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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, 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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