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Forced Exposure New Releases for 10/12/2015

New music is due from Christina Vantzou, Duane Pitre, and Shape Worship, while old music is due from Pack, Surgeon, and Wolf Eyes.


Nurse With Wound/Blind Cave Salamander, "Cabbalism I, II, & III"

cover imageThis is an expanded reissue of a 2012 album that documented two 2009 live performances in which Nurse With Wound, Julia Kent, and Italy’s Blind Cave Salamander teamed up for an improbable variation/reinterpretation of NWW’s classic Soliloquy for Lilith album (an album that was largely the product of an unexpected and unrepeatable electromagnetic phenomenon).  The expansion in question is a third performance in an identical vein to the previous two.  Notably, however, that vein is not all that much like Soliloquy, which makes Cabbalism something separate and singular rather than just a mere live album.  In fact, it does not even sound much like NWW at all, which I suppose makes this a very successful collaboration.  While the third piece is not nearly divergent enough to warrant repurchasing the album for anyone who pounced on Cabbalism this first time around, the reissue is a very enticing package for those of us who unwisely slept on it.


Leslie Winer/CM von Hauswolff, (1)

cover imageWhat began apparently as an unplanned collaboration between Leslie Winer's text and spoken word with CM von Hausswolff's electronics in 2011 eventually evolved into this full fledged LP release, also Winer's first all original release in 25 years.  The result, (1), is a release that heavily strikes a balance between the two predominant elements, without one ever overshadowing the other.  Winer’s idiosyncratic voice and artistically obtuse writing and von Hausswolff's understated use of electronics blend together wonderfully for this record.


Magnus Granberg, "How Deep is the Ocean, How High is the Sky?"

cover image Magnus Granberg’s fourth composition for Another Timbre—and second album under his own name—borrows its title and some of its musical material from Irving Berlin’s “How Deep is the Ocean,” written in 1932 and recorded through the years by such luminaries as Ella Fitzgerald, Judy Garland, and Julie Andrews. Anyone who just listens to the music, however, might not realize that, because Granberg also looked to Satie’s “Deuxième Préludes du Nazaréen” for rhythmic inspiration. “Nazaréen’s” slow, even movements and muted dynamics are an obvious model for the suspended animation of Granberg’s hazy textures. The link to Berlin’s jazz standard resides less in its melodies and more in its lyrics, which pose a series of questions as an answer to the song’s first line, “How much do I love you?” Nobody sings on How Deep is the Ocean, How High is the Sky?, and it doesn’t pose anything like an obvious question, but the album’s unusual instrumentation and constantly shifting sound chip away at easy musical distinctions in the same manner that Berlin’s lyrics try to answer a question for which words are rarely sufficient.


*AR, "Memorious Earth"

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Now thankfully available digitally (lavish packaging means lavish overseas postage rates), Memorious Earth is the film soundtrack from Richard Skelton and Autumn Richardson’s ambitious recent retrospective that involved a gallery show, a book of writings and photography, and (of course) a film.  While I have not seen the film (it was only included in the extremely limited "archive box"), the album works just fine without its intended visual component, doubling down on the long-form aesthetic of predecessor Diagrams for the Summoning of Wolves for a single 44-minute epic with considerably more success.  In fact, this is exactly the Richard Skelton album that the world needed: there are already plenty of wonderful distillations of his prickly, undulating brilliance around, but now there is a mesmerizing and slow-burning expansion as well.


Sult, "Svimmelhed"

cover image Rhythm is often a matter of togetherness. It binds songs like mortar, measures melody and harmony, marks the entrances and exits of instruments, and draws distant ideas into close proximity, if not for the sake of a single voice, then for the sake of single performance or a unified work. Though they are a quartet of two contrabasses, percussion, and guitar, Sult rejects that mode of timekeeping on Svimmelhed. Repeated patterns and measured distances are supplanted by an anatomical focus, on the particulars of steel and nylon strings, plastic drum heads, and wooden bodies. Sult break the gluey qualities of their instruments into atomic elements, then separate and catalog them like isotopes or tints and shades of a mother color.


Drew McDowall, "Collapse"

cover imageSomehow Drew McDowall has managed to be involved with the most interesting fringes of electronic and experimental music for over three decades without ever stepping into the spotlight himself, most notably working with Psychic TV during their ‘80s heyday and teaming up with Coil throughout the '90s.  Lately, he has mostly been quietly focusing on occasional remixes and soundtrack work, though he intermittently records as half of modular synth duo Compound Eye.  Collapse is a bit of modular synth album too, but it sounds almost nothing like Compound Eye.  Instead, it intermittently sounds like a great unfinished Coil album (when it does not instead sound like a collage experiment or a modular synth improv session).


Rambutan, "Remember Me Now", "Surface Language"

cover imageAs two of the more recent works from the prolific Eric Hardiman (who also performs and records as a member of Century Plants, Twilight of the Century, and a slew of other projects), Remember Me Now and Surface Language are distinctly different facets to the Rambutan project.  The former is a diverse collection of instrumentation and sound, from found processed recordings, improvised percussion and guitar.  The latter, however, has a more consistent focus, built from repeating motifs and loops fitting a more tautly structured composition.  Both, however, capture Hardiman’s penchant for bending objects and instruments into often unexplainable sounds, yet result in nuanced compositions of melody and abstraction.


Robert Piotrowicz, "Stara Szkoła Ze Złota"

cover imagePiotrowicz's newest release is a relatively concise 12" single that hearkens back to his early days in a multitude of ways.  The title itself translates as "Old School Made of Gold" in English, and the two songs included were originally recorded in 2010 and 2011 (but remixed this year).  But even more indicative of its throwback nature is the fact that these two pieces were completely composed on modular synthesizers in a more immediate method of composition, rather than the varying techniques he has used in recent years.  The final product is a single that is reminiscent to some of the earliest work I have heard from him, yet feels entirely fresh and contemporary within his discography.


Carter Tutti Void, "f(x)"

cover imageFour long years after their seismic performance at London’s Short Circuit Festival, Carter Tutti Void have finally returned with their first proper studio album.  Equally noteworthy is that fact that f(x) is the first new music to be released by Industrial Records since 2012's Throbbing Gristle/X-TG swan song Desertshore/The Final Report.  Given those circumstances, it would be hard for any record to live up to the resultant expectations, so it is not especially surprising that f(x) falls a bit short of the mark.  The problem is not that the trio were lacking ideas or inspiration, however: they have just backed themselves into a very constrained stylistic niche that cannot realistically yield multiple albums of compelling material.  That said, f(x) is still quite an enjoyable album, even if it is essentially Transverse Redux (albeit with some of the sharper edges sanded down a bit).

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