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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, 20th of May, 2012

Playlist 20.05.12 (11:07 pm)

Tonight ranges from a whole lot of electronic sounds at the start to ascetic folk by way of noise/drone of Richard Youngs at the end.
LISTEN AGAIN via the podcast or the link down below, or stream on demand!

Emika put out a very fine dubstep-influenced album last year, and her new single keeps it very electronic, albeit not really dancefloor fare. As dark as ever, she's processed and glitched on "Save It", with a skittery but dubstep-flavoured beat. The title track of the EP, on the other hand, is a lysergic, disorienting piece of techno more than dubstep, and the re-edit makes it more submerged and dark.

One of my favourite dubstep albums of the year has just come out from Komonazmuk. I first discovered him in 2007 with an awesome song sampling Saint Etienne on the more breakcore-oriented Terminal Dusk label. The new album verges into something like UK funky and even drum'n'bass at one point, but is mostly very nice heavy core dubstep with great beats, lots of variation through the tracks, and even some Silkie-style jazzy melodicism here and there.

Lorn's debut on Brainfeeder was one of the most melodic and rhythmically enjoyable electronic albums of the last few years. His newie is coming out on Ninja Tune and it's quite a bit darker, but still as inventive and richly-produced.

The new (free download) compilation from New Weird Australia came out this weekend, this time a collaboration with Melbourne's Fallopian Tunes. I can't work out who Bad Bones is, but it's a fun and very short track. And Exotic Snake contribute some current beats and a lovely chord progression.

That chord progression nicely segues into our next little feature, via the "lullaby" from Erast, aka Nikakoi, an (Eastern European) Georgian artist who's been making IDM since around 2002. He's turned up this year producing the latest album from Japanese electronic chanteuse Coppe', and so I went back to listen to his excellent back catalogue. With drill'n'bass and glitchy breaks rubbing shoulders with quite Eastern European flavoured harmonies here and there, he's always been on my to-buy list, and it's nice to find him very fittingly producing tracks with Coppe'. We also heard a couple more remixes of her track Yogurt, which is simple and strong enough to support and entire album's worth of remixes via the Bit-Phalanx collective from the UK.

A change of gear, next up we have a visit from looping cellist Zoë Keating, who's making a welcome visit to Australian shores the weekend after next. Her music's very melodic, but she doesn't hesitate to bring out the rhythms and lay pulsating effects over her cello loops when necessary. Beguiling stuff.

Keeping it quasi-classical, Nico Muhly has a new EP out which is the first in a series of three "drones" focused affairs. The drones here are provided by strings, with piano bashing out rhythmic counterpoints throughout.

I'm chomping at the bit to play you more from Shoeb Ahmad's marvellous new album, but it's not out till mid-June, so I'm sticking for now to the excellent indietronic single "Falling Fast", with drum machine and guitar strumming juxtaposed with sampled string glissandi and his unassuming vocals. I also dredged up a Part Timer remix of an older version of this tune, from way back in 2007!

And finally, as much as I could fit in for tonight's pièce de resistance, the (song-based) works of Richard Youngs. I came to him far too late, and he has an insanely huge oeuvre, even if we're ignoring for now his collaborative (and solo) works in the noise world. Youngs is an Englishman who's been based in Scotland for decades, and who has a singular approach to songwriting, derived from traditional English (folk) song, with a penchant for (r)evolutionary vocal repetition and accompaniments that can range from simple piano or classical guitar to multi-tracked, out-of-phase instruments, squalls of guitar noise, electronically layered manic drums — you name it, pretty much. I only managed to cover the tip of the iceberg tonight, and I've only personally dipped into a smallish proportion (or so it feels), but his work is incredibly inspiring, even though (or partially because) the dogged repitition can become painful if you're not listening in the right frame of mind.
Apart from the large suite of solo songwriting albums on Jagjaguwar, he's released albums on a bewildering number of labels, many vinyl only, many in small CDR runs. The latest is on Jefre Cantu-Ledesma's Root Strata, in vinyl and (thankfully) download (but I still wish CD were an option). It's a crucial release. Possibly the most accessible, and therefore frustratingly obscure, is his Beyond the Valley of the Ultrahits, originally released in two 100-copy CDR runs by Sonic Oyster Records, and later made available by Jagjaguwar, in which he attempts a form of electro-pop, almost indietronica, with electronic beats, synths, and short songs which are inhumanly catchy — although he still drops in weird touches, like phrases not quite fitting into the barlines, and strange repetitive passages even here. Still, utterly wonderful.

Emika - Save It [Ninja Tune]
Emika - Chemical Fever (Re-Edit) [Ninja Tune]
Komonazmuk - Chameleon [Hench]
Komonazmuk - Love [Terminal Dusk]
Komonazmuk - So Crazy [Hench]
Lorn - Diamond [Ninja Tune]
Lorn - Void 1 [Brainfeeder]
Lorn - Void 2 [Brainfeeder]
Lorn - The Well [Ninja Tune]
Bad Bones - Breaksface [New Weird Australia/Fallopian Tunes]
Exotic Snake - Now Let's Sing It Again [New Weird Australia/Fallopian Tunes]
erast - lullaby [Laboratory Instinct]
coppe' + nikakoi - forbidden: remix [mango + sweetrice]
erast - argentina [Laboratory Instinct]
erast - georgianintokyo (atom™ remix) [Laboratory Instinct]
nikakoi - city lights (tutta 2) [WMFREC]
erast - het [Laboratory Instinct]
coppe' + nikakoi - cell [mango + sweetrice]
coppe' - yogurt (fred moTh ball remix) [mango + sweetrice/bit-phalanx]
coppe' - yogurt (Mrs Jynx remix) [mango + sweetrice/bit-phalanx]
Zoë Keating - We Insist [self-released]
Zoë Keating - Escape Artist [self-released]
Nico Muhly - Drones & Piano Part V [Bedroom Community]
Shoeb Ahmad - Falling Fast [Mystery Plays Records]
Shoeb Ahmad - Falling Fast (Part Timer remix) [hellosQuare Recordings]
Richard Youngs - The Valley in Flight [Sonic Oyster Records/Jagjaguwar]
Richard Youngs - The Healing of Everyone [Root Strata]
Richard Youngs - The World Is Silence In Your Head [Jagjaguwar]
Richard Youngs - Sky Is Upon You [Jagjaguwar]
Richard Youngs - Paths In The City [Jagjaguwar]
Richard Youngs - My Mind Is In Garlands [Jagjaguwar]
Richard Youngs - Joy Ride [apollolaan]
Richard Youngs - The Sea of Providence [Root Strata]

Listen again — ~ 159MB

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