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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, 14th of June, 2020

Playlist 14.06.20 (8:09 pm)

Good evening. Black Lives Matter. People still don't seem to get it - especially those involved in policing.
Black American music is literally in the origins of all the music I play on this show, of all the pop music we listen to... Tonight we've got hip-hop, Ugandan percussion, and international dance music based around sampled and re-sampled breaks and techno originals. Sending out love to all.

LISTEN AGAIN, keep listening again until you get it! Stream on demand from FBi, podcast here.

Armand Hammer - Slewfoot [Backwoodz Studioz/Bandcamp]
Armand Hammer - Pommelhorse ft. Curly Castro [Backwoodz Studioz/Bandcamp]
Last year billy woods, founder of Backwoodz Studioz, put out two of the best hip-hop albums of the year - Hidden Places with Kenny Segal in particular was top of my list. The year before, his duo Armand Hammer with ELUCID released one of the most bewildering and brilliant albums of that year, Paraffin, so their follow-up this year had a lot riding on it. And Shrines by and large pulls it off. The lyrics as usual are rapidfire, dense and reference-laden, frequently apposite to the current situation, which after all is just drawing attention to the reality of life for Black Americans that white people have the privilege of staying oblivious to (much like in Australia). Musically it's as strange and unexpected as ever - highlighting the fact that hip-hop has always been experimental music.

Nihiloxica - 190819 [Crammed Discs/Bandcamp]
Nihiloxica - 170819 [Crammed Discs/Bandcamp]
Nihiloxica - Choir Chops [Nyege Nyege Tapes]
Nihiloxica - Dubugwanjuba [Nyege Nyege Tapes]
Nihiloxica - Salongo [Crammed Discs/Bandcamp]
Bugandan electro-percussion group Nihiloxica formed in 2017 when the Ugandan percussion group Nilotika Cultural Ensemble fused their music with the warped synth playing of pq and the hybrid live/electronic drumkit of Spooky-J. They released two amazing EPs of dark, raw music on Kampala-based Nyege Nyege Tapes, and now have signed to legendary Belgian label Crammed Discs for their debut album Kaloli. It's both the same and different - in some ways more polished, a little less edgy, but allowing more freedom for experimental skits and the beautiful flute & synth piece "170819" among others. Whatever, it's great that this creative, brilliant band will get more followers through this wider release, and can hopefully tour widely once things open up again...

Tennis Pagan - GALAXIES A MESS [Spirit Level/Bandcamp]
Tennis Pagan - Dirge [Spirit Level/Bandcamp]
Tennis Pagan - [unlisted] [Spirit Level/Bandcamp]
Melbourne's Tennis Pagan continues to be resolutely anonymous - we know he's a pagan who's into tennis... actually we don't even know that at all. His second EP for Spirit Level continues to harken back to woozy '90s idm, drill'n'bass & downtempo, with a current-era edge to it. It was also delightful how the fluttering synths and percussive backing of the first track conveniently flowed out of Nihiloxica.

MoMA Ready - The Other Side [MoMA Ready Bandcamp]
MoMA Ready - An Exorcism [MoMA Ready Bandcamp]
Gallery S/MoMA Ready - The Subtle Sound of Dying [MoMA Ready Bandcamp]
New York producer Wyatt D. Stevens embodies New York's gregarious club traditions with his MoMA Ready project and the similarly art world-focused "Gallery S", as well as his label HAUS of ALTR. The music ranges across techno, house, breakbeat etc, with a pervasive love of jungle in there too. It's bizarrely hard to pin down in a wonderfully queer way - while "The Other Side" is pure junglist rave, the rest of the EP of that title is everything else; last year's A Demon / An Exorcism is a little more consistent, with effectively three variants of the one beat-juggling track. This year's Gallery S is co-credited to Stevens' alternate project of the same name, an arty exploration of dance music of all forms, even though I'm of course focusing on the jungle & breakbeat energy. Brilliant stuff.

ASC - Moment of Truth [Samurai Music/ASC Bandcamp]
James Clements' ASC started off as a drum'n'bass project, but after helping pioneer the autonomic sound in the 2010s, he's strayed further into techno & ambient climes - so it's wonderful to hear new EP An Exact Science, courtesy of Samurai Music, who encouraged him to unearth some old breakbeats and create four storming tracks of junglist beat science.

Luke Vibert presents Amen Andrews - Bass Kick [Hypercolour]
Amen Andrews - Fast & Bulbous [Rephlex]
Luke Vibert presents Amen Andrews - Ready Again [Hypercolour]
Of all the "drill'n'bass" producers of the mid-'90s - Aphex Twin, Squarepusher, µ-Ziq et al - even though I believe they all genuinely loved jungle & drum'n'bass, I always felt Luke Vibert pulled it off the best with his Plug alias. Best known for his dubby hip-hop sounds as Wagon Christ, and for his effortless melodic acid techno & funk (often under his own name), Vibert returned to jungle in the early 2000s as Amen Andrews (indicating that Plug could only be created on the long-gone old-school sampling technology). From the very first Amen Andrews EP I've played a cute track that samples Le Mystère Des Voix Bulgares, Captain Beefheart and of course The Winstons. This year Vibert's putting out three breakbeat-focused albums through Hypercolour, and the first sees a welcome full-album return of Amen Andrews. Relentlessly fun stuff.

Nahash - Changement de Régime [Svbkvlt]
Nahash - The Horns feat. Osheyack [Svbkvlt]
Montreal producer Raphaël Valensi is Nahash, producing bass & jungle-riffing deconstructed club music with a strong political undercurrent, especially on the new album Flowers of the Revolution for Shanghai's Svbkvlt - he lived for some years in Shanghai, and the new album features Shanghai-based Osheyack on one track (as well as a set of remixes including our own DJ Plead). Nahash delves deep into Western & Evangelical Christian interference with countries the world over - installing right-wing dictators, bringing a neo-liberalism that, as he says, they "could do very well without it". And the harsh industrial bass and amen breaks are rad...

Arad - Barometric Shuffle [VOITAX/Bandcamp]
Arad - Inti [Bedouin Records]
Arad - Vortex [VOITAX/Bandcamp]
Dara Smith's duo Lakker with Ian McDonnell aka Eomac have been favourites on this show since their IDM days, and their take on bass techno - very much informed by their move from Dublin to Berlin years ago - is very close to this show's heart. I was very much taken with Arad's 2018 EP on Bedouin Records, The Glimpse, which melded autotuned & vocoded vocals with syncopated machine funk. His new EP Radiance Haze on Berlin label VOITAX leans back towards techno but still features his voice and of course that broken-beat funk.

Liminal Drifter - Connected [Hidden Shoal/Liminal Drifter Bandcamp]
Liminal Drifter - A Love Song for Ghosts [Hidden Shoal/Liminal Drifter Bandcamp]
Liminal Drifter - Choir on Mars [Hidden Shoal/Liminal Drifter Bandcamp]
Dr Simon Order is the UK-born, Perth-based musician behind Liminal Drifter, with 5 years and 4 albums of melodic, blissful electronica under his belt. Connected continues the theme started on Troubled Mystic in 2015 - touchpoints would be Plaid, Boards of Canada, The Orb's ambient techno and the downtempo instrumental hip-hop of the '90s, although there's something recognizably his own about Order's basslines and melodies. It's a delight to have him back.

Listen again — ~207MB

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