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Forced Exposure New Releases for 11/23/2015

New music is due from Julia Kent, Kristoffer Bolander, and Hey Colossus, while old music is due from Einstürzende Neubauten, I Roy, and Todd Terje.


Circa Tapes, "Kolektique"

cover imageThis solo project of Adam Killing (who also works as Kill Memory Crash) might only have released its second full-length record, but the multifaceted sound of Kolektique is that of an exceptionally well-developed artist.  Drawing from a multitude of minimal synth sounds, he utilizes the expertly to create sparse, yet extremely catchy compositions.   While this is all well and good, the subtle production and attention to the smallest of sonic details is where this album especially shines.


Benjamin Finger, "Motion Reverse," "Pleasurably Lost," and "Amorosa Sensitiva"

cover imageThis has been an uncharacteristically prolific and creatively fertile year for Benjamin Finger, as he has released three very wonderful albums in three very different directions.  Thankfully, Finger’s characteristically warm, woozy, and hallucinatory aesthetic remains intact for all three, but he achieves that end with quite a variety of instruments and covers a lot of stylistic ground along the way.  The most notable of the three is arguably Motion Reverse, which can be viewed as a dubbier and more subdued continuation of Mood Chaser's deranged techno experiments.  Equally satisfying is Pleasurably Lost, which reprises and builds upon the dreamy psychedelia of past successes like 2009's Woods of Broccoli.  Amorosa Sensitiva, on the other hand, is a bit of a wild-card that unexpectedly dips its toes into dissonance, modern composition, free-jazz, and sundry other surprises.


Alex Cunningham, "Kinesthetics"

cover image It wasn’t an accident of the imagination that inspired Pieter Bruegel the Elder to portray undead soldiers playing musical instruments in his Triumph of Death. Long before various religious sects decided that dance was an expression of unchecked desires, and therefore a temptation to be avoided, philosophers like Plato and Aristotle had connected music to moral incontinence. For Aristotle, the aulos, a double reed flute, was especially problematic because it prevented the player from speaking and because it drove men to irrational behavior. Bruegel, perhaps less concerned with prodigality than with mockery, chose a hurdy-gurdy, a violin, and drums for his skeleton warriors, but in the bottom-right corner of Triumph painted two oblivious nobles busy with a lute, neither panicking nor struggling against their fate. Their heads might as well be buried in the sand, their asses branded with the word “coward.” Equally well known is Italian violinist and composer Niccolò Paganini who, because of his talents, his appearance or maybe out of jealousy, was rumored to have made a deal with Satan, securing him a legend and at least one painfully bad dramatic biography directed by Bernard Rose. That gets us back to the modern association of the violin with the devil, and to Alex Cunningham’s Kinesthetics, his debut solo violin album on the Close/Far label.


Kawabata Makoto, "Astro Love & Infinite Kisses"

cover imageI have admittedly become quite numbed to the power of Acid Mothers Temple in recent years, but that has certainly not stopped me from appreciating the unique talents of Kawabata Makoto.  If anything, I am weary of Makoto's primary outlet because their high-volume maximalism hides or precludes so many appealing facets and nuances of his artistry.  Thankfully, his solo albums–especially the ones on VHF–do no such thing and allow his exotic and eccentric vision to unhurriedly blossom without distraction (most of the time, anyway).  On this latest opus, Makoto adeptly blends echo-heavy Krautrock guitar, traditional Indian music, and his own distinctively lysergic tendencies to weave a sprawling fantasia of warped and trance-inducing drones.


Ramleh, "Circular Time"

cover imageWhen Gary Mundy's Ramleh reemerged in 2009 after over a decade of inactivity, both the recorded output and performances were mostly skewed towards the project’s noise and power electronics history.  With long time member Anthony Di Franco, the duo released the excellent Valediction album and embarked on a series of performances, updating the harsh electronic sound Mundy began as a teenager in the 1980s.  Circular Time, however, is a return to the idiosyncratic psychedelic rock sound Mundy and Di Franco (along with other collaborators) fully realized in the 1990s. I have enjoyed every variant of Ramleh that I have heard, but I always had a soft spot for this more musical era and, thankfully, Circular Time is a return to form in every possible way.


James Saunders, “assigned #15”

cover image James Saunders spent close to a decade working on his #[unassigned] series. Comprising 175 variations of modular compositions for solo instruments, the project was designed to emphasize unique instrumentation, techniques, and spaces. Repetition was anathema and multiplicity prized—once performed, each arrangement would then be set aside in favor of the next configuration, never to be played again. The UK-based multinational ensemble Apartment House were the first to try an #[unassigned] composition in 2000 and they executed several different versions afterward, until the project was concluded in 2009. With assigned #15, they return to Saunders’s work, now presented as re-performable composition scored for seven musicians who play, among other things, viola, chamber organ, dictaphone, and shortwave radio.


Daniel Menche and Mamiffer, "Crater"

cover imageMamiffer, the duo of Faith Coloccia and Aaron Turner, have recorded with a slew of artists who work in similarly contrasting fields of noise and music, but this is the first true work with Pacific Northwest neighbor and the world’s loudest school librarian, Daniel Menche.  A previous release, "Live" Through Menche featured him reworking Coloccia and Turner's recorded work as a performance, but Crater is the first time they have truly worked together on record.  A mix of live instrumentation, processed field recordings, and who knows what (other than the artists), the resulting record is anything but boisterous, explosive noise and instead a careful meditation on both nature and music.


Ryuichi Sakamoto/Illuha/Taylor Deupree, "Perpetual", Taylor Deupree & Marcus Fischer, "Twine"

cover imageThese two recent collaborations featuring Taylor Deupree capture two distinct extremes in his approach to creating music.  Perpetual, his collaboration with legendary pianist Ryuichi Sakamoto and the duo of Illuha is a four-piece ensemble using piano, guitar, modular synthesizer, and other conventional instruments to create a delicate, complex and almost living composition.  Twine, an in-studio performance with Marcus Fischer is a much simpler affair, with the two manipulating tape loops in real time, recorded live with just room microphones capturing the performance.  One may be a larger production and the other an intimate performance, but both are superb documents of Deupree's (and the other performers') sense of small scale, but infinitely detailed and varied music.


Steven Stapleton / Christoph Heemann - Painting With Priests LP/CD association with Yesmissolga and Elica Editions, Robot Records is very pleased to announce a vinyl release of the long-fabled Stapleton/Heemann duo collaboration. This historic live recording took place on 21 November, 2009 at the Ancient Synagogue in Ivrea, Italy. Apart from working together over many years on various Current 93, Nurse With Wound, and the H.N.A.S. Melchior sessions, this live document captures a rare moment where two old friends meet completely independent of thematic material, engaged in a near telepathic mysterious one-to-one improvisation, where textural worlds merge, hot, on the spot. While one may discover an intriguing intersection between each of their respective solo works, the real magic of this duo encounter evokes something strangely unfamiliar and all together new. With this generous edit of the highly acclaimed concert, Painting With Priests exhibits a rare session of both artists' eccentric talents in a palette of colors and mystery across a highly detailed musical canvas. Front cover features new artwork by Stapleton, with back cover featuring a previously unpublished drawing by Heemann.

The Eye: Video of the Day


YouTube Video

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Review of the Day

Area C, "Map of Circular Thought"

cover imageI don't understand how Erik Carlson has managed to stay so woefully underappreciated and low-profile for so long, as he has a very distinctive and appealing aesthetic.  Also, he has recently been largely infallible quality-wise. That hot streak continues here: wisely sticking closely to the sound he intermittently perfected with 2009's excellent Charmed Birds Against Sorcery, Carlson has delivered yet another impressive album of spidery, shimmering beauty.  It could benefit from a bit more bite though.

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