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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, 14th of March, 2021

Playlist 14.03.21 (10:09 pm)

Folktronica, hip-hop, and experimental electronic sounds tonight, very much the core of where Utility Fog started, albeit in a contemporary way.

LISTEN AGAIN to the great musical feast. Stream on demand from FBi, podcast here.

Origamibiro - Zoo [Denovali/Bandcamp]
Wauvenfold - Stab [Wichita Recordings]
Origamibiro - dissect ephemeral [Expanding Records]
Origamibiro - Quad Time and the Genius of the Crowd [Denizen/Abandon Building/Bandcamp]
Thomas William Hill - Willow [Village Green/Bandcamp]
Origamibiro - Attract/Repel [Denovali/Bandcamp]
Released on the 26th of March is the new album from Tom Hill's folktronic project (at times in collaboration with Andy Tytherleigh) Origamibiro. It's been 7 years since the last album from this project, so you'd be forgiven for going "Who?", but they're pretty important for UFog, and in the meantime as Thomas William Hill he's released two lush albums of more post- (or neo-?) classical music for Village Green - the second, Grains of Space, is particularly stunning. Strings & orchestral elements were present in Origamibiro before, but it tended towards the "chamber music" sound, with subdued textures and scrappy found-sound beats, so it's very nice to see that aesthetic combined with the orchestration on Origamibiro's Miscellany, out from Denovali on the 26th of March. From the crunchy IDM of his 2001-2002 duo Wauvenfold through to now, Tom Hill has grown into a composer of restraint and depth.

Madlib - Hopprock [Rappcats/Bandcamp]
Madlib - Riddim Chant [Rappcats/Bandcamp]
Madvillain - Great Day (Four Tet remix) [Stones Throw]
Madlib - Loose Goose [Rappcats/Bandcamp]
Otis Jackson Jr aka Madlib is a consummate musician - brilliant DJ and producer, a sometime MC who has worked with some of the greatest MCs of the last 3 decades, including of course the late lamented MF DOOM as Madvillain. Along the way Jackson created brilliant ersatz-jazz as Yesterdays New Quintet (with all roles played by himself). As well as DOOM, he worked with the great J Dilla as Jaylib. Meanwhile Kieran Hebden, as Four Tet, has a nice career as a techno/house producer of unique musicality, but we of course remember his early solo albums as core folktronica - although none of those artists liked the term, and when I interviewed Kieran years ago he always insisted what he did was hip-hop. Four Tet's remixes of Madlib & DOOM's Madvillain were stunning even at a time when Hebden was churning out superb remixes at a rate of knots, and he & Jackson remained friends since, meeting up and nerding out over music, and it was Hebden who suggested further collaboration. So, I'd been expecting Sound Ancestors to be a proper duo album, but what we get is something else, a collection beautiful instrumental hip-hop tunes made up of beats & samples from Madlib curated, sequenced and arranged by Four Tet. It's hard to know what "arranged by" means here, but there are probably edits by Hebden as well as some mixing magic; it's a tribute to his sensitivity as a producer, and his love of hip-hop and of the source material, that he's brought us such an impeccable album.

Simona Zamboli - A Lightning Bolt Strikes the Mountaintop [Mille Plateaux]
Simona Zamboli - Dream But Be Careful [Mille Plateaux]
Milan-based producer and broadcast sound-engineer Simona Zamboli is the latest artist to join Mille Plateaux, with an album of dark glitchy electronics and beats that are a little more abstract than her recent techno & industrial releases. As usual the Mille Plateaux press release strings words & sentences together into some kind of facsimile of Continental theory-speak which you're welcome to try and make sense of, but luckily as usual the music speaks for itself.

Kamron Saniee - Badinage [SVS Records/Bandcamp]
Kamron Saniee - Eutessaron [SVS Records/Bandcamp]
Iranian-American sound-artist who makes use of his classical background on a release that bridges sound-art and techno. "Badinage" repurposes a melody from 18th-century French composer Marin Marais, albeit in a pretty abstract manner. The euphoric feeling sought on this EP may be an "everyday euphoria", but the energy of these rhythmic pieces bring joy even if it's not in a club at high volume dancing with friends & strangers.

Gantz - MAD HONEY [Gantz Bandcamp]
Gantz & El Mahdy Jr - Rising [Deep Medi/Bandcamp]
Gantz - Hinges Creak [Gantz Bandcamp]
Gantz - U WONT MIND VIP [Gantz Bandcamp]
Istanbul-based Gantz is an outlier in the dubstep world, crafting melodic pieces with unexpected timbres, branching out into trip-hop or elsewhere, occasionally incorporating Arabic music (see the collaboration with El Mahdy Jr from 2014), and always paying attention to mood. Appearing on various labels including Deep Medi, Gantz has been slipping out a few special EPs on Bandcamp since last year, including the excellent RUFF1 just this week. Among the offerings last year was the Shanked EP which brought some rarities to the general public, including some much-desired VIPs.

ZULI - Bro! (Love it) [UIQ/Bandcamp]
ZULI - Robotic Handshakes in 4D [UIQ/Bandcamp]
ZULI - Trigger Finger [Haunter Records/Bandcamp]
ZULI - Kollu l-Joloud (ft. MSYLMA) [UIQ/Bandcamp]
ZULI - Tany [UIQ/Bandcamp]
Cairo producer Ahmed El Ghazoly makes incredibly forward-thinking beats as ZULI (All Caps, as his new EP reminds us). Since 2016's Bionic Ahmed his releases have been compulsory for me, and this was only intensified with the jungle-leaning Trigger Finger in 2018. Cruelly, after the Terminal album was released in 2018, his laptop was stolen with an almost-completed follow-up along with his whole setup & sound library, forcing him to rebuild. Finally we have the substantial new EP All Caps, with two absolutely mangled jungle tunes and mashed beats of all sorts. Final track "Bro! (Love it)" satirises western fans & critics' ugly tendency to filter all expectations through the lens of his ethnicity.

Moon Sign Gemini - 003 [Moon Sign Gemini Bandcamp]
Moon Sign Gemini - Mitchy [Moon Sign Gemini Bandcamp]
Moon Sign Gemini - Notte [Moon Sign Gemini Bandcamp]
I was so glad to discover the electronic music of Adelaide punk/indie musician Dylan Cooper last year through New Weird Australia. His music as Moon Sign Gemini is unfairly well done for someone who's apparently just doing this on the side - from the orchestral breakcore of EP1 to the more recent overdriven bass tunes on last year's Queen Marie EP and new single SOLE/NOTTE. I like how there are choral samples and other classical references through through the later tracks too.

Gregory Paul Mineeff - Mood Triptych [Cosmic Leaf Records]
While we wait for a new (electronic?) album from Wollongong's Gregory Paul Mineeff, he can't help sneaking out singles - the pretty piano on "Mood Triptych" is supported by the little electronic touches which are Mineeff's signature.

Listen again — ~204MB

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