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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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Saturday, 16th of July, 2022

Playlist 10.07.22 (9:02 pm)

IDM, glitch, postrock and folktronica - all the core Utility Fog genres tonight!

LISTEN AGAIN at the FBi website for stream-on-demanding, or here for podcasting.

µ-Ziq - Midwinter Log [Planet µ/Bandcamp]
µ-Ziq - Brace Yourself Jason [Planet µ/Bandcamp]
µ-Ziq - Kubba [Planet µ/Bandcamp]
So here it is - no, not that, the other one. The (wonderful) new µ-Ziq album Magic Pony Ride, released a few weeks ago, is a tribute to the jungle and hardcore sounds that Mike was deeply invested in when he produced the music for his dearly beloved Lunatic Harness album and accompanying EPs in 1997. Now that album is re-released with all the EP tracks and a few other rarities, in 2CD and quadruple(!) vinyl form. Following the drum'n'bass experiments of Urmer Bile Trax Vol 1 & 2, Lunatic Harness finds all the melodic invention, faux-classical synths and super-crunchy beats of µ-Ziq's earliest work combined with thrilling jungle-inspired cut-up beats. There are clear links to Aphex Twin & Squarepusher's adaptation of jungle, but the character of Paradinas' composing and production is like noone else really. It's a delight to have this celebrated 25 years later, and vinyl lovers will be happy with the multiple-disc set.

ltfll - lY11 [irsh]
Yaseen - Siteh ft Dakn [irsh]
Ismael - Faster [irsh]
Egyptian DJ Rama and Egyptian electronic producer/genius ZULI started irsh in 2020, as a way of getting together with friends and sharing sessions on YouTube. The pandemic quickly killed off the in-person get-togethers, and the project became a label, releasing the brilliant compilation did you mean: irish in September of that year, with many experimental electronic artists from Egypt featured. Now comes the second compilation, again amusingly referencing Google's suggested misspelling, and this time featuring some of the same higher-profile artists along with new and lesser-known Egyptian producers. There's a range from ambient sounds with MENA influence to a lot of jungle-inspired tracks, and more. Alexandrian George Farid aka ltfll gives us the junglist beats of "lY11", Cairo's Yaseen Akram collaborates with Palestinian Dakn combining rap with halftime jungle beats, and also from Cairo, Ismael Hosny's "Faster" also has junglist beats at its core.

Cocktail Party Effect - C_A_T_C_R [Sneaker Social Club]
A Londoner based in Berlin, Cocktail Party Effect always mixes up the UK bass sounds, with dubstep, garage, techno and drum'n'bass influences all present. From his new EP for Sneaker Social Club I've chosen, yep, the most jungle-inspired of the tracks.

Maya Q - beno (soft) [All Centre]
But speaking of UK garage, here's a lovely melodic piece reminiscent of Four Tet's garage period from Maya Q. Her track appears on a split 12" with Endless Mow released on the excellent forward-thinking London label All Centre.

Grids/Units/Planes - Follow The City's Lights [False Peak Records/Bandcamp]
Grids/Units/Planes - Harp Particle Pursuit [False Peak Records/Bandcamp]
I first discovered Grids/Units/Planes last year remixing the countrytronic A Country Practice. Brisvegan Andrew Foley has a number of projects, including circuit-bent YEARNS with Joel from A Country Practice, and the shoegazetronica of Make A Montage. As G/U/P it's the most IDMish, beat-oriented stuff, albeit still with pretty shoegazey textures - very nice.

Wrecked Lightship - Found Beast [Dead Bison]
Wrecked Lightship - Radial Geometry [Dead Bison]
Some deep aquatic sounds from Wrecked Lightship, the duo of Adam Winchester from experimental bass project Dot Product and Laurie Osborne aka Appleblim. Both artists' background in mutated dubstep is here in the dubby atmos and bass frequencies, but it's all very submerged and often rather abstract.

Deepchild - Mystery Not Yet Become [Mille Plateaux/Bandcamp]
Deepchild - Final Breath [Mille Plateaux/Bandcamp]
Deepchild - Now It Is Me Being Breathed (unreleased bonus track) [Mille Plateaux/Bandcamp]
Surely album of the week here from Sydney legend Rick Bull aka Deepchild, who's had his own shows on FBi and 2ser in the past, and spent many years in Berlin DJing at Berghain and the like and solidifying his techno credentials. This is not techno really though. Released on the also legendary now-revived '90s label Mille Plateaux, it has nods to the classic minimal techno of Basic Channel and the glitch of early Mego and of course Mille Plateaux itself - moreso than the current hyperglitch and other trends MP is following. The gorgeous Fathersong finds Deepchild simultaneously waxing nostalgic for a closed-down club scene and dealing with the heartache of watching from afar as his father passes away in aged care - one of the great injustices of the pandemic lockdowns. The result is deeply moving, from ambient recollections of chorales to half-heard distant techno.

Tegh & Adel Poursamadi - Ijaad ایجاد [Injazero Records/Bandcamp]
Tegh & Adel Poursamadi - Mornaal مرنال [Injazero Records/Bandcamp]
Istanbul/London label Injazero Records releases the first in a new series from Tehran's Tegh working with acoustic instrumentalists. On Ima ایما fellow Iranian violinist Adel Poursamadi draws from Persian classical music as well as drone, arranged by Tegh along with his signature rumbling bass and stretched, glitched electronic processing. It's powerful stuff - that we're promised a whole series of this is something to be excited about.

Michel Banabila - Sounds From An Unforgettable Place 2 [Michel Banabila Bandcamp]
There's no doubt that the late Jon Hassell's "fourth world" ambient is a big influence on the experimental analogue/digital electronic world music of Dutch musician Michel Banabila. Hassell passed away in June last year, and the digital EP Sounds From An Unforgettable Place is Banabila's touching tribute to Hassell.

Rok Zalokar - McBeing [Nature Scene Records/Bandcamp/via Wire Mag]
One of the tracks from Tegh & Poursamadi's album is featured on the latest Wire Tapper cover CD from UK experimental music institution The Wire, and from that same CD is a track by Slovenian pianist Rok Zalokar. Zalokar's gregarious approach to genre (a jazz-trained composer also playing in a noise/hip-hop duo) is evident here in this sampled & programmed organised chaos.

Party Dozen - Risky Behaviour [GRUPO/Temporary Residence/Bandcamp]
Party Dozen - Earthly Times [GRUPO/Temporary Residence/Bandcamp]
Sydney's Party Dozen are finally poised to take over the world, with features in all sorts of international press thanks to their new album The Real Work being released internationally via Temporary Residence (*ahem* also the label of my band Tangents). As usual there's sampled riffage and tough drums from Jonathan Boulet and wailing saxophone and occasional vocals-through-sax from Kirsty Tickle (and a prominent if brief cameo from Nick Cave on one track). There are also a couple of slightly less hard rockin' tracks there: "Earthly Times" sports a sinister Birthday Party-like bassline, post-punk drums and snake-charming sinuous sax, with free jazz outbursts (The Thing and Fire! come to mind), while album closer "Risky Behaviour" brings sumptuous Wurlitzer-style organ along with the rhythm section to support Tickle's impassioned saxophone - recreating the funksploitation sampled by trip-hoppers back in the day.

Mice Parade - Finding Faces [Mice Parade Bandcamp]
Mice Parade - Milton Road (Blizzard Version) [Mice Parade Bandcamp]
Once regular UFog faves, Mice Parade haven't released a new album since 2013. They represent a kind of alternate path for postrock, which in the late '90s got bogged down in Mogwai/Explosions in the Sky/MONO-style tremolo melodies and loud/soft/loud rock theatrics for decades hence, while the jazz inflections, live/electronic beats and fusions of the likes of Tortoise and yes, Mice Parade, were mostly sidelined. Adam Pierce started Mice Parade as an entirely solo affair (it's an anagram of his name after all), a side-project from the marimba & vibraphone-led Dylan Group, also released on Pierce's Bubble Core label, which mixed slacker-indie with electronic and postrock. Mice Parade turned into a full band with members of June of 44 and múm among others, and a keen interest in mixing world music influences into the indie, postrock and electronic stew. The music on lapapọ was developed in the intervening years since Mice Parade's last album and tour, with many historic members contributing, and it lay completed for a year or two while the pandemic (of course) interrupted plans for a regrouped world tour. It comes now with a limited vinyl edition and is finally available digitally on Bandcamp as well. It does have everything that we loved about Mice Parade in the first place, a nice nostalgic reminder of a different musical path.

Akusmi - Divine Moments of Truth [Tonal Union/Bandcamp]
That said, there are elements of the Mice Parade / Tortoise approach to postrock in '00s folktronica and electronic-meets-jazz of folk like our own Triosk. Here London-based French composer Pascal Bideau aka Akusmi mixes classical minimalism with jazz, electronic and Indonesian gamelan, producing a new take on folktronica, with saxophone, trombone, drums, acoustic guitars and gamelan percussion pulsing and phasing rhythmically in ways that elude identification of what's performed live and what's arranged electronically. At its best it's exhilarating.

Listen again — ~204MB


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