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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, 2nd of April, 2017

Playlist 02.04.17 (12:33 am)

Tonight’s ‘Fog is a bit neo-classical, or is that post-classical? A lot of the selections inhabit that zone between classical orchestrations and electronic treatments anyway. We’ve got some soundtrack works and some Piano Day pieces, and some stuff that just fits in.

LISTEN AGAIN to this heady mix… podcast it here or stream it on demand from FBi.

UK duo Raime make a kind of dark, taut postpunk dance music that always references jungle/drum’n’bass and that continuum through 2step to grime & dubstep. Occasionally they turn out 12"s under other aliases – Moin is perhaps more “postpunk” and Yally is more explicitly electronic music. Their new Yally 12" on Powell’s Diagonal Records features their most junglist track yet on the A side – indecipherable fragments of some MC exhorting a crowd in a club, and a beat which slowly but surely builds into the rolling breakbeats of jungle in its purest original form.

Micha? Jacaszek has been renowned for his blending of classical influences and classical arrangements with glitchy electronic production since his debut album came out in 2008, outside of Poland released through the home of acoustic doom & weird, dark electronics, Miasmah. Now released through Ghostly International, he continues to trawl the glitchy, distorted edges of electronics, but he’s also proven his contemporary classical credentials in a collaboration with Polish chamber ensemble Kwartludium, released in 2014 on Touch. His new album, inspired by some 17th century metaphysical poetry, is his most vocal-oriented, with some almost straight songs and some experimental pieces with snippets of sampled vocals. It’s as lovely as ever.

Ever since his first album as Son Lux on Anticon – before that moniker became a band – Ryan Lott has put his compositional chops to good use within his more indie & electronic works. He’s a great songwriter and expert electronic producer, and has composed for the likes of yMusic (whose latest album is entirely made up of his compositions). I played some older classical/electronic compositions of his recently as they appeared on his personal Bandcamp, and now we have a whole original soundtrack released there, for the rural coming-of-age thriller Mean Dreams. It’s evocative music, utilising all the range of a cinema soundsystem (we love our deep sub-bass rumbles these days) as well as Lott’s skills at orchestration.

Ben Frost hasn’t quite ventured into indie songwriting, but shares with Ryan Lott a talent for dense & cutting electronic production and has developed some impressive skills in orchestration & composition as well – we recently heard his operatic setting of Ian Banks’ The Wasp Factory. Here he’s soundtracking the TV series Fortitude. The series is a detective thriller set in a town in the Arctic Circle, so Frost’s music is perfect. He’s clearly been listening to his Ligeti, but also weaves in his surging bass distortions, rhythmic passages and beautiful windswept orchestrations.

Tim Shiel‘s Melbourne label Spirit Level decided to celebrate this year’s Piano Day with a compilation of “kindred spirits” from Australia & beyond. Apart from those I played today, there’s Sydney’s Sophie Hutchings and Melbourne’s Evelyn Morris aka Pikelet, and Tim Shiel himself, all contributing wonderful stuff. Tonight I’m playing Sydney’s mara, with a cavernous abstract piece taking you inside the piano, California’s researcher glitching up some Satiesque vibes, and UK-resident ex-pat Brisvegan Leah Kardos with something characteristically gorgeous melding sparkly piano and electronics.

Kardos also contributed a Piano Day track to an EP for her UK label bigo & twigetti, split with her lablemate Jim Perkins. Both tracks are beautiful electronic-classical hybrids, but it seemed a bit unfair to play the entire 2-track EP, so go grab it (for free) from Bandcamp!

For over a decade Volker Bertelmann’s Hauschka has been bringing us prepared piano & neo-classical works. More recently he’s added electronics to the pot, sampling and looping his prepared piano with synths and drum machines along with dub effects. His science fiction-themed new album What If follows on from 2014’s Abandoned City in that regard, but if anything he seems more comfortable with the electronics now. It’s beautiful and immersive.

When Italian composer/producer Teho Teardo & legendary singer/guitarist Blixa Bargeld got together in 2010 or so they obviously realised they were on to a good thing, as they’ve now released two albums and now two EPs – 2014’s Spring was followed this week with Fall. There’s a wonderfully pompous cover of Neil Young’s “Hey Hey, My My” on there with clarinets & strings, but I decided to go for an original. Both artists have a solid background in industrial music, so the music combines electronics & noise with Teardo’s classical arrangements (honed in soundtrack work) and something of a cabaret feel.

Finishing up with Roumanian duo Makunouchi Bento and their side of one of the latest cassettes on Jakarta-based label Tandem Tapes. It’s an excellent sound work, with choral samples, errant electronics and field recordings, quite soundtrack-like, and I’ve only been able to fit in about half (or less) of the 17-minute side. Check out the whole thing here!

Yally – Dread Risk [Diagonal Records]
Jacaszek – To Flowers feat. Hania Malarowska [Ghostly International]
Jacaszek – To Violets feat. Hania Malarowska [Ghostly International]
Jacaszek – RytmRytm To Nie?miertelno?? II [Miasmah/Gustaff]
Jacaszek – Dare-gale [Ghostly International]
Jacaszek & Kwartludium – A book of lake (Roselière) [Touch]
Jacaszek – Soft Music feat. Hania Malarowska [Ghostly International]
Ryan Lott – The Garage [Ryan Lott Bandcamp]
Ryan Lott – The Drowning Trough [Ryan Lott Bandcamp]
Ryan Lott – The Chase [Ryan Lott Bandcamp]
Ben Frost – Welcome to Fortitude / Is He a Good Sheriff or a Bad Sheriff? [Mute]
Ben Frost – Mammoth Suite [Mute]
Ben Frost – Tupilaq (A shower scene) [Mute]
Ben Frost – You’re All I See [Mute]
mara – shift [Spirit Level]
researcher – Love Will You Love Me When I’m Not The 1 [Spirit Level]
Leah Kardos – Novice [Spirit Level]
Leah Kardos – Rosamund Chime [bigo & twigetti]
Hauschka – We Live A Thousand Years [City Slang/Temporary Residence]
Hauschka – I Can’t Find Water [City Slang/Temporary Residence]
Teho Teardo & Blixa Bargeld – Ziegenfisch [Specula]
Makunouchi Bento – The Lost Flatliners of Avebell (excerpt) [Tandem Tapes]

Listen again — ~111MB

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