a wholly owned subsiduary of
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experimental electronica
electric string quartet

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, 25th of April, 2022

Playlist 24.04.22 (12:05 pm)

Some beautiful experimental, subtle sounds today - and also, the breakcore revival!

LISTEN AGAIN, you won't regret it! Stream on demand at the FBi website or podcast here.

I, Iteration - Homeland [Flaming Pines]
Mova - Ryoma [Flaming Pines]
Kate Carr's Flaming Pines label has always been an internationally-focused label, with field recording series based around artists' locations around the world, and compilations focused on Iranian music, Vietnamese music and more in the past. Liberty serves as one of the many compilations dedicated to supporting Ukrainians during the invasion of their country by Russian military forces - but it's also entirely made up of Ukrainian artists (the second such compilation from the label). Igor Yalivec of Gamardah Fungus, who've been released multiple times on Flaming Pines, is the curator again, and he teams up with Kyiv-based Endless Melancholy. Also familiar to some will be Heinali. Tonight I played two artists new to me: I, Iteration with pretty, undulating synth patterns; and Mova with more glitchy textures.

Evitceles - Explode Into Unfamiliar Place [Amek Collective/Bandcamp]
Evitceles - Неспокойно разливане [Amek Collective/Bandcamp]
From Ukraine, south-west around the Baltic Sea we go to Bulgarian, to join Evitceles, who we've heard previously on Opal Tapes, Yerevan Tapes and Seagrave, and who returns to Bulgarian label Amek Collective for Accession, one of his best albums yet. There's lots of lovely bass, industrial beats and occasional distorted vocals. Dark music for dark times.

Tilman Robinson and Kcin - Your Tomorrow Has No Tomorrow [Spirit Level]
Speaking of which... Melbourne-based Tilman Robinson and Sydney's Kcin have had this collaboration coming for a while, suitably (eek) entitled Requiem for the Holocene (which is the current geological epoch). It explores similar themes to Kcin's Decade Zero and Robinson's Culturecide - that of catastrophic climate change, dramatised through both artists' talents for merging acoustic sound sources with heavy-duty electronics. The comparatively gentle title track appeared on a compilation a little while ago, and the full EP is out next Friday. Meanwhile here's the heavy, percussive sound of the equally positive "Your Tomorrow Has No Tomorrow".

DJ Kuroneko - Fracture [Deep Scan]
Dark Apostle - Weeb in the Shell [Deep Scan]
Heavier still now. Just this week Bandcamp had an article about "the internet's" breakcore revival, with some pretty good commentary on where breakcore came from in the '90s and what it's become today. As a side-note, it was interesting to read Alex Petridis talking about drum'n'bass becoming cool for the TikTok generation in the Guardian this week (full disclosure: I hate almost all the music referenced in the article, but my taste is irrelevant for TikTok pop trends and I'm really glad this stuff exists). Anyway, I was particularly pleased to read the breakcore article because it's been a while since breakcore was a core genre for Utility Fog (it was for years), and just this coming week, Sydney-based Deep Scan are releasing their second compilation, Solid State Drive 2, focused on breakcore both local and international. It's a fantastic comp, showcasing excellent music which understands breakcore and jungle's history and comfortably situates them in current-day musical trends. Ireland's DJ Kuroneko is right there in the thick of it, with the ubiquitous anime, cyberpunk, video game aesthetics and complex, rapidfire beats. From Sydney, Dark Apostle is also of course referencing those same cultural waypoints with highlight "Weeb in the Shell". I'm sure I'll be playing more from this in the next week or two!

Via the Bandcamp article I found the latest collaborative release from Atlanta producers Elevation and x.nte. On Singularity Fallout, x.nte pushes things in the super-accelerated aggressive breakcore direction, while Elevation tends more to jungle's rhythmic flow. That said, the duo track "Bangs on Clarkston Market" has a sweet jazzy aspect that fits the artists' Atlanta roots to a tee.

Fanu & Larson Whiled - Earl's Brew [Lightless Recordings]
Also on a jazz tip is the delightful opening track from the new EP from Finland's d'n'b don Fanu and young UK artist Larson Whiled. The EP bristles with breaks at different tempos, shifting from hip-hop to drum'n'bass and back with ease.

Loraine James - Cold Air [MSCTY]
Chisara Agor - Akrafokonmu / Soul Washer’s Badge [MSCTY]
MSCTY_EXPO PLEASURES ZONE is the latest indefinable project from MSCTY aka "MUSIC CITY", describing themselves as "the leading global agency for music + architecture". Their first physical release is a double cassette and zine, with the artists responding to unbuilt architectural projects. The second cassette is a composition by artist Yuval Avital, while the first cassette mixes up sound art, beats and compositions. There's Loraine James doing her lovely jazz-inflected IDM, and tonight we also heard the unique sound of UK-based Chisara Agor and their African compositions and sound collage.

Michael Stipe - Future, If Future [EarthPercent]
anrimeal - Source and Time [EarthPercent]
Saint Brian Eno has started an org called EarthPercent aimed at raising money for the most impactful organisations addressing the climate emergency. For Earth Day earlier this week, over 100 tracks from artists well-known and obscure were released through the EarthPercent Bandcamp with at least £1.30 (or USD $1.30 I guess depending on the artists) going to the org. Eno has a track, there's an alt.mix of Peter Gabriel's "Shock The Monkey", and heaps of other interesting stuff which you can pick and choose from. It was nice hearing something new from Michael Stipe, with oddly glitchy electronic backing, co-produced with Eno and the versatile Andy LeMaster. Meanwhile the wonderful anrimeal aka Ana Rita de Melo Alves contributes her typically oblique sounds with guitar and vocals digitally bent out of shape.

Soundwalk Collective with Charlotte Gainsbourg, feat. Willem Dafoe, Atom™ - Lovotic [Soundwalk Collective]
Soundwalk Collective with Charlotte Gainsbourg, feat. Lyra Pramuk - Empower And Enhance [Soundwalk Collective]
Originally founded in New York City, Soundwalk Collective is an international affair, with rotating members in Europe as well as the US, and collaborators such as Patti Smith and Ethiopian jazz musician Mulatu Astatke as well as Jean-Luc Godard. Released at the start of this month was the album Lovotic, a meditation of the new study of sexual and romantic relationships between humans and robots (apparently!) featuring spoken word from Charlotte Gainsbourg. An unreleased track from the same sessions appears as part of EarthPercent. On the album, many other collaborators appear, including the great Atom™ on the title track, and the great actor Willem Dafoe adding additional spoken word. A few tracks also feature avant-garde vocalist Lyra Pramuk. It's quite minimalist music, with a cold sensuousness befitting its subject matter.

Moskus - Å, var jeg en sangfugl [Hubro/Bandcamp]
Moskus - Papirfuglen [Hubro/Bandcamp]
Norwegian label Hubro has provided some of the most intruguing & exciting music for Utility Fog playlists over the years, with a style that frequently embodies our cheeky "postfolkrocktronica" tag (add jazz in there somewhere). Trondheim trio Moskus are one of those groups that blur genre lines and obscure distinctions between acoustic & electronic, all through improvised music. There's a folky openness to the proceedings and a post-jazz (if I may) aesthetic which is often found in this Norwegian scene.

Fhunyue Gao & Sven Kacirek - Archie Waltz (Drums) [Altin Village & Mine/Bandcamp]
Fhunyue Gao & Sven Kacirek - Dub Garden (Birds Why) [Altin Village & Mine/Bandcamp]
Here's an unusual collaboration. Drummer/percussionist & producer Sven Kacirek is based between Hamburg & Kenya, and has collaborated with various people in the German electronic & postrock type scenes over the years - in fact his duo with Stefan Schneider had a split release with our Shoeb Ahmad on her hellosQuare Recordings sometime ago. Fhunyue Gao is from Switzerland, trained in dance and a director as well as a musician. Their duo recordings combine tuned percussion, drums, electronic beats and more with Gao's very expressive theremin playing. It's quite uncategorizable, even though it stands well with the music before & after it tonight!

Laurent Pernice & Dominique Beven - L'Instant d'Aprés [Alma De Nieto Records]
Laurent Pernice & Dominique Beven - Le Chant de la Terre (quel malheur est-il ?) [Alma De Nieto Records]
Laurent Pernice & Dominique Beven - Charivari [Alma De Nieto Records]
The exquisite work here has a strange origin: Le Corps Utopique soundtracks a dance work performed by Emma Gustafsson and conceived along with Laurent Hatat, itself based (somehow) on Michel Foucault's lecture of that name. Multi-tracked wind instruments performed primarily by Dominique Beven are manipulated, both subtly and radically by Laurent Pernice's electronics. Tongue taps and breaths flutter, strange chords wheeze and sigh, otherworldly and beautiful.

Hans P. Kjorstad - Rotasjon [Motvind Records/Bandcamp]
Hans P. Kjorstad - Visjon [Motvind Records/Bandcamp]
To finish, we're back in Norway with fiddle player and composer Hans P. Kjorstad, who leads an ensemble of musicians on strings, wind instruments, harmonium, piano and percussion - and most also on bird flute. The works on Avkjølingshistorie ("A history of cooling") are a musical expression of the biggest subjects, from geology through to biology, mysticism and consciousness itself. Again the closest musical comparisons I can think of are also Norwegian - music from the Hubro label, the guitar style of Kim Myhr, the improvisatory compositions of Nakama and Christian Meaas Svendsen. This is highly evocative, subtle music, performed beautifully.

Listen again — ~200MB

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Monday, 18th of April, 2022

Playlist 17.04.22 (11:36 pm)

Strange melodies, warped rhythms, voices from the ether...

LISTEN AGAIN before it's too late. We're depending on you! Podcast here or stream on demand @ FBi.

Jockstrap - Concrete Over Water [Rough Trade/Bandcamp]
When Jockstrap signed to Warp in 2020 I was blown away by the two EPs they released for the label, with Georgia Ellery's vocals and violin, and both her and Taylor Skye's piano and production skills. In the interim, they've signed to Rough Trade, and released a very dancefloor-oriented track last year, which they've just followed up with the gorgeous "Concrete Over Water", which is best experienced with the delightful video, conceived of by Ellery with director Eddie Whelan. To Ellery's musical skills we can add acting and movement, as she portrays three different characters exploring a strange little fairytale world. The song itself again matches emotive melodies, close harmonies and unfettered electronics. The only downside is that there isn't more.

µ-Ziq - Goodbye (Xylitol Remix) [Planet µ/Bandcamp]
µ-Ziq - Goodbye (DJ Manny Remix) [Planet µ/Bandcamp]
Following the brilliant return of Mike Paradinas as µ-Ziq to the jungle-loving sounds of his circa-'97 productions, Planet µ are releasing the Goodbye Remixes this coming Friday. Given Planet µ's status as evangelists for Chicago's footwork sound, and given the genre's strange synergy with jungle's frantic tempos, it's fitting that there are a few footwork producers there. DJ Manny keeps impressively close to the original's breakbeats and vocal samples, just adding a footwork 4/4 pulse and fluttering hi-hat, yet making it his own. Meanwhile Brighton's Xylitol shows that she knows Paradinas' style inside-out, constructing a blissful jungle ride with added dancing synth melodies that are pitch-perfect µ–Ziq - quite an achievement.

Uman Therma, Yeong Die, Yetsuby - Intro (Vol. 2) [Computer Music Club]
Uman Therma, Yeong Die, Yetsuby - 4040404 [Computer Music Club]
Computer Music Club is a South Korean label/collective exploring IDM & dance music through varying tempos and styles and having a hell of a lot of fun doing so. All three are female producers whose other work leans more towards ambient, contemporary classical and minimalist work - together, Uman Therma & Yetsuby are Salamanda, while Yeong Die has released electronic soundtracks and piano music among other things. Yet together they're making crazy beats full of chopped breaks & glitches & samples, ranging from downtempo to techno to drill'n'bass and breakcore. Check out the five volumes so far released, and follow their Bandcamp for more.

Pugilist & Tamen - 2 Tone [Tempo Records/Bandcamp]
Pugilist & Tamen - Mirrors [Tempo Records/Bandcamp]
Ten years ago, Melbourne-based producer Pugilist was still in NZ, and began releasing superb dubstep and occasional uk garage music as one half of the duo Perverse. As Pugilist, Alex Dickson has traversed dubstep, uk garage, dub techno, drum'n'bass and jungle - in the last 2 or 3 weeks we've heard some other breakbeat work of his with fellow Melburnian Tamen, and meanwhile their second collaborative EP has come out, this time from the pretty exclusive Rotterdam drum'n'bass label Tempo Records. This is prime contemporary jungle, relentless beat juggling and all. Recommended.

Parallel Action - You Said (Brainwaltzera Remix) [C7NEMA100]
Parallel Action - You Said (Original) [C7NEMA100]
This new EP from Parallel Action describes the artist as having a trip-hop aesthetic, and I kind of get it - with jungle having a renaissance, it's not surprising that trip-hop might be too (Sevdaliza is testament to that). But the vocal samples and electronic beats on Parallel Action's "You Said" remind me more of Various Production, or the late-'90s/early-'00s IDM/breakbeat of Tipper circa The Critical Path (or see especially the Phoenecia remix of Dissolve (out)). Genre arguments aside, this is lovely stuff, and the remixes are top notch too, emphasising that IDM/breaks connection with The Fear Ratio and new IDM hero Brainwaltzera.

TMSV - Altered [Perfect Records/TMSV Bandcamp]
Dutch dubstep don TMSV returns to his own Perfect Records with two tracks of pure core dubstep (also featured is something more technoid on the third track). Always worth checking out his work.

Horse MacGyver - IDK IGU WYD [Nice Music/Bandcamp]
Horse MacGyver - How They Kill You [Dream Damage]
Horse MacGyver - Cutting And P3k1ng Oh [Nice Music/Bandcamp]
Canberran producer Timothy Dwyer started off under the moniker / / / ▲ ▲ ▲ \ \ \, earning him a place in the annals of "witch house" history - well, not just the name, but also the overdriven beats and hints at black metal among other things. When he switched to easier-to-type (not to mention search) Horse MacGyver, he managed to extricate himself from the short-lived subgenre, continuing with challenging experimental electronic productions. Visual aeshetics were always a big part of witch house, and Dwyer is a creative visual designer as well - the artwork for New Weird Australia's recent Collapse Theories is created by Dwyer. His new album End Effector is just out from Nice Music in Melbourne, and it's as uncompromising and sui generis as ever. There are hints at electronic genres of various sorts, but he's not one to be pigeonholed, or follow expectations. One to experience for yourself.

Mark Stewart VS KK Null - New Error [eMERGENCY heARTS/Bandcamp]
Mark Stewart VS Mika Vainio VS Ye Gods - Cursed Child [eMERGENCY heARTS/Bandcamp]
I have to admit I don't have in-depth knowledge of Mark Stewart's long career. His name comes up frequently in contexts of postpunk, dub, industrial and other experimental circles - and that's very much all in evidence on his new collaborative album VS. It's somewhere between a remix album and a collaborative album, with artists from across industrial hip-hop (Consolidated), industrial (Front 242, Stephen Mallinder), punk (Mike Watt), dub (Lee "Scratch" Perry, Adrian Sherwood) and all at once (Eric Random), as well as experimental types. There aren't many new faces here - it's by and large contemporaries of Stewart's - but it's still angry and abrasive and energetic. Japanese noise/drone/electronic legend KK Null appears a couple of times, with blasts of noise and rhythms. And Mika Vainio makes a posthumous appearance along with prog-metal weirdos Ye Gods. Cool stuff.

Coil - Paranoid Inlay [Chalice/Dais Records/Bandcamp]
Coil - Where Are You? feat. Rose McDowall [Chalice/Dais Records/Bandcamp]
A year and a bit ago, it was wonderful to have the excuse to play something from Coil's brilliant arcane, ambient, post-industrial work of genius Music to Play in the Dark, which was remastered and reissued on CD, vinyl and digital by Dais Records under the direction of Coil collaborator/member Drew McDowall. The necessary next step was always its sequel, so now it's time for Musick to Play in the Dark². Stylistically, there's not much to differentiate them, with the queer industrial roots mixed with glitch, cabaret, techno, ambient, folk and psychedelia to create a scintillating, serene yet disquieting homage to the middle of the night. This is moon music. A limnal hymn. Both albums are, in my opinion, absolutely essential. I've now owned them on CD three times. 'Nuff said.

Anadol - Gizli Duygular [Pingipung/Bandcamp]
Felicita is the second album on Pingipung from Berlin-based Turkish experimental synth artist Gözen Atila aka Anadol. There are hints at old Turkish pop music in here, but Atila also loves her Casio chord accompaniments - turning the cheesy and naïve into something compellingly strange and new. On this track, though, the Casiotone elements melt into a kosmische krautrock groove for an extended jam, unexpected and wonderful.

Oren Ambarchi, Johan Berthling, Andreas Werliin - II [Drag City/Bandcamp]
On groove-based, kraut-jazz jams you'd be hard-pressed to find a better trio than these three. From his origins in free noise, extreme minimalism and drone/doom metal, about 10 years ago Oren Ambarchi found himself a minimalist, evolving experimental rock groove with the remarkable Audience of One, and has since then embellished and refined this style over a number of releases. In his catalogue, this album follows that sequence, but his collaborators are comfortable in this world too. Both established members of the Swedish experimental scene, Johan Berthling & Andreas Werliin are both members of the legendary *ahem* postfolkrocktronic band Tape, and the two also make up the incredible rhythm section of the free jazz/psych ensemble Fire! with Mats Gustafsson. The stoic, dubby, krauty basslines Berthling lays down in Fire! are here, as are the freewheeling rhythms of Werliin (probably best known for his duo Wildbirds & Peacedrums with his brilliant wife and Fire! Orchestra member Mariam Wallentin). So it was clear Drag City was on to a winner with this new LP, Ghosted, and it easily lives up to expectations. Track II is particularly blissed out. You won't regret spending 40 minutes with this music.

Listen again — ~201MB

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Monday, 11th of April, 2022

Playlist 10.04.22 (1:16 am)

Experimental music, including narration with electronics, underground hip-hop, post-acid techno, deconstructed club music, classic glitch, tape manipulation, drone-folk and more.
Yes, those are all real genres.

LISTEN AGAIN to the sounds of this world and... others? Stream on demand @FBi or podcast here.

Ayala and Zac Picker - cardamom - cinnamon - cloves [Ayala Bandcamp]
Ayala and Zac Picker - wet cat - old bark - deep breaths [Ayala Bandcamp]
Based on a story by Zac Picker called "Bessamim" published in Soft Stir Vol 2, this stunning work combines Zac's spoken word with music and sound design from Ayala aka Donny Janks. Picker is in fact a physicist, but his talent for that very mathematical of sciences is balanced by a talent for very evocative prose, generating nostalgia via all the senses in a story about being (almost) 13, training for bar mitzvah. Picker's lush, wry storytelling is carried here by the sensitive setting by Ayala, allowing the spoken prose to float in a bed of electronic tones, occasionally subtly processing the vocals. I left out the core section of the story here deliberately - I can't recommend enough that you listen to the whole thing from start to finish.

Daniel Rossen - Unpeopled Space [Warp/Bandcamp]
Daniel Rossen - The Last One [Warp/Bandcamp]
What a joy to have a new album from Daniel Rossen, who once sang about going to Yeshiva (Jewish scriptural school) (sortof). That first band, Department of Eagles, was an early discovery of Utility Fog which, like Tunng and indeed Grizzly Bear (who Rossen would shortly join) would define some of the show's obsessions: adventurous anything-goes arrangements backed by brilliant songwriting & musicianship. Rossen is a singular talent when it comes to hearstring-pulling melodies with unexpected harmonic progressions, with a voice to match, as well as a characteristic ringing guitar style. That's all present and correct on You Belong Here, his first solo album proper. As a whole, the one full listen I've given it so far hasn't quite brought the transcendence of some of his earlier works, but it's unquestionably beautiful.

billy woods - Wharves [Backwoodz Studioz/Bandcamp]
billy woods - Sauvage (ft. Boldy James & Gabe Nandez) [Backwoodz Studioz/Bandcamp]
billy woods - Haarlem (ft. Fatboi Sharif) [Backwoodz Studioz/Bandcamp]
It feels like billy woods albums come thick & fast, but that's just because we had Armand Hammer's album with The Alchemist last year, and woods' album with Moor Mother in 2020. So, woods is back in 2022 with Aethiopes, another single-producer album, this time working with Preservation. It's almost as good as woods' album with Kenny Segal (one of the best albums full stop of the last 5+ years), and it's notable that there's a continuity of sound with all woods' work, regardless of who's behind the keyboard, knobs and faders. The movie samples are there, the tone is grimy, the beats stumble off into free jazz at times (love the piano chaos in "Haarlem"!) and the lyrics concern themselves with the horrors of the world today. Nobody carries this off better than woods and his 'woodz cohorts.

700 Bliss - Candace Parker feat. Muqata'a [Hyperdub/Bandcamp]
Here's the second single from the aforementioned Moor Mother's project with DJ Haram, 700 Bliss. Proving this will be a hell of an album, their tribute to the bisexual, black basketball player Candace Parker is incendiary, aided with glitched breaks from the great Palestinian producer Muqata'a.

HUMANOID - sT8818r Yage remix [FSOL Digital/Bandcamp]
HUMANOID - sT8818r Acreationator remix [FSOL Digital/Bandcamp]
Way back in 1988, one half of the duo who would become ambient techno/idm legends The Future Sound of London created a masterpiece of acid techno that was dubbed Stakker Humanoid. Brian Dougans' creation charted in the UK and really solidified the UK's place in the realms of techno - and acid became central in the development of '90s rave culture (a couple of years later FSOL's Papua New Guinea made them forever synomymous with rave). In 2019, Dougans reworked Stakker as "sT8818r" for a DE:tuned compilation 12", and since then a growing collection of remixes were commissioned, including '90s acid-influenced idm heroes like Luke Vibert, Autechre and Plaid, Roel Funcken of Funckarma, techno/rave dons like Mike Dred and John Tejada and more. All these versions along with the original '88 track have been collected on CD by FSOL now. I played a downtempo version from FSOL alias Yage (often referred to as their engineer, but always just Dougans and Cobain), and some break jugglin' jungle tekno from young UK producer Acreationator.

ubu boi & r hunter - Lexiconfluence [Genot Centre]
r hunter - in retrospect (ft. ubu boi) [.jpeg Artefacts]
ubu boi & r hunter - Heedless [Genot Centre]
In 2020, Melbourne producer Asher Elazary aka r hunter released an excellent album called Dead Ambient on .jpeg Artefacts with two tracks featuring US producer & pianist ubu boi (a name that will generate chortles from anyone familiar with the work of Alfred Jarry). So it was great news when Prague's Genot Centre announced A Symbol For Disguise - an entire album of duo work from the two artists. Here we have highly cromulent Genot Centre fare, the sounds of rave deconstructed into scintillating ambient, reconstructed into broken beats and shuddering subs, arranged symphonically and cinematically. It's the strangeness of now, briefly pinned down like a cloud from an e-cigarette.

Whatever The Weather - 0°C [Ghostly International/Bandcamp]
Whatever The Weather - 17°C [Ghostly International/Bandcamp]
London's Loraine James, rocketed to popularity through two albums on Hyperdub, inaugurates new project Whatever The Weather for Ghostly International. To these ears it's musically a continuation of her previous work, mixing IDM-like beats with deep roots from jazz, ambient, classical and pop. Her electric piano brings soulful chords, and she continues to contribute gentle and sometimes processed vocals to her tracks. The weather theme sees each track described with a temperature in degrees centigrade, a metaphor that allows a certain abstraction without full-blown randomness. As always this is essential music for anyone into future-focused electronica.

Fennesz - traxdata [Editions Mego/Bandcamp]
Fennesz - Instrument 3 [Editions Mego/Bandcamp]
Fennesz - aus [Editions Mego/Bandcamp]
2022 marks 25 years since the original release on Mego of Christian Fennesz' groundbreaking Hotel Paral.lel. The digital micro-edits, glitches, smeared drones and resampled guitars blew my mind when I heard them at the time, and to this day it's my favourite of his albums. The original CD release came in the classic oversized card sleeves of the early Mego days, and in 2007 it was remastered & reissued in standard digipak form. This year it sees a lush vinyl edition with enough space on the double LP to fit the 1995 Instrument EP (already digitally re-released on the Field Recordings 1995-2002 CD by Touch). This is the original deconstructed club music - glitches and crunches, throbbing subs, giddy beats. It's all wonderful. The closing track from the album, "aus", is a piece of crystalline beauty, with stop-start beats and guitar thrums split into shards like the diagonally-abstracted album artwork. The reissue is released in a little under 2 weeks.

Clara Engel - Golden Egg [Clara Engel Bandcamp]
Clara Engel - Murmuration [Clara Engel Bandcamp]
I first heard Clara Engel's voice on the title track of fellow Torontonian Aidan Baker's gorgeous Already Drowning album almost 10 years ago. Their name stuck with me, and it was great to rediscover them with their new album Their Invisible Hands. Elusive lyrics adorn the songs, scattered through, while other pieces are instrumental. Seemingly repetitive phrases on effected guitar slow evolve, tugged along by delays, with sighing melodies emerging from shruti box or chromonica. Like their contribution to that Aidan Baker album, the central songs here creep up on you and grab your heart when you don't expect it.

Ben Vida + Lea Bertucci - Murmurations [Cibachrome Editions]
Ben Vida + Lea Bertucci - Static Pressure [Cibachrome Editions]
Following her extraordinary collaboration with Robbie Lee a couple of months ago, here's a second duo from Lea Bertucci, this time with veteran US experimental musician Ben Vida (who released three beautiful albums as Bird Show on Kranky some years ago). Here Bertucci brings her wind instruments to the studio - sax, clarinet, flute - as well as the tape manipulation that made her Robbie Lee collaboration so special, and both her voice and Vida's are divorced of meaning in cut-ups alongside the acoustic textures and the rumbles and gurgles of Vida's synths. Compellingly off-beat stuff.

Lawrence English - Viento / Patagonia (Excerpt) [Room40/Bandcamp]
I always claim to not be into field recordings per se, but the two people to consistently prove me wrong are Kate Carr and Lawrence English. Here Lawrence revisits recordings he made in 2010 on a visit to Patagonia and Antarctica, with two stunningly dense and dramatic blizzard recordings. Both could easily be musicianly-created noise performances, and are absolutely visceral in force. Originally released on LP, they're now available digitally and in a special CD+book edition from Room40.

Bill Seaman & Stephen Spera - Progressions [Handstitched*]
Bill Seaman & Stephen Spera - Voix De Lumiere [Handstitched*]
Out soon on Handstitched* is a sumptuous album from two sound-artists. Bill Seaman's career covers 3 decades, and in the '90s he was active in Australia before returning to the USA. He's joined by upstate New Yorker Stephen Spera for Architectures of Light, arranged from field recordings and Seaman's signature "non-location recordings" along with piano, synths, tape deck and other devices, and various credited and uncredited vocals floating in and out of the mixes. It's hard to describe this otherworldly music, out of time and genre. Sample tracks are out now, and you can - and should - experience the whole album on April 22nd.

Listen again — ~206MB

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Monday, 4th of April, 2022

Playlist 03.04.22 (11:36 pm)

Internationalism, intersectionalism, experimental electronics, contemporary classical...

Listen again, for chrissakes! Stream on demand from FBi, podcast here.

Jessica O'Donoghue - Rise Up [Art As Catharsis/Bandcamp]
Starting tonight with the first single from a new album from Sydney-based singer Jessica O'Donoghue, released on the wide-ranging Art As Catharsis. Working with Alyx Dennison and David Trumpmanis, O'Donoghue adapts a traditional Greek song, "Dance of Zalongo", which describes the mass suicide of Greek women and children in Souli after the invasion of the Ottoman army, into a powerful song about women's resilience, with electronics and percussion along with the harmonised folk choir vocals. Can't wait to hear the rest of the album...

Julmud جُلْمود - Saree' el thawaban سريع الذوبان [Bilna'es/Bandcamp]
Julmud جُلْمود - Falnukmel فلنكمل [Bilna'es/Bandcamp]
Julmud جُلْمود - Juwway جوّاي [Bilna'es/Bandcamp]
From Ramallah, Palestine comes an album from hip-hop producer, rapper and percussionist Julmud جُلْمود. The Bilna'es label is co-run by Muqata'a, and some of his glitchy tendencies and love of breakbeats can be heard here - and of course the theme of oppression, unavoidable when living in the occupied territories. Here Julmud crafts varied tracks from chopped & screwed Arabic samples, drum breaks, percussion and more. Don't let this slip through the cracks!

Slikback - PROXY [Slikback Bandcamp]
Another Bandcamp release from Kenyan producer Slikback, with more hard-hitting experimental club sounds. He's a talented producer and is always pushing his boundaries.

Pugilist & Tamen - Resolute [Pugilist Bandcamp]
Lots of Bandcamp Friday releases tonight. Here, Melbourne bass producer Pugilist has put up two recent collaborative tracks, and this one with fellow Melburnian Tamen is a brilliant bit of bass & breaks, a slower version of the rhythmic mastery found in the jungle tracks they've made together for Repertoire and Tempo.

Brainwaltzera - tracing Rays [reality glo] [FILM]
Brainwaltzera - mixolydian transition 18 [FILM]
Brainwaltzera - ad interim [FILM]
Five years after his debut album on FILM, Poly-ana, enigmatic European IDM producer Brainwaltzera returns to the album format with ITSAME. It's more highly nostalgic IDM, heavily influenced by the mid-to-late '90s originals from Aphex Twin, Boards of Canada, µ-Ziq, Plaid and the like. But for any lack of originality, it's never less than very well done, with pretty melodies and ever-shifting beats - not complaining!

µ-Ziq - Giddy All Over [Planet µ/Bandcamp]
But here's one of the originals! Mike Paradinas is gearing up for the 25th anniversary of one of his most beloved µ-Ziq albums, Lunatic Harness, released before Planet µ was an independent label, but in 2022 receiving the deluxe treatment on the label. In the meantime, Mike was inspired to return to the jungle/'ardcore inspirations of '97, and there will be an EP, a full album, and a second EP by the end of the year. Out now is the first EP, Goodbye, with joyful jungle breaks and splattered pop samples, along with "Darkside" and "Jungle Tekno" remixes of one track.

Morwell - Falling [Morwell Bandcamp]
Here's a new producer mining the shining seams of UK hardcore and jungle. Morwell knows the history of soundsystems and rave and happily mashes it up with contemporary musical strains as well as pop tendencies. Of late he's been creating edits and sneaky remixes, following an excellent debut album last year, but next week he drops the Strange Heart EP with four new originals. We heard "Falling", with disembodied pop samples and a jungle tekno framework.

Harmony - Deep Breath [Over/Shadow/Bandcamp]
Subjects - Goblin [Deep Jungle]
Producing jungle tracks since the mid-'90s as (DJ) Harmony, Lee Bogush also heads up the excellent Deep Jungle label, which for 5 years now has been releasing top-notch 12"s from original jungle producers' DAT archives, as well as new releases from new jungle artists. The latest Harmony 12", though, is a two-tracker released by Over/Shadow, the label setup by two of the people involved in the legendary Moving Shadow label. Bogush's own productions are regular highlights on the Deep Jungle release schedule, and this 12" keeps the quality high; but Deep Jungle isn't resting, and the mysterious Subjects keep up the quality too with their 6th 12" for the label. Also recommended is the Orca 12" with two circa-'93 jungle monsters from the duo of Kristian Townsend and Kosheen's Darren Beele.

Mick Harris - P section [Mick Harris Bandcamp]
Mick Harris - Gillis [pond version] [Mick Harris Bandcamp]
We've been following the HedNod Sessions from Scorn's Mick Harris for a while now, and he's just reached HedNod Twelve, which gets to be a bit longer than the previous ones on his Bandcamp. It's the usual fare from Harris - massive bass, head-nodding beats, here more on a hip-hop tip rather than the ponderous dubstep-adjacent beats that Scorn's been known for for nearly 3 decades. Always a pleasure.

Gantz - Doomleg [Gantz Bandcamp]
And speaking of dubstep, Turkey's Gantz has slid sideways from the genre, extending to mutant trip-hop and sub-aquatic electronics. For Bandcamp Friday, his ruff 2 collects four older 140bpm tracks - two instrumentals of older tunes and two others, great as always.

Julian Sartorius & Matthew Herbert - Four Twenty [Accidental Records/Bandcamp]
Drum Solo inaugurates a new series from Matthew Herbert's Accidental Records of albums recorded in a day. Here Herbert's electronic treatments are applied, live, to the playing of Swiss drummer Julian Sartorius. Complex rhythmic formations are disintegrated and remade in realtime. Basslines appear, harmonic textures bubble up, and while it's certainly anything but "Drum Solo", the percussion is nevertheless the core of the music. I've been loving it.

Kane Ikin - New Forms [Room40/Bandcamp]
Lisa Lerkenfeldt - Notebook Of Interiors [Room40/Bandcamp]
Out this week is a new compilation from Room40 curated by photographer and musician Traianos Pakioufakis, originally from Perth and now resident in Sydney. Pakioufakis was asked to commission musical works for Musical Chair, a project by Pattern Studio for Melbourne Design Week in 2022. The concept is that the music would be played on a special chair fitted with Bluetooth speakers, as a kind of tribute to performances lost through Covid lockdowns. The music appears on Pattern Language, featuring Shoeb Ahmad, Lisa Lerkenfeldt, Chris Abrahams, Lawrence English, Jonnine, Kane Ikin and Ai Yamamoto, each of whom bring their unique musical styles to the table (or *ahem* chair). Tonight we heard the organic-feeling electronics of Kane Ikin (himself a Perth transplant, now in Melbourne) and the droned-out vocals and piano of Melbourne's Lisa Lerkenfeldt.

Plastikman & Chilly Gonzales - Contain (In Key) [Turbo Recordings/Bandcamp]
Plastikman & Chilly Gonzales - Converge (In Key) [Turbo Recordings/Bandcamp]
Minimal techno purists may be perturbed by this. Some two-and-a-half decades on from Plastikman's classic of minimal techno Consumed's release in 1998, Tiga and Chilly Gonzales conceived of this reimagining: Consumed In Key. Chilly Gonzales plays his European chamber piano over and under the original tracks, transforming them into something new. Gonzales is a sensitive interpreter and clearly loves the source material. As I am anything but a minimal techno purist, I've found these delightful listening - just don't expect the austere originals.

Field Works - Station 10 Review - Alva Noto Remodel [Temporary Residence/Bandcamp]
Field Works, Stuart Hyatt, Hanna Benn, Janie Cowan, Masayoshi Fujita, Qasim Naqvi, Pick a Piper - Station 7 [Temporary Residence/Bandcamp]
Field Works - Station 9 Review - Penelope Trappes Remix [Temporary Residence/Bandcamp]
For his 10th volume of Field Works releases for Temporary Residence (the first 6 were a 6LP set), Stuart Hyatt worked with the geoscientists of the EarthScope project to harness the sounds of the planet itself as source material for his ever-changing musical collaborators to jam along to. It's hard to identify the seismic and volcanic sounds here, but the musicians bring peace and ecstatic joy to the proceedings, with vocal harmonies, upright bass, drums, vibraphone and electronics. The deluxe vinyl and digital editions also come with a suite of remixes of each of the "Stations", ranging from 4/4 techno to drone, to the glitchy electronica of Alva Noto, and the gorgeous sparse piano, vocals and reverb from ex-pat Aussie Penelope Trappes.

BARNETT & COLOCCIA - Bristlecone [SIGE Records/Bandcamp]
Sparse piano and vocals are also found in this beautiful closer from Faith Coloccia and Alex Barnett, whose latest Barnett & Coloccia album Third Wilderness came out digitally last year, and is finally available on vinyl. The duo have been working together for a decade or so, drawing equally from the industrial noise of Barnett's projects such as Oakeater and the gothic piano, ethereal vocals and sometime metal roots of Coloccia's Mamiffer. On this last track, the industrial aspects are muted, leaving us with a sound that's closest to Coloccia's solo work as Mára.

Listen again — ~199MB

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