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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, 21st of June, 2015

Playlist 21.06.15 (9:09 pm)

UtiLADY Fog again tonight, all-woman lineup of awesome music from around the world.

Starting tonight's all-female special with one of the most important musicians of the last 2-3 decades, Björk. Her wonderful, harrowing, touching album vulnicura will be among the best albums of the year by a long shot, and it's a brave artist who takes on the task of remixing any of the very personal tracks from the album. The first crop of four remixers appropriately features two women, and I started with one, electronic vocal manipulator Katie Gately, who we heard a few months ago(?) with her split 12" on Fat Cat. Vocal manipulation is the name of the game here, maximalist electronic-mediated orchestrations. Dutch techno artist Krampfhaft rebuilds the song from the ground up into something full of soft movement.

English composer Emily Hall is the first new signing to Icelandic label/collective Bedroom Community in quite some years. In a connection with our previous artist, the work on her new album Folie Á Deux is a collaboration with Icelandic author and frequent Björk collaborator Sjón. It also features electronics from Mira Calix, and vocals from Sofia Jernberg and Allan Clayton, along with a specially-made instrument called the electro-magnetic harp. Classical crossover stuff is very much the Bedroom Community vibe, and it's lovely stuff.

Experimental synth/noise artist Alex Barnett has been associated with Mamiffer's Faith Coloccia since her early days in the experimental group Everlovely Lightningheart, and they've now released two albums of very dark electronic investigations as BARNETT + COLOCCIA. We started with a track that almost emulates techno of the post-industrial sort favoured by labels like Blackest Ever Black and Opal Tapes, but most of their stuff is more in the ambient-noise-drone vein, with spectral vocals sometimes hovering in the background. I played a track from Mamiffer's album Status Nascendi from last year as a bit of a guide to the other stuff Coloccia has done.

Earlier this month I was lucky enough to pop into Paris on the way home from a brief UK tour, and I got to see an amazing gig with Liturgy at the tiny Espace B. But at least as much impact was made by the support, fellow Thrill Jockey artist Haley Fohr aka Circuit des Yeux, who performed with a 12 string guitar, chorus, delay and distortion, producing an incredible baritone from behind a very long fringe. On record there's a lot more to the arrangements than chiming, beautifully played 12 string, and while her astonishing voice is central to her art, it's also absent a lot of the time, with the adventurous arrangements & production (or hypnotically riffing guitar) allowed to tease out their own meanings.

Sydney artist Astrid Zeman plays live on various instruments with loop pedal and vocals - she's a quite frequent performer around Sydney at the moment - but her recent demos are seeing her production develop with layers of guitars, vocals and piano along with various effects. Hopefully recent tracks will be collected into an EP soon.

It's impossible to downplay the impact that Jenny Hval's first album under her own name, viscera, had on me when it came out in 2011. I'd heard of her previous project Rockettothesky, as she'd been resident in Melbourne for a few years doing postgraduate study, but this album came into my radar as it was released on the legendary Norwegian label Rune Grammofon and featured musicians from the fertile Norwegian experimental jazz/noise scene including production from Helge Sten aka Deathprod. The vision is all Jenny's though, and frankly the musical arrangements too. You can hear her musical and lyrical themes going back through that Rockettothesky material and forward through her work since, poetic and personal explorations of female sexuality, "visceral" indeed yet also academic... and beautifully melodic yet also deeply challenging musically. It's uncompromising stuff and we're lucky to have her.

Björk - family (katie gately remix) [One Little Indian]
Björk - history of touches (krampfhaft remix) [One Little Indian]
Emily Hall - ode to the pylon [Bedroom Community]
Emily Hall - loneliness [Bedroom Community]
Barnett + Coloccia - Dreamsnake [Blackest Ever Black]
Barnett + Coloccia - Hallway [Blackest Ever Black]
Mamiffer - Mercy [SIGE/Daymare]
Barnett + Coloccia - Rose Eye [Blackest Ever Black]
Circuit des Yeux - Do The Dishes [Thrill Jockey]
Circuit des Yeux - Acarina [Thrill Jockey]
Circuit des Yeux - Dream of TV [Thrill Jockey]
Astrid Zeman - Dark Horses [stream at Astrid Zeman">SoundCloud]
Jenny Hval - Sabbath [Sacred Bones Records]
Rockettothesky - They are bastards! (We are better) [Trust Me Records]
Rockettothesky - Grizzly Man [Trust Me Records]
Jenny Hval - blood flight [Rune Grammofon]
Jenny Hval - is there anything on me that doesn't speak [Rune Grammofon]
Jenny Hval & Susanna - I Have Walked This Body [Rune Grammofon]
Jenny Hval - Heaven [Sacred Bones Records]

Listen again — ~103MB

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