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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, 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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