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Lee "Scratch" Perry, 1936-2021

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Jon and Lee fist bumpThe world would sound a lot different today (at least the music we listen to a lot of here at Brainwashed) were it not for the ears of of Lee "Scratch" Perry. Beginning with his role in Jamaica's legendary Studio One in the mid 1960s up until this year, he has been active in music, a visionary who would take the sounds he heard in his mind and create them for the world to hear.

The list of musicians he has collaborated with is massive, from Bob Marley to Paul McCartney to the Clash to Brian Eno to Andrew WK! Known as the Godfather of Dub, his creations may have originally nestled under the genre of Reggae, dub has proliferated throughout music since its inception, finding its way into rock, electronic, jazz, avant-garde, metal, ambient music, and nearly everything in between.

He will sincerely be missed however he has left us with nearly a lifetime of music to listen to and catch up with.

Our love goes out to his family and friends.

Last Updated on Sunday, 05 September 2021 19:27
 

Tomasz Sroczynski, "Symphony n°2 / Highlander"

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cover imageThis album was my first exposure to this Polish composer, but this appears to be his sixth album if I include his improv trio and his collaborations.  Also, it is the second symphony that he has composed (the first being 2017's Resurrection).  Some of his past albums are a bit closer to my own weird/experimental sensibility (Primal and Ajulella, for example), but Symphony n°2 / Highlander is a more straightforward modern classical release and it is one hell of a great one.  Or perhaps it would be more accurate to say that Highlander is composed of three very good pieces and one absolutely brilliant one.  Naturally, that one absolutely brilliant piece ("Moderato Pastorale") is the best reason to seek this album out, but as the album description notes, "Tomasz Sroczynski is a symphony in his own right." Hyperbole aside, Sroczynski is indeed a genuinely fascinating composer, seamlessly combining influences as disparate as Arvo Pärt, experimental improv, and strains of both classic Detroit techno and contemporary German minimalist techno.

Ici d'ailleurs/Mind Travels

A sane and honest critical assessment of Sroczynski's second symphony could be easily distilled to some variation of "just go listen to 'Moderato Pastorale' immediately."  As tempting as that is, it is a bit lean on the details and I would be remiss if I did not mention that Sroczynski's primary tools for this album were just a violin, a sampler, and a harmonizer and that Highlander is a triumph of masterful loop architecture rather than the work of a world-class string ensemble.  I was surprised to learn that, as it is hard to imagine the churning, propulsive intensity of "Moderato Pastorale" originating from anything less than a dozen violinists relentlessly bowing away with demonic intensity.  Regardless of how it was made, "Moderato Pastorale" is pitch-perfect in every sense, as Sroczynski unleashes a god-tier motif and then nimbly manipulates the tension for ten glorious minutes.  I suspect this is where Sroczynski's love of techno manifests itself: he handles dynamic tension the same way a virtuosic DJ might seamlessly assemble and deconstruct a monster groove.  Sadly, Sroczynski does not attempt to replicate that deft combination of raw emotion and steadily intensifying trancelike repetition again, but that is mostly because each of these four pieces explores a different shade of moody, epic grandeur.  The following "Adagio," for example, gradually transforms from darkly brooding cloudlike swells into a rapturously swooning and heaving crescendo of Romanticism.  Elsewhere, "Diablak" combines a chunky rhythm of strummed violin with a mournful, ambiguously exotic melody, but soon takes some strange detours before landing somewhere best described as "wrong-speed psychotic ballroom dance nightmare."  The closing title piece then returns to more billowing and cloudlike territory, but does so in a compelling way, as its deceptively amorphous structure is like a living, organic entity that can solidify whenever the need for an emotional crescendo appears.  The four pieces add up to an absorbing and dramatic whole, as Sroczynski is very skilled at moving between heaving immensity and emotionally raw snatches of melody.  That said, you should probably just go listen to "Moderato Pastorale" immediately.

Samples can be found here.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 15 September 2021 12:08
 

Episode 535: September 12, 2021

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September TunageBeech Mountain, North Carolina by Nick

This episode features new music from Nation of Language, Black Dice, Myriam Gendron, Sahba Sizdahkhani, Elena Setién, Christoph de Babalon, William Ryan Fritch, Saint Abdullah, Low, and Ben Bertrand, plus some older music from Muslimgauze and Candlesnuffer.

Bayside, New Brunswick, Canada photo by Nick.

Get involved: subscribe, review, rate, share with your friends, send images!

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Last Updated on Sunday, 12 September 2021 18:38 Read more...
 

Forced Exposure New Releases for the Week of 9/13/21

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New music is due from Elegiac (Ted Milton and Graham Lewis), Loren Connors, and Craig Fortnam, while old music is due from John Carpenter, Laughing Hyenas, and Rudimentary Peni.

Last Updated on Sunday, 12 September 2021 11:24 Read more...
 

Santiago Pilado-Matheu, "La revolución y la tierra"

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https://f4.bcbits.com/img/a1899664795_10.jpgIn Peru, Gonzalo Benavente Secco’s controversial documentary La revolución y la tierra, has drawn huge cinema audiences, perhaps because its subject, the 1969 Land Reform Act, still bitterly divides opinion more than fifty years later. So much so that TV Peru bowed to pressure and refused to broadcast the film, which skillfully folds scenes from old Pervuian films into the mix, in the run up to the elections of 2021. Santiago Pilado-Matheu’s deceptively simple soundtrack uses ambient electronics, loops, dubby Afro-Latin rhythms, Andean drone and melody, film dialogue, and speech excerpts by peasant leaders, to create a comforting yet sinister landscape of memory.

Buh

My off-the-cuff knowledge of Peru consists of four facts. Michael Bond’s fictional bear Paddington came from "darkest Peru" and legendary broadcaster John Peel died on holiday there. It was the location for Werner Herzog's Aguirre: The Wrath of God, filmed on the stone steps of Huayna Picchu, on tributaries of the Amazon river, and in the Peruvian rainforest. Herzog claims to have written the screenplay in less than three days, mostly on a long bus trip with his soccer team - one of whom vomited on several pages which Herzog had to discard. Lastly I recall Peru’s Teofilo Cubillas, in hs nation's fabulous white kit with diagonal red slash, smashing in a wicked free kick with the outside of his right foot, the first of his two goals that vomited on Scotland’s hubris at the 1978 World Cup.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 11 August 2021 10:27 Read more...
 
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