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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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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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