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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, 12th of April, 2020

Playlist 12.04.20 (7:35 pm)

Tonight we've got a big chunk of drum'n'bass and jungle, and stay firmly in the electronic space, through glitches, trip-hop and breaky techno.

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Dom & Roland - A Broken Heart [Dom & Roland Productions]
Dom & Roland - Industry [Moving Shadow]
Dom & Roland - Trauma [Renegade Hardware/Dom & Roland Bandcamp]
Dom & Roland - Can't Punish Me [Moving Shadow/Dom & Roland Bandcamp]
Dom & Roland - Ethnicity [Moving Shadow]
Dom & Roland - Beach Bum [Dom & Roland Productions]
Dom & Roland - State of the Art [Dom & Roland Productions]
So, we start tonight with a tribute to the brilliant drum'n'bass producer Dominic Angas aka Dom & Roland. His trusty partner was the Roland S760 sampler, with which he crafted a sound which would resonate through generations of drum'n'bass. He has razor-sharp technique with chopping breaks and drum machines into perfectly-focused beats, underpinned by massive sub-bass, sci-fi movie samples, well-judged orchestral samples, synth pads etc. It's all orchestrated to create simple but powerful tracks for the dancefloor, but he's a dance music artist who's also dedicated himself to full albums, starting with the superb Industry in 1998, an album that's accompanied me on many a late-night highway drive. Despite coming up out of the insane beat-juggling of jungle into the darker, simpler era of tech step, Dom's rhythms rarely settle on expected, well-worn patterns, so we hear the bizarre rumbling triplets in the first track tonight, or the martial rhythms and drum fills of "Industry". Then there's the off-beat funk of "Can't Punish Me", with its adapted synth stabs from Bowie's "Let's Dance", and the intense bassline of 2004's "Ethnicity", flowing into joyous, summery "Beach Bum" from last year, whose sampled guitar lines somehow make me think of early Amon Tobin. New album Lost In The Moment is intended to draw the listener in through simple tracks, but as usual it's the production detail that keeps you there. Final selection "State of the Art" has a stripped-down syncopated beat, sci-fi synths, and skittery hi-hats and pitched-up toms.

Special Request - I Wish Time Didn't Matter [Special Request Bandcamp]
Here's a special new isolation track from Paul Woolford's Special Request alias, with classic jungle vibes and a nostalgic (uncredited) female vocals. Woolford is a master at creating a facsimile of '90s rave, just slightly off from the original. The break juggling here is first class, and the r'n'b-inflected song is a lovely bit of pop.

Yaporigami - Music Makers [Virgin Babylon/Bandcamp]
Yaporigami - With Organs [Virgin Babylon/Bandcamp]
And the break juggling intensity increases... Yu Mashita aka Yaporigami has released a substantial number of albums & EPs on his own Collection Artaud label, the recreated Mille Plateaux, Detroit Underground and more. He comes to World's End Girlfriend's Virgin Babylon label with some appropriately mashed breaks and melodies a la classic idm - a delight to listen to and unravel.

Cryptobitch - Emotet (d.Monica) [exael Bandcamp]
exael & Ben Bondy - Aphelion Lash [West Mineral Ltd./Bandcamp]
Ben Bondy - Meridian [West Mineral Ltd./Bandcamp]
US artist exael (aka Naemi), now based in Berlin, first appeared on my radar probably 5 years ago now, courtesy of the mysterious Kansas-based vaporwave label Beer on the Rug. An album on the great Lillerne Tapes cemented him as a talented artist, and he also released an album on Huerco S's West Mineral Ltd., to whom he has just returned with a collaborative album with another experimental electronic artist, Ben Bondy. Exael also has a trio project with partner Shy/uon and Huerco S called Ghostride The Drift if the cyberpunk imagery isn't enough yet, but on his own Bandcamp Exael has just unveiled a new project which brings the jungle influences in his work very much to the fore - Cryptobitch. Even here it feels like we're hearing rave nostalgia through YouTube copies of VHS tapes - filters of filters. I feel like that's the point. But with visual artist Ben Bondy, exael's new album (or EP?) on West Mineral Ltd. buries the beats mostly behind beautiful, glitchy synthscapes. It's like a nature documentary for another planet, being explored a century into the future. There are collaborative tracks and also solo tracks from each artist - Bondy's featured here combines the smooth with the crunchy in fine form.

Telefon Tel Aviv - The Means Whereby Lovers Are Waylaid [Lapsus/Bandcamp]
Chevel - Slip [Lapsus/Bandcamp]
Two tracks here off the 15th anniversary compilation from Spanish label Lapsus, entitled Quinze (meaning fifteen in Catalan, just like the French word but pronounced entirely differently). You can look at this playlist from last year to see how much Telefon Tel Aviv's return means to me. Josh Eustis' shuddering electronics and spare vocals here are a perfect little piece of TTA material. Also featured from the comp is Italian producer Chevel, whose track bathes us in lush synths, only to interject with hammering bass and percussion before calming down again...

Marcus Whale - A Ghost [Forthcoming self-released(?)]
Although we got an excellent Collarbones album last year, it's been four years since the last solo effort from Sydney's own Marcus Whale (give or take some individual tracks, including his "Marcus (not singing)" alter ego). "A Ghost" is the second single from the forthcoming Lucifer, which recasts the Morningstar as a gay icon and patron saint of the forsaken. Quite the subject matter, and here Marcus' emotive pop vocals are accompanied by warm sub-bass, searing synth pads and sparse but tough drum breaks. Bring on the album!

Low End Activist - Cannibal [Seagrave/Bandcamp]
Low End Activist - Game Theory ft. Flowdan [Seagrave/Bandcamp]
Patrick Conway debuted Low End Activist in 2017 with a single featuring grime MC Trim. Last year's Low End Activism album on Sneaker Social Club merged UK bass styles from hardcore through jungle & drum'n'bass to grime & dubstep, in an investigation of class divisions in Oxford. Here he teams up with another MC from the original grime crew Roll Deep - the one & only Flowdan. There's plenty of activity (if less activism perhaps) in the low end, and "Cannibal" also brings the jungle breaks.

Sevdaliza - Lamp Lady [Sevdaliza Bandcamp]
Sevdaliza - Oh My God [Sevdaliza Bandcamp]
I was very pleased to discover the work of Dutch-Iranian artist Sevdaliza a few years ago - a hybrid of trip-hop, electronic pop, and glitchy breakbeat. Sevdaliza delights in turning herself into a kind of pop cyborg, and that mix of experimental electronics and catchy songwriting suits this show to a tee. So I'm not sure how I missed the new single "Oh My God" in January - manipulated vocals and twitch hip-hop beats. "Lamp Lady" just came out this month, and brings in those sweeping string lines which seem to connect her Western influences with Middle Eastern song.

Jan St. Werner feat. Mark E. Smith - Back To Animals [Editions Mego/Bandcamp]
More shuddering low-end on this particular track, part of a set of very strange works from Mouse on Mars' Jan St. Werner. The main event on the Molocular Meditation EP uses the recorded voice of the late Mark E. Smith, with whom Mouse on Mars released an album in 2007 under the name Von Südenfed. Smith's voice also emerges through the messed-up quasi-rhythms of this track. It's bewildering stuff, but a rewarding release worth giving full attention.

Moa Pillar - Gaze [Moa Pillar]
Moscow-based Fedor Pereverzev aka Moa Pillar has been making music since his teens, starting in more idm/folktronica territory, but for the last few years it's been euphoric, epic club music. For March 20's Bandcamp day he put up an unreleased EP from 2019 of Distorted Reality to help us through this here distorted reality, and I'm loving the breakbeat techno vibes. It's pay what you like, so support the artist if you can!

Herner Vertzog - Copied [Bandcamp]
Sydney's Josh Ahearn should be known to us as a bassist in bands like The Sticks, and prog/postrock madness such as the brilliant Squat Club from days of yore. But this is the first solo electronica I've heard from him, and it has a nice Boards of Canada or early Autechre vibe to its simple beat and blissful synth strains. Maybe this ol' Spoonerised alter ego can get some more outings!

Listen again — ~199MB

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