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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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Playlists are listed with artist name first, then track title and (remixer), then [record label]. Enjoy the links.

Sunday, 24th of September, 2017

Playlist 24.09.17 (1:00 am)

Beautiful drones, industrial beats, glitchy bliss…

LISTEN AGAIN because you – like we – love music. And music loves you. FBi has the stream on demand love, and you can podcast here too.

Helena Espvall – För Leucothea [Tandem Tapes]
It’s wonderful to have some new solo works from Swedish-American cellist & multi-instrumentalist Helena Espvall, known for playing with psych folk band Espers, but for her many many collaborative works (and scattered solo material) she tends to be found working in the noise/drone/improv spectrum… And so it is with the tracks on this split cassette, absolutely stunning sound works made with cello and guitar (I believe).

Gabriel Saloman – What Belongs To the Line [Shelter Press]
Gabriel Saloman – What Belongs To Love [Shelter Press]
GMS aka Gabriel Saloman was one half of the beloved noise band Yellow Swans. This is from the third in a series of EPs entitled Movement Building, also now collected as a 2CD album by Shelter Press (and available separately as a 12?), all somewhat based around rhythmic drive, from subconscious bass downbeats to all-out percussive battering. Around this he weaves a beautiful spectrum of drones and twangs. Absolutely stunning.

The Seaport & The Airport – Two Trick Pony [Perfect Hair]
A New Zealander now living in Sydney, Oscar Wuts shows his junglist roots on this perfectly composed piece of breakbeat nostalgia. So glad people are making these sounds now – and locally! There’s a second album coming from The Seaport & The Airport, with breakbeats fast & slow, and you can still find his previous one if you like the sounds.

AnD – Resisting Authority [Electric Deluxe]
AnD – Narcissism [Electric Deluxe]
Two slabs of ultra-heavy noise’n’beats from UK duo AnD, first segueing out of The Seaport & The Airport with drum’n’bass nihilism, then something at a more dubstep tempo. There’s techno & various other sounds on this album, but it’s all wrapped up in swathes of noise and it’s all overdriven to the max. As the album title Social Decay suggests, it’s the sound of our industrial cyberpunk present.

JASSS – To Eat With Dirty Hands [iDEAL Recordings]
JASSS – Every Single Fish In The Sea [iDEAL Recordings]
Silvia Jiménez Alvarez is a ridiculously talented young artist working at the crossover between sound-art, industrial and techno. The music on her debut album Weightless flits easily between the dancefloor and then mindwarp, mostly aiming to freak you out wherever it finds you. Overlapping spoken Spanish words are subsumed by thudding bass and disquieting synths. Equally the disturbing English spoken words in our second take from the album tonight, with echoing processed sound – but it builds into a Teutonic industrial banger with strident chords and a pulsating bassline. Hugely impressive debut.

Köhn – Brügge [(K-RAA-K)³]
Köhn – Karohte [(K-RAA-K)³]
Köhn – öhnöch [(K-RAA-K)³]
de Portables – Telephone [(K-RAA-K)³]
Köhn – wabbit regghae [(K-RAA-K)³]
Köhn – remembering the flash back [Western Vinyl]
Köhn en de Portables – 120 km/µ ? 120bpm [(K-RAA-K)³]
Köhn – Goodbye, Pluto [(K-RAA-K)³]
Köhn – Wisch [(K-RAA-K)³]
And so we arrive at the big feature for tonight – the word of Jürgen de Blonde, mostly known as Köhn. In Belgium & Europe he is perhaps equally known for being part of the long-lived oft-pranksterish postrock/indie rock band de Portables, from whom we hear a couple of cuts as well tonight (in particular the first one has a solid The For Carnation feel, maybe crossed with The Notwist).
He’s got a new album out on the Flemish (north Belgian) label (K-RAA-K)³, an influential experimental label that he’s been associated with for over 20 years. For mine, his early albums are just as much classic documents of glitch and electronic experimentalism as the early albums of Fennesz, Farmers Manual et al (coming only a few years after the very early Mego releases) – in fact, I was first introduced to his music via the beloved Aussie glitch/drone producer pimmon (also known as beloved Aussie radio & now podcast hero Paul Gough), and I faithfully collected his albums back in the day. Somewhere in the last 10 years or so he shifted mostly to kosmische drones and pulses, but this new album ties all his strands back together nicely, looping back on the earlier glitches and no-input sonic processing along with krautrocky and postrocky excursions.

Listen again — ~204MB

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Sunday, 17th of September, 2017

Playlist 17.09.17 (1:00 am)

Quite a show tonight, full of mostly Australian music! Except when it’s not. Mostly electronic music, except the bits which aren’t.

LISTEN AGAIN and then buy all the good shit, m’kay? Stream on demand via FBi, podcast here.

Pop Will Eat Itself – Harry Dean Stanton [RCA/Cherry Red Records]
I guess this is partially a silly excuse to play one of my favourite bands of the deep (’90s) past, but anyway the Poppies defined a particular mixture of grease-punk riffs and sampling culture (hip-hop and techno) from the last ’80s into the mid ’90s. I have no idea what this song (written by co-frontman and now much-awarded soundtrack composer Clint Mansell) has to do with Harry Dean Stanton, but the beloved actor whose name graces this track passed away this week. It’s hard to believe he was 91 years old, and hard also to believe that this track is a quarter of a century old itself!

common holly – if after all [Solitaire Recordings]
common holly – the desert [Solitaire Recordings]
Although Solitaire Recordings are based in Melbourne (we’ve heard quite a bit of indietronic loveliness from the label on this show), new signing common holly aka Brigitte Naggar is based in Montréal. It’s primarily delicate indiefolk, but there’s an exploratory nature to the recordings, with clattery sampled percussion and other sounds across a number of tracks, which makes it perfect for this show – even if the songs weren’t as delightful as they very much are.

Danielle de Picciotto & Werkstatt – Desert Fruit (Perera Elsewhere Remix) [Monika Enterprise]
AGF & Werkstatt – Ninjaness [Monika Enterprise]
Lucrecia Dalt & Werkstatt – Blindholes (Borusiade Remix) [Monika Enterprise]
Earlier this year Gudrun Gut’s label Monika convened a Werkstatt (German for workshop) in a country property outside of Berlin with a generations-crossing group of female electronic producers from around the world. A double LP and CD set was released a few months ago with a substantial array of collaborative works, and now what appears to be the first in a set of remix EPs has been released (this one subtitled “Berlin / Los Angeles”). Not all of the remix artists featured are female, but the two I’ve selected tonight do also happen to be. First up, the boundary-pushing Perera Elsewhere from the UK radically reworks one of the highlights from the compilation from Berlin-based American multimedia artist Danielle de Picciotto (for the last 5 years a member of postpunk legends Crime & the City Solutiom), and later Miruna Boruzescu aka Romanian producer Borusiade turns in a dark techno take on Lucrecia Dalt‘s short contribution. In between, one of the original contributions, choppy electronica from the one and only AGF.

Ducks! – Into The Sea (feat. Nate Goldentone) [Ducks! Bandcamp]
Ducks! – Dear You [Ducks! Bandcamp]
Aussies Lani Bagley and Craig Schuftan are, like our previous project, based in Berlin. Their Ducks! project is joyfully hard to pigeonhole, with a funky psychedelic, electronic pop background but just as easily able to fall into head-nodding instrumental territory. Fun stuff.

palence – scarp [The Playground]
London-based electronic artist Savanh Phaophanit aka palence claims influence in equal amounts from postrock & slowcore artists like Low, and idm & electronic artists like Aphex Twin. Whatever the provenance, palence’s music here is beautifully melodic alongside the skittering trap hi-hats. An artist to investigate.

Kcin – ISOL [Hospital Hill/Kcin Bandcamp]
Acharné – Innocence and Suburbia (Kcin Remix) [Seppüku]
Kcin – New England [Hospital Hill/Kcin Bandcamp]
Sydney’s Nicholas Meredith has been making music for a decade or so, trained as a jazz drummer, but his Kcin project finds him in deliciously dark electronic vein, with an industrial weight to the bass and beats, synth pads verging into distortion, plenty of atmosphere and also controlled chaos. Really super great anyway. In the middle there we heard Nick’s remix of another Aussie long resident in Berlin (not any more mind you!), Deepchild, under his lovely ambient electronica alias Acharné.

phile – Found in Blood [Deep Seeded Records]
We heard Sydney duo of phile, producers Hannah Lockwood and Gareth Psaltis, a few weeks ago on this show. Their debut self-titled EP came out on Deep Seeded Records, and it’s a really interesting mix of industrial techno and some hardcore punk/metal influences – and hear that postpunk bassline in this track!

ptwiggs – Hypno Game [ptwiggs Bandcamp]
Another Sydney artist, Phoebe Twigg’s debut vinyl EP is also coming out on Deep Seeded Records soon (click link for pre-orders) but in the meantime here’s a frenetic drum’n’bass-influenced track from earlier this year.

IljusWifmo – Dog Fight [IljusWifmo Bandcamp]
IljusWifmo – Frenetic [Clubwerks]
I’ve been awaiting some new material from Sydney duo IljusWifmo since I heard their track “Scatter” on a TEEF compilation last year. Expert bass-heavy beats for progressive dancefloors.

F ingers – You’re Confused [Blackest Ever Black]
F ingers – Escaping Into The Bushes [Blackest Ever Black]
F ingers – Awkwardly Blissing Out [Blackest Ever Black]
Melbourne trio F ingers have released their second album now on on-point London label Blackest Ever Black. It follows on from a highly successful solo debut from Carla dal Forno, but it’s great to hear her teaming up again with Bum Creek alumni Sam Karmel and Tarquin Manek (the latter of whom has released some bizarre, freewheeling solo stuff himself on the label). Don’t bother trying to pin it down – the vocals are mixed low if they’re there, tracks seem formless and random, the playing seems inept, except… not. It’s not random, and it’s strangely beguiling, even while it’s also strangely spooky. Whatever, these three know what they’re doing, and they’re doing it very, very well.

Listen again — ~204MB

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Sunday, 10th of September, 2017

Playlist 10.09.17 (12:59 am)

Post-classical goodness, and electronic weirdness tonight!

LISTEN AGAIN for that reallllly cool bit… stream on demand from FBi, podcast from here.

Jim Perkins – Faces in a Crowd [bigo & twigetti]
Jim Perkins – Foundling [bigo & twigetti]
Jim Perkins – Phantoms [bigo & twigetti]
Aisha Orazbayeva – Lizard Dance [bigo & twigetti]
Madeleine Cocolas – Autumn Sky [bigo & twigetti]
We’re starting tonight with some beauties from adventurous UK classical/electronic/ambient label bigo & twigetti, who’ve been putting out compilations for the seasons since 2014’s Winter. The last season (obviously Autumn) is out in a fortnight, and we have a couple of exclusive listens (for now), starting with label boss Jim Perkins’ gorgeous compositions mixing classical precision and virtuosity with drone and complex electronic programming & processing. We hear Perkins’ cuts from Winter (Vivaldi-esque violin meets beats) and Spring (his own classical guitar with glitchy processing) as well, and then brilliant Kazakh violinist Aisha Orazbayeva layering her instrument on a track from last year’s Summer. And finally, back to Autumn, we’ve got ex-pat Aussie Madeleine Cocolas, now based in New York, with her pulsating keyboards and dreamy vocals.

Leah Kardos – Little Phase [bigo & twigetti]
Leah Kardos – Repeater [bigo & twigetti]
Leah Kardos – Sexy Monday [bigo & twigetti]
Jim Perkins & Tom Gaisford – Kyrie (Leah Kardos remix) [bigo & twigetti]
Leah Kardos – Novice [Spirit Level]
Leah Kardos – Somnia Dub [bigo & twigetti]
And following all this bigo & twigetti music… more from the label! Leah Kardos is another ex-pat Aussie, who’s been based in & around London for at least the 2010s. Her new album is an experiment in pushing herself into risky waters, having found herself too comfortable with pretty piano, digital edits and chopped up beats (plenty of which we’ll also hear tonight). This first track I played actually originally appeared on the Spring compilation from bigo & twigetti, complete with electronic beats, and has been re-arranged and re-recorded for this album with live drums. The next two tracks, from her first & second albums respectively, embody her “comfortable” talents at classical piano & composition melded with digital editing, complex beat programming and a strong pop aesthetic – “Sexy Monday” features lyrics swiped from oft-nonsensical spam emails, sung by soprano Laura Wolk-Lewanowicz. Among various label-related collaborations, Leah last year remixed label boss Jim Perkins & singer Tom Gaisford’s William Byrd tribute “Kyrie” with bass’n’beats’n’processing… and then we had her take on the “post-classical” genre’s twinkly muted, close-mic’d piano from Aussie label Spirit Level’s Piano Day compilation from earlier this year, effortlessly outdoing even the Nils Frahms of this world with enveloping gorgeousness. And finally returning to the new album we have electric piano, drum machine and tape delays lulling us into uneasy sleep.

Antwood – Disable Ad Blocker [Planet µ]
Antwood – Overlay Network [Planet µ]
Antwood – Protocol/Domain/Application [Planet µ]
Antwood – FIJI Water [Planet µ]
Canadian microbiologist Tristan Douglas put out a few releases as Margaret Antwood – in keeping with a penchant among a certain generation for silly spoonerisms and bad puns – but wisely dropped the “Margaret” and the quasi-gender appropriation when signing to Planet µ last year. Given the currency of Margaret Atwood due to the chilling TV adaptation of The Handmaid’s Tale, it’s for the best. That aside, his music is super awesome – embedded in the YouTube generation of vaporwave artists, drawing equally from idm, grime and footwork as well. The first Planet µ album Virtuous.scr (represented by the middle two tracks here, the second of which is a Bandcamp exclusive) derives much of its titling from computer technology (including the screensaver extension .scr on the album title), while the new album focuses on the terminology of the post-internet world, particular the “Web 2.0” world of always-on marketing, easy-access everything, and the empty sadness at the centre of it all.

Sote – Flux of Sorrow [Opal Tapes]
Sote – Subconscious (Pure Mix) [Warp]
Sote – Dastgaah track 1 [Record Label Records]
Sote – Aroma Therapy [Record Label Records]
Ata Ektekar & the Iranian Orchestra For New Music performing the music of Alireza Mashayekhi – Little Tales 4point5 (excerpt) [Sub Rosa]
Sote – Ebb [Ge-stell]
Sote – Holy Error [Opal Tapes]
Iranian composer/producer Ata Ebtekar exploded into view in 2002 with his first EP as Sote, released by the revered Warp label in a strange kind of accident, as it contained some experiments that he’d made in rave/techno-influenced music while studying in San Francisco. The two tracks on this EP, followed up some time later by a few others from this early archive, are massively distorted drum’n’bass with righteous basslines and crazy drum programming. By the time they were released he’d already moved on in his practice, and much of his music for the last 10+ years has seen him, now based in Iran again, exploring traditional & classical Persian music through the lens of advanced electronic processing. Going back as far as Dastgaah, from Record Label Records in 2006, we see him working with instruments like the santour, processing them sometimes harshly. For his new album for Opal Tapes he collaborates with santour player Arash Bolouri and setar player Behrouz Pashaei, either directly processing their sounds or responding to them with electronics, often to stunningly beautiful effect (such as track 2, “Boghze Esfahan“, which I wasn’t able to fit in tonight). Even on this album his love of techno comes through on the last track, “Holy Error”, where the acoustic sounds are chopped and looped into a 4/4 pulse, while from last year’s Hyper-urban 20 30 EP we heard a proper techno track. Record Label released an EP back in 2007 called Wake Up which returned to the jungle beats & basslines of his debut, and recently a couple more tracks surfaced from those sessions. I didn’t manage to cover a chunk of his looser beat-based stuff from the last while, but we did hear a little bit of his tribute to Alireza Mashayekhi, the (probably) sole member of an earlier generation of Iranian electronic composers. Ebtekar is a big proponent of Iran’s growing experimental & electronic scene, so to some extent we have him to thank for the plethora of wonderful music coming from Iran & Iranian artists abroad in the last few years.

Listen again — ~210MB

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Sunday, 3rd of September, 2017

Playlist 03.09.17 (12:57 am)

Tonight we start with indie shoegazetronica, but focus on industrial technoid and noise sounds for the most part…

LISTEN AGAIN for the exhilaration and bliss… stream on demand, or podcast here.

Jesu & Sun Kil Moon – Father’s Day (feat. Rachel Goswell) [Caldo Verde Records]
Jesu & Sun Kil Moon – Needles Disney [Caldo Verde Records]
As a fully-paid-up Justin K Broadrick fan, these collaborations with Mark Kozelek aka Sun Kil Moon were initially a bit hard of a hard pill to swallow. As is his wont, Kozelek just sings and talks about himself over Broadrick’s gorgeous beats, and it can sometimes feel like he’s dominating what should be an equal collaboration. Nevertheless, they really are artistic collaborations, and Kozelek drops Justin’s name at various points (even when he’s talking about some other song he’s writing, or some gig he played some day). It’s odd, but both albums have some utterly compelling highlights, such as, er, today’s song, “Father’s Day” from the first album (featuring shoegaze royalty in Slowdive‘s Rachel Goswell), and the plaintive “Needles Disney” from the new album, with its sparse beat and heavy bass.

Nordra – Ships [Nordra Bandcamp]
Nordra – Regret 1 [SIGE]
Around Seattle, WA (and further afield in the US at least), Monika Khot is known as one half of the psychedelic rock/noise outfit Zen Mother. Last year she released an album-length score to a dance work called PYLON II, but now she’s had a self-titled LP released through the fantastic SIGE Records – Washington State-based label run by Faith Coloccia of Mamiffer and Aaron Turner of ISISOld Man GloomSUMAC et al. It’s truly magnificent, with mournful synths, heavy industrial beats, glitching samples etc.

Enderie – Sore [ROOM40]
Brisbane artist Andrew McLellan, now relocated to Sydney, has been known for the unclassifiable noisy band Cured Pink in the past, but as Enderie he’s now released two cassettes of primitivist, industrial techno stuff. Inspired by the urban landscape, it’s lo-fi and nice and noisy.

MSRMNT – 011_01 [unreleased]
This is the only track I’ve found from Nik Kaloper of The Jezabels but hoo boy this is great – minimal and then maximal electronics, noisy synth riffs and chaotic drum machines… great stuff.

Peder Mannerfelt – Obey [Wallroom]
From a new single, very rave-influenced, quite minimalist techno/jungle from Sweden’s Peder Mannerfelt, one half of Roll The Dice. Really nice stuff.

Pessimist – Through The Fog [Blackest Ever Black]
Bristol’s Pessimist has released his debut album on Blackest Ever Black, and it’s being billed as drum’n’bass, which obviously on a track like this it is – but it’s really a darkstyle d’n’b/techstep-influenced techno album, with some growly ambient passages and some much more 4/4 beats around. All very dark, suitably!

Shit and Shine – Notified [Editions Mego]
Shit and Shine – Kitten Mask [Riot Season]
Shit and Shine – Am I A Nice Guy? (feat. Pete Simonelli) [Riot Season]
Shit and Shine – People Like You… REALLY! [Riot Season]
Shit&Shine – Bass Puppy [Badmaster Records]
Shit & Shine – Value [Diagonal Records]
Shit and Shine – Bus Station [Editions Mego]
$HIT AND $HINE – Fuck That [Diagonal Records]
Shit & Shine – Jreemteem [Gang of Ducks]
Shit and Shine – The Crocodile [Editions Mego]
Here’s our special on the noise/electronic project of Craig Clouse with various collaborators – spinning away from his hardcore punk & doom roots into various types of rhythmic and beat-based musics. Often overdriven to the extreme, it has roots in noise but has tended particularly in the 2010s to quite danceable forms, although it will just as easily veer off into glitchy, timestretched stumblings. Clouse is joined by various drummers at various times in the band’s history, and also on a few occasions by spoken word artist Pete Simonelli, of San Francisco postpunk band Enablers. I’d heard some of the band’s music in a noise context, but when the “Bass Puppy” 12" came out in 2010, with its freakishly distorted take on dubstep, I realised I needed to delve deeper into this stuff. More recently, his releases on Powell’s Diagonal Records and on Editions Mego among other labels have more explicitly explored disco, electro/house and breakbeat influences, albeit with glitchy intrusions and processing – and the occasional outbreak of hardcore punk to keep us on our toes. Taken as a whole, it’s a pretty amazing body of work.

LCC – Titan [Editions Mego]
LCC – Adámas (Throwing Snow remix) [Editions Mego]
LCC – She [Editions Mego]
Previously known as Las CasiCasiotone, LCC is a duo made up two women from northern Spain, Ana Quiroga and Uge Pañeda. Our last track comes from their new album for Editions Mego, named after the ancient Egyptian goddess Bastet. Like their previous album d/evolution (heard at the top of this set), it features evocative soundscapes and beats of a mysterious, somewhat industrial nature – electronics and clanging, crackling field recordings. 2015’s remix album showed their interest in connecting this ritualistic, primal music with modern dance music (such as the junglist take by Throwing Snow) as well as fellow electronic experimentalists such as Tujiko Noriko. I haven’t seen nearly enough media about this group – it’s super quality work.

Listen again — ~209MB

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