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Utility Fog

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Sunday nights from 9 to 11pm on FBi Radio, 94.5 FM in Sydney, Australia.

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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

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