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Episode 449: January 26, 2019

picture in Paris by DiemoBrainwashed Radio: The Podcast Edition is live with episode 449!

Twelve tasty tunes are waiting for you from Einstürzende Neubauten, Joseph Allred, Trilok Gurtu, Midwife, Lightning Bolt, Borusiade, Midori Hirano, Alvie Self, DEF, The Ugly Things, Nick Malkin, and Nicole Oberle

Thanks to Diemo for the picture taken in Paris.

NOW AVAILABLE through SPOTIFY and AMAZON (links below) in addition to the other platforms.

Review, share, rate, tell your friends, send images!

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Forced Exposure New Releases for Week of 1/27/2020

New music is due from Controlled Death, Ivar Grydeland & Henry Kaiser, and Arandel, while old music is due from Akiko Yano, Lydia Lunch & Rowland S. Howard Bridget St. John, and Henry Cow.

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Big Blood, "Deep Maine"

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I was starting to get a little worried about Big Blood, as they went almost all of 2019 without releasing any new music.  Thankfully, however, they were just quietly amassing material for not one but TWO new albums to be released in rapid succession.  The first of the pair is this one, a self-released duo recording that surfaced digitally at the end of December.  Obviously, they chose to give the more rocking family affair Do You Want to Have A Skeleton Dream? the more high-profile release, but that does not necessarily mean that that album got all the best songs.  In fact, there are a couple of absolutely beautiful pieces on this more modest, stripped-down and fitfully ballad-centered release.  Consequently, I have no doubt that there will someday be a deluxe reissue in Deep Maine's future, as it certainly deserves it.  Until then, however, "A Message Sent" is an instant classic no matter which format it appears in.

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Daniel Menche, "Melting Gravity"

cover imageCompared to his last release on the SIGE label, the three CD Sleeper, Melting Gravity is a much tighter affair:  a single LP with two side-long pieces.  Unsurprisingly then, Menche stays more stylistically focused, and surprisingly creates some of the most musical sounding work yet.  Most definitely not a full on noise work, but also more varied and dynamic than his more ambient works, it is yet another unique work from one of the most unique artists currently active.

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Celer, "Future Predictions"

cover imageExplaining why one Celer album is significantly better than another is no simple task, as Will Long is generally an extremely consistent artist who has released a huge volume of warmly lovely, loop-based ambient drone albums.  Consequently, it is dangerously easy to take his artistry for granted, as a casual listener would not be crazy for finding a lot of Celer's oeuvre relatively interchangeable.  From my perspective, however, Celer can be viewed as Long's tireless and Romantic quest to conjure up fragments of melody so achingly sublime that they can be looped into infinity.  In that regard, Long has rarely come closer to realizing that dream than he does on Future Predictions.  These four lengthy compositions capture Long at the absolute peak of his powers, resulting in the rarest of achievements: a 2+ hour album that leaves me wanting more and regularly inspires me to start it all over again as soon as it ends.

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2019 Readers Poll: The Results

Thanks again to everyone who participated in the nomination and voting rounds of this year's annual readers poll.

All the best wishes for 2020!

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Vaughan Oliver, 1957-2019

It is impossible to estimate the impact Vaughan Oliver had on the importance of the intersection between music and visual arts. Throughout his years at 23 Envelope, Oliver was responsible for the artwork and art direction of most 4AD releases along with Chris Bigg. While based in the UK, 4AD had the occasional support of radio, magazines, and promotional campaigns but overseas, most people had only the record cover artwork to go on. The stunning visuals of the 4AD catalog were enough to stop, pause, and appreciate while flipping through records down at the local shop. Over the years of the music industry downsizing, graphic downsizing, and rise of digital media and international communication, album cover art became less of a factor with music. The vinyl renaissance over the last few years, however, have sparked a renewed appreciation for art and Vaughan Oliver is often at the tops of everyone's lists of artists.

4AD founder Ivo Watts-Russell has paid tribute at 4AD.com.

Our hearts go out to Vaughan's friends and family. He will be sorely missed.

 

Envenomist/Murderous Vision, "Liminal Presence", Murderous Vision, "Surface Bone"

cover image With these two new releases recorded and released in 2019, Stephen Petrus's long running noise/death industrial/ambient/whatever project continues to be productive and constantly evolving, demonstrating his wide array of influences and talents.  Here are two distinctly different sounding discs, one a shared release with fellow dark synth fan David Reed (also a member of Nightmares), and the second featuring Murderous Vision in duo configuration with the addition of Jeff Curtis on bass.  Each of the discs are remarkable, and exemplify just how much versatility there is in Petrus's work.

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Rrose, "Hymn to Moisture"

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I suppose I have been probably been aware of Rrose since the project first appeared back in 2011, but the electronic music scene is teeming with hot new trends and hip new producers that come and go all the time and I lack the time and will to keep up with them all.  If someone is doing something genuinely interesting, I tend to find out about it eventually and I can live with being a little late to the party.  That said, there were obviously some signs that Rrose was different right from the start (the mysterious alter ego, the nod to Marcel Duchamp, etc.).  It was not until she recorded a James Tenney piece, however, that I realized that this project was something considerably weirder and more ambitious than I would ever have expected.  Happily, Rrose's trajectory has only gotten more unpredictable and intriguing since, arguably culminating in a recent collaboration with Charlemagne Palestine.  It was her series of collaborations with Lucy (as The Lotus Eaters and otherwise) that ultimately drew me fully into Rrose's fitfully stellar discography though.  Much to my delight, this debut solo full-length (after nearly a decade of EPs and collaborations) is roughly in the same vein as those Lucy collaborations, as Rrose continues to perfect her potent mix of deep bass, heavy rhythms, and warped, hallucinatory electronics.

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Shasta Cults, "Shasta Cults"

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Shasta Cults' Richard Smith has not been releasing albums for very long, but has been an integral and in-demand figure in synthesizer circles for quite a while due to his singular talent for repairing vintage Buchla gear.  In fact, this project was originally born from recordings that Smith made to demonstrate the various rare synths that wound up in his workshop.  In keeping with that theme, this full-length vinyl debut was composed entirely on the world's sole fully operational Buchla Touché.  That certainly makes this a unique and significant release for vintage synth enthusiasts, but it is also a remarkably excellent and well-crafted album that I can enjoy too.  Whether or not this is the strongest Shasta Cults release to date is up for debate, however, as competition from 2017’s Arguments for Trivialism and 2019's EP is quite fierce.  Each Shasta Cults release has its own distinct character though and the Touché seemed to bring out Smith's warmer, more meditative side, making this release a bit more accessible than the colder, heavier drones of his previous work.

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The Eye: Video of the Day

The Eye: RELOADED!

Ten years ago, Brainwashed.com launched The Eye, one of the first regular music oriented video features online. Over the years, close to 150 mini documentaries were produced from live and interview footage with some of the most innovative acts. In the last few weeks, the videos have been re-visited, re-mastered, and re-presented on YouTube. We're excited for the new resolution, sound, and clarity of these features, along with the portability afforded by YouTube. Over the next few weeks we will be randomly selecting features on the home page here of Brainwashed but you can always  Start at the beginning and see where it takes you!


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Review of the Day

Nonkeen, "The Gamble"

cover imageThis trio featuring ubiquitous pianist Nils Frahm is one of the more pleasant surprises that have come across my path in recent memory, as I expected some sort of bloodless avant-jazz/post-rock hybrid, but was instead treated to quite an innovative and unique album (albeit quite an understated one as well).  I suspect a lot of that success is due to the band's exceedingly unconventional recording process, as they spent 8 years recording, re-recording, editing, recombining, and endlessly tweaking these pieces before finally concluding that The Gamble was finished.  Consequently, whatever these songs sounded like when they were originally played is probably a hell of a lot different from what ultimately wound up here.  To my credit, I was right about this album being a sort of avant-jazz/post-rock hybrid, but all of the instrumentation is so blurred together that The Gamble transcends either genre entirely and instead sounds like a strain of dub techno that is just as influenced by Latin percussion as it is by Jamaican dub. Except when it sounds like the greatest album that Tortoise never recorded.  Or when it sounds like something else entirely.


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