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Utility Fog

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Thursday, 9th of June, 2022

Playlist 05.06.22 (12:47 am)

Lots of shimmery, shuddery, clattery electronic music tonight, with side quests into indie and postrock and even post-classical...

LISTEN AGAIN if you dare! Podcast here, or stream on demand at the FBi website.

Saajtak - Mightier Mountains Have Crumbled [American Dreams/Bandcamp]
Saajtak - Theres a Leak in the Shielding [American Dreams/Bandcamp]
From improvising and experimental roots, and a series of self-released EPs, the Detroit/Brooklyn quartet Saajtak now release their debut album For the Makers on the experimental label American Dreams. These are elastic songs, sometimes almost conventional, then ducking off into escapades of incendiary live-drum'n'bass drumming from Jonathan Barahal Taylor or electronics or chamber jazz. Alex Koi's vocals can recall the melodic invention of My Brightest Diamond's Shara Nova (with whom she has worked), so that even the most unconventional tracks have a catchiness to them that makes the experimental approachable. Hopefully this album helps the band take off.

Aquarian - pPPRISM [Dekmantel/Bandcamp]
Aquarian - If U Wanna [Dekmantel/Bandcamp]
The first Mutations EP from Berlin-based, Canadian-born Aquarian was a joyful amalgam of jungle, idm, techno and electro - and Mutations II: Delicious Intent follows swiftly on its footsteps. Complex beats and skitter and bounce, phat basslines snarl and pounce. High recommendation for both these EPs.

Subjects - Alone [Deep Jungle]
Lee Bogush aka DJ Harmony's Deep Jungle label has specialised in releasing quality vinyl (and digital) of rare and unreleased jungle tracks from the '90s, remastered off artists' original DATs. But they also release new jungle from old and new artists, and Subjects have been one of the most consistent purveyors of well-produced dancefloor fillers. No exception with this latest, killer beats on both sides.

Kode9 - Torus [Hyperdub/Bandcamp]
Hyperdub boss-man, influential writer and DJ Kode9 only sneaks his own music out every few years, but despite his wide-ranging interests, there's something about the sound that's quite distinctive: computer game bleeps and a kind of highly strung jitteriness, and a strange (and effective) focus on the high end considering the bass-heavy genres he tends to work in. "Torus" is the first single from new album Escapology, which apparently is club-oriented reworks of a soundtrack to a piece of audio-fiction coming out on a Hyperdub sub-label soon, so we'll see what that's all about - but this track is a nice mix of footwork influences in a dubstep framework, thereabouts.

Dome Zero - Gut Rot [All Centre]
Oskar Jeff is a music writer based in the UK, and as Dome Zero, Chewing the Scenery is his first solo release, an EP out through the excellent London label All Centre. Each track is at a different tempo, but it all draws from the jungle/dubstep/techno continuum, with nicely technical beats and a body-moving momentum.

NORA DRUM - Rek [early reflex]
diessa - Day After the Last Day [early reflex]
Turin-based label early reflex, run by Alec Pace, has a similar focus to All Centre on experimental UK club/bass styles, and their Flex003 is an opportunity to feature a bunch of young artists across genres from techno to dubstep to jungle. And there's a distinct Australian connection there, so we get a rad jungle/techno crossover from Brisbane's NORA DRUM, and then something like dubstep with jungle breaks from Sheffield-based diessa.

V.I.V.E.K - COLOURS [System Music/Bandcamp]
Speaking of dubstep, V.I.V.E.K has been in the game since back when dubstep broke, and reliably drops core dubstep on the reg, but for his new EP COLOURS, while it's not exactly not dubstep, he's freed himself up for syncopated jazzy influences a la Silkie, and broken beats a la uk garage as well. Vibrant and emotional.

Kenji Araki - Nabelschnurtanz [Affine Records/Bandcamp]
Kenji Araki - Matter ft. Thomas Mertlseder [Affine Records/Bandcamp]
Leidenzwang, the debut album from the Austria-based artist Kenji Araki, shares a little of Araki's Japanese heritage in its refusal to settle into any genre expectations. Although post-club experimental electronics are at the fore, there are tracks with an almost pop aesthetic, distorted guitars and double bass, glitchy piano and more.

Orson Hentschel - Antenna Window [Denovali/Bandcamp]
Orson Hentschel - Heavy Light [Denovali/Bandcamp]
Four albums in on the Denovali label, German composer Orson Hentschel continues to be fascinated by flickering light and flickering audio, albeit this time inspired by the emptiness of Berlin during Covid lockdown. His shuddering synths and skittering beats are all present and correct here, but the release is also accompanied by a short film by Hentschel in which dancer Michelle Cheung moves around the empty streets and tunnels of Berlin.

Glass House Mountain - Perspective I [self-released]
Speaking of visuals with music, the debut by Melbourne duo Glass House Mountain is a great piece of motorik synth-postrock, but it's enhanced further by the excellent video, recorded in Covid lockdown by the two members separately and outside. The video's conceit is clever and beautifully executed - go watch!

Pheno - Shadow in the Water (Nick Wales remix) [self-released]
Canberra-based musician Jess Green is jazz-trained and has played guitar with many diverse groups & musicians like The catholics, Deborah Conway, Renee Geyer and many others, as well as recording music for TV and dance productions. Her alter-ego Pheno is an outlet for alt-pop singer-songwriting, and here she's remixed by Sydney composer/violist/producer Nick Wales of CODA, into a nice slab of acid-house indiepop. These acts are taking part in a multi-day VIVID Sydney-affiliated event called Happenings this Friday to Sunday 10-12 June, featuring queer artists in classical/electronic crossover.

Alessandro Baris - Nival (feat. Lisa Papineau) [Otono/Bandcamp]
Alessandro Baris - Last Letter to Jayne (feat. Lee Ranaldo) [Otono/Bandcamp]
Italian-American musician Alessandro Baris' new album Sintesi starts with a slight misidrection: the muted piano & gentle electronics of "Unheard" might suggest a polite post-classical opus. But it's followed by the touching collaboration with Sonic Youth's Lee Ranaldo, speaking and singing over drawn-out electronic pads, then low-key synths underscoring the emotive vocals of Emma Nolde. Things get even more upbeat & hectic on the following track, and then Lisa Papineau's doubled vocals are accompanied Jon Hopkins-style with gentle electronics - and Baris closes the album with big live drums and his own rhythmic vocals.

Jim Perkins & Leah Kardos - The Menagerie - Rework [bigo & twigetti/Bandcamp]
UK post-classical label bigo & twigetti's founder Jim Perkins released his solo opus Immersed in Clouds last year - a collection of solo violin works performed by Anna de Bruin. Following it is a selection of four remixes, Immersed in Clouds Reworks, and the highlight for me is from ex-pat Aussie Leah Kardos, which builds out of an almost imperceptible drone into a kind of illusory orchestra and fluttery glitches.

Kris Keogh - Inimitate [Muzan Editions/Bandcamp]
Kris Keogh - Envolve [Muzan Editions/Bandcamp]
Northern Territory-based Kris Keogh used to make fun breakcore & IDM stuff under the name Blastcorp, but for some time now his primary output, under his own name, has been Processed Harp Works. It's literally what it says it is, and has tended towards the impressionist, with sparkling harp pieces sent through granular processes to produce glitchy clouds of sound. Processed Harp Works, Volume 3 is released through boutique Japanese label Muzan Editions, and seems to me his best work yet - genuinely touching compositions and judicious use of processing. Well worth immersing yourself.

Listen again — ~207MB

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