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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, 6th of March, 2016

Playlist 06.03.16 (8:18 pm)

The world is full of great music, and I just don't have time to play it all on this show. That's all the apology you're getting. Stop complaining, tonight's show is as good example as any of how much great music I bring you!

LISTEN AGAIN to the great music! Podcast is here, stream on demand is there.

We start tonight with the second album from Bristol-based composer & producer Sophia Loizou (not to be confused with Sydney's Sofie Loizou). Her debut combined her classical composition background with bass-heavy electronic production, and was an essential album of 2014. The new release is an ambient music haunted by the ghosts of rave & jungle, with breakbeats and skittering hi-hats just audible in the background, along with occasional chopped diva vocals, not entirely disquieting but not quite peaceful either. In a way it's the classic "chill out" tent music, ambient waves accompanied by the hi-nrg sounds of the main tent next door. But coming a good 2 decades after the music it's referencing - despite the recent resurgent of jungle & rave - gives it an extra feeling of nostalgia.

Paul Jebanasam, originally from Sri Lanka, has been based in Bristol for some years now and has been closely associated with the Bristol dubstep scene - but before that he was integral to Sydney's own dubstep scene, and broadcast for some years on our very own FBi Radio as part of the Garage Pressure crew. He's been releasing music on Subtext Recordings for a while, and while the sub-bass and production skills may give away his dubstep past, it's beat-free wide-screen music with distinct (post-)classical overtones. The latest album takes us on a journey into space, although buried in the faux-mathematical title is a personal message...

Irish multi-instrumentalist Drombeg makes a post-classical / electronic crossover of a different variety, highlighting the acoustic instruments along with occasional field recordings, in a rapturous high-fidelity glow. Bass notes here are used to highlight pedal notes rather than snarling like primal energy fields; in general this sounds like the soundtrack to a nature or historical documentary, very embedded in a sense of place, I feel.

I obviously don't have my ear sufficiently to the classical(ish) ground as I managed to miss out on the extraordinary 2010 album by Sarah Kirkland Snider in collaboration with Ensemble Signal and the incomparable vocals of Shara Worden. That album was a reimagining (with lyrics by Ellen McLaughlin) of The Odyssey from the point of view of Penelope, Ulysses' wife who stays home and waits patiently(?) as he goes on his epic adventures. Kirkland Snider's new album also features Worden's vocals, along with the beautiful Padma Newsome of Clogs (an Australian connection!) and the equally beautiful DM Stith. It's another song cycle, a haunting (and haunted) remembering of a childhood in rural Massachusetts, with lyrics by Nathaniel Bellows. Both albums are stunningly conceived and performed and should be on your radar.

Japanese artist Ytamo is releasing her new album MI WO on ROOM40's "pop" sister label Someone Good. It's full of shiny, complex electronic music with acoustic & classical sounds. Based in Kyoto, she has released music on her own Bandcamp in the past.

After Dutch idm duo of brothers Funckarma's prodigious output slowed a few years back, the mantle was taken up (or perhaps held) by one half, Roel Funcken. Even he's slowed recently, and while I was a bit concerned in the late Funckarma releases that they'd gone a little too far down the rabbit hole of digital sound design and heavy, obnoxious dubstep bass, it seems like with his new album Funcken has returned to their idm roots with melodic synths, glitchy beats and a lightness of touch, and even a touch more "humanity" to the compositions. It's a reminder of why Funckarma were the kings of idm for so long in the 2000s :)

It's incredible to think that the Houndstooth label, in-house label of Fabric London with A&R by Rob Booth, has only been around for 3 years, such has its impact been. Forward-thinking post-bass/techno/jungle/everything artists like Akkord, Special Request, Throwing Snow, Snow Ghosts & Aïsha Devi (among others) are creating impeccably-produced electronic music well aware of its history and interested in what can be said through it today. Always a label to watch, and the Tessellation compilation contains a selection of quality exclusive tracks.

We've been following Washington State duo Cock & Swan on this show since their appearance on an early compilation on Lost Tribe Sound. The ramshackle acoustic-electronic sound of those tracks has on the whole receded in favour of the analogue synths & beats (plus vocals) they were originally known for locally, and they've found a home with Seattle's Hush Hush Records. Their latest release is a soundtrack to a rather interesting sounding dance work called Splurge Land, with "post-internet" themes for which this music sounds perfect...

It's hardly news that there's a new Venetian Snares album out on his own imprint via Planet µ, with his usual weird-time-signature breakcore/drill'n'bass, all made live in his studio on modular synths. But if you ordered the album direct from the label you got a whole bonus album on CDR, featuring alternative takes and bonus tracks from these same sessions. There's some pretty interesting stuff on here, some slower jams and less busy music in amongst the usual chaos.

Sydney indietronic collective Telafonica have embarked on a project for 2016 to try to write & record one track each a month and release them as EPs on Bandccamp as they go. It's a brave undertaking, but their second month has already borne delicious fruit with some noisy electronics and pretty acoustic fingerpickings. Looking forward to more as the year progresses!

Brisbane's Andrew Tuttle has been patiently exploring his special hybrid of fingerstyle guitar / banjo and granular, experimental electronics for some time, under his own name and previously as Anonymeye. His latest album refines these techniques further and is by turns pretty and noisy.

Sophia Loizou - Divine Interference [Kathexis]
Sophia Loizou - Baptista [Astro:Dynamics]
Sophia Loizou - Genesis 92: The Awakening [Kathexis]
Paul Jebanasam - depart as | air dx stop δρ/δ /dt somewhere = +Δ•(ρ sigma*(y waiting -x) v)=0 δρ/dy/dt for = you x dim [Subtext Recordings]
Drombeg - There Has To Be A Heaven [Futuresequence]
Sarah Kirkland Snider feat. Padma Newsome, DM Stith, Shara Worden and the Unremembered Orchestra - The Barn [New Amsterdam Records]
Sarah Kirkland Snider feat. Shara Worden and Signal - This Is What You're Like [New Amsterdam Records]
Sarah Kirkland Snider feat. Padma Newsome, DM Stith, Shara Worden and the Unremembered Orchestra - The Witch [New Amsterdam Records]
Ytamo - Hamon [Someone Good]
Roel Funcken - Android Robson [Funckarma Bandcamp]
Roel Funcken - Night Brubian [Funckarma Bandcamp]
Aïsha Devi - Sheen Saker [Houndstooth/Houndstooth Bandcamp]
Akkord - Vector [Houndstooth/Houndstooth Bandcamp]
Cock & Swan - #seethrume [Hush Hush Records]
Cock & Swan - #splurgegod[Hush Hush Records]
Venetian Snares - Terrazen 1012nc [Planet µ]
Telafonica - Warumbul [Telafonica Bandcamp]
Telafonica - The Barren Woman and the Eunuch [Telafonica Bandcamp]
Andrew Tuttle - Forgotten Username [Someone Good]
Andrew Tuttle - Forgotten Password (excerpt) [Someone Good]

Listen again — ~191MB

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