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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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Sunday, 17th of July, 2022

Playlist 17.07.22 (11:00 pm)

Punk/grunge/hip-hop, drum'n'bass, drill'n'bass, experimental beats, industrial beats, contemporary & "neo-classical", tape experiments, vocal sampling and drones...

LISTEN AGAIN to the in sound from way out, via podcast here or stream on demand from FBi Radio.

Wu-Lu - Night Pills Feat Asha [Warp/Bandcamp]
Wu-Lu - Blame [Warp/Bandcamp]
Wu-Lu - Ten [Warp/Bandcamp]
Brixton's Miles Romans-Hopcraft has been making hip-hop as Wu-Lu since 2015, but for his new album Loggerhead, his debut on Warp, he's gotten angry and political, and backs up the rapping with a mix of grungy punk and even drum'n'bass beats at times. It puts him in the company of the likes of Tampa Bay's They Hate Change on the one hand, and fellow Londoners Bob Vylan on the other. Wu-Lu doesn't really sounds like either, let alone the '90s intergalactic punk-rock hip-hop of Pop Will Eat Itself or anyone else. And sounding exactly like oneself is a great place to be, especially at a time like this.

Jaise - Subterranean [Ohm Resistance]
The Ohm Resistance label released tha latest (and last?) of their free download compilations, Perihelion Infinite this week, featuring their usual mix of intense industrial, drum'n'bass, dubstep and techno. Here we have an excellent piece of dark jungle/d'n'b from Perth's Jaise, who's had releases on the likes of Metalheadz.

Forest Drive West - Sustain [Ilian Tape/Bandcamp]
UK artist Forest Drive West has one of the most intruging careers, successful both with bass-heavy techno and jungle. That's perfect for the great Ilian Tape, where for his debut on the label he starts with the weight somewhat on the techno side, but leans heavily on jungle & d'n'b for most, including a superb rolling track in 7/4.

Christoph de Babalon - I Trusted You [Super Hexagon/Bandcamp]
It's been nice hearing scads of archival material from Digital Hardcore veteran Christoph de Babalon over the last few years, but also getting new material of equal darkness and fierceness. His Leaving Time EP for Super Hexagon retains the junglist roots, but the four tracks are more around the 140bpm range, bringing a different tone to the approaching menace.

lynyn - stumbling [Sooper Records/Bandcamp]
lynyn - in dust [Sooper Records/Bandcamp]
Chicago producer Conor Mackey debuts as lynyn for the gregarious Chicago label Sooper Records with Lexicon, an album that nods furiously towards '90s IDM, especially drill'n'bass, especially, it has to be said, Squarepusher - as well as the early drill'n'bass/breakcore of The Flashbulb. The breakneck basslines and chopped beats are all there, but there's a contemporary twist to the production and the frequent shifts throughout the tracks. It's super fun anyway.

Kode9 - Lagrange Point [Hyperdub/Bandcamp]
Kode9 - The Break Up [Hyperdub/Bandcamp]
Hyperdub boss Steve Goodman aka Kode9 hasn't released an album since 2015, but then that was his one solo album - the previous two being collabs with the sadly-missed poet The Spaceape. Still, he's released a bunch of killer EPs & singles through the years (and many a genius remix), and last year's 2-tracker The Jackpot/Rona City Blues is a nice prequel to this new album Escapology, which is part deconstructed club and part sci-fi soundtrack fx, and acts as a musical prequel itself to a "sonic fiction" called Astro-Darien, coming out in October on Hyperdub sub-label Flatlines. Here we have Kode9's signature fidgety toppy sounds influenced by uk garage and footwork as well as dubstep and drum'n'bass. It's bass music, but strangely with an emphasis away from the bass frequencies. Fascinating and influential dude anyway.

Church Andrews & Matt Davies - Ghost [Health]
Church Andrews & Matt Davies - Romanesque [Health]
Kirk Barley has released music on Matthew Herbert's Accidental Records as Bambooman, under his own name, and more recently as Church Andrews. He's collaborated for a long time with drummer Matt Davies, and their duo has developed into a masterful interchange of modular synthesis and live & programmed drumming, with the two musicians melding into one mind, lopsided rhythms moving together on synths and drums. Apparently the drums in part trigger the electronics - and perhaps vice versa? Absorbing and never not odd.

Vladislav Delay - Isovitutus [Planet µ/Bandcamp]
Vladislav Delay - Isooo [Planet µ/Bandcamp]
Finnish producer Sasu Ripatti, most frequently known as Vladislav Delay, has always kept himself busy. In the last few years he's released an album under his "Ripatti" pseudonym, an album with Sly & Robbie and a previous one with the duo and Norwegians Nils Petter Molvær and Eivind Aarset and the albums Rakka and Rakka II as Vladislav Delay - as well as various other collaborations including one we'll hear next week. Isoviha is his new album on Planet µ, and it's a successor to the two "Rakka" albums, which were tributes to the awesome power of nature. Here we find ourselves rather in the city, and the "industrial" sound of Rakka is make manifest with pummelling rhythms - albeit infrequently in any kind of recognizable metric. In any case it's vintage Delay.

Enxin/Onyx - Dorothy [Enxin/Onyx Bandcamp]
Here's a really interesting new duo project. Enxin here is Nicky Mao, best known as Hiro Kone, groundbreaking techno and experimental electronic artist from New York. Tot Onyx is the alter-ego of Tommi Tokyo, one half of Berlin/Tokyo experimental techno duo Group A. Their debut EP Dorothy showcases both musicians' love of postpunk as much as hardware-based techno, with angular rhythms, sinuous basslines and at times Tokyo's snarling vocals.

Barking - Host [brokntoys/Bandcamp]
Barking - Vacuum [brokntoys/Bandcamp]
Also based in Berlin nowadays is Melbourne musician Gareth Psaltis, aka Barking. His new self-titled album (or mini-album, or... long EP?) is released on long-lived UK label brokntoys, and also shows a postpunk influence alongside IDM and techno strains. Tracks vary from dark and percussive to soothingly melodic.

Angelina Yershova - Walking On Water [Twin Paradox Records/Bandcamp]
Angelina Yershova, Ynaktera - Cluster Light [Twin Paradox Records/Bandcamp]
I discovered Rome-based Kazakh composer Angelina Yershova in 2019 with the release of her Cosmotengri album on her own Twin Paradox Records, an ecological album of piano and electronics, which succeeds in being nothing like the reams of post-classical (sorry, "neo-classical") piano with tasteful electronics which reproduce via Spotify playlists. Her follow-up, Time For Change, emphasises the electronics not only on Yershova's own tracks but also through collaboration with Italian producer Ynaktera, who I first heard via his 2018 album with Japanese pianist Kenta Kamiyama. The two musicians' styles fit very well together, and the album comfortably follows Yershova's last one.

Cheri Knight - Water Project #2261 [Freedom To Spend/Bandcamp]
Cheri Knight - Prime Numbers [Freedom To Spend/Bandcamp]
Freedom To Spend, who I last encountered with their timely revival of Pamela Z's Echolocation album from 1988, now unearths a selection of early 1980s recordings from American musician Cheri Knight. You'd be forgiven for not recognizing Knight's name, as she performed in the alt-country band Blood Oranges in the '90s, and then disappeared from musical life. But in the early '80s, she had the opportunity to experiment with multitrack recording and constructed some extraordinary before-their-time collages, whether of piano-with-field recordings, or a number of wonderful pieces of layered staccato vocals with abstract yet incisive lyrics and little more than a drum machine. It's exciting to have the unfairly-buried work of female artists from decades past revived and celebrated like this.

Ola Szmidt - Rooted [Accidental Records/Bandcamp]
Ola Szmidt - C Tactile Afferent [Accidental Records/Bandcamp]
In an unplanned parallel, we move from Cheri Knight's vocal layers to Ola Szmidt's self-sampling and processing, for her understated, stunning EP3, her first to be released on Matthew Herbert's Accidental Records. Here Szmidt, a Polish musician based in the UK, draws from her knowledge of jazz, soul, contemporary classical, and various European folk traditions, to create beguiling abstract songs from vocal sampling and looping. Herbert's label is a perfect fit - also of note is a prior mentorship with Four Tet. Hopefully more material will follow through Accidental.

Madeleine Cocolas - Presence [Room40/Bandcamp]
Madeleine Cocolas - Resonance [Room40/Bandcamp]
We finish with a gorgeous new work from Brisbane musician Madeleine Cocolas, who returned to Australia a couple of years ago after time in Vancouver and New York. Spectral finds Cocolas weathering the Covid lockdown in her own way, collecting the sounds of her neighbourhood on daily walks, which are woven into a musical narrative, expressing deep emotions through the sounds of industrial machinery, swarms of crickets and huge storms, combined with Cocolas' sensitive keyboards and piano. In the middle of the album, eight-minute track "And Then I Watch It Fall Apart" is a harrowing crescendo of tension, and while I couldn't fit it tonight, its tension wondrously releases in the following track "Resonance", which closes tonight's show.

Listen again — ~199MB


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