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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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Playlists are listed with artist name first, then track title and (remixer), then [record label]. Enjoy the links.

Sunday, 11th of October, 2015

Playlist 11.10.15 (8:07 pm)

A big list of great music tonight, covering a broad range of genres across the globe of music.
Tonight's my last show for a few weeks - I'm off to Tokyo, China and Hong Kong and back on Sunday the 8th of Nov. In the meantime you'll be in the extremely capable hands of Heli Newton, so tune in regardless!

LISTEN AGAIN for the first time (the choice is yours) here or stream on demand on the FBi website.

Lebanese musician Radwan Moumneh has now released two albums for Constellation as Jerusalem In My Heart. Beautiful Arabic singing and playing merges seemlessly with electronic processing and juddering, pulsing keyboards, to stunning effect. The title "A Granular Buzuk" from the new album gives you a bit of an idea what to expect, but there's also tracks of just pure noise washing over bouzouk lines, and vocal lines gorgeously sung through harmoniser effects, etc. Can't recommend strongly enough.

Tom Smith appeared on the show last week with the lead track from his new Thomas William EP Annum Contra. Tonight we take an even more club-ready track from that EP, and we also find out where the glitches from the glitch-hop went: they're all over the beautiful album he's released as T.Morimoto, a more-or-less beatless affair of grainy soundscapes and murky samples.

It's been almost 10 years since the last album proper from the wonderful Berlin-resident UK producer Adam Butler aka Vert. From Squarepusher-style drill'n'bass origins he's moved on to glitchy clunky experimental electronics and experimental jazz - including an amazing remix of an entire jazz festival, and even that came out 7 years ago. But his last solo album in 2006 introduced his spoken/sung vocals over vaudevillian ragtime piano - along with the glitchy electronics & beats. His brilliant newie, out in early November, follows on with more real songs, introducing lush string arrangements and by no beans skimping on the electronics. And Butler is a very fine songwriter too.

Speaking of brilliant songwriter-producers, Kevin Martin is something of an all-rounder, and his bass-heavy, whether as The Bug or in his various collaborations. Now his wonderful, low key atmospheric collaboration King Midas Sound (featuring Trinidadian poet Roger Robinson and Japanese singer Kiki Hitomi on vocals) has teamed up with ambient guitar/glitchmeister Fennesz for their most washed-out album yet. Fennesz has for some years sounded repetetive and uninspired to me, but to his credit, Kevin Martin's brought out the best in him for some years, with queasy textures lapping up against Martin's basslines and very backgrounded beats. It's interesting to hear the instrumentals too - sometimes a little meatier than the vocals versions, although both are beautiful singers and Robinson in particular is a touching lyricist.

This week sees the release of the final set of remixes from Björk's extraordinary album vulnicura. Probably the best have already come out (especially Katie Gately's intoxicating layered-vocal procession also heard tonight), but Warp's sonic mulcher patten turns "stonemilker" inside out and grime producer Bloom turns in two heavy cuts.

One half of stellar electronic duo Akkord, Synkro has released music from drum'n'bass to dubstep to uk garage to techno, but his latest solo releases have been for R&S Records' ambient subdivision Apollo. In fact there are plenty of incredibly tastily-produced beats on here, but the ambient textures do dominate.

It's impossible to understate the fondness with which I hold the music of Luke Vibert - from the blunted hip-hop of Wagon Christ to the perfect drill'n'bass of Plug to countless other pseudonyms making the most melodic bouncy acid available or disco or who knows what else. For Planet µ he tends to just release under his own name, and there's usually one or two drill'n'bass tracks among the acid and head-nodding hip-hop. His basslines are tight and funky, his beats crisp and the vocal samples constantly amusing. His sample library is insanely extensive but his music's far more than just clever collage. One of the best.

Himuro Yoshiteru's been making idm beats for yonks now, and never fails to be fun and melodic too. It's nice to find a drill'n'bass track among the hip-hop and breaks on this latest EP. He's made some of my favourite drill'n'bass stuff over the years.

Brisbane trio Feet Teeth combine jazz & postrock improv with experimental electronics in an inimitable way. They released a mini-album on hellosQuare along with some remixes in 2013, and they've just put out an EP (albeit long!) showcasing their insane, freewheeling live sets.

Finishing up with a lovely twinkly piece from Japanese duo yuco, contributing to the latest geography-specific location-music series from Sydney's Flaming Pines label. Yuco's piece is about the island of Shikinejima in southern Japan.

Jerusalem In My Heart - Al Affaq, Lau Mat, Lau Lau Lau Lau Lau Lau (The Hypocrite, If He Dies, If If If If If If) [Constellation]
Jerusalem In My Heart - Yudaghdegh El-ra3ey Walal-Ghanam (He Titilates the Shepherd, but not the Sheep...) [Constellation]
Suuns and Jerusalem In My Heart - Leyla [Secretly Canadian]
Jerusalem In My Heart - A Granular Buzuk [Constellation]
T.Morimoto - 3x (bonus) [Illuminated Paths]
Thomas William - Busss w/ Lamtech9 [Plastic World]
Vert - And I Know [Shitkatapult]
Vert - A Little Learning [Shitkatapult]
King Midas Sound & Fennesz - On My Mind [Ninja Tune]
King Midas Sound & Fennesz - Melt (Instrumental) [Ninja Tune]
King Midas Sound & Fennesz - Loving or Leaving [Ninja Tune]
Björk - stonemilker (patten rework) [One Little Indian]
Björk - family (katie gately remix) [One Little Indian]
Björk - mouth mantra (the haxan cloak remix) [One Little Indian]
Björk - black lake (bloom remix) [One Little Indian]
Synkro - Let Me Go [Apollo]
Synkro - Body Close (feat. Francesca Bergami) [Apollo]
Luke Vibert - Hey Go [Planet µ]
Luke Vibert - Don't Fuck Around [Planet µ]
Himuro Yoshiteru - Takhos [King Deluxe]
Feet Teeth - nineteen minutes and ten seconds (excerpt) [Feet Teeth Bandcamp]
Feet Teeth - Normandy [hellosQuare]
yuco - marine [Flaming Pines]

Listen again — ~108MB

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Sunday, 4th of October, 2015

Playlist 04.10.15 (8:09 pm)

Here we are... October... time for revolution. Well, maybe later this month, heck.
Quite a range of sounds tonight, from hip-hop to jungle to house esoteric electronics and electro-acoustics, gorgeous drones and shoegazey indiefolk.

LISTEN AGAIN on your public holiday if you're in NSW or your first day of work elsewhere! Podcast here, stream on demand there.

Starting with Sydney underground music stalwart Tom Smith aka Thomas William, who's been twisting hip-hop into new forms since his early recordings as Cleptoclectics in 2007. It's always great to have something new from him - leaning less on the ethnic samples and glitches this time round.

There's no drum'n'bass producer I've been more excited by in the last few years than Sam Binga, one of those involved in bringing jungle back into currency, combining it with grime and Chicago footwork alongside the "slow-fast" movement. Bouncy stop/start beats, basslines front and centre, and MCs all over the place, with a dub/dancehall feel never far away. Great stuff. His new album is almost 100% collaborations, with only one track credited just to him - although the various digital bonuses include a few instrumental versions, along with some deep drum'n'bass remixes and some more grimey ones.

Chicagoan sound engineer Casey Rice has worked extensively with the likes of Tortoise while living in that city, but has been based in Melbourne for some time, with Australians benefiting from his mixing and mastering expertise. His productions as Designer have always been few and far between, but it's cool to discover that the latest release will be a collaborative 12" with Four Tet on his TEXT label. Tonight's selection is the b-side, direct from Mr Rice himself.

Sydney artist Corin Ileto put out her debut solo EP Deluge last year to some acclaim. On that release, acoustic piano appeared alongside ambient electronics, but her new album Wave Systems sees her concentrating more on strange sound structures from analogue keyboards. There's not much to compare it, even though there are the occasional beats you can nod your head to. Recommended listening.

We accidentally heard the first Kyle Bruckmann track ahead of Corin due to outrageous playlist mismanagement, but now for the rest... Based in Oakland, California (we'd think of it as a suburb of San Francisco really but it's part of the Bay Area hey), he plays oboe and other reeds, often in that area of composed jazz meeting free jazz, but the releases I know him for, on the Entr'acte label, see him bringing his reeds into the world of strange, malfunctioning electronics. Not really malfunctioning but certainly deliberately warped, given the title of the first of these releases was Technological Music Vol. 1 – or, Regarding the Misuse of Tools and the Rigorous Application of Capriciously Derived Organizational Principles... The new one takes itself just as seriously/tongue-in-cheek, as Technological Music Vol. 2 – or, Regarding, in Addition to Concerns Previously Explicated, Matters of Process, Artifice, and Verisimilitude, and they are also available as a double album from the label.

Jason Corder's been making music as offthesky for a good 10 years now out of somewhere in the middle of the USA... He came to my attention via a group called Color Cassette who put out a release on the beloved Moteer label, making a lovely kind of folktronica, while offthesky has generally been a more ambient affair, sometimes with clicky beats, and Juxta Phona has been his outlet for the somewhat more idm-influenced beats. He has two major releases this year, the stunning solo album the serpent phase on UK label Hibernate, and an equally commanding album with Polish ambient/post-classical artist and serial collaborator Bartosz Dziadosz aka Pleq.

Post-classical piano buddies Ólafur Arnalds & Nils Frahm have made a couple of previous EPs & singles together, and with this latest one comes an announcement that the material will be collected on a double album along with some new stuff. It's nice stuff, the Juno synth beloved of Nils, occasional dub techno thud and occasional clicky non-beats.

And finally, some tracks I've been meaning to play for a while, from a split 12" on Rural Colours which sold out almost instantaneously and is now available from the two artists' Bandcamps. Isnaj Dui is English flautist Katie English, who's played with many drone, folk, postrock (of sorts) and electronic artists - but on this release she's focusing on her other instrument, the cello. The track I've chosen is a burbling stew of layered electric cello and never fails to thrill my ears.
On the flipside is the lovely Richard Adams of The Declining Winter. Since Hood broke up for reals (*sob*), he's been holding the fort with a regular schedule of indie music, and his album of earlier this year was the best rendering of his sound yet. On this EP he goes for an acoustic shoegazey sound reminiscent of Benoît Pioulard, perhaps, although Richard's songwriting is very distinctive.
Check out both sides digitally!

Thomas William - Tuition (feat. Kid Kairo & Chun Yin) [Plastic World]
Sam Binga - Wasted Days (feat. Warrior Queen) [Critical Music]
Addison Groove & Sam Binga - Thr3id [50 Weapons]
Sam Binga - Freezy [Modulations]
Sam Binga - Steppin ft. Redders (Foreign Concept mix) [Critical Music]
Sam Binga & Om Unit - Reclaim [Critical Music]
Four Tet + Designer - Dark [TEXT]
Kyle Bruckmann - Music for Dancing [Entr'acte]
Corin - Empress [Speaker Footage]
Corin - Morning [Corin Bandcamp]
Corin - Images II (Moon Holiday Remix) [Corin Bandcamp]
Corin - Hydrate [Speaker Footage]
Kyle Bruckmann - Four Investigations Of A Dubious Premise I [Entr'acte]
Kyle Bruckmann - Four Investigations Of A Dubious Premise III [Entr'acte]
Kyle Bruckmann - Irreproducible Result A2 [Entr'acte]
offthesky - well worn sting [Hibernate]
offthesky & pleq - wands upon a thousand fields [Infraction]
Ólafur Arnalds & Nils Frahm - Wide Open [Erased Tapes]
Isnaj Dui - Radial Field [Rural Colours/Isnaj Dui Bandcamp]
The Declining Winter - Lost In Huge Light [Rural Colours/The Declining Winter Bandcamp]

Listen again — ~105MB

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