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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, 12th of February, 2012

Playlist 12.02.12 (10:11 pm)

A night of long tracks... but we start with a few "shorter" pieces.
As usual, you can LISTEN AGAIN. Bottom linky, podcasty, on-demandy streamy.

So exciting that Sydney's beloved postrockers Founder are about to put out their long-awaited new album! Entitled Into The Frightened Air, it's being launched at the Petersham Bowling Club on Friday the 24th of Feb (Facebook event). It's got shouty indie songs, soundscapey postrock, proggy bits (one track which I'm sure they won't be offended if I say it sounds like Pink Floyd circa Meddle), trumpety bits and more.

The new Shearwater, their first on Sub Pop, is finally also out. It continues from where they left off - perhaps with a bit more of a rocky outlook, but with plenty of the late-Talk Talk vibes still in there. These two tracks are the highlights, Insolence in particular.

Cubenx is a Mexican electronica artist, making for this release a modernised '80s electro-pop thing. I got it, of course, for the Downliners Sekt remix, and it's up to their superlative standards — evolving over its length, with shimmering pads in the second half sealing the deal.

While we're on the electronic tip, let's have a nervy, fidgety glitch beat from the fantastic Robert Lippok album from last year. raster-noton in top form.

Finally the new Icarus album came out on Monday. If you haven't got your own unique copy, what are you waiting for? Of course part of the coolness of this release is that each version is different (an amazing feat of programming, mixing and mastering). Icarus have arranged that all owners can go on a special mailing list where they'll be able to arrange to swap versions with people, so as to build up a better picture of how the versions vary.
We heard an almost melodic, skittery drum'n'folktronica track, and then two quite drastically different versions of the second track on the album.

Very glad that the second release from Futuresequence’s net-label is from Sun Hammer. His spacious ambient/drone/post- works are always worth checking out, and he mixes in a surprising influence from bass/post-dubstep. There's no beats to be found on this mini-album, but there are waves of throbbing bass in parts. It's very hi-fi, very evocative, well worth settling back to with your eyes closed.

We also heard a surprisingly ambient piece from wonderful freak-folkers Au, enlisting the help of avant-garde sax genius Colin Stetson. Marvellous. I presume this is a non-album track, so I hope Stetson appears on the new album too.

And so it's time for the first epic track of the evening - 25 minutes from Nadja, the duo of Aidan Baker with Leah Buckareff. They're best known for huge doomy riffs, but also explore ambient and "postrock" territories. On their 2010 album Autopergamene they're joined by strings on two 25+minute pieces and one shorter one. I love how the last track starts with lonely acoustic guitar and then strings, then crashes in with full-on slow-mo riffs, and then in the last 3rd, slowly fades with fizzing and crackling guitars and keyboards, while otherworldly voices sigh variations on the track's title. Stunning.

Aidan Baker collaborated with Kevin Micka on an excellent album last year, and Micka also contributed drums to a few of the tracks on his insane Spectrum of Distraction album that just came out. On looking him up, I discovered that he's Animal Hospital, and I had to pull out his incredible Memory album from 2009. Floating strings are gradually subsumed by an enormous crunching bass guitar riff over the majority of this piece. Later in the album, the riff reappears in other forms. It's a crying shame this album's out of print (although now that I look, it is available digitally).

The Animal Hospital track was "only" 17 minutes long, and next up, we're down just below the ten minute mark! Petrels is the very welcome solo project for Oli Barrett of Bleeding Heart Narrative, no well and truly a full indie band. The two tracks on this EP are slow-growing concoctions of electronics, strings and noise. Available along with the album from Bandcamp, as well as in physical formats...

Down to more bite-size track lengths, we have a recent track from Oval, whose new album is a CD+DVD set of older rarities, new material and a huge archive of sounds from his releases, which are meant to be used with his software, but we're still waiting for that to become available :) Meanwhile, nice to hear crunchy beats and distorted acoustic sounds as per his recent material.

And we finish with a few pieces inspired by imminent appearance of a new album from Charles Hayward. I should have it in a couple of weeks. Meanwhile, post-This Heat Hayward formed Camberwell Now, and we hear his almost-junglist breakneck talents along with his vocals (and political lyrics) on "Working Nights", plus the bass-driven post-punk dance number "Speculative Fiction" (should've been a hit!), and a recent live set with literally 20 minutes of live breakbeat with punchy jazzpunk bass and guitar which you can download for free.
Oh — and I first heard Charles Hayward's name on a track by Chris Adams from Hood's Downpour project — proto-breakcore from 1997 on what's probably still one of my favourite releases of all time.

Founder - Cat Eat Machine [Understandation Records]
Shearwater - Run The Banner Down [Sub Pop]
Shearwater - Insolence [Sub Pop]
AFXJIM - Mouth In Motion [Feral Media] {free download from Bandcamp!}
Founder - 1997 [Understandation Records]
Founder - Vaster [Understandation Records]
Cubenx - These Days (Downliners Sekt remix) [InFiné Music]
Robert Lippok - sugarcubes [raster-noton]
Icarus - Spineez of Breakout (version 400) [Not Applicable]
Icarus - Shallow Tree (version 029) [Not Applicable]
Icarus - Shallow Tree (version 300) [Not Applicable]
Sun Hammer - Concerning the Change of Address of S. Akalin [Futuresequence]
Au - Under/Epic feat. Colin Stetson [Aagoo Records]
Sun Hammer - Nighttime in Jefferson National Forest [Futuresequence]
Nadja - you write my name in your blood [Essence Music]
Aidan Baker with Kevin Micka - Trouble on the Planet of the Surf Monkeys Pt4 [Broken Spine]
Animal Hospital - His Belly Burst [Barge Recordings]
Petrels - Thomas Muntzer [Denovali/available from Bandcamp]
Oval - Pockyrocky [Shitkatapult]
Camberwell Now - Working Nights [Ink Records/reissued by ReR Megacorp]
Downpour - Hey Charles Hayward [Drop Beat]
V For Victory - Escapism (excerpt) [free download from Charles Hayward's site]
Camberwell Now - Speculative Fiction [Ink Records/reissued by ReR Megacorp]

Listen again — ~ 260MBhttps://www.frogworth.com/utilityfog/mp3/UFog+20120212.mp3

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