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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, 12th of April, 2015

Playlist 12.04.15 (9:04 pm)

Indietronica, idm, indiefolk, electro-acoustic experimentalism, and ambient electronica on the agenda for tonight!

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It's been some years since the last Telafonica album. In the meantime they completed their project of releasing a remix EP for every song on that album, and they did slip out an EP in 2013. But it's great to have them back with a whole album's worth of delightful indietronica. They continue to pair creative electronic (and folktronic!) production with classic songwriting chops.

Many column inches have already been spent on Sufjan Stevens' new release, bourne from the grief of losing his mother. It's wrenchingly personal, musically very subdued, a Sufjan to the core. I'm not sure whether it ranks quite up there with my favourites (Seven Swans, Age of Adz and Illinois) - but the more I listen, somehow the more touching it becomes. Immerse yourself in it and you'll feel the encompassing warmth of deep sadness. There are acoustic folk songs like the title track (which also features iPhone field recordings which evoke a certain personal meaning without us being able to know quite what they signify), but there are also muted electric piano pieces (the like of which we heard here and there in the Sisyphus tracks from last year) and a number of tracks have beautiful shoegazey instrumental outros.
Carrie & Lowell is being compared a lot to Seven Swans, and I couldn't help but play one of the intense devotional songs from that album.

It's been a while also since we heard from Lucky Dragons, stalwarts of this show since their roots in visionary folktronica. There's always some kind of deeply-thought-out conceptual basis to their music, but their electro-acoustic, experimental approach is not academic but rather playful and quite accessible. It's rarely electronica with beats, but nor is it pure sound-art or drone, and this track is a case in point - cut-up snatches of vocal pulse and overlap over 6 minutes to produce something that sounds surprisingly like minimal techno.

Also deceptively like minimal techno (except in the sense of having much in the way of a discernible beat) is the new release from Italian experimentalists Giuseppe Ielasi & Nicola Ratti as Bellows, this time round on Boomkat's in-house label. Dub elements can be found all the way back in their self-titled album of 2007, but come to the fore here with scattered sub-bass gestures in amongst reticent, clicky percussive almost-rhythms, vinyl scratches and delays.
Their debut self-titled album is perhaps the least "pure", combining most of those above elements with guitar and other musical elements to create a postrock/minimal electronic fusion. The incredible handcut album utilises only vinyl, with rhythms from run-out grooves, and deeply worn fuzzy '80s pop scratched back and forth, while 2012's Reelin' uses spare synths and drum machines to similar effect. In fact it could be suggested that an abstracted form of dub lies at the heart of everything Bellows have done.

Direct from the artist we have some exclusive analogue electronica from Comatone up next. The reclusive (ha) genius producer from the Blue Mountains started these tracks some years ago and has surfaced them now inspired by Aphex Twin's clearing out of the archives. And the melodic, acid-influenced tracks do point a bit towards early '90s AFX. Keep an eye out for this...

Finally tonight a special on the sounds of Jason Corder aka offthesky aka Juxta Phona. Tonight's 35-minute special focuses more on the beat-based elements of his work, as the new Juxta Phona release on Home Normal is more along those lines, while offthesky has become more of a drone & quiet music outlet. Under his belt are collaborations with violinists & cellists, other drone & postrock artists, along with a string of great remixes under both names. I only had a chance to play one tonight, of another recently-featured Home Normal artist, Gurun Gurun. It's a doozy though, processed guitars, beats & electronics. In general, his music has a dreamy outlook even when the beats are complex and clattery... It's easy to get lost in.
Since I've mostly neglected the droney/post-classical/minimalist music Corder writes tonight, we didn't hear from another recent release of his, the album Possession on Sydney label Flaming Pines made in colaboration with Cody Yantis and Carl Ritger of Radere. It's very dark drone/noise work and also comes highly recommended - hear some samples on the Flaming Pines SoundCloud.

Telafonica - What Remains [4-4-2 Music]
Telafonica - The Quest For Aboard the Belafonte [4-4-2 Music]
Telafonica - Home Song [4-4-2 Music]
Sufjan Stevens - Fourth of July [Asthmatic Kitty]
Sufjan Stevens - Carrie & Lowell [Asthmatic Kitty]
Sufjan Stevens - To Be Alone With You [Asthmatic Kitty]
Sufjan Stevens - Blue Bucket of Gold [Asthmatic Kitty]
Lucky Dragons - Inside [Vestibule]
Bellows - Rustl track 5 [Boomkat Editions]
Bellows - Bellows track 03 [Kning Disk]
Bellows - handcut 04 [Senufo Editions]
Bellows - Reelin' track 06 [Entr'acte]
Bellows - Rustl track 5 [Boomkat Editions]
Comatone - Using The Instruments [tune your v.c.o. - is this going to be released I have no idea...]
Juxta Phona - alleyway angelwitch way [Home Normal]
offthesky - cold as your eyes can be [Stilll]
Juxta Phona & offthesky - low spark of high squealed toys [Somnia]
Gurun Gurun - Karumi (offthesky mix) [Futuresequence]
offthesky vs kinder scout - faded faces in vanishing voices [Home Normal]
Juxta Phona - we are the shakers of the world [Home Normal]

Listen again — ~104MB

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