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Utility Fog


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Sunday, 9th of June, 2024

Playlist 09.06.24 (11:00 pm)

Sound-art, experimental song, experimental beats, experimental ambient? Experimental guitar. Yeah, everyone's experimenting.

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Sandy Chamoun - HAWALTOU حاولت [Dreaming Live]
Badawi - Qaher [Dreaming Live]
A week ago, a really big compilation came out from the organisation Dreaming Live, organised by the artist Mayss, in solidarity with Palestine, and calling for a ceasefire, and donating funds to Dr. Ghassan Abu Sittah's Children's Fund. ENOUGH! is 63 tracks long, and covers a range from minimal industrial to dark ambient and noise, deconstructed club to singer-songwriter, with plenty of Arabic artists as well as artists from all around the world. Sandy Chamoun is a wonderful singer & experimental electronic producer, whose track "HAWALTOU حاولت" (meaning "I tried") is a clear highlight. She's also the singer with the incredible postpunk/psych/free-jazz/etc group SAMAN. Without going into all the artists, there's people like Martin Rev of Suicide, ZULI, Jerusalem In My Heart, Sarah Davachi, Larkin Grimm and many others. The second track I played was percussive beats and Shepherd flutes from Badawi, aka Raz Mesinai, who's been involved in multiple music scenes in New York since the '90s, including illbient, reggae/dub, avant-garde composition and rock, and more. His Israeli & Arabic roots have always played a major part in his music, and he's against the occupation and the genocide (see his recent album Sonically Dismantling Western Imperialism). It's great to see him included here.

Tashi Wada - Flame of Perfect Form [RVNG Intl/Bandcamp]
Tashi Wada - What Is Not Strange? [RVNG Intl/Bandcamp]
What Is Not Strange? is the first "real" full-length album from LA-based musician Tashi Wada, even though he's been active in the LA music scene for years, across contemporary composition, ambient/experimental and indie music. The album's very much a family affair, significantly because the album's creation spanned the death of his father, Fluxus member Yoshi Wada, and the birth of his first child with his partner, Julia Holter. Wada appears on Holter's latest album (also released this year), and her voice is found here on some of the strange song-like pieces, but there are also more abstract pieces of burbling electronics, field recordings etc. Wada runs the Saltern label, releasing minimal contemporary classical works, and the breadth of music here might explain why it's come out on the ever-adventurous RVNG Intl. And strange it is, in the best possible way.

Iceboy Violet & Nueen - Through the Fire [Hyperdub/Bandcamp]
Iceboy Violet & Nueen - Slammd (Interlude) [Hyperdub/Bandcamp]
Iceboy Violet & Nueen - Terrences Time Bomb [Hyperdub/Bandcamp]
Like Lila Tirando a Violeta & Sin Maldita, here are two young artists finding success on Hyperdub together. We've heard Iceboy Violet working with the likes of aya, Loraine James (both released on Hyperdub), and they are an excellent producer in their own right as well as rapper/singer. Here they're working with Argentinian-Spanish producer Nueen, who's been released on Balmat and 3XL. So this isn't quite grime or drill, despite its connections to UK hip-hop and bass music; it has a little in common with the experimental r'n'b coming from the likes of Niecy Blues or Liv.e, and certainly is in a similar space to aya's album on Hyperdub, im hole. As much as it's a deep excavation of a now-ended relationship, it's also a powerful expression of the smudged, defocused world we find ourselves in.

Crimewave - Torrent [Notes By Design/Bandcamp]
Released on New York clubmeister Swami Sound's Notes By Design, here's Manchester's Crimewave, also documenting the cold, blurry life of the north (hey I'm in Australia, everything's "the north"). "Torrent" is the Crimewave sound for sure - sidechained shoegaze guitars, sadboy indie vocals, post-garage beats. Hood meets Burial? Don't mind if I do.

bani haykal - SAVE YOUR SPIT FOR THE GRAVE OF YOUR CONSCIENCE [bani haykal Bandcamp]
ANONYMOUS CURSES from Singaporean musician/artist/writer bani haykal is full of eerie, distorted, glitched electronics, crushed percussion, distorted drum machines, and also incisive words, spoken, whispered, growled: whatever it takes. The EP is dedicated to a truth-speaking or prayer/curse-casting against those creating a world of destruction, through colonialism, extractivism, occupation and apartheid. He also links to Gaza Funds, a source for campaigns helping families evacuate to safety. Like a South-East Asian Saul Williams with contemporary electronics, spitting wisdom over technology.

Copper Sounds - Sequenced Ceramics (Memotone's Inebriated Cop Following Suspect Mix) [Copper Sounds Bandcamp]
Bristol-based duo Isaac Stacey and Sonny Lee Lightfoot have been making sounds, since 2015, out of unusual physical objects like copper records, homemade spring reverbs, and notable, specially-produced ceramics which are beautiful sculpted objects in themselves. Although their press mentions club/ambient music, they have generally been more interested in the sonic properties of their objects than the rhytmic potential, at least until new album Sequenced Ceramics. Still, it's far from club music, and even the very creative remixes have pushed into varied directions. Will Yates aka Memotone's work is always going to be cool, and his "Inebriated Cop Following Suspect" remix does evoke a '70s cop-show vibe. Just don't knock over that expensive vase!

FaltyDL - Full Spectrum [Central Processing Unit]
FaltyDL - Further [Central Processing Unit]
Sheffield's CPU Records (aka Central Processing Unit) are a haven for IDM fans, but to my ears it's usually more in the electro or acid areas. Drew Lustman as FaltyDL has explored plenty of acid and rave genres around IDM for over 15 years, and his new album on the label, In The Wake Of Wolves, is no exception in terms of range. Nicely melodic, different BPMs, crisp production, thumbs up.

Toupaz - 891 [Toupaz Bandcamp]
Austrian producer Toupaz works in non-specific BPMs and genres too, but he clearly likes his bass music and his breaks, and his latest EP Frantic Gestures is definitely appropriately named. This may not exactly be jungle, but it has intricate skitteriness in between the beats... Yep, frantic.

al dente - overnight (White Fluff Remix) [Pure Space/al dente Bandcamp/White Fluff Bandcamp]
The Naarm/Melbourne native, but Paris-based producer calling himself al dente just released an EP through Eora/Sydney's Pure Space (helmed by FBi's Andy Garvey). multiform is in that techno-meets-d'n'b space that Pure Space often likes to inhabit, and the most drum'n'bassy track also finds itself remixed by Meanjin/Brisbane bleep enthusiast White Fluff, upping the d'n'b-ism and widening the bass. Lovely.

Aroma Nice - 12 Hours [YUKU/Bandcamp]
For Czech label YUKU, here's UK jungle maniac Aroma Nice with three archival tracks and a remix by his mate Earl Grey (longtime drumfunker/junglist). Proof if we need it, following last year's Lost Realms and this year's Old Haunts, that Luke Fashoni is up there with the best of them in terms of incredibly technical and funky jungle production. Seriously good shit as always.

Duran Duran Duran - Hot Chicken [Woodland Creatures]
Ed Flis as Duran Duran Duran was one of the recurring figures in the breakcore scene from back in 2003 - indeed, if you look back, here he is remixing "Donna Summer" aka Jason Forest on a Utility Fog playlist from way back in November 2003. Supernatural Beast City, his new album on Berlin's Woodland Creatures, has some hallmarks of breakcore, but filtered through the somewhat more nuanced beat-crafting and production of today's nu-skool jungle and yesterday's jungle tekno. Great stuff.

Kop-Z - Fading Light Above Us All (Fanu Remix) [Pinecone Moonshine/Bandcamp]
The Pinecone Moonshine label, based in Portland Oregon and run by Nic TVG, is a haven for drumfunk and more experimental beat-messing. There are always remixes either as part of the releases or on their own - like here, the Remixes IV compilation which lets loose 12 artists on the Pinecone Moonshine discography, even including some more ambient or lower tempo things. Finland's Fanu is always super high quality of course (he's also a certified Ableton trainer and there are heaps of great videos on his Patreon for producers). Here he's putting his own take on a track from UK producer Kop-Z.

Xylitol - Okko [Planet µ/Bandcamp]
One of the best decisions of Planet µ recently (and they're one of my favourite record labels) was the signing of Catherine Backhouse aka Xylitol, who's been around the UK experimental electronic scene for well nigh a couple of decades, making minimal house, synth-pop, ambient, who knows what else. She DJs under the name DJ Bunnyhausen, and is something of an expert on Eastern European pop and electronica. And we're fortunate that right now she's focused on jungle and garage, so the frequently epic tracks on her Anemones album are full of clattering, ever-changing breaks and pretty melodies. This is single #2 (the first is 9:33 long!), with the rest of the album following in early July.

L'Église du Mouvement Péristaltique Inversé - Triptyques de monarques assis [L'Église du Mouvement Péristaltique Inversé Bandcamp]
Their name's a mouthful even in French I guess... L'Église du Mouvement Péristaltique Inversé is The Church of Reverse Peristaltic Motion (aka Retroperistalsis, generally a precursor to vomiting), and that gives you a bit of an idea of where they're coming from - dark but darkly comedic. They call their genre "cold pop", and certainly there's new wave & postpunk in there with krautrock and of course French chanson. This is their second album, following their self-titled album released in *checks notes*... 2001. Basically the French do things their own way, and long may they continue!

KMRU - Natur (extract) [Touch/will be at Bandcamp]
We've got the collab between Joseph Kamaru aka KMRU and Kevin Richard Martin coming soon, but in the meantime the great Touch label, home to much field recording, ambient, glitch and other experimental music, announced a new album from KMRU called Natur. It's a stunning single piece almost 53 minutes long, but I've got a 8½ minute excerpt to play you tonight. Kamaru is from Nairobi, where he was forever surrounded by the sounds of nature as well as urban sounds; when he moved to Berlin, he found it comparatively silent, with nature's sounds swamped by the built-up city. Since 2022, Natur has been a staple of his live set (I'm guessing it's what we heard at Dark Mofo last year?), so it's been honed to perfection, with sizzling drone-noise generated by electromagnetic microphones, and field recordings of "nature" creeping in at times. Beautifully crafted, it's not to be missed.

Mark Templeton - Relaxations [enmossed/Bandcamp]
Mark Templeton - White Ink [enmossed/Bandcamp]
Canadian media artist Mark Templeton has been making idiosyncratic sound-art (and matching visual material) since at least 2007, pushing out a few releases every couple of years. By my calculations, this is his first since a couple of releases in 2021, and there will be at least one other this year. Inner Light, released on enmossed, deconstructs '70s & '80s ideas of ambient music (meditation tapes found in a church library), warping and disintegrating the original sources, and further manipulating them with digital edits. It's as good a place as any to start with Templeton, and there's a lot more to explore on his Bandcamp.

Luca Perciballi - Sacred Habits V [Kohlhass/Bandcamp]
Luca Perciballi - Sacred Habits VIII [Kohlhass/Bandcamp]
For Luca Perciballi, music and composition starts from performance, and on Sacred Habits he's pushing the limits of what one performer can do with an electric guitar, extending the sound-generation with preparations on the guitar and even the speakers, and using foot percussion and other objects. Despite this, the music is not cluttered, usually focusing in on some particular approach and then expanding out from there. For an experimental work with few melodies or riffs, it's quite gripping listening, never slipping into the background or becoming overly abstract.

Helvetica Noise - How to Listen To Storms [Helvetica Noise Bandcamp]
Eora/Sydney trio Helvetica Noise combine spoken word (Aviva Shifreen) along with synths (Genevieve Von Black) and other noisemakers (Matthew Syres) in their first available track. Part psych/kraut, part drone/noise, it's a vivid evocation of a deluge. (Just noting that I played an edit of the full track, which is almost 10 minutes long!)

Kate Carr - One piece of cake (a banana cake), and remembered excavations [Persistence of Sound/Bandcamp]
Kate Carr - Crossing the river: I am getting hungry and lots of people are talking about food. Also Jesus loves me [Persistence of Sound/Bandcamp]
Eora/Sydney sound-artist Kate Carr has lived in London for quite a while now, basing her excellent Flaming Pines out of there too. She is one of the most creative artists working with field recordings at the moment, and her latest album Midsummer, London covers a day travelling across the city on the longest day of the year, taking in recordings of trains, traffic, people and wildlife. It's one long work but the track titles give us a lovely insight into her journey. They're not necessary, though, to enjoy the reconstructed journey and the subtle & clever interplay of field recordings and music.

France Jobin + Yamil Rezc - Cómo IIego aqui? [LINE/Bandcamp]
Canadian sound-artist France Jobin has recently been found on ROOM40, and a few years ago had a beautiful release on Editions Mego called Death is perfection, everything else is relative, including a gorgeous collaboration with Klara Lewis. Here she has put together a collaboration with Mexican composer Yamil Rezc, who also makes experimental electronic music as Transgresorcorruptor. Their album Un d​í​a en México was indeed created on one day in Mexico City - well, initially, after which it was edited & refined over the following year. The three tracks - ranging from 5 mins to 10 mins to 30 mins - are beautifully detailed drone works, usually with at least two voices combining in spacious production.

Listen again — ~205MB


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