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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, 27th of January, 2019

Playlist 27.01.19 (8:10 pm)

Electronic sounds of many varieties and provenances tonight, from idm to ambient to cut-up collage, alongside hip-hop/noise/free jazz, Bantu-Kongolese techno, and even some solo cello.

LISTEN AGAIN for your edjamacation, by streaming online at FBi Radio, or podcasting here.

Mira Calix - rightclick [Warp]
Mira Calix - Sandsings (Boards of Canada remix) [Warp]
Mira Calix with Oliver Coates - In A Beautiful Place Out In The Country [Warp]
Mira Calix - just go along [Warp]
Chantal Passamonte aka Mira Calix has a long association with idm and electronic music, having been one of the few female artists associated with the scene in the 1990s, and not only signed to Warp but working as their publicist for some years. In 2003 she first collaborated with the London Sinfonietta, and her talent for working with classical musicians has since resulted in numerous commissions and creative works - tonight we heard her stunning cover of Boards of Canada from Warp's 20th anniversary compilation series (and before that, we jumped back to 1998, with her second EP on which BoC contributed a classic remix). Calix's new EP brings her back to the idm world with some sweet beats, embedded with the field recordings and organic sounds she now typically works with.

Martina Lussi - Classic Intense [Latency/Bandcamp]
Martina Lussi - Citrin [Hallow Ground/Bandcamp]
Martina Lussi - Anarchy For Her [Latency/Bandcamp]
Based in Lucerne, Switzerland, Martina Lussi has just released her second album, and while the first, 2017's Selected Ambient, was excellent, this new one is a further step forward. On Diffusion is a Force Lussi concerns herself with the fragmented, disconnected nature of the contemporary world, melding electric guitar, electric piano, field recordings, spoken samples, and occasional nods and techno/electronica and industrial distortion. Fantastic stuff.

Anatole - Medlow Bath [Mercury Kx]
Sydney's Jonathan Baker is gearing up for his new album Emulsion to be released on Decca's Mercury Kx label. This single is a reference to his original home in the Blue Mountains, produced in his classical-meets-electronica way. The album's a couple of months away yet, so hopefully there's another single in a bit!

Brent Arnold - Esoteric Etude #1 for solo cello [Bandcamp]
Lovely single track just released from Filastine collaborator Brent Arnold, showing what can be done with a cello and no processing or looping.

Anguish - Vibrations [RareNoise Records]
Anguish - Cyclical / Physical [RareNoise Records]
This is what can only be described as a super-group. Anguish is a collaboration between two members of industrial hip-hop pioneers dälek (Will Brooks and Mike Mare), two members of Fire (Mats Gustafsson and Andreas Werliin) and Hans-Joachim Irmler of krautrock pioneers Faust. It's a heavyweight team-up - dälek and Faust have already released an album together about 10 years ago, but the addition of Gustafsson & Werlin's sax and drums contributes a lot to the, well, anguish in the proceedings.

Black To Comm - Lethe [Thrill Jockey/Bandcamp]
Black To Comm - Fly on you [Thrill Jockey/Bandcamp]
Jemh Circs - Ordre [Cellule 75]
Jemh Circs - 000 [Cellule 75]
Black To Comm - The Courtesan Jigokudayū Sees Herself as a Skeleton in the Mirror of Hell [Thrill Jockey/Bandcamp]
I've been aware of Marc Richter's work as Black To Comm for some time, and I know he never tends to do exactly the same thing on each album, but it was only when he adopted the moniker Jemh Circs for a couple of releases a few years ago that I really paid attention. Those releases, sampling voices and pop music from YouTube, were an interesting detour into vaporwave, a little more hyperactive and day-glo than his Black To Comm work, which has itself taken on many forms in the past, sometimes minimalism & drone, often collage-based constructions. The new album Seven Horses For Seven Kings is a rather dark and heavy affair, well suited to Thrill Jockey's current sound, and I've been finding it absolutely absorbing. Drawing from collage and sampling techniques across the board from tape experiments, hip-hop instrumentals through to glitchscapes, it's a mature and accomplished release.

Glyn Hendry - Escape Club 99 [Poly Kicks]
Described only as "newcomer Glyn Hendry", and with no SoundCloud presence I can find, newcomer Glyn Hendry has released an excellent debut 12" on Overmono's Poly Kicks label. Evolving breakbeats and a general rave aura make for two really fun sides.

Nkisi - VI [UIQ/Bandcamp]
Nkisi - VII [UIQ/Bandcamp]
One of the main architects of the NON Worldwide collective/label of African and diaspora artists, alongside Chino Amobi and Angel-Ho, Nkisi has just released her first full album through Lee Gamble's extraordinary UIQ label. Drawing from the African Cosmology of the Bantu-Kongo, the album wonderfully mixes the polyrhythms of Congolese percussion music with evocative and pounding techno. It's lovely hearing the melodic and mournful synth tones weaving in and out of the percussion and beats. A special album.

Funkmeister G - Stretches of Pain [Newtown Neighbourhood Centre/Bandcamp]
Here's a really interesting project, put together at Newtown Neighbourhood Centre - a compilation called Buzzing Minds | A Sydney Noise Compilation for which a group of people who have experienced or are experiencing homelessness, many of them suffering mental and physical health issues, have produced raw, passionate and unquestionably experimental noise tracks. A few of the artists, including tonight's, do have experience creating music - others are just putting themselves down on the recordings. The results can be challenging, but they're worthwhile as a listener as well as for the fact of the creative acts involved. More info can be found here.

Listen again — ~201MB

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Sunday, 20th of January, 2019

Playlist 20.01.19 (8:11 pm)

Many voices tonight, at least for the first more than half of the show... with experimental treatments of all sorts.

LISTEN AGAIN because how else are you going to keep up? The stream on demand is from FBi, the podcast here.

Machinefabriek - II (with Chantal Acda) [Western Vinyl/Machinefabriek Bandcamp]
Machinefabriek - III (with Peter Broderick) [Western Vinyl/Machinefabriek Bandcamp]
Here's an unusual, and wildly successful, new work from Dutch sound artist and frequent UFog feature artist Machinefabriek. Released on none other than Western Vinyl, it's called With Voices, and that is indeed what it is - Zuydervelt asked 8 people to contribute vocal takes, some spoken, some sung, and reconstructed them into tracks in his own special way. Works not heard tonight include an excellent piece with Richard Youngs (heard last week on the show) and a beautiful 11-minute closer with Marissa Nadler. As with Nadler, Chantal Acda's voice ventures into melodic sections at times, while elsewhere it's chopped up and rearranged; similarly with frequent Machinefabriek collaborator Peter Broderick, whose spoken and sung vocals casually inhabit Zuydervelt's processing as if this was just normal life.

Building Instrument - Ta Regnet [Hubro]
Building Instrument - Sangen Min [Hubro]
This Norwegian trio is now on to their third album of unpigeonholeable songs - somewhere between jazz, world, postrock and experimental. With Mari Kvien Brunvoll on vocals (as well as zither and electronics) there are some pretty catchy songs. You don't have to understand Norwegian to enjoy them.

Jarboe - Feast [Translation Loss Records]
Jarboe - Karuna [Translation Loss Records]
For many years one half of voice of the minimalist, gothic majesty of Swans, Jarboe has continued with a densely busy career collaborating with artists both prominent (in the metal scene, such as Neurosis and JK Broadrick) and obscure... But as The Cut of the Warrior proves, she needs no backup to create epic, evocative - and just slightly terrifing - sounds. There are some lovely remixes at the end of this release, but her four tracks, with keyboards, percussion and vocals, are where it's at.

Stephanie Pan - Ron Adams [ARTEk Sounds]
Stephanie Pan - Bitter Dust [ARTEk Sounds]
Netherlands-based artist Stephanie Pan, on her new album Have Robot Dog, Will Travel, ranges from Meredith Monk-style extended vocal techniques to songs which somehow combine baroque composition, torch songs and glitchy beat-making. Very impressive stuff.

Alina Kalancea - Poisonous Girl [Störung/Bandcamp]
Italian sound-artist Alina Kalancea's debut album could easily initially be mistaken for a spoken word release - but as you proceed you'll hear long instrumental pieces of throbbing, dark electronics, and beautiful song. This track features field recordings by Alex Gámez, and gorgeous cello work from Julia Kent.

Julia Kent - Sheared [Leaf]
Julia Kent - Conditional Futures [Leaf]
US cellist Julia Kent has been popping up all over the place lately. Since her last (fantastic) solo album in 2015, she's collaborated with ambient/sound artists Jeremy Young & Shinya Sugimoto, experimental/ambient artist Jean DL, and recently with Sydney's own pianist Sophie Hutchings. So it's been 4 years since a solo album from Kent, and it was worth the wait - from rhythmic tracks even featuring subtle beats, to echoey ambient (with murmuring cello).

Pierre-Yves Martel - Diminutio [Tour de Bras Records/Pierre-Yves Martel Bandcamp]
Here's some extremely minimalist, affecting viola da gamba work from Canadian artist Pierre-Yves Martel. He's appearing at The Now Now Festival this coming week at 107 Redfern, which promises to be as challenging and life-changing as ever. Check the link for the full program.

Jónó Mí Ló - Guap Bae [unreleased?]
Also appearing at The Now Now is US experimental electronic artist Jonathan Lockhart, who goes by Jónó Mí Ló, and who has a kind of lo-fi approach to vaporwave rave nostalgia.

Ynaktera & Kenta Kamiyama - Notte [Notturno]
Rome-based experimental artist Ynaktera here collaborates, live and in-studio, with Japanese ambient artist Kenta Kamiyama, to build something which is not your usual type of piano+electronics post-classical ambient. Sure there's delicate, pensive piano and electronic textures, but there are also pulsating bass timbres and glitchy beat-like structures. It's a nocturne, but not a lullaby! The whole album is a worth a listen, and the physical copies are something special too.

Christoph de Babalon - Raw Mind [Alter]
Christoph de Babalon - Harakiri [Alter]
Not only is it awesome that Christoph de Babalon is still making music in 2019 - and at least some of it is still his brand of jungle/drum'n'bass-meets-dark ambient - but it's also rather awesome to find this album released on Luke Younger's Alter label, known for noise, abstract electronics, postpunk and sometimes techno. De Babalon's Bandcamp has in recent years featured three albums of The Haunting Past of Christoph de Babalon, collecting released and unreleased gems from the '90s, so there's a lot to explore even if you know his classic Digital Hardcore Recordings album If You're Into It, I'm Out Of It.

Nature Rage & Dialup BBS - Nxt Lvl [Ohm Resistance]
Having spent a year putting out a subscription series of vinyl and digital releases, Ohm Resistance have capped it off with a compilation called Perihelion 2061, featuring mostly fairly new artists doing breakcore, drum'n'bass and industrial techno. It's hard-hitting and pretty fun - this track peppers its intense jungle with just a hint of dubstep bass at times.

Listen again — ~191MB

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Sunday, 13th of January, 2019

Playlist 13.01.19 (8:14 pm)

Industrial techno, glistening drones, glitchy worldtronica, meandering experimental folk, re-tooled disco...

LISTEN AGAIN for all that... because it is all that. Podcast here, or stream on demand from FBi.

Pact Infernal - The Eternal Return [iDEAL Recordings]
Stephen O'Malley - LOUP [iDEAL Recordings]
After finishing last week's show with two tracks from iDEAL Recordings' compilation The Black Book, I'm continuing with two more at the start tonight. I missed this comp when it came out, absurdly because it's full of gems from industrial techno and drone. I intended to finish last week's show with the incredible, moody track from doom meister Stephen O'Malley but ran out of time. I'd love to hear a whole album of music like this - bass pulses and rich drones. And Pact Infernal do a great line in gothic, industrial techno. You can see why they've been released on Samurai Music's Horo side label - it's not drum'n'bass but it shares a certain aesthetic.

Craün - Uve [Hush Hush Records]
Craün - Uni [Hush Hush Records]
Sydney-based musician Aris Hatzidakis has three releases under his belt as Craün, and each has been an incredible progression from the last. This latest, III - released at the very end of last year on Seattle's Hush Hush - takes drone as its stepping-off point, but buries percussion and spooky violin in its cavernous depths. Quite masterful.

Banabila & Machinefabriek - Minimals [eilean]
Banabila & Machinefabriek - Spin 'n' Puke [Banabila Bandcamp/Machinefabriek Bandcamp]
Banabila & Machinefabriek - Entropia [eilean]
If you've been paying attention to this show for much time you'll know that Michel Banabila & Rutger Zuydervelt (aka Machinefabriek) are Dutch sound artists who make frequent appearances in these playlists, and have been collaborating together since 2012. Their latest album Entropia appears courtesy of French label eilean rec., and is a little more challenging than their last, the glittering fourth world productions of 2016's Macrocosms. Distorted, menacing sounds are juxtaposed with wistful grainy samples, perhaps reflecting a more chaotic world, and the illness which consumed much of Michel Banabila's last year. It's absolutely absorbing and rewarding listening as ever. Tonight I also played a cute folktronic number from 2013's Travelog.

Original Past Life - Wire Fatigue [Tone List]
Original Past Life - Times of Ceylon [hellosQuare]
Original Past Life - Omiyage [Tone List]
Original Past Life - Blessing the Barge [Tone List]
The second album from Perth band Original Past Life may surprise anyone who came across their first, which was a somewhat more conventional, melodic post rock affair (and absolutely lovely). The band features members of beloved postrock/indie troupe Radarmaker, and something of the toughter, punkier side of that long-lamented band takes over here at times, along with a looser approach to structure, and a general lean towards darker disturbing sound worlds. Altogether unmissable.

Richard Youngs - Memory Ain't No Decay (remixed by epic45) [Wayside & Woodland]
Richard Youngs - Not For My Eyes [Wayside & Woodland]
Richard Youngs - Memory Ain't No Decay (remixed by The Declining Winter) [Wayside & Woodland]
AMOR - Glimpses Across Thunder [Night School]
Thinking about it, Richard Youngs is a rather good fit for the aesthetic of the Wayside & Woodland label run by epic45. Youngs was asked by the label to create songs based on the label's interest in such topics as degradation of memory, decay, the beauty of abandoned builds and places... Youngs, with his idiosyncratic approach to songwriting, which so often recontextualises a kind of English folk with strange recording techniques, unique approaches to technology, and very drawn-out song structures, seems the perfect musical soul to approach these topics from an unusual angle. Alongside two long tracks and one shorter one on beautiful translucent red vinyl, there's a bonus CDR with the initial copies featuring remixes of the title track (which confoundingly didn't make it on to the release itself) from Wayside & Woodland-affiliated artists. From epic45 we get a mulched-up piece of burbling drone, while Richard Adams of The Declining Winter somehow reworks Youngs back into, well, Richard Youngs, with stretched out guitar samples and a clattering electronic beat behind his declamatory vocals.
Meanwhile Youngs has surprisingly appeared as a member of post-disco / disco revivalist quartet AMOR, a group that also features Michael Francis Duch (who we recently heard in experimental mode as part of ljerke) and artist Luke Fowler and drummer Paul Thomson of Franz Ferdinand. It's really lovely disco/proto-house of the sort Arthur Russell made, and suits Youngs' voice beautifully.

Stick In The Wheel - in the morning (feat. Anna Roberts-Gevalt) [From Here Records]
Eliza Carthy feat. Dizraeli - Aleppo in the Sun as it Was (EAN Remix) [Static Caravan/Stick In The Wheel Bandcamp]
Stick In The Wheel - As I Roved Out [From Here Records]
Stick In The Wheel - As I Roved Out (Om Unit remix) [From Here Records]
British folk act Stick In The Wheel manage to embody the rawness, anger and beauty of English folk perfectly - and they fit into all the folk festivals - while having unexpected roots in the UK electronic music scene, as members have long associations with dubstep iconoclasts Various Production. That connection is not in itself surprising, given the re-tooled folk sounds on even some of the earliest Various 7"s, but it is nice to hear the experimental and electronic elements creeping in around the edges of Stick In The Wheel's own music - whether it's in the auto-tuned vocals here and there, the acoustic drones present in some songs, or more explicit electronic production in particular on their recent mixtape This and the Memory of This, which features a stunning Om Unit remix of a track from their last album proper, Follow Them True. On one track Brookyln folk artist Anna Roberts-Gevalt contributes an evocative spoken word piece before the far-away song in the background becomes the foreground... Stick In The Wheel member Ian Carter, once of Various Production, makes dubstep/grime/drum'n'bass as EAN, and his remix 7" from 2017 includes a nice folktronic take on English folk singer Eliza Carthy's track with avant UK rapper Dizraeli. Great genre-agnostic stuff!

Listen again — ~202MB

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Sunday, 6th of January, 2019

Playlist 06.01.19 (8:09 pm)

Nice mix of music, including totally NEW 2019 tunes already on the first Sunday of 2019!

LISTEN AGAIN to the new sounds of today! Stream on demand, FBi lets it be so! Podcast here.

Aphir - Mirror Garden (feat. Dear Laika) [Aphir Bandcamp]
Aphir - Nine Inch Spy (feat. Happy Axe) [Aphir Bandcamp]
It's a delight to have a new EP from Becki Whitton's Aphir to begin 2019 with. Like her previous Dyscircadian EP, each of these experimental pop tunes features a like-minded collaborator. Despite the EP's Magritte-punning title Ceci n'est pas une Pop, the tracks are definitely catchy. I'm looking forward to exploring Dear Laika soon, and of course Canberran violinist/singer/producer Happy Axe's album was one of my tops of 2018.

Nika Mo - Landscape longing [Nika Mo Bandcamp]
Nika Mo - My Mother's Scarf [Nika Mo Bandcamp]
Great Statue - Twenty-Fifth [Rathe Bandcamp]
Perth musician Annika Moses wears many hats. Under her own name she makes dense radiophonic works based around spoken word and field recordings, works which tend to be a bit too long for me to play here. But luckily she also makes some pretty amazing more-song-oriented music, under a couple of aliases (and that's not counting groups she's part of). Nika Mo finds Moses in "garage folk" land, with emotive folk songs wrapped up in some lovely experimental sound work (the rolling marbles at the end of "Landscape longing" are wonderful), while Great Statue is an outlet for more experimental, glitchy, electronic music while still working song in at times. Very much an artist to watch.
The Great Statue comes from a compilation called Impressions/Sequences put out by Perth collective Rathe last year that's highly recommended.

Alaska Orchestra - The Oloid (excerpt) [Alaska Orchestra Bandcamp]
The work of Megan Alice Clune and various collaborators, Alaska Orchestra is an ever-changing project which covers lots of musical ground. Here we heard the second half of a work from late 2017 called The Oloid - detailed live drone. Alaska Orchestra is playing next Saturday night (12th of January) at the first in a new eclectic, experimental night called Surfacing Series, at the "Down/Under Space" at Freda's in Chippendale - full disclosure, I'm playing too as raven, and check the link for the full, excellent lineup.

Elsen Price - Birth: The Spirit Begins [Elsen Price Bandcamp]
Sydney double bassist Elsen Price plays in various jazz & world ensembles, with indie musicians, and also as an accomplished solo musician - performing classical works, jazz, and his own solo improvisations & compositions, often with loop pedal. He has a new album in the works, with the wry title Death of the Spirit and the Rise of the Pointless, and this is the first single, available now and being launched at Johnston St Jazz on the 24th of January.

ljerke - Tsjilland [Eilean Records]
The Dutch-Norwegian audio-visual group ljerke is one of a few to centre around Kleefstra brothers Romke on guitar & effects and Jan, speaking his poetry in the Frisian language. For this project they're joined by a number of musicians including from Norway - the spellbinding trumpet & electronics of Hilde Marie Holsen, the live electronics of Alexander Rishaug and the double bass of Michael Francis Duch, by turns melodic and noisy.

Scandinavian Star - Candi [Posh Isolation]
Scandinavian Star - Regal V [Posh Isolation]
Malthe Fischer has been involved with Copenhagen label Posh Isolation for some time in the mastering/mixing front, and was a member of the semi-legendary Oh No Ono and more recently Lust For Youth. This solo project is a perfect expression of what Posh Isolation does - glitchy ambience, bassy beats, processed field recoridngs & acoustic instruments. Ostensibly based around the legend of the MS Scandinavian Star which tragically burned with 159 people on board (one apparently a convicted arsonist), it can be listened to without any knowledge of that connection as just a beautiful and varied piece of audio work.

Piet Dierickx - A brief history of everything [Consouling Sounds]
Piet Dierickx - Ambulance Du Ciel [Consouling Sounds]
Not a million miles from Scandinavian Star is the new solo work from Belgian musician Piet Dierickx. Dierickx has worked as dummer with Soulwax, and also drummer in some other Belgian groups, but really his background as a drummer doesn't stand out here, so much as his talent for electronics and sound design. There's beautiful glitchy, distorted piano, heavy synths and bass, and at times beats. A great solo debut, released right at the end of 2018 by Belgian heavy/experimental label Consouling Sounds.

Homemade Weapons and Red Army - Hellion Blue [Ohm Resistance]
This excellent heavy junglist drum'n'bass track from frequent US collaborators Homemade Weapons and Red Army comes from the current subscription series from venerable label Ohm Resistance, which has exclusive tracks on vinyl or just digital if you prefer from a big range of excellent artists. You can still subscribe, and get the previous releases as well as that which is still to come.

Hiro Kone - Truth That Silence Alone [DAIS Records/Hiro Kone Bandcamp]
Hiro Kone - Rukhsana (feat. Drew McDowall) [Geographic North]
Hiro Kone - Poortgebouw [Dais Records/Hiro Kone Bandcamp]
Electronic whiz and techno experimentalist Nicky Mao has made music under the pseudonym Hiro Kone for a while now, with releases going back to 2011, but in the last two years released two amazing albums as well as a collaboration with industrial/ambient legend Drew McDowall. Her latest, Pure Expenditure, was released on DAIS last year to some acclaim, and I came across it in some best of the year lists thankfully - focused techno and ambient, with a varied approach to rhythm and sonic evolution, which is also found on Love is the Capital, out through Geographic North in 2017. We heard a gorgeous techno track from that featuring Drew McDowall (unrelated to the collaboration from early in 2018). Very glad to be on board now with Hiro Kone! (cheers Norman Records)

JS Aurelius - All in Sync With All, and Me Cutting Through [iDEAL Recordings]
JH1.FS3 - At the Bottom of the Night [iDEAL Recordings]
Two tracks from an excellent compilation on iDEAL Recordings, run by Swedish experimental artist Joachim Nordwall. I'm ashamed to say I had this compilation on my radar for months last year but somehow never actually pressed the Purchase button until late in December - so here's the first couple of selections from what's actually a fantastic collection of drone, noise, glitches and techno. JS Aurelius is an excellent visual artist, musician and co-founder of Ascetic House, spot on label and anarchist political force. His track creeps up on you, starting with drones and growing into a sublime synthetic choir before tapering off with a field recording. Meanwhile, JH1.FS3 is the work of Frederikke Hoffmeier, best known as brilliant noise/industrial artist Puce Mary, alongside Jesse Sanes. Here it features comparatively un-harsh electronics and clean vocals from Hoffmeier - a beautiful piece.
I'll play some more from this compilation next week hopefully!

Listen again — ~193MB

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