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Utility Fog

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Monday, 8th of November, 2021

Playlist 07.11.21 (12:02 am)

A major supergroup release, a major expanded re-release, plus glitches & textures, post-club beats, and another brilliant re-release!

LISTEN AGAIN to the again-listenings of future-past and past-future. Stream on demand the FBi, way, podcast here.

Springtime - The Island [Joyful Noise Recordings/Bandcamp]
Springtime - Jeanie In A Bottle [Joyful Noise Recordings/Bandcamp]
I've been waiting a while to be able to play this incredible album. Springtime is what happens when Gareth Liddiard of Drones/Tropical Fuck Storm gets together with Chris Abrahams of The Necks and Jim White of The Dirty Three. Of course Abrahams and White are masterful collaborators, and Abrahams' piano and organ on here, along with White's idiosyncratic drums, perfectly join with the raucous guitar and anguished vocal cords of Liddiard. It's an ensemble that feels like it's always existed, somehow, in the Platonic musical plane. Liddiard here returns to his typical storytelling vein, although the lyrics to a couple of the tracks come from his Irish uncle, Ian Duhig - "Jeanie In A Bottle" is one of those. It's mostly the sound of three consummate musicians playing together in a room, although there are subtle effects like the vocal delays and pitch-shifting on "Jeanie" which just add to the listening thrill.

Radiohead - Pyramid Song [XL Recordings/Bandcamp]
Radiohead - Pyramid Strings [XL Recordings/Bandcamp]
Radiohead - Pulk/Pull (True Love Waits Version) [XL Recordings/Bandcamp]
Radiohead - The Amazing Sounds Of Orgy [Parlophone]
Radiohead - Kid A [XL Recordings/Bandcamp]
You've heard of Radiohead before, I presume. By 2000 they were already huge, and it was already after a pretty big left turn with OK Computer into sprawling prog-pop after the fairly trad emo-indie of The Bends and their much-regretted first hit. I was a fan since hearing "Creep" on Triple J, I must admit, but it's this pair of albums that really cemented them as being incredibly important to me. I always felt Kid A & Amnesiac were one album - I'm pretty sure we knew when the former came out in 2000 that there was a sequel. And despite "Pyramid Song" being an all-time fan favourite (and it segued too well out of Chris Abrahams' piano for me to skip it), Amnesiac has always been underrated, but I consider it one of their best. So it's particularly excellent to see them celebrated together after 20/21 years as KID A MNESIA. I was a little disappointed with the two "unreleased" tracks that came out as singles (they're lovely songs though), but there are some quite interesting oddities on the Kid Amnesiæ bonus disc - such as the isolated strings from "Pyramid Song" and "How To Disappear Completely", and the extra untitled interludes (echoes of the little hidden twirl at the end of Kid A), and the truly bizarre version of "True Love Waits" with the glitch rhythms of "Pulk/Pull" (apparently fans have long known that's where "Pulk/Pull" came from). Nevertheless it's a shame that the excellent Amnesiac-era b-sides didn't get re-collected (except for a few on the Japanese CD release, and some also on a very limited cassette), so we revisited one as well tonight. And to finish, I've always felt like the title track "Kid A" is pure indietronica - released a year ahead of The Notwist's Neon Golden but perfectly of the era. This is music that's resonated through the last 2+ decades, as well it should.

Cedie Janson - The Silence [Cedie Janson Bandcamp]
Cedie Janson - Transformation No. 1 [Cedie Janson Bandcamp]
Cedie Janson - Sideways Optimism [Cedie Janson Bandcamp]
Naked Maja - #59 [Naked Maja Bandcamp]
Cedie Janson - Transformation No. 2 (you can feel it) [Cedie Janson Bandcamp]
Cedie Janson - Day of the Long-winded Breath [Cedie Janson Bandcamp]
Cedie Janson - The Water [Cedie Janson Bandcamp]
Way back in the early '10s I played some tracks from a noisy experimental rock band from Brisbane called Naked Maja. At some point they disappeared from view, but then a few years back I was sent some lovely sparkly electronic tracks by Cedie Janson, and Aussie living in LA, and discovered that he'd been part of Naked Maja. The stuff on his two earlier solo EPs is fairly different from that band - very synthetic, with skittery techno beats mostly. But for his new album Thoughts on the Top Floor, Janson has turned back to songforms, mixing his vocals and spoken word by Dillon Howl into the mix of electronic beats and synths. The album is one long work, with the songs segue'd together with interludes ("Transformation No. 1" etc), shifting tempos like a house party - albeit a house party where the hosts have great taste in music! Janson is still based in Los Angeles, working on a career writing film soundtracks, and it would be a shame if this slipped under the radar - an excellent genre-crossing album.

Leo Abrahams - Harm Organ [figureight/Bandcamp]
Released on Shahzad Ismaily's label figureight in December is the new album Scene Memory II from in-demand guitarist Leo Abrahams, whose solo work and much of his work with people like Brian Eno, Jon Hopkins et al involves processing his guitar into glitchy rhythmic soundscapes. Opening track "Harm Organ" is a beautiful case in point, and I'm looking forward to playing more from this album soon.

Marina Rosenfeld - Triadic [Room40/Bandcamp]
Every time I hear something new from Marina Rosenfeld it's absolutely striking and captivating. Of late Room40 have been re-publishing some old limited edition works of hers, but also releasing some works that have only been incompletely documented on recordings - e.g. the incredible Teenage Lotano, featuring choral compositions performed by teenagers with iPods, in the case of the title work performing a version of a classic (gorgeous) work of dissonance from György Ligeti. New album Index comes with a small book documenting various turntable performances and containing a conversation between Room40 boss Lawrence English and Rosenfeld. The music is built from Rosenfeld's selection of dubplates, which she has used in idiosyncratic ways in her work for many years, producing unique, fragile, breathtaking music like that found within.

Takuma Watanabe - Tactile [SN Variations/Bandcamp]
Delay x Takuma - Clouds Fall x Tactile [Constructive/Bandcamp]
It's lovely to revisit the stunning compositions on Takuma Watanabe's Last Afternoon which I cannot believe actually came out this year (the equal longest year in recent human history). Febrile strings are caught in granular webs and shimmer and shift. We're hearing this again because Constructive, the sister label of SN Variations, have just released a 12" on which Vladislav Delay deconstructs tracks from Watanabe's album (two tracks mashed up per side). It's got its fair share of Delay's force-of-nature bass pressure, with cracked reflections of those strings filtering through.

Bastian Void - Poly's Hallway [Oxtail Recordings]
Bastian Void - Heart's Location [Oxtail Recordings]
Joseph Bastardo aka Bastian Void has released a large number of albums since his debut on Brad Rose's legendary Digitalis 10 years ago. For just as long he has also run the cassette & CDR label Moss Archive, with an air-brushed VHS aesthetic akin to that of Orange Milk (and Bastardo's artwork is absolutely on-point). It's very nice to find his latest album Topia released on the now-Sydney-based cassette label Oxtail Recordings. A mélange of beats and ambient scenes, with sounds produced on various classic analogue synths and a harmonic palette to match, at times echoing the heart-pulling of Boards of Canada.

Om Unit - High Plains [Om Unit Bandcamp]
Sometime last year Om Unit announced that he'd had enough of drum'n'bass and was moving on to different tempos and sounds. It's understandable, but a shame because he'd produced some incredible music since turning to drum'n'bass's various contemporary variants sometime around 2013. Nevertheless, complex beats are not too far away, and this special Bandcamp-only track is a lovely piece of deep 160pm breakbeat.

Loppy B - Grotto [DECISIONS/Bandcamp]
Here's some "grotto rave" from new duo Loppy B, made up of Air Max '97 and SCAM (aka DJ Tommy Pickles) and released on Air Max's DECISIONS Records. It's that combination of UK & US bass stylings of the sort you'd expect from both of these types, both currently Sydney-based.

Weyón - QUICAVÍ (SCAM REMIX) [Weyón Bandcamp]
Weyón - OYE [Weyón Bandcamp]
Speaking of SCAM, here they are remixing Sydney-based Latinx artist Weyón, again with the low-slung percussion-heavy sounds, from Weyón's new EP CUEQUEVA. Two deconstructed club numbers are featured from Weyón along with various mostly-local remixes, including the recently-featured Ayala.

Eomac - Battle for Your Mind [Eomac Bandcamp]
Eomac - Gather To Move, Gather To Live, Gather To Be [Bedouin Records/Bandcamp]
Eomac - Mind in Heart, Heart in Mind [Eomac Bandcamp]
7 years ago, Ian McDonnell, one half of Lakker, got into conversation with Bedouin Records boss Salem Rashid about making an EP for the label, and Rashid sent him a cache of sounds from the Arabic & Islamic world to use for the purpose. Clearly it made a big impression on the Berlin-via-Dublin artist, who created an entire album for the label - Bedouin Trax, and now it turns out that there's at least another album's worth of material from the time. Released as Bedouin Trax II on Eomac's Bandcamp, it's got more Arabic percussion and voices combined for your psychedelic dancefloor or home listening. There's beautiful stuff in here.

Pamela Z - I Know [Freedom To Spend/Bandcamp]
Pamela Z - Badagada [Freedom To Spend/Bandcamp]
In the middle of this year (again this is insane, it feels like at least a year ago!) I played some tracks from A Secret Code, the third album from African-American composer & singer Pamela Z, released by Neuma Records. It's crazy that it was only her third album, as she's been doing groundbreaking work with extended vocal techniques and live sampling & processing since the 1980s, and courtesy of Freedom To Spend, we now get to hear some of her earliest work, on the amazing Echolocation, originally released in 1988. Some of the tracks bear the signs of that period - the drum machines, and sequenced lines - but her work with delays and cut-ups is remarkable. Nowadays she works with gestural controllers for laptop, but she clearly had the methodology worked out way head of the technology. Unmissable.

Listen again — ~203MB

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