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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, 10th of April, 2016

Playlist 10.04.16 (9:08 pm)

Heavy and quiet, distorted and clean, deadly serious and tongue in cheek... bit of all that tonight.

LISTEN AGAIN on the podcast here or the streaming on demand from FBi.

Been a massive fan of the body for a few years - they inhabit the more extreme end of the metal continuum, but have slowly been leeching into electronics and other forms, so it's not actually that surprising that their latest non-collaborative album No One Deserves Happiness is a kind of "pop" album... according to them anyway. They set out to create the "grossest pop album ever", and you can see where they're coming from, although the black metal, doom metal, noise, industrial and other electronic elements are still all there - and what's more the brilliant women who contribute vocals here, particularly Maralie Armstrong and Chrissy Wolpert and their Assembly Of Light Choir, have worked with The Body for years. Their collaborations are always incredibly fruitful, producing a transcendent beauty and often peacefulness over the degraded, mournful, extreme textures. To all extents and purposes these women are members of the band now, appearing on many of their other collaborations too.
And The Body do love collaborating with other like-minded artists, a couple of which I played tonight. On touring with Japanese metal/post-classical/electronic band Vampillia last year they released an incredible collaboration which still amazes me every time I listen; and almost simultaneously with No One Deserves Happiness comes a collaboration with hardcore punk/grindcore band Full Of Hell, famous themselves for collaborating with Merzbow. It's definitely got some more hardcore elements, but also plenty of electronics and straight vocals... and it's got the beauty/ugliness thing going on too. Both albums are fantastic.

Canadian drone/glitch artist Tim Hecker hardly needs any introduction. He's been doing the ambient/drone thing for years, with a fuzzy, grainy sound akin to Christian Fennesz et al, and he's collaborated with countless artists along the way as well, but to my ears around 2011's Ravedeath, 1972 his composition and musical construction started to get really impressively advanced. The piano on the 2011 albums, and the additional instrumentation and production techniques found on 2013's Virgins have swept him right into the stratosphere; Love Streams, with its choir and squiggly synth parts from Kara-Lis Coverdale, extend his sound yet further. From earlier in his career I chose a couple of unusual cuts - a live studio improv with fellow Montreal postrockers Le Fly Pan Am and experimental artist Christof Migone featured on Constellation's compilation Song of the Silent Land in 2004, and of a similar vintage is his stunning remix of one of the greatest bands ever, post-metal iconoclasts ISIS.

Jenny Hval should also need no introduction to listeners of this show - and her Norwegian accent is salted with Australian as she spent a few years studying in Melbourne. She put on some intense & rather strange (and wonderful) shows at the Sydney Festival earlier this year, and her album of indie music from last year was highly acclaimed. This takes her back to the somewhat (or at least even) more experimental sounds of earlier albums like Viscera on Rune Grammofon, working with composer/guitarist Kim Myhr, and the Trondheim Jazz Orchestra to create sound works which couch her familiar lyrical and vocal style in both very composed jazz and classical arrangements, and enjoyably chaotic improvised elements. It's not really that challenging, and should be enjoyed by any fans of Jenny's work as well as the jazz heads.

Garry Bradbury's humourous-profound electronic works have been a feature of the Sydney experimental music scene for many decades, since he joined Tom Ellard & co in some of the early incarnations of Severed Heads. Some of the tape collage aesthetic remains in the digital sampler/drum machine/synth works he's been putting out in the last decade+, and there's very much a tension between terrifyingly advanced musicality and cheeky larrikin spirit. The old Aussie woman's monologue in which each phrase ends with "the what" gets me every time - and it's made creepy and unsettling with the soundtrack-style collage it sits in. I would've featured even more of Bradbury's sounds but ran out of time. You can grab it all from his Bandcamp anyway, so hop to it!

the body - Shelter Is Illusory feat. Maralie Armstrong [Thrill Jockey]
Vampillia + the body - cold bark bite [self-released/Birds Robe]
the body - I Would For You feat. Chrissy Wolpert [self-released]
the body & Full Of Hell - One Day You Will Ache Like I Ache [Neurot]
the body & Full Of Hell - Fleshworks [Neurot]
the body - Adamah feat. Maralie Armstrong [Thrill Jockey]
the body - The Fall And The Guilt feat. Chrissy Wolpert [Thrill Jockey]
Tim Hecker - Castrati Stack [4AD]
Tim Hecker - Voice Crack [4AD]
Le Fly Pan Am + Tim Hecker & Christof Migone - Tres Tres "Avant" [Constellation]
ISIS - carry (first version by Tim Hecker) [Hydra Head]
Tim Hecker - The Piano Drop [Kranky]
Tim Hecker - Sketches 2 [Kranky]
Tim Hecker - Virginal I [Kranky]
Tim Hecker - Violet Monumental II [4AD]
Trondheim Jazz Orchestra, Kim Myhr & Jenny Hval - Something New [Hubro]
Trondheim Jazz Orchestra, Kim Myhr & Jenny Hval - Mass [Hubro]
Garry Bradbury - Affective Trajectories [No Ware]
Garry Bradbury - The Ampullae of Lorenzini [No Ware]
Bradbury - Big Man on Campus [Dual Plover/Bradbury Bandcamp]
Bradbury - The Nevsky Project [Dual Plover/Bradbury Bandcamp]
Bradbury - Cheap Wagnerian Dynamics [Dual Plover/Bradbury Bandcamp]
Garry Bradbury - The Miry Verge [No Ware]

Listen again — ~193MB

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