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Utility Fog

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Sunday nights from 9 to 11pm on FBi Radio, 94.5 FM in Sydney, Australia.

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Monday, 14th of August, 2023

Playlist 13.08.23 (11:24 pm)

Some of the most dancefloor-oriented sounds and some of the most ambient sounds on Utility Fog tonight, as well as nods to jazz, indie rock, shoegaze, and post-classical.

LISTEN AGAIN to this week's trip - stream on demand on FBi's website or podcast here.

Mark Van Hoen - You & I [Mark Van Hoen Bandcamp]
Mark Van Hoen - Clear Night Skies [Mark Van Hoen Bandcamp]
Experimental electronic/shoegaze legend Mark Van Hoen has run a subscription on his Bandcamp since 2019, with a regular output of albums that are also available individually. Creating electronic music since the early '80s as something of a child prodigy, he was an early member of Seefeel and also formed the excellent trip-hop/idm band Scala with members of Seefeel, but at the same was releasing Aphex-adjacent experimental techno and ambient as Locust, including the immortal, prescient noise & glitch trip-hop of Truth Is Born Of Arguments. Following this, through the '90s and into the '00s he released a number of trip-hoppish albums as Locust and under his own name, and it's that output that is recalled on this new digital album Fight Or Flight, with (presumably sampled) female vocals, and even a drum'n'bass-like track there. There seems to be a vinyl album coming later this year - I'll be on the lookout!

Sully & Tim Reaper - Windswept (Sully Fader Mix) [Future Retro]
Back in 2021, Tim Reaper released Meeting Of The Minds Vol. 7, part of a series of EPs with his collaborations with other jungle producers. No question, Sully is one of the greatest of the new crop of junglists, and their collaborative track "Windswept" was a half-finished Sully production completed by Tim Reaper. Here we have the final Sully version, and it's a banger.

Phase - Notice [Metalheadz/Bandcamp]
Belgium's Phase has had releases on Metalheadz since 2016, including a 4-track EP this January. He's now back with two pulsating, jittering tracks with fizzing beats. On "Notice" they're punctuated by crazy horn(?) stabs, while "Mass" sports a parping, shuddering bassline moving underneath.

MJ Noble - Time Keeps Moving [Doom Trip Records/Bandcamp]
Here's another example of jungle seeping into unexpected nooks and crannies. Not to say that MJ Noble is hidden-away out-of-sight. Her songs mix pop with a certain punkish, industrial aggresion, and jungle breaks. She's a cosplayer and a gamer and a fairy, and she writes, produces and sings, plays flute. Rad. From the great Doom Trip Records, from whom my I also recommend Heejin Jang?

Yaporigami - 4/4 Fractal.1 [The Collection Artaud/Bandcamp]
Yu Miyashita is a composer and sound-artist based in Berlin, who has made experimental electronica for years as Yaporigami as well as under his own name. His label The Collection Artaud releases highly limited 12"s of his complex IDM/glitch, as well as select other artists. It's immaculate stuff, usually with careening programmed drill'n'bass beats, always worth checking out.

Aloka - Granulate [Typeless]
From Wales, Aloka brings us a much more minimalist version of drum'n'bass, but still with skittering beats and lurking sub bass. These tracks swirl and change as they progress, with 4/4 kicks appearing and then subsiding again. Futuristic stuff.

Laxenanchaos - Reincarnate Soda [Virgin Babylon Records]
Anonymous Japanese breakcore/IDM trickster Laxenanchaos emerged in 2015 with I'm Laxenanchaos on his ☯ anybody universe ☯ label, and has continued with melodic, chaotic productions at irregular intervals (except for his traditional Christmas releases) ever since. The three tracks of Singing Breakbeats Timeless Travel With You, however, find him back on Virgin Babylon Records, the label run by World's End Girlfriend, godfather of so much Japanese idm-glitch-folk-classical-tronica. Anyway, three tunes just like you'd expect, which suits me fine.

DJ Manny - Control [Planet µ/Bandcamp]
Manuel Gaines aka DJ Manny has been immersed in Chicago's footwork scene since his childhood - first as a dancer, then music-maker. He's always brought out the soulful elements in the sound, and the first track from his upcoming EP Control uses vocal clips in a less clipped style than usual, with a kind of half-time footwork groove that leaves plenty of space for syncopation. Lovely.

Scuba - Mr Anderson (Digital Underground) [Hotflush/Bandcamp]
In April, Hotflush Recordings boss and dubstep don Paul Rose aka Scuba released a 12" called Hardcore Heaven for Record Store Day. For the non-vinyl-lovers among us (or those just not lucky enough to score a copy before they sold out), he's put out a selection of the tracks in "Digital Underground" versions. These are apparently different from the vinyl versions, but they live up to the EP's name, with bouncing breakbeats and synth stabs and bass weight. The last of the digital versions is "Mr Anderson". I can't find any Matrix samples in it, but it's got that '90s future vibe to it for sure.

KIDIZDEY - Dub Taton [raghoul/Bandcamp]
KIDIZDEY - Nothing To Love Anymore [raghoul/Bandcamp]
Moroccan indie-pop producer Saad El Baraka surprises fans in his homeland with an album of electronic beats in his new project KIDIZDEY. Following their incredible compilation Crocodile Tears in a Reptilian World earlier this year, the fledgling Moroccan label raghoul (we're told it means "bass" in Amazigh) now releases a single-artist album. KIDIZDEY packs plenty of variety in, with off-kilter beats of heavy bass varieties (you can hear the Dilla influence), sampling Arabic vocals and traditional regional instruments. Apparently there's plenty more to look forward to, but check Lketma out now.

Gantz - Kintsugi ft Pleasuremodel [Gantz Bandcamp]
Across the Mediterranean to Turkey, we join Gantz, whose dubstep roots are just about audible in the very fucked-up beats and sounds he's emitting these days. The mysterious Pleasuremodel contributes vocals to this, one of the more approachable tracks on his new self-released album.

Natural Wonder Beauty Concept - Natural Wonder Beauty Concept [Mexican Summer/Bandcamp]
Natural Wonder Beauty Concept - The Veil I [Mexican Summer/Bandcamp]
Ana Roxane & DJ Python have teamed up to Natural Wonder Beauty Concept, somehow a synthesis of both of their sounds (soft ambient and reggaeton/house/etc) yet really nothing like either. This is IDM, pure & simple - there are some vocals, and there's a variety of styles, but whether it's the drill'n'bass of the title track, the gorgeous spookiness of "The Veil I" or references to the likes of Boards of Canada and Plaid, it's just beautifully done classic IDM. Kudos to Mexican Summer for putting it out, and yeah for some reason even though I had pre-ordered this, the release email got lost and I only downloaded it last week! Better late than never!

Jet Jaguar - Crossing [sound as language/Bandcamp]
Jet Jaguar - Grading Honey [sound as language/Bandcamp]
New Zealand musician Michael Upton came out of the late-'90s IDM scene - I met him on the Hyperreal IDM-list in ancient of times - but he's also maintained a strong interest in manipulated field recordings (see the Montano project). On Epiphytes, the first of at least 2 albums he has coming out this year under his longtime alias Jet Jaguar, field recordings are just one element of audio that he's transplanting from other projects as a way of driving creativity. These are wonderfully melodic pieces, even if the incessant beeps of the pedestrian crossing make it a little hard to settle back (but Upton does manage to make it into something pretty).

James Heather - Hidden Angel (Hackney Road Studio Session) feat. Roger Robinson, Penelope Trappes & Specimens [Ahead Of Our Time/Bandcamp]
This gorgeous Philip Glass-esque track was originally an instrumental track on James Heather's Invisible Forces album last year. This "Hackney Road Studio Session" takes the track into new territories: the chord sequence is subtly tweaked into exquisite yearning, and the poet Roger Robinson (of King Midas Sound, with The Bug) adds spoken word that addresses a horrific accident in which a driver hit Heather on his bike, sending him into a coma. It's full of forgiveness, albeit also a certain longing, and for this session it's further lifted with the contributions from Penelope Trappes and Specimens. Quite a beautiful surprise.

Flaer - Hew [Odda Recordings/Bandcamp]
Flaer - Magnolia [Odda Recordings/Bandcamp]
Sticking in quasi-classical mode for a few moments more, the full mini-album Preludes English multi-instrumentalist Raelf Heygate aka Flaer (it's his name backwards) has now been released on Odda Recordings, the new imprint from Thea Hudson-Davies of The Leaf Label. This is beautiful understated stuff, making full use of Heygate's skills on strings, acoustic guitar and piano, and with unorthodox recording & editing techniques on analogue equipment. I really do recommend this.

Broken Chip - Forge [Flaming Pines/Bandcamp]
Broken Chip - Morning Star [Broken Chip Bandcamp]
Blue Mountains musician Martyn Palmer first started his textural, ambient project Broken Chip around 2009, but in the last few years he's increased the pace of his releases - so here are two EPs released closely together. On Flaming Pines, Bells takes samples only from a little toy xylophone, and stretches, pitch-shifts and degrades them into quietly psychedelic dusklight. Meanwhile on his own Bandcamp comes A Lullaby While Darkness Creeps, which does indeed convey the contradiction of peaceful lullabies with the disquiet of encroaching darkness.

Lawrence English & Lea Bertucci - Geology Of Fire [American Dreams/Bandcamp]
Finally out this week on American Dreams is the quite incredible collaboration between sound-artist/composers Lawrence English & Lea Bertucci. Chthonic is the sound of tectonic plates moving against each other, of mountains slowly rising. Across these 5 tracks, Bertucci's many instruments (cello, viola, flute, lap steel guitar) blend with field recordings and electronics from English, sumptuously mixed in cavernous ultra-widescreen. This is very different from the tape manipulations and acoustic instruments of Bertucci's two duo releases last year. Differently brilliant.

Microfiche - Improvisation / Barbara (feat. Bonniesongs) [Microfiche Bandcamp]
Eora/Sydney sextet Microfiche have quietly built up a reputation for creative jazz that combines improvisation and composition and live electronics. Last year they hosted a month-long residency at 107 in Redfern, inviting four very different guests over four dates. Sia/Shoeb Ahmad was one, as were adventurous jazz greats Chris Abrahams and Phil Slater, and the fourth was Bonnie Stewart, a talented improvisor on drum kit, guitar and more, but also a brilliant singer-songwriter as Bonniesongs. Here Microfiche and Stewart rework a charming(?) song from Bonniesongs' album Energetic Mind, embracing poor Barbara from Night of the Living Dead. Following an improvised drone intro, the song blooms with Microfiche's varied instrumentation, and falls into chaotic looped live samples glitching into the fade-out.

Loose Fit - Exhale - Shoeb Ahmad Remix [Loose Fit Bandcamp]
Loose Fit - Cool Change - Hugh B Dub [Loose Fit Bandcamp]
We didn't get to hear Sia Ahmad's contributions with Microfiche, but here she is remixing Eora/Sydney post-punks Loose Fit. The Shoeb Ahmad remix leaves plenty of space, but simultaneously brings in almost-industrial elements and dub effects. And Hugh B, curator of the Outer Time Inner Space label and Mad Racket affiliate, contributes three whacked out live dubs.

Listen again — ~207MB

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