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Forced Exposure New Releases for 10/23/2017

New music is due from Claire Singer, Fret (Mick Harris), The Huntress and Holder of Hands, and Elodie, while old music is due from Franco Battiato, Nazoranai, Alex Chilton, and Vincent Price.



cover imageThis is the debut album from an ambitious project that brings together half of Wire (Matthew Simms and Graham Lewis), idiosyncratic synth supernova Thighpaulsandra, and percussion virtuouso Valentina Magaletti.  Naturally, any project where Thighpaulsandra is untethered by someone else's clearly defined aesthetic is destined to be a bit of a stylistic rollercoaster (even more so when Graham Lewis's own eccentricity is factored in), so UUUU is quite an ambitiously disorienting affair, dabbling equally in prog, psych-rock freakout, drone, kraut rock homage, freewheeling experimentation, and Lewis-style "pop" weirdness.  It should also come as no surprise that UUUU's work feels quite spontaneous and improvisatory and occasionally errs into bombast and indulgence.  Such moments are largely eclipsed by the times when everything gloriously locks into place, however, as this foursome almost always find a way to wrest some vistas of sublime beauty or flashes of transcendent inspiration from their wild and lysergic free-rock excursions.


Podcast Episode 372: October 15, 2017 (guest artist Colleen)

ColleenWe are excited to reconnect with Cécile Schott of Colleen (after all these years since The Eye video interview). A Flame My Love, A Frequency is her seventh full-length album as Colleen. It is due out this Friday, October 20th on Thrill Jockey and she will be on a brief tour of North America - dates are available here. We also get to hear music from Coldkill, Mary Stark, Public Speaking, and Cabaret Voltaire.

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Carla dal Forno, "The Garden"

cover imageCarla dal Forno's latest EP is an absolute stunner, distilling her dark pop genius into four perfect gems of dreamy, intimate, haunted, and endearingly ramshackle beauty.  Aside from being four of the finest songs that she has ever recorded (any one of these pieces could be a single), The Garden is most striking for the improbable collision of influences that dal Forno seems to balance effortlessly: in a perverse way, this Australian dreampop chanteuese might be the most perfect and transcendent embodiment of the Blackest Ever Black aesthetic.  While her songs are certainly catchy and propulsive (a inarguable anomaly in that milieu), The Garden's feast of hooks blossoms out of an ultra-DIY/underground backdrop of stark and gritty basslines, primative drum machine clatter, tape hiss, and warped electronics.  At its best, The Garden sounds like a singularly muscular and half-sexy/half-unnerving dreampop album that is too well informed by the darker, uglier undercurrents of post-punk and early industrial to ever lapse into soft-focus navel-gazing.


Aaron Turner & Daniel Menche, "Nox"

cover imageWhile the gargantuan, triple disc Sleeper from Daniel Menche is still relatively new, he and SIGE head Aaron Turner (he of an immense number of projects) also managed to find the time to record this collaborative LP.  Recorded over a two year span, Nox is far more inviting and downright beautiful than I would have expected from two artists who have always shown hints of the sort in the past.


Drøne, "Mappa Mundi"

cover imageAfter two fine vinyl releases on Pomperipossa, Mark van Hoen and Mike Harding's mesmerizing sound collage project now takes a detour to Touch's Field Music imprint.  While the transition to CD format does not seem to have made much of a structural impact (the album still feels like a single, abstract, and longform piece), Mappa Mundi is nonetheless a radically different album from last year's more musical A Perfect Blind.  The abandonment of the more composed, melodic, and "structured" elements of their sound may seem like a deeply counterintuitive move after such a wonderful leap forward, yet Drøne prove themselves to be remarkably fluid and adept at changing their aesthetic to fit their conceptual inspirations.  In this case, the stated objective is "tracing and describing the audio surrounding and occupying the planet Earth," which mostly translates into a hauntingly strange and mysterious immersion into a crackling entropy of phantom radio transmissions, squalls of static, choruses of insects, and creepily digitized voices.


David First, "Civil War Songs (For Solo Harmonica)"

cover image The third installment in David First's Same Animal, Different Cages album series (which are constructed from the use of a single instrument) is a contradictory piece of art.  On one hand, it is clearly the most song-focused of the series thus far: a record of melodies and more conventional structures that contrast with the often pure experiments of the previous installments for guitar and analog synthesizer.  However, by nature of the instrument used this time, a harmonica, I found it to be a more challenging work, but one that is still as rewarding as the releases that preceded it, and perhaps the most conceptually rich as well.


Public Speaking, "Grace Upon Grace"

cover imageClose on the heels of last year's Caress, Redact, the latest work from Public Speaking’s Jason Anthony Harris (along with some friends) is an even further refinement of his deconstruction of soulful pop and R&B sounds.  With equal measures vocals, piano, found sounds, and synth noises, he shapes these disparate elements into catchy songs, albeit within a depressing and bleak context.


F Ingers, "Awkwardly Blissing Out"

cover imageThe second full-length album from this bass-driven Australian "freak unit" is an intriguing evolution from the bleary, haunted atmospheres of 2015's Hide Before Dinner.  For one, the mood is considerably less unnerving, but the trio has also incorporated a significant dub influence (a move that always makes my ears perk up).  Naturally, F Ingers is still as unrepentantly bizarre, prickly, and indulgent as ever, but they seem to found a way to make their fractured nightmares feel a lot more playful, spontaneous, and kinetic.  At its worst, Awkwardly Blissing Out sounds like a batch of willfully wrong-headed, dub-damaged, and sketchlike experiments that blossomed from the corpses of murdered songs.  At its best, however, it transcendently resembles a newly discovered cache of extended and deeply hallucinatory dub remixes of imaginary early UK post-punk classics.


Kevin Drumm, "Elapsed Time"

cover image This six disc box set is a nice time capsule for the extremely prolific Drumm's work from 2013 through 2016.  Which means, of course, by now this stuff is old hat and there is likely to be another 15 or so albums worth of material available to download at this point.  However, Drumm's work is something to be digested slowly and methodically, and with Giuseppe Ielasi ensuring a top quality remastering, it makes for an essential collection of work that is fitting for both new listeners and those who have been there for a while.


The Eye: Video of the Day


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Review of the Day

Liam Singer, "Our Secret Lies Beneath the Creek"

Liam Singer’s second album overflows with beautiful piano playing and the album’s tone is frequently gorgeous, but he doesn’t do much new with his classical style and his efforts have little overall effect. The album works best as dinner music, albeit the type that’s forgotten as soon as the meal is digested.

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