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          Podcast Episodes 411 & 412: April 14, 2019

          Episodes #411 and #412 of Brainwashed Radio: The Podcast Edition is now live.

          Two all new episodes are now available with music from Sequoyah Murray, Mort Garson, Russell E.L. Butler, Teho Teardo, Dustin Laurenzi, The Durutti Column, Forest Management, Astr?d, "Blue" Gene Tyranny, Umber, Von Spar, Sarah Davachi, House and Land, The Caretaker, Khotin, Celer, Dharma Shanti Orchestra, Carl Stone, Motion Sickness of Time Travel, and Gavin Miller.

          Thanks to Paul for the picture from Bristol, UK.


          Forced Exposure New Releases for the Week of 4/15/2019

          New music is due from Carla dal Forno, Motorpsycho, Zachary Paul, and Claudio Simonetti's Goblin, while old music is due from Maryanne Amacher, Sandy Coast, Apple, and The 40 Watt Banana.


          Sarah Davachi, "Pale Bloom"

          Sarah Davachi’s tireless campaign to subvert expectations with each fresh release shows no signs of slowing down, as the label-hopping poser's latest opus partially revisits her formative years as an aspiring pianist.? While it would be fair to characterize Pale Bloom as “neo-classical” and a logical progression from 2018's Gave in Rest, Davachi has never been content with pastiche, reverent homage, or returning to previously covered territory.? Instead, she seems like an artist increasingly unfixed in time, drawing from the past to give her forward-thinking experiments in harmonies and overtones a foundation that feels temporally ambiguous and self-assuredly independent of contemporary music trends.? While there is not any particular piece on Pale Bloom that makes it tower above any of its predecessors, it is unquestionably a uniformly strong collection of new work that studiously avoids the familiar and hints at intriguing new directions to e.


          Celer, "Xièxie"

          It would be great if there was some simple way for casual Celer fans like myself to easily distinguish Will Long's major statements from the ceaseless flow of minor releases, but there seem to be glaring exceptions to every system that I have attempted to devise.? In the case of Xièxie, however, Long helpfully took the guesswork out of the matter, as this might be the most heavily promoted album that he has ever released.? Happily, his instincts have proven to be well-founded, as Xièxie definitely ranks among the upper tier of his overwhelming oeuvre.? I would probably stop short of calling it a start-to-finish masterpiece or my personal favorite Celer album, but I would be hard-pressed to think of anyone else churning out ambient/drone music as enveloping and sublimely lovely as Xièxie's bookends.


          The Gamelan of the Walking Warriors

          My fascination with the Sublime Frequencies and Nonesuch Explorer labels goes back many years, but it has been quite a long time since I have been properly floored by a revelatory feat of ethnological scavenging or scholarship.? I was starting to worry that my ears had lost their capacity for wonder until this 2017 gem from France’s eclectic Akuphone label belatedly crossed my path.? Unsurprisingly, the piler (Vincenzo Della Ratta) previously surfaced on SF with 2016’s Kwangkay: Funerary Music Of The Dayak Benuaq Of Borneo and this album returns to a similar theme, swapping out the funeral music of Borneo for that of Bali.? Only part of this album covers field recordings of Balinese funerals, however, as the other half is culled from some truly visceral and mesmerizing rehearsal space recordings of the more contemporary and visionary Dharma Shanti Orchestra.? Both sides have certainly their appeal, but it is exclusively the Dharma Shanti material that makes the leap from "this is interesting and unique traditional music" to "this is what I desperately want the music of the future to sound like."


          Vinyl Thoughts for Record Store Day

          It's time for record store day again and I want to talk about the need for better mastering and cutting and manufacturing on the new vinyl being created today.

          So many of the new records I buy, whether reissues or brand new recordings by current bands, are noisy. Surface noise. Yes, sometimes it is caused by the COLOR of the vinyl, because diff colors have diff chemical makeups and there for give differing playback ability (white is actually much closer to plastic and tends to sound the noisiest because it is really not the correct medium to be retaining sound) (and multi colored can have issues due to the diff colors not melting at the same temps and then not taking the information from the stampers as well as they should due to temp differences).

          However, a lot of the issues with newly manufactured vinyl e from a lack of knowledge in the mastering and plating phases, and from how quickly records are being turned out. handling them too quickly means mistakes - scratches happening before the albums are sleeved, vinyl not cooling slowly enough and then warping but still being sleeved and sold.....


          Forced Exposure New Releases for the Week of 4/8/2019

          New music is due from Snowdrops, Rosalind Hall, and Psyk, while old music is due from Claire Singer, Gary Davis, and Agitation Free.


          Fennesz, "Agora"

          It has been roughly five years since Christian Fennesz last surfaced with a proper solo album (2014’s excellent Bécs), though he has certainly kept busy with other projects in the meantime.? For this latest release, however, he found himself in unusual straits, as he lost his studio space and had to move all of his gear into his bedroom.? In theory, that was not an optimal work environment and he never ended up setting up much of his usual arsenal, but new constraints can often lead to unexpected breakthroughs.? That is arguably the case here: while Agora is not quite an Endless Summer-caliber bombshell or a groundbreaking reinvention of Fennesz's aesthetic, it is definitely a modest masterpiece of sorts, as quietly recording in his room with minimal gear and omnipresent headphones paved the way for a quartet of truly lovely, nuanced, and absorbing soundscapes.


          Yannick Franck Presents Mt. Gemini,"Just Like A River"

          Jamaican-style dub music has been around for more than half a century at this point, yet new artists continue to emerge who miraculously find new ways to twist and evolve upon the form.? The latest example of that phenomenon es in the shape of this new project from Orphan Swords' Yannick Franck, who ingeniously carves up vintage ska, rocksteady, and skinhead reggae to yield a suite of wonderfully soulful and hallucinatory collages.? In some ways, The Caretaker is perversely the closest kindred spirit here, as Franck is a similarly "outsider" deconstructionist:? he does not have a treasure trove of master tapes from legendary Kingston studios that would enable him to easily isolate a bassline or vocal melody, yet he inventively turns that disadvantage into an asset.? In transforming whole cloth recordings into something of his own, Franck has created something that bears almost zero structural similarity to traditional dub or reggae, but manages to translate its core essence into challenging and playfully experimental abstract art.? When he hits the mark just right, the results can be quite brilliant.


          Nocturnal Emissions, "Spiritflesh"

          There is an ancient Indian parable about a group of blind men trying to describe an elephant–predictably, they all wind up with very different impressions of what an elephant is like, as they are each only experiencing one small part of something very large (tusk, a snout, a foot, etc.).? I mention this because I feel like I am in a very similar situation whenever I try to wrap my head around Nigel Ayers' idiosyncratic and sometimes visionary career: I have roughly ten Nocturnal Emissions albums and feel like I have barely scratched the surface of his many curious and fascinating activities over the years (both musical and otherwise).? Despite that intimidatingly vast ouevre, there are a handful of universally acknowledged landmark albums within his sprawling discography and Spiritflesh (recently reissued) is one of them.? In fact, it is arguably the best of lot (depending on who you ask, of course).? For better or worse, it is well-known for its influential role in shaping the dark ambient genre, but it is far more earthy, vibrant, and willfully experimental than any of the gloomy drones that followed in its wake and too unique to have many true kindred spirits.? More than thirty years after its release, Spiritflesh's visionary collage of traditional instrumentation and field recording still sounds remarkably fresh and timeless.


          The Eye: Video of the Day

          Paws Across America 2003

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          Review of the Day

          Zbigniew Karkowski & Damion Romero, "9 Before 9"
          This is the first time Poland’s Zbigniew Karkowski (currently based in Japan) has released a collaboration with America’s Damion Romero. Both artists have a huge (and often overlapping) list of former partners in crime so it was probably inevitable that they would cross paths. It is a good job they did because this album is one of the best noise albums of the year. Although noise is probably a poor description of it: non-musical, alleatoric experiments in mood being a bit more precise. This is not an exercise in deafening sound but an exploration of low frequency sounds and moving a lot of air with a speaker system.
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