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experimental electronica
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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, 24th of January, 2016

Playlist 24.01.16 (8:11 pm)

Unbelieveably, we're almost at the end of the first month of the 17th years of the 21st century (pedants can bugger off).

LISTEN AGAIN to folktronic pop, drones, rhythmic glitch, jungle, minimal techno and more... Stream on demand from the FBi website, or podcast from here.

Starting with a duo whose album I've been waiting only about 4 1/2 years for... The Natural History Museum's first track came out as a free download from Dunk Murphy's Countersunk sometime in 2011, featuring a yearning piano line, beats, and the vocals of fellow Dubliner Carol Keogh. Murphy's better known to Utility Fog listeners as folktronica/idm artist Sunken Foal, while Keogh is a singer/songwriter in her own right, but her vocals (sometimes reminiscent of Liz Harris or Kate Bush) gel beautifully with Murphy's quirky harmonic constructions and analogue-meets-digital production.

Back in 2013, Odd Nosdam made an EP in tribute to the late Trish Keenan of Broadcast, who passed away tragically early from a brief illness contracted at the end of an Australian tour. The T r i s h EP has now been released on vinyl, so it's been appearing on the music distro sites again, and it's truly beautiful stuff. Although the liner notes credit Grouper's Liz Harris on track 4, I find that confusing because there don't appear to be any vocals (unless heavily buried) on track 4, while the title track which I played tonight has vocals which certainly sound like Harris...

Coming out soon on Flaming Pines is a compilation of experimental Iranian music called Absence, curated by Arash Akbari. I'm very pleased to have been introduced to a huge array of amazing artists from this country (only a few of whom I'd heard of before), and tonight we hear from Paris-based duo 9T Antiope with noises and vocals, and an electronic/post-classical soundtrack from Pouya Pour-Amin. Pre-order the compilation from the Flaming Pines Bandcamp

Orson Hentschel is a multimedia artist from Düsseldorf, whose debut album is out in February on the Denovali label. The bio draws a connection with the classical minimalism of Steve Reich et al, but sonically they are more like glitch or techno - but even when there are no beats, rhythm is central, drawn from the way the samples are chopped, looped and phased.

Also making somewhat minimalist/maximalist music is Sydney's Hence Therefore, whose forthcoming EP on 3BS Records sees him visiting minimal techno climes with skittering percussion, warm sub-bass and wheezing synth melodies. It's high quality stuff that deserves a global ear.

Sully's original productions were grime/dubstep but for the last year or two he's been recreating early jungle in perfect style, and his new 12" is no exception.
Also harkening back to pre-'95-era drum'n'bass is Downpour, aka Chris Adams of Hood and Bracken. While a new Bracken album is just around the corner, he's just released another Downpour EP which is explicit in its nostalgia. Although the beat-juggling is absolutely front & centre, the last track takes us into the chill out tent at the rave so we can lie and stare at the ceiling in rapture...

A couple of years back, a new artist called Joane Skyler released a very interesting woozy, experimental electronic release and found a bit of fame. It wasn't that unknown at the time, but it's actually an anagramattical pseudonym of a male artist called Jason Kerley. There's been some discussion of the negative effects of musicians - particularly electronic musicians in a genre very much dominated by male artists - taking on female pseudonyms, and while I believe that context matters, it's a point well taken. Kerley himself has taken this on board, although I feel like he probably ought to be serious enough about it to drop the name; he's acknowledged that one big problem is that his music has found its way into female-only venues (and may well have been played on one of my "UtiLadyFog" shows in fact).
In any case, it's great music, and the remixes are strong and varied. As well as hearing a bit of drill'n'bass from Kerley under his Blackpepper we had a frenzied piece of madness from new Planet µ signing Yearning Kru.

Belgian-Italian duo Lumisokea's dark, industrial techno and ambient music has featured a fair bit on this show in the past. A cellist and percussionist making cutting-edge electronic music must be a kind of Utility Fog ideal really, and their new album, returning to Opal Tapes, is one of their strongest. Meanwhile, cellist Koenraad Ecker released an excellent second album for 2015 very late in year, which had previously only been heard on a fairly obscure split cassette. There are some low, rumbling string sounds on there, as well as some more industrial and electronic sounds.

We finished with a tiny bit of Marcus Whale's remix of LUCIANBLOMKAMP while Jordan Sexty fixed some technical issues, but we'll have to play the whole thing next week when we're not running overtime!

The Natural History Museum - Winter Bee [Countersunk]
The Natural History Museum - The Small Hours [Countersunk]
The Natural History Museum - Nightfisher/Australophithecus [Countersunk]
Odd Nosdam - T r i s h (feat. Liz Harris) [Odd Nosdam Bandcamp]
9T Antiope - Venator [Flaming Pines]
Pouya Pour-Amin - Exterior wash [Flaming Pines]
Orson Hentschel - 16 mm [Denovali]
Orson Hentschel - Feed The Tape [Denovali]
Hence Therefore - North Pacific Gyre [3BS Records]
Hence Therefore - Cicada Death Roll [3BS Records]
Sully - Rotten [Rua Sound]
downpour - Trust me [downpour Bandcamp]
downpour - Curfew [downpour Bandcamp]
Yearning Kru vs Joane Skyler - the ground remix [Reckno Records]
Blackpepper vs Joane Skyler - the ground remix [Reckno Records]
Lumisokea - Hyman Otor [Opal Tapes]
Koenraad Ecker - The soul of the white Ant [Koenraad Ecker Bandcamp]
Lumisokea - Generation Z [Opal Tapes]
LUCIANBLOMKAMP - Comfort (Marcus Whale remix) [Good Manners]

Listen again — ~194MB

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