Going all-out tonight, from folktronica to minimal techno to industrial techno and contemporary junglism...
Tunng - Pool Beneath The Pond [Full Time Hobby/Tunng Bandcamp, originally Static Caravan]Tunng - Magpie Bites [Full Time Hobby/Tunng Bandcamp, originally Nowhere Fast Records]Tunng - little king (feat. Summit) [disco_r.dance]Tunng - Peanuts [Full Time Hobby/Tunng Bandcamp, originally The Great Pop Supplement]
All things considered, Tunng are one of the ur-bands for Utility Fog. The show already existed when their first 7" came out, but their music became a staple on the show for a good few years after I discovered that piece of arcane English folk-meets-glitchy electronica. So it's rather nice that they've just released a collection of rarities, b-sides, compilation tracks & unreleased bits & bobs called this is... tunng (magpie bites and other cuts). The b-side of "Tale From Black", that original classic, is the first cut I've taken tonight, followed by the lovely semi-title-track of the anthology, "Magpie Bites", which came out the following year and was played a pile of times as well. I couldn't resist dropping in one track which didn't make it on to this collection - a long-time favourite, "little king" is a collaboration with trip-hoppers Summit, and maybe it's not pure Tunng enough to appear (although one third of Summit, Phil Winter, later joined Tunng, or perhaps already had by 2006). Finally, from 2007, we hear "Peanuts", another big fave in these parts which appeared on a weird-folk 12" from The Great Pop Supplement called It Happened On A Day. Another stomping, chanting bit of English folk, with reversed acoustic instruments, fun production but ultimately just a great piece of songwriting.
Thom Yorke - Not the News [XL/Thom Yorke]Thom Yorke - The Axe [XL/Thom Yorke]
Always worth a listen to new work from Thom Yorke, and this one takes off from where Tomorrow's Modern Boxes brought him, heavily influenced by the contemporary beat-makers he & Radiohead have enlisted over the last decade to remix their music, with hypnotic, repetitive refrains, programmed beats and lots of electronics. It actually sounds a lot like the Atoms For Peace stuff. There's a theme in there about technology and how it divorces us from reality and emotional connection I think (I haven't seen the accompanying movie made with Paul Thomas Anderson yet).
Modeselektor & Thom Yorke - The White Flash (Robags Vatimafonkk Rekksmow) (excerpt) [Pampa]Robag Wruhme - Komalh [Pampa]Robag Wruhme - Nata Alma (feat. Sidsel Endresen & Bugge Wesseltoft) [Pampa]
The first track of this batch is there as a sweet segue from Thom Yorke into Robag Wruhme, via Robag's "Vatimafonkk Rekksmow" of a lovely old tune from Modeselektor featuring Thom. It takes the head-nodding techno-funk of the original and ratchets up the 4/4 beats and also the vocal layering & repetition in typical musical, minimal techno Robag fashion. Robag Wruhme is Gabor Schablitzki, who came to enormous fame as part of the DJ duo Wighnomy Brothers (which on record was just him) and then as Robag Wruhme, doing deep, minimal techno & house, and remixing everyone left, right & centre into this sound he made his own. But prior to that he was part of the legendary, take-no-prisoners idm/acid/drill'n'bass duo Beefcake, and that's where I first became a fan. It took me ages to warm to this 4/4 incarnation, but these days I love his work, and the last couple of albums (with a long time in between) are just gorgeous pieces of subtle, soulful headmusik for late-night dancefloors.
CORIN - The New Flesh [Bedouin Records/Bandcamp]CORIN - Morning [originally self-released on Deluge EP; track available on Skydreams Bandcamp]CORIN - Ingest [Bedouin Records/Bandcamp]CORIN - Rivalry [Bedouin Records/Bandcamp]
Melbourne artist Corin Ileto released her debut EP while based in Sydney in 2014 (we heard the beautiful ambient track "Morning" tonight). Since moving to Melbourne she's put together an impressive body of work, including collaborations with ju ca (Justin Cantrell) that have been released internationally, so it's really nice seeing this new album come out on the amazing Bedouin Records (for context, the previous release on the label was from Zomby). A tribute to cyberpunk via a reconciliation of dystopia and utopia, that I hear as absorbing and inverting cyberpunk's orientalist fetishism and its often casual misogyny while making nods to both vaporwave trends and industrial techno.
S S S S - Deserter [Präsens Editionen/Bandcamp]S S S S - Information [Hallow Ground/S S S S Bandcamp]S S S S - Anywhere Is Better Than Here [Präsens Editionen/Bandcamp]
Samuel Savenberg's S S S S already released an EP this year on Haunter Records but for his debut full-length album (strange to say, given how much music he's released in the last few years) he's bringing it back to his hometown of Lucerne, Switzerland with notable label Präsens Editionen. The album Walls, Corridors, Baffles continues the disquieting industrial techno & dark ambient of his previous releases, perhaps turning things a little more widescreen, and incorporating more acoustic instruments & sounds. For the all the power and clanging noise of "industrial techno", I feel that Savenberg, in his more technoey and more ambient moments, captures something of the wrongness and disturbing nature of industrial music better than most.
Torn - Escape [Weaponry]
Continuing in the dark and heavy theme, here we have a new EP from Russian drum'n'bass artist Torn, released on the label run by Seattle's Homemade Weapons. Like the label boss, Torn re-tools jungle/drum'n'bass for a post-dubstep world. It's not tech-step, and it's not usually mashed breaks (although both producers have chops in that regard), but it's got heaps of energy and heaps of low end pulse. The tribal-meets-jungle programming on this track is really something, mind you.
SDEM - Pranging [Opal Tapes]
Tom Knapp aka SDEM has been making idm & experimental electronic music for a long time, under various guises and in various groups. He also co-runs or co-ran the Icasea label and group, that put out a massive idm-hero-packed comp after the Japanese earthquake/tsunami in 2011. "Is bacterial a genre? Can you imagine it?" asks the label. After these tracks, I daresay I can...
R - Mind Hunters [Opal Tapes]Basic House - Sleeping Sickness [Opal Tapes]
Finishing up with a couple of tunes from the brilliant new compilation from Opal Tapes, which is their 150th(!) catalogue number. Amateur Vampires features many great names from the label, including Sote, and I plan to revisit it next week. Tonight we heard some dark electronics with smatterings of jungle breaks from the mysterious R(the label aren't giving much away, but they've been on a couple of compilations). Closing the compilation is a track from Opal Tapes boss Stephen Bishop aka Basic House, a gorgeous piece of contemplative piano and noises.
This is an Australian track.
This is a local artist.