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Forced Exposure New Releases for 4/27/2015

New music is due from Nurse With Wound and Graham Bowers, Chra, and Death, while old music is due from Ornette Coleman, Captain Beefheart, and Pierre Henry.

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Valet, "Nature"

cover   image No one could have predicted another Valet record, not even Honey Owens. A rash of techno EPs with The Miracles Club over the last couple of years and a long silence on the hallucinatory front seemed to signal that she was finished with her freaked-out days as a guitar wrangler and soundscape shaper. Drum machines and synth pianos were her new instruments and the dancefloor was her new home, the most natural venue for her conversion to four-on-the-floor rhythms and house melodies. Then, with almost an electric shock, news of a new Valet album on Kranky. Not all is as it was before, however. After seven years and the birth of a child a lot has changed in Valet’s world, and the music has changed with it in a way that is almost as surprising as the album happening at all.

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Triac, "In a Room", "Days"

cover imageTriac formed in 2011 although did not release their first recorded material, In a Room until just last year.  The Italian trio featuring former Tu M' member Rossano Polidoro (laptop) Marco Seracini (piano and synthesizers) and Augusto Tatone (bass) create glacial, yet gripping minimalist music in the spirit of Polidoro’s previous project.  Both that and their follow-up record Days have a similar, consistent sound, although growth and development can already be heard from one album into the next.

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Platform, "Anthropocene"

cover imageThe three Norwegian (and one French) artists who make up Platform may play mostly jazz-oriented instruments but the sounds they create are anything but.  Clarinet, cello, piano and drums meld together into a wonderfully jerky, unpredictable free improvised noise.  As mostly a live act, this album may not fully do the sound of them collaborating justice, but it makes for an exceptionally good attempt.

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Forced Exposure New Releases for 4/20/2015

New music is due from Jonny Nash, Christian Wallumrød, and Django Django, while old music is due from Bruce Gilbert & Graham Lewis, Beatriz Ferreyra, and Daphne Oram.

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Muslimgauze, "Zilver/Feel The Hiss"

cover imageI had been doing an excellent job of ignoring the constant trickle of unnecessary Muslimgauze vault scrapings for the last few years, but the surprising amount of excitement surrounding this one enticed me into grudgingly giving it a chance.  I am glad I did, as Feel The Hiss's mingling of heavy dub and sound collage is probably my favorite of Bryn Jones' myriad stylistic threads.  The album still falls prey to the usual "Muslimgauze vault" curse of sounding like endless slight variations of the same goddamn song, but in this case the song being endlessly replicated is actually good enough to warrant it.  This is the best Muslimgauze album to surface in a long time.

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M.C. Schmidt, "Batu Malablab: Suite for Prepared Piano, Flute, and Electronics"

cover imageMatmos has long been one of the most uniquely outré and inventive projects around, so it follows that Schmidt's debut solo album would be similarly bizarre and Batu Malablab is certainly that (and more).  In fact, it actually turned out to be far stranger and more challenging than I ever could have imagined: I was expecting a Can- or Harappian Night Recordings-style "ethnographic forgery," but what I got sounds much closer to an electronics-damaged imaginary soundtrack for a '60s Southeast Asian avant-garde theater piece.  Or what the Cannibal Holocaust soundtrack might have sounded like if jointly composed by Cage, Stockhausen, and Harry Partch.

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Sewer Goddess, "Painlust"

cover imageBoston’s Sewer Goddess inhabit the blurry, aggressively dark space between doom metal plod and power electronics/industrial, blending those two extreme genres in a way that works flawlessly.  Those two genres are not known for anything subtle, and Painlust is anything but, resulting in an album that embraces the best elements of both of those genres while managing to avoid the cliché pitfalls that are a significant problem within both.

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Loscil, "Sea Island"

cover imageDigitally generated sound has been a staple of Scott Morgan's career as Loscil since his first release.  With the project named for one of the basic operators in the popular Max/MSP software package, it is unsurprising that much of Sea Island is the result of DSP programming.  However, the sound Morgan creates has a far richer, more organic quality than many who work with similar strategies and methods, and this album is one that is gripping in its natural sounding warmth.

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Wire

cover imageContinuing a strong and consistent period of activity that began in earnest with the third installment of the Read & Burn series, the legendary band's 14th album is yet another high water mark in their expansive (and extremely impressive) discography.  Primary songwriting duo Colin Newman and Graham Lewis provide 11 all new songs that blend their artistic obtuseness with catchy songwriting and melodies, the type of sound that made Chairs Missing and The Ideal Copy so brilliant.  With Robert Grey's steady drumming and an expanded role for guitarist Matt Simms, Wire is full of moments that are weird, sometimes challenging, but always fascinating and memorable.

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The Eye: Video of the Day

17 Pygmies

YouTube Video


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Review of the Day

Colourbox, "Best of 82/87"
I doubt there is one person reading this who doesn't know "Pump Up The Volume," but how many know the history of Colourbox up until that moment, possibly 4AD's biggest worldwide smash in their entire existence?
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