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experimental electronica
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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, 10th of May, 2020

Playlist 10.05.20 (6:55 pm)

This week, Kraftwerk founder Florian Schneider left us at the age of 73. There've been many tributes and many favourite tracks shared - for a single song, mine is Hall of Mirrors from Trans Europe Express - but I've decided not to derail the show itself with their music, and instead focus on new electronic & experimental sounds. It's fair to say that just about everything I'm playing owes something to the great pioneers.

So settle back & LISTEN AGAIN. Stream on demand from FBi, podcast right here.

Grand Veymont - Persistance & changement (excerpt) [Objet Disque/Bandcamp]
Grand Veymont - Bois barbu [Objet Disque/Bandcamp]
French duo Grand Veymont, on their new album and on their first, 2018's Route du Vertige, create expressive, nostalgic, longform songs out of sequenced keyboards and vocals. Listening in the context of Kraftwerk and other krautrock luminaries, it's impossible not to feel like there's a strong connection. Béatrice Morel-Journel's vocals recall the melodic work of Stereolab, Broadcast et al, so there are multiple levels of nostalgia here. New album Persistance & changement takes longform to a new level - it's almost 40 minutes long, one track digitally, although clearly in two parts for vinyl. It's absolutely listenable through, with lovely procession through various changes along the way, despite basically staying around the one chord (sometimes major, sometimes minor). It's like a mountain range, and its peaks are breathtaking.

Loraine James - ALB19 20 [Loraine James Bandcamp]
Loraine James - ALB19 10 [Loraine James Bandcamp]
Playing catchup again. Although Loraine James released a cute selection of bangers and mashups for Bandcamp Day #2, I never played anything off the amazing previous Bandcamp Day release, FYAI Demos + Ditched Album, which contains a selection of demos from her brilliant For You And I album from last year and also a whole never-released album. If these are incomplete tracks, it just goes to show what a restless & ingenious talent she is. They remind me of the complexity and everything-goes nature of idm with a thoroughly modern sensibility, and as I said on Bandcamp, it's bliss to me.

Cocktail Party Effect - Brutalism [Tectonic/Bandcamp]
Cocktail Party Effect - Lack of Wrong Format [Tectonic/Bandcamp]
Cocktail Party Effect - For The Memory Exchange [Tectonic/Bandcamp]
A trained sound designer from South London, based in Berlin, Cocktail Party Effect has a number of releases under his belt in the dubstep/techno/grime axis. For his new album on Tectonic he takes advantage of the album format to cover a lot of ground - from ambient to grime to slow/fast jungle to breakcore even. Like a lot of contemporary artists there's a bit of idm madness in there, and a tendency towards balls-out wall of sound (at times tempered by the quieter tracks). Still, there's some top-of-the-class programming and some bangers in there.

Brain Rays & Quiet - Hemlock [SEAGRAVE/Bandcamp]
Baconhead - Foreign or Domestic (feat. Nongenetic) [Bizarre Rituals]
Brain Rays & Quiet - Delilah [SEAGRAVE/Bandcamp]
I've been keen for this one since I heard Brain Rays' production with Louis King on a recent Seagrave release, which led me to Brain Rays + Quiet's incredible Electronic Explorations mix of their own music, mixing jungle, ravey techno and footstep influences with unhinged breakcore. And that's very much what you get on this excellent album on SEAGRAVE. Brain Rays & Quiet are also Baconhead, under which name they make bass-heavy hip-hop, and I played a track from 2015 with Nongenetic, who's used to working with idm types from his days in Shadow Huntaz, usually produced by Funckarma.

FAUZIA - Progression [R&S Records/Bandcamp]
R.Kitt - This Won't Last [R&S Records/Bandcamp]
For Bandcamp Day #2, legendary electronic label R&S Records riffed on their In Order To Dance series with a massive, essential compilation they called In Order to Care, for which all artists donated their tracks to fund much-needed PPE for NHS workers. It's worth repeating the label's entire statement, as it's so pertinent: “We do not see the NHS as a charity and it saddens our heart that we even have to do something like this. The UK government has failed the NHS and is outright lying about its inadequate supply chains. We have been speaking directly with frontline workers and they are in desperate need of this equipment, and if we can help get these supplies directly into the hands of workers - we feel it is our duty to unite the music community to help out.” Well, regardless of how pressing this cause is, it's choc full of brilliant music. Not heard tonight are highlights from Barker, Client_03, DjRum, Forest Drive West, Loraine James, Special Request and many more. There's quite a jungle thread through a lot of it too, including FAUZIA Habib (who contributes her production duties to a second track as well), and the slower stop-start rave sounds of Dublin's R.Kitt.

Lint - Week [Lint Bandcamp]
Dru & Mitch Jones of Aussie industrial legends Scattered Order have been making strange electronic music in various formats for decades. Drusilla is also a highly talented visual artist and solo musician as Skipism and Mitch can be found as the little hand of the faithful. This second release of the pair together as Lint combines electronic rhythms, distorted sampled vocals and other sound sources psychedelically processed beyond recognition, usually along with buzzing razor guitars. A joy as ever.

Enderie - Bass [Anterograde]
Andrew McLellan's third release as Enderie (he's also behind messy lo-fi postpunk/noise outfit Cured Pink). As Enderie he explores naïve techno & club music experiments, and here the tracks are "Swing", "Break", "Bass" and "Step". It was a toss-up between the relentlessly chopped and syncopated "Break" and this one, but in the end the ravey reverbed synth intro and eventual two-note bassline of "Bass" were the perfect fit for tonight's selections.

Aphir, Kcin & Tilman Robinson - The Garden of Earthly Delights - Panel 3 [Trestle Records/Bandcamp]
Here's a little consommé of Utility Fog connections all bundled together. Becki Whitton's Aphir (Melbourne via Canberra), Nick Meredith's Kcin (Sydney) and Tilman Robinson (Melbourne via Perth) have all featured frequently and recently on the show - Aphir's experimental electronic pop, Kcin's dark percussion & electronics, and Tilman's dark pan-genre compositions. Kcin also participated in Trestle Records' last series, One Day Band, so for their From Isolation series he suggested teaming up with these two for some remote collaboration. Thus here we have their twisted interpretation of Hieronymus Bosch's triptych The Garden of Earthly Delights. This isn't exactly club music, but the fluttering motor rhythms and deep bass aren't a million miles away either.

Vertzog - Loneliness Is Cool As Hell [Vertzog Bandcamp]
Josh Ahearn obviously decided that "Herner Vertzog" was a little too punny for its own good, so now it's just Vertzog. For his third solo isolation track (three for three on this show so far!) it's another right-angle turn, with an Asian-sounding plucked melody and muffled synth pads joined eventually by Ahearn's melodic bass and a stop-start beat. It's pretty haunting. Don't give way to the loneliness mate, keep channeling it into these tunes.

Warm Stranger - Blankscreen [Warm Stranger Bandcamp]
Warm Stranger - Apron & Valium [Human Mistake Records]
Warm Stranger - Burning Ghost Dream [Esc.rec]
Warm Stranger - Freedom From Identity [Warm Stranger Bandcamp]
Nice to have a reminder of a singular musical voice from Melbourne. James Annesley is a jazz saxophonist, but as Warm Stranger he's made three albums of disquieting electronics now, drawing from the uncomfortable, creepy end of industrial, and the more abstract end of electro & idm. Oversaturated synth lines can sometimes point at Boards of Canada, if the soft-focus worlds they were showing us were more decayed and urban than their beautiful place out in the country... All three of these releases are pretty special.

Listen again — ~197MB

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