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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 February, 2013

Playlist 24.02.13 (9:09 pm)

Good evening! Huge thanks to Scarlett Di Maio for filling in last week!

LISTEN AGAIN is back! - link at bottom, podcast to subscribe, or stream on demand at FBi for the full stereo experience.

Hot on the heels of the new Boduf Songs, Matthew Collings this week gives us another early album of the year candidate. Shoegaze textures, a wide array of acoustic and electric instruments, lots of dynamics, and the excellent production of Mr Ben Frost. Stunning widescreen stuff.

This week also marks the release of a new Matmos album, quite a few years in the making. Or perhaps it's just that the last one left me totally cold. But I've been a fan for a very long time (since the first two albums), and I felt the need to play one of my favourite sections from their conceptual breakthrough release from 1999, The West, which pitted folky Americana against their cut & paste sampling to produce a new genre, years before "folktronica" was a thing.
The new album is based around the bizarre Ganzfeld experiments which used sensory isolation to explore ESP. I don't think any positive signs of mind-reading were found, but their subjects' theories about the subject matter of the new Matmos album certainly contribute fruitfully (and frequently very amusingly) to the new album itself. Musically it's as wildly varied as ever but features acoustic instruments along with electronics collaged together in pleasing ways, including some hilarious death metal vocals on the last track... There's a bit of everything, and it's got all the charm of Matmos at their best.

Australian musician Tristan Coleman first came to my attention via a remix of the wonderful Inch-time, under the name Old Growth in Asia. Inch-time's Stefan Panczak runs the Mystery Plays Records label and Coleman is the latest artist to be released via that label, with an EP influenced by jazz and classical music as well as electronica, with some lovely string and clarinet samples in there, and even some vocals. It's a varied release showcasing a very promising talent, highly recommended.

We also heard from Adelaidian Tim Koch tonight, one of the pioneering electronica artists from Australia, and the track is in fact an old one, although Tim is working on new material for Ghostly International. This comes from one of a series of awesome free electronic compilations on French label Pavillon36 Recordings, and if you like classic idm, drill'n'bass, acid and the like, you should do yourself a favour and grab all three Circuits Imprimés comps from their Bandcamp.

Speaking of old unreleased idm tracks, µ-Ziq is one of the originals, hugely important and influential. Of course Mike Paradinas' even bigger claim to fame now is running the Planet µ label, but he was at least as important to me as Aphex Twin or Squarepusher, and it's great to hear 2 albums' worth of sounds from the early-to-mid '90s, even though the album absurdly only released on vinyl in an absurdly small run, with the second album as a digital download only available with said vinyl. Or, you know, less legally.

I have to admit I haven't been floored by Thom Yorke's quasi-sequal to The Eraser with Atoms For Peace, featuring the touring supergroup with Flea on bass and Nigel Godrich on, you know, stuff. It's funky and jittery, with Yorke & Godrich's singular take on electronic beats, and there's nothing wrong with it at all. It just hasn't really grabbed me. Still, some good sounds and melodies m'kay.

It's probably been obvious how excited I was about the JK Flesh/Prurient split that came out at the beginning of the year, even though it's very sad that it spells the end of the amazing Hydra Head label. Trusty Japanese label Daymare have released it on CD now, so I have my physical copy, and it contains some bonus tracks, including two incredible mashups (I guess) but Justin K Broadrick of his and Prurient's tracks. With heavy beats, noise and even some amen breaks in there, this is one of my favourite JK Broadrick tracks in recent times, and his last few years have been particularly strong. Wow.

Keeping it noisy (noise-y?), we have a new album from Lexington, KY's Hair Police, two of whom have been central members of C Spencer Yeh's Burning Star Core in its psychedelic noise rock band incarnation. It's great hearing them keep it real with free noise where Prurient, Yeh and many others veering into variants of '80s electro-industrial-pop in the last year or two.

B/B/S/ is another supergroup of sorts, featuring Italian experimental percussionist Andrea Belfi, shoegaze/doom rock guitar maestro Aidan Baker and Miasmah boss, cellist and dronemeister Erik K Skodvin (one half of Deaf Center). It's just the kind of longform immersive sound art you'd expect from the three of them, recalling the great Oren Ambarchi albums from last year among other things. Brilliant stuff.

And we finish with a new track from Kate Carr. After a number of fantastic compilations on her Flaming Pines label, the Sydney artist has finally released a new album of her own, Landing Lights, with guitar and electronics joining her field recording work. Beautiful.

Matthew Collings - Vasilia [Fluid Radio/Matthew Collings Bandcamp]
Matthew Collings - Paris Is Burning [Fluid Radio/Matthew Collings Bandcamp]
Matmos - You [Thrill Jockey]
Matmos - The West (2nd half) [Deluxe Records/Vague Terrain]
Tristan Coleman - Rituals (Part 3) [Mystery Plays Records]
Inch-time - Two Courtesans (Old Growth in Asia mix) [Mystery Plays Records]
Tim Koch - Mocean [Pavillon36 Recordings]
µ-Ziq - Jewel Tea [Planet µ]
µ-Ziq - Airto [Planet µ]
Atoms For Peace - Reverse Running [XL Recordings]
JK Flesh - JK Flesh Merges Prurient 1 [Hydra Head/Daymare]
Hair Police - Mercurial Rites [Type]
B/B/S/ - Brick / Mask [Miasmah]
Kate Carr - Not a cloud in sight [Flaming Pines]

Listen again — ~ 107MB

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