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Utility Fog

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Monday, 14th of March, 2022

Playlist 13.03.22 (10:26 pm)

Weird indie, weird improv, weird Persian, Egyptian, Moroccan, weird junglisms and weird electronica. If it's not weird, it's not worth it.

LISTEN AGAIN if y'know what's good for you. If y'do, stream it on demand from FBi, or podcast it here.

Kee Avil - I too Bury [Constellation/Bandcamp]
Kee Avil - Drying [Constellation/Bandcamp]
Montréal's Vicky Mettler co-founded Concrete Sound Studio, and curates an online live series there as well as producing music. She's played with many musicians in the Montréal experimental music scene, including Sam Shalabi's Land of Kush, and her production skills and experimental credentials all feed into her solo work as Kee Avil. The songs on this album are very hard to pin down - often strangely amelodic, but also strangely compelling, with timbres and orchestrations that sometimes seem like postpunk or indie, sometimes like freak folk. Programmed beats coincide with queasy piano or wheezy accordion. It's an album that deserves multiple listens to really unravel what's going on.

Iguan - Waves [Studio LAB’UT/Bandcamp]
Based out of Studio LAB’UT in Strasbourg, Claire Trouilloud (voice, composition) and Yérri-Gaspar Hummel (live electronics, composition) make up Iguan, whose music, as you can guess from the credits, is partially contemporary composition and partially improvised, in between oratorio and musique concrète.

Sussan Deyhim & Richard Horowitz - Ishtar [Crammed Discs/Bandcamp]
Sussan Deyhim / Shirin Neshat - Turbulent [Venus Rising Records]
I first discovered NYC-based Iranian musician Sussan Deyhim in a gallery in Portugal where the astonishing film Turbulent by fellow ex-pat Iranian Shirin Neshat was playing. Projected on two opposing walls of a small room are a male performer, in front of an audience, and a woman, standing in shadows on her own. The man performs a beautiful traditional tune, to great applause, and then watches in astonishment as the woman performs a breathtaking avant-garde piece for solo voice (and subtle delays). You can watch it here. Deyhim's piece, also titled "Turbulent", showcases her incredible vocal range, and the way, from the mid-'80s onward, she was reintrepreting the music of her homeland in the context of the '80s and '90s avant-garde. Alongside collaborations with Adrian Sherwood and Bill Laswell, Deyhim has worked closely with her partner Richard Horowitz, and their first album Desert Equations: Azax Attra has just been reissued by Crammed Discs, remastered with bonus tracks, as part of their revival of their Made to Measure composers series. Although some aspects of this album date it very much to the mid 1980s - up-front programmed drum machines in particular - the Jon Hassell-style fourth-world ambient aesthetic that Horowitz brings is very much in vogue now, and Deyhim's voice is so otherworldly that this music can't help sounding strangely futuristic.

Carl Gari & Abdullah Miniawy - Pearls for orphans (live) [Molten Moods/Bandcamp]
Carl Gari & Abdullah Miniawy - B'aj بعاج [Whities (AD 93)/Bandcamp]
Carl Gari & Abdullah Miniawy - Protruding cheeckbones (live) [Molten Moods/Bandcamp]
In 2019, AD 93 (or Whities as they were then known) released the first full collaborative album between German trio Carl Gari with France-based Egyptian poet & singer Abdullah Miniawy. The Act of Falling from the 8th Floor harnessed the evocative poetry and trumpet of Miniawy with the dubwise sounds of Carl Gari - on "B'aj بعاج", Miniawy narrates a poem told from the point of view of a man who has jumped from the 8th floor, and describes the activities on the balconies as he falls. Miniawy is an excellent electronic producer himself, and in late 2020 released an EP with French bass producer Simo Cell, but it's a pleasure to find him back with Carl Gari for Between The Bullet And The Front Sight, Casting Lots, which was recorded live at Munich's Haus der Kunst but could easily be a studio album. It's mostly new material, once again pairing Miniawy's poems about Egypt under al-Sisi, his trumpet, and Carl Gari's mix of dub, psych and bass music.

Ö - St. Henri [PC Music/Bandcamp]
Ö - AFK [PC Music/Bandcamp]
The full new EP Hypernormality from Nicolas Petitfrère, the latest signing to PC Music, should be out now. Previously known as Nömak, he's now switched to just Ö. He's produced tunes with Charli XX and Christine and the Queens, and enlists A.G. Cook for the intense glitches of single "AFK", but much of this EP is more in the Animal Collective vein - dreamy electronic folk with slow crescendos and odd electronic undercurrents. It's really lovely.

Virgil Abloh, serpentwithfeet - Delicate Limbs (Special Request Extended Mix) [Sony Music]
This track is a year old, but for some reason I missed it when it came out, and only discovered it now through DJ C's most righteous Nu Jungle mix. The original track by the late lamented fashion designer Virgil Abloh and dream-r'n'b singer serpentwithfeet is great, but Special Request up-ends it into a junglist banger.

DJ Ride - Halfjung [Together with Ukraine]
Workforce & Halogenix - Don't Give Up [Together with Ukraine]
Submarine - Obeisance [Together with Ukraine]
And that brings us to the immensity that is Together with Ukraine - 136 tracks, over 10 hours of music, from drum'n'bass (and "bass") artists from around the globe, released on Bandcamp to raise money for the Ukrainian Red Cross Society. It's quality music, but it's still rather nice that it did so well - hitting the #1 spot on Bandcamp, and raising thus far over £60,000. It covers a good range of drum'n'bass and jungle subgenres too, with dancefloor-fillers, some neurofunk and some of the minimalist tribal sound Samurai are championing, as well as some real jungle revivalist shit. Tonight we've got Portugal's DJ Ride with a kind of halfstepper, Workforce & Halogenix from the UK with hard-hitting breaks and euphoric vocal samples, and from Cologne's Submarine there's shuddering bass and complex, shifting breaks. It's honestly a well-priced overview of the d'n'b/jungle scene today, and for a great cause.

Adred - Levitation [31 Recordings]
New York producer Adred appears on Together with Ukraine, but this week he also has a new EP out on Doc Scott's 31 Recordings. It's quite expansive stuff, with varied beats and creative basslines and synth pads, one of my favourites on 31 for a while.

3xOJ - Shaheded [3xOJ Bandcamp]
3xOJ - sneper.exe [3xOJ Bandcamp]
3xOJ feat. Al Nasser - Stork [Hakuna Kulala]
Last year Hakuna Kulala released an excellent EP from Moroccan producer 3xOJ in which he teamed up with Cassablanca-based MC Al Nasser for some antifascist bass music. This led me to 3xOJ's own Bandcamp and his earlier release sneper.exe that draws on various styles of bass music along with North African & Arabic influences. 3xOJ's latest EP, just released, is Shaheded, which sees him moving into junglist territory on the title track - also remixed in fine form by fellow Moroccan producer P3RY.

Cristian Vogel - Hyphaedelity [Mille Plateaux/Cristian Vogel Bandcamp]
Cristian Vogel - Angle Phase Life (Disintegration Mix) [Mille Plateaux/Cristian Vogel Bandcamp]
Born in Chile, educated in the UK, now based in Denmark, Cristian Vogel straddles musical traditions as well as countries. He's studied electronic composition and writes music for theatre and dance, creates incredible sound-art, but also has been involved with the techno and experimental electronic scenes for decades - he was a founder of Brighton's No-Future collective in the '90s, a forerunner of Wrong Music's breakcore and wonky, irreverant experimentalism. As well as remixing Radiohead and Thom Yorke, Vogel also formed Super_Collider with Jamie Lidell, a weird & wonderful melding of glitchy electronics and Lidell's soulful vocals. He worked with the original Mille Plateaux label in the '90s, and his latest album appears on the reinvigorated label. 1Zhuayo contains a familiar mix of submerged dub, techno and sound design. To my ears it's his best work in some years.

Alexis Weaver - A Mouthful of Locusts [New Weird Australia/Bandcamp]
Zacharias Szumer - Stilted Cycle [New Weird Australia/Bandcamp]
Aphir - Airlock [New Weird Australia/Bandcamp]
Orbits - Ultraviolet [New Weird Australia/Bandcamp]
And finally for tonight, I'm pleased to be able to premiere a bunch of tracks from New Weird Australia's Collapse Theories, which will be released this coming Friday the 18th of March. As usual Stu Buchanan has excelled himself in selecting 26 brilliant experimental tracks from around Australia (including my little-seen trio Haunts, which Stu has kindly supported for years). There's an emphasis on electronic music - often abrasive, sometimes melodic - but also some distorted guitars and jazzy postrockisms in there. From Sydney, Alexis Weaver's electroacoustic piece evokes her title, "A Mouthful of Locusts", with vocal samples beautifully glitched and bounced around aural field. Multi-talented Melbourne journalist and musician Zacharias Szumer also brings glitched up sounds and unbalanced beats. Aphir aka Becki Whitton, who took over the operation of Provenance from Stu a year ago and reforged it into a collective, provides a piece of characteristic experimental pop with chanted, processed vocals and driving rhythms. And finally for tonight, Orbits (who, like Becki, are migrants from Canberra to Melbourne) showcase their electronic side with delay-fuelled drones, heavy bass and gated drums.

Listen again — ~209MB

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