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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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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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