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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, 17th of January, 2021

Playlist 17.01.21 (6:20 pm)

Tonight we've got future 2021 releases for Jan and later, new releases as of right now, and some more 2020 catching up, including a very important album remastered in 2020.

LISTEN AGAIN to a whole world of music... Stream on demand @ FBi, podcast here.

Wendra Hill - Historien om Brian [Playdate Records]
Wendra Hill - Det vakre ved laminat [Playdate Records]
Wendra Hill - Hammer´n i Tokyo [Playdate Records]
Previewing here some tracks from the phenomenal album Ungdomskilden ("the source of youth") from Oslo/Bergen collective Wendra Hill out on the 28th of January. The core of Wendra Hill are two Oslo-based musicians, Jo David Meyer Lysne on guitars, turntable & electronics, and Joel Ring on bass, cello & electronics. They're joined here by Bergen-based drummer Øyvind Hegg-Lunde, who has worked with many great Norwegian & Swedish artists including Building Instrument, Strings & Timpani, Erlend Apneseth and more. All three have fine credentials in experimental music, rock, jazz and even classical, and with Wendra Hill they create a playful form of what's familiar to many as the Norwegian/Swedish arm of jazz and folk influenced postrock. Strangely decontextualised spoken samples are found throughout, there's pitch-bending turntable weirdness, electronic beats, and live acoustic instrumentation. It's akin to the approach of The Books for their first few albums, very much in its own way, and that's as Utility Fog as you can get.

Mindy Meng Wang x Tim Shiel - Body of Water (What Is Love) 一线之间 [Music In Exile]
Excited to have received a promo of this wonderful collaboration well ahead of release - it's coming out in "2021", although hopefully real soon now? Mindy Meng Wang is a Chinese/Australian musician and expert guzheng player, who has been pioneering the meeting of East & West through the use of her instrument in contexts as wide as classical, jazz and electronic music for years - for a decade of which she's been based in Australia. Late last year she released a beautiful improvisational EP on Melbourne's Music In Exile, a label that's centred around Australia's many culturally diverse communities, and it's that label that will release the Nervous Energy EP from Mindy Meng Wang and restless Melbourne producer, label head and radio bod Tim Shiel. MMW's guzheng compositions and improvisations are chopped up and filtered into Shiel's beats which, after a 4/4 opening, lean more towards jittery breakbeats. Through constant back-and-forth filesharing all throughout last year, the artists have created a hybrid music in which pentatonic scales are subverted in Western club-ready fashion and beats & basslines give way to lovely acoustic washes. It's an exciting work of love & connectedness at a time when borders and societies have been closing up.

Kode9 - The Jackpot [Hyperdub/Bandcamp]
First in a series of releases from Hyperdub boss Kode9, this is the best stuff I've heard from him in ages. The b-side was released first, a rainy piece of stuttery downtempo, but the a-side is all full of nervous energy, hybridizing jungle, footwork, computer game music and who knows what else.

San - Half In [Rua Sound]
"The jungle alias of a Bristol based techno producer" is all we're told about this artist San on UK jungle/drum'n'bass label Rua Sound. It's dark stuff, with dizzying, intricate beats just the way we like it.

Fnord - Hendecagon [People Can Listen]
Kothyus - Nubes Incandescentes [People Can Listen]
This great IDM comp from Belarusian label People Can Listen - their Ninth Listen - has a lot of nicely done rhythmic tracks, many with a drill'n'bass tendency, as well as some more ambient feels. From the Netherlands, Fnord aka Jeffrey Van Der Wielen brings double-time drums in a track which flickers between jazzy drum'n'bass and dub. And Chilean producer Kothyus offers skittery acid through crunchy, squished distortions.

3Phaz - Exploit [3Phaz]
3Phaz - Drill [3Phaz]
An interpretation of Mahraganat (aka electro-Shaabi), already an intense genre, with electronic styles like harddrum, footwork, jungle and techno, from Cairo-based musician 3Phaz, who I've heard on a few different compilations over last year (including do you mean: irish and This Is Cairo Not The Screamers). His album Three Phaze is fantastic, with a brilliant sense of rhythm, plenty of bass and electronic processing.

Praed - Stoned Crocodiles [Annihaya/Discrepant]
Praed - Embassy Of Embarassment [Akuphone/Bandcamp]
Raed Yassin - The Cyber Oracle [Akuphone/Bandcamp]
We heard some stunning sounds from Lebanese musician Raed Yassin last week. I'm playing another track from his album of repossessed ethnomusicological recordings, Archeophony, tonight, but we're also hearing two tracks from his awesome psych/free-jazz/electronic duo with Paed Conca that naturally they call Praed. Again obviously an extension of Arabic Shaabi music, Praed also refer to the "Mouled" music played in religious trance ceremonies, which feeds wonderfully into the hypnotic nature of psych rock and techno. Along with the endless grooves, Conca's unchained clarinet playing is a frequent pleasure in these tracks too.

the empty sleeps - panthers (Tim Koch remix) [the empty sleeps Bandcamp]
the empty sleeps - panthers (dental jams / ezroh remix) [the empty sleeps Bandcamp]
Adelaide's Nic Datson (once aka The Backfeed Slumber, who we heard in December last year on the show) and Tristan Hennig team up for some shoegaze/dream pop as the empty sleeps, and their latest single has a bunch of remixes attached from fellow Radelaidians. IDM hero Tim Koch chops things up into a delightful glitchfest, while hip-hop producer ezroh teams up with Manila-born dental jams for some even more intense overdriven glitch.

Kcin - Distance From The Sea Of Sorrow (feat. Elizabeth Fader) [Spirit Level/Bandcamp]
The proper debut album from Sydney's Nicholas Meredith aka Kcin is fast approaching now - due in March - and here's the latest single. It features Elizabeth Fader (in whose band Meredith plays), but lest you think it's pop in any way, Fader's vocals are whispered over relentless 4/4 techno kicks and surging noise, just the way Kcin likes to sound.

Volunteer Coroner - A Token Saved From A Previous Life [Eastern Nurseries/Bandcamp]
Volunteer Coroner - Unkempt Memorial [Eastern Nurseries/Bandcamp]
Prolific Denver artist Preston Weippert has many aliases, but Volunteer Coroner is one of his more common (he also runs Colorado label Trust Collective). He's new to me but I'm very glad to be introduced through the adventurous, super-tuned-in Portuguese label Eastern Nurseries. Across these tracks the delicate drones and melodies (already melancholy or ominous) are subsumed in static, even when accompanied by subtle drum machine beats.

Ben Peers - mátiqa [Elli Records/Bandcamp]
I really enjoyed the lockdown EP Eight Variations from UK algorithmic musician Ben Peers on Elli Records last year, and this new one does not disappoint. Titled auto-mátiqa, it contains four tracks produced from the same hardware setup and Max/MSP patches, performed live. But unlike last year's variations, which were clearly études from the same source, these tracks have much more breadth. "mátiqa" happily floats along on its melodic synth motif for almost 3 minutes before it's joined by bass drops, clicky beats and wonderful swoops of melodic fragments. Like the best electronic music, it's evocative of alien landscapes, sand dunes under unfamiliar constellations...

Coil - The Dreamer Is Still Asleep [Chalice/Dais Records/Bandcamp]
Never letting an opportunity go past to play something from an album as glorious as Coil's Music to Play in the Dark, I'm very glad that after years out of print, it's now been masterfully remastered by Josh Bonati, and released on CD and vinyl by Dais Records. Peter "Sleazy" Christopherson and John/Jhonn Balance were monumentally important figures in industrial music, alongside the other members of Throbbing Gristle, of which Christopherson was a founding member, and their music as Coil combined English folk mysticism with queer themes and cutting-edge electronics. By the late '90s their music had moved through Nine Inch Nails collaborations and ambient & glitch explorations, and they were ready for these two extraordinary revelations, working with Drew McDowall & Thighpaulsandra to create sumptuous, mystery-laden songs with acoustic instrumentation alongside the electronics. While both Sleazy Pete & Jhonn Balance have now passed away, and there is in some ways a glut of Coil rarities cash-ins (as ever), MacDowall & Thighpaulsandra oversaw this new release and it beautifully showcases this extraordinary music. Hopefully the equally great Music to Play in the Dark² will follow soon.

Listen again — ~203MB

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