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Episode 460: April 5, 2020

Northampton State Hospital Pediatric UnitEpisode 460 of Brainwashed Radio: The Podcast Edition is now live

Once again thanks to all the listeners who continue to write, send statuses, and send photos in these very difficult times. We wish everyone well.

This episode features music by Cristina, Kool Keith x Thetan, Felicia Atkinson, Plone, Celer, Drift., Alessandro Parisi, Die Wilde Jagd, Helm, and Clarice Jensen.

Rain provided the photo for this episode, taken inside the former pediatric unit of the now demolished Northampton State Hospital in Western Massachusetts.

NOW AVAILABLE through SPOTIFY and AMAZON (links below) in addition to the other platforms.

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Forced Exposure New Releases for Week of 4/6/2020

New music is due from Acid Mothers Temple & the Melting Paraiso U.F.O. feat. Geoff Leigh, Kool Keith X Thetan, and Chitose Hajime, while old music is due from Sandy Coast, Robert Rental, and Bourbonese Qualk.

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Klara Lewis, "Ingrid"

cover imageI was quite curious to see which direction Klara Lewis's latest album would take, as her previous solo releases were generally quite radical and hyper-constrained in their avoidance of anything resembling conventional instrumentation.  While both Ett and Too are aptly described by Editions Mego as "eerie rhythmic variations," such a summary falls short in conveying the uniqueness of Lewis's vision, as it often felt like she was quixotically attempting to compose pop songs solely from murky field recordings and decontextualized fragments of beats and melodies.  With Ingrid, however, Lewis makes a dramatic and unexpected aesthetic reversal, as she slowly transforms a haunting and melodic cello loop into a wonderfully gnarled and heaving longform piece.

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E, "Complications"

E, 'Complications'Creating memorable music is not always about throwing musical spaghetti at the wall to see what sticks; like any recipe, there are common ingredients to music’s magic—tempo, chorus and yes, a certain predictability—and the best dishes come from the extrapolation of the cook’s own prime ingredients into their own musical concoctions. Having a formula is no more dangerous to “real” music as a recipe is to a “real” chef; the best music in the hands of masters balances an adherence to these rules with free-flowing creativity, while those less experienced either know nothing about the recipe, or follow the recipe too strictly. Boston based trio E comprises all masters: guitarist Thalia Zedek (Come, Uzi, Live Skull), guitarist and inventor Jason Sidney Sanford (Neptune) and drummer Gavin McCarthy (Karate). Their third release doesn’t create any new formulas, but rather expounds on the tasty blend of the prior two releases, honing the skills of three masters into an even finer dish of practiced and precise dark energy.

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“Tiny Portraits complete compilation”

https://f4.bcbits.com/img/a2902659876_16.jpgInternational sound art label Flaming Pines has collected 24 singles in the Tiny Portraits series to form this pay what you want compilation of music dedicated to overlooked places. Each artist was asked to examine a physical space or location, and create a portrait of that space using whatever mode of creative inquiry they have in their toolbox. As an album, the music veers through manifestations of sound, with peaks and contours that are mostly peaceful in character. The result is an evocative, varied collection, with each piece a startlingly unique contribution to the whole, to be enjoyed as part of a journey through physical reality.

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Louise Bock, "Abyss: For Cello"

cover imageLouise Bock is the latest guise of iconoclastic composer Taralie Peterson, who is best known for her role in psych-folk luminaries Spires That in the Sunset Rise.  It is probably fair to describe some of her previous work as "polarizing" or "an acquired taste," as she is not one to shy away from dissonance or nerve-jangling intensity.  However, it is also fair to say that she has recorded some truly transcendent and impressively wild pieces over the years.  In some ways, Abyss: For Cello captures Peterson in comparatively accessible form, but that is mostly because there are limits to how much infernal cacophony one person can create with just a cello and a saxophone.  That said, that limit is considerably higher than I would have expected, as Abyss is quite a churning and heaving one-woman tour de force of cello-driven violence.  Moreover, it is quite an impressively focused and tightly edited one as well.  It is quite a pleasure to witness Peterson's power so beautifully harnessed for maximum impact, particularly on the album's brilliant centerpiece "Oolite."

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Nicole Oberle, "Skin"

cover imageI know very little about Nicole Oberle and I suspect that suits her just fine, as she self-describes as a "digital recluse."  What I do know is that she is based in Texas and that she has recorded quite a prolific stream of self-released material over the last year or so.  One of those releases was last fall's Skin EP, which has since been picked up and reissued in expanded form by Whited Sepulchre.  That is great news for a couple of reasons, as I would not have encountered her work otherwise and this new incarnation of Skin is a significantly more substantial and compelling release than its predecessor.  In fact, the newly added songs are some of my favorite ones on the album.  As such, I suspect this incarnation of Skin will rightfully go a long way towards expanding Oberle's fanbase, as there are appealing shades of both Grouper and erstwhile labelmate Midwife lurking among these eleven songs.  The most fascinating parts of the album, however, are the ones where those influences collide with Oberle's divergent interests in ghostly, downtempo R&B grooves and unsettling, diaristic sound collages.

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Spirit Fest, "Mirage Mirage"

https://resources.morrmusic.com/image/for_primary_product/d34e0784-fa68-494b-a7ab-ee36f5375c75/600_square.jpegSpirit Fest is a supergroup built around acclaimed Japanese duo Tenniscoats, featuring members of Notwist, Jam Money, and Joasihno. If an album could be adorkable, this fits the bill. Mirage Mirage is an album for flower picking and bubble blowing, and it charmed me from the first listen.

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Ian William Craig, "Red Sun Through Smoke"

cover imageI am generally not someone who believes that everything happens for a reason or that tragedy breeds great art, but I do think that the emotionally fraught and unusual circumstances surrounding the creation of Red Sun Through Smoke steered Ian William Craig in a direction that feels uncannily appropriate for the current moment.  Craig's original plan was simply to sequester himself for a couple weeks in his grandfather's empty house in Kelowna, British Columbia while he wrote and recorded a new album.  As it turned out, however, fate had quite a macabre cavalcade of unpleasant surprises in store for him, as Kelowna became surrounded by forest fires, his grandfather died, his parents moved into the smoke-shrouded house, and the woman he loved moved to Paris.  Naturally, all of those events resulted in quite an intense swirl of emotions, but at least a correspondingly intense (and beautiful) album ultimately emerged from that fraught period, as the best moments of Red Sun Through Smoke distill Craig’s art to its simplest, most direct, and most intimate form.

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Matt Elliott, "Farewell to All We Know"

https://f4.bcbits.com/img/a1241889506_16.jpgOn the eighth solo album from the French-based British musician behind Third Eye Foundation, it is impossible to not compare Elliott's delivery to late bard Leonard Cohen. Elliott's accomplished Spanish guitar craft further add to the resemblance, particularly if followed by Cohen's final album Thanks for the Dance. Working as a solo artist since 2003, Elliott has achieved a new aural mastery on his latest work. At the start of the new decade, we face anticipatory grief, a collective loss of safety, and ultimately have been forced to bid Farewell to All We Know. Many artists use songwriting as a way of making sense of a bewildering world, and Elliott has crafted a perfectly timed accompaniment to grief, offering resignation and renewal with his heartfelt message "Maybe the storm has passed and devastated everything, now we just have to rebuild and live again."

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The Eye: Video of the Day

Sons and Daughters

YouTube Video


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Review of the Day

Delicatessen / City of Lost Children
This weekend at the Brattle Theater in Cambridge, they were showing the two French surrealist films by the same people, Delicatessen and City of Lost Children. Delicatessen, while I've seen it before, was definately something different to see on the large screen. A dark, bleak and surreal view of a French urban wasteland, Delicatessen is one of those stories where the distinction between good and evil is a grey area. Cannibalism, an underground society, a circus performer, mischievous kids, the butcher, the mailman and many others make this an enjoyable spectacle. City of Lost Children, also by Caro & Jeunet, also takes place in a surreal, dark and bleak world. This one, however is more of a fantasy adventure and takes our main characters through the dark underground worlds of criminals and evil scientists (who kidnap children to steal their dreams) to rescue their orphan friends. Quite a wonderful film with a fairy-tale theme. Highly recommendable on a larger screen, however.

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