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Podcast Episode 394: October 14, 2018

Oakland Transbay by Tom Brainwashed Radio: The Podcast Edition published first on December 4th, 2004.

We openly challenge you to find a longer-running music podcast.

Episode #394 is now online with new and old music by Amy Douglas, Coil, Suzanne Kraft, Saloli, Malka Spigel, Heather Leigh, Bixiga 70, Stephan Mathieu and Peter Söderberg, Casino Versus Japan, and Zola Jesus.

Photo taken in Oakland, California in the Transbay by Tom.

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Forced Exposure New Releases for 10/14/2018

New music is due from The Residents, She Makes War, and Teresa Winter, while old music is due from Motohiko Hamase, The Beta Band, and Tied & Tickled Trio.


Drew McDowall, "The Third Helix"

cover imageThe trajectory of Drew McDowall’s recent resurgence as a solo artist continues to be a compelling and unpredictable one, as The Third Helix is quite a bit different from either of his previous Dais outings.  If Collapse felt like a lost Coil session and Unnatural Channel felt like a vintage noise tape, Helix feels like the assimilation of those two sides into something more forward-looking and unique.  It does not quite unseat Collapse as my favorite of McDowall's albums, but a couple of pieces easily rank among his finest work to date.  More importantly, the album as a whole cumulatively casts a wonderfully immersive and disorienting spell that is ideal for headphone listening.  This is the first of McDowall's albums that makes me feel like he is currently in the midst of an fresh new creative phase rather than just fleshing out a deep backlog of unreleased material.


Rudolf, "Om Kult - Ritual Practice of Conscious Dying, Vol. 1"

cover imageI have never been all that deeply immersed in the international noise scene, but I have certainly been aware of the scatological insanity of Rudolf for a couple of decades now.  I always viewed his work like an anarcho-punk might have viewed GG Allin: a compelling spectacle, for sure, but in a completely different category than the serious music that truly mattered.  After hearing this singular and bizarrely brilliant mélange of "psychomagick spells and occult yogic instructions," however, I definitely need to go back and cautiously revisit more of's previous ouevre: he clearly grasps something elusive and profound that most other people do not.  This release may be the birth of a transcendent and entirely new phase, however, as has allegedly "conquered the nether scatological regions" and moved onto "psycho-spiritual cleansing rituals."  As a listener, I did not feel particularly psychically cleansed by this album, but I did not feel coated in filth afterwards either, which is an unexpected step in the right direction.  With Om Kult, Rudolf seems to have emerged from the grotesque purification ritual of his previous work as some kind of wild-eyed and uncomfortably intense shaman operating at an unusually high plane of consciousness.


Klara Lewis and Simon Fisher Turner, "Care"

cover imageThe news of this intriguing collaboration delighted me, as Klara Lewis has carved out quite a wonderfully idiosyncratic and incredibly constrained niche over the last few years by largely avoiding any recognizable instrumentation.  Consequently, I had no idea at all what would happen when her surreal collages collided with Simon Fisher Turner's formidable talents as a composer.  As it turns out, a pure collaboration resulted, as Care does not particularly resemble either artist's previous work.  Instead, it feels like several divergent albums have been deconstructed, warped, and obliterated to leave only some lingering shards in a shifting and hallucinatory fantasia of drones, textures, and field recordings.  That fundamental disjointedness can admittedly be a bit challenging at times, but Care ultimately comes together beautifully with the lushly rapturous closer, "Mend."


La Morte Young, "A Quiet - Earthquake Style"

cover imageI am ashamed to say that I slept on this volcanic French ensemble's woefully underappreciated and face-melting debut album when it came out, but I have since embraced them as one of the finest purveyors of squalling guitar noise around.  With this, their second formal full-length, the quintet expand the borders of their expected firestorm into some darker and more idiosyncratic territory.  Such an excursion deeper into the outré is hardly surprising, however, given that Joëlle Vinciarelli collaborated with My Cat is an Alien just a few months before this album was recorded (it is impossible to imagine that anyone could spend time with the Opalio brothers and not emerge with some interesting new ideas about how music can be made).  The results of that evolution are a bit of a mixed success here, as the band's more simmering and lysergic side yields some interesting results, but sacrifices the awesome visceral power of their more explosively kinetic moments.


Tim Hecker, "Konoyo"

cover imageWhile he has long been one of my favorite artists, Tim Hecker has truly blossomed into a creative supernova over the last several years, as each fresh album seems to set a new standard for the state of electronic music.  For the most part, this latest release continues that improbable streak of masterpieces, though Konoyo's vision is radical in a much different way than Love Streams or Virgins.  The raw material was quite a bold departure from the norm, however, as Hecker collaborated with a gagaku ensemble in Tokyo.  Despite the unusual instrumentation and the unexpected participants, Konoyo still sounds perversely like a classic Tim Hecker album, albeit the broken, squirming ruins of one.  I suppose that makes it feel like slightly less of visionary bombshell than some other releases at times, but that is merely because Hecker's focus was on more subtle evolutions this time around, stripping away unnecessary density and adventurously playing with textures and structures to present a hallucinatory masterclass in experimental composition that seethes and churns with dark emotion.


Barnacles, "Air Skin Digger", M.B.+Barnacles, "Sidereal Decomposition Activity"

cover image Barnacles, the (mostly) solo project of Italy’s Matteo Uggeri (also a member of Sparkle in Grey) has released two albums nearly simultaneously, and even though the approach to each are drastically different, the final product is entirely complimentary.  With one culled from source material of previous releases and the other with the legendary experimental Italian artist and composer, there is a wide gamut of sounds here, but one that has the unified focus of Uggeri’s compositional skills.


Orphax, "Saxophone Studies"

cover imageWhile this is improbably the first Orphax release to be covered on Brainwashed, Amsterdam's Sietse van Erve has been a significant figure in experimental music circles for nearly two decades, running the fine Moving Furniture label and organizing events at the STEIM Foundation and elsewhere.  This latest album is kind of a decade-spanning labor of love, as van Erve solicited audio files from a number of planned collaborators back in 2006 for a project that was eventually abandoned.  However, he recently rediscovered some saxophone recordings made by James Fella and decided to revisit them, resulting in the cacophonously brilliant opening piece "JF."  To complement that piece, Sietse then enlisted his father to make some fresh new recordings for him to work his transformative magic upon for a companion piece.  While the two pieces sound quite different from one another, both are compellingly unusual forays into longform drone that lysergically swirl and undulate with vibrant harmonic interplay.


Sean McCann, "Fountains"

cover imageSean McCann's output has greatly slowed in recent years, as he has become increasing focused on running the fine Recital Program imprint, yet he was easily one of the most wildly prolific figures to emerge from the cassette culture explosion of the early 2000s.  As a result, much of his finest work surfaced only ephemerally and many of his early tapes have likely only been heard by the most devoted of Foxy Digitalis readers.  One of countless releases that slipped by me (and presumably lots of other people) was this one, originally issued on cassette and CDR on McCann's earlier Roll Over Rover label back in 2010.  Despite that humble release, Fountains was an ambitious undertaking, as McCann envisioned it as an "ambient masterwork" that would be the debut release for Recital.  He was never quite happy with it though, and moved onto his more orchestral-minded Music for Private Ensemble work instead.  I certainly cannot fault McCann's decision, but he was wrong about one thing: Fountains actually is an ambient masterwork (or at least damn close to one).

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