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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, 4th of September, 2016

Playlist 04.09.16 (9:07 pm)

Hey yo, 100% Aussie show coming at ya tonight!

LISTEN AGAIN and discover our national riches. Podcast here, stream on demand over there.

A supremely touching lo-fi song starts us off tonight's with longtime Aussie underground character Benjow's haddocks' eyes project. His stuff ranges from distorted indie to electronically-processed vocals, drone, and hints of folk. It's absorbing and singular.

Next up is the classical-meets-ambient sounds of Sydney pianist Sophie Hutchings. Full disclosure, I've played cello with Sophie for years and worked on the new album with her - but as per usual it would be sad to penalise wonderful artists just because I play with them! Her new album sees her developing her compositional craft further, and expanding her palette with organs and even wordless vocals. The album will be launched this coming Saturday, Sept 10th, at Glebe Justice Centre on St John's Rd.

Next up is a feature with the common thread being Perth musician Adam Trainer. His new band Original Past Life make lovely postrock with a slight touch of noise & experimentalism, harkening back to the incredible Radarmaker, which he and bandmate Warwick Hall played in for most of last decade. He more recently formed Gilded with fellow Western Australian Matt Rösner, making engrossing electro-acoustic drone & folktronica of a sort, redolent with real-life surface noise. Adam's solo work, mostly released on Canberra's hellosQuare as with Original Past Life, is along the Gilded lines, albeit more electric & electronic. It's safe to say I'm a massive fan of all these different projects.

In 2008, Melbourne musician Tim Condon released a mostly-solo album called Mirrored Silver Sea on the beloved (and very sadly defunct) Sydney label sound&fury. I was blown away by it and declared it to be one of the best releases of the year in my big retrospective. Tim moved to Toronto not too long after, and started the music stuff again nearly from scratch. He claims that my enthusiasm for his music helped convince him to keep producing more music, but I can't imagine much would have stopped him, given the continuing quality and imaginativeness of his work with the musicians he began working with in Fresh Snow. Over the last few years they've gone from strength to strength, with three releases all effecively named the same - I, WON and now ONE. Maybe eventually they'll finish releasing their debut album (haha). The noise and experimental elements of Tim's earlier work are there, but it's got more of a krautrock and psych feel - full band noise along with great basslines and grooves, passages of horn arrangements, strings (including *ahem* some of my cello somewhere in the middle EP) and a number of guest vocalists from local bands. ONE is out any minute now on Hand Drawn Dracula and will hopefully find them greater success around North America and beyond.

Our final artist for the night hails from Brisbane. Benjamin Thompson has been popping out incredible electronic experimentalism as Pale Earth since about 2013, and prior to that was best known for the indie/noise/drone band The Rational Academy. Although Pale Earth is much more of a glitchy, processed electronic project, there is still plenty of live instrumentation in there, and usually a fair share of crunchy beats. His latest album Always is really three albums in one: three parts entitled Dynasty, White Rainbow and Not Only Tell Tale. It's a kind of dream journey through Benjamin's travels and life over the last few years, and takes in chaotic quasi-beats & buried jazz solos, lots of detailed sound-art, drone and ambient. It's amazing, you should check it out.

haddocks' eyes - ghosts [haddocks' eyes bandcamp]
Sophie Hutchings - Dream Gate [Preservation]
Original Past Life - Times of Ceylon [hellosQuare]
Radarmaker - Arm vs. Fiery Antenna [self-released, now available at Radarmaker Bandcamp]
Radarmaker - Balthazaar [self-released, now available at Radarmaker Bandcamp]
Adam Trainer - You Are an Ace Critter [hellosQuare]
Adam Trainer - South China Sea II [hellosQuare]
Gilded - Cluttered Room [Hidden Shoal]
Original Past Life - Bear Hotel (Tourist Kid Remix) [hellosQuare]
Fresh Snow - Three-Way Mirror [Hand Drawn Dracula]
Mirrored Silver Sea - Ghost Blossom [sound&fury]
Fresh Snow - Your Thirst For Magic Has Been Quenched By Death! [Fresh Snow Bandcamp]
Adverteyes - Open Wide (Fresh Snow Remix) [Adverteyes Bandcamp]
Fresh Snow - King Twink Rides Again [Hand Drawn Dracula]
Fresh Snow - I Am Smitten With Your Wrath [Hand Drawn Dracula]
Fresh Snow - Anytime Minutes (excerpt) [Hand Drawn Dracula]
Pale Earth - Sour Candy [Room40]
Pale Earth - Golden [Room40]
Pale Earth - Grass Moon [Room40]

Listen again — ~187MB

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