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Utility Fog

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Sunday nights from 9 to 11pm on FBi Radio, 94.5 FM in Sydney, Australia.

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Sunday, 14th of February, 2021

Playlist 14.02.21 (7:42 pm)

Out-rock, punk & metal rub up with experimental electronics of various sorts tonight, along with some displaced classical instrumentation.

LISTEN AGAIN to the sounds of the collapse... Stream on demand @ FBi, podcast here.

Kevin Micka - Everybody [Kevin Micka Bandcamp]
Kevin Micka - Palate Cleanser [Kevin Micka Bandcamp]
Kevin Micka - In the Spring [Kevin Micka Bandcamp]
Better known, perhaps, as Animal Hospital, Kevin Micka has made music that's fascinated me for over a decade now - his album Memory lingers (ha) with me after almost 12 years, with glitched ambient passages and dark doomy deconstructed riffs and occasional overdriven drums. Last year Animal Hospital reappeared with the phenomenal Fatigue, as abstract-catchy as ever, but this here release is kind of same-same-but-different, as you can see from its being under his own name. There are vocals in there hinting at some kind of indie band trapped in the malfunctioning machines, but by and large it's the familiar musical ingredients from before, producing a glorious maelstrom of weirdness.

DEAFKIDS - Ato Mecânico [Deafkids Bandcamp]
DEAFKIDS - Vírus da Imagem do Ser [Neurot Recordings/Deafkids Bandcamp]
DEAFKIDS - Estímulos Alucinatórios Verbauditivos II [Neurot Recordings/Deafkids Bandcamp]
DEAFKIDS - Propaganda [Deafkids Bandcamp]
Brazilian hardcore punk/doom/electronic band DEAFKIDS have a kind of unique style, in which their heavy guitars and roaring vocals are constantly fed through glitched stuttering machines and delays in a way that's totally integrated with their songwriting and performances. This was evident on the incredible 2019 album Metaprogramação, released by the mighty Neurot Recordings - but it's super cool to see this process pulled apart for all to hear on their pandemic era EP series Ritos do Colapso. Now up to Vol III, the series showcases extended jams of processed percussion and other strange snippets of sound, as if the COVID-19-induced collapse (felt very keenly in Brazil) has directly infected their music-making.

Crass - Feeding Off The Sweat (Maral Remix) [One Little Independent Records/Crass Bandcamp]
Maral - Let the Distortion Sing [Leaving Records/Maral Bandcamp]
Maral - Lita's Song [Leaving Records/Maral Bandcamp]
The remix 7"s from legendary anarcho-punks Crass continue, and Normal Never Was IV again has two great tributes to the band's influence. One is from Paul Jamrozy of somewhat contemporaneous political industrial heads Test Dept. - but the other is from the young Iranian-American producer Maral, and it's superb in not only its collaging of Crass samples & interviews, but also its connection to her history with the band. Growing up, her parents didn't really approve of her listening to punk, so while she listened in secret in her room, the sounds of Iranian music seeped in, and that mixture of cultures is reproduced on her offering. I only discovered Maral late in 2020, so I also played a couple of tracks from her October release on Stones Throw subdivision Leaving Records.
The album Push features Maral incorporating her performances on the Iranian stringed instrument the setar into her experimental noise & dubscapes. It's fantastic.

exael - Boneheaded [Soda Gong/Bandcamp]
exael - Fig Jelly [Soda Gong/Bandcamp]
Cryptobitch - Emotet (d.Monica) [exael Bandcamp]
Naemi, known as exael and occasionally other names, has lived in Berlin for some time and floated between vaporwaveish ambient and various forms of electronic dance music. New album Flowered Knife Shadows, released by Soda Gong, leans more towards the techno and broken beats but still features haunted cyperscapes a plenty.
To lead into the next few tracks, we also heard their alter ego Cryptobitch from 2020, with some junglistic rave memories...

Double O feat. Sheba Q - God Is A Woman (Coco Bryce remix) [Western Lore]
Out last week for Bandcamp Friday was the Blunted Breaks Vol 2 LP Sampler from Dead Man's Chest's Western Lore. That mouthful implies the existence of an entire Blunted Breaks Vol 2 compilation to come, but for now we have four tracks of hardcore/jungle sounds, including this gem from Rupture London co-founder Double O and vocalist Sheba Q, remixed by Dutch producer Coco Bryce, who's been on a jungle tip of late.

Dj Scam - Sodium Pentothal [Psycho Bummer/DJ Scam Bandcamp]
The Seattle d'n'b scene is one of the stronger in the USA, and Brandon Ivers' Dj Scam is pushing the classic jungle sound with panache. Here he's inaugurating the brilliantly-named Psycho Bummer with his equally-ridiculously-named Darkside Geezer EP, channeling the hardcore-to-jungle period circa '93, from nearly 3 decades, a continent and an ocean away from its origins. It's super well done, no complaints from me!

skipism - Hammer on the table [skipism Bandcamp/the little hand of the faithful Bandcamp]
the little hand of the faithful - Aaahh much better [skipism Bandcamp/the little hand of the faithful Bandcamp]
the little hand of the faithful - Isle of Man [skipism Bandcamp/the little hand of the faithful Bandcamp]
The nicest husband & wife duo in Oz experimental music, Dru & Mitch Jones have a long association with Sydney post-industrial & electronic music through Scattered Order. Although Dru is not currently a member, her artwork has been seen since the early '80s, and her collaged approach to music easily matches Mitch's. At times the two release music as Lint, but they've also released some double solo releases such as this new one, Works Outing To Withybush, which is literally two entire full-length albums released together (which is just too sweet really!). Mitch makes the beats these days for the current trio incarnation of Scattered Order, and his deftness with sampled breaks and drum machines is evident here - in fact the second track is one of a few which seem like his take on dubstep, even boasting lovely jazzy pads and a funky disposition not that far from the sound of Silkie, who we heard a couple of weeks back. But clearly Dru's beatmaking chops are excellent too, as we hear in the rather drum'n'bassy skittery beats of "Hammer on the table".

Heliochrysum - Apex [Bedroom Community/Bandcamp]
L A N D - End Zone [Important Records/Bandcamp]
Heliochrysum - Forbidden Structures [Bedroom Community/Bandcamp]
In 2012 L A N D released their first album of industrial & jazz-tinged postrock quite reminiscent of late-period Talk Talk. Their second album came out in 2015 and was entirely the work of Daniel Lea (we heard a track tonight), and some years later Lea has now appeared as one half of Heliochrysum alongside composer Michael Deragon, who debut here with an EP on Bedroom Community. Stylistically, the rumbling bass and textures of Ben Frost (who mixed the EP and also mixed both L A N D albums) is a good reference. I'm interested to hear what comes next.

Erlend Apneseth Trio - Lokk [Hubro/Bandcamp]
Alongside Hardanger fiddle player Apneseth himself, the Norwegian Erlend Apneseth Trio feature the excellent drummer Øyvind Hegg-Lunde (quite recently found in these playlists) and sound artist & guitarist Stephan Meidell. They're one of the most interesting groups on the consistently great Hubro label, bridging the divide between folk, postrock and electronics, as can be heard on this new single which combines sampled vocal chants, electronic percussion and expansive folk melodies. Can't wait for the rest of the album.

Bell Orchestre - V Movement [Erased Tapes/Bandcamp]
Speaking of can't wait for the album, here's one I've been excited about since it was announced. Still a month or so away, Bell Orchestre's House Music sees the Toronto post-classical/postrock troupe (closely associated with the Arcade Fire) move to Erased Tapes for a long work recorded in lockdown in safe social distancing, all in one, yes, house. The excerpts so far have been stunning.

Michael Peter Olsen - MoonMist [Hand Drawn Dracula/Bandcamp]
Coincidentally sticking in Toronto, the Hand Drawn Dracula label bring us the first solo album from Toronto cellist Michael Peter Olsen, who sports the most disturbing artist photo ever, and whose passion for electric cello and cello processing is second to none (see his delightful Instagram for many examples). Michael has performed and recorded with many artists (including the Arcade Fire), but it's great to hear what he creates on his own - classically-informed, sure, with elements of drone and noise, but I've found whenever I put these tracks on they move in surprising directions every time I turn away for a second. He has a talent for sound-sculpting and also for orchestrated musical turns. I sadly didn't have time for the track "Cloud Parade" featuring the angelic vocals of Toronto singer Anna Horvath aka Merival - check out the album though.

Gareth Skinner - Subliminals [Gareth Skinner Bandcamp]
And finishing up with another cellist, this time from Melbourne. Gareth Skinner released a couple of albums and EPs with the magnificent Melbourne indie rock band bZARK in the '90s, which I will need to revisit when this album proper comes out - but since then he's produced some stunning indie rock tracks entirely performed on multi-tracked cello. After a series of soundtrack works, I'm excited that he's returning to songwriting, and although "Subliminals" apparently won't appear on the new album, it's an example of the approach. I love 2009's Looking For Vertical album and I'm so pleased there's more coming.

Listen again — ~203MB

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