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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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Sunday, 25th of August, 2019

Playlist 25.08.19 (9:12 pm)

Bit of post-classical meets electronic tonight, as well as some folktronic sounds and some more ambient gear.

LISTEN AGAIN to catch all the detail. Podcast here, stream on demand from FBi.

Nils Frahm - All Armed [Erased Tapes/Bandcamp]
Although Nils Frahm is famously connected with the piano - both grand and upright - he is of course a big fan of dub music and synthesisers. This track is a preview from the third of his Encores EPs which he's releasing after the All Melody album from last year. The previous ones focused on acoustic and ambient music; this is the rhythmic/percussive one, and this track is a lovely piece of warm dub-tinged krautrocky propulsive stuff (and it's not lacking for melody either!) All EPs will be collected on a CD/digital release called All Encores in October.

Joshua Sabin - Sutarti IV [Subtext Recordings/Bandcamp]
Joshua Sabin - Sutarti II [Subtext Recordings/Bandcamp]
Scotland-based composer Joshua Sabin's first album on Subtext Recordings took field recordings from transport around Japan and mutated them into burnished bassy power ambient. For his new album Sutarti he has immersed himself in Lithuanian folk music's song forms and the psychoacoustic properties that come from the very deliberate dissonances introduced, particularly in the vocal music. Here Sabin is using woodwinds and electronics, and some wordless vocals, to evoke the strange beat frequencies and eerie beauty - along with some percussive sounds, and enveloping, distorting sub bass.

Tommy Grace, Rob Hervais-Adelman, Duncan Marquiss & Matthew Swinnerton - One Day Band track [Trestle Records/Bandcamp]
Andrew Blick, Peter Gregson, Land Observations, Simon Fisher Turner - One Day Band track [Trestle Records/Bandcamp]
Chris Vatalaro & Liam Byrne - One Day Band track [Trestle Records/Bandcamp]
Over the last few years English instrumental music label Trestle Records has been running a project called One Day Band in which a group of musicians are gathered together for one day only to create music. The music has been collected online in various streaming services - some also with video - but even though they're also on Bandcamp, almost all the music has only been streaming. Now a selection of tracks from those sessions is to be released on vinyl and digital as One Day Band Vol. 1, and we heard a few selections tonight (I've got more coming in a week or two!)
The first track is a beautiful rhythmic piece built around the synths of Django Django keyboardist Tommy Grace, joined by drummer Rob Hervais-Adelman, guitarist Duncan Marquiss of The Phantom Band and bassist Matthew Swinnerton from The Rakes.
Second selection was curated by guitarist & sound-artist James Scott Brooks aka Land Observations, who asked the great Simon Fisher Turner to join him, as well as Andrew Blick on processed trumpet and electronics, and the very versatile cellist Peter Gregson. They created a pastoral piece of post-folk musings.
And finally tonight, the pairing of Chris Vatalaro on percussion and electronics (clearly some piano, or maybe sampled piano) with viola da gamba player Liam Byrne - a bewitching piece that is anything but classical or baroque...

Skyphone - Rungholt [Lost Tribe Sound/Bandcamp]
Skyphone - kinamands chance [Rune Grammofon]
Skyphone - Hallways [Lost Tribe Sound/Bandcamp]
Skyphone - Marsksonder [Lost Tribe Sound/Bandcamp]
Danish trio Skyphone first came to my attention with their wonderful debut album fabula, released by the great Norwegian label Rune Grammofon in 2004. It's clicky, glitchy folktronica and pastoral postrock that feels naturally Scandinavian (see Sweden's Tape, ASS et al). They released two albums on Rune Grammofon (we heard "kinamands chance" from the first) and then dropped off the radar, but in 2014 they self-released the album Hildur on Bandcamp, which expanded their sound while keeping the same vibe - introducing vocals on one or two tracks. Ryan from Lost Tribe Sound had been a fan and was blown away by that album (as was I), so he has now arranged to re-release Hildur on vinyl along with a new one, entitled Marsh Drones. Both albums have sparing vocals on a couple of tracks - "Hallways" is a highlight from Hildur, and "Marsksonder" is a highlight from the new one - but mainly they are built around the usual acoustic and electronic instruments, digitally edited and reconstructed. Fabulous stuff.

Spheruleus - Colossian [Lost Tribe Sound/Bandcamp]
Mute Forest - Vine Covered Windows And Doors (Spheruleus Remix) [Lost Tribe Sound/Bandcamp]
Spheruleus - Resolve [Touched]
Spheruleus - Eighteen Gallon [Lost Tribe Sound/Bandcamp]
I've been aware of the music of Harry Towell aka Spheruleus for some years now, and have dived in and out of his mostly ambient/droney stuff, but he's begun to gather over the last few years a selection of more rhythmic and structured work. See for instance his remix of Kael Smith's Mute Forest from 2015 (a track whose name is a premonition of Spheruleus' new album Light Through Open Blinds), and his abstract jazz-looping downtempo track from the third massive compilation UK idm charity-fund-raising label Touched. The new Spheruleus album has a strange abstract take on hip-hop of a sort too: it's constructed from many micro-samples taken from around the house that he & his wife have owned for the last few years (along with guitars and other instrumentation). It's homely and homespun and surprising.

part timer - nothing changes [part timer bandcamp]
part timer - flowering part one [part timer bandcamp]
John McCaffrey is a highly talented musician who featured regularly on this show years ago when he would send in wonderful folktronic works under his part timer moniker just about every week. He's gotten busy with family and job, but has started producing tracks again recently, gifting us with stunning vignettes like the sketch EP which came out a few weeks ago. Drawing in some string samples from long-ago works along with plangent piano and some of his trademark subtle clicky percussion, it's a reminder that we need more music from this guy. Let him know.

Kazumichi Grime - Breathe [Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney]
Kazumichi Grime - Rise [Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney]
For almost two decades Sydney musician and director (at Animal Logic) Toby Kazumichi Grime has been creating beautiful soundscapes for the video work of Australian artist Shaun Gladwell - slow-pulsing electronics, acoustic samples, glitchy fuzz. The Museum of Contemporary Art in Sydney has just put on a big retrospective of Gladwell's art, and accompanying it is a vinyl LP called Shaun Gladwell: Pacific Undertow which collects 6 of these works by Kazumichi Grime. I strongly recommend heading to Circular Quay to see the artworks and experience the music - it's also the only place you can get this music for now!

Low Flung - Couch (feat. Laura Altman) [Low Flung Bandcamp]
From Sydney artist Danny Wild's Low Flung comes a new EP of minimal dub-influenced sounds, and I was particularly taken by the track featuring clarinettist Laura Altman, who is equally at home with the improv purity of Splinter Orchestra, the spontaneous contemporary composition of Great Waitress and the klezmer & gypsy-influenced folk of Chaika. This track is quietly haunting.

Listen again — ~193MB

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