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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, 20th of March, 2016

Playlist 20.03.16 (8:14 pm)

Lots of great music for you tonight... from acoustic, violin-led sounds to very crunchy electronics!

LISTEN AGAIN to these talented and creative women. Podcast is here, stream on demand is there.

Starting tonight's show with the rapturous violin, accompanied by other acoustic instruments, of Newcastle-upon-Tyne's Sarah Kemp, aka brave timbers. On her new album she's joined by Andrew Scrogham, with whom Kemp played in the Newcastle indie band Lanterns on the Lake. Kemp keeps busy - she's also a member of the electronic-meets-postrock band Fieldhead (although the remixes here tonight are probably the solo work of Paul Elan), Hood member Richard Adams' The Declining Winter, and another of Adams' projects, Memory Drawings. Kemp's solo music is delicate and gentle, but while there some melancholy in her first album from 6 years ago, the new album lives up to its title of hope.

We move to Montréal, Canada next - another "Sarah" violinist, Sarah Neufeld, who is perhaps best known as the violinist in the Arcade Fire. Her debut album on Constellation showcased not just her composition abilities, but also some remarkable techniques, with sliding fingers around double & triple stops, and a vast sound coming out of primarily just one instrument. This is a talent she shares with her husband Colin Stetson, the incredible saxophonist who I've featured many times on this show. Last year they released a mindblowing collaborative album - the slow sax bassline, thumps and squalls, along with the reverberant tremolo violin on "With the dark of of time" are incredible. While he appears on her new album, the most notable fact is that her sound is augmented with a drummer and occasional bass. It's still emphatically violin-led music though (now with some vocals from Neufeld) and is again absolutely unmissable.

The Natural History Museum's debut album came out early this year from Dunk Murphy's Countersunk - it's a duo project in which he's joined by fellow Dubliner Carol Keogh. They've followed the album up quickly with the Manmade EP, which emphasises the acoustic & live sound over programmed beats - even though the track tonight is led equally by its synth bassline and the acoustic guitar. Keogh's vocals are smooth and her singing & songwriting style melds beautifully with Murphy's talent for weird, lugubrious chord changes.

Swiss/Nepalese-Tibetan producer Aïsha Devi released an album last year on Houndstooth deeply influenced by the mysticism (and sound worlds) of Tibetan monks and Sufism. Houndstooth have now released a remix EP with some creative takes on her processed vocal chants - seguing nicely from our previous track as the brilliant duo Lakker are also originally from Dublin (and currently based in Berlin). Their recent expansive, tough techno is here sped up into an intense percussive workout (harking back to their breakcore/idm beginnings) before opening out to showcase Devi's vocals. Meanwhile Aussie-born Kate Cooper aka Mind:Body:Fitness brings a footwork influence to her take, still foregrounding those vocals.

Berlin-based These Hidden Hands released a brilliant album of industrial techno a couple of years ago, and it's great to have them back. For their new single they're joined by Barcelona-based Argentinian singer/producer/genius Lucrecia Dalt, whose barely-audible lead and choral backing lines take the intense, slow-fast bass techno (on both tracks) into another dimension. Just put these two tracks on repeat all afternoon.

Really excited to bring you this next track tonight. I wanted to play even more but given it's as yet unreleased (and you can stream the whole EP at SoundCloud) I'll stick to the one track. Hviske is a new duo made up of two Sydney luminaries of the noise & experimental scene - extreme vocalist Kusum Normoyle and experimental/noise artist Ivan Lisyak who also plays drums in various indie bands. They're sensibly touting these sounds to labels local & international, and it's truly quality sounds so I hope it gets big! Normoyle's vocals on the first track recall nothing less than the spectral vocal snippets on early Aphex Twin ambient & techno productions, but their sounds are crunchy and driving and very much up-to-date in the beats & production department.

The earlier These Hidden Hands / Lucretia Dalt collaboration very briefly appeared on the latest Wire Magazine download comp, Below The Radar 22. I guess some kind of licensing issues got in the way (or the fact that the EP is only two tracks and is out now!) but anyway, it disappeared.
There are lots of other highlights though, and very exciting is an exclusive track from the brilliant Swedish producer Klara Lewis, which will not appear on her forthcoming album on Editions Mego. This piece is made up of field recordings processed and rearranged into rhythms and melodies of sorts. Her music straddles the line between almost academic sound-art, very experimental or noise production, and techno & electronica. We heard a couple of tracks from her 2014 debut album and an EP from the same year, and I'm very excited for this new album coming out again from Mego in May.

We finish with the debut single from new Brisbane-based artist Julia R. Anderson. It's a lovely shiny indie pop song, with psychedelic & experimental edges to it. I'm sure we'll be hearing more from this talented newcomer, so stay tuned!

brave timbers - first light [Little Crackd Rabbit Records/Gizeh Records]
brave timbers - more like the oak than the willow [Second Language Music]
brave timbers - out with the tide [Second Language Music]
brave timbers - more like the oak than the willow (Fieldhead remix) [Second Language Music]
brave timbers - Seasons Past (Fieldhead remix) [Little Crackd Rabbit Records/Gizeh Records]
brave timbers - First Light (The Green Kingdom remix) [Little Crackd Rabbit Records/Gizeh Records]
brave timbers - the well worn path [Little Crackd Rabbit Records/Gizeh Records]
Sarah Neufeld - The Ridge [Paper Bag Records]
Sarah Neufeld - Hero Brother [Constellation]
Sarah Neufeld - You Are The Field [Constellation]
Colin Stetson & Sarah Neufeld - With the dark hug of time [Constellation]
Colin Stetson & Sarah Neufeld - Never were the way she was [Constellation]
Sarah Neufeld - We've Got A Lot [Paper Bag Records]
The Natural History Museum - Button Moon [Countersunk]
Aïsha Devi - Anatomy Of Light (Lakker Remix) [Houndstooth]
Aïsha Devi - Mazdå (Mind:Body:Fitness Remix) [Houndstooth]
These Hidden Hands feat. Lucrecia Dalt - These Moments Dismantled [These Hidden Hands Bandcamp]
Hviske - 1X [unreleased EP1]
Klara Lewis - Shall/Should [Below The Radar 22, subscriber download for April's edition of The Wire]
Klara Lewis - c a t t [Editions Mego]
Klara Lewis - Msuic 1 [Peder Mannerfelt Produktion]
Julia R. Anderson - In The Beginning [self-released]

Listen again — ~193MB

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