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Utility Fog

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Saturday, 18th of June, 2022

Playlist 12.06.22 (12:56 am)

From idm to sound-art, classical-referencing electronica to experimental classical...

It's never too late to LISTEN AGAIN! Stream on demand on the FBi website, podcast here.

µ-Ziq - Turquoise Hyperfizz [Planet µ/Bandcamp]
µ-Ziq - Uncle Daddy [Planet µ/Bandcamp]
So here it is, the album we've been waiting for... While in a scant few weeks Mike Paradinas' own Planet µ will be re-releasing his classic µ-Ziq album Lunatic Harness for its 25th anniversary, Paradinas was inspired while collating & remastering the album & bonus EP tracks to create a whole slew of new tracks inspired by jungle & hardcore and Paradinas' penchant for melding melody with harshness. So now we get Magic Pony Ride, whose saccharin title partially describes the contents: his trademark melodies, sampled female vocals (as stand-ins for jungle divas?), lots of prettiness and lots of chaotic breakbeats in the style of the idm & drill'n'bass that µ-Ziq was a beloved pioneer of alongside Squarepusher, Aphex Twin, Luke Vibert et al. It's an absolute delight. I'll no doubt revisit it when we get the remaster of one of my favourite idm albums of all time, coming very soon...

Osheyack - Usually Never [SVBKVLT]
Osheyack - Piecemeal [SVBKVLT]
It's hard to imagine that the US-born, Shanghai-based Eli Osheyack isn't influenced in some way by the post-club experiments of µ-Ziq and co, a couple of decades down the line. The second album from Osheyack comes courtesy of Shanghai-based SVBKVLT, and concerns itself with Intimate Publics, a concept from American scholar Lauren Berlant which describes the social spaces inhabited by people with shared interests - and the contradictions and challenges inherent therein. Osheyack's music emodies the contradictions of "deconstructed club music", built from body-moving bass and beats, but wrong-footing the listener with stylistic mashups and glitches. It's a lot of fun, and as the album progresses I enjoyed the synth strings which reminded me a lot of µ-Ziq's faux-classical pieces.

Gabriel Prokofiev - HOWL! III – Swarm [Oscillations/Bandcamp]
Gabriel Prokofiev - HOWL! – Afterlude [Oscillations/Bandcamp]
British composer Gabriel Prokofiev is a founder of the Nonclassical, and came to my notice with the label's earliest releases, with composed works for string quartet, piano etc accompanied by remixes from artists in the dubstep, club and idm spectrum. Despite this long-running interest in electronic music, his new EP HOWL!, named for the Allen Ginsberg poem, seems like the most pure expression of electronic music I've heard from him - previously he's mutated samples of his own compositions and remixed his own and other's work, but the pieces here are primarily produced on an ARP Odyssey Synthesiser, processed on computer into an energetic set of abstract rhythmic tracks.

Ben Peers - Lupoca [Ben Peers Bandcamp]
A number of Ben Peers's works have described in their titles or release notes the generative concepts behind the music - iterative versions of pieces for modular synths and drum machines etc. But the three tracks on Cold Slad are just... music. Generative pieces almost definitely, with the characteristic sound Peers has developed, coming together very musically here.

T. Gowdy - Déneigeuse [Constellation/Bandcamp]
T. Gowdy - Transcend I [Constellation/Bandcamp]
Montréal producer T. Gowdy follows up his previous album on Constellation with another work of flickering synths and rhythms. It's a shimmery, often beatless, kind of techno, inspired by visuals as much as music, and although the music on Miracles is connected to an installation work concerned with surveillance technology, it's not too far from the sound of his previous work - not a bad thing at all, mind you!

Nightswimmer & Scanner - The Machinist [Shifting Sounds/Scanner Bandcamp]
Nightswimmer & Scanner - Subaqueous [Shifting Sounds/Scanner Bandcamp]
Here are some unearthed recordings that Robin Rimbaud aka Scanner made around 2001-2002 with Melbourne-based musician Andrew Day aka Nightswimmer. Red Sails, now available on Scanner's Bandcamp with a bonus track, is the kind of dubby ambient/techno/breaks that is essentially timeless. No deconstructed dancefloors or growling industrial subs here, perhaps, but nothing particularly dated either.

Maral & Lara Sarkissian - entropy & kindness [Maral Bandcamp]
New track "entropy & kindness" is the first collaboration between Iranian-American Maral & Armenian-American Lara Sarkissian. It's a strange slow-moving piece of chunky beats and mutated melodies drawn from the two women's homelands. We can only hope there's more coming from this partnership.

Nobuka - Miniatüre 03 [Difficult Art And Music]
Nobuka - Miniatüre 04 [Difficult Art And Music]
Nobuka - Miniatüre 08 [Difficult Art And Music]
Nobuka - Miniatüre 17 [Difficult Art And Music]
Nobuka - The people (w/ Machinefabriek) [Esc.rec./Bandcamp]
Last year I was introduced to the music of Dutch sound-artist Nobuka aka Michel van Collenburg via his beautiful concept album Reiko released by Esc.rec.. Now UK label Difficult Art And Music brings us a suite of compositions entitled Miniatüre. Each miniatüre is under 3 minutes - some a lot shorter - and tends to be based around one instrument, whether it's strings or stretched out electric guitar or percussion, but then sometimes surprises occur, like the free jazz breakbeats that shatter the end of one track. Whether it's contemporary composition, sound-art, drone or lo-fi, it's considered and compelling, not nearly as "difficult" as the label's name might imply.

Timothy Fairless - Wavemaking (excerpt) [Flaming Pines/Bandcamp]
Brisbane artist Timothy Fairless graced us with the remarkable album Common Electric Glare last year, combining industrial drone with acoustic instruments in unusual ways. New album Rising Water is in some ways even more adventurous, however. In the wake of the horrific flooding across Queensland and northern NSW last summer, Fairless composed this suite of three long tracks entirely using the sounds of glasses filled with water. And while there are lots of gorgeous wobbling, warping submerged drones, there is also the clatter & crash that reminds us of the implacable destructive power of water. A powerful & engrossing work.

Claudia Molitor - Change [Nonclassical/Bandcamp]
Claudia Molitor - I am chilled [Nonclassical/Bandcamp]
Utterly idiosyncratic is the work of English-German composer & sound-artist Claudia Molitor. Well-versed in composing for orchestra, chamber groups or solo instruments as well as creating installation works and other sound-art, here Molitor is working at song length, often indeed writing songs - but with field recordings or abstract drones at their base, contemporary poetry sometimes forming the lyrics, and avant-garde composition rubbing up against songwriting. A must for connoisseurs of strange music.

Patrick Shiroishi - Waiting for Friends at Tokyo Station [American Dreams/Bandcamp]
Devin Shaffer - Cryotherapy [American Dreams/Bandcamp]
The American Dreams label is home to experimental music of all stripes, and here presents a compilation of mostly ambient music from mostly artists associated with the label. In The Deep Drift You Will Find The Most Serene Of Lullabies allows artists to create music outside of their usual comfort zone too, thus Los Angeles saxophonist Patrick Shiroishi combines a field recording with gorgeous layers of reeds on "Waiting for Friends at Tokyo Station". Meanwhile Chicago experimental songwriter Devin Shaffer allows a song to emerge from ambient layers of guitar.

Silvia Tarozzi & Deborah Walker - Il bersagliere ha cento penne [Unseen Worlds/Bandcamp]
Silvia Tarozzi & Deborah Walker - Tita [Unseen Worlds/Bandcamp]
In 2020, US label Unseen Worlds released a remarkable album from Italian violinist, singer & composer Silvia Tarozzi somewhere between folk, jazz & modern composition. On Canti di guerra, di lavoro e d'amore ("Songs of war, work and love") Tarozzi joins with cellist Deborah Walker to present a collection of music inspired by folk songs from rural Emilia which came from working class women involved with the partisan resistance in World War II, including songs sung by choirs of female rice field workers. Tarozzi and Walker grew up with this music, but are now both highly experienced within contemporary composition and improvisation, working regularly with the likes of Eliane Radigue, and thus these traditional, political, working songs are couched in extended instrumental and vocal techniques - but the songs are also allowed to shine.

Matthew Bourne - Dušan [The Leaf Label/Bandcamp]
Matthew Bourne - Jane [The Leaf Label/Bandcamp]
Here's a small collection of recordings by British contemporary pianist Matthew Bourne for prepared piano, recorded in one improvisatory session after creating a substantial film soundtrack with the same piano setup. The pieces range from challenging to touching, with the usual percussive and pitch-altering effects of piano preparation. A studio afterthought it may be, but it's proof that Bourne is a consummate musician.

Gregory Paul Mineeff - Orientation [Cosmic Leaf/Bandcamp]
Gregory Paul Mineeff - Walking Away [Cosmic Leaf/Bandcamp]
Finishing tonight with a local pianist and synth player, Wollongong's Gregory Paul Mineeff, whose latest album Incidental finds him continuing his talent for post-classical (or is it "neo-classical" now?) piano works and dreamy synth pieces with analogue effects - but here "Incidental" indicates that the music is intended as incidental music for films or documentaries. It's a space which Mineeff would excel in, so hopefully someone will take this album as a kind of calling card. In any case, it's very emotive listening on its own.

Listen again — ~193MB

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