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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, 2nd of October, 2016

Playlist 02.10.16 (8:10 pm)

Good evening! We are this week asking you to support FBi, the radio station that is my home. FBi does such amazing work supporting Sydney's music, as well as Australian music and interesting music in general, and it's run primarily off income from its supporters, so please step in!

LISTEN AGAIN to this show as you know you want to - stream on demand from FBi, or podcast from here.

This week brought the very sad news that iconoclastic Canadian punk band NoMeansNo are finally calling it a day. Brothers Rob & John Wright have been making acerbic, incredibly smart and catchy punk, hardcore and sometimes other genres for over 30 years, and while they've been on hiatus for some time, I always hoped I'd get to catch them live sometime still. Luckily I didn't have to stretch too far to play a track, because in 2012 they released, in very limited quantities, a remix EP called Butchering the Sacred Cow, featuring Shackleton's slowed-down dub techno take on "Dark Ages" as well as longtime fan and fellow Canuck Deadbeat, and Miles Whittaker of Demdike Stare.

James Kelly was for years best known as the frontman of Irish black metal band Altar of Plagues. But in 2013 he decided that Altar of Plagues would call it a day, and swapped the screaming and blast beats for beautifully crafted electronic beats, glitches and basslines, including clean singing, as WIFE. His first release was an EP on the English electronica label left_blank, but then he was signed to the ever-keen Tri-Angle Records for an excellent album for which he enlisted production help from The Haxan Cloak. There's plenty of dark there, and some nice heavy beats, and now for his latest EP he returns to the adventurous metal label Profound Lore with even more industrial beats, but on the whole a continuation of the WIFE sound. Excellent stuff.

I first heard of LA-based electronic musician & vocalist Katie Gately when she put out an incredible side of a split 12" on Fat Cat in 2014. I found some earlier EPs, and a remix of Björk followed in 2015, but it's very exciting to have a whole album now, via the ever-voracious Tri-Angle Records. It's got a singular vision - straight vocals accompanied by pitch-shifted and manipulated vocal samples and electronics, with a keen sense of melody and beautiful and sometimes mournful harmonies. All this from a self-taught musician. You owe it to yourself to check this album out when it's released in just under 2 weeks. And devote a quarter of an hour to "Pivot", the Fat Cat track.

Fat Cat's resurrected 130701 has been supporting a variety of artists, both new and established, much like the parent label, and it's cool to discover a new adventurous cellist through them - Polish artist Karolina Rec aka Resina. Her new album features amplified and looped cello, from drones to more rhythmic ostinati and melodies, along with occasional vocals. It's deep and engrossing.

littlebow first surfaced in 2011 on an album with the delightful title The Edge Blown Aerophone that sought to position the flute as a valid lead instrument in a rock band - and founding members Katie English on flute and Keiron Phelan of Phelan Sheppard and State River Widening did a very fine job of that. For their third album they're joined by Brona McVittie on harp, occasionally also singing in the Manx Gaelic language, as well as clarinettist Jenny Brand amd Piano Magic's Jerome Tcherneyan on drums. Their combination of English & Irish folk styles with postrock, all led by the flute, is something unique and frankly just delightful.

In the last half a decade since Jenny Hval released her first "solo" album following her also excellent album as Rockettothesky, she's made a huge impression worldwide with her thought-provoking, challenging lyrics and music (and performances, as visitors to Sydney Festival discovered early this year). Although I'd been aware of Rockettothesky, I was bowled over by that first album as Jenny Hval, viscera on Norwegian experimental label Rune Grammofon. As adventurous in its body-and-sex-related lyrical content as the music, which featured many great Norwegian experimental musicians, it was one of my favourite releases of 2011 and stays with me still. Another album on Rune Grammofon followed, as well as some collaborative work, and then she moved to the US-based Sacred Bones Records for the amazing Apocalypse, Girl album from last year. This year's Blood Bitch follows a more esoteric release which we've heard a bit of already on this show, collaborating with guitarist Kim Myhr and the Trondheim Jazz Orchestra. It combines feminism and fancy with themes of menstruation and vampirism, and musically harkens back to the '80s because that's apparently what you do these days.

And finally, we have a sneak peek at an album I'll feature a little more on next week's show, the brilliant second release from Melbourne's Tilman Robinson (originally from Perth), who recorded this at Valgeir Sigurðsson's studio in Iceland. It's got some of that Icelandic post-rock classical feel, with glitchy electronics and windswept beauty. We heard the sort-of title track which is going out as the second "single" from the album tomorrow - high on digital edits, based around some sighing piano chords, it's the downbeat closer to the album.

NoMeansNo - Dark Ages (Shackleton's My Goal's Beyond Mix) [self-released NoMeansNo remix EP]
WIFE - Standard Nature [Profound Lore]
Altar of Plagues - Watchers Restrained (Ben Frost Remix) [Profound Lore/Daymare]
WIFE - Circles [left_blank]
WIFE - Salvage [Tri-Angle Records]
WIFE - Lovelock [Profound Lore]
Katie Gately - Color [Tri-Angle Records]
Katie Gately - Last Day [Public Information]
Björk - family (Katie Gately remix) [One Little Indian]
Katie Gately - Rive [Tri-Angle Records]
Resina - Not Here [130701]
Resina - Nightjar [130701]
littlebow - The Damned Erudition of Damian O'Hara [littlebow Bandcamp]
littlebow - For Thijs [Second Lanaguage]
littlebow - The Devil's Interval [Second Lanaguage]
littlebow - Too Green, These Widow's Weeds [littlebow Bandcamp]
Jenny Hval - engines in the city [Rune Grammofon]
Jenny Hval - Female Vampire [Sacred Bones Records]
Jenny Hval - In the Red (excerpt) [Sacred Bones Records]
Tilman Robinson - Yours, Deer Heart [Hobbledehoy Records]

Listen again — ~193MB

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