a wholly owned subsiduary of
Frogworth Corp
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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Playlists are listed with artist name first, then track title and (remixer), then [record label]. Enjoy the links.

Sunday, 30th of March, 2014

Playlist 30.03.14 (9:06 pm)

Pretty great few weeks in new music here - so much that I can't possibly fit it all into tonight's show!
We start with a bit of an anomaly from 65daysofstatic - a genuine drone piece, written from what seems like a minor epiphany - drones are terrible, drone is good! And they do a fantastic job of it.

Two young Sydney artists have a split vinyl release just out, and we heard one track each from Scissor Lock and Cassius Select. Both are strangely of a piece - not featuring either artist's vocals, but with lovely hazey textures and kind-of hazey beats too.
And across the other end of the country, Perth's Kane Ikin also brings some housey beats to bear on his ambient sounds, to very fine effect. I'd love to play the 10-minute title track "Warehouses" from this EP, but maybe another night.

Next up, a bit of a special on the pretty amazing sounds of Scottish duo Dalhous, who emerged a couple of years ago from the more post-industrial/gothic noise of their previous incarnation Young Hunting. With Dalhous they adapt their gothic, postpunk sound to the now-sound of techno & bass, with all its nods to '90s idm. It's pretty special to hear these melodic and rhythmic worlds colliding. Much recommended.

A couple of years ago Sufjan Stevens, Son Lux and Serengeti teamed up as "s / s / s" in a weird but weirdly successful melding of their seemingly disparate styles, bringing a few collaborators along for the ride. This year they've reincarnated as Sisyphus for an album that I was initially somewhat suspicious of, but which has totally won me over. As I ranted on the social medias earlier in the week, one track is a slight reworking of a gorgeous piece of electronica Sufjan put up on his tumblr last(?) year, and in general there's a nice mix of Sufjan and Ryan "Son Lux" Lott's talents in folk/indie/classical composition and David "Serengeti" Cohn's growling, down-to-earth raps. If you were suspicious, give it a go.

And then we have a big special (although not nearly as big as I wanted either) on Miles Whittaker of Demdike Stare & Pendle Coven & Andy Stott of, you know, Andy Stott, who teamed up a few years ago for an incredible series of jungle/breakbeat throwback 12"s as Millie & Andrea, and who now release an album under the same name. Their individual projects have tended more towards techno, dub and minimalism, but with Millie & Andrea (and Miles' initially-anonymous HATE project), they bring their love of ramshackle, harsh and chopped-up programming to the fore, for which we are eternally grateful.

LISTEN AGAIN and all that stuff though, gotta keep up haven't you!

65daysofstatic - Drone Not Drones [Superball]
Scissor Lock - Awatef [The Finer Things]
Cassius Select - Each Step [The Finer Things]
Kane Ikin - April [This Thing]
Dalhous - Active Discovering [Blackest Ever Black]
Young Hunting - Embers from the Pyre [Blackest Ever Black]
Dalhous - Success is Her Sensuality [Blackest Ever Black]
Dalhous - He Was Human And Belonged With Humans [Blackest Ever Black]
Dalhous - Sight Of Hirta [Blackest Ever Black]
Sufjan Stevens - Take Me (excerpt) [stream on SoundCloud]
Sisyphus - Take Me / Booty Call [Asthmatic Kitty/Joyful Noise]
s / s / s - If This Is Real (feat. My Brightest Diamond) [anticon.]
Sisyphus - Alcohol [Asthmatic Kitty/Joyful Noise]
Millie & Andrea - Corrosive [Modern Love]
Pendle Coven - dogger bank (excerpt) [The Boats/Pendle Coven self-released]
Hate / Unknown Artist - Pretty Boy (GFTUA Mix) [Hate]
Millie & Andrea - Black Hammer [Daphne]
Andy Stott - Up the box [Modern Love]
Miles - Lebensform [Modern Love]
Millie & Andrea - Drop The Vowels [Modern Love]

Listen again — ~109MB

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Sunday, 23rd of March, 2014

Playlist 23.03.14 (9:05 pm)

A nice dark show for you oh yes oh yes.

LISTEN AGAIN and all that jazz! Linking is a bottom, streaming is fun!

A little young gods in our hands to start off, with a crazy funky evil song from Swans' forthcoming album I cannot hold in my excitement oh oh oh oh!
And new Nadja! Even though Aidan Baker is incredibly prolific, it's still exciting to have some heavy riffage from his doomy duo with Leah Buckareff. When it gets loud and compressed it's epic.

Also heavy and oppressive is the new Machinedrum remix by On-U Sound man Sherwood & Pinch. It's quite something, and then equally fucked-up is the abstract take from New Zealand d'n'b head Fis.

New from The Atlas Room is a three-part ambient techno composition from a split 10" with From Trees.

Sun Hammer's one of those recent dronemeisters who's branched out into beats - he's always had a nice sub-bass weight to his productions, and it's nice hearing these idm-style beats appear here.

And speaking of that, here we have Bolder, new on the legendary (Editions) Mego. This is a collaboration between Mego veteran Pure and hard techno/breakcore veteran Goner. That makes them sound like old-aged pensioners but they're anything but - it's just that they have a history in both glitchy laptop-scapes and the hardcore end of club music, and it's great hearing the post-industrial beats here in the context of sound-art. In there also is a lesser-known Fennesz remix of a breakcore tune by (DJ) Pure along with Christoph Fringeli of the noise/hardcore label http://praxis.c8.com/ and its breakcore offshoot Sub/Version.

Not so much hardcore but still techno of sorts is Ricardo Donoso, released on the magnificent Digitalis Recordings. We have two very dark remixes from ex-Sydney ex-dubstep artist Paul Jebanasam (now based in Bristol and heading up the amazing Subtext Recordings) and experimental electronic producer Yves De Mey...

Finally, a shorter-than-intended special on ex-Melbourne postpunks HTRK, whose new album is their most electronic and perhaps least dark & distorted... It's lovely, but it's also nice to hear the grainy, heavier sounds of yore (the little that I could include), including a remix from Pan Sonic's Mika Vainio.

Swans - A Little God In My Hands [Young God]
Nadja - Dark Circles [Essence Music/Broken Spine]
Machinedrum - Eyesdontlie (Sherwood & Pinch Clash Machinedrum Dub Fi Dub, Downtown, Uptown and All Around Town Remix) [Ninja Tune]
Machinedrum - Eyesdontlie (Fis Remix) [Ninja Tune]
The Atlas Room - By Nature I: At a Glacial Pace; II: Coastal Drift; III: Horizons In Motion [The Atlas Room Bandcamp]
Sun Hammer - 18_trim-mix2-2 [Sun Hammer Bandcamp]
Sun Hammer - 22_SEQ7-3 [Sun Hammer Bandcamp]
Bolder - Sinking Cities [Editions Mego]
Christoph Fringeli & Pure - Darkstar (Fennesz remix) [Sub/Version]
Pure - (Goner's Morbid Rave Refix) [Crónica]
Bolder - Deep Cuts [Editions Mego]
Ricardo Donoso - Affirmation (Paul Jebanasam remix) [Digitalis Recordings]
Ricardo Donoso - The Sphynx (Yves De Mey remix) [Digitalis Recordings]
HTRK - Give It Up [Ghostly International]
HTRK - Hate Rock Trio [Fire Records]
HTRK - Poison (Mika Vainio Remix) [Ghostly International]
HTRK - Blue Sunshine [Ghostly International]

Listen again — ~105MB

Sunday, 16th of March, 2014

Playlist 16.03.14 (9:09 pm)

Really great to be able to feature some fantastic women on tonight's show.
First up, though, a wonderful & challenging new version of a recent Son Lux track from his new EP. The EP does also feature Lorde, who's been known to cover this song "Easy" at her gigs.

Then we had a whole lot of lovely from Annie Clark aka St. Vincent, whose new album is her most successful pop release yet, no doubt buoyed by her collaboration with David Byrne. I took the opportunity to also pull out her composition for contemporary classical ensemble yMusic.

Next, an equally substantial special on Neneh Cherry, albeit somewhat scattered - I would've loved to have played "Buffalo Stance", "Manchild", her Michael Stipe due "Trout"... but instead I opted for a couple of earlier tracks that are a bit special to me - a dub verison from a stellar Wim Wenders soundtrack from 1991, and a track from The The's extraordinary Infected album, prominently featuring Neneh Cherry a good two years before her first single even came out.
Cherry's collaboration with masters of free jazz/garage rock (and fellow Swedes) The Thing came out in 2012, after quite a gap in her discography, an incredible meeting of minds and genres - although The Thing are well known for their gregarious cover versions. I wanted to play the Neneh Cherry original "Cashback", but in the end opted for the amazing Martina Topley-Bird cover. We also revisited the remix album from late 2012: some of Norwegian idm bod (and amazing artist) Kim Hiorthøy's remix of the Ornette Coleman cover, and all of Jim O'Rourke's sinister remix of the mind-bending Madvillain cover!
As for the new album, Kieran Hebden's production is sensitive and practically invisible, but Rocketnumbernine's percussion-and-synth performances are what make or break the album. My first impression was that their sound palette was simply too narrow to support the songs (especially after the all-out madness of The Thing tracks), but a substantial amount has grown on me a lot. No doubt partly because Cherry's singing is so great, and her songwriting with husband Cameron McVey (aka Booga Bear) is so excellent.

Somehow the experimentalistm of the later Neneh Cherry works is enough to ease us into the noise/drone/electronics of beloved Newcastle trio Crab Smasher. It's so great to have something new from them - and I'm informed there are a couple of albums on the way! Their gigs are always completely improvised, yet there's a purposeful structure to the pieces when you hear them on record.

The more I listen to the new album from Marisa Allen aka Bremen Town Musician, the more impressed I am. These songs, centred around violin & voice, are by turns beguiling and harsh, and hard to pin down- but I can't help thinking if she was recording in Toronto or Portland or somewhere rather than Brisbane, all the music blogs would be talking about her.

Finally, a pair of tracks from a split tour CD on Gizeh from legendary ambient artist loscil and the less legendary but much favoured on this show fieldhead. It features three tracks from each artist, with beautiful floating pads and submerged beats from Loscil, and grainy drones, layered violin and clicky beats from Fieldhead.

LISTEN AGAIN, download, or stream on demand at FBi's website!

Son Lux - Build a Pyre (Begin Again) [Joyful Noise]
St. Vincent - Regret [Loma Vista/Republic]
St. Vincent - Paris Is Burning [Beggars Banquet]
St. Vincent - Bicycle [4AD]
yMusic - Proven Badlands (composed by Annie Clark) [New Amsterdam]
David Byrne & St. Vincent - Lightning [4AD]
St. Vincent - Prince Johnny [Loma Vista/Republic]
Neneh Cherry - Move With Me (Dub) [Warner Bros]
Neneh Cherry - Across The Water (excerpt) [Smalltown Supersound]
Neneh Cherry - Weightless [Smalltown Supersound]
The The - Slow Train To Dawn (feat. Neneh Cherry) [Epic Records]
Neneh Cherry & The Thing - Too Tough To Die [Smalltown Supersound]
Neneh Cherry & The Thing - What Reason Could I Give (Kim Hiorthøy remix) [Smalltown Supersound]
Neneh Cherry & The Thing - Accordion (Jim O'Rourke remix) [Smalltown Supersound]
Neneh Cherry - Cynical [Smalltown Supersound]
Crab Smasher - Vengeance [Monstera Deliciosa/Crab Smasher Bandcamp]
Crab Smasher - A Sad Day For Everybody [Monstera Deliciosa/Crab Smasher Bandcamp]
Crab Smasher - It Took A Drop Of Blood To Break The Witches Spell [Monstera Deliciosa/Crab Smasher Bandcamp]
Crab Smasher - The Ugly Butterflies [Monstera Deliciosa/Crab Smasher Bandcamp]
Bremen Town Musician - shed your skin [Duskdarter]
fieldhead - northumberland [Gizeh]
loscil - fury [Gizeh]

Listen again — ~59MB

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Sunday, 9th of March, 2014

Playlist 09.03.14 (9:07 pm)

Tonight we revisited the Filthy Children collection from last week and also the wonderful Gilded from Perth. Then we hopped over to Rotterdam for a collection of some of Machinefabriek's hard-to-find shorter releases from the last few years.
We then had a special on a very special duo - the folktronic marvels of Origamibiro. The new album's out on Denovali, who have also collected their earlier stuff if you missed out. We heard a bit of Tom Hill's previous group too, the short-lived idm duo Wauvenfold, but mostly focused on the glitchy organic samples and beats of Origamibiro, rich with strings along with acoustic guitar and piano and the like.
And we finished up with another special on Addison Groove (and his previous incarnation as dubstepper Headhunter). Having explored the nexus of juke/footwork with dubstep and house, his more recent collaborations with drum'n'bass futurist Sam Binga have led him to up the tempo into junglist territory for a good part of the new album, to my great pleasure.

LISTEN AGAIN to the strums and clicks, hums and whirs. Link at bottom, stream in stereo from FBi.

Kaukana - Follow The Fool (Made In Japan Remix) [Wood and Wire]
cyber.akb - Lawson [Wood and Wire]
Gilded - Cluttered Room [Hidden Shoal]
Gilded - 38 Degrees (Live at The Bird) [Hidden Shoal]
Machinefabriek - Danse Des Loops [Zoharum/Machinefabriek]
Machinefabriek - Ontrafelde Tonen 2 [Zoharum/Machinefabriek]
Machinefabriek & Gareth Davis - Oh Doctor Jesus [Zoharum/Machinefabriek]
Machinefabriek - Ax [Zoharum/Machinefabriek]
Origamibiro - Ada Deane [Denovali]
Origamibiro - Pulmonary Piano [Denovali]
Ruby - Beefheart (Wauvenfold remix) [Wichita Recordings]
Wauvenfold - Clip (clopt) [Wichita Recordings]
Origamibiro - dissect ephemeral [Expanding Records]
Origamibiro - the last of its leaves [Expanding Records]
Origamibiro - gathers in puddles (Part Timer's samba in puddles remix) [unreleased]
Origamibiro - Dismantle Piece [Denizen/Abandon Building Recordings]
Origamibiro - Ballerina Platform Shoes (Plaid remix) [Denizen/Abandon Building Recordings]
Origamibiro - Armistice Cenotaph [Denovali]
Sam Binga - Freezy [Critical Presents: Modulations]
Addison Groove & Sam Binga - Rzor feat. MC DRS [50 Weapons]
Headhunter & Ekelon - Timewarp [Planet µ]
Addison Groove - Phantom [Tectonic]
Addison Groove - Malus [50 Weapons]
Addison Groove - 167 Blast feat. DJ Die [50 Weapons]

Listen again — ~106MB

Sunday, 2nd of March, 2014

Playlist 02.03.14 (9:08 pm)

Tonight's big special is on The Notwist, who are pretty important to the Utility Fog postfolkrocktronica spectrum, coming from grunge/metal roots, through indie and idm, incorporating glitchy folktronica, just about founding indietronica along with a few other bands at the time, and spreading into jazz fusion and soundtrack music... Their many side projects and collaborations (including with various members of the indie-loving hip-hop collective Anticon) saw them being pretty much ubiquitous for a while. In any case, their new album is a massive return to form, if they needed such a thing (I discovered their last album, from 6 years ago, wasn't actually that bad after a long time away from it).

Started with the magnificent Perth duo Gilded (Adam Trainer & M Rösner), whose minimalist acoustic sounds don't lend themselves easily to genre pigeonholes. The excellent remixes take things into somewhat more electronic/beat-oriented climes, but are still nicely unpigeonholeable.
We also heard a bunch of tracks from a new compilation on the Wood and Wire label entitled Chillection, courtesy of Sydney beats electronica collective Filthy Children. Lots of young artists not sticking to any particular electronic music template - there's experimental drum'n'bass, post-dubstep sorts of sounds, computer game beats and even some psychedelic songwriting stuff.
And finally before the Notwist we heard a fab piece of pop from Sparkle Gang, aka Brisbane visual artist Mel Stringer. Crunchy beats & angelic vocals, while on the demo the perfect vocal harmonies work just as well accompanied by just her guitar.

LISTEN AGAIN to the power & the glory, the glitches and the geetars, the indies and the tronicas. Link at bottom, stream in stereo from FBi.

Gilded - Cluttered Room (Shoeb Spartak's Thriftstore Mix) [Hidden Shoal]
Gilded - Tyne [Hidden Shoal]
Gilded - Cluttered Room (perth Remix) [Hidden Shoal]
cyber.akb - Sh̄jo no kokuhaku [Wood and Wire]
Moufteef - Fishfingur [Wood and Wire]
bærfrens - Spacerocket [Wood and Wire]
Sparkle Gang - Bring You Back [ZZAAPP Records]
Sparkle Gang - Bring You Back (Demo) [ZZAAPP Records]
The Notwist - Kong [City Slang/Sub Pop/Spunk]
The Notwist - Close To The Glass [City Slang/Sub Pop/Spunk]
The Notwist - Moron [Duophonic]
Console - my dog eats beats [Payola/Matador]
Console - crabcraft (excerpt) [Payola/Matador]
The Notwist - Scoop [Morr Music]
The Notwist - One Step Inside Doesn't Mean You Understand [City Slang/Domino/Spunk]
The Notwist - Trashing Days [City Slang/Domino/Spunk]
Bomb The Bass / Lali Puna - clearcut [Morr Music]
Ms. John Soda - no. one [Morr Music]
Alias - unseen sights (feat. Markus Acher) [Anticon.]
13&god - L'Atlas Flexible,Von Gradleute (mix by Hrvatski) [Alien Transistor/Anticon.]
The Notwist - Your Alphabet [City Slang/Domino/Spunk]
13&god - janu are [Alien Transistor/Anticon.]
The Notwist - 7-Hour-Drive [City Slang/Sub Pop/Spunk]

Listen again — ~109MB

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