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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, 24th of June, 2012

Playlist 24.06.12 (11:07 pm)

Tonight's my last show for 4 weeks - off to Europe for a month, so my next UFog is Sunday the 29th of July. You'll be in capable hands in the meantime and I'll keep you updated!
Follow me on twitter in the meantime if you want to know what I'm doing, what record stores I'm visiting, and no doubt what we're eating along the way :)

Meanwhile, have a DJ mix. Over an hour of hand-selected tunes to pleasure your ears and provoke your thoughts and make your brain cells dance. Thanks to Martin Peralta of Tooths for making me do it!

LISTEN AGAIN to tonight's anyway why'n'cha! The usual ways - link at bottom, podcast, stream on demand.

Glen Johnson's collective Piano Magic have been around since the mid'90s, making instrumental indie, electronica, pastoral folk, and so on... Their new album is released on Johnson's sterling label Second Language, which has released a range of post-classical, neo-folk, and 'tronic music over the last few years in their beautiful limited editions. Members from various related acts appear on Life Has Not Finished With Me Yet, but the main focus seems to be a kind of '80s post-punk feel, which is strangely appropriate given that Piano Magic was initially modeled on This Mortal Coil.
I also played some favourites from a decade or so ago — two tracks from the release that got me into them, a remix 12" on one of the most exciting labels in the late-'90s/early '00s, Morr Music, and a bewitchingly stark track from the 2002 album on 4AD.

"Regret" follows us with Fiona Apple, who you may be thinking is a bit too "pop" for UFog, but I think she fits the bill in so many ways, and anyway I've been obsessed with her new album this past week or two. At root she's a songwriter, and one of the reasons her music works so well is that it weds bitingly honest, personal lyrics with searingly honest delivery, and absolutely perfect music (to me). The piano-led songs are supported by shambling home-made percussion loops (or not loops, apparently), double bass, found sounds and sometimes layered vocals, and some of the most cutting phrases to appear in a song of any genre in ages. This may surprise you if you remember the publicity around her first album, released as a teenager (and plenty cutting itself), or the more mainstream-produced sound of her second album (the one with the unimaginably long title, far longer than the two lines of poetry adorning the new one). But I can't praise this stuff enough (and I don't need to, since everybody else is doing the same).

The orchestral pop of "Extraordinary Machine" reminded me of Jherek Bischoff's orchestrations on his recent Composed album, so I played the ever-charming Mr David Byrne's contribution.

As offthesky, Jason Corder has been making mostly-ambient electronic & acoustic works for some years. Kinder Scout is his trio with Home Normal's Ian Hawgood and cellist Danny Norbury. Their very pastoral sounds turn even more ambient, but strangely gripping and beautiful when further processed by Corder. Recommended.

We're mostly used to hearing drone from Dag Rosenqvist, aka Jasper TX. In de la Mancha he and Jerker Lund make expansive shoegaze, and their new album The End* of Music is easily their best. Catch, even!

Speaking of dronesters, Machinefabriek is back to his reliably extensive schedule of releases, with two this month — a solo album of processed sounds and a live collaboration with Singaporean artist One Man Nation. Nice to hear outbursts of drum machines among the exquisitely produced sounds.

Still in ambient territory, we join Kevin Purdy on his new album Illumination, with the beautifully disquieting closing track, featuring the unmistakeable voice of Amanda Stewart. Fantastic.

And with more pretty ambient sounds, we hear from New Zealand-based Stray Theories' Micah Templeton-Wolfe, originally from Sydney — and then head down south to Canberra for another take from Shoeb Ahmad's newie, which I've been spruiking the heck out of of late...

It's pretty awesome that the Strain of Origin II compilation from Feral Media & Lofly which I played last week on the show is FBi's album of the week this week! Heaps of great Sydney & Brisbane (mainly) acts remixing each other. Tonight we have Brisbane's Anonymeye doing lovely things to an unreleased (I think) track by Sydney's AFXJIM, and then a pretty hilarious breakcore remix of Sydney electropunk kid Simo Soo by that Blue Mountains reprobate Comatone.
And in between, another Severed Heads cover, this time by analogue fetishists Winduptoys.

Sticking in Sydney, we have some intriguing sounds from young artist Shisd, combining indie & post-r'n'b sounds with dark ambient drones. Scissor Lock contributes one of the remixes on the Charcoal 26th May single out now, with the full EP out soon on Wood & Wire.

Austrian trio Trapist have a new album out, their first in 8 years, exploring again mystery-laden worlds of postrock, electronic and improv. It's fitting that their middle album was on Thrill Jockey, and they now find a comfortable home with Staubgold. They can be challenging listening at times, but they're all venerable musicians for good reason.

Finally, a track from Zelienople's new album, initially (as is Type's rather irritating wont) vinyl only and now out digitally. The promo as usual hypes up the Talk Talk comparisons, which I can't help think are overplayed. Zelienople do have the understated grace of Talk Talk, but stick to a narrower palette on the whole. Still, it's contemplative music, low-key music deserving of close listening.

Piano Magic - Judas [Second Language]
Piano Magic - The Canadian Brought Us Snow (Opiate Remix) [Morr Music]
Piano Magic - Postal [4AD]
Piano Magic - There's No Need For Us To Be Alone (Decomposed and Recomposed by Ensemble) [Morr Music]
Piano Magic - Lost Antiphony [Second Language]
Fiona Apple - Regret [Epic]
Fiona Apple - tymps (the sick in the head song) [Epic]
Fiona Apple - extraordinary machine [Epic]
Fiona Apple - Valentine [Epic]
Jherek Bischoff - Eyes (feat. David Byrne) [Leaf]
offthesky vs kinder scout - silence story [Home Normal]
de la Mancha - Golden Bells / Ursa Minor [Karaoke Kalk]
offthesky vs kinder scout - faded faces in vanishing voices [Home Normal]
Machinefabriek - Vijf [Nuun/Bandcamp]
One Man Nation & Machinefabriek - Live [Machinefabriek/Bandcamp]
Kevin Purdy - Cloud Shadows On Hill [Soft Records]
Stray Theories - A Distant Light [available from Bandcamp]
Shoeb Ahmad - robertson quay [Mystery Plays Records]
AFXJIM - Time to Turn the Record Over (Anonymeye remix) [Feral Media/Lofly] {free download from Bandcamp!}
Winduptoys - Ottoman [Clan Analogue]
Simo Soo - Shannyn Sossamon vs KISS Army (Comatone Remix) [Feral Media/Lofly] {free download from Bandcamp!}
Mr Maps - Nice Flights (Mystery Flights by Mystery Twin) [Feral Media/Lofly] {free download from Bandcamp!}
Shisd - Charcoal 26th May (Scissor Lock remix) [available from Bandcamp]
Shisd - Pale Ghost [Wood & Wire]
Shisd - Without You Walking [Wood & Wire]
Trapist - The Gun That's Hanging On The Kitchen Wall [Staubgold]
Trapist - Mine Was The Shoulder You Cried On That Day [hatOLOGY]
Trapist - observations took place [Thrill Jockey]
Zelienople - Island Machine [Type]

Listen again — ~ 154MB

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