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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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Playlists are listed with artist name first, then track title and (remixer), then [record label]. Enjoy the links.

Sunday, 10th of March, 2024

Playlist 10.03.24 (11:00 pm)

Powerful transformative voices, powerful voices transformed, transformative instrumentals, beats of power.
This is my last UFog until April 7th, as I'll be in Japan for three Sundays!

LISTEN AGAIN if you dare! Podcast here, stream on demand @ FBi.

Kim Gordon - The Believers [Matador/Bandcamp]
Kim Gordon - I Don't Miss My Mind [Matador/Bandcamp]
The second album from Kim Gordon continues her collaboration with producer Justin Raisen, who provides overdriven beats that back Gordon's familiar speak-singing drawl - often stream-of-consciousness stuff, as encouraged by Raisen. If No Home Record was a shock, the first solo album from a figure of such huge significance in indie rock/postpunk for over 4 decades, The Collective has no less impact from following it. Career highs from an artist now in her 70s.

Moor Mother - Liverpool Wins (feat. Kyle Kidd) [ANTI-/Bandcamp]
Moor Mother - My Souls Been Anchored [ANTI-/Bandcamp]
Camae Ayewa has been one of the most in-demand guests on experimental albums of the last few years, but meanwhile keeps up her work with Irreversible Entanglements, 700 Bliss and Black Quantum Futurism - and of course solo work as Moor Mother. Moor Mother albums have never exactly been typical hip-hop, although the genre is so malleable and experimental to its core that this isn't saying much. The Great Bailout relentlessly dissects British colonialism and the slave trade, and their connections to capitalism & power today. It's musically challenging, as Moor Mother is nothing if not uncompromising, and this extends to collaborators like Lonnie Holley and Kyle Kidd. As impressive as Ayewa's poetry and delivery are, her genius is such that everything other than those guest spots is performed and produced by her too. The instrumental "My Souls Been Anchored" is no less political, with its collaged samples of blues and spirituals overlaid with the rumblings of industry. This album is challenging but essential listening.

Dali de Saint Paul & Maxwell Sterling - 4 [Accidental Meetings/Bandcamp]
The vocals and effects of Bristol artist Dali de Saint Paul have been found in many contexts over the last many years, including on Moor Mother's 2019 album Analog Fluids of Sonic Black Holes and UKAEA's recent Birds Catching Fire in the Sky. I first came across double bass player & electronic musician Maxwell Sterling on a collaboration with Martha Skye Murphy called Distance on Ground, although he also had a well-praised album on AD 93 in 2021. Their duo Penumbra came out of an improvised session on BBC Radio 3's Late Junction. Both musicians loop and process their sounds live - de Saint Paul's voice chopped into short rhythmic phrases or singing long melodies; Sterling's double basses and Lyra stretched into waves or sped up into high-pitched streams. Intriguing, engrossing stuff.

Erika Angell - Good And Bad [Constellation/Bandcamp]
Erika Angell - German Singer [Constellation/Bandcamp]
Swedish musician Erika Angell has been based in Montréal for many years, which explains her new album The Obsession With Her Voice appearing on the legendary Constellation label. Angell is a classically- and jazz-trained singer who's played in indie rock and industrial outfits and collaborated wide and far. On the new album, her shapeshifting vocals are accompanied by her synths and electronics, along with live drums from Mili Hong and a string section of cellos and violas. The abstract aspects of jazz, classical and electronic music all contribute to songs which nevertheless are song-shaped, whether Angell is whispering or howling, singing richly or processing her voice robotically. For those of us new to her work, a revelation.

Shoeb Ahmad - demotion [Provenance/Bandcamp]
Aphir - HAND ON YOUR HEART [Provenance/Bandcamp]
Hey! Lucky you, you get a preview of Marks of Provenance VII, the latest label compilation from the Provenance Collective. It's out this coming Friday, March 15th, and is choc full of Provenance artists like Arrom, Happy Axe, Sebastian Field, ROMÆO, Imogen Cygler, Ashleigh Hazel and... Avril Lavigne? All will be revealed, but tonight we heard a wonderful piece of creepy industrial looping from friend-of-'Fog Shoeb Ahmad, and a tour de force from Aphir featuring slamming beats, processed voice and her multi-tracked choral work.

Vanessa Bedoret - Choice [Scenic Route]
Vanessa Bedoret - 1/2 [Scenic Route]
It's disarming to find the an album as accomplished as Vanessa Bedoret's Eyes is the artist's debut. Bedoret (French, but now based in London) learned classical violin from childhood, played guitar in punk bands, and her violin and love of punk & metal are present in this album, even though its most comfortable category is experimental electronic. The music on Eyes bears the hallmarks of today's deconstructed club music, occasionally reconstructing itself into something that might be danceable, but equally using the bass drops and fragmented beats as splashes of sound alongside her string lines and, at times, vocals. On these tracks, Bedoret's voice is used more as an instrument than a lead - multitracked into choral parts that are then chopped as fodder for electronic processing - although there are some more conventional song-like tracks. It's music that will appeal to fans of experimental electronic music past & present, as well as post-classical and the experimental end of shoegaze (e.g. Seefeel). So that means YOU!

Marcus Whale - Shepherd's Voice [Marcus Whale Bandcamp]
Marcus Whale - ∞ [Marcus Whale Bandcamp]
The new album from Sydney polymath Marcus Whale comes as CD, if you want it, which contains a great discussion of some of the album's themes between Marcus and his flatmate/Sleepless in Sydney co-host Gus McGrath. So what's it about? Well, Ecstasy innit? It's a concept of infinite potential: the idea of going outside of oneself, of losing the bounaries between the self & the universe is one encountered in music and dance, in all creative practice really - as well as in sex and extreme sports and no doubt drug use. Of course on the album the ecstasy of the dancefloor looms high, those hammering kick drums recurring through the album - as does queer love and loving. The kick drum assault and snarling bass somewhat offset Marcus's choirboy-sweet voice, but mostly it's an album of sweetness, maybe sweetness found in the dark.

New Corroded - Tap Out [Vast Habitat/Bandcamp]
New Corroded - Chromosphere [Vast Habitat/Bandcamp]
Last year we heard quite a bit from Guy Brewer, known for his dark techno as Shifted but recently releasing more syncopated, higher-paced music as Carrier. I wasn't expecting to find this collaboration, though, which pairs Brewer with Daniel Lea, most recently released as CURA MACHINES on Bedouin Records, but previously appearing as half of Heliochrysum on Bedroom Community, having released two brilliant Talk Talk-inspired albums as L A N D - Night Within and Anoxia. Initially, New Corroded's debut Pass Lightly seems more like Brewer's work - imposing industrial techno - but there are elements of the glimmering synths found in Heliochrysum, and L A N D's rhythmic variation. Released on Lea's Vast Habitat on transparent vinyl, the album comes highly recommended.

Oliver Coates - France [Invada/Bandcamp]
Oliver Coates - How can you say [Invada/Bandcamp]
I said last week that Invada snuck out a couple of tracks early from Oliver Coates' sound track to the Mary & George TV series, a period drama (although it seems more like dark comedy?) about the gay lover of King James I in the early 17th century. Coates is an accomplished cellist in the contemporary classical world, as well as working with indie rock & pop acts, and has released some great experimental electronic music too. Given the period this show is set in, I expected mostly classical-sounding music, so it's a surprise to find the wonky junglisms of "How can you say", or the sparse, almost industrial (yet acoustic) rhythms found elsewhere. There are a lot of tracks, and a lot are just short cues, but there's lovely more developed music there too. I imagine Invada are banking of the show being a success, and reviews so far as very positive. Congrats Coates!

T Goldsmith - Accidentally Carelessly Thoughtlessly [DRUT Recordings/Bandcamp]
Until recently, Tom Goldsmith was better known playing in folk rock bands like Circulus, but Kelpe released an electronic EP last year on his DRUT Recordings, and thus T Goldsmith was born. His second EP Antimeta is a real pleasure, with some of that psych folk aesthetic bleeding through (Kelpe himself came out of the folktronica scene, such as it was), and flowing jungle/drum'n'bass beats. Lovely for home listening and chillout rooms (I wish they still existed!)

Ruffie - Perception [Locked Up Music]
From Romanian DJ/producer Ruffie, an excellent new EP of jungle-tinged d'n'b on Section's label Locked Up Music. Different styles, from clipped breaks to more flowing, sci-fi synths to jazz samples, very tasty.

DJ Birdbath - Kitsch Memory [Theory Therapy/Bandcamp]
New Zealand producer DJ Birdbath, who I believe had been based in Naarm/Melbourne but is now in Wellington, releases a full album, Memory Empathy, through Eora/Sydney's own Theory Therapy. It's equal parts vaporwave and jungle/trip-hop, coming in at a different angle from, say, Yunzero. In DJ Birdbath's hands '80s samples (there's definitely Kate Bush in there) and internet detritus can be reshaped around more familiar beat structures - of course jungle & "trip-hop" or "downtempo" or whatever we want to call it are themselves echoes of a now-distant past for anyone older than their mid-20s. DJ Birdbath approaches these memories with empathy, but recognizes how they are transformed at distance ("Kitsch Memory"). Memory Empathy will reward repeat listens.

woodgraves - Izanagi [Tree Critters]
The Massive Dragon - Deeper [Tree Critters]
Delightful breakcore/idm duo Bagel Fanclub directed me to this new compilation, and I want to say at the outset that their track "applebees iceblock" is a lovely melodic breakcore track that I would've played if I could fit it in. Both members also have tracks themselves on this 29-track compilation. Entitled Sounds for Solidarity: Palestine Relief Music Compilation, it will send funds to Palestinian Children's Relief Fund and Palestinian Red Crescent Society. And it's full of gems. Broadly, "Side A" is breakcore and junglish stuff, represented here by Chicago DJ/producer woodgraves with some warm & dark breaks at speed. "Side B" then is IDM at a more sedate pace (with exceptions), and Colorado's The Massive Dragon is one of the Tree Critters who put the comp together, with ping-pong (literally!) beats and calm synth pads.

Kevin Richard Martin/KMRU - If (Dub) [PTP/Bandcamp]
Saint Abdullah x Withdrawn & Birthmark - An Array Of Policy Options [PTP/Bandcamp]
Geng of PTP has always been a visionary of social change and resistance - many releases come with a free PDF of The End Of Policing by Alex S Vitale. The massive 95-track compilation RESIST COLONIAL POWER BY ANY MEANS NECESSARY features everyone, with no particular genre except probably somewhat experimental - there's hip-hop, rock, r'n'b, electronic music, acoustic music... A few tracks are missing - the compilation was delayed for a few weeks and Geng says the other tracks (currently 4 seconds of silence) will be uploaded eventually. I'm particularly keen for ELUCID, NikNak and Mariam Rezaei x Maria Chavez, but it's worth getting now anyway. I'd heard that Kevin Richard Martin (aka The Bug) was working on something with Nairobi ambient/experimental artist KMRU, and If (Dub) seems to be the first thing to venture out, very much melding Martin's desolate dub with KMRU's atmospherics. I first discovered NYC-based Iranian brothers Saint Abdullah via PTP, and they appear here with acerbic beats accompanying raps from Bristol's Withdrawn & Birthmark.

Joseph Franklin - the tension of things-in-motion [Nice Music/Bandcamp]
Joseph Franklin - of other potentialities quietly planting doubts [Nice Music/Bandcamp]
Finally for tonight, Naarm/Melbourne composer and bassist Joseph Franklin has released his debut solo album a thousand tiny mutinies through Nice Music. While Franklin has composed for orchestras, chamber ensembles and soloists before, this album is his own exploratory performances on a semi-hollow six-string contrabass guitar, which he prepares in various ways as well as post-producing - although I believe the sounds themselves are all generated from that bass guitar, whose hollow body allows for all sorts of acoustic "effects" as well as those produced through amplification. There's an uncanny nature to many of these tracks, where scraping, buzzing sounds masquerade as glitch, harsh drones are produced mechanically, and even the more regular fingerpicking doesn't obey familiar forms of harmony or melody. But don't try and work out the provenance of these sounds - just tune in and listen and you'll be richly rewarded.

Listen again — ~200MB


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Sunday, 3rd of March, 2024

Playlist 03.03.24 (11:00 pm)

Music of great beauty and mystery, rhythms of great propulsion.

LISTEN AGAIN to the sign o' the times. Stream on demand at FBi, podcast here.

Armand Hammer - Doves feat. Benjamin Booker [Backwoodz Studioz/Bandcamp]
Following a flurry of collaborations, many of which I've played here, Armand Hammer have released a new song - except it's been plonked at the end of last year's We Buy Diabetic Test Strips as a bonus track. Which is weird because it's absolutely incredible, right up with their best. Guitar & very fragile vocals from elusive soul/blues/rock musician Benjamin Booker plus piano lines are gorgeously smeared throughout by the dubby production of Kenny Segal, with a slice-of-life rap from billy woods only appearing halfway through, while ELUCID's lines are buried in distorted noise and echoes... "Is it me?"

Cengiz Arslanpay & Michel Banabila - Stop The Genocide! End The Occupation Now [Tapu Records]
The title says it all: Stop The Genocide! End The Occupation Now. Dutch musician Michel Banabila and Netherlands-based Turkish musician Cengiz Arslanpay have created a beautiful work of electro-acoustic drone; both musicians work with all manner of instruments, and Arslanpay's ney flute and rebab can be heard here among the electronics. All proceeds go to Gaza / Lebanon relief funds, listed on the Bandcamp page.

Persher - Hymn To The Tupperbird [Thrill Jockey/Bandcamp]
The debut album from Persher follows their mini-album from 2022, Man With the Magic Soap. It's unlikely that anyone will sleep well to Sleep Well. Although both musicians come from the dubstep/techno world (Arthur Cayzer is Pariah and Jamie Roberts is Blawan), Persher is their tribute to grindcore, hardcore punk and extreme metal, with the bass elements only leaking in at times. I definitely hear them in "Hymn To The Tupperbird": weird sound manipulation, delay effects and occasional edited grooves lurk behind the guitar & bass riffs and the gruff metal vocals. Sleep Well is not for the faint-hearted, but fans of the heavy will find plenty to enjoy.

Squarepusher - Domelash [Warp/Bandcamp]
So. A new Squarepusher eh? *raises eyebrow* I dunno, but with all the new jungle out, and brilliant "deconstructed club" stuff melding jungle and techno and who knows what else, the drill'n'bass and electric bass on Tom Jenkinson feels a bit outdated. And yet... it's fun, he does love mashing the beats in ridiculous fashion, and he still has a handy way with synth melodies. I guess it's just that, as was mentioned way back when he & Aphex Twin and the rest started making this music, there's not much in the way of (sub) bass here (it was snarkily suggested at the time that they hadn't heard jungle played out in clubs, only in their bedrooms). It's all very much in the mid-range. Still, as I said, enjoyable stuff!

Arcane - Minotaur [Over/Shadow/Bandcamp]
Well here's one of those contemporary purveyors of jungle & drum'n'bass. Bristol's Arcane has a handful of releases under his belt on the likes of Irish label Rua Sound, but debuts now on Over/Shadow, founded to follow in the footsteps of the legendary Moving Shadow label. The Minotaur EP is four tracks of jungle re-tooled for the post-footwork age, with a nod to the hardcore techno that presaged jungle, but eyes forward to the future.

Andy Odysee - Waterblade Warrior [Odysee Recordings/Bandcamp]
Andy Baddaley, on the other hand, goes way back. An old schoolmate of Jim Baker of Source Direct, he joined Tilla Kemal's Odysee Recordings a few years in, lending his jazz & classical chops to the dark & deep sound. He's now co-manager of the label as it revives old releases by Source Direct, Photek and others, while also releasing new music - in particular from Badalley under Andy Odysee (fka Angel Dust, Cloaking Device and other aliases). Odysee Black Volume IV is the latest in a series of releases aimed at expanding the label's outlook, but Badalley's broad musical background always shines through anyway. "Waterblade Warrior" is an incredible exercise in programming skill, an updated take on Photek circa "Ni-Ten-Ichi-Ryu (Two Swords Technique)" which in all honesty should be on all the dancefloors.

Atrice - Multiplex [Ilian Tape/Bandcamp]
The latest release on Munich's singular Ilian Tape label brings Swiss duo Atrice back into the fold, with an EP that rivals their brilliant Ilian Tape debut Q from 2021. The five tracks on Multiplex span bass forms from breakbeat techno to jungle, always syncopating, always changing. Premium dancefloor stuff.

Morwell - Into the Light [Spiritual TransmissionsBandcamp]
Max Morwell takes a left turn from his usual post-rave/bass/breaks obsessions here - or does he? This is still music with beats, but it's super trippy, with somewhat psychedelic spoken word samples throughout, drawing from free jazz as much as jungle or trap. Morwell's first release on his new label Spiritual Transmissions, it comes in a limited CD form (tasty!) as well as digital, and the first two tracks are streaming now. Recommended.

gorse panshawe - tie me to the maypole [Activia Benz/Bandcamp]
The artist formerly(?) known as Slugabed has been bending his weirdness in other directions as gorse panshawe for a while now, via the Activia Benz label. So where Slugabed laid down wonky blurty bass music, gorse panshawe on earth, air, fire & water seems to go a'wandrin' into the English countryside, where he finds miniature raves happening in forests & streams, and jungle bidness around the maypole. "Pagan jungle"? Sure, why not!

Wrecked Lightship - Hex [Peak Oil/Bandcamp]
The second album from Wrecked Lightship, the duo of Laurie Appleblim Osborne and Adam Winchester, comes from Brian Foote & Brion Brionson's great, unpredictable Peak Oil label. As with 2022's Drowned Aquarium, these are submerged, dub-soaked jams, sometimes with jungle breaks half-audible through the murk. Fascinating, hard to grasp.

Bushranger - Ghost Gum Transmitter [Bush Meditation]
Eli Murray, best known as Gentleforce, has revived his Bushranger alias for an album of twisted field recordings and degraded techno. With Gully Music, Murray melds these two sources together so that you can't tell where the crickets end and the glitched hi-hats begin - although to be fair, there's a lot of imposing electronics here. But the project's aim to make music about - and for - specific places is artfully achieved. Perhaps Murray's greatest achievement is that he's made industrial music about nature. Hypnotic.

Scattered Order - It was a Saturday [Rather By Vinyl]
Scattered Order - The silent dark [Rather By Vinyl]
40+ years into their career (with some minor breaks), Sydney icons Scattered Order have released what to me sounds like easily one of their best albums. All Things Must Persist has a lot of their recent hallmarks: sampled TV or movie voices, razor-sharp guitars, intricate beats, but then also pretty contemplative piano... Mitch Jones' voice rasps over & under these arrangements. All three current members - Jones, Michael Tee and Shane Fahey - likely contribute electronic and instrumental sounds. You might think that they're at an age where no fucks need be given, but Scattered Order has never felt the need to nod to audience comfort or genre norms, slipping & sliding between (post-)industrial, postpunk, sound collage and studio experimentation, and various forms of electronica. It's all here, adorned with stunning artwork from Stella Severain. Get it on vinyl from Bandcamp or at one of their up-coming shows (see their website).

Sote - Reign of Insanity [SVBKVLT/Bandcamp]
Sote - Death-dealing [SVBKVLT/Bandcamp]
By this time, Ata Ebtekar's musical outlet as Sote should be familiar to fans of electronic/experimental music worldwide. It's over 2 decades since his Electric Deaf EP on Warp left listeners gasping for air, and for well over a decade he's been exploring Iranian musical traditions - including adptations of pioneering electronic music from the country, and ways of combining his electronics with Persian instruments like santour, tar and tombak - as well as promoting the work of new generations of Iranian experimental musicians through his Zabte Sote imprint. His latest album Ministry of Tall Tales comes via Shanghai's very internationalist, forward-thinking label SVBKVLT, and as the title implies, deals with misinformation/disinformation, corruption, oppression and so on, all familiar conditions in geopolitics at the moment. The music is not as abrasive as one might expect, however. While drama and anger creep in at times, the emotions expressed here tend more towards confusion and near-resignation, given a kind of resolution with "1401 Beautiful Souls", although even there it's hard to pinpoint whether it's sarcastic or not. Another powerful work from an electronic master.

Ludwig Wittbrodt - Tulpen [Ana Ott/Bandcamp]
The duo of Edis Ludwig and Emily Wittbrodt pairs two musicians from different musical worlds, intersecting in experimentation. Ludwig is a drummer in rock bands and an electronic producer, here on laptop and occasional drums. Wittbrodt is a cellist with a classical background who also works in free improv - last year we heard her unconventional suite Make You Stay, also released by Ana Ott, with a mixture of songs, classical compositions and free jazz - and electronics. For Schleifen ("Grind") the cello and laptop become a mini-ensemble, capable of producing contemporary classical music, drones, and kosmische musik, within a consistent framework. Lovely stuff.

sinonó - qué estará pensando [Subtext Recordings/Bandcamp]
Latinx vocalist Isabel Crespo Pardo lives in New York, where they work with various ensembles in new music and free improv. Their main outlet for their own compositions is sinonó, which pairs their voice with powerhouse cellist Lester St. Louis and double bassist Henry Fraser. This combination of low string instruments makes for powerful and moving music, with haunting melodic lines sometimes played in high harmonics on the contrabass, storms of plucking or tremolo bowing, basslines from either instrumentalist. Crespo's songs patiently unfold, with plenty of room for the musicians to improvise, but with the scaffolding of a bassline here, a strummed chord there, to hold Crespo's beautiful vocal melodies. There are moments of intense discordance, which only emphasise the warmth of the simple-yet-complex arrangements. This may be the first fully acoustic album released on Subtext Recordings, although the recording is sensitively mixed by electronic musician and Subtext boss James Ginzburg (of emptyset). A deeply touching suite of what the composer calls poem-songs.

Oliver Coates - Timp X [Invada/Bandcamp]
TV audiences have just been introduced to the period comedy/dramedy(?) Mary & George, starring Julieanne Moore. Sounds like fun, but what it sounds like is also heavily influenced by British cellist/composer/producer Oliver Coates, who was - fortunately - commissioned to write the score. Coates is comfortable in contemporary classical circles, but has also worked with bands such as Radiohead, Mira Calix, Mica Levi, Leo Abrahams, Clark, MF DOOM and more. He also recently soundtracked the much-celebrated Aftersun. Just before this UFog episode went to air, Invada snuck out a couple of tracks from the Mary & George soundtrack on Bandcamp - but now the entire 2hrs of cues is available, and the previews suggest it'll be sumptuous, smart and a little avant-garde. Can't wait to dive in to the rest!

We Will Intersect - Fragment III [Ugoki!/Bandcamp]
Sydney pianist, keyboard player, composer & improviser Adrian Lim-Klumpes is best known for Triosk and the band we share, Tangents, but he recently convened a new quartet with another unusual line-up, with Microfiche's Nick Calligeros on trumpet & live electronics, Nick Meredith aka Kcin on percussion & live electronics, and Miles Thomas on drums. Their debut self-titled album was released on Belgian label Off, an offshoot of the experimental Stilll label, and new EP Fragments comes via Ugoki!, now the main home for Off's jazz releases. The music is all derived from live improvisations, edited by Lim-Klumpes & Calligeros into four song-length Fragments, which progress from soft drones and tentative piano to, ultimately, the very processed & percussive fourth fragment. Those who've enjoyed these musicians in other contexts, or are interested in Australian improv and electronics, will no doubt enjoy.

Mattia Onori - Spazio Profondo [Southern Lights/Bandcamp]
Out on Friday March 15th from Naarm/Melbourn label Southern Lights is the debut solo album from Berlin-based Italian musician Mattia Onori, who co-runs the Melantónia Collective in Berlin. Tra Vento E Oscurità is an album of sound-art at its most pristine and austere - speech processed into unintelligibility, breath and wind, resonant drones, and perhaps the occasional synth pad floating through these soundscapes. Onori's got a deft touch with organised sound, and takes us deep into the space "Between Wind and Darkness".

Tom Allum - Ø [Tom Allum Bandcamp]
A couple of years ago, I was very impressed by the watery electronics of Western Australian sound-artist Tom Allum on the CANAL ROCKS album released by Boorloo/Perth label Tone List. On his own Bandcamp, Allum has just released Out of Hand, featuring four tracks created for an exhibition by Allum and visual artist & architect Beth George. Drawing machines interact with the sound, and vice versa. Even on its own, the music is immersive, with sounds generated by wavetable synthesis coexisting with recordings of the objects in the space, placed and moving about the stereo soundstage. It makes for gorgeous listening, with the intimacy both of synthesised sounds and of objects in a room, slowly teasing out microscopic melodies and drawn-out rhythms. Listen anywhere, anytime, but consider putting headphones on and turning out the lights.

Ben Frost - Unreal in the Eyes of the Dead [Mute/Bandcamp]
Utility Fog's connection with Iceland-based Aussie composer Ben Frost goes back to the very early days, before Ben left Adelaide and then left Melbourne & Australia altogether (well, he's visited since then). His album By The Throat was UFog's album of the year in 2009. Following his debut on Iceland's Bedroom Community, Theory of Machines, it established Frost as a composer, as well as a master of snarling electronic bass sonics. His latest album Scope Neglect traces a line back to Theory of Machines' sampling of Swans, if not earlier to his Melbourne postrock band School of Emotional Engineering. Guitar riffs and ambient electronics are the scope of Scope Neglect, but here it's metal riffs pared down to their essence and turned machine-like. It can be almost too austere, with none of metal's barely controlled ferocity - not that this isn't deliberate. But I found myself most drawn to the album's final track, in which the riffs have been banished underground, or in the next valley over, leaving the listener with echoes and desolation. There's beauty in that.

Listen again — ~200MB


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