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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, 11th of August, 2013

Playlist 11.08.13 (10:07 pm)

Some substantial specials on some interesting artists working in the interstitial areas between genres & branches of the arts tonight.
LISTEN AGAIN, you know you want to! Link below, stereo streaming on demand at FBi website.

I was pretty surprised to find Julia Holter's album in my promo box this week. I guess I haven't been paying attention - I knew it was coming, but here it is, out at the end of next week! It's pretty great, as with her previous albums, and has a similar mix between the more esoteric classical-influenced sounds, and the more electronic pop bits. Unlike the ancient Greek references of the previous albums, this one's modeled on a more recent literary work - Collette's novel Gigi, but it's easy to enjoy the music (and lyrics!) without delving too deeply into these connections. Holter is a unique and very strong voice in songwriting; we're lucky to have her.

Some pretty adventurous music follows, a duo of very interesting musicians whose previous releases as Grumbling Fur I hugely admired. I love a lot of the solo & collaborative work of both Alexander Tucker and Daniel O'Sullivan, but admittedly was quite disappointed by the '80s electro-pop influence on the second Mothlite album, after such a stellar debut. So for some reason, knowing these influences would also be present on this album, I approached it with some trepidation. I shouldn't have - barring one or two tracks, it's pretty magnificent, with psychedelic folk and occasional reminders of their metal & drone roots jutting in, as well as electronics. The first album had much more of a psych folk rock feel, and I love how they split it up into pretty short tracks, even though when you listen through the run-ons mean there are two pretty epic tracks with only a few shorter ones. Clearly guys who value thematic structure, despite the very appealing looseness of their sound.

New on the New Weird Australia-affiliated Wood & Wire is an EP from The Scrapes' violinist Adam Cadell. In the press release, Adam presents us with a manifesto: "Radical Underground Violinists of the world, stand up, take your instruments and your intellects and help build a culture in opposition to the powers that are degrading our disadvantaged fellow humans and making our planet uninhabitable!" Sounds good to me.

Keeping to the quasi-classical thread through Julia Holter & Adam Cadell, we reach Melbourne artist Oliver Mann, whose fascinating pedigree sees him coming to experimental folk & indie from a background as a professional opera singer; but then he is also the older brother of Paddy Mann aka Grand Salvo. This leads to songs featuring the full-bodied vibrato of classical singing technique, something I have some difficulty with (see also Scott Walker, who it took my years to fully appreciate, and even now his voice can begin to grate), but in a setting with delicate folk guitar, unhinged blues harmonica, and then a couple of remixes thrown in. That the songs are gorgeous can only help.

I took the opportunity to play another track from the pretty incredible new EP/mini-album from Marina Rosenfeld, featuring Warrior Queen and (on this one, possibly) Okkyung Lee. See a couple of playlists back for my write-up on this release, and also the previous album from which I took another shimmering minimalist piece.

A brief cue next from Hence Therefore's soundtrack to an intriguing Shakespeare adaptation as Lady Hamlet by the Hell Shakespeare Co. Sydney musician Simon Unwin has created a glitchy electronic score, which I'll feature again in the next week or so.

And finally, Oneohtrix Point Never will shortly drop his first album for Warp, and it's going to be an apt fit. If you listen on his site you can experience the extremely trippy HTML5 video transformations at the same time. An odd mix of analogue synth nostalgia & contemporary digital crispness. I'm looking forward to this album!

Julia Holter - Maxim's 1 [Domino]
Julia Holter - Tragedy Finale [Leaving Records/Nightschool Records]
Julia Holter - Marienbad [RVNG]
Julia Holter - In The Green Wild [Domino]
Grumbling Fur - Protogenesis [Thrill Jockey]
Grumbling Fur - Curing Hides / Green Garden Fur / Sommaren Är Här / Orb of the Woods [Aurora Borealis]
Grumbling Fur - Eyoreseye [Thrill Jockey]
Grumbling Fur - Nomadic Mirage / Siberian Pries / Furfather's Lament [Aurora Borealis]
Grumbling Fur - Huthering Whites [Latitudes]
Grumbling Fur - His Moody Face [Thrill Jockey]
Adam Cadell - Red, Like the Dirt Beneath My Feet [Wood & Wire]
Oliver Mann - Tin Power Pt.II (then + now) [Fuse Group Australia/Bandcamp]
Oliver Mann - Tin Power Pt.II (then + now) (Lower Spectrum remix) [Fuse Group Australia/Bandcamp]
Oliver Mann - Puff Puff Pt.I [Fuse Group Australia/Bandcamp]
Marina Rosenfeld feat. Warrior Queen & Okkyung Lee - I launch an attack... [Room40]
Marina Rosenfeld - Sweetest Sensation [Room40]
Hence Therefore - flights of angels sing thee to thy rest [Hence Therefore Bandcamp]
Oneohtrix Point Never - Problem Areas [Warp]

Listen again — ~124MB

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