Eclectic mix of sounds tonight, from indiefolk to glitchy r'n'b to avant-garde strings, Middle Eastern electronic and a good slab of drum'n'bass.
Bonniesongs - 123 [Art As Catharsis/Bonniesongs Bandcamp]Bonniesongs - 123 reprise [Art As Catharsis/Bonniesongs Bandcamp]Bonniesongs - Frank [Art As Catharsis/Bonniesongs Bandcamp]
Irish multi-instrumentalist Bonnie Stewart has been based in Sydney for some years now, playing with some pretty experimental folks including noise/experimental duo Rebel Scum and free improv ensemble The Splinter Orchestra. But as Bonniesongs she creates wonderful folky indie songs, often solo with guitar, banjo, and looping & effects pedals. Many of those songs that have been in her live sets for some time now make it on to this album, including creepy Night of the Living Dead tribute "Barbara", and her ode to Frankenstein's monster, "Frank". The album was engineered & produced by the great Sydney partnership of David Trumpmanis and Alyx Dennison. Also notable is the creative cello playing of Freya Schack-Arnott - more cello and other strings coming up later this evening!
Collarbones - Momentary [Collarbones Bandcamp]Collarbones - Kill Off The Vowels [Two Bright Lakes/Collarbones Bandcamp]Collarbones - Turning [Collarbones Bandcamp]Collarbones - Never Giving Up [TEEF]Collarbones - Skylight [Collarbones Bandcamp]Marcus Whale has been appearing on Utility Fog since he was something like 15 years ago, precociously recording experimental multi-tracked creations and sending them into the radio. Sometime before 2009, he met fellow music fan, Adelaidean Travis Cook, on a post-rock forum online, and they started trying their hand at writing r'n'b-inspired pop songs of a sort. They were full of programmed beats and glitchy samples (see "Kill Off The Vowels" from their first album proper). Over the years, their music has in some ways moved more towards pop from the experimental beginnings, but it's fair to say this is as much because pop music has embraced the internet world of broad focus and short attention spans - that is to say, pop has moved towards Collarbones. And that's only a good thing. This new album is perhaps their most explicitly "pop" yet, directly aimed at pop's expressions of longing and desire, celebrating queer crushes and raw emotion. It's got the machine-gun beats of deconstructed club music as well as piano ballads. Rad.
Darcy Baylis - The last time I saw your face or An exercise in forgetting [.jpeg Artefacts]
Melbourne-based musician Darcy Baylis is making a name for himself with trap and r'n'b-influenced emo-rap, but he's a bit of an all-rounder, and a few years ago he composed a string quartet which combines beautifully-arranged strings with some subtle electronics (including a few judicious uses of sub-bass). It's really beautiful and you should get hold of it via .jpeg Artefacts.
Viktor Orri Árnason and Yair Elazar Glotman - Splatters [Bedroom Community]Viktor Orri Árnason and Yair Elazar Glotman - Life [Bedroom Community]
I've played Berlin-based Israeli composer, sound-artist & double-bassist Yair Elazar Glotman a lot on this show, whether his bass/techno-influenced alias KETEV or his sound-art and solo double-bass works under his own name. Lately he has been working on film and other soundtracks in Berlin, and spent some time on some works with Jóhann Jóhannsson before he sadly passed away. Meanwhile, composer and conductor Viktor Orri Árnason has also worked with Jóhannsson, and the pair were even on the same pieces, but didn't meet up until they got together for this extraordinary duo release. It's a bit like a follow-up to the spookily close-mic'd, cavernous 2016 album Études from Glotman, with expansive or fluttering or frantic viola from Árnason. A real meeting of minds, not to be missed.
Oliver Coates - Path In [OOH-sounds/Bandcamp]Oliver Coates - Umbo [OOH-sounds/Bandcamp]
English cellist Oliver Coates is nothing if not versatile, whether he's interpreting contemporary classical works, arranging strings for Radiohead, or working with other innovative artists like Mica Levi. Solo, he is happily jumps between genres, and on this new split release his "side" moves from elegiac cello harmonies through Reichian pop-classical to a finale of processed cello, electronics and breakbeats which gradually gets more rave & idm-influenced as the track goes on. Totally fun and rewarding - and the dub techno flipside from Spatial is great too.
Nima Aghiani - Submit/Defy [Zabte Sote]Nima Aghiani - Ibbothal [PTP]Nima Aghiani - Automaton [Zabte Sote]
Paris-based violinist and noise/electronic musician Nima Aghiani is one half of 9T Antiope, much beloved of this show, but his previous solo release REMS, released by Purple Tape Pedigree, was also one of my favourites of last year. Like that one, this new release merges heavy electronics, occasionally rhythmic, with his string playing - sometimes emotive, sometimes cacophanous. Convergence Zone, released on Sote's home for experimental Iranian music Zabte Sote, explores the convergence of man and machine - what does it mean for our devices to become extensions of ourselves, or for machines to become more or less sentient? Like last year's ruminations of the liminal state between sleep & waking, these concepts are ideal for Aghiani's music, which smudges between organic and electronic, between beauty and noise.
Carl Gari & Abdullah Miniawy - Hela هيلا [Whities]Abdullah Miniawy - Weak filters [Abdullah Miniawy Bandcamp]Abdullah Miniawy - Criteria of good [Abdullah Miniawy Bandcamp]
Last week I featured this amazing collaboration on the show, between German three-piece Carl Gari and France-based Egyptian poet and singer Abdullah Miniawy. In the meantime I've discovered Miniawy's Bandcamp, where he has some surprising productions of his own - great experimental electronic beats, crazy impressive.
HOOVER1 - HOOVER1-3A [nOWTRecordings]
René Pawlowitz is best known for his brilliant techno productions as Shed but there's always been an undercurrent of idm and rave to his tunes. There are in fact one or two drum'n'bass tracks in his discography, but lately he's expanded into a whole tonne of only slightly secret aliases for a set of labels called nOWT, and included are three 12"s now available digitally under the name HOOVER1, in which Pawlowitz lets loose with junglist breaks, albeit in a slightly idiosyncratic manner.
Margari's Kid - Challenger [Cosmic Bridge Records]Vromm - Decentralized [Cosmic Bridge Records]
Jim Coles aka Om Unit didn't plan to be a drum'n'bass don, although he started out as a '90s junglist. He moved into hip-hop and dubstep style beats for some years, but then ended up dropping some stunning jungle tunes on Metalheadz as well as helping shepherd both the crossover of drum'n'bass and dubstep known as slow/fast and also the hybridisation of Chicago footwork productions with drum'n'bass (particularly under his Philip D Kick alias). So now he's been releasing some great music on his Cosmic Bridge Records, including now four Cosmology compilations, each with a good smattering of forward-thinking drum'n'bass producers and Om Unit compadres, and usually a few interesting remixes or collaborations by himself (and this one's no exception - he hooks up with both Synkro and Djrum). I chose a couple of particularly jungly tunes tonight - from two Spanish producers; the usually half-time or slow/fast Vromm, and Bristol-based Margari's Kid.
This is an Australian track.
This is a local artist.