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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, 15th of November, 2020

Playlist 15.11.20 (5:51 pm)

A flood of jungle/drum'n'bass-related releases in the last 2 weeks make this a very bass/beats oriented show. You know it makes sense.

LISTEN AGAIN to the beat of the drum... via FBi's stream on demand, or podcast here.

Pa Salieu - Informa (feat. M1llionz) [Warner]
Pa Salieu - Dem A Lie [Warner]
Pa Salieu - Bang Out [Warner]
Pa Salieu - Frontline [Warner]
2020 has been huge for Coventry-based UK rapper Pa Salieu. It's UK drill, but a lot could easily sit as grime. Salieu's voice is incredbily strong, bearing signs of his Gambian heritage as well as the British-Jamaican influence of the music, and his lyrics speak of the violence of systemic racism and the UK's long-established class system. Of course for me the music itself is a huge drawcard, and I was introduced to him through the b-side of his massive single "Betty" - on "Bang Out" he samples liberally from the ever-influential "Ghosts" by Japan, with David Sylvian's voice and the equally-identifiable synths weaving in and out of the rolling bassline and Salieu's raps.

Gantz - Janky [Gantz Bandcamp]
Gantz - Hinges Creak [Gantz Bandcamp]
Istanbul-based producer Emi Rongun seems to sit just on the outside of dubstep's mainstream, sometimes leaning into trip-hop influenced sounds, even joining in with the SoundCloud "jungle warz" years back. He's been released on many labels including frequently on Deep Medi through the years, but his latest Krokodil EP just dropped on his own Bandcamp. There's often something delicate & sensitive about his music, even when the beats and bass are heavy - always an artist to look out for in my book.

Krust - Space Oddity [Crosstown Rebels/Bandcamp]
Krust - Last Day [Full Cycle]
Krust - Coded Language (feat. Saul Williams) [Talkin' Loud]
Krust - How To Mutate feat. Trudi Mosiamo [Full Cycle]
Krust - Hegel Dialect [Crosstown Rebels/Bandcamp]
Kirk Thompson is an absolutely central figure in jungle and drum'n'bass, from when the sound percolated out of East London into Bristol, home of so much bass-oriented UK music. Thompson, as DJ Krust, was part of Reprazent along with Roni Size, DJ Die, SUV and others, and while Roni Size was the big name out front, Krust's production, orchestration, and sonic storytelling is next to none. His new album The Edge of Everything comes 14 years after the previous, and while there've been some really nice 12"s, remixes and such in the meantime, it's wonderful to have his music at album length, with sumptuous 12-minute epics and weird little skits. Crosstown Rebels isn't typically a drum'n'bass label, but while there's bits of halftime and bits of ambient in there, it's definitely all drum'n'bass at its roots, with some fiery break choppery and skittering drum machine programming, and plenty of punchy basslines. Krust's debut album Coded Language, released in 1999 on Talkin' Loud, was named after the groundbreaking song featuring Saul Williams (which incidentally appeared in identical form on Williams' own debut album Amethyst Rock Star) - heavy techstep beats and hard-hitting spoken word about the black roots of rap and beat-splicing. In 2006 Krust released his second album Hidden Knowledge on Full Cycle Records, the label he co-runs with Roni Size and Chris Lewis, and a bonus disc collected a bunch of older tunes, including "The Last Day" from 1996; and the album features the drum'n'bass-funk of "How To Mutate" with Trudi Mosiamo on vocals. There's no singing on Krust's new one, but still plenty of fascination with philosophy, politics and art. It's thought-provoking and body-moving in equal measures.

Origin Unknown - Valley Of The Shadows (Chase & Status Remix) [fabric/Bandcamp]
Hedex & Bou - Pub Grub VIP [Dubz Audio]
Also just recently released is the massive RTRN II Fabric mix from stadium drum'n'bass duo Chase & Status. It's actually a lovely tribute to jungle and drum'n'bass, with classics going right back to the early '90s, and updates like their own remix of Origin Unknown's beyond-classic "Valley Of The Shadows", which they treat with much respect, updating the beats and leaving the original samples basically intact. Among the new tunes is one by Hedex & Bou, updating a tune from Hedex's From The Rave album from last year - "Pub Grub VIP" tightens up the bassline and adds a little more junglist crunchy bits. I've had it on repeat all week.

Harmony - I Can't Stop [Deep Jungle]
Lee Bogush's Deep Jungle label has continued to release archival jungle tunes from many heroes this year, as well as a whole slew of stuff from the man himself as Harmony. After a fantastic album, here's two more delights, with vocal snippets and rolling breaks.

Chimpo - Focused [Box N Lock]
Chimpo - Burn [Box N Lock]
Chimpo - Big Ed (Generation X Mix) [Box N Lock]
I've been meaning to play Manchester's Chimpo for a little while - his HIA LP from earlier this year is a gem of songs and toasting over UK bass music of all sorts. Chimpo's been comfortable in many different genres for ages, but does love his drum'n'bass, as evidenced in the second of his Now That's What I Call Boxed N Locked collections that he's got on his Box N Lock Bandcamp for a mere £5. After HIA was released he also put out an EP of Club Mixes from the album, which are quite literally tributes to various well-loved Manchester clubs. There's drum'n'bass and also reggae and more.

Appleblim - Limbic Riddim [Sneaker Social Club]
Laurie Osborne aka Appleblim started off bringing dubstep and house/techno together, co-running the Skull Disco label with Shackleton (incidentally the two big Skull Disco compilations are now available on Bandcamp). There was quite a jungle influence on Appleblim's solo album from 2018, and it's nice hearing that come out again on a track from the second half of Sneaker Social Club's Evident Ware compilation, in which contemporary artists revisit the sounds of UK hardcore as it was just mutating into jungle and drum'n'bass.

65daysofstatic - Renoiser [Light Entries]
In the early days of 65daysofstatic, they were compared to Squarepusher and breakcore artists as much as postrock, and the big yearlong collection of EPs they put out last year & this had a solid electronic bent. This new track comes from a compilation of "algorave" music called Compassion Through Algorithms II, raising funds for Young Minds Together, and organisation in Rotherham, UK, supporting young black girls with music & dance.

Speaker Music - Our Unfinished Sonic Revolution––Amiri Baraka's Afro-American Lyric [Purple Tape Pedigree/Bandcamp]
Another EP from DeForrest Brown, Jr under his Speaker Music guise, mixing complex percussive electronics with hard-hitting words. Here we hear the late African-American poet Amiri Baraka - and speaking of words, purchasing this EP gets you a copy of Brown's own essential essay for Mixmag, published in October this year, called "How the Dance Music Industry Failed Black Artists".

Sig Nu Gris - Section 5 [Spirit Level/Bandcamp]
This week also saw the release of the new EP from Melbourne's Erin Hyde aka Sig Nu Gris. SALIVA is her tribute to rave music, and while she's veered towards jungle beats in the past, this is more high energy techno ravers, all in her special shimmery style.

Murphy - Solitary Pleasures [Gravy Murphy Bandcamp]
It's been a while since heard from UK ex-pat Jon Murphy on this show. Originally under the name Gravy Murphy, he was found in Perth and now Melbourne drawing on acid and idm templates, and his latest album pares it down to synths and some drum machines - but still very melodic. Even the quite distorted and drone opener I played here has something rather bright & breezy about it.

r hunter - he looks at the liver [.jpeg Artefacts]
r hunter - in retrospect (ft. ubu boi) [.jpeg Artefacts]
After previous releases on Nice Music and Prague's Genot Centre, Melbourne musician R Hunter (aka Asher Elazary) has unleashed his latest slab of post-club unsettling ambient soundscaping via .jpeg Artefacts. It feels like this music's time has come, a sound that hints at the body-moving sub-bass and rhythm of club music rather than unleashing it - the post-apocalyptic music of haunted dancehalls, augmented with the piano of fellow post-beatmaker Ubu Boi on a couple of tracks. The label are doing a limited CD edition, and whichever way you go, 100% of proceeds will be sent to the Djab Wurrung Protectors Fund.

Listen again — ~201MB

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