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Utility Fog

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Sunday, 16th of May, 2021

Playlist 16.05.21 (7:44 pm)

Some great works of neo-classical fusion tonight, some of which are Australian-related, as well as far-out electronics, contemporary jazz remixes, and more.

LISTEN AGAIN - closely, mind! Stream on demand from FBi, podcast here.

Leider - Great Expectations [Beacon Sound/Bandcamp]
Leider - The Weeping Wound [Beacon Sound/Bandcamp]
Leider - Human Error (Tegh Version) [Beacon Sound/Bandcamp]
A few weeks ago I played a single & remix from the debut album from Berlin-based quartet Leider, and now their album A Fog Like Liars Loving is released in full. It's the music & words of Rishin Singh, who studied music in Sydney and went through the improv & sound-art scene here before moving overseas. The music itself - minimalist, slow-moving, unsettling with its hints at microtonality - reflects the ensemble's unconventional makeup, with Singh on trombone, Derek Shirley on cello & percussion, Annie Gårlid on viola and Stine Sterne on flute. The two women also provide vocals, sung in an understated, unemotive manner. Singh's lyrics are allusive and cutting, even when quoting Charles Dickens. It's unusual and gratifying to find music so, well, unusual. I've found it gripping - and the Human Error Remixes are very well-chosen too, with Iran's Tegh (on a roll with remixes lately) inserting rumbling sub-bass and shattered beats into the glacial sound-world.

The Still - The Tortoise [Bronze Rat Records/Bandcamp]
The Still - Crystal Clear Fog [Bronze Rat Records/Bandcamp]
Berlin-based quartet The Still feature The Necks' Chris Abrahams on piano & organ, drummer Steve Heather, double bassist Derek Shirley and guitarist Rico Repotente. As well as The Necks themselves, and European minimal jazz/post-rock (another Abrahams associate, the Berlin-based New Zealand guitarist Dean Roberts comes to mind), the spectre of Talk Talk lies heavily over this music - extending even to the collaged birds on the album covers.

part timer - Catch all [Analogue Chat]
part timer - Canberra [Analogue Chat]
You will have heard me celebrating the return of Melbourne-based John McCaffrey's Part Timer last year & early this year, with a slew of beautiful EPs on his Bandcamp featuring delicate piano and even-more-delicate folktronic beats and treatments. Now we're treated to new album Reaching Ends, further refining those techniques, released through cassette label Analogue Chat. The label's conceit is that each cassette (and digital release) features a chat with the artist, and the 20 minute interview with McCaffrey is delightful - not just because there's a mention of yours truly somewhere in there!

Tawdry Otter - Albert Bedside [Adrien75 Bandcamp]
Adrien75 - The Rabbit Hole [Adrien75 Bandcamp]
Two acts which are the work of Adrien Capozzi, who's been making delightful IDM and glitch as Adrien75 for decades. Capozzi was also involved with Carpet Bomb with Doron Gura and Pablo Manzarek in the '90s and early '00s, who released some remarkable IDM/drill'n'bass/jazz hybrids including the untouchable Highways Over Gardens compilation. Adrien is now also one half of Dolphins of Venice with Adelaide's Tim Koch, but his solo music hasn't stopped, both the melodic, strange electronica of Tawdry Otter and the more glitchy, textural Adrien75 material.

KMRU - Jinja Encounters [Injazero Records/Bandcamp]
KMRU - 11 [Injazero Records/Bandcamp]
Nairobi sound-artist & beatmaker KMRU, aka Joseph Kamaru, released a lovely ambient album last year on Editions Mego, so it's quite surprising to find that Logue, a new collection of his self-released music pressed to vinyl by Injazero Records, features beats and burbling melodies among its glitches & drones. It's first class stuff that I'm super psyched to have brought to my attention.

Natalie Beridze - Be Airborn [Monika Enterprise/Bandcamp]
Natalie Beridze - Swing Low and Closer [Monika Enterprise/Bandcamp]
From Tbilisi, Georgia, Natalie Beridze (previously known as TBA) has been making electronic music for nearly 2 decades. This new album, Mapping Debris, sees her trawling through decades of sound debris from old hard drives like investigators following a plane crash, and creating a new sound from old work. There are pulsating minimal techno pieces, glitchy surging drones and disturbing cracked vocal fragments, artfully built into something deliberate yet chaotic.

John Wall & Alex Rodgers - v02 [ II ] [John Wall Bandcamp]
John Wall - v02 [ IV ] [John Wall Bandcamp
It was a joy and also a slight terror to discover a few years ago that UK electronic musician John Wall had set up on Bandcamp. I'd been fascinated in his work for decades without knowing enough to work out where to step in - and now it was (almost) all there for the taking, if one could only find the time. Wall's music floats freely somewhere between cheeky plunderphonics (in his early work), highly abstracted sound design in a compositional language all his own, and more familiar glitch & noise. The more I've listened, though, the more I've found it quite approachable, at least to ears like ours, accustomed to deconstructed third-or-fourth generation experimental electronics. His latest missive is as good a place as any to dive in. v02 Variations [ I-IV ] is as referential a title as you've going to get, and tellingly lists A.G. Cook, Jennifer Walton and IKTS alongside experimentalists like Tom Mudd and Lee Fraser as sound sources. Once again poet Alex Rodgers appears with some abstract word painting on one track.

Domiziano Maselli - Lazzaro II [Opal Tapes]
Milan-based sound-artist Domiziano Maselli has just released his second album for Opal Tapes, Lazzaro, which takes bowed and plucked stringed instruments and sends them through the shredder alongside growling drones and occasional percussion, using Lazarus' story of resurrection as a dark allegory for contemporary nihilism. It's dark stuff, but not at all monotonous, and the acoustic sounds, lushly recorded although often harshly played, coexist very effectively with the intense electronics.

GoGo Penguin - Petit_a (Clark Remix) [Blue Note]
GoGo Penguin - F Maj Pixie (Squarepusher Remix) [Blue Note]
Manchester's GoGo Penguin are one of those modern jazz groups - your standard piano/bass/drums lineup - that draw inspiration from electronica, breakbeat, ambient music and so on in their glittering melodic playing. So the only surprise with GGP/RMX is that it took so long for them to release a remix album. There are lots of names of interest here - starting with Cornelius, there's Machinedrum, James Holden, Nathan Fake, Manchester's own 808 State and many more. Admittedly nothing unexpected or particularly adventurous, but it's good all the same. I chose two Warp staples anyway: the recently-heard Chris Clark with his organic crunchy beats, and Squarepusher pulling out his funk bass but not disappointing on the drill'n'bass front.

Shoeb Ahmad - flaw, featured (Dijit remix) [Shoeb Ahmad Bandcamp]
To my shame, I totally missed Shoeb Ahmad's remix album realignment when it came out a couple of months back. I must have been sent it well ahead and then not realised when it was released - it's super cool, with contributors both local and international, and I've chosen the warped drill'n'bass of Cairo's Dijit tonight.

Sydney jazz bassist Jacques Emery has many different identities in his hard case, and among them lately a scuzzy techno/house entity called AIR GOD has been surfacing with DJ sets. He now appears with a split release on Deep Scan with the intentionally-mysterious ØNNΔ, both contributing two tracks of dirty, fizzling 4/4 beats.

Listen again — ~198MB

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