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Podcast Episode 420: June 16, 2019 (guest artist Rafael Anton Irisarri)

Episode #420 of Brainwashed Radio: The Podcast Edition is live featuring guest artist Rafael Anton IrisarriGabriel in Ireland

Our guest this episode is musician, producer, mastering engineer, festival curator Rafael Anton Irisarri. His latest album, Solastalgia, is out this week through Room40. He will embark on a tour of Australia with Loscil (Scott Morgan) and Steven O'Malley (Sunn O)))). Other music this episode comes from Major Stars, Leo Svirsky, Grün Wasser, and Martin Brandlmayr.

Photo of Rafael taken in Iceland.

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Forced Exposure New Releases for week of 6/17/2019

New music is due from Elva, Biosphere, and Charles Hayward, while old music is due from Suzanne Ciani, Klaus Nomi, and Pussy.


Benjamin Finger, "Into Light" and "Pleasure-Voltage"

cover imageKeeping up with Benjamin Finger’s tireless work ethic in recent years has been an increasing challenge for me, but it has been a worthwhile one, as he manages to maintain a consistently high level of quality and sometimes surprises me with an especially inspired detour or two.  Also, his trail of recent releases is not unlike a fun scavenger hunt, leading me from one cool small-press label to another.  In the case of Into Light, that small-press label is Berlin’s Forwind and the album is a solid example of Finger's warmly hallucinatory dronescape aesthetic.  Pleasure-Voltage, on the other hand, falls into the "inspired detour" category, as Finger debuts an unexpectedly muscular trio with avant-garde violinist Mia Zabelka and extreme music super-producer James Plotkin.  The latter album, released on another Berlin label (the eclectic and adventurous Karlrecords), is the more significant by virtue of being unlike anything else in Finger’s discography, but both releases have their share of bright moments.


Junkie Flamingos, "Lemegeton Party"

cover imageConsisting of three distinct artists whose other projects are all rather different, Junkie Flamingos is not quite what I would call a supergroup, but instead a three part collaboration that reflects the artists' distinct styles, but in a singular presentation.  Featuring Alice Kundalini's electronics and vocals (of death industrial project She Spread Sorrow) and music from electronic artist Luca Sigurtá and Daniele Delogu from the folk tinged Barbarian Pipe Band.  The sound of Lemegeton Party makes sense, with layered, noisy synths, processed vocals, and dramatic bombast, and it all comes together as a challenging and fragmented record, but with a catchy, pleasant sounding undercurrent.


Chop Shop, "Primer"

cover imageActive for over 30 years but with a relatively small discography, Scott Konzelmann's Chop Shop has made a career of releasing only the utmost quality works, although they have largely been in unconventional formats and extremely limited editions.  Primer collects two of his earliest works, 1987's Power Pieces Positive Force and 1989's Scraps, albeit in slightly modified forms, and gives them the deluxe treatment, not only resulting in a higher profile for the releases (since vinyl is the most important format these days it would seem), but also giving wider exposure to these important, extremely difficult to find early works.


Seabuckthorn, "Crossing"

cover imageEnglish guitarist Andy Cartwright's A House With Too Much Fire was one of the most striking and underappreciated albums of 2018, beautifully evoking a timeless and haunted-sounding strain of Americana.  For his follow-up, the expectant father arguably allows a bit more light to creep into his vision, but plunges still deeper into the more experimental and atmospheric tendencies that made Too Much Fire so wonderful.  In fact, Crossings sheds many of the more overt folk trappings of its predecessor, largely replacing the banjos and acoustic guitars with drones from a bowed resonator guitar (though the "Haunted Americana" sensibility remains very firmly in place).  Despite its strong emphasis on mood and sustained tones, it would be a mistake to characterize Crossings as anything like a conventional drone album though, as Cartwright's closest kindred spirit at this stage of his career seems to be Richard Skelton.  It does not quite resemble the actual Richard Skelton though–instead Crossings often approximates an alternate Skelton who veered towards increasingly warm, intimate, and bittersweet soundscapes rather than embracing the deeper themes and elemental power of the natural world.  I certainly have ample room in my heart for both directions, especially when executed this masterfully.


Jérôme Noetinger/Robert Piotrowicz/Anna Zaradny, "Crackfinder"

cover imageRecorded live in 2016 under the name Sono Genera, the trio of Jérôme Noetinger (tape, electronics), Robert Piotrowicz (synth), and Anna Zaradny (saxophone, computer) are all prolific artists on their own, but each work in distinctly different styles under that nebulous umbrella of experimental music.  Piotrowicz has mostly focused on modular synths during his career; Noetinger’s body of work is multidisciplinary and heavily rooted in tape manipulation, and Zaradny is a composer whose primary instrument is the computer and occasionally horns.  With that in mind, it is unsurprising that the core elements of Crackfinder sound as if they are drawn from all over the place from an instrumental standpoint, but these distinct styles end up sitting alongside each other very nicely as a cohesive piece of music.


I Feel Like a Bombed Cathedral, "AmOrtH"

cover imageThis latest project from FaUSt guitarist/Ulan Bator founder Amaury Cambuzat has regrettably been under my radar for the last several months, but AmOrtH recently caught my attention by virtue of its Dirter Promotions imprimatur.  Prior to this latest release, Cambuzat had been documenting his amazing solo guitar "cathedral sessions" throughout the year with a series of videos that culminated with April's Rec.Requiem album (released on Italy's Dio Drone).  If I had heard Rec.Requiem first, i am sure it would have floored me, as Cambuzat is an almost supernaturally brilliant drone artist.  Instead, I encountered this one, which worked out quite well: AmOrtH is somehow even better than its predecessor.  I have not heard drone as mesmerizingly heavy and ritualistic as this since I was blindsided by Natural Snow Buildings a decade ago.  AmOrtH is an absolute monster of an album.


Jean C. Roché, "Birds of Venezuela"

cover imageThis unusual reissue quietly entered the world last December when everyone was frantically obsessing over the year-end lists and features, so it did not get nearly the attention it deserved.  It is certainly an odd release for a couple of reasons, but the most obvious one is that a 35-year-old album of bird songs was resurrected by a record label best known for avant-garde and experimental music.  The other is that Birds of Venezuela was just one of over one hundred albums recorded and released by French ornithologist Jean-Claude Roché.  That naturally begged the questions "What makes this album the special one?" and "Who exactly is this for?".  As it turns out, the liner notes by David Toop answer the former and the album itself decisively answered the latter: this album is for me because it is amazing.  In fact, Toop actually started planning a trip to the Amazon soon after hearing this Birds of Venezuela and I probably would have done the same, as a strong case could be made that the most texturally and melodically compelling music scene of the mid-‘70s was the Venezuelan rain forests.


Mort Garson, "Mother Earth's Plantasia" has become a well-known record despite a limited initial 1976 release to anyone buying a houseplant from the Mother Earth store in Los Angeles. This was music for plant owners to create an environment of optimal growth - simple haunting melodies composed on a moog.


The Eye: Video of the Day

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Review of the Day

broadcast, "pendulum"
It's been over two years since we last heard from Broadcast, but they've finally graced us with a new 6-song EP, to be followed later this year by their second full-length album. Pendulum, which will have to tide fans over until then, is a formidable taster of things to come. The overall aesthetic is similar to that of their previous work: moody psychedelia sweetened by Trish Keenan's airy, hypnotic vocals. What's different is an evolution of the band's use of percussion and synthesizers. The title track shows a definite expansion on the sometimes trippy, sometimes icy melodic themes found on their last album. Even on minimal tracks like "Small Song IV" and "Still Feels Like Tears," the complex, yet adeptly handled drum rustles and angular patches of synths leap out amongst the atmospheric "aaah aaaah"s. "One Hour Empire" sounds as if it were culled from the jazz-tinged score of a 1970s crime film. Pendulum is an exciting step forward for Broadcast, and is a sure sign of a promising follow-up to The Noise Made By People.


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