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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, 9th of May, 2021

Playlist 09.05.21 (11:25 pm)

The pleasure is in the detail tonight, with filigree sounds sourced from percussion, glitches, field recordings and accelerated drum breaks in contexts as wide as sound-art, contemporary classical, noise, underground hip-hop and dance music.

LISTEN AGAIN to the devil in the details... Stream on demand from FBi, podcast here.

Snawklor - Misplaced Colour [Snawklor Bandcamp]
Snawklor - Confluences [self-released CD-R with screenprint, now available at Bandcamp]
Snawklor - day of your enemies [another self-released CD-R with screenprint, now available at Bandcamp]
Snawklor - Language Laid Bare [Snawklor Bandcamp]
It's an absolute joy to find Dylan Martorell and Nathan Gray together again as Snawklor after a (recorded) absence of over 10 years! They've both been members of some Melbourne noise monsters over the years, such as Hi-God People, and Martorell's incredible art can also be seen here. But Snawklor is a very special thing - a delicate mixture of tuned & untuned percussion with occasional miniature injections of acoustic instruments such as guitar and violin, all reconstructed electronically. There's always a sense of time & space - even though a lot of their works are not long, deep listening is nevertheless rewarding. Their new EP Perfumed Ground is released as a silk-screened print and digital audio, and will be followed by another release soon - can't wait.

Takuma Watanabe - Last Afternoon [Constructive/Bandcamp]
Takuma Watanabe - Particle [Inpairtment]
Takuma Watanabe - Tactile [Constructive/Bandcamp]
Last Afternoon is the gorgeous new album from film composer and David Sylvian associate Takuma Watanabe, featuring a string ensemble, tech wizardry from Akira Rabelais and the great avant-garde singer Joan La Barbara (on a track not featured tonight mind you). I discovered Watanabe via a release on Japanese label Inpairtment last year, featuring contributions from Rabelais and also Félicia Atkinson, all of which should give you a flavour of what you'll find here: delicate neo-classical composition of a high order (nothing derivative here!), shot through with the hiss & crackle of analogue & digital detritus.

Wouter van Veldhoven - Wandelliedje [dauw]
Wouter van Veldhoven - Ons dorp [Morc records]
Wouter van Veldhoven - (un)Finished contraptions 1 (Peter Broderick rework) [dauw]
I've been a follower of the unique Dutch mechanical instrument-maker Wouter van Veldhoven for some time, having discovered him via Machinefabriek. His creaking creations of electro-mechanical homemade instruments and tapes "perform" rickety works which somehow produce astonishing beauty. For the unintiated, the Dauw label have compiled what's now a second collection of archival works from van Veldhoven: Verzamelen II features tracks from a handful of his releases, along with a few unreleased gems such as the first track tonight, and a couple of reworkings, to which end Peter Broderick adds swishing violin in his usual sensitive manner.

Dan Powell - Emerging from the valley into a rainshower [Crónica/Bandcamp]
Sound-artist Dan Powell frequently visits the Old Chapel Farm in Wales, whose inhabitants try to live as close to the land as possible, living together, growing food, practising ancient crafts... Powell decided to create a work based on these experiences, Four Walks at Old Chapel - but it's far more than field recordings of walks in a landscape. There are sounds created with Powell's daughter from objects around the site, including an old abandoned piano, all of which are reconstructed into four electro-acoustic works.

He Can Jog - Each Band Of The Telephone Wire [JMY Music]
Francisco Meirino - Synth Etude 141019 [JMY Music]
Out for this week's Bandcamp Friday was Perception, a compilation from Milwaukee label JMY Music featuring a slew of noise & sound-artists. We heard the two opening tracks tonight: Minnesota musician and programmer Erik Schoster aka He Can Jog combines folky acoustic instruments with highly abstracted electronics as ever, and is followed by the the drawn-out tones and shuddering noise of Lucerne-based Spanish musician Francisco Meirino.

Ashtray Navigations - Fancy Water [Memoirs of an Aesthete]
Ashtray Navigations - Lost Down Newspaper Tube [Memoirs of an Aesthete]
It can be hard to keep up with the prolific work of Phil Todd & collaborators' Ashtray Navigations, but it's always worth checking in every so often, and I've been catching up of late because there's so much quality stuff despite the density. Call it psych, call it noise, there can be distorted guitar workouts, but also synthscapes and unidentifiable amplified noises. Tonight's tracks come from an album only released in April: Water Hole Or It's Better To Be Clean Than Fancy, which is some of my favourite AN stuff for a while, and it seems to be all Phil Todd.

Margot Padilla & Khaki Blazer - Good Boy (proud) [Hausu Mountain/Deathbomb Arc]
White Boy Scream & Fire-Toolz - Air Friar [Hausu Mountain/Deathbomb Arc]
Next up, an incredible collaborative project between two forward-looking labels, with all profits to the Last Prisoner Project. Arc Mountain is the creatively-named compilation of artists from avant-garde hip-hop/noise label Deathbomb Arc (home to some of the earliest Clipping. material) and the IDM/experimental electronic label Hausu Mountain (home to the earliest Eartheater releases among other things). There are so many gems here - each track featuring an artist (or more) from each label, with so much simpatico it's seriously one combined aesthetic throughout. Tonight we have a demented show tune from Margot Padilla and Khaki Blazer, and something beautiful from avant-garde opera-trained singer White Boy Scream and a somewhat subdued Fire-Toolz.

Ziúr - Fringe Casual [PAN/Bandcamp]
Ziúr - Rituals Of Passage [Planet µ/Bandcamp]
Ziúr - Alive, Unless? [PAN/Bandcamp]
When I first heard Berlin's Ziúr on her Planet µ debut in 2017, she was clearly at the forefront of the deconstructed club sounds of the recent zeitgeist. Her second album on Planet µ took her sound into a more polished pop territory, brilliant but not so much my thing, but Antifate, just released on PAN, manages to combine these two tendencies into something quite fantastic. She has created something with clattering beats & bass but also a lot of delicacy, aided at times by Subtext Recordings' James Ginzburg.

Barker - Polytely [Ostgut Ton/Bandcamp]
Sam Barker has formed a surprising set of works for quinessential Berlin club label Ostgut Ton over the last few years, building recognizable club music without kick drums or generally any beats at all. His latest 12", BARKER002, links back to 2019's BARKER001 with a set of tracks which stray at times away from the beatless template, while retaining the corruscating movement of his melodic synths. It's genre-agnostic, but flows quite nicely into the jungle-techno following.

Healion - About Breathing (Ludwig AF Remix) [naff recordings]
Healion - Gathering [naff recordings]
I don't know who Healion is, but their debut EP In Light, It Undoes Nothing... released by Canada's NAFF Recordings is a smooth & beautiful ride through jungle & bass techno stylings. Entirely in keeping with the rest of the EP is a remix of the title track by Frankfurt's Ludwig AF, with skittering programmed beats.

Social State - Moonbeam [Social State Bandcamp]
Social State - Find The Others [Social State Bandcamp]
And finally, the new album Sacrosanct from London's Social State has been a long time coming, and includes tracks that have snuck out over a few years on Mr Mitch's Gobstopper Records and elsewhere. It's a melange of UK hardcore-continuum styles, including some jungle tracks and some grime, and some stretched-out hip-hop. It's a delightfully dark trip.

Listen again — ~204MB

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