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experimental electronica
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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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Playlists are listed with artist name first, then track title and (remixer), then [record label]. Enjoy the links.

Monday, 28th of February, 2022

Playlist 27.02.22 (10:11 pm)

Pow Wow singings recontextualised, drum'n'bass & UK garage in US hip-hop and juke, Lebanese experimental trumpet remixed, fourth world electronic, post-krautrock reimaginings, Turkish double bass dronenoise, avant-garde Korean classical, delicate Icelandic classical... that's just some of what we have tonight!

LISTEN AGAIN to the vibe of the day... Stream on demand via FBi, podcast here.

Joe Rainey - No Chants [37d03d/Bandcamp]
Coming in May (digital - physical in July) from 37d03d is what promises to be an astonishing album from Ojibwe singer Joe Rainey, who has collected and made recordings of Pow Wows from his Native American culture for many years. The album features his powerfully moving vocals combined with heavily distorted and edited percussion and other sound from Rainey's archives, produced by the great Andrew Broder, whose production has moved aeons on since the (excellent) early lo-fi days of Fog. The songs here draw on a musical tradition that has been banned by the US government, and is central to Rainey's culture, but to protect the sacred art (I believe), the songs are all Rainey's. It's going to be devastating, don't miss it!

Denzel Curry - Zatoichi (feat. slowthai) [Loma Vista Recordings/Bandcamp]
A couple of years ago Denzel Curry released a whole EP produced by Kenny Beats which was pretty out there. Even so, Curry now states that was going through depression & anger issues until recently, and on his new album he'll be fusing elements from other loves along with the hip-hop, like drum'n'bass and jazz. Hence the junglist beats slipping in & out of this great new single with slowthai, produced by Powers Pleasant.

Nahash & SNKLS - Amon Tobin [POLAAR/Bandcamp]
Nahash - Recrudescence [POLAAR/Bandcamp]
Originally from France, Raphael Valensi spent some years in Shanghai and was heavily involved in the experimental and underground music scene there - hence his previous album Flowers of the Revolution coming out through Shanghai's SVBKVLT label. New EP Tides is released by French label POLAAR, and two of the four tracks are co-productions with French 160bpm maestro SNKLS. This release may not seem as explicitly anti-imperialist as the last one, but his political commitment is not far away - "tides" refers to the way the global south pays for wealthy nations' growth; but it could also refer to the coming climate collapse and social collapse that it will bring. If this is the soundtrack to the end of the world, I'll dance to it...

DJ Hank - Mkwa [Hyperdub/Bandcamp]
DJ Hank - Lift Gate [Hyperdub/Bandcamp]
Chicago footwork/juke has been hybridized with UK genres for over a decade, with jungle-footwork a staple by now. A Minnesotan migrant to west Chicago, DJ Hank is a lover of that post-jungle genre UK garage, and his mutant footwork-garage tracks are rightly being championed by Hyperdub now with his new mini-album City Stars. The female vocal samples here are essential to footwork but perfectly fit the garage/2step side too, and the breaks and halftime bass accents make these tracks step hard.

Dividens - Bionic [Pure Space/Bandcamp]
Dividens - Tell Dem [Pure Space/Bandcamp]
Emerging Naarm/Melbourne producer Dividens debuts on FBi's own Pure Space with four tracks influenced by drum'n'bass & dubstep as much as dub techno - especially on "Tell Dem", where dub techno chords meet dubstep bass scattered through with jungle breaks.

Ziúr - Bottoms [Ziúr Bandcamp]
Berlin's Ziúr is a seasoned master of deconstructed club music now, melding IDM and glitch, pop sensibilities and dancefloor know-how on albums for PAN and Planet µ among others. In between major releases, she's just started a series of what she describes as "dancefloor singles" with Bin There Vol 1. The dancefloor here is as deconstructed as ever, but that said, it would be my kind of dancefloor...

Deena Abdelwahed and Mazen Kerbaj - Blue Malediction [Morphine Records/Bandcamp]
Muqata'a and Mazen Kerbaj - Untitled [Morphine Records/Bandcamp]
Trumpeter Mazen Kerbaj is a key member of the Lebanese experimental music & free improv scene. His name appears frequently on experimental releases from Lebanon, Egypt and elsewhere in the region (as well as Berlin, where he's now based), and he's a member of the brilliant "A" Trio with Sharif Sehnaoui and Raed Yassin. Kerbaj has released two volumes already of solo trumpet recordings, but for this third one, the original recordings are put together as a "sampler", with a multitude of short pieces (from tiny blips up to 40 seconds or so) showcasing Kerbaj's toolbox of extended trumpet techniques that he's developed over two and a half decades of playing. That's only half of Sampler / Sampled though - the "Sampled" half turns these sounds over to a selection of musicians from around the world to reinterpret the sounds - artists like Marina Rosenfeld, Rrose, Bob Ostertag, Electric Indigo, Exquinoxxx's Gavborg and more. Tunisian electronic musician Deena Abdelwahed preserves much of the character of Kerbaj's original sounds, marshalling them into a strange techno beat, while Palestinian producer Muqata'a constructs a characteristically evocative glitchscape.

Michel Banabila - VPRO Breed Dreiging [Banabila Bandcamp]
Michel Banabila & Oene van Geel - VPRO Breed Broken Homes
Michel Banabila - VPRO Breed Grillig [Banabila Bandcamp]
Back in 2007, Dutch electronic/fourth world musician Michel Banabila released Traces, a collection of music for films and documentaries. Now, exclusive to Bandcamp, he's published a monumental second volume. With 69 tracks, it clocks in at just on 3 hours long, most of the music tagged for the Dutch public broadcaster VPRO. It's incredibly varied, from folky acoustic works to drones to kosmische modular synths, techno and other beats. There are a few collaborators strewn through it, including a batch created with Dutch violist and previous Banabila collaborator Oene van Geel. You might find 3 hours daunting, but if you've listened much to this show you'll know Banabila's great talents, and there's very little throwaway stuff in here. Great music to study or work to, or just mind-travel to.

mookoid - Lagu Anak-anak [Provenance Collective/Bandcamp]
Lack the Low - Moose Sighting at Great Slave Lake [Provenance Collective/Bandcamp]
Aus label Provenance, newly minted in 2021 as a collective, continue their compilation series with Marks of Provenance V, which sees label regularls like Aphir, Arrom and Sebastian Field joined by various fellow travellers like Melbourne's mookoid aka Mick Lampert, who turns in a mysterious piece of percussion & ambience, while Lack the Low's contribution is markedly different from the passionate rock crescendoes of her shortly forthcoming album God Carrier: here her voice and violin combine for a kind of ambient Americana. There's lots to discover on this great, varied comp.

Malcolm Pardon - Penelope Trappes meets 'Silent Rumble' [The New Black/Bandcamp]
Just last week I showcased Peder Mannerfelt's contribution to a batch of remixes of last year's beautiful solo album by Malcolm Pardon. I loved Hello Death, his album from last year which isolated the synths and piano from his duo with Mannerfelt, Roll The Dice, to explore the fear and acceptance of death. Now the final of the four reworkings has dropped, and it sees ex-pat Aussie Penelope Trappes drawing Pardon's composition into her reverb-drenched world, to beautiful effect.

Pjusk - Febertanker [12k/Bandcamp]
Pjusk - Ordene som blåste bort [12k/Bandcamp]
Since 2007, Norway's Pjusk have plied a particularly Scandinavian brand of ambient - icy and windy, electronic productions but shot through with the warmth of acoustic instruments and the reassurance of downtempo beats at times. New album Salt og Vind (literally "Salt and Wind"), their fourth for Taylor Deupree's 12k is no exception, even though Jostein Dahl Gjelsvik is continuing the band solo now. This is remarkably evocative, very pleasurable music, not unlike the ambient beats of the original em:t label from the mid-'90s (high praise!)

Tim Story and Contributors - Riff 2g (with Tim Story) [Curious Music/Bandcamp]
Tim Story and Contributors - Elbow 1 [Curious Music/Bandcamp]
Tim Story and Contributors - Strip 31 (with Eve Maret) [Curious Music/Bandcamp]
Celebrated US sound-artist & composer Tim Story has worked for decades in the interface between electronic and acoustic music. He's also worked for a long time with important figures in European electronic music like Hans-Joachim Roedelius and the late Dieter Moebius. It's the latter with whom this new release is concerned - a document of an audio installation of the same name, Moebius Strips is built from a collection of thousands of samples & loops produced by Moebius, which are recomposed by Story and, as the credits say, "Contributors" - among them Moebius contemporaries, as well as contemporary experimental musicians like Eve Maret - into very Moebius-like creations which Story punningly dubs "strips". In amongst these pieces are pulsating krautrocky synths, glitchy rhythms and strange cross-rhythms, beautiful queasy piano, distorted vocals and much more. It's extremely my jam.

Park Jiha - Light Way [tak:til/Glitterbeat/Bandcamp]
Park Jiha - Nightfall Dancer [tak:til/Glitterbeat/Bandcamp]
The third album from Korean musician Park Jiha is just as remarkable as her first two. While previously she invited guests to merge jazz sensibilities or even spoken word with her traditional Korean instruments, here all sounds are produced by Jiha herself - the double reed piri, a mouth organ called saenghwang, and the characteristic hammered dulcimer the yanggeum - as well as glockenspiel. So along with the percussive harp-like colours there are breathy chords and unhinged melodies across these very varied pieces. Picture-sound.

sanr - vesvese [Lost Tribe Sound/Bandcamp]
After albums on Flaming Pines and Fallen Moon Recordings, Turkish duo sanr now find themselves on the sumptuously-packaged, impeccably-curated Lost Tribe Sound label for their third album ramak. Neither Altuğ Kaptan nor Devrim Kınlı had any experience playing a double bass before they spent a six hours producing and recording as many sounds as they could with a borrowed instrument with only one string. The result is not just drones, lovely though they are, but percussive sounds, clanks and booms and creaks. This is pure sound-art, a journey into wood and steel-wound catgut. Musique concrète, or musique organique?

Bjarni Biering - I am, I am, I am [Curious Music/Bandcamp]
Returning to US label Curious Music, who released the Tim Story/Moebius album, we finish with an emotive piece for piano and viola by Icelandic composer Bjarni Biering from his new work The Andvaka Suite. "Andvaka" is sleeplessness or insomnia in Icelandic, and these peaceful pieces combine electronic treatments with the classic instrumentation to remind the listener to slow down, to "create moments of stillness". I'm always suspicious of "tasteful electronics with piano", but Biering is a sensitive and sophisticated composer and this album is truly transportive.

Listen again — ~206MB


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Sunday, 20th of February, 2022

Playlist 20.02.22 (11:22 pm)

Cavernous sounds and skittery details, from dub to sound-art to drill'n'bass to ethereal folk... to gothic pop.

LISTEN AGAIN, for your life depends on it! Stream on demand from FBi, podcast here.

Sote - I'm trying but I can't reach you father [Sub Rosa/Bandcamp]
Sote - Forced Absence [Sub Rosa/Bandcamp]
Here at Utility Fog Towers we've been devoted followers of Ata Ebtekar Sote since his first 12" released on Warp in 2002. That was insanely overdriven breakcore/drum'n'bass, and he's gone through variants of breakcore, hardcore techno and other mind-bending electronics since, but there's also a rich vein of Persian classical music and Iran's own history of electro-acoustic music that runs through his sound. You can get a bit of a tour of Ebtekar's work via the interview & selections in this 2019 episode of Utility Fog. The venerable Belgian electronic/experimental label Sub Rosa has released Ebtekar before, very much on the Persian classical tip, and it's nice that this new release is back with Sub Rosa. Majestic Noise Made In Beautiful Rotten Iran references his essential Hardcore Sounds From Tehran from 2016, but while it's certainly majestic it's not exactly noise music - and nor does it draw from Persian classical instrumentation or musical structures. Instead it's all-electronic, using many of the idiosyncratic techniques he's developed of late for sliding DSP effects, percussive punctuations and stuttery glitches, with warm and glittering digital synth pads adding up to a beautifully emotive energy.

Wordcolour - Bluster (Djrum Remix) [Houndstooth/Bandcamp]
Felix Manuel aka Djrum is a Utility Fog fave, comfortable in drum'n'bass, techno and dubstep realms as well as hints at modern classical, so he's a very nice fit for remixing a new tune for Houndstooth/Lapsus artist Wordcolour. The original is a very nice piece of breakbeaty techno, at a quite slow tempo with shifting beats and intercut vocal stabs and little piano riffs. Djrum centres his intro & outro on a piano that's tuned to the harmonic series produced by an alpen horn (pretty weird!) and accelerates through madcap drum'n'bass (almost drill'n'bass) programming.

Apulati Bien - Holoh [KRAAK/Bandcamp/Promesses/Bandcamp]
Apulati Bien - Blé Noir [KRAAK/Bandcamp/Promesses/Bandcamp]
I'm new to the Brussels-based French artist Apulati Bien, whose debut vinyl release came out this week through excellent long-lived Belgian label KRAAK as a co-release with French/Belgian label Promesses. He's had a few previous releases on Promesses and elsewhere, and I've really enjoyed the sounds on Azone which very nicely reference classic idm/drill'n'bass with a modern post-dubstep/juke twist. There are some glitched/processed vocals on a few tracks, and the only complaint is that it's mastered super quiet for digital. Recommended nevertheless!

Commodo - Living Bones [Black Acre/Bandcamp]
In 2020 Commodo put out three EPs of dingy TV show soundtrack vibes mixed up with dubstep swagger. Now he's back on Black Acre with the three track EP Deft 1s which breaks the mould once again. The closest I can think of is some of Distance's old stuff fusing distorted metal riffs with dubstep, but here's it's nimble postpunk basslines and riffs. It's phenomenal, I've had it on repeat all week.

Montel Palmer - Catastropheland [Planet Rescue/Bandcamp]
Montel Palmer - Satellite Bounce [Planet Rescue/Bandcamp]
Cologne trio Montel Palmer have previously created weird electro bloops-and-bleeps, but for their new album Catastropheland on Planet Rescue they've found bass, and their drum machine emanations are now wrapped in dub echoes. It's a kind of psychedelic krautrock dub, and I for one am not complaining.

Vacuum - Pulse [Heavy Machinery Records/Bandcamp/It Records/Bandcamp]
Vacuum - Pulse (Lakker Remix) [Heavy Machinery Records/Bandcamp/It Records/Bandcamp]
This one's been due for a long time. I previewed the self-titled album from Melbourne duo Vacuum in late November, but it was delayed until now, when you can finally hear their postpunk dub techno sounds. Jenny Branagan and Andrea Blake met playing in bands on the Nihilistic Orbs label, and have played live together as Vacuum for years, but this is finally their first recorded release. Alongside their dark sounds (Suicide meets early HTRK at a dubstep club?) there are remixes by fellow Melbourners Ela Stiles and Sow Discord, industrial hip-hop vibes from the legendary Dälek, and tonight's outing from Dublin-born UFog faves Lakker.

Slikback x Rosa Forever Ft. Kayokyokou - Kwangya [Slikback Bandcamp]
Slikback x Malibu - Uendeligt [Slikback Bandcamp]
Following last year's all-collaborations album MELT, Kenyan producer Slikback with another batch of brilliant crossovers, CONDENSE. His style of glitchy bass music, drawing from trap, juke, dubstep, techno, IDM and more, is distinctive and very online, lending itself to this sort of inter-connectedness, and so we get the high energy syncopations of his track with Poland-based Rosa Forever and someone calling themselves Kayokyokou, while France's Malibu entices Slikback towards her more ambient tendencies.

Malcolm Pardon - Peder Mannerfelt meets 'The Blindspot' [The New Black/Bandcamp]
I was much enamoured of the debut solo album Hello Death from Swedish musician Malcolm Pardon last year. I've been a fan of his duo Stockholm duo Roll The Dice since their debut on Digitalis Recordings in 2010, and here we had piano and synths with none of the sentimentality of a lot of "post-classical" composition. Now he is trickling out a series of remixes from that album. Techno don Regis has already had a go, and the wonderful Klara Lewis contributed a remix you really ought to check out too. But tonight it's his partner-in-crime in Roll The Dice who we're hearing, the ever-unpredictable Peder Mannerfelt, who here creeps into a slow techno pulse with dark sweeping synths.

Jack Prest - Sound I [Jack Prest Bandcamp]
Jack Prest - Sound II [Jack Prest Bandcamp]
Last year, Sydney composer Jack Prest put together an ambitious interdisciplinary work at Phoenix Central Park involving live musical performance, dance and visual art called The Risk of Hyperbole. Now he's released the first of three volumes of music extending the work presented at Phoenix - this one's just titled Sound. Musicians who performed with him are drawn from Ensemble Offspring predominantly, with Claire Edwardes on percussion, Jason Noble on clarinet, Freya Schack-Arnott on cello as well as Ben Freeman on piano and Nicholas Meredith (aka Kcin) on drum kit. Recorded sounds are also interpolated of dancer Azzam Mohamed breathing and moving, and of artists Joe Wilson and Chanelle Collier working with poles, ropes and fabric. The performed work varied from field recordings to ambient and classical through to techno and hip-hop-inspired beats, and there's a bit of all of that on here, with more to come in the further volumes.

Bryce Hackford - Is Anyone Home [Futura Resistenza]
For over a decade, New York musician Bryce Hackford's work has sat somewhere in between dance music, sound-art, pop and contemporary composition. In 2014, UK cellist Oliver Coates reworked "Another Fantasy", a techno piece of Hackford's, and Hackford returned the favour with two remixes of Coates. Hackford's new album Cloud Holding is out next week on Brussels label Futura Resistenza, and on it Hackford sources sounds from many fellow travellers: Ka Baird, Shelley Burgon, Alice Cohen, Michael Hurder, Dominika Mazurova, Camilla Padgitt-Coles. These contributions are mixed with the strange sounds of the Suzuki "Nobara" synthesizer, which emulates the koto, allowing the user to tune it to Japanese or Western scales. There's something quite ethereal about the music here, sometimes veering into vapourwavey sacharine sweetness, but often charmingly off-kilter.

soccer Committee - Le Jardin (Wouter van Veldhoven version) [Moving Furniture Records/Bandcamp/Bandcamp]
Last year I celebrated the first new album from soccer Committee, the solo work of singer Mariska Baars, for 14 years. It turns out that her other album was in fact her second, and the self-titled soccer Committee was released in a limited run on CDR in 2005. It's now available again via Moving Furniture Records, in a proper CD edition with two remixes - one from Machinefabriek, who's the reason I originally heard of soccer Committee, and the other from another hidden genius of Dutch music, Wouter van Veldhoven, whose fragile tape constructions have beguiled me for years. Van Veldhoven collages Baars' voice and maybe guitar into waves of tape hiss.

Robbie Lee & Lea Bertucci - Twine and Tape [Telegraph Harp]
Robbie Lee & Lea Bertucci - Image Mirror [Telegraph Harp]
I know NYC composer Lea Bertucci from her exploration of site-specific acoustic phenomena (e.g. the brilliant Acoustic Shadows), work with computer, and her own playing on clarinet, sax, flute and other instruments. On Winds Bells Falls however, she's working tape and effects in realtime while fellow New Yorker plays Robbie Lee plays celeste, flutes, gemshorn, contrabass recorder and orchestral chimes. These different instruments each interact in beautiful and strange ways with their tape-manipulated shadows, warping in pitch and flickering in and out alongside their real counterparts. A little bit of magic.

Machinefabriek - Kim's Back / Sixty-Nine [Machinefabriek Bandcamp]
Rutger Zuydervelt, aka Machinefabriek, has of late been releasing material from dance works. Our Arms Grew Together is his second collaboration with Marta & Kim, who combine dance with circus performance. This is quite an avant-garde score, made with typical restraint, but occasional rhythmic passages appear as well.

part timer - genix [part timer Bandcamp]
Speaking of occasional rhythmic passages, having explored crystalline piano & strings over the last couple of years, Melbourne's part timer is now striking out into glitchy beats, reminiscent of his folktronic beginnings, albeit with a gentle ambient tilt. What I've heard of his recent studies (some of which you can hear at his SoundCloud) suggests there's much more exciting stuff to come...

Sweeney - The Break Up [Observable Universe Recordings/Sound In Silence]
Sweeney - You Will Move On [Observable Universe Recordings/Sound In Silence]
We've heard a lot from Jason Sweeney recently on Utility Fog - solo works, duo Pretty Boy Crossover, Other People's Children and ambient as Panoptique Electrical. Under his surname he's focused of late on gothic pop works, with dramatic vocals, piano and electronics. Stay For The Sorrow, released on vinyl via his Observable Universe Recordings and CDR through Greek label Sound In Silence, is a record of a break up, a broken heart, and a slow mending. It's dramatic and beautiful.

Listen again — ~199MB


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Monday, 14th of February, 2022

Playlist 13.02.22 (8:40 pm)

Tonight you'll find a range of sounds from varied experimental pop songs through postrock, glitch legends, industrial techno and deep house, industrial dub and jungle tekno, deep glitchy ambient and blissful shoegaze-hip-hop.

LISTEN AGAIN to the sounds of the future, today. Stream on demand at FBi, podcast here.

Lack The Low - Rushlight [Art As Catharsis/Bandcamp]
Here's the pretty stunning second single, and opening track, from the second album God-Carrier by Melbourne-based musician Kat Hunter aka Lack The Low. It's released, as with her first, by Sydney label Art As Catharsis, and finds itself a good fit with the absolutely cathartic crescendo into heaviness in its second half. Drums are contributed by Adam Betts on this track, but the majority is played by Hunter, including violin AND cello, as well as guitars, those emotive vocals, and plenty of synths and production magic. This is a very powerful song, displaying all Hunter's talents for songwriting and orchestration.

Wedding Guns - Beta Constrictor [Wedding Guns Bandcamp]
A couple of years Mark Rhys Mitchell aka indietronica master Clue To Kalo (or Superscience, if your memory goes back far enough) announced a new alias for particularly electronic experimental pop - Clue To Kalo had often been a full band, but Wedding Guns is Mitchell solo making bedroom pop that's half Pet Shop Boys and half Dntel. "Beta Constrictor" is only one track, but I'll take what I can - it's a delight.

spectral gates - breathe in/out [spectral gates Bandcamp]
spectral gates - s7 extended [spectral gates Bandcamp]
Sydney musicians Steve Allison and Daniel Arena formed spectral gates a few years ago after a gap from playing music. Both contribute synthesizers of various sorts, and loops and signal processing, but they also play drums and guitar respectively, making for a mix between kosmische synth/krautrock with math rock influences. This latest album, perihelion, is the third in a trilogy of solar system-spanning albums.

General Magic - Tyrell [Mego/Editions Mego/Bandcamp]
General Magic & Pita - Dope Fridge [Mego/Editions Mego/Bandcamp]
General Magic - Rollen Rink [Mego/Editions Mego/Bandcamp]
General Magic - i love you [Mego]
General Magic - subdataselten ab beeheeolmurle [Mego]
In 1995, Ramon Bauer and Andi Pieper teamed up as General Magic with Peter Rehberg Pita to release Fridge Trax, dub techno music built from the grumbling, pinging sounds of the malfunctioning fridge in their apartment. The three Austrians has also formed the iconoclastic Mego label, and when Bauer & Pieper decided to drop out of the picture sometime later, Rehberg later re-formed the label as Editions Mego, which lasted until his tragic and untimely death last year. An agreement between the artists & sublabels means that Editions Mego continues to put out all planned releases, which brings us to the first vinyl edition, and digital remaster, of the classic debut album from General Magic, frantz!. It's probably one of my favourite albums of the era, equal to early Fennesz and Farmers Manual with strange rhythms and soundscapes made of rolling static, chopped up machine noise, glitches and granular synthesis. The theme is of winter sports, with the album named for the Austrian skier Franz Klammer, and so we get icy, scratchy soundfields which suit low-bit-rate samples and distortions. 25 years on, these sounds have a strangely dated futurism to them - techniques which have long since found their way into the lexicon of bedroom producers, but still to my ears used in unexpected ways. We also heard a couple of tracls from the 2000 follow-up from General Magic, rechenkönig, which retained their humour but ramped up the experimentalism and noise aesthetic.

exael - gaytek radio edit [exael Bandcamp]
Berlin-based exael continues with their habit of releasing tracks randomly on Bandcamp with this piece of complex, thumping industrial techno.

JK FLESH - GULLIBILITY [Avalanche Recordings/Bandcamp]
Justin K Broadrick continues the pounding no-wave techno that's come to define his JK Flesh alias with the New Religions, Old Rules album. It's a caustic, negative worldview, but, you know - for the dancefloors. Hyper-repetitive, with just the right amount of peaks and troughs and basslines for a mesmerising 3/4 of an hour.

Ree-Vo - Protein (The Bug Remix) [Ree-Vo Bandcamp]
Ree-Vo - Monitoring The Attack Of The Tamarisk Munching Beetles (Dub version) [Ree-Vo Bandcamp]
Bristol hip-hop duo Ree-Vo pair vocalist T Relly with beatmaker Andy Spaceland. There's a definite grime influence in there, but also the experimental end of US hip-hop - represented on this EP by a remix from Dälek. But Bristol's soundsystem heritage is there with the don Rob Smith (of Smith & Mighty), Surgeon is there in bouncy form, and The Bug takes Relly's fantastic voice into his grimy soundworld. There's also a great instrumental dub version of their own on there, which felt like it deserved a play.

Tim Reaper - Agony Tonight [Sneaker Social Club]
Over to London, and Tim Reaper's latest EP is a four-tracker for Sneaker Social Club that seems to look to the sound of jungle tekno, just before jungle came into its own. Hardcore & Rubble has one foot in the contemporary jungle revival that Reaper is all over, but the splattering amen breaks are tied to a bit more of a 4/4 techno pulse, even when on a track like "Agony Tonight" it's the ragga dancehall samples that really define it. All four tracks are pure fun.

POD - Languid [Kinetic Vision]
Kinetic Vision is a new label run by Australians JXTPS and Edward Richards. POD is a new project from Luc P aka JXTPS (alongside Wu Kush and various other aliases!) and here sees him transposing dub & jungle into triplet time, very effectively! Released only on SoundCloud for now, but a physical compilation is in the works from the label.

John Roberts - Crash [Brunette Editions]
After last year's trilogy of tracks collected as Zero Infinite Nothing, beloved deep house sound-artist John Roberts is now putting out tracks with hole-punched cymbals as artwork... "Crash" is 5 minutes of blissful deep'n'heavy 4/4 grooves and chamber orchestral drones.

Lorenzo Feliciati & Dominique Vantomme - Clear Blue Sky [Subcontinental Records/Bandcamp]
India-based Subcontinental Records doesn't let itself get pinned down to any particular genre, visiting ambient, experimental electronics, noise, metal and jazz, from artists across the world. Jazz is where you might usually find electric bassist Lorenzo Feliciati, and Dominique Vantomme was a jazz pianist/keyboard player, but has also produced pop and even drum'n'bass. Together these two lay down a kind of fourth world ambient/percussive electronic jazz akin to the more upbeat extremities of the ECM catalogue perhaps, with various guests on many tracks, but here an electric bass melody is underpinned by head-nodding electronic beats and wavering synth drones.

EVITCELES - The Streets Are My Sanctuary [Evitceles Bandcamp]
EVITCELES - Enslaved By Night [Evitceles Bandcamp]
Bulgarian producer EVITCELES has appeared on the likes of Opal Tapes and Yerevan Tapes, but also frequently releases tracks on his own Bandcamp, and Entwined is aptly described by the artist as "dreamy but sometimes harsh". The bass-heavy beats lean industrial, but there's a cyberpunk noir ambience to most of the proceedings.

skipism - For observation [skipism Bandcamp]
skipism - Upwardly mobile fog [skipism Bandcamp]
Drusilla Jones has been involved with Sydney experimental music & arts since the early '80s with the M-Squared collective, and was a member of Scattered Order for some time as well as contributing album artwork. skipism is her solo moniker, under which she has just released a cassette called sound stitches, audio sketches which she compares to the process of "slow sitching", which she used to create the cassette artwork & packaging. These are subtly disquieting ambient pieces, made of field recordings and digital processing, with glitches and wonky rhythms disturbing the textures at times.

Shoeb Ahmad - 2.8 [Atlantic Rhythms/Bandcamp]
Shoeb Ahmad - 2.3 [Atlantic Rhythms/Bandcamp]
In a similarly off-beat ambient vein, Shoeb Ahmad's Breather Loops will be released this Friday by Washington, DC label Atlantic Rhythms. This project is a continuation of a series of internet streams from 2020 in which Ahmad created longform meditative pieces from samples of her work and field recordings. Many collaborators' contributions sneak into the slow-moving drifts, here rendered in short 1-4 minute pieces - but like the original video streams, they are intended as a respite from the pressures of the Covid and doomscrolling world at large.

odd nosdam - Hood 2 [Home Assembly Music/Bandcamp]
odd nosdam - Wasted on a Waterbed 6 [Home Assembly Music/Bandcamp]
odd nosdam - Good Day [Home Assembly Music/Bandcamp]
Leeds label Home Assembly Music has a close connection to the legendary indie/indietronic band Hood, with various side projects released on the label over the years. And Odd Nosdam, aka Anticon / cLOUDDEAD producer David Madson, has been a longtime Hood evangelist - I first heard some of their rare EP Tracks on a mixtape he put out in 2002. So it shouldn't be surprising to hear Hood vocals and guitars sampled on a couple of recent Nosdam tracks - specifically those from HOME, a 2020 self-release which is collected by Home Assembly on a cassette alongside another, much weirder 2020 release called wasted on a waterbed. By and large HOME is blissful shoegazey beats in familiar Nosdam style, with semi-recognizable samples ("HOME" itself is based around a Diana Ross song), while waterbed throws looped beats and samples into the bongwater and lets rip. Regardless, new beats from Nosdam are always a pleasure, and they get a deserved physical release here.

Listen again — ~207MB


Comments Off on Playlist 13.02.22

Monday, 7th of February, 2022

Playlist 06.02.22 (11:15 pm)

Back after a week's break, with thanks to the amazing Krishtie Moffazal for filling in!
We've got everything from indie to sound-art to glitch to punk to drum'n'bass & jungle tonight.

So LISTEN AGAIN and let us take you on a journey. Stream on demand at FBi or podcast here.

Black Country, New Road - Bread Song [Ninja Tune/Bandcamp]
Following their astonishing debut album from early last year by almost exactly 12 months, British post-punk-jazz-post-rock-klezmer-indie group Black Country, New Road have just released Ants From Up There, which is somehow quite different but also the same. Sadly, just in time for the release, their vocalist & guitarist Isaac Wood has announced that he is leaving the band, seemingly for mental health reasons. It's absolutely understandable - being thrown in the spotlight unexpectedly must be incredbily high pressure, and if you're not the sort of person who relishes being the centre of attention it could be absolutely debilitating. But his voice, delivery and weird stream-of-consciousness lyrics do add something very special to a group already populated by some brilliant musicians, so it will be interesting to see what they are like as they continue without him. Although there are plenty of highlights on this album, the singles are definitely right at the top, and I'm a sucker for the kind of chord progression at the heard of "Bread Song" - lovely, moving stuff.

Movietone - Hydra [Textile Records]
Movietone - Mono Valley [Textile Records]
It's time for a reprisal of the Bristol indie/postrock band Movietone. Sharing members with Flying Saucer Attack, Crescent and Third Eye Foundation, their sound is quiet and lo-fi, with a sense of experimentation that links them to bands like Bark Psychosis and Hood. French label Textile Records have just collected their three Peel Sessions from 1994-1997, which as usual with such performances gives a unique insight into this band, with alternate versions of album tracks that a lot of us now might not be that familiar with anyway. There's a lot of acoustic instrumentation in here - violin, clarinet, piano - but it's all with a DYI aesthetic and a lightness of touch, along with very softly-delivered vocals, which give the music an ethereal, sensual feel. There are postrock grooves and harsh jabs of noise at times (smashing glass?), making for essential listening.

Ale Hop - Once Upon a Time (collab. with Elsa M'Balla & Nicole L'Huillier) [Karlrecords/Bandcamp]
Ale Hop - Mayu Islapi (collab. with Ana Quiroga, Fil Uno & Ignacio Briceño) [Karlrecords/Bandcamp]
Peruvian musician Alejandra Cardenas has been based for some time in Berlin, making music in a host of ever-changing styles, including a guest appearance with techno/idm duo These Hidden Hands and solo releases of a postpunk/postrock/electronic persuasion. But her experimental tendencies have come more & more to the fore, and latest album What Is It They Say A City Like Any City?, released by Karlrecords, abandons any remnants of songform, preferring instead cello drones, field recordings, non-metric beats and highly glitched and randomised vocals. She works with collaborators from South & Central America, Africa and across the globe, examining geography from within the reduced virtual experience of lockdown's remote collaboration. It's a strange & compelling listen.

Inlay Ensemble - Importunated [Creative Sources Recordings]
Slow strings feature on the new album Songs for Habitual People from Sydney's Inlay Ensemble, but there are also upbeat numbers like this one. Led by double bassist Elsen Price, the ensemble has a moving cast that frequently features violist Carl St Jacques, violinist Susie Bishop and cellist John Napier. They're at their heart an improvising string ensemble, and the more of those around the better! They play around Sydney a fair bit, so I recommend checking them out.

Rebecca Lennon - Face to Face [Flaming Pines]
KMRU - A score to start hearing the invisible [Flaming Pines]
Two tracks here from a superb compilation from Flaming Pines called Paint your lips while singing your favourite pop song, featuring eight artists interpreting "text scores" by artist, writer and researcher Salomé Voegelin. These scores are instructions to the performer, which encourage the performer to question and rewrite the instructions as they see fit, so each work finds the musician in conversation with the score. With UK singer Rebecca Lennon, that involves actual spoken words and singing, but also non-verbal utterances, throat-clearing and groans layered on top of each other - beautiful and disturbing. On the other hand, Kenyan sound-artist KMRU aka Joseph Kamaru combines field recordings and electronic tones in typically immersive fashion.

a0n0 - Blue.Electronic.Sky [$ pwgen 20]
nzworkdown - R for Pita [$ pwgen 20]
KMRU also features on a new compilation paying tribute to Peter Rehberg, co-founder of the groundbreaking Mego label and the force behind Editions Mego, who tragically passed away suddenly last year. His works as Pita are celebrated in the title Get This: 32 Tracks for Free - A Tribute to Peter Rehberg, and many artists involved with Mego from the beginning appear, alongside likeminded artists from across the globe. I played two Japanese residents tonight: a0n0 gives us an all-out noise assault burying a melodic sample in distortion in the style of the beloved third track from Pita's second album Get Out, while nzworkdown gives us distorted, glitched beats in the style of early Mego releases.

Saint Abdullah - Blurring Of Management Theory [Room40/Bandcamp]
Iranian-Canadian brothers Saint Abdullah have been making fascinating music for a few years now. Their early records are percussion-heavy dubwise excursions with samples from their native Tehran and across the world, alongside a love of free jazz - and still now they investigate the relationship between the "West" and the Muslim world, and the way the West perceives Muslim people. Their latest album Inshallahlaland is released by Australia's own Room40, opening with a stunning 22-minute track sampling voices saying "salaam", routing through field recordings, drones and experimental beats. It's sound work that's open to interpretation, yet entirely clear in its intent. Never less than genius.

Snawklor - Gravity Trauma [Snawklor Bandcamp]
Last year, after about a decade's absence, the originally-Melbourne-based duo of Dylan Martorell and Nathan Gray returned as Snawklor, to much celebration round these parts. Ceaseless Sun is the partner release to the Perfumed Ground EP they released last year, and it might be the most subdued work they've done, but it's still full of filigree squiggles and scattered percussion.

Dolphins of Venice - Shining Banjo Islands [Mahorka/Bandcamp]
Isolated Gate - Rubber Brain [Darla Records/Bandcamp]
Adelaide's Tim Koch has been an IDM stalwart since the late '90s, but nowadays along with the beats he's likely to source his sounds from acoustic or live instruments and then mangle them in granular hardware or software. A couple of duo projects have proved very fruitful of late. Dolphins of Venice is a duo with Adrien 75 (Adrien Capozzi), whose early IDM/drill'n'bass music blew my mind on the collaborative Highways Over Gardens compilation in 1998, and who combines ambient guitar and IDM in his solo work these days. Dolphins of Venice shows how suited Koch & Capozzi's styles are to each other, with joyful crunchy beats and highly tweaked & processed sounds. A similar aesthetic marks Koch's productions for Isolated Gate, a bewilderingly odd electronic pop collaboration with Ian Masters, original vocalist in the legendary 4AD band Pale Saints. Masters concocts strangely catchy songs from the weird, jittery electronic structures Koch provides, using his impressive full vocal range. Released by US indie stalwarts Darla Records, Hapax Legomenon is only the start for this partnership.

Crass - Well, Do They... (XP Click Remix) [One Little Independent Records/Bandcamp]
Crass - Women (65daysofstatic Remix) [One Little Independent Records/Bandcamp]
If you've been listening over the last year & a bit you'll know I've been really enjoying the remixes commissioned by Crass of their debut album The Feeding of the 5000. The deeply political anarcho-punk, feminist, anti-war music is preserved, inverted, recontextualised in surprising ways on a series of curated 7"s titled Normal Never Was, available at their Bandcamp, but the band also made the stems available for anyone to remix, and received hundreds of submissions. Many were already released on a massive dump of 223 tracks, but now a selection made it on to a 2CD set called Normal Never Was - Revelations - The Remix Compilation. Whoever has called themselves XP Click made it impossible to unearth their identity using Google, but turned in a strangely catchy hip-hop/IDM remix of "Well, Do They...", the alternate version of "Do They Owe Us A Living?" (of course they fucking do). And among the few known names on there, UFog favourites 65daysofstatic are a highly political bunch for an instrumental postrocktronic band, and take Joy de Vivre's "Women" into a sinister techno territory.

Loefah - Woman (Benton vip) [Loefah Bandcamp]
"Woman" is a legendary Loefah wub-wub dubstep track now available on his Bnadcamp. For Bandcamp Friday Loefah uploaded the VIP by Benton (it's unusual to call someone else's remix a VIP) which inverts the sparse original by turning it into a stop-start jungle monster.

Blocks & Escher - Shot In The Dark [R&S Records/Bandcamp]
Blocks & Escher - Breaking The Waves [Metalheadz/Bandcamp]
I was a massive fan of the 2018 album Something Blue from Blocks & Escher, which was suitably Metalheadz in its drum'n'bass productions but was also imbued with jazz trumpet samples and beats built from real drum sounds. For some reason I never played it in 2018, so on the occasion of a new four-track EP on R&S Records, I've revisited that beautiful album as well. They are adept at everything from furious breaks to halftime head-nodders, and anything new from them is notable.

Mister Shifter - Murder One [Straight Up Breakbeat/Bandcamp]
Mineral - Source Control [Straight Up Breakbeat/Bandcamp]
Finland is a surprising home to an enthusiastic drum'n'bass & jungle scene, with figures like Fanu and Resound only the tip of the iceberg. A few years ago the Straight Up Breakbeat label popped up in Helsinki with a well-curated modern take on classic jungle & drum'n'bass sounds. The latest material is available on a special Bandcamp edition, Zero Two, with many Finnish artists such as Fanu, Resound and Mineral - who we heard tonight with a track that accelerates and skitters away throughout - and international artists like US producer Mister Shifter, who gives us fierce dark breaks.

Cassius Select - RSN [Cassius Select Bandcamp]
Finally, ex-Sydneysider Lavurn Lee is dropping tunes on his Cassius Select Bandcamp - apparently not all will be as Cassius Select, and given he's been Guerre and Fake there's plenty of scope for different names & sounds. "RSN" is a kind of take on drum'n'bass, although with the caveat that he's always come at music from a pop direction. I'm not going to d'n'b-police him - Lee is a genius producer and the energy in this track is infectious.

Listen again — ~204MB


Comments Off on Playlist 06.02.22

 
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