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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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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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