Baird - Even Rain [Drag City/Wichita]
Found - Let Fidelity Break (Geese remix) [Fence Records?]
Andrew Bird - 3:36 [Mom and Pop Music]
Pollen Trio - Erupt_OFF [hellosQuare Recordings]
Infinite Decimals - 2.54421781 (Ollie Bown remix) [forthcoming]
Pimmon - the sacred dance of Mimi Lush [Tigerbeat6]
Pimmon - düülbludgers [Room40]
Thomas William - The Pearl [This Thing] {free download release!}
Option Command - Polybell Strategy [King Deluxe]
Thomas William - By Proxy / History Shock [This Thing] {free download release!}
Underlapper - Elephant Shoe [Feral Media/hellosQuare]
afxjim - Love For Juan [Feral Media]
Oneohtrix Point Never - Andro [Software Label]
Phoenecia - Frendano [Schematic/Detroit Underground]
Oneohtrix Point Never - Power of Persuasion [Software Label]
Phoenecia - Two-Part Invention for Bodhran & Computer [Schematic/Detroit Underground]
Son Lux - Speak [Asthmatic Kitty]
My Brightest Diamond - Be Brave (Alternate version with Son Lux) [Asthmatic Kitty]
Borealis - Skyhall [Future Sequence] {from SEQUENCE2 - free on Bandcamp!}
Meg Baird - Song For Next Summer [Drag City/Wichita]
Espers - Sightings [Drag City]
Espers - Mansfield and Cyclops [Drag City]
Meg Baird - The Land Turned Over [Drag City/Wichita]
DoF - another shower fall [Abandon Building Records]
umin - mail [Abandom Building Records]
DoF - so much of it water [Abandon Building Records]
Sun Hammer - Tonningsen Bus Stop II [Future Sequence] {from SEQUENCE 1, also free on Bandcamp}
Beautiful Bells - Panic Attack 2 [Future Sequence] {from SEQUENCE2 - free on Bandcamp!}

Listen again — ~ 86MB (only 64bit m4a from stream tonight sorry!)

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