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Utility Fog

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Sunday, 4th of August, 2013

Playlist 04.08.13 (10:07 pm)

Sounds of beauty from all around the world tonight!
LISTEN AGAIN because you know you want to. Link at bottom, podcast for all the links, or genuine stereo streaming on demand via FBi.

French artist Witxes (aka Maxime Vavasseur and guests) has just released his second album for the mighty Denovali, and like his previous, it's caused quite a stir. Listening to both, it's not hard to understand why - this is masterful, poised music without borders, taking the aesthetics of modern-day drone, postrock, cut through with folky acoustic guitar (and sometimes vocals), hefty bass tones, and even the occasional understated beat. And it's even better than you'd expect!

One of the new things that popped into my mail this week was a 12" vinyl record from Michel Banabila, his first in many years. It compiles a number of tracks from the last few years plus a few new ones, two of which we heard tonight. And even better, one is an unreleased collaboration with Machinefabriek. As per usual, it's expansive, world-oriented ambient, sometimes with beats, always lovely.

34423 is female Japanese electronic artist Fumi Miyoshi, whose name approximately sounds like those five digits. I like the way she's turned herself into a digital version of herself right there, much like the cut-up image of her face on the artwork; and the title Tough and Tender ably expresses the music, with beats she claims are influenced by Aphex Twin and Nine Inch Nails... As usual Japan can be relied upon to keep the flame for my kind of electronic music - nice :)

Polish artist (now resident in New England) Derek Piotr does lovely glitchy things with voice and electronics. I was introduced to his sounds by Melbourne/Canberran Paul Heslin, who we heard tonight remixing him along with one of my heroes, C. Spencer Yeh aka Burning Star Core. That's from last year, but there's a newie Raj, with more of Piotr's organised digital detritus.

Moon Ate the Dark's first album came out on legendary post-classical (etc) label Sonic Pieces last year, featuring the piano of Anna Rose Carter (whose solo albums I sadly haven't yet heard) along with processing and noises from Christopher Bailey. It's so minimalist it could easily slip under your radar, but listen closely and the interplay between the occasionally ugly (in a good way) noises and the patient piano patterns is compelling. Their new release is a brief two-track EP on 7" vinyl and 3" CD from the boutique label Brian Records.

And finally, from Toronto by way of Melbourne, Fresh Snow. By way of Melbourne because my connection is Tim Condon, who released an amazing album as Mirrored Silver Sea back in 2008 that made my best-of lists for that year. Released by the tragically defunct Sound & Fury label, that would be pretty much impossible to find anymore. But his new Toronto band Fresh Snow have a new album out (soon? I believe) on both cassette and vinyl (and digital, phew), with the LP version mastered by none other than James Plotkin (Condon himself taking on the duties for the cassette). It's rollicking kratrock/postrock/noise, sometimes reminding me of City City City, but often pretty much sui generis. So tonight I took the opportunity to slip in a 12-minute track, this time in the very dynamic Plotkin-mastered incarnation. Excellent.

Witxes - Through Abraxas I [Denovali]
Witxes - The Strands [Denovali]
Witxes - Thirteen Emeralds [Denovali]
Witxes - The Reason [Denovali]
Witxes - The Visited [Denovali]
Banabila & Machinefabriek - Ill Rave [Tapu]
Banabila - Drops [Tapu]
Michel Banabila - 47 Voice Loops (Radbound & Bilaa Mix) [Tapu]
34423 - MASK [Kaico/Nature Bliss]
34423 - Equivalent [Kaico/Nature Bliss]
34423 - Quest [Kaico/Nature Bliss]
Derek Piotr - Spine [self-released/Bandcamp]
Derek Piotr - nineweek [bitsquare]
Derek Piotr - deliver (c. spencer yeh remix) [bitsquare]
Derek Piotr - deliver (paul heslin remix) [bitsquare]
Derek Piotr - Sand Defacing All Surfaces [self-released/Bandcamp]
Derek Piotr - Flow Through Light [self-released/Bandcamp]
Moon Ate the Dark - Verse Porous Verse [Brian Records]
Moon Ate the Dark - Capsule 11 [Sonic Pieces]
Moon Ate the Dark - Sand that Remembers the Rock it Once Was [Brian Records]
Fresh Snow - Saturation Complete [Fresh Snow]

Listen again — ~123MB

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