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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, 1st of August, 2021

Playlist 01.08.21 (8:41 pm)

Tonight goes all over - it's a kind of postpunk krautrock glitch post-jazz drum'n'bass dub deep house deconstructed club deconstructed field recordings thing? Yeah.

Come with me, LISTEN AGAIN. Stream on demand from FBi, podcast here.

Elegiac - He Folds [Upp Records/Bandcamp]
Ted Milton, Sam Britton - The Incubating Period [unreleased]
Edvard Graham Lewis - Where's The Affen? [Editions Mego/Bandcamp]
Elegiac - The Swish [Upp Records/Bandcamp]
About 5 years ago I'd been talking to Sam Britton of the great London experimental drum'n'bass duo Icarus (the other half of which is his cousin Ollie Bown, who plays with me in Tangents), and I was quizzing him about the work he's done with the incredible avant-garde musician Ted Milton. Milton has led the postpunk/jazz group Blurt since the late '70s, and Britton produced their 2010 album Cut It! (which incidentally has just received a re-release on vinyl - and I've yet to track down the original CD edition). Sam told me that not only have he & Milton worked a lot together over the years, but they recorded an album with another legendary postpunk adventurer, Edvard Graham Lewis of Wire - and then Sam kindly sent me the masters! So for 5 years I've been sitting on this incredible collaboration, unable to share its mastery - and I just discovered that it's finally been released. Elegiac (now the name of the group as well as the album) comes out from Lewis' Upp Records (presumably, as it's based in Sweden and named after Lewis' longtime home of Uppsala), and while it's fair that Milton & Lewis' names are the ones emphasised, Britton's juddery, glitchy production hands are all over this music. Of course there's also plenty of Milton's Burroughs-like poetry, singing and sax squawks, and Lewis' heavily-effected guitars and rhythms (also heard on a cut from his pair of albums released on the late lamented Peter Rehberg's Editions Mego in 2014). It's a phenomenal album, and timeless enough in these post-everything days that the 5+ year release gap hardly matters (let alone the 5 month gap before I realised it was out!)

HOLY TONGUE - CURSE REMOVING [Valentina Magaletti Bandcamp]
Speaking of postpunk, that seems like a frequent signifier for the versatile drummer Valentina Magaletti's music, whether her recent collaborations with Raime as Moin, the already much-missed Tomaga, or the quartet UUUU released by Editions Mego and also featuring Edvard Graham Lewis. In HOLY TONGUE Magaletti works with UK producer Al Wootton, purveyor of dubby club sounds of all persuations, and the second EP from this duo features muscley rhythms and dubbed out textures.

Max Winter - How I Got Rid Of Me [Where To Now? Records]
Max Winter - P.O.S [Where To Now? Records]
UK composer, producer & musician Max Winter's debut album One Thousand Lonely Places covers a breadth of styles that can't be captured by a couple of choices. Along with skittery electronics there are chamber classical arrangements, live jazz drumming and vocals from Winter and collaborator IMOGEN. As you can hear I love the most IDM-ish drum programming, but there are also moments of beautiful peace. Highly recommend that you check the whole thing out.

Downpour - Infinity [Home Assembly Music/Bandcamp]
Downpour - Red Flag [Home Assembly Music/Bandcamp]
Chris Adams has long been a favourite artist of mine, longtime leader of the indie/postrock/indietronic legends Hood. Post-Hood he has occasionally stretched out with brilliant work as Bracken, but Downpour was the project where I first discovered him in the '90s, making unhinged proto-breakcore & IDM. The project was revived in 2014 for a Bandcamp EP called Do you remember when it was all about the drums?, with a second EP in 2016, both of which have now been re-released on cassette by Home Assembly Music. Do you remember when it was all about the drums? Parts I & II features flowing drum juggling and sub bass swoops for the ages, and comes with a bonus track not on the original EPs, "Red Flag", which is a reworking of Downpour's remix of Stewart Anderson's political punk band Hard Left from around the same period.

O C O S I - This Year's Hex [Ohm Resistance/Bandcamp]
O C O S I - Amount [A Matter of Traces]
O C O S I - LOOSE CANNONS [Ohm Resistance/Bandcamp]
Having just released a new album from Mick Harris's Scorn, Ohm Resistance have also brought to light a similarly heavy dub-hop project from Simon Smerdon and Paul Molyneux called O C O S I. In fact some of O C O S I's earliest work from 1999 features chopped up recordings of Harris's live drums, and the general atmos owes a lot to Scorn (although they align themselves with the NYC dub-hip-hop blend, describing themselves as "illbient"). The dark dub basslines and chopped drums are a place I'm always happy to go, so it's a very nice discovery.

Robag Wruhme - No [Kompakt/Bandcamp]
Robag Wruhme - Quokka Supra [Tulpa Ovi Records/Bandcamp]
Two new tracks from one-time IDM producer (in Beefcake) and longtime techno/deep house producer (as Wighnomy Brothers and Robag Wruhme) Gabor Schablitzki. Schablitzki has just founded his own label, Tulpa Ovi Records, with Robag EP Spoddy Spy as the debut release. There's no drill'n'bass or overt glitch madness here, but it's a mix of head-nodding 4/4 and some more broken beats (the humourous press release mentions trip-hop, which is a stretch but not too much). Meanwhile his Speicher 117 EP for techno/ambient institution Kompakt follows last year's Speicher 115, with last year's lead track "Yes" contradicted by this year's "No", but there's nothing negative about it, just deep driving techno.

Tennis Pagan - tumi [Spirit Level/Bandcamp]
The still mysterious Tennis Pagan (instrumental alias of a Melbourne producer associated with Spirit Level, if that helps) continues his run of EPs after four releases last year. Each release has leaned towards different aspects of the experimental electronic world, and here we have murky house of a sort (hence last year's all-caps switching to all lower case?)

Myriam Bleau - Stills Upstream [Accidental Records/Bandcamp]
Loula Yorke - YES [Accidental Records/Bandcamp]
Matthew Herbert's Accidental Records has been a home for not only Herbert's self-sampling glitch, house, jazz & classical permutations, but also other artists, often up-and-coming, working in a similar space. New compilation Antechamber Music explores that space with tracks that run from strings & drones to layered harps, frenetic robot-performed rhythms and more. First up tonight we have Montréal audiovisual artist Myriam Bleau (whose 2019 album Lumens & Profits was released by Where To Now? Records) with arpeggiating synths undercut by ominous held notes. Meanwhile synth maker & audiovisual artist Loula Yorke opens the compilation with cut-up poetry and organ.

Louv - Power [Provenance Records]
Coming next week from Provenance Records, recently relaunched as an artist collective led by Becki Whitton, is a new single from Louise McKnoulty aka Louv. Electronic rhythms underpin a vocal melody, but soon the vocals are caught up in pitch-shifted rhythmic sampling. If the Björk influence wasn't already clear, the song ends with the repeated refrain "All is full of love" - but this is no cover, and I'm sure the Icelandic goddess would be glad that young female musicians are empowered to go solo in such creative directions. "Power" indeed.

r hunter - V / VI [AR53]
r hunter - Vienna Residue [Genot Centre]
r hunter - IX / X [AR53]
Following last year's Dead Ambient release on .jpeg Artefacts, Asher Elazary's r hunter is back with the suitably-titled Chill Beats To Suffer And Die To, released on Melbourne's AR53 Productions. It's about equal parts chill-as-in-ambient and chill-as-in-chilling, morphing between unsettling and melancholy as quivering ambient dreamwave rubs up against juddering deconstructed club passages. It's the kind of thing he's been exploring since his 2016 release on Nice Music, and can be heard also on his 2019 record rrrrrrafael for Prague's Genot Centre. It's pretty remarkable stuff.

Kate Carr - nothing is immobile [Kate Carr Bandcamp]
London-based ex-pat Aussie Kate Carr is one of my favourite artists embedding field recording deep in her practice. Her new album dawn, always new, often superb, inaugurates the return of the everyday is self-released but not on her indispensable label Flaming Pines, with a beautiful-looking custom vinyl edition as well as digital. Commissioned by Forma Arts as they relocated to the Bricklayers Arms roundabout in London, it meditates on that space and how it changed sonically and emotively during pandemic lockdowns as well as Brexit. Tiny rhythms spread through this subtle work, along with soft drones and pure sub-bass tones at times. It's one to settle into at a quiet time.

Listen again — ~205MB

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