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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, 24th of July, 2022

Playlist 24.07.22 (9:00 pm)

Drum'n'bass & jungle mutations of all sorts tonight, plus industrial technoid dub, indietronic deconstructed club, and glitchy ambient/illbient/unbient (I just invented the last one, look out for it in all the cool blogs!)

LISTEN AGAIN, pay close attention! FBi has the stream on the demand, or you can podcast it here.

ABADIR - El 3ataba Interlude [SVBCVLT]
ABADIR - Another One [SVBCVLT]
Rami Abadir is one of the more prominent members of the very healthy experimental electronic/deconstructed club scene from Egypt. He's based between Cairo & Berlin and his latest album Mutate is released through the very international Shanghai label SVBCVLT. What's being mutated here are different Arabic rhythms such as the pervasive Maqsoum, looped and accelerated and combined with various club sounds reggaeton to footwork to jungle. As he says, it's not exactly "deconstructed" here (as is often the case with this tbh overused term). It's not unlike our own DJ Plead's approach with Lebanese wedding dances. Call this fusion, or just call it great dance music... and each "side" has a deep ambient track as a break from the drum breaks.

dgoHn - Ninnyhammer (Djrum Remix) [Love Love Records/Bandcamp]
dgoHn - Invisible Sandwich [Love Love Records/Bandcamp]
dgoHn - Robin's Windmill (Skee Mask Remix) [Love Love Records/Bandcamp]
UK jungle/drumfunk master dgoHn released one of the best albums of 2020 with Undesignated Proximate - check the middle track for an example, with flowing drums and just the right mix of joy and darkness. Now every track on the album has received the remix treatment by many of the cream of the contemporary junglist crop. There are very few who have the talent for insane beat science of Djrum, who somehow combines that with top-notch compositional chops as well. Meanwhile, German producer Skee Mask is one of the Ilian Tape artists fusing techno, electro and ambient with drum'n'bass influences, and createst something typically... untypical here. The only shame - and it's a big one - is that there's not one female artist featured here. It shouldn't be hard.

DJ FLP - [ spirit link ] feat. mardee [DJ FLP Bandcamp]
Michigan producer DJ FLP loves mixing the footwork of nearby Chicago with UK's jungle, and drops tracks regularly on his Bandcamp. Here he's joined by Denver's mardee for a bit of euphoric jungle pleasure.

Grids/Units/Planes - Squid Neuromesh [Memories Melt]
We only just heard from Brisbane's Grids/Units/Planes, and here he is again. The single "Squid Neuromesh" encapsulates producer Andrew Foley's love of games of all sorts - it comes with a cute "print and play" game that carries the cyberpunk aesthetic with a theme of hacking brains, and the track itself is very computer gamey drill'n'bass.

Thugwidow & Bruised Skies - A Digital Right To The Soul [Hooversound/Bandcamp]
Thugwidow - Put Me Out Like The Bins [Western Lore/Bandcamp]
Welsh artist Thugwidow seemed to have slowed his output last year after a firehose of releases over the previous 4 years. But 2022 is again seeing a flood of jungle-meets-ambient from the artist, including some collaborations along the way - so here's Blimey, his collaboration with the usually ambient/post-classical artist Bruised Skies, released on Hooversound. It's definitely jungle/uk hardcore flashback stuff, with that knowing hauntological sheen that Thugwidow tends to cultivate turned up to 11 via Bruised Skies' contribution (I presume) - a Burial-like smudged quality. Meanwhile, Thugwidow also has a new album coming out on Western Lore soon, and the label has a strange habit of releasing "samplers" that are actually releases in their own right rather than excerpts from albums - so we have the Seventh Circle of Litness (LP Sampler) - four tracks not appearing on the album, as far as I can see. Thumping jungle and lengthy spaced-out interludes.

Pelican Company - Lowlife Hi-Tech Occult (ZULI Remix) [Peder Mannerfelt Produktion]
Swedish electronic legend Peder Mannerfelt uses his "Produktion" label to release tasty morsels from the Swedish scene, and Pelican Company are no exception - synth maven Johan Antoni and Henrik Johansson aka Smyglyssna teamed up on Peder Mannerfelt Produktion a few years back for some arcane synth bobbles that have now been remixed by Weightless pioneer Logos on the one hand, and Cairo beatmaking genius ZULI on the other. ZULI's mix is one part sound-art and one part fucked jungle. Rad.

Atsushi Izumi - Casaurius [Ohm Resistance]
Last week I played a heavy drum'n'bass cut from Ohm Resistance's free download comp Perihelion Infinite, the last in their Perihelion series, showcasing the label's interest in post-industrial techno, dubstep, drum'n'bass and power ambient. A month or so ago I featured some tracks from Atsushi Izumi's incredible Houzan Archives, as well as some of his earlier work. The shudderingly heavy techno cut here is of a piece with that work - again I have to exhort you to check this dude's back catalogue!

Fausten - Mercenary EP (Fret Rework) [Acroplane]
Fausten - Phosphorus [Acroplane]
The first album from UK duo Fausten was released on Ad Noiseam (RIP) in 2013. They're made up of breakcore & industrial dub artists, Derek Szeto aka Stormfield and Julien Caraz aka Monster X. No doubt Mick Harris' Scorn is a huge influence, so it's nice that their return EP Mercenary, released through long-lived Belfast netlabel Acroplane, is remixed in its entirety by Harris' techno alias Fret. It's super nice dark industrial dub shiz, get it up ya.

Angel Eyes - Curtains clap [Angel Eyes Bandcamp]
Angel Eyes - Exhaust [Angel Eyes Bandcamp]
Listeners to Utility Fog may know Melbourne musician Andrew Cowie best as Match Fixer, under which he's produced various kinds of minimalist electronic music, from glitchy ambient/dub techno to skittery IDM. But before Match Fixer, he was Angel Eyes, and he's returned to the indietronic sounds now with Door Ajar. It's fantastic, certainly more songform than Match Fixer although many tracks are instrumentals. There's a mixture in here of everything from '80s electronic pop through '90s IDM to contemporary dreamgazetronica.

Rita Revell - Uglie Man [Rita Revell Bandcamp]
Rita Revell - X-12 [Rita Revell Bandcamp]
Melbourne's Rita Revell debuted with the cassette I Had a Very Bad Time! in 2014, followed by the multimedia Zastani from the much-missed This Thing (was it in fact their last release?) Five years later we get the brilliant self-released Depozit. This is genreless music, timeless too, hardware-based études that can be lo-fi techno or woozy ambient loops, harsh and pretty.

Delay/Aarset - Single 09 [ROOM40/Bandcamp]
Delay/Aarset - Single 13 [ROOM40/Bandcamp]
We heard the new Vladislav Delay album on Planet µ last week, but equally exciting is this collection from ROOM40 of Delay (aka Sasu Rippati) with Norwegian guitarist Eivind Aarset. I'm familiar with Aarset for his work in the Norwegian jazz/postrock scene, as well as the ECM ambient jazz set. Aarset & Delay already met on the Sly & Robbie album Nordub with Norwegian ambient-jazz-tronic trumpeter Nils Petter Molvaer, but this is very different stuff. It's a little less chaotic than Delay's recent stuff, nor as lush as Aarset's usual realms. It's rather a strange emulsion of both artists' tendencies, with drama, rhythm, deep textures, strange left-turns, glitches and grains. Really great.

Bridget Ferrill & Áslaug Magnúsdóttir - Tapestry [Subtext Recordings/Bandcamp]
Bridget Ferrill & Áslaug Magnúsdóttir - Metal Slug Sings [Subtext Recordings/Bandcamp]
US-born sound-artist and engineer Bridget Ferrill - now based in Berlin - and Icelandic musician Áslaug Magnúsdóttir, clarinettist in Icelandic electronic pop group Samaris and now based in Denmark, met in Reykjavik while Ferrill was living there. Much of Ferrill's recent work involves processed classical instruments and works, including collaborations with viola da gamba player Liam Byrne; and Magnúsdóttir has a classical background too. Nevertheless their new duo work Woodwind Quintet is not a quintet and doesn't feature woodwind in any obvious way, which perfectly encapsulates the artists' strategy here. The album uses classical signs and sounds (possibly including viola da gamba, harp and choral samples from Ferrill's previous work) while avoiding classical forms. Sounds are glitched and granular processed, obfuscated from their origins but recognizable enough. The cover photo - by Liam Byrne - depicts a beautiful zither splattered with concrete and dropped into a half-filled bath. Apposite!

504 - some problems with scale [Tone List/Bandcamp]
Perth experimental institution Tone List bring us an intriguing album of glitched samples and loops from flatmates Alex Turner & Lachlan Kettell, made up of field recordings from Boorloo (the traditional country of the Perth area), Dunsborough (south of Perth) and NYC. The album collects improvised pieces created from these samples, echoing the pioneering glitchwerk of Mego label artists with absorbing stuttering collages, at times drawn from recognizable instruments (spacey electric guitar, percussion, choir samples?) as well as domestic and industrial sounds. Salvage Rhythms is a fitting title - the looped, evolving samples do pulse and shift in quasi-rhythmic ways, as if surfacing from the foam of an ocean miles from where they were discarded.

Listen again — ~207MB

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