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Utility Fog

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Monday, 22nd of January, 2024

Playlist 21.01.24 (11:20 pm)

Tonight is - finally - the first "new music" show of the year!
I missed the 31st of Dec, and the 7th was the best of 2023 DJ set, and then on the 14th I was off again. So... here we are, catching up.
It's absurd that we're catching upon new music released since mid-December last year, but that's the world we live in.
Thanks to Mara Schwerdtfeger for excellent selections filling in last week!

So LISTEN AGAIN via FBi's stream on demand or our podcast here - you owe it to yourself.

Jeremy Young - SFKP Second [Jeremy Young Bandcamp]
We start tonight with one of the two tracks on Montréal sound-artist Jeremy Young's December release Stop F*king Killing People because I cannot support this sentiment enough, and also they're lovely ambient pieces. He's giving all profits to Mercy Without Limits, so go ahead and purchase some processed guitar & oscillators.

He Can Jog - Lavender Soap - Seakn [Audiobulb/Bandcamp]
He Can Jog - Perfume Eater - Q7XL feat. YoungGettem & DJ Milkman [Audiobulb/Bandcamp]
I've followed the music of Eric Schoster's He Can Jog here on Utility Fog for over 13 years. It's ranged from folktronica to drone to generative electronica, and thus the music on these two cassette volumes is similarly far-reaching. For the start of 2024, with the Audiobulb label Schoster has compiled Audiobulb Plays He Can Jog - Vol. 1 and Vol. 2, featuring remixes, reworkings and even covers of He Can Jog's music through many years. For a mere £3 each, it should be cinch for experimental electronic music fans to grab these. Tonight, two Milwaukee-based artists for some reason: Seakn gives us glitchy sounds, sparsely accreting into accelerated beats, while Q7XL unexpectedly takes the glitchy rhythms into hip-hop, with YoungGettem (maybe an alter-ego?) and DJ Milkman.

Sage Francis - Master Cleanse feat. OldBoy Rhymes, Rituals of Mine, alxndrbrwn [Strange Famous Records]
Released this week is a single from the always-political Sage Francis along with new Strange Famous Records artist OldBoy Rhymes and "heavy electronic r&b" artist Rituals of Mine, produced by alxndrbrwn. It's a strong condemnation of Israel's destruction of Gaza, touching on much more.

UKAEA - Rabbia [The state51 Conspiracy/Bandcamp]
Hoo boy, I've been hanging out to play this album since it was first put out as part of the monthly commissions by The Quietus for their subscription program. UKAEA is primarily the work of producer Dan Jones, with deep roots in techno and rave culture, filtered through industrial and noise (it's mixed by veteran breakcore and noise-rock dude Wayne Adams of Petbrick, Big Lad et al at his Bear Bites Horse studio). But this album features an array of vocalists, the violin of Agathe Max and various other live instruments, giving the music a deep sense of (multi-)cultural heft. Listening to the album is an intense experience, delivered by the vocalists and other contributors as much as the heavy beats and electronics, but rather than oppressive or exhausting, it's electrifying. I feel like whatever expectations you bring to the music, you'll be surprised, so please dive in!

Tangerine - Peripheral [Steeplejack Records/Bandcamp]
Naarm-by-way-of-Amsterdam label Steeplejack Records put out this compilation in mid-December. Entitled Have You Heard of Radiohead?, it's credited to "Faultlines", but I haven't been able to work or what that represents. It's impeccably curated, with artists both known and unknown to me, covering bass genres, d'n'b, techno and IDMish stuff. Here we have Clementine Girard-Foley aka Tangerine, who among other things is co-curating Absorb(ed) III, a 2-day festival in Naarm in March with an excellent line-up. Her track is a lovely piece of controlled distortion and head-nodding beats.

Vladislav Delay - Nomen Nescio [RAJATON]
Over a yearlong period, Sasu Ripatti has now released vols 1-5 of two EP series: Hide Behind The Silence reflects the familiar aspects of Ripatti's most common moniker Vladislav Delay, with glitchy textures, abstracted rhythms and dub-influenced production, while Dancefloor Classics is a Delay-style take on footwork and other club influences. In general I've enjoyed the former releases more, and some of the best material is on Hide Behind The Silence EP 5 - although now they've all come out, we can review them together, and each series has been collected into a single release (HBTS and DC) if you want to catch up.

Vittorio Montalti / Blow Up Percussion - 5D+5E [col legno/Bandcamp]
Austrian contemporary music label col legno have long championed electro-acoustic music and other forms of contemporary composition, including more playful contemporary approaches such as those taken by Wolfgang Mitterer in his feints towards electro-pop, IDM and glitch. On The Smell of Blue Electricity we find Italian composer Vittorio Montalti working with the ensemble Blow Up Percussion, in a work that blurs genres and roles, with the composer performing live electronics while also directing the percussion musicians. As such, it's music that is as easily parsed as experimental electronic, contemporary jazz or contemporary composition, and tonight it slides comfortably into the experimental beats.

Roman Rofalski - Perpetuum [Oscillations/Bandcamp]
German musician Roman Rofalski is a classically-trained pianist and a jazz musician, releasing recordings of contemporary composers as well as jazz piano trios. He's also interested in extending these forms into electronic realms, and we've heard him on this show as one half of electro-acoustic duo Saving Kaiser. For London-based Oscillations Music, he's deconstructing his piano on new album Fractal. Starting with beautifully-recorded prepared piano, he's ripped apart the sounds, so that complete melodic gestures slide in between heavy drones based on single piano notes, or heavy sub-bass lines. There's live drums (also heavily edited) from Felix Schlarmann on opening track "Perpetuum", but there's also a rhythmic groove to a lot of the other tracks. You'll hear contemporary experimental techno, glitch from the late '90s, the post-jazz of the mid-'00s and more in these tracks which strike a satisfying balance between catchy and challenging.

JK Flesh - PI11.1 [Pi Electronics (π)/Bandcamp]
Out mid-December was the second EP from Justin K Broadrick's techno alias JK Flesh on Greek label Pi Electronics (π). While it's still dark and intense as fuck, the tracks here seem a little less maxxed out and relentless. Which is great as Broadrick is a master of musical progression as well as aggression, so here we have his industrial dub take on techno, hypnotic and body-moving.

Roma Zuckerman - Juldish [Gost Zvuk]
Siberian techno mage Roma Zuckerman is a frequent contributor to Nina Kraviz' ТРИП (trip) label, but also to ГОСТ ЗВУК / Gost Zvuk, who released the very trippy Hoavi album Phases last year. His new album for Gost Zvuk, Phenomenon of Provincial Mentality, out on Feb 2nd, is trippy and disorienting, with juddering beats that stick to 4/4 but clatter around with distorted voices and weird noises. Home listening fun.

Batu - Other Means [Batu Bandcamp]
Since his brilliant Opal album in 2022, Timedance boss Batu has gone down some ambient side-quests and is now dropping single tracks at odd intervals. With "Other Means" we have fast-moving percussive techno with syncopated bass and kicks, very very nice.

Jlin - The Precision Of Infinity (ft. Philip Glass) [Planet µ/Bandcamp]
Jerrilynn Patton's music as Jlin has always been at the sharpest cutting edge of footwork, with her love of odd-numbered time signatures and her merging of dance genres and influences far outside the electronic world. But it's still quite a spin-out to hear Philip Glass's piano featuring on the first single from her new album Akoma. Further guests will include Björk and Kronos Quartet, so this is shaping up to be the most highly anticipated album of the first quarter of 2024. Amazing stuff on this single anyway.

Ourobonic Plague - Bound///Rebound [Ourobonic Plague Bandcamp]
The anonymous Aussie artist behind Ourobonic Plague continues to put out fucked up industrial beats on Bandcamp - with tags like indubstrial, glitch hop and hyperdungeon... Activated Sludge is the latest, with a breakbeat groove on tonight's selection that reaches into jungle influences.

Eastern Distributor - Sand Shaper [Pure Space/Bandcamp]
Pure Space's last release of 2023 - but actually their first of 2024 - is a "split" release between Eastern Distributor and Jörmungandr, both of which are aliases of Naarm/Melbourne-based artist Daniel Jakobsson. The An Xileel EP references the titular political faction of the Argonians in Elder Scrolls. In the middle of the EP is "Sand Shaper", with organic sounds mixing with the flittery complex percussion.

Catnapp - Talking Trees (Lila Tirando a Violeta & Sin Maldita Remix) [Lila Tirando a Violeta Bandcamp]
Last year Berlin-based Argentinian musician Catnapp released a remix EP of tracks from her second album on Modeselektor's Monkeytown Records. Ireland-based Uruguayan producer Lila Tirando a Violeta, aka Camila Domínguez, contributed a remix to that EP, but now she's released a second one, taking "Talking Trees" into experimental jungle territory. It's a collaboration with Sin Maldita, her collaborator on her debut album for Hyperdub last year. Futuristic.

Drumskull - Unknown Structure [Hooversound/Bandcamp]
Hooversound, the label run by DJs Naina and Sherelle, has tended to concentrate on those areas where jungle bleeds into other things - whether the jungle tekno that it rose out of in the early '90s, or footwork, dubstep etc. Here Drumskull contributes two hardcore jungle teckno tracks, and two seriously rattling jungle tracks (one a remix by Dwarde). Joyous dancefloor mayhem.

Hologroove - Glider [Straight Up Breakbeat/Bandcamp]
More jungle here from Finland's great drum'n'bass/jungle label Straight Up Breakbeat. Their latest Zero Four compilation showcases recent music from the label, and unreleased/forthcoming tracks. It's all quality, but tonight we have Sweden's Hologroove with a storm of junglist beat-choppery within a modern d'n'b framework.

gyrofield - gossamer [Metalheadz/Bandcamp]
One of the most notable names to come up in the drum'n'bass/jungle world (and beyond) of late is Hong Kong's gyrofield (now based in Bristol). Her talents for almost-breakcore drum'n'bass were picked up by Metalheadz last year, and have now resulted in the EP A Faint Glow of Bravery, which adapts and remoulds drum'n'bass into new shapes. The bass-weight and breakbeats are there, but pressed into unexpected new roles.

Gantz - Leave Me Alone [Gantz Bandcamp]
Istanbul's Gantz will not be stopped, and after a strong year he dropped a whole album, MEGA, on December 29th. Here the dubstep, trip-hop and Autechre-style glitch-beats even morph into some kind of drum'n'bass at times. A great place to dive into what Gantz has been up to recently.

Nicholas Thayer - Pt 2: Trigger [Nicholas Thayer Bandcamp]
Following his phenomenal 3EP dance soundtrack in:finite on Oscillations Music last year (pt 1, pt 2, pt 3), ex-Melbourne Dutch composer Nicholas Thayer has released another dance soundtrack EP, All In Passing. Like the previous work, Thayer combines classical influences with glitch and beats that lean toward jungle. It's really excellent stuff.

Gi - Bashing [Altered States Tapes]
On her debut EP Orange Chorus Blonde Reveal, Sydney's Gi travels deep and wide in a mere four tracks and less than 20 minutes. The ambition is shown from the start, with guest cello lines contributed by Melbourne's Abby Sundborn, while eventually flittery insectile beats appear. On second track "Bashing", the cello is replaced by careful sound-design, joined by sub-bass pulses and tumbling percussion that eventually coalesces into an IDM-influenced jittery jungle techno thing. There follows a more dub-techno-leaning track, and a more abstract piece of granular sound-design. Phenomenal stuff from October last year, and a follow-up album was slated for December but hopefully is still on the way. For those in Naarm/Melbourne, Gi will be appearing with Marcus Whale at the abovementioned Absorb(ed) III.

connect_icut - Pre-penultimatum [Blasted Gorse Bandcamp]
connect_icut - Mark and Sarah, Ghost and Rae [Blasted Gorse Bandcamp]
I've been following the work of Samuel Macklin aka connect_icut for well over a decade, although shockingly there's no evidence in the Utility Fog playlists. Macklin's work, a little like He Can Jog above, has ranged wide in experimental electronic waters, from drone and more ambient climes to glitched-out postrock/shoegaze, IDM and more. He's announced new album Mars Maps Waterloo Moon as the last connect_icut album, which is a real shame, but hopefully his work will live on as part of the shoegaze-tronic duo The Bastion Mews and perhaps under another alias? A large amount of connect_icut's music can be found on the CSAF Bandcamp. On this new album we have gossamer granular work, grinding black metal murk, looped dub-glitch, and even scrabbly IDM beats. Surely anyone into what Utility Fog is about will love this.

Pyur - Night / Sea [Subtext Recordings/Bandcamp]
Berlin-based Sophie Schnell aka Pyur put out her first release on Hotflush Recordings, but then in 2019 the breadth of her ambition was realised in the sprawling, multifarious Oratorio For The Underworld, suitably released on James Ginzburg's Subtext Recordings, in which classical strings, keyboards, and vocals were fluidly enmeshed in bass, IDM and techno beats. Almost 5 years later, follow-up Lucid Anarchy drops both beats and acoustic instrumentation, but it's still firmly based in rhythm, with lush synths pulsing and shuddering in a narcotic haze. It's rich and emotive, and frequently beautiful.

Listen again — ~215MB

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