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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, 16th of December, 2012

Playlist 16.12.12 (9:08 pm)

Evening! Last show of NEW MUSIC for the year, crazy that I'm still fitting in really pretty recent new tunes...
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Started with an awesome new track from Monk Fly which officially comes out on a new EP in January. It's still got the shiny synths and wobbles of his recent work, along with some clattery drum'n'bass-style percussion and some garbled vocal refrains. The EP's called Tropical Blap and this is suitably tropical.

Sticking in Sydney, sortof, we have a track from Feral Media's 10 (A Decade of Feral Media) celebratory compilation, this time from label founder Alpen, who's now based in NYC, and is remixed here by Blue Mountains resident Comatone. And heading down to the Melbourne, from the same comp we have beloved postrock ensemble Because of Ghosts, remixed by David Evans, drummer in another Melbourne postrock band, This Is Your Captain Speaking.

We've been hearing the EPs of Sydney band Fabels for a while on the show, and as I've mentioned they feature the vocals and songwriting of Ben Aylward of Swirl, one of Sydney's best-loved indie/shoegaze bands from the '90s. Tonight we heard a bit of a classic from their early years, and heard that the original Swirl line-up are re-forming for a few gigs for the Half a Cow label.

Speaking of shoegaze, one of the most beguiling slow-growers this year came from Jessica Bailiff, this time co-produced with longtime collaborator Odd Nosdam. It's got none of Nosdam's beats or samples, just blissed-out fuzzy guitar and Bailiff's evocative songs. So we had to hear a collaboration from one of Nosdam's albums as well.

It seems to me drone owes a lot to shoegaze, and, it has to be said, postrock in general. So we hear with Ben Chatwin's Talvihorros, either drone music that's expanded with drums and new compositional shapes, or postrock/doom rock with drone textures. I've heard more straight (and beautiful) drone work from Talvihorros before, but his wonderful new album on Denovali (who've had a brilliant year) escapes the confines of long drones...

In between the two Talvihorros tracks, we heard from Melbourne artist Brambles, who made an impact with his debut album this year. What we heard, though, came from the enormous, epic compilation Headphone Commute put together to raise money for those affected by Hurricane Sandy, ...and darkness came. Talvihorros also features, along with a host of others - it's of truly insane length, featuring 87 tracks, and an alarming amount of great stuff pretty far down the (6hr+) tracklisting, so it's worth spending USD$10 on and listening through the whole damn thing.

Melbourne-based Brambles' album seems less exciting to me than this wonderful track and his recent Futuresequence contribution, but he's capable of utter brilliance like this, so we'll be waiting avidly for his next steps!

Also from Melbourne and better known in the rest of the world is Boy Is Fiction, with a few albums under his belt and a lovely piece of shoegazey indietronica on the Headphone Commute compilation.

Just jumping in at the end of the year is a single from Cex, who had a couple of great albums of freeform electronica also this year. This track is a solid piece of dubby vocoder electro, which takes us nicely into the dubby techno of Vladislav Delay, possibly getting more rhythmically unhinged with each release.

It's always great to be reminded of The Future Sound Of London, who I was a ginormous fan of back in the early and mid-'90s. In about 1997 they pretty much stopped, reincarnating their Amorphous Androgynous alias as a psychedelic pop/rock band for many years, but in 2007 they instigated their From The Archives series of apparently endless archival material. Apparently it's all from back in the day, and they're up to Volume 7 now, full albums' worth of classic ambient techno that still works for me. Dated? Sure, but still somehow futuristic, and certainly very listenable.

The tragic death of Peter "Sleazy" Christopherson in 2010, six years after the tragic death of his partner Jhonn Balance, spelled the end of Coil, but also triggered the final end (again) of the legendary industrial band Throbbing Gristle. The ever-prickly Genesis P-Orridge left the remaining members, and it was left to Chris (Carter) & Cosey (Fanni Tutti) to finish things up on the last recordings, under the moniker of X-TG. For some reason the last big project was a cover album of Nico's album Desertshore, 2nd in a trilogy of astonishing albums produced with John Cale, which are really untouchable genius. In the context of the original's acerbic vocals, and the dual dirge of Nico's harmonium and Cale's viola, the lush synths and now-familiar post-industrial beats sound soppy and comfortable. But, as an independent work, it is lovely and perfectly enjoyable, and it's pretty great hearing the likes of Antony, Marc Almond and Blixa Bargeld contributing vocals.

And finally, the ever-lovely flau have released an album from Texan folktronic duo Twigs & Yarn. It's perfectly pretty stuff that's a perfect fit for the Japanese label and has beautiful handmade packaging.

Monk Fly - One Blap [Frequency Lab]
Alpen - Last Frontier of Ink and Paper (Comatone remix) [Feral Media]
Because of Ghosts - Fall Short of Certainty (David Evans remix) [Feral Media]
Swirl - Strangelands [Half a Cow]
Fabels - Ion [self-released/Bandcamp]
Jessica Bailiff - take me to the sun (so warm, so ready) [Kranky]
Odd Nosdam - Fat Hooks (feat. Miss Jessica Bailiff, voice) [Anticon]
Jessica Bailiff - sanguine (please say a word) [Kranky]
Talvihorros - Creeping Things [Denovali]
Brambles - Reflected Consciousness [Headphone Commute]
Talvihorros - The Two Great Lights [Denovali]
Boy Is Fiction - Sunlight Through The Glass [Headphone Commute]
Cex - Lorena [Automation Records]
Vladislav Delay - Vastaa [Raster-Noton]
The Future Sound Of London - Switzerland [FSOL Digital]
The Future Sound Of London - Architektur [FSOL Digital]
The Future Sound Of London - Flygon [FSOL Digital]
X-TG - Janitor of Lunacy (vocals, Antony) [Industrial Records]
Nico - All That Is My Own [Reprise Records]
X-TG - All That Is My Own (vocals, Cosey Fanny Tutti) [Industrial Records]
Twigs & Yarn - static rowing [Flau]

Listen again — ~ 105MB

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