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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, 24th of January, 2021

Playlist 24.01.21 (9:18 pm)

Tonight we're looking for the hidden & not-so-hidden connections between IDM, jungle, sound-art/electro-acoustic/musique concrète and contemporary classical music. Get ready for a journey.

LISTEN AGAIN to this sound-art-trip. Stream on demand @ FBi, podcast here.

Electric Company - Silver Egg 6/8 Mix of Kid 606 [Electric Company Bandcamp]
Electric Company - i shall choice my self [Tigerbeat6]
The Internal Tulips - 9 Tomorrows [Planet µ/Bandcamp]
Electric Company - Indelicate (remix of Stars As Eyes) [Electric Company Bandcamp]
LA musician Brad Laner's work goes back to the '80s with various experimental bands, but it's his '90s noise-pop/shoegaze band Medicine that he's best known for in many circles. However, as a lover of all things IDM & glitch, I've always been particularly fond of Laner's work as Electric Company, and I've been pleased to see all sorts of Electric Company material appearing on the Brad Laner Bandcamp over the last couple of years. Just this week, with joyful disregard for the schedules of Bandcamp Friday, Laner chucked up a selection of remixes, compilation tracks & rarities called 26 Mixes For Love (a delightful riposte to Aphex Twin), and I've enjoyed revisiting or discovering a bunch of crunchy beats, glitches and melodies from ages past. The Kid 606 remix that started the show comes from the 2000 album Kid 606 & Friends that also featured the first appearance of the legendary Hrvatski remix, as well as the work of Christoph de Babalon and others... As well as another remix from this compilation, I played a 2003 track from Electric Company's it's hard to be a baby, and something from Laner's weird electronic pop collaborative project with Lexaunculpt called The Internal Tulips...

Accelera Deck - Viral Violet [Accelera Deck Bandcamp]
Speaking of US IDM, last year I featured some back catalogue work from Chris Jeely's Accelera Deck, and noted that he's started releasing some new beats. His work always fitted uncomfortably between the complex programming of jungle & IDM and the more abstract sounds of drone, noise & shoegaze. Jeely started 2021 with a new 2-tracker which continues the Accelera Deck story with not-quite-danceable fast beats and shimmering droney textures.

Christian Kleine - Touch & Fuse [A Strangely Isolated Place/Bandcamp]
Christian Kleine - Val 2 [A Strangely Isolated Place/Bandcamp]
bomb the bass / lali puna - clearcut amstel mix (remix: christian kleine) [Morr Music/Bandcamp]
bomb the bass / lali puna - clearcut [Morr Music/Bandcamp]
Another IDM-adjacent artist from the '90s and '00s, Christian Kleine was part of a German / European scene from the mid-'90s centred around Morr Music, City Centre Offices and such labels. A couple of years ago a collection of unreleased music from 1998-2001 appeared, but really he hasn't stopped making music - with indie & shoegaze influences as well as the crunchy beats and delicate melodies. New album Touch & Fuse came out late last year on A Strangely Isolated Place, and it has a lot of the melodies and "soft-toughness" of his earlier work. I decided to play his remix from the 2001 single "Clearcut" by beloved indietronica band Lali Puna - the original was a collaboration with breakbeat don Bomb The Bass, but every remix on the EP is a gem! Still, the original very close to my heart, so I gave it a spin as well.
Notably, Morr Music legends The Notwist (who shared at least one member with the original Lali Puna) have an album coming out next Friday which you'll be hearing right here...

Mindy Meng Wang x Tim Shiel - My Love Is Not What It Was嗔念 [Music In Exile/Bandcamp]
So I played a track from this EP last week on the show, not knowing when it would be released. It appears now that it's out next Friday, which is great - so keep an eye on Music In Exile's social media or Mindy Meng Wang's Bandcamp. Four tracks created by Australian-Chinese guzheng player Mindy Meng Wang and Melbourne electronic musician Tim Shiel, with bass lines & breakbeats rubbing shoulders with bowed strings and the plucked tones of the guzheng. So great!

Know V.A. - Artefact (Sully Remix) [Sully Bandcamp]
Recently the Dutch duo Know V.A. released their Hibernation EP on the Knives label, run by Kuedo and designer Joe Shakespeare. The hard ravey sounds of the original were to be followed closely by a remix EP, which seems to have taken a little longer to surface - but courtesy of his own Bandcamp, we have a classical dark jungle fit-out by Sully now.

Lawrence English - Dual Process [Cajid/Room40/Bandcamp]
Late in November last year, Room40 boss Lawrence English decided to celebrate the 15th anniversary of his first solo album proper, Transit, by cleaning it up and remastering it for a re-release. It's quite a revelation - not half-baked in any way at all. Already the music is embedded in field recordings, with a focus on sound-as-sound, and each piece is an engrossing audio picture - especially with the new sound.

Patrick Ascione - Enième (2004) [empreintes DIGITALes/electrocd]
Here's some electro-acoustic music from the *ahem* serious side of things, the academy... French composer Patrick Ascione passed away in 2014 (tragically young, not much over 61), and this last album has only just seen the light of day. He was closely connected with IRCAM and Ina-GRM, and so it's striking how much rhythm and humanity there is in his work - the vocal stabs and rhythmic structures in the 2004 work Enième could easily have been created by someone with a background in the club world.

Jos Smolders - (last track from Bagatellen, excerpt) [Esc.rec/Bandcamp]
OK, now we're in proper abstract territory. Dutch sound-artist Jos Smolders is a mastering engineer, with a very keen ear, and a substantial proportion of the sound in the short tracks of Bagatellen album for Esc.rec is silence. But that makes the fragmented, half-erased vocal snatches and stumbling drones all the more striking. It's inspired by visual art - specifically a xeroxed zine by Jeroen Diepenmaat which is reproduced with some versions of the cassette release. I particularly love the longform final track, over 12 minutes in length, of which we heard about the first half - but I do appreciate the slightly disturbing gaps that precede it!

Trondheim Voices - Chant for the Multipresence [Hubro/Bandcamp]
Trondheim Voices + Asle Karstad - Pulser [Grappa]
Trondheim Voices - Choral [Hubro/Bandcamp]
A bit over 2 years ago I played some music from the previous album of Trondheim Voices, collaborating with sound designer Asle Karstad who devised individual interfaces for looping & processing their voices as they perform. Now the great Norwegian label Hubro has released a new album, full title Folklore (traditional customs, tales, sayings, dances, or art forms preserved among a people), which sees them performing compositions by two legendary Norwegian experimental musicians - Ståle Storløkken and Helge Sten (aka Deathprod), both members of the untouchable Supersilent. So it's no surprise that the immaculate chorus of Trondheim Voices (featuring among others Storløkken's wife Tone Åse) is at times supported or complicated by subtle electronic sound-sculpting - but in fact more surprising is that there's so little. The beautiful compositions require the singers to engage in microtonal harmonies at times, and to chant & pulse as if expressing the synths & electronics of the composers. It's a tour de force of vocal discipline.

Mandel - Mini Suite i [Bedroom Community/Bandcamp]
Emily Hall - mantra [Bedroom Community/Bandcamp]
Finally, British musician & composer Emily Hall teams up with fellow violinist & musical therapist Misha Law for a new project called Mandel, debuting with an EP of pieces composed through improvisation. The result is somewhere between folk music & classical musicm, and I look forward to hearing more. I loved Hall's 2015 album for Bedroom Community, Folie Á Deux, which sets poetry by Icelandic poet & novelist Sjón to classical-electronic-pop arrangements featuring the extraordinary Swedish singer Sofia Jernberg, so we finish tonight's show with the gorgeous "mantra" from that album.

Listen again — ~199MB


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