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experimental electronica
electric string quartet

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, 11th of October, 2020

Playlist 11.10.20 (9:06 pm)

Tonight we're wavering between beats and no beats, between wafting folk and harsh noise. Inspiring sounds all.

LISTEN AGAIN to the dance of the lockdown... Stream on demand from FBi, podcast here.

Claire Deak & Tony Dupé - before dark [Lost Tribe Sound/Bandcamp]
Saddleback - Scramble To [Preservation]
Saddleback - Singing Scribbles [Preservation]
Claire Deak & Tony Dupé - from a rooftop [Lost Tribe Sound/Bandcamp]
Back in the '90s Tony Dupé started off his career in indie bands, but he moved to production work by the early 2000s, putting his fine stamp on the early albums of Holly Throsby and Jack Ladder, and solo work of Jamie Hutchings among others. He moved from inner Sydney down to the south coast and made many legendary recordings in the town of Gerroa, and then in a cottage on Mount Saddleback, which gave its name to his much-loved organic studio-collage solo project released on Sydney's Preservation. In the meantime, he met the fantastic musician Claire Deak, who had studied music at the Uni of Western Sydney and then screen composition at AFTRS. They moved to Melbourne together, started a family, and also started work together with a studio of their own.
About a year after I first heard these wonderful recordings, their duo album is now released, and it couldn't be better paired than with US label Lost Tribe Sound. There are a plethora of organic instruments involved here, played by both musicians (indeed, after I played cello on many of his early productions, Tony went off and learned the instrument himself!), and it's just as you'd want it - the mysterious inde/folk/postrock creations of Saddleback grown up and augmented with the widescreen arrangement & composition skills of Claire Deak. Not to be missed!

part timer - FN [Part Timer Bandcamp]
There was a time in the mid-'00s when a week couldn't go by without some new music appearing on CD-R, and then in my inbox, from John McCaffrey aka part timer. An Englishman now long-established with his family in Melbourne, John eventually became busy with work and raising kids, but in the last few years a small flow of new tunes has trickled out. FN is four tracks that harken back to the clicky beats & folktronica of the tunes he was sending me way back when - it's a head-nodding funk stripped right back, bass music without the bass. Just lovely.

Church Andrews & Matt Davies - Roadtrip [Health Bandcamp]
Church Andrews & Matt Davies - Elixir [Health Bandcamp]
Mid last year I was pleased to be sent the music of Kirk Barley released on 33-33, which followed an album as Bambooman on Matthew Herbert's Accidental Records. He has a delicate touch, whether it's the layered guitars and electronics under his own name or the beats & electronics of Bambooman. Now he's revealed another alias, Church Andrews, under which he's collaborating with drummer Matt Davies (who appeared on his recent solo work), to create their most discombobulating, un-moored music yet. Neighbours documents a live setup in which Davies' drum performances trigger the synthesis of Barley's setup. In this 7-track release, strange time signatures and tunings are explored, all with a distinctive, minimalist sonic pallette, with accelerated stop-start rhythms echoing jungle, hip-hop, jazz and dub. If you're like me, when it finishes you'll want to turn around and listen to the whole thing again.

ZULI - 3ankaboot [Sneaker Social Club]
Christoph De Babalon - Where Are You Going? [Sneaker Social Club]
Speaking of jungle, here we are in the land of amen breaks and half-time sub-bass. Bristol label Sneaker Social Club are exploring the continuing legacy of what UK music critic Simon Reynolds calls the hardcore continuum - the music that came out of '80s rave music in the early '90s, hybridising acid techno, hip-hop breaks, and dub/dancehall bass into something utterly new and utterly UK. Sneaker Social Club's compilation Evident Ware is being released in two parts - Pt.01 is out now, Pt.02 coming in November. It's a very gregarious mix - Pt.01 starts with the regrouping of a duo from the early 2000s "ragga jungle" resurgence, Soundmurderer & SK-1, and reaches back to hardcore's beginnings with a contemporary remix of Manix's "Special Request". And then we have one of the Digital Hardcore originals here too, Christoph De Babalon, in fine form. As well as artists like THUGWIDOW and Sully making pitch-perfect '90s-style jungle, this music is also leaking into techno and experimental electronic again nowadays, and who better than Egypt's ZULI to carry that flag tonight?

Fatwires - Boreal Riddim [Depth of Field Music]
Fatwires - Tools that we'll be swinging [Depth of Field Music]
German bassist John Eckhardt is adept at bass in all styles - contemporary classical double bass, jazz bass, electric bass - and he's also a fan of bass in the club context. So with his project "Fatwires", he's just released an incredible album of dark music drawing on dub fused with club styles, including jungle and techno. From The wicked Path tonight I followed the last batch of tunes with the two junglist monsters, but the whole varied album is hugely recommended.

Summer Of Seventeen - Spirits of Redeemer [Karlrecords/Bandcamp]
Summer Of Seventeen - Theatre needs an Audience [Karlrecords/Bandcamp]
Courtesy of Berlin's Karlrecords, we move from dance music back into soundscapes with the incredibly evocative, heavy music of Cascadian supergroup Summer Of Seventeen. It's a group of musicians who orbit around Faith Coloccia and Aaron Turner's excellent SIGE Records. Coloccia & Turner join Monika Khot aka Nordra, who orchestrates the sounds recorded by them along with Portland noise music mainstay Daniel Menche and dark drone artist William Fowler Collins. Recorded with legendary producer Randall Dunn in 2017 just before horrific wildfires swept through Washington State, it carries a sense of creeping horror and melancholy that makes it feel very much of this time. It's some of the most moving and effective work that these musicians (many of whom I'm a massive fan-for-life of) have created.

Michalis Moschoutis - Archery [ROOM40/Bandcamp]
The last guitar chords of Summer of Seventeen ring out resoundingly, and meld into the ringing tones that run through the stunning opening track from Greek sound artist Michalis Moschoutis's new album Classical Mechanics, released by Brisbane's ROOM40. Inspired by the visual art of Roman Signer, Moschoutis's album presents four tracks of acoustic & electric instruments patiently unwinding their progressions, gently processed or at times growing towards harsher distortions. It's intimate and mostly peaceful, quite a special release.

Otro - (Again Someday) [Eastern Nurseries/Bandcamp]
Otro - Untitled (10 March 2020) [Eastern Nurseries/Bandcamp]
From Valencia in Spain, Otro is an artist whose earlier releases were situated in the deconstructed club world - indeed he had a track on the second compilation from Sydney's Eternal back in March last year. This new stuff, from Portuguese label Eastern Nurseries, is the product of the lockdown - it bears imprints of club music at times, but also blooms with acoustic instruments and lush arrangements, sometimes electronically glitched, occasionally joined by drums & beats. It's really impressive stuff, highly worth checking out!

Teho Teardo - Systehme de Mr Kirnberger [Spècula]
Teho Teardo - Cadence féminine [Spècula]
I'd been waiting for this for ages. The new album Ellipses dans l'harmonie from the great Teho Teardo, Italian industrial musician who moved into classical-influenced soundtrack work, was released in March, just in time for Italy to be struck with the worst first wave of COVID-19, and everything shut down. For some reason it wasn't easily available digitally (although it now seems to be streaming on Sp*tify etc), and it wasn't until I discovered it in a Portuguese record store's Discogs collection that I was able to get the CD sent here to Australia.
This isn't a soundtrack, although it sounds like it could be - for this album Teardo found himself in the massive library of Milan's Fondazione Giangiacomo Feltrinelli, where he discovered a chapter on music in the Encyclopedia of Diderot & D'Alembert which contained many examples of the elements of musical composition. So Teardo created this album inspired by an Englightenment encyclopedia, long-lost but politically highly influential. The music does fuse some of his industrial and electronic roots with the baroque & classical music he's "sampling" - it's "classic" Teho Teardo, and I'm glad to have found a way to get hold of it in this strange world we're in.

Tilly Webb - sun (parts i & ii) [Tilly Webb Bandcamp]
Melbourne composer & producer Tilly Webb is originally from Sydney, but has made a career in Melbourne soundtracking dance and film works. Her first standalone work is this lovely piece which grows from reedy drones into flittering minimalist tapestries of keyboards and voice, layered with distortion & granular processing. An auspicious debut.

Spires That In The Sunset Rise - Nobody [STITSR Bandcamp]
Louise Bock - Incandescent Misspelled Word [Feeding Tube Records/Bandcamp]
Spires That In The Sunset Rise - Geomantra [STITSR Bandcamp]
Earlier this year I discovered US musician Louise Bock aka Taralie Peterson via an incredbile EP called Abyss: For Cello. As well as cello, she plays sax and sings, and she's a member of the long-running psych-folk group Spires That In The Sunset Rise, for some time now a duo with Ka Baird, whose own elliptical works are released on RVNG Intl. On their latest album Psychic Oscillations Peterson's cello is strummed and richoceted as well as sawed, her saxophone and Baird's flute tumble over each other, and vocals soar. It's wonderfully unrestrained music, not held down by musical convention or moderation. Meanwhile, rather than this year's EP, I went back to Peterson's 2017 release on Feeding Tube Records, Repetitives in Illocality, and played as much as I could of the eldritch, gorgeously freakish "Incandescent Misspelled Word".

Listen again — ~195MB

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