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Mark Solotroff, "Not Everybody Makes It"

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cover imageMark Solotroff could never be accused of taking it easy when it comes to music, both in terms of style and productivity.  Since the beginning of 2020 he has been responsible for three side project releases (Nightmares, The Fortieth Day, and Ensemble Sacrés Garçons), two archival releases from his early Intrinsic Action band, and just a matter of weeks ago a BLOODYMINDED! live compilation.  Add that to three volumes of compiled solo material and an album last year, and there’s a massive stack of material that Not Everybody Makes It now sits atop.  Even with all of that material, this new album stands out as distinct, and somewhat of an unexpected turn for Solotroff's work, but is still clearly his.

Self-Released

What makes this disc unique is the more significant restraint and lighter touch he employs on all six of these (exactly) ten minute pieces.  I would be significantly concerned if he released anything that is not constructed around lo-fi analog synth noises, and that is certainly the foundation of everything here, but the mixes are less dense and the volumes are lower, giving everything a bleaker, more isolated sensibility.

Last Updated on Sunday, 25 July 2021 22:58 Read more...
 

Peter Rehberg, 1968-2021

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We are all incredibly shocked and saddened at the sudden and unexpected loss of Peter Rehberg, a peerless and powerful force in independent, forward-thinking, innovative, and original music. It is rare that someone can leave such a lasting impression as a performer and composer (solo as Pita and with ensembles such as Farmers Manual, Fenn O'Berg, and KTL) and a label director and partner (Mego, Editions Mego, Recollection GRM, and Spectrum Spools). Everything he has had a hand in bringing to our ears has been worth listening to, and it has been a pleasure to be covering his works for over two decades.

Our hearts go out to all of his friends, family, and fans.

Guardian article.

 

Episode 529: July 25, 2021 (Peter Rehberg tribute)

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Peter Rehberg In Memory of Peter Rehberg

The sudden and unexpected loss of a peerless force is still difficult to grasp and the void will be felt for years to come. Likewise, it is impossible to encapsulate in an hour podcast episode the breadth of a singular person who has had so much profound influence in independent, bold, innovative, genre-pushing music for over two decades.

Music in this episode from Pita, Fenn O' Berg, Ulver, Shampoo Boy, Fennesz, BJ Nilsen, The Transcendence Orchestra, Marcus Schmickler, and a Kara-Lis Coverdale variation on Caterina Barbieri.

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

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Last Updated on Sunday, 25 July 2021 11:46 Read more...
 

Rắn Cạp Đuôi Collective, "Ngủ Ngày Ngay Ngày Tận Thế"

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cover imageUnraveling the discography and line-up mutations of this Ho Chi Minh City-based collective turned out to be quite an unexpected challenge, as they have been releasing full-lengths and EPs since at least 2014, yet this latest album is being billed as the project's debut.  I thought this might be the first release with "collective" appended to the group's name, but that is not the case either.  That said, the project now appears to be a trio consisting of original members Phạm Thế Vũ and Jung Buffalo, as well as relatively recent addition Zach Schreier (who ostensibly composed much of the album).  In any case, this latest release bears little stylistic resemblance to several of RCD's previous releases.  Much of that is likely due to the involvement of Berlin-based producer Ziúr, who alternately punched up the songs to Subtext's exactingly high standards, "reduced them to a cinder," or "beamed them into the fifth dimension."  Regardless of how this album took shape, it is quite a dazzling and deliriously kinetic achievement, resembling a freewheeling Carl Stone-esque plunderphonic tour de force of shapeshifting Vietnamese cultural fragments.

Subtext

The title of this album roughly translates "Sleeping Through the Apocalypse," which is a colorful yet remarkably apt description of the trio's dizzying and disorienting vision.  The "sleep" part is a bit misleading though, as this album more closely evokes the troubled, jumbled, and cacophonous dreams of an overstimulated and media-saturated mind in an increasingly unraveling world.  In more concrete terms, that means the album is a hyper-caffeinated maelstrom of surreal collisions and transformations.  I tend to loathe most releases that could be described as "aggressively genre-defying" or "like _____ in a blender," but there is a coherent overarching "sound collage" vision here that weaves all of those jarring shifts into a churning and warping near-masterpiece of mindfuckery.  Given that, trying to accurately describe even a single song is hopeless, as my notes are filled with phrases like "the most incredible Terry Riley song ever just became Vietnamese cloud rap karaoke."  The closing "Đme giựt mồng" that I just described is one of the album's stone-cold gems, but there are quite a few other highlights to be found as well.  Some other favorites are "Aztec Glue" ("dreamy pulsing synth reverie gets violently interrupted by an in-the-red Ben Frost remix") and pair of pieces that feel like they could be the work of a supernaturally possessed radio ("Eri Eri…" and "Infinite").  The former sounds like a deranged pile of overlapping stations or Carl Stone at his most kaleidoscopic and unstable, but the collective further spice things up with psychotically shifting speeds and an unexpectedly rapturous crescendo.  "Infinite," on the other hand, sounds like Vietnamese dance pop chopped and stretched into a stammering nightmare.  The stammering is especially impressive, as the piece sometimes feels like a cacophony of the world's airwaves is organically shaping into pulsing rhythms.  At other times, the album calls to mind free jazz, whale songs, or Popul Vuh and absolutely all of it is vividly fried, as this album is a gleefully shapeshifting feast of wide-ranging and inspired ideas from start to finish.  In fact, it feels favorably like channel-surfing through like a dozen different cool albums at once.  This is instantly one of my favorite albums in the Subtext canon.

Samples can be found here.

Last Updated on Monday, 26 July 2021 13:34
 

Forced Exposure New Releases for the Week of 7/26/2021

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New music is due from Tobacco City, Chris Korda, and Dereck Higgins, while old music is due from The Durutti Column, The Legendary Pink Dots, and Stars of the Lid.

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