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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, 25th of November, 2018

Playlist 25.11.18 (8:08 pm)

Big range of stuff from hip-hop-inflected jazz (or is it free-jazz-based hip-hop) through post-classical, experimental electronics, noise and even dark drum'n'bass...

LISTEN AGAIN, let us take you on a journey... stream on demand from FBi, podcast here.

Makaya McCraven - Halls [International Anthem]
LeFtO - McCraven on the Mic (feat. Soweto Kinch) [International Anthem]
Makaya McCraven - Wise Man, Wiser Woman (feat. Shabaka Hutchings) [International Anthem]
Makaya McCraven - Tall Tales (feat. Tomeka Reid) [International Anthem]
So happy to be bringing you some sounds from the brilliant Chicago-based drummer and producer Makaya McCraven to start tonight's show. His new double album Universal Beings is the culmination of a couple of years honing his craft with his organic hip-hop stylings - taking joyful live jazz performances from around the world - Chicago, New York, London, Los Angeles - with like-minded new-generation jazz musicians, and chopping and re-arranging them into beautiful hybrid performances. Some are clearly very cut-up and groove-oriented, like the superb opening at the top of the show from his CHICAGOxLONDON Mixtape, while others feel more like lovely gentle treatments of live performances - like the exquisite cello soloing of Tomeka Reid on the last selection. Whatever McCraven's found here, it's both a tribute to a world community of great musicians (including the international remixers invited to work on the intervening mixtapes) and also to his skill in organic groove edits.

Machinefabriek with Anne Bakker - Scene 7 [Zoharum]
Machinefabriek with Anne Bakker - Scene 5 [Zoharum]
Emphpasising (unsurprisingly) the digital and artificial far more than McCraven, here we hear Dutch producer Machinefabriek working with longtime collaborator Anne Bakker on some Short Scenes for violin & electronics - vignettes which bring out the expressive tendencies of the violin, sometimes leaving the sounds mostly alone, sometimes warping & twisting them and overlaying them with electronics. Lovely stuff.

Julia Kent - Imbalance [The Leaf Label]
I feel like Julia Kent has gone from strength to strength on her last few albums, alongside some really interesting experimental collaborations. She's always been one of the most freely melodic cello-layerers around, but now she's happily pitch-shifting her instrument to create dark netherworlds, and programming subtle rhythms along with her instrument... This is the first single from a new album to be released in January - looking forward to it!

Resina - Round [130701]
Poland's Karolina Rec has released two albums as Resina on Fat Cat's sister label 130701 which flow between ambient soundscapes and angular rhythmic layers of cello. She makes full use of multi-channel looping, creating full compositions live - it's an impressive setup she has and I'm super excited that she'll be playing in a few weeks at Unsound Adelaide!

Emilie Levienaise-Farrouch - What Remains [130701]
Emilie Levienaise-Farrouch - Ultramarine [130701]
Originally from France, pianist & composer Emilie Levienaise-Farrouch moved to London in 2006 to study music at Uni. It's very interesting reading her biography to see that Kate Bush was an early influence, along with Björk. Neither of the tracks I played tonight really show that, but in some of the less obfuscated, more obviously classical works, Kate Bush's piano really is audible. In any case, the sound-art aspects of Levienaise-Farrouch's work, along with the string arrangements around her own piano playing, take her into some quite unique territory. She fits only uneasily into the current mould of post-classical pianist-producers, and really stands out for it. The first track here comes from the same compilation as Resina's track above, The Sea at the End of Her String, bringing together three adventurous female artists on 130701.

Ian William Craig - TC-377 Poem [130701]
Ian William Craig - Mass Noun [130701]
Ian William Craig - Idea for Contradiction 1 [130701]
It's been 18 months since the incredible first album that 130701 put out from Ian William Craig - by no means his first album but the first to broaden his base through Fat Cat's audience. Once again this album is powered by IWC's two killer drawcards: his incredible voice and his amazing tape contraptions looping and processing the sound into ultra-saturated, grainy, shimmering sonic jelly. It's exquisite.

Padma Newsome - Fell off my perch [New Amsterdam]
Padma Newsome - All Hollowed Out [New Amsterdam]
Australian composer, violinist and vocalist Padma Newsome comes out from within the ensembles he's best known for - Clogs, and frequently The National - with a solo album that's a sonic essay about the town in the south-eastern corner of Victoria where he's lived for the last 14 years, called Mallacoota. Newsome's always had an international outlook - this album is released on the excellent New York new classical label New Amsterdam - and it's always felt to me like Australia doesn't appreciate his talent nearly enough. This is a spooky, intriguing and beguiling work worth sinking into.

Vessel - Torno-me eles e nau-e (For Remedios) (feat. Olivia Chaney) [Tri-Angle]
Vessel - Sand Tar Man Star (For Aurellia) [Tri-Angle]
Seb Gainsborough has proven to be one of the most versatile and restless producers in the last few years - member of Bristol collective Young Echo, and of various sub-groupings doing variants of dubstep/grime, techno, industrial-influenced beats, ambient/grime/beat poetry and who knows what else... and in between he's also collaborated with contemporary classical group Immix Ensemble. On his new album his interest in classical music is foregrounded, with string arrangements and extraordinary multi-tracked vocals from Olivia Chaney. There are also maximalist tribal percussion and electronics on plenty of tracks - very different in mood from the twisted industrial electronica of his previous album, but nevertheless drawing some kind of line between past & current Vessel. It's a fascinating album and strangely to me it gets better as it progresses - the second half is well worth the price of admission.

Camila Fuchs - Battlefield [ATP Recordings]
Camila Fuchs - One on One [ATP Recordings]
Camila de Laborde and Daniel Hermann-Collini are from Mexico & Munich and together make up Camila Fuchs; Heart Pressed Between Stones is their second album together, with a nice feel of dubby post-punk, with echoes of Björk, Jenny Hval and more. Really lovely.

Zaïmph - Removing Bits of History [Drawing Room Records]
Zaïmph - Reality of Nothingness [Drawing Room Records]
Marcia Bassett's Zaïmph is a long-running noise project of hers, alongside various collaborations and her blistering work for many years with Matthew Bower in Hototogisu. In Rhizomatic Gaze, her new LP, it's great to hear a classic noise/experimental sound-art album in the vein of the best solo albums of Burning Star Core, something I don't feel we hear as much of anymore. It's superb, dense, free-wheeling, everything you need.

Christoph de Babalon - Harakiri [Alter]
Veteran dark drum'n'bass/digital hardcore producer Christoph de Babalon has released three albums of archival material over the last couple of years, so it's nice to now get some new material from him. The Hectic Shakes EP will be out in January, and this first track shows us his preferred modus operandi still has plenty to offer - murkily orchestral dark ambient textures shattered by ragged drum'n'bass breaks. It's both primitive and sophisticated, harsh but (for me) comfortingly nostalgic.

Listen again — ~196MB

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Sunday, 18th of November, 2018

Playlist 18.11.18 (8:18 pm)

Enormous thanks to the wonderful peeps who filled in while I was away around the world the last two weeks: Chuyi Wang on the 4th of November and Tom Vanderzeil on the 11th. Both put together immaculate playlists - I'm really grateful.

LISTEN AGAIN and be grateful too - stream on demand from FBi or podcast here...

ZULI - Akhtuboot (ft. Abyusif) [UIQ]
ZULI - Robotic Handshakes in 4D [UIQ]
ZULI - Trigger Finger [Haunter Records]
ZULI - Vulnerbody [UIQ]
ZULI - Kollu l-Joloud (ft. MSYLMA) [UIQ]
Fantastic to have a new album from the great Egyptian producer ZULI, on the same label that released his first EPs, Lee Gamble's UIQ. Ahmed El Ghazoly's productions are much in-demand by MCs in his home of Cairo, some of whom guest on this new double LP - we heard from Abyusif on the first track. The last selection features beautiful vocals from Saudi Arabian artist MSYLMA. We first ZULI's brand of bass-heavy, glitchy experimental electronics on the Bionic Ahmed EP in 2016. Earlier this year, Milan's Haunter Records released the Trigger Finger EP, on the title track of which his jungle influences came to the fore more than ever before, but hip-hop is still at the heart of what he does. The new album has some beautiful ambient glitchy numbers and some super funky bass-driven beats. Light years ahead.

Nazar - Warning Shots [Hyperdub]
Nazar - Airstrike (feat. Shannen SP) [Hyperdub]
Somehow on a similar wavelength in a way to ZULI, if perhaps less "experimental" and hailing from the other end of the African continent, is Angolan producer Nazar. His debut EP Enclave is the first release to really grab me on Hyperdub for quite a while - described as a weaponized form of Angolan kuduro music, it's very electronic, with sounds of guns cocking and air sirens among the beats. A memento of violent conflict and oppression, and of hope and resilience.

Muqata'a - Sabr Saam [Souk Records]
Muqata'a - Faltakon [Souk Records]
Courtesy of a new sub-label of the Discrepant family, a fantastic EP of raw and creative beats from Muqata'a, active in the hip-hop scene in Ramallah, Palestine. Influences from J Dilla & Madlib rub up beautifully against Arabic music. Inspired.

Arban D. - Waiting Grounds (Hence Therefore's Impatient Remix) [Little Beat Different]
Sydney producer Simon Unwin has been based in London for a bit over a year and has made some great connections there. He's put out some tracks on the Little Beat Different label and now is found remixing Italian producer Arban D. on a new EP - a great piece of fidgety techno as Hence Therefore does so well.

Daar - Tremulous [Tandem Tapes]
Unicron - Sun Dancer [Tandem Tapes]
Yet another great split from the mighty Tandem Tapes - Indonesia-based, but I believe label boss Morgan is moving back to Australia soon. Here Melbourne electronic producer Unicron is pitted against German producer Daar, and we're all the winners - both sides have blissful melodic electronic productions, on a slightly more idm tip from Unicron, but it's a very consistent release all over.

Aperture - In These Awkward Voids [Subtext]
Aperture - Atmen [Subtext]
This is the debut release from brother-sister duo Aperture, based in Rome. Emanuele Porcinai is better known as WSR, who I've played once or twice in the past - cello, double bass and electronics. His sister Elisabetta Porcinai is a visual and spoken word artist. Together they make extremely intimate music, suffused with the sounds of home living - taps on tables, footsteps, breaths, along with Elisabetta's piercing spoken words on some tracks, and Emanuele's wistful piano and productions. It's a beautiful debut.

Hibernis - Tempestuous [Serein]
Same Waves - My Way [flau]
Slicker - Prader [Hefty Records]
Telefon Tel Aviv - Sound In A Dark Room (feat. Lindsay Anderson) [Hefty Records]
Slicker - A Strong Donkey [Hefty Records]
Colorlist - The Heart Wants Her Horses Back [Serein]
Hibernis - Hibernis Bells [Serein]
John Hughes and Lindsay Anderson have a musical history that goes back a long way. I first encountered Hughes when he released his debut album as Slicker in 1998, Confidence in Duber, an amalgam of idm-influenced skittery beats and acoustic sounds. He formed the label Hefty Records to support his solo music, but it soon became a staple of the Chicago scene, linking the venerable Chicago jazz scene and its links with the origins of post-rock with contemporary, glitchy electronica. Hefty released the brilliant electronic/folktronic New Orleans duo Telefon Tel Aviv, and on their entry into the Immediate Action EP series, they collaborated with L'Altra vocalist Lindsay Anderson, beginning a fruitful relationship with Hefty, including prominent involvement on Telefon Tel Aviv's next album, and membership of the broader Slicker band on their 2004 album We All Have A Plan.
So now in 2018, Anderson & Hughes return with two different duos. On Japan's flau label, the electronic pop of Same Waves showcases Anderson's songwriting and heartstring-pulling vocals, whereas Welsh label Serein hosts their more meditative alter-ego Hibernis, whose tracks were created as a way of chilling out in the studio before diving into the Same Waves music. It's a harmonious collaboration, and it's great to hear from both of them after a while out of the spotlight. Also on air tonight is another new release featuring Hughes, from Colorlist, a jazz fusion group centred around the extraordinary drummer Charles Rumback and the winds/keyboard player Charles Gorczinsky - Hughes joins as full-time member on this album.

Listen again — ~205MB

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