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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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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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