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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, 2nd of August, 2015

Playlist 02.08.15 (9:18 pm)

Very electronic Utility Fog tonight, from very experimental to almost straight dancefloor sounds.

LISTEN and groove AGAIN to the podcast here, or the stream at FBi.

We start tonight with some selections from an incredible selection of "ordinary remixes" by Buttress O'Kneel. Why "ordinary"? Because Melbourne's riot grrl of breakcore mashups is best known for joyfully illegal sampling across the spectrum from pop to movies to TV & radio broadcasts. She first came to note for me making some powerful longform radio pieces for FBi's Sunday Night At The Movies (now moved to Thursday nights as the wonderful Ears Have Ears), themselves made up of mashed-up songs, splattered breakbeats and documentaries. But this mysterious artist had also been releasing masses of mashup and breakcore-ish material on CDRs via a Melbourne postcode for some time, and continues to do so sporadically today.
The remixes appearing on this latest album are all authorised in one form or another - commissioned by the artists or remixed from publically available material in the case of The Blacksmoke Organisation (a KLF-affiliated guerilla music act of sorts). Many of these have not been released before, including - embarrassingly - 5 (count 'em) brilliant remixes of my own band FourPlay String Quartet (from a remix album that's been long delayed for many reasons).

Buttress O'Kneel also had a long working relationship with Sydney experimental artist & academic Shannon O'Neill (no relation), who released a few of her albums on his Alias Frequencies label. They both have a strong interest in appropriation in art, although their musical approaches are very different. Shannon O'Neill has also been very involved in experimental radio, going back to the early '90s (or earlier?) as half of groundbreaking freeform radio show Wake Up And Listen (also sometimes a recording artist) - and he also used to fill in on Utility Fog when he was based in Sydney! The BO'K remix here is a fantastic piece of darkside jungle, great for it to see the light of day.

Shannon also appears here under the alias of "Time Being" - at least it's him according to Discogs - with a track from Tom Ellard's Oompa Loopma Riot 2015 compilation, intended as a continuation of his Terse Tapes label from the 1980s. I somehow missed it in April (if that is really when it came out), and it has a great selection of weirdo electronic artists from around the globe, including Ellard himself and also his old Severed Heads partner (for a time) Garry Bradbury appearing as Chlamydia Headlock. Final track from the compilation tonight is from UK ambient/experimental artist The Revenant Sea, an alias of psych rock/folk band Wizards Tell Lies.

We had a little feature last week on UK noise-folk duo Ambrosia(@), and just in time, they released their new album Neacute Veacute this week, so you get more of their sounds tonight. They cultivate in a way an almost naïve primitivist electronic sound, with simple sequenced synths and drum machines - except that it can all suddenly turn around into glitchy soundscapes, head-nodding grooves and gorgeous floaty vocals. Kind of barmy in the best possible way.

Next up Jamie Vex'd, who has for a while now been releasing music as Kuedo. The initial material, like some of the Jamie Vex'd stuff, seemed not totally my cup of tea, but his duo (with Roly Porter, collaborating on one track here) Vex'd made groundbreaking dark industrial dubstep back in the day, and there's plenty of cyberpunk darkness and rain-swept streets in this new material, as well as a hefty amount of juke influence. Like so many artists today (including Roly Porter I believe), he's relocated to Berlin, and it's there he met Australian ex-pat Phoebe Kiddo, who contributes to the last selection from his new EP under the name Mind:Body:Fitness.

Also based in Berlin is the experimental electronic artist M.E.S.H., whose chopped-up, broken-down breakbeats draw from techno, glitch, idm and the post-bass/post-r'n'b world. It often approaches danceable forms, but tends to shy away, glitching and cutting away or the tempo suddenly shifting. Probably the Infra-Dusk/Infra-Dawn EP from earlier this year is the most regular his beats get, and even then it tends to syncopate in weird ways. It's undeniably complex and smart stuff, and the new album has been touted as among the best this year in various places.

Jazzy dubstep melodist Silkie returns after a break, now on Distal's new Anarchostar label... He's always been a supremely talented musician, keeping the dubstep faith with big basslines and head-nodding beats, but bringing a deep warmth through jazz harmonies on the keyboards, live-sounding breakdowns and heaps of feeling. On the new album he's felt free to stray from core dubstep a lot of the time, into more explictly funk & jazz fusion-influenced material, so you get dubstep-heavy basslines accompanying uplifting world-funk... but also some lovely dark & tasty dubstep in the old school style - and one crazy jungle-fueled track near the end, kind of drill'n'bass Silkie style! Althought it's not all as much to my taste as his past work, it's unquestionably brilliantly done and should gain him lots more fans.

Buttress O'Kneel vs FourPlay String Quartet - 2 + 2 = 5 (Thoughtcrime Mix) [Buttress O'Kneel Bandcamp]
Buttress O'Kneel vs The Blacksmoke Organisation - Danger: Global Warming (Hot Hot Hot Mix) [Buttress O'Kneel Bandcamp]
Buttress O'Kneel vs Shannon O'Neill - Let The Dead Bury The Dead (Scary Questions Mix) [Buttress O'Kneel Bandcamp]
Time Being - Cosmic Ballet [Terse Tapes]
Chlamydia Headlock - Robespierre [Terse Tapes]
The Revenant Sea - Arche (for Krzysztof) [Terse Tapes]
Ambrosia(@) - Secretariat II [Bomb Shop]
Ambrosia(@) - White Subjects in Colour (partially under speaking) [Bomb Shop]
Ambrosia(@) - These Two Thoughts [Bomb Shop]
Kuedo - Event Tracking Across Populated Terrain (feat. Roly Porter) [Knives]
Kuedo - Border State Collapse [Knives]
Kuedo - Eyeless Angel Intervention (feat. Mind:Body:Fitness) [Knives]
M.E.S.H. - Pietous Gate [PAN]
M.E.S.H. - Thorium [PAN]
M.E.S.H. - Scythians [PAN]
M.E.S.H. - Infra-Dawn [Black Ocean]
M.E.S.H. - Methy Imbiß [PAN]
Silkie - Cascada [Anarchostar]
Silkie - Beauty [Deep Medi]
Silkie - Taxi Mi Get [Deep Medi]
Silkie - Anymusik [Deep Medi]
Silkie - Entrapment [Anarchostar]

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