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experimental electronica
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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, 30th of April, 2017

Playlist 30.04.17 (12:36 am)

From sludge to folk to electronic to noise, we’ve got you covered this week…

LISTEN AGAIN because you just can’t believe how great it was the first time… Stream on demand from FBi, podcast here.

Black metal/sludge/noise band the body are known for mixing beauty in with their horrific distorted extravagances, and their work with vocalists like Chrissy Wolpert and Maralie Armstrong lends a spine-tingling gorgeousness to many of their songs, including inspired covers. Tonight is their take on a classic song of self-loathing by Alex Chilton with Big Star.

I discovered violinist/violist/singer Dina Maccabee when she played Julia Holter at the Newtown Social Club (RIP!) last year. It was the second time I’ve seen Holter, and while both were fantastic, she was a whole lot more assured this time, and benefited from a superb backing band – especially Maccabee, on side of stage with viola and vocal mic, viola hooked up to a laptop controlling loops & effects with a Keith McMillen SoftStep pedal. At the time there was one lovely EP for violin & voice on her Bandcamp, as well as the work of her sweet folk duo Ramon & Jessica. But luckily for us, two new albums appeared on her Bandcamp this week – one a soundtrack to Sweet Land, the Musical (Americana-tinged instrumentals), and the other a proper solo album called The World is in the Work, a collection of touching songs and innovative viola work.

A few weeks earlier, Julia Holter released a live (in studio) album recorded on the same tour, which is well worth it even if you think you have all the tracks on her studio albums. These are really great arrangements and benefit from a band who’d been touring pretty intensely. And this track has Maccabee’s viola all over it.

Norwegian guitarist Stephan Meidell has played in propulsive postrock band Cakewalk for about 5 years, but his debut album is a pretty different affair, melding classical & folk instrumentation like harpsichord, baroque violin and clarinet, with tape manipulation, programmed beats and electronics. It’s core ‘Fog music and of course we love it. Dark, expressive and alien. Get in it.

Perth composer Rhys Channing explores Max/MSP processing and Garrahand percussion as tilde~ on his new album for the excellent Perth label Tone List, which is showcasing some of the great WA Experimental scene. These pieces for slow-moving hand percussion and electronic glitches & drones are lovely.

Mastermind behind the amazing Tandem Tapes split cassette label based in Jakarta, Morgan McKellar has long been featured on this show under various aliases. As Bright Sea he’s releasing probably his most obscure stuff yet, and the latest release is produced entirely from processing field recordings of birds. The last track is pretty intense, including some top notch sub bass drones!

In his dubstep & drum’n’bass work as Indigo and in his extraordinary duo Akkord with Synkro, Liam Blackburn is deeply familiar with the sub bass too. And he certainly hasn’t abandoned that in his explorations of fourth world ambient and tribal techno as Ancestral Voices. His first album under that name did shy away from the beats to some extent, and although he released two excellent beat-driven EPs last year, his new album finds him deeper in the oceans, albeit with some rhythmic drive here and there.

Very much rhythmically driven is the new album from virtuoso saxophone player Colin Stetson. I first saw him playing an astonishing guest spot with My Brightest Diamond at a Vivid Festival a few years ago – before his first acclaimed album on Constellation – and have been never less than gobsmacked by anything he does since. Here we hear his usual circular breathing, singing & multiphonics through the sax, and there’s an added emphasis on the percussive aspects of the sax, drawing (we’re told) on his love of early ’90s electronica like Aphex Twin and Autechre. Whether we hear that specifically, there’s certainly heavy basslines and grooves going on here, and lovely melodies floating over the top.

For a decade and a half, Wolf Eyes have been one of the most prominent ensembles in the noise scene, although now they like to characterise their music as “trip metal”. Their latest album features a vocal delivery that could almost be out of late Birthday Party or early Bad Seeds, and the music is strange & eerie but not all that abrasive.
Meanwhile, ex-Wolf Eye Aaron Dilloway, a long-term noise favourite of mine, has a new album out too, with rather more gutteral vocal emanations and generally very disturbing sounds. Yes. Accept it into your heart.

the body – Holocaust [Sisters in Christ]
Dina Maccabee – Someone Fearless [Dina Maccabee Bandcamp]
Ramon & Jessica – Caterpillar [Ramon & Jessica Bandcamp]
Dina Maccabee – By the Graveyard [Dina Maccabee Bandcamp]
Dina Maccabee – Northern Lights [Dina Maccabee Bandcamp]
Dina Maccabee – Even When the Stars Align [Dina Maccabee Bandcamp]
Julia Holter – In The Green Wild [Domino]
Stephan Meidell – State I [Hubro]
Stephan Meidell – Baroque I [Hubro]
Stephan Meidell – State II [Hubro]
tilde~ – Öüôø [Tone List]
Bright Sea – Negara Real [Bright Sea Bandcamp]
Ancestral Voices – Geomancy [Samurai Music Group]
Ancestral Voices – Forn Sidr [Samurai Music Group]
Colin Stetson – All this I do for glory [52 Hz]
Colin Stetson – Between water and wind [52 Hz]
Wolf Eyes – Undertow [Lower Floor Music]
Aaron Dilloway – Inhuman Form Reflected [Dais Records]

Listen again — ~189.MB

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