a wholly owned subsiduary of
Frogworth Corp
experimental electronica
electric string quartet

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.

{Hey! Sign up to Utilityfoglet and get playlists emailed to you after each show!}
Please Like us on Facebook! Here it is: Utility Fog on Facebook

{and while you're at it, become a fan on Facebook}

Sunday, 2nd of April, 2023

Playlist 02.04.2023 (11:00 pm)

Music is good. Good music is gooder.
Enjoy (good) music by LISTENING AGAIN to this here show - podcast here or stream on demand via FBi.

Holy Tongue - Saeta [Valentina Magaletti Bandcamp]
Holy Tongue - Kaneh Bosem [Valentina Magaletti Bandcamp]
In 2020, the extremely prolific percussionist Valentina Magaletti added to her long list of projects a duo with Al Wootton - UK producer of bass music from techno to dubstep, garage to d'n'b. Together they released three EPs of energetic, raw postpunk dub, until a couple of months ago when this full album was announced. Deliverance and Spiritual Warfare augments the duo with Magaletti's Vanishing Twin bandmate Susumu Mukai taking on additional bass guitar and percussion duties - presumably freeing Wootton up to control FX and keys and such in a live context. When I heard the opening "Andalusian catholic march" on the first track, I knew it had to be the opener for tonight's show. Although the album inserts these strange alien side-quests along the way, the basis is the sinuous basslines and percussion - it's a studio project, but it's live postpunk dub at its root, wonderfully done.

Ayala - Rainfruit Kulnara feat. Zac Picker [lovejoy]
Last year Eora/Sydney musician & DJ Donny "Ayala" Janks released the wonderful EP All prayers flow to the stormdrain with physicist and writer Zac Picker - a brilliant combination of Ayala's electronics and Picker's evocative spoken word. Later this month, Ayala will release an EP titled Rainfruit on the lovejoy label, and the semi-title track of that EP again features Zac Picker's spoken word. Here the music and words are more equal players, Picker's words mixing science and poetry, left behind as the second half of the track crescendos through sequenced synth lines to its conclusion.

Antoine Ferris - Hount Orbe [now available at Bandcamp]
I was lucky to discover this track via longtime friend-of-the-show Angus Cornwell - sometime radio DJ, cellist and LinkedIn troll. It's out there on Spotify, but exists primarily as the soundtrack to a beautiful black & white film on YouTube - but I insisted Angus source me the audio file to play for you! Antoine Ferris is an electric bass player from France, a member of the Baraque à Free collective of improvising musicians in the Toulouse region. This track captures something of the joy of early Fennesz & Mego glitch-works for me, but it's entirely made from electric bass - stuttery edits and pitch-shifts, and occasional outbursts of skronky distortion.

Iztok Koren - .     .      [Torto Editions/Bandcamp]
On Italian label Torto Editions, we have a solo album from Iztok Koren, a Slovenian multi-instrumentalist best known as a member of the extraordinary alien-folk band Širom. The album Praznina / Emptiness (the second word being the translation of the first) was recorded in the aftermath of a cancelled trip by Širom to Sarajevo, with Koren shacking up in a remote area of Slovenia, where he ended up recording the entire album in one day. As usual for the musician, many different instruments are used, but usually only one or two on any particular track. This means that we'll go from an ornate eastern European banjo improvisation into the feedback-laden string instrument noise heard here, to sparse percussion, and over & round again. The tracks vary wildly in length, and some of the best are nearly 10 minutes - my favourite might be the 12-minute track on guembri with some overlaid percussion and what I think is the guembri being bowed. Maybe this album will fill some emptiness in your life, if you let it.

V - The Stain [Heavy Machinery Records/Bandcamp]
V - Faithless featuring the Faithless Choir [Heavy Machinery Records/Bandcamp]
I premiered one of the tracks from this excellent album a few weeks ago, now released in full: V's third album Faithless is a gothic album that takes Naarm/Melbourne's Federation Bells (a frequent feature on Heavy Machinery's releases) and adapts them to the artist's own purposes. The bells echo through many of these tracks, as rhythmic devices or tolling omens, while V wields electronics, guitars, industrial-influenced beats and tape machine to create an almost symphonic meditation on the inadequacy of mental health care in Australia... and on the last track they're joined by an 11-person choir to fully realise the dramatic impact of this work.

Happa - Only Darkness (feat. shame) [Happa Bandcamp]
Samir Alikhanizadeh, Leeds/London's half-Persian prince of the dancefloor (Happa originally stood for "HalfAPersianPrinceAnd"), has just popped out a typically varied EP by the name Party Chat on his Bandcamp, music that might be situated in the club, but might be dreamed of after a particularly intense night, or heard while arguing with the bouncers on the other side of the door... He's aided by the also-part-Iranian Lafawndah on one track, and London post-punks shame on "Only Darkness" - not just vocalist Charlie Steen. Happa has previously remixed shame, and it does sound like many of the band's instruments contribute to the wholly dark, ponderous track, that's a little like an industrial Leonard Cohen.

Katie Gately - Seed [Houndstooth/Bandcamp]
Katie Gately - Chaw [Houndstooth/Bandcamp]
It feels simultaneoulsy like Katie Gately's music, her aesthetic and technique, arrived fully formed almost as soon as she started (seriously, check the vocal manipulations on 2013's "pipes" and b-side "acahella"), and at the same time she develops palpably on each release. Maybe it's that I forget the impact of her dense arrangements and songwriting, full of those layered, chopped up vocals, freewheeling samples, restless harmonic progressions echoed at times with electronic beats leaning into industrial climes. Speaking of progression, Fawn/Brute is the mirror twin of its predecessor Loom. Loom was written in the shadow her mother's impending untimely death from a rare cancer, and is full of seismic emotions and upheaval. Fawn/Brute was written through the artist's own experience of motherhood for the first time, and reflects both the light and dark of a young life. The cacophany of sounds recalls the cartoon soundtracks she's sampled here, with a saxophone parping out melodies and riffs through various tracks, contributing to the righteous basslines Gately has long mastered ("Lift", the opening track from 2016's Color is always pure joy). Equal parts pop excess and experimental sound-art, long may we experience the creativity of Katie Gately.

Carl Stone - Morangak (2005) [Unseen Worlds/Bandcamp]
Far off in August, Japan-based US sampling innovator Carl Stone will release his third archival collection Electronic Music from 1972-2022 on Unseen Worlds. We've had the joy of scads of new work from Stone of late (and some of us might be lucky enough to see him in Tasmania in June!), but the man has been cutting up and slicing his way through prior recorded works or field recordings for many decades, and pioneered the use of personal computers in performance in the 1980s. From the title, this collection will be the most wide-ranging yet - and indeed it will contain some of his earliest tape cut-ups, as well as very recent works. Mostly, the source material for his jaunts is obscured enough to be unrecognizable, so it's hilarious that the first single from this collection, "Morangak", from 2005, is quite obviously "Bicycle Race" by Queen. Stone turned 70 earlier this year, and is as creatively energetic as ever.

indri - Mariah [indri Bandcamp]
indri - Contact [indri Bandcamp]
We first heard Reece Beuzeville's music as indri back in 2019 with debut release hello, from over here... on Eora/Sydney label Empirical Intrigue. That release combined field recordings with evocative electronic compositions, and 4 years later, his latest release takes this concept even further with a beautiful and intriguing set called Hall of Egress. The egress in this case was from the city - in 2021, Beuzeville took off in his Volvo (I love this small detail) to places unknown, travelling around NSW. Raw field recordings (including some specifically identified fauna) mix with minimalist compositions, including the glitched Mariah Carey micro-samples on the first selection (echoing Mr Stone above).

Joni Void - Parallax Error (+N NAO) [Constellation/Bandcamp]
Excited for the third album on Montréal's venerable Constellation label from Joni Void. First single from it is in the Joni Void tradition of mostly-female guest collaborators, here N NAO, using myriad samples of the artist & guests, casually recorded and cut-up, processed and collaged by Joni Void into things resembling songs. This glitchy, overtly digital aesthetic is something that would've been anathema to Constellation and Godspeed in the early days, but has been increasingly embraced over the decades.

ben sloan - toomuchinternet (feat. serengeti & josiah wolf of why?) [New Amsterdam Recordings/Bandcamp]
ben sloan - muted colors (feat. liz wolf of why?, josh jessen, adam peterson) [New Amsterdam Recordings/Bandcamp]
You may not realise it, but you've probably heard Ben Sloan's playing before. He's a drummer who's played with artists such as *quotes from bio* The National, Moses Sumney, Beth Orton, Mouse on Mars, Rozi Plain, Serengeti, and WHY? - many of whom as you can see here appear as guests on his restless, rhythm-heavy, eclectic debut solo album muted colors, released by New Amsterdam Recordings (a label known for boundary-pushing contemporary classical music, but also branching out into other kinds of experimental music and indie/pop). In amongst the expert playing & singing from himself and his guests there are field recordings and other found sounds that he's collected over many years. The result is a very dense, very enjoyable record that retains a core of skilfully skittery percussion through myriad briefly-touched-on genres, from schoolchildren singing through drill'n'bass with half-heard hip-hop vocals, to contemplative piano, modal jazz, hints at r'n'b pop and more. Nothing is immune to interruption from manic drums or beats, although the closing track featuring Moses Sumney does the best at keeping to a sunny jazz-pop template with experimental edges. I feel like listeners to this show will find a lot to love here, so don't let it pass you by!

Pépe - Goma (Prime Mix) [Lapsus Records/Bandcamp]
Pépe - HSC [Lapsus Records/Bandcamp]
Named presumably for the footballer, Pépe is a Valencian producer known more for lo-fi house and techno, but on his debut for fellow Spanish label Lapsus Records, he branches out in all directions, anywhere from orchestral instruments and sampled vocals collaged into new melodies, to skittery IDM and breakbeats. Reclaim is lush, and rhythmic in surprising ways, although I've chosen a couple of the most jungle-adjacent tracks tonight.

Mattr - A-Break [Mattr Bandcamp]
Birmingham producer Mattr makes breakbeat-heavy electronica, lo-fi house and IDM tracks, and on his latest A-Break EP it's classic IDM fare with broken beats and gorgeous pads. On the title track, though, it felt incredibly familiar, and I eventually tracked down the influence to a pair of Gescom (Autechre) tracks from around 1998. Not in any way suggesting this is a rip-off, but it feels like a distinct tribute: check where the synth pads come in at 0:28 in Mattr's track, and listen to "Viral Revival (Rmxd by Ae)" from the This EP released on SKAM back in '98. Mattr's chopped-vox rhythms and those pads are very Ae, but the track diverges from this influence pretty soon after. The Gescom track is a version of the Ad Vanz vs Gescom track "Viral" from Fat Cat's legendary split 12" series - the pads enter at 2:19 in this track FWIW. These similarities aside, it's lovely hearing IDM of this calibre in the 2010s, and I recommend jumping around some of the other tracks on Mattr's Bandcamp.

Stefan Goldmann - In Aggregate [Macro/Bandcamp]
Berlin techno maestro Stefan Goldmann continues on his unpredictable course through rhythm with new 10" In Aggregate / Carob. The beats here are polyrhythmic and infectious, and the bar lines don't hit where you expect, yet it still manages to sound like classic techno. The flip is almost entirely one rhythm fed through a ring modulator, simultaneously recalling Aphex Twin's early techno experiments and reaching out to possible futures.

Jack Prest - Object II [Art As Catharsis/Bandcamp]
Jack Prest - Dusk [Art As Catharsis/Bandcamp]
Sydney composer, sound engineer & musician Jack Prest staged his daring multi-disciplinary work The Risk of Hyperbole at Phoenix Central Park in 2022, merging dance, visual art, and live musical performance in a host of genres. In recorded form, the first volume - Sound - focused on the sound-art aspects of the work, while Vol.2 - Object is more about the contemporary composition and their interactions with sub bass drops and shimmering effected electronics. Live percussion floats in space over subtle drones and carefully modulated reverb, or minimalist double bass notes, impressionist piano and fractured cello compete with processed drumkit and snarling synths. It's an intoxitaing blend. We're looking forward to Vol.3 when it arrives, with the techno, hip-hop and other beats to be showcased.

The Declining Winter - The Darkening Way [Home Assembly Music/Bandcamp/The Declining Winter Bandcamp]
The Declining Winter - The Fruit of the Hours [Home Assembly Music/Bandcamp/The Declining Winter Bandcamp]
I often claim that my favourite band ever is Leeds noise/postrock/indietronic iconoclasts Hood, with the core of brothers Chris & Richard Adams joined by an ever-changing cast of brilliant collaborators as bandmates until their permanent hiatus in 2005 or '06. Chris branched out into proto-breakcore and drum'n'bass/jungle as Downpour and indietronica and other electronics as Bracken, while Richard eventually formed his indie/postrock band The Declining Winter (with more recent solo excursions into electronics as Western Edges). Rich's songwriting and singing has only gotten better & better through the Declining Winter story, and his latest album Really Early, Really Late is not just his best, but one of the best indie releases of the year so far. I'm very lucky to have been asked by Richard to contribute some cello, appearing on a couple of tracks including tonight's closer built around a lovely piano pattern from ex-Hood chap Gareth Brown. I would've loved to play you the album's centrepiece title track, with its gorgeous Talk Talk vibes, but as it's a bit too long, instead we had the album's opener, a typical Richard Adams song swept away with layers of Sarah Kemp's violin.

Listen again — ~199MB

Comments Off on Playlist 02.04.2023

Comments are closed.

Check the sidebar for archive links!

41 queries. 0.084 seconds. Powered by WordPress |