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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, 2nd of September, 2012

Playlist 02.09.12 (10:11 pm)

Tonight we range from dark folk through folktronica and glitchy drill'n'bass to alt hip-hop and post-classical. Everything you need from a 'Fog!
LISTEN AGAIN people, you know you want to. Link at bottom, or stream on demand from FBi...

So lovely to start with the chilled out, somewhat creepy sounds of Matthew Sweet's Boduf Songs. His whispery voice is accompanied by fingerpicked acoustic guitar and spectral effects, plus sometimes full-blown rock riffage. But mostly it's quiet and doom-laden. I love his use of effects and sound, but frankly he can be just as effective with only voice and guitar, as he's a very fine songwriter. Highly recommended to check out his back catalogue, especially 2010's This Alone Above All Else In Spite Of Everything.

We get into the folktronic spirit next with Milwaukee's Erik Schoster He Can Jog. It's funny how many excellent artists there are out there who you can discover well into their career. I've heard a number of He Can Jog's remixes in the last couple of years, and a great release on Nomadic Kids Republic, but only just picked up 2008's Middlemarch — and it's excellent abstract folktronica, with pointers towards the more drone-heavy recent works.

We'll get to David Edwards' Minotaur Shock shortly — as an intro I played a pretty funky, choppy track from the new album, which I think really deserves more wide airplay. But then...

Greg Stone from Underlapper/Feral Media alerted me to the music of Bob Streckfuss aka 0.1 earlier this week. And wow, intricate glitchy programming with something resembling Sigur Rós vocals and postrock dynamics. You can download a fair lot from his Bandcamp and SoundCloud, and expect a release from Feral Media pretty soon!

So, Minotaur Shock. His first 12" came out on Melodic in 2000 and helped establish it as the go-to for folktronica for a few years back then. Eventually those excellent 12"s were collected on CD as Rinse, but in 2001 he also released his debut album of delicate acoustic sounds and clattery laptop beats. It set the stage even when Four Tet was only making his way into beats plus glitches plus acoustic guitars. Edwards then went on to sign to 4ad, but a restructuring of the label's focus meant physical formats were released late, and Minotaur Shock was left by the wayside — a sadly familiar story for a mid-range artist picked up by a big(gish) label. His next album was initially self-released on his own website, then picked up on CD by Audio Dregs in the US, and it's lovely to find him back home on Melodic for the new one.
There's a definite progression in quality of sound and confidence in execution, but also a definite thread from his beginnings to now. The acoustic instruments are to the fore in many tracks, but there are plenty of beats and digital cut-ups. A very satisfying album that, for all the cageyness about "folktronica" as a genre or genre name, fits the bill perfectly.

Next up, I have the chance of dropping a track by Bracken, by virtue of the remix being by Buddy Peace, who produced almost all the beats on the new B. Dolan record. We heard a couple of oldies from him as well, displaying his amazing beat-poetry raps, but the best is saved for last — a classic protest song recorded by all the greats, sampled with a head-nodding beat and augmented by Bernard Dolan's right-on excoriation of intolerance in hip-hop culture. Check the official video for more political context.

Finally, another that I'm incredibly proud to have played on, from Sophie Hutchings' gorgeous new album Night Sky.

Boduf Songs - Temping [Morc Tapes]
Boduf Songs - lord of the flies [Kranky]
Boduf Songs - Decapitation Blues [Kranky/Under The Spire]
Boduf Songs - I Have Decided To Pass Through Matter [Kranky/Under The Spire]
Boduf Songs - Infernal memo [Morc Tapes]
He Can Jog - Suite Part Four [Audiobulb]
He Can Jog - My (Mother's) Records [Audiobulb]
Minotaur Shock - Lending Library [Melodic]
0.1 - radio edit [available from Bandcamp]
0.1 - Interstellar [available from Bandcamp]
0.1 - star jelly [available from SoundCloud]
Minotaur Shock - Ocean Swell [Melodic]
Minotaur Shock - Avon Ranger [Melodic]
Minotaur Shock - First To Back Down [Melodic]
Minotaur Shock - Zookeeper [Audio Dregs]
Minotaur Shock - Janet [Melodic]
Bracken - We Cut The Tapes and Scatter (Steinbeck Ultramagnetic remix by Buddy Peace) [no label/Anticon]
B. Dolan - Still Here [Strange Famous Records]
B. Dolan - Love Will Survive [Strange Famous Records]
B. Dolan - Economy of Words (Bail It Out) [Strange Famous Records]
B. Dolan - Which Side Are You On? [Strange Famous Records]
Sophie Hutchings - The Near Side [Preservation]

Listen again — ~ 106MB

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