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Forced Exposure New Releases for the Week of 6/21/21

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New music is due from Yann Novak, Modeselektor, and Xordox (JG Thirlwell) while old music is due from Blind Willie Johnson, Degiheugi, and Whitehouse.

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Episode 525: June 13, 2021

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Sydney by StephenNew music awaits within

We go a little long this episode to bring you twelve new (or newly issued) tunes from Tara Jane O'Neil, Thalia Zedek Band, Material Girl, MJ Guider, Corey Fuller, Marisa Anderson & William Tyler, Birds of Maya, Julian Sartorius, Mocky, Two White Cranes, Can, and Midwife.

Sydney photo from Stephen.

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Last Updated on Sunday, 13 June 2021 12:56 Read more...
 

Rambutan, "Parallel Systems"

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cover image As his primary (and solo) project, Albany’s Eric Hardiman's Rambutan is always in flux.  Some of his many other projects are a bit more predictable:  Sky Furrows is 1980s indie noise rock inspired, Spiral Wave Nomads is more free improvisation, etc., but Rambutan has always been something different.  Sometimes the work is harsher, other times more subdued and atmospheric, and instrumentation can very significantly from release to release.  For this more conceptually album, there is even less predictability.  Featuring 69 contributing artists across 33 pieces and over two and a half hours in length, it is fully encompassing of Hardiman’s body of work, solo and in collaboration with others, and reiterates what a multifaceted and gifted artist and performer he is.

Sedimental/Tape Drift

For Parallel Systems, Hardiman solicited a multitude of participants: friends, collaborators, and personal heroes, to submit recorded contributions that he collaged and blended over the past two years.  There are a vast array of collaborators here:  representatives from the local Upstate New York/Western Massachusetts scene (Mike Bullock, Rob Forman, Mike Griffin, Matt Weston, plus more), some legendary noise artists (Anla Courtis, John Olson, Howard Stelzer), and even the likes of Guy Picciotto of Fugazi/Rites of Spring, Mission of Burma’s Peter Prescott, and Mike Watt.

Last Updated on Sunday, 06 June 2021 16:49 Read more...
 

Fehler Kuti, "Professional People"

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https://f4.bcbits.com/img/a2160160686_16.jpgSeeing this release announced as music for "squares” or gated communities, unlikely to appeal to your "woke friends” made me approach it as one might any potential minefield. Learning that Julian Warner, aka Fehler Kuti, is a cultural anthropologist, actor, writer, editor, speaker, art festival curator and producer didn’t lighten the mood much as I feared an onslaught of dry polemic. What a relief then to simply get hooked by these hypnotic tunes - several of which were lullabies for Warner’s newborn child. Professional People reveals as a transcultural concept album, lightly touched with softly spoken wit, 8-bit space jazz, cosmic Euro-pulse, pan, chant, Afro-neon groove, wordless harmony, and melancholic synth. Some of the song titles can act as political signposts, but lyrics are few, mostly oblique, and any message subliminal: hidden in plain sight amid references to bureaucracy, cars, office buildings, home, leisure, gardens, and security. There is no holy indigestible agitprop, no denial of anyone else’s struggle, and Warner leaves academic language and analyses of class, race, and history for the books. He’s razor sharp, but kind, and rather than cutting with words he sprinkles sardonic humor and personal history in with broader observations. The whole record invites everyone to swing along together in our various states of alienated inclusion. Phew. I won’t hear many more enjoyable albums this year.

Alien Transistor

With the aid of stalwarts from The Notwist, Fehler Kuti builds a laid back sound with drive but also plenty of breathing space. Markus Acher's brilliant drumming is key, and Micha Acher adds sousaphone and trumpet flourishes. Equally, Sascha Schwegeler's steel drum helps make “Transatlantic Ideology” a standout track. Here Kuti gently references a popcultural and socio-theoretical Afro-Americanophilia in Germany that must be addressed as it deflects from anti-racist movements and away from other racist exploitations (systematic exclusion of Romani people, capitalist exploitation of eastern European migrant laborers). Off record he points out that Black Germans do not make up a racialized labor underclass, so in this sense the leftist fetish of the African American plight is devoid of its revolutionary potential when directed at the Black German. I say “gently” but, as with several stunning lines laid into the fabric of this album "Is a black man humanoid?” made me jump. I uncomfortably recalled the satirical essay “Are The Jews Human?” which got that awkward old stick Wyndham Lewis into a spot of critical bother. Whereas Lewis was brilliant but easily depicted as a brute, Warner’s unflinching honesty about his own status as a professional "manager of color“ is his calling card. He insists his class are using the paradigm of diversity as a tool to escape their fate, without changing the class relations as a whole. Who better, then, to warn us: "This song is a song to end all ties, to say goodbye to old, and say hello to new, lies.” If that sounds heavy, it’s actually as catchy as The Bonzo Dog Band doing “Terry Keeps His Clips On."

Last Updated on Monday, 14 June 2021 13:55 Read more...
 

Jon Collin, "Music From Cassettes, Etc., 2008-2017"

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cover imageI initially slept on this album, as the prosaic title made it sound like a collection of old and orphaned songs rather than a minor sound collage masterpiece.  The former would be just fine by me (in a non-urgent way), but the fact that this album is actually the latter completely blindsided me.  As the label puts it, Collin pulled "shining diamonds from his discography" and put them "in a new context with more recently recorded segments."  In more practical terms, this means that the album beautifully bleeds together ephemeral highlights from Collin's discography into a soulfully mesmerizing, endlessly evolving impressionist fantasia.  In its most striking moments, Music From Cassettes, Etc. makes me feel like I am a Dickensian ghost experiencing all the warmest moments from Collin's life through a flickering projector.

Fördämning Arkiv

The first side rolls in as a fog of tape hiss and crackle that sounds like a ravaged dictaphone recording of a bus tour somewhere in some exotic tropical place.  Soon, however, a simple twanging acoustic guitar piece starts to fade in.  It is quite a warm and deeply emotive performance, so I was sad to see it go as it gradually became consumed by a slowly oscillating hum that later dissipates into enigmatic dictaphone hiss once more.  That theme of slowly dissolving vignettes is the heart of the album, but the variety, beauty, and cumulative power of them is what makes this album transcendent and bittersweet.  On the A side, the dream parade makes further noteworthy stops at deconstructed blues and something akin to a tribute band that accidentally double-booked themselves as both Pink Floyd and The Dead C, but valiantly blurred them together to give everyone the concert of their lives.  The playing near the end is absolutely amazing, as Collin whips up a rapturous Orcutt-level firestorm of wild hammer-ons and swooping slides for the volcanic finale.  The second side offers a similarly mesmerizing but completely different phantasmagoria of fragmented delights.  Sometimes I find myself at a languorous campfire jam in which lupine howls harmonize with a sliding melody, while at other times I am catching the fiery performance of a noise rock band from a reverberant alley.  Elsewhere, Collin's collage sounds like a ravaged tape loop of an organ mass backing a demonic squall of white-hot electric guitar catharsis.  Throughout it all, Collin maintains a perfect balance of soulful melody, lo-fi ruin, and sharp-edged feral intensity, the latter of which definitely surprised me (he sounds absolutely possessed during some of his solos).  The whole album is great from beginning to end, as Collin hits one perfect moment of tender melody or viscerally howling noise guitar incandescence after another with nary a lull between them.  This is an instant classic.

Samples can be found here.

Last Updated on Sunday, 13 June 2021 18:06
 
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