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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, 31st of August, 2014

Playlist 31.08.14 (9:07 pm)

Good evening! This week we're celebrating ELEVEN YEARS of FBi Radio, which is pretty amazeballs! But I'm just going to play more mostly new tunes because there's so much good stuff around!

LISTEN AGAIN because you don't get music like this just anywhere. The FBi site has the streaming on demand (mobile-ready!) and the podcast/download option is right here.

Started tonight with a couple of tracks from the Mystery Plays Singles Club, from which I've played at least the Icarus entry previously. These came out in July but I was away at the time. First is vintage Inch-time, with wonderful scraping double bass in the mix, and then Shoeb Ahmad's coda (of sorts) to his album on the same label, bearing no small influence from one of our shared favourite bands ever, Hood.

Also, I feel, wearing a bit of a Hood influence along with indiefolk, postrock and even shoegaze stylings is the second album from Newcastle's Firekites. They haven't changed their sound much from their first album, 6 years(!) ago, but this one's drawing me a lot more from the outset. It's one of the year's Australian highlights I feel.

And so, on to Hood themselves. I chose a track at (carefully-selected) random from their back catalogue and then something new from the two brothers at the band's core, Chris and Richard Adams. The lovely Richard's main project is his band The Declining Winter, but with hammer dulcimer player Joel Hanson as well as members of Hood and The Declining Winter he has just released the second album of Memory Drawings - and, full disclosure, he asked me to play cello for a bonus track which opens the second disc of the first pressing.
That aside, it's beautiful minimalist stuff on the main disc, and treated to some remixes and alternate versions on the bonus disc, including another Hood alumnus, A New Line (Related) aka Andrew Johnson.
Massively exciting for me is the return of Chris Adams' Downpour alias. I've been hoping for a new Bracken album for years, but Downpour was my first love, before I even knew Hood, for the stunning proto-breakcore Windstorms Broken Microphones EP released in 1997. The new material seems to be Chris's take on mid-'90s drum'n'bass with a bit of the dubstep influence the hung over the Bracken material - and it sounds like it's his best-produced material as well. Amazing!

And then a great big special on Nick Zammuto, and his much-missed duo The Books. The new Zammuto album is just out now and getting well-deserved rave reviews. It's a fair distance away from the laptop folk / glitch-classical / thingy-thing of the first couple of Books albums, but you could certainly hear most of this sound in even that material and certainly in later Books. He likes playing games with sound (and lyrics) and loves to intimately entwine his technology into his musical composition. But he also has an uncanny talent for gorgeous melody - see the wonderful Harlequin from the first Zammuto album, but I'm pretty sure a few of the newies will find their way into my subconscious like this one did.
And we had a re-tread of the Red Hot + Bach contribution from Nick's onetime collaborator in The Books, cellist Paul de Jong, a spellbinding adaptation of the 1st prelude from The Well-Tempered Clavier featuring Mia Doi Todd on vocals. I have plenty of other solo stuff from Paul but it's mostly very long tracks.

We finish up with something amazing that I exhort you to check out in full: Names is the project of Boston's Brian C Barth and collaborators, and he's had help from Nick Zammuto in mastering if nothing else. Fans of early (and recent) Grizzly Bear will love the songwriting and singing, but it's also incredibly creative in terms of production and instrumentation, sub-bass pulses mixing with heaving cello lines, weird, impeccably-orchestrated horn stabs and occasionally-glitched-up guitars. Barth's music is one of my happiest discoveries of late. Please follow my lead.

Inch-time - Omaha Gold [Mystery Plays Records]
Shoeb Ahmad - Horses (A Coda) [Mystery Plays Records]
Firekites - Somewhere Bright First [Spunk]
Firekites - Same Suburb, Different Park [Spunk]
Firekites - Closing Forever Sky [Spunk]
Hood - Home Is Where It Hurts [Domino]
Memory Drawings - Golden Afternoon [Hibernate]
Memory Drawings - In the House at Midnight by A New Line (Related) [Hibernate]
Downpour - Do you remember when it was all about the drums? [Downpour Bandcamp]
Zammuto - Sinker [Temporary Residence]
The Books - motherless bastard [Tomlab]
The Books - the lemon of pink [Tomlab]
The Books - there is no there [Tomlab]
The Books - vogt dig for kloppervok [Tomlab/Temporary Residence]
Zammuto - Harlequin [Temporary Residence]
Zammuto - Need Some Sun [Temporary Residence]
Paul de Jong - Number Man (feat. Mia Doi Todd) [Red Hot] {based on the well-known 1st Prelude in C from the Well-Tempered Clavier by JS Bach as adaped by Charles Gounod}
Names - The Rule [Names Bandcamp]
Names - Night Tide [Names Bandcamp]
Names - Moonshiner [Names Bandcamp]
Names - The Long and Short of It [Names Bandcamp]

Listen again — ~102MB

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Sunday, 24th of August, 2014

Playlist 24.08.14 (9:05 pm)

Big chat with Lawrence English tonight about his new album, Room40 etc. And some great new sounds from UK, the Netherlands, the USA...

LISTEN AGAIN via the link at the bottom, or subscribe to the podcast, or stream it on demand from FBi! Also please note, Utility Fog is now repeated on FBi's wonderful digital station FBi Click at 6am and 6pm Mondays.

You can also enjoy the interview with Lawrence English on its own: many fascinating words of wisdom and some beautiful music! Download here.

We had two takes from the amazing new album from Kevin Martin aka The Bug, one from each side as it's strutured as Angels & Devils. Liz Harris of Grouper contributes an amazing vocal to a beautiful track, and Flowdan can be relied upon for the heaviest hitters, here joined by longtime Kevin Martin collaborator Justin K Broadrick on guitar riffage.

I finally got into clipping. while I was travelling, and their brand of noise/glitch-hop is very welcome. Lots of dirty words but a great flow and less aggression than, say, Death Grips.

Then a great big interview with Lawrence English, a conversation spanning lots of topics, and a short overview of his fantastic recording career... So much more that I could've played, ranging from Tim Hecker-like cracklescapes to field recordings, to collaborations with indie & electronic artists...

A bunch of new things next from fellow drone/experimental music traveller Machinefabriek. First up his amazing trio Shivers, released on the mighty Miasmah, with Gareth Davis on clarinet (don't let this mislead you - it's often an imposing and immense presence!) and Leo Fabriek on drums. And after something from one of the many solo releases he's always releasing, we heard a beautiful glitchy ambient remix of ultra-famous duduk player Djivan Gasparyan, courtesy of the classic ambient label All Saints Records who are having a bit of a resurgence and released a fantastic double-CD compilation of back catalogue and contemporary remixes. I coulda/shoulda played Roger Eno, Harold Budd and so many others, but I found this excellent piece of funky electronica from Brian Eno from the early '90s which floated my boat (and I'm very agnostic about Eno's music, so this is a good thing), and the Bee Mask remix of Laraaji is a superb mix of past & present.

The Bug - Void feat. Liz Harris [Ninja Tune]
The Bug - Fat Mac feat. Flowdan & JK Flesh [Ninja Tune]
clipping. - taking off [Sub Pop]
clipping. - real (feat. ezra buchla) [clipping. bandcamp]
clipping. - overpass (skit) [clipping. bandcamp]
clipping. - work work (feat. cocc pistol cree) [Sub Pop]
Lawrence English - Wilderness of Mirrors [Room40]
...interview with Lawrence English...
Lawrence English - Oamura [Touch]
Lawrence English - Forgiving Noir / Graceless Hunter / Hapless Gatherer [Room40]
Object - Horizon [Quatermass]
Lawrence English - Droplet [12k]
Shivers - Rabid [Miasmah]
Shivers - Brood [Miasmah]
Machinefabriek - (Chinstrap) [Machinefabriek]
Djivan Gasparyan - Moon Shines At Night (Machinefabriek version) [All Saints Records]
Brian Eno - What Actually Happened? [All Saints Records]
Laraaji - A Cave In England (Bee Mask version) [All Saints Records]

Listen again — ~106MB

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Sunday, 17th of August, 2014

Playlist 17.08.14 (9:12 pm)

Back from my long jaunt overseas, playing some really cool gigs and holidaying in Europe... and buying truckloads of CDs. I seem to have hurt my hand from carrying so many heavy suitcases & bags. That must be it, yes.

Tonight we have the wondrous & mysterious (but gradually also more pop) Grumbling Fur aka Daniel O'Sullivan and Alexander Tucker, with a new album via online music mag and now label The Quietus Phonographic Corporation... So, a bit of a retrospective on their work.

Then we have some tunes from brilliant Scottish composer/producer Matthew Collings, whose UFog favourite from last year has been reissued by Denovali along with a new album cementing his avant-garde classical meets electronic post-rock production.

We then move into even more of a contemporary classical composition world with Polish producer Jacaszek & his compatriots Kwartludium, a classical ensemble consisting of violin, clarniet, percussion and piano. Their album on Touch mixes crackly electronics and field recordings with flickers of acoustic instruments and clarinet drones (the latter of which recalls similar instrumentation from Matthew Collings).

In keeping with the "classical" theme, where better to go than the Red Hot + Bach compilation from a month or two ago? We have the one and only Paul de Jong, once cellist in The Books, with a piece featuring Mia Doi Todd and based on Bach's first Prelude in C from The Well-Tempered Clavier, made particularly famous via Charles Gounod's adaptation as "Ave Maria" - the vocal melody is Gounod's. We hear that vocal performed by opera star Pia Ercole in the version by, er, King Britt Presents Fhloston Paradigm, known on his new stuff for Hyperdub just as Fhloston Paradigm. Although it is on his album, I took the next track from the Hyperdub 10.2 compilation, the label's second 10th birthday comp, this one focused on "pop" music, all with vocals, and the collaborator here is Rachel Claudio, taking it into a very subdued trip-hop kind of territory. Very nice.

Less subdued (although not always!) are Killing Sound, members of Bristol bass/techno/etc collective Young echo, who put out an amazing 12" (only) of post-dubstep sounds on Blackest Ever Black earlier this year and have followed it up with a storming one-sided techstep drum'n'bass reworking of one of those tracks. Vinyl-only makes this boy sad though :(

Nearly finishing up, electro-acoustic drum'n'bass duo Icarus released a new track while I was away, inaugurating London-based ex-pat Aussie label Mystery Plays' "Singles Club". Many other awesome artists are involved and I'll be playing some over the coming weeks.

But I couldn't go out without playing one short track from the debut album from Blue Mountains chap 0point1, kindly released by the ever-awesome Feral Media. Ever questing between genres of glitch, drill'n'bass, expansive post-rock and who knows what else, 0point1's sound flows very nicely from Icarus and finishes up just a little bit over into poor Alexander Tullett's brilliant Close To The Edge.

As usual, please LISTEN AGAIN — you got yer link right in this post, yer podcast subscription or glorious streaming on demand at FBi.

Grumbling Fur - Neil Megson Fanclub [The Quietus Phonographic Corporation]
Grumbling Fur - Secrets of the Earth [The Quietus Phonographic Corporation]
Grumbling Fur - Green Garden Fur / Sommaren Är Här / Orb Of The Woods [Aurora Borealis]
Grumbling Fur - Huthering Whites [Latitudes]
Grumbling Fur - Eyoreseye [Thrill Jockey]
Grumbling Fur - Materials Recording the Fibres of Time [The Quietus Phonographic Corporation]
Grumbling Fur - Pluriforms [The Quietus Phonographic Corporation]
Matthew Collings - Stills / Everything You Love Will End Up On The Breeze [Denovali]
Matthew Collings - Paris Is Burning [Denovali reissue originally on Fluid Audio]
Matthew Collings - Toms [Denovali]
Jacaszek & Kwartludium - A book of lake (Roselière) [Touch]
Jacaszek & Kwartludium - Anthem (La forêt) [Touch]
Paul de Jong - Number Man (feat. Mia Doi Todd) [Red Hot] {based on the well-known 1st Prelude in C from the Well-Tempered Clavier by JS Bach as adaped by Charles Gounod}
King Britt Presents Fhloston Paradigm - Ave Maria feat. Pia Ercole [Red Hot] {also based on that Gounod adaption}
Fhloston Paradigm - Never Defeated, feat Rachel Claudio [Hyperdub]
Killing Sound - Thousand Hands [Blackest Ever Black]
Killing Sound - $ixxx Harmonie$ Version [Blackest Ever Black]
Icarus - Collectable Woodland Creatures Armed With Heavy Weaponry [Mystery Plays]
0point1 - Eggborn [Feral Media]

Listen again — ~107MB

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