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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, 27th of March, 2016

Playlist 27.03.16 (8:07 pm)

Piano Day, folktronic goodies etc tonight!

LISTEN AGAIN to these acoustic-electronic crossovers, melodies, field recordings and beats... Podcast is here, stream on demand is there.

Nils Frahm decided a year ago that the 88th day of the year (because pianos have 88 keys typically) would be Piano Day. Pianists of various stripes around the world have taken to actually celebrating the piano and indeed creating new music for it. That's just what Sydney musician Sophie Hutchings has done, and we heard her new track to start the show. Her brother Scott created a video for it which you can watch here.
I should mention also that Sophie is in the midst of a crowdfunding campaign to release a vinyl edition of her new album (which, *ahem*, features me on cello). If you've liked her music in the past, you can pre-order the album through the Pozible (even on CD) to help make it happen.

Keeping with the Sydney piano theme, next up a little feature on the one & only Chris Abrahams, who's just been touring with The Necks, and has a new album out on Room40 very soon. As usual with his solo works on Room40, it's quite challenging at times, quite beautiful at others, and uses electronics (including his beloved Yamaha DX7), field recordings and even electric guitar as well as his piano. There's even, in the last track, some hefty distorted sub-bass drone in there, just to keep things totally up-to-date. We didn't go back that far in his catalogue, but heard a piece from his last solo album and also something from his second collaboration with the Italian spoken word & experimental electronic artist Alessandro Bosetti.

William Yates aka memotone is an artist who has turned up a lot on this show in the last few years - particularly in 2012 when some landmark EPs and his debut album dropped. He's a talented multi-instrumentalist who features his drumming, piano and even strings on his music, but also sits comfortably in the contemporary bass/techno beats of his main label home Black Acre. So it's exciting to have a new album, CHIME HOURS, as an excuse to backtrack over some of his career tonight. I discovered him probably in 2012 via his Hands EP on the experimental/folktronic label A Future Without but he'd in fact already been releasing excellent techno/electronica on Black Acre in 2011, and we start there with a collaboration with another brilliant electronic musician & multi-instrumentalist Leafcutter John, who contributes vocals (and possibly production). One of my favourite early tracks, "Sad Sack", was part of a stash of tunes available only as a download and stream direct from the artist, and its combination of melancholy drones, clattering clicky beats and reverberant piano ostinati is exemplary of Yates' unique sound. The new album also incorporates Yates' own vocals, folded in I suspect from a more pop oriented project called Wy (unless that still continues in parallel with memotone). Although it's been a few years since the last solo memotone album, in 2014 he released a fantastic collaborative release as Memoosh with Brighton/Glasgow artist Soosh, from which we heard a piece of technoid jungle and a gorgeous post-classical piano number.

Hex are a new duo from the UK, made up of Charlie Noon and Tom Field, releasing their debut EP on Mute's electronic/techno/bass sublabel Liberation Technologies. The glitchy post-grime sound of M.E.S.H is a good point of comparison - it's technically adept, complex and dark stuff, and I'm looking forward to hearing what they do next.

Feral Media recently released the latest in their Aussie remix battle compilations, Strain of Origin V, with various choice Australian artists remixing other artists (most artists are both remixer and remixee). Tonight we heard from a Melbourne pairing, with weirdo footwork artist Dylan Michél remixed by Wabz into a piece of junglist techno.

Speaking of jungle-meets-footwork(-meets-dubstep?), the kings of slow-fast and the jungle revival Sam Binga & Om Unit have released the second EP in their Bunit series. While the opening track is an excellent bouncy jungle/footwork hybrid that will ring a bell for folks familiar with Sam Binga's latest productions, the closing piece is something else again - almost more like the dronescapes of Roly Porter, it's a gluggy miasmah of distorted tones and sub-bass that's as surprising as it is welcome.

Back to the Feral Media comp to finish, we have this time a Brisbane pairing, with Andrew Tuttle's fingerpicking guitar & electronics being reinterpreted by composer, postrock & electronic musician Chris Perren in his Software of Seagulls guise.

Sophie Hutchings - In The Wake [self-released for Piano Day 2016]
Chris Abrahams - Clung Eloquent [Room40]
Chris Abrahams - Stabilised Ruin [Room40]
Alessandro Bosetti & Chris Abrahams - La Nourriture [Unsounds]
Chris Abrahams - 1 Liter Cold Laptop [Room40]
Félicia Atkinson & Jefre Cantu-Ledesma - O [Shelter Press]
Félicia Atkinson & Jefre Cantu-Ledesma - OL [Shelter Press]
memotone - Across The Divide [Black Acre]
memotone - All Collapsed [Black Acre]
memotone feat. Leafcutter John - Four Minute Hallway [Black Acre]
memotone - Sad Sack [self-released/unreleased]
memotone - Many Things [A Future Without]
memotone - Stalker [Black Acre]
memotone & Soosh - First Avenue [Project Mooncircle]
memotone & Soosh - Aponi [Project Mooncircle]
memotone - Bird Eating Spider [Black Acre]
Hex - Miasma [Liberation Technologies]
Hex - Foreign Tongue [Liberation Technologies]
Dylan Michél - Clicks (Wabz Remix) [Feral Media]
Sam Binga & Om Unit - Windmill Kick [Bunit]
Sam Binga & Om Unit - Planetary Reboot [Bunit]
Andrew Tuttle - Charm Intersection (Software of Seagulls Remix) [Feral Media]

Listen again — ~157MB

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