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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 April, 2016

Playlist 24.04.16 (9:18 pm)

Jam-packed show of goodness for you tonight!

LISTEN AGAIN via podcast/download here, or stream on demand from FBi.

Starting with the scintillating sounds of Dutch musician/producer/inventor Wouter van Veldhoven, who creates sounds from hand-made constructions, toys, found tapes, broken radios etc. Check out his tumblr for some mind-bending examples of how he constructs his music. In a way, though, this is almost a distraction from the music itself, which is just immersively, often heart-rendingly lovely. Acoustic instrumentation (sampled and automated sounds of strings, zither, acoustic guitar, piano, voice, and found sounds) are imbued with wow and flutter, or slowed to a crawl, embedded in hiss and crackle. It sounds remarkably like glitch and drone works, but is created without a computer in sight.

It's a bit of an honour to have a radio exclusive preview of the new album from Bracken, aka Chris Adams, once of the beloved, iconoclastic indietronic/postrock band Hood. Chris's first Bracken album came out on none other than Anticon back when it was surprising to hear them releasing music that wasn't weirdass indie hip-hop. But the hip-hop influence was there (and Hood had already worked with doseone and Yoni Wolf/Why? some years earlier), along with dubstep and drone. I discovered Chris Adams' solo work possibly earlier even than Hood, with his mind-blowing proto-breakcore and drill'n'bass music as downpour, a project recently re-formed for a couple of Bandcamp EPs exploring classic jungle & drum'n'bass sounds. The new Bracken album backs away from the dubstep but draws on hip-hop, bass-heavy techno and contemporary electronic sounds along with Adams' indie roots. Couldn't be more pleased to have him back. I'll have a substantial feature on all the aforementioned projects in a few weeks - album's out on May 20th.

Iranian musician Ashkan Kooshanejad aka Ash Koosha has released his fantastic debut album I AKA I on Ninja Tune after a massively exciting "mixtape" release called GUUD last year on Olde English Spelling Bee. He has been based in the UK since seeking asylum with his band Take It Easy Hospital in 2009 when they got into some political trouble because of their activities (including simply having a female member performing live). His music combines heavy beats and bass with melodies and harmonies drawing from the long and illustrious history of Persian music, with plenty of tasty glitchy processing on everything. It's wonderful to hear so much boundary-pushing, creative music out of Iran despite quite oppressive conditions (about which I am in no way qualified to talk).

After a bit of a break, "post-world" bass artist Filastine is back with a quarterly series of "video singles" for 2016, starting with "Miner", for which Javanese indie artist Nova Ruth returns as vocalist (and the video is based in Borneo & Java, Indonesia). Hopefully I'll get a reminder when the next single comes out, as Filastine's work is always quality.

Andy Stott's new album takes him further from his bass & techno roots, apparently taking cues from Yellow Magic Orchestra and other '80s music. The previous album already exhibited some postpunk influences, and one of tonight's tracks makes that clear from its title, "New Romantic". With lithe bass guitar from Scott and lovely vocals as always from Alison Skidmore, it's got a clear lineage back to English new romantic postpunk songs, but with post-dubstep/grime production, while "Selfish" is very much on the distorted grime tip.

Roots Manuva's Bleeds album from last year was a massive return to form, with the Jamaican and grime influences coming to the fore... It's awesome to hear one of the tracks remixed here by Kode9 into a footwork/jungle monster. Shame it's only a SoundCloud stream for now.

When Alan Myson released his first Ital Tek 12" on Planet µ in 2007, the combination of classical-influenced choral pads and dubstep beats was an immediate hit. A second 12" followed, with the Radiohead-indebted piano-led "Deep Pools". Tracks from both 12"s appeared on his debut album, but Myson wouldn't stick to the dubstep template for too long. Indeed, a collection of earlier tunes on Bandcamp as well as some compilation tracks show his earlier idm & breakcore influences (that Acidsamovar compilation is breakcore gold). He edged into that purple Jamie Vex'd/Joker dubstep style briefly, but then found new energy, like so many, from footwork. He produced some of the best footwork/electronica/jungle crossover tunes along the way, including the gorgeous "Jupiter Ascent" which we heard tonight. But his latest album, a couple of years in the making, sees him creating his magnum opus: lush ambient electronic orchestrations meet skittering hi-hats abstracted from footwork, and juddering bassline bouncing around with or without beats. Pretty deep stuff, an artist at his full potential.

Wouter van Veldhoven - Part1. Sings of Safety: 03 Four Further Steps in Hanging or Drowning [Wouter van Veldhoven Bandcamp]
Machinefabriek - Stofstuk (Wouter van Veldhoven Remix) [Machinefabriek Bandcamp]
Wouter van Veldhoven - Ons dorp [Morc Tapes]
Wouter van Veldhoven - Sketch / First Failure AE 10-2008 [Umor Rex]
Wouter van Veldhoven - a head stuck in tapes b.2 [secret bonus track via the artist]
Wouter van Veldhoven - Part1. Sings of Safety: 01 A Start [Wouter van Veldhoven Bandcamp]
Bracken - Ravenser Odd II [Home Assembly Music]
Ash Koosha - Snow [Ninja Tune]
Ash Koosha - XXXL [Olde English Spelling Bee]
Ash Koosha - Harbour [Olde English Spelling Bee]
Ash Koosha - Needs [Ninja Tune]
Filastine - Miner (feat. Nova) [Post World Industries]
Andy Stott - Selfish [Modern Love]
Andy Stott - New Romantic [Modern Love]
Roots Manuva - Crying (Kode9 Remix) [Big Dada, stream on SoundCloud]
Ital Tek - Teminus [Planet µ]
Ital Tek - Dry Spell [Acidsamovar]
iTAL tEK - White Mark [Planet µ]
iTAK tEK - Deep Pools [Square Records/Planet µ]
Ital Tek - Gonga [Planet µ]
Ital Tek - Jupiter Ascent [Planet µ]

Listen again — ~185MB

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