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Forced Exposure New Releases for 4/23/2018

New music is due from The Caretaker, Second Woman, and Far Out Monster Disco Orchestra, while old music is due from Dwarves, Mouvements, and Tyndall.

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Anne Guthrie, "Brass Orchids"

cover imageAnne Guthrie's strange and beautiful Codiaeum Variegatum was one of 2014's most delightful surprises, but I was admittedly perplexed by the early samples that I heard from this follow-up.  Brass Orchids is quite a radical departure from its predecessor, as the erstwhile French horn player has now plunged deeply into a hallucinatory miasma of collaged and murky field recordings.  As such, Orchids is quite a challenging and abstract album, but its dense fog of strange textures and found sounds occasionally coheres into something quite compelling and unique.  Also, Guthrie definitely gets points for so boldly swimming against the tide of the experimental music zeitgeist, reminding me favorably of the golden age of the early '80s when serious Italian composers were making bizarre noise tapes.

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Clarice Jensen, "For This From That Will Be Filled"

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I can think of few other artists who have amassed a body of work as impressive as Clarice Jensen before releasing their debut album, as she is the artistic director of the American Contemporary Music Ensemble  (ACME) and has appeared as a cellist on albums by a wide array of great artists (William Basinski, Bjork, and Jóhann Jóhannsson among them).  The late Jóhannsson, in particular, is a solid reference point, as Jensen's vision shares a lot of common ground with Fordlandia's blend of neo-classical grandeur and contemporary experimentation.  In fact, the man himself surfaces here as Jensen's collaborator on the opening "BC," which is one of several intriguing collaborative threads that run throughout the album.  Unsurprisingly, that piece is absolutely gorgeous, yet it is Jensen's two-part solo composition that stands as the stands as the album's towering centerpiece.

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Podcast Episode 383: April 15, 2018

Mary Lattimore Mary Lattimore is the special guest on an all new episode of Brainwashed Radio: The Podcast Edition, available now. Her forthcoming album Hello from the Edge of the Earth is due out on Ghostly May 18th and she will be touring North America extensively beginning in May.

Other music includes new and old stuff from Andrew Chalk & Daisuke Suzuki, Nurse With Wound, Cindy Lee, and Hawthonn.


iTunes Google Play

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Oren Ambarchi, "Grapes From The Estate"

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Newly reissued on his own Black Truffle imprint, this 2004 album (originally released on Touch) stands as one of the most enduring and transcendent gems in Ambarchi's lengthy discography.  Obviously, he has released plenty of interesting and inventive music since, yet his early 2000s Touch albums are the ones that resonate most deeply with me and this one is my favorite.  Grapes From The Estate has a wonderfully languorous and lovely melodic sensibility akin to relative contemporaries like Labradford, yet that is only one of the many threads that Ambarchi pulls into this quietly visionary suite.  Part of me wishes Oren would someday return to something resembling the languid, sun-dappled beauty of this era, but I would be hard-pressed to come up with a valid artistic reason for him to do so, as I cannot imagine a more perfect distillation of this aesthetic vein being possible.  Almost 15 years later, Grapes still sounds like a wonderfully distinctive, absorbing, and unrepeatable convergence of vision, inspiration, and execution.

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Bruce Gilbert, "Ex Nihilo"

cover imageRemarkably, this is the first Bruce Gilbert solo album that I have ever heard in its entirety and I was pleasantly surprised to discover that it is radically different from any of his other work that I have encountered: it is clear that I woefully underestimated the depth and breadth of the Gilbert oeuvre.  This latest release continues to delve deeper into the coldly futuristic and menacing vein of his previous Editions Mego album (2009's Oblivio Agitatum), yet does so in wonderfully explosive and visceral fashion.  Ex Nihilo feels like the soundtrack for a bleakly alienating dystopian city of endless metal and neon, composed by a cyborg with a fairly hostile disposition.  Those hoping for any trace of melody or tenderness in Gilbert's industrial dread should probably skip this one, but there is definitely a gleaming, inhuman majesty to these grinding and throbbing soundscapes.

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Roberto Opalio, "Once you'll touch the sky you will never return to dust"

cover imageSeemingly birthed from the same fascination with vinyl surface noise as The Sky With Broken Arms, Roberto Opalio's solo companion piece is perhaps even more unique and consciousness-expanding than its sister.  It is also unexpectedly varied and weirdly beautiful at times, blurring together the usual deep-space lysergia with viscerally unnerving dissonances and hypnotically looping crackles and pops.  While those added touches certainly delight me, this album is unmistakably and absolutely Opalio-esque to its core, standing as one of the most sharply realized and distilled releases in the MCIAA oeuvre.  If The Sky With Broken Arms is a brief glimpse into a hypnotically otherworldly scene, Once You'll Touch The Sky is a phantasmal travelogue of the troubled dreams that follow in its wake.

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Taylor Deupree, "Fallen"

cover image For his first solo album on a label other than his own for quite some time (although 12k and Spekk could almost be siblings in the world of record labels), Fallen features the prolific sound artist turning his focus to beautifully understated sounds to the piano, culminating in eight songs of delicate and pensive tones, with the focus shifting between the pure sounds of the instrument to gorgeous production and back again.

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Ashley Paul, "Lost in Shadows"

cover imageIt has been roughly four years since Ashley Paul's last album and I was beginning to despair, but she has been busy moving to London and becoming a mother.  While the latter is not particularly conducive to tirelessly crafting brilliant experimental music, she somehow still managed to compose her finest album to date during a brief residency in Spain.  Characteristically, the pointillist, prickly dissonance of Jandek is probably the nearest touchstone, yet Paul radically transforms that stark foundation into something sensuous and eerily beautiful (sometimes even embellishing it with perversely festive splashes of color).   In fact, a few pieces even sound like grotesque caricatures of nursery rhymes (Paul’s baby was perhaps a subconscious and subversive muse), which only deepens Lost in Shadows' dreamily wraithlike and otherworldly spell.  While it can definitely be a challenging, dissonant, and disturbing listen at times, Shadows is unquestionably Paul's masterpiece.

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Luciernaga, "It Takes Strength to be Gentle and Kind"

cover image Joao Da Silva’s latest release under his Luciernaga guise was a quickly made work, but that is anything but apparent from the contents.  The tape, recorded this past winter, is an excellent summation of the work Da Silva has been involved with for the past eight years, with some additional and unexpected twists and turns along the way.  Rich electronics, unconventional guitar, and lush production all define this latest entry in the growing Luciernaga discography.

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The Eye: Video of the Day

Landing

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Review of the Day

Nina Nastasia, "Run To Ruin"
Touch and Go
These songs make me into another person. I'm a criminal, then a scared little boy, and the next minute I'm the loner walking through the desert with a storm at my back. Nina Nastasia forces me to assume these roles with her voice in my ear and her guitars cutting down at me like vicious slaps. One minute I'm in quiet solitude, hiding in a thicket and the next I'm being whipped around by a squall bursting with lightning and unexhaustable power. Run to Ruin is just that: powerful and excited. Nastasia's voice is absolutely entrancing and the instrumentation is a fluid swarm of acoustic strumming, near-classical arrangements, and cabaret-styled, instrumental passages. "We Never Talked" starts the album as the perfect preface. Nastasia's lyrics are somewhat vague and manage to evoke a sense of wonder and mystery in every song, but especially on the opener. "In the car, you'd have brought it up / But I went on about that job / All the love I have left you won't know / All the fear I have left you won't know." The way it's sung puts a knot in my stomach every time... and then the storm begins. "I Say That I Will Go" is a story about keeping a promise. It has a deliciously twisted ending that suggests all sorts of mischievousness. Violins, cellos, banjo, dulcimer, piano, and some distinctive drumming from Jim White of Dirty Three drift, collide, and wail with Nastasia's excellent story-telling and clear, graceful, and at times absolutely earth-shattering voice. Though the album runs at just over thirty minutes long, each song is full of character and developed completely. There's more variety on Run to Ruin than on most albums that last twice as long. "The Body" begins like an imitation-baroque piece and "On Teasing" sounds like a tale told by gypsies around camp fire; it features an instrumental duel that sounds as if it comes from the spirit world. "You Her and Me" creates a hybrid sound that holds country and folk music dear to the heart but is much more bare and delicate. Despite all the acoustic and familiar instruments used, this is a unique album with a myriad of styles and alien melodies. Every time I play this record, it's like being transported to another world. Not one song is disposable and after the album stops, I have this incredible urge to play it again just so I can drift away.

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