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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, 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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