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

Sunday, 30th of September, 2018

Playlist 30.09.18 (9:16 pm)

Back after two weeks away on different tours... life is crazy, the US is a disaster, the Australian government is a disaster, of our national broadcast the less said the better... but the music goes on! And at least one of the best albums of the year was released in the last few weeks!

LISTEN AGAIN to the gritty drones and yearning songs and weep for joy... Podcast here, stream on demand from FBi.

Low - Always Trying To Work It Out [Sub Pop]
Low - Rome (Always In The Dark) [Sub Pop]
Low - Disarray [Sub Pop]
It was hinted at on the last beautiful Low album Ones and Sixes, but their new album Double Negative takes the long-lived husband + wife + bass slowcore legends into extreme experimental electronic territory, and it's incredibly strong for it. It's still centred on their impossibly gorgeous harmonies and heart-pulling melodies (and lyrics), but everything's frequently buried under a haze of glitchy drones, distorted drums sidechained against the rest of the mix, vocals sometimes competing against white noise, electronics taking over from guitars... All this chaos is partially drawn from their interest in stretching their sonic landscape, but it's also a direct expression of the despair and cognitive dissonance of living in an America post-Trump. Album of the year, quite possibly.

Clue To Kalo - There's No Radio [Data Door]
It's absolutely lovely to have some new music from Adelaide's Mark Mitchell aka Clue To Kalo. His first release was as Superscience (not to be confused with Supersilent, more of whom later) in 2000 - more explicitly indietronica or idm at the time - but he's been Clue To Kalo (a nerdy reference to the comics of Seth) for a long time now. This is perfect joyful pop, in which the electronic trickery is magically kept in the shadows, audible if you listen carefully. It's a delight.

Sigrún - Anneal Me [Sigrún Bandcamp]
Sigrún - Vitahringur [Sigrún Bandcamp]
Sigrún - Haltu Fast [Sigrún Bandcamp]
Sigrún - II [Sigrún Bandcamp]
I can't tell you a lot about Sigrún - she's an Icelandic producer and singer who's released a few EPs since 2016, and her debut album Onælan has just come out on her Bandcamp. She's toured with the likes of Björk, Sigur Rós and co, and her music owes a little to them but is very much a force of nature unto itself. She's comfortable mashing up jungle beats or smashing out bursts of bass and glitchy electronics, all the while layering her own vocals onto these productions. Very contemporary for all its nods to the Icelandic pioneers of the last couple of decades. Highly recommended.

Jlin - First Overture (Spiritual Atom) [Planet µ]
Jlin - Anamnesis (Part 2) [Planet µ]
Hailing from Gary, Indiana, just down Lake Michigan from Chicago proper, Jerrilynn Patton aka Jlin plied her trade as a groundbreaking footwork producer outside of the core suburbs and dance clubs of the genre. Her new album is an audio document of her soundtrack to a new work from legendary choreographer Wayne McGregor called Autobiography and it's an opportunity for her to stretch her compositional and production talents outside of the skittering snares and kick drums of footwork (a genre she's already stretched near to breaking point). And spread her wings she does, with crystalline ambient and field recordings, quasi-classical scene-setting and rhythm programming reaching in all directions. It's a tour de force.

Síria - Amor de Quem [Crónica]
Síria - Gloria [Crónica]
Diana Combo, previously known as Eosin, makes music using vinyl records, field recordings and occasional droney noisemakers of her own along with her vocals. Her new album for Portuguese experimental label Crónica sees her creating beautifully mysterious compositions using a series of avant-garde and experimental works from vinyl, crossing the experimental cello & drones of the great Svarte Greiner with the avant-garde composition of Antoine Chessex on the first track, and the spaced-out guitar & drones of Los Niños Muertos (André Tasso and Bruno Humberto) on the second - which incidentally really is a cover of the Patti Smith classic. Punk as fuck.

Tim Hecker - This life [Kranky]
I feel like saying this is the long-awaited new Tim Hecker album, and maybe so, but it's only been 2 years since his last. Nevertheless, I've been anticipating it, and it lives up to that nicely. Recorded in a temple in the outskirts of Tokyo with the ensemble Tokyo Gakuso, this album does add traditional Japanese textures to the suspended, slow-moving sound-sculpture of the Canadian master. He's also joined by fellow Canadian electronics expert Kara-Lis Coverdale on synths, as with his last album. This music falls somewhere between glitchy drone and post-rock, with a real emotional heft. It's that cliché of music as a soundtrack to a movie that doesn't exist. Let the backs of your eyelids be the cinema screen...

Klara Lewis & Simon Fisher Turner - Mend [Editions Mego]
Young Swedish electronic artist Klara Lewis (incidentally daughter of Wire luminary Edvard Graham Lewis, a fact many of us didn't pick up on until we'd been thoroughly hooked by her music) turned many heads in the last few years with her electronic productions with one foot in the techno/experimental beats world and one in the land of sound-art. Simon Fisher Turner has been making music for 4 1/2 decades, first as a quirky pop singer and then as a soundtrack writer and exploratory producer of drones and glitches and cut-ups across goth, industrial, ambient, classical and who knows what else. It's evidently a match made in heaven - and it's impossible to really work out who contributes what: while something about the ecstatic, stretched-out pads here seems so clearly redolent of SFT's work, there's also something about the half-submerged production that is clearly reminiscent of Lewis' previous sounds. Wonderful.

Craün - Uto [Hush Hush Records]
The third album from Greek-born, Sydney-based producer Aris Hatsidakis aka Craün is not out until December, but we have a beautiful piece to play you tonight. It will be released as with his last two on Seattle's Hush Hush Records, and it's a poised piece of crackly drones, field recordings and a lonely electric violin. One to listen out for!

Supersilent - 14.7 [Smalltown Supersound]
Supersilent - 14.3 [Smalltown Supersound]
Having defected for their last couple of releases from Rune Grammofon to fellow Norwegian label Smalltown Supersound, legendary ambient improv ensemble Supersilent haven't lost any of their central characteristics - the exquisite melodic trumpet & occasional voice of Arve Henriksen, the glacial production & electronics of Helge Sten aka Deathprod, and the keyboards and electronics of Ståle Storløkken. Perhaps the most notable thing is how short most of the tracks - little epics of Scandinavian ice sculpture. They have their sound down pat now, varying how ambient, how much noise to throw in (although it's never as raucous as their first 3 offerings), yet always offering otherworldly beauty.

Arve Henriksen - is there a limit for the internal? [Rune Grammofon]
Solo, Arve Henriksen remains on Rune Grammofon with his latest, the height of the reeds, melding ambient, electronic and classical here with his falsetto vocals and trumpet. It's strange & bewitching, some of his best work in a while.

Panoptique Electrical - Stay [Panoptique Electrical Bandcamp]
Beautiful new single track from versatile Adelaide producer/composer/songwriter Jason Sweeney, mostly normalised for his solo work under the Panoptique Electrical alias. Here he gives us a piece of ambient classical composition with strings and wind instruments, fully engrossing.

Listen again — ~222MB

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Sunday, 9th of September, 2018

Playlist 09.09.18 (9:10 pm)

After tonight I'm away interstate for two weeks doing touring stuff. Lots of great music tonight, and my fill-in peeps will have plenty of interesting stuff for you in the interim!

LISTEN AGAIN and then go back and listen to some other shows, but also listen to the show in my absence because it's always cool people m'kay? Stream on demand at the FBi website and podcast over here.

Original Past Life - Wire Fatigue [Original Past Life Bandcamp]
A fantastic piece of slightly menacing instrumental rock/sound from Perth's Original Past Life, based around a heavy drum sample (of themselves). OPL feature members of some semi-legendary Perth postrock outfits. Their new album is on its way, and if this is any indicator, it'll be fantastic!

Ned Collette - Stateless Brave [It Records]
Ned Collette - Oh Man [It Records]
Two more tracks from the wonderful new album from Melbourne/Berlin experimental songsmith Ned Collette. I was talking to Chris Abrahams just today and he mentioned that he's hearing quite a bit of Robert Wyatt in Ned's music now, as well as Leonard Cohen, and I can hear that for sure - along with other obvious touchstones like late Talk Talk. Ned's an expert at unusual chord progressions and surprising melodic twists, and here we also hear the more chaotic sonic experimentation he's gotten up to.

Trondheim Voices + Asle Karstad - Pulser [Grappa]
Trondheim Voices + Asle Karstad - Hymn [Grappa]
Trondheim Voices + Asle Karstad - Ritual #3 [Grappa]
Norway and Sweden produce an unseemly amount of incredible music. I've played a lot of brilliant jazz & experimental music from Norway in the past, and amazingly none of the improvising vocalists I'm familiar with seem to actually be members of Trondheim Voices. Using wireless devices called maccatrols devised by Asle Karstad that allow each singer to pitch-shift, loop and add delay/reverb to their voices as they move around a performing space, the singers have created an engrossing, shifting, kaleidoscopic selection of pieces for their stunning new album Rooms & Rituals. Fantastic discovery.

Oliver Coates - Prairie [RVNG/Bandcamp]
Oliver Coates - Faraday Monument [RVNG/Bandcamp]
Oliver Coates - Cello Renoise (feat. Chrysanthemum Bear) [RVNG/Bandcamp]
Named after a legendary nightclub from the rave years and a planet from the Marvel Comics universe, the new album from London cellist Oliver Coates wears some of its influences on its sleeve. The first track tonight, a lovely piece of ambient cello, is a bit of a misdirection - there's lots of joyful rave stuff on here, beats that veer from Squarepusher-like programmed breakbeats to lovely ambient techno. Frequent collaborator Chrysanthemum Bear contributes some wordless vocals, and there's a pleasing amount of cello mixed in with the programmed beats and synth pads.

Derek Piotr - koli [Derek Piotr Bandcamp]
Derek Piotr - pure [Derek Piotr Bandcamp]
Derek Piotr - DZ [Derek Piotr Bandcamp]
The new album grunt from Derek Piotr is described on the release page as posthuman #voicenoise, and that's as good an explanation as any. The artist is known for his work with processed vocals, sometimes veering into more electro-pop territory, but this new album is as granular and experimental as he gets. In fact on the first couple of listens I was convinced it was mainly synthesized electronic sound, but knowing that the sources still lean heavily on the voice, it's easy to hear that. Highly recommended for a discombobulating journey into complex sonic destruction and a contrast to Trondheim Voices!

Andreas Lutz - Analog Read [KASUA Records]
Andreas Lutz - Nulled Fields [KASUA Records]
German artist Andreas Lutz brings us malfunctioning machines on his new album Binary Supremacy - on our first selection, a computerised voice spitting out numbers while drum machines scatter quasi-rhythmic patterns and a ravey bassline gradually asserts itself. Elsewhere, the rhythm is built from individual drum machine hits and little shards of sound over a blurry drone and muffled piano notes.

Automatisme - Bureau 1 [Constellation/Bandcamp]
Automatisme - Transport 1 [Constellation/Bandcamp]
Automatisme - Bureau 0 [Constellation/Bandcamp]
It's really nice hearing legendary Montréal postrock label Constellation widening its scope to release glitchy electronic artists and the like these days. Saint-Hyacinthe, Quebec-based producer William Jourdain draws a lot from the glitch-dub artists of the '90s and early '00s - I hear a lot of Vladislav Delay in these tracks, particularly in the way the rhythms are spattered on the canvas, but it's more than just aping a style, for all that it sounds like the music from that glorious heyday a (gulp) couple of decades ago...

Isama Zing - Stock Hausen [The Wire/SHAPE Platform]
Bérangère Maximin - The Broken Shoe [The Wire/SHAPE Platform]
Two European experimental artists courtesy of the bonus CD attached to the October 2018 edition of The Wire, one of the recurring compilations provided by SHAPE Platform (Sound and Heterogeneous Art and Performance in Europe!). Slovakian artist Isama Zing deconstructs dance music styles and seems to be equally referencing the 20th century electronic composer and the English sampladelic pranksters Stock, Hausen & Walkman... French sound artist Bérangère Maximin gives us a welcome new work, somewhat musique concrète in its composition.

Maxim Shalygin - Horns (Machineabriek remix) [Machinefabriek Bandcamp]
Frequent visitor to UFog playlists Machineabriek here finds himself remixing a new work by Ukrainian born composer Maxim Shalygin, performed by Shapeshift Ensemble. Lacrimosa or 13 magic songs is composed for seven violins, but they are augmented by Rutger Zuydervelt with percussion and electronics for this remix.

101BPM - Rarn [Countersunk]
This is the second track from the 101 Beats Per Minute project put together by Irish producer Dunk Murphy of Sunken Foal etc. I think it may again be him, this time in his Minced Oath guise - it's a lovely piece of minimalist electronics and a submerged percussion loop.

Paul Mac & Andy Rantzen - The Currawong Shall Return (excerpt) [Longform Editions]
The duo of Paul Mac & Andy Rantzen is best known as Sydney rave pioneers Itch-E & Scratch-E. This is from their contribution to the new label run by the peeps behind legendary Sydney label Preservation - Longform Editions, dedicated to encouraging artists to create music in a more extended fashion, and encouraging listeners to concentrate on one single piece of audio work for an extended length of time. Paul & Andy have produced a beautiful and eerie work out of time-stretched sounds including the very attenuated cry of the currawong. It's 35 minutes in total, so you'll have to settle down & listen to the whole thing for yourself!

Listen again — ~201MB

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Sunday, 2nd of September, 2018

Playlist 02.09.18 (8:59 pm)

This week, Utility Fog, like my beautiful hosts FBi Radio, turns 15! It's been an amazing one and a half decades, and I hope to continue much longer, bringing you great, interesting music from all around the world.

LISTEN AGAIN and stop living in the past - it's 2018 now, get with it. Stream on demand from the birthday station, podcast right here?

Oren Ambarchi, Konrad Sprenger, Phillip Sollmann - Suez (Version) [A-TON/Bandcamp]
Here we find Sydney/Melbourne/the world's Oren Ambarchi in minimal kosmische mode, working with two German composer/producers. Konrad Sprenger's real name is Jörg Hiller; he works with minimalist composers among others; Phillip Sollmann is best known as minimal/deep house & techno producer Efdemin, and this EP is released on A-TON, the experimental side-label of the label run out of Berlin cult club Berghain. This ain't techno (or deep house), but it's got the pedigree.

Kajsa Lindgren - Stratus (remix by David Granström) [Hyperdelia/Bandcamp]
Kajsa Lindgren - Cocoon (Cotton) (remix by Félicia Atkinson) [Hyperdelia/Bandcamp]
Swedish experimental electronic artist Kajsa Lindgren hands over the sounds from her album WOMB (which I'm going to check out asap) to some really interesting artists for this remix EP. Fellow Swede David Granström brings his algorithmic electronics to bear with a beautiful piece of imposing ambience, swaying between low and high, aleatoric yet melodic. And Félicia Atkinson creates one of her disturbing not-quite-peaceful ASMR soundscapes, perfectly constructed as ever.

Sonae - Majority Vote (Electric Indigo Remix) [Monika Enterprise]
Sonae - Soul Eater (Natalie TBA Berizde Remix) [Monika Enterprise]
Sonia Güttler aka Sonae released her excellent second album I Started Wearing Black earlier this year on Berlin's Monika Enterprise, and now we have a four-track remix album with some top female producers. Electric Indigo, founder of female:pressure, gives us some lovely beats and melodic electronics, while Georgian Natalie Berizde (aka TBA) mixes ambient piano with cavernous bass and electronic percussion and skittery mid-range sounds, plus some nostalgic keyboards, giving it a kind of vaporwavey fourth world vibe.

R.A.N. - Ay [Karlrecords/Bandcamp]
R.A.N. - Sabah [Karlrecords/Bandcamp]
R.A.N. aka Roads At Night is the alias of Hüma Utku, originally from Istanbul and currently based in Berlin (because isn't everyone?). Her music combines traditional instruments with distorted industrial electronics (a typical Berlin sound at the moment), field recordings and even some post-classical piano. It's very cinematic and evokes her personal experiences and reflections on the turmoil and devastation around the Middle East.

Yair Etziony - Gesundbrunnen Ghosts [False Industries/Bandcamp]
Faction - Inside Out [Neo Ouija]
Yair Etziony - Imperium Romanum (Alec Empire Remix) [False Industries/Bandcamp]
Yair Etziony - Macrocosmos [Lamour]
Israeli producer Yair Etziony has been active in the electronic music scene for a decade and a half, and is now based in... where else than Berlin. And his music has taken a decided turn for the dark and distorted. This year has been a big one, as he's released a remix album with both older electronica types and Berlin artists including the legendary Alec Empire... and also two new albums, one on his own False Industries and now another on Swedish label Lamour. In the early 2000s he was one half of idm/glitch duo Faction with Rani Golan, who released The End of Tel Aviv on Neo Ouija - a minimalist, glitchy sound with clicky beats, quite removed from what Etziony is doing nowadays, which is inspired by Berlin's industrial techno/ambient scene, albeit at times with a lighter touch. The new album As Above So Below was recorded with only a limited amount of hardware, a Eurorack modular system plus a Roland drum machine and synth.

Broken Chip - Reneform [Flaming Pines]
Broken Chip - Nothing To See Here [Feral Media]
Option Command - Polybell Strategy [King Deluxe]
Broken Chip - there's always tomorrow [Broken Chip Bandcamp]
Broken Chip - Forest Floor [Flaming Pines]
Broken Chip - Unlocked [Flaming Pines]
Martyn Palmer has produced lovely ambient music out of the Blue Mountains as Broken Chip for about a decade, and it's lovely to have a new album from him, out soon on the excellent Flaming Pines label with whom he's had a relationship for quite a while. Martyn's music treads that great line with ambient music where it's peaceful and beautiful and delicate, but still has excellent weird little distortions and disturbances that make it even more interesting. For a time Martyn also made excellent wonky beats as Option Command, and I hope there's some more of that in him too...

Listen again — ~206MB

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