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experimental electronica
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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, 25th of July, 2021

Playlist 25.07.21 (8:04 pm)

An opening triggered by a tragic death, a celebration of a 21-year-old album and a 23-year-old track, a number of long, deep tracks on a show that keeps dipping into ambient waters.

LISTEN AGAIN and settle into the unsettling... Stream on demand from FBi, podcast here.

Pita - Untitled 3 [Mego/Bandcamp]
General Magic & Pita - Theme Fridge [Mego/Bandcamp]
This Friday brought terrible, unexpected news that Peter Rehberg had died - of a heart attack, it turns out. Rehberg was co-founder of the Mego label, later relaunched solo as Editions Mego. In the mid to late '90s his music as Pita, and the associated artists from Austria & beyond, pioneered the sound of glitch - celebrating the sound of broken digital & analogue equipment, grainy granular processing, harsh noise and minimalist crackles... Rehberg was much-loved, an Anglophile Austrian with a hard-to-place accent, endlessly supportive of experimental musicians the world over. He launched a thousand careers, was by all accounts delightful company, took academic sound-art seriously but always with a gleeful sense of humour and the absurd. He's already deeply missed. Our opening track comes from his second solo album as Pita, Get Out from 1999, looping & reversing a Morricone sample into a kind of blisteringly noisy shoegaze redux... We follow that with the birth of glitch & the birth of Mego, from the Fridge Trax releases with Andi Pieper & Ramon Bauer aka General Magic, the three original founders of Mego.

Ben Bondy - Drip on Nape [West Mineral Ltd/Bandcamp]
Ben Bondy - Meridian [West Mineral Ltd/Bandcamp]
Ben Bondy - Skizz [West Mineral Ltd/Bandcamp]
I discovered Brooklyn designer & sound-artist Ben Bondy in a collaboration with exael last year released by West Mineral Ltd, and after a stack of releases from Bondy last year, that same label now brings us, *ahem*, Glans Intercum. Again it's some kind of exobiological future documentary soundtrack made of unsettling ambience & club echoes.

LAITR - Raiene [Acroplane]
LAITR - Under Ether [Acroplane]
LAITR - Parsa [Acroplane]
Club echoes also abound on the debut release for Madrid-based Manchester artist LAITR, released on long-lived Irish netlabel Acroplane Recordings. On Sapphire Send, varieties of UK bass collide with choral samples or the kind of glitched-up US rap samples IDM artists favoured in the '90s, and beats bubble into ambience at times. An impressive debut and I'll be looking for what comes next.

Bob Holroyd - Steal [Real World X/Bandcamp]
Peter Gabriel's Real World label recently launched an imprint called Real World X which as far as I can see is meant to be the "cooler" cousin. The latest release is a two-track single from British composer & DJ Bob Holroyd, whose usual beat is world music fusiony chill. But Mangled Pianos is two tracks of quite in-turned music, meditating on the anxiety and monotony of lockdown. The title track layers piano at different speeds, but the undercurrent of nerves is inverted on "Steal", with a glitchy, jittery techno beat and morphing piano and electronics.

DJ Food - The Crow (dub) [Ninja Tune]
DJ Food - The Rook + Type 3 [Ninja Tune/Bandcamp]
DJ Food - The Crow (original from FunKungFusion) [Ninja Tune]
DJ Food - Skylark [Ninja Tune/Bandcamp]
In 2000, Ninja Tune released the first album for DJ Food as a duo, no longer a collaborative project for Coldcut's Matt Black and Jon More at all. Having begun as Black & More's way of making music outside of a major label contract, feeding directly into the founding of Ninja Tune, it had long benefited from the work of PC (Patrick Carpenter) and Strictly (aka Kevin Foakes). On Kaleidoscope, DJ Food became the project of PC & Strictly, not breaking hugely from the project's origins with a dubwise approach to instrumental hip-hop's sample-kleptomania, here reproducing jazz atmospherics in a way that just lets you see where the collaged parts join together. Both Carpenter & Foakes are great musicians too, and the music doesn't let you work out which bits are performed and which are sampled. After this album, Carpenter left to work for a time with The Cinematic Orchestra and on other projects, and DJ Food has for at least a decade now genuinely been one person. That material's great, and I love the early beat tapes and collaborative works too, but we're focusing on the Kaleidoscope period as PC & Strictly got together over the last year to celebrate what's now 21 years since the album was released with Kaleidoscope Companion - an entire album's worth of alternate takes and unreleased goodies, along with a quadruple vinyl collection of album & companion. It holds together really well for what's really an outtakes collection - tracks I would've loved to have heard at the time, many even better than the album IMHO. In particular there are two different versions of the beloved track The Crow, which was first heard on the 1998 Ninja Tune compilation FunKungFusion - a head-nodding piece of late-night faux-jazz hip-hop, with sliding double bass, poised samples, and a cathartic synth-strings denoument. On the album "The Crow..." replaces the fake strings with vibraphone, a decision I've never understood. Tonight I played the rare "(dub)" version from A Dubplate of Food Vol, 2, and the gorgeous extended Companion track "The Rook + Type 3", based around the altered harmony of the Crow's bridge section, and finally played the original 1998 version. The Companion also has a lovely "(Slow)" version which is indeed slowed down, and builds on those synth strings. Finally, "Skylark" is another lost-and-now-found classic of beat juggling and pensive piano from PC.

perila - Fallin Into Space [Smalltown Supersound/Bandcamp]
perila - Enchiz [Smalltown Supersound/Bandcamp]
Multi-talented Russian artist Aleksandra Zakharenko, based like everyone in Berlin, has been noted in the last 2 years for her post-cyberpunk ambient as perila. Her debut album proper How much time it is between you and me? is released by Smalltown Supersound, but shares a lot with her cohorts at West Mineral Ltd (heard earlier tonight) - ambience that is as disquieting as it is calming, with glitches and soft vocals at the edge of hearing, and only occasional fizzling rhythms. A very strange offering, as was to be expected.

Sebastian Field - 55 Cancri A [Provenance Records/Bandcamp]
Canberra's Sebastian Field moves yet further from his origins as indie singer/songwriter her this first single from his album Sandcandles, coming out from Provenance Records in October. His high, sweet voice is still central, as a textural element looped and mired in delays and tape effects - Benoît Pioulard springs to mind, and I'm not complaining one bit.

Aphir - waste cascader [Provenance Records/Bandcamp]
Speaking of layers of processed vocals! Becki Whitton, who's just announced the conversion of Provenance Records into an artist collective under her leadership, snuck out the new Aphir Plastichoir album a couple of weeks ago. It's derived from a series of marathon livestream sessions building vocal improvisations for up to 8 hours at a time, a crazy venture but also crazy productive. Without pre-produced beats or structures, these pieces build up loops of vocals that Whitton processes in realtime, subsiding as she sees fit. "waste cascader" feeds the Becki choir into a pulsating undulation, augmented and modulated over 6½ minutes. Beautiful stuff.

Patrick Kavanagh - The Tidal Path [Patrick Kavanagh Bandcamp]
Finally, the latest album from Sydney experimental music mainstay Patrick Kavanagh is a million miles from the noisy psych rock of Box The Jesuit, his '80s & '90s band. On The Tidal Path, Kavanagh bottles down even the quieter parts of his recent instrumental music into a collection of meditations for piano, guitar, vocal effects and lots of electronics. It can be unsettling (a word that's threaded through many of tonight's selections), but it's also quite gorgeous and enveloping. The 16 minute title track ends tonight's show in blissful darkness.

Listen again — ~204MB


Sunday, 18th of July, 2021

Playlist 18.07.21 (9:25 pm)

Experimental voices, noise & rock mutations, electronics and not-electronics...

LISTEN AGAIN, because you didn't quite catch it the first time. Podcast here, stream on demand there.

Aaron Dilloway & Lucrecia Dalt - Yodeling Slits [Hanson Records/Bandcamp]
Aaron Dilloway & Lucrecia Dalt - The Blob [Hanson Records/Bandcamp]
Aaron Dilloway & Lucrecia Dalt - Tense Cuts [Hanson Records/Bandcamp]
On the face of it, a collaboration between Aaron Dilloway & Lucrecia Dalt is rather unexpected. Dilloway is a venerable member of the US noise scene, master of pedal-based sound manipulation, garbled vocal grotesquery, tape manipulation & harsh noise, while Dalt moved from adventurous singer-songwriting to exquisitely controlled minimalist modular synth-and-Ableton sound-art. Yet the pair felt an instant rapport when performing on the same lineups on various tours, and on Lucy & Aaron Dalt's soft vocals and sonic alchemy fit perfectly with the clatter and hum of Dilloway's noises. Like Dalt's recent albums for RVNG Intl, unorthodox, slippery-yet-catchy songs slide one into another, never quite in focus enough to be latched onto, yet compulsively re-listenable. From solo artists it's brilliant enough, as a duo it's something remarkable. Let this not be the last from Lucy & Aaron!

Michel Banabila - Alienation [Michel Banabila Bandcamp]
"A little non-existing language song where I use my voice with various electronic treatments," says Banabila - a new example of fourth-world ambient techniques he's used for years, and a touching, mournful little piece. The track has a tiny unrecognizable sample of my cello on it, which Michel was kind enough to ask me permission to use! It's a grumbly-growly texture, slowed down, and perfectly represents who I am right now in lockdown.

AMOR/LEMUR - Unravel [Night School Records/Bandcamp]
The avant-disco quartet AMOR formed a few years ago, and came to my notice due to the lead vocals from the great experimental musician Richard Youngs. With synths/electronics from Luke Fowler and drums from Franz Ferdinand's Paul Thomson, the repetitive ecstasy was always enhanced by Youngs' avant-folk naïve vocalism, but also the always-wonderful bass of Norwegian double bass player Michael Francis Duch. For this new record, AMOR are joined by the entirety of Duch's Norwegian quartet LEMUR - that's cello, horn and flute along with double bass. The additional orchestration does lend a little extra bliss, if any was needed, although on "Unravel" the stars are the typical pastoral vocal line from Youngs and the lithe, agile bassline from Duch.

Melanie Eden - Dreaming [Melanie Eden Bandcamp]
Recorded in South Korea, the new EP 공 空 from Sydney singer & educator Melanie Eden bridges her world of expressive storytelling and improvised singing with that of the Korean musicians with whom she collaborates. "Dreaming" features improvised music from Lee Hanjoo on cello & fx and Yukie Sato on guitar & fx, while Eden declaims words written by participants in a creative expression workshop run while she was in Seoul. Its bravado expressiveness is Melanie Eden to a tee.

Kago - Tetermats 2 [Fat Cat Split Series/Bandcamp]
Kago - Leontiine Kirotosk [Fat Cat Split Series/Bandcamp]
Named after an alien in Kurt Vonnegut's masterwork (one of many) Breakfast of Champions, Kago is the work of Estonian singer & experimental musician Lauri Sommer. His tracks here combine Estonian folk melodies of the sort heard in the work of Maarja Nuut & Ruum (also at one time released on Fat Cat) with wonderfully strange DIY electronics, stop-start tape manipulation and more. It's a great discovery of the sort that was often found in the Fat Cat Split Series, recognizable for their nearly-blank white covers with evenly-spaced punched holes, and black & white inserts, with two experimental artists sharing the bill. I have many of these on my shelves at home, including the very first with Third Eye Foundation & V/VM, among many other gems. It's taken Fat Cat a long time to get there - the second-last was in 2014, and featured Katie Gately just before she became deservedly huge. This last 12", which finally fills the 5x5 grid of punched holes (with a central sticker denoting your number from the limited pressing), features Ian William Craig on the A-side, that master of saintly voice and tape looping/degradation who Fat Cat popularised through their 130701 sub-label. Craig's 18-minute track is too long to fit tonight but rest assured it's as gorgeous as ever.

Nick Storring - Khartum [mappa]
Nick Storring - Vroomanton [mappa]
Canadian composer, sound-artist and cellist Nick Storring released one of my favourite records of last year, his tangential Roberta Flack tribute My Magic Dreams Have Lost Their Spell. His new album Newfoundout utilises the same techniques he's been employing of late, capturing a particular sound-world through "acoustic and electromechanical instruments" with minimal electronic processing. A succession of ghost towns in Ontario, Canada, lend their names to tracks which surface odd rhythms and spectral melodies, echoes of the sumptuousness of My Magic Dreams.

Ben Carey - verglas [Ben Carey Bandcamp]
Ben Carey - playfold [Ben Carey Bandcamp]
Sydney musician & composer Ben Carey's original chosen instrument of saxophone (which he plays beautifully) has not been the main event in his music for some time, as his mastery of electronic music has become his focus. New record Hypertelic is a collection of tracks made on his Eurorack modular synthesiser, making full use of modular synthesis' weird control & feedback mechanisms to produce off-kilter rhythms and twisted soundscapes that sound disturbingly organic.

DJ TR!P - Falling (feat. Alia) (Tim Koch Remix) [DJ TR!P Bandcamp]
Of late, Adelaide IDM maestro Tim Koch has focused on live granular synthesis, and so it is with the chaotic glitch treatment he gives to the industrial electro-pop of DJ TR!P with vocalist Alia here. It's a fruitful technique, especially with such rich source material.

PURE MASS - Chat N Cut [PURE MASS Bandcamp]
Former hosts of FBi's great heavy show Dead Air Dean Crowe and Alice Gifford can be heard in PURE MASS on guitar + vocals, alongside pummeling drums and the surprising element of trumpet (often heavily processed). Intense & creative stuff, and a shame that it will be a little while before we can next see them live.

Moin - Lungs [AD93/Bandcamp]
Raime - Stammer [Blackest Ever Black/Bandcamp]
Moin - I Can't Help but Melt [AD93/Bandcamp]
The UK duo of Tom Halstead and Joe Andrews have produced some brilliantly dark, propulsive, taut music for some years, apparently drawing equally on postpunk and jungle, or krautrock and grime... Their main alias has been Raime, although releases have appeared as Yally and also Moin. As Moin, their new album Moot! sees them officially joined by extraordinary drummer Valentina Magaletti (of Tomaga, among many others) for a collection of tracks which foregrounds the live, angular rock while staying true to their classic sound, including the cycling two-note melodies and chopped-short vocal outbursts that characterise much of their back catalogue. The focus on guitar and comparative lack of bass are an unexpected left turn for Raime, but Magaletti's drumming is dazzling as always, and this is a vital, exciting release on its own terms as well as within their oeuvre.

Rắn Cạp Đuôi Collective - Infinite [Subtext Recordings/Bandcamp]
Rắn Cạp Đuôi - Degradation [Flaming Pines Bandcamp/Rắn Cạp Đuôi Bandcamp]
Rắn Cạp Đuôi Collective - Aztec Glue[Subtext Recordings/Bandcamp]
I first came across the experimental, free-range work of Vietnamese collective Rắn Cạp Đuôi (Scorpion-Tails) on a release from ex-pat Sydney label Flaming Pines - processed sounds of monsoon with grainy textures and distorted sub-bass. Their new album Ngủ Ngày Ngay Ngày Tận Thế is translated as "sleeping through the apocalypse" although I like the straightforward poetry of Google Translate's "Sleep Day On Doomsday". The band's in-house producer Zach Sch is helped out on this record by Berlin producer Ziúr, bringing a little more sheen to the chaos; but the record - released by forward-thinking Bristol label Subtext Recordings - easily fulfils the promise of their earlier recordings, mixing punkish indie DIY multi-instrumentalism, field recordings, Vietnamese traditional music and pop with post-apocalyptic post-club and glitch sensibilities.

Art imitati¤n - H¤ax [Ohm Resistance/Bandcamp]
Art imitati¤n - DustMachine [Ohm Resistance/Bandcamp]
Mysterious electronic producer Art imitati¤n seems from their Facebook to be Estonian. Their debut release H¤ax nicely fits the label's industrial bass/techno/drum'n'bass aesthetic, and I hope we get more in due course.

world's end girlfriend - IN THE NAME OF LOVE [Virgin Babylon Records/Bandcamp]
When I discovered Japanese artist world's end girlfriend in the early 2000s via some compilation appearances and remixes, he seemed to represent all the things I loved rolled into one: glitchy cut-ups & edits, IDM & breakcore beats, post-rock, post-classical... It was quite a challenge in those early internet days to track down the early albums, but absolutely worth it. Nowadays, he releases new generations of Japanese artists on his Virgin Babylon Records, with that broad-ranging but recognizable aesthetic, but now and then there's a new weg release that pops up. So after various hints on Twitter for the last week, here's a new track! Released as pay-what-you-want digital and a mere $100 USD for the vinyl, it's got all his hallmarks, all at once! It's lovely and super fun, and I wouldn't pay that much for a one-track record but I'm sure some people will!

Listen again — ~206MB


Monday, 12th of July, 2021

Playlist 11th July 2021 (12:00 am)

International show tonight with experimental electronic sounds aplenty.

LISTEN AGAIN and get educated! FBi provides the stream on demand, or podcast here!

Nahash - Port Punique [Ma3azef/Bandcamp]
Jessika Khazrik - هذا الكون [Ma3azef/Bandcamp]
Julmud - Fel Bo2s [Ma3azef/Bandcamp]
Co-produced by the Tunis/Egypt-based magazine & label Ma3azef and the US-based Egyptian mastering engineer Heba Kadry, the new compilation It's Not Complicated seeks to cut through Western attitudes to Palestinian self-determination. A population fragmented, denied their past and their future, forced to be part of someone else's narrative... The compilation raises funds for Medical Aid for Palestine and Grassroots Al-Quds. Many voices from around the world have contributed, including Brian Eno, Lee Gamble, Nicolas Jaar as Against All Logic, and more... I started with Nahash, aka Raphaël Valensi, from Montréal but having spent some years living in Shanghai, who may be the only Jewish artist on the compilation. As a Jew myself I think it's important to have Jewish voices speaking in support of Palestine. Like his album on SVBKVLT, Nahash brings a junglist tilt with sad piano chords and a nimble bassline. Berlin-based Lebanese singer & composer Jessika Khazrik contributes beautiful processed vocals in Arabic, and Ramallah-based hip-hop producer Julmud brings skittery drum machines and sampled vocals. Strongly recommended all-round.

Karkhana - Sidi Mansour pt.1 [Karlrecords/Bandcamp]
Lebanese group Karkhana are a super-group of sorts, with free jazz & rock musicians from Egypt, Lebanon & Turkey as well as Chicago, including Sam Shalabi, Maurice Louca, Sharif Sehnaoui and many others. I last played them a couple of years ago, with a track featuring Nadah El Shazly on vocals (from here). New album Al Azraqayn, released on Berlin's Karlrecords, was recorded live and features the musicians in full flight, with ecstatic soloing and driving basslines & rhythms - like an Arabic Fire! Orchestra. Unmissable.

3xOJ feat. Al Nasser - Stork [Hakuna Kulala]
New on Ugandan label Hakuna Kulala is a single from Moroccan producer 3xOJ - one instrumental and one track featuring fellow Cassablancan Al Nasser on vocal duties. It's twitchy, bass-heavy digital beats of the sort the label's known for, and Al Nasser's gruff anti-fascist (I presume) rapping brings it to an even higher level.

ABADIR - III [Genot Centre/Bandcamp]
ABADIR - XLR@T [irsh]
ABADIR - IV [Genot Centre/Bandcamp]
Rami Abadir is one of a number of brilliant sound designers & beat-makers to come out of Cairo's scene in the last while. Interestingly, Abadir is also the electronic music editor of the webzine side of Ma3azef. His latest album Pause/Stutter/Uh/Repeat is the culmination of a Masters in Digital Media, and builds industrial sound design and contemporary beats around deftly sampled interstitial speech - all those spots where we stop and think, restart, hesitate. The album is rounded out with some great remixes, including a strangely '80s-sounding version from fellow Egyptian ZULI, but his own tracks are the focus tonight - including one on the debut compilation from ZULI's label irsh, which foregrounds Abadir's love of jungle.

Paragon - Shadow Mechanics (Tech Level 2 RMX) [Paragon Bandcamp]
And speaking of drum'n'bass & jungle, here's a new single from the UK's Paragon, who specialists in dark, relentless tech-step fearscapes - but for his latest he's joined on the "b-side" by Tech Level 2, the recently-reincarnated drum'n'bass project for JK Broadrick. There are some fearsome breaks and basslines here - nice to hear JKB exploring this zone again.

Mick Harris - Matron Exercise bike v [Mick Harris Bandcamp]
Long outside of the same metal scene that Broadrick originated in, Mick Harris has featured a bit here courtesy of his recent Scorn album, and also the series of HedNod EPs he's been churning out since the start of the year. The latest on his Bandcamp is HedNod Nine, and it really feels like Harris is enjoying himself thoroughly - for longtime Scorn fans it's a pleasure to have these quickly-turned-out hip-hop paced tracks, still heavy with dub weight and dread.

These Hidden Hands - Shackles feat. Zanias [These Hidden Hands Bandcamp]
Really nice to hear from These Hidden Hands again, who have gone from their excellent industrial techno/idm beginnings into more experimental, Berlin-influenced electronic productions, with frequent vocal collaborators. On their new standalone single it's the Melbourne-born, South East Asia-raised, Berlin-based Zanias, with hazy vocals over crunching beats and rave squalls. The title track is a kind of aggressive dubstep, while the second accelerates into drum'n'bass territory.

GILA - NANAO feat. Kloxii [Lex Records/Bandcamp]
Also coming out with a standalone single is Denver's GILA - swapping out his usual syncopated, spare beats for something more like minimal techno, with Chinese-born Kloxii collaborating on vocals.

Lack - Microshift [Livity Sound]
Lack - Shifter [Livity Sound]
Speaking of things minimal, Manchester's Lack blends grime/dubstep/uk garage with a surprising dub techno influence for his two EPS on Bristol's Livity Sound. New EP Make It Circular is full of clicky beats, sampled breaks which syncopate unexpectedly and lovely warm bass. "Microshift" reminded me of "Shifter" on last year's Inside EP, which I enjoyed at the time but for some reason never ended up playing.

Cassius Select - IF YOU DO A LITTLE DANCE [Cassius Select Bandcamp]
Sydney's loss is Berlin's gain in the case of Lavurn Lee, and it's good to see that his tough, bass-driven dance tracks as Cassius Select aren't disappearing. This new track is vintage Cassius Select, pure dancefloor pressure, complete with sampled vocal snippets. The only problem is that there's not more.

Udder J Russell - Cornish Acid 7 [Udder J Russell Bandcamp]
Other J Russell - Andrew Sachs Squash [Other J Russell Bandcamp]
clickits - lament for the north [Moteer Records]
Sometime in the first few years of this show, I discovered the subtle rhythmic folktronica of Clickits via a couple of releases on The Remote Viewer's little label Moteer. Shortly after playing them, I was contacted by one of the two members, John McCaffrey, who turned out to now be based in Melbourne - and thus was Utility Fog's long association with Part Timer born. John has in the meantime kept me up-to-date with the work of the "other Jonny", Jonny Russell, who has gone by "then dof", Ronny Juzzle and various other pseudonyms along the way, sometimes with minimalist drones & flutters, sometimes gleeful sampladelic IDM. He's recently started popping things out on Bandcamp, and so we have a few EPs from Other J Russell in sampladelic kitsch mode, and now Udder J Russell doing his take on Cornish Acid (a genre presumably initiated by Aphex Twin 2 1/2 decades ago). It's fun stuff done well. I reminded myself of what Clickits sounded like and it's still absolutely lovely.

Happy Axe - One Morning (feat. Butternut Sweetheart) [Spirit Level/Bandcamp]
Happy Axe - Cheshire Heart [Spirit Level/Bandcamp]
Happy Axe - The One That Remembers [Spirit Level/Bandcamp]
Clickits' folktronica leads nicely into the new album from Happy Axe, Maybe It'll Be Beautiful - and yup, it sure is! No surprise there, as Emma Kelly's Dream Punching was too: her looped violin, vocals and adept electronics are a winning combination, especially as she has a talent for blissful songwriting and clever sonic manipulations. I had to play recent single "One Morning" again as it's just so sweet, while "The One That Remembers" is a little more ominous. Wonderful work once again.

Saba Alizadeh - Only Hope Breaks The Dark Waves [30M Records/Bandcamp]
Saba Alizadeh - #5 Ladan dead-end [Zabte Sote]
Saba Alizadeh - Hybrid (with Rojin Sharafi) [30M Records/Bandcamp]
Iranian musician Saba Alizadeh is a master of the Persian stringed instrument called the kamancheh. His father Hossein Alizadeh was a famous tar & setar player, but Saba places his instrument in a contemporary setting with stunning sound design - electronics, drones and at times beats. His debut album Scattered Memories came out on Karlrecords in 2019, although I played a version of one of those album tracks from Ata Ebtekar's Girih compilation from 2018. Now the new Hamburg label 30M Records, dedicated to promoting Iranian music, has released his follow-up I May Never See You Again. Once again there are deeply emotive kamancheh tracks, sometimes processed & pitch-shifted, and alongside them are reverberant sound design works and elements of techno, as well as collaborations. Notably, Vienna-based Iranian producer Rojin Sharafi, no stranger to these playlists, contributes her angular post-Autechre beats to one track. Brilliant futuristic Persian music.

Listen again — ~203MB


Sunday, 4th of July, 2021

Playlist 04.07.21 (10:45 pm)

Deep sounds tonight, from double bass to processed guitar to folktronica, and lots of very dark electronics. And some (southern) gothic industrial shoegaze bringing things to a close.

LISTEN AGAIN to the underside... Stream on demand from FBi, podcast over here.

Sailcloth - Red Woods [Lost Tribe Sound/Bandcamp]
Sailcloth - Mountain [Lost Tribe Sound/Bandcamp]
Sailcloth - An Owl in the Neighbor's Yard [Lost Tribe Sound/Bandcamp]
Alex Luquet is a double bassist from Pennsylvania whose debut album Woodcut has just been released, under the name Sailcloth, by Lost Tribe Sound. It's very Lost Tribe Sound areas - acoustic music with aspects of drone and folktronic collage - yet it feels like it's own thing, not least because it's led by the bass. There are nods to jazz & Americana - the clarinet & drums adding to the bass on "Red Woods" for instance - and at other times, a twinkly post-classical bent, but mostly it has a warm feeling of enveloping darkness - unlike the menacing darkness we'll be hearing for a lot of tonight's show! One of the best releases on Lost Tribe Sound lately, which is high praise!

yes/and - Melt Away [Driftless Recordings/Bandcamp]
yes/and - More Than Love [Driftless Recordings/Bandcamp]
Here's a new project from Meg Duffy (aka Hand Habits) and Joel Ford (producer with Young Ejecta, collaborator with Daniel Lopatin etc. Duffy proves themself a versatile guitarist here, with folky acoustic fingerpicking, indie strums, drones and even some free jazz-style atonal fret-mashing, but it's embedded & re-oriented through Ford's sound design into collages like a vapourwave approach to folktronica. The album's out on the 23rd of July and comes highly recommended.

Frond - Fragments Coalesce (Lucinate Remix) [Esc.rec/Bandcamp]
Frond - The World Recedes [Esc.rec/Bandcamp]
Frond - Transforming Around Us (Bastian Benjamin Remix) [Esc.rec/Bandcamp]
Richard Bultitude has a long back catalogue of music under the name Point B, covering a variety of UK bass styles. So it's no surprise that his work as Frond has a great sense of rhythm and bass, but it's not aimed at the dancefloor at all - this is ambient & folktronic stuff of a high calibre, and it's a shame I didn't twig to the original album Always There, Somewhere when it originally came out last year. I'm not the only one now discovering that, through the remix EP that Esc.rec have just released, with four Dutch electronic artists reworking tracks in four different styles - including some head-nodding beats and sound design from Machinefabriek. Heard tonight is some junglish IDM from Lucinate, and something in more of a dubstep vein from Bastian Benjamin.

TVO - The Intense Humming Of Evil [Front & Follow/Bandcamp]
Her Majesty’s Coroner For Wirral - Contemporary City Living [Front & Follow/Bandcamp]
Guerrilla Biscuits - Manchester, So Much To Answer For [Front & Follow/Bandcamp]
In which an array of experimental artists - from dark ambient to IDM, dubstep to jungle, and even black metal - soundtrack an unintentionally creepy video for a gated community in Manchester... with all profits going to a Manchester homeless charity. TVO is IDM artist Ruaridh, often now known as The Village Orchestra, with some evil drones and skittery beats. Then Her Majesty’s Coroner For Wirral (aka Liverpool experimental artist Neil Grant) brings in some kind of discordant Ligeti choir samples to ramp up the sense of disquiet, while Lancaster's Dave Shooter aka Guerrilla Biscuits brings us back to the dubstep realm.

Bacchus Harsh - The Waiver of the Flesh [Heavy Machinery Records/Bandcamp]
Bacchus Harsh - Ascensus Christi ad Inferos [Heavy Machinery Records/Bandcamp]
Melbourne's Christian Bishop (what a beautifully inappropriate name) produced stacks of ugly breakcore as Xian for years (I've got tracks on various different compilations)... His newer moniker Bacchus Harsh has in no way turned down the bass or the mashed beats, but imbues them with some gravitas (and creepiness) via classical samples and occasional movie quotes. There's dubstep-meets-jungle weight here, but it's nice to find another (late) entry into the old joke genre "orchestral breakcore" which Utility Fog snuck into its earliest show descriptions (and then discovered in the work of Ove-Naxx, Venetian Snares et al).

Scorn - Mates Corner [Ohm Resistance/Bandcamp]
Scorn - Deliverance [Earache Records/Bandcamp]
Scorn - Something That Was [Ohm Resistance/Bandcamp]
Only a week or two ago we featured some dubby hip-hop beats from the great Birmingham producer Mick Harris. Having helped bring blast beats to the fore and coined the term "grindcore" for the first incarnation of Napalm Death, he joined Bill Laswell and John Zorn for the improvised dub-metal-free jazz of Painkiller, but soon became fascinated in samples and loops and drum machines and dub, and formed Scorn with fellow ex-Napalm Death member Nicholas Bullen (reintroduced, apparently, by that other Napalm Death alumnus, Justin K Broadrick). As evidenced by the middle track here, Scorn essentially accidentally invented dubstep a decade and a bit too early, with pummeling industrial drums, dub-laden postpunk bass (Jah Wobble's work with Public Image Ltd heavily influencing their style) and heavily processed vocals. Bullen left after a couple of albums, and Harris has continued Scorn on and off for the next decade and a half - with excursions into drum'n'bass, techno & hip-hop tempos in projects like Quoit, Fret and HedNod. Scorn continued through the '00s and ended up on Kurt Gluck (aka Submerged)'s Ohm Resistance label, slowly pared down to an emphasis on massive filthy bass and slowed down beats, always dubstep-adjacent but not really of the genre (not in the same way that another metal émigré, Kevin Martin of The Bug, tends to). After claiming Scorn was dead around 10 years ago, Harris returned to the Scorn name and tempos with an EP and album in 2019, and now follows it up with The Only Place. The beats are as heavy, dirty and cut back as ever, but there's a little more acknowledgement, perhaps, of the melodic aspects of the music - a little more to hang a song structure on. As a result it's some of the most compelling music he's made in years - up there with the incredible Fret album Over Depth from 2017.

Third Space - Pulsing Delay Mod [Pure Space/Bandcamp]
Third Space - Nonlinear (For Pillows) [Pure Space/Bandcamp]
Melbourne techno musician Matt Sabbadini's Third Space recently released the gorgeous Pattern of Spring EP on FBi DJ Andy Garvey's label Pure Space. "Techno" might broadly work as a category, but in the vein of Ilian Tape the beats here skitter and syncopate in a drum'n'bass/IDM fashion. It's deep, complex, spacious and at times dubby - not to be missed.

J-Shadow - Particle Horizon [Sneaker Sound System/Bandcamp]
Jason J-Shadow has grime/dubstep and jungle releases on a number of labels, and now finds his way to the Sneaker Sound System with his new EP SNKRX08. Half of this steps on and off the dancefloor with a deconstructed approach, but eventually we end up in light-footed jungle/hardcore land for a couple of tracks. Very nicely done!

Champa B & Tim Reaper - Forward Focus [Future Retro]
Tim Reaper continues his Meeting of the Minds series on his Future Retro label, up to six 12"s now, each with four collaborations between Reaper and some of his favourite jungle/hardcore producers. Here Newcastle's Champa B joins him for some beat juggling, sub rattling and synth pads - elsewhere on the EP Deep Jungle's Harmony makes an appearance, while the ever-present Coco Bryce turns up on the simultaneously-released Vol 5.

Hprizm - AKA Radiator [Positive Elevation/Bandcamp]
Hprizm - Signs II Proper Version [Positive Elevation/Bandcamp]
Last year, venerable Detroit jazz drummer Gerald Cleaver released his first electronic album Signs on jazz label 577 Records. Now their sublabel Positive Elevation is releasing follow-up Griots, and alongside that comes this remarkable work, Signs Remixed - an album-length reworking into new material by Hprizm, aka High Priest from Antipop Consortium. In keeping with Antipop's melding of experimental electronic, hip-hop and jazz, Hprizm here takes fragments of Cleaver's original works and builds shimmering quasi-ambient constructs, pulsating not-techno and occasional head-nodding faux-hip-hop. It's indefinable and truly lovely.

MJ Guider - Gloria: Small Dance of Gratitude [MJ Guider Bandcamp]
MJ Guider - Simulus [Kranky/Bandcamp]
MJ Guider - Viñales [MJ Guider Bandcamp]
New Orleans musician Melissa Guion aka MJ Guider released her incredible second album on Kranky last year. Sour Cherry Bell was shoegaze with an industrial underpinning; it could almost sound like it was made in the '90s, except there's clearly something contemporary about it all the same. Guion has just released Temporary Requiem, the soundtrack to a "mass for dance" by choreographer Ann Glaviano entitled Known Mass. No. 3: St. Maurice. The music here served as experimentation ahead of Sour Cherry Bell, and that melding of shoegaze, industrial and electronic elements is heard here too, along with drone passages, and hints at ambient IDM beats as well. Earlier in 2021 came the single Matanzas / Viñales, pressed as a sadly limited lathe-cut transparent 7", but still available digitally. Inspired by a decision to explore her mother's heritage in Cuba, these two tracks take an even more deconstructed approach to songwriting, chopping her vocals and riffs and rebuilding them in Seefeel-like ways - clattering rhythms and reverb on side A, pulsing dub bassline under shoegaze pads on the other. It's outrageously gorgeous.

Listen again — ~208MB


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