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Forced Exposure New Releases for 4/14/14

New music is due from Loops Haunt, Sascha Dive, Ryley Walker, and Orcas, while old music is due from Cyclobe, Luc Ferrari, Jacques Berrocal, and Marisa Anderson.

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Windy & Carl, "I Walked Alone/At Night"

cover imageA little more than 20 years ago, in the fall of 1993, Windy Weber and Carl Hultgren started the Blue Flea label together in order to release their first record. Pressed to black wax, or purple if you were very lucky, the Watersong/Dragonfly 7” was presented in a simple green sleeve with a picture of a tree on one side and, on the other, the image of three broad maple leaves. Last year, for Record Store Day 2013, Windy and Carl inaugurated their 20th anniversary celebrations with the release of a cassette documenting their 2009 performance at the Solar Culture Gallery in Tucson, Arizona, a single night on what they claim was their last ever tour. Then, in December, they reunited with Dominic Martin, who put out the Emerald 7” on Enraptured in 1995, and released the Calliope/Carnivale single. The cassette caught Windy and Carl somewhere between We Will Always Be and Songs for the Broken Hearted mode, but the 45 was a glance over their shoulders, with a surprise percussion-injected twist tucked away on the B-side. Pressed to red vinyl (the orange vinyl edition sold out in a flash) and adorned in bright, hand painted sleeves that resemble fossilized leaves, I Walked Alone/At Night concludes the celebratory trilogy with a pair of reflective beauties, cool and crystalline from a distance, but red hot at their core. It is a fiery return to that green-sleeved single from 1993, reinforced and refreshed by Windy’s new-found inspiration, Carl’s seemingly effortless playing, and 20 years of hard work.

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Koen Holtkamp, "Motion"

cover imageMy general lack of excitement about current glut of synthesizer albums is well-documented, but there are a handful of artists that I still look forward to and Koen Holtkamp is one of them.  On this, his first solo album for Thrill Jockey, he delivers yet another fine set of vibrantly burbling analog sounds.  While I do not necessarily love every single song on Motion, it certainly contains some of his best work and reaffirms my belief that Koen is in a class of his own when it comes to constructing dynamic, multi-layered synth opuses.

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Stefan Jaworzyn, "Principles of Inertia"

cover imageAs a former member of Skullflower and Ascension, Jaworzyn was one of the elite guitar manglers of the '90s noise rock UK scene before seemingly disappearing form the earth.  Last year, along with a series of Skullflower reissues, Jaworzyn reappeared with a few singles embracing electronic instrumentation, while still pursuing that world of noise and entropy he did via six strings.  Principles of Inertia is another manifestation of this electronic infatuation, with a joyful disregard for genre traditions or conventions.

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Eric Thielemans, "Sprang"

cover imageThis is Thielemans' first full-length for Miasmah as a solo artist, but he has previously turned up on the label as a guest on Kreng's debut album, which provides a fairly accurate window into the milieu from which he is coming: the darker, weirder fringes of Belgium's theater/improv/art scene.  Unlike his fellow shadowy avant-garde eccentrics, however, Eric is primarily a drummer and Sprang is composed almost entirely of unusual percussion experiments.  Needless to say, that is some rather niche territory to occupy in an already very niche scene, but this is quite a remarkably fascinating album for a one-man tour de force of skittering, plinking percussion.

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Jenks Miller/James Toth, "Roads to Ruin"

cover imageThe pairing of Jenks Miller (Horseback) and James Toth (Wooden Wand) makes perfect sense, given both of them work with their own idiosyncratic approaches to southern Americana, resulting in music that is at times familiar and simultaneously unique.  On this split release, each artist submitted three songs that are not only some of their most accessible material, but also complement each other wonderfully.

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Alex Cobb, "Marigold and Cable" and Taiga Remains, "Works for Cassette"

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Students of Decay label head Alex Cobb is back with two new albums: his latest ambient drone opus under his own name and a compilation of some of Taiga Remains’ limited-edition cassette releases from 2008.  They feel oddly like companion pieces—though at least six years separate the two albums—as it seems like Cobb was always reaching for the same minimal, warm, and blurred aesthetic.  He just used different means to get there at different points in his career.  In any case, both albums are quite likable: while Marigold and Cable handily eclipses Works in both execution and composition, the Taiga album nicely offsets some of Cobb’s serene tendencies with a healthy dose of tape noise, which offers a charm all its own.

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Podcast Episodes 288-290: March 31-April 2, 2014

Brainwashed Radio: The Podcast Edition marathon continues into week three with music from A Number of Names, Klara Lewis, Gary Wilson, Broadcast, Mark McGuire, Pelt, Mazzy Star, Christopher Bissonnette, Lustmord, Prince Jammy, Ulrich Schnauss, Little Annie & Baby Dee, The Legendary Pink Dots, Jon Porras, Colder, Luciernaga, The Skull Defekts, Shit Robot, Al Cisneros, Black Hearted Brother, Christina Vantzou, Will Samson, Four Tet, Sandoz, Nicholas Bernier, and Rivulets.

The Brainwashed DJ - Brainwashed Radio - The Podcast Edition

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Jacques Lejeune, "Parages and Other Electroacoustic Works 1971-1985"

cover image Robot Records’ three-CD retrospective of Jacques Lejeune’s music from the early 1970s and 1980s contains over three hours of heady electronic noise, surreal acoustic transformations, deconstructed field recordings, and disorienting aural splutter. It is a collection that spans 14 years and six electroacoustic compositions: one composed for ballet and inspired by Snow White, another inspired by the myth of Icarus, and others by landscapes, symphonic form, and cyclical movement, among other things. They flash with theatrical flair, jump unpredictably through minute variations, and churn chaotically, tossing fabricated scree and instrumental slag into the air. A 28 page bilingual booklet filled with photographs, drawings, and program notes accompanies the set, along with a 32 page booklet of interpretive poetry. In them, Lejeune, Alain Morin, and Yak Rivais offer up remarkably precise interpretations for each of the pieces, but the writing works much better as a rough guide to the visually evocative clamor of Lejeune’s electric transmissions.

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S.E.T.I., "Final Trajectory"

cover imageAndrew Lagowski's S.E.T.I. project has been constructing dark ambient dramas with an extra-terrestrial sensibility for over 20 years, blending unidentifiable electronic passages with moments of identifiable synthesizers or samples, and Final Trajectory is the culmination of that.  Culled from 30 years of recordings, this album drifts from fascinating to terrifying, much like massive expanse of the universe that influenced it.

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The Eye: Video of the Day

A Place To Bury Strangers

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Review of the Day

Dirty Three, "Toward the Low Sun"

cover imageIt has been looking less and less likely that Dirty Three would record any new material. Warren Ellis and Jim White left Mick Turner to his own devices in Australia in order to follow their own paths (Ellis’ ending in Paris and White’s journey is on-going through numerous collaborations with other artists). Even though they were touring over the last few years, no new music made its way into their sets. However, the fates have smiled upon us mere mortals as the group finally entered the studio and have returned with another monster of an album.


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