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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, 23rd of February, 2020

Playlist 23.02.20 (8:22 pm)

Lots of glitchy electro-acoustic sounds, classical composition meets experimental electronics and so on tonight...

LISTEN AGAIN, listen closely... stream on demand from FBi, podcast here.

Luigi Archetti & Bo Wiget - Santa Cruz - Malans [Die Schachtel]
Luigi Archetti & Bo Wiget - stück 5 [Rune Grammofon]
Luigi Archetti & Bo Wiget - stück 17 [Rune Grammofon]
Simon Lenski & Bo Wiget - Trottinette [Radical Duke Entertainment]
Luigi Archetti & Bo Wiget - stück 33 [Rune Grammofon]
Bo Wiget - O Mango Monopol [Bo Wiget Bandcamp]
Luigi Archetti & Bo Wiget - Kyoto - Salzburg [Die Schachtel]
If you know me at all, you know that I love finding experimental cellists of all sorts. So I have no idea how Bo Wiget remained in the periphery of my awareness until now. His duo with fellow Swiss experimenter Luigi Archetti, with Wiget on cello and Archetti on guitar and both on electronics, is right up my alley, with extended instrumental techniques rubbing up against glitchy production, minimalist electronic tones, and disembodied passages of neoclassical harmony. There is even some distorted guitar riffage in one of the selections tonight. We’re hearing them because Die Schachtel, the in-house label of Italian online experimental record store SoundOhm, have released a wonderful new album from them called Weltformat, 10 years after the last of their trio of low tide digitals albums for the legendary Norwegian label Rune Grammofon. Along with a track from each album, we heard some more from their cellist: in 2007 he released a duo album with Belgian cellist Simon Lenski, best known as a member of the genre-destroying band DAAU (Die Anarchistische Abendunterhaltung) – avant-garde cello & electronics also, but with very different results from the Archetti / Wiget pairing. And in 2017, a solo album from Wiget features alarming avant-garde vocals along with his acoustic cello. Another idiosyncratic take on playing this great instrument.

yMusic - Tesselations (Gabriella Smith) [New Amsterdam/Bandcamp]
American contemporary classical ensemble yMusic straddle genre worlds, having worked with My Brightest Diamond on a wonderful album of hers, have performed compositions of many other crossover artists like Sufjan Stevens, and worked on an album recently with Ben Folds. With a lineup of cello, viola, violin/guitar, trumpet/horn, clarinet and flute, they tend to play commissioned new work, and their new album features Missy Mazzoli among others. Tonight we heard an energetic piece based around rhythmic strings, by San Francisco-based composer Gabriella Smith.

Emma Kate Matthews - Similis [Musicity Global]
The unusual chamber ensemble of yMusic leads us from strings and guitar to clarinet and double bass in the next piece. From an album inspired by London architecture, specifically that of London’s “Culture Mile”, it’s appropriate that Emma Kate Matthews is an architect as well as composer and musician. The album was compiled by BBC Radio 3’s Nick Luscombe (founder of Musicity) and commissioned in conjunction with the Barbican Centre, and it’s the Barbican’s main foyer space that inspired the intense clarinet drones and explosions in Matthews’ track. More info on how the recording & reproduction invokes the space here.

Jasmine Guffond - Forever Listening [Editions Mego/Bandcamp]
Sydney/Berlin composer Jasmine Guffond continues her deep exploration of online surveillance and sound on her first solo album for Editions Mego. Entitled Microphone Permission, the album sways musically between exquisitely detuned acoustic-sounding pads, harsh digital interjections, and clicky rhythmic bursts. The measured pace and pristine sound recording invoke an unsettling sense of paranoia – is my laptop or device’s microphone listening without my permission? Is my data being used in nefarious ways? Am I safe? I don’t really care as long as Jasmine continues to produce stunning music like this and her last few releases...

Daspo - Hollandsche Rading [Setola Di Maiale/Bandcamp]
Daspo - Overvecht [Setola Di Maiale/Bandcamp]
The Italian duo of Davide Palmentiero and Giuseppe Pisano make up Daspo, whose debut album combines improvisations on customised instruments with careful post-production. Produced in an anechoic chamber at the HKU in Utrecht, and evokes some of the same strange discombobulation of Jasmine Guffond’s work above. As is often the case with electro-acoustic and experimental sound work, it’s the human element and the way the music is constructed rather than the concepts behind the works that makes them win, and these musicians have a real sense of musical narrative which makes this album stand out.

Samuele Strufaldi & Tommaso Rosati - Collisio [Auand/Bandcamp]
Staying again in Italy, we have some crepuscular, intergalactic electronic jazz from Samuele Strufaldi (piano) & Tommaso Rosati (live electronics). I would’ve loved to play more than one track from this gorgeous album, but the beauty of the piano & glitchy electronics’ interactions here does some justice to an excellent album. It’s the sort of stuff that could fit in the ECM basket, but is perhaps a bit too disturbed. A great discovery.

Memotone - Trading Cities [Disktopia/Bandcamp]
Multi-instrumentalist William Yates never quite does what you expect – after a series of EPs as Memotone (his main alias but one of many!) which placed him firmly in the post-dubstep/electronica camp, his facility with acoustic instruments, classical and jazz composition came to the fore, and on any release you might find submerged techno beats rubbing up against amazing live percussion, piano motifs, or at the start of this track, some emotive cello lines... before we move into dark electronics and machine beats. This is courtesy of Japanese shop/label Disktopia, from a free compilation that came out at the end of last year.

Hence Therefore - Signal Drift 1 [Cherche Encore/Bandcamp]
So good to have more newness from Sydney's Simon Unwin aka Hence Therefore. This was recorded during his last London winter before returning to Sydney, and samples from some random London radio noise, muffled and chopped into rhythmic chunks slowly developing over 4 minutes into something resembling minimal techno.

Sightless Pit - Kingscorpse [Thrill Jockey/Bandcamp]
Sightless Pit - Violent Rain [Thrill Jockey/Bandcamp]
Incredible work from an extreme metal/noise supergroup here. All have worked together on other projects before, particularly through Lee Buford's incredible duo the body, who have recorded two collaborative albums with Dylan Walker's hardcore force of nature Full of Hell. Meanwhile Kristin Hayer is a force of nature herself, with her classical-meets-gothic-meets-metal project Lingua Ignota, and that classical/gothic influence is very evident all over this album, along with myriad electronics, heavy sounds, and (really only) occasional metal vocals. Disturbing, unsettling? Sure. But also beautiful and thrilling.

Zoë Mc Pherson - Power fluids (pitchless) [SFX/Bandcamp]
Zoë Mc Pherson - vii. Transmission (so it shall never be lost) [SVS Records]
Zoë Mc Pherson - Learn ur language faster feat. Elvin Brandhi [SFX/Bandcamp]
Belgium-based singer, jazz drummer and electronic musician Zoë Mc Pherson released her debut album in 2018, and follows it up now with an album that embeds her processed voice in electronic sound-fields, often percussive, often noisy. Experimental music steeped in club and electronica, it's the first release on the new label SFX that she's formed with multimedia artist Alessandra Leone.

Lara Sarkissian - The Girl, Leopard and Trees [Lara Sarkissian Bandcamp]
Finishing up tonight with the San Francisco-based electronic producer Lara Sarkissian, once again drawing on her Armenian heritage, this time using the sound of the kanun, a zither or cembalom-like instrument, here sampled from a performance of a concerto by Karine Hovhannisyan. Heavy bass and electronic orchestrations, and occasional hints at (deconstructed) club beats underscore the amazing sound of this instrument.

Listen again — ~190MB

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