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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, 11th of December, 2011

Playlist 11.12.11 (10:12 pm)

Good evening! Still with the new music and we're well into December... It's been a pretty good year!
Many highlights tonight, including Hinterlandt Presents: Through The Motions... LISTEN AGAIN, of course you wanna. Link at bottom, podcast, or stream On Demand.

We've heard Jay Bodley's music on this show a fair bit as Sun Hammer — poised, thoughtful drone with lots of bass. He's suggested (I'm paraphrasing) that it's like dubstep without the beats (or at least mostly without beats). As A Setting Sun he's got a similar aesthetic at play, but it's more into the ambient territory. Don't worry though, there's still plenty of Bass in there, and some generous helpings of growling noise.

We've also heard Valence Drakes quite a lot on this show under the name MusSck, but he seems to have reverted to the easier-to-pronounce Valence Drakes lately. Impeccably-produced atmospheric glitch-hop, whatever he calls himself.

Finally I can play you the new Necks record. It's been out overseas for a month or two now, and I've been sitting on it as I didn't want to play it till it was available here. It's that rarer breed of Necks album, with more than one track! In fact, with two tracks weighing in at just over 21 minutes each, it's surprisingly short for a Necks album, but it's quality vs quantity — the first track dives in almost right away with a driving rhythm that never lets up, but this one starts with gorgeous piano patterns and gradually grows with breakbeats, bowed double bass and layers, while Tim Whitten's production keeps the scribbly piano shining through above it all.

It's also exciting to have the new alog record, which I had to order from Rune Grammofon in Norway as nobody else has got it in yet. Turns out it didn't take that long or cost that much to get it direct. Alog are a fascinating duo who take everyday sounds and naïve musical elements and piece everything together digitally. They can sound very electronic or strangely acoustic, and they suit Utility Fog down to a tee. We heard a couple of quite rhythmic tracks, one in fact basically consisting of awkwardly cut-up drums.

Speaking of rhythmic, it's not an adjective we generally associate with Machinefabriek nowadays, but for a free download (see below) that appeared this week, he's taken his keen ear for sound design and wrapped it around some gently pulsating, mysterious sounds. I had it on repeat for some time after downloading it.

And thence we get to German postrock and minimal electronic figure Robert Lippok, whose latest sounds fit snugly into raster-noton. All electronic sounds, lots of movement, and strangely funky.

Puzahki brings us the first of many tonight from the Hinterlandt-curated compilation Through The Motions (click the link as it's a free download!). Jochen Hinterlandt presented the artists with short snippets of sounds from his track "Motion", from which they created an impressively diverse and high-quality collection of tunes. From Brisbane, Puzahki tones down his frenetic breakbeat of yore, but pumps up the bass for a fantastic track. Later we have awesome ambient waves from Broken Chip, motorik techno from Telafonica and strange, grainy hip-hop from AFXJIM.

From Finland, Fanu is a new producer to me, but has in fact been making drum'n'bass for a good 5 years or more. His new album follows the Paradox model of mixing drum'n'bass with breakbeat at other tempos, including some dubstep, but it's the complex drum'n'bass programming that's particularly irresistible. Very impressive.

Further excitement tonight as we have a rare new tune from Adelaide's Tim Koch, doyen of Australian idm, thanks to Japanese label Mizukage Records — and it's on one of their regular free download compilations! Very pretty electronica as we've come to expect from him. From the same comp we also heard the beats of UK's Arctic Sunrise.

Ensemble Economique is the solo project of Brian Pyle of psychedelic improv group Starving Weirdos, in which he creates arcane sound journeys. His latest offering on Dekorder takes a fairly percussive direction, and indeed on the first cut tonight we have almost jazzy drums, whereas elsewhere they tend towards the more tribal. This record's a grower — it may well end up very high in the best-of list this year...

Sydney stalwart Kevin Purdy has been threatening to put out an ambient album for some years, and it's finally finished, and coming out on vinyl next year. We had a sneak preview tonight, with something edging towards the Aphex Twin Selected Ambient Works direction with its gentle beats, whereas much of this album is even more "ambient", if that makes sense.

Michał Jacaszek is a Polish composer/producer who's been creating his electronic-yet-classical works for some years, and now finds himself on the influential Ghostly International label. It's not simply classical pastiche; in fact it's something else — as much electronic drone, with some contemporary sounding distorted noise here and there, strongly informed by 20th century classical and indeed baroque music. A heady mix.

I've only just discovered Julia Holter, as the blogs start spruiking her forthcoming second album. Chalk that up to her first release being vinyl only, in the physical world, but luckily there's a digital version for me. Classically trained, seemingly with a love of bizarre juxtapositions and indirect song structures, Holter creates a fascinating amalgam of field recordings, experimental sound art, '80s nostalgia and songwriting. I'm not sure it's quite album of the year material, but it's very good, and I'll certainly be snapping up her next one as soon as I can.

Along with the new sounds, we did have a few re-appearances tonight. The wonderful Cokiyu remix album was represented by both Tokyo Bloodworm (sounding more electronic than they have recently) and Vieo Abiungo (sounding as lush and world-music-y as ever).
Meanwhile, another take from Origamibiro's amazing Shakkei album features more violin, cut-up folktronic sounds and loping beats.
And to close, another piece of wonky beats from the lovely Mr Monk Fly.

A Setting Sun - Cosmic Trigger Pt. 2 [available from Bandcamp]
Valence Drakes - Sky Open To Those Who Have Wings [Bedroom Research] {get it from Bandcamp}
Valence Drakes - One Winged Angel [Bedroom Research] {get it from Bandcamp}
Sun Hammer - Underscore [available from Bandcamp]
The Necks - Daylights [Fish of Milk/ReR]
alog - the mountaineer [Rune Grammofon]
Machinefabriek - Danse des Loops [Viral Radio] {free download from SoundCloud!}
Robert Lippok - sugarcubes [raster-noton]
Puzahki - Motion Sickness [Feral Media] {free download from Bandcamp!}
Fanu - Pilvien Päällä [Lightless]
Tim Koch - parallarap [Mizukage Records]
Ensemble Economique - To Feel The Night As It Really Is [Dekorder]
Arctic Sunrise - Chi-Ee-I-Su (The Chase) [Mizukage Records]
Fanu - Jupiter 2011 (featuring Mineral) [Lightless]
Telafonica - Kosmische Bewegung [Feral Media] {free download from Bandcamp!}
Purdy - Mountains Dreaming [Soft Records]
Broken Chip - Particle Motion [Feral Media] {free download from Bandcamp!}
Jacaszek - Evening Strains To Be Time's Vast [Ghostly International]
Julia Holter - Tragedy Finale [Leaving Records]
Cokiyu - Little Waves (Tokyo Bloodworm remix) [flau]
Cokiyu - Gloomy (Vieo Abiungo remix) [flau]
Robert Lippok - nycycle [raster-noton]
alog - the weatherman [Rune Grammofon]
Origamibiro - Ballerina Platform Shoes [Denizen/Abandon Building Recordings]
AFXJIM - Mouth In Motion [Feral Media] {free download from Bandcamp!}
Monk Fly - Happier Times To Come My Love [Frequency Lab]

Listen again — ~ 153MB

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