Singular interpretations of pop & songwriting tonight, taking in folk, disco, krautrock, industrial & more, as well as some glitchy and leftfield electronic music of various types.
Lost Girls – Drive [Smalltown Supersound/Lost Girls Bandcamp]
Some years ago, not long after Jenny Hval released her first solo album after the wonderful Rockettothesky albums, she put out a duo album as Nude on Sand with fellow Norwegian musician Håvard Volden. Now she’s teamed up with Volden again (he also plays in her solo band), this time as Lost Girls. The Nude on Sand arrangements were intentionally sparse and fairly acoustic, but the two long tracks making up Lost Girls’ debut EP are slow-burning crescendos – “Drive” builds from simple programmed drums, drones & spoken word into a big, head-nodding piece of space rock meets slow disco. Beautiful.
Björk – Arisen My Senses (Kelly Lee Owen Remix) [One Little Indian]
Lost Girls’ labelmate on Smalltown Supersound, Kelly Lee Owen (who featured Jenny Hval on her debut album), is one of the first batch of artists remixing Björk from her Utopia album. The inspired choices – the others are hot young techno/idm artist Lanark Artefax and footwork iconoclast Jlin – turn in very nice efforts, but it’s the slow nod and chopping up & layering of the vocals in this track that drew me in. Also inspired is the introduction of the harp and its slow fade-out in the outro.
Sunna – Hero Slave [Sunna Bandcamp]
A couple of weeks ago we heard a track from young Icelandic musician Sunna featured on the latest Wire Tapper compilation from The Wire. On her debut single as there, the vocals are layered & pitch-shifted, with a nice bass-heavy, shuffling beat and a very catch melody. Need more…
Ptwiggs & Grasps_ – ETERNAL [ETERNAL]Asio Otus & GYUR – druidism [ETERNAL]
Sydney electronic producers Phoebe Twiggs & Grasps_ put together ETERNAL last year, launched with a club event in Sydney featuring people like Marcus Whale (appearing on this compilation as marcus (not singing)) and others – but their debut compilation as a label, ETERNAL 001 (released unconventionally on SoundCloud with full WAV downloads of all tracks) features artists from all over the world. It spans heavy industrial techno, bass music, ambient and vaporwave, and it’s very good.
Seth Graham – Binary Tapioca [Orange Milk Records]Seth Graham – Whisper Slap [Orange Milk Records]Orange Milk co-founder Seth Graham has released his new album Gasp via that label, Noumenal Loom and his own Bandcamp, and it’s a corker – a bizarre facsimile of modern classical music, made up of micro-samples perfectly reconstructed.
Hanz – Psychic Dog [Tri-Angle Records]Hanz – Dues (Version 2) [Hanz Bandcamp]Hanz – Plasty [Tri-Angle Records]Hanz – Clutched [Tri-Angle Records]
Exactly a month ago, we heard Hanz aka Brandon Juhans’ first EP of 2018, Plasty I. He’s just released Plasty II, which is slightly less manic than the first (see quasi-title track “Plasty” played tonight for that sped-up hip-hop-tronica). Equally dense, the new EP tends to keep things at hip-hop tempo, and still very strange – check out the binaural beats on “Clutched” for instance. From 2017, “Dues (Version 2)” walks a similar weird-hop path.
Lana Del Rabies – Submberged [Deathbomb Arc]Lana Del Rabies – Weren’t u Asking For it [Lana Del Rabies Bandcamp]Nicole Dollanganger – Chapel (Regret remix by Lana Del Rabies) [Lana Del Rabies Bandcamp]Lana Del Rabies – The Empty Mantra [Deathbomb Arc]
Phoenix artist Sam An records under the unholy moniker of Lana Del Rabies, variously described as extreme noise (which it is sometimes), industrial and darkwave. She’s released by the excellent Californian label Deathbomb Arc (linked with metal, noise & hip-hop artists like Clipping.), who’ve just put out her new album, Shadow World, which really ought to blow up any minute. A heavy artistic statement with songs buried under distortion, loops and beats, it’s her strongest work yet – and that’s saying something. From 2016 we took a couple of tracks from a release capturing demos from 2014 & 2015, which she describes as a pretty dark time. The excellently titled Starving Escape Artist EP also features her remix of Canadian darkwave/shoegaze/indie artist Nicole Dollanganger (who I heard last year collaborating with hardcore monsters Full of Hell). Get with it.
Allenheimer – Hazenmaschine [Unfiled]Allenheimer – Megas [Unfiled]
Like Sunna above, I discovered Icelandic producer Atli Bollason’s Allenheimer project via the latest Wire Tapper compilation, which featured the first track here, a lovely piece of slow-growing ambient which crescendos into a disturbing digital glitch. Granular micro-sampling is all over this EP, with chopped samples of Icelandic pop songs and field recordings brushing shoulders with electronic beats. A really nice debut.
Richard Youngs – Nebulosity [O Genesis]Richard Youngs – Bewilderment [O Genesis]Richard Youngs – Once It Was Autumn [Jagjaguwar]Richard Youngs – I Am The Weather [Jagjaguwar]Richard Youngs – Oh Reality [Sonic Oyster Records]Richard Youngs – where are you going to get your luck from? feat. Sorley Youngs [Glass Redux]Richard Youngs – In Another Fog [O Genesis]
It’s somewhat strange to find Richard Youngs being released on the label run by Tim Burgess of The Charlatans, but Belief is one of his most “pop” albums in a while – for rather weird values of pop. Apparently he built it up out of skeleton structures of (other people’s) pop songs made on drum machines, but they’re imbued with his very English oddness, as well as his very English talent for transcendently beautiful songwriting. Frequent visitor to UFog playlists Daniel O’Sullivan, himself an explorer of English musical weirdness, introduced Youngs’ music to Tim Burgess and so here we are. Youngs is equally known for his very experimental music, often in collaboration with like-minded artists. I’ve been a fan for some years, and it’s nice to revisit some of his more song-oriented material in tonight’s special. From the stellar series of albums released by Jagjaguwar we dipped into The Naïve Shaman and Autumn Response, and then we heard from another almost-pop album, Beyond the Valley of Ultra-Hits. And from 2016’s the rest is scenery we heard an amazing piece of arcane folk-jazz-rock featuring the wise-before-his-time vocals of Youngs’ son Sorley.
This is an Australian track.
This is a local artist.