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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, 1st of February, 2015

Playlist 01.02.15 (8:08 pm)

Evening! So much great electronica for you today from across the globe.

LISTEN AGAIN to catch every single goodie because you need them all! Then go and buy them. Stream there, podcast here.

It's strangely appropriate, with ageing rave-punks The Prodigy staging a comeback (to mostly raucous laughter from the press it must be said), that the new one-sided single from Burial sees him revisiting the halcyon pre-jungle days of rave music. Complete with sped-up vocal samples near the end which are a clear reference to The Prodigy. It's the best thing I've heard from Burial for a while. YMMV.

Blue Mountains-based producer Bob Streckfuss aka 0point1 makes incredibly idiosyncratic music. While the influences are clear - from Sigur Rós vocals to mega-processed postrock instrumentation and dril'n'bass beats (among other things) - the way it's all mashed together it's totally his own. It can be quite bewildering to listen to, but it works either way - let it wash over you, or concentrate and enjoy the details!

The Sticks have just finished up their residency at The Dock in Redfern, with "The Air Sticks", a gestural interface controlling beats and sampling/processing, as well as keyboards and bass. It's live electronica and very stylishly done.

And so to Aphex Twin. There is no legend too large to apply to him, and half of them seem to be true (or half-true?) So, shortly after releasing the truly new-sounding Computer Controlled Acoustic Instruments pt (EP), a SoundCloud account appeared at SoundCloud (originally there was one fewer 0 in there) and made a cheeky comment on the official Aphex Twin SoundCloud. In truly arch fashion, Aphex replied, so initially there was a pretense that this person was another 43-year-old musician who'd been making electronic music back in the day. But it didn't take long to confirm that this was Aphex, who over an incredibly short number of days dumped 110 tracks (in fact 112, as a couple were withdrawn) on this anonymous SoundCloud, dating from back in the "85-92" period of the first Selected Ambient Works album, through Analogue Bubblebath acid, ...I Care Because You Do hip-hop beats, and even some 7 Up children talking with Hangable Auto Bulb era drill'n'bass. It's the motherlode, and it's quite imposing at 8:42 of music, so I had a go at pulling out some of the highlights tonight.

Having found a couple of really exciting discoveries from 2014 releasing on Opal Tapes, I'd been meaning to explore the label for a while. I knew their first release featured Sydney's own Dro Carey in his more technoid Tuff Sherm guise, and I knew that there was a fair bit of house on the label, which isn't necessarily my thing - but there's a plethora of varied stuff going on there.

Ñaka Ñaka's first release on Opal Tapes is quite housey, and the 4/4 beats continue on 2014's Mundo Harsh, but the reason I started with this NY producer should be clear as soon as you hear the tracks: there's a striking echo of Aphex Twin's Selected Ambient Works 85-92 to the lambent synth chords and melodies hovering around the beats. If not Aphex, the closest comparison would be the early works of Arovane, a 2nd-gen idm producer whose icy, melodic works were themselves regularly compared to Mr Twin's.

Yves De Mey is a Belgian artist who's appeared on the UFog horizons before, but I was remiss in properly researching him. His Opal Tapes EP from 2013 is a brilliant work of sub-bass and glitch sound design, with head-nodding bass and beats, and that post-industrial heavy yet delicate sound that we're getting a lot of in the most advanced electronic productions from the last few years. Highly recommended.
And this leads us into the Cambiare compilation from last year, which conveniently features exclusive tracks (for those concerned about redundancy) but also gives us a great view into Opal Tapes circa 2014. Karen Gwyer's track is speed techno with a melodic bassline and stuttering kicks.

There's also a KETEV track unique to the compilation, with beats so deeply submerged they only half surface in the second half. I've featured the works of Yair Elazar Glotman a few times on the show - a new artist from 2014 who's already had a huge impact. We don't really hear his double bass in his KETEV works, but he's got the sound design chops and beatsmithing down pat too. Andy Stott is sometimes hinted at, but equally his Opal Tapes compatriots and other contemporary electronic genres, all high-tech with a dirty lo-fi rumble and hiss.

Lumisokea have also featured a few times on this show. A duo featuring Belgian cellist Koenraad Ecker (although the duo tends to be purely electronic) and Italian producer Andrea Taeggi (who I just discovered is also Gondwana), they also take a sound design approach to techno, with heavy elecronics and sometimes frenzied beats here - but they are in fact very versatile over their releases (as well as individually).
I literally only just realised that Gondwana was half of Lumisokea, or I would have swapped the order here - but this debut album from 2015 is a beauty, with more of those heavy sub-bass punches and long periods of crackling, organic ambience/drone.

Michael DeMaio's release (also new for 2015) mixes hard 4/4 techno with faster-moving stuff, ambience and those incredible skittering hi-hats in "South", which might just be track of the week for me.

Burial - Temple Sleeper [Keysound Recordings]
0point1 - Hypernova [0point1 Bandcamp]
0point1 - 3D trees-emotive [0point1 Bandcamp]
The Sticks - Suriol [unreleased]
Aphex Twin - 9 Square Dance [SoundCloud]
Aphex Twin - diskhat1 [Warp]
Aphex Twin - piano un1 arpej [Warp]
Aphex Twin - 12 Rough Beat Tune [SoundCloud]
Aphex Twin - 14 Make A Baby [SoundCloud]
Aphex Twin - 24 Afx 71 1 [SoundCloud]
Ñaka Ñaka - jAaz [Opal Tapes]
Ñaka Ñaka - dardos (excerpt) [Opal Tapes]
Yves De Mey - Box Caisson [Opal Tapes]
Yves De Mey - Faux Movements [Opal Tapes]
Karen Gwyer - Girl With Pitbull [Opal Tapes]
KETEV - Aleph [Opal Tapes]
KETEV - Akkad [Opal Tapes]
Lumisokea - Eleven [Opal Tapes]
Michael DeMaio - South [Opal Tapes]
Michael DeMaio - Knives Like Dresses (excerpt) [Opal Tapes]
Gondwana - Þingvellir (excerpt) [Opal Tapes]
Gondwana - Right Brainer [Opal Tapes]

Listen again — ~109MB

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