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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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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

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