a wholly owned subsiduary of
Frogworth Corp
experimental electronica
electric string quartet

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.
Click here to find the start time for the show at your location!

{Hey! Sign up to Utilityfoglet and get playlists emailed to you after each show!}
Please Like us on Facebook! Here it is: Utility Fog on Facebook

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

Sunday, 29th of November, 2015

Playlist 29.11.15 (8:06 pm)

Tonight's mostly electronic show ranges from electronic pop to noise to experimental hip-hop and dancefloor mutations around jungle, techno and dubstep.

LISTEN AGAIN via stream on demand at FBi's website or podcast over here.

Sydney's Anklepants is perhaps the most perverted electronic music act of the current age due to his disturbing (awesome) prosthetic penis face masks. He's also a brilliant musician (and has been featured on this show for a lot longer than Ankepants existed, through his previous idm & breakcore acts). When touring the US recently he teamed up with Colorado artist Mr. Bill for a rather lush cover of the '70s prog rock band Gentle Giant.

Canberra's noisy indiepunk band Agency featured on last week's show, and they launched their album in Sydney last week. One of the supports was Evan Dorrian, who's one half of Spartak with Agency member Shoeb Ahmad, and tonight we hear his unsettling Agency remix - like his new solo material, it plays with constantly shifting tempos to wrongfoot the listener. Meanwhile Canberran duo P A R K S continue to impress with their experimental electronics.

Featuring members of Making, Tanned Christ and Mannheim Rocket among others, Extreme Misanthropy Crew are shortly releasing their second cassette of relentless negativity through industrial noise, recorded live in the Blue Mountains. Fantastic, unmissable. If a bit scary (sorry kids!)

With a far more ascetic take on "noise", we follow up last week's final track from Brisbane's Ross Manning with another cut from his new album, featuring hand-made noise-generating contraptions.

Keeping it experimental, but a bit of a left turn and we end up in LA with arch-alt.hop master Busdriver, whose new album Thumbs dropped this week with the usual excellent west-coast production and collaborators galore, starting with Hemlock Ernst, the rap alias of Samuel T. Herring, frontman of synthpoppers Future Islands, and followed by the genius Daveed Diggs of Clipping. - experimental rap worlds colliding...
Finally we have a live collaboration with Oakland-based experimental artist Caural, nicely segueing into the junglist part of the evening...

Akkord's two members both made drum'n'bass as well as dubstep, 2step and so on in their solo incarnations, but as Akkord they've perfected a polished hybrid of techno, jungle and post-dubstep forms to become one of the most exciting electronic producers of the last few years.

Meanwhile, house & techno producer Paul Woolford has pulled off some of the most pitch-perfect junglist revivalism of the last years under his Special Request alias. It's great to have a new album from him, if a little more on the rave tip. Segueing from Akkord with his great mind-meld of a remix, we then heard the amazing rolling breaks of his Lana Del Rey refix, and the bouncing grime-meets-jungle of his Wiley remix from earlier this year.

On Pinch's Tectonic label, post-dubstep/techno artist Ipman opens his album with a piece of slowed-down heavy-as-fuck junglism too. The rest of the album isn't quite in the same vein, but this is the real deal.

And finally we come to the dubstep/techno/jungle mélange of Addison Groove aka Headhunter. His earlier productions as Headhunter were forward-thinking dubstep with a techno impetus and plenty of syncopated rhythms (see that bouncy Tempa track from 2008). The change to Addison Groove only really focused more on the dancefloor, and by the time last year's album came out, he'd imbibed a serious quantity of drum'n'bass & jungle with collaborations with Sam Binga & the legendary DJ Die - as well as juke, techno and house. The junglist elements are present in his new productions just released as Headhunter, but it's definitely back to the dubstep bassweight. Fantastic sounds whichever name he chooses to use.

Mr. Bill & Anklepants - Proclamation (cover of Gentle Giant) [SoundCloud (free download while it lasts)]
Agency - Safe Haven (Evan Dorrian remix) [hellosQuare Recordings]
Agency - This Could Be A Goer (P A R K S remix) [hellosQuare Recordings]
Extreme Misanthropy Crew - Revelation 1A (excerpt) [3BS Records]
Ross Manning - led vert [Room 40]
Busdriver - Ministry of the Torture Couch (prod. by Elos feat. Hemlock Ernst) [Busdriver Bandcamp]
Busdriver - Surrounded By Millionaires feat. Daveed Diggs, prod. JNTHN STN [Busdriver Bandcamp]
Busdriver - NY 03 LIVE w/ Caural [Busdriver Bandcamp]
Akkord - Megalith [Houndstooth]
Akkord - Destruction (Special Request VIP) [Houndstooth]
Lana Del Rey - Ride (Special Request remix) [Houndstooth]
Wiley - From The Outside (Special Request VIP) [Ninja Tune]
Special Request - Tractor Beam [XL Recordings]
Ipman - Regicide [Tectonic]
Headhunter - Stand Alone [Trusik Recordings]
Headhunter - Prototype [Tempa]
Addison Groove - Phantom [Tectonic]
Addison Groove & Sam Binga - Thr3id [50 Weapons]

Listen again — ~183MB

Comments Off on Playlist 29.11.15

Sunday, 22nd of November, 2015

Playlist 22.11.15 (8:07 pm)

One of the noisier, rockier shows in a while... but starting with ambient & electronic sounds.

LISTEN AGAIN, engage, evaluate, eviscerate, experience... Stream on demand at FBi's cool new website, podcast here!

Starting with some gorgeous vocal drones, glitchy textures and field recording-like sounds from Voyou, aka Sarah Faraday from Ambrosia(@). Ambrosia(@) are one of the discoveries of the year for me, so it's great to have a little bonus in the form of this three-track EP.

German techno artist Anstam remixed Radiohead a few years back, and I've never known a lot about him because he inhabits the clubbier, more 4/4 end of techno that I'm not usually that sold on. But his track on a split 12" with Monolake that came out this week is very find indeed, all comfy synth textures and broken techno beats - and an ambient outro. It's from one of the very last releases on 50 Weapons - specifically number 46 out of 50. Modeselektor's label was always intended to be limited to 50 releases, but it's rather sad as it's put out some very forward-looking stuff.

2015 marks 20 years since Autechre's beloved Tri Repetae album, which began their move into crunchier, ever more experimental climes. UFog favourite Sunken Foal has just released two covers from that album as a little tribute, both of them combining electronic with live instrumentation, and drawing out the beauty of these compositions.

Agency is a new noise/punk/indie band from Canberra, featuring among others longtime UFog cohort Shoeb Ahmad of Spartak and Canberra experimental label hellosQuare Recordings. Their debut album is out now and will be launched at Black Wire Records in Sydney this coming Friday, 27th of November (Facebook event here). It comes with an excellent digital remix EP featuring some of Australia's finest as well as a couple of surprise international artists. It's such a good set that I'll be playing a couple more remixes next(ish) week, but tonight we heard a very electronic one from Sydney's Shisd, and dark & minimal one from Assad (Arabic for "Lion", thanks anonymous FBi listner!), which is the Middle Eastern drone side-project of Ben from My Disco.

So that's a segue. My Disco's new album is again released by legendary US label Temporary Residence, and it seems clearly to me to be their best. It's heavy as fuck, precision-engineered, noisy but totally controlled, hardcore punk mathrock. It's what they've always done, but somehow more clearly-defined and intense. Produced by beloved Adelaide producer Cornel Wilczek aka Qua.

UK duo L A N D released an incredibly impressive debut on Important Records a few years ago, with jittery live drums, electronic noise and squalling saxophone & guitar sounds all kept under tight control by the one & only Ben Frost in the mix. That album benefited from some heavyweight guests including the ever-adventurous David Sylvian. The new one has no such guests, although Frost is still lending it that detailed, tough sound. For me both these albums are mesmeric masterpieces of experimental postrock.

Well, L A N D are somewhat noisy, but they've got nothing on our next band, Japan's power electronics-meets-hardcore metallers Endon. From last year's Mama we had a tune that starts off ominously quiet, but then just smashes through the new 4 minutes with squalling noise and horrifying anguished vocals. But the main reason for hearing them tonight is their recent remix album. I picked both up in Tokyo at Disk Union in Shibuya, and it's Disk Union's special label Daymare that have released these CDs. There are some creative choices on the remix disc including Japanese dubstep legend Goth-Trad, and noise legend Prurient under his minimal techno Vatican Shadow guise. But tonight we heard from the king of metal remixes, Justin K Broadrick - who can do no wrong - and from Sadesper Record, a side project of Goro Watari of veteran Japanese metal/shoegaze/noise band Coaltar of the Deepers, and Oshima Watchma (ex-Melt Banana), who take a scary track into some rather dark places...

Finally, a short excerpt from the forthcoming album from Brisbane audiovisual artist Ross Manning on Room 40. A beautifully constructed set of electronic noises and electro-acoustic sounds created from home-made instruments (perhaps exclusively?), it's an album I'll return to next week for sure.

Voyou - Somewhere Found [Bomb Shop]
Anstam - Dolores [50 Weapons]
Sunken Foal - Clipper (Autechre cover) [Sunken Foal Bandcamp]
Agency - Onlooker (Persusasion Mix by Shisd) [hellosQuare Recordings]
Agency - Selling Houses Geraldine [hellosQuare Recordings]
Agency - Double Tale [hellosQuare Recordings]
Agency - (abstract) [hellosQuare Recordings]
Agency - Afwan (Assad Remix) [hellosQuare Recordings]
My Disco - Careless [Temporary Residence]
My Disco - Named[Temporary Residence
L A N D - Neutra [Important Records]
L A N D - Nothing Is Happening Everywhere (feat. David Sylvian) [Important Records]
L A N D - Stillman [Important Records]
L A N D - Anoxia / End Zone [Important Records]
Endon - Etude For Lynching By Family (Justin K Broadrick Remix) [Daymare Recordings]
Endon - Pray For Me [Daymare Recordings]
Endon - Acme Apathy Amok (Sadesper Record Remix) [Daymare Recordings]
Ross Manning - expand scatter [Room 40]

Listen again — ~108MB

Comments Off on Playlist 22.11.15

Sunday, 15th of November, 2015

Playlist 15.11.15 (8:20 pm)

Experimental indie, electro-acoustic ambient, and plenty of electronics tonight...

LISTEN AGAIN because it's raining - or because it's not raining: stream on demand from FBi or podcast from here.

Wonderful discovery first up from White Noise Records in Hong Kong (one of the best record stores in the world if you like, er, "my kind of stuff") - a trio from Macau called Evade. Part shoegaze, part dubby experimentalism, part glitchy electronics, it's genuinely hard to pin down and I love that. And the packaging is gorgeous, as always from the Singapore-based Kitchen label.

From Sweden, The Silence Set is a new duo of Dag Rosenqvist (previously drone god Jasper TX) and Johan G Winther (of math rock band Scraps of Tape among other projects). Their debut album is a low-key epic, drones and noisy rasps rubbing up against banjo and drawled vocals - and it's taken even more stratospheric with a guest vocal from Heather Woods Broderick on one track.

In a similar vein is Mute Forest, aka Kael Smith, lead singer of ambient/experimental indie band Mombi. On the quiet end of song-based music, it has pleasing portions of subtle crunch in beats & production, and sinister turns here and there. The new album Deforestation is out now on Lost Tribe Sound and is accompanied by a remix EP called Reforestation with some more upbeat takes and a couple of excellent outtakes.

Marcus Whale's previous solo material went under the name Scissor Lock, but it's fitting that he's chosen to use his real name now. His voice made up a substantial part of the experimental and electronic sounds of Scissor Lock, but as Marcus Whale he's writing songs, albeit pushing songform in uncomfortable directions, navigating against the same stars as These New Puritans, Björk, Liturgy even... but with his distinct voice cutting through. He's an accomplished composer and producer, and also familiar from Collarbones and Black Vanilla - both brilliant (and different) takes on bass/r'n'b/hip-hop and club music. I've heard next year's album and it's heavy, intense and brilliant. You can see why this track is a separate single - it's a different vibe, with muted piano, and beats which are more electronic than the tribal heaviness of the forthcoming album.

On Canberra's community radio 2XX, Michael Norris and Reuben Ingall present a show called Subsequence Radio with impeccable taste. On their Bandcamp they've just released this year's fundraiser to help them keep making the show, and I featured a great dark piece of electronic songwriting from the mysterious(?) P A R K S.

And now we come to the big feature of the show - (some of) the music of Katie English, aka Isnaj Dui. English is a flautist, classically trained, but also has a background in electro-acoustic music and Balinese gamelan among other things. She guests and collaborates with many excellent ambient, electronic, postrock and experimental musicians (a lot of which I had to skip over due to time constraints) - one of her other bands is Littlebow, featured tonight, which is a duo with Kieron Phelan of the legendary State River Widening in which the flute takes the lead in a postrock/folk rock band. But her solo stuff is even more special - her flute creates lugubrious ambient pulsations a la Aphex Twin's Selected Ambient Works Volume II, or clicky or breathy rhythms, while at other times amp crackle intrudes, or almost folky repetitive patterns dance over slow-looped phrases. While she is highly respected in the ambient world, I feel English hasn't got the recognition she deserves, so here's a small tribute.

And finally, having played only one (admittedly long) track from Melbourne artist Robin Fox's new Editions Mego album last week, I thought I'd slip in a short bonus track from the release, with some more regular beats and glitchy sounds.

Evade - Untitled Dream [Kitchen]
Evade - Forgetting [Kitchen]
Evade - Pavilion (FJORDNE Remix) [Kitchen]
The Silence Set - we will die enraged [mini50 records]
The Silence Set - the passing [mini50 records]
The Silence Set - worry, glory (feat. Heather Woods Broderick, vocals and Nils Frahm, modular synthesis) [mini50 records]
The Silence Set - mirrored in [mini50 records]
Mute Forest - Impersonating a Firefighter [Lost Tribe Sound]
Mombi - A Crane into the Sun [Mombi Bandcamp]
Mute Forest - Deforestation (Mombi Remix) [Lost Tribe Sound]
Mute Forest - Everglade [Lost Tribe Sound]
Marcus Whale - If (demo) [Good Manners]
P A R K S - Tech Noir [Subsequence Radio]
Isnaj Dui - Hoop Diving [FBox Records]
Isnaj Dui - dulc improv [disco_r.dance]
Isnaj Dui - Mushroom Picking [Home Normal]
Littlebow - For Thijs [Second Language]
Littlebow - Pi Magpie (Oliver Cherer Remix) [Second Language]
Isnaj Dui - Crook-Kneed [FBox Records]
Isnaj Dui - Randall 4033 [Mystery Plays Records]
Isnaj Dui - Potential Difference [FBox Records]
Robin Fox - Counter Strike [Editions Mego]

Listen again — ~102MB

Comments Off on Playlist 15.11.15

Sunday, 8th of November, 2015

Playlist 08.11.15 (8:07 pm)

Back from Tokyo, China and Hong Kong bearing much musical fruit! Thanks to Heli Newton for his excellent fill-in shows the last three weeks.

LISTEN AGAIN through the usual channels - the stream on demand on the FBi website is a better audio experience, but the podcast here may be more convenient.

While in Beijing I visited a few pretty cool boutique record stores - it's kind of extraordinary that these still exist. In Shanghai, perhaps because it's actually more cosmopolitan and westernised, there's more interest in vinyl (and still only one or two stores!) and pretty much nowhere I found where you could get even local artists on CD. Even so, basically all international music on CD was imported, and basically all the Chinese music was explicitly only for the Chinese market, which compounds with the obvious language barrier (even being able to type Chinese characters into search engines is essentially impossible for non-Chinese speakers, not to mention the fact that Google is blocked in China if you don't have a VPN or international SIM card!) to make it almost impossible to find out about Chinese music outside of China.
These days a number of Chinese artists have Bandcamps as well as presences on Douban or other local Chinese social networks/websites - and some are on Facebook despite Facebook being blocked too.
Nevertheless, I only found out about our first artist Dou Wei (窦唯) (who we have a substantial special on, as he's kind of important and also amazing) because I heard his latest album being played in both of the first record stores I stepped into. And it's fantastic - a mix of ambient electronics, downtempo beats, and a clear postpunk/postrock sensibility, along with whispered / spoken / sung vocals. All performed by him. The people in the stores were also impressed by the fact that more recently Dou Wei has been incorporating Chinese traditional instruments into his music - I guess there's not a lot of adventurous, contemporary music that does this. The interesting thing about travelling in China is that all of your cultural barometers and compasses are off - it's very hard to tell what's traditional, "authentic" (there's literally no concept of such a thing, it feels like), or transgressive and inventive, what's individualistic and sui generis or part of some cultural trend or imposed by the government. And sometimes it's hard to tell what's bullshit being peddled to you by people or authorities too, it has to be said!
Anyway. Dou Wei has been around for yonks and warrants his own Wikipedia page in English, so you can read about his background in the hard rock (like, hair rock) band Black Panther in the 1980s, after which he drew on influences from postpunk bands like The Cure and so on, and in the mid-'90s became interested in the early postrock sound of Bark Psychosis, as found in his collaborations with E Band. He's also famous for having been married to the Chinese diva Faye Wong, for whom he produced a number of albums. In the last decade or two he's been more interested in experimental, less-structured music and in improvisation, incorporating electronics, and even more recently the acoustic sounds of traditional Chinese instruments into his music. And he's collaborated quite a bit with Chinese electronic music pioneers FM3 (famous for the Buddha Machine).

A while ago (a year? longer?), Evelyn Morris of Pikelet was responsible for starting some fantastic and illuminating discussions on Facebook around gender in the music industry - the omnipresent male privilege, the often appalling treatment of women as artists, DJs, sound engineers or punters, the suppression of female voices from conversations about music, the inequalities that continue to exist, all of which continues despite everyone being convinced that they're oh-so-reasonable and modern and conscious. Out of this came a project/organisation called Listen focused on provoking further conversations around women's and LGBTQIA+ experiences in the Australian music industry, through publications, events and recently an excellent musical compilation, the first release from Listen Records. I thought it was appropriate to play the Pikelet track from the compilation, one of her wonderful lo-fi pieces of improvised piano music.

Sydney artist Astrid Zeman has a track on the Listen compilation, and is releasing her debut EP this Friday night (Nov 13th) at the Glebe Justice Centre (previously known as Cafe Church). I'll also be there playing looped cello in my raven guise, but Astrid's beautiful music should be drawcard enough. She uses loop pedals to create her songs with vocals along with guitar, trombone and keyboards, but frequently the pieces are entirely looped vocals. There's an abstract drone kind of piece on the EP, with some freaky overtone singing, and also some lovely layered songwriting.

Alon Ilsar's trio The Sticks, with keyboardist Daniel Pliner and bass player Josh Ahearn, is named after Alon's incredible gestural instrument The AirSticks. It's been over a decade in the making, fruits of his long-held desire to extend his percussion technique into triggering samples and live effects. Among Alon's various bands over the years was UFog fave Gauche, an indie/jazz/electronic group featuring opera singer Jane Seymour, Julian Curwin of The Tango Saloon and Luke Dubber of Hermitude. The Sticks make live electronica, and do it beautifully, so even without seeing the crazy gestural interface of the AirSticks themselves, it's just very cool music.

Melbourne artist Robin Fox is at least as well known for his amazing audiovisual work with laser lights in shows for the Chunky Move dance company as for his music. In audio, he's collaborated with Oren Ambarchi and Atom™ recently, among others, but it's been a while since a solo release so it's extra-nice to see it appearing on the legendary Editions Mego. And it's very suited to the label too - despite their expanding into other areas of noise and experimental music of late, this is just great glitchy electronics (the digital bonus tracks move into slightly more regular beat territory).

It's been a long time since the last album from Stephanie Böhm and The Notwist's Micha Acher aka Ms. John Soda. With the new album it's like they never went away. It's classic German indietronica, drawing on indie rock, idm, dub and krautrock. The Notwist's album of last year was a huge return to form, and this too is a solid album through and through.

Dou Wei (窦唯) - 弥疑第二 [self-released(?) album 天真君公 (Tiān zhēn jūn gōng)]
Dou Wei - How the Empty Language Gives Knowledge (语虚何以言知) [Shanghai Audiovisual Company (上海音像公司)]
Dou Wei & FM3 - 赶路 (Hurry On The Road) [Shanghai Audiovisual Company (上海音像公司)]
Dou Wei & FM3 - 九吾 [Lona Records]
Dou Wei - 和无题 (He Wu Ti) [FM3 Productions Ltd]
Dou Wei - 殃金咒 (Yang Jin Mantra) (excerpts) [self-released(?)]
Dou Wei & 不一样 (Indefinite) - track 1 from 束河乐记 (Shuhe music note) [self-released(?)]
Dou Wei - 寻常第三 [self-released(?) album 天真君公 (Tiān zhēn jūn gōng)]
FM3 - Ting Shuo 听说 [self-released, available from FM3 Bandcamp]
Pikelet - Darwin Heat [Listen Records]
Astrid Zeman - Imagination [Astrid Zeman Bandcamp]
The Sticks - Receive Your Host [The Sticks Bandcamp]
Foley (aka Alon Ilsar of The Sticks) - willow [from self-released 2005 EP ideophone]
The Sticks - Sidestep [The Sticks Bandcamp]
Robin Fox - Through Sky [Editions Mego]
Ms. John Soda - Millions [Morr Music]
Ms. John Soda - no. one [Morr Music]
Ms. John Soda - The Light [Morr Music]

Listen again — ~105MB

Comments Off on Playlist 08.11.15

Check the sidebar for archive links!

36 queries. 0.095 seconds. Powered by WordPress |