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experimental electronica
electric string quartet

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, 29th of May, 2016

Playlist 29.05.16 (9:12 pm)

Variety of sounds tonight, concluding with psych-kraut-postrock, starting with noise-hop, but with heaps of electronics in between, with an emphasis on artists melding classical composition & performance with electronic techniques & sounds.

I missed Oneohtrix Point Never at the Opera House to bring you this, so LISTEN and LISTEN AGAIN damn you. Stream on demand over at FBi, podcast right here (and subscribe in iTunes if you like that kind of thing (the horror!))...

Next week we'll have a pretty major feature on the music of dälek, the group, along with the various members. Pioneers of "noise hop" or whatever you want to call it (industrial hip-hop?), they married political raps with noise, metal and shoegaze-influenced productions, still with boom-bap beats... The new album doesn't have original producer Alap Momin aka Oktopus, but retains their original sound and weight.

Originally from the Blue Mountains, Sydney DJ & producer Joel Pearson has released his debut EP as Scatterbrain on his new label Milke Thistle Records, drawing influence from the Australian bush & landscape in which he grew up, as well as from classic hip-hop and new post-dubstep/footwork/r'n'b beats. It's a hugely impressive debut from a hardworking producer, who should continue to do great things.

British composer/producer Jim Perkins & fellow singer Tom Gaisford have released a single on the excellent UK-based crossover-classical label bigo & twigetti that's based around the "Kyrie" from English Renaissance composer William Byrd's Mass for Three Voices. The original by Perkins & Gaisford is an electronic treatment of the work, but tonight we heard Brisvegan ex-pat (now also UK-based) Leah Kardos's remix.

As I said last week, William Ryan Fritch's music is a quite sui generis mixture of world-inflected classical composition, heavy percussion and, more recently, singing. After a massive string of connected albums & EPs in 2014 and through into early 2015, Fritch has been less active the last year or so, but this album continues where he left off, with epic scope.

Tom Hodge (piano) and Franz Kirmann (electronics) have been working as Piano Interrupted for a few years now. Their glitchy patina of piano, bass, strings and beats is a snug fit for Utility Fog's central mission of the liminal music inhabiting the foggy boundaries between genres and production techniques. Their latest album has seen them travelling to Senegal to work with local musicians, and while their beautiful playing appears on the album, it's hard to identify anything West African about the music, which remains a tasteful conversation between jazz, classical and electronic.

Matthew Collings also represents the classical along with the electronic & experimental tonight, even more emphatically than with his previous brilliant works of postrock/indie/noise/electronica. The audiovisual work that he's been touring for the last year has come out in audio form on Denovali: A Requiem for Edward Snowden may be premature as a requiem, but it explores the implications of the information released by Edward Snowden about surveillance, privacy and security, the losses (of faith, security, privacy) highlighted by Snowden as well as his own personal losses in coming out publically. Musically, electronic processing cracks and disrupts the avant-garde classical compositions performed by Collings and cohorts on clarinet and strings. It's Collings' usual modus operandi purified, and a clever approach for a topic in which the digital world intrudes into the "real". Highly recommended.

An accomplished classical cellist, Oliver Coates is known for some high profile collaborations (often along with the London Contemporary Orchestra) with artists like Jonny Greenwood, Radiohead, Mica Levi & others. I first came across him playing cello with Mira Calix on a stunning Boards of Canada cover for Warp's 20th anniversary. Coates' previous release on Moshi Moshi imprint Prah Recordings saw him mostly performing contemporary compositions (tonight we heard a queasy Chopin-deconstructing work by Larry Goves), but the new one brings him to the fore as an electronic producer & composer. Building beats from samples of his cello, Coates has created a varied album referencing everything from Arthur Russell (of course) via Four Tet, to house, footwork, and indeed classical music. It's quite an achievement.
I thought it was nice to round out the selection, including covers, collaborations, performances of composed works and his own productions, with a remix. Conveniently, Grasscut's new remix album came out just this last week or so, and while I haven't had a chance to dive into it properly, it was serendipitous to find a remix by "Olly Coates" on there.

Last up tonight is as much as we can fit in of a 20 minute track from one of the new Oren Ambarchi collaborations out right now. This one sees him working with two big figures in Italian experimental, postrock & psych music: Stefano Pilia (perhaps best known as a member of the amazing 3/4HadBeenEliminated) and Massimo Pupillo (probably best known as the bassist in free jazz/math rock/noise band Zu). It's entirely in keeping with Oren's output from the last few years - slow burning guitarnoisescapes and driving, head-nodding rhythm section, growing to some kind of freakout. Excellent, of course.

dälek - It Just Is [Profound Lore Records]
Scatterbrain - I Need A... (feat. Kiri Cantle) [Milke Thistle Records]
Scatterbrain - The Great Northern [Milke Thistle Records]
Jim Perkins & Tom Gaisford - Kyrie (Leah Kardos remix) [bigo & twigetti]
William Ryan Fritch - Disregard [Lost Tribe Sound]
Piano Interrupted - Jean Luc Diola [Denovali]
Matthew Collings - Collect It All [Denovali]
Matthew Collings - Vasilia [Facture/Denovali]
Matthew Collings - Rapid Pulses [Denovali]
Oliver Coates - Innocent Love [Prah Recordings]
Mira Calix with Oliver Coates - In A Beautiful Place Out In The Country [Warp]
Leo Abrahams & Oliver Coates - VIII [Slip]
Oliver Coates - The clouds flew round with the clouds (composed by Larry Goves, sampling Chopin's Nocturne in B Major [Prah Recordings]
Grasscut - Fallswater (Olly Coates Remix) [Lo Recordings]
Oliver Coates - Memorial to Hitchens [Prah Recordings]
Oren Ambarchi, Stefano Pilia & Massimo Pupillo - Shine [Karlrecords]

Listen again — ~194MB

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