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Podcast Episode 383: April 15, 2018

Mary Lattimore Mary Lattimore is the special guest on an all new episode of Brainwashed Radio: The Podcast Edition, available now. Her forthcoming album Hello from the Edge of the Earth is due out on Ghostly May 18th and she will be touring North America extensively beginning in May.

Other music includes new and old stuff from Andrew Chalk & Daisuke Suzuki, Nurse With Wound, Cindy Lee, and Hawthonn.

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Forced Exposure New Releases for 4/16/2018

New music is due from Sarah Hennies, RLYR, Space Ghost, and Hastings Of Malawi, while old music is due from Chris Carter, Narissa, Belong, and The Funkees.


Oren Ambarchi, "Grapes From The Estate"

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Newly reissued on his own Black Truffle imprint, this 2004 album (originally released on Touch) stands as one of the most enduring and transcendent gems in Ambarchi's lengthy discography.  Obviously, he has released plenty of interesting and inventive music since, yet his early 2000s Touch albums are the ones that resonate most deeply with me and this one is my favorite.  Grapes From The Estate has a wonderfully languorous and lovely melodic sensibility akin to relative contemporaries like Labradford, yet that is only one of the many threads that Ambarchi pulls into this quietly visionary suite.  Part of me wishes Oren would someday return to something resembling the languid, sun-dappled beauty of this era, but I would be hard-pressed to come up with a valid artistic reason for him to do so, as I cannot imagine a more perfect distillation of this aesthetic vein being possible.  Almost 15 years later, Grapes still sounds like a wonderfully distinctive, absorbing, and unrepeatable convergence of vision, inspiration, and execution.


Bruce Gilbert, "Ex Nihilo"

cover imageRemarkably, this is the first Bruce Gilbert solo album that I have ever heard in its entirety and I was pleasantly surprised to discover that it is radically different from any of his other work that I have encountered: it is clear that I woefully underestimated the depth and breadth of the Gilbert oeuvre.  This latest release continues to delve deeper into the coldly futuristic and menacing vein of his previous Editions Mego album (2009's Oblivio Agitatum), yet does so in wonderfully explosive and visceral fashion.  Ex Nihilo feels like the soundtrack for a bleakly alienating dystopian city of endless metal and neon, composed by a cyborg with a fairly hostile disposition.  Those hoping for any trace of melody or tenderness in Gilbert's industrial dread should probably skip this one, but there is definitely a gleaming, inhuman majesty to these grinding and throbbing soundscapes.


Roberto Opalio, "Once you'll touch the sky you will never return to dust"

cover imageSeemingly birthed from the same fascination with vinyl surface noise as The Sky With Broken Arms, Roberto Opalio's solo companion piece is perhaps even more unique and consciousness-expanding than its sister.  It is also unexpectedly varied and weirdly beautiful at times, blurring together the usual deep-space lysergia with viscerally unnerving dissonances and hypnotically looping crackles and pops.  While those added touches certainly delight me, this album is unmistakably and absolutely Opalio-esque to its core, standing as one of the most sharply realized and distilled releases in the MCIAA oeuvre.  If The Sky With Broken Arms is a brief glimpse into a hypnotically otherworldly scene, Once You'll Touch The Sky is a phantasmal travelogue of the troubled dreams that follow in its wake.


Taylor Deupree, "Fallen"

cover image For his first solo album on a label other than his own for quite some time (although 12k and Spekk could almost be siblings in the world of record labels), Fallen features the prolific sound artist turning his focus to beautifully understated sounds to the piano, culminating in eight songs of delicate and pensive tones, with the focus shifting between the pure sounds of the instrument to gorgeous production and back again.


Ashley Paul, "Lost in Shadows"

cover imageIt has been roughly four years since Ashley Paul's last album and I was beginning to despair, but she has been busy moving to London and becoming a mother.  While the latter is not particularly conducive to tirelessly crafting brilliant experimental music, she somehow still managed to compose her finest album to date during a brief residency in Spain.  Characteristically, the pointillist, prickly dissonance of Jandek is probably the nearest touchstone, yet Paul radically transforms that stark foundation into something sensuous and eerily beautiful (sometimes even embellishing it with perversely festive splashes of color).   In fact, a few pieces even sound like grotesque caricatures of nursery rhymes (Paul’s baby was perhaps a subconscious and subversive muse), which only deepens Lost in Shadows' dreamily wraithlike and otherworldly spell.  While it can definitely be a challenging, dissonant, and disturbing listen at times, Shadows is unquestionably Paul's masterpiece.


Luciernaga, "It Takes Strength to be Gentle and Kind"

cover image Joao Da Silva’s latest release under his Luciernaga guise was a quickly made work, but that is anything but apparent from the contents.  The tape, recorded this past winter, is an excellent summation of the work Da Silva has been involved with for the past eight years, with some additional and unexpected twists and turns along the way.  Rich electronics, unconventional guitar, and lush production all define this latest entry in the growing Luciernaga discography.


Slomo, "Transits"

cover imageI have been casually aware of Slomo since the murky, gnarled gloom of 2008's The Bog, but apparently not familiar enough to realize that each of their infrequent releases tends to unveil a significant evolution.  As a result, I slept on this 2017 release, only belatedly realizing that it was one of the year's most woefully overlooked masterpieces.  With Transits, Chris McGrail and Howard Marsden shed all traces of their doom-shrouded ambient sludge past to craft a transcendently lysergic tour de force of pulsing minimalist drone brilliance.  I am always hesitant to throw around Coil as a comparison for any artist, yet I am legitimately hard-pressed to think of any closer kindred album than Time Machines, as Slomo achieve a similarly singular feat of reality-blurring slow-motion wizardry that feels far more like a ritual or invocation than a mere album.


Hawthonn, "Red Goddess (Of This Men Shall Know Nothing)"

cover imageIt was quite a pleasant surprise to discover that latest Hawthonn album was getting a physical release in the US, as few things scream "zero commercial potential" quite like Phil and Layla Legard’s quasi-pagan and psychogeography-inspired drone-folk reveries.  While characteristically arcane and anachronistic to its core, Red Goddess actually drew its initial inspiration from relatively current culture, as the Legards were (rightly) fascinated by the primal themes of Lars von Trier's Antichrist.  From there, however, Red Goddess evolved into something far more mysterious and temporally ambiguous, abstractly exploring the symbolic role of mugwort in folklore and tradition ("an herb associated with dreaming, travel and menstruation, mugwort particularly favors edgelands: those abandoned, untended places, part man-made, part rural, where nature begins to reclaim what humanity has left behind").


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