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Utility Fog

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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

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