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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, 6th of October, 2019

Playlist 06.10.19 (8:20 pm)

Tonight we have expansive, dark electronic music for you in various forms, including a feature on the great postrock/electronic/glitch champions 65daysofstatic, and Editions Mego head honcho Pita.

LISTEN AGAIN for the unrepeatable wonders... podcast here, stream on demand @ FBi.

65daysofstatic - bad age [Superball Music]
65daysofstatic - I'm Dreaming Of A White Noise Christmas (excerpt) [unreleased - see the ridiculously fun video here]
65daysofstatic - play.nice.kids [Dustpunk Records/65daysofstatic Bandcamp]
65daysofstatic - default this: [Dustpunk Records] {from vol1: 65's.late.night.double-a-side.college.cut-up.trailers.for.the.looped.future}
65daysofstatic - await rescue [Monotreme Records]
65daysofstatic - taperec_1 [65daysofstatic Bandcamp]
65daysofstatic - Ptolyweird [65daysofstatic Bandcamp]
65daysofstatic - sister [Superball Music]
On the occasion of the release of their new studio album replicr, 2019, a long-overdue special on 65daysofstatic. They’ve been releasing an EP or mini-album a month since May this year, not just as a lead-up to this album but as a whole project in itself, and they’ve been fantastic – really re-energised my interest in this band. And this band has been a Utility Fog mainstay since the show started – literally, their first "real" EP stumble.stop.repeat came out in 2003. I saw it described by Norman Records (the great Leeds-based online record store) as something like postrock crossed with Squarepusher, and jumped on that shit of course. They recognized my support by thanking me in the liner notes of their second album – and when they finally toured Australia with sleepmakeswaves, I was told my Mike from Bird's Robe that it was my championing of these guys that made them aware of them. Good feeling!
They were putting together ridiculous and awesome glitchy drill'n'bass mashups before they even put out that first EP, and many of these (including legit remixes) came out on a series of CDRs called unreleased/unreleasable. Their EP series – which involves a Bandcamp subscription for which each EP is released a month ahead – is a continuation of this, with oddities, experiments and offcuts (not actually illegal admittedly). Before this, after a bunch of albums and international touring (including a support slot with The Cure), they created a live project based around generative programming, and then extended this further with their groundbreaking soundtrack to the computer game No Man's Sky, which was composed in such a way that it would be generated along with the generative planetary landscapes (and flora & fauna) the players encounter.
The new album is their response to the endtimes feeling of the current age – the slow collapse of the biosphere, the rise of fascism and the horrors of Brexit Britain. There’s an air of melancholy that comes along with the electronic rhythms, and there’s not much in the way of riffing. It's surprisingly touching, and still absolutely in tune with that I'm trying to do with Utility Fog. Cheers guys!

Heith & Weightausend - The Wheel [Haunter Records]
Ghost Lemurs of Madagascar - Fauno [Haunter Records]
Ausschuss - Loose Unit [Haunter Records]
Milan-based label Haunter Records are one of those outlets for what feels like the 2010s' version of "idm". Music that sits uncomfortably on the dancefloor, feels a bit industrial, is experimental but not actually power electronics or noise. Their new compilation has a plethora of exciting sounds, including some well-known artists like Helm, ZULI, Ossia, S S S S and ssaliva, various people known from the Haunter label, and more obscure types. There's hints at drum'n'bass from both the Heith & Weightausend collaboration and the Ausschuss track, and some kind of post-dubstep or bass techno, as well as some dark ambient and lighter elements (the William S Burroughs-referencing Ghost Lemurs of Madagascar being a somewhat twisted case in point), but mostly it’s dark as. Well worth your time.

Hanz - The Fly [Hanz Bandcamp]
Brandon Juhans' Hanz continues with his practice of slipping out a track here and there, after a couple of superb little releases on Tri-Angle Records last year. It's fidgety electronic music that won't stay in one place and can't really be pinned down to a specific genre or dance style - especially when the beats loop in a strangely uneven way. Cool.

haddocks' eyes - triton [haddocks' eyes Bandcamp]
Sydney's Benjow continues to be bemusingly unpredictable with his haddocks' eyes project, here with some kosmische ambient sounds that could be a transmission from another star (although it seems to be named after a type of Mitsubishi ute lol...)

Pita - AMFM [Editions Mego/Bandcamp]
General Magic & Pita - Cool Fridge [Source Records/Editions Mego Bandcamp]
Pita - Untitled 3 [Mego/Editions Mego Bandcamp]
Pita - Two Top Five [Editions Mego/Bandcamp]
Back in the mid-'90s, a number of artists in Europe started creating music that began to be described as "glitch" - music that gleefully took advantage of the sounds of malfunctioning machinery, or misused technology for aesthetic effect. A lot of such music, particularly from Austria, was gathered by the Mego label, originally run by the two guys from General Magic and a man called Peter Meininger, but he left quite early and Peter Rehberg joined in his place. Already by then he and General Magic had collaborated on the EP Fridge Trax (with Rehberg as Pita), and then a follow-up album, both based on samples of a very noisy fridge in their apartment. Mego disbanded some years later, but Rehberg now runs Editions Mego as a way of re-releasing Mego classics and releasing whole swathes of incredible new experimental music - including his own. The new Pita album Get On is more rhythmic than he's been for a while (although this is no club music), and is the latest in a series of "Get" albums that goes back 20 years to the classic Get Out (available on his Bandcamp), from which we heard a beloved piece of blissful/blistering shoegaze-noise.

Soft Thoughts - 5 [Arachnidiscs]
Soft Thoughts - Perils [Arachnidiscs]
From Toronto, Soft Thoughts is the trio of Australian ex-pat Tim Condon, best known for psych-postrock group Fresh Snow but also celebrated round these parts for his freeform Mirrored Silver Sea project some years back, along with modular synth techno manufacturer Matt Nish-Lapidus aka New Tendencies, and experimental cellist/composer Michael Peter Olsen. Together they have created a mysterious collection of fizzling electronics out of emerge strange melodies and rhythms, sometimes on recognizable instruments such as piano or Olsen's electric cello, often transformed beyond recognition. These soft thoughts are sometimes troubled thoughts, but thoroughly engrossing.

envelopemusic - VEIL [envelopemusic Bandcamp]
envelopemusic - HAMMER [envelopemusic Bandcamp]
envelopemusic - HOURS [envelopemusic Bandcamp]
Based in Perth, Western Australia, composer/producers Ned Beckley and Josh Hogan have a studio/business called Envelope Audio where they do sound design, audio post production and film composition. The music they've released on their first album together is extremely filmic, mixing classical with deep electronics and beats, evoking twinkly bliss and shuddering unease. It's excellent work, whether as a calling card for their soundtrack work or as a self-contained headphone listening album.

Listen again — ~201MB


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