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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, 22nd of January, 2017

Playlist 22.01.17 (12:13 am)

Well, what a week in politics it’s been. The biggest. Gotta say, it’s the women who won it. About time they took over.
Anyway, enough of that – I’ve got a stack of great music for you as usual. Let’s get to it…

LISTEN AGAIN for spiritual succour, by streaming on demand via FBi or podcasting here.

Pleased to note that Run The Jewels 3 is FBi’s album of the week this week. It’s the third in a trifekta of fantastic albums from the hip-hop duo of El-P and Killer Mike. They just seem so perfectly suited to each other, it makes sense that this is basically the sole outlet for both of their creativity now. El-P’s sound is still influenced as much by Nine Inch Nails, idm and his Dad’s jazz as it is by classic hip-hop, but there’s also the sub-bass and swing of trap in there. Killer Mike’s been a very prominent proponent last year of Bernie Sanders’ campaign and in general against Trump.
In an interview with The Wire this month, Mike talks about how after meeting El-P he immediately never wanted to work with another producer again, which is sweet – although there are some collaborators such as BOOTS on the albums… and another heavy-hitter, DJ Shadow, had them guest on his album of last year!

Speaking of DJ Shadow, we also heard keyboard wunderkind Nils Frahm on a funky track from the Shadow album. It’s not quite Nils’s muted piano and twinkly stuff anymore, hey…

But speaking of muted piano twinkly stuff, Max Richter has ably covered the meeting of piano-based classic music and electronica for some years now, referencing ambient Aphex Twin works as much as Steve Reich or Philip Glass. His latest album from Deutsche Grammophon, out this Friday, is a collection of music written for works by the early 20th century modernist author & feminist Virginia Woolf. Tonight we heard a few of the tracks written for Orlando, Woolf’s centuries-spanning, gender-challenging epic. I highly recommend the album for the gorgeous 22-minute closing track, which is based around the heartbreaking letter (read by Gillian Anderson) Woolf wrote to her husband upon discovering her dementia (“madness”) returning, having decided to take her own life.

Continuing the piano theme from the last Richter piece, we join English composer & producer Daniel W J Mackenzie, who I’ve been playing for years on the show under his Ekca Lienaalias, for his new album every time feels like the last time, released on the excellent French ambient label eilean records. This one took me by surprise, which I’m a little embarrassed about because Mackenzie’s music has always been deep and complex. It’s not just a pretty ambient piano album – while solo piano tracks form its basis, there are twisted strings, scraping electronics, and droning distortions nudging their way into the picture, making for something a little more unsettling than you might expect. One to enjoy on a dark night.

In a few weeks, Lawrence English will release his new album Cruel Optimism on his legendary Room40 label. As he’s known for now, it’s a heavy, dense album of drones, built from largely indistinguishable contributions from a massed array of contributors on acoustic instruments like piano, cello, vibraphone et al. As you can tell from the titles, it’s very much a meditation on these turbulent times, and while that’s something you’ll need to infuse into the music yourself, it’s very interesting to ponder Enlgish’s thoughts while listening to these majestic, tectonic sounds.

Last week on the show we heard a new release on the Perth label Tone List from guitarist Jameson Feakes. Tonight we’ve got a remix of that work from Perth producer Kynan Tan, taking the exploratory sounds of the original and pounding them into 11 minutes of pulsating, glitchy electronic tones. It’s quite something!

Cristian Vogel‘s always been a really interesting producer, and an interesting chap. From the early days he was heavily involved in the experimental end of electronica, whether breakcore, idm, techno, or dub, putting on shows with his No Future collective, as well as compiling the occasional compilation album. His music’s surfed the edges of minimal dub/techno, but also headed into hyper-processed electronica & breakbeat… he’s pretty unpindownable. Back around the turn of the century (lol) he had an amazing glitch-soul duo with Jamie Lidell called Super_Collider which was the first place I heard Lidell’s vocals (I knew him before that as a crazy idm producer!). Vogel’s last three albums on Shitkatapult all mix up those roots of techno and dub into mutant forms, with ghosts of rave and experimental touches never far off.

Slightly farther out, or more far out perhaps, in the electronic waters are Second Woman, the duo of Joshua Eustis of Telefon Tel Aviv and longtime collaborator Turk Dietrich. Having now heard some early Telefon, it’s almost harkening back to that with its somewhat abrasive, very electronic tones and beats. It’s often fast-paced and stuttery, sliding away from perfectly graspable rhythmic patterns. Their new EP (appropriately weirdly entitled E/P) anticipates an upcoming album with two tracks and two remixes, including celebrated footwork maverick Jlin.

Run The Jewels – Oh Mama [Run The Jewels]
Run The Jewels – Sea Legs [Run The Jewels]
Run The Jewels – Early (feat. BOOTS) [Run The Jewels]
Run The Jewels – Thieves! (Screamed The Ghost) (feat. Tunde Adebimpe) [Run The Jewels]
DJ Shadow – Nobody Speak (feat. Run The Jewels) [Mass Appeal/Liquid Amber]
DJ Shadow – Bergschrund (feat. Nils Frahm) [Mass Appeal/Liquid Amber]
Max Richter – Memory is the seamstress (feat. Sarah Sutcliffe) [Deutsche Grammophon]
Max Richter – Modular astronomy [Deutsche Grammophon]
Max Richter – Entropy [Deutsche Grammophon]
Max Richter – Love songs [Deutsche Grammophon]
Daniel W J Mackenzie – Abandonment II (Twenty Five Years) [eilean records]
Daniel W J Mackenzie – Blut und Boden [eilean records]
Daniel W J Mackenzie – Varnes [eilean records]
Lawrence English – Object Of Projection [Room40]
Lawrence English – Negative Drone [Room40]
Jameson Feakes – Traced Over (composed by James Bradbury) (remixed by Kynan Tan) [Tone List]
Cristian Vogel – Snowcrunch [Shitkatapult]
Super_Collider – It Won’t Be Long [Loaded Records]
Cristian Vogel – Deepwater [Shitkatapult]
Cristian Vogel – The Merman’s Dream [Shitkatapult]
Second Woman – 1 E/P [Spectrum Spools]

Listen again — ~191MB

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