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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, 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 - Dance With Me [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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