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Podcast Episode 336: December 5, 2016

Glenn JonesGlenn Jones is the guest for this episode of the Brainwashed Radio Podcast Edition. We hear music from his latest album, Fleeting, as well as the remastered edition of his debut solo LP, This Is The Wind That Blows It Out. Other music includes Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings, Dean McPhee, Jack Rose, and B/B/S/.

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1996 Annual Readers Poll: Voting Round Open!

Lets Vote!!!

In 1996, ISDN seemed like a great idea. So did the Macarena!

Let's vote in the 1996 Brainwashed Readers Poll! Voting round is open for 1 week and will close Sunday, December 11th. Results will be posted shortly thereafter.

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The 2016 Readers Poll is on the horizon, and our staff is meticulously working on it currently so stay tuned for that one. Thanks again for your participation in these things.


Forced Exposure New Releases for 12/5/2016

New music is due from Schnitzl, Exploded View, and Fluxion, while old music is due from Merzbow, Jay Dee, and Slapp Happy (with Faust).


Croatian Amor, "Love Means Taking Action"

cover imageI am not sure if I am very late to the party on Croatian Amor or unintentionally getting in at exactly the right time, but Loke Rahbek's latest album has sneakily become one of my favorite releases of the year.  I suspect I would have missed Love Means Taking Action entirely had it not been co-released on Luke Younger's largely unerring Alter imprint, as Rahbek seems to have built a career out of being a shape-shifting enigma, leaving a large and varied discography of noise, power electronics, black metal, and dark wave behind him, most of which has surfaced on his own excellent Copenhagen-based Posh Isolation label (though he has also turned up in few Sacred Bones acts as well).  Also significant: Croatian Amor releases generally tend to have some kind of half-pornographic/half-conceptual motif suggestive of more harsh quasi-industrial fare.  As a result, I was quite surprised to discover that Love Means Taking Action most closely resembles the genre-fluid and dreamy Romanticism of prime This Mortal Coil.  It is anything but a nostalgic pastiche though, as Rahbek manages to capture the elusive feel of those albums while still doing something quite unusual and unique.


"Devon Folklore Tapes Volume V: Ornithology"

cover imageFolklore Tapes has quietly been one of the most singular and fascinating labels around for the last several years, a secret that they have managed to keep fairly well-concealed with their hyper-limited, hand-made and elaborate editions that tend to disappear quite quickly.  A handful of them eventually surface on Bandcamp, but most do not: Folklore Tapes releases are nothing if not elusive and ephemeral.  Thankfully, some of the more classic releases gradually get reissued, such as this one (which had an initial run of just 30).  This considerably larger (and newly vinyl-ized) reissue has an interesting twist, however, as the lengthy Children of Alice piece from the original has been replaced by three atypical new pieces from guitarist Dean McPhee.  Given that Children of Alice is comprised of the surviving members of Broadcast, that news will likely break a few hearts, but the two playfully hallucinatory soundscapes from the mysterious Mary Arches scratch quite a similar itch.


Gareth Dickson, "Orwell Court"

cover imageThe exquisitely curated 12k label has always had a diverse roster, but Gareth Dickson may be the most "out there" artist to be working with the label.  In this case, it is because his acoustic guitar and vocal work is so much more along the lines of conventional singer-songwriter when placed aside the label's otherwise more electronic and abstract catalogue.  However, Dickson's work has an understated complexity and depth that makes it a perfect fit for the label. And furthermore, this is another excellent work from this Scottish artist.


Svarte Greiner, "Moss Garden"

cover imageErik Skodvin is having quite an atypically prolific year, following up a stellar B/B/S/ album and the much-anticipated reissue of Deaf Center's debut with the return of his Svarte Greiner guise.  As with all Skodvin projects, Moss Garden is quite a dark and quietly heavy affair, but it is a bit more abstract, mysterious, and longform than much of his other output.  While Skodvin's eerie Ebow work is sometimes recognizable amidst the brooding murk and seismic shudders, Moss Garden works best when it is just a billowing black cloud of seething menace.


Machinefabriek, "Crumble"

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Late last year, Rutger Zuyderveldt teamed up with violinist Anne Bakker for the brilliantly tense, nerve-jangling, and unique Deining EP.  Naturally, when I learned that Bakker had returned to the Machinefabriek fold for an even longer work, I had to hear it.  As it turns out, however, Crumble is absolutely nothing like its predecessor at all.  Part of that is certainly due to the additional presence of vocalist Edita Karkoschka, but (as with Deining) it is ultimately Zuyderveldt that pieces everything together in service of his vision.  That vision, in this case, is quite a bizarre one, quixotically cramming gorgeous neo-classicism, sultry vocals, spiritual-sounding reveries, and a whole lot of harsh noise into a single longform piece.  As a whole, it seems a bit maniacally over-ambitious and fragmented to me, but it definitely contains a handful of wonderful moments.


Reinier van Houdt, "Paths of the Errant Gaze"

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This Dutch pianist first crossed my path as part of the murderers' row of unusual contributors to Current 93's I Am The Last of All The Field That Fell, an event that would easily be the high point of most musicians' careers.  In Van Houdt's case, however, it was merely the most recent of a long string of interesting and provocative ventures, as his prominent role in the avant-garde community has led to participation in all kinds of important premiers and work with titans such as Luc Ferrari and John Cage.  As such, it is a bit surprising that his first solo album would surface on the rather post-industrial-centric Hallow Ground imprint.  That was quite a bit less surprising when I actually heard it though, as Van Houdt largely casts aside his background as a classical pianist to explore the darker electronic fringes as well as tortured theatricality a la Scott Walker.  Naturally, some veins are more compelling than others, but Paths of the Errant Gaze is certainly a strange and fascinating journey.


Ian William Craig, "Centres"

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It has taken me an embarrassingly long time to finally acknowledge the sublime brilliance of Vancouver-based polymath Ian William Craig, but he certainly has not made it easy, as every album that I have heard from him seems to showcase a new facet of his elusive aesthetic (classical pianist, distressed tape experimenter, instrument builder, the next Tim Hecker, hallucinatory hymnal composer, etc.).  Also, much of his best work was quietly released in limited vinyl editions on Sean McCann’s Recital Program imprint (and the stellar Heretic Surface does not even appear in Discogs), so it was easy to miss.  With his latest release, however, Craig seems poised to breakthrough to a larger audience.  At the very least, Centres is certainly a creative breakthrough, expertly weaving together several different experimental and esoteric threads into an excellent batch of actual songs with hooks.  If it is possible to make a largely guitar-free classic shoegaze album, Craig has done it with Centres.


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Gjöll, "Way Through Zero"
Dedicated to “individuals who burn the flags of nations,” Gjöll’s debut is a concept album in five parts about a character’s anger arising from the state of today’s materialist society, blaming its oppressive politicians and advertisers alike. Dark and brooding, the album is heavy on atmosphere that’s perforated by bleak lyrics.
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