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

Sunday, 25th of February, 2018

Playlist 25.02.18 (7:54 pm)

Some rad beats and glitches for you tonight!

LISTEN AGAIN to the best sounds around. Stream on demand is yours to demand from FBi, or there's a podcast here.

Machinefabriek - As Much As It Is Worth (Single Edit) [Machinefabriek Bandcamp]
New music from Rutger Zuydervelt aka Machinefabriek is not exactly a rare occurrence, but it's always celebrated here at Utility Fog Towers. Rutger has found a nice line in works for dance as well as documentaries and other film works of late. This is a "single edit" of a work for dance, and you can see why he decided to do it as a single - it's surprisingly melodic and positive sounding. It's a free download, if you like! Or a decently-priced 7" single.

Alon Ilsar, Tim Motzer, Jane Sheldon - glacier [1K Recordings]
Gauche - CCTV [Art As Catharsis Bandcamp (reissue)]
Gauche - Snowflake [Art As Catharsis Bandcamp (reissue)]
Alon Ilsar, Tim Motzer, Jane Sheldon - vacuum [1K Recordings]
Sydney drummer Alon Ilsar and singer Jane Sheldon used to be 2/5 of the beloved pan-genre band Gauche, who played a big part in the early years of this show's existence. A band featuring members of Hermitude, The Tango Saloon and others, they had a pretty big impact on a small number of people for their way of crossing electronic production with live breakbeats, jazz & classical-influenced chord progressions, explosions of metal riffing, and a pop core to their songwriting. Jane is a highly accomplished classical soprano now, and Alon plays drums with countless musicians as well as being known for his incredible gestural percussion/synthesis device the AirSticks.
For this new release, the two Sydney musicians have teamed up with Philadelphia guitarist Tim Motzer, who plays with such luminaries as Ursula Rucker, David Sylvian and many others. The drums and vocals were recorded as quietly as possible with sensitive microphones, and along with the guitar textures it's a beautiful album of restraint.

Koenraad Ecker - Black blocks and red zones [In Aulis/Koenraad Ecker Bandcamp]
Koenraad Ecker - Between the desire and the spasm (falls the shadow) (feat. Alex „Bogues“ Rendall) [In Aulis/Koenraad Ecker Bandcamp]
I've been a fan of the work of Koenraad Ecker for some years, since discovering his duo Lumisokea on the Opal Tapes label, and shortly afterwards a separate, equally awesome duo Stray Dogs. A cellist by training, Ecker is also a formidable sound designer and works at times also with bass-heavy beats. There is not a lot of recognisable cello on the new album and only a few beats, but plenty of bass and sonic brilliance. There are a number of collaborators as well, including Alex Rendall on a couple of tracks, who will segue us rather conveniently into our Young Echo special, as he's part of the wonderful subtle r'n'b/dubstep/ambient trio Jabu.

Young Echo - Sedate Private [Young Echo]
Baba Yaga / Jabu - Voices On The Water [Ramp Recordings]
Om Unit - Patients (feat. MC Jabu) [Civil Music]
Vessel - Red Sex [Tri-Angle]
Killing Sound - $ixxx Harmonie$ Version [Blackest Ever Black]
Commodo, Gantz & Kahn - So Familia [Deep Medi]
asda - spud-u-like [FuckPunk]
Young Echo - Nothing [Young Echo]
Young Echo - Psychology Of Destructive Cult Leaders [Young Echo]
Incredibly exciting to have the second album from the entire Young Echo collective released this last week. Bristol's not-quite-so-young anymore collective features a pretty sizeable roll-call of brilliant producers & vocalists, themselves forming various groups: Jabu might sometimes represent just Alex Rendall (see above), but is also an r'n'b/ambient dubstep trio with Amos Childs and Jasmine Butt. Sebastian Gainsborough is Vessel, but is also part of Killing Sound (with Amos Childs and Sam Kidel aka El Kid), Baba Yaga with Joseph McGann aka Kahn, and asda with chester giles. Kahn works with Sam Barrett (aka Neek) as Gorgon Sound (and, it has to be said, frequently as Kahn & Neek) and these two are probably the most straight-down dubstep of any of the acts. Other producers include Ishan Sound and Ossia; other vocalists include Rider Shafique and more recently ManonMars, who I'm guessing appears on the fantastic first track I took from the new Young Echo collective album.
Although dubstep, techno, hip-hop and r'n'b are all subtantial parts of their make-up, the various Young Echo members and sub-groups are notably not shy of treading into ambient/beatless waters quite frequently, or equally into industrial-influenced sounds (particularly from Seb Gainsborough's productions). The new album does not credit individual artists, but the vocalists and often the producers as well are pretty identifiable. There's some useful info in the press release found on their website anyway.

Hanz - A Breathing House [Tri-Angle Records]
Hanz - Advice Ad [Tri-Angle Records]
Hanz - Page [Tri-Angle Records]
Brandon Juhans' productions as Hanz didn't use to be quite as manic & fucked up as this latest stuff. He's a maker of very warped instrumental hip-hop, but his new EP on the Tri-Angle label (also home of Young Echo's Vessel as featured above), goes into manic realms with swift-chopped samples and stuttering beats, glitch-hop pushed into drum'n'bass tempos. It's pretty awesome.

Kaltès & Nene H. - Persist [Eotrax]
Eomac - Observe The Vessel Beneath You [Bastakiya Tapes]
Two female producers out of Berlin's rich techno scene, here released on Eomac's new Eotrax label. These young artists have produced a couple of banging 4/4 tunes with that industrial undercurrent that runs through so much music now, especially coming out of Berlin.
Eomac is one half of Lakker, the now-Berlin-based techno duo who started off making idm in Dublin. Eomac released a 12" on the Bedouin Records-related Bastakiya Tapes last year - techno with more than a nod to dubstep & 2step.

Listen again — ~197MB

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Sunday, 18th of February, 2018

Playlist 18.02.18 (8:08 pm)

Post-classical, avant-garde, krautrock, noise, techno... we've got a bit of everything tonight...

LISTEN AGAIN, you'll get it eventually... stream on demand from FBi, podcast from here.

Madeleine Cocolas - II [Self Center Records]
Madeleine Cocolas - I Can See You Whisper [Futuresequence]
Madeleine Cocolas - Stalactite [bigo & twigetti]
Madeleine Cocolas - Umbra [Self Center Records]
Madeleine Cocolas - III [Self Center Records]
Although she's been based in North America for many years now - first in Seattle and now in New York - Madeleine Cocolas is originally from Australia, where she worked as music supervisor on many TV programs. A classically-trained composer, she combines her piano, many synths and skills at arrangement with, now and then, skittery electronic beats and shoegazey effected vocals. I've been a fan for a few years now and it's great to have something new in the form of the works for dance appearing on her new album SOS.

Evelyn Ida Morris and Aviva Endean - Details Make Diffo [Pikelet Bandcamp]
While we wait for the amazing solo piano & vocal album coming from Evelyn Ida Morris (of Pikelet fame) in the next few months, here's a single track they've recorded with Aussie clarinettist Aviva Endean. Both were undertaking residencies at the time - Morris at the Kunstlerhaus Boswil in Switzerland and Endean in upstate New York. The processed piano and expressive clarinet begin the song in beautiful manner, and everything switches out into twitchy electronics and fractured instrumental interjections once Evelyn's almost-atonal, pitch-shifted vocals come in. It's wonderfully strange.

Didier Petit - La Marche de l'Ombre [RogueArt]
Didier Petit - Sons de la Lune [RogueArt]
Couple of tracks from the new album by French cellist Didier Petit, who's been active since the 1980s, and is quite important in the French avant-garde/improv scene. Although there are plenty of connections with avant-garde & experimental techniques on this album, I was surprised to discover that he frequently sings over his cello, sometimes with similar extended techniques, but often beautifully melodically. It seems there's always another brilliant cellist out there doing innovative stuff for me to discover.

Nighports w/ Matthew Bourne - Exit [The Leaf Label]
Nighports w/ Matthew Bourne - Fragile Years [The Leaf Label]
Adam Martin and Mark Slater's Nighports project is based on one rule: all sounds on each release must only come from the featured musicians. For their new album they're collaborating with the jazz-trained English pianist Matthew Bourne, who they've recorded on an array of pianos, each with its own distinct aural characteristics. There are rhythmic, cut-up pieces here, and contemplative ones. It's sumptuous and rewarding listening.

Divide and Dissolve - Assimilation [DERO Arcade]
Divide and Dissolve - Reversal feat. Minori Sanchiz-Fung [DERO Arcade]
The new album from Melbourne duo Divide and Dissolve has just landed. Essentially an instrumental doom duo of guitar and drums, their guitarist Takiaya Reed also plays gorgeous, pure saxophone in a number of tracks, and it's all through the first track tonight. Their focus is on dismantling the white supremacy, and once again on this album they've teamed up with poet Minori Sanchiz-Fung on one track. Her work "Immigrant Mind" interrogates the English language as host to colonialism, both externally and internally...

Tandaapushi - Introduction [Jvtlandt]
Tandaapushi - Part 1 [Jvtlandt]
Featuring Léo Dupleix, Laurens Smet and Louis Evrard, Tandaapushi create an idiosyncratic version of krautrock, noise rock, free improv and so on - with keyboards & electronics taking the part of the "lead" alongside rhythm section. The rather abstract "Introduction" is a bit of a red herring on their new album Boromean Rings - most of it pursues repetitive structures with a rhythmic drive which is catchy no matter how noisy or atonal everything going on around them seems to be.

The Mermaids - Gypsy Guru [Pulled Out Records]
The Mermaids - Pulled Out [Pulled Out Records]
Newcastle duo of Nicholas French (Polyfox and the Union of the Most Ghosts, Crab Smasher) and Michael Liestins (Cock Safari, Grog Pappy), The Mermaids make sample-based noise music using circuit-bent toys, 8-track tape, turntables, and just about anything else. It's joyful chaos, and the LP from Pulled Out Records comes with incredible artwork from French's Crab Smasher cohort Grant Hunter.

Miracle - The Seventeen Nineties [Relapse Records]
Miracle - The Parsifal Gate [Relapse Records]
Daniel O'Sullivan and Steve Moore both get around - playing in doom & black metal bands, or with indiepop artists, or dark ambient... As Miracle they're doing some kind of odd krautrock/spacerock-tinged '80s electro-pop, and weirdly after one album on Planet µ they now find themselves on heavy metal stalwarts Relapse Records. There are no heavy riffs to be seen though - just heavily sequenced synths and drum machines, along with O'Sullivan's usual emotive vocals.

JK Flesh - PI04.03 [Pi Electronics/JK Flesh Bandcamp]
The brilliant Justin K Broadrick, fresh from a big last year releasing a second new album from the revived Godflesh, a compiled album from JK Flesh and a new JK Flesh EP, has now dropped another new EP of industrial techno as JK Flesh. The latest iteration of JK Flesh is motorik, bass-heavy, acid-tinged techno and happily it seems to have struck a chord. I was lucky enough to see him to it live in Oxford last year, and it solidified what a brilliant musician he is to me - as comfortable and competent at crafting a journey for the dancefloor in beats and effects as he is with riffs and vocals. As long as he's churning out music I'll be there...

Fahmi Mursyid - Hareup [Tandem Tapes]
Although the excellent Tandem Tapes label is based in Jakarta, they're run by an ex-pat Aussie and have a decidedly international outlook. Nevertheless they do showcase plenty of great experimental Indonesian artists, and we finish tonight with Bandung-based "sound sculptor" Fahmi Mursyid, who uses granular synthesis to transform found sounds, guitar and traditional Indonesian instruments into surging drone and glitch works. I love the snatches of choral harmonies floating in and out of this particular track.

Listen again — ~195MB

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Sunday, 11th of February, 2018

Playlist 11.02.18 (8:23 pm)

Tragic news came out today of the passing of the brilliant composer & producer Jóhann Jóhannsson, nowadays famous and much-loved as a film composer. I've slotted some of his music in the top of the playlist. Most of the rest of the show is pretty electronic, some more ambient and some more dancefloor-oriented.

LISTEN AGAIN because FBi demands stream on demand, or podcast here.

Jóhann Jóhannsson - Melodia (iv) (Live at Ancienne Belgique) [Headphone Commute]
Jóhann Jóhannsson - Mingyun [Touch]
Two pieces of appropriately moving, slow music to mourn the passing of Jóhann Jóhannsson. Not from his soundtracks, but from some recent(ish) compilations. Like everyone, I was taken entirely be surprise by his death. He's been an important part of the ambient & experimental world, and the burgeoning "post-classical" scene since before folks like Ólafur Arnalds and Nils Frahm were around, but his work as a soundtrack composer has brought him into major prominence. It's jarring to lose him so suddenly, at only 48 years old.

Anteloper - Ohoneotree [International Anthem via Wire Magazine]
Wilted Woman - Doing The Math [unreleased, via Wire Magazine]
Two of the amazing exclusive tracks available on the latest Below The Radar download compilation for Wire Magazine subscribers. Anteloper finds brilliant Chicago/New York trumpeter Jaimie Branch teaming up with the very busy & talented drummed Jason Nazary, both adding electronics to their arsenal.
Wilted Woman (aka Eel Burn aka various other names) is a Berlin-based New Yorker making deliciously twisted electronics.

Cedie Janson - Gradient [Cedie Janson Bandcamp]
Cedie Janson - Stillness (feat. Amirtha Kidambi) [Cedie Janson Bandcamp]
Cedie Janson first appeared on these airwaves as part of Brisbane indie/noise band Naked Maja. We heard the first fruits of his solo electronica a couple of years ago, and it's lovely to hear his solo EP Stillness now that he's based in LA. It's all bright synths and busy beats in contrast with the title.

Yves De Mey - Mika [Latency]
Yves De Mey - Box Caisson [Opal Tapes]
Sendai - Anti-Jupiter Archives Intérieurs
Yves De Mey - Solemn But Fading [Houndstooth]
Yves De Mey - Bleak Comfort [Latency]
I've been a fan of Belgian musician Yves De Mey for some years, solo and in his duo Sendai with Peter Van Hoesen. His new release on French label Latency brings more of what we've come to expect - complex, detailed pure electronics, bass heavy with plenty of modular trickery alongside digital crispness. De Mey is a master sound designer, giving his beats and synth lines a three-dimensionality which makes for engrossing listening. This is actually his second appearance this year, as he had a track on that Houndstooth comp In Death's Dream Kingdom that I've been going on about for a few weeks (as in fact did Van Hoesen).

The Third Eye Foundation - Procession for Eric [Ici d'ailleurs]
The Third Eye Foundation - Controlled Demolition [Ici d'ailleurs]
Suddenly, without warning, Matt Elliott has decided to stick another The Third Eye Foundation album out into the world. Around 2003 he switched from 3ef to his own name, swapping the woozy orchestral & opera samples and drones, and frenetic drum'n'bass & dub-influenced beats for woozy singing & arrangements influenced by sailors' tunes, French chanson & gypsy jazz. In 2010 a surprise Third Eye Foundation album appeared - apparently people keep bugging him to do them, and he just felt like it. And so it is again. This time the drum'n'bass has been tamed into something they're referring to as dubstep, but it's more like deeply dubby hip-hop beats (and occasional junglisms) with the usual morose samples and drones. An extra bonus delight is seeing recent UFog discovery Gaspar Claus contributing cello on most of the tracks! He's quite prominent at the end of the first selection tonight, and in the drop-out middle section of the second.

Aaron Spectre - They Don't Know We [Jahmoni/drumcorps Bandcamp]
DJ C feat. Capleton - Conscience A Heng Dem (Aaron Spectre Remix) [Mashit!]
drumcorps - incarnate [CockRockDisco/drumcorps Bandcamp]
Aaron Spectre - Roots We Seek [Jahmoni/drumcorps Bandcamp]
It's kind of funny that Aaron Spectre is still around now, 15 years after I started Utility Fog and coincidentally discovered his updated take on ragga jungle, a genre which originated around the early '90s when jungle itself was getting going (so over a decade before that revival). The illicit sampling of dancehall versions (along with gangsta rap often) was a staple of breakcore for years, and admittedly of jungle from its earliest days, but it still makes me a little creeped out that the appropriated artists tend to go uncredited. I am certain that Aaron Spectre had nothing but the utmost respect for his sources anyway, both in this stuff and his drumcorps material, which started off as a way of merging his love of grindcore/speed metal/hardcore punk with blistering jungle. Thus, drumcorps' track "incarnate" from the debut album is a mangling of "Incarnation" by hardcore punks Snapcase; the title track of Roots We Seek is a relatively recent track from Chronixx & Federation Sound. I don't know the source(s) of the first track from Spectre's new EP though. For what that's worth...

Nevermen - Mr Mistake (Boards of Canada Remix Instrumental) [Lex Records]
Weirdly, I'd managed to remain blissfully ignorant of this track's existence until now. Partly it's because I'd decided not to be interested in the trio of Mike Patton, Adam "doseone" Drucker and Tunde Adebimpe as Nevermen - they each have their quirks, and dose's in particular are audible in the vocal version of this track. Nevertheless I should really get that album in me at some point. Meanwhile, a Boards of Canada is in any case always an event, and the instrumental of this shows just how sweet they tend to be. It's a bit soft rock but that's how it is.

Listen again — ~203MB

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Sunday, 4th of February, 2018

Playlist 04.02.18 (8:15 pm)

It's a beat-oriented show tonight, with live drumming in jazzy trip-hop and experimental electronic settings through insane drumfunk jungle, idm and bass musics.

LISTEN AGAIN via the FBi stream on demand love machine, or podcast here.

Hidden Orchestra – The Lizard (Skalpel remix) [Tru Thoughts]
Hidden Orchestra – Wingbeats (Max Cooper remix) [Tru Thoughts]
Last year's Dawn Chorus was a long-awaited return for Joe Acheson's Hidden Orchestra, with a mass of international musicians joining the always stellar live drumming, along with lovely morning bird recordings on each track. The album has now been remixed by a great crop of contemporary musicians. A long-time inspiration for Acheson, Polish jazz/breaks artist Skalpel turned in a classic of upright bass and chopped beats, while post-classical/electronic head Max Cooper gifts us with a lovely epic of beat programming and folktronic feels.

Laurence Pike - Life Hacks [Leaf]
Sydney drummer Laurence Pike should be well-known to listeners of this show from his drumming with international electronic act PVT and his membership of beloved long-gone post-jazz pioneers Triosk (along with his drumming with various luminaries of the broader Sydney music scene). Triosk were released on the Leaf label back in the day, and it's with them he finds himself again for his debut solo album - recorded live on drums and sampler in one day. The album's not out till the end of March, but this first single is a lovely sample of what's to come.

Sam Price - Sensucht [Ventor]
Sam Price - AutoHackney [Sam Price Bandcamp]
Sam Price - Refinery [Sam Price Bandcamp]
Sam Price - Brevis [Sam Price Bandcamp]
Sam Price - Trellick [Ventor]
Also playing with live drums and electronics (no overdubs!) is Melbourne drummer Sam Price. We've actually heard him a lot on the show over the years, including with his percussion duo Peon, and I've so enjoyed going through his back catalogue that I'm playing you a selection tonight from earlier releases to show you what a versatile and under-appreciated musician he is. His electronics can produce basslines melodies as easily as squealing noise, and his drums are head-nodding more than free-jazz scatter. In the middle, "Refinery" is an example of his generative electronics, producing something impressively emotive, and "Brevis" has an uncommon appearance of his vocals.

dgoHn - All The Fuckin' As (Scrase remix) [Love Love Records]
dgoHn - Ralph [Love Love Records]
dgoHn - So Be It, Lumbricina [Love Love Records]
English producer John Cunnane has been releasing insanely intricate drill'n'bass/drumfunk as dgoHn (yes it's pronounced "John") for ages now, somewhere between the bedroom and the dancefloor. His third 12" on Love Love Records has just come out, so we'll have one take from each please. The first track is remixed by Scrase, known for mixing up various electronic styles, here pushing the limits of crazy beat mangling.

Murya - Scientist [Touched Music]
Carbinax - Tiger By The Tail (Endangered Mix) [Touched Music]
Ariadne's Labyrinth - Loose Freds [Touched Music]
Last week, I featured two massive new electronic compilations on the show. This was the third, which I wasn't able to fit in - a 2CD from UK label Touched Music, responsible themselves for some absurdly immense compilations (like, over a day's listening), whose releases raise money for UK charity Macmillan Cancer Support. Their releases always span electronic music from heaps of idm to electronic, techno etc. Brother of Jonas Ruxpin, Murya starts us off with some melodic drill'n'bass, and then Belfast's Carbinax drop us deep into Plaid or Orbital territory with some classic idm stylings. Finishing up, Ariadne's Labyrinth mixes up her violin with some dubstep wobble.

Outside - To Forgive But Not Forget (Lim'chol V'lo Lishkoach) [Dorado]
The last track with its Middle Eastern-sounding violin and beats reminded me of this classic mid-'90s drum'n'bass tune from acid jazz band Outside, appearing on various compilations including The Rebirth of Cool Volume Six, with a very klezmer-influenced melody (and title).

Spatial - Haunted Dance Hall [Houndstooth]
Ian William Craig - An End Of Rooms [Houndstooth]
Two more tracks to finish up tonight from the Houndstooth label's massive, fantastic In Death's Dream Kingdom compilation. UK artist Spatial first with some nicely messed up bass beats, and to finish, the ever-gorgeous sounds of Ian William Craig and his tape machines.

Listen again — ~274MB

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