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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, 1st of November, 2020

Playlist 01.11.20 (10:24 pm)

Trying to fit everything in tonight, whether it's creepy collage, contemporary classical, idm, bass-led dancefloor sounds, or various forms of songwriting.

LISTEN AGAIN to everything, whether stream on demand from FBi, or podcast right here.

Black To Comm - Oocyte Oil [Thrill Jockey/Bandcamp]
Black To Comm - Cheap Trick [Dekorder/Cellule 75]
Black To Comm - 39 [Dekorder/Cellule 75]
Mouchoir Étanche - Argent de rêve [Dekorder/Bandcamp]
Black To Comm - Rataplan, Rataplan, Rataplan (Arms and Legs Flying in the Air) [Thrill Jockey/Bandcamp]
As Black To Comm, Hamburg-based sound-artiist Marc Richter released one of the albums of 2019 with Seven Horses For Seven Kings, the culmination of over a decade of great hallucinatory releases on labels like Type, Dekorder and De Stijl. The work is now followed by Oocyte Oil and Stolen Androgens, an album that comes with little contextualisation but once again works as high art music and low culture, spun from collaged samples and unsettling ambiences. I love how the piano follows the spoken word in the last track. Meanwhile, as usual Richter is so busy that he's overflowing into other places. A few years ago, Black To Comm was supplemented by the You Tube-sampling vaporwavey project Jemh Circs. Now comes Mouchoir Étanche, which translates as "waterproof handkerchief". I'm not sure how much this music differs from core Black To Comm - but simultaneously with the Mouchoir Étanche album Une fille pétrifiée comes another BTC album, A C of M. Both play up the more absurdist, surrealist aspects of Richter's work, and as a set, all three albums are highly rewarding.

Bridget Chappell - Birrarung Marr [Heavy Machinery Records/Bandcamp]
Bridget Chappell - Freshwater Falls [Heavy Machinery Records/Bandcamp]
Last time we heard Naarm/Melbourne artist Bridget Chappell on the show it was for the ute-sampling deconstructed jungle breaks of "Toyota", under their Hextape alias. Now their new project Undertow is released under their own name on adventurous Melbourne label Heavy Machinery Records. This work was commissioned by the City of Melbourne and uses their Open Data Platform to sonify contemporary & historical data about water management, along with manipulated samples of the Federation Bells in Birrarung Marr Park. The location of the Federation Bells was once underwater, and the colonial aspects of water management can't be ignored, as well as the environmental aspects. Colonialism and climate change are central to Chappell's practice, and it's great hearing these come out alongside Chappell's cello playing and love of rave & industrial beats.

Autechre - DekDre Scap B [Warp]
Autechre - marhide [Warp]
Everyone knows that Autechre albums need to be followed by a second album (even if it's sometimes called an EP), and after a period of weird sprawling non-album creations (which I thought were excellent), here we have PLUS following hot on the heels of SIGN. It's been a while since Ae's stuff was genuinely surprising, and nothing here or on SIGN sounds that different from anything they've done 10 years really - but they were so far ahead of the curve for so long that that hardly matters. There's head-nodding beats, gritty textures, beautiful meandering melodies, and to me there's a bit more edge to this than the other album. I'm happy!

tsx x psygod - silberringe swud [generate + test]
I've mentioned recently that those pioneers of '90s glitch Farmers Manual have of late taken to Bandcamp with a vengeance, sticking up archival works galore and making creative use of the digital platform - something not unforeign to them, as they infamously loosed days' worth of live recordings on the web decades ago. Releasing other people's music is not foreign to them either, and generate + test is the latest venture. Here we have tsx, which is a solo incarnation of FM's Oswald Berthold, creating glitchy drum machine tunes created solely on mobile, with various collaborators. I have no info on "psygod", but this is a nice bit of quasi-glitch-hop.

Mutant Joe - Masquerading as Matter [Mutant Joe Bandcamp]
Mutant Joe - Boom, Drop [Natural Sciences]
Mutant Joe - Atrophy [Mutant Joe Bandcamp]
Only just twigging to the work of Brisbane's Mutant Joe, who now has a few releases on international labels, at the ripe old age of 20. It's awesome that there's an Aussie producer, not from Sydney or Melbourne (or Perth), doing absolutely on-point leftfield dancefloor music, and it's a super interesting mix too. Bass music is at the core, whether it's southern US-style hip-hop or jungle/dubstep/garage mutations. A new EP, Cortisol just dropped on his Bandcamp, and earlier this year Manchester label Natural Sciences released the album Vagrant.

ETCH - Naitsri Complex [Seagrave/Bandcamp]
UK producer ETCH loves the UK bass music continuum, as does the ever-reliable Seagrave Records, and they've teamed up for ETCH's latest album, Strange Days, which covers breakbeats at all tempos. "Naitsri Complex" is the most jungle-like, but there's much slower and everything in between.

Smurphy - Instinct [Bokeh Versions/Bandcamp]
UPGRAYEDD SMURPHY - I love you [Smurphy Bandcamp]
Smurphy - Intellect [Bokeh Versions/Bandcamp]
Under the name Smurphy, Mexican producer Jessica García has been making psychedelic, dub-influenced sounds for some time. She moved to LA for a time, moved back to Mexico in 2017, changed the name to UPGRAYEDD SMURPHY for a time and then back, and has been absorbing and recombining the sounds of UK bass/dancefloor music, juke, and techno over the last few years. Along with net releases like Sorry, please forgive me, thank you, I love you, in 2018 she created the 20-minute rave journey #InterDimensionalMagic for Sydney's Longform Editions, which I strongly recommend grabbing too. Her newest EP is released by Bristol dub/not-dub label Bokeh Versions and draws significantly from juke among her various interests. Label proceeds will be donated to Eden Reforestation Projects, who work with impoverished people to address global deforestation.

exael - Circle (Squishy Mix) [Berlin Atonal/Bandcamp]
Aho Ssan + Exzald S - Wondertomb [Berlin Atonal/Bandcamp]
In this age of no clubs, Berlin Atonal have re-ignited their record label with a massive 5x12" compilation called More Light. I understand that it's big and supports the club (and artists), but the digital is still insanely expensive on Bandcamp - but I noticed it's considerably cheaper at Boomkat for some reason. It's a helluva selection of artists, worth a good look over. While I wasn't that excited about a few contributions from generally great artists, there's some brilliant stuff all the same, such as the bumpy bass number from exael. Teaming up with French sound-artist Aho Ssan, whose Simulacrum on Subtext Recordings was an early 2020 highlight, is Exzald S, French singer who used to be known as Fawkes. Their track is like a more abstract Kate Bush through a deconstructed club lens...

Lack The Low - Know What It's Like [Provenance/Bandcamp]
Kat Hunter aka Lack The Low has just gone through Melbourne's extended, life-sapping lockdown - an incredibly successful feat at squashing a scary second wave, but one that took a huge toll on the citizens. "Know What It's Like" is a one-off song that Provenance are releasing next week, in which Hunter layers and layers her violin under an emotional vocal about human connection.

shoeb ahmad - hipless [Shoeb Ahmad Bandcamp]
shoeb ahmad - bloodwork [Shoeb Ahmad Bandcamp]
This coming Friday also sees the release of Shoeb Ahmad's follow-up album to her acclaimed 2018 album "quiver". Unlike "quiver"'s pared-back indie-punk production (as pared-back as Sia will get), a body full of tears brings the full arsenal of distortion, industrial beats, processed guitars and misused keyboards, to underscore (and overwhelm) songs about about identity. It's possible to identify her love of artists as wide as Hood, Fennesz, Primal Scream and Andy Stott in here, but it's deeply personal work that reflects a musical history that's all her own.

epic45 - Rainstorm Breaks [Wayside & Woodland/Bandcamp]
epic45 - Buildings Aren't Haunted, People Are [Wayside & Woodland/Bandcamp]
The second album for 2020 from UK's epic45 sees them returning to the indietronica-meets-postrock-meets-electronica of their England Fallen Over era - a little more upbeat than they've been of late, partially due to the full membership of drummer James Yates (who's worked with The Declining Winter among others). The Hood influence looms large, with the twisted junglism of "Rainstorm Breaks" reminiscent of Hood's Chris Adams' early work as Downpour - but elsewhere there's that melodic sensibility which makes epic45 a favourite among many indie types. A very strong album.

Sam Amidon - Reuben [Nonesuch/Bandcamp]
Nico Muhly - The Only Tune III (feat. Sam Amidon) [Bedroom Community/Bandcamp]
Sam Amidon - How Come That Blood [Bedroom Community/Bandcamp]
Sam Amidon - Walkin' Boss [Nonesuch/Bandcamp]
Sam Amidon - Warren [Nonesuch/Bandcamp]
Sam Amidon - Maggie [Nonesuch/Bandcamp]
In 2007, Sam Amidon released his first album on Icelandic label Bedroom Community - at the time a seeming anomaly of (wonderful) American/Appalachian folk music on this classical/experimental electronic label. But it wasn't long until the relationship made a lot of sense: he appeared on Bedroom Community composer Nico Muhly's second album, with a stunning piece mixing a fragmented folk tune with minimalist composition and glitchy collage techniques; and Muhly's orchestrations joined Shahzad Ismaily's instrumentation and Valgeir Sigurðsson's production on the stunning second album I see the sign. Even as he's moved to the Nonesuch label and at times leaned more on the traditional folk/country/folk-rock arrangements, experimentation hasn't been far from Amidon's work. So with his self-titled new album, he again takes a set of traditional American tunes and underscores them with subtle electronics or hypes up the weirdness. It helps that he's a tremendously talented singer and musician - now with a fantastic body of work.

Listen again — ~207MB


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