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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, 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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