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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, 26th of January, 2020

Playlist 26.01.20 (8:32 pm)

Dark cello, ambient electronic, jungle, techno, idm and industrial colliding... Your usual Utility Fog then.
Utility Fog is broadcast every week on the land of the Gadigal people of the Eora Nation. Sovereignty was never ceded.

LISTEN AGAIN to the real sound of now. Stream on demand from FBi, podcast here.

Thomy Sloane and Lucy Waldron - Colour, Landscape and Light [via Slow Clap]
The duo of Batpiss guitarist Thomy Sloane and Melbourne cellist Lucy Waldron was always going to be a dark and dramatic affair. Waldron has played live with the likes of Courtney Barnett, and her mournful electric melodies are accompanied by a repeated three-note riff and some doomy distortion from Sloane. This was recorded live and you can witness that performance right here on YouTube.

Louise Bock - Oolite [Geographic North/Bandcamp]
Louise Bock - Incandescent Misspelled Word [Feeding Tube Records/Bandcamp]
US multi-instrumentalist Taralie Peterson has been making experimental music for a couple of decades, notably with her duo Spires that in the Sunset Rise with Ka Baird. She plays saxophone, clarinet and contributes voice (often processed), but she's also an accomplished cellist, and that's highlighted on her latest album (part of Geographic North's Sketches for Winter series) called Abyss: For Cello. Discordant multi-tracked cello is by turns rhythmic and mournfully slow. Lines overlap and intertwine, and occasionally other instruments appear, including some very abstracted guitar from Kendra Amalie on "Oolite". Meanwhile, on her previous album a couple of years ago on Feeding Tube, "Incandescent Misspelled Word" finds again discordant doubled-cello joined by fragmented and glitched vocals, which match the cello while still sounding like they come from another universe. Not so much the abyss, here, as hyperspace. It's unsettling and gorgeous.

Lite Fails - Fire Season [Flaming Pines]
Lite Fails - Jigsaw for a Continent [Flaming Pines]
This very special release comes from Brisbane-based academic Henry Reese, whose research has found him exploring sounds from the 1890s and early 1900s recorded on wax cylinders and gramophone records. He's taken these crackly old sounds and crafted ambient sound works from them, redolent of an ancient era yet abstracted. These compelling, moving pieces were recorded on one weekend while Australia burned in the worst bushfire season it has ever experienced. All proceeds are being donated to the Australian Rural Firefighting Service. It's rewarding to find a release where the heavy conceptual underpinnings support really great music. It's ominously titled The End Of The World Has Already Happened, and you can find out more about the source material for the tracks at the link.

Aho Ssan - Blind Power (ft. The Mensah Imaginary Band) [Subtext/Bandcamp]
Aho Ssan - Simulacrum II [Subtext/Bandcamp]
Aho Ssan is the alias of French sound-artist and film composer Niamké Désiré, whose debut album interrogates society's presentation of inclusivity and equality against his own lived experience of growing up black in France. This facade of egalitarianism is only one of the simulacra appearing here: the "Mensah Imaginary Band" that features on two tracks is a simulated band, built by the artist from Max/MSP patches because, he says, he couldn't find a real jazz ensemble to work with him. It also imagines what his grandfather, Ghanaian trumpet player Mensah Antony, may have sounded like, taking his cues from the boundaryless music of Sun Ra and Afrofuturism.

Aquarian - End Credits [Bedouin Records/Bandcamp]
Aquarian - Blood Sugar [Bedouin Records/Bandcamp]
Aquarian - Ouroboros [Bedouin Records/Bandcamp]
Canadian born, Berlin based artist Aquarian has released two notable albums in the last 2 years, one on Bedouin Records and one on Houndstooth, as part of the duo AQXDM with French artist Deapmash. Those releases mixed industrial techno with jungle and bass music, and the influence of UK club music, particularly jungle/drum'n'bass, is heavy on his incredible new album The Snake That Eats Itself. As well as the characteristic Berlin industrial techno sound, this album has moments of beatless contemplation and occasional vocals, which are just as well realised as the insane beat programming which turns with ease from 4/4 techno to dubstep pulses to mashed amen breaks. There's no doubt this will be on my end-of-year lists.

SDEM - Cadamium [Seagrave/Bandcamp]
SDEM - Nishifunabashi (feat. NHK yk koyxen) [Seagrave/Bandcamp]
SDEM - Limerans [Seagrave/Bandcamp]
Really varied and top quality album from UK artist SDEM aka Tom Knapp, who is also behind labels Icasea and .meds among other projects. This epic release follows recent EPs on Opal Tapes and Central Processing Unit, and clearly demonstrates his close affinity with '90s IDM, as well as contemporary forms (dubstep's thrashing bass for instance). ZNS collects music from 15 years of productions, impeccably compiled by Seagrave as always - different enough from either of his last 2 releases, and yet still varied (check the lovely melodic beatless third track). Highly recommended.

E Davd - Bloom [E Davd Bandcamp]
E Davd - Heartbeat.Hyperdrive (Refrain) [E Davd Bandcamp]
In the last month we've seen a lot of Australian (and international) artists reacting to the climate crisis and specifically Australia's ongoing bushfire crisis by creating and donating works to raise funds for those most in need - we've heard some tonight. I particularly admire the approach taken by Sydney-based cosmic healer and house/techno artist E Davd, highlighting the very important concept of environmental justice / climate justice across three EPs released on his Bandcamp. Two are released so far, and the first compiles ambient works from the last few years, with some skittery and head-nodding beats at times. The second track featured tonight is a dreamy beatless piece which has the haziness and melodic laziness of classic Boards of Canada. In his write-ups for these releases, E Davd draws our attention to the fact that in any responses to the effects of the climate crisis we need to recognize that those first affected, and worst affected, are and will be those who contribute least to it and are least able to dead with it - the poor, indigenous communities, women, young people, and those at the intersection of these groups. Social justice needs to be at the core of our response to climate change and our planning for the future. All funds from these releases are going to Seed, an indigenous youth climate network - you can donate directly if you just want to listen.

Gregory Paul Mineeff - Devoid of Hope [Cosmic Leaf/Gregory Paul Mineeff Bandcamp]
Our last music tonight is from the beautiful new album After Today from Wollongong-based composer and electronic musician Gregory Paul Mineeff, performed on electric pianos & analogue synthesisers, with tape machines and other effects, embracing the imperfections and fragility of these sounds and avoiding the maudlin or clichéd nature of contemporary "post-classical" piano work or the sterile (and clichéd) nature of much ambient music. In these touching works, Mineeff employs just the right amount of denaturing through tape effects, reverse effects and recording techniques to colour the compositions, creating something that sounds out of its time, but not genre-specific nostalgia either. Really lovely and well done.

Listen again — ~196MB

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