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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, 22nd of April, 2012

Playlist 22.04.12 (11:10 pm)

Tonight, folktronica, drone, postpunk, dubstep and breakcore all rub shoulders... so, just a normal show then.
LISTEN AGAIN via FBi on demand, podcast or direct download at the bottom of this post.

Our first track was inspired by seeing the clip for "Freedom '90" on Rage's 25th birthday special on Saturday night. I'm not (too) embarrassed to say I love the song, but I love Robert Lippok & Caroline Thorpe's cover even more so, from the amazing Recovery compilation, released a few years ago on a boxset of ten 7" records...

Last week's highlight, the new psych-folk album by Mike Wexler, featured again tonight. We also heard again the folktronic sounds of Italy's K-Conjog and France's Chapelier Fou.

The first new release this week is a corker from Sydney's Karoshi, streaming on Bandcamp at the moment. They've been doing lovely folktronic stuff for a few years now, and have perfected their sound for this latest release - punchy drums, glitchy effects and lovely melodies.

I'm sometimes a bit cynical about 14tracks, the weekly digital mixtape of tracks from Boomkat, which is after all an exercise in selling us something. But then, that's what the music business is aobut, and they do have pretty good taste, as we hear in this week's selection of footwork-influenced electronica. Russian-American Slava Balsanov's track samples what sounds like a kora, and then dives into blissful textures and shuffling beats — a great find for the Software label. And Throwing Snow takes things in a more ravey direction in that not-really-jungle way of juke.
Meanwhile in a more UK-style Bass way is the excellent new EP from Commodo on the ever-reliable Deep Medi. This track in particular recalls the melodic, jazzy sounds of labelmate Silkie.

Sydney kids MAKING have all the signs of being the next big thing in instrumental dance-rock, and their new single (free from Bandcamp) rocks that signature guitar sound. The two remixes are nicely contrasting, and local sax/computer experimentalist Ben Carey pulls their track apart, to make a glitching, building crescendo of drone.

Just in this week is the 2nd Hidden Landscapes compilation from the (mostly) netlabel Audio Gourmet. Featuring a well-selected bunch of drone/post-classical/thingy artists, as often is the case, the highlights come from artists who are unknown to me. Norway's Pjusk have a new album coming out soon on 12k, and here contribute a delicate ambient piece along the lines of the classic em:t releases of the '90s. Rudi Arapahoe is more in a post-classical vein, with wispy female vocals in the mix.

Fabio Orsi gives us one of his amazing long drones with pounding drums in the amusingly-titled "the new year is over (nope)" (there's a matching "the new year is over (yep)" track on the album).

Also from last week, we have another track from laptop power trio Fenn O'Berg's stunning latest album, and the wondrous 12-minute finale to Machinefabriek's brilliant Colour Tones, plus both sides of his Ontrafelde tonen 7" — choral samples (creating a similar effect to the voices in Jurgen Knieper's "Cathedral of Books" on the Wings of Desire soundtrack, for the trainspotters!) and then more abstract sounds on the b-side: scary creaking, submerged vocals, scraping... And also another track from his very fine collaboration with Steve Roden.

To almost finish, we jump to two new releases on the Ad Noiseam label. The fourth album from Larvae sees him moving further away from the heavy dubby beats, using guitar and electronics for a not-quite-shoegazey sound. But there are still some pretty great glitchy beats and occasional dubstep influence surfacing. It's really great stuff.
New band Underhill features Tim Eliot of Current Value, Ivan Shopov aka Cooh/Balkansky, and various others, into a fusion of dubstep, drum'n'bass/breakcore, and trip-hop. It's the heavier end of those beats, and so the nice songwriting elements may be lost on people who can't handle the massive bass and sometimes nasty beats, but for those of us who enjoy that stuff it's very good indeed. Current Value's recent (current) Björk remixes should point people in the right direction too!

And finally, keeping the beats in the drum'n'bass direction, we have something from the new Squarepusher. To be honest I'm finding it hard to get really enthused about this. Sure, he's come back to the electronic side of things, and the beats are a slightly nastier (dubstep-influenced) side of drill'n'bass, but it lacks much of the melodic and fun aspect of his earlier stuff. Maybe he's trying too hard to be darker here. The jury's still out on this (although compared to the crazy prog-jazz-kitchen-sink of the last few albums, it's a welcome return...)

Robert Lippok & Caroline Thorpe - Freedom! [Fractured Recordings] {Yup, George Michael cover!}
Mike Wexler - The Trace [Mexican Summer]
Mike Wexler - Liminal [Mexican Summer]
Karoshi - ELK [stream on Bandcamp] {hint: Like them on Facebook and request a free download of the EP!}
Karoshi - Blood In The Rain [stream on Bandcamp]
K-Conjog - Qwerty [Abandon Building Records]
Chapelier Fou - Shunde's Bronx [Ici D'Ailleurs]
Slava - The Swan [Software]
Commodo - So Clear [Deep Medi]
Throwing Snow - Too Polite (feat. Louis Vines) [Local Action]
MAKING - Barcelona [free from their Bandcamp]
MAKING - Barcelona (Ben Carey remix) [free from their Bandcamp]
Pjusk - Vannspeil [Audio Gourmet]
Rudi Arapahoe - Double Bind [Audio Gourmet]
Fabio Orsi - the new year is over (nope) [Silentes]
Fresh Snow - BMX Based Tactics [Sonic Boom] {download from their Soundcloud}
Fenn O'Berg - Concrete Onions (24 Nov 2010, Kyoto, Club Metro) [Editions Mego]
Machinefabriek - Mosaic [Fang Bomb]
Machinefabriek - Ontrafelde tonen 2 [Vintermusik]
Steve Roden & Machinefabriek - ice bow [Eat, Sleep, Repeat]
Machinefabriek - Ontrafelde tonen 3 [Vintermusik]
Larvae - Locked From The Inside [Ad Noiseam]
Underhill - Blind [Ad Noiseam]
Larvae - Vows & Promises [Ad Noiseam]
Larvae - N-1 [Ad Noiseam]
Underhill - Solace [Ad Noiseam]
Squarepusher - Drax 2 [Warp]

Listen again — ~ 158MB

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