a wholly owned subsiduary of
Frogworth Corp
experimental electronica
electric string quartet

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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Playlists are listed with artist name first, then track title and (remixer), then [record label]. Enjoy the links.

Sunday, 11th of April, 2021

Playlist 11.04.21 (10:44 pm)

Electric folk in a regional French language, mysterious microtonal contemporary classical, covers of 4AD classics, electronic post-grindcore and more - that's Utility Fog tonight!

LISTEN AGAIN to a world of sound... Stream on demand from FBi, podcast here!

Sourdure - La Rupture [Les Disques du Festival Permanent/Pagans/Murailles Music]
Sourdure - L'Escribòta [Les Disques du Festival Permanent/Pagans]
Sourdure - Na Festa [Les Disques du Festival Permanent/Pagans/Murailles Music]
Ernest Bergez, of experimental electronic duo Kaumwald and various bands in various genres, continues his Sourdure project with his new album De Mòrt Viva, which modernises arcane pagan themes through the Auvergnat dialect of the regional French language Occitan - which is closer to Catalan than French, and was the traditional language of many troubadors in ages past. The music features weird & wonderful instruments like the hurdy gurdy, various ancient trumpets, and the daf, a Persian frame drum. As much as it draws on the folk music of central France, there are Arabic melodies flowing through these songs, and electronic pulses and tones. We can see Bergez was already on this path with his 2018 album L'Espròva (and indeed earlier). A singular music, worthy of your time.

anrimeal - I Am Not [anrimeal Bandcamp]
anrimeal - Vertical [anrimeal Bandcamp]
Last week we heard a lovely new song from Ana Rita de Melo Alves's anrimeal - captivating freak-folk on the Object 10 compilation from Objects Forever. So I sought out more music from Alves, and her album Could Divine is equally great - as you can hear on these samplings, there's acoustic folk, with guiar, violin, vocals and piano wrapped up in field recordings and electronic cut-ups, unimpressed and unimpeded by genre constraints. I'm so glad to have discovered her.

Leider - Human Error [Beacon Sound]
Leider - Human Error (Tegh Version) [Beacon Sound]
Broadly describable as "songs" project of Berlin-based Malaysian composer Rishin Singh, Leider features Singh himself on trombone alongside viola, cello and flute, with the other musicians doubling on voice or sparse percussion. The songs thus far revealed from their debut album A Fog Like Liars Loving are haunting works with close harmonies and at times piercing microtonal tuning. If that wasn't enough (and it is - they're stunning songs), the pre-order from Portland's Beacon Sound comes with a set of remixes, including one from Persian sound-artist Tegh.

Sasha Scott - Shapeshifer [Nonclassical/Bandcamp]
From the latest Outside the Lines compilation from UK label/org Nonclassical, violinist/composer Sasha Scott brings us a work of splintered piano, distorted drones and frenetic beats. A perfect example of how classical/non-classical hardly means anything anymore, particularly to those of us trained in the classical tradition...

Sweeney - Kid [sound in silence]
Sweeney - Skin [sound in silence]
Adelaide's Jason Sweeney's career has encompassed many musical genres - from various indie bands to the IDM duo Pretty Boy Crossover and the ambient piano styles of Panoptique Electrical. His emotive voice has appeared as often as it's stood aside, and for the latest surname-only work from Sweeney, Misery Peaks, doom-laden piano and vocals echo in at times heavy electronics and beats - a surprising choice for the Greek label sound in silence, but I'm grateful they've brought these songs to our ears. It's often beautiful and challenging work, recalling at times the late Scott Walker, and is my favourite recent work from Sweeney.

Balmorhea - Night Falls In Your Left [Deutsche Grammophon]
Balmorhea - Vent Pontian [Deutsche Grammophon]
Balmorhea - The Myth [Deutsche Grammophon]
Rob Lowe and Michael A. Muller's Balmorhea have made the kind of postrock-meets-folk-meets-classical that sits perfectly with this show for well over a decade. It's a rather nice surprise to find them on Deutsche Grammophon for their latest album, The Wind - the label is finding its own way to stretch into that "neo-/post-classical" world that seems strangely lucrative now, especially in Europe. It's also nice to see that Balmorhea's sound is not particularly changed for appearing on this label, albeit having already arrived at a quieter approach than their earliest releases. There are electronic distortions at times, some field recordings, and also soft piano along with acoustic guitar textures.

Efterklang - Postal [4AD]
Bradford Cox - Mountain Battles [4AD]
Although it's not out on CD & LP until July, 4AD's 40th birthday compilation Bills & Aches & Blues has now appeared digitally via a set of EPs. It includes myriad contemporary 4AD artists covering music from the legendary label's 4 decades, with The Breeders strangely featuring quite heavily (they're awesome of course!) including tonight's extraordinary avant-garde cover by Deerhunter's Bradford Cox. There are many, many highlights - don't be cynical about this, just check it all out, honest! But I was so, so delighted and surprised to hear the glorious "Postal" by the beloved Piano Magic, reworked in style by Efterklang.

Genghis Tron - Great Mother [Relapse/Bandcamp]
Genghis Tron - Warm Woods [Crucial Blast/Bandcamp]
Genghis Tron - I Won't Come Back Alive (Ulver Remix) [Relapse]
Genghis Tron - Colony Collapse (Justin K Broadrick Remix) [Temporary Residence]
Genghis Tron - Single Black Point [Relapse/Bandcamp]
It was quite a surprise to hear late last year that electronic/grindcore/post-metal band Genghis Tron were releasing a new album after over a decade's silence. Singer Mookie Singerman is no longer with them, and that's not the only big difference - their earlier incarnation shunned live drums for glitched-up IDM-style drum programming, but for this album they're joined by powerhouse drummer Nick Yacyshyn of SUMAC (among others). Tony Wolski's singing is clean in comparison to the various guises of Singerman, and original members Michael Sochynsky and Hamilton Jordan have created sweeping synth & guitar songs which are equal parts postrock, post-metal and kosmische. It's epic and great - but I wanted to remind us of the crunchy IDM-meets-metal of their earlier days, and of the phenomenal five remix 12"s on five different labels released after their Board Up The House album in 2008, featuring IDM, indietronic and metal artists from the likes of Anticon, Temporary Residence and more - here represented by the orchestral & electronic sounds of shapeshifting tricksters Ulver, and the ever-versatile industrial metal pioneer Justin K Broadrick.

Dolphins of Venice - Mars Roaster [DataDoor/Bandcamp]
Here's the second EP from the duo of Adelaide's Tim Koch & US IDM/ambient producer Adrien75. Dolphins of Venice are enamoured of extreme Unicode, and their music is equally outlandish - seemingly blissful strummy rock melted & fried with electronics, garnished with crunchy beats. An album is on its way.

Erik Griswold - Girraween - Spring 3 [Neuma Records/Bandcamp]
We finish with a beautiful piece from the Brisbane-based American composer Erik Griswold, who we often hear performing his own rhythmic and hypnotic works on piano. Here, three of the Four Places in Queensland are performed by other pianists. "Spring" and "Rain" feature in two of the locations; the piano is called upon to evoke natural phenomena in each place, and plays delicately, and occasionally forcefully. At times it sounds like the nimble prepared piano works on Griswold's Room40 albums, but it's natural piano for natural settings. Beautiful stuff.

Listen again — ~208MB

Sunday, 4th of April, 2021

Playlist 04.04.21 (1:21 am)

Tonight we have some incredible genreless music from around Australia, and around the world, touching on folk, rap, noise, techno, footwork and drum'n'bass. We also have an interview with the brilliant Kcin.

LISTEN AGAIN to the words and music that you need - stream on demand from FBi or podcast right here.

Nika Mo - The Singing Bone [Tone List/Bandcamp]
Nika Mo - Landscape: longing [Nika Mo Bandcamp]
Nika Mo - Dance of the Cloven Hoof [Tone List/Bandcamp]
Annika Moses is a Perth-based composer, sound-artist, radiophonic sound artist and weird-folk singer/songwriter, whose album is one of a number of releases Perth's Tone List are putting out as part of their Audible Edge Festival of Sound. Working here as Nika Mo, Moses composed the songs on Of Cloven Hoof in Honey inspired by the very weird, primal storytelling found in the lesser-known tales from the Grimm's Fairytales (and even the more famous ones have been heavily sanitised in their familiar forms). Often characters undergo radical bodily transformation, or wish to escape their current forms, and the cloven hoof, a motif in many of the stories and traditionally a symbol of deceit or devilishness, comes to signify rather something like changeability or tangled, unknowable complexity. Into this critical framework, Moses has created a collection of beautifully strange, evocative and uncompromising songs, with her own instrumental and vocal performances augmented by a large cast of singers & musicians from Perth's experimental & folk scenes. It's powerful stuff worthy of her remarkable range of talent. Check out her wondrous piece of poetry/composition/sound-art "Amazing blissful moment (fearful receiver)" from last year while you're at it.

anrimeal - Brush My Teeth [Objects Forever]
Pallas Athene - Gimme Gimme [Objects Forever]
Kristen Gallerneaux - Are You An Animal Or Are You A Person? [Objects Forever]
Three tracks from the excellent, wide-ranging new compilation put together by members of The Leaf Library (who I cannot recommend highly enough - check out their last album). Object Ten is a cassette & digital collection of artists from all around the world, ranging from experimental folk & dreampop through skittering electronics and heavy drones. We started with London-based Ana Alves aka anrimeal, whose found sounds, bell-like guitar and violin accompany her voice in a way that echoes Nika Mo above; Toronto's Breanna Johnston aka Pallas Athene brings frenetic beats behind her jaunty dream pop, while US sound-artist Kristen Gallerneaux takes things to an even darker, bass-heavy space.

Taraamoon - Dayjoor (Daygard x Taraamoon) [Low-Zi Records]
Taraamoon - Nebrās (Roody x Taraamoon) [Low-Zi Records]
The debut album Bādbān from Paris-based Persian duo Taraamoon follows two beautiful singles from last year, but it also follows a substantial collection of work under the name 9T Antiope, which has featured frequently on this show, representing their more experimental, freeform challenging work, and featuring words mostly in English from singer Sara Bigdeli Shamloo. Taraamoon is exquisite electronic pop with lyrics entirely in Farsi, with the electronics of Shamloo and partner Nima Aghiani, along with Aghiani's noisemakers and violin, turned to somewhat more directly accessible purposes - shorter songs, beats and basslines etc. The decision to write in Farsi comes from a deep desire to connect with their homeland, as they've been Europe-based for some time, and on Bādbān they take this connection further by collaborating with a selection of Iranian rappers, each of whom weave their raps in amongst the rich vocals of Shamloo, co-creating a narrative about characters spread across the ocean after a shipwreck - metaphorically seeking unity for Iranian communities scattered across the globe over the last few years. Daygard's evocative spoken lyrics merge in the end with Shamloo's melody over loose-limbed beats and Aghiani's floating violin, while Roody, the one female rapper featured, takes a more rhythmic, aggressive approach with her verses.

Armand Hammer & The Alchemist - Aubergine feat. Fielded [Backwoodz Studioz/Bandcamp]
Armand Hammer & The Alchemist - God's Feet [Backwoodz Studioz/Bandcamp]
Armand Hammer & The Alchemist - Peppertree [Backwoodz Studioz/Bandcamp]
The underground rap duo Armand Hammer, made up of billy woods and Elucid, continue to turn out some of the most inspired & inspiring hip-hop of the moment. On new album Haram we find them working with in-demand producer The Alchemist, which has led some to infer that they've sold out, what with Alan Maman's high profile work with Mobb Deep, Anderson .Paak, Freddie Gibbs and other big names in rap - including Eminem. But if he should need to prove himself, The Alchemist does so with uncompromising backings which blend perfectly with woods & Elucid's own style - long, out-of-context spoken samples, bizarre mid-track left turns, chopped & glitched samples etc. The lyrics as as vital as ever, and yes, woods & Elucid are at times coaxed into some oddly catchy tunes that could find purchase outside the underground, but this is exactly the advanced, challenging work we've come to expect from the duo.

Kcin - Salt Ghost [Spirit Level/Bandcamp]
...interview with Kcin including...
Kcin - Blood In The Water [Spirit Level/Bandcamp]
Kcin - Moon (Part 2) (under interview) [Spirit Level/Bandcamp]
Kcin - Distance From The Sea Of Sorrow feat. Elizabeth Fader (excerpt under interview) [Spirit Level/Bandcamp]
Kcin - Colonist Reprise [Spirit Level/Bandcamp]
Listeners to UFog over the last few years will have become familiar with Nick Meredith aka Kcin's dark sound, that melds percussion, found sounds and electronics in a way both familiar and unique. It was a pleasure to finally get to interview Nick on the occasion of his extraordinary debut album proper, Decade Zero, seeing release next week via Spirit Level. Listening to this album, it's clear why it's given this special status - it's not just cohesive in sound, but a deeply accomplished work, compulsory listening for anyone with an interest in deconstructed club sounds, industrial techno, Ben Frost's sonic destruction and Utility Fog-style sounds in general. In our conversation, Nick outlines his workflow, in which sounds are sourced and created, built up in the digital world, blasted through vibrating air and re-recorded, further deconstructed and rebuilt. Check it.

Shoeb Ahmad - Double Checks Against The Corner (d) (Peter Knight Version) [New Weird Australia/Bandcamp]
DroomData - Stoeptegels [New Weird Australia/Bandcamp]
Noom - Deep Dark Dance Bubbles [New Weird Australia/Bandcamp]
Infinitely pleasing that Stu Buchanan has turned his attention back to his New Weird Australia project, uncovering strange sounds from around the country for adventurous ears. New compilation Space Between Space sees its contributors expressing the liminal experience of our current situation, and all proceeds will benefit First Nations artists & community affected by the COVID-19 crisis. To start up, we heard Melbourne jazz/electronic musician Peter Knight pushing a forthcoming track from Canberra's Shoeb Ahmad into the red. Then NT-based DroomData dissipates their drones halfway through to give way to touching spoken word in Dutch, and finally the Narrm/Melbourne-based Michelle Nguyen's Noom gives us squelchily warm bouncing rhythms.

The Future Sound Of London - Zen Jenny [FSOL Digital]
Each year for some time now, legendary rave/ambient techno pioneers The Future Sound Of London have released a "calendar" for the year as a progressive album, one new or archival track per month, each exclusive to the album. From FSOL Calendar 2021, tonight I played the March track, melding their organic ambient textures with IDM-ish, almost drum'n'bass rhythms.

Brain Rays & Quiet - Creeps (Coco Bryce Remix) [SEAGRAVE/Bandcamp]
The collaborative work of Brain Rays & Quiet was one of my top discoveries from great UK label SEAGRAVE in recent times - IDM-tinged jungle and footwork of complexity & style. Seagrave now bring us a new EP with a couple of new tracks and a couple of excellent remixes. Notably Dutch producer Yoël Bego aka Coco Bryce, who's on a jungle tip of late, does suitably complex breakbeat juggling on his remix here.

Double O feat. Sheba Q - God Is A Woman (Coco Bryce remix) [Western Lore]
D'tch - Reparation Dub [Western Lore]
Speaking of Coco Bryce, he appeared on Western Lore's Blunted Breaks Vol 2 LP Sampler a few months ago with a lush remix of Double O feat. Sheba Q's track "God Is A Woman". I was under the misapprehension that the 4 tracks on this LP Sampler were excerpted from the Blunted Breaks Vol 2 compilation which was just released a week or so ago - but you'd better take care, because it turns out those are flips & alternates from the tracks featured on the new comp. The original (also lovely) of "God Is A Woman" appears there, among many other great new jungle/hardcore tunes, and I love the half-time head-nodder of "Reparation Dub" from Bristol's D'tch - swapped for "Re-reparation" on the sampler!

Listen again — ~193MB

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