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Forced Exposure New Releases for 6/18/2018

New music is due from Sote, Spring Heel Jack and Wadada Leo Smith, and Big Blood, while old music is due from the Legendary Pink Dots, Bill Laswell and Nicholas James Bullen, and J Dilla.


Datashock, "Kräuter der Provinz"

cover imageI have made a few sincere attempts to appreciate this shifting German collective over the years, but Datashock have proven to be a very hard act to wrap my head around.  At times, they have seemed like an indulgent, improv-heavy pastiche of various seminal krautrock artists, yet they also have moments where it feels like they are actually the rightful heirs to the throne vacated by folks like Amon Düül II and Can.  In fact, I suspect the latter would especially appreciate the perverse post-modern genius of Datashock being an ethnographic forgery of their own cultural heritage.  I know I certainly do.  In any case, this is the first Datashock release that has truly clicked for me.  It is still uneven and exasperating at times, but such missteps are a rare exception and the second half of the album catches fire beautifully.  While Datashock remain deeply and unapologetically in the thrall of the past, the best moments on Kräuter are inventive and inspired enough to transcend and surpass most of the bands they are hell-bent on channeling.


Good Luck In Death, "They Promised Us a Bright Future, We Were Content With an Obscure Past"

cover imageThis new project is the debut release on the new Nahal imprint, bringing together Mondkopf's Paul Régimbeau and Lebanese artist Charbel Haber.  In a rough sense, Good Luck in Death shares Mondkopf's heavy drone aesthetic, but Haber's presence shifts that vision into more diffuse, fragmented, and hallucinatory territory.  The result is frequently quite haunting and sublime, as the duo craft an immersive world of darkly beautiful and blackened ambient drone mingled with flickering glimpses of a buried organ mass.


Hellvete, "Droomharmonium"

cover imageThis sprawling double CD of extended harmonium performances was my first real exposure to the solo work of Sylvester Anfang II's Glen Steenkiste and it is quite a curious introduction.  The closest kindred spirits are probably La Monte Young's "The Second Dream of the High Tension Line" or Stars of the Lid at their most pastoral, as Steenkiste devotes his energies to crafting deep, meditative drones that strain towards lightness and transcendence.  Hellvete's work is not nearly as harmonically adventurous as the just intonation/Pandit Pran Nath-inspired milieu, but Steenkiste compensates somewhat with an unusual feel for time and a willingness to blur together music, ritual, and chance intrusions from the natural world.  The less inspired passages tend to feel like sustained and halcyon suspended animation to me, yet Droomharmonium occasionally transforms into an entrancing bit of magic and wonder when Steenkiste is joined by some curious birds or the harmonium disappears to make way for some eerily twinkling bells.


Cam Deas, "Time Exercises"

cover imageI have been casually familiar with London-based guitarist Cam Deas for years through his many "post-Takoma" releases on Blackest Rainbow, but the Cam Deas of the past bears virtually no resemblance to the artist responsible for the visceral and deranged Time Exercises.  Deas' campaign of radical reinvention appears to have begun sometime around 2011 with his Quadtych series and fully blossomed (or so I thought) with 2014's String Studies, in which his guitar became a mere trigger for squalls of atonal and spasmodic electronic chaos.  With Time Exercises, Deas gamely ventures still further from his comfort zone, setting his guitar aside completely to focus on complex modular synth experiments.  The album's prosaic/academic-sounding title is an amusingly huge and deceptive understatement though–a far more appropriate title would be "Nightmare Studies" or "Holy Fuck–What is This?!?," as Studies aesthetically resembles a cross between Rashad Becker's Notional Species and a seething pit of digitized snakes from a hellish alien dimension.


Podcast Episode 385: June 12, 2018

Pride Happy Pride Month from Brainwashed Radio: The Podcast Edition. There's no guest on this episode, however there's 12 wonderful old and new songs from Matmos, Marisa Anderson, Coil, Black Spirituals, Baby Dee, Meat Beat Manifesto, Thalia Zedek, Ian William Craig, Mark Eitzel, Abul Mogard, Richard Chartier, and Antony & the Johnsons.

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Abul Mogard, "Circular Forms"

cover imageRecently given an much-needed reissue by Ecstatic, Circular Forms (2015) is Abul Mogard’s lone proper full-length album amidst a slow trickle of cassettes, splits, and compilation appearances.  When I first heard it, I was admittedly a bit disappointed as it felt considerably less unique and revelatory than the earlier, more industrial-influenced pieces collected on Works.  I have since warmed to it quite a bit, however, as "The Half-Light of Dawn" is an achingly beautiful masterpiece of simmering and haunted-sounding post-apocalyptic drone.  Mogard also does a stellar job at channeling the cosmic dread of prime Tangerine Dream at one point.  The rest of the album is quite enjoyable as well, but it sometimes has a bit of an uneven and transitional feel that reveals Mogard's influences and occupies more well-established aesthetic terrain than some of his iconoclastic earlier releases.


Richard Chartier, "Central (for M. Vainio)"

cover image Released to commemorate one year since legendary artist Mika Vainio’s passing, long time fan and collaborator Richard Chartier has created a fitting tribute to the artist, his legacy, and also his undeniable influence on Chartier’s own work.  The final product is less of an overt tribute, at least in sound, and functions more as a knowing homage that synergizes the core elements of Vainio's lengthy body of art via Chartier's undeniably nuanced and complex aesthetic.


Seabuckthorn, "A House With Too Much Fire"

cover imageFor some reason, this long-running project from English guitarist Andy Cartwright has stayed largely under my radar until now, despite my occasional brushes with his work through various blogs and his splits with Dean McPhee and Loscil.  This latest release, Seabuckthorn's ninth, is deeply influenced by Cartwright's rustic and mountainous new surroundings in the Southern Alps, yet his work has always had an earthy, widescreen grandeur.  As I am only casually familiar with the rest of the Seabuckthorn oeuvre, I cannot confidently state that Cartwright's new environment or recent focus on textural experimentation have radically transformed his work, but A House With Too Much Fire definitely feels like an especially strong showing.  Much like the aforementioned McPhee, Cartwright has carved out a sublime and alternately haunting and gorgeous niche all his own, far transcending my expectations of what a lone guitarist can achieve (though Cartwright certainly embraces a much more expansive palette than his peers).


Bob Bellerue, "All In"

cover image Although has a lengthy career, Brooklyn's Bob Bellerue has sat comfortably in the fringes of a fragmented noise and experimental scene.  His newest release, All In, is a nicely limited tape edition that captures two distinctly different performances, one from 2011 and the other from 2014, which features him emphasizing some notably different styles from his body of work, although the final product makes for an entirely cohesive release that feels as much as a conceptual album as it would a set of two live performances three years apart.

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