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

Sunday, 20th of December, 2015

Playlist 20.12.15 - Best of 2015 Part One (8:05 pm)

Here we are... Part One of Utility Fog's Best of 2015.
I have not written a fancy blurb on every track. This is all awesome music, I have raved about it during the year. I will write up a big somewhat-exhaustive list sometime soon as well, and hopefully I'll have one-line summaries of everything there too!
Just enjoy the sounds!

LISTEN AGAIN to some of the highlights from a great year of music! Podcast links right here, streaming on demand from FBi website.

Holly Herndon - An Exit (feat. Amnesia Scanner) [RVNG International/4AD]
Björk - mouth mantra [One Little Indian]
Jenny Hval - Sabbath [Sacred Bones Records]
Julia Holter - Silhouette [Domino]
Circuit des Yeux - Do The Dishes [Thrill Jockey]
Helen Money & Jarboe - For My Father [Aurora Borealis]
Heather Woods Broderick - Wyoming [Western Vinyl]
Ô Paon - Transcanadienne [TAUS/Ô Paon Bandcamp]
Mára - Flask of Hermes [SIGE Records]
Ambrosia(@) - Secretariat II [Bomb Shop]
Low - Gentle [Sub Pop]
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]
Vert - And I Know [Shitkatapult]
Sufjan Stevens - Carrie & Lowell [Asthmatic Kitty]
Daughter's Fever - Daughter's Fever [hellosQuare Recordings]
Reuben Ingall - Eyelids [Feral Media]
Subsea, Pale Earth and Kini - Comet Moth [Pale Earth Bandcamp]
Danyl Jesu & Pale Earth - Abdelazer [Danyl Jesu &/or Pale Earth Bandcamps]
Dou Wei (窦唯) - 弥疑第二 [self-released(?) album 天真君公 (Tiān zhēn jūn gōng)]
Vampillia + the body - cold bark bite [Vampillia Bandcamp]
Pyramids - In Perfect Stillness, I’ve Only Found Sorrow [Profound Lore]
L A N D - End Zone [Important Records]
Paul de Jong - Debt Free [Temporary Residence]

Listen again — ~194MB

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Sunday, 13th of December, 2015

Playlist 13.12.15 (8:07 pm)

Still playing NEW music on Utility Fog in December! Next week will be a best of 2015 - part one, although I am away for the last Sunday of December, so the follow-up will bleed into Janaury and there is still plenty of new 2015 music to cover too!

LISTEN AGAIN and marvel at how some of the best music of the year came out in the last month or two of the year!
Podcast is here, or stream on demand via FBi.

Last week we heard a few tracks from Faith Coloccia's band Mamiffer and her collaborations with Alex Barnett. Tonight we're lucky enough to have a little continuation of the Coloccia special, as her new solo cassette as Mára has come out from the label she runs with partner Aaron Turner (also in Mamiffer among myriad other bands), SIGE Records. It's absolutely stunning work, with crunchy sound works, shoegazey pieces and piano and vocal numbers, all saturated in cassette haze. Can't recommend highly enough.

Also with a big stamp of approval is the debut album from Seattle-based Australian composer & sound artist Madeleine Cocolas. Something of a hymn to her new surrounds, it's titled Cascadia and features piano, electronics, drones, field recordings and some vocals. The album is distilled from a year-long project recording a track each week, from which we're gifted an album of great depth & beauty.

Rutger Zuydervelt of Machinefabriek sometimes releases music under his own name, and I'm not always clear what the point of differentiation is - but here we have a soundtrack to a film called The Cold and the Quiet. The tracks are quite short cues, ranging from his familiar drones & sound-art to sweet electric piano pieces.

Andrew Johnson's a new line (related) project brings us the first Hood-related music for the night. Johnson played drums with the legendary northern-English indie/noise/indietronica band for a few years, but also made a name as one half of minimal electronic duo The Remote Viewer (aka The Famous Boyfriend), among other things. His solo project finds him making emotive minimal techno & house with primitive equipment, and his latest EP (titled Our Lady of Perpetual Fucking Succour) is out on vinyl now, complete with remixes from like-minded producers such as Maxim Wolzyn.

On the same label, next year will see the release of a long (loooong)-awaited new album from Hood's Chris Adams aka Bracken. Home Assembly Music have just released a sampler for 2015, which features one track from this 2016 release. As Bracken, Downpour and in Hood, Adams has released some of my favourite music ever, so it's fair to say this album can't come soon enough. The new track has his vocals (slightly vocodered), a head-nodding, skittery beat and layers of plaintive synths.

Well, speaking of Hood, they somehow have a new single out, even though they are still broken up. Back in 1994, the then-new Spanish label Acuarela were going to release a 7" from Hood, but for reasons that remain undisclosed it never came out. Fast-forward 21 years, and somehow it's now being released. It's vintage Hood of the era, with field recordings, lots of noise, and jangling indie songs. There's also hints of the electronics which played a big part in their later sound. Whatever the reasons, it's something special to have "new" music from them (although many of the tracks ended up on other releases). Even these two quite early tracks demonstrate why they're the greatest band to ever have lived :)

I'm grateful to my colleague Jordan Sexty, who presents Damage after Utility Fog on Sunday nights, for introducing me to Adelaide's Sparkspitter. Their debut album from last year was a great collection of math rock / krautrock material, but the recently-released follow-up EP Doxa juxtaposes this rhythmic music with pieces of strung-out ambience, drones and lush string arrangements.

Simon Scott is the once-and-once-again drummer in the beloved shoegaze band Slowdive, but has also made scads of wonderful drone & sound-art as a solo artist (as well as curating the label KESH), and on the occasion of a grand new album on Ash International, it's time to have a bit of a feature on his sounds. His second album on Miasmah, Bunny, impressed me so much in 2011 that I counted it as one of the best of the year, achieving a supremely effective amalgam of static drones, experimental aspects of sound-art, and echoes and references to rock, Americana and soundtrack music. Although he plays drums in Slowdive, his solo work has seen him using the guitar (including 12-string acoustic), especially on the recently-released Insomni - and he also appeared this year on the latest of Tompkins Square's fingerstyle/folk guitar compilations, Imaginational Anthem vol 7.

Mára - Warmth, Shelter, Oblivion [SIGE Records]
Mára - Flask of Hermes [SIGE Records]
Mára - Healing for the Wounded [SIGE Records]
Madeleine Cocolas - The Sea Beneath Me [Futuresequence]
Madeleine Cocolas - Static [Futuresequence]
Rutger Zuydervelt - Alone [Machinefabriek Bandcamp]
a new line (related) - They're Burning Northerners Fifteen At A Time And Firing Them Into The Sky To Light Up London [Home Assembly Music]
a new line (related) - They're Burning Northerners Fifteen At A Time And Firing Them Into The Sky To Light Up London (Maxim Wolzyn Remix) [Home Assembly Music]
Bracken - Branch Hid Sky [Home Assembly Music]
Hood - British Radars [Acuarela]
Hood - Fears Grow [Acuarela]
Sparkspitter - Vandalis [Sparkspitter Bandcamp]
Sparkspitter - Caesure Non Supra / Capacity / Edict [Sparkspitter Bandcamp]
Simon Scott - An angel from the sea kissed me [Ash International]
Simon Scott - The Old Jug And Drum [Miasmah]
Simon Scott - Betty [Miasmah]
Simon Scott - Left Behind The World [Sonic Pieces]
Simon Scott - Below Sea Level [12k]
Simon Scott - Für Betty [Kompakt]
Simon Scott - Trees Return to Soil [Tompkins Square]
Simon Scott - Nember [Ash International]

Listen again — ~187MB

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Sunday, 6th of December, 2015

Playlist 06.12.15 (8:07 pm)

In the first weekend of the last month of the year, we're still powering through with fantastic new music, crossing from folktronica to jungle to mutant dancehall to post-bass ambience, from drone to post-industrial to postrock classical black metal to doom metal and beyond...

LISTEN NOW, LISTEN AGAIN, listen forever... stream it on demand from FBi or podcast it here if that's your poison.

First up we have the duo The Natural History Museum, with production by Dunk Murphy of UFog-beloved Sunken Foal and the vocals of Carol Keogh. This album's going to be gorgeous - the first single combines folk and classical-sounding acoustic instruments with Sunken Foal's beats and Keogh's lovely vocals, and I'm sure we can expect more of the same in the new year.

Sully continues his ventures into incredibly classic-sounding jungle with a four-track EP for the Astrophonica label. Not much more to say except it's perfectly executed and why would you not lap it up?

Israeli MC Miss Red released her mixtape Murder this week, put together in collaboration with Kevin Martin aka The Bug. In mixtape fashion it features Miss Red MCing over beats by a variety of artists, processed, sped up etc by The Bug. Crazy hearing that speedy rendition of a recent Andy Stott tune with Miss Red toasting over the top...

Ancestral Voices is the new name for Indigo, one half of brilliant UK post-dubstep/post-jungle/post-techno duo Akkord. As Ancestral Voices he's moved away from the dancefloor to a more ambient world, although there are still beats and warm, warm bass in there!

Nice fat bottom end is also present in Matthew Collings' surprise release from Sketches For Albinos. It could best be described as drone, although there are some pretty harpsichord(?) melodies in there, and some of the drones are played live on clarinet, among other instruments. It's beautiful immersive music.

For his last release for the year, Brisbane's very busy Benjamin Thompson aka Pale Earth teams up with a kind of industrial electronic metal duo Danyl Jesu for some electronic chaos and electro-pop. Excellently noisy.

Speaking of noisy... Wrekmeister Harmonies are new to me and I'm immensely glad that their album was coming out in a special Japanese edition simultaneously with the new Sunn O))) so I could discover the widescreen amalgam of drone, post-rock, metal and even classical. It's an epic sound, like Swans through a black metal gauze...

Dat Sunn O))) though. So massive. Pure riffage, with Attila Csihar's operatic & black metal vocals, and a host of usual collaborators including Oren Ambarchi. The album comes in surprisingly brief, not much more than 30 minutes, over 3 tracks - but I got the Daymare edition from Japan, with a bonus CD featuring two very different takes on the first two tracks, stripped down with a lot of the heavy guitars taken out so you can hear the other sounds. It's a bizarre listen, but quite fascinating.

These days Mamiffer is the core duo of Faith Coloccia at her partner Aaron Turner of ISIS, Old Man Gloom, SUMAC et al. They also run the SIGE Records label, a smaller affair after Turner's iconoclastic Hydra Head closed up shop. Mamiffer's music features Coloccia on piano and other instruments - and sometimes vocals - and Turner on all sorts of noisemakers, and can as easily be a venue for stately gothic songs, shoegazey folk or drone noise epics. They've teamed up with noise musician Daniel Menche for their latest album, which does foreground the sonic experimentation over the songs.

Faith Coloccia has been collaborating for a long time with Alex Barnett, and in the last couple of years they've released two albums on Blackest Ever Black as Barnett + Coloccia. Barnett's group Oakeater have just released an album on SIGE as well, with black metal yelping behind dark ambient textures and vaguely industrial clanking...

The Natural History Museum - Daga Gadol [Countersunk Bandcamp]
Sully - Crystal Cuts [Astrophonica]
Miss Red - What Would You Like [Murder Mixtape] {beat by Andy Stott}
Miss Red - Come Down [Murder Mixtape] {beat by The Bug}
Ancestral Voices - Medicina [Samurai Music]
Ancestral Voices - Arachnae [Samurai Music]
Sketches For Albinos - Faces [mini50 records]
Sketches For Albinos - All in the Name of Gravity [mini50 records]
Danyl Jesu & Pale Earth - Abdelazer [Danyl Jesu &/or Pale Earth Bandcamps]
Danyl Jesu & Pale Earth - Young Withcott [Danyl Jesu &/or Pale Earth Bandcamps]
Wrekmeister Harmonies - Run Priest Run (Extended) [Thrill Jockey/Daymare]
Sunn O))) - She played such music, flowers blossomed (Kannon 2 Alternate Take) [Southern Lord/Daymare]
Daniel Menche & Mamiffer - Calyx [SIGE Records]
Mamiffer - Mercy [SIGE Records/Daymare]
Oakeater - Respite [SIGE Records]
Barnett + Coloccia - Switch [Blackest Ever Black]
Barnett + Coloccia - Blight [Blackest Ever Black]
Oakeater - All That is Sacred [SIGE Records]

Listen again — ~194MB

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