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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 July, 2020

Playlist 12.07.20 (8:34 pm)

TONIGHT we have some indie/pop/folkshoegaze epics and miniatures, some stunning contemporary musique concrète and sound-art, and some leftfield post-classical as well.

LISTEN AGAIN, immerse yourself! Stream on demand from FBi, podcast here.

Sufjan Stevens - My Rajneesh [Asthmatic Kitty/Bandcamp]
It's pretty exciting to have a new Sufjan Stevens album "proper" coming soon. Since Carrie & Lowell 5 years ago, there've been singles, remixes & reworkings, and collaborations such as the recent one with his stepdad Lowell Brams - but here's another typical dense, through-composed, philosophical/historical/political genre-bending work from the master. The single "America" is an epic, but here on the b-side we have another long one, not appearing on the album, about an Indian guru who came to America, formed a cult and tried to build a utopian city in Oregon - and it all came apart, resulting ultimately in the largest bioterrorism attack on US soil. So Sufjan writes a song about it which of course is sweet and melancholy and bombastic, indie and folk and electronic and everything. Ah Sufjan *weeps*

Taraamoon - شیزان (Shezān) [Low-Zi Records Bandcamp]
Here's a new project from Paris-based Iranian musicians Nima Aghiani and Sara Bigdeli Shamloo, best known to listeners of this show as 9T Antiope. The noise & abstractions of that group are mostly switched out here for experimental electronic pop, with Sara Shamloo singing in Persian rather than the English that features in most of 9T Antiope's work. I can't tell you much about the subject matter of these songs, but the music is absolutely beautiful - this one's from earlier this year, but their SoundCloud also features a new song.

Molly Joyce - Who Are You [New Amsterdam/Bandcamp]
Molly Joyce - Breaking And Entering [New Amsterdam/Bandcamp]
Two tracks from the debut album by Molly Joyce, who has an impaired left hand due to a childhood car accident, and has found the ideal instrument for her body in the vintage Magnus toy electric organ. These instruments, like some accordions, have chord buttons on the left and a full keyboard for her right hand, and with these - along with various electronics and her voice - she creates gorgeous widescreen songs which themselves explore the experience of disability. The songs are absolutely transporting, due to the combination of the sounds of the organ, the production techniques, and the fantastic composition.

Jesu - never there for you [JK Broadrick self-released/Bandcamp]
Last week on the show we heard from JK Broadrick's industrial techno incarnation JK Flesh. This week it's the turn of the beloved Jesu, his shoegaze metal and increasingly electronic shoegaze band/alias. Broadrick of course has an incredibly broad history, from being involved at the start of Napalm Death, to inventing industrial metal with Godflesh, to his world-dub-hip-hop with Kevin Martin as Techno Animal (and now Zonal). It's wonderful to have Jesu back though - always blissful with just enough edge to it, on this non-album track combining looped vocals, shoegaze guitars and a drum'n'bass-influenced beat. Bring on the full album!

Ai Aso - I'll do it my way [Ideologic Organ]
Ai Aso - Gone [Ideologic Organ]
Electrifying, simple, powerful acid folk from the wonderful Ai Aso, who has long been a collaborator with the likes of Boris (who appear on a couple of ambient tracks here) and Stephen O'Malley (whose imprint Ideologic Organ released this album). This music is in the vein of Eddie Marcon, Tenniscoats etc, of deceptively simple Japanese electric folk, with beauifully direct songs and strange things going on around the edges (the angularly discordant solo in the latter part of the first song for instance). Incredible.

Boris - Interlude [Boris Bandcamp]
I think the new Boris album took some people by surprise, since they have decided - for now at least - to release it only digitally. NO is vintage Boris - noise metal, psych, catchy songs, crazy solos, downtuned doomy slow riffs. It's awesome, but it ends with 3 minutes of beautiful shoegazey guitar loops and whispers of Wata's vocals, which seemed the perfect segue from Ai Aso.

Bérangère Maximin - The Broken Shoe [Karl Records/Bandcamp]
Bérangère Maximin - Knitting in the Air (feat. Christian Fennesz, guitar) [Sub Rosa]
Bérangère Maximin - Elpis [Atlas Réalisastions/Bandcamp]
Bérangère Maximin - Walking Barefoot, Imaginary Quintet [Karl Records/Bandcamp]
A few works now from the ever-surprising, brilliant musician Bérangère Maximin. Her new album comes out from Berlin label Karl Records, following released on labels as diverse as Tzadik, Sub Rosa, Crammed Discs and Craig Leon's Atlas Réalisastions. I still think of Maximin as a musique concrète composer and sound-artist, and those elements are still present on this new album - field recordings from around city parks and abandoned buildings recorded throughout Europe feature here, manipulated in various ways, alongside all sorts of electronic elements. There are even drum machines and sequenced synthesizers, allbeit treated in unusual fashions - but then, her 2012 album No one is an island featured various guitarists (Christian Fennesz appeared tonight) and even leaned into song-forms with Bérangère's vocals at times - like many of the artists featured tonight, she is not one to be pinned down. I strongly recommend connecting with this album and whatever you can find of her back catalogue.

Marina Rosenfeld - One [softl, re-released Room40/Bandcamp]
Marina Rosenfeld - Four (Fever) [softl, re-released Room40/Bandcamp]
Lawrence English & Room40 are doing god's work here by releasing two out-of-print albums from the great Marina Rosenfeld. I'm very fond in particular of Joy of Fear, which I have the original limited CD of. Now you can hear this masterpiece of sound-art & composition, based around Rosenfeld's extensive collection of acetates - one-off records of the sort dance producers cut for DJing, here often featuring Rosenfeld's piano and cello, or that of collaborators such as Okkyung Lee. Lee's cello and Rosenfeld's piano appear alongside crackling, manipulated vinyl, in works of beautiful aural sorcery. Not to be missed.

Leah Kardos - Retracing Your Lines [bigo & twigetti/Bandcamp]
Luke Wyland - Hand Gestures [bigo & twigetti/Bandcamp]
English post-classical label bigo & twigetti have put together many creative compilations in the past. With Perceptions they are again progressively releasing a project, a few tracks at a time. It's all about the piano - played straight, or processed with delays or granular synthesis, composed or improvised. I gave you a special sneak preview of one track tonight, from longtime UFog fave, London-based ex-pat Aussie Leah Kardos - arpeggios and scale patterns that might be associated with piano practice are slowly layered with delays and low organ, and made more baroque with higher, faster patterns as the track rises to a sparkling climax. Meanwhile, American multi-instrumentalist Luke Wyland, whose freak-folk band AU was a favourite round these parts years ago, here revists territory from his LWW project for Leaf, with playfully improvised piano gestures subtly manipulated in post-production.

Drexler - Ivory Tape [Rhodium Publishing/Bandcamp]
Drexler - Ashes [Rhodium Publishing/Bandcamp]
I've been talking with now London-based Sydney-born musician Adrian Leung for a while, and I'm super pleased that his debut album as Drexler is now coming out later this week. It draws on his background as a classically-trained pianist and violinist, but equally on his Hong Kong Chinese heritage and times spent in Japan. Tracks on Handles remind me of the joyful mélange of post-classical, postrock and electronica from many Japanese artists, as well as the Rachels' mixture of classical & postrock, and many contemporary post-classical artists. It's a great achievement, worth your time.

Julia Kent, Seb Rochford and David Coulter - From Isolation 6 01 [Trestle Records/Bandcamp]
Cecilia Forssberg, James Hammond & Keir Vine - From Isolation 9 01 [Trestle Records/Bandcamp]
It's been a minute since we checked in with Trestle Records' From Isolation series, and I need to remind you that they're still releasing awesome one-off collaborations like these! So let's finish with two remotely-created collabs. From From Isolation 6 we've got New York cellist frequently appearing in UFog playlists Julia Kent, with Scottish musician Seb Rochford of Polar Bear and more recently Pulled By Magnets, and British composer David Coulter. As you'd expect, woody cello, jazzy postrocky beats, lovely textures.
And finally, from the recent From Isolation 9 we have classically-trained singer & drone musician Cecilia Forssberg's gorgeous vocals & electronics with the guitar & bass from 33-33 co-founder James Hammond and the synth & electronics of Portico Quartet's & Keir Vine.

Listen again — ~198MB


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