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Utility Fog

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Sunday nights from 9 to 11pm on FBi Radio, 94.5 FM in Sydney, Australia.
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Playlists are listed with artist name first, then track title and (remixer), then [record label]. Enjoy the links.

Sunday, 30th of August, 2020

Playlist 30.08.20 (7:42 pm)

From healing techno-pop through ambient contemporary classicism, folk with dubstep & electronic heritage, to international & Australian dancefloor mutations... your usual UFog for a Sunday night.

LISTEN AGAIN to take a trip around the world. Stream it on demand from FBi, podcast right here.

Kelly Lee Owens - Corner of My Sky (feat. John Cale) [Smalltown Supersound/Bandcamp]
Kelly Lee Owens - 8 [Smalltown Supersound/Bandcamp]
Kelly Lee Owens - Re-Wild [Smalltown Supersound/Bandcamp]
When her debut solo album landed in 2017, Kelly Lee Owens made a big impact with her combination of highly adept, melodic techno production and dream-pop vocals - the latter a holdover from her indie rock days and school choirs. There even feels like a direct connection between the pure, positive loveliness of her music and her training as a nurse - but on her new, second album, the healing is a lot more personal, coming after the death of her beloved grandmother and the end of a destructive relationship. While there are tracks referencing climate change and grief, Inner Song is again primarily an album of peace and joy, and it's an absolute pleasure, not least the gorgeous "Corner of My Sky", which features the magnificent John Cale singing in both English and Welsh, the language of Owens' roots as well. From her debut, I decided to play the entire blissful near-10 minutes of closer "8".

Maria Moles - Brother [Music Company/Bandcamp]
Phaser x Ensori - Painted Shadows Half Obscured By Light [Music Company/Bandcamp]
Rosalind Hall - Event Horizon [Music Company/Bandcamp]
Music Company is a new label from Melbourne with the motto "In the home, out of the home and on the internet". They have confoundingly little info about them or this compilation, but that's OK, the music can speak for itself - and there's some very fine music on their second release, Vector Fields Vol. 1, all proceeds of which go to Indigenous LGBTQI organisation Black Rainbow. The focus is on ambient and post-classical sounds, so drummer Maria Moles is here with a beautiful piece of delicate electronics and vocals, and then we have stunning soundscapes from composer & sound-artist Marlene Claudine Radice with Christopher Bainbridge's bowed & layered double bass. Finally, Rosalind Hall's floating ambience is gradually disturbed by atonal bass drops - a strange echo of the dubstep roots of our next artist...

Stick In The Wheel - Drive The Cold Winter Away [From Here Records/Stick In The Wheel Bandcamp]
Stick In The Wheel - As I Roved Out [From Here Records/Stick In The Wheel Bandcamp]
Stick In The Wheel - Nine Herbs Charm (Against The Lonesome Beyond version) [From Here Records/Stick In The Wheel Bandcamp]
Stick In The Wheel - Villon Song [From Here Records/Stick In The Wheel Bandcamp]
Various Production - Hater [XL Recordings]
Since their first album proper a few years ago, I've featured British folk act Stick In The Wheel quite a bit on this show. They represent both a very faithful British folk revivalism (particularly with a series of compilations with fellow travellers on their From Here Records label) and also a willingness to majorly diverge from their roots - and this is no surprise, since key members of Stick In The Wheel were involved with the brilliant, idiosyncratic early dubstep crew Various Production, who happily split 7"s between acoustic guitar folk tunes and dubstep bangers, and then went ahead and mashed them up for later tracks. The beloved "Hater", from a 7" and then their debut album, features vocals from Rachel Davies, part of the original lineup of Stick In The Wheel, and Ian Carter was long one of the main producers. Carter still makes dubstep/drum'n'bass/techno as EAN, and also lets the electronics seep into what Stick In The Wheel does. Core members are now Carter and singer Nicola Kearey, who was also around on the original Various stuff (all members were always uncredited, somewhat irritatingly!), and Stick In The Wheel's well-researched and appropriately unsentimental form of British folk takes in stomping rock, auto-tuned ballads, reworked Yiddish songs and more. It's brilliant music for turbulent times.

Hyph11E - Owl Whispers [Houndstooth/Bandcamp]
AYA - DaRE u to sour lips with me [Houndstooth/Bandcamp]
British label Houndstooth's latest compilation Alterity is border-crossing collection of music spanning the globe, with a good mix of genders across experimental club sounds. They've drawn particularly on artists associated with labels like Shanghai's SVBKVLT and Kampala's Hakuna Kulala, and it feels a little churlish to say that I wish it was just a little more thrilling in its particular tracklisting than it is. Nevertheless, there are plenty of great highlights, of which I could only bring you a couple tonight: the shape-changing speedy beats from Manchester's AYA, and the fantastically jungle-tinged multicultural techno of Shanghai's Hyph11E (and it's notable that her last release was a collaboration, co-released by the two labels I just mentioned, with Slikback, also on this compilation).

&nbsp - U [The Collection Artaud/Bandcamp]
From Berlin-based Yu Miyashita aka Yaporigami's label The Collection Artaud comes the third 12" from the mysterious Japanese producer &nbsp. All three feature half-speed beats with jungle/drill'n'bass breaks peppered through them, and I think this track I played tonight is the best so far in this idiosyncratic take on "slow/fast". Very cool.

Gooooose - Plasma Sunrise [SVBKVLT]
Gooooose & DJ Scotch Egg - JAC [SVBKVLT]
Gooooose & DJ Scotch Egg - Goose Egg Dub (feat. Swordman Kitala) [SVBKVLT]
Shanghai producer Gooooose appears on the Alterity comp featured earlier tonight, but I knew I was going to play this new collaboration with another Berlin-based Japanese artist, DJ Scotch Egg, and here we are. Gooooose's amazing track "Plasma Sunrise" comes from his Rusted Silicon, released by SVBKVLT last year, with those bouncing, mashed amen breaks skittering around as another way of reusing and discombobulating the roots of jungle. DJ Scotch Egg has roots in breakcore himself, but has worked at the outskirts of various club scenes for years, favouring dub & dancehall styles, especially with WaqWaq Kingdom, his project with Kiki Hitomi. The dub/dancehall and footwork/jungle sounds are particular notable on "Goose Egg Dub", which also filters vocal elements from Ugandan MC Swordman Kitala into the mix (who we heard with a Scotch Egg-produced track a couple of weeks ago); on title track "JAC", the frantic club sounds give way to bent plucked notes perhaps from a guzheng or koto.

Rebel Yell - Combat [Deep Scan]
SCRAM - General [Deep Scan]
reesepushkin - return to square one [Deep Scan]
Grace Stevenson aka Rebel Yell gives us the first selection from a new compilation Solid State Drive from new Sydney label Deep Scan (also a radio show). This compilation drops next Thursday and features a whole lot of great techno, idm, breakcore and more from mostly Sydney artists, with some Melbourne crew and representatives from Japan & the UK also in there. Rebel Yell's track is intense industrial-influenced techno, after which we heard some classic-sounding jazzy jungle from SCRAM (of Western Sydney collective GARJ), and we finished with the processed vocals and glitchy grooves of reesepushkin, who may be better to known to Sydneysiders as Jay Cooper.

Ben Frost - Ein Tropfen - Ein Ozean [Invada/Bandcamp]
Ben Frost - Der Letzte Zyklus [Invada/Bandcamp]
Finally, we have two orchestral pieces (with electronic underpinnings) from the long-Iceland-based Australian composer Ben Frost, who has scored all three "cycles" of the German sci-fi TV series Dark. Deeply moody, the tracks are pretty utilitarian soundtrack cues, but quality, dark stuff all the same, especially when there's a bit of movement and tension. The last track, "Der Letzte Zyklus" means "The Last Cycle", and indeed this is the end of the timey-wimey drama. Very keen to see what Ben gets up to next!

Listen again — ~199MB

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Sunday, 23rd of August, 2020

Playlist 23.08.20 (9:19 pm)

There's more mutant jungle tonight, variegated types of electronica including some surprising remixes, and some gloriously detuned guitar...

LISTEN AGAIN to become a happy mutant. Stream on demand @ FBi, podcast here.

Matmos - nice men in stable relationships (feat. Clipping, Jennifer Walshe, Nate Boyce) [Thrill Jockey/Bandcamp]
Matmos - thyrsus (feat. C.K. Barlow, Nate Nelson, Colin Self) [Thrill Jockey/Bandcamp]
Matmos - blessed order of (feat. Judith Zissman, Marisa Anderson, Jeff Carey, Colin Dickey, Douglas Rushkoff) [Thrill Jockey/Bandcamp]
Matmos - unmastering (feat. Rabit, Erica Valencia) [Thrill Jockey/Bandcamp]
You'd think that Drew Daniel releasing one of the greatest albums of the year as The Soft Pink Truth AND then releasing a brilliant album of crust punk covers might be enough for 2020, but no, this week marks the release of a new album from his & MC Schmidt's ever-wondrous Matmos, and it's a massive 3CD, 3-hour set incorporating contributions from 99 fellow travellers (entirely at 99bpm). The Consuming Flame: Open Exercises in Group Form is a logical follow-up to what the pair have been doing with Matmos for the last 3½+ decades - a super-collaborative, highly-experimental project which is nevertheless always expressive of Daniel & Schmidt's creative vision, and due to their way with form, humour and communication skills, is always highly approachable. The list of contributors to the particular tracks this evening gives a little bit of a flavour of what's going on here - it's nice to hear a return at times to the twisted Americana of works like The West and The Civil War, and also bits of glitched pop and inscrutable spoken word snippets. By any standards 3 hours is too long, but it's hard to complain when it's such an embarrassment of riches.

Forest Drive West - Void Control [R&S Records/Bandcamp]
Forest Drive West - Prism [RuptureLDN]
If you knew Joe Baker's work primarily from releases on Livity Sound, Delsin or even AD 93 (previously Whities) you'd probably think of him as a masterful techno producer - and you'd be right, but you'd be missing an essential part of the picture, which is his pitch-perfect jungle output for Rupture LDN & others. There's a bass pressure and energy in his techno productions which draws from drum'n'bass, and he's combined things before (see the incredible 5/4 jungle techno of "Persistence of Memory #3") but this new 12" for legendary rave/ambient label R&S Records really takes things into new territory - four tracks of meticulously-programmed high-tempo beats which mostly ignore breaks, coming at jungle instead from a kind of minimal/maximal techno aesthetic. To segue into our next couple of tracks, I reprised one of the Rupture jungle tracks from a couple of years ago, where the breaks start & stop in a strange inversion of what's going on on the new Terminus EP.

Earl Grey - Infinite Loop [Western Lore]
Jim Ehlinger's been making beats for over a decade as Earl Grey, in the jungle/drum'n'bass space, often some kind of drumfunk. His latest EP is released on Dead Man's Chest's Western Lore, and like Forest Drive West represents a jungle music that's highly conscious of its early '90s beginnings but also listening to current-day sounds.

Thugwidow - Covert OP [Kudatah]
Dedicated junglist Thugwidow has also released on Western Lore recently, but for his gazillionth release for 2020 he returns to Kudatah, who released his debut album in 2017 (since when he's released at least 20 albums & EPs). This one doesn't have any nods to dubstep, garage or techno to speak of - just pure original junglism.

Violent Magic Orchestra - You are hate [Never Sleep]
Japan's noise/metal/postrock/post-classical ensemble Vampillia have long had an alter-ego called Violent Magic Orchestra, which appears to differ mainly in being instrumental music (except when it's not), and eschewing the post-classical aspects of Vampillia. Their new EP for Gabber Eleganza's Never Sleep is as varied as ever, and the opening track seems to be a realisation finally of the drill'n'bass/breakcore tendencies first manifested in a YouTube clip called "Blackest Ever Black Metal" back in 2014! Hence its appearance at this point in tonight's playlist...

Vladislav Delay, Sly Dunbar & Robbie Shakespeare - 519 [Sub Rosa]
Vladislav Delay, Sly Dunbar & Robbie Shakespeare - 516 [Sub Rosa]
Legendary reggae/dub rhythm section Sly & Robbie have never shied away from new inventions in the dub world - having started out in the mid-'70s, they incorporated electronic programming in the '80s, pushed dancehall front & centre in the '90s, and continue today. It's still somehow surprising hearing them work with Finnish experimental dub techno maestro Vladislav Delay though; even though Sasu Ripatti works a lot with live musicians (and is a drummer himself), his music is so electronically-derived, it was hard to imagine how it would fit together. It seems this new collaboration is a natural outcropping from Delay's mixing work on Norwegian trumpeter Nils Petter Molvær's album with Sly & Robbie, and so the clear dub roots of the rhythms gain that Scandinavian sheen (check the long droned outro on "519"). It's experimental enough to end up on Sub Rosa, but not nearly as glitchy or noisy as it might have been.

Richard Pike - Memory Circa (feat. Ital Tek) [Salmon Universe/Bandcamp]
Sydney's Richard Pike (now London-based), known for his band PVT with brother Laurence, has been making TV & film soundtracks for a while lately, and has released some ambient synth stuff as D E E P L E A R N I N G - but new EP Memory Circa is the first non-soundtrack work under his own name. Three synth-pattern-led techno tracks, which he's sat on for a while, one in collaboration with onetime dubstep don Ital Tek, whose bass weight can be heard on the title track. I don't know why I was surprised to hear vocals, as Richard's been a singer all along, and they work very nicely here.

Tim Shiel - Coliseum (feat. Genesis Owusu) [Spirit Level/Bandcamp]
Of late, Tim Shiel has been producing delightful classical & folk-tinged music for videogames, and running his Spirit Level label out of Melbourne (as well as presenting on Triple J/Double J of course), so it's nice hear some electronic music from him again - excellent breakbeats and acidy synth lines accompanying a top notch vocal from Ganaian (Canberra-based) star-in-the-making Genesis Owusu.

Crass - Do They? (Glasser Remix) [One Little Independent RecordsCrass Bandcamp]
Crass - You're Already Dead [Crass Records/One Little Independent Records/Crass Bandcamp]
Crass - Asylum (Mikado Koko Remix) [One Little Independent RecordsCrass Bandcamp]
The anarcho-punk of UK collective Crass couldn't be more relevant now, in these days where protest movements are simultaneously co-opted and treated as terrorists, and Covid lockdowns are being used as excuses to stamp down hard on the mosto downtrodden parts of our society. So it's nice to have an excuse to listen to them anew. Late last year they made from their debut album The Feeding of the 500 available on Google Drive for anyone to remix. Now a series of 7"s is coming out with well-known and lesser-known names remixing their tracks (none other than Steve Aoki does a drum'n'bass-ish take on "Banned from the Roxy" on the latest single!). It's been a while since Glasser has released any new music, and her take on "Do They Owe Us A Living?" preserves the energy and anger of the original while completely reconfiguring it. She also samples a snippet of Eve Libertine's incredible poem "Asylum" at the start, and on the 3rd single Japanese experimental electronic artist Mikado Koko takes the already abstract backing of the original and turns up the weirdness, processing the lyric but keeping the power of that poem. It's a project that could easily have been gratuitous, but has turned out quite inspiring - and all proceeds go to UK domestic violence organisation Refuge, which also couldn't be more important in these locked down times.

Wytchings - Decalcomania [Lazy Thinking/Bandcamp]
Wytchings - Patent Redux [Lazy Thinking/Bandcamp]
I played the single from the new EP by Sydney artist Jenny Trinh aka Wytchings a few weeks ago, and now the full EP Oculus is out. It follows her rather ambient, waterlogged debut release, with dark sound design and some heavy beats at times as the artist exorcises the trauma of having been racially assaulted as a teenager. Absolutely not to be missed.

Julia Reidy - Proximity [opalmine]
Julia Reidy - Clairvoyant [Editions Mego/Bandcamp]
Sydney guitarist Julia Reidy has been based in Berlin for some years, developing an absolutely idiosyncratic sound world. On early track "Proximity" tonight we hear her sparse, abstracted guitar style, but it perhaps predates the key characteristic of her work, in which the strings of her 12-string guitar are detuned just so, producing a shimmering, queasy but beautiful microtonal effect. On releases on Slip and Black Truffle new elements have appeared: electronic drones and autotuned vocals. These continue on her stunning debut for Editions Mego, Vanish. Reidy is making magical music unlike any other, and I strongly recommend losing yourself in it.

Aphir - Give You One (feat. Sandy Hsu) [Provenance/Bandcamp]
Finally tonight, the first single from Becki Whitton aka Aphir's new album recorded & produced entirely during lockdown (much of it streamed on Twitch & Instagram!). Whitton's hallmarks are all there - dark, experimental electronics underpin beautiful, catchy pop melodies. This lovely song is accompanied by an equally lovely stop-motion video by Goodie, of a dancing rose.

Listen again — ~207MB

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Sunday, 16th of August, 2020

Playlist 16.08.20 (7:15 pm)

Tonight we move between Palestinian glitch-hop, East African grime/dancehall/ting, original junglism and contemporary jungle/drill'n'bass/bass, and various post-industrial emanations.

LISTEN AGAIN as we take you on a trip through 40 years of experimental & electronic genres, across many continents & cultures... Stream on demand from FBi, podcast here.

Muqata'a - Al Missfah المصفاة [Muqata'a Bandcamp]
Muqata'a - Al Watar Al Wiswas الوتر الوسواس [Muqata'a Bandcamp]
Muqata'a - Taqamus Muqawim [SOUK Records/Bandcamp]
Muqata'a - Al Maqtu'a المقطوعة [Muqata'a Bandcamp]
Two years ago I discovered the music of Palestinian beatmaker Muqata'a via a release on Discrepant Records' new sister label SOUK Records called Inkanakuntu. Muqata'a was a founder of the Ramallah Underground Collective, and as well as scoring films and dance performances, is a member of the audiovisual group Tashweesh. Courtesy of the latest Below the Radar compilation from The Wire I've now found his Bandcamp, with some fantastic glitchy beats going back quite a while - including a 2013 album featuring rapping in Arabic. There's more to discover - a 2017 album I've not had a chance to hear yet, and another album on the way this year. Meanwhile on the Bandcamp he's recently added an EP of Singles from a few years ago - it all sounds super fresh regardless.

Duma - Angels and Abysses [Nyege Nyege Tapes]
Duma - Pembe 666 [Nyege Nyege Tapes]
Kenyan duo Duma are described as grindcore, which is partially accurate, but the music from Sam Karugu and Martin Khanja (aka Lord Spike Heart) combines black metal's rapidfire blast beats and screams with sheets of synth pads and other electronics alongside spoken word at times. Their debut album for Uganda's Nyege Nyege Tapes is pretty extreme and has been turning lots of heads as it makes people aware of what's coming out of Kenya's underground metal scene. I've chosen a couple of the more electronic tracks, perhaps, which somehow fit well as we move from hip-hop towards the drum'n'bass part of the show...

Swordman Kitala (produced by DJ Scotch Rolex) - Batufitina [Hakuna Kulala]
Nyege Nyege's more club-oriented sublabel Hakuna Kulala also just released a beautiful-looking yellow 7" from two MCs, Swordman Kitala (featured here) and new MC Sekelembele. Both tracks are produced by proponents of Japanese beat destruction - for this track, breakcore/chiptune mainstay DJ Scotch Egg renames himself after the popular Ugandan egg roll called (get it?) the Rolex. It's intense jungle-influenced grime/dancehall, showing how comfortably African artists reincorporate the African ancestry of Jamaican musical forms.

Harmony - Dance With Me [Deep Jungle]
Harmony & Xtreme - Temple of Doom [Deep Jungle]
Lee Bogush goes right back to the earliest days of jungle, as it was coming out of UK hardcore and before it morphed into drum'n'bass. As DJ Harmony he released a slew of incredible 12"s, many of the earliest alongside Suzanne Harris as Harmony & Xtreme. Some of those duo tracks appear on the massive compilation The Early Years 1993-1996 (a couple of others were reissued in 2018, with Xtreme credited). Bogush now runs the fantastic Deep Jungle label, which, in addition to reissuing long lost early classics, puts out remastered 12"s (and digital thankfully) of unreleased gems from artists' and labels' original DAT recordings. As well as the archival comp released this January, Harmony recently released an entire new album called Resurgence, full of wonderful junglist bliss - still available on standard black vinyl 2LP and (bless) CD.

Hextape - Toyota (Ahm Edit) [Anterograde]
Last week I played the brilliant new track from Narrm/Melbourne-based sound-artist Bridget Chappell aka Hextape. In the midst of the junglist tunes this evening it's impossible not to drop the equally rad remix of the tune by fellow Melbournite Ahm, which switches the focus from the field recordings (perhaps still present at times) to the insane beat juggling.

A.G. Cook - A-Z [PC Music Bandcamp]
A.G. Cook - Waldhammer [PC Music Bandcamp]
A.G. Cook - Could It Be [PC Music Bandcamp]
I've had a difficult relationship with the PC Music phenomenon - I acknowledge the way they incorporate experimentalism into pop music, but most of what they release has been too shiny and, well, "pop" for me to get into. So I'm quite pleased to discover that maximalist new album from PC Music head honcho A.G. Cook is mostly very much my thing, and probably yours too. Over 7 "discs" (I don't think there's a physical edition) of 7 tracks each, Cook covers a lot of ground, but there's an idm/drill'n'bass thread throughout, along with the usual glitched vocals etc. Various famous mates appear as guests (including Caroline Polachek & Hannah Diamond), there are some weird covers including Smashing Pumpkins' "Today" LOL, Blur's "Beetlebum", and a co-write with Oneohtrix Point Never. The drill'n'bass beats, the Nord melodies on disc 5 and even the chopped vocals on disc 6 all bear a strong influence from Aphex Twin and other idm originals from the early-to-mid '90s, but Cook's musical background (he studied at Goldsmith's in London) also comes out in Waldhammer's manic reworking of Beethoven's Waldstein Piano Sonata.

Danny Scrilla - World Below [Cosmic Bridge]
Versatile bass/beats producer Danny Scrilla's new EP is about as "Cosmic Bridge" as it can get without being made by label head Om Unit, with a variety of sunny tracks at different tempos emphasising bass, beats and melodies. Opener "Onyx" is a head-nodding, melodic favourite, but I've chosen the half-tempo "World Below", which pushes its double-time jungle beats out at times through the tune.

The Werm - Skincrawlin' (Deep Rhythm Remix by Blood Groove) [The Werm Bandcamp]
The Werm - Skincrawlin' [The Werm Bandcamp]
Melbourne musician Simon Maisch is more used to playing bass & electronics in industrial/goth and EBM bands, but has taken the downtime of Covid as an opportunity to put together new project The Werm, which melds the industrial influences to more of an acid/breakbeat vibe. New EP Skincrawlin' is out now, and also features (segueing nicely tonight) a drum'n'bass remix by sound designer & electronics builder Blood Groove.

Scattered Order - Chill Blaine Blues [Provenance/Bandcamp]
Scattered Order - National Adjustment Scheme [Provenance/Bandcamp]
It's astonishing to think that Scattered Order have been around for over 4 decades now. Original members Mitch Jones and Michael Tee are still there, joined by longtime co-traveller Shane Fahey. They started as a kind of postpunk operation, and were involved with Sydney's influential industrial scene in the early '80s, then the experimental industrial/punk end of the electronic/techno scene in the '90s. Since 2010 they've been steadily releasing new music again, in various lineups, as well as in individual side projects. Jones and his partner (and longtime Scattered Order associate/artist/member at times) Drusilla aka Skipism now live in the Blue Mountains, and Tee lives in Newcastle where he runs a wonderful bookshop/cafe, but they still manage to make music together. As usual on this album just released by Provenance on vinyl & digital, there's electronic beats, abrasive processed guitars, ominous vocals and warped prettiness. As creative as ever, may they never stop!

Little Annie Anxiety & Hiro Kone - Third Gear [Hiro Kone Bandcamp]
Annie Anxiety - Third Gear [Corpush Christi/Dais/Bandcamp]
Larsen (with Little Annie) - It Was A Very Good Year [Tin Angel Records]
Little Annie Anxiety & Hiro Kone - Burnt Offerings [Hiro Kone Bandcamp]
We finish with a very few tracks in tribute to the incredible Little Annie aka Ann Bandes aka Annie Anxiety Bandez, New York-born singer, songwriter and artist who started making music in 1977. When she moved to the UK in 1981 it was in association with Steve Ignorant & Penny Rimbaud of the influential creative powerhouse of anarcho-punk, Crass. Alongside Crass, she worked closely with Adrian Sherwood and his nascent On-U Sound Records, and all these characters (including Bonjo from African Head Charge) appeared on her album Soul Possession, released initially on Crass's Corpush Christi, and re-released a few years ago by Dais. It's mostly tracks from this album which were revisited in 2018 in a collaboration & live performance with the brilliant New York producer Nicky Mao aka Hiro Kone (Little Annie also appeared on Hiro Kone's astonishing 2018 album Pure Expenditure). The collaboration is now available on Bandcamp and as you'll hear tonight it is absolutely not to be missed. Deep grooves from Mao with nods to the original productions & Annie's longtime association with dub, industrial & experimental music underscore her reinterpretations of these old tunes. I played one of the massively creative originals, and while I wish I could've played her collaboration with Coil, or something from the On-U Sound era proper, I just had time for one more, so it had to be from her longstanding connection with Italian postrock/kraut/experimental band Larsen. Only Little Annie could so perfectly genderswap the Frank Sinatra-popularised "It Was A Very Good Year", in which the singer reminisces about the types of girls he romanced through his life - sickly-sweet misogynist nostalgia it may be, but it's a gorgeous song (check out the Kingston Trio's original recording while you're at it).

Listen again — ~199MB

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Sunday, 9th of August, 2020

Playlist 09.08.20 (6:44 pm)

Strange but apposite bedfellows tonight, with doom rubbing up against ambient and drone, booming in subterranean caverns underneath drum'n'bass, dubstep, uk garage and techno beats. Although acoustic sounds are perhaps sidelined, there's some glorious saxophone, and some detuned pianos, and free jazz live & sampled...

LISTEN AGAIN to unravel the world's mysteries. Stream on demand from FBi, podcast here.

Divide and Dissolve - 8VA [Saddle Creek/Bandcamp]
It might only be a 7", but the return of Divide and Dissolve is massive and hugely welcome at this moment in time. The anti-colonialist indigenous doom duo are made up of Takiaya Reed on sax and guitar, and Sylvie Nehill on drums. For tonight's show I've chosen the B-side, which starts with ominous rumbles but really gets going in the second half where Nehill thrashes out the drums and Reed's guitar is left to thrum with disorted feedback so she can extemporize some inspired saxophone lines, whose diminished and minor intervals seem to draw from Eastern European & Middle Eastern music as much as African American. Their message of decolonization is heard loud and clear despite this being instrumental music.

Hextape - Toyota [Anterograde]
Narrm/Melbourne musician, sound-artist & educator Bridget Chappell is at home playing cello in industrial spaces or using field recording techniques as political activism. As Hextape she's folding field recordings into deconstructed rave and other electronic music - furious beats at times, and lots of sound processing. Her new single "Toyota" samples her '96 Hilux, and comes with a video made with Henry Pyne which takes the ute and footage around Narrm into a video-game world, and a remix from lablemate Ahm, who we heard a couple of weeks ago on the show.

Nolige - The Blue Hour [DROOGS]
Shaun Bateman takes both sides of the latest 12" on DROOGS, the slightly more dancefloor-friendly sister label of dark drum'n'bass/techno entity UVB-76. Bateman's SB81 alias, under which he's appeared on Metalheadz and other well-known labels, takes the B-side, but this dark roller from his earlier Nolige alias has been floating around in mixes for 10 years. Verrry nice.

Lara K - Any At All [AR53]
Melbourne's AR53 released this 2-track EP of breakbeats and glitchy shoegaze textures from Melbourne artist Lara K. Stuttering and timestretched vocals seem to hover just behind the scenes, while the beats shuffle and hammer in ever-changing ways. Excellent stuff - more at her Bandcamp.

Nocturnerror - In Silence, In Which Things Abandon Each Other [Opal Tapes]
Nocturnerror - Dust [Opal Tapes]
Nocturnerror - Distressing Chrysalis [A Flooded Need]
Like Lara K above, the music of Italy's Carmine Laurenza as Nocturnerror is drum'n'bass-adjacent, but rather than finely-edited big drum breaks, here we have muffled hyperkinetic percussion skittering under haunting synth pads, industrial crashes and filtered white noise. Even the Autechre-like ambient interlude "Dust" fits well with his Opal Tapes debut's theme of technology-fuelled displacement and distancing. Laurenza runs the label A Flooded Need, on which he released the Unnecessary earlier this year, which leans more heavily on the glitchy, industrial post-junglist beats.

Search & Destroy - Candyfloss - Brighton Rock remix by Toasty [Toasty Bandcamp]
Toasty - Cold Blooded [Clandestine Cultivations/Toasty Bandcamp]
I noted early last year that dubstep legend Toasty had been putting some (mostly archival) tunes up on his own Bandcamp. For the latest Bandcamp Friday just gone, he added a couple of augmented old EPs, from circa 2006. For dubstep, especially of that era, there's some unrelenting beat juggling going on (and actually some of these tunes date from as early as 2003!). The remix of Search & Destroy is not the same as the one released on Hotflush in 2008, and in fact to these ears sounds more like a reworking of the flipside, "Anger". Rad, rad stuff.

Somah - Hebrew Flip ft. Rider Shafique [Deep Medi/Bandcamp]
Von D - Symbolism [Deep Medi/Bandcamp]
If you're looking for that classic dubstep feel but still forward-looking, you couldn't do better than Mala's ever-reliable Deep Medi label. A couple of recent cuts include Joe Rooney's Somah joined by versatile MC & poet Rider Shafique, and from across the pond, French producer Von D with swinging beats and warm, flowing bass.

Max de Wardener - Bismuth Dream (Herron Remix) [Village Green/Bandcamp]
Max de Wardener, performed by Kit Downes - Deranged Landscape [Village Green/Bandcamp]
Max de Wardener - Foxtrot (Loraine James Remix) [Village Green/Bandcamp]
Back in March, Village Green released an otherworldly album by UK composer Max de Wardener, who I knew from some mid-2000's idm & folktronica. The detuned pianos, performed by Kit Downes, produced weird percussion-like chimes and alien landscapes. Now those tracks have been reworked by a slew of excellent contemporary artists, include cellist Oliver Coates, poet & producer Rupert Clervaux and others. Tonight we heard the very bass-heavy techno of Herron and the twitchy, techy version by Loraine James, which neatly draws out the connection between de Wardener's pianos and Aphex Twin's detuned synths from the early '90s.

Makaya McCraven - Half Steppin' [International Anthem/Bandcamp]
Makaya McCraven - Tall Tales (feat. Tomeka Reid) [International Anthem/Bandcamp]
Makaya McCraven - Traveling Space [International Anthem/Bandcamp]
With 2018's Universal Beings, Chicago drummer Makaya McCraven cemented his place in contemporary culture with an album made up of incredible free jazz performances in four different locations, all chewed up as fodder for McCraven's hip-hop-informed recreations. It followed previous albums & mixtapes exploring this idea, but the material for that album was so rich that now, 2 years later, there's a full album of "E&F Sides" built from the same gigs, released as a soundtrack to a making-of documentary, also now available. Among the brilliant musicians performing, I'm always drawn to the cello of Tomeka Reid, which can be heard on new track "Traveling Space" as well as "Tall Tales", taken from the original Universal Beings.

Tomaga - Ersangerkrieg [Tomaga Bandcamp (limited, no longer available)]
Tomaga - Greetings From The Bitter End [Kaya Kaya Records/Tomaga Bandcamp]
Tomaga - Surikat [Tomaga Bandcamp (limited, no longer available)]
UK duo Tomaga are so unpigeonholeable that it's always hard to find where to fit them in a playlist, even though it's music I love so much. So their Extended Play 2 really should've appeared in July, since it's now been deleted from their Bandcamp - sorry if you missed it! Once again drummer/percussionist Valentina Magaletti and bass/synth player Tom Relleen weave musical magic that echoes krautrock, postpunk, electronica, hauntology, and more, yet seems unstuck in time & space. At least the middle track, an old favourite, can still be found.

Giulio Aldinucci & Matteo Uggeri - Inceneritore [Matteo Uggeri Bandcamp]
Giulio Aldinucci & Matteo Uggeri - Dead Flag Beat [Matteo Uggeri Bandcamp]
Two quite different Italian artists pair up for something special here, based around some stunning photographs taken by Uggeri in a '70s office building. The two artists both used field recordings, each in their style - Giulio Aldinucci building beautiful drones that hint at the deconstructed classical music of his solo releases, Matteo Uggeri constructing cavernous beats that edge into dub and techno. It's an immersive album and two tracks can only give a hint to the full feeling.

Arrowounds - Inertia [Lost Tribe Sound/Bandcamp]
Recently released as part of Lost Tribe Sound's big 15-album "Built Upon a Fearful Void" series is a deep, engulfing album from Ryan S Chamberlain's Arrowounds. Submerged under its cavernous drones is the thump of a techno kick drum. But the overwhelming feeling is one of being, well overwhelmed - de-pitched drones and field recordings, evoking the feelings of loneliness and helplessness of being trapped underwater, an analogue with the artist's experience of being a caregiver to someone going through cancer treatments. It's unusual to hear (instrumental) music that's so successful in conjuring forth a particular, personal experience.

Listen again — ~201MB

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Sunday, 2nd of August, 2020

Playlist 02.08.20 (8:01 pm)

Tonight's Utility Fog is a journey, from Italian experimental classical-folk to techno, with broken beats and avant-garde electronics in between.

LISTEN AGAIN to this aural trip! Podcast here, stream on demand @ FBi.

Silvia Tarozzi - Al cancello [Unseen Worlds/Bandcamp]
Silvia Tarozzi - La sostanza dell’affetto [Unseen Worlds/Bandcamp]
Silvia Tarozzi - Sembra neve [Unseen Worlds/Bandcamp]
Tonight we start with an extraordinary album, nearly a decade in the making, from Italian violinist Silvia Tarozzi. There is a lot of violin from Tarozzi on Mi specchio e rifletto, but she also plays myriad other instruments, sings, and composed everything. Her wide-ranging background can be heard across this album, from her experience with free improv to her deep collaboration with groundbreaking electronic composer Eliane Radigue, to her work with contemporary Ensemble Dedalus - but the album is also a surprisingly accessible and delightful collection of songs, compositions and sound works. The first track is like a lost Penguin Cafe Orchestra track - joyful and slightly wonky minimalist acoustic classical-folk; elsewhere wistful vocals give way to beautifully messy slide guitar, fragmentary tape loops are manipulated, accordion accompanies ricochet violin, and on the last selection tonight there's an outro with wonderfully outré vocal techniques. It's like nothing else you're likely to hear this year.

Dmitry Evgrafov - Stymie [130701/Bandcamp]
Dmitry Evgrafov - Anthropocene [130701/Bandcamp]
Dmitry Evgrafov - Context [130701/Bandcamp]
Continuing the theme of re-contextualised contemporary classical, we join Russian sound designer & composer Dmitry Evgrafov for his third album on Fat Cat's 130701 label. Unlike his previous efforts, the solo artist is here often joined by collaborators, so "Stymie" has a performance on guzheng by William Yates aka memotone and an algorithmically-generated voice from SomethingUnreal, while on "Anthropocene" Evgrafov's piano performance is corrupted by Heinali's effects. Elsewhere on the album postrocky drums and classical string orchestrations are found, but on "Context" Evgrafov introduces glitchy beats briefly, with consultation from Ben Lukas Boysen (an old hand at this under his Hecq moniker). I should note that Evgrafov is co-founder of the mobile app Endel, which generates responsive ambient soundscapes, and which *ahem* signed a 20-album deal with Warner last year for ambient albums on Apple Music & iTunes. Crazy stuff! But this music is really well-considered and captivating.

Nordra - Reflective Friend [SIGE Records/Bandcamp]
Nordra - Searching In Fields For Elements [SIGE Records/Bandcamp]
Pylon III is the last in a trilogy of works created by Monika Khot aka Nordra for Coleman Pester's dance trilogy PYLON, with a theme of human resilience in a time of control through technology, surveillance etc. Khot's soundtracks - all released by Aaron Turner & Faith Coloccia's SIGE Records - stand alone as three excellent albums of mostly synth-based industrial electronics, although Khot's other sides as singer and member of psych outfit Zen Mother come through as well. Wordless vocals and synthesised strings are accompanied by slow hi-hat and kick drum on "Reflective Friend", while the bell tones at the end of the more abstract, industrial "Searching In Fields For Elements" are generated by a MIDI note interpreter being fed noise. This is probably Khot's greatest work yet as Nordra, but it's well worth checking out the previous releases as well.

Travis Cook - chainsaw [Travis Cook Bandcamp]
Travis Cook - mars_surface [Travis Cook Bandcamp]
Travis Cook - blueberry [Travis Cook Bandcamp]
It was only last week that Marcus Whale released his new solo album, and hot on his tail is his other half in Collarbones, Travis Cook. Mastered is Travis' first solo album under his own name (I leave the unearthing of ancient childhood efforts to the internet archaeologists). Over 30 mostly short tracks, we hear a lot of Travis' production techniques familiar from Collarbones - deconstructed rave stabs, breakbeats, glitchy industrial synths, punctuated by chopped vocals (and occasional longer song samples), ambient interludes, all with a pop sparkle. And "blueberry" segues nicely into the jungle/drum'n'bass segment coming up next.

Baby T - Portra (Jungle Mix) [Samurai Music]
Baby T - Estrogen Attitude [Central Processing Unit/Bandcamp]
Brianna Price is better known as a producer, DJ and label owner under the name B. Traits, originally shortened from "Baby Traits". This year she flipped the abbreviation for new project Baby T, described on Facebook as for "hardcore junglist shit only", and the first EP Portra came out through Samurai Music with three different versions from Price plus two excellent remixes from Homemade Weapons and Ancestral Voices. Just announced now is new EP I Against I from Central Processing Unit, and it's somewhat more wide-ranging than hardcore junglist shit - but the excellently titled preview track "Estrogen Attitude" is super-fun acidic drum'n'bass. For an eye-opening look at how unfriendly jungle & drum'n'bass have historically been to the women in the scene, this article from Julia Toppin is a must-read.

Thugwidow - Concussion [Warehouse Rave]
Anglesey, Wales-based producer Thugwidow seems able to pump out mashed breakbeats in post-dubstep, hardcore techno and particularly junglist fashion as easily as breathing, so much has he released in the last few years. This has continued this year, and the four tracks on Warehouse Rave's Pump Up The Feeling are some of his recent best. His releases are scattered over myriad labels, mostly on Bandcamp - it's seriously impossible to keep up, but dip in when you can!

Phillip D Kick - Drips [Astrophonica/Om Unit Bandcamp]
Phillip D Kick - Drown [Astrophonica/Om Unit Bandcamp]
Phillip D Kick - Summer Moods [Astrophonica/Om Unit Bandcamp]
Om Unit originally created his punning Phillip D Kick alias to try out the hybrid genre "footwork jungle" over 3 incredible EPs. In 2018 he returned to the moniker for the Pathways EP on Fracture's Astrophonica label for 160bpm beat juggling, and now we have more joyful breaks at that tempo on As We Continue. It's the melodic, acid/funk end of jungle, and incredibly infectious (if I'm allowed to use that word during a pandemic?)

An Avrin - Clodhopper [Scuffed Recordings]
UK bass in various forms is the basis for the brilliant Clodhopper EP on Scuffed Recordings from new producer An Avrin. The digital bonus is particularly junglist, but the title track is insanely great, with every sound chopped to perfection - tiny vocal snippets on off-beats, little bits of breaks and halftime bass plus eventually a little synth melody. Superb.

GILA - Death Slump [Lex Records/Bandcamp]
GILA - Don't Chirp [XL Recordings]
GILA - Throw This Away [Lex Records/Bandcamp]
GILA - Rider 1 (Darq Windows) [Lex Records/Bandcamp]
I loved Kyle Reid's first EP as GILA back in 2016, released by XL Recordings, but then I seem to have stopped paying attention, so now I'm playing catchup with a bunch of amazing releases, and he's now signed to Lex Records. He was originally a drummer, and had to give that up due to rheumatoid arthritis (tbh I'm lucky to still be playing cello due to multiple medications) - so now he's making incredible beats. As you can see with "Don't Chirp", that restraint has been there from the start, with low-slung bass, chopped vocals (a feature in tonight's playlist!) and sparse, syncopated beats. An album's been promised for a while, but we'll make do for now with the individual tracks as they come...

Rrose x Yourhighness - Stratofortress [Eaux]
Rrose x Bob Ostertag - The Surgeon General (Her Insides Laid Bare) [Eaux]
Finishing up with two remixes from Seth Horvitz's Rrose, recently collected on their Eaux label as Collected Remixes Vol. 1 (2011-2020), a callback to the Born Again (Collected Remixes 1999-2005) double CD of Horvitz's previous alias Sutekh. There's lots of superb, slow-moving techno here, like the pulsing, creaking remix of Sweden's Yourhighness, but there's also some beautiful, challenging sound-art including two reworkings of the legendary Bob Ostertag. The album on Bandcamp also comes with the tracks as a 1¼-hr mix, great for driving or bumping along to at home...

Listen again — ~197MB

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